A couple of weeks ago, I did a surprise Valentine's Day Dinner for a young couple expecting their first baby. It was so sweet. The husband planned a day of shopping and spa treatments for his lovely wife and then upon her arrival home, she was surprised with a romantic candlelight dinner. I couldn't help thinking back to when Greg and I were that young and starting out our family. Good times... Their adventure into parenthood will soon begin and ours has slowed down with our youngest leaving for college this past fall. Enjoy every moment 'cuz time goes by fast!
This past weekend, I attended the American Personal and Private Chef Association Summit in San Diego, CA. This was my first Summit since starting my personal chef business a year ago. I really enjoyed the chance to meet other personal chefs from all over the country and to be able to share our different stories. My favorite session was led by Chef Dana Cox who was part of a self-imposed experiment called the Honest Meal Project, eating only foods grown on family farms--no processed foods. The founder of APPCA, Candy Wallace, and ALL the speakers were so inspiring. I left the Summit feeling more energized than ever!
My family and I love fresh fruits and vegetables and one of our favorite vegetables is kale. Well, kale happens to be listed as one of the the top pesticide laden vegetables which means that no matter how well I wash it, the pesticide remains on the leaves. Can you guess which fruits and vegetables... top the list of most pesticides? Number one are apples followed by celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale. Which fruits and vegetables have the lowest pesticide levels? Onions, corn, pineapples, avocados and asparagus. Eat organic! It's worth it!!
I've been doing a lot of vegan and gluten free baking lately. Instead of using an egg, I use 1 tablespoon of flax powder mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. It results in a thick and creamy liquid that simulates an egg in baking. If you have flax meal or flax seeds, put some in a coffee grinder to grind it into a powder. Remember, one egg = one tablespoon of flax powder mixed with three tablespoon of water!