Tag Archives: Cooking
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Delicous Spoonfuls is coming!

29 Nov

Have you heard about Delicious Spoonfuls?  My husband Robert Gottesman and I are pooling our knowledge and experience to start an ice cream bar and cafe that will be employing about 75/80% of its staff by the people that have Special Needs. We have the most experience with Down Syndrome (Do you know our son Adir Gottesman?) and ASD/Autism.

We have been doing research, planning our menu and budget and designing our dream kitchen for the cafe.  We need your help!

We are looking for fundraisers, event planners and anyone interested in being a part of Delicious Spoonfuls!Take a look at our basic website along with our GoFundMe page.  We are looking for a location in North Broward County, florida, near our current home in Boca Raton, Florida

While  we get our no-profit status set up and our new logo designed, help is still needed

Check out these sites and share the heck out of them to help get the word out!

http://www.deliciousspoonfuls.com 

https://www.gofundme.com/we-employ-people-with-special-needs 

 

Enjoy Dinners Professionally Prepared in Your Home

21 Mar

Chef Helen prepares weekly meals for you and your family

Meal plans from as little as $25.00 per person!

Experienced in kosher, Gluten-Free, Salt Free and Sugar Free Diets and more.

Call today for your free consultation! 561-676-2078 helen@helenshomecooking.com

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28 Dec

3 tips to make cooking easier and healthier by ChefHelen

2 May

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Too many people are eating frozen food and take out food on a daily basis these days.

I am told that my being willing and able to prepare dinners from scratch is unusual. I like being able to decide how well done a dish is or how much seasoning goes in

First. Keep it simple. If you are a novice cook or very busy. Think of what flavors you. like…sharp like Parmesan.. sweet like. honey? find quick cooking proteins like a steak or chicken cutlets or salmon fillets. Find what spice rubs you can use or herbs go easily with each dish.

Skip the one color plate. To make food appealing avoid a white plate with white foods , a brown plate with brown foods etc, Vary the colors and textures of what you are eating and serving. If everything must be one color try a tiny bit of parsley (ideally fresh, dried will still add color) or diced red pepper) (the mini peppers at the fruit markets are ideal for this.)

Thirdly, ask at the fruit market if they can recommend something new, We all get into a comfort zone and find ourselves with the same dishes over and over. I found dragonmfruit a few months ago that way and haven’t looked back.

Fourth, *you thought I would stop at three? Hah! As a Personal Chef I always give a little more that I agreed to. There is always room for a little extra stir fry, a pasta made with bits and pieces left in your fridge or a simple dessert.

Check out my website at http://www.helenshomecooking.com for menu items and call me at 561-676-2078 to found out about my in your home cooking lessons and dinners professionally prepared by me in your home.
Emails with comments are also appreciated at chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com

How kosher should we be?

23 Aug

I recently spoke to an old friend who told me her grown son had become completely kosher .As neither of us grew up in a completely observant environment I was impressed by the change in her son.

Then I met him again and we started talking.  I was curious to find out exactly what he considered totally kosher.  According to him eating Glatt kosher meat is all you have to do.  I told him that is just part of it.  when I started keeping kosher over 25 years ago, I started with no obvious combinations of meat and dairy, no shellfish (hard for me to give that up!!) and no pork.  I ate in generic restaurants and the cafeteria at the company I worked for in NY and was very proud of myself for doing that.  Then as a cook/chef I realize they just cooked a cheeseburger on that grill, or a slice of bacon in that pan, ,, what was I thinking??  I started reading books about kashrut. I learned a lot.  Without completely different pots, pans, stoves, knives, cutting boards, and sinks it is virtually impossible to keep kosher in your own home.

 

Some people also think that a slice of plain cheese pizza in a generic pizza joint is OK.  Oh contraire!  Just because a kosher person chooses to keep meat and dairy separate.  most pizza joints have no problems putting meat drippings or actual meat in the tomato sauce to flavor it.  There goes the separation of meat and dairy!! 

 

Then there is the bread and cake.  A generic restaurant is likeliest to lard (pig fat) to get the flakiest pie crust.  They have no reason not to.  Many places will use lard to grease their bread pans as it can be cheaper than vegetable oil and since it is not actually IN the bread there is no need to list in on the ingredients.  Think of that for vegetarians as well!

 

Unless you have a mashgiach on premises in a commercial setting you can’t be sure what you are dealing with.  If you have a trademarked kosher symbol like the “OU” or “OK” or a local organization like the ORB here in South Florida you can’t be sure what you’re getting is kosher.

 

Just my two cents. Tell me what you think.

Passover Prep. One day at a time

18 Mar

From 2 years ago. this bears repeating.
I am putting together recipes for a client (seder for 14), and my own family (two seder for 3 to 7 people.0

Since my client wants brisket, poached salmon for 5 , gefilte fish, brownies (no nuts!) and many of the usual side dishes, i am checking for the best possible recipes. I also have to plan on containers for each of us, foil pans, heavy duty foil(LOTS OF IT) for the counters as well as wrapping food for the client, parchment paper, special dish soap, a new salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cinnamon etc.
So many of these staples need to be kosher for passover, extremely detailed laws concerning this….

Got recipes and most of shopping list together, but it is too early to shop. Need to be rid of all chametz. Such a challenge.
More on chametz tomorrow

Pesach Kosher Dinner Menus

8 Jan

I am starting to get calls about catering seders for groups for the Passpver seder. This year (2013/ 5773) Passover begins on March 26th. I am able to prepare food in my client’s home or kosher commercial kitchen. The most requested dinner items have traditionally been turkey or brisket. This year I have have been hearing from people looking at options at a lower cost (also healthier) such as shicken or capon..
I would of course prepare the traditional Seder plates, sides such as tsimmes and potato kugel,appetizer such as as gefilte fish and desserts as well as traditional matzoh ball soup. I have not figured out pricing exactly but we are probably talking about $36/per person with 10 or more people.

Mom’s Chicken Fricasee (via Chefhelen’s Blog)

29 Dec

Really easy for beginner cook!

This is my go-to dish for Friday night.  Cheap, easy and it can simmer an extra hour if dinner is delayed.

Mom’s Chicken Fricasee

1 chicken cut into eighths

1 lb. ground beef or turkey 1 onion, diced

1 jar tomato sauce oil spray.

Saute onion in oil and brown chicken pieces on both sides.  Add in the tomato sauce.  when sauce is simmering, (medium flame) add walnut-sized meatballs to sauce and cover.   Cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  Add a small … Read More

via Chefhelen’s Blog

Celiac Disease…. A Hidden Epidemic

26 Dec

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Celiac Disease A Hidden Epidemic
by chefhelen
In the Book “Celiac disease, A Hidden Epidemic” Dr Peter H. R. Green lists (page 199) grains than ca be eaten safely and has another list of foods that are not safe to eat.

First, the good News: Grains that are Safe

Rice, Corn, Millet, Teff, Sorghum, Wild Rice, Buckwheat, Quinoa and Amaranth

Focus as a newly diagnosed person on what you can eat so you don’t feel deprived!

You can also eat all meat, fish, cheese (practically) fruit, vegs, milk….as long as they are not prepared with the Grains to avoid….

So, which are The Grains to Avoid

Wheat!!, Rye, Barley,bulghur, couscous, spelt, kamut, semolina, triticale and einhorn….

Recipes will follow in a future post.

Check out my website for more information…www.helenshomecooking.com

or call 561-676-2078 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 561-676-2078 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Chicken Nuggets Gluten Free

25 Dec

I don’t eat fast food or prepared  food for the most part and decided to make Chicken Nuggets.  I could not use matzoh meal bread crumbs since hubby is Celiac ,and must be Gluten Free.

3 chicken cutlets , about  1 pound

2 eggs

1/4 cup ground corn meal

2 Tbsp Potato starch

Salt and Pepper to taste

oil spray or olive oil

Cut Chicken cutlets into bite sized squares,  Dust them with the potato starch/cornmeal mixture, then egg then again in potato starch/cornmeal mix (or skip the first mixture and do egg first).then placeon parchment paper lined baking pan. drizzle with olive oil or spray with oil (like Pam and bake at 375 degrees until browned,turning over as each side is browned…about 30 minutes

Mega Chunky Vegetable Soup

17 Dec

I have always liked vegetable soup and did not want the “Campbell’s” style.So. I made my own recipe.  It is based on butternut squash , carrots and sweet potatoes

1 medium Butternut squash

1 Tbsp olive oil or other veg oil

Curry Powder or Garam Masala

3 to 5 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 onions, large dice

2 to 3 cloves garlic

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2  to 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 green or yellow squash sliced optional

few  mushrooms sliced optional

Peel butternut squash, cut off ends. scoop out seeds and cut into large chunks.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot. add onions, garlic, ginger and spices, Saute onions until onions take on color of curry powder.  Add Potatoes, and other vegetables and stir long enough for veggies to brown a little and start the carmelization.  Add 6 cups or more of water, a cup of water at a time until water is absorbed.   salt, and other spices and simmer for another 30 minutes until potatoes break down.

If you like your soup smooth, use an immersion blender for a few seconds and make soup as smooth as you like and reheat through.

 

Pricing Structure

29 Oct

 

 

 

I just posted clarification of my pricing structure for my Personal Cheffing.  I have  made these inclusive prices, to make budgeting easier.

This appears on my website www.helenshomecooking.com .  Call me if you have questions, 561-676-2078

Regular Cook Date Pricing

  • Starter for Initial Cook date,

    3 dishes, 4 portions, $225.00 groceries included

    3 main Dishes, 4 portions each $295.00 5 main dishes, 2 portions each $325.00 5 main dishes 4 portions each $375.00 5 main dishes, 6 portions each $449.00

    groceries are included, (unless you need unusual ingredients, (such as organic kosher bison)   Special dietary Needs may involve an additional charge of $40/50.00 to allow for additional menu planning and shopping

Thanksgiving Dinner Planning

15 Oct

I am planning out a Thanksgiving dinner for a client .   turkey, stuffing sweet potatoes, veggies, pumpkin or butternut squash soup, potato kugel and desserts.  Yum!

Who else needs meals or side dishes for turkey day?

561-676-2078  chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com  www.helenshomecooking.com

Food Product Creation and Development

26 Aug
Dry TVP flakes are an inexpensive protein sour...

Dry TVP flakes are an inexpensive protein source when purchased in bulk and can be added to a variety of vegetarian dishes or used as an imperceptible meat extender or supplement to bulk out a meat dish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a student at Queens College /CUNY, the most interesting course that I took was in Experimental Food Science.  We had to create a recipe and test variations and create a publishable (as in the Journal of the AMA, or other professional publications) article after taste testing the variations on random subjects.  I did a standard beef meatloaf recipe and tested it with increasing ratios of TVP.(Textured Vegetable Protein).  We then had to get a suffficiently large random sampling taste tested and the result was a 50/50 meat/TVP was palatable, when we used more than half of TVP the result was too grainy and did not taste of meat.

I still use these skills today.  I taste test variations on recipes that clients have whether for their own use or commercial use.  I have the skills that could help any small or start up food manufacturer in their testing phase and assist in marketing.

Who do you know that needs these skills today?  Are you looking for research done to take your product for commercial use and see whether it is viable?  I have the skills to to do this on a small scale and lower budget than the larger concerns that will cost you tems of thousands in cash…You can also start  with me as a part time employee and then upgrade to full focus groups etc with the tens of thousands in funds it will  cost.

Call Chef Helen at 561-676-2078 or email today at chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com

Baking Challah for Shabbos

16 Aug

http://www.helenshomecooking.com/Helen_s_Baking.html

Check it out.. Challah Baking for shabbos…speciaL BAKED GOODS AS WELL What will it be?  Apple cake?  Muffins? Kokosh?  Call or email to find out!

561-676-2078

helen@helenshomecooking.com in Boynton Beach, Fl

Personal Chefs are More Affordable Than You May Think!

25 May

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After a networking meeting this morning, someone told me that I have not been including my pricing for my Personal Chef Services in my description of what I do.

First of all, pricing is dependent on the amount of time and challenge involved.  The most requested way I have done my cheffing is called a “five by four” .  This includes five main dishes, four portions each with appropriate side dishes.  I can price these as inclusive of groceries for $395.00 (additional if you need some exotic ingredients or specialty items). As part of my service, I do all of the shopping for the ingredients, after we choose the menu together.

I have also been running an introductory special for new clients to get them to appreciate my service.  for just $219.00 I can prepare three main dishes with sides, four portions each inclusive of groceries.

This special will continue until June 29,2012

Also, I do food demos, cooking lessons in your home (for 1 to 8 or so people) at $40 to $50 an hour (depending on the dishes involved) plus groceries with a 3 hour minimum.

I have partnered with a wonderful local Massage therapist, Fabien de Guffroy on a Dinner and Massage for two.  Fabien will give each of you a massage while I prepare your exquisite, delicious dinner and have your wine bottle ready.  Everything will be served by your own Personal chef .  You will be relaxed, with a clean kitchen and dessert when I leave.

For more information, call 561-676-2078 , email helen@helenshomecooking.com or take a look at my website, www.helenshomecooking.com .

2 step Pound Cake per cindy

22 May

from Cindy Yagoda Markowitz

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
    3 cups sugar
    1 pound butter, softened
    3/4 cup milk
    6 eggs
    2 tsp. vanillaPlace flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla (in that order) in 4 qt. bowl  Beat at low speed for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides, beat on medium for 2 minutes.
    Pour into greased and floured 10″ tube pan.
    Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour & 30 minutes or until done.  Cool in pan 10 minutes  Remove from pan, cool completely on wire rack.

Beer Bread

22 May
Bread Pans
Image by floodllama via Flickr

Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour

1/2 cup sugar

1  12 ounce bottle of beer (reg , light or non-alcoholic)

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted.

Stir together first 3 ingredients, pour into lightly greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Pour melted butter on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Variation!  add 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives to dry ingredients….

Gluten Free Brownies

11 May

I will be making these for Thanksgiving and adding in a few spoonfuls of raspberry jam to  the mixture.  Cant wait!

Gluten Free Brownies

4 whole eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 cup potato starch

1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips

Mix eggs just until yolks and whites aree mixed then add the rest of the ingredients, mix until smooth. Bake in a 9 by 13 inch pan for 45 minutes at 350.

helen@helenshomecooking.com  561-676-2078

You can also order these to go from chef Helen as well as potato kugel and other side dishes Call in advance to make sure there is enough!

Benefits of Hiring Chef Helen

27 Apr

I help busy people save time cooking for their families.

I help prepare the right foods so clients  will lose weight.

I help save people money on food…less waste as I prepare just what you want/need.

I teach people how to cook so they can find self-satisfaction.

I help people make healthy dietary choices

I help to keep families together at the dinner table.

Chametz Free

18 Apr

We cleaned everything up for Pesach and cooked up a storm…My son burnt the chometz outside on the grill and the garbage is being picked up now.  officially chometz free.

No bread ..oatmeal, cereal etc no regular salad dressings, soy sauce, mustard etc…..all packed up .  Since we planned ahead, there is less stuff packed away!  Organization has advantages!

Gluten Free Passover Foods

16 Apr
Potato flour.

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you that are on a gluten-free diet, get all you can of the potato starch and cake meal for Passover/Pesach on sale.  It is naturally gluten free!  Just look up the recipes on my website or on the net.

Sponge Cake

Potato kugel

zucchini kugel

Matzoh balls

Pesach cookies made with potato statch, ground nuts or cake meal (from the cakes made with potato starch).

Yum.

Salmon with Ginger, Soy and Lime Marinade

10 Mar

Salmon with Ginger, Soy Sauce and Lime

4 Salmon Steaks or Fillets

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp.  Lime Juice (freshly squeezed)

2 Tbsp. Freshly grated Ginger

2 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce (Gluten Free preferred)

Add all ingredients (except salmon) into a glass  dish and lay salmon in marinade, (turning at least once) for about 2 hours in refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees (or until fish flakes with fork).  Delicious served over greens such as braised kale.

 

recipes@helenshomecooking.com

www.helenshomecooking.com

Boynton beach, FloridaFeedback is appreciated!

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