I have been in the food service industry for over 30 years, and intermittently had a catering business on the side. I have just begun my business as a Personal Chef and Private Caterer. I cook at home and deliver hot meals.
I've been married for 27 years to a fantastic man, and we have a 17 year old son. We also have 2 great cats! My elderly parents are some of my best customers.
My favorite things to cook
I cook just about anything, except I do not prepare anything containing pork or shellfish. I have been finding myself centering on the Middle East a lot lately, preparing dishes from Morocco and Africa. I always love Greek, Mexican and Italian foods. I buy a case or more of Roma tomatoes a week and put up my own fresh tomato sauce. I just made a huge pot of spicy putanesca sauce for some clients, for us and for the freezer. We had some last night, and it has an attitude! I have a soft spot for braised foods, like osso buco, beef short ribs and lamb shanks, because the wonderful flavors have time to develop over time.
I am fond of lamb. I often prepare a mustard and fresh herb rub for boneless lamb legs or racks, let them sit overnight and then roast. I have been creating some Asian and Thai dishes that have been very successful. Indian food is a special favorite. We love the heat and the distinct flavors.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Chanukah is the only time I eat white potatoes for one, and FRIED white potatoes, for that matter. I love the fact that I now perform this ritual at my Mother's home and that her housekeeper cleans the greasy stove the next day.
Another holiday tradition; I've generally roasted a boneless ribeye or a whole New York Strip for our holiday of Rosh Hashana. I used the recipe I found on this site this year; the herb crusted strip. I've sometimes had less than stellar results, but this time, it was PERFECT!
Other traditions include the ritual munchies we always must have on New Years Day and Super Bowl Sunday.
My husband claims that he lives in a gourmet restaurant. He said that he'd love rack of lamb or veal picatta for his birthday, but he could have that "anytime" (really?). So, on his birthday, the request is my homemade pecan pie and Popeyes Chicken. For mine, I go out!!
My cooking triumphs
The very first time I baked the perfect challah for a Bat Mitzvah. It had to be huge, baked all the way through and gorgeous. It was all three.
When I found out how easy it was to prepare tenderloin, I used to pop them in the oven, coated in herbs and maybe mustard, and impress people who didn't know how easy it was!
The first chocolate truffle cake I ever baked for my (then) fiancee. I think I won his heart!
I was very pleased the first time I catered an event on my own without the assistance that I expected. The starters were served without a hitch, the entrees were (luckily) to be served at room temperature, and the sides were cold (again, meant to be). My assistant arrived just then, and she plated and served desserts while I basked in the praise of a fabulous luncheon.
My cooking tragedies
Burned dessert 1 hour before I was to arrive to a family event.
Awful challah (a family recipe I promised to try) right before the holidays--luckily, I baked my "tried and true" recipe in time.
Well done prime rib at a family dinner.
Forgetting the goat cheese for the client's goat cheese polenta--luckily, my husband picked up his phone, and dashed over to save the day!
Leaving the sugar out of the pumpkin bread and remembering this when it was already in the oven. It was only in there for about 5 minutes, so I scooped out the batter, dumped it in a bowl, blended in the sugar, and I think it was okay...