Personal Chef Offerings

With the cold weather starting, I have been in such a comfort food and crafty mood. I’ve been making candies, cookies, biscuits and scones. Roasted a chicken. Took the time to make myself a Medusa costume for Halloween. Cozy nights in with a glass of wine and a good book. Settled into my new apartment. Honestly, it feels so good to get this catch-up time in. Last night I braised pork with chiles, served with soft polenta, turnips, green olive relish, and a yogurt drizzle to balance the spiciness. It was the perfect way to have a Twin Peaks marathon, amiright? Yes. A good night.

Braised Pork with Polenta, Turnips, and Green Olive Relish

Braised Pork with Polenta, Turnips, and Green Olive Relish

Braised Pork with Polenta, Turnips, and Green Olive Relish

So, last week I said I’m going to start offering personal chef services this fall. A lot of you have reached out to me with lots of support and encouragement — thank you so much!! I’m very excited for this new venture. But you need more information, yes?

Here’s the deal. I’m offering dinner parties for up to 10 people, meals for you to have throughout the week, and some sweet treats. I source everything as locally as possible, in an effort to get the most delicious ingredients as possible, while supporting our local community.

Meals for you to enjoy throughout the week could include some of the following sample items, as well as soups, stews, braises, handmade pastas, prepared salads, chicken salad, etc.

I’m also offering sides for Thanksgiving. We can talk about your holiday plans, and I’ll provide some delicious dishes!

A few sample dinner party menus:

Fennel and Celery Salad with Parmesan
Braised Pork with Polenta, Turnips, and Green Olive Relish
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Salted Caramel

Local Lettuces with Radishes and Herbs
Homemade Garganelli with Tomato, Mint, and Ricotta Salata
Chocolate Pots de Creme

Cinnamon Beets with Citrus and Arugula
Za’atar Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash Puree and Wilted Greens
Tarte Tatin with Apples, Raisins, and Rose Water Whipped Cream

Local Lettuces with Anchovy and Parmesan
Seared Scallops with Celery Root Puree and Spinach
Fernet-Ginger Ice Cream

Sweets – for the home, parties, or gifts

Handmade Candies: Peanut Butter Cups, “Snickers”, etc
From Scratch Toffee-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Dark Chocolate Brownies with Smoked Sea Salt
Spicy Caramel Pecan Popcorn
Homemade Ice Creams
Fruit Tarts
…etc

I had my first order over the weekend: mini lemon tarts for a friend’s baby shower! I love a dessert that isn’t too sweet, and this is a perfect example. Balanced and tangy.

For any inquiries about my services, please feel free to contact me at sheilaj38@gmail.com.

Thanks!

my favorite breakfast

avocado toast with radish, cucumber, and preserved lemon

soft boiled eggs

Nothing like blueberry jam on a scone

Shakshuka

avocado, blood orange, and beet salad

chard, saffron & feta cakes

Handmade Garganelli

handcut fettucine

Pasta alla Norma

Roasted Oysters with Lemon-Herb Butter

coconut-mint mussels with bacon and kale

lobsters are beautiful creatures

braised tendercrop pork with mustard greens

cumin-spiced meatballs

yogurt & goat's feta with green beans, cucumber, herbs & za'atar

buttermilk-blueberry swirl ice cream

homemade peanut butter cups

coconut macaroons

Toffee Shortbread Cookies

Homemade S'mores

I also wanted to include the next two photos below because they show the hilarity of food blogging. Lighting can be so finicky; you have to catch it at just the right time, otherwise your food is covered in shadows and everything has a freaky yellow tint from indoor lighting. At least in my case, since I don’t have the fancy shmancy equipment or photographic know-how. One of these days I’ll figure out that white poster board trick…

In any case, I plated three dishes and brought them right out my front door, on the second floor steps of my apartment building. Pretended it was a table. Or a picnic. Or something. Anything to conceal the boards that prove it’s not a table after all – shucks. Anyway, it’s usually the only way I can capture the lighting I like best. There you have it, a dose of reality in this food blog world! Phew.

Braised Pork with Polenta, Turnips, and Green Olive RelishFood blogging means...follow the light, make a "table" from what you can!

One comment

  1. chef mimi says:

    I was a personal cook for one family for 8 years. It was quite challenging because I think I have good taste, and this family did not. But it allowed me to make money while working at home. So I was always around for my daughters, which was really important. Hard work sometimes, but it also got me cooking all kinds of things that I might not have, since I was normally just cooking for my family. The years of catering came after being the personal cook. So I got a lot of experience from doing it. It’s a great gig. Good luck.

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