Contact me: ckloscak@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for your support.

This is the last post for me ~ while I’ve enjoyed having this forum to post my thoughts and recipes about food, I can no longer justify the time and cost of such things. You can still find us on Facebook at Chef In Attendance, and I hope you will stop by there to comment and see what’s new. Cheers! Cheryl K.

Movin On

One of the joys of raising our family in a small town has been watching not only our own children’s success, but our friends children’s success as well. Tomorrow morning, bright & early, our young friend Maggie will be heading out for a new adventure and job in Boston, Mass.  We’ve had the privilege to watch Mags grow up from the gangly little girl on swim team to the lovely young girl in high school, to the polished and proud OU grad. Now it’s time for her to spread her wings and fly. Maggie and her mom Kelly are family to us. We’ve shared many laughs together, dried each others tears, spent major holidays celebrating, even had a summer of love where we traveled together like a band of gypsies. Since food has always played a pivotal role in our friendship, I asked Maggie what I could make her for her last meal in town. “Taco’s”, she says. “No, seriously Mags, what can I make you.” “Cheryl, I’m serious. I love tacos.” Okie dokie. Then I started thinking and here’s the end result.  We had a choice of ground turkey or ground beef, stir fry chicken or beef, pan roasted red, yellow & orange peppers and onions, green & black olives, homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, rice, beans, corn, flour tortillas, corn tortillas, sour cream (which was really Greek yogurt), beautiful red, orange & yellow tomatoes and conqueso dip. Taco’s indeed!  Which just goes to prove you can raise the bar on any food favorite. I have no doubt that this beautiful girl is going to shine in her new job. Safe travels, Margaret. May the wind be at your back love.  We will see you soon. Go knock ‘em dead girl. To comment or see the full series of taco bar pics, check us out on Facebook @ Chef In Attendance.

 

Cold Weather Comfort Food

One of my very favorite things to eat is College Ramen at NoodleCat in Cleveland, on Euclid Ave. or at the West Side Market. Operated by Chef Jonathan Sawyer, an amazing Chef who has taken the term ‘green’ to a whole other level. Today, I came home sick from work, got the whole sinus drainage, scratchy throat, can’t get warm, IhateFebruary thing going on. After I slept for 4 hours, I woke up craving some NoodleCat. Since I wasn’t about to hop in my car and go get some, I decided to settle for the next best thing. Luckily, being the smart woman I am, I had started some homemade chicken stock the second I got home and let it simmer away during my 4 hour snooze. Joe had purchased a few rotisserie chickens and some great pretzel rolls so I was off to a great start.

I shredded some chicken, thinly sliced some spinach and then added some frozen corn and frozen peas to my bowl.

I boiled my organic udon noodles for 4 quick minutes and then added them into the bowl and covered with the delicious homemade broth. Udon and Soba noodles are such a great thing to use when you’re trying to loose weight or just eat healthy. They have a whopping 9 grams of protein! and around 40 carbs. The end result was nothing shy of fabulous and just what my achy, stuffy & tired self needed. It took really very little effort on my part (which was good because I’ve got very little energy right now).  Time to crawl back into bed with my blankie and book, knowing that I’ve  had something very healthy and super comforting to eat.  Try this one. If you’d like a great recipe for broth, shoot me an e-mail at ckloscak@sbcglobal.net.  Please give Chef In Attendance a thumbs up like on Facebook too. There you’ll find even more pics and recipes.  Stay warm!!

Kale Chips

I’ve been reading and hearing a ton of info about Kale lately. This once bitter and unloved green has suddenly taken center stage and is now touted as a “super food”.  People are drinking it, braising it and baking it into chips.  So, I thought, what the heck, I’ll jump on the band wagon and see what the deal is. I started with some beautiful, fresh Kale from my local green market. I’m blessed to have Chuppa’s right down the street, their produce is AMAZING!! In fact, everything in the store is amazing, including the people. I practically live there. Ok, I’m getting off track. I read a few recipes on line and combined them, keeping in mind the advice of my friend, Dr. Patrick who warned me not to over cook them or under cook them lest they be very bitter.

I ripped them into small sections, careful to remove the bigger rib, spread them out on a cookie sheet, sprayed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with sea salt.  Then I started my oven out on 200 degrees and baked them for 15 min., gave them a flip with tongs and continued for another 10.  Eh, they weren’t cooking like I thought they should so I put the oven up to 275 and walked away for another 8 minutes.

Even though I was excited, clearly Arthur was not impressed. Now, had I been baking homemade frisbees it would’ve been a completely different story.

Here is the end result. That entire head of kale cooked down to less than half but it still made 2 cups full. Each 1 cup serving is 15 calories 7 carbs 0 fat grams and 2 protein.  But the best part is, they were good. Surprisingly good. Now I’m thinking of other ways to jazz them up.  It gave me that light crunch and salty flavor I like so much without the guilt. Are they as good as a fresh opened back of Lays? Don’t be silly, nothing is as good as a freshly opened bag of Lays, but they kept me out of that bag and that’s the important thing.  My foray into a life of healthy eating is ever evolving and I finding I like it. I feel great, I’m losing weight, I’ve not really given up anything. I welcome your comments either by e-mail at ckloscak@sbcglobal.net or find me on Facebook @ chef in attendance.

Chicken Lasagna

Here is today’s lightened up recipe.  This fabulous chicken lasagna comes in at 298 calories for 1/12 of the pan, 23 carbs, 15 g of fat and 24 g of protein.  Served with a nice side salad and a glass of crisp white wine you’ve got a great dinner.  After it’s cooled, wrap the remaining portions in plastic wrap, slide into a zip top back and freeze. It’ll re-heat wonderfully in the microwave! For the full recipe and/or to comment or ask a question, find us on Facebook at Chef In Attendance.I’m working on getting my comment section up and running on the web site. Thanks for bearing with me!

Creamy Lemon Shrimp w/Angel Hair Pasta

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’ve already managed to fall off the diet wagon but you’d be wrong. This fabulous, filling, wonderfully creamy and delicious dish has only 320 calories per 1 cup serving. And believe me, one cup of this rich dish with a nice salad and you’ve got a meal that’ll keep you full for a while.

I started by heating 3/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of chicken stock & the juice of one whole lemon, gently on the stove top.  At the same time, I filled a large pot of water and brought that up to a rolling boil.

Once the cream is warmed through (be careful not to let it boil) I added 3/4′s of a lb of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined. Allow them to steep in the cream mixture about 5 minutes.  At the same time, get your angel hair pasta boiling too, again 3/4′s of a lb. into rapidly boiling and heavily salted water. The pasta should finish about the same time as the shrimp.  Once the shrimp are all pink and cooked, add the chopped parsley and continue on low heat for another minute or two.  Drain the pasta and put it into a bowl, add the shrimp, cream and parsley mixture, the zest of one lemon and 3/4′s cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toss it all about. Salt & Pepper to taste and Enjoy!

I know the fat grams are high but I don’t eat a lot of fat during my day and this recipe is most decidedly worth saving them for!

Serves 6 ~ 320 calories, 22 carbs, 18 fat and 20 protein  per 1 cup serving

Chicken Pepper Hash ~ A great start to the day!

This freezes wonderfully

I am and always have been a breakfast eater. I can hop out of bed at 3am and eat breakfast, no problem. This chicken, pepper hash is one of my very favorites and it might surprise you how it’s made to keep the calorie count low. I try to keep this in my freezer at all times. It’s easy to make a big batch and you’ll be glad you did. A quick flash in the microwave and breakfast, dinner or snack is ready to go. I like to put an over easy egg on top of mine. When you break into that yolk you get a marvelous sauce that coats everything! The protein keeps you going and the fiber fills you up. Here is a 1 cup serving w/egg, the caloric breakdown is at the bottom of this post.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

I started with 4 lbs of red skin potatoes, largely diced. Toss those in 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and pepper liberally.  Place onto a 1/2 sheet pan and bake in the oven in a single layer. I used two sheet pans for this.

While that’s going, I diced up 5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, with all visible fat trimmed off. Toss it in a bowl with 2 tsps of olive oil and the juice of one large lemon, salt & pepper liberally.  Heat a non-stick skillet and give your chicken a quick stir fry over medium high heat. You want to brown it. Place the browned chicken onto a 1/2 sheet pan and let it finish down in the oven. Again, I stir-fried in batches so as not to steam the chicken. It finishes cooking in the oven.

I diced up 6 Holland peppers, 2 yellow, 2 orange and 2 red. These I tossed with the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil, salt & pepper. I gave these a quick stir fry in my non stick skillet. By now the potatoes and chicken are done, I toss the three of them together and my meal is complete.

I allow this to cool completely then break it down into 1 cup portions. Zip top bags work great for this, just stack them in your freezer and you’ve got a quick, low calorie and ready meal at your fingertips! Enjoy.

A one cup serving = 190 calories, 28 carbs, 1 fat, 15 protein when you put an egg on top you’ve got 260 calories, 28 carbs, 6 fat, 21 protein.

2013, the year of healthy choices!

I could list a million reasons why I want to lose weight and why I need to lose weight. I can and have supplied my clients and readers with many fantastic low calorie recipes to incorporate into their special diets and to aid them in their efforts to lose weight. Why then do I have such a hard time doing this for myself?  That is my goal and challange for 2013. Along the way I will post the recipes I find that help me the most and let’s see if I can finally achieve my goal. In addition to the eating, I am making a very real effort to walk every single day (something I’ve been dilligent about for several months now).  Let’s see what happens.  If you’ve got recipes that work for you or favorites you’d like to “lighten up”, drop me an e-mail at ckloscak@sbcglobal.net. Sadly, the comment section of my web page is not working, I will re-post your thoughts and comments here.  It’ll be more fun if we do it together!

 

Sunday Supper Memories

 

I grew up in the 60′s with, to quote one of my favorite Nancy Griffith songs, “Disney & Cronkite and Martin Luther”. It was also the era of Sunday Supper. Every Sunday, almost without fail, we would come home from church to a house that smelled of roast something. Some times it was beef, sometimes chicken and some times it was pork roast. The seasoning were kept simple, salt & pepper. The sides (always carrots and potatoes) were cooked right along side the roast, basking in the juices from the meat, sometimes turned into a luscious gravy. Occasionally there would be cousins and aunts and uncles but they usually came after the meal which was consumed around 1 or 2 o’clock. When Joe and I first married I wanted to keep that feeling going so one day I spent a precious portion of our meager grocery budged on a beautiful pork roast and cooked it like I loved it, with sauerkraut, potatoes & carrots. It turned out perfect but for one problem. My Polish husband refused to eat sauerkraut. WHAT???? Nope, wouldn’t touch the stuff and still won’t. We argued, there were tears and I ate pork and sauerkraut for the rest of that week. I don’t remember what he had. Nowadays I still make the occasional Sunday roast, even though there is really no one to share it with. Since the kids have grown up, and it’s just Joe and I for meals most of the time,  Sunday Suppers are a thing of the past.  I make mine smaller and separate with the kraut because it’s still my favorite. I’ll freeze a good portion of it for quick grab and go meals. I miss those times, all gathered round the dinner table, everyone talking and laughing. My dad (who’s been gone now for 20 years) at the head of the table, Mother still in her church clothes, we 3 kids eagerly waiting for our plates to be filled, grace said so we could dig in. Later in the day we’d ride up to Lawson’s for a pound of chip-chopped ham and a loaf of wonder bread for lunches for the week ahead. In the evening it would be The Wonderful World of Disney,  or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, a big bowl of popcorn and ice cold pop from a glass bottle. In Cleveland we had Cotton Club Soda, Tahitian Treat, Vernors, Cherry Strawberry. We were a Coke family too but if Aunt Erma was in town it had to be Pepsi.  What are some of your Sunday Supper memories??



Soba,oh so good!

I am blessed to live within a mile or two of some fantastic places to shop. One of those places is a small, unassuming little Asian grocery store called Nipa Hut.  While stopping in yesterday to load up on my favorites, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and hoisin, I came across these organic soba noodles. A soba noodle is used in Japanese cooking, in broths or on their own with a sauce. Like Italian pasta, you boil them but only for 4 minutes. You can eat them warm or cold. They’re usually gluten free (always read the label you just never know) and 2 oz pack a walloping 9 grams of protein!  This makes them perfect for anyone with an allergy to gluten, anyone who is vegetarian or anyone who just wants a really great meal.

For my sauce I used fresh ginger, scallions, parsley, red pepper flakes, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, fresh lime juice, honey, salt & pepper.  I let it hang out while I chopped all my veggies; yellow squash, carrots, cremini mushrooms and fresh pea pods.

The finished dish was just what I need on this long, hot day. It came together in under 10 minutes and that included the chopping of the vegetables! Give soba noodles a try. For the complete step by step pictorial, go to Chef In Attendance on Facebook or drop me an e-mail at ckloscak@sbcglobal.net.