Just Keep Chopping

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Blogging continues to get pushed further and further down my “to do” list. I need to borrow my oldest son’s “GoPro” camera and start video blogging – that would allow me blog while I’m in the kitchen cooking! Or I need a ghost-writer…

When I get on my website to upload pictures and tweak information on the site I’m reminded of a project I had to complete in fifth grade, “A Day in My Life.” I remember taking pictures for over a week and then taking the “best” of the best and compiling them into what was supposed to be one day’s activities. Looking at the final project, that was one loooooong, fun-filled, exciting day! Think my teacher knew it didn’t really all happen in one day? I have so much to blog about that I end up starting a blog and then save it as a draft because I either can’t focus on a concise blog entry or I open another window on the computer and get caught up surfing the internet for new food ideas and never finish the entry.

My “Lavish to Lite Bites” cooking adventures have been keeping me quite busy. My “meal replacement” client list continues to grow. I’m at the point where I’m seriously considering renting some commercial space so I can cook there and deliver meals to my clients instead of cooking in their homes. I’m averaging two trips to the grocery store a day, which isn’t the most efficient way to utilize my time, but I don’t want to/can’t safely carry groceries from home to home. (In the very near future I hope to have a small commercial space of my own where I can cook, conduct cooking classes and have meals ready to be picked up & carried out.)

In October I began serving as a “Private Chef” for a family of three, three times a week. I show up with my bag of groceries, prepare their dinner and then zip home to finish my family’s dinner so we can sit down as a family to eat. Rather early on I began endearingly calling my 3x week dinner clients my “other family.” I think it such a privilege to be allowed into their home each evening, catch up on their comings/goings and prepare them healthy, delicious meals. I’ve become quite attached to them and love that they give me almost free reign to prepare whatever I’m in the mood to cook. I often find myself at the grocery store without a meal in mind, choosing whatever protein looks the best that day and then creating a menu as I shop. I wish my own family was as adventurous as my “other family” at the dining room table.

A favorite portion of my business has become Romantic Dinner Parties. I love being part of creating dinners that mark special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, and new parents wanting to re-connect without leaving the baby at home with a sitter. These dinners are often a surprise to one-half of the dinner guests and the reactions when the “surprised” guest comes home to a chef in their kitchen is priceless.

Last night I cheffed a French inspired dinner for 3 couples. Neither the hosts nor the guests had ever had a personal chef experience. For me, it was fun to work with 10.5 lbs of rendered duck fat, duck legs, chicken livers and amazing cured meats. They aren’t my typical ingredients and I always enjoy creating “new” menus and re-creating favorite cuisines for my clients. The e-mail I received late last night contained the following phrases: “Dinner was SOOO SUBLIME.” “That was the most flavorful duck we’ve ever had and the pate was amazing.” “Thanks for everything – right down to the cleaning up. What a wonderful evening.” Receiving those e-mails puts a huge smile on my face.

This week will be another busy week of cooking. My “Paleo/Zone” diet client will need her fridge re-filled with 5 dinners and 5 lunches. Tuesday I’ll be preparing a special 13th birthday celebration lasagna dinner for my “other family.” I get to chef a surprise romantic dinner on Thursday for a 41st birthday celebration.

This week I’ll try to focus on short blogging stories AND find a way to mount that GoPro video camera on my chef hat as I just keep chopping….