Saturday, May 2, 2015

"Nibble"...with Chef Kai Chase: The Perfect Mint Julep for Derby Day

"Nibble"...with Chef Kai Chase: The Perfect Mint Julep for Derby Day: The Kentucky Derby is booming this weekend with great spirit, high hopes and beautifully stylish hats.  But we mustn't forget another h...

The Perfect Mint Julep for Derby Day

The Kentucky Derby is booming this weekend with great spirit, high hopes and beautifully stylish hats.  But we mustn't forget another highlight of the event...The Mint Julep.  Mint Juleps (made with fine Bourbon, mint, sugar and ice) are synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, the historic thoroughbred race and annual kick-off to the Triple Crown series.
So in celebration of the event, join the winners circle and try making a batch for your favorite sports fans.  Enjoy!  
4 c. Bourbon (preferably Woodford Reserve)
3 bu. Fresh Mint
1 c. Water
1 c. Granulated Sugar
Crushed Ice
First, remove about 50 small mint leaves.  Wash and place in a small bowl.  Cover with 3 ounces of the Bourbon.  Allow the leaves to soak for about 20 minutes.  Gather the leaves in a paper towel.  Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of Whiskey.  Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.  Simple Syrup: Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan.  Heat to dissolve the sugar.  Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn.  Set aside.   Mint Julep Mixture: Pour 3 1/2 cups of the Bourbon into a large  glass pitcher.  Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the Bourbon.  Now begin adding the mint extract one tablespoon at a time to the Julep mixture.  Taste and adjust as you go.  When you think it tastes right, pour the whole mixture back into the glass pitcher and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  To serve:  Fill each glass with crushed ice, pour the Mint Julep cocktail over the ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.  Serve immediately.
The Perfect Mint Julep

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Nibble"...with Chef Kai Chase: Healthy Green Eats For Earth Day

"Nibble"...with Chef Kai Chase: Healthy Green Eats For Earth Day: Mother Earth Day Salad Mother Earth gives us a bounty of beautifully nutritious fruits and vegetables to create plates of amazingly good...

Healthy Green Eats For Earth Day

Mother Earth Day Salad
Mother Earth gives us a bounty of beautifully nutritious fruits and vegetables to create plates of amazingly good tasting dishes. 

So in honor of "Earth Day" 2015 I created a salad made with raw and natural ingredients straight from Mother Earth's finest ingredients of organic kale, carrots, brown mushrooms, beets and sunflower seeds.

This salad is so darn delicious, simple and quick using only 5 ingredients.  Celebrate life and Mother Earth!

Mother Earth Day Salad
1 bu. Flat Kale, Chopped
4 ea. Organic Brown Mushrooms. Sliced
2 Organic Red Beets, Cooked, Peeled and Sliced
1/4 c. Shredded Carrots
2 Tbs. Raw Sunflower Seeds

Walnut-Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette
4 Tbs. Orange Juice
1 tsp. Orange Zest
2 Tbs. Honey
1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 c. Walnut Oil
Salt/Pepper to Taste

In a small mixing bowl add the Dijon mustard, honey, orange juice and orange zest.  Whisk in the walnut oil to emulsify.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the kale, mushrooms, beets and carrots.  Add the vinaigrette and toss lightly.  Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and top with the raw sunflower seeds.  Enjoy!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bruschetta Rustica

My love of tomato, basil bruschetta on grilled, French baguette crostini's started out as an impulsive appetizer order, which then turned into a meal obsession.  I had to have tomatoes and olive oil on toast daily.  Wouldn't you know that the more I ate it, I eventually grew bored and burned out! But a lot of my clients didn't and were still requesting it's hearty and robust flavors.  So, finding  inspired love of bruschetta all over again, I decided to create an inviting new look and twist to the ever popular appetizer by using long thin slices of the baguette, creamy burrata and using the diced tomato as the topper.  You can't go wrong with this all-time favorite "small bite" recipe.    


1 petite French Baguette, Sliced long and Lightly Grilled
2 med. Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Small Diced
2 Tbs. Fresh, Basil (chiffonade)
4 oz. Creamy Burrata (prepared)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the baguette the long way and place on a baking sheet.  Brush both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake until golden 15-20 minutes.  Turn crostini's over once while baking.  Remove and set aside.  In a small mixing bowl add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.  Lightly toss and set aside.  To assemble...spread a thin coating of the creamy burrata atop the crostini, top with the tomato, basil mixture and repeat until all mixture is gone.  Plate, serve and enjoy!   

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

MJ Love...I Think About...The Good Times!

Photo Credit: Angela Daves Haley

It's been 5 emotional years for me and Mr. Jackson, my former boss and friend will always be a part of my life and forever missed! As I sit here writing this as tears of sadness stream down my face, I know Mr. Jackson would not want me to carry these sad feelings.  He would want me to continue to think of him in the "good times" of his life. 

We shared so many memorable moments together, just hanging in the kitchen, chatting away into the night, while listening to music and playing, "Name That Artist?"  Of course, he would always win!  LOL!!  And always talking about future endeavors.

I "Remember The Time..." when Paris and I went snail hunting in the backyard at night and MJ straight cold busted us coming home from rehearsals.  I just knew I was going to get in trouble.  He laughed, and thought it was cute.  And of course, the classic memory when the children and the dog Kenya ran ramped through the house while Kenya tracted dirty white chalked paws (from the garage) all through the house.  We had so much fun!  This is one fun time MJ wasn't aware of.  Thank goodness we cleaned up quickly!!   Beautiful memories!

So today, I reflect on the man who gave love to the world through his music, a man who provoked thought and conscious awareness with his lyrics and most of all a man who so generously showed me kindness and appreciation with great devotion and unconditional love to his children.

To me he was a great man of wisdom and strength, a pillar of knowledge, a philanthropist. He was a world giver, he CARED!  He was child like at heart, a practical jokester, a comedian, a health food advocate, a healthy eater, a lover of "good" food, a lover of fine art, a lover of animals and the world's most celebrated entertainer.

I will forever be blessed with the love of MJ's light!

Gone too Damn Soon!!!

Chef Kai Chase