TFK is kicking off its Supper Club with a Dinner Party to benefit LA Kitchen!

We’ve talked about it.  Started planning a few.  Time skipped along.  Until now.  Supper clubs.   With high style, a discerning palate, and a unique sense of whimsy.  Intimate gatherings, a shall we say, restaurant without walls, salon-style soiree for like-minded individuals.  Foodies.  And community enthusiasts.  Exclusive. To be found in private residences and unique locations.  Our time has arrived.

Long involved in community gardens, food sharing and teaching culinary skills and healthy eating, TFK is excited to host its inaugural Supper Club dinner to benefit the LA Kitchen as part of Shared Plates, Night of 100 Dinners.

Please, let us know if you would like more information!

 

*Shared Plates Night of 100 Dinner Parties – Tickets for the event are $75 per person with 100% of proceeds going directly to the LA Kitchen.  For more info about LA Kitchens, just click!  Want to help them but can’t attend, click here!

 


Sugar & My Body – It’s a War But I’m Gonna Win!

I am an addict. Total junkie. Sugar is my drug.

And everyone out there is a dealer. Restaurants, cookbooks, grocery stores, even the drugstores with their sugar-laden endcaps at the checkout stand. When I was just a toddler, our babysitter would bring our favorite candies no doubt to keep us in love with her. Jolly Ranchers – the big stick. Remember those?

I started baking when I was 8 years old. I made cookies and brownies. By 11, I had graduated to full on apple pie. Had to do it if I wanted the good stuff ‘cause my mom wasn’t going to do it. And I was about 12 when a friend showed me how to boil a can of sweetened condensed milk to make caramel, pour it into a prepared graham cracker crust and top it with whipped cream. And it snowballed from there, yes it did.

My Celiac disease diagnosis threw me a curve ball but I dove headlong into figuring out gluten free desserts. No auto-immune disease was going to keep me from my first love. Then came an e coli contamination. Now that was an insidious foe. It wrecked havoc upon my body in so many ways. And it took years before finding a team of doctors who had any idea of how to diagnose and treat it. It still took several years to work it all out. Annual rounds of e coli specific antibiotics, special diet – FODMAP which is NO fun – and many probiotics.

During the battle years, I’ve had this weight gain that I couldn’t explain or eliminate. Strangely, when I took the antibiotics, I lost the weight within 3-4 weeks. Over time it would creep back. It was so frustrating! Then about 6 months ago I came across Probiotics America, a brand of probiotics made by a team of doctors. It was definitely worth a try, and they worked. Like no other probiotic that I had tried. After a couple of months, the bloating ceased, the discomfort, the joint pain, all of it got better. Except the extra weight.   I even joined a gym back in January and put myself on a regime that should have made a difference. It didn’t.

Then late April I worked with a chef friend, an Atkins chef. And we talked. A lot. Now the carb thing is not tough for me, as gluten free, I just don’t eat that many starchy carbs. But the sugar part was eye opening.

I have gone refined sugar free since then.   No more of my gelato, no more sugar in my coffee, no more of those yummy chocolate coated toffee or caramels from Trader Joe’s. I bet they’ve noticed a change in inventory! Ha! For the first 3 weeks, nothing. No change. And then. It started. That jelly fat coating is melting off of my body. I am returning to my previous size and weight. And I feel better than I’ve felt in 8 years since this e coli enemy entered my body. I am no longer a warzone.

I must admit, I cooked for a few family friends recently and made desserts for them. Yeah, I fell off the wagon and made some for me too. Oh it was good! But battle fatigue lasted for 5 days! Yep, I felt sick, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, generally yuck, for 5 days. Is it worth it? No way.

I have found other ways to satify that sweet tooth. My Atkins chef friend introduced me to a line of sheeps’ milk Greek yogurt that I now crave for desserts. Just a small portion, with some fresh raspberries, and I’m in heaven.

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love sugar. Sweet tooth just doesn’t cover it. It’s a war – but now I’m winning. I’m 30 days clean.

*I will forever be grateful to the heads of Celiac research from the Mayo Clinic and Columbia University who directed me to Dr. Mark Pimental and his team at Cedars Sinai, who led me to Dr. Ben Basseri.

*My new fav yogurt, Aris Sheep’s Milk Greek Yogurt with Figs, is lactose free.  Available in certain stores and farmers markets around the LA area, and on their website.  You’re welcome!


My Summer “Pasta”

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Zucchini Pasta with the Paderno Spiralizer

Every summer, I plant my little garden with zucchini, beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, herbs, lettuce and cucumbers. What I find is that I always have way too many zucchinis! I’ve given them away to friends and neighbors but eventually, we are all overwhelmed with too many and the need to find new ways to cook them.

Over the few past months, many kitchen / food / cooking websites have featured spiralizers. Which ones are best, easiest to use, clean, whatever. You’ve probably seen them. But it does get one thinking. Personally, I use the Paderno 4 blade and it works like a charm.   So I figured it was time to put it to use.

One night, I made spiralized zucchini for my family, which includes my teenaged sons who could live on soda and chips. And maybe “Goldfish.” It was a simple pasta recipe with seared scallops. My 16 year old son commented that he couldn’t tell the “real” pasta from the zucchini. We all kind of playfully smiled and enjoyed that moment – it’s all zucchini. And it’s a vegetable. Which is healthy. Low carb. And it’s gluten free.

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Seared Scallops with Zucchini “Pasta,” English Peas & Cherry Tomato

I was recently honored once again to teach in the Santa Clarita Central Park Community Garden for the 5 year anniversary celebration. So why not share my simple zucchini pasta recipe with these gardeners? Afterall, they are gardeners and probably have the same overabundant issue with zucchini that I have.

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Ready for Class! Santa Clarita Central Park Community Gardens

Zucchini Alla Checca

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit:  The Fraiche Kitchen

Ingredients

4 med. zucchini – “spiralized”

2 spring onion, thinly sliced or shaved on mandoline

1/2 c Chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 c cherry tomatoes, quartered (or roma, or heirloom)

½ c loosely packed basil, chopped

¼ c + 2 Tbl Olive oil

½ c Parmesan cheese, grated plus extra for garnish

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Mix garlic, tomatoes, ¼ c olive oil and basil. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tbl olive oil in large skillet. Sauté spring onion until translucent.
  3. Add spiraled zucchini to skillet. Quickly sauté. Add chicken stock. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Cook zucchini, gently stirring. Allow stock to reduce. Add butter to zucchini and toss.
  5. Add parmesan and gently toss. Sauce will come together somewhat creamy.
  6. Add garlic / tomato / basil to zucchini and gently toss. Check seasoning for salt & pepper to taste.
  7. Divide among 4 serving bowls. Garnish with parmesan.
  8. Serve!

You can use any sauce.  Just prepare the zucchini through Step 4!

* Nutrition Notes: Zucchini is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol & Sodium. It is a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 & Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Magnesium, Postassium, Copper and Manganese.

Source:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2640/2


On the Menu – Crispy Duck Breast with Fig Jam, Creamy Polenta and Sautéed Green Beans

TFK recently taught a cooking class at the Whole Foods in Valencia,  Yep, right there in the veggie section!

Ready! Set! Cook!

Ready! Set! Cook!

And we promised to share the recipes from the class.

Enjoy!

TFK

Crispy Duck Breast with Fig Jam

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 Duck Breast halves with skin, approx. 8 oz each
  • 1 # mission figs, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ c aged Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Trim fat from the flesh side of the duck breasts. Turn duck over (to skin side) and score the fat in a close crosshatch pattern. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Put breasts skin side down into heated skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 12- 15 minutes, or until richly browned and fat is rendered. Turn breasts over and cook additional 3- 5 minutes, 125° for rare or 135° for medium rare on instant read thermometer. Remove to warm platter.
  3. Pour off fat, leaving 1 Tbs. in pan. Add figs, cut side down, in single layer and cook over medium-high heat to caramelize them.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar, stir. Continue to cook until figs have softened and vinegar has thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. Slice duck breasts, layer shingle style on plate and top with figs.

Creamy Polenta

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 c polenta (not instant)
  • 2-3 c mineral water
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Method

  1. Bring 2 cups of the water and salt to boil in saucepan over high heat.
  2. Gradually pour polenta into water while whisking constantly. Return to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer, whisking every 5-8 minutes until thickened, approx. 40 minutes, adding the milk, then the additional mineral water as necessary.
  3. When grains are soft and creamy, add butter and parmesan cheese, stirring. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Sautéed Green Beans

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 oz pancetta, diced or julienned
  • 1 Tbs EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Method

  1. Blanch green beans in boiling, salted water for 30 seconds. Strain and plunge into ice water, “shocking” the beans.
  2. Heat skillet. Drizzle with EVOO and add pancetta. Cook until beginning to crisp.
  3. Add shallots. Cook until softened.
  4. Add green beans. Sauté green beans and allow to caramelize.
  5. Add lemon juice, stir. Season with salt & pepper, adjusting seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve.