Saturday, September 24, 2016

Third Sunday Dinner Sept 2013

Everyone loves beans and tortillas.  

Summer time I take off doing dinners.  We just do Ice Cream and Cookies later in the evenings.  It's just to hot for a huge meal and the group is so big it's hard to do it in the house.  September is great.  Still warm out but doable.  I have really learned a lot over the past many years doing dinners.  It's been amazing.  I was thinking the other day the most important thing I have learned over the years is that when one is on the Lord's Errand it always works out.    Time and time again I have been reminded of that and each time I am humbled at the miracle of how it works.   I have mentioned before that Third Sunday Dinners are not always easy.  They are hard often especially when my schedule is so packed.  

But as I have moved forward I have felt the power and blessings in doing what sometimes seems impossible.  I have come to understand in a deeper meaning that the Lord's Errands entitles us to his grace and blessings.   

So with that I look forward to another fall and winter season of Third Sunday Dinners.  I look forward to the blessing and the wonderful connection of those who come to my home to enjoy the food, company, and just the blessing of connection.    Food has that power and I am ever amazed at just how powerful it works and really has the ability to open hearts, bring people tougher, heal wounds, and just plain bless our lives.  

Thank you for reading and enjoy this blog.   Greatest joy to you in all your culinary adventures.  
Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy 

My camp stove really gets used.  Not so much for camping, but for Third Sunday Dinner.

Justin Turley  Wow I enjoy this boy and his service to everyone. 

Micah and Dean.  The young men at our Church really are amazing.
They show up every month to bless us all.

I did thick flour tortillas fried with beans on top.  Easy cheating
Navajo tacos.  

Fresh Salsa is always a hit.

Connection, that's what is all about. 

So relaxing.

I think he likes the food. 

Good friends. 

New friends for me.  My good friend invited his family  I was thrilled. 

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Gotta love the missionaries.  Bobbie and Lauren are great friends
nurtured each month at dinner.

I tried to get a close up of that face.  He was enjoying the beans. 

So good to see everyone.  Wow I love these kids. And now their  Kids. 

Really!!   Please let me smile first.    Sorry Julie.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Summer Fun. Annual Cooking day with Uncle Chef Brad

Summer time is for enjoying time off and enjoying the family.  For me it's cooking time with my nieces and nephews.  This is a  tradition for us and we really enjoy the day.  This year they wanted to do a competition.  So that is just what we did.  Wow, how much fun.  

Each year they look forward to cooking and being old enough to come.  We have an age requirement and it's fun for them to look forward to being able to come.  It's great fun as we gather and create lifetime memories.  

This year was the largest group yet.   The mothers stick around for transportation needs as we do a culinary adventure first.  I like to take them out to experience things that they normally would not experience at home.  From stores to eating it's always so much fun to expose them to new things.   

This year for the challenge I decided that hummus was a good one for them to learn how to make and to top it off we would do Cake Wars.   They were excited as we took off to a wonderful international market.  I explained what we were doing and divided them into three teams, mixing up the ages and cousins.   At the store they had to choose the ingredients for the hummus and the ingredients to decorate and flavor the cakes that were already baked and ready to frost and decorate.  

They had a ball at the store.  I was really intrigued with the choices they made.  These kids really have great imaginations and creativity.  It was amazing and exciting as they made their purchases.  

Two years ago I treated them to boba drinks.  It was really funny. They really didn't like them and I told them that it was ok.  It was all about the experience.   So this year I had not intended to do boba drinks.  While at the store after the shopping they asked "Uncle Brad, what about boba drinks?"  I was surprised and asked them if they were sure.  They were.  So 19 drinks later, (the poor woman) we were enjoying boba drinks.  At least some of us were enjoying them.  It was all about the experience. They will be talking about boba drinks for a long time.  

Off to my kitchen for the event.  We were ready.  Plenty of interesting ingredients and plenty of energy.  

This is the store.  The international market on Broadway and Dobson in Mesa Az.
 Shopping,  what an adventure. 

Boba Drinks for everyone. 

Off to the kitchen  We have all we need. 

Fresh Avocado are perfect in hummus. 

So much to do.

Ours will be the best.  

One of the finished hummus. 

I was so amazed at the cooking, but the cake contest was so cool.  I was so amazed at the end results of these wonderful children.  Three groups and three totally different cakes.  Each one was absolutely amazing.  Take a look and enjoy.

Our children are so capable of great things.  These cakes taught me a great lesson about our youth.  They are capable and given the task hold nothing back and rise to the occasion.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Stuffed Cantaloupe More Summer Fun

   Summer is all about fresh clean foods.  I love fresh summer fruits and nothing compares to a fresh cantaloupe.  Especially one you grow yourself or find at a good farmers market.

    The next best thing is a cantaloupe filled with a wonderful salad, ice cream, or just eaten with sprinkled with a little salt or try some fig balsamic vinegar.   Summer time is for fresh.

     Fresh produce out of the garden is wonderful and those of you who live where that is possible I hope you enjoy the experience and share the joy with others.  

      This recipe is all about fresh out of the garden.  From the cucumbers to the tomatoes and parsley it is fresh.  If your don't have parsley try fresh garden mint.  It's amazing.

       Summer time is a time for cleansing out the body and and eating fresh fruits and vegetables are just the thing needed.   Enjoy the recipe and your summer.  
                                                                Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

Adding a grain to anything makes it better.  The texture of spelt or Kamut are perfect in this salad.  If you prefer lighter, use cooked quinoa,  like red or black.

Spelt Stuffed Cantaloupe Salad

2 cups cooked spelt, chilled
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 avocados, in 1/4 inch chunks
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup green grapes, sliced in half
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
2 cups cooked chopped boneless breast of chicken,  optional

Place all ingredients in bowl and toss with dressing,  Fill halved peeled cantaloupe with salad and garnish with slivered almonds.

For the dressing
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Xagave or honey
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup flax oil, or olive oil
Dash nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Whisk together and toss with salad

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hands on Dinner Party.

I love traveling and getting to know people.  One of my greatest adventures in life is doing hands on dinner parties in conjunction with Chef Brad Events.  They are so much fun.  This is how it works.  I plan the menu, print the menu, buy all the supplies, and organize each recipe in an area in the kitchen.

It's a lot of work and planning to make such an event happen, but it's worth every moment of preparation taken.

This process starts way before the quests arrive.  When they get there all is ready.  Stations set up for each recipes.   The fun begins.   Everyone goes to where they want to be in groups of 2 or more for each recipe, depending on what is required to execute the recipe.

This is when the fun begins.  Looks like total confusion, but in the confusion great things are happening.  Laughter and fun is the highlight of the event.  People getting to know others through the process of creating some really great food.  I love it with all my heart.  I love the creation that is going on and I love the feeling of community and togetherness that is happening.   It never has failed yet,  that perfect feeling of belonging and enjoyment that comes when many are gathered in a common cause,  especially the common cause of great food.

Couples Therapy.  They say a couple that cooks together stays together.
And they certainly look happy.   

Men love working with meat.  They are preparing lamb sliders. 

Taking a quick break.  

Lamb chops are amazing.  Marinated in olive oil and vinegar with spices.  Grilled just right. 

Now there is a spread to be enjoyed. 

Close up look at the Lamb. 

Wonderful cheese spread with fresh onions, mint, and  Zatar.  

Two of my favorite best friends now.  Amazing how spending three days in someones
home can change your life.  

Preparing the side dish.  

Passing around the pizza appetizer for everyone to sample 

Fresh fruit with nuts and a wonderful yogurt sauce.  

Making sure they are doing it right.  

Crab cakes and Chef Brad style street corn. 

The most important part of cooking is testing.  

Now that's a happy face.  I never know who I will be seeing at a  Chef Brad Event.  My dear cousin Janice showed up
at one and it was great.  We got to know each other a whole lot more.  She is amazing.
So,  "Life is all about Food".   Creating those wonderful memories are so important.  Food sets the stage for that to happen.  I am all about opening up your homes and your hearts and letting people in. It makes the journey so much better.

Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy