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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cooking for the Love of It!

Cooking for the Love of It!

One of the things I love about traveling and finding new food places is having the opportunity to talk with the cooks and chefs, finding out what drives them, why they do they do,

Now, yes, we run into people who do it just as a job (and there is nothing wrong with that), but occasionally and as I frequent non-chain, smaller places, more now than in years past, I am finding people that really just love to cook!

In the past few years, I have had the chance to talk with the chef/owner of Cecelia’s CafĂ© in Albuquerque, the owner of Roque’s Carnitas, on the Plaza in Santa Fe, Chef/Owner Maria from Maya in Richmond and yes folks, even people here in the Grand Valley; Joe from the Palisade Brewing Company and we all know how Josh from Bin707 thinks about food.

I count myself in this category and I am lucky to have people working for me that feel the same way. We just love to cook, we love to try some new things and we love to ‘play with our food’! For those of you who have stopped by any of our ‘Pop-Up/Flash’ restaurants, you have seen what I mean. (and yes, we will be having more this summer, keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for announcements.

But this love of cooking is not limited to those of us who cook for a living! Some of the best cooks around are not professional, they did not go to culinary school, and the biggest crowd they have cooled for is their family, they might not know who Escoffier was, but they are good!

A lot of people are not fans of the Food Network, the Cooking Channel or the preponderance of cooking magazine that are out there and yes, I agree that there are dumb cooking shows, elitist shows and such, but I love the majority of them. I like to watch some of the shows, read the magazines, both of which I have a note pad next to me, writing down notes & ideas, tearing out pages that I really want to try (and yes, that shelf is overflowing!), maybe see a new twist, a new flavor combination, a new technique, ya never know!

So for all of you who love to cook, I salute you!! And for those of you who don’t think they have the skills, yeah, you probably do, so as I have said here before… Play with your Food!

Time for a giveaway!! Email me your favorite go-to recipe! If we run yours, you win… An ‘IN-N-OUT’ decal!!
Yeah, our ‘Website of the Week is a neat site I found, That’s My Home ( and has a lot of recipes, home-cooking style!

Our 'Recipe of The Week' is from that same site, Vineyard Chicken!

You can know also follow us on Pinterest; Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Decadence Cheesecakes Cooking Thoughts... Check them out and let me know what you think!

You can now also follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook at ,on Twitter ( and on Pinterest (

We are loading up recipes and discounts on our Facebook page and will also be letting our ‘fans’ know of upcoming events, sales and the like. There are even videos! Check it out and become a fan!

Vineyard Chicken
(from That’s My Home)
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, finely crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups halved red seedless grapes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.

Mix together salt, basil, sage, paprika, garlic powder, white pepper and flour.
in a Ziploc bag, toss the mixture with the chicken strips. Save any excess seasoned flour.

Heat oil and butter in skillet.

Add chicken and cook both sides over moderately high heat until golden brown.

Add garlic and sprinkle in any leftover seasoned flour from the Ziploc bag. Add broth, vinegar, and lemon juice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover chicken and add grape halves to chicken in pan and simmer for 5 minutes longer or just until chicken is tender and juices run clear.

Remove chicken and grapes to heated serving platter. Boil pan liquid for 1-2 minutes to reduce, then pour over chicken.

Sprinkle with parsley and crumbled feta cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

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