Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Useful Tips I Learned in Culinary School – Review Classic Cooking Academy

Chef Pascal and me. He's funny and French.

Chef Pascal and me. He’s funny and French.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I recently took a 6-month course at a local cooking school to increase my skills in the kitchen. When I went from vegan to omni, I was feeling out of sorts in the kitchen. I ruined too many grass-fed steaks and wild-caught fish.

So, I talked mom into taking this course at Classic Cooking Academy.

It was amazing, fun, and worth every penny especially since I learned to shuck oysters! I don’t know about you, but watching that on YouTube is not as good as practicing in a class with a professional to guide you.

Raw oyster. Real Food Fast Food. #Zinc

Learning to shuck oysters makes you a total bad-ass.


And, we learned to make things like this…

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Everyone Needs An Aloe Plant – I Burned My Hand.

by Kristen Suzanne in herbs, Kristen Suzanne


I burned my hand. Thankfully I had aloe to put on right away.

I burned my hand. Thankfully I had “fresh” aloe to put on it right away.

I was cooking organic yams in the toaster oven the other day and I reached in to adjust them. In the process, the top of one of my knuckle touched the burner coil. OMG —>> OUCH!

Step 1: Remain calm.

Step 2: Cut a piece of fresh aloe. (Filet the aloe, dig out the insides… put on burn… cover with bandage.)

Phew… feels better instantly.

Every kitchen needs an aloe plant for burns and every home, in general, needs an aloe plant for skin boo-boos, beauty, and even consuming internally to help fight wrinkles. Yes, internally to fight wrinkles. Who knew?!

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Saturday, March 14th, 2015

I Used My Soup-Making Genes From Dad For This Roasted Cauliflower n Carrot Soup Recipe

by Kristen Suzanne in carrots, ghee, gluten free, recipe, soup
Roasted Cauliflower n Carrot Soup - Soooo good.

Roasted Cauliflower n Carrot Soup – Soooo good.

My dad is a chef and my mom is no stranger to the kitchen either. I’m pretty sure I get my comfort in the kitchen because of my genes. Ok, so maybe there’s some nurture going on, too, since I practice. A lot.

Back to my dad. He owned a popular restaurant in Michigan with my uncle until only a few years ago when they retired. Dad was the chef. Uncle was front of the house. Both perfectly suited to their jobs. (Mom was famous for her cheesecake and her table-side cooking, which I will share a funny story of that in the future.)

One of the things for which my dad was known was his soup making abilities. People still talk about it.

The other night I wanted to make a homemade soup with the cauliflower I had. I don’t usually relish the thought of making cauliflower to eat (roasted or steamed) but I do enjoy it in a soup. I also had some carrots and onion and homemade bone broth (i.e., stock). I teach you how to make your own bone broth easily here.

I was feeling soulful and decided that I would activate my dad’s soup-making genes in me to enhance my soup. It totally worked.

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Golden Coffee – (hint: add turmeric)

by Kristen Suzanne in coffee, grass fed butter, herbs, MCT oil
Golden Coffee - brain boosting and anti-inflammatory. YES!

Golden Coffee – brain boosting and anti-inflammatory. YES!

I’ve been drinking a coffee shake type drink (or Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee®) for the past couple of years. I make it most mornings. Lately, I’m adding a new twist to it.

Turmeric powder.

I was hesitant because I didn’t think it’d taste very good, but I tried it, and ya know what? It’s just fine! I don’t even know it’s in there (and neither does Greg – hehe). Now, I’m hooked because it’s an easy way to get some of this anti-inflammatory and brain-boosting herb/spice into my diet – daily. And, if I have a decaf bulletproof coffee at night, which I’m known to do because it’s satisfying like a dessert even though there is no sugar in it, then I’ll get a double serving of turmeric. <– Bring it!

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip SLOW COOKER GRANOLA

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip SLOW COOKER Granola. YES!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip SLOW COOKER Granola. YES!

Remember that EASY slow cooker recipe I shared for making granola? It was good, wasn’t it? Easy, too, right?

Well, I decided to make another batch with a bit of a twist.

Chocolate Chips.

I’m not going to bore you with anything else… here’s the recipe.

Wait, you know what? I will mention one thing. This stuff makes a great gift. Make a batch and divide it into pint-sized glass mason jars. Maybe put a cute label on it or a ribbon if you’re that kind of person. Give these away to family, friends, teachers, etc. It’s so good – you really should share it.

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Sunday, March 8th, 2015

My “Skills” Bucket List For Bad-ass-ed-ness

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne, Meditation


Cooking live lobster in culinary school.

Cooking live lobster in culinary school. Smiling but completely terrified.

I made a skills bucket list last year.

These are things that I want to do to improve my skills – which are good for body, brain, soul, work (if you work), and just basic bad-ass-ed-ness.

Here’s my list and how they have (or will) help.


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Friday, March 6th, 2015

Yummy Scramble for Lunch Using Leftover Vegetables

Egg Scramble - Good Brain Food

Egg Scramble – Good Brain Food

Here’s a relatively quick lunch I threw together for Kamea.

We eat a lot of eggs (pasture-raised only) in our house, because they give us important nutrients for our brain (and body) – choline, retinol, vitamin E, vitamin D, and more. Oh yeah, they taste delicious, too. In fact, I was dreaming about scrambled eggs when I first considered leaving my vegan life behind and end that chapter of my life.

On this day, I had leftover roasted brussels sprouts (my favorite roasting method here), and decided they’d make a nice addition to an egg scramble.

Eggs are great any time of the day. Proof: I was watching Family Feud the other day and they surveyed 100 people to ask what food is good any time of the day. The answer? Eggs.

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Here’s That Seriously Buttered Purple Cabbage Recipe

by Kristen Suzanne in cabbage, gluten free, recipe


Seriously Buttered Purple Cabbage waiting for brisket.

Seriously Buttered Purple Cabbage waiting for brisket.

Some of you want to know how I made that buttered up purple cabbage when I featured it in my Big Ass Brisket recipe.

Brisket and purple cabbage - mmmmmm is all I can say.

Ahhhh, cabbage is happy it’s not alone now.

Well, I’m gonna show you today. It’s easy and makes cabbage delicious. We can all use a bit of extra cabbage in our lives, right?

My mother-in-law taught me how to make it for the most part. She was like, “Cabbage. Butter. Pot. Season. Cover. Cook.” Or something like that.

I first tried it at her house on a New Year’s Day some years ago, when she made the annual black eyed peas (new year health wishes) and cabbage (new year wealth wishes). You southerners know the drill.  It was so good I kept going back for more.

Until I was bloated beyond belief. Cabbage can do that. Black Eyed Peas probably can, too.

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Monday, March 2nd, 2015

My Imperfect, Too Small (But Cozy), Evolving Kitchen That I Kind-of Love

by Kristen Suzanne in Kitchen Tools, Kristen Suzanne
Bird's eye view of my cozy kitchen.

Bird’s eye view of my cozy kitchen.

I feel drawn to write about my kitchen.

It’s been my kitchen for over 10 years. I’m a girl of change and I like to move around, but I can’t bring myself to leave our rather small condo in Scottsdale. I love the location. I love the area. It’s been home for awhile now.

But, it’s not as big as I’d like.

My husband works from home and has one of the bedrooms as his office. With me as a stay at home mom with a four year old, we’re all a bit close. That’s ok though because I like the closeness. Most of the time. The only time I didn’t like it was when I had a sitter come stay with Kamea for a few hours a week so I could sleep work, I found that I couldn’t escape or get anywhere to really be on my own.

My kitchen has gone through some changes over the years though. Nothing huge, but as my diet changed from vegan (with a lot of raw food) to omnivore, my kitchen evolved. From there, as I learned how I like to cook best and what makes it easiest, I found myself making some kind of weird changes. Basically, I have a lot of stuff hanging everywhere.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015

“It’s BEER Soup!” My Husband Exclaimed.

by Kristen Suzanne in carrots, ghee, recipe, soup, Vitamix
Beer Soup. Yup.

Beer Soup. Yup.

My husband, Greg, is a fan of beer.

So, when he came across a recipe for a soup that contained beer in his Beer Advocate magazine, he proudly came in waving the torn out recipe in his hand. So cute. He knows how much I love cooking and here he was giving me a recipe that he found.

With beer.

I had to make it of course. How can I not encourage that participation?

I made some adjustments to suit my tastes and I present the results here. It’s wonderful and filled with deep flavors, no doubt from the beer. ;)

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