Kuisine by Kathy: Thanks to dad for food knowledge

With Father’s Day approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to let you know who and what led me to my career as a personal chef.  

I grew up in a small town of 650 people, including cats and dogs in the southwest corner of Minnesota. Rural America, it was a great place to grow up, lots of green grass, trees, corn and soy bean fields, and, of course, lots of cows and pigs.

My dad owned the local grocery store.  My dad absolutely had a creative mind, and was always trying something new.  We did it all there.  Full service meat counter, bakery, deli, lots of fresh produce and a full line of groceries.

I have fond memories of the moments we spent together helping dad cut meat when I was four.  I would stand on a plastic milk crate with my apron tied three times around my waist with my plastic knife cutting a scrap of meat thinking I was really contributing.

On the weekends, I would love to get up a 4 a.m. to help dad make the donuts.  I was the official donut decorator by age five.

Skipping ahead a couple of years, when I was eight or nine I knew all the cuts of meat and the different types of fruits and vegetables.  My classmates loved it when it was show and tell on Fridays because I always brought some kind of food to show, then, of course, share.

Then, the teenage years hit, and well I’ll be honest, working really wasn’t on my agenda.  It became work.  I still had to help out, but it just wasn’t as fun.

After graduating high school, and having stuffed around 5,000 twice-baked potatoes in my career, I vowed I would never have anything to do with food again.

Well, 15 years later after life’s trials and tribulations, I came back to what I know and love, which is food.  I went to the Culinary Business Academy, learned some pretty neat stuff; but for the most part, I need to give credit to my dad, who taught me to have a creative mind and to always try something new.  The worst thing that could happen is that it wouldn’t turn out, and then we’d have to eat it.  

Thank you dad for giving me your gift to create and make people smile.

Some of you may not know what exactly a personal chef does and who we are.  There are lots of different definitions out there, but in my mind, I am a foodie, a creative soul, a teacher, and I have to gift to make people happy.

Personal chefs are common people.  We are not just for the rich and the famous.  We are like having your favorite restaurant in your home every night.  We shop, chop and prepare meals for your family for a week or a month. We package, label and leave your refrigerator and freezer full of healthy, home cooked meals for you to eat when you get home.

Personal chefs usually love to throw a good party. We love to create themes for birthday, anniversary, bridal showers, and baby showers. We do it all at Kuisine by Kathy.

I think what I enjoy most about my job is to teach people how to cook.  It is so much fun to get a group together that has never made a five-course meal and teach them not to be afraid of the food, and that you can do it.

So ending on that note, I thought that I would share a recipe that my dad and I made every Saturday in the bakery to sell.

Chocolate chip cookies

24 oz. chocolote chips

4 1/4 cups of flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups butter flavored Crisco

Cream this together then add:

4 eggs

1 T. water

1 T. + 1 tsp. of pure vanilla flavoring

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. salt

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Mix until combined, then slowly add 4 ¼ cups flour and mix well.  

Then stir in 24 oz. of chocolate chips.

Let dough chill a bit and drop by Tablespoons full on an un-greased cookie sheet.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min.  I take them out when they are still a little doughy and let them cool on the cookie sheet.  This makes for a chewy cookie.