Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Power of Indoor Micro-Green Farming

Photo Courtesy of IOGP website

One of the perks of doing what I do, is that sometimes I get to interview some remarkable individuals. This week I had one of those experiences.  I had a very unique opportunity to spend about an hour interviewing one of the pioneers in the indoor organic micro-greens farming industry  from Indoor Organic Gardens of Poughkeepsie named Brud Hodgkins. After over 20 years as a chef who is passionate about childhood education, empowerment and nutrition, it is still awesome to connect with someone who shares that same vision.  As the daughter of a greenhouse manager and Master Gardener, I relish the opportunity to bend the ear of an urban farmer. 

 In full disclosure, Brud's company reached out to me to see if I would be interested in sampling their products for this blog. As a chef who has used micro-greens extensively as an Executive chef in a French bistro as well as catering venue, I already was a huge fan of what they could do for any dish. Add to that, the desire to continue to incorporate micro-greens in my at-home cooking, this seemed like an ideal marriage of product use. They are not paying me to endorse their products. They're just giving me some greens.  So, I will be sharing their stuff here on my blog. Don't let that freak you out. I'm always trying to share good nutrition with y'all. I think this is pretty daggum interesting to hear about.

This is what I found out about this amazing food source and this indoor farm.

Photo Courtesy of IOGP website

Bringing Farming to the Inner City
First of all...Brud explained  that his crop is farmed exclusively indoors using a commercial property that was sitting vacant after the downfall of one of the neighborhood retail marketplaces. In a seventeen thousand square foot facility that originally started out as a K-Mart-type store, they're using this space to produce a powerful nutrition source in the middle of the city. At the first mention of this, my mind actually starting racing, thinking of all the vacant buildings in my own town that could easily be converted to such a use. It was a brilliant use of space, not to mention providing clean food and employment opportunities to the "at risk" segment of society usually found in the parts of the city he is focusing on in Poughkeepsie. In fact, just before our meeting, Brud had been meeting with some local high-functioning autistic teenagers who would be coming to work at his farm. This of course, got us talking about the need for education of children in the school system.

Photo courtesy of IOGP website

Kids Love Them!
Micro-greens are sweet and nutrient dense. They are easy-to-absorb nutrition...and one of the simplest things to get kids to eat. For example, cabbage Micro-greens have 260% more vitamin A than fully grown cabbage, and they don't taste like cabbage. They taste sweet.  That's just one of many examples of the powerful punch of nutrition in micro-greens.  They grow to mature micro-status in just a few days! Why wouldn't we teach kids how to grow these? They want to eat them because there's ownership.  Well...Brud is doing that. They're launching local school STEM programs teaching kids first hand how to grow this crop...and they're giving them the power to be able to grow a crop that is financially sustainable. 

So here's the skinny on Micro-greens. 

*What are microgreens?
 Microgreens are older than sprouts, but younger than baby vegetables. Almost any edible vegetable or herb can be enjoyed as a microgreen, such as lettuce, radish, basil, beets, celery, cabbage and kale. Many microgreens are four-to-six times higher in vitamins and antioxidants than their adult forms and can provide a nutrient boost in just a few calories.

Eating them
Many people enjoy the tiny leaves of microgreens for their fresh taste, crisp crunch and bright colors, including:
  • Raw, as an addition to a salad. Drizzle with a little lemon juice or low-fat dressing or eat them on their own.
  •  As a garnish to meals. Add them to your breakfast plate. Top fish, chicken or baked potatoes with microgreens.
  • Added to a sandwich or wrap.
  •  Sprinkled into soups, stir fries and pasta dishes.
  • Blended into a fruit drink or cocktail.
Growing them
  •  If you grow your own microgreens or purchase them in soil, snip the healthy stems and leaves above the soil when they are seven-to-14 days old. 
  • Eat them fresh, or store them in the refrigerator.
Finding them
  • Microgreens are available at local health food stores or whole foods markets. Look near the lettuce for packages of greens that are a few inches in length and have tiny stems and leaves. Check the local farmers market as well. Microgreen growing kits can be ordered online or found in some kitchen stores. (May I suggest just getting them from here. )
  • Selections may change from time to time so keep an eye out for your favorites.
  • Once cut, they can last in the refrigerator for five-to-seven days, sometimes longer depending on the type.
*Source: here

As for me and Brud Hodgkins, we are clearly on the same page regarding organic plant based nutrition, clean food, providing opportunities for the "at risk" segment of society, environmental Awareness, etc, etc.  They at IOGP are working toward the Financial Sustainability end by spreading the word so folk's know there is a Source of Nutrition Dense Vegetables within 24 hours of Harvest to fill their Personal and/or Commercial needs.  
 The website for info and ordering:  indoororganicgardensofpoughkeepsie.com

Photo courtesy of IOGP facebook page

There you go. Awesome Micro-greens. Great Brand. I'm a fan. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cherry Orange Biscuits

This is just a quick post to keep everyone updated on what I've been doing around here.  As many of you know, as soon as the boys hit their teen years, they really didn't want me posting much here on the blog about them.  However, it's been way too long since I updated my friends on the prides and joys of my life!  So...here's the scoop. The boys are almost finished with the school year. That's always a bitter-sweet time. Little Man graduated at age 16 after spending the last two years of school as a home-school genius. He definitely didn't get his giant brains from me, but I've been cheering him onward.  He got a full scholarship to our local community college last year and has just a few months left before he has his associates degree. He'll be 18 years old next week. That freaks me out. I'm not old enough to have a kid that old. Period. He's preparing to serve as a missionary for our church at the end of the year. That's freaking me out too.

As for Face, he starts high school in the fall. He just won first place in the science fair for building 16 steam engines from coke cans in various shapes, sizes and functions. I'm pretty sure he's going to solve the world energy crisis. I'm really, really, really looking forward to having him home for the summer!

Okay. Now you're updated on the home-front.  Now...for the biscuits. With Spring is upon us I always love a good sweet biscuit for breakfast during this time of year. It's grab-n-go for the drives to school, and I want it easy.  These are some of my favorite biscuits. They're full of sundried cherries coupled with orange zest with a hint of cardamom in a fluffy buttery biscuit. I serve them often with chicken peach salad as a quick lunch as well. I think they're pretty delicious...and simple. Enjoy. 

Chef Tess Cherry Orange Biscuits
yield 8 large or 16 small

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup butter or organic vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp sugar 
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

Wet ingredients:
1 cup milk or buttermilk


  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 
  • In a half-gallon sized bowl, combine the shortening or butter with the dry ingredients. Mix until the shortening has been cut into tiny pieces, the size of a pea.
  • Add milk or buttermilk them to the flour/shortening mixture.  Mix very gingerly until a light dough is formed. 
  • Knead the dough 4-5 times, then roll out on an floured counter top 1 inch thick.
  • Cut into biscuits.
  • Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes.
There you go darlings. Finish up the school year with glory!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Summer Apple Beet Salad with Peach Balsamic Dressing

 This week I've had an influx of red and golden beets from local farmer friends of mine Eric and Christina Amadio at Amadio Ranch in Laveen, Arizona. These beauties are flipping perfect, and organically grown. Plus, they come from some good hard-working people that I just love! If you've never tried golden beets, they are a bit milder in flavor than red beets and they are gorgeous! I love them.  

This is a light and refreshing salad that really is brilliant in color and is extremely simple to make. The addition of apples gives the salad a sweet-tart crunch balanced with the peach balsamic dressing. I'm picky. I'm specific about the brand on of balsamic that I use because the flavor is deep and complex with natural sweetness. 

Summer Apple Beet Salad with Peach Balsamic Dressing

4 large beets, about 1 lb. Peel and dice.  
1 crisp tart Fuji or Pink Lady Apple, diced
1 white sweet onion, sliced thin

1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp dry dill
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the beets by placing them in a 1 quart pot on the stove. Cover and steam 15-20 minutes over medium heat until tender. Cool.

In a large bowl combine the beets and chopped fresh apple with the dressing ingredients.  The apples won't get brown because they take on the color of the beets. 
I love how colorful it is!

* If you do not have peach infused white balsamic vinegar, you can use 1/4 cup white balsamic+1/4 cup peach puree.

There you go. It's vegan, clean, and divine!
A very simple salad for all the Spring and Summer adventures ahead.

Also...if you're in Phoenix, check out these awesome local farmers Christina and Eric Amadio and their mobile farmer's market peach truck...

Amadio Ranch Peach Truck and  Amadio Ranch Farm Store. You will not be disappointed. 

Oh...and their pie...is to die for. To. Die. For! We've purchased them twice on separate occasions. The strawberry rhubarb and the blueberry. I'm in love. Clean flavors, with just a hint of spice so that the natural organic fruit flavor comes through. They're killing it over there in Laveen. Killing it!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, May 4, 2017

2 Ingredient Dinner?! Easy Ravioli Eggs

When I was growing up, Ravioli Eggs were a staple. I now call them Rav-i-oh-leeee-oh-lee eggs. Not sure why that nickname has stuck but I like it. I think the words "quick and easy" had a lot to do with their popularity around my house as a child. Not only did they taste pretty freaky awesome, but they where also a comfort food. We used plain tomato sauce (don't ask me why...). Now as an adult, I use marinara or spaghetti sauce depending on what I want. The good thing is they are low fat, low carbohydrate, loaded with flavor, and easy. Did I mention easy?! They sport a whopping 2 ingredient. I now need to go get more eggs. My kids want more of these bad boys and I only made 6. Little Man says these are now and forever his favorite breakfast food. FOREVER. He totally gulped it down. Three gulp to be exact. Grin. I couldn't be more pleased if I tried.

Ravioli Eggs
2 cups spaghetti sauce
6-8 eggs
Italian seasoning (optional)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a heavy 10 inch skillet with a lid, pour tomato sauce.
Turn on heat to medium and slowly crack the eggs into the sauce as you would for poached eggs.
Sprinkle the top with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Cover and reduce heat to low for 10-12 minutes until cooked through... yolks cooked silly.
Serve warm with crusty Italian bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2 Chicken Dinners and Easy Homemade Stuffing (Full Video)

Cooking like a Chef-Boss has never been so easy! This is 2 chicken dinners, homemade stove-cook stuffing and the secrets to freezer-friendly potatoes all in one episode. That’s right! Today I'm back with incredibly delicious homemade convenience meals that will save you time, money and energy. Strap on your oven mitts and let’s get rockin’!

I am frequently asked how I make so many freezer meals so quickly. Here is the big secret. Sit down, it may be too much AWESOMENESS at once... It's called Dove tailing. You see it a lot in restaurants. One kind of meat 12 different sauces. This is basically how a lot of them do it. I think it's quite remarkable. I'm only using 2 sauces here today, but you will get the main idea. Don't worry, I will add a lot of sauce recipes along the way. This is the start.

First...I season and bake 5 lb of Chicken. Salt, Pepper, Garlic...you can use any "all purpose seasoning" out there. 5 lbs of legs and thighs is about $4 at my local Wal-mart. Gotta love that. It will make us 4 dinners. My kids eat a leg each, I eat a thigh, and my husband has all the side dishes because he thinks any cooked meat is just nasty. Ace is out of town this week. I am cooking FISH and CHICKEN and all kinds of animal stuff. Hint: side dishes .

Chicken Legs and Thighs
4-5 lbs leg and thigh meat (about 12 thighs)
2 T all purpose seasoning blend
Place legs and thighs on a large cookie sheet and season generously with seasoning blend. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (until juices run clear when pricked with a fork or temperature reads 170 degrees when inserted with a meat thermometer). Divide meat between three plates, 4 thighs each and season with three different sauces...today I did two.

Mustard Glaze: 
2T whole grain mustard
2T molasses. Mix and wipe all over the chicken....

Put in a freezer bag clearly labeled. Put in the fridge immediately. Once cooled transfer to the freezer. (I do this cool, then freeze thing so that I don't have a lot of medium temperature meat sitting in my freezer making germs grow...the quicker the meat gets cold, the less chance my family has of getting a food born illness...which is good.)

Pesto sauce: 
3T prepared Pesto sauce. I also added 2T chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
and 1T fresh rosemary leaves....

Put Pesto Chicken in a freezer bag and label clearly. Transfer to the fridge immediately and then once cool, to the freezer.

Now I have 2 of each of these dinners in my freezer. I will be doing a lot more of these so don't feel like you are being left out of any secrets.
Oh. To reheat the chicken, DEFROST and then heat in the microwave 5-7 minutes on a microwave safe dish, or heat in the oven (covered casserole) 350 degrees 20-25 minutes until internal temperature is over 150. Simple stuff.

There you go darlings!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, April 17, 2017

Cooking with Chef Tess Wicked Enchilada Skillet Casserole (full video)

This week's episode was was amazing! Here are the recipes. First the Enchilada Skillet Casserole, and then the Homemade taco seasoning!

Enchilada Tortilla Skillet Casserole
  • 1 poblano* pepper, (or bell pepper works too.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb hamburger, very lean (or well seasoned ground turkey or chicken)
  • 2 tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • 1 can organic(15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups organic thick and chunky salsa, (roasted variety has more flavor)
  • 4 cups broken baked organic tortilla chips 1 cup
  • (4 oz) organic shredded cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese blend (for a lower fat version, try using only a 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar!)
  • Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Taco toppings like: fat free Sour cream, chopped avocados, fresh tomatoes and black olives (optional--but a must have around my house!)

1. Remove stem and seeds from poblano pepper, chop. Combine hamburger, onion, peppers and seasoning mix in a large skillet (12 inch or larger with a lid). Cook over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until peppers are soft and meat is no longer pink. 2. Drain and rinse black beans. 3. Stir beans and salsa into hamburger mixture. Gently stir in tortilla chips. Grate cheese over casserole. Cover 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted everything is hot. If desired, snip cilantro; sprinkle over casserole. Yield: 6 servings *Poblano peppers are dark green chilies with a rich flavor that varies from mild to slightly spicy. Poblanos are about 2 1/2 in. wide and 4-5 in. long, forming a triangular shape.

For a freezer meal: Put in a freezer safe casserole dish. Combine all ingredients according to recipe until you get to the last cooking time. Don't cook. Cover, label, and freeze. To cook, heat in microwave 15-20 minutes from frozen or 5-7 minutes if defrosted. For solar oven/conventional oven baking: Bake 1 hour from frozen, or 30 minutes if defrosted. Allow an extra 15 minutes of baking for every time you open a solar oven.

Chef Tess Taco Seasoning
For one packet (I usually store in a snack size zipper bag):
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground black pepper (and 1/2 tsp salt optional)
2 tsp ground oregano
2tsp onion powder
2tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp coriander (ground)

Combine and mix with 1 lb cooked ground beef with 1/4 c water for taco meat.

There you go darlings!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, April 10, 2017

Foil Dinners for Camping And Freezer Meal (full Video)

Episode 3 of Cooking with Chef Tess aired on Saturday in Las Vegas on channel 34.2 and Cox cable channel 97. The Heartland TV Network! Here's the recipe...

We've got summer vacation coming up soon...and that mean camping trips. What mom, dad or granny wouldn't love to be prepared way ahead of time for that big camping trip...or dinner tomorrow? I think this freezer meal will shock and amaze even the pickiest eaters in your house. We call it a Hobo Dinner (or Foil dinner), but it's one of those classic comfort foods that we always had as a kid when we went camping. It's basically a hamburger pot roast cooked over hot coals in the woodland setting. Or, at home it can be baked in the oven (or solar oven) They can be made fresh for dinner, or frozen for later use. However you do it, be prepared to sing a rousing ensemble with your favorite hillbilly harmonica songs. It's campfire good. Down home good. If you precook the veggies and meat, it's even fast and good. So...here we go:

Foil Freezer Dinner's A La Chef Tess

5-6 large russet potatoes, cleaned well and cut into cubes, cooked in microwave or stove top until fork tender OR 4 lb frozen cubed hash browns
1 lb baby carrots, steamed 5 minutes (or frozen)
2 medium red onions, chopped, steamed with the carrots
2-3 T Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning
3 lb cooked hamburger patties, about 12
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
2 Cups dark brown mushroom gravy of your choice (I use homemade Gravy Mix made easy)

12 sheets of heavy-duty foil (use the heavy stuff if you don't want a mess) about one foot long each.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onions, potatoes, and seasoning.
Place one cup of vegetable mixture onto a lightly oiled sheet of foil. 
Place the cooked hamburger on  top of the vegetable mixture and wrap tightly.
 I roll the ends and sides very well. Repeat until you have used all your hamburger and vegetable mixture. You can use veggie burgers if you choose instead of meat. Top the meat with a few tablespoons of the prepared gravy. Place 4 meals in a gallon size freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.

 Label with baking directions:
Remove from plastic bag and place in a 400-degree oven for 35-40 minutes until heated through, or place in a solar oven Pot, cover the foil with a dark sheet pan, and close oven. Cook 45 minutes to an hour. In the woods...place on hot coals and cook 25 minutes.

Pour contents onto a plate and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
There you go. Quick and easy on the go for camping, oven baking, or solar cooking.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, April 3, 2017

Full Video: 3 Freezer Meals from One Beef Base

For those of you who don't live in Las Vegas, here's the full video of last Saturday's show. It was so much fun! If you want the Recipes click here.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Today's Episode:3 Quick and Easy Freezer Meals from One Beef Base

This Week's Episode of Cooking with Chef Tess on 
Heartland TV  in Las Vegas on
 channels 34.2 and on Cox cable channel 97 at 1:30...

The original post was:

Here's the information from today's show! 

Make-A-Head Ground Beef Base 

3 medium onions, peeled and chopped or minced fine
3 lbs. 90% lean ground beef or 93% lean ground turkey (or chicken breast pieces)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 carrots, peeled and shredded finely
2 stalks of celery, chopped finely

Cooking Directions: Place all ingredients into skillet (12-in or larger). Cook over medium-high heat, breaking into crumbles, 15-18 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Divide beef mixture into three equal portions (according to your recipe choices below). Label clearly with cooking directions. Chill promptly!

Home-Style Chili

In a gallon-sized freezer bag or container, add the following:
⅓ of the meat base
1 (15 oz.) can roasted tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans
2 Tbsp. chili powder or Chef Tess Fajita Seasoning
1 small can diced green chile or jalapeno

Directions: Chill in the fridge up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and heat for 15 minutes over medium heat. Serve with shredded cheese and cornbread if desired.

Taco Rice Casserole

In an oven-safe non-aluminum 9x13 pan, layer in order:
3 cups cooked rice
⅓ of the meat base
1 cup tomatillo salsa or red salsa
1 packet taco seasoning of your choice (or homemade),
1 cup shredded cheese

Directions: Cover and store up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and heat for 20-25 minutes uncovered at 350 or 10-12 minutes in the microwave on high.

Sloppy Joe Filling

In a quart-sized freezer bag or container:
⅓ of the meat base
¼ cup brown sugar
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 small red bell pepper, minced
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions: Chill in the fridge up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and heat 5-6 minutes in microwave. To serve, divide between 4 toasted burger buns. Serve with coleslaw or side of your choice.

How to Freeze Food Safely and Effectively 101

·         Buy Quality Fresh Ingredients: Freezing will not cover up inferior cooking or ingredients. Check the flavors and seasoning before freezing to be sure it tastes good.

·         Chill First: Make sure food is cold before you freeze it! This allows it to freeze faster and reduces the amount of drip loss (leakage of moisture that occurs during defrosting) the ice crystal will be smaller in chilled food, reducing the amount of water lost. The result is better texture and flavor. It will also reduce the amount of condensation (moisture that collects on the surface of food when frozen) when defrosted, the excess water will make the food soggy and tasteless.

·         Chill Cooked Food Uncovered: If you can’t bag and chill in labeled bags, it is essential that the food is chilled uncovered so the heat isn’t kept in the container (even plastic wrap!) If it’s a large pot of chili or meat, I freeze bottles of water and put them inside the pot to further hasten the drop of internal temperature.

·         Freeze Small: The smaller the item, the quicker it will freeze. Whenever possible, freeze in pint or quart-sized name brand freezer bags. Gallon size is perfect for pizza crusts and larger family sizes. I use quart-sized for my family of four. When you freeze it, do so with the bag laid out flat-- the increased surface area will not only freeze faster, but also be easier to store in stacks. I have a “freezer file” that I use. It’s an ice bin that I put the flat bags in just like files I can flip through!

·         “Open” Freeze Smaller Items: Smaller items like berries and cooked potato wedges can be placed on a parchment lined sheet pan (metal is best because of its temperature conducting qualities). Using this method will keep these smaller items from freezing in a block. I use it for twice baked potatoes and blanched vegetables.

·         Wrap Well: Squeeze out as much air as possible and label food clearly with permanent marker. Include defrosting and cooking instructions so anyone can cook it later (my husband needs it clearly marked to remove the ingredients from the bag before microwaving!) Preventing freezer burn is the key! There is nothing wrong with using two bags. I always use the name brand bags. If the store brand is used it needs to be double bagged anyway, so it is worth the cost of the quality bags. If able to use the specially made vacuum sealers and the freezer bags with them, it is a good investment.

·         Watch Freezer Temperature: On big freezing days, it is essential to check the temperature, as well as checking periodically to be sure the freezer stays cold on other days. Keep a freezer thermometer in the freezer. It should be between 0-30° Fahrenheit. If you are placing a large quantity of food in the freezer at once, turn the thermostat to the coldest setting until food is frozen.

·         Follow Defrosting Recommendations: It is best to defrost in the fridge or microwave. Do not defrost at room temperature because microorganisms like yeast, mold, and bacteria multiply quickly at temperatures above 40 degrees. It may still feel cool to you, but is a breeding ground for food-borne illness--don’t take chances! Cook defrosted food soon and chill leftovers as soon as possible.

There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Pilot Episode! Full Video

In case you missed last week's pilot episode of Cooking With Chef Tess, my producer put it up on Youtube! Please feel free to share it...

You can find the recipes from the show in the links below:

French Onion Orange Chicken

4 Ingredient No Knead Bread Anyone Can Make

I am excited beyond words for this adventure on the Heartland Channels in Las Vegas!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cooking with Chef Tess to Air on the Heartland Network in Las Vegas

I received an epic call from the owner of TgoTV a few nights ago and I'm still having a hard time digesting the gravity of the news.  Since my pilot episode launched in November, there hasn't been another episode of the show added to her network, and I was beginning to think that it was a pretty dream, but that it might not go much further.  Theresa Goss, the network owner and my Producer,let me know that she had been in a meeting with the head of the Heartland TV Network in Las Vegas.  During her meeting, she had been able to show them my pilot episode. She said that they loved it and wanted it on their network on local TV with the possibility of it going national on all their affiliate stations.  After I dropped the phone and stopped giggling with joy, I was able to compose myself enough to just scream! Hooooray!!!!!! 

 Long story short, the papers have been signed and my show will be airing on Heartland TV  in Las Vegas on channels 34.2 and on Cox cable channel 97 every Saturday at 1:30 pm starting March 25th! YES!!!!

There are several Heartland TV Affiliate Stations Nationally and this definitely has the potential to take the show across the country.  I'm trying to maintain some level of calm, but in my house, I've been squealing with absolute joy for days on end!  

That being said, not only has it been a remarkable few days, but I have been filled with so much gratitude.  The journey is still going to be long, but thankfully, there's new opportunities still ahead and I am so excited! 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I have a New Job!

 I have had a remarkable few weeks.  The blessings that have come into my life have left me overwhelmed with gratitude and where there once has been extreme stress and frustration, there has come new levels of peace and happiness. So great have been the blessings, that I have frequently found myself just crying a little...because of the joy. 

Case in point, I was at a breaking point with my job as a traditional pastry chef.  The long hours on my feet and the wonky early morning hours (seriously 2 am was kicking my butt) were just getting to me.  I needed something with a lot more security and to feel like I was making a difference, not just making cakes. 

The good Lord heard my prayers.  Just over three weeks ago after a whirlwind of interviews and a flight to Colorado where I met the president of Panhandle Milling, I was offered a fantastic position as their Culinary Marketing Specialist.  That's just a fancy way of saying that I get to write package labels, food blogs, magazine articles, cookbooks and develop recipes for their company and its clients.  I get to do what I love best and they are taking good care of this girl.  I have never felt more blessed! Seriously. I am still based in Phoenix, but will travel a little more to their mill locations in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. 

That being said, not only has it been a remarkable few weeks, but I have been filled with so much gratitude.  So far, they are living up to their promises as a company in every way.  The journey is still going to be long, but thankfully, there's new opportunities still ahead and I am so excited to be part of what they are doing! 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess