I’ve always loved celebrating birthdays. I think it’s important to pay tribute to your origins, reminisce over the wonderful memories that were part of what made you who (or in this case what) you are today, and then assess and lay plans for the future. That’s why I had a little birthday celebration for the 2nd birthday of the Personal Chef Approach™ this week, and really thought about all the benefits – like solving “what’s for dinner?”, saving time and money, and keeping healthier choices readily available to name just a few.

Simon LeBon, Renee Simonsen & John Taylor at Tatjana's first birthday party

Simon LeBon, Renee Simonsen & John Taylor at Tatjana’s first birthday party

I know this might sound strange and ungrateful since we are talking room service and 4 star restaurants, but the one thing I missed most from years of touring with Duran Duran was yummilicious home cooked meals. I don’t care who you are, or how much money you have – no one wants to eat out every single night of the week! Sometimes I just didn’t feel like getting dressed up, slapping on the make-up, fighting for a parking space, and making small talk with acquaintances –  I longed to just come home, kick my heels off, relax, and enjoy a meal alone with my family.

Celebrating Dinner Accomplished

Celebrating Dinner Accomplished

I enjoyed challenging myself to recreate the fabulous food I’d eaten in those restaurants, but with healthier renditions that didn’t have copious amounts of hidden fat, sugar, and salt that sabotaged my diet in the name of flavor. Having said that, I also didn’t want to have to cook every night either (that made it a chore), so the origin of the Personal Chef Approach™ was born – I started making a few meals on the weekend to enjoy all week long.

Homemade ready in drive-thru time

Homemade ready in drive-thru time

Then I opened my personal chef service The Roving Stove® in 2002, and I was booked solid right from the start, because the one commodity we all seem to lack is time, even though most of us do want to eat healthier, and have the convenience of doing so in the comfort of our own homes. I’d stumbled upon a highly in demand niche, but wanted to reach still more people, so I launched the PCA™,  and started helping home cooks turn dinner impossible into dinner accomplished – essentially making it possible for everyone to enjoy the convenience and lifestyle of of my celebrity clients, without the luxury price tag.

For those of you still baffled by how it works –  here it is in a nutshell below, but there are as many different ways to apply the PCA™ to your own home, as there are members using it! These are the basic steps, and how I make the most efficient use of my time as a culinary professional.

infographic_6

As a home cook you’ll enjoy much more flexibility. For instance, I know some of my members prefer to purchase the groceries and prep all the ingredients at once, but only cook one or two meals in advance. Since they’ve already planned the week ahead, bought the groceries, and prepped the ingredients for the remaining meals that week – it still comes together very quickly for them on the night.

Some like to double batches, so they cook less often (freezing the extra servings), while others like to cook all at once like I do. They have more spare time on the weekend, and find fun ways of making it a family activity! Or like me, perhaps you would prefer some quiet “me time,” and use cooking as a form of meditation where you let go of all of the day’s stresses and focus on creating something wonderful.

The vegan rendition of my kale Caesar salad I made for my dinner party this week

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad – first course of the birthday celebration dinner

The build your own custom menu plan tool (just click on the recipes you want to prepare in the recipe library, and grocery list and heat to eat instructions automatically generate)  makes entertaining much easier as well! Since my dinner party was to be on a busy weeknight, I made all the components in just a couple hours on Sunday afternoon, then assembled with ease as we sipped our cocktails on Tuesday evening! Some of my guests were vegan, but the PCA™ makes cooking for varying diets easy too.

Pot Pies make entertaining people with differing diets easy

Main course – pot pies make entertaining people with differing diets easy

For instance, choosing to make a pot pie for the main course meant I could keep everyone happy – I served my vegan guests one with butter beans, then threw in some roasted chicken for everyone else. Likewise, the rich, creamy chocolate avocado pudding brought squeals of delight, and disbelief when I mentioned there wasn’t an ounce of dairy in it! Don’t believe me? I want you to try if for yourself so please find the recipe below. Since it is a birthday celebration – I also want to share the gift of time with you. “Like” my Facebook page, and click on the FREE SAMPLE app to get your first month free! Membership does make a great Mother’s Day gift (that you get to enjoy too), so don’t forget check out our gift certificates to fit every budget while your at it! Leave your comments on why you find dinner impossible to get on the table below, and I’ll help you turn it all into dinner accomplished!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocoalte Avocado Pudding

A luscious but heart healthy indulgent dessert!  Avocado, not dairy, gives this rich, creamy chocolate pudding it’s body and silky smooth texture

Totally satisfying, rich creamy, chocolately indulgence you don’t have to feel guilty about. The avocado provides heart healthy fat, along with antioxidant packed dark chocolate – that’s my story anyhow, and I’m sticking to it!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 3 large avocados ripe
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coffee or Kahlua optional

Directions

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or a large bowl that fits well in a pan of boiling water, with the bottom only submerged in the boiling water to melt the chocolate.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree the avocados, almond milk, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and Kahlua together. Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into four bowls, evenly, and chill for at least two hours before serving.

Serving Suggestions

I prefer this "straight up", but you could also serve with chopped pistachios, walnuts, or pecans on top.

Heat To Eat

Serve chilled from the refrigerator.

Notes

This pudding has amazing flavor and texture, but it is extremely rich, so I recommend serving in conservative portions - that's why I used Champagne glasses to serve in.

« Previous PostNext Post »
  • April 19, 2013
    10:20 pm

    This sounds amazing! I’ve not been able to develop a taste for avacado so maybe this recipe will help me. I like the idea of serving in champagne glasses! Just wondering if this would freeze well? I had a thought that I might make it and put it into small paper cups (like the ones you have in a dispenser in the bathroom) and put a stir stick into it to make a frozen treat. This would be for a get together in mid to late May so there is a chance that the weather could be nice and warm!

  • April 22, 2013
    4:49 am

    Two years of easier dinner times. Two years of the best team around to answer questions, two years of new friendships and two years of learning to become more food aware! I wouldn’t change it for the world and can’t imagine going back.

    The pudding is a fantastic way of getting some more good food into kids and picky eaters! What a creative way to add the healthy versions!

    Renee Simonsen too!It takes me back to my high school years when I’d pour over every detail of the fashion mags and dream of becoming a designer… gorgeous as always!

    • April 22, 2013
      7:31 am

      Two year of getting to know some of the most fun, creative, kind, and thoughtful people from around the globe in our cyber living room. Thank you to ALL the PCA members who make getting up to work each day SO worthwhile! You inspire me.