Cooking and Catering Blog | Chef Chic, Tucson

Getting the Most Out of Your Cooking Class

July 20, 2014

Are you tired of having to rely on other people when you want to have a delicious meal? If takeout, delivery, and eating out are starting to get old, it might be time to consider taking a cooking class. Learning basic cooking skills is a wise investment as cooking for yourself is less expensive and more convenient. You won’t have to jump in your car every time you’re hungry, as you’ll be able to prepare something delicious for yourself. Keep reading to learn how you can get the most out of your in-home cooking class.

Be Prepared

Once you have signed up for a cooking class, it’s important to be ready for your first lesson. Your instructor should give you directions on what you need to have in your kitchen, such as certain foods or ingredients, specific equipment, or just a good cutting surface. Make sure you have a notebook with you, as you’ll want to write down what you learn so that you can refer to it later. If your cooking class is hands-on, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes in case you’re standing for a while.

Participate

Whether you’re completely new to cooking or you have a basic understanding of what to do in the kitchen, it’s normal to have some questions for your teacher during your cooking class. Don’t be afraid to voice your questions and comments, as that is the best way to get answers. Active participation helps you learn better and retain information, so don’t be shy during your class.

Have Fun

Cooking class can teach you valuable skills that you can use to prepare delicious meals for yourself and your family. It’s also a way to relax and have fun, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself during your lessons. If you make a mistake, don’t panic, as that’s part of the learning experience.

Call Chef Chic in Tucson at (520) 867-9597 when you’re ready to take your cooking skills to the next level. We offer in-home cooking classes so you can learn culinary techniques that you can practice in your own kitchen.

Summer Grilling Tips

July 5, 2014

Summer has arrived in Tucson, and that means it’s time to break out your sunglasses, bathing suit, and barbecue tongs and start grilling your food. Nothing says summer quite like the taste of food cooked outdoors on your grill, but if you have never grilled before, it can feel a bit daunting. Your personal chef can provide you with the items to grill so that all you have to do is get your grill ready and start cooking. Keep reading for grilling tips from your personal chef.

Heat It Up

Grilling beginners sometimes will put food on the grill at the same time as they turn the grill on. However, getting the grill hot before you start cooking has a number of benefits. Heating the grill for at least 15 minutes before you begin cooking will help kill any bacteria lingering on the grate, and it will sear your food as soon as it hits the grill. Searing helps keep the inside of your food moist and delicious, and enhances the flavor through caramelizing the part that touches the grill.

Avoid Additives

If you have a charcoal grill instead of a gas grill, it can be tempting to use briquettes or lighter fluid to get your fire going quickly. While this can increase the speed at which your grill heats up, briquettes may contain chemical additives that will affect the taste of your food. Lighter fluid should be avoided altogether, as it can leave a residue on your food and may create an unsafe situation around the fire.

Marinate Beforehand

Grilling up the perfect steak, chicken, or vegetables can feel like a puzzle if you don’t marinate your food first. Marinating infuses your food with flavor and helps to keep it juicy during cooking. It also helps to stop the formation of potential carcinogens that happens when meat is being grilled.

Are you mystified by your gas or charcoal grill? Let Chef Chic help you prepare delicious meals for your family, or give us a call at (520) 867-9597 to find out about catering your next barbecue. We are here to help you in the kitchen with table-ready meals, cooking classes, and catering for your Tucson events.

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Wedding Catering Experience

June 20, 2014

Your wedding is one of the most important events of your life, and it can also be quite a stressful occasion. From securing your dream wedding venue to arranging the flowers and keeping family feuds under control, you have a lot on your plate as you plan your wedding. As you’re planning, don’t forget to think about what will literally go on your plate on the big day. Working with an experienced caterer can make your wedding day a little less stressful for you and your spouse-to-be. Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of your wedding catering experience.

Set a Budget

Before you meet with prospective caterers, it’s a good idea to have a budget sketched out for what you want to spend. You’ll need to know roughly how many people you have attending the wedding so you can figure out how much you can spend per head. A great wedding caterer can work within almost any budget as long as they know what the bride and groom’s expectations are. Bring your budget when you meet your caterer so you can start figuring out a menu to please every guest.

Plan a Menu

Your wedding will probably be attended by friends, family members, and some relatives you haven’t seen in ages. Keeping in mind that everyone has unique dietary restrictions and preferences, it’s a good idea to plan a menu that caters to as many people as possible. You can provide vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options that will appeal to the masses to make the most of your menu.

Relax

You have enough to worry about on your wedding day without stressing over how the food will taste. Choose a wedding caterer who is friendly and easy to work with so that you can concentrate on the most important day of your life.

From weddings to family reunions to backyard barbecues, Chef Chic can cater it all in style while staying within your budget. Contact us at (520) 867-9597 to inquire about our diverse menus that are sure to please every palate. We’ll even provide you with a free consultation so you can feel confident about your catering choice.

Healthy Cooking Tips for Your Family Meals

June 5, 2014

You lead a busy life, juggling work, personal obligations, and family time every day. With so many obligations taking up your precious time, it’s no wonder that finding an evening to cook a meal for your family can be difficult—let alone cooking a healthy meal. It can be tempting to grab takeout or defrost a pre-packaged meal, but there are easy ways to help your family eat healthier at home. Read on for handy healthy cooking tips for your family meals.

Aim for Versatility

It’s hard to find time to cook a healthy meal for your family, and it can be even harder to try new recipes when you’re already strapped for time. Instead of experimenting with new recipes or feeding your family the same meal over and over again, look for ways that you can be versatile in the kitchen. You can use a few staple foods such as chicken, vegetables, and brown rice to create a myriad of different meals, from stir-fry to Mexican to at-home sushi rolls. Ask your personal chef for recommendations on spices that will help you keep things interesting in the kitchen.

Know a Few Tricks

When you’re cooking for your family, you don’t have time to waste on onion tears or extra cleanup in the kitchen. Learn a few handy tricks that will help you make the most of your time, such as knowing the right way to chop an onion and how to clean up as you go. When you have an arsenal of kitchen tricks, you’ll be able to spend more time doing what’s important: hanging out with your family.

Hire a Personal Chef

The unfortunate reality for some people is that even being versatile in the kitchen still doesn’t afford them the time to create healthy family meals. That’s where a personal chef who will shop, meal plan, and prepare your family’s meals comes in handy. You can rest easy knowing your family will get the nutritious meals they need without you having to prepare dinner every night.

Whether you’re too busy to cook for your family or you just need a little help getting the ingredients ready, Chef Chic of Tucson is here to help you. Call us at (520) 867-9597 to inquire about hiring your own personal chef, or to ask about catering for your next dinner party.

How a Healthy Diet Can Help You Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

May 22, 2014

Even though eating healthy and exercising does require some work, it doesn’t mean you have to dramatically alter your lifestyle in order to achieve your weight loss goals. In fact, just a few simple changes to your diet and exercise routine can add up over time. Here are some tips to help you modify your lifestyle in a way that aids in your weight loss goals.

Add foods instead of subtracting them

If you’re like most people, you probably associate dieting with eating less. Instead of constantly counting calories and subtracting foods from your diet, try adding good foods. For example, try eating more of the healthy foods you already love, such as deep-red cherries, grapes, or crunchy carrots and snow peas. You can also slip your favorite fruits and vegetables into your bag lunch or breakfast cereal. Vegetables also make a great addition to any soups, stews, and sauces.

Avoid working out

The words “exercise” and “working out” generally carry a negative connotation. While physical activity is an important part of any weight loss plan, you may benefit from not calling it exercise or working out. Instead, find activities you enjoy, such as bike riding, grass skiing, hiking, and chasing the dog around the yard. All of these activities help burn calories without putting in hours at the gym.

Go walking

Walking is a great way to stay physically fit, especially when the weather is nice. If your neighborhood lacks sidewalks, try pushing the mower around the yard or park your car at the back of the shopping lot. You can also get out of your office building and enjoy walking meetings. Another great way to stay fit is by taking the stairs every chance you get, including at work and in your apartment building.

At Chef Chic, we believe eating better doesn’t mean you have to compromise taste. Chef Wendy is a Tucson personal chef, dedicated to helping clients enjoy delicious, healthy meals. If you would like to learn more about our Tucson personal chef or Tucson catering services, please call (520) 406-2575.

 

Book Now

We would be delighted to answer any questions that you may have regarding our wide array of services and custom-designed solutions.