Cooking with Del Monte and Chef Deborah Gorman

Let me start this post with a big THANK YOU to Del Monte. A few weeks ago they tweeted me and said they had a gift for me. To my surprise, their gift was a homemade dinner prepared and cooked in my home, by a personal chef. How amazing is that? As the primary cook in my home, a much needed break sounded like a dream come true. 

A few days ago, I received two proposed menus from Chef Deborah Gorman, which of course had me drooling. I went with the menu described as,"Rustic, Elegance and Spice." I have to admit I was a bit nervous about whether or not my little ones would eat food that was unfamiliar to them, but of course they enjoyed tasting everything. 

Keep reading for all the ingredients and details of this amazing meal. 
I wasn't sure what to expect from having a personal chef in my home. Many different scenarios went through my mind. Would the chef be serious the whole time? Speak only French? Not like kids? (Haha! I know, I totally pictured the chef from The Little Mermaid, the one who chased Sebastian around the whole kitchen.)
 Anyway, Chef Deborah was really cool and personable and handled the chaos in my home really well. As you can see in the picture above, my daughter was really interested in what Chef Deborah was doing and did a great job at engaging with all of us while preparing our meal. 

Salted Cod and Corn Fritters, Spicy homemade Ketchup and Coriander Ajoli
The fritters are pan fried, crispy, salty and with sweet bites of corn. The Ketchup has subtle spice and the Ajoli is creamy and aromatic. Made with Del Monte Corn, Home made Ketchup made with Del Monte Diced Tomatoes.

The Salted Cod and Corn Fritter was my FAVORITE!!! They were so good, all the flavors and textures were complimentary to each other. Crunchy but soft, salty but sweet. I wish I could explain it better, It was just delicious! 

Homemade Fresh Semolina Parpadelle, Rustic Duck Meatballs with Diced Tomato Marinara
The duck meatballs are spiced with juniper and fennel seeds. The sauce is made with Del Monte Diced tomatoes.

I had no idea what semolina parpadelle was, but I sure was ready to eat it. Haha! The Duck Meatballs had chopped almonds inside which added crunch and gave the entire meal so much dimension. I know I don't even have to tell you how good the diced tomato marinara was. I mean it's marinara. Delicious! 

Winter Salad of shaved root vegetables with Roasted hazelnuts and lemon olive oil dressing
Made with a selection of farmers market root vegetables. Lightly dressed with a bright simple lemon dressing. 
I was a little nervous for my dad to eat this salad. He is not a "salad kind of guy." But even he could not deny the deliciousness that went on on this plate. Look at how beautiful all the colors are.I don't think I have ever eaten celery root before, but my gosh, if you toss it in a salad with thinly sliced carrots, radishes and arugula. You have got something beautiful and tasty.
Home made Persimmon and smoked Cardamon Sorbet and Yuzu Lemon Sorbet. Salt and pepper Shortbread cookies, Shaved chocolate

For dessert, we were very lucky because our chef, Deborah is also the chef of Sorbabes Gourmet Sorbet. She shared some of her new flavor combinations with us. The sorbet was so refreshing, my daughter loved the persimmon and smoked cardamon sorbet and I loved the Yuzu lemon sorbet. Needless to say, the shortbread cookies were just as good as they sound. 
Thank you Chef Deborah for the extra sorbet and cookies, they were just as delicious the next day. 

If you are in need of a personal chef, I highly recommend Chef Deborah Gorman and you can reach her through KitchenSurfing

Thanks again Del Monte for a delicious dinner and a wonderful experience! 

What's up: Frozen Sing-A-Long, Pretzel Crisps, Winter's Tale and Del Monte.

Where should I start? Let me see, there is just so much going on with me right now. Well, as far as Weigh-in Wednesday's go, I have sort of fallen off the wagon. Not completely, but yes. To be perfectly honest, I got hit with a cold and that time of the month, and I just could not stick to the strict diet. I have still been walking 3-5 miles a week, which I have really been enjoying. I need to get back on to the strict diet though, it is what worked best. I'll try. So, other than my current diet fail, I have been so busy! There is so much going on, let me fill you in on some fun stuff we've been up to! via Instagram photos of course. ;)
Lexie had pajama day at her preschool and had such a fun time, mostly because she got to take her "Super Princess Ka'as Bunny," with her to school.
And that very same day, we went to the El Capitan theater to see Disney's Frozen Sing-A-Long. If you have the opportunity to go to the Sing-A-Long, I completely recommend it! It was so special and had so many fun surprises.  

Oh! I had a girls night out! I was invited to preview the movie Winter's Tale and invited my best friend with me. We were in for a real treat, we were given a red rose and a bag with promotional goodies and honestly, I loved the movie. I think I would really like to read the book, but mostly, I was just taken by surprise. Go see this movie, it's not just a romantic movie, it's more. Intrigued? I know!

So, this year was the girl's first Valentine's day at school. The AMAZING people over at Pretzel Crisps delivered some snack sized bags for me to include in their little gifts. I knew they'd get plenty of candy from their friends, but I love that Pretzel Crisps are a great alternative. 
As you can tell by their faces, they were just so happy! 
Look how happy I am! Haha, I love to see them happy. It really does make early mornings, busy days and late nights all feel worth it. 
Ooh! and a little sneak peek at the Shirley Temple 1st birthday I helped my sister-in-law put together for my beautiful niece. Stay tuned for that post with all the party details. 

I just had to share this picture. This was yesterday. My husband surprised me by taking the day off. He works a lot, lately as much as 12 days in a row and mostly 10 hour days. Needless to say, we miss each other. My husband misses us, I miss him, and the girls miss their dad. Look at those smiling faces. We had such a fun day at the beach. I even napped for a few minutes. It was great! The beach is our happy place. I love that the girls love the beach and the ocean. 
Lastly, this is so exciting! The other day Del Monte tweeted me and one thing led to another and not only did I receive this wonderful package on my doorstep, but they also offered to have a home cooked meal prepared by a personal chef in my own home. How amazing is that? I am so excited! Stay tuned for all of those amazing details too! 

I told you there was a lot of stuff going on. Thanks for following along and stay tuned for the follow up posts!