Show 460, February 5, 2022: Maggie McCreath, Author & Home Baker – 52 Weeks of Cookies – How One Mom Refused To Be Beaten By Her Son’s Deployment Part One

Cookbook Author Maggie-McCreath and her Dog Biscuit

“Single mother Maggie McCreath couldn’t decide which was worse: the fact that her only son (not yet twenty-one) was off to war in Iraq for the second time or the fact that they had only five days to prepare. Even more frightening, she knew that he would be part of the Surge and, as a paratrooper in the 82nd Division of the Army, the tip of the Spear. What she did not know—what she couldn’t even bear to consider—was how this deployment would end, both for her son and for his brothers in arms, whom she had come to know and love as her own. So she turned to the one pastime that had always brought her solace: baking.”

“Filled with delicious, original cookie recipes (all shipable), 52 Weeks of Cookies recounts a mom’s unique methods of coping during her son’s deployment. With plenty of sugar cookies but no sugarcoating, 52 Weeks of Cookies is an honest, uplifting story of family love during a crisis, with all the fear, grief, laughter, gratitude, and joy that come with it.”

“Though Maggie’s interest in the military strengthened with her son’s enlistment, her fondness for the Maggie McCreath is our guest with a batch of her ever-popular Cake Batter Cookies baking in the oven.

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Show 460, February 5, 2022: Maggie McCreath, Author & Home Baker – 52 Weeks of Cookies – How One Mom Refused To Be Beaten By Her Son’s Deployment Part Two

Cookbook Author Maggie-McCreath and her Dog Biscuit

“Maggie McCreath the author of 52 Weeks of Cookies – How One Mom Refused To Be Beaten By Her Son’s Deployment is a single mom with two grown kids. She received a degree in Computer Science from George Mason University, and has worked in the field for over thirty years. Her life has always revolved around her family. Her kids began as her pride and joy, and have grown into her best friends and confidants.”

“Her daughter Haley is the oldest. She has a degree in Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University; however, after working for a national news organization in Washington, DC, for four years, she determined that way of life was not for her. She currently works for a pub managing the bar and producing local radio commercials in mid-western Virginia.”

“Her son, Buddy, enlisted in the Army during his senior year of High School and became Airborne directly after boot camp. He has served with the Airborne Corps up until January 2015 when he began Warrant Officer Candidate School. After successfully completing the school work, he is now flying Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.”

“Though Maggie’s interest in the military strengthened with her son’s enlistment, her fondness for the military and those who serve began years earlier. Her father served during World War II, and she has spent a large portion of her adult life in direct support of the military. This includes the fifteen years she worked for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, with an additional five years working for the Pentagon at an off-site facility. On September 11, 2001, though Maggie was not at the Pentagon, she was at an off-site location working in direct support of its mission. The events of 9/11 not only catapulted her to the position she holds now, but have undoubtedly shaped her family’s lives as well.”

Maggie McCeath continues with a plate of Maggie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies in hand.

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Show 455, December 11, 2021: Saffron with Authors Emily Brooke Sandor and Chef Christina Xenos

Christina Xenos of My Sweet Greek Catering

“Travel to Krokos-Kozanis, Greece to immerse yourself in cooking with saffron and Greece’s vibrant saffron harvest through the pages of this gorgeous, 88-page, full-color travel-cookbooklet (Saffron) collaboration by Photographer, Emily Brooke Sandor, and Greek-American Chef, Christina Xenos. Saffron contains a brief history of saffron, tips on best uses and storage of the spice, 12 lively saffron-forward recipes to inspire the beginner and advanced home cook, and a photography story of the annual saffron harvest in Krokos, one of forty small villages in the town of Kozani, Western Macedonia, Greece.”

“The goals of Saffron (the cookbook) are to demystify what saffron is and also to empower readers to confidently incorporate saffron into their dishes more frequently. The recipes in this cookbooklet are wonderful on their own but they also serve to familiarize the reader with flavors that pair well with saffron.”

Emily Brooke Sandor and Chef Christina Xenos join us with a cup of saffron tea in hand along with a piece of Saffron Star Bread.

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Blooming Saffron or Saffron Tea

Saffron Tea and Simple Syrup

Recipe excerpt from:
Saffron
by Emily Brooke Sandor and Christina Xenos

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 ½ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads

Optional: honey for tea

  • Combine hot water and saffron threads and let steep for 10 minutes.
  • If serving as a tea, simply add honey to taste and serve. If using bloomed saffron for a recipe, pour saffron liquid into a glass jar, seal, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Store the jar of bloomed saffron in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Saffron Honey Simple Syrup

Saffron Tea and Simple Syrup

Recipe excerpt from:
Saffron
by Emily Brooke Sandor and Christina Xenos

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup honey
  1. Combine water, sugar, and saffron threads over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the honey.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep in the pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour Saffron Honey Simple Syrup into a glass jar, seal, and allow syrup to cool to room temperature before using or storing.
  5. Store the jar of syrup in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Show 450, November 6, 2021: MJ Hong, Culinary Instructor & Recipe Developer – The One-Pan College Cookbook

Cookbook Author MJ Hong

The One-Pan College Cookbook: 80 Easy Recipes for Quick, Good Food is from (Orange County-based) recipe developer and culinary instructor MJ Hong. “Graduate from instant ramen and make delicious one-pan meals. Cooking can be a great way to explore new foods, develop new kitchen skills, and save yourself time and money.”

“With The One-Pan College Cookbook, any college student or beginner cook can make nutritious, easy one-pan recipes―no prerequisite required. These dorm-friendly dishes also provide the cooking skills and tips every student will use well beyond undergrad. In addition to easy recipes all made in one pan, you’ll find meal planning tips and creative ideas to make the most out of ingredients and leftovers to save time and money.”

“Save money and shop smart with guidance for stretching your dollar and navigating the grocery store like a pro. Each chapter includes a few recipes that serve one, but most of the recipes produce two servings, either for two people or to have leftovers. And occasionally a recipe makes enough for four people, making it perfect for sharing with friends (not to mention making great leftovers).”

The recipes are a mix of lighter dishes as well as some more filling comfort foods including: Breakfast; Snacks and

“The recipes are a mix of lighter dishes as well as some more filling comfort foods including: Breakfast; Snacks and Small Bites; Burgers, Sandwiches and Other Handhelds; Meatless Mains; Seafood and Poultry; Pork and Beef and Desserts.”

MJ has graciously shared her original recipe for Thai-Inspired Lettuce Wraps with us. “Fresh and tangy flavors paired with crunchy vegetables make for a satisfying bite in these refreshing lettuce wraps.

MJ Hong joins us with a skillet securely in hand.

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Thai-Inspired Lettuce Wraps

Thai Inspired Lettuce Wraps by MJ Hong

Recipe excerpt from:
The One-Pan College Cookbook: 80 Easy Recipes for Quick, Good Food
by MJ Hong

Fresh and tangy flavors paired with crunchy vegetables make for a satisfying bite in these refreshing lettuce wraps. Use your favorite ground meat or omit it altogether and double up on the vegetables. You can also make this into a bowl and serve it over chopped fresh lettuce or cooked rice.

Serves 2
Prep TIme: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken, turkey, pork, or beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 carrot, diced or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or any nut butter
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
  1. In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meat and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up, for about 3 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, carrot, bell pepper, hoisin sauce, and peanut butter and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the scallion, cilantro, and lime juice.
  4. To serve, separate the lettuce leaves and place on a plate. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the filling into the center of each leaf and eat taco-style.

REMIX TIP: For a Korean-inspired flavor, omit the hoisin sauce and peanut butter and instead add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. For spice, add 1 tablespoon of gochujang (Korean red chili paste).

Show 448, October 23, 2021: Jonathan Bardzik with Simple Summer – A Recipe for Joy and Connection (Second Edition) Part One

Jonathan Bardzik

“Now a popular chef, tv host, and storyteller, Jonathan Bardzik left a comfortable corporate position a decade ago to embark upon his culinary calling – to share food, stories, and joy with audiences everywhere. In July Jonathan celebrated his career on the tenth anniversary of his first live cooking demonstration at Washington, DC’s historic Eastern Market with the release of his new book, Simple Summer: a recipe for joy and connection (Second Edition.)”

“This new cookbook is an expanded and improved second edition of the wildly popular Simple Summer: a recipe for cooking and entertaining with ease. Each chapter highlights how to pair gorgeous food, delicious drinks, and the right music to make the most of summer. More than a collection of recipes, Simple Summer: a recipe for joy and connection allows you to indulge in rich lessons of joy and connection from Jonathan’s TedX Talk and keynote speeches while learning how to work with seasonal produce and increase your culinary skills. It is the perfect “recipe” for any great gathering — from boozy brunches and afternoons poolside, to shared plates at summer celebrations.”

“Simple Summer: a recipe for joy and connection offers 40 versatile and easy to recreate recipes along with the inspiring stories and abundant joy that Jonathan is known for. Each one is accompanied with whimsical and refreshing beverage pairings and curated music playlists. With this book as your guide, you’ll be able to prepare mouthwatering meals just like those featured on the “Jonathan’s Kitchen: Seasons to Taste” TV Series, (8 episodes) available on Revry, all season long.”

Jonathan Bardzik is our guest with a whisk at the ready.

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Show 448, October 23, 2021: Jonathan Bardzik with Simple Summer – A Recipe for Joy and Connection (Second Edition) Part Two

Jonathan Bardzik

“Now a celebrated chef, tv host, and storyteller, Jonathan Bardzik left a comfortable corporate position a decade ago to embark upon his culinary calling – to share food, stories, and joy with audiences everywhere. In July Jonathan celebrated his career on the tenth anniversary of his first live cooking demonstration at Washington, DC’s historic Eastern Market with the release of his new book, Simple Summer: a recipe for joy and connection (Second Edition.)”

Delightfully unexpected yet comforting and satisfying, the recipes themselves are as inspiring as the book’s heartwarming stories. Health-conscious food enthusiasts, home gardeners, and farm market fans alike will find inspiration and exciting new ways to make the most of summer’s bounty. These are the recipes you’ll want to appear on your table all summer long. From easy dinners at home to vacations in the mountains, at the beach or in your backyard. Simple Summer: a recipe for joy and connection brings both the starting cook and the experienced gourmet fresh, accessible and innovative ideas and techniques for making your simple summer all you want it to be.”

“The host of Revry Channel’s 8 episode “Jonathan’s Kitchen: Seasons to Taste,” Jonathan Bardzik is a cook, author, and storyteller based in Washington, DC. Self-trained with more than 20 years of experience, Jonathan is inspired by the seasonal, local ingredients he grew up with and finds today at local farmers’ markets. Jonathan’s professional culinary career began in 2011 with weekly cooking demonstrations at DC’s historic Eastern Market. Since then, Jonathan has made more than 900 live appearances at venues across the country, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Geographic Museum, as well as countless virtual events for both corporate clients and private parties alike. He is a popular keynote speaker and has appeared on the TedX stage.”

Jonathan continues with us spatula in hand.

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Show 438, August 14, 2021: Chef Jet Tila & Ali Tila, “Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones”

Jet Tila at Cochon 555

Celebrity Chef, Food TV Personality and Author Jet Tila needs no introduction to listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” The same holds true for Ali Tila, Jet’s wife and business partner. She is also an accomplished pastry chef and cookbook author.

Their latest collaboration is as the esteemed judges (along with Chris Rivard, a Ben & Jerry’s flavor expert) on Food Network’s “Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones.” The four-episode limited series hosted by Molly Yeh debuts on Monday, August 16th.

“Six ice cream masters from across the country have been hand-picked for a once in a lifetime opportunity: to create an original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor of their own.”

“Over four episodes, host Molly Yeh challenges the ice cream makers to capture the essence of a celebrity or pop culture icon in a new and innovative ice cream flavor, inspired by the direction given from the celebrity themselves.”

Chef Jet and Ali also update us on the status of their new Thai cookbook (101 Thai Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die) set to launch in January of 2022. Available for pre-order on Amazon.

Chef Jet and Ali Tila are our guests.

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