Cooking Up Change!
Picture a delicious dish from Cooking up Change Sponsored by Healthy Schools Campaign, Aramark, Southwest and James Beard Foundaton
One of the delicious Dishes at the Cooking up Change Culinary Competition held tonight in Bridgeport
Don't forget, the Cooking up Change Culinary Competition, a part of the Healthy School Campaign, is being held tonight at the Bridgeport Arts Center.  Food Fun For all in this wonderful loft space.  For Sponsored by The James Beard Foundation, Aramark and Southwest Airlines.  more information and results from last year click here and here 
For ticket information follow visit their website at
Picture of the trophies
A Trophy and a trip to Washington D.C. to cook their dish and and discuss Legislation relating to the Healthy Schools Campaign
Wise Traditions 15th Annual Conference in Indianapolis is taking place November 7-10.  Food, Farming and Healing arts collide at this event coming up soon.  Check out the Delicious showcase of Traditional food.  It definitely sounds like a great opportunity for those who are interested in Diet relating to overall health. 

Picture of focus on food
photo courtesy of
For tickets and  additional information click here 
Picture of Golden Brown Far
Beautiful Deep Golden Brown "Far" dessert
We were thrilled to take culinary instruction at the infamous Le Cordon Bleu.  Le Cordon Bleu, French for "The Blue Ribbon" is the largest and most respected hospitality school in the World.  Known for it's Hospitality Management, Culinary expertise and Gastronomy, this Paris School is the Gold standard of culinary schools steeped in tradition and fresh with creativity.  Touring this facility was an exhilarating experience.  Much More on that later.   
Picture of ChefThymeSavor at Le Cordon Bleu
ChefThymeSavor attending Le Cordon Bleu
You might wonder what is Far Breton?   It is a most lovely dessert that can have many variations.  It will become your favorite "Go To" dessert recipe.  
Far Breton, also known as, "Far" in the local area, is a highly popular and traditional dessert from the Brittany 
region in France.  The small villages have preserved their rich traditions in food, dance and music.  
Far's base is similar to the composition of a clafoutis batter (a flan-style eggs and milk custard with flour added). This dessert is incredibly flexible and easy to make.  Whether you add Le Cordon Bleu preferred fruit of Kirsch marinated prunes, or no fruit at all, your family will love this recipe.  
Le Cordon Bleu's Recipe for Far Breton:

Requires Kitchen Scales
Serves 8 
140 g Prunes (optional to add or marinate and add, very tasty)
250 ml Whole Milk
1/2 Vanilla Bean pod
20 g Butter ( European butter is best, salted or unsalted, depending on who you speak with) 
3 Eggs
65 g Sugar
50 g flour
Salt (1 t if you use unsalted butter)


Preheat oven to 200°
Add Kirsch to Prunes and marinate for at least an hour. 

Bring milk to a boil.  Remove from heat and add Vanilla bean.  For full flavor be sure and open bean and scrape out the inside into the milk.  Set aside and let the vanilla infuse into the milk. 
Butter ramikins and dust with sugar.  If you wish, you can use a cheesecake pan.  

Sift flour.  
Whisk eggs in with milk and gradually incorporate flour.  Add Sugar and salt. Strain batter, so it is silky smooth. 

Pour batter into ramikens or cheesecake pan, place prunes into dishes and bake for 40-45 minutes.  After 5-7 minutes reduce heat of oven to 170°.  

Picture of 2 Far Breton's
Far Breton With or without Fruit is absolutely Delish!
Far Breton is cooked to a much more "burned" appearance than most accustomed to in our home kitchens.  If caught at just the right point when the sugars caramelize, it is one of the most delicious, pure and easy desserts you can prepare!  Pair with a delicious espresso and I promise, it's Outstanding!
Picture of Chef and Far Breton
Chef Vaca and Beautiful Golden Brown Far Breton bubbling up in Ramikens
Picture of Chef Vaca and ChefThymeSavor
ChefThymeSavor and Chef Marc Vaca
Click Here for more on Chef Marc Vaca of Le Cordon Bleu Paris, France
Picture loft at Bridgeport Arts Center
Setting up for last year's event
I have always been very passionate about Education.  So I was excited to be invited back to the Cooking up Change Culinary Competition.  
The Bridgeport Arts Center
15 Chicago Public Schools send culinary students to represent their school at this energy filled and heated competition. If you are a foodie, you should check out this event.  Cooking up Change is being held at the beautiful Bridgeport Arts Center on October 30th.  Toast the evening away in this beautifully lit loft space with city views, wonderful music, a raffle and an orchestra of youth creating a beautiful symphony of food to enjoy.

10 cities participate in their individual culinary competition for the privilege to travel to Washington D.C., cook for the legislature and hold discussions revolving around school lunches.  What we feed our children on a daily basis in school is such an important issue.  Aramark and The James Beard Foundation are 2 of the 3 Gold sponsors of this event. 350 students nationwide cook up over 1.35 million meals.  Under a tight budget, they prepare a tasty school lunch that is healthy and nutritious and delicious.   
One of the presentations from 2013
Healthy Schools Campaign launched Cooking up Change in Chicago in 2007 to engage students and the community in a dialogue about critical changes needed in our nation’s school meal program. Since that time, stronger school food nutrition standards have been implemented, and Cooking up Change students continue to lead the way by re-imagining school meals that are healthy, delicious and fun.
For detailed pictures and results from last year click here 
For Tickets head over to   See you there.
Picture of Amazing Salad
Salted Caramel Walnut Apple Salad
Fabulous for Fall Salted Caramel Walnut Apple Salad Recipe Repost.  The flavors are wonderful together and it makes a beautiful presentation for your luncheon or weekend get together.
4 C Spring Baby Green Mix
1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar1 Shallots, minced
3 T White Wine vinegar
1 t Grapeseed Oil
1 T Olive Oil
2 Honeycrisp, core out middle, slice crosswise, brush with
1 Lemon, juiced 
4 oz Goat Cheese crumbles
1/2 C Blueberries
3/4 C Salted Caramel Walnuts 
3 T Butter
1/3 C Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 t Sea Salt, divided

Directions for Dressing
Heat Balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium till reduced, approximately 4 minutes add 1/2 Shallot, minced. Whisk Olive oil into vinegar in bowl.  Set aside.

Directions Salted Caramel Walnuts
Melt Butter over medium heat.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in Brown Sugar and 1/2 Sea Salt.  Stir constantly till sugar is melted and starts to thicken.  Remove from heat and spread out on wax paper.  Sprinkle with 1/2 Sea Salt remaining.  Set aside to dry. 

Directions for Assembly
Place bed of baby greens on salad plate.  Layer Apple, then pieces of lettuce fanned out from the middle of the apple. Continue to layer.  In the apple core middle place blueberries, sprinkle shallots, goat cheese, dressing, salt and pepper and top with Salted Caramel Walnuts on top and on bed of lettuce. Drizzle small amount of Grapeseed Oil over top of salads.  Season with salt and pepper.
Winter is coming quickly here in the Midwest!  Along with the season change, comes Cold and Flu season.  It's that time of year when I look to cook as healthy as possible.  You might wonder what you can do to help bump up your immune system.  
Several foods you should incorporate into your diet as often as possible include dark leafy greens, and bright fruits and vegetables as a daily regimen.  Vitamin C plays a huge role growth and renewal of many tissues.  Vitamin C also aids in Collagen production.  Collagen is the protein responsible for regeneration of tendons, ligaments, skin and blood vessels.
So, I highly recommend consuming foods such as, Kale, Yellow and Red Peppers Guava, Papaya, Strawberries, Oranges, Sweet Potatoes and Carrots.  
Another great food to incorporate into your diet is Mushrooms.  Did you know that mushrooms are Excellent for your immune system?  After cross checking resources, I found that about 3.5 ounces of mushrooms a day for seven days in a row will increase immune antibodies found in saliva by 50%.  The elevated levels stayed for a week after discontinuing the mushroom regimen.  Specifically, reishi, maitake, and shiitake are the most beneficial. This is wonderful news, because I love Mushrooms as much as I Love Fall!

Did you know there is some scientific evidence that chicken soup may help with healing, through hydration and nutrition, as well as, have mild anti-inflammatory affects. Studies have found that hot chicken soup can improve the capabilities of Cilia, the tiny hair-like parts of the nasal passages, to protect the body from viruses and bacteria.  
Garlic should also be incorporated into your diet on a regular basis, as it has antimicrobial and immune stimulating properties. 
This Recipe is so wonderful for those chilly nights.  Perfect with waffles or Ice Cream. You will Savor this warm and Wonderful dessert. 
This is a phenomenal structure, even through the rain.  Situated perfectly as a centerpiece on the Parisian street, Place de l'Opéra is located in the 9th arrondissement in Paris.  The auditorium has a traditional Italian horseshoe shape and can seat up to 1,979 patrons. The Opera House's stage is the largest in Europe and can host 450 artists.
Picture of Paris Opera
Bring your Umbrella to Paris!
Check out the architectural details in this structure on this fantastic picture appropriately labeled from Wikipedia
Picture Paris Opera
Labeled architectural details photo courtesy of
Picture detail on Paris OPera
Gorgeous detail in this photo provided by
The Grand Foyer is absolutely stunning. 7-ton bronze and crystal chandelier's, designed by famed architect Charles Garnier, illuminate the ceiling details.  The picture speaks to the beauty of the Grand Foyer.
Picture of ceiling in grand foyer
Palais Garnier
As my thoughts wondered to Phantom of the Opera, I felt very fortunate to absorb the beauty of this World renowned structure for music!
A perfect easy recipe for this time of year!  Your family will love this dinner served up with Grandma's Cornbread made in a cast iron skillet.
Picture Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
Delicious and Flavorful Red Beans and Rice
1 8 oz package Long Grain Rice, cooked
1 C Dry Red Kidney Beans
12 oz Andouille Sausage or Kielbasa if less spice desired. Love the Flavor from the Andouille 
1 lb Smoked Pork Hock
4 strips Bacon, cooked, crumbled, Reserve Bacon Grease
1/4 C Tasso Ham, or regular ham if you prefer less spice
2 1/2 C of you favorite low sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 C Onions, medium dice
1/2 C Celery, medium dice
1 T Tomato Paste
1/2 t Thyme, dried and crushed
1/2 t Oregano, dried and crushed
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 t Cayenne Pepper, or to taste
1/2 C Yellow, and Orange Sweet Peppers, diced medium
1 t Kosher Salt

Rinse Beans in cold water and drain.  In a large Dutch Oven, combine beans and 6 C water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for several minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let stand for an hour at least.  Drain and Rinse.  

Saute Onion in reserved Bacon Grease, till start to carmalize.  Remove from heat.  This will add a delicious flavor to the dish. Place beans in slow cooker with Tomato Paste, Pork Hock, Sausage, Broth, Onion, Celery, Garlic, Thyme, Oregano, and cayenne.  

After four hours, remove ham hock and trim off meat.  Return to Crock pot along with peppers.  Continue to cook in crock pot on medium for the next hour.  
Chef Tsai's Demo was loaded with stories and plenty of laughs.  Here is a clip from Chef Ming Tsai's Demonstration on Faking it!


    Chef Thyme Savor is a Personal Chef Service.Claire Vert's creations will delight discriminating palettes!  Let us handle all the details, so you have Time to Savor delicious dishes with your guests!  

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