10 Facts About Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Skillet

Personal Chef and Catering Austin Texas

Cooks seeking alternatives to toxic non-stick cookware often find themselves in a bind. Stainless steel, which seems to be the healthiest alternative, is expensive, and it does not lend itself well to cooking eggs, pancakes and other dishes that non-stick cookware typically excels at. If you have not yet discovered the benefits of cast iron cooking, here are 10 reasons to buy and use a cast iron skillet.

1. Avoid Toxic Fumes– Replacing a non-stick skillet with a cast iron one allows you to avoid the toxic fumes that accompany most non-stick cookware. Cast iron can also replace aluminum cookware, which may also pose health hazards.
2. Use in oven – Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature. This comes in handy for making corn bread, frittatas, and flat bread.
3. Nonstick – Surprisingly, a preheated cast iron skillet rivals the qualities of non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for. You can quickly move up this short learning curve by talking with employees at your local cookware store or by reading a book or Internet article about cast iron care.
4. Easy Clean up– Cast iron is easy to clean up. Not only does food easily lift off from cast iron cookware, soap is not needed or recommended, since it erodes the seasoning.
5. Health Benefits- You can actually boost your iron intake from eating food cooked in cast iron cookware. This vital mineral is crucial for maintaining energy levels, and it helps strengthen immune systems.
6. Inexpensive- Cooks looking to replace non-stick cookware often investigate stainless steel. However, a high-end, 12-inch stainless skillet runs well over $100, while a similar-sized cast iron one costs less than $30.
7. Food Cooks Beautifully– Using a cast iron skillet you can create restaurant-quality, homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.
8. Sturdy/Wears well- Since it does not scratch, there is no need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware inherited from their parents and grandparents.
9. Any heat source can be used– In an emergency, cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. As such, many disaster planning lists include cast iron as the survival cookware of choice.
10. Proven over years – It has been used for thousands of years. Natural News readers already understand how new technologies are often the least healthy, while those used by earlier generations are often more beneficial and more in line with how we are designed. Our cookware choice is no exception.
The Drawbacks of Cast Iron…Although there are many benefits to cast iron cooking, make sure to understand the drawbacks before you start: cast iron pans are very heavy; they require intentional maintenance in order to keep them rust-free and non-stick; and care is needed if you have a glass-top stove.
With that in mind, they’re still a great choice. Once you take the plunge, you will wonder why it took you so long to start!

Looking for a recipe for cast iron steak? Easy Cast Iron Beef Tenderloin

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup with Maple Bacon Crumbles

Personal Chef Austin Texas

The fall is upon us again and you know what that means….. Root veggies. I love the fall as usual as most who follow our blog know that already. It is football season, and usually cooler weather is upon us as well as the holidays are right around the corner too. I love to have a nice hearty soup when the weather gets cooler it is a nice way to warm up and always a comforting dinner after the day is done. Everyone seems to like a good butternut squash soup, I just wanted to ass some parsnips to the recipe but you can go all the way with butternut squash if you prefer to omit the parsnip. I have actually made the soup with carrots and parsnip without the butternut squash it was rather sweet but still tasty.



6 cups chicken broth

2 pounds butternut squash diced

1 pound of rinsed and diced parsnip

1/2 onion small diced

1/2 cup of cooked maple bacon

2-3 sprigs of thyme, stem removed

1/2 – 1 cup of heavy cream

1/2 tsp of allspice

1/4 tsp of ginger

salt and pepper to taste


1. Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash, 1 pound of parsnip diced, and 6 cups chicken broth along with the spices. Simmer until tender, then puree.

2. When pureed add the cream and stir until blended, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Top with crumbled bacon and serve.


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Personal Chef Austin Texas

Pumpkin Spiced Syrup

2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. In a medium saucepan, add water and both sugars. Simmer on medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes.
2. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the dry spices and pumpkin puree. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil.
3. Remove from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt it in. Then add the vanilla bean paste stirring to incorporate the milk solids and vanilla paste.
5. Allow the syrup to cool to room-temperature.
6. Use it immediately on some fresh pumpkin pancakes or store in a mason jar, or airtight container in the refrigerator, this should last about a month if it is not used up by then.

In need of a Chef what is the difference

Hiring a Private Chef, Personal Chef or Chef, what is the difference?

they all the same? As a Culinary Professional I have been contacted to
cook for special occasions, personal chef, private dinner party chef,
weddings, cooking instruction, cooking demonstration classes and weekly meal service etc. I have been asked by many clients, as
well as potential ones, do I offer certain, or specific services? In my
opinion they all fall under the same category, I am a chef and I will
do whatever it takes to meet the individual needs for any event
regardless of what the individual wants to specify “IT” as. Being a
professional chef I am willing to go that extra mile and provide
services that are specific to an individual or groups needs, that is
what makes the event special and memorable. I am sure that there are
many others in this industry that absolutely feel the same way.

 I feel that many chefs that get into the private or personal chef
sector are all about customer service and making the people feel really
special. I know that is the type of service that I try to implement for
anyone that has used my services. So call it po-ta-to or po-tah-to….It
is all the same to me
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Information about Paleo Diet from Chef Shelley Pogue

I have been
interested in this diet and I have several friends on this and they are
working out and following this diet and they are shedding weight.I do not think that this should be so meting short term. I think that if you are a little/lot overweight and are ready to do something about this then you should get ready for a life change and find something that you will continue even after the weight loss and maintain for the rest of your life.

Paleo Diet, Will it work for you? 

April 19, 2013

is very hard to stay on any diet, much less stick to a lifestyle change
and daily intake of a healthy foods. Bad foods are like a bad habit,
and of course bad habits are very hard to break! The Paleo Diet is
called the hunter, or gatherer diet. If the cavemen did not have it
available then you should not eat it with this type of diet plan. There
are people on different sides of the issue saying that the people from
that time did not make it past their 30’s and that the diet was not
sustaining so this type of diet is bad for you. However they had no
medical treatment and we do not have accurate records from that time to
know why the life expectancy was so low during that period. So, this
will have to be something you will have to decide for yourself.

my opinion this would be a great, changing your diet and eating habits
to cut out processed foods, refined sugars and all foods that are toxic
for your body. If you have a diet that consists of low carbs, healthy
fats, lean proteins, nuts and veggies, that seems pretty healthy to me.
There were no saturated fats, or processed foods or sugars in that time
period and I assume that they were probably healthier for it. I am sure
that if we omit those items in most diets today we would see a decrease
in type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular diet related diseases. I am
sure that Dr Oz would probably agree on that one….

I am
definitely going to do more research on this diet, I have a few clients
that are on this diet and they are doing some body sculpting and trying
to eat as healthy as possible. I too am going to try this and see if it
will help me reduce body fat and hopefully help me out with allergies
here in Central Texas. They have been really awful this year and I am
wondering if some of that is diet related. I have been drinking tea and
using local honey and that has not been very successful so I am willing
to try anything at this point.

This diet consists of lean grass
fed or wild caught fish or game, brown rice, quinoa and organic
vegetables and some nuts, and seeds. I am also using coconut oil, and
grape seed oils to cook with. I am going to try and also eat 5-6 times a
day to keep my metabolism up and to stave of cravings of foods that
would be toxic, like a candy bar, or pizza. If you decide to try this I
am sure you will have to individualize what will suit your needs.  Here
are a few sites that if you are interested in a Paleo Diet or getting
more info




Bread Recipes : www.paleobreadrecipe.com

Connect with other foodies at: https://www.facebook.com/TheTexasFoodNetwork

you are interested in starting or are on this diet already please let
me know how this is working out for you? I am always interested in
gaining more information or knowledge about people and their diet. Have a
great day!

Original Source : http://chefshelleypogue.com/blog/

Herb Coeur a La Creme recipe by Ina Garten

Ina does everything really well in my opinion, and reminds me
of Julia Child in a lot of ways…..by far my favorite current day
chef. This is an easy appetizer for your party or event and will be a hit!

I am always looking for ideas to help out in a pinch for guests or catering events when I am drawing a blank on an appetizer to go with certain menu selections. There are many that like to have a gourmet cheese and fruit plate and this is one to add to the cheese collection. This recipe is very easy and will come in handy when trying to get something to the table for hungry dinner guests. I love how Ina seems to keep it simple, and this is a good recipe for quick and easy appetizers.


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If looking for a personal chef in the Austin, Round Rock, or Cedar Park Texas area please contact Chef Shelley Pogue @ http://chefshelleypogue.com

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Coffee Crumb Cake

Coffee Crumb Cake

Cake? Healthy? Yup! This
mid-morning snack is made with whole grains and antioxidant rich
blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries — all heart-healthy and loaded
with fiber to keep you feeling full, says Brennecke.


1/3 cup steel-cut oats

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon canola oil

5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese

1 1/3 cups evaporated cane juice

3 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 pound fresh blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries

2 cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a 10-inch round cake
pan with canola oil spray and dust with all-purpose flour.
2. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and canola oil in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, and cane
juice in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat
until just combined.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another large bowl.
5. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix briefly. Add
3/4 cup of the buttermilk and mix briefly. Add the remaining flour
mixture and mix until just combined. Add the remaining buttermilk and
mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with the blueberries.
Sprinkle the crumb topping and pecans evenly over the top of the batter.

7. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the cake 180 degrees and bake for an
additional 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes
out clean. Cool on a wire rack until the cake pulls away from the pan.
Cut into 16 slices to serve.

Each serving contains:

310 calories

45 g carbohydrate

13 g fat

5 g protein

229 mg sodium

2 g fiber


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