Books, Cooks, Aprons and more!

Books, Cooks, Aprons and more!

“Eat in Color!” is my new cookbook filled with colorful dishes for you to whip up and enjoy.  There’s nothing quite like cooking and eating with friends and family so I’ve added a lot of meals sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.  For the cooks out there, I hope you will try these colorful dishes and change them up to fit your needs and tastebuds.  I always look at a cookbook as a blueprint, a foundation to build on and grow with and that’s what I’d like you to do with my recipes…build on them and create your special meal.

We also have aprons on sale in both black and white for when you’re cooking (from “Eat in Color!”).  They are beautifully embroidered with my logo and “Cooking with Chef Renée” on them.  Get one for yourself or get two with one to share or as a gift at your cook-with-me-party.


We are also gearing up for our brand NEW monthly events “Meet ‘n Eat!”   “Meet ‘n Eat” is a monthly networking and meet-up opportunity for young professional singles to get together and eat and have drinks and just enjoy one another.  Tentatively the events are being scheduled at Upward Hartford but check each month to see if the venue has changed.  There will be a nominal fee (to cover food cost…guess who’s cooking).  So get your “car washed and your hair done too…come looking fly in your suit…” thank you Beyonce!  This is a great chance to get a delicious meal, enjoy the scenic view (right at sunset) from the 17th floor and meet new and interesting people.  



My NEW cookbook is here! Available for pre-ordering now!

Hello and let me say it seems like forever since we chatted!  Lol. Below is what I’ve been working on…my first ever cookbook!  I wanted to share it with you and let you know how much I appreciate each of you for your support and understanding.  It’s filled with colorful dishes and there’s something for everyone in it (I hope!).  This has truly been a long project but so very rewarding.  I hope you will sit and read a few of the recipes then glide into the kitchen and prepare a delicious, colorful meal for yourself, your family or anyone visiting.  Just enjoy!  Please let me know what you think about it!New Book Cover

Kimchi and Seafood Soup

Kimchi and Seafood Soup


1½ tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil

½ tablespoon of sesame oil

3 ounces fresh breech mushrooms (or your favorite mushroom)

½ small onion, diced

2 scallions, divided (bottoms and tops) bias cut

1 celery stalk, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 quarts of seafood stock

½ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 bunch of bok choy, green parts only, chopped

1 pound cod, cut into chunks

1 pound of shrimp, deveined, shells removed

3 tablespoons miso

2 cups kimchi (cabbage), drained and chopped


Method of Preparation

In a large Dutch oven add both oils and heat on medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms and onions and cook until the mushrooms turn brown.

Add in the garlic, ginger, celery and scallion bottoms.  Cook for another 3 minutes or until fragrant.

Pour in the stock, wine and sprinkle with turmeric.  Bring to a boil uncovered.

Reduce heat and add the bok choy and cilantro and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add the kimchi and miso.  Stir together using the soup to thin.

Add the seafood.  Cover and cook until the seafood is done.

Remove the pot from the stove to prevent over cooking the fish and serve.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro.



A Great Meal for Bone Health

A Great Meal for Bone Health

“Salmon with Garlic-Dill Yogurt Sauce”

As osteoporosis month comes to a close let’s continue to be mindful about good care for our bones.  This meal is bone supportive and anti-inflammatory as it contains essential ingredients like calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and other important nutrients that our bodies need for healthy bone development and maintenance.  Foods such as yogurt, kale, broccoli and bok choy (to name a few) are calcium rich; but we also need foods such as salmon which contains vitamin D to help the calcium move through our bodies. Magnesium is another thing our bodies need in healthy bone development.  It is found in foods like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, quinoa, sweet potatoes and black beans which help neutralize acids formed in the body and that could over time cause bone loss.  Potassium is another essential component in developing healthy bones.  Potassium aids in  increasing bone formation.  It also helps in neutralizing acids that would otherwise have a negative impact on our bones.  Foods rich in potassium are romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, plums, prunes and other foods found in this recipe.  So go ahead…be Bone Healthy and enjoy your food while you’re at it!  Let me hear from you soon and thanks for stopping by!

Garlic-Dill Yogurt Sauce


1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 lime wedges

1 tablespoon shallot, diced

3/4 teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon dried dill weed

3 to 4 tablespoons water, as needed

fresh ground pepper, as needed

Method of Preparation

In a small pan, drizzle a little oil.  Sauté shallots and garlic.  Squeeze lime wedges into pan.   Add 2 tablespoons of water and remove from heat.  In a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and stir.  Combine the shallot mixture.  Pour mixture into a blender or a Nutribullet and process until desired consistency.  Add remaining water if needed.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


Seared Salmon


4 – 2.5 oz. cuts of Wild Salmon

Chipotle paprika seasoning

Pinch of kosher salt

1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil

¼ teaspoon lemon pepper, optional

Method of Preparation 

Season the salmon.  Rub the seasoned fish with oil.  Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium-high heat.  Drizzle with a little oil.  Sear the salmon for about 3 or 4 minutes on the first side, turn it over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.   Proper cooking temperature for salmon is 145ºF.

Rainbow Vegetables with Prune Dressing


2 cups each kale, red cabbage, bok choy, broccoli and romaine lettuce                                              

1 small sweet potato, diced                                                                                                               

2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves                                                                                            

Pumpkin seeds, garnish                                                                                                          

Almonds sliced, garnish                                                                                                        

Sunflower seeds, garnish                                                                                                         

Cognac Prune Dressing

Kosher salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste

Method of Preparation 

1.  In a large pan drizzle a little oil.  Sauté bok choy and remove to a bowl.

2.  Sauté kale with a pinch of salt and parsley.  Add to the bowl with the bok choy.

3.  Drizzle a little oil to the pan and add the sweet potatoes to the pan.  Add a little water to steam the potatoes and allow to evaporate.  Add the potatoes to the bok choy mixture.

4.  Drizzle a little more oil to the pan and add the red cabbage.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

5.  Add some of the Cognac Prune Dressing to the pan and continue to sauté the cabbage for        another minute.

6.  Add the cabbage to the vegetable mix and stir.  Stir in the romaine lettuce.

7.  Garnish with sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds.

Prune Dressing


12 prunes, pitted, chopped

2 ounces of Cognac

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/3 cup all natural grape juice

1/3 cup of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons water

1 shallot, finely chopped

Kosher salt, to taste

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Avocado or Extra-virgin olive oil

Method of Preparation

  1. In a pan drizzle a little oil.
  2. Add the shallots and stir.
  3. Add the thyme and prunes, reduce heat to medium and stir.
  4. Add the broth and molasses.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Allow to cool. Place in a blender or Nutri-bullet and process.  If too thick add water a tablespoon at a time.
A Simple Seared Salmon Salad

A Simple Seared Salmon Salad

What is it about Salmon that we love so much?  Is it the beautiful color of the fish?  Is it that its quick and easy to prepare?  Or could it be because of all the yummy vitamins and nutrients we get from it.  I don’t know your reason, but I just love the little fish and you are like me, well, you are in luck as it is salmon season!  That’s right, it’s here.  You can get all the fresh salmon you want. Salmon season began in  April and runs straight through November.  (So be sure to check your local grocery store and ask the fish monger, “Excuse me, but what day is your salmon delivered?”)  Lol

FYI:  Here are some of the vitamins and minerals we get from our up-stream swimming friends:  Vitamins B3, B6 and B12; we’ve got Vitamin D and selenium.  But don’t stop there!  We’ve got Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Protein too!

Don’t overcook it nor feel intimidated when you see it in the store instead, feel encouraged and follow the recipe below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Seared Salmon with Salad

4- 4 oz salmon filets

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 tablespoon Blackening Seasoning

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tablespoons butter

Juice of ½ lemon

4 cherry tomatoes

1 peach, diced

2 cups (packed) Arugula

2 cups (packed) Mixed Greens

Balsamic Glaze

Your favorite vinaigrette (I used Lemon – Honey)

Method of Preparation

  1.  Season the filets with the seasonings.  Drizzle with EVOO and rub into filets.  Set aside.
  2. Place a large pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  3. Drizzle the pan with the olive oil and add the butter (when you are ready to put the fish in the pan).
  4. When the butter has melted add the salmon, skinned side a cook until easy to move and nice crisp has formed on the top of the fish.
  5. Place the entire pan into the oven and cook until desired temperature.  The proper cooking temperature for fish is 145ºF.  Please fish, cook and eat responsibility.
  6. Allow fish to sit while you prepare the salad.
  7. Place the lettuce and arugula in a large bowl and mix with a small amount of your favorite vinaigrette.  Place a handful onto each plate.
  8. Add tomatoes and peach bites on the plate.
  9. Dot with drops of glaze around the salad and top with the salmon (crispy, non skin side up).  Enjoy!
Cold Pea Soup with Seared Salmon

Cold Pea Soup with Seared Salmon

Today's Soup: Chilled Pea Soup with Salmon and butter crisp (The trick is in blanching the peas in a delicious broth!)

Cold Pea Soup with Seared Salmon

I was trying to think of something colorful and flavorful to serve at an event and ran across a few recipes that caught my eye, one of which was Tyler Florence’s “Chilled Pea Soup.”  Now I love Tyler Florence (a JWU graduate like myself, “Hello Alum!”) and his recipes and books are  colorful, flavorful, insightful and thoughtful; all the things I look for in a good cookbook, let me change that, a great cookbook.  His recipes have passion in them and that’s important to me.  So I made his recipe exactly as he wrote it and it was very good…but, I thought I could “Renéerize it!”  Yep! I said it.  A completely made up word but just roll with me.  Lol.  I changed it a bit to suit my tastebuds and I like the changes.

I thought the peas could use a little more flavoring so I blanched them in a broth which contained onion, garlic, salt and turmeric.  The flavor profile was incredible and just what the Pea doctor ordered.  Every ingredient worked together creating a taste that should have a star.  The seared salmon was also a different and unusual ingredient but held its own with the soup and gave texture to the dish.   I have had many request for the recipe so here it is!  I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did and of course…feel free to personalize it!

Cold Pea Soup with Seared Salmon


2 cups frozen peas

4 quarts water

1 onion, quartered

3 garlic cloves, smashed

½ teaspoon turmeric

15 oz vegetable broth

¼ cup garlic infused olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of white pepper

Salt, to taste

Toasted bread crumbs , for topping

Seared Salmon

8 – 10 oz Salmon, cut into single-serve pieces

juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon Hot Paprika

¼ teaspoon Fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Chili paste, to taste

10 mint leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

Pinch of brown sugar

Olive oil

Method of Preparation

  1. In a large pot add water, onion, garlic and turmeric.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Using a strainer, remove the onion and garlic and dispose of them.  Add the peas to the boiling water and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes (or until vibrant green).  Remove immediately.
  3. In a blender, add peas, broth (which will cool the peas down), lemon juice and pinch of pepper. Blend until smooth.  Slowly add the olive oil and continue to blend.
  4. Remove from blender to a container and add salt to taste. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  1. For the salmon. Preheat oven to 375ºF.   Mix paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt and brown sugar together in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  2. On a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet, add salmon pieces.
  3. Pour ½ of the lemon juice over salmon. Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with seasonings.
  4. Using a heavy-bottomed pan heat on medium-high heat. Drizzle pan with oil.
  5. Place salmon pieces, seasoned side down in pan. Sear until dark.  Turn salmon over and place pan in oven to finish cooking salmon.
  6. Cook until salmon is cooked pink all around (about 8 minutes).*
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest until completely cooled.
  8. In the meantime, add remaining lemon juice, mint and chili paste to a bowl.
  9. When salmon is cooled. Flake and add to lemon juice mixture.   Season with salt and pepper if desired and as needed.

To serve:   Remove soup from the refrigerator and stir to mix.  Pour serving of soup into a container and top with a  sprinkle of salmon mixture.  Sprinkle toasted bread crumbs on top and serve.










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