Category Archives: pork

cookin’ thyme with chef jen

Last month, Chef Jen Story of Cookin’ Thyme personal chef and catering hosted a cooking class for the women from my church where we made we three brunch dishes in our commercial kitchen.

Here’s what we made:


Chef Jen had all the ingredients and kitchen tools laid out and she took time to explain/demo the process before we split up into groups. Yes, there were lots of eggs and butter. On a sidenote, I took a nap after this class. The delectable meal was food coma inducing.

mise_en place

brulee sauceShe put us to work! The ladies were making a brown sugar/butter reduction for the creme brulee French toast (bakes in the oven). OMG, aroma of warm gooey goodness.

sausageHomemade pork sausage making action.

Check out the finished dishes; vegetable and cheese frittata (12 eggs each tray), French toast, and pork sausage (not pictured).



Praying for our meal before the chow down. Man, we were starving! Big thanks and shout out to Cathy who made these crafty center pieces. Showcasing just some of the talents of our lovely ladies.

Chef Jen did an awesome job walking us through the dishes and helping us manage the short time (about 3 hours). She also explained cooking techniques that she picked up in culinary school and her experience in commercial kitchens. Hands down, the creme brulee French toast was my favorite dish I look forward to making. It was soft, sweet, and the bananas Foster w/Grand Marnier elevated the dish (more chef-y). Really melted in my mouth and the frittata resembled a custard texture, so lovely. Perfect complement to the sweetness of the first dish.

I actually was referred to Chef Jen from a friend, Christine of feedmysole who hired her for another event. Chef Jen has her own cooking facility in Lawndale where she hosts events like multi-course meals and cooking classes. Check out her website and facebook page for more details. I loved the experience and highly recommend her! FYI: She was a contestant on the Food Network’s Chopped and the episode airs on April 7th (curious if she took home the 10K prize). Go Chef Jen!

Iron Chef, challenge pork tenderloin

Over the weekend, our church’s young adult ministry had an Iron Chef competition where 4 teams of 2-3 people had just one hour to cook a winning dish using the following ingredients:

– pork tenderloin

– strawberries

– brussel sprouts

– spicy brown mustard

– frozen tater tots

Here’s what the teams made:

collage of foodAnd the judges that critiqued us


Doesn’t one judge look particularly intense? 🙂

Team Sandra and Min came out the winners (bottom right plate) as their food was the best. I loved their brussel sprout slaw with green apple and Parmesan cheese.. addicting. Their mustard apricot sauce for the pork was beautiful and tasty. Their dessert was not only beautiful but light and flavorful with the addition of vanilla bean seeds.. seriously gourmet stuff.

Winning 2nd place, our food (top left) left an impression with the way we mashed up the tater tots like a hash brown to make it nice and crisp. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make a dessert but nonetheless, stood by our food.

Team Fred and Owen won the kids’ votes (bottom left) with their tonkatsu and bacon fried rice (mmm..bacon). We were all impressed with their homemade katsu sauce!

Team Jack and Dave’s signature item was their 2 kinds of chimichurri to go with the pork. Pastor Joel was so funny. He didn’t know how to spell it and wrote it out in Korean on his comment form.

Overall, it was a fun experience despite slicing part of a fingernail off with 2 minutes left in the competition (thanks GL for being the medic). I’m proud of our team! It was funny seeing everyone looking exhausted (and relieved it was over) at church the next day.

team pic