Chef Rebecca bio picture

Welcome to my Blog!

Aloha I’m Chef Rebecca. Welcome to my blog. Chefs are ultimately in the pleasure business and anyone that enjoys cooking should consider themselves a chef. Webster’s dictionary states that a chef is a skilled cook who manages the kitchen. I would venture to say that this would include anyone who enjoys cooking. To that end, I would like to share some of my life’s experiences in the kitchen that will add flair to your ordinary dishes. And this will bring your friends and family together.

Before the Seabury Craft’s Fair

We are gearing up for the annual Seabury Craft’s Fair held annually the Saturday before Mother’s Day. And what does this have to do with a food blog? Well, duh, somebody has to feed the boys so they can do their work! Had a lot of prep work for the fair in terms of our new “Chromaplex” series. My boys got engrossed in their work and I was hungry. Usually, the boys are hungry first, but c’mon, a girl has a right to be hungry now and then.

So there was breakfast, albeit, brunch (9:30 am). What do I have in the fridge that will work for a manly brunch? I found some ham, oh and about 2 TBSP of leftover hollandaise sauce. How about an omelet Benedict? Take some diced onions, diced ham, add to that the leftover Hollandaise sauce – ready for the insides. Grate some cheese (I used sharp black label variety), and oh my, I have some Haas Avos ripe from the tree (the truth is, I have to make sure I pick the lower ones first – I have caught my dogs picking and eating them before I get there!).

The other item leftover in the fridge was some brown sweet rice. I’m thinking’ cheese rice and omelet. Got the omelet filling prepped and am now ready to put it all together. The rice in one pan and the eggs in the other. The trick to a great omelet is to heat the pan up to the exact temperature that one drop of egg cooks without browning. Turn the heat all the way down and pour in your eggs. Roll the pan around until even and almost cooked. Add the cheese and other ingredients and wait…wait for it…here it comes…the perfect, tender omelet.

For the cheese rice, I started with a spoonful of ghee, added the leftover rice and cooked until hot. Add a little Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and a handful of sharp cheddar…voila! Super Yumminess. I’m sure my children can remember plenty of cheese rice mornings.

My next job was getting the lawn mowed so we could put up the tent for a dry run through. Really wanted to do a little more weeding or weed eating but that was not going to work out for today.

When all was done, ended up ready for lunch about 2pm. Got some gnarly filets from Whole Foods and decided to wrap the meat in bacon and spice up with some ormus and 4 peppercorn mix. Add to this a little oyster sauce. Throw this on the bar bee and yummy! To complement the meat, we added some sliced heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ormus, pepper and blue cheese, and some raw sugar snap peas.

Cinco de Mayo 2014

So we went all day with no real Mexican food and it just seemed wrong. I know Cinco de Mayo is not a real Mexican celebration, although is does commemorate one battle’s victory, having grown up in California it was always noted.

It was time for an afternoon snack (that actually was filling enough for dinner). Looking around at my inventory, I opted for chips and guacamole. My Haas avocado tree is coming into season and I have been picking about 5 avocados every 4 or 5 days. It is taking about a week to ripen which means the mother lode will happen soon. These avos are not too large so I used 2 to make a batch of guacamole. I like to keep it simple so these are the other ingredients I added: chopped onion, diced tomato, Spike seasoning, lemon juice and garlic. The avos were so rich and creamy!

Now onto the chips. The only thing I had in the pantry was an old bag of chip pieces and I wanted something better. For some reason I had an increased supply of corn tortillas (inventory control fail) so I thought what would be better than to make fresh chips. I filled up the cast iron skillet with Grape Seed oil, cut the tortillas is sixths and fried away. As soon as they came out of the oil I sprinkled them with Ormus and voila! Add to this a bowl of salsa and some jalepeno slices I now had my Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Cranberry Sauce

Well, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means turkey and all the trimmings. Turkey is best when it has been brined for a couple of days. This helps to make the turkey really moist. You can get as creative as you want with your brine. Just start with the basics – salt and sugar, then add anything that sounds good like cloves, anise seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, oranges and lemons. The latest brine I did I even added some whole coffee beans. Yum!


Here is a great recipe for Cranberry Sauce:


Cranberry Sauce


1# Fresh Cranberries

1/2 C Fresh Orange Juice

1/2 C Water

Zest of 1 Orange

3/4 C Sugar


Rinse and sort cranberries (some will be soft or scabby looking – get rid of those).


Put Orange juice, water, zest and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil.


Add cranberries. Bring back to a boil and boil for 20 minutes.


Cool and Serve.


One of my favorite leftover meals is cold turkey with cranberry sauce. I don’t think I have ever had the canned cranberry sauce, but this fresh version is to die for.  Somehow, turkey just does not have the same oomph without cranberry sauce. When I first made this sauce I followed the recipe which was super simple – 1 C Water, 1 C Sugar and 1 pound cranberries.  What I learned is that oranges make such an amazing compliment to the cranberries that it just could not be overlooked. The great thing about using orange juice is you can also cut down on the sugar.


When in season (fall and winter), Costco brings in 2 pound bags of cranberries. Because this is kind of like a preserve or jam, it will last a long time in your fridge so I make up the whole two pounds at a time.


Another way to save the cranberries so you can have them any time of the year is to freeze them. I will take one pound portions and put them in “sucker bags” then toss them in the freezer. They thaw out quickly and work just as well for this sauce.

Family Reunions

Family reunions can be very stressful. Having to plan for more than just your immediate family can cause all sorts of problems. You know it has been said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” , and that’s what is at the root of most stressful get togethers. My problem is, that once I start planning, I end up over planning. There is a fine balance between the two.


One of the biggest issues is knowing how many people you will be accommodating. There’s the matter of plates, silverware, napkins, chairs and tables, as well as available space. Not everyone knows how to RSVP and many times a family get together lasts more than one day especially if relatives are traveling from out of town.  The only way that I have found to overcome this problem is to simply plan the best you can. Call people, get a feel for when they will be visiting. Hopefully this will give you a starting point. Always have a backup plan for those surprise drop ins that simply didn’t know they would be coming by.


Speaking of back up plans, I always have certain things in the pantry that I can use at the drop of a hat. Certain herbs and spices, some different canned foods that can be used in a pinch, snack items such as crackers chips and nuts, and of course items such as flour sugar salt and pepper that can be used in so many ways.


So remember, have the basics in stock, call around and ask for input, but most of all, after all the planning, just give in and have fun!

A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen

I was just thinking today about the bus driver I had when I was in 6th grade. She had just two rules for riding her bus:

1) A quiet bus is a happy bus

2) A clean bus is a happy bus

She was actually more adamant about rule number 2. If you were to shoot a spit wad, Clean It Up. If you want to toss your homework, Clean It Up. If you feel you need to mess with someone else’s “stuff”, Clean It Up.

Then it got me to thinking about what my mom taught me about working in the kitchen. Basically she told me the same thing in two ways:

1) A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen

2) You will never be a real chef (or cook, for that matter) if you cannot clean up after yourself.

I just want to say Thank you to both my mother (the best mother in the world) and my bus driver (the only one I had) for teaching me this valuable life lesson.

So just remember, cleaning is as important as cooking.


Ok, so the theory goes that you eat with your eyes first. I’m pretty sure that works when the food is presented, but in a real world, it’s the smell, scent, yummy aroma that hits you first. Today I am making this amazing concoction starting with simply put, ground beef. Well, not simple ground beef, organic Maui pasture fed ground beef. I pick this up at Whole Foods in Kahului and it feels good to get meat from right here at home. I have about 7 oz of ground beef to which I have added 1 medium Maui Onion roughly diced, 7 cloves of garlic chopped to perfection, a 2 inch piece of turmeric root – grated, 4 chopped roma tomatoes, and some marinara sauce.  This is going to sit together for about an hour and then I will serve it over shredded cabbage. So satisfying and sooooo good for you!

Toasted Cheese Sandwich

Ok so here’s the deal. We went to a meeting tonight and skipped dinner. By the time we got home we needed a little snack but not a whole meal, so this is how it went down. I started out with my all time favorite bread that I get from Costco – “Alpine Valley” Natural Whole Grain Organic Multi Grain bread with Omega 3’s. Now I know that is a mouthful of whole grain goodness, but I still stand by the fact that it is My favorite store bought bread. This is the beginning of the best toasted cheese sandwich – ever.  Slather one side of the bread with coconut oil and put oil side down in a preheated cast iron pan. Top with thickish (an official cooking term, I’m sure) amount of extra sharp cheddar cheese. To this we add another slice of bread that has coconut oil slathered on the top side. Brown the first side, flip and brown the second side. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there…open up this wonderful gooey delicacy and add avocado, lemon juice and spike seasoning. What a perfect late night snack, please enjoy your own version.


Well it has been a very busy week. We are hosting the class called “Flowers and Flavors” which combines photography of flower as well as food. Every day the students go out and enjoy flower farms as well as flowers out in the wild and at night we get to share a great meal together and get a new shot for my cookbook. It’s really been a lot of work but once I share some of my new images I think you will agree that it has been worth it. Here are a couple of images for you to see:

Fish with Papaya Salsa

Zucchini Boats


Cockles (or clams)

Randy and I took our weekly trip to Costco today. We have decided that the best time to hit Costco is as early as can be on a Saturday morning. It seems to fit in our schedule and although I don’t like being out in public before 10 am except on Sundays, I would rather not deal with the crowds that come at noon. While I was perusing through the seafood section, I came across a big bag of Cockles. Cockles are a form of clams and can be treated in the same way. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, but if any of you have followed my blog at all you know that I am willing to try. Well try I did and this is the recipe that I came up with. I was really pleased with it and I hope you are too.


Cockles (or clams) in White Wine Sauce

5# Cockles, rinsed and scrubbed (yes, they are dirty)

12” skillet 2 1/2”deep with secure lid

3T olive oil

1/2 C finely chopped garlic (about 2 flowers)

1 C finely chopped tomatoes

2 T Basil Chiffonade (thin strips)

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 sprinkle of red pepper flakes

3 T Unsalted Butter

2 T finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish


Heat skillet to medium and add olive oil and garlic. Saute for about 2-3 minutes, then add the tomato, basil and red pepper flakes, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes. Open a bottle of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay work well) and pour the entire bottle in the pan. Cook on high for about 2 minutes then add the clams (cockles), turn to medium and cook 3-5 minutes until all clams have opened. Discard any clams that do not open. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon. With a slotted spoon, fish out all of the clams and put into a serving dish. Keep covered so as to not loose all the heat while you reduce the sauce on high for about 20-30 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced by at least one half, turn off the heat and add 3 T unsalted butter. Stir until melted, pour over clams, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy. This dish works great with a few slices of toasted bagette or some sort of sourdough bread.



Rack of Lamb

We were doing our weekly Whole Foods shopping and they had just received some local Maui lamb. I usually only get the lamb chops, but Randy thought it would be fun to try the rack of lamb. I have never cooked a rack of lamb before, but I was willing to give it a shot. Needless to say it was a raving success and now Randy thinks I should fix this dish at least once a week!

Rack of Lamb

Allow 1 rack for each couple.




For Crust:

1/2 C Italian Bread Crumbs

4 T Minced Garlic

1 T Finely Chopped Rosemary

Zest of 1 Lemon

1 T Dijon Mustard

2 T Olive Oil

Mix together and set aside.


For Lamb:

1 – 7 bone Rack of Lamb, frenched

Olive oil

Kosher Salt

Coarse Pepper



Start gas grill warming – our goal is to reach a temperature of 450 degrees. If you don’t have a barbeque you can cook this in your oven at 450 degrees.

Mix together crust ingredients and set aside.

Cover rack of lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat up cast iron skillet and sear all searable sides (bones curve the wrong direction so you cannot sear that side).

Let cool 5 minutes.

Slather crust mixture on lamb, then put on top rack in BBQ, bone side down.

Cook for 15 minutes or until instant read thermometer reads your desired doneness.

Remove from heat, cover with foil and let rest 10-15 minutes.

Carve between the ribs and serve.