It had been a long day filled with failed promises and I had many loose threads to connect, but it was already 6:30 and the boys were beginning their routing in the kitchen for snacks. I had to get dinner on the table before the gremlins devoured the contents of every package of any processed food they could find in the cabinets. If I didn’t get something made soon my window to pump nutrition into their bodies would be lost. Like a spider who knows he’s going to go hungry for the night because his web has not been completed, I crawled out to make some food. Left alone, there would be no dinner made, just raw veggie and protein concoctions, a little fuel so that I could keep on weaving.
Once upon a time, long long ago, but not too far away, I cooked. One could even go so far as to say I cooked well. But I became obsessed with writing and creating content, and my cooking suffered. When I met Susie Jimenez, my Celebrity Chef friend ( I latched on, knowing that if I hung out long enough with her, my passion for food and cooking would be reignited. Something had to give!
Susie began her relationship with food picking fruit with her parents, who came to California from Mexico. To pursue her food passion, Susie attended the California Culinary Academy and later worked as manager, line cook, sous chef and executive chef at several restaurants. She has been a favorite on Food Network and has shows on many different channels including; The Sportsman Channel, Go RVing, and HipLatina. Wherever there is an opportunity to teach students and adults about cooking with a variety of techniques and flavors, Susie takes it.
The way my three boys + Baddy saw it in my “life before Susie” was that I was trying too hard with my cooking. “Dumb it down a notch or two, and don’t try to be such a gourmand,” they’d say in unison, backing each other up as their lanky skinny-ass bodies transformed toward the studly right before my eyes. “We’re staaaaarviiing,” they’d chirp with their baby bird-like mouths open.
I did what I could to spark their interest in being in the kitchen, convincing Tuck Tuck to do his six grade Aspen Middle School mentorship at Brunelescchi’s, mentored by Brev’s “hot” Freshman cooking teacher who taught him how to make his favorite Fettucini Alfredo meal. Brev also LOVES making Panini’s, inspired by Katherine Rhynus Cesark, Chef and Ceramist extraordinaire. But more often than not he seems to forget how much he loves to cook and sounds like Chazz yelling for his meatloaf.
My least favorite line when I’d finally get into the kitchen to concoct something was, “What’s for dinner?”, and the more they complained about the food I was cooking, the more I lost my desire to feed them. Let’s just tell it like it is, shall we? I like my food fresh and raw. Not slaughtered, and since I wasn’t cooking food I enjoyed, I went through the motions of cooking instead of enjoying the experience, as I once did when the boys were too little to know any better, a time where Baddy was much better at coalescing.
The drudgery of cooking soon changed when Susie began to camp out at our house for one night here, one night there, while catering for the rich and famous on our road. If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ll already know that Susie and I bonded over a high frequency media dinner at True Nature Healing Arts Center in Carbondale during Sacredfest. Our next bonding session was when I attended Susie’s Taste of the Valley event in Carbondale. That sealed the deal. Now Susie and I are doing as much as we can together, bringing in the AspenRealLife crew to capture the spirit of two women quickly becoming the wind beneath each other’s wings; a petite, low maintenance, unfiltered, crossfit pro and Chef celebrity chef who’s not afraid to get dirty, together with a blogger of a Mass mom with three teen boys. Both with badass husbands.
That is why Susie and I are embarking on a new road together where we document her bringing her incredibly fresh and healthy recipes to my family, brightening up our kitchen, and thus our lives. We also are partaking on experiencing the adventures offered by businesses … all over the world (If you want to be on our show, or be a sponsor, please email [email protected]).
ON THE MENU TODAY: Pork Wraps with Shredded Chicken and Toasted Quinoa
Before embarking on prep for this recipe, know that Susie used whatever she could find in my kitchen and she does NOT do measurements. Feel free to improvise, and watch the video for tips and to measure for yourself with your eyes.
2 lbs Ground Pork
2 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
Live Butter Lettuce
Spices such as; cumin seed, sesame seeds to add nutty flavor, dried chopped onions, oregano
Buck Knives, Edible Aspen, Roaring Fork Spice
Shredded Chicken and Toasted Quinoa Recipe
Pour enough water over chicken to cover and boil in a saucepan.
Once chicken starts to boil put it on a five minute timer
Shred Poached Chicken (watch video to see how)
Make Your Quinoa Susie’s Way: Add enough olive oil to saucepan to cover bottom of pan, measure out quinoa into pan and toast (don’t walk away). When the Quinoa begins to crunch (listen), and smells delicious, add your water (usu. twice the amount of water to Quinoa). Add spices.
Peel carrots into strips
Slice cucumbers into oval rings
Whisk together soy sauce, garlic, Lime or lemon juice, Dijon, Ginger Zested, Sriracha Sauce (watch video to eyeball measurements).
Stir together Feta, Parmesan, Cilantro, Sauce, Shredded Chicken
Saute Pan on Med.
Break it up to crumble.
Add your spices; chopped onion, oregano, Garam Marsala spice, rosemary, mustard seed.
Place cooked pork inside lettuce leaves with veggies, cilantro, soy sauce on top, eat like a taco.
Want more of Susie as she goes off road with GO RV? Follow her on her Facebook Page
Thank you for completely enhancing our cooking experience Buck Knives with our most beautiful wooden handled knives, and thank you Scott Leysath, The Sporting Chef, for being a part of our inner sanctum!!
Stuffed pepper with quinoa and chickenTo read more about Susie, visit her website here.