Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Yummy~issimo: My Recipe for Double Truffle Beef Tenderloin

Well, Christmas is almost over and, as always, I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, the right one, my hands hurt from double duty chopping and whisking. But on the other hand, the left one, I wish we could keep the feeling of peace and kindness that seems to be in abundance this time of year.

Santa Adam
Originally uploaded by

So I arrived at the Cristo's beautiful home yesterday morning, pots and pans in tow and enough bags of food to feed an army. Santa Adam was waiting for me, singing hat, blinking red nose and Christmas jammies.

First things first. Adam makes the most incredible cappuccino of all time. Move over Starbucks. His double cappuccino, double foam and extra cinnamon is a work of art. After my shot of caffeine, I'm ready to cook.

The entire family was going to be at dinner as well as several friends for the pre~dinner cocktail party. The food had to be magnificent. The appys:

Marinated Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with Dill and Garlic Aioli
Smoked Salmon Red Pepper Dip with assorted crackers
Stuffed and Baked Baby Bellas
Prosciutto and Gruyere Pastry Pinwheels
With two vegetarians in the dinner group, I always need a WOW salad. A few days ago I was fooling around with some pomegranates and decided to make a pomegranate vinegar. This stuff is absolutely incredible! Look for the pomegranate vinegar and my soon~to~be world famous Pomegranate and Shallot Vinaigrette Salad Dressing under the Yummy~issimo! label sometime in the near future.

They didn't want the typical Christmas dinner fare of beef tenderloin, lamb or ham. No seafood either. That left chicken. For dinner:

Microgreens Salad with Baby Oranges with Pomegranate and Shallot Vinaigrette
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Artichokes and Herbed Goat Cheese
Couscous and Spicy Mango Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Shallots, Sage and Balsamic
Risotto with Parmesan, Sun~Dried Tomatoes and Baby Peas
Double Cheese Spinach Gratin
With sweet husband Tim helping in the clean up, I was home in front of the fire with a glass of wine by 8:30.

Red Nose Tim
Originally uploaded by
Speaking of sweet husband, he really got into the Christmas spirit this year!

Sweet husband is really excited about his Christmas present this year. I bought a 42" HD flat screen plasma TV with DVR. It's going to be installed in the wall over the fireplace on Thursday. For the last 20 years I've fought the idea of a TV in the family room but I guess this year he can watch the Bowl games in front of the fire.

Originally uploaded by
This is the first year that we could actually have a Christmas dinner together and we invited his sister, Judy, and her husband, Alan, to join us. After cooking for everyone and her sister this month, it was really nice to be at home in my comfy clothes in my kitchen cooking dinner for the people I love.

Double Truffle Beef Tenderloin
4 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
2t Truffle salt
1t fresh cracked black pepper
White truffle oil for drizzling
Remove beef tenderloin from refrigerator at least 3 hours prior to cooking. Sprinkle with truffle salt and cracked pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 475. Unwrap tenderloin and roast 30~35 minutes. Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 135. Tent loosely with foil and allow to rest at least 30 minutes and up to one hour. Slice and drizzle with white truffle oil. Yummy~issimo!

Merry Christmas. May 2008 be filled with peace, love, happiness, good food and great wine!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It Was One of Us!

So yesterday's Horoscope for Virgos was a bit ominous:

You've got a whodunit on your hands. There are several suspects, but don't jump to conclusions until you do some thorough investigating. The answer isn't so obvious.

Horoscopes are like fortune cookies ~ fun to read but I'm not going to bet my life's savings (such as they are) on my "lucky" numbers.

And, then the phone rings.

Hi, this is Debbie.

No salutation. Never a good start to the conversation.

I need you to cook for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day brunch. There will be 8 for dinner and 14 for Brunch. I want beef tenderloin, potatoes, yada, yada, yada. For Christmas Day I want yada, yada, yada.
By now I've gone into a self~induced coma.

Uh, ma'am, do you realize that Christmas Eve is only four days away?

Of course I know that! That's why I'm calling you. Do you think I can do all this by myself?
Am I on Candid Camera or am I being punk'd by one of my friends?

Ryan, is that you?

Uh, ma'am. I'm sorry but I've been booked for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day since August. Unfortunately, there's no way I can squeeze you in.

Is there another Personal Chef who can do it?
Yeah, in addition to keeping all of their calendars, I can guarantee that they would love to spend 8~10 hours planning, shopping and cooking as well as losing money as the cost of goods for the Christmas Eve dinner will probably be close to the total amount you're willing to pay.

Well, you can call the other Personal Chefs in town, but I have to tell you that this close to Christmas I have to believe they're all booked.

The whodunit it obvious and I'm not dooin it.

I looked around the kitchen. Nobody behind the kitchen island with a hidden camera. Nobody in another room laughing as they hang up their cell phone.

Are you sure I'm not being punk'd?

Russ, is that you?

Nope. Unfortunately the answer was obvious.

It was one of us.

An overworked, stressed~out person in charge of the family holiday, gifts and food who works more than full time, has no personal time and is expected to pull miracles out of the skillet for Christmas.

Good luck, my dear. When you reach my age, you realize you can't do it all.

But with the grace of Bacchus, you won't care!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Green Tea Martinis at Lunch

So I attended sweet husband Tim's office holiday party today.

You know the routine.

The entire office, including spouses, shows up at the restaurant for lunch. They stick us in a private room far away from normal people. Silly hats, Secret Santa gag gifts, Christmas muzak on the sound system.

In years past there have been a large selection of soft drinks for our dining pleasure.

This year, party central was at Soho. Soho Japanese Bistro is a great sushi restaurant where I just happen to know the bartender, Ian. Well, you'd know Ian too if you'd spent as much time there as I have in the last couple of years.

So, sweet husband is having a Dr. Pepper with his steak and shrimp and I get all wild and crazy and order a Green Tea Martini. Ian makes a kickbutt Green Tea Martini.

Sweet husband is ready to hide under the table.

Green Tea Martini disappeared entirely too quickly for polite company.

Sweet husband's feet are barely visible under the tablecloth.

So the server comes around seeing who else needed soda refills. Not me.

Ian walks in ~ of course I'm sitting as far away from the door as possible and he has to pass by every one of the firm's Partners to get to me ~ proudly offering me his holiday gift of another Green Tea Martini.

I just couldn't hurt his feelings.

Well, green is the color of the season. And Green Tea is really really good for you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm a Personal Chef...Of Course I Can DO Desserts!

It's that time of year again and all the folks who think that a Personal Chef service is a substitute for dinner at Bob Evans or Olive Garden are calling me.

I think it's a conspiracy to drive me crazier.

Hi, this is Chef Debbie.

Hi. I want to give a gift certificate for Christmas. I want 2 weeks worth of meals with no repeats for a single person.

OK. Let me make sure I understand ~ you want 14 single serving individual meals with no repeats.


OK. The price for that is $$.

What! It's just food for two weeks.

Yes ma'am. Let me explain how a Personal Chef service works...

Hi, this is Chef Debbie.

Hi. I want to buy a Gift Certificate for a friend. His wife just died and I thought I'd get a Personal Chef service instead of flowers.

What a nice thought. I can do one week's worth of meals for $$ and two weeks worth of meals for $$.

I just wanted to get this instead of flowers. I thought I'd spend about $75.

I understand but let me explain how....

Hi, this is Chef Debbie.

I want to buy a Gift Certificate for my boss for Christmas. We're all going in and can spend $$. What can I get for that?
Happy Meals for everyone?

Well, what do you think you and your office workers want for your boss?

We thought we could get food for a few weeks or maybe a dinner party.

Uh, let me explain...

And, finally the best one of the day.

Hi, this is Chef Debbie.

Hi. I want to purchase dessert for 8 for Christmas Day. I'd like two dozen Christmas cookies in all different shapes and some Christmas candy. Maybe something exotic like Peppermint Fudge or something like that.

Uh, ma'am I'm a Personal Chef.

Well, of course, I know that! But I just want dessert. You're a Personal Chef. Can't you do dessert?

I can do dessert. Your price will be $$$$.

Note to self. Turn off cell phone and visit with Bacchus tonight.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Champagne with The Beach Boys

So back to last Thursday. Great friend Kristy invited sweet husband Tim and me to the grand opening of The Savannah Center. The Savannah Center is a multi~gazillion dollar conference center slash reception hall slash private party hall in West Chester.

Kristy said it's going to be a great party and one we can't miss. And Kristy knows parties.

I hadn't even heard of it. Needless to say, if I'd pull my head out of the oven once in a while maybe I'd know what's going on in the world.

So we get all dressed up and you know how much I love to do that (sarcasm intended). Makeup, high heels, blow~dried hair, little party purse which holds no more than the requisite tip money and business cards.

We arrive at the Center and immediately after we walk through the door there are servers in black tie with trays of champagne. Whoohoo! My kind of party!

Long story short. Open bar with top shelf everything all night, so many different buffet stations that I lost count, a sushi bar, a beef tenderloin bar, raw bar and a dessert station that was so beautiful it could make you cry. Even with the masses of people who were invited, I never had to wait in line for anything ~ that's how many servers, bartenders and food stations they had set up. Saw tons of old friends and acquaintances. Funny how I haven't seen many of them in a long while but they all knew I was a Certified Personal Chef and owner of
Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service.

And if that's not enough reason to have a great time, there was a private concert by The Beach Boys. Now knowing spoiled brat for a long time, Kristy had VIP tix for sweet husband and me. That meant a private "meet~n~greet" with the BBs with 2nd row seats for the concert. Well when the concert started, Mike Love invited the first few rows to come up to stand by the stage.

Yep. Spoiled brat. Front row, dead center champagne glass in hand.

What a way to spend a Thursday!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Terrific Thursday!

Normally Thursdays are just like any other day ~ shop, cook, clean, repeat the next day. But this week's Thursday was the best! Shane Graham, Cincinnati Bengals 2006 Pro Bowl kicker extraordinaire and a great client, wrote an article for the Cincinnati Post about his Thanksgiving dinner from Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service.

Thanksgiving at Shayne's a Blast
Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to spend the day together and count their blessings.

Some of us on the team are not from the area so our families are back in our hometowns. I have not been home for Thanksgiving in about eight years. We have games that week and practice so making it home is impossible for most players.

Sometimes players' families come to visit, but it's not easy to plan that every year when players sometimes move to a different city each year.

So this year I hosted a dinner for my teammates without family in town and those with family visiting but who live in a hotel and couldn't serve a traditional dinner.

I love to cook but being a single guy I don't cook every night just for myself. I have a chef that prepares a few healthy meals a week for me, so I'm not tempted to eat out every night.

Things worked out for my chef, Debbie Spangler, of YUMMY~ISSIMO! Personal Chef Service, to prepare the entire meal from scratch. Usually she does three meals on Thanksgiving and then has her family meal the day after. This year she spent the whole day at my home.

I had 20 people over for dinner. I had rookies, veterans who just moved to town, other players and their wives and children and staff members for the team that had family out of town.

We watched football, ate a great meal and enjoyed each other's company. It was very nice to be a part of it. I would like to thank Debbie for her time, my teammates and friends for making it a great Thanksgiving. The only downer was my family wasn't there and I missed them. I love all of them.

Thanksgiving was great but Tuesday was the exact opposite. I woke up to the news that Redskins safety Sean Taylor died after being shot in his home. It's a senseless tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, teammates, friends. I'll especially pray for a little girl who will have to grow up without knowing her father.

In case you're not lucky enough to personally know Shayne, let me tell you he's a class act and a great human being. I'm the one who is thankful for having him as a client. To learn more about Shayne Graham and his numerous charitable endeavors in Cincinnati, check his website.

As if that wasn't enough to make my Thursday terrific, sweet husband Tim and I were invited to a VIP party on Thursday night that included an open bar, amazing food and a concert. I'll write about it tomorrow. I hope the photos turned out ~ I'm not sure if they were looking blurry from moving around or if I was blurry from unlimited champagne.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Disappointing Dinner!

Met my friends Janeen and Nancy for dinner last night at Paul Sturkey's new restaurant, Mesh. With crazy schedules for all of us, it's a rare treat when we can all get together and catch up. So we braved the pouring rain and cold to meet for dinner. Chef Sturkey has owned several restaurants around Cincinnati in the past and, as a Certified Personal Chef and owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service, I'm constantly in search of good food, prepared in new and interesting ways and beautifully served.

I'd heard both good and mediocre about Mesh, so we decided to give it a try. The bar and restaurant were filled with businessmen on expense account from the Marriott across the street. As three women together ~ without a man ~ we were seated at the table closest to the kitchen door, as in we were so close to the kitchen that the servers were constantly in and out, talking to each other as they passed, and brushing our table constantly. Oh, by the way, there were quite a few empty 4~tops with a much nicer dining location than next to the kitchen. It was quite irritating.

Our server, Lauren, was visibly annoyed that we didn't want wine for the table. As Nancy was late with the bad weather and associated terrible traffic, Janeen and I had wine at the bar. None of us wanted a full dinner and we all decided to have salad and heavy appetizers. Needless to say, Lauren's body language grew even colder.

My selections:
Marinated Beet Salad $8.00 ~ described by Lauren as marinated roasted beets topped with goat cheese, spiced pecans and an orange truffle vinaigrette. In reality, it was four paper~thin slices of beet topped with a 4" high mound of goat cheese mixed with microgreens and a couple of spiced pecans on the side. I'm not quite sure where the orange truffle vinaigrette ended up but I couldn't identify it on my plate.
Grade: C-

Vegetable Trio $23.00 ~ this was not described by Lauren at all as she was pushing the the $40 venison dinner special and the $50 steak entrees. The menu describes this entree as a trio of Curry Carrot Soup with Truffled Apples, Redskin Potato Ravioli with Tomato Artichoke Emulsion and Tofu Tempura with Toasted Paprika Vinaigrette. Sounds Yummy! The curry in the soup was overwhelming ~ and I like curry. There were a couple of microscopic apple bites and I have no idea what or where the "truffled" part was. The potato ravioli was heavy and was reminiscent a periogi topped with diced tomatoes. The tofu tempura was inedible and, once again, I like tofu. Imagine uncooked tofu covered with a crunchy coating and deep fried.
Grade D

Janeen's selections:
Paul Sturkey's House Salad $8.00 ~ sun~dried tomatoes, toasted almonds, feta cheese and Sturkey's creamy balsamic vinaigrette. This is the same salad he served at his Encore Restaurants (all abruptly closed two weeks ago) and it has always been quite good.
Grade A

Atlantic Salmon $25.00
~ served with lobster mashed potatoes, French green beans and a sherry soy sauce. Lauren suggested the salmon be served medium and Janeen agreed. The salmon was medium~well bordering on well done and the lobster mashed potatoes, while a substantial serving, were quite heavy and overwhelmed the salmon.
Grade C

Nancy's selections:
Iceberg Salad $6.00 ~ 3/4 of a head of iceberg lettuce smothered with blue cheese dressing, a dab of diced tomatoes, onions and olives. Certainly not something that should ever be on a Sturkey menu.
Grade D

Mashed Potato "Poppers" $8.00 ~ a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Deep fried and dusted with Sturkey's Spice and white truffle oil. We all agreed it tasted like deep fried mashed potatoes with cayenne pepper and lemon. Once again, we weren't sure where the white truffle oil was used. Lauren didn't warn Nancy that these were quite spicy.
Grade C ~ I liked the spiciness of them while Nancy couldn't eat more than 1/2 of one.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed with the entire meal and the service. Our check was $83.00 before tip and I'm really sorry we didn't go someplace like
Ember's Restaurant or Jag's. I don't mind spending money for a great meal with good service but unfortunately that's not what I got last night.

At least my dinner companions were exceptional.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It Could Have Been a Recipe for Disaster

So I was working on Thanksgiving dinner for one of my professional athlete clients. With only 10 guests I expected an easy prep day. I had planned to be done by 5:00 and had visions of a discussion with Bacchus in front of the fire. But then whenever I expect something, it never happens the way I expect it to.

My cell phone rings. A feeling of dread, similar to the feeling you get when you hear the theme from Jaws, overcomes me.

Hi, this is Debbie.

Hi Deb, it's Shayne. I thought I better call you to let you know I invited a few more guys over.

Uh, OK. How many more did you invite?

Well, there will be about 20 now.

So do I need normal serving sizes or linebacker serving sizes?

Better count on large linebacker serving sizes.

YIKES! I'm starting to hear Jaws in stereo.
No problem. I'll have plenty of food and you don't have to worry about a thing.
It's late afternoon, the turkey has been in the brine for 8 hours already, the cornbread has been made and is crumbled ready to make dressing. Earlier in the week I fought my way through Costco and several grocery stores to get all of my supplies so I didn't have to go out on Wednesday. And here it is late Wednesday afternoon and I need to double my food production.

First things first. Send sweet husband Tim to the store. Take our turkey out of the refrigerator and add it to the one in the brine. Make more cornbread. Take a pantry inventory and see what additional side dishes I can come up with. As a Certified Personal Chef and owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in Cincinnati, it's not unusual (my tribute to Sir Tom Jones) to have the client change the menu or number of guests at the last minute. So I pull Plan B out of my apron pocket.

Here's the final menu and, yes, there were plenty of linebacker sized servings for everyone.

2 Roasted Turkeys (28 pounds worth) stuffed with Clementine oranges, apples, fennel and celery
Mashed Potatoes with homemade Turkey Gravy
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Roasted Root Vegetables with fresh herbs, olive oil and Parmesan cheese
My world famous Cranberry Chutney ~ for this recipe go to my
Yummy~issimo! website
Creamed Spinach Gratin
Orange Green Beans
Baked Sweet Corn Casserole
Southern Braised Collard Greens
Citrus Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cinnamon Glazed Carrots
Spiced Pumpkin Pie
My Grandma's Bourbon Pecan Pie
Double Deep Dish Apple Pie

My butcher was out of fresh turkeys on Friday ~ go figure ~ so sweet husband Tim and I went out to dinner. You know, there's something kind of nice about somebody else cooking for you, serving you and doing all the dishes!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yummy~issimo! Recipe for Holiday Happiness

I was at Costco today stocking up the holiday party pantry. Now, I just freaking LOVE going to Costco this time of year with all of the Christmas trees, the tacky musical reindeer, the belly dancing Santa and the screaming kids. Yeah, I just love it.

I was going through the aisles, shopping list on clipboard in hand, bluetooth in ear and eyes peeled for old people who stand in the middle of the aisles noshing their way through the entire store without buying a thing. Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea ~ I used to love the holidays just like everyone else but that was before Christmas started in mid~October. By Thanksgiving, I'm tired of the whole thing!

I've decided that this year instead of being my typical Scrooge~ette, I'm going to make an effort to relax, enjoy the season and be jolly and merry. For those of you who really know me, you know how many libations that could take on a daily basis.

Back to Costco. Have you noticed that they bring out the larger shopping carts in November? Well they do ~ and they hold about half again as much as the February through October carts hold. I passed women with carts full of toys, lots of holiday~type food like chestnuts that they have no idea how to roast, boxes of instant mashed potatoes and that world~famous stuffing in a box. Yummy!

Since Christmas is 5 weeks and 5 days away I'm going to share my personal and food recipes for holiday happiness: Spend time with the ones you love. Tell those close to you how much you love them. Open your heart to somebody who doesn't have anyone to share the holiday with ~ invite them to have dinner with you and your family. And what to have on your dinner table? A perfectly roasted turkey. Homemade cranberry chutney with Grand Marnier and spiced pecans. Country~bread dressing with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and golden raisins. Eat lots of Yummy! food and to hell with the diet.

Who needs a belly~dancing Santa with all that?

If those recipes sound good to you ~ and they are amazing ~ check out
Yummyissimo! Personal Chef Service website and you can get all three recipes to make your holiday happier.

Oh yeah, just in case I get too busy in the next few weeks: Bah Humbug!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Resting Up for the Holidays

Now I know you're going to say "But Spoiled Brat, didn't you just take a vakay?" Well, I suppose I technically did just take one, but that was six whole weeks ago! And with the holidays coming up, I need to rest as much as possible while I can ~ that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. After all, as a Personal Chef and owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in Cincinnati, I'm booked to cook for clients on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in addition to all of the holiday parties in December. Bah humbug!

So, back to Las Vegas and eating and drinking well. OK, gambling too but that's such a small part cuz you know that since I won many thousands of dollars two years ago, I haven't had quite the same winning streak. Back to the food and libation part of the vakay.

Went, again, to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants
Mon Ami Gabi a French bistro with sidewalk seating overlooking the fountains of the Bellagio. We've eaten there many times in the past several years, and one of their best desserts was a simple Strawberries Gabi ~ fresh strawberries in a simple syrup and served with a dab of Sour Cream Sorbet. At this time of year, they have Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bourbon Sauce instead of the strawberries. So we asked Super Server Missy if there was any way she could ask for the recipe. Missy came through like a champ and here's the recipe for Mon Ami Gabi's Sour Cream Sorbet (converted from grams):

Make a simple syrup of:
2 3/4c water (670g)
1 1/4c sugar (250g)
3/4c powdered glucose (160g)
1 1/4t sorbet stabilizer (6g)
2 1/4c sour cream (500g)
Makes 1 gallon.

And for those of you who know how much I love my libations, here are a couple new recipes:

Blackberry Smash ~ from the BOA Steakhouse at the Forum Shops at Caesars
1 1/2oz Belvedere Cytrus
1/2oz Marie Brizard Blackberry Liqueur
1 1/2oz fresh lemon sour
2 fresh blackberries
8~10 spearmint leaves
2 fresh blackberries, powdered sugar and sprig of mint, for garnish
In 16oz mixing glass muddle blackberries, mint and lemon sour. Add ice, Cytrus and Blackberry Liqueur. Shake until well blended and strain into ice~filled double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with blackberries and a powdered sugar~dusted mint sprig.
Makes 1 large drink

And a recipe for the Oatmeal Cookie Martini ~ from the Verandah at Four Seasons
1/4oz Goldschlager
1/2oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1/4oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1/4oz Jagermeister
Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, shake well and strain. Garnish with cinnamon dust.
Makes 1 martini

I haven't tried the Oatmeal Cookie Martini. I prefer my cookies warm and soft right out of the oven and my martinis are best left full of gin and ice. And don't even let me start about the Jager~hell!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Poked in "The Public Eye"

There are good things and bad things that happen when you're "in the eye of the media." Now, by no way am I saying that I'm a media celeb but with a segment on WGRR 103.5FM every Friday morning as well as the latest blurb in Cincinnati Magazine, Nov 2007, I do get stopped occasionally in the Yummy~mobile and asked if I'm "the radio chef" or if they've seen me on TV or in the paper.

That being said, I was hoping for some good publicity from my small blurb in CincyMag. Lest you think today was all fun, games and good whisking...

Hi, this is Debbie.
Are you the personal chef? I read about you in Cincinnati Magazine and I'm hoping you can help me for Thanksgiving dinner. I want, blah, de blah, de blah....
OK let's talk about...
I want... and want... and want... and want...
I quote a service fee plus groceries.


Uh, hello?
And again,

Hi, this is Debbie.
Same thing, different person. Until we get to the end.

I bought a full dinner from Paul Sturkey for only $169 and he's a real chef.
Guess she put me in my place!

I understand a personal chef service isn't for everyone. But did Chef Sturkey come to your home on Thanksgiving Day, cook the entire menu of only what you want to your family's exact nutritional specifications, serve you, clean up and sanitize your kitchen for said $169?

Hi, yada yada yada
At least this one had some manners.

Wow I had no idea it was so involved and that you provided such a service. Thanks so much but I can't afford you at this time.
No problem, and please call if there's anything I can do to help you in the future.
As they say, any publicity is good publicity. I'm still waiting for the good publicity.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Media Darling?

It's been a great week for seeing Chef Debbie and Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in the news.

After last week's radio remote with
WGRR 103.5FM and Queen Janeen Coyle, a 4~color photo of me making Butternut Squash and Apple Soup was in the Pulse~Journal. While they had my name correct and they did identify me as a Personal Chef, they didn't have a large enough ink budget to get my company name in the article also.

So today after a long cook day and then a run through Costco and bigg's where I had two customers and one cashier yell at me and a man in a large black SUV flip me off, I get home and open
Cincinnati Magazine, Nov 2007, for a bit of mindless relief before I start dinner. This month's magazine is about parties ~ and finding everything you could possibly need for creating fabulous party ~ caterers, DJs, decorations, valets, etc. And Personal Chefs ~ not just any Personal Chef mind you, but yours truly!

Page 154 of this highly intellectual mag is about "Nosh~Ready Cuisine."
The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who make their own chip dip, and those who do not. For the latter, there are pre~prepped dishes, elegant gourmet take~out, and vat~sized versions of the old standbys. Short of hiring a caterer, it's the best way to get "cooking." Here are a few of our favorite sources for grab~and~go eats.
Now I'm not crazy about being mentioned in the same article as The Party Source, bigg's, Jungle Jim's or Costco, there was one bright spot on this page.

Personal Chefs: You want the party to come out of your kitchen, but you don't have the time or talent? A personal chef is an alternative to a conventional caterer. You'll pay a fee plus groceries and supplies, and the chef will actually use your kitchen to cook. (Some will even fix your family recipes).
Now here comes the good part:

"I'll meet with you, talk about who'll be at your party, what they like to eat, and we'll go from there," says Debbie Spangler of Yummy~issimo! Spangler can do cocktail parties for up to 200 people, buffet~style gatherings, and sit~down family meals (www.yummyissimo.com/).
One thing though, I don't do chip dip. Dijon and wine marinated jumbo shrimp with homemade spicy cocktail sauce; Spicy bourbon glazed beef carpaccio with homemade roasted red pepper mayonnaise; Baby lamb chops with cucumber~mint relish, or a Caviar torte with champagne braised cipollini onions, yes ~ but not just plain ole chip dip.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Sick Yummy~mobile!

Today when I was leaving my Yummy client's home, the Yummy~mobile wouldn't start! Well, let me modify that. It would start but it wouldn't stay started. This client lives way out there ~ you know, go out as far as you can until the road ends, turn left, keep going for another hour, turn right at the green barn and then keep going. Yeah, I can see trying to give the Triple Thing directions out there!

For the one person in Cincinnati who hasn't seen the Yummy~mobile, let me tell you about it: A deep green Ford Expedition with the
Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service garlic logo wrapped around the back and sides. The license plates even tell a story: YUMMMMY. OK, so it is a 1999 and it does have 91K miles but until today I haven't had a bit of trouble with it.

Maybe it was because I was feeling a bit too confident in my car~ness zen. Last week we had to have sweet husband Tim's VW Passat worked on ~ to the tune of $1300. The VW was originally my car and I never had a bit of trouble with it. But when sweet husband inherited it ~ after I stole the Expedition from him ~ he's had nothing but repair bills on the VW. So I was feeling a bit too high and mighty that MY car was running just fine, thank you very much, and that I drove it so well that I never had to take it to the shop. There's some saying about pride and a fall but I can't remember what it is ever since I fell off that ladder this afternoon.

So I finally get the Yummy~mobile started, gun the motor like I'm a 15~year old with a learner's permit, and whip it into reverse. Yummy Client has a very long down~sloping driveway. Put Y~mobile in drive. Start the engine again. And again. And again. You get the idea. When I finally drive into civilization I have to put it into neutral and give it gas (OK gun it like crazy) so that it didn't die at every stop sign, street light or other pain~in~the~spatula rush hour car in my way.

Very long drive later, I get to the repair shop. Sweet husband Tim was there waiting for me and called about nine times during my nerve~racking drive there. Now, I've already packed and unpacked the Yummy~mobile twice today and now have to do it again and attempt to pack it all into the VW.

How fun.

Bacchus and I will be good friends tonight.

Oh, by the way, sweet husband is driving the third car ~ the Blue Bomb ~ until I get the Yummy~mobile back. A 1989 used~to~be blue Olds, somewhere in the neighborhood of 190K miles (we're not sure how many miles as the electronic system hasn't worked in years), no AC, no power windows, sometimes the electronic panel works and sometimes it doesn't and then there's the left front tire that doesn't hold air very well. Oh, and it's so pretty too.

Did I mention he's a really sweet husband?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chris and Janeen Rock!

Yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer had an article about the summer Arbitron ratings.

As many of you know, I have a small segment with the amazing morning DJ team of Chris and Janeen "Married with Microphones" every Friday at 7:45 a.m. on WGRR 103.5FM . The segment originally started as "Tailgate Talk" but evolved into just talking about food, recipes, libations and what's going on in the Cincinnati area. I also have a photo on Chris and Janeen's blog that, when clicked, will direct listeners to my website.

Anyways, back to Arbitron. The article in the Enquirer states:

"The classic hits from the 1970s and '80s on WGRR-FM rocked and rolled into second place among all listeners, as well as the age 25-54 demographic advertisers want. The Cumulus station and the Chris O'Brien-Janeen Coyle morning team had their best ratings in years."
The station had a 6.8% listener share.

Congrats and salutations to my friends, Chris and Janeen! I wonder what their share is every Friday in the 7:30 to 7:45 timeslot?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My First Radio Remote!

Janeen, Me & Nancy
Originally uploaded by yummyissimo

Today I had my first radio remote on WGRR 103.5FM. Along with Queen Janeen (half of the amazing DJ team "Married with Microphones" who make me look like I know what I'm doing every Friday), I was asked to do several cooking demonstrations at Brown's Market for their first year anniversary. A photographer from the Hamilton Journal News was there and took lots of photos of me serving food, passing out copies of my recipes and, of course, talking. On Friday, 10~12~07, there also was article in same discriminating news vehicle which described me as "a WGRR personality and chef." Not sure how the real WGRR personalities will feel about that description, but I think I have TONS of personality! The photo is Queen Janeen (Coyle), me and Nancy Holmes ~ the greatest radio sales rep EVER!

I'm Not Martha Stewart!
Originally uploaded by yummyissimo
Brown's Market wanted me to use their fresh produce so I picked my favorites: butternut squash, apples and sugar pumpkins. With only a 90~minute remote, I didn't want to take the time to clean sugar pumpkins and try to cook them on~site. I cleaned them out early this morning and just filled them with flowers and candles. Martha Stewart I'm not, but they didn't look too bad!

Janeen's and my first cut~in was live ~ they were having taping issues back at the studio, so live we went. Janeen is talking about Brown's Market, the beautiful weather, the auction, the furniture, yada, yada, yada and then she introduced me. Now, being live radio there are no take backs:

"And here's Def Chebbie from Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service to tell us about one of the recipes she's preparing today!" Def Chebbie? "Is it live or is it Memorex" was never a question.

One of my demonstrations today was a modification of Alton Brown's 10~Minute Applesauce. Here's my version and it was a big hit today:

4 cooking apples, peeled, cored, segmented
2 Bosc or other ripe pears, peeled, cored, segmented
3/4c apple cider
1/2c Calvados
3T butter
1/4c honey
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg
In a sealable microwave~safe container, combine all ingredients. Close lid, leaving one corner open to allow steam to escape. Microwave on high for 12 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency. Serve hot, warm or cold.

I made a huge potful of this applesauce and it was gone in about 15 minutes. Was it the perfect pairing of apples, pears and spices or was it the Calvados?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Party with Cincinnati Magazine

So last week, in the middle of my week from hell, sweet husband Tim said, "I saw an ad in Cincinnati Magazine about a party on Saturday night. Sounds like fun. Let's go!"

What? As a Personal Chef and owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service, I cook for a party almost every weekend. Why would I want to PAY to go to one where I have to pay for alcohol and the food will be inedible at best?

The look on my face must have given my thoughts away ~ that or the words that came out of my mouth (something to the effect of) "Are you effing crazy? I have a Saturday night off and you want to go out? I'm staying home!" or something sweet and wifely like that.

So, dressing for the party ~ after donning make~up (which I NEVER wear), extremely high heels, one of my three only non~food stained outfits, and hair that was actually blown dry and not pulled into a ponytail ~ I have to admit I didn't look too bad for somebody with burn marks over 90% of her arms, short nails that haven't been polished or buffed or whatever you do with them and an attitude that screamed "I want to be home in my shorts and braless in a big, baggy T~shirt!"

The bright side ~ and you knew this was coming, didn't you ~ was that I met some people I didn't know. Not only people, but PEOPLE.

We walk in, sweet husband Tim looking smashing and dashing in black, and the first person we saw was
Arun Lai and his lovely wife, Beverly. Now Arun knows even more people than I do ~ and I know a lot of people! The first person he introduced me to was John Allen, Executive Operating Officer of the Cincinnati Reds. I also met David O'Hara, Director of Fusion Gallery an upscale art gallery in the up and coming hot city of Bellevue,KY. Arun also introduced me to Nat Comisar, former owner of the Masionette, Cincinnati's only 5~star dining establishment. Now as owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in Cincinnati, any time that anyone named Comisar asks for my business card I can't get into my purse quickly enough!

As a connoisseur of alcoholic beverages ~ especially when they are mango based ~ this party was worth attending as I found a new adult beverage that I need to share:

The Woody Mango
2/3 Woodford Reserve
1/3 mango puree
Shake well with crushed ice, strain into martini glass and garnish with fresh mint leaf.

Trust me on this one ~ I had several and I will have all the ingredients to make this at home!

After the party, Kristy and Ryan (see the Yummy Blog of 09~10~07: Timmy~issimo Party Planning) and sweet husband Tim and I went to the Cincinnatian Hotel for more cocktails. I found another mango martini that I have to share with you:

The Cincinnatian Mango Martini
2 parts Finlandia Mango Vodka
1 part Licor43 ~ Spanish Vanilla Liqueur
Splash of Orange, Pineapple and Cranberry Juices
Mix all in shaker with crushed ice. Shake well. Strain into martini glass.

Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!
OK ~ had several more of these and will make these at home as soon as I buy the Licor43.

Thank Bacchus I could sleep in this morning!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Smacked with a Spatula

Back from vakay last week and reality smacked me in the face with a spatula. Arrived home at 2:00 am Wednesday with a larger than normal cook day due to begin just a few hours later. After said cook day I went to a client's home where I agreed to do the party ~ without even seeing the home, kitchen or meeting them! OK blame it on a blog~full of French Sunrise Martinis. But, still, shouldn't the day after vakay be a day of vakay? But no, Yummy~issimo! must feed the hungry!

Back to vakay and beyond ~ the good and the face smacking:


Originally uploaded by yummyissimo
I was invited to tour the Pastry/Dessert Kitchen from Chef Kaushik Chowdury. He finished 3rd place in one of those FN Sugar Competitions but gotta tell you, based upon the thousands of pastry creations I saw coming out of his small 15x15 creative area, he's a friggin genius! 13 pastry creators working in this small area, all creating masterpieces like the ones I saw every night in The Cloud Club.

Had dinner at Roy's while at the J.W. Dessert Ridge Resort and Spa and I had the surf and turf for dinner. Surf was hibiscus~glazed jumbo prawns. Loved, loved, loved the hibiscus glaze so I asked for the recipe:

Hibiscus Glaze
1/4c dried hibiscus flowers
2c water
1c super~fine sugar
Boil all together until sugar has dissolved and glaze has turned a deep ruby red. Strain well. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Reheat when ready to use.
This glaze would be amazing on salmon, pork or as the sweet component of a sweet and spicy sauce.

Really Good

Found a new favorite martini ~ The Mangolicious Martini from The Yard House, a wonderful beer hall with great food and fabulous martinis.

Mangolicious Martini
1 1/2 oz Finlandia Mango Vodka
1 1/2 oz Malibu Mango Rum
Mango puree
Sweet and sour mix
Combine all in shaker with crushed ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glass.

The Face Smackers:

I could write a long and boring dissertation about shopping, cooking, packing and unpacking the Yummy~mobile, two big parties in five days and all that jazz, but take it from me, the spatula hit the fan and then smacked my face.

I need a vakay. Oh, wait. That's what caused this in the first place.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

And the “Spoiled Brat of the Year Award” Goes To….

Me! Yeah, I know you all find that hard to believe.

We arrived in Las Vegas for the start of my birthday trip. Two months ago, sweet husband Tim asked if I wanted a party or a trip for my birthday. Being the spoiled brat that I am, I naturally said “Both!”

Originally uploaded by yummyissimo

When we checked into the hotel at 9:00 a.m. local time, we never expected that not only would our room be ready but that they could upgrade us to a suite. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Strip and the mountains; a massive Jacuzzi that could easily accommodate four people; a huge walk~in shower with two doors and a steam room; and a lighted make~up area that’s fit for a showgirl.

Tim at Mon Ami Gabi
Originally uploaded by yummyissimo
My birthday dinner was at one of my favorite restaurants Mon Ami Gabi a French bistro with sidewalk seating overlooking the fountains of the Bellagio. We, of course, had a premium table on the railing. The evening air was cool, the air was clear and the French Martinis were flowing. What is a French martini you ask? Ketel One Vodka, Cassis, pomegranate juice and champagne. Yummy! Dinner for sweet husband Tim was Steak au Poivre with a brandy peppercorn sauce and pommes frites. Por moi, Filet Mignon medium rare with the most amazing Roquefort butter reduction. The reduction was soooo good that I asked for the recipe. I’m going to make a batch of this and serve it at my next Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service black tie event.

Roquefort Butter Reduction
Veal or beef au jus, reduced to very thick stock
2c Roquefort cheese
1/4c Butter, the best quality you can purchase
1/4c Cream
Place Roquefort, butter and cream into food processor fitted with steel blade. Process until thick and smooth. This should not be runny and should be workable with your hands. Roll into log and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate until very cold and slice into thin slices. Wrap slices individually and freeze. Remove from freezer 60 minutes before ready to use.
Heat au jus until very warm but not boiling. Place in individual containers and top with slice of Roquefort butter. Allow butter to slowly melt into au jus.

Sweet husband Tim had even more surprises for me ~ tickets to see Tom Jones! Now as many of you know, Sir Tom is my absolute favorite entertainer of all time. We got all dressed up ~ I even wore heels so you know I was serious about this ~ and had an absolutely wonderful time. What can I say except he was HOT and I’m not talking about my flashes.

One other recipe that I begged for was the French Sunrise Martini.

4oz Navan Natural Black Vanilla Cognac
Large splash fresh squeezed orange juice
1oz pomegranate juice
Orange slice, for garnish
Drizzle pomegranate juice down sides of chilled martini glass. Pour in Navan and splash with fresh orange juice. Enjoy!

Today we’re on our way to my favorite resort, the J.W. Dessert Ridge Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. With membership in the exclusive Cloud Club, I can start my day with a mimosa, move on to the spa pool for more mimosas, then clean up and back to the Cloud Club for happy hour, appetizers, after dinner drinks and dessert.

Spoiled Brat to the nth degree and lovin’ every minute of it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

49 Years, 364 Days

Today is the last day of my 40s.

I tend to look back at my life a decade at a time.

My 20s were full of change. Divorce, new job, quit job, new job, fired from job, new job, quit job, move.

My 30s were a time of change. Meet really cute guy Tim, move to Cincinnati, start at Miami University to complete my Bachelor's degree, marry sweet husband Tim, have brain tumor, survive brain surgery.

My 40s were a time of change. Acquire the job of my dreams, quit said job, acquire new job of my dreams, quit said job, start at Miami University to complete my Master's degree, start my final (was it the 5th or even the 6th?) career as owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service in Cincinnati, amass an amazing number of close friends, work with Chris and Janeen on WGRR 103.5FM every week, be considered for a series on Bravo TV, learn to thoroughly enjoy every minute of every day.

Today I'm 49 years, 364 days old.

I'm finally old enough to be mature enough to appreciate every day, every person and every thing in my life. You all know who you are ~ I love you, I cherish you and I thank Bacchus every day you are all in my life!

Bring on my 50s!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Last evening was The Key Event, a huge fundraiser for The Community Foundation of West Chester~Liberty (Butler County, Ohio). The foodie premise is that 30 chefs from around the community are asked to all use the same supplied ingredients and create a masterpiece dinner for guests who pay $200 per person. Normally they ask mostly high~profile restaurant chefs but this year they did include a couple of Personal Chefs. As owner of Yummy~issimo! Personal Chef Service it was my extreme privilege to cook for 14 guests in a lovely home in West Chester.

Sweet Husband Tim
Originally uploaded by
Sweet husband, Tim, was my bartender. I brought a sous chef and they supplied a server who also cleaned up everything. Gotta love when you can cook, make a mess and then leave it to somebody else! I had been stressing about the menu for this for several weeks. I knew the supplied food was 8oz of unclean (their words) beef tenderloin per person, 4oz chicken breast, salad greens and chocolate. It was really unclean and by the time hottie Adam cleaned it, I had about 5oz per person. Not to worry, there was the chicken. Except said chicken must have been on a severe diet ~ each breast was about 3oz and pounded very thin. So no stuffing that breast! The final menu? A masterpiece if I do tend to twirl my own whisk.

A selection of rolls with a selection of flavored butters ~ Honey Cinnamon Butter and Garlic Chili Butter (molded in shapes of leaves and hearts).

Floral Pomegranate Salad
Originally uploaded by yummyissimo
Mixed Greens House Salad ~ Mixed baby spring greens with grape tomatoes, slivered red onion, roasted pecans, sweet yellow bell peppers, Danish Blue cheese, edible pansies and edible orchids. Served with Pomegranate Champagne dressing (recipe below).

Beef Tenderloin ~ Beef tenderloin studded with garlic slivers and roasted with a crust of fresh herbs, sea salt and olive oil. Served with caramelized chipolini onions and a Marsala~Black Currant reduction.

Stuffed Chicken Breast ~ Chicken breasts (rolled, not stuffed) with fresh asparagus and Parmesan cheese, served on Parmesan and Sun~Dried tomato risotto.

Baby Carrots ~ Baby carrots roasted in an ancho~honey glaze.

Dessert Crepes ~ Lemon souffle dessert crepes topped with shaved chocolate and lemon foam and served with a blackberry~stuffed edible orchid.

Whew ~ Bacchus and I got re~acquainted when I got home!

Pomegranate Champagne Dressing
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 large shallot, finely minced
2 pinches sea salt
1/2c Pomegranate Champagne vinegar
1c olive oil
2T honey, or more to taste
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Make a paste of the sea salt, garlic and shallots. Add to food processor fitted with steel blade. Add all ingredients into food processor except olive oil. Process well until garlic and shallots are very finely minced.
With food processor running, pour olive oil in thin steady stream until dressing emulsifies and is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate until needed. Shake well before serving.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Timmy~issimo! Party

M y 50th birthday party was held Saturday night, 9/8/07 and it was a blast! Lots of good friends (yes, hottie Adam was there), good food and good libations. One of my biggest concerns was what to wear! I have work clothes ~ which are food stained, baggy and certainly not appropriate, and I have suits ~ entirely too corporate. So I went shopping. I don't know about you, but I have to be in the mood to shop. I hate to shop! But I was in the right mood and I found two outfits that I really liked. So I bought both! And then I needed new heels. And then I needed new jewelry. It's a vicious cycle! Yes, I'm shallow and a spoiled brat but you should know that by now!

It's amazing how many of my good friends have birthdays in September (Werner, Ryan, Nancy, Janeen) and there wasn't room on the cake for all of the names. Sweet husband, Tim, had a brilliant cake idea.

Sandee really surprised me! She helped Vicki make all of the appetizers ~ well, she cut, chopped, peeled and otherwise did the busy work. The food was amazing and there was so much! Marinated shrimp; a tasty crab dip; a yummy feta, spinach and sun~dried tomato dip; a wonderful cheese tray; roasted beef tenderloin with garlic, rosemary and olive oil served with a creamy horseradish dip; jumbo shrimp guiardiniera ~ jumbo shrimp with marinated olives, jalapenos, red and green peppers, cauliflower, onions, garlic and olive oil (trust me it's amazing and I'll get the recipe from Luigi somehow); Asian pork tenderloin sliced paper thin and served with a Dijon dipping sauce; tomato, mozzarella and basil caprese salad; double chocolate walnut brownies; and more and more and more. There were 3 large tables full of food in addition to the buffet that Luigi set up. So Sandee, be warned. Now that I know that you know how to use a knife I'm going to put you to work during my holiday party crazytime!

My very good friend, Beth Brown of Beth Brown Photography came up from Maggie Valley and took photos of everyone. My gift to all my friends (as a thank you for being such a big part of my life) is she took amazing photos and I'll send a 5x7 to everyone. Vicki told me that she was going "to do a couple of appetizers" to help sweet husband, Tim, but I had no idea she was going to make so much amazing food. I don't have a photo of her, yet, but as soon as I get one from Beth I'll post.

Sweet husband, Tim (left) shown with Ryan (middle) and Brad (right) was instructed to tell everyone not to bring presents, cards or anything else. This was to be a party to celebrate everyone and everything good in my life. But, my friends listen about as much as I do, and they all know that I worship at the feet of Bacchus. So, I came home with an extra case of really amazing wine.

Some of my girlfriends ~ Robyn, Kristy, me, Beth
. Unfortunatley, Vicki and Sandee were in the kitchen!

So to sweet husband, Tim, and each and every one of my friends, I love you. Thank you so much for being a part of my life and allowing me the privilege of knowing you and being a part of your life. You are all very important to me and I could not be who or what I am without each and every one of you!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Saga of Timmy~issimo! Party Planning

Things are crazy around the Yummy~issimo! household these days! Sweet husband, Tim, is attempting to plan a birthday party. Not just any party mind you, but a 50th birthday party for yours truly. And, I keep trying to butt in. Now to be fair, sweet husband has never planned a party ~ and I've planned, oh hundreds of parties in the past couple of years. So why not benefit from my extensive knowledge? Except that he wants to do it. Although, a Timmy~issimo! party is not exactly what I had in mind. Yes, I know what you're thinking and you're right ~ I am a spoiled brat!

Picture this ~ lots of my friends are coming to the big shindig this weekend. And for food, sweet husband wanted to have a local BBQ joint cater. Gasp! I had visions of elegant finger foods that are beautiful to behold, Yummy!, would pair perfectly with champagne ~ you get the idea. Well we certainly had different ideas about what encompasses food for a party.

Thank Bacchus for good friends. Vicki, Sandee and Kristy to the rescue! They've strongly suggested we order food from Luigi's Olde World Market (side note: remember hottie Adam? He's Luigi's son), lots of red wine, white wine, Heinekin, top shelf libations and, my favorite, champagne. Food is rare sliced beef tenderloin with creamy horseradish sauce, Thai flavored pork tenderloin sliced paper thin and served with spicy mustard sauce, bacon~wrapped stuffed jumbo shrimp, marinated tomato caprese salad, a lovely cheese tray of Danish blue, Cotswold, DaVinci, etc. and other tasty appies that my great friends, who are all great cooks (except Sandee) will be bringing. Now don't get me wrong ~ I love Sandee and I've known her for about 15 years, but she can't cook to save her life!

Look for lots of party pictures next week. And, there'll be several of hottie Adam for you single gals!

Remember the DVD I attempted to send to Bravo TV? The one where they were looking for a personal chef for a reality series? Well, the DVD I sent still isn't anywhere to be found, a full two weeks after I sent it overnight by snail mail. So, I go down to the local post office in an attempt to get my money back. After all, it says right on my receipt that refunds can be obtained for overnight items not received on time. Sounds like me, right?

Wrong! Long story short, nasty postal worker with the bad breath, bad comb over and bad mood suggested that the good people at Bravo TV are lying to me. He actually said that! According to him, they've really received the DVD but they've lost it.

I really know what "Going Postal" means!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Still on the Roller Coaster

Well, we're at 103+ hours past the time that the mail carrier guaranteed to deliver my DVD to Bravo TV for the proposed Personal Chef program. In case you're wondering, yes, I did have to pull out the calculator. And, yes, when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight you know who NOT to use. And, no, they haven't even tried to deliver a second time!

So today I was checking the FedEx website every few minutes (OK maybe it was a touch obsessive). When I wasn't close to a computer I had the 800 number on speed dial ~ yeah, now I know it's obsessive but I had to know where that DVD was every second of the day.

WhooHooo they finally received the DVD today at 12:30!

Tonight after a long, hot cook day I was sitting at the computer, furiously creating and typing recipes. Sweet husband, Tim, offered to take me out to dinner. Being the grumpy so~n~so that I was, I (of course) said no. The phone rings interrupting the dessert creation in my mind.

Hi, this is Debbie.

Hi, this is Lisa from Bravo TV. We received your DVD today, we've looked at it and I have just a couple of questions.

Jumping up and down motions! Deep breath.

Hi Lisa. What can I do for you?

Lisa proceeds to ask about Mr. and Mrs. Client, their offspring, stresses of working for them, yada yada yada. She then asks about sweet husband, Tim. Well, that one's easy ~ if you are lucky enough to know him, you'll realize that he has more personality than 99.9% of the people you'll ever know.

Well, we'll be submitting your tape to the Bravo TV producers. We will be working fairly quickly on this one, so you should hear something from us within 3 weeks.

Three weeks! Am I riding downhill or uphill on this one?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Adam Squared

It's been a wild roller~coaster ride since I received the first phone call from Bravo TV.

If you listened live or streaming on the web to my radio segment on WGRR 103.5FM on Wednesday 8/24/07 and again on Friday 8/26/07, then you heard Janeen ask about the "hottie" who was running the video camera. Several of you sent e~mails asking about "the hottie" so here's Adam the hottie with Adam the client.

I want to reiterate here and now that I am a Personal Chef in Cincinnati and not a matchmaking service. Yes, I know his telephone number and no, I will not share it with you.

That bottle of wine is WHAT vintage? Well, what are seven little numbers among friends?

Back to the roller~coaster ride, I frantically searched to find somebody who could follow me for several hours on Wednesday so that I could edit and send the DVD to Bravo on Thursday. We went to Luigi's Olde World Market, WGRR and to visit one of my favorite clients ~ who also happens to be named Adam.

I worked frantically overnight Wednesday into the early hours of Thursday morning editing several hours of tape down to about 18 minutes. I burned extra DVDs, filled out the application with care and humor and was standing in the post office line on Thursday afternoon in order to get this in the overnight mail to California.

I was attending an event on Thursday evening and when I got back into the Yummy~mobile, there was a voice mail on my cell phone.

Hi, this is Lynelle from Bravo TV. I'm just calling to see if you've had the time to do a quick video for us and if you did, is it in the mail?

Wow! Thanking Bacchus that there's a 3~hour time difference between the Queen City and the City of Angles.

Hi Lynelle. I sent the video today by overnight mail. You will have it tomorrow in your regular mail delivery.

Little did I know that neither rain, nor snow nor whatever their motto is doesn't apply when there's the YIKES! factor involved.

Fast forward to the crest of the tallest hill of the roller~coaster. You're just about to scream because you know what's going to happen in the next few seconds as the ride plummets downhill and your stomach is still at the top.

Yep, it's Monday 9:23 p.m. a full 81 hours after the video was due in LA and it's still not there. Not delivered. Nowhere to be found. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bye~bye. Not to mention the $18 that I spent to guarantee it would be delivered Friday morning.

Hi Brandon. This is Debbie Spangler in Cincinnati. Remember when I said that you'd have the DVD on Friday? Well, it seems the post office had other ideas.

Did you send it for Saturday delivery? Because if you did, we're not in the office on Saturday.

Nope. It was mailed Thursday afternoon for Friday morning delivery. May I send one overnight by FedEx or is it too late?

Sure, go ahead. I'll walk it over to the producers myself.

You guys can have Adam the hottie. I'm in love with Brandon.