Working as a personal chef in Glen Ellyn for a lovely senior lady is always a highlight of my week.  To be sure, she has a sweet tooth! In light of that, I always make her extra treats like breakfast breads, baked goods, and desserts!

Whenever I am cooking for seniors, I try to allow extra time so that we can have time to visit and catch up. Now that our world has changed, that means in the yard from several feet away, while both wearing masks! 

While it may be true that we have to stay a few feet apart, we can still chat at length! She keeps me updated on her family, her interests, and her friends. I always enjoy our time together. I think she enjoys our visits as much as she enjoys the food! She has lots of homemade food to choose from in her refrigerator, as well as brownies and some mini muffins.  I know she loves pineapple, so I made her some pineapple bread, which turned out great! Very moist; the almond extract really was key here!

Sooner or later we will be able to talk inside and get caught up! Until then, I am going to thoroughly enjoy my time with her, and I think she does as well! Without a doubt, having a personal chef is more about the food, to her, and I couldnt’ agree more!


Pineapple Bread

Makes 2 loaves, or 5 mini loaves


½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

¼ t. Almond extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 t. Baking powder

3/4 t. Salt

½ cup chopped walnuts 

1 cup canned crushed pineapple (drained)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time. Add almond extract.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Next, add to the butter mixture. Add walnuts. Add crushed pineapple. Put into loaf pans that have been oiled/floured. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.







I have been working as a personal chef in Winnetka, for a lovely woman who has been following the Whole30 program for several years. When she is “on a round” as they say, she needs lots of portions of quick-to-heat, easy meals to make it easy for her to stay on the program. To be sure, this soup fits the bill!

This soup is bright and flavorful; with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chiles, how could it not be? In addition, the sweetness of the pineapple balances the heat of the chiles. 

Of course, you can adapt this soup to your liking. For example, galangal would work beautifully in place of the ginger. In fact, galangal would provide more of a strong punch, if ginger doesn’t ring your bells. It would also be delicious with other fresh toppings. In fact, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos would be nice; and a combination of mint, basil and cilantro!

The recipe is below; I hope you enjoy it as this personal chef enjoys making it! In addition, I have lots of other soup ideas here:    Menus  many of them can be adapted to make them Whole30 friendly! 



Whole30 Tom Yum Soup

Serves 4

2 lbs. medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 T. coconut oil

4 stalks lemongrass (smashed and chopped finely)

1 T. minced garlic

1 T. minced fresh ginger

2 Thai chiles, sliced 

2 sliced bell peppers

6 c. water (or make a quick shrimp stock with the shrimp shells)

1 lime (zest and juice)

8 oz sliced mixed mushrooms

2 c. chopped fresh pineapple

2 t. fish sauce

1 T coconut aminos

Garnis: Fresh cilantro, lime wedges.


  1. Heat the coconut oil, and saute the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chopped chiles for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and bell peppers and saute another minute.
  2. Add the water or broth, pineapple, fish sauce and coconut aminos. Simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp and simmer until they turn pink. (It will only take a couple of minutes.)
  4. Serve, topped with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.