One of the reasons I love spring so much, is that for me, it is spring soup season. To me, there is nothing better for lunch, especially. As a personal chef, I am always looking for ways to add tons of flavor and variety; and I love a soup to which  I can add some fresh, crunchy bright ingredients. 

I was in Oak Brook recently, doing in-home cooking for one of my personal chef clients. She is a healthy eater, she avoids carbs for the most part. She very loosely follows a paleo diet, which is why she hired a personal chef in the first place. (When I say loosely, I mean the occasion rice noodle is fine with her! I always get as many details as I can, because when people tell me they are paleo, that can mean a lot of different things to people!)

I have other paleo clients who really eat like the cavemen did! The paleo diet usually means meats, fish,vegetables, fruits nuts, seeds; things you could find in pre-historic times by hunting and gathering. (There were no rice noodles in prehistoric times;  But hey; if you want rice noodles to add in to your paleo diet, that is why you have a personal chef!)


I made her several portions of a really great Thai Noodle Soup, that will get her through the week for her to eat after her workouts. It’s a light broth made with good chicken stock, fish sauce, ginger and garlic.  More and more of my client’s lately are looking for more meatless meals, and this soup would fit the bill! For people who do like some meat in their soup, some shredded chicken thighs or shrimp would work perfectly. To me, the best part of this light healthy soup is the toppings: hard boiled eggs, radishes, cilantro, scallions, mint, and basil. 

I have noticed lately that everyone is trying to eat lighter. Staying in place while being at home during thos Covid-19 era has been hard on all of us, and I really don’t know all that many people who stuck to their healthy eating plan. It seemed like a very good time to over indulge! I think since warmer weather and brighter times are upon us,  light healthy soups like this will help to shed some of the coronavirus weight-gain, and not feel deprived while we are doing it! 




As a personal chef who has lots of very healthy clients, I am always thrilled to be able to cook for someone who likes desserts and sweets! It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I like to make the most of it!

In this case, my new lovely busy family in Downers Grove has a couple of kids going to school remotely from home. Seeing that they are working so hard, and this period has been so challenging for all of us, I like to make them a fun after school snack as well as a sweet treat!

Having said that, I am always on the lookout for cookie and brownie recipes that are not the same-old thing,  but also not completely unfamiliar! This recipe for Speculoos Cookie Butter Cookies fit the bill perfectly. If you haven’t had Speculoos butter (also known as Biscoff or Cookie Butter) before, allow me to describe it. It’s a paste ( or a butter, similar in texture to peanut butter) made of Speculoos spice cookies. It is delicious. The reason I rarely buy it is because I cannot resist it; I will eat a half a jar with a spoon.

I adapted this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which has never let me down!

Personal Chef Lorna’s Cookie Butter Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

3/4 c. flour

Half teaspoon salt

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1/2 c. Cookie Butter

1 T. vanilla

2 cups quick oats

1 and 1/2 c. white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 cookie sheet trays with parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients thouroughly in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the the egg and vanilla. Add the cookie butter and continue to mix. Stir in the oats and the white chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls and place them a few inches apart. There should be 12 cookies on each sheet. 

Bake for 9-11 minutes.

Here is another pro tip from your personal chef: If at all possible, before you bake the cookies,  chill this dough for 24 hours; 3 days would be even better!





I work as a personal chef for a fun busy family in Glen Ellyn. I always try to leave the kids a fun after-school snack, as well as some cookies or brownies. For example, thiis week I made some Bacon Cheddar Dip with Crackers and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for the kids.

Everyone is home these days; the kids are working hard on their computers, Mom is on a never ending loop of Zoom meetings. On my cooking day, I come right into the garage and load up the refrigerator with as much cheering-up food as I can think of.

This time, I figured Mom, who is working from home, could use some fun too! Having said that, I thought some nice cold frozen sugary boozy grapes would be just the thing! 

Here is how you do it: Take seedless grapes and soak them in a mixture of vodka and Prosecco for at least an hour. If you ask me, the amounts don’t  really matter;  I used a whole bottle of Prosecco, and half a bottle of vodka for about 2 pounds of grapes.

Then roll them in superfine sugar. Put them in a single layer in a baking dish, and freeze them. Done! What I have found, is they are best stored in a glass Pyrex container left in the refrigerator. (Also, it’s not a bad idea to mark them clearly, so they kids know these are for mom only!)

Since these turned out so well, it got me to thinking about other fruits that might lend themselves to this fun preparation! I might give it a whirl with clementine segments next time. I am wondering how Trader Joe’s Golden Berries would work. I think I might give it a try as an experiment!

One of the reasons I have loved being a personal chef for 17 years is being able to help people by bringing some joy and fun into their lives. (Or in their garage, in this case!)