Welcome to Cooking with Chef Jeff

Hi and welcome to my blog. Here you'll find meal ideas that are made from primarily whole natural foods. I try not to use any sugar or sweetener in any of the recipes. At the bottom of the page, you can see a list of the cookbooks that I use. I do vary some from the cookbooks, usually not a whole lot. Feel free to read along and even post some ideas/comments to help me to improve in the kitchen.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Easy Egg Bake

Here's something that I threw together for breakfast and it turned out very good. I'm not good with amounts, so it's a rough guideline.  Have to cook this one by feel. :o)

8 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 onion
8 pieces of bacon
1 cup of shredded cheese

1. Fry (or bake) the bacon. Keep the strips whole or at least in big chunks.
2. Use the bacon grease and saute the onions and mushrooms. Throw a little butter in there to for good flavor.
3. While the mushrooms and onions are sauteing, combine the eggs, heavy cream, and salt and pepper into the base for the egg bake.
4. Mix in the mushrooms and onions when they are done cooking.
5. Pour the egg bake into a 8 X 11 pan or something that will not be too big.
6. Lay the 8 strips of bacon on top.
7. Cover with the cheese.
8. Bake at 350 for 37 minutes (or until done).
9. Enjoy!

I had mine with hot sauce on top, but you could use salsa or even nothing if you prefer that way.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Easy Rib Tips

So, I have stumbled around trying to find a good way to make some rib tips.  I have tried baking, crock pots, grilling, and even I think an open fire. I've never been able to get a good method for them.  I've also not had a good way to season them.  But, thanks to my good friend Cara in Minneapolis, I now have a wonderful way to make them.  She sent me over her method for making them and it is fantastic.  This works fantastic with a dry rub, but would probably work with sauce too. So, with out further ado, here is one of the easiest ways to make rib tips (and full racks of ribs) I've ever tried.

A bunch of Ribs or Rib Tips
Seasoning you like
Ice Cubes
Aluminum Foil
A Grill

1. Rub the rib tips and let them sit in the fridge all day (6-12 hours)
2. Heat up the grill to about 400 and grill the tips for about 5 minutes per side. Just enough to get a bit of char on the sides.
3. Remove the tips from the grill and wrap them in two layers of heavy duty Aluminium.  Put 3-4 ice cubes on the ribs before wrapping. This helps keep them from drying out.
4. Put the rib packets back on the grill, set the grill to low or indirect heat, and don't touch them for 30 minutes.
5. Flip the packets and leave them there for another 30 minutes.
6. Take the steaming ribs out of the packets and those that you don't eat on the spot, put back on the grill to finish them off. Just a few minutes per side.
7. If you are generous, take them back to the house and share with your family. Otherwise, just hide out in the garage and eat them all.

Other Notes: The rub I used was just some Hungarian Paprika, Cabela's Steak Seasoning, and Stubb's Bar-B-Q rub. Next time I'll add a bit more salt, some cayenne, and maybe some of my secret ingredient. No sugar here.  They are pretty much strictly savory, but they are soooo good!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Heavy Tea

Bulletproof coffee has been talked about a lot lately. Well, I don't care that much for coffee, so I made my own version with tea and I call it Heavy Tea.

1 Cup of your favorite tea. Black tea works best.
1 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
1 tsp of Unsweetened Cocoa
2 oz of Heavy Whipping Cream

1. Make cup of tea like normal.
2. While tea is brewing, put Coconut Oil and Cocoa into a bigger glass (I use a Pyrex measuring cup).
3. Pour brewed tea on top of the oil and cocoa and start blending with a stick blender. I'm sure pouring it into a traditional blender would work as well.
4. While blending, add in the heavy cream and continue to blend until there is some nice foam at the top.
5. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy.

There is sooo much you can do with this recipe. I've added butter to it for extra creaminess. The tea you start with also makes a huge difference. I've used a bunch of different teas and it makes each one a unique experience.  Everything from Calypso (shown above) to Java Fusion to Fudge Brownie to Black Cherry to Vanilla Mint. I get almost all my tea from Fava Tea. It is an awesome local store but they also sell online.  You can add cinnamon to it as well as other flavored syrups if you are so inclined. Some people also add sweeteners, but I haven't used any in almost 6 months and don't miss them at all.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cheese Crackers

One of the biggest things I miss was my crunch chips or crackers. So, Cheese Crackers to the rescue. This is amazingly simple but so yummy. Just be careful - you might eat several ounces of cheese without realizing it. To me they taste a lot like a cheese-it cracker, but are great for scooping up dips and sauces.


1 thin slice of cheddar cheese (Deli sliced cheese works best)


1. Put slice of cheese on a piece of parchment paper and microwave for 75 seconds or until the cheese has solidified.
2. Remove from parchment paper and let cool for a minute or two.
3. Enjoy!

It's also fun to play with seasoning. I've tried parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, garlic, and many other ideas. You can also try other cheeses for a different flavor. Pepper jack cheese works great as does mozzarella.

Oopsie Rolls

Back in 1972 Dr. Atkins put out a book called "Diet Revolution" and there was a recipe for Revolution rolls. These morphed over time into something called "Oopsie Rolls" when someone substituted cream cheese for the originally called for cottage cheese. I've recently learned that these are called "Cloud Bread".   There are many different ways to make them, but below is the recipe we use. It isn't bread but it does work better than lettuce leafs to hold burgers, fried eggs, BLTs, and anything else that needs a bit of a handle. Below are images of a BLT sandwich made with them.


3 large eggs
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/8 tsp cream of tartar


1. Preheat Oven to 300 Degrees.
2. Separate egg yolks from whites.
3. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until very stiff peaks form.
4. Add the mayonnaise to the egg yolks and beat until light yellow.
5. Fold in the yolks to the whites about 1/3 at a time, being careful not to break down the whites.
6. Spray a cookie sheet or baking pan (we like mini-cake pans) with on-stick spray and spoon the mixture on the sheet or pan. It should make 6 mounds.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until they are a bit firm, but not crumbly.
8. Remove from oven and let cool then move to a cookie sheet to let cool completely.

There are a LOT of options and other recipes for these online. This is the version we use, but there is really no limit to how you can tweak them.

Substitutions - You can substitute 3 oz cream cheese, 3 tbsp sour cream, or even things like cottage cheese or thick yogurt for the mayonnaise. It gives it a bit of different texture and flavor. Experiment to see which ones you like.

Additional Ingredients - Many people add a pinch of salt for some savory flavors. Other people add in things like dry mustard or dill to enhance the flavor. Some people like to have them sweet so add things like Splenda or cinnamon for more of a sweet roll.

Storage - These should be eaten within the same day or stored in the fridge or freezer. If in the fridge, put into an unsealed ziplock bag. If putting in the freezer, seal the bag.  Let the rolls get to room temperature before eating.

The original Oopsie recipe that I found many years ago was from Cleochatra and her blog - www.yourlighterside.com

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Here's a very simple way to make pork tenderloin that is just melt-in-your-mouth good. We've had it many times and the whole family loves it.


5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/4 pounds each)


1. Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
2. Coat the tenderloin with the rub.
3. Let marinate for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 6 hours.
4. Sear the tenderloin on all 4 sides.
5. Grill until the internal temperature is about 160, rotating every 10 minutes.
6. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This has become a family favorite and is great when served with sour cream.  The recipe was from the Kitchen Confidante website.

When grilling the tenderloin, I seared it on high heat on the grill, then moved the tenderloin pieces to the top rack in the back of the grill.  Then I left only the front burner on to cook it indirectly.  It took longer, but was extremely tender and juicy.

Back at it

Well, it's been a while since I have posted, but I'm going to attempt to get back into it.  Maybe only one or two recipes a week, but at least something.  I hope I can stay consistent with it. I know the more consistent I am with cooking, the more consistent I am with other things with my life, including eating on plan.