It has been a while since I wrote my last culinary post and I thought I would write a catch-up article.
A lot of things have happened within the last few years in my culinary field as a professional chef that:
- Within the last four years, I have opened 2 brand new hotel restaurants as an Executive Chef.
- Developed a second blog about a sustainable future.
- Cultivated and improved my habits, by starting a morning and evening meditation regimen.
- I became a vegan.
The Rewards of a Culinary Career
I have never worked a day in my life…hahaha-really funny. However, the last 30 years have been more rewarding than anything else. Working as a chef has given me lots of pleasure. I was able to work in Germany, the Caribbean, and New York City. I owned and operated successfully two restaurants and a bakery. I have worked and still work with awesome culinary colleagues. What else can I ask for?
Working for Hilton hotels has certainly been a blessing. However, after investing so many hours into to the hotel openings I completely lost track of my culinary blog. I couldn’t find the time to maintain it, so I thought…?
Well, I was wrong. I am still busy; hence, I have learned in the past few years how to do more with less time. Talking about personal growth…:)
Opening restaurants are undoubtedly exciting, yet very stressful. From ordering and organizing all supplies and equipment to hiring and training all staff is indeed no cakewalk. The most fabulous rewards of opening the restaurants are seeing happy customers and of course a happy boss.
Improving my life
I have implemented better habits in my life. From meditating in the morning through exercising regularly to reading more often. I think I have read over 20 books last year, which has helped me with my personal growth.
Then I started a second blog, which is about visionaries of sustainable solutions. It’s a community blog where everyone can post and bring ideas on how to solve the problems in the world through eco-friendly solutions and innovations.
The decision to start coolmomentum.com made me start a vegan diet. Which is probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I feel great, and I see other people noticing that too. More on a vegan diet in a later post.
Back on track with a Vegan Lifestyle
So the other day I logged into this blog after ignoring it for so long, yikes! I was shocked to see almost 10000 comments awaiting approval. Shame on me for not checking.
However, after a long break due to work, I decided to continue my Kraemer’s Culinary Blog. Although, as a chef, I am cooking all types of foods, I quickly realized being a vegan has so many more benefits.
To me a vegan lifestyle is not only good for your health, it’s also good for the environment.
So going with a Vegan concept seems just right, but it had to be a niche within the plant-based diet or lifestyle. Since I work every day in a kitchen, what better way for me to blog about the life of a vegan chef. Therefore, I will probably change my blog name to “Life of a Vegan Chef”.
I hope you will join me in pursuit of a vegan culture that reflects health, happiness, fitness, and sustainability all through the eyes of a chef.
I am grateful for any advice on changing a blog name and topic. Feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.
Thank you for your support!
P.S. I wish all my blogger colleagues a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
Sandy – I’ll never forget you
I have to admit I have seen better days. Hurricane Sandy flexed her muscles and showed us that Mother Nature is still in charge. No one really wanted to believe that this storm would hit this community so bad. In the end, it was a 15-foot coastal flood wave which basically rolled over our sea town. It didn’t end there; the 36-hour tropical storm that followed the flood blasted with 95 miles per hour winds and finished the disaster for what is now known as the worst storm New York has ever seen.
What Bragging Rights and Hurricanes Have in Common?
Seeing disasters like this on TV is one thing; experience it first hand is another. I thank god my family and neighbors are fine. Some neighbors, who actually laughed at me for evacuating to higher grounds, lost their cars and almost their lives. Of course, anyone stays behind has bragging rights?! But is it worth the risk?
Houses burned down and the fire departments couldn’t help since the roads were flooded with over 4 feet of water. Bragging rights?! – No thank you.
The hardest part, after returning to the house, was the cleanup progress. It felt like there is no end in side. Even worse, seeing memories such as childhood pictures floating away is heart ranching.
The good, the bad and the ugly
Hey, life goes on, but why should I burden you with my worries. Everyone got their own problems. However, there is a good side to this. Communities come together and help each other. We all got a little closer – the good, the bad and the ugly neighbors. Differences were put aside and friendships were made or refreshed. And the moral of bragging rights and hurricanes are: Both can have dangerous consequences.
In my next post, you’ll find out how we made out without power, heat, and water and how wood stove cooking and candlelight dinners made our day a little sweeter.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Warm Dark Cherries
Coconut rice pudding is comfort food for me. This very simple rice pudding, which cooked with vanilla soy milk, is topped with warm dark cherries. You can serve it with any fruit you like, I find rice pudding taste just great with any fruits, canned or fresh. Try it with warm blueberries or raspberries.
Update: Hurricane Sandy is long gone but never forgotten. We have moved on, repaired and renovated what got destroyed. I actually must say this hurricane was a blessing in guise. However, not for everyone. We were able to repair our house to state better than it was before.
I have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, that I really enjoy. Gone are the meat and dairy days. I have decided to change my blog and theme in the near future to Live of a vegan chef. Being a chef has given me ample opportunities to inspire my guests to eat healthy. I think it’s time to adapt this opportunity to inspire others to a vegan lifestyle that offers elegant vegan meals and a path to wellness.
Coconut Milk Rice
Coconut Milk Rice
On medium to high heat bring soy milk to a simmer.
Add rice, sugar, salt, vanilla bean and coconut milk.
Lower the temperature to medium to low and stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook rice until soft. The milk rice should now be semi thick.
Bring cherry juice, sugar, orange peel and liquor to a boil.
Mix water with cornstarch to a smooth slurry without clumps.
Pour the cornstarch slurry into boiling cherry juice. Stir and keep simmering for another 1-2 minutes.
Serve cherry sauce over coconut rice pudding or as a side dish. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Enjoy
It is important to use short grain rice or Arborio rice since this rice is ideal to absorb the soy milk. It also becomes softer and tastes just better than long grain rice. This is the reason why risotto is cooked with arborio rice.
If you are not a cherry fan feel free to use whatever you fruit you like, whether it's canned or fresh fruit. Everyone has their favorite. I also like to use fruit cocktail or orange mandarins over the coconut rice.
Don't forget to sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the coconut milk rice. I like my rice pudding to be more on the liquid side. Enjoy