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Cooking Diary of Chef Susan Ytterberg!  

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Copyright 2017 & 2018 Golden Plum Personal Chef Services, LLC Chef Susan Ytterberg

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Chef Susan Ytterberg- Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce The Easy Way

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce- The Easy Way

Chef Susan Ytterberg

I love Thai Food. I do!  What's my number 1 dish I love the most?  Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce- L O V E!  So, years ago I took a Thai cooking class from a woman in San Francisco who had just immigrated from Thailand.  This was back before cooking classes were popular, back before the Food Network existed; back before it was cool to be into cooking.  Even in SF there weren't many places to find cooking classes for non-Chefs -back then I was not a Chef-yet.  So there I was in the Marina District Middle School taking this class in the Home Ec cooking class room and miracles took place.  Her recipes are and were superb and I was lucky enough to learn from her and have her family recipes. 

Weeelll, THIS is not THAT recipe, lol!  But it tastes pretty darn close and for the ease it takes to make this you will be amazed if you were to do a comparison how similar my recipe tastes to her real one.  The difference?  Instead of making my own chili mixture for the sauce, I use Sweet Chili Sauce from the supermarket.  Instead of Lemongrass, I use Lime Zest & Juice.  Instead of Peanut Butter, I used Peanut Flour. So, here we go!

Serves 4

Step 1:

Chicken Tenders- 2 packs 12 to 16 total tenders

1 pack mini or long bamboo kabob skewers

Steamed Rice for 4

Lime-4- Squeeze juice and use half for the rice and half to marinate the chicken tenders.

1 bunch cilantro

1. Marinate cleaned chicken tenders in lime juice for 1+ hours.

2. Grill chicken tenders (salted and peppered) on Grill or portable electric grill until cooked (165 degree internal temp)

3. Remove from grill, cool and then thread on mini kabob skewers

4. Any rice, steamed with lime juice and correct amount of specified water in recipe with 1/2 cup chopped, cleaned cilantro. Remember to count the lime juice in the measurement for the water.

Step 2:

Peanut Sauce:

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) Peanut Flour

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce

2 small garlic cloves, minced

lime zest of 2 limes

juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp vegetable stock

1. Sautee garlic and lime zest in small amount of oil.  Add lime juice, peanut flour & chili sauce.  Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to combine.

2. Add vegetable stock or more til right sauce consitancy and stir.  Add dash of salt, serve with chicken satay.

Step 3:

Plate and Garnish:

Cilantro Sprigs- Cleaned

Pineapple chunks

1 Lime cut into 8 wedges

Serve Satay Skewers on plate with rice on side.  Then garnish each plate with 2 lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, 3 chunks of pineapple.  Drizzle peanut sauce over satay or serve on side in dipping bowl.  Enjoy!

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Vegan Eggplant Rotini

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Vegan Eggplant Rotini

I often create my own recipes by putting together flavors and ingredients that I think are congruent or go together!  I am looking for flavors that complement and textures that satisy and also are filling.  Some vegan dishes start to look and taste the same so I constantly try to create recipes that are unique and delicious. I created this in the past month when I was cooking for one of my private clients and it has quickly gone to the top of their list as a favorite!  Although more labor intensive than some recipes, each step is easy -just time consuming.  Don't stop, it is worth it!  If your vegan is a purist and can't eat goat cheese, substitute a vegan mozzarella cheese.I know "rotini" is a word used for corkscrew shaped pasta but I think the term is fun and this dish deserves a super fun name to applaud it's rolls & deliciousness.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees


1 large eggplant- cut vertically into 1/4 thick strips.  Lay flat on non stick baking pan sprayed with non-stick olive oil and back 15 minutes until pliable- not smooshy!

Pesto: 1 small container basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper- run this mixture through a mini prep or food processor. 

Rice & Bean Mash: 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 can white cannellini beans- mash beans and mix with rice. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Vegan soft Cheese- 1/4 cup or Softened Goat Cheese

1. Take one strip of eggplant and place on mat.  Spread with a thin layer of your pesto over entire surface area.  Do with remaining eggplant slices.

2. Top each with the rice & bean mash- a very thin layer over surface of eggplant.  Then drop of few dollops of vegan or goat cheese over the lenth of the eggplant strip.

3.  Roll so one end of eggplant overlaps other end or closely meets. Secure the best you can with a tooth pick.  Pick up all your rottinis and place on baking sheet sprayed very well with non-stick olive oil spray.

4.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

5.  Remove, plate and gently remove tooth pick and serve 3 per serving with basil leaf garnish.

This is ridiculously yum!

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Truffle & Garlic Flat Bread

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Truffle & Garlic Flat Bread

Have you ever had a truffle?  No, not the chocolate ball of deliciousness you're thinking of.  I mean a woodsy, oaktree, underground, mushroomy truffle found in Italy.  Wait, you're thinking- how am I supposed to get my hands on a truffle, and how can I afford one?  Well, in small amounts particularly when purchasing a truffle cream in a small jar, they can really be within your grasp!   I find mine from my good friends Conti in Florence, Italy at  You can probably find a similar item but it won't be the same at Urbani as well.  Here's what the finished pizza will look like

To make this flat bread you need to make a pizza dough, or buy one prepared.  I will let you find one at a store or look up a recipe and whip that up for this recipe.  The fun of cooking is that once you have core skills, you can really get as creative as you want with ingredients and toppings!  I made pizza dough last week for myself and decided to top it as follows:

First before you do anything- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees


Pizza Dough for a 9" pizza

1/2 jar truffle crema- about 3 tbsp

Ricotta Cheese- about 1/3 cup

2 large cloves garlic sliced into medallions

Salt or seasoning/herbs of choice to sprinkle over top of pizza

Basil Olive Oil to drizzle over cooked pizza- woah don't get crazy, just sprinkle about 1 to 2 tsp over entire pizza

1.Start by spreading the truffle crema over the surface of the pizza, thinly- don't glob it on.  It's rich and the truffles are aromatic and their taste will carry the day in this recipe. 

2.Scatter the sliced garlic over the pizza.  You want your pizza to look rustic so you don't need to arrange in any pattern unless you want to!

3.Drop dollops of Ricotta Cheese on 6 or 7 empty spaces on the pizza gently.

4.Sprinkle your favorite salt, herbs or spice over pizza and place in oven.

5.Bake for 20 minutes or until crust and toppings are golden.  Remove from oven, drizzle basil olive oil over pizza.  Slice & serve with a glass of wine!

This flat bread can be served as a starter before a dinner party, or if you're like me, you can eat it for your own dinner.  Yum! Buon appetito!

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Sticky Buns with Bourbon & Pecans

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (2)

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Sticky Buns with Bourbon & Pecans

Credit for the recipe and concept goes to Colleen Johnson March 2006 Prep Kitchen Essentials Class in California. This recipe has been modified by me but complete credit & thanks for the idea goes to Colleen.

Do you love the idea of making a sweet bread dough at night, that you can prep and then leave in the fridge to rise overnight? Then you wake up the next morning and throw it in the oven and get to enjoy freshly baked rolls and buns? Then this recipe is for you!

The fragrance of Pecans, and oranges and bourbon sweetened with brown sugar permeates the air while baking and- seriously you are not going to be able to wait to try the first one!

Most cooks are either Bakers or Savory Cooks; I've written about this issue in the past and even though I'm a Cordon Bleu professionally trained Chef, I really prefer Savory cooking. But now and then, baking & making breads is a lot of fun and- let's be real- it satisfies a craving for fantastic home-made breads and sweets!  You can see the nuggets of orange zest and pecans in the picture below...

Dough: This makes 24 large sticky buns

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup cubed, cold butter

5 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp orange zest or more if you want!

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to bowl and mix, ensure butter is cut into pea sized pieces

Next Step, Add in mixer using dough hook:

1 cup whole milk, room temp or slightly warm

2 tsp yeast

2 eggs, whisked

Mix together, remove ball of dough and then with your hands fold a couple times to knead, then form into an oval shape.  Allow to rise while you make the filling.

Filling: Mix together the following ingredients for the filling

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup golden raisins

Then:  Roll out dough into rectangle, take 1 egg whisked and use a little to brush the rectangle with egg wash

Sprinkle filling over recangle until event distributed.  

Roll dough into long log- cut in half

Then cut each half into 12 cylinders

Topping:  Melt together and stir the following ingredients to mix and then evenly pour into 2- 12 cup non stick muffin pans, sprayed with oil

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup bourbon

1/2 cup honey

2/3 cup to 1 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

After topping is in bottom of pans, then place a bun into each cup.  Cover tops of pans loosely with parchment paper and put in fridge overnight to rise. See all my pictures below for the visual steps.  Have fun and enjoy!

I am placing the buns into the prepared muffin tins.  You can see the topping at the bottom of the tin.  Place the bun on top!

Below in this picture I have just removed the pans from the fridge the next morning! The dough has risen and is ready to bake.  Allow to come to room temp, then put in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Once the buns are baked and out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Then invert the pans onto long tray and bun will be covered in the topping and nuts.  As it cools, the topping will be sticky and adhere to the buns.  Place any loose nuts that fell back on top  of each bun and serve!

The sticky buns are doughy, and sticky and smell amazing, enjoy!

Chef Susan Ytterberg- TV Oct 2018 Gluten Free Cooking

Posted on October 26, 2017 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (2)

October Gluten Free Awareness Month

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Golden Plum Personal Chef Services, LLC

I was invited to be a guest Chef 2 weeks ago on WESH2 TV News in Orlando, October 2017!  It was an honor to appear with the talented team there and a lot of fun!  The occasion was to promote awareness about Gluten Free Awareness month and demonstrate making a gorgeous Gluten-Free Apple Pie! This pie is great for the Fall and with Thanksgiving coming, keep this recipe in your back pocket...

Check out the link below to see the episode!

Making a pie with a prepared pie shell is perfectly fine and may inspire you to do this more often since it is easy and fun!  


2 Gluten-Free Pie Shells

5 Granny Smith Apples

1/2 Cup Sugar & 1 to 2 Table spoons Cinnamon mixed together

2 Tbsp COLD Butter or Vegan Butter, either is fine- cubed

1.  Peel and core apples, ensuring stems and seeds are removed.

2. Cut Apples into thin slices.  

3.  Using thawed out crust, layer apple slices in tight circular pattern.  The height will keep building as you use up all your apples!

4.  Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture entirely over the entire pie so every nook and cranny is covered. scatter cubed butter over the top.

5.  Take second pie crust from tin, roll out a little to smooth. Place on top and crimp edges.  If dough is too sticky, refrigerate a little then roll out. Once top crust is on, cut a few vent holes with sharp knife on top of pie and sprinkle a little sugar/cinnamon mixture on top.

6.  Bake in 375 degree preheated oven for 30 to max 35 minutes.

Once you have put the top crust on the pie and crimped the edges, it's ready to go in the oven.  To avoid the apple juice bubbling into your oven, place the pie on a foil lined baking sheet.  Don't over cook beyond 35 minutes.  Remove from oven when done and allow to thoroughly cool.  This can take a few hours at least.  

Chef Susan Ytterberg pictured here with WESH News2 anchor! You can click the link for this show at the top of this posting to veiw the episode and you'll see the finished pie displayed on a pottery plate on the table!

Okay, so when you're ready to serve your pie be sure to show it off to your friends and family before you cut it!!  It's a beautiful mountain of apple pie deliciousness and you deserve a little admiration!  Enjoy : )

Just out of the oven- the baked pie smells ridiculously yummy with the apples and cinnamon permeating the air in your kitchen! The crust is golden and buttery/crispy! Once cooked, place on pretty serving platter and serve.  If you like apple pie ala mode, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, or a dollop of whipped cream!  

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Posted on August 23, 2017 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Once in a while, it's fun to create a feast that is visually appealing, offers unique flavor choices and is also fun and delicious to eat.  What else could that be than a Poke Bowl?  The key to this meal is to source sushi grade Ahi Tuna from a reputable seafood purveyor.  Once you've got that figured out, the rest of the ingredients can be purchased at your grocery store and then the fun begins prepping your ingredients!

Recipe: Serves 4

1 1/4 lbs Ahi Tuna- Sushi Grade

2 tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp sesame oil

First- clean the fish and pat dry.  Then cut tuna into small, bite-sized squares and put in bowl. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and mix together. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for garnish

Toppings for bowl: Chop and slice the toppings and place in bowls on buffet

Chopped Macadamia Nuts

Cubed Avocado pieces

Chopped Green Onions

Lime Wedges

Sesame Seeds

Rice: Cook the Rice and Place in large bowl on buffet

1 Cup Basmati rice  

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp salt

 You're set!

To serve, set up your bowls of ingredients buffet style.  Then give each diner a medium sized bowl and they can add the rice, then top with the Ahi Tuna and top with all the great toppings!

 Serve:For fun, serve sake or a chilled white wine and you're set for a delicious feast.

My Newest Publication! Chef Susan Ytterberg

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Cooking Class- Pasta Making! Chef Susan Ytterberg

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Pasta Making- 

What could be more fun?  Basically this is Play Dough for grown-ups but it tastes so much better!  I teach cooking classes regularly and you'll find my class offerings here on my website under, "sample menus".  Class size is for a minimum of 2 people and is held at the client's home kitchen.

Our menu:

Ravioli with Crispy Butter Sage Sauce

RIcotta Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Pasta dough is pretty simple to make- it can seem complicated but that probably has more to do with using a pasta dough roller. If you have the right tools and 2 people, you can really make this deliciousness happen!  I've made pasta on my own but with experience, one person can manage.

Adults learn best by doing- seeing and then trying themselves and this class is perfect for that.  With a demo at each step, The dough is made from flour, eggs, water & olive oil, salt.  L and S picked up quickly and before you know it, they were rolling beautiful sheets of pasta, yeah!

Pasta Dough Recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp water

Place ingredients in food processor and run for 1 minute until dough forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes before you roll. When ready:

1. Form dough into flat disc.  Then cut in to 4 and form 4 flat discs.  Start rolling the dough!

Once L and S rolled out their beautiful pasta sheets, it was time to make the cheese filling, place it with a tablespoon sized scoop on the sheets, cover the bottom layer with the cheese filling with the top sheet of pasta, adhere-press, cut and cook.  The cheese filling is made with ricotta cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan, salt and herbs.  We used fresh thyme leaves!

Ricotta Filling Recipe:

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

4 oz goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Fresh herbs (optional)

1.  Mix the ingredients together and use for pasta filling

Once the filling is placed, and top sheet of pasta is adhered S cut his ravioli into elegant pasta sheets, and L using a pasta cutter form and created ravioli squares and circles with scalloped edges.  Remember it will all the taste the same, but the look will be unique depending on the creative spirit of the pasta maker!


Crispy Butter Sage Sauce is made with salted butter and fresh sage leaves.  The basil pesto is made with fresh basil, EVOO, Parmesan, toasted pine nuts and salt.  

SImmer your ravioli til cooked, make sure not to boil or the cheese filling will seep out of the pressed edges.  Once cooked, toss gently with your chosen sauce, some Parmesan and enjoy.  This home made ravioli is absolutley yum and tastes nothing like the thick, prepackaged raviolis you buy at the supermarket.  SO, on a rainy day, or weekend evening, make the ultimate comfort food and enjoy!

Cooking Class- Bread Making! Chef Susan Ytterberg

Posted on June 2, 2017 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (1)

Bread Making- Cooking Class

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Bread... what's not to like!  I love bread- warm out of the oven, ready to eat.  Ok, if you have a gluten intolerance you can still enjoy this nugget of joy by using rice flour or gluten free flour.  Bread is comfort food and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, types and colors.  

Today's cooking class was a lot of fun and we were focused on creating 2 herb cheese breads- the first braided and the second a 2 stranded turban.  The first was made with Thyme, Fontina Cheese & Caramelized Onions with a Sesame Seed Crust.  The second was made with Rosemary & Parmesan with a Poppy Seed Crust.  Remember, we eat with our eyes, our mouths and our noses so how the bread looks, feels and smells all adds to your enjoyment of this deliciousness.

When you're making bread, you depend not just on the instructions in the recipe, but your own judgement about the texture of the dough you are handling!  You can adjust texture by adding more liquid or flour and also how long you knead the dough.  One of the biggest mistakes a first timer can make is over working the dough.  If it is kneaded too long the texture of the finished bread will be stiff and lack flakiness.  

Once the dough has risen you can then add the cheese. You will then pull up the edges of the dough and knead until the cheese is folded in the dough!