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Cooking Diary of Chef Susan Ytterberg!  

Read, try, enjoy!  Cooking is fun and a great way to exercise your creativity and inner artiste

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

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Chef Susan Ytterberg- Guest Chef Speaker November 2019 Luncheon!

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi Readers, Chef Susan here! 

I was honored to be a guest speaker by invitation at the Orange Appeal Magazine's end of year 2019 luncheon at Bulla Restaurant in Orlando this past week!  The topic was Planning for a holiday party which nicely dovetailed with the article that I just wrote for them!

Here is an outline of my speaker notes and check out a small video clip in the link below of my presentation!

 Whether you’re a top home chef, a good home cook, or a professional Chef, planning for the holiday meals takes some creativity and thought! Remember, even with the best made plans, things can come up that could derail you but if you approach it with a sense of humor everything will work out!

 Thanksgiving Table Collapsed- my funny story reminding us to keep a sense of humor no matter what may happen!

 Traditional Recipes, Family Recipes, Gourmet

 Buffet or sit down?

 Start with Guest List

 Menu Planning

 Guest Food Allergies & Preferences

 Work Arounds for Vegan vs. Carnivore- Porcini Mushroom Risotto, Roast Asparagus with Fennel Pollen, Spring Greens with Apples & Pecans AND Roast Prime Beef Tenderloin

 Preplan for week prior to event up to date of your party!

 Pull Recipes

 Make Shopping List by category

 Plan for recipe Short Cuts

 Map out daily activities- Set table, Create Center Piece, Polish Silver etc/

 Give yourself permission to make things easier: Bakery for dessert, Cheese plate with grape garlands & Ciarcuitteri instead of canipes & blinis

 Easier- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker- how about my braised Short Ribs recipe with cherry basil glaze??

If you are planned, have created a menu you love then you can enjoy your event and not be caught in the kitchen!

See a snippet of Chef Susan speaking at the event here!  Click on the link below!:

Chef Susan Ytterberg- New Release! Article Published in NOV/DEC 2019 Issue of Orange Appeal Magazine- Orlando

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm excited to show my latest food writing published this month in the beautiful Orange Appeal Magazine in Orlando Florida!  

November/December 2019 Issue

"A Beautiful Holiday Meal To Remember" are a series of 5 recipes I have written that will provide you with a beautiful feast during the holidays and winter months!  I have designed it so that it can satisfy vegans and carnivore alike- ensuring the everyone will be able to enjoy the beautiful meal by selecting the menu items prepared that best please them!

With the holidays around the corner, it's typical to ask yourself what you're going to cook for the special dinner.  Whether you've got a big crowd or an intimate dinner for two, you want it to be a delicious, memorable meal.  If you want your meal to be high-impact, but fairly easy to prepare, check out this menu and recipes I have written!  

Enjoy!  Chef Susan Ytterberg

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Honored again 2019!Orlando Small Business Excellence Award

Posted on June 3, 2019 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (10)



Golden Plum Personal Chef Service selected for 2019 Orlando Small Business Excellence


Orlando,FL - 5/13/2019 — Golden Plum Personal Chef Service has been selected for the

2019 Orlando Small Business Excellence Award in the Cooking Classes classification by the

Orlando Small Business Excellence Award Program.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each

category. The 2019 Orlando Small Business Excellence Award Program focuses on quality, not

quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Orlando

Small Business Excellence Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Orlando Small Business Excellence Awards Program

The Orlando Small Business Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding small businesses that

serve the Orlando area. Each year, our selection committee identifies businesses that we believe

have achieved outstanding marketing success in their local community and business classification.

Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and

implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small

businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers

and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Orlando area a vibrant and vital

place to live.

The Orlando Small Business Excellence Awards was established to reward the best of small

businesses in Orlando. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade

groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our

mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Honored Orlando Small Business Excellence Award

Posted on September 5, 2018 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Honored

I was notified in August 2018 that I am the recipient of the Orlando Small Business Excellence Program in the Cooking Classes Classification!  I appreciate the recognition and look forward to serving the community as a Personal Chef, Food Writer and Cooking Class Instructor for years to come.  Thank you!

Chef Susan Ytterberg-Guest Chef FL Hospital Diabetes Center

Posted on August 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Guest Chef Florida Hospital

Adventures in Healthy Cooking!

I have been honored to be featured as a guest Chef this year for FL Hospital's Diabetes Center in Orlando! I am happy to do this servive Pro Bono.  My 1st Chef Demo took place in the Trina Hidalgo Demonstration Kitchen for the, "Adventures in Healthy Cooking" program.  The series is tailored for today's busy families and my Chef demonstration include techniques, tips and tastings.  Classes are offered to patients who are part of the Dining with Diabetes program , and are also open to the public.  My demos involve writing original recipes and demonstrating them to the audience.   I will be appearing again in December!

To register for the December 6, 2018 class, check it out at:

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Luck of the Irish- Guinness Bread, Cake & Scones

Posted on July 20, 2018 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Luck of the Irish- Guinness Bread, Cake & Scones

I went to Ireland this past week and loved every minute of it.  The sights were beautiful, the people warm, informative, friendly!  The native country food?  Excellent. The lucky part of this trip was that I lucked into several authentic recipes- now that's Irish luck!

I had the pleasure of visiting a dairy farm- Molanna Dairy during my visit and the family was kind enough to serve Irish Coffee along with their Rich Guinness Cake and Scones!  Needless to say, we all loved the experience and can't believe we were lucky enough to enjoy their home made food. They hand whipped their own dairy's cream for the Irish Coffee, and the Rich Guinness Cake is cooked the old fashioned way using the, "slow oven" technique to specify cooking time.  Now, I had to look that up- "slow oven" what the heck does that mean?  Good old fashioned Mirriam Webster Dictionary describes this as baking for a specified time from 250 to 325 degrees.  Alrighty then! 

When we departed, our hostess kindly provided us with her coveted recipes so I am including them below.  The cake was moist and delcious, the scones were flaky and topped with clotted cream and home made black currant jam- yum!

Rich Guinness Cake

1/2 lb butter 1 lb currants

3/4 lb brown sugar 1 lb sultanas (golden raisins)

1 lb flour 1/4 lb chopped citron peel

4 eggs beaten 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 pt Guinness- heated 1/4 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp baking soda grated zest of 1 lemon

1.  Cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs gradually while stirring in a little of the flour beating well with each addition.  

2. In a different bowl combine the Guinness and the baking soda.  Stir to mix.  Then pour into other bowl with ingredients.  Add the remainder of th flour and mix.  Note:  The beer combined with the baking soda become the, "yeast" for this bread!

3. Mix in the dried fruit, all spice, nutmeg and lemon zest until completey combined.

4. Put in a greased and lined 9" cake pan and bake in a slow oven 250 degrees for 3.5 hours.  Allow to cook in tin before turning out onto a cooling

rack.  Our hostess pictured below.


There's more!  Here is the recipe for the Jam & Cream Scones:

Jam & Cream Scones

8 oz self-rising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 oz cold butter

2 oz sugar

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp milk

Bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes

1. Sift four and baking powder, using a pastry tool slice in the cold butter.  Stir in the sugar.  Add the beaten egg and milk.  Mix to a soft dough and knead until smooth.

2. Roll dough to about 1", cut into rounds with 1 1/2" cutter.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

3. Cool then cut in half and serve with clotted whipped cream and jam/preserves.

Our Host:

We then went to Hayfield Manor in County Cork and had the most delicious brown bread at this historic manor. Now, I had this bread 2 days in a row and it was delish.  It wasn't til I got the recipe that I even know that the primary liquid in the bread was not the ale; it is milk!  Still delicious, just surprised.  Love learning new things!

Murphy's and Walnut Brown Bread

"Beyond the Best"

Courtesy of Hayfield Manor

1 cup brown flour 1 1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tsp all purpose flour 1/3 cup golden syrup (avail in the U.S.A. but if you can't find, sub with corn syrup)

3/8 cup instant oats 1/2 cup treacle (molasses in the U.S.A.)

3/8 cup chopped walnuts & pecans 2.2 oz Guinness/Murphys Ale

1/4 cup granulated sugar                                7.8 oz whole milk

1/8 cup plus 2 Tbsp butter

pinch salt

1.  Mix all dry goods thoroughly

2. Warm the golden syrup, butter and treacle until combined

3. Add the Guinness and milk to the warmed liquid mixture

4. Mix the dry and wet mixtures together thoroughly

5. Pour into a greased pan 5"x9"

6. Bake in preheated oven 355 degrees for approximately 1 hour

7. Before removing ensure bread is cooked through.  Then remove from heat, cool then invert to remove.

Chef Susan Ytterberg- Crazy Good Chicken Pot Pie

Posted on June 9, 2018 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Crazy Good Chicken Pot Pie!

I have loved comfort food for years but have never quite found a pot pie that spoke to me.  The frozen pot pies you buy at the store are flavorless, and the crust disappoints.  I've had others where the crust is great, but the filling's bland and the Veloute Sauce (I'll get to that in a minute) is runny.  So, I have created a new recipe based on the basic principle of most other pot pie recipes with one great exception- it's awesome.  I cannot take credit for the concept of chicken pot pie, but as a Chef, my goal is to perfect a recipe until it is delcious- and can be replicated by anyone.  Brace yourself, I'm going to start with the video of the finished pie, then will take you through the recipe; step, by step!

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Vocabulary Lesson #1: VELOUTE SAUCE is really the sauce that is used in a Chicken Pot Pie.  Pronounce- "Vel-Ooh-Tay". 

Vocabulary Lesson # 2:ROUX is the combined heated mixture of flour and butter over heat used to thicken sauces.  Pronounce- "Roo".  

Got it?  Here we go~


Veloute Sauce- 3 Tbsp Butter, melt in pot.  Whisk in 3 Tbsp Flour.  This is called the Roux.  Whisk until combined and smells nutty.  Add heated chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, whisking to combine. (total 2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/3 cups of chicken stock. Conitnue cooking over low heat until smooth and a little thick- not liquidy. Whisk in 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper.  The longer it is on heat, the thicker it will get.

Ingredients for pie:

2 premade pie crusts- you can find in dairy section of grocery store

1 pack chicken tenders equalling 6 to 8 tenders- Season with salt and pepper

1 small box sliced mushrooms  

1 russet potato peeled, diced and steamed for 10 minutes

1 small to medium onion, cut into crescents.

1 bag of frozen peas & carrots.  Use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups total based on personal preference. Microwave to thaw, then cool.

1 cup grated aged Irish cheddar

3 Tbsp butter

salt & pepper

white pepper

1 egg whisked- you will use this to glaze top of pie crust before baking


1. Make the Veloute Sauce

2. Roast the chicken tenders at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until internal temp is 165 degrees.  Cool and cut into 1" or 1/2" squares

3. Sautee mushrooms over medium heat with butter to soften, about 10 minutes. Add sliced onions and sautee for 5 more minutes.

4. Add diced/steamed potato to the mushrooms, stir to combine then add  the peas and carrots.  Add 1 tsp salt to mixure and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir, allow to cook for a few more minutes.  Then remove from heat to cool.

5. Mix everything in a bowl with the Veloute Sauce. You can see in the picture the consistancy of the veloute sauce is not runny. 

Next: Lay round pre-made pie crust in bottom of pie dish.  Allow extra crust to hang over edge of pie dish.

Then, add/scrape your pot pie filling into the crust- See picture below.

Looks great right?  Almost done, but not quite!

Next: Sprinkle 1 cup of grated cheddar on top of the pie

Next:   Place 2nd premade pie crust on top of pie. Trim any excess crust and crimp edges.  Then with a pastry brush, brush whisked egg over the crust and cut vent in center of pie.

Now you're ready to bake this beauty. (If you want to sprinkle a little Kosher salt over the top of the pie, go for it!)  Place in preheated oven 375 degrees and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until golden brown and crust is completely cooked.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 to 30 minutes before cutting to ensure solid.  It will be still be steaming hot as you can see from my video above when you finally cut and serve it.

You can see in this picture below, the pie is baking inthe oven.  The crust is rising in the picture and you can see that the sides of the crust are starting to cook too.

Here is the final picture below of the finished pie.  Enjoy!

Chef Susan Ytterberg- March 2018 Feature Article in Lake Mary Life Magazine

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg- March 2018 Feature Article in Lake Mary Life Magazine

I am honored to be featured in a full page article in this local Orlando Magazine, thank you to Lake Mary Life Magazine!

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!