Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Who hasn’t heard of the Bloody Mary? The Bloody Mary has had its fair share of controversy with quite a number of people laying claim to the title of inventor.  Bloody Mary and its twin Virgin Mary are day drinks and not meant to be served after 6 pm. Well today you can learn to make it in the space of your own homes. This delicious and extremely popular cocktail is as easy to make as it is favored. It requires very few ingredients and preparation time is next to nothing. A few simple things go into this and out cometh a fancy, very nice drink that has everyone asking for seconds, thirds or maybe even more. It uses the favorite drink of most people- vodka with other favorites. Some of the variations of this drink may include beef consommé, horseradish, celery, cayenne pepper and a few other ingredients. The drink is may be made by substituting vodka with gin, tequila, rum, scotch, sherry. This is a fairly simple way to make it. To make this you need:


  • 5 oz vodka
  • 3 oz fresh tomato juice
  • A dash of lime
  • Half a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 drops of Tobasco sauce
  • A wedge of lime


Shake all the ingredients with the exception of lime together with ice and pour into a cocktail glass over ice. Add salt and pepper according to your preference; add the lime wedge and garnish with celery salt. Your Bloody Mary is ready to go get you some fans.

There are a few changes you could make to it once you get comfortable. People have been known to add celery sticks and the like. So make your own variations and who knows, maybe yours will go down in history and evolve into the modern Bloody Mary.

Cheesy Potatoes

How to make it
Another of my favorite recipes is baked potatoes with cheese. It is extremely simple to make and equally delicious. All of us love cheese and the combination of cheese and potatoes with a little bit of mint and coriander is extremely appetizing.

What you need for this simple dish is 6-8 potatoes, calculated at one and a half potatoes per person. So if you’re cooking for six people, you could make around ten potatoes. Going about this dish is extremely simple. All you need to do is to first boil the potatoes. Then once the potatoes are boiled you need to cut each potato in half and scoop out the center. After that the mixture of cheese and other things needs to be put in the center.

For the filling in the center you need to slice up mushrooms and sauté them lightly in butter. Thereafter mix the mushrooms and grated cheese. Add a bit of pepper (make sure you don’t add too much, it will surely ruin the taste),a bit of chopped coriander and a hint of mint leaves.

How to bake it
Put this mixture into the potato hollows. You can also add a bit of potato in the mixture in case you don’t want it to become too cheesy. Make sure the mixture doesn’t reach the top of the potato because cheese melts and you don’t want it to spill over. Also cut off the rounded portion of the potato so that it can stand on its own.

Next grease a baking tray and line the potatoes on it. Put the tray in the oven preheated at 200 degrees centigrade. It should be done within ten minutes, so just keep an eye on it while it’s cooking. Once it’s done take it out of the oven. You could add a bit of oregano on top or keep it as it is. You cheesy baked potatoes are ready to serve.

Mushroom Gravy

Who doesn’t love a good meal?
Every single person is a food critic inside; it’s just that few of us make money from it.  There are lots of people I know who detest cooking, a lady I know hasn’t cooked a meal in more than five years. As a private chef in NYC I love cooking of course.

Cooking can be one of the most relaxing things in the world. Letting oneself go, playing with spices and putting together creations certainly gets the week’s stress out of me. The very first time I cooked was when I was fifteen years old. It was my parents wedding anniversary and I didn’t want them eating the routine fare. So I pulled out a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook and picked out a recipe.

The main course was risotto, mushroom gravy (from Madhur Jaffrey’s book and a few of my own additions) and spicy potato fingers (my own).

Private Chef Risotto
Private Chef Risotto

I’d seen my mom, grand mom and aunt cook risotto before and it’s very hard to go wrong with it. There are hundreds of varieties of risotto, but this simple one is what I began my cooking with. All this particular variety takes is some mushroom (I really do have a thing for mushroom), tomatoes, capsicum or bell peppers, onions (1 of each), cheese and the main ingredient -rice. Really with all these things going inside one pot, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong.

It’s very simple to go about it and it involves the following steps:

Put a little butter or any cooking medium into a cooker and let it melt. Throw in the onions letting them fry until they’re golden brown and then add the mushrooms. Remember that since mushrooms have very high water content, they release the water when cooking and a whole lot of mushrooms can be reduced to very little. So if you’re cooking for a family of 4, be sure to have at least one and a half packets or 300 grams of mushrooms. Next put in salt, but be careful not to put too much since both cheese and mushrooms contain salt. You can always put in more later. Add the capsicum, rice, tomato and 2 cups of water and put the lid on the cooker. After 3-4 minutes put in the cheese and close the lid. Let another 2 minutes pass before you take it off the flame. If anytime in the cooking process, you feel the rice has gotten dry add some more water so that it won’t stick to the bottom. Take it off the store, and you own risotto is ready to go in less than 15 minutes.


More than five years later risotto remains my favorite and recently when I was over at a friend’s place I cooked with another private chef and her family enjoyed the recipe. If you’re a novice this is just the perfect thing with which to begin your love affair with cooking.

Lovely Cheesecake

Everyone loves good cheesecake. The appeal of this delicious desert was even included in an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S where Rachel, Monica and the others eat cheesecake off the floor. There is even a restaurant called the Cheesecake Factory. Cheesecake comes in a variety of flavours the most popular ones being chocolate, peach, lemon and strawberry.  Cheesecake is not all that difficult to make though in many parts of the world most people treat it as a delicacy one has at a fancy restaurant.  This is how to make delicious strawberry cheesecake.

Private Chef Cheesecake
Private Chef Cheesecake

For this you need the following:

For the crust

  • 1 cup of biscuits
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter

For the filling

  • 19 ounces of soft cream cheese
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

For the glazing

  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3rd cup water


For the crust stir together the powdered biscuits with the sugar and the butter to make the base in a pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and then cool. Once the crust is baked reduce the heat to 300 degrees.

For the filling beat the cream cheese and add the sugar to make it fluffy. Add the lemon rind and vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time.  Pour it over the base and then bake for an hour. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for a few hours.

For the glazing blend in the cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan and then add the strawberries and water. Cook it until it thickens. Stir.  Cool it before spreading it over the cheesecake.

Sit back and enjoy one of the world’s favorite desserts. For the health conscious you can always use low fat cream cheese or make it yourself using low fat milk.