2018 is upon us!

A new year! A new journey! Happy New Year everyone. Waking up this morning to our second snowfall of this winter. Kind of has me worried about the rest of winter. But it is still beautiful to look at and the air is so fresh. Love it.

So let’s hear them – your new year’s resolutions that is. In the past, mine have always been to lose weight and save money. But I quit making resolutions because they didn’t seem to ever work. If you stop to think about it though, it’s what’s in us that doesn’t work. It’s one thing to speak a commitment and another to uphold it.

2017 brought a lot of changes for me, all good I am happy to say. I jumped off the deep end in marketing The Green Kitchen and it is starting to pay off. I became involved with a great business coach and group and learned how to focus. I am still learning. Just like anything else you begin, results take time.

And many of you know I have diabetes, but am managing it quite well with medicine and exercise. In June 2016, I began losing weight and over the course of the next year, I lost close to 40 pounds. My A-1 C came down to a normal range and in June 2017, my doctor cut my meds in half. Vacation in August almost ruined me though, and with an injury to my hip, the exercise has had to stop for a while. But at my last appointment, my numbers have only increased slightly and the doc is still happy with my progress.

And now to 2018. I won’t call it a resolution, but I have started Whole 30 – no alcohol, dairy, grains nor added sugar for 30 days. At first, I truly thought no alcohol would be hard, but here we are on the second day, and I am realizing it’s the no breads or dairy that will be tough. Committing to this and even on just the second day, has made me painfully aware of my diet. So wish me luck.

And if any of you out there would like help with your dietary “resolutions”, The Green Kitchen would love to help you on your journey. Email me at cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com or call 804-687-7099. Happy 2018.

Happy New Year!

Whoa! What do you mean it’s December 29th? Christmas passed 4 days ago! This is hard evidence how fast time can pass. This week is an odd week, sort of still celebrating the holiday and about to ring in a new year. Again, whoa! A new year?!

A new year can bring about many changes. We often begin it with resolutions of things we will do better or more of in the new year. What does that look like for you? For me, my hope is to take The Green Kitchen to even further heights. I have loved being in business for myself and am amazed at how far I’ve come. I can truly say I am doing what I love!

And for many, resolutions are made in relation to our health. I heard somewhere that gym memberships are sold mostly in January. And if that is you this year, I commend you. Commitments can be difficult, but at least for me, once I’ve made my mind up to do something, I usually stick with it. That’s not to say I haven’t fallen off the wagon many times. But the key is to try again. If it is truly a goal you want to attain, keep at it.

And The Green Kitchen can help you with those health and wellness goals. We offer personal chef meals delivered to your door weekly. We listen to each client’s individual needs and “cater” to those needs. No carbs? No problem! No gluten? No problem! Want lots of fresh veggies? No problem!

Give us a call at 804-687-7099 or email us cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com and schedule a time to go over your healthy eating goals for 2018. We can help you meet those goals! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

Welcome back. The Green Kitchen is wrapping up its very busy catering season with a final dinner being delivered on Christmas day! Whole Beef Tenderloin, Scallops, Parsnip and Celery Root Puree, Roasted Asparagus and Crème Brulee! Yummy!

My morning will begin with my own tradition of Irish Coffee, Fried Oysters and Eggs Benedict and Cinnamon Rolls. What traditions do you have?

As I was decorating my tree this year, hanging my favorite ornaments, I thought about tradition. It’s hard to imagine the tree without the kids’ favorites – the Power Ranger and Spiderman; the glass jewels my daughter made in pre-school; the clay wreath with her picture in the middle. And then there are the ornaments I’ve made – painted balls with Joy, Faith and Peace written on them. And my favorites are the crocheted stars my mom made years ago. I reflected on these being handed down when my kids have their own families. It made me smile. I hope this holiday season has done the same for you.

So now the catering season has exhausted me and I did not have time to send out Christmas cards. Nor have I had time for baking. Though now with a couple of days off, I might make up at least for the baking on Saturday. I have a few standards like Pecan Lace with Orange Buttercream and Russian Tea Cakes, but this year I think I will try some new ones like Chai Macarons, Pecan Meringues and Pecan Whiskey Honeycomb. Hopefully you are on my nice list.

And as far as cards, why do we wait until Christmas to mail cards? Technology has ruined us. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll reach out Christmas morning on Facebook and wish all holiday greetings, but I truly enjoy receiving Christmas cards. So I think this year, I will make a resolution to reach out to my loved ones with cards throughout the year and let me know I’m thinking of them then too and not just at Christmas.

I wish you all a fabulous and Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy the time with your loved ones. And if you still need any last minute gifts, The Green Kitchen is only a phone call away for purchasing a gift certificate for meals and chef services! 804-687-7099

How’s your list coming?

Yay! It’s Thursday! Welcome back. Yes, I am a day late, but with this busy time of year, I have to fit it all in where I can. Sound familiar?

Have you finished all your shopping? Are you one of those who finishes in September? Or do you shop year round? Do you ask your loved ones for a list? Or do you wing it?

Well, either way, The Green Kitchen has some great gift ideas! One of my favorite gifts ever was a subscription to Bacon-of-the-Month club through The Pig Next Door. Yes, there is such a thing! A pound of bacon from different farms was delivered monthly and it was delicious. But maybe pork isn’t your thing. You are in luck!

This year, I’ve already given homemade beef jerky in a mason jar wrapped up with pretty holiday string and a tag. And the tag was cut from an old Christmas card with a pair of perforated scissors and hole-punched.

Holiday gifts need not be something that requires a lot of time fighting traffic and finding a parking place at the mall and searching for the right size and color. The most thoughtful gifts are ones you know your friends will love. Say it with me – “the gift of food”! And it doesn’t have to be something you cook yourself. That’s where The Green Kitchen comes in.

A Green Kitchen gift certificate for chef services can please anyone’s palate! Get it? I crack myself up!

Your loved ones can use their certificate for personal chef meals to be delivered fresh. Or towards a private chef dinner in their home. Or towards a party they are hosting. Or maybe they want to learn to cook a certain ingredient or master a certain technique, like homemade pasta making or bread making? The Green Kitchen offers all these services.

And best of all, you don’t have to fight that mall traffic!
Give us a call at 804-687-7099 or cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com and we will email you a gift certificate that your loved ones will remember for years!

Less than 20 days….

Yay! It’s Wednesday again, and Christmas is less than 20 days away. Still I can’t believe it is here already. Maybe it’s these warmer days we are having, starting out in gloves, jackets and hats and peeling those layers as the day goes on. This morning, I am actually in flip-flops. It should not be warm enough for flip-flops!

2017 has been a great year for The Green Kitchen and 2018 is looking even better. I have been blessed with far more career opportunities, reaffirming my decision to totally focus on making The Green Kitchen a raging success!

We have to be careful this time of year, though. We, as in those of us who think we HAVE to do it all, the decorating, the shopping, the cooking, the greeting cards. I too, am guilty of all this. I love being efficient with my time and when I have even a few extra minutes, I think “what can I get done”?

This can lead to careless mistakes. Like climbing up on the arm of a porch chair to “quickly” hang an ornament. And down I went. But did I attend to it then? Nope. No time, not to even sit and cry. I had to leave right away for work. Now 2 days later, I am about to have my leg X-rayed. The knot on my shin bone suggests a break.

I’ve said for years, how much of a “klutz” I am, constantly doing things like this. But I read somewhere a while back, that it’s not klutzy, it’s that we have so much on our minds, that we don’t take the time to be safe. And yes, I am very guilty.

So my message this holiday season is one I will try to practice myself and that is to slow down. We don’t have to do it all. No one is going to “unfriend” us if they don’t receive a Christmas card from us. Our world won’t come to a crashing halt if the house isn’t totally decorated.

Let’s all slow down and be a little easier on ourselves. Let’s enjoy time with our families.

And The Green Kitchen can help you enjoy that family time by handling your holiday cooking, even with just a dish or two. The homemade cranberry sauce, the dressing, the gravy – whatever dish you don’t want to fool with or are daunted by. Give us a call at 804-687-7099. Or email us at cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com

Happy Holidays!

Hands That Love to Cook

Yay! It’s Wednesday again! We’ve just gotten through Thanksgiving and some of us are now focused on Christmas. Bah humbug some of you might say, and trust me when I say I’ve said that before too. There has been couple of years in my life when I didn’t put up a tree until Christmas Eve and then with only a single ornament. Our lives has just become so dang busy, it’s a wonder we get anything done at all some times.

Did you venture out last Black Friday? One year I went out before dark, along with the masses and found myself around Best Buy’s parking lot in the back at the farthest corner waiting in line, for just 1 item for my son. The blessing there was that I was first in line to check out. But I think it was the last time I went out on that crazy day of the year. Amazon has become my new BFF. Yours too, I bet.

While you are thinking about what to buy for your loved ones, let’s talk about the best gift-the gift of food. Food sustains and nourishes us. We not only want it, we must have it in order to survive. And we all want to be here a long time. So why not eat something delicious, and freshly prepared?

At The Green Kitchen, we offer all services related to food.
• Weekly prepared meals.
• Meals for special occasions, births, anniversaries.
• Health challenges from illnesses to operations.
• Cooking instruction.
• Catering.

We cater to our clients’ needs. No carbs? No problem. No pork? No problem. No gluten? No problem.

I’ll leave you with this: What business do you think profits the most in January? Gym memberships! And that’s when we all make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier. Why not start the new year off with the help of The Green Kitchen? We’d love to help you with your goals of eating better. Reach out to us at cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com or 804-687-7099

Remember, food prepared with hands that love to cook tastes better!

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Wednesday everyone and the day before we all stuff ourselves with fabulous food! Do any of us eat like that the rest of the year?

There are certain foods that only appear on my dinner table until the holidays. Fresh cranberry sauce is one such dish. I love it. And of course, the bird itself. I’ll eat turkey sandwiches throughout the year, but never do I think of having a whole bird any other time of the year.

And when does everyone eat? Growing up, we used to eat earlier in the day, which allows for a great nap and then “leftovers” for dinner later in the evening.

This year, I’ve been blessed with an invitation to have dinner elsewhere and I do not have to cook. While I love the idea of not cooking, I am filled with mixed emotions about it as well. I just love to cook. And not only that, I love leftovers, especially the carcass of the bird because I make a homemade smoked turkey stock and then a Thai Soup. I’m attaching the soup recipe below. I made it for a friend one year, who when she first heard about it, the look on her face said she wasn’t going to like it. Then, after she had it for lunch the next day, she called me to rave about it and now she gets a pint every year!

The recipe came to me from the Richmond Times-Dispatch many years ago and has become a yearly staple. I highly recommend you try it.

Before I post the recipe, I want to say how thankful I am. My fundraising dinner went well. I served a great dinner to 14 hungry diners, and a representative from FeedMore attended and was able to speak to their cause. I look forward to planning another one for next year. Hope to see you there.

I also want to say how thankful I am for my children, Caitlyn and Watson Fralin, pictured here. It has been wonderful watching these two grow into the great young adults they are. I love you both.

And last we hope you’ll keep The Green Kitchen in mind for any of your cooking needs. From weekly ready-made healthy meals to catering, we listen to our clients and “cater” to them specifically. Give us a try! You won’t be disappointed. cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com or 804-687-7099.  And as promised, here’s that great recipe:


Winter is Coming

Good Wednesday everyone. On Facebook today, there was a contest to see who could correctly predict the first 1” of snow that Richmond will see. What? Snow? Already? Wasn’t I just in flips flops a couple of weeks ago?

Part of me is ready for winter. Ready to hibernate a bit. Or at least have a bowl of comfort in the form of a soup, stew or chili while in front of my fireplace. How about you?

I set aside some chores or tasks until I am forced by Mother Nature to stay indoors. This winter will be no different. I used to sew a lot years ago and would like to take that up again, maybe make a couple of pairs of chef pants. I love being crafty and used to do a lot more than I do now. But, of course, the cooking career I’ve taken up is pretty crafty too.

Another project is to finally put some old photos in albums. Yes, I know that’s old school, but they will be handed down to my children one day and while they love this current electronic age, I know they will get a kick out of seeing these pictures in albums.

But until that first snow hits, I will be spending time in the kitchen, as usual. This weekend is my FeedMore fundraising dinner here at my home, 5:00pm-9:00pm, Saturday, November 18. Tickets can still be purchased by 5:00pm Thursday, the 16th on Eventbrite. https://www.facebook.com/events/119439872080632/

The event will be an intimate gathering of some great folks. I realized after planning this event, I am “competing” with Barack Obama and the Richmond Forum. Can’t say I blame anyone for attending that!

But that is what life is, right? You roll with the punches, as is said. I will still be able to cook a great dinner and the folks attending are supporting a great cause – FeedMore.

And then it’s Thanksgiving next week, where we will all overdose on turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Be sure to tune in to next week’s blog, as I plan to share a great recipe for leftover turkey! And if you need help with your own Thanksgiving feast, be sure to give The Green Kitchen a call, 804-687-7099, or email us at cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com. We’d love to help you!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks from tomorrow. Wow, where has this year gone? And what are you thankful for?

I am thankful every day for the day itself, my children, my home and pets, my friends and loved ones, and am also blessed to be doing something I love for work – feeding people!

Every chef knows the importance of food. Some of our careers are based on presenting the diner with a beautiful plate in a great setting of a restaurant. Mine is a tad different in that I provide weekly ready-made meals to clients. Clients who don’t have the time, but some of those clients are suffering from illnesses and disease.

But there are others who suffer in the great RVA, those who count on such organizations as FeedMore, the Central Virginia FoodBank and Meals on Wheels. These families count on such organizations to feed their own.

Did you know that Meals on Wheels has been delivering now for 50 years? Or did you know that through FeedMore’s BackPack program, kids go home with a backpack of food on Fridays to ensure they have food over the weekend? Be sure to check out their link for more information for such a great program. https://feedmore.org

Food is not only for a great presentation. We must have it to sustain life and nourishment.

And at this time of year, when our giving and generosity abounds, let us remember that there are many families who don’t have enough to eat any other time of the year either. When you see the food donation boxes in local businesses, I hope you’ll give. When you are purchasing your own groceries, may be grab and extra bag of non-perishables to drop off in those boxes.

And this chef is giving in her way as well. I’m hosting a chef dinner here at my home on Saturday, Nov. 18th from 5-9. Tickets are $60 and proceeds to benefit FeedMore. Come enjoy Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Onion Soubise, Vegetable Gratin, Winter Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake with a Caramel Drizzle. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite. https://www.facebook.com/events/119439872080632/

For more information, contact us at 804-687-7099 or

Reasons to be Thankful

This week brings yet more to be thankful for. But shouldn’t every day be like that?

I’ve just finished preparing 2 meals for a friend. This friend sadly lost one of her 21-year old children this weekend. And I can only imagine the pain she must feel.

Our children are born to us and we, as mothers, become very powerful, starting from first becoming pregnant. We grow that life inside us and when it’s time, they make their grand appearance to the rest of the world. Nothing truly prepares us for that moment.

We watch them grow, little clones like ourselves. Some times we know what the next words from their mouths will be. It truly is an incredible experience. I am thankful for mine and truly sad for my friend. I sit here, with her in mind, trying to decide what to write next. And I am nearly at a loss for words.

So I do what I do best and that is cook. Food isn’t just about the pleasure of taste. It is what sustains us. We must eat.

We celebrate with food. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and yes, death. If you grew up in the South, as I did, when one passes, you take the family food. A real southern tradition. It’s comforting to the ones who have lost loved ones, and it’s comforting to the one preparing the food. I have said for years that you can taste the love in someone’s food when they have enjoyed preparing it.

Fortunately for me, I have chosen such a career. One that brings me great satisfaction in knowing there are families out there nourishing their bodies with food I have lovingly prepared.

I will be delivering these meals soon, hoping my friend can taste that love.

The Green Kitchen is available to do the same for you, should the occasion arise. We can be reached at 804-687-7099 or cheftammy@greenkitchenrichmond.com.