Marcus Samuelsson Tips

MacysDisclosureCollageThis year, my family allowed me to contribute to Christmas dinner. Yes, you read that correctly—allowed. I made a chicken casserole and sweet potatoes. The recipes were easy peasy and pretty tasty, according to everyone around the table. So why didn’t I bring a dish until 2013? Well, my family is filled with not only good cooks but people who love to cook. You know, the kind who buy a house based on the size of the kitchen. The kind who shop at three specialty stores to make one recipe.  That joy of cooking didn’t pass down to me. In fact, the apple fell far from the tree.

Right now, my kitchen cabinets are a bit bare. The food filling my refrigerator is in takeout containers or in my mother’s Tupperware—which I promise to return after leaving with leftovers. Don’t get me wrong. I can cook. Once I prepared a Thanksgiving Day dinner for 20 friends in the Cayman Islands. OK, that was 2007. I just come up with reasons not to make meals—being a busy mom is one excuse in heavy rotation.

Thanksgiving 2007

But in 2014, my resolution is to spend more time around the table with friends and family. I want to write on the pretty meal planning calendar, which is currently only kitchen décor. I want to pack lunches for work and save money from eating out. Like most moms, I can’t do it alone. It takes a village to cook a meal—oh, that’s not how the saying goes? At any rate, I sought the advice of a sought after chef—Marcus Samuelsson.

Macy's Culinary Council

Recently, he held a cooking demonstration at Macy’s. To help celebrate the season of giving, the Chicago location teamed up with Chef Marcus and the Make- a-Wish Foundation®. They granted the wish of 17-year-old Sara Opseica , a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma patient who dreamed of cooking next to a top chef. If Sara doesn’t make excuses, why should I? Sara inspired me to tie on an apron, and Marcus inspired me to try out some new recipes in the New Year and dished cooking advice for busy moms.

New Year's 2014

Marcus Samuelsson

Other advice—Chef Marcus says to save family recipes and create cookbooks, which can be given as gifts throughout the year. He says you should share your family’s experiences and create new traditions.

Hopefully, I made Chef Marcus and Sara proud! Maybe he’s so impressed with my culinary skills that he’ll come and cook in my kitchen.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed. In the meantime, he shared a couple of recipes, of  some of which are great way to sneak in extra veggies into a finicky kid’s diet. You can check out his turkey meatloaf with tomato, fried chicken and waffle shooters and more tasty recipes on Macy’s Culinary Council website.  You can also try out recipes from other expert chefs. If you don’t cook often like me, there’s a video library to walk you through your culinary journey.

Hey DFTM Fam—What new recipes are you making a resolution to make in the new year?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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