Secret Ingredient


vegetable recipes

Simple Vegetable Recipes for Summer Garden Ingredients

Aug 9, 2017

If your summer vegetable garden is progressing like mine, you’re probably up to your ears in zucchini and tomatoes by now. But there’s only so much zucchini bread you can make before you start pawning off the bounty on neighbors, friends and family. What’s an overwhelmed gardener to do? At Secret Ingredient, we’re cooking up […]

how to cook swiss chard

How to Cook Swiss Chard

Jul 26, 2017

If you’re trying to incorporate more leafy green vegetables into your diet, you may be feeling a little bored with spinach and kale. Besides lettuce, what other leafy greens are there? The answer to your veggie blues may be Swiss chard! Chard is often overlooked. Which is too bad, because it’s incredibly diverse, super easy […]

healthy grocery list

Healthy Grocery List + Get a Free Meal

Jun 28, 2017

Are you always reaching for the same few ingredients at the grocery store? What’s on your healthy grocery list? Boxed salad, broccoli, apples…and out the door you go? It’s always a good idea to have your favorites on hand. But summer is no time to stick strictly to a routine—because there is such an array […]

Party food

The Best Party Food to Serve at an Outdoor Event

Jun 21, 2017

4th of July is the highlight of summer! From the beach to the backyard, food to fireworks, it’s a day of celebration, excitement and outdoor time. While gatherings are always better in the sunshine, there are important factors to consider when planning your party food meals and platters. The type of menu you’d traditionally serve […]

Vacation Meals

The Secret to Great Vacation Meals (Hint: They’re Not From a Restaurant!)

Jun 14, 2017

It’s summertime and I’m ready to hit the beach! I have such fond memories of trips to the beach when I was a kid, and I love taking weekend trips there with family and friends now, too. The one thing I don’t love about beach vacations? Dealing with the food. After a few hours of […]

Father's Day

6 Ideas for Father’s Day Foodie Gifts + Our Favorite Chicken Recipe

Jun 7, 2017

Dads can be hard to shop for, especially if they already seem to have everything. But if your father is a hobbyist in food, beverages or grilling, the list of gifts he’ll appreciate is endless. With Father’s Day coming up, now is the time to start brainstorming the perfect gift for the man in your […]

Private chef

Private Chef vs. Personal Chef: What’s the Difference?

May 31, 2017

If you’re looking to hire a chef, it’s important to understand exactly what your needs are. Before you perform a Google search, familiarizing yourself with a few key culinary terms can ensure you find the right professional for you. See, when you become a chef you have many options. You can work as a: Personal […]

Easy Grill Recipes

Easy Grill Recipes: Go Beyond Burgers

May 24, 2017

Memorial Day is the official kickoff to summer. And there’s no better way to celebrate than with easy grill recipes. It’s likely that most of the barbecues in town will feature hot dogs and hamburgers with the traditional fixins. While everyone loves these all-American favorites, why not try something new this year—and raise the bar […]

paleo diet

Curious About the Paleo Diet? Here’s Why I (and My Clients) Love It

May 17, 2017

One of the most important ways a personal chef can support you is by working with your diet. Whether you’ve been wanting to try a new regimen or have been following one for years, a personal chef should be able to accommodate your needs. At Secret Ingredient, we get a lot of requests for the […]

graduation party

The Key to an Epic Graduation Party

May 10, 2017

If you’re celebrating your high school or college grad, there’s a lot of pressure to impress. Memories of the day will last a lifetime, so you want to ensure the event exceeds expectations. Our secret? Select a simple theme and bring it to life with stylish graduation party food and decorations.    No matter if […]

mother's day brunch ideas

7 Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas + The Perfect Present

May 3, 2017

Right now you’re probably looking for the best brunch reservation in Pennsylvania. Maybe you’ve bookmarked a few fancy options, but the prix-fixe menus and inflated prices seem so…impersonal. You want Mom to feel comfortable, and you want the day to reflect all of her favorites. So why not celebrate at home? We have plenty of […]

cooking spaghetti squash

The Best Method for Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Apr 26, 2017

It’s spaghetti squash mania in my kitchen right now! As the weather warms up in Pennsylvania, I’m loving thin strands of spaghetti squash as an alternative to heavy pasta dishes. And my gluten-free clients can’t seem to get enough. While you may be hesitant to trade your traditional plate of spaghetti for squash, consider this: […]

pennsylvania csa

Your Pennsylvania CSA Guide + FREE Mini Cookbook

Apr 19, 2017

Grilled steak Florentine with spicy arugula Snap pea salad with sherry vinaigrette Asparagus with chicken in lemon and garlic… Is your mouth watering yet? Spring and summer offer promises of farm fresh produce, and the seasons always deliver here in Pennsylvania. We’re lucky we have an abundance of small, local farms in our area so […]

spring lamb

All About Lamb: How to Select, Prepare and Enjoy It This Spring

Apr 12, 2017

Spring lamb is finally here! As a chef with Greek roots, this is my all-time favorite type of meat–and it’s a must on Easter Sunday. When preparing spring lamb, it’s best to keep it simple. It is, after all, a very flavorful meat. In my family, we stick to the basics with olive oil, salt, […]

spring cleanse salad

How to Do a Spring Cleanse Without Going Hungry

Apr 5, 2017

Spring means it’s time to ditch the heavy comfort foods and enjoy lighter, more refreshing fare. With produce like strawberries, spinach and lettuce in season, there’s plenty to eat without missing the mac ‘n cheese too much. Cleanses are popular this time of year, but extreme measures like the Master Cleanse or juice fasting are […]

healthy breakfast smoothie

A Healthy Breakfast Recipe in 5 Minutes or Less

Mar 22, 2017

Mornings can be so stressful. You’re juggling sandwiches for school lunches, checking emails and taking the dog around the block, all while rushing to get out of the door on time. A frantic start to your day can make preparing a healthy breakfast seem like an impossible task. It gets even more complicated if you […]

how to cook an artichoke

How to Cook an Artichoke: Recipe Basics

Mar 15, 2017

Artichokes are finally in season, and not a moment too soon. Thursday, March 16 is National Artichoke Hearts Day! Did You Know? The artichoke is technically an unbloomed flower and belongs to the thistle family. It’s high in folate as well vitamins C and K. Almost all of the artichokes in the U.S. come from […]

wine pairing

Just Add Wine: Turn Your Next Event Into a Wine Pairing

Mar 8, 2017

Remember this post about party catering where we mentioned turning your next dinner party into a wine pairing event? As a chef, I’ve developed a fondness for wine and the way it enhances meals so beautifully. I love facilitating food and wine pairings at dinner parties, too. Incorporate wine tasting into your next intimate event and […]

jamaican vacation and meal ideas

My Jamaican Vacation & Meal Ideas

Mar 1, 2017

I might’ve returned from Jamaica a few weeks ago, but I’m still in an island-life state of mind. Negril, a town in western Jamaica that boasts the exciting Seven Mile Beach area and coral reef-filled Long Bay, was a dream for my beach-loving soul. The sun, the sand, the food… it was magical, and it […]

healthy snacks

Healthy Snacks for All Day Energy

Feb 22, 2017

Snacking is good for you. Snacking is good for you. Snacking is good for you. Now this is a mantra we can get behind! There can so often be a negative connotation associated with the idea of snacking, but snacking on the right types of healthy, whole foods is actually a vital part of staying […]

dinner party ideas

3 Memorable, No-Stress Dinner Party Ideas

Feb 15, 2017

Late winter is the perfect time to host intimate dinner parties of 50 people or fewer. Everyone has returned home after the new year, and most have recovered from their large office holiday parties. With the weather still being less than optimal, staying cozy inside with friends couldn’t be more appealing. If you’ve never hosted […]

fad diets

Why Don’t Fad Diets Work?

Feb 8, 2017

Remember the cabbage soup diet? This was a fad diet that claimed dieters could lose around 10 pounds in a week by eating mostly fat-free cabbage soup. This and other fad diets usually promise quick weight loss results by following strict rules about what to eat and what to avoid. They become wildly popular for […]

romantic dinner

Personal Chef Services: Most Original Valentine’s Day Gift Ever

Feb 1, 2017

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Are you mentally running through the usual list of gift ideas already? Maybe you’re totally unsure what to give your significant other. A box of chocolate? Flowers and a teddy bear? What about a romantic dinner prepared specially for the […]

cold weather ice skates

How to Stay Active (and Energized) in Cold Weather

Jan 25, 2017

Keeping up with a healthy routine can be challenging in cold weather. It’s all too easy to curl up with a bowl of macaroni & cheese and waste the precious few hours of sunlight indulging in a Game of Thrones marathon. But winter is an important time to stay active. Not only do you need […]

citrus fruits

Need a seasonal dinner idea? This is juicy…

Jan 18, 2017

Ah, the winter blues. Have they set in yet? With fewer hours of daylight, and cold weather keeping us indoors, it’s easy to feel tired, depleted and basically “blah”. When my energy levels are low, I look to my fridge for a boost. And this time of year, Mother Nature is providing us with an […]

easy healthy meals

Easy Healthy Meals: Better than Takeout!

Jan 11, 2017

Having fantasies of waving a magic wand and seeing easy healthy meals appear on your table? Me too. I think we’re all interested in making healthy food efficient and stress-free! Picture this: you get home from work later than expected and drive your kids to soccer practice. By the time you hobble back home, the […]

Resolutions for the New Year

Resolutions for the New Year: gifts that make them stick

Jan 4, 2017

I know that the season we associate with gift giving has passed, and that it’s time to make our resolutions for the New Year. But what if I told you that you could keep on gift giving, and work to improve yourself. Interested? Here’s the secret: the gifts that you’re going to give this time […]

Party Menu

My Simple Party Menu for a Glamorous New Year’s Eve

Dec 28, 2016

New Year’s Eve is the most decadent night of the year. From the confetti to the countdown, it’s all about kicking back and having fun. Whether you’re staying in pajamas or inviting friends over for a big bash, it’s easy to put together a spread fit for a celebration—and I’ll show you how. Pop the […]

Hot Chocolate Recipes

What I’m Thankful For + Hot Chocolate Recipes!

Dec 21, 2016

Here at the Secret Ingredient, we’re all about delicious food that nourishes your body, but there are other modalities for health and healing. This season especially, we’re focusing on gratitude. Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine can be just as beneficial to your well-being as healthy eating. It helps you see the world in a […]

Good Mood Food

Boost Your Happiness with Good Mood Food

Dec 7, 2016

With the holidays here, it’s easy to feel stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, sad or any range of emotions. This is especially true when we’re eating a seasonal diet full of sugar. From Christmas cookies to refined carbohydrates, the holidays bring indulgence to the table. Of course, celebrating is wonderful. But if you can add more “good […]