This is a place where I will share stories from my 20 years of catering and professional cooking. Some of them will be funny, but they all will have a tip or two for helping you in your cooking endeavors. Enjoy!
- Jennifer Klainberg

Food Cravings

Going through a rough time?  Stressed out with work and family obligations?  Super busy juggling to keep all the balls in the air?  Yeah, me too. Do you find during these super stressful, emotional times that you reach for a cookie? Ok four? Do you choose a big, juicy hamburger and fries instead of something healthier?  Yeah, me too. Hello. My name is Jenny, and I’m an emotional eater.  I am also a chef and health coach which makes my emotional and stress eating particularly difficult for me because I KNOW better. The difference with me is that I don’t ...

Passover Confessions

I have a confession to make:  I hate matzah.  I don’t mind the crunch, I just hate the flavor, or lack thereof, conjuring immediate feelings of cardboard throughout my palette.  I hate what it does to my stomach, sitting in my digestive tract all week and beyond.  During any other week of the year, this does not pose a problem.  During Passover, however, this proves tricky.  It is an unavoidable conundrum, but one that I deliberately try to evade.  After all, it’s everywhere and in everything!  The ritual of eating the matzah during the Seder will most likely ...

Pride. Hold the Prejudice.

I recently had someone tell me how proud they were of me, of my work and what I’m trying to accomplish.  This person wasn’t a parent or a spouse, but he is an important part in my life.  He isn’t the first important person to pay me a compliment like this, but it was the first time I was acutely aware of my reaction to it.  And that was to reject it completely, as if undeserving of that or any other type of praise.  Why would I react this way?  In truth, it’s mostly due to the fact that I feel like I should be further along on my business path, or I should be ...

Lucky

In the midst of my January reset, I realize just how lucky I am.  Not just grateful for the “things” and people I have in my life, but also how lucky I am to do the work that I do.  I get to spend time in the kitchen teaching people about food and how to cook it AND I get to write about my experiences with food and my time in the kitchen.  And not just that, but I get to EAT!  That to me is the greatest gift!  Well, that and love. I recently taught a knife skills class at The Jewish Cooking School with some really great people.  Most of the students had been ...

January Reset

Are you as inundated with “New Year, New You” headlines as I am? I see them everywhere, from fitness studios to retailers and everywhere in between. I hate that headline! It makes me feel like I need improvement, that I’m not good enough with who I am already. Guess what, I AM good enough and I AM worthy. I don’t need to be new, some of my habits may need to be. I’ve started January by hitting the reset button. Work is really busy. There are only 24 hours in the day and 8 of them should be spent sleeping. (Notice I said, should!!) My new goal is to sleep for 7 ...

Practical vs. Possible

I don’t know about you, but I always struggle with the practical and the possible. I am a pragmatist, an optimist, but also a dreamer. In my visions I am healthy, wealthy and wise: I have time to practice my yoga and exercise at will; plenty of funds to shop at the farmer’s markets year round; leisure time to spend in the kitchen; entertain friends and family and a budget to eat in the best restaurants in Manhattan and Long Island. In real life, I have a busy work schedule, I’m trying to build a business, I have 2 kids in college, and a super tight budget. Sometimes ...

Thanksgiving Reflections

It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My refrigerator is full of leftovers, the kids are all on their way back to their respective schools, and all the friends and relatives are on their way back to their respective lives. This is as it should be. As I wrote in a previous post, the kitchen is my sanctuary. Preparing the feast this year, for the first time I might add, this sentiment rang truer than ever. I was completely in my element. For years, I either worked or was at my in-law’s house. This was the first year I hosted. I admit the control freak in me took over and ...

Thanksgiving Help

As promised, more tips and suggestions for making Thanksgiving a breeze this year! By now, I hope you’ve ordered your turkey (I have!) and planned a menu, everything from the appetizers to the desserts. Tip #1:  Make the appetizers self-service, this way you aren’t stuck trying to keep everything hot while also trying to get a beautiful dinner ready.  A seasonal crudité platter with dip; chips and dip; a cheese platter are all great ideas for people to take on their own.  Just platter it up and set it out. Tip #2:  The more dishes on the table, the ...

Complicated

Complicated Relationships can be complicated.  Food shouldn’t be.  Food should nourish our bodies as well as our souls.  It does for me. The food that I make at home, and the recipes that I teach my clients to make, is simple and flavorful.  Even if I’m trying to impress someone, my dishes are easy and uncomplicated.  When I read cookbooks, and I read them like other people read novels, I look for recipes that don’t have 20 ingredients.  Dishes don’t need all those elements to be complex and delicious.  You just need to know how to build the levels of ...

Perfection

Perfection What a hopeless word, perfection.  It’s a word that induces pressure.  Pressure to be the perfect parent in order to raise perfect children, be the perfect spouse, friend.  Go to the perfect university and get perfect grades so you can graduate and get the perfect job.  Whose idea was this perfection, this utopian way of existing? Perfectionism is part of my nature, I’m a Virgo and I love order and yes, perfection.  But I know, deep down, that it’s an ideal that doesn’t exist.  Life is hard enough without trying to live up to someone else’s ...