Always Compliment the Chef!


Any at-home chef knows how much work can go into making a dish: buying supplies; preparing and measuring ingredients; combining everything in just the right order; then baking, chilling, or setting it at room temp… Lots of work! So, when your dish ends up prepared to perfection, all the energy that went into making your culinary masterpiece was worth it.
Unfortunately, when the soufflé falls, or the cookies burn or you accidentally forget a key ingredient, it can be super frustrating. Most of us have played the role of cook at one time or another, but each of us has certainly taken a turn at showing up at the dinner table with a meal prepared just for us. Table manners should not only include keeping your elbows off the table, but also thanking the chef.
I have a dear friend in my neighborhood that threw a mid-morning bridal shower. I attended the shower but had no time to stay and chat as I was headed to a doctor’s appointment, which meant no refreshments – what a bummer! Later that night, she was delivering some of the leftover goodies and lovingly dropped off some chocolate cupcakes to my door. They were absolutely scrumptious and delightful, entirely delicious and wonderful. I firmly believe that when my lips taste something fantastic, it is my privilege and duty to pay my compliments to the chef. I dialed my friend, thanked her for the cupcakes, and got the name of the culinary diva that had whipped them up, who happened to be a mutual friend. I phoned the chef and left a message, thanking her for adding something delightful to my night, and requested the cupcake recipe.
Here comes the best part: she phoned me back the next day, and couldn’t stop laughing. Why, you might wonder? Well, the recipe that she used had come from MY cookbook, “FEAST”! It’s the “Ridiculously Good Chocolate Cake” recipe. Of course I liked them! They are perfect for all occasions: baby and wedding showers, soccer treats, anniversary parties, or for a late night snack.
Let this be a lesson to all: it pays to compliment the chef. And who knows, you might just be thanking yourself for a job (or recipe) well done.
February is the month of “True Love” with Valentine’s Day. Whether you have someone to hold tight or not, we can all fall more deeply, madly and truly in love with chocolate. The “Ridiculously Good Chocolate Cake” recipe will bring you back to the days of your first crush, and will remind you why you’ve stuck together ever since.

Ridiculously Good Chocolate Cake

2 ½ cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Mix all of the ingredients together, and then slowly add the water while blending. Pour the batter into a greased 9” x 13” pan. Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes, or for 17 minutes if making cupcakes.

This combines several of God’s gifts all at once: cocoa, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, love…


About Author

Lindsey Joy Smith, aka The Chipper Chef, is an author, teacher, a crazy-good professional cook, and deliciousness advocate. She graduated with merit from Edinburgh New Town Cookery School in Scotland, and holds a BA in Education from the University of Arizona. Lindsey Joy teaches hands on cooking classes, is a regular chef contributor on the TV show Studio 5. She is the mother of 5 silly children, wife to one handsome man, and believes in the healing power of the chocolate, peanut butter shake.

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