Chef Jonathon Sawyer on The Chew

Tuesday was one of the COOLEST days of my life as a Chef's Widow. We came to NYC for spring break this week and the Chef managed to snag himself a spot cooking on ABC's The Chew thanks to our dear friend Michael Symon. We were lucky enough to accompany the Chef to the studio and hang out while he got his makeup and hairdid and even got to sit in the green room while he went on the show!

He made a ramen grilled cheese from his book Noodle Kids and I must say that HE DID AMAZING!!!! I totally started tearing up when he walked on stage. Pride can't even describe how I felt. We had such a great time and to see how much work goes in to producing, filming, directing, and starring on The Chew really shed a light on how badass Michael Symon really is. Hosting a daytime television show is an insane amount of work on top of being an actual Chef and restauranteur. But I guess having a chef's work ethic probably makes it a little less daunting. Either way it was a phenomenal experience all around and I am so grateful we were able to spend the day at The Chew!

Homemade Ketchup

It's tomater/ season over here at Casa Sawyer and I can't can/peel/cook fast enough. After making sauce for days on days on days, the girl and I decided to try our hand at Mark Bittman's homemade ketchup recipe. We followed the recipe however after tasting I would lose the red bell pepper. The pepper overtook the tomato's and both kids rejected it. 

I have since made another batch and added a few more tomato's and nixxed the bell pepper. It's much more ketchupyyyyy the minis seem to be cool with it and there are no additives, high fructose corn syrup, or any other unknown ingredient. Homemade for he win!

Here's the adapted recipe:

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté 1 chopped onion in 2 tablespoons neutral oil until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and stir until the paste darkens a bit, 2 or 3 minutes. Add 2 lbs whole tomatoes (roughly chopped and seeded, with their juice), ⅓ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon ground mustard, ⅛ teaspoon each ground allspice, ground cloves, cayenne and cinnamon, a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about an hour. Let cool for a few minutes, then purée in a blender until completely smooth. (For supersmooth ketchup, pass it through a fine-mesh strainer.) Taste, adjust the seasoning and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad for #heinensgrill

When Heinen's asked me if I wanted to partner up about grilling, I couldn't help but think of lettuce. Before the Chef and I fell in love I never in my entire life on this beautiful planet have thought of grilling lettuce and I am sure most of you haven't as well. 

But then my fabulous husband put it on the menu at our restaurant The Greenhouse Tavern and I was hooked on grilled lettuce. It sounds weird but the grilled romaine Caesar salad is easily one of the best salads I have ever had and I never ever thought I could make it myself. So when Heinen's asked me to be a part of #heinensgrill I accepted and gave myself a challenge, learn how to make The Greenhouse Tavern's grilled romaine Caesar salad.  

And learn I did! 

What You Need for Grilled Lettuce:

1 Head of Romaine Lettuce

1 Lemon

1 Tbsn Olive Oil

S & P 

How to Grill Lettuce:

  1. Rince and pat romaine dry.
  2. Brush surface with olive oil and s & p mixture.
  3. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, turning throughout.
  4. Remove from grill, slather with Caesar dressing and dried onions.

What you need for Cesar dressing:

12 egg yolks 

½ c Dijon

¾ C Tavern Beer Vinegar (found on your Heinen's shelves or on Tavern Vinegar's website!!)

2 C pecorino

2 T ground black pepper

1 C olive oil

1 C blended oil 

1 T fish sauce

How to make:


  1. Seperate egg yolks and egg whites discard egg whites not necessary for this recipe
  2. In the food processor add egg yolks, dijon, and vinegar turn food processor on and allow eggs to whip for 3 minutes or until they double in size
  3. Slowly incorporate EVO and blended oil creating an emulsion 
  4. Once all olive oil is incorporated, add the pecorino cheese, black pepper, and fish sauce blend until smooth. 
  5. Slather over grilled romaine head of lettuce.
  6. Enjoy!



The Greenhouse Tavern Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

For one fabulous Chef's Widow reader Heinens has offered to giveaway a tote full of grilling supplies. All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me your favorite grilling recipe or tweet/instagram/facebook this:

This grilled romaine caesar salad is the must grill of the season! #heinensgrill

 I will choose a winner on Monday September 1st! Get yo #heinensgrill on!


DIY High Fructose Corn Syrup

I find Maya Weinstein's experiment to figure out how to make High Fructose Corn Syrup quite interesting. I am not sure what she is trying to accomplish as I saw multiple comments on her video requesting to buy the kit. To me, the ingredients alone scream CANCER CANCER CANCER, but that's me.

Nonetheless, she wanted to find out how something was made and she did.

PS High Fructose Corn Syrup is nasty. And bad. And causes all sorts of health issues. Don't eat it. Don't feed it to your kids.


There are No RULES in #Breakfastclub

For our family breakfast is the only time of the day we are all together. The Chef tends to work late so we really try to focus our family time on the morning ritual. For us breakfast can be fast or sit down, it's really all about the timing of that day. The recipes above are a few of #teamsawyer's favorites. 

Chef Sawyer's Parker House Roll

via Food & Wine Magazine

“Old Bay isn’t really a Cleveland thing,” says Jonathon Sawyer about the seasoning on these fluffy, buttery rolls, “but sometimes it’s the right ingredient. I remember my mother’s Parker Houses being laced with salty, savory Old Bay and a mean aged cheddar.”

What You Need:

  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 large egg, beaten
  5. 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  6. 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  8. 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)
  9. 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

How to Make:

  1. In a microwave-safe cup, heat the milk until warm but not hot, about 20 seconds. Add the yeast and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the egg and 6 tablespoons of the melted butter and beat at low speed just until combined. Add the 3 1/2 cups of flour and the salt and beat at low speed until the dough is evenly moistened, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and pat it into a 10-inch square. Fold one-third of the dough into the center and the other third on top, like folding a letter. Turn the dough and fold again; you should have a small square. Butter the bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. On a well-floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch square. Working from the bottom, tightly roll the dough into a log. Using a floured knife, cut the log into thirds. Cut each third into 5 slices. Arrange the rolls spiral side up in the baking pan in 3 rows of 5. Cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour, until billowy.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and bake for 15 minutes longer, until golden and cooked through; cover the rolls with foil for the last 5 minutes to prevent over-browning. Brush the rolls with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle them with the Old Bay seasoning. Transfer the baking pan to a rack to let the rolls cool before serving.

MAKE AHEAD The baked rolls can be kept at room temperature overnight. Rewarm before serving.

    Vitamix Pesto

    It's the end of the summer which means my basil plants are CRAY CRAY:


    Because I am a Vitamix junkie I have been thinking about making pesto in it for awhile. The plants above gave me the excuse to mess around with a recipe. As always this recipe is what I like in a pesto. It's a little more cheesy than most, and it's got some bite due the ridiculous amount of garlic I added. 


    What You Need: 

    3 Cups of Basil (I tend to use smaller leaves as they pack more punch) 

    1/2 c. parmesan cheese

    1/4 c. olive oil (+ more to taste) 

    4 cloves of garlic

    1/4 c. raw pine nuts




    How to Make: 

    1. Add basil leaves to Vitamix. Chop on 1 or 2 setting.
    2. Once chopped, add parmesan. Chop again on 1 or 2 setting.  
    3. Slowly add olive oil and garlic cloves. Increase speed up to 5.  Add pine nuts. Increase speed of Vitamix. 
    4. Continue to increase speed until blended. I usually pop it up to high for a few seconds to finish blend.  
    5. Enjoy on pasta, breads, salads, or whatever you like! 

    Seed-A-licious Snack

    Yesterday I made the most delicious snack ever. It literally took me 5 minutes to prep and make and my kids ate them like they were giant sized candy bars.

    Check it.

    What You Need:

    1/4 c Sunflower Seed

    1/4 c Hemp/Chia Seed Mixture

    1/4 tsp cinammon

    pinch of salt

    1.5 tbsn honey

    How to Make:

    1. Mix cinnamon, hemp seed mixture, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. 

    2. Roast sunflowers in a pan. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Make sure you move the pan continuously so the seeds don't get burned. They are finished when they are a light brown.

    3. Add hemp seed mixture. Roast for about 1 minute.

    4. Add honey to pan and mix until honey is completely disperse.

    5. Pour onto parchment and flatten with a wooden spoon.

    6. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

    7. Break into bite sized pieces.

    8. Enjoy!

    Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts

    Homemade Poptarts

    What You Need:

    Pie Dough (homemade or refrigerated)

    1/2 c Nutella

    Egg Wash

    1 c Confectioners Sugar

    1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

    2 tbs Milk

    How to Make:


    1. Roll out pie dough on a floured surface.

    2. Cut out rectangles or use a rectangular cookie cutter.

    3. On half of rectangles spread out lots of Nutella. Leave about 1/2" border around the edge.

    4. Place the empty dough halves on top of covered dough.

    5. Pinch sides down. Poke holes in top. Brush tops with egg wash. 

    6. Bake low and slow. 250° for 10-15 minutes. Check frequently and remove when edges start to brown.

    Vanilla Icing

    1. Mix confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread on cooled pop tarts.


    Ohio Black Walnut Soup

    Last week Anne Burrell of Food Network and bleach blonde spiky hair noterity gave a shout out in USA Today of her favorite soups. The Chef's Ohio Black Walnut soup happened to be one of them so I thought I would share the recipe with you guys. 

    Black Walnut & Sage Soup (Serves 4-6)

    Chef Jonathon Sawyer's Ohio Walnut Soup

    What You Need:

    • 1 yellow onion (diced)
    • 1 stalk of celery (diced)
    • 1/4 c. diced bacon
    • 1 c. ohio walnuts (chopped)
    • 1/2 c. sprigs of sage
    • 1 gal. pork stock
    • 1 c. heavy cream
    • 1 lb. salted butter
    • 25 small duck meatballs

    How to Make:

    1. In a medium sized soup pot melt butter then add bacon, celery, and onion.
    2. Cook until everything begins to brown (about 10 minutes) then add chopped walnuts.
    3. Add sage and pork stock. Simmer and stir. 
    4. After about 20 minuets add heavy cream. 
    5. Simmer for another 5 minutes then add to vitamix (or blender). Combine till smooth.
    6. Add s & p to taste.
    7. Combine finished soup and meatballs. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    8. Serve with toasted walnuts and crispy sage.
    9. Enjoy!