Welcome to Principalchef.com!
My wife Jill and I do a lot of cooking and entertaining in our home. My older son Ryan is living on his own and now teaching me some new tricks, and my younger son Dawson is now in college and suffering through dorm food. Cooking is such an important part of life in our home. My cooking influences are my Mom, my Arkansas roots, my friends and amazing cooks in our neighborhood in Malibu (thanks Chris, Karen, Laurie, Pete, and Sheri!), and my California living since 1980.
I love using this site to share recipes and stories with my family and friends. I am a retired public school educator, spending 32 years of my career as a principal and district administrator (hence the name principalchef!). I now spend my time writing, swimming, golfing, and reading, and I love to cook whenever I get the chance. I hope you enjoy the recipes. Please comment and – Cheers!
Jilly’s Chocolate Chip Scones
One of our favorite days happens when Jill makes scones (she pronounces them with a short O sound from her year in Australia. She’s not alone in that pronunciation.) She uses this recipe from an old Williams Sonoma Chocolate cookbook, and it is a crowd pleaser!
Split Pea Soup
I’ve had this recipe for over 30 years, written on a note card. I can’t even remember where I got it. But I love it and it’s a staple in our house in the fall and winter. I serve it with my Irish Soda Bread recipe and it always feels like a wholesome, healthy, and very tasty meal.
Jill’s Green Sauce/Dip/Dressing
This is one of the best things to happen in our house in 2018. Jill found the “Magic Green Sauce” recipe from Pinch of Yum. It’s so easy and so awesome! We have served it over chicken, tofu, as a dip, on a sandwich, on potatoes, and so many other ways. It’s like chimichurri sauce without the bite and the smooth jazz feel of avocados!
I love fried rice. For us, it’s not a side dish. It’s a one bowl meal. The key is thinking a little bit ahead and having some one to three-day old rice in the fridge. If you keep some shrimp (Trader Joe’s Argentinian) in your freezer, or if you have some crab (Costco) in your fridge, you are ready. Take stuff that’s already in your fridge, freezer, and pantry, add some cooked rice from the night before, and go out there and be a fried rice hero!
Not That Bad for You Banana Cream Pie
That pie shaped empty space that’s been in my life so long? It’s all good now.
When I was in my mid-forties, I remember telling Jill that I missed the days when I could eat anything and my weight just remained constant. I told her, “I was living the good life and I didn’t even know it.” Well, those days are long gone, but, to quote Joel Goodson’s dad in Risky Business, “Every once in awhile you just got to say, ‘what the heck’ and take some chances.” It’s a pretty sad testament to my risk taking at this point in life that banana cream pie is up there. But there you have it. I just have repeat my Stuart Smalley mantra, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it people like me.”
Skillet Apple Blackberry Pie
I adapted this recipe from the amazing chefs at Cooks Illustrated. It’s fun to use when you have fruit, and you ALWAys have apples and frozen blackberries. It’s super tasty, it’s easy, and it’s one more chance to showcase your cast iron skillet.
Mothers’ Day 2020
May 10, 2020 Unconditional love. If I could give every person on this planet one gift, it would be the promise that throughout your life, you will be loved, unconditionally.…
On Ladybugs and Dogs
Posted on April 25, 2020 It may have been the most thoughtless senior prank I ever experienced. As a former high school principal, I don’t love senior pranks. Usually, very little…
“I have raised an illiterate son.” Those were the words my dad spoke to me as a 17-year-old, as I was filling out my Harvard application. Harvard required that we…
I’m a big fan of reading. But I have found that reading various news feeds on my iPad, computer or iPhone, while informative, does absolutely nothing to calm my soul.…
Be the first to hear about our latest recipes