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!


Biscuits with the Boss

If you haven’t yet seen Ted Lasso on Apple TV, you’re missing out. One of the gazillion fun parts of the show is Ted’s “Biscuits with the Boss” start to his day. He loves it, but the Boss (Rebecca) only puts up with it because the biscuits are so damn good. It’s a secret recipe, but this online guess that I found is pretty darn good!

My thanks to those who found this recipe. It’s “just” a shortbread recipe, but I like there’s a sort of sleuthing New York TImes authenticity about it. You can see some of the story here.

Belgian Waffles

Waffles for breakfast! Chicken and waffles for dinner! Invest a few bucks in a waffle iron and you are ready!

Dawson’s Favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s a great day for all of us when Jill makes these amazing muffins for Dawson. There are two uses for old bananas in our house. Most of them get peeled and put in the freezer to use in a smoothie. But some of them, the lucky ones, live to a ripe old age, and get privilege, nay, the honor, of being the start of Dawson’s favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Old bananas, we salute you!

Biscuits with Black Pepper and Cheddar Cheese (or without!)

The Arkansas kid in me still loves biscuits. I have tried a variety of recipes, but now I have the one I’m sticking with.  Yes, it has an obscene amount of butter in it. But maybe you just shouldn’t worry about it for this one thing? I adapted it from Joanna Gaines Magnolia Table cookbook, and I just love it. The black pepper and cheddar cheese make them savory additions to breakfast, brunch, or dinner. You can make the dough ahead and cut the biscuits up to 3 days ahead, then pop them in the oven when you absolutely need to have them. I think you’ll love them!

Eggplant Parmesan

This is Jill’s favorite dish that I make. Therefore, I make it a lot! A little marital advice from principalchef: when your spouse is nice enough to be clear about what he/she likes, try to do THAT as much as you can. Of course, if that something is a bit too much, then Meatloaf was right. Where was I? Oh yes – this is Jill’s favorite dish – she loves the non-fried eggplant slices, and the bread crumbs are incredible. The bread crumbs are like a dish by themselves! My thanks to Ina Garten for another great recipe!

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!


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