Monday, September 9, 2019

Lauren's Kitchen is in the NEWS
Click below to read our review in the Vail Daily:

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Coming Soon To Edwards' Riverwalk!

Featuring ready-to-reheat entrees for two, mix and match with
your choice of rotating sides, soups and salads to make a complete meal!
Easily reheat at your convenience OR grab a hot meal to eat-in:
a variety of breakfast and lunch casseroles
and hot food items for a quick meal any time of day!

Seasonal, rotating, and specialty holiday menus.

Making Gourmet Convenient
8am - 7pm Monday - Saturday 

275 Main Street, Unit C-106
In Edwards' Riverwalk, next to the Bookworm


Opening Mid-September 2018 

More info and menus coming soon! 

Check the webpage for more information:

Artichoke ChickenSweet Potato CasseroleSnap Peas and Carrots

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Quick and easy, baked Parmesan-crusted Red Snapper with lemon beurre blanc, extra creamy mashed potatoes and bacon-sautéed green beans is a delicious treat for any weekday meal. 

Rather than using the standard method for battering; I smeared some dijon mustard and lemon juice over salt and peppered fish, then coated in a grated Parmesan, panko and bread crumb mixture. Set to bake at 425 for around 20-25 mins and the fish was tender and moist on the inside and crunchy-crispy on the outside.

For the bacon green beans, I blanched them in the same pot of water I used for the potatoes- cooked the potatoes for around 10 mins then added the trimmed green beans for  last  5-6 mins. Melted some saved bacon grease in a medium-hot pan and then added the green beans and some chopped onion and sautéed until tender, seasoning along the way. 

For the mashed potatoes, once strained, I added them back in the same pot (used to boil them in) with like 3Tbs melted butter, salt, pepper and about 1/2cup heavy cream mixed with 2Tbs milk and mashed them until chunky-smooth. 

Lastly, the beurre blanc started out like they all do: sautéed shallots in white wine and white wine vinegar until tender and liquid almost totally evaporated, then slowly whisked in cold cubes of butter on low heat until smooth and creamy- then, rather than strain it (as the French like to do), I pureed the sauce with the hunky shallot until smooth. 

Yum! Tell me that doesn't sound delicious! Adapted from one of my fav meals at a local seafood joint and duplicated to the best of my ability. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

From Left to Right: Barley Risotto with chorizo, roasted sweet potato and sauteed collard greens, Blackberry-Jalapeno pork tenderloin, Smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese cucumber canapes
Wow, it's been waay too long since my last post. Update: I am still catering and doing the personal chef gig in Vail Valley Colorado and love it. I was recently published in the Vail Daily for my company. Check out the article here:

Stay tuned, more blog updates coming soon. 

Monday, January 5, 2015


I am so excited to actually be the owner of my own catering business. Being an organizer-type personality, this is the perfect business for me, because if you're not organized, you'd be in trouble! Along with being organized, comes being able to work most efficiently given the time schedule - which usually involves cooking for several different parties at once. The best way, I've found, is researching time-saving techniques to both help keep your costs low and save you time and effort in the kitchen.

Below, are a few prime examples of money and time-saving techniques I was able to utilize last week:

Chilli Empanadas -
This recipe came together in a flash, utilizing Bisquick boxed dough. I am not usually a baker - as I seem to always mess something up: didn't bloom the yeast properly, set the oven temp too high, added too much or not enough flour, etc. But with this recipe, all I had to do was: follow the directions on the box, roll out the dough, cut into rounds, make my own delicious filling, stuff each one, seal with the prongs of a fork and bake. They turned out pretty good-looking and tasted even better!

Next time, I may even see if I can incorporate seasonings or fresh herbs when rolling out the dough. And may roll them a little thinner, for a crispier empanada. These empanadas make a a great 2-3 bite, finger food that can easily be passed at a party. Pair them with an avocado-ranch dipping sauce and you're set! 

As mentioned previously, I am not a baker, so when my clients asked for Chocolate Molten Cakes I had two choices: either buy them pre-made (costco had some...) or improvise and save some money.  I am not one to give up on a challenge, especially if I have extra time, so I checked on ol', trusty Pinterest for some cheat ideas...And they came through!

I found an ingenious idea to use plain, boxed Devils Food Cake Mix and make cupcakes. Once the cakes were done and cooled, remove them from the cupcake pan (which Id sprayed with oil instead of using cupcake liners), remove the tops (which had skewed during baking), and dig out the insides with a small melon baller. I then, used bakers semi sweet chocolate and heavy cream to make a simple ganache (melted chocolate and warmed cream); to this, I added a touch of cinnamon and vanilla to make it more personalized. I then added the ganache into the center of each cupcake. and Voilla! Delicious, decadent, EASY Chocolate Molten Cakes! - Heat in oven until warm and serve with vanilla bean ice cream!

Caprese Salad w Balsamic -This dish was easy to prepare, fun to shop for and the final product turned out really pretty. Costco-bought, fresh Roma tomatoes, pre-sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, good olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper, and a splash of really good aged balsamic vinegar.

I tried to slice the tomatoes the same thickness as the mozzarella so that it looked more uniform in the final presentation. I then did a chiffonade of the basil and sprinkled it on top. Assembled so that it was alternating tomato, mozzarella, I then sprinkled with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Yum!

White Chocolate, Raspberry Cheesecake Bars -For these, I actually decided to try my hand at some real baking! I was able to make the cheesecake process a little simpler, by making them into bars in a pan rather than having to use a spring-mold pan and a water bath.  I got a box of Graham cracker crumbs and mixed equal amounts of crumbs to melted butter. Then spread that into the bottom of a baking dish, and pressed with my hands until had formed a crust. This got a sprinkling of salt and brown sugar before being baked until golden. Next, eggs, cream cheese and sugar were mixed together with a dash of vanilla and added to the cooled cookie crumb crust. For a special touch, after adding the cream cheese batter to the pan, I pushed in singular raspberries about an inch apart, right into the batter, before proceeding to bake. 
The finished product was covered in a drizzle of white chocolate ganache (melted white chocolate squares with cream), then sliced into squares, and piled onto a plate. Delicious!

Roasted Root Veggies - w thyme, butternut squash, carrots and beets.  The hardest part about this dish was cleaning, baking and peeling the beets. They are bright purple in color and will easily stain anything they come into contact with. So I had to cook them seperately otherwise all of the veggies would have come out a spooky purple color.

The easiest way I've learned to cook beets is: cut of the tops and bottom stems, place into a large baking pan, fill with water until the beets are completely submerged, cover with foil and place into a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 45mins-1hr. After which, you should be able to peel the beets really easily (after they've cooled, and using gloves so your hands aren't all purple) and be able to slice them into good chunks. I then toss them in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper.

For the butternut squash and carrots, I simply peeled the outside of the carrots, and cubed the butternut squash, tossed both with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Then, spread them out onto a sheet pan and roasted them (about 20-30 mins) until tender (easily poked with a fork).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Sample Menus are ONLINE

Check them out. 

Offering Catering and Personal Chef Services in Vail Valley, Colorado. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


I'll Cook!

TexMex Buffet for Private PartyMy passion is FOOD and I love to share my passion with as many as possible.

Events of any size: single meals, family dinners, corporate events, weddings and everything in between.

My specialty is designing Customizable Menus:
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Personal food preferences
  • Freshness / seasonality
  • Food allergies
  • Or simply using up those leftover ingredients in your pantry 
    I'm here to help!

    Roasted peppers and garlic for salsa
  • Family-style breakfasts, lunch and/or dinners
  • Weekly meals - including personal meal planning, shopping and clean up
  • Corporate meals - boxed lunch or family-style hot/cold platters
  • Private parties - rehearsal dinners, showers, receptions, retreats, reunions, apres, cocktail parties, etc. - I can even help you plan!
  • Open Houses
  • Drop-off delivery
  • Tell me what you need, and I'll work with you to attain it!

My Recipe Index.can give you some ideas or, let me know what you had in mind and we can build the ultimate, satisfactory meal, appetizer or event of any cuisine, restrictions, additions, etc.

Homemade Baked Ziti 

Vail, Beaver Creek, Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Minturn, Wolcott, Eagle, Gypsum - Colorado
Contact me for other areas of service.

Veggie platters 

Chef Lauren McElroy