Do you know how to plan and execute a Covid-safe Holiday celebration? Chef Nik suggests we do something different to the usual double dipping, family-style, sharing platters this season. So Phoenix-based celebrity Chef Nik and Chic Chef Co. have come up with some ideas for you.

These individual recipes are the perfect solution to enjoy the best party food, stick to social distancing protocol, and still be the life of the party for creating a beautiful tablescape and lifetime memories with yummy food inventions below! 

Spice up your salads

Put individual salads in any cup of choice! Martini glasses, champagne glasses or even a margarita glass, all depending on your vinaigrette! The Fields of Greens & Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad is guaranteed to be a show-stopper and you can make the dish inventive, tasty and pandemic friendly using the recipe below: 

Ingredients

Salad greens

Apples

Strawberries

Blueberries

Red onion

Pecans (toast then in the oven on 325 for 12 minutes if you have the time)

Feta or goat cheese (optional)

Honey

1 small shallot

Chic Chef Chocolate balsamic

Chic Chef All purpose EVOO

Chic Chef Honey Garlic Mustard

Directions

Wash and dry all produce put in a bowl. Make your vinaigrette:

1 cup Chic Chef Chocolate balsamic

1/4 cup Chic Chef All purpose EVOO

1 tablespoon Chic Chef Honey Garlic Mustard

1 tablespoon Honey

1 tablespoon shallot

Whisk well, refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour over your salad mixture, then pile high in any glass of your choice! Make the vinaigrette ahead of time for more flavor- will last up to 7 days refrigerated.

Prawn and Gazpacho Shots

24 large prawns peeled, deveined (tails intact)
1 tbsp Chic Chef All-purpose extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 chorizo, cut into 24 slices
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Gazpacho
2 Lebanese cucumbers
6 ripe roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
330g jar whole roasted peppers, drained
1 small shallot
8 fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp Chic Chef red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Chic Chef All purpose extra virgin olive oil

Make Gazpacho: Remove and discard seeds from 1 cucumber. Finely dice and reserve. Peel and roughly chop remaining cucumber. Place in a food processor with tomato, peppers, eschalot, mint, vinegar and oil. Season. Process for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth. Pour into a fine sieve set over a large jug. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture through a sieve. Discard solids. Refrigerate, cover for 1 hour or until chilled.

Meanwhile, place prawns, oil and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat (see notes). Thread 2 prawns onto each skewer.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Cook skewers for 1 minute each side or until lightly charred and just cooked through.

Pour gazpacho evenly among 24 shot glasses. Sprinkle with diced cucumber and parsley. Place a skewer in each glass. Serve.

"From mini versions of your favorite desserts to finger food served on sticks or in cute baskets, the possibilities are endless to create your COVID-Friendly party for all seasons!" says Nik.

For more information, please visit chicchefco.com or linktr.ee/nikthechicchef. Follow Chef Nik on Instagram: @Nikthechicchef

About Nik Fields, Celebrity Chef, Author, Philanthropist & Entrepreneur

Chef Nik, better known as “Nik the Chic Chef or “Foodie with a Cause” has merged her passion for food and life and has gained national recognition for her amazing culinary art skills having prepared cuisine for celebrities such as Jess Hilarious, Supa Cent, Angie Stone, Vivica Fox, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, Snoop Dog, Sharon Stone, Tony Goldwyn, Famke Janssen, Shar Jackson, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vincenzo Williams as well as Personal Chef to Phoenix Cardinals football player, Chris Johnson (CJ2K) and many others. Chef Nik has been featured in People Magazine, The Doctors on NBC, HGTV as well as several series on Bravo and VH1. Nik Fields' philanthropic efforts to provide food and clean water to villages in the Dominican Republic has garnered international acclaim. Her nonprofit organization Waste Not Want Not (WNWN Inc.) encourages households and restaurants to limit food waste.

Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein


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Gilles Toucas

Michael Feinstein will commemorate Judy Garland’s life on March 20 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.


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I think it’s fair to say we all want that #fitlife, especially with Spring around the corner — as well as Gaypril on the way. Whether it’s pool season yet or not, everyone would choose to look fit over not looking fit, if they could have it with a snap of their fingers. OK, the vast majority of us would.

If you’ve met me, or have been reading my articles, you know that I live, sleep, eat and breathe fitness; it’s my heart and soul. That being said, I’m here to tell you that the concept of “fitness” is oftentimes tragically misunderstood.

Before you get too aggressive with your goal for pool season, let’s dive a bit deeper into what fitness means on the inside versus what it looks like on the outside, and common misconceptions around this concept.

1. Beware of the cultural pitfalls and misleading information around fitness.

Most of the bodies you see in the media are probably not real, they just look very convincing. As a trainer who also moonlights as a photographer and Photoshop wizard, I’m telling you that it is incredibly easy to alter pictures in materially misleading ways. Once you know the tricks of the trade, the imposters are easily spotted. But that’s not what this is about.

The point is: to the untrained eye, it can be devastatingly defeating to see such impossible standards. It seems as though the cultural pressure to look a certain way, to look perfect, has spread all the way from runway models to fitness novices with the help of smartphone apps.

The truth is that we fitness models look that cut, and that lean for only a couple days at a time. That’s it! In many cases, months or even close to a year of training, dieting and programming all go into looking like that for ONE day. Let that sink in for a second. Day to day, I am less cut, less tan and much flatter muscularly than what you see in some of my pictures. That’s just the nature of the beast. So, when you have a bad day on the scale, in the mirror or in any other scenario, remember that we’re all human and that the most legitimate photos you’re comparing yourself against were from someone’s very best day. That should help to keep things in perspective.

2. Most people want the results, without actually doing the work.

Fitness is not six pack abs, it’s not superficial, it is not temporary and it’s not an isolated phase in your life. Further, fitness is not something you do for someone else, do to spite someone else or even to impress someone else.

Fitness is confidence, toughness, dedication, coordination, power, balance, speed, strength (both literally and figuratively) and persistence in the face of all obstacles. This includes control over your attitude, your mood, your sleep, your schedule, your diet and other aspects of your life. This means getting that workout in when you least feel like it.

It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a grind that has good and bad days. You must show up and keep working on the days you’re tired, stressed, rushed, defeated, doubtful, afraid and so on. The days you actually have to overcome something instead of just checking your workout off your to-do list are the days you have the greatest opportunity to really make progress, push your body and see the most improvement.

3. Fitness is really an internal mindset. The external physique is the fringe benefit.

I’ve said this time and time again, and it might sound strange coming from such an aesthetic-focused trainer, but you are not your body. Your body is a tool, it’s a means to an end, to express your internal mindset, belief system, discipline and dedication to your workout program. Your physique will come and go. Your strength will come and go. Your abilities will wax and wane depending on what you’re training for at the time.

The outside will, and should, be always changing, but the inside is what we’re really after here. Good trainers want to train you to believe in yourself when sh*t gets hard. We want to train you to be resilient in the face of injury, obstacles and other setbacks. We want you to set ambitious goals and shoot for the moon because you can get there with smart programming and relentless will (do yourself a favor and ditch the crash diets and the photo editing software).

So, as you make your spring preparations for swimsuit season, try focusing on developing a sterling, unshakeable internal character and the muscles will come along the way, this I promise you.

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