Jam Session Parfait with a little lunch

Summertime and the living is easy (I hope you imagined me singing to you)…..sigh

I can always tell when summer has really set in for me, because I have no clue what day it is,  of course if I really think about it, I can usually get within a day or two, but when you wake up every morning with no place you have to go or anything you have to do, time has a way of just slipping by……..I could get use to this!

But the old chef still has a few more years to go before retirement.  Right now the plan is for Lisa to take her early retirement in two years, but  it looks like I’ll  have to stick  it out one more year past that before I can actually retire.   I use to think I’d work until I couldn’t anymore, but the more I think about it,  I can’t think of too many reasons to keep working if I don’t have to!  Of course I’m sure I’ll find something to occupy my time, I know my blog would certainly appreciate some more attention, Lord knows I do neglect it sometimes, and with my online classes starting to pick up, I’m sure I’ll keep busy enough!   Of course I keep telling Lisa that I can always blog form Paris or Rome…sigh, wouldn’t that be nice.

So with time just slip sliding away from me, what could be better than Guest Post Friday, my favorite day of the week!  It’s the day that I get to introduce a new blogger to all of my friends and readers!   Today my friends if you don’t know her already, it’s my great pleasure to introduce to you Kim better know as Kimby from a little lunch.  

When I first met Kim a few months ago, I felt an immediate connection with her, sort of kindred spirits you might say.  Kim’s love of good food, good music, and her beautiful imagery are hard to miss, but it’s that peaceful easy feeling you get after visiting with her at a little lunchthat will keep you coming back for more, time and time again!

Relax, sit back, put your feet up,  turn up the tunes and get ready to make a new friend as I give you Kim and……… 

a little lunch

Hi! My name is Kim (aka Kimby) from a little lunch and I’m tickled to be here with Chef Dennis.  His hospitality extends far beyond the kitchen and his willingness to “share what he knows” has helped me countless times. Many thanks, Chef Dennis!

I love to cook (among other things) and I enjoy reading food blogs – that’s what prompted me to start my own! But as I discovered, there’s more than just food on everybody’s plates. I don’t think there’s a single “foodie” whose only interest is food.

Recently, I learned that Chef Dennis and I have music in common, too, which inspired me to have a little ”jam session” today. ☺ But first, a trucking story…

Have you ever started out feeling afraid, but ended up having fun? That’s how I felt when I learned to drive a semi. Eventually fright turned to familiarity – enough to be comfortable with driving all over the U.S. with my hubby, The Man of Few Words. (Yes, I did most of the talking …) I also drove “solo.”

Hurricane Rita rattled my rig all the way to Brownsville, but authentic Mexican food at the end of the day made up for it. I’ve inched my way down a West Virginia mountain range in dense fog (nothing a platter of biscuits and gravy or fried green tomatoes couldn’t fix), battled a blizzard in North Dakota (wild rice-blueberry pancakes, anyone?) and navigated California’s notorious “Grapevine” before heading to Washington State wine country, where an unexpected layover turned into a mini-vacation. (Don’t ya just love surprises?!)

Music has been a “driving” force in my life, too – longer than anything else – and it’s taken me to places I never imagined.

Once, I had the honor of sharing a stage with Manfredo Fest, who pointed to me during a rehearsal and said, “A bass guitar is the most important instrument in a band.” (I’m sure Chef Dennis would agree!) I was nervous, but it turned out to be the best concert of my life.

Then I had the privilege of playing piano for a group of students who were auditioning for the producers of DreamWorks Studios.  (No pressure there!)  The event was hosted at a gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills, and let me tell you, the hors d’oeuvres were superb.

These days I hang out in Oklahoma where I’m a writer, composer, and church pianist. I also jam regularly with some good ol’ boys who played for Patsy Cline, Roy Rogers, Reba, and the like.  We have a blast! (Thus concludes my fifteen minutes of fame …)

Note: My intention here isn’t “name-dropping” – these adventures really happened to me! What I’m trying to say is: Don’t let fear keep you from jammin’…on stage, in traffic, or in your kitchen. You never know where you might end up! Which brings me to today’s dessert, made with homemade vanilla pudding (in honor of Dairy Month), a duet of fresh berries, and a jazzed-up sauce that’ll shift your sense of adventure into high gear.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Jam Session Parfait
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Jam Session Parfait
  • ⅔ cup (130 gm) sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (15 gm) flour
  • 2 Tbsp. (15 gm) cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups (475 ml) milk (I used whole milk)
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten (reserve whites for another use)
  • 2 Tbsp.(30 gm) butter
  • 1½ tsp. (8 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (60 ml)seedless strawberry jam
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) seedless blackberry jam
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • ½ tsp. (2 ml) freshly ground black pepper (not a typo!)
  • ⅛ tsp. (.5 ml) dried red pepper flakes (ditto!)
  • 1 cup (150 gm) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh (150 gm) blackberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • Additional strawberries and blackberries for garnish
  1. In a large heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. (Reduce heat to medium-low if mixture begins to stick, to avoid scorching.) Approximate cooking time is 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the beaten yolks to temper them so they won't "scramble." Then, whisk the yolks into the hot milk mixture until combined.
  4. Return pan to heat; cook 1 minute longer. (Mixture will bubble almost immediately – keep stirring!)
  5. Remove from heat again – don't forget to turn off the burner! – and stir in butter and vanilla until blended.
  6. Transfer pudding to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. (Press the wrap directly onto the pudding to keep a "skin" from forming.) Cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the strawberry and blackberry jam; stir until smooth.
  2. Whisk in the wine; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes, or until sauce reduces to approximately ½ cup.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in the red and black pepper. (Don't be afraid!) Cool to room temperature.
Assemble Parfaits
  1. Divide fresh berries into four tulip or parfait glasses.
  2. Top with a generous dollop of vanilla pudding.
  3. Drizzle (liberally) with sauce and garnish with additional berries. Sweet harmony indeed!


Thanks again for having me here, Chef Dennis!

Enjoying life’s adventures,

 ~ Kim

Wow, now that was one tasty dessert, or even breakfast, thanks Kim!  Now before you forget, head on over to a little lunch and say hi to Kim, just remember to tell her Chef Dennis sent you!  Make sure to give yourself some time to look around, you’re going to love what you see!

I really do love sharing creations by friends that I’ve made through blogging, it’s so much fun seeing how they interpret and create individual dishes, and of course hearing their stories!  We’re all individuals with one common bond Food, the tie that binds us together so well, as we traverse this amazing blogosphere.   Who know’s where this journey will take us, but one thing for certain is, we know we’re not taking it alone.

Have a great weekend my friends, stay cool, stay full and as Kim say’s  Enjoy Life’s Adventures!


  1. Very cute! Love these parfaits!

  2. Hey there Chef. I hope you’ll be able to retire when you want, but I know your girls will sorely miss you! Thanks for introducing me to Kim. I’ll have to head over and check her out.

    Kim, wow. Talk about grabbing life by the horns. Kudos to you. I shuddered at how you: “inched my way down a West Virginia mountain range.” Been there, done that, but couldn’t imagine it in a semi. It’s a white-knuckle experience in a regular little car. And your music….how cool is that!

    The parfait is gorgeous. It may be for lunch, but there’s a cup of coffee sitting in front of me that looks awfully lonely right this minute. I bet it would make a yummy breakfast too.

    • Mom Chef, I ate a parfait for breakfast for two days in a row after the picture-taking was done. 🙂 Thanks for commenting here and also for visiting my blog. Much appreciated!

  3. Chef – thanks for the introduction to Kim.
    Kim – really enjoyed reading your post – and lovely parfait 🙂

  4. Hi Kim… I’m following you around the Internet. 🙂

    This recipe sounds delicious as always. I need advice on adjusting it, though. Much to my dismay, I developed an allergy to strawberries about 12 years ago. (I probably had the allergy longer, but that’s when I figured out what it was.) What berry can I substitute for strawberries in a recipe like this? Thanks!

    See you back at A Little Lunch!

    • Hi, Shary! Sorry to hear about your allergy to strawberries… no fun! Raspberries work well, as do fresh cherries (pitted). You can substitute seedless raspberry jam, or cherry jam or jelly in the sauce to keep the flavors “harmonious.” 🙂

      Thanks for following me around, too — it’s always a treat to hear your thoughts and see your smile!

  5. Love the parfait…love Kimby more!! xo Ally 🙂

    • Awwww… love ya, too, Ally! Thanks for doing “double duty” by sharing this post before the holiday weekend commences. Made me think of all our service men and women who serve regardless of “what day it is” (I can relate, Chef Dennis…) BIG thanks to THEM for protecting our many freedoms.

  6. Nice to meet you, Kim! I can never resist fresh berries and homemade vanilla pudding is the best!

    • Nice to meet you, too, Laura! Homemade vanilla pudding was my children’s #1 request while they were growing up — can’t begin to count how many batches I’ve made over the years. 🙂 And fresh berries… summer at it’s finest!

  7. Parfait looks gorgeous & perfetly yummy…..

  8. Chef Dennis, I need to jump in here and THANK YOU for the opportunity to guest post with you today. You’ve truly made it a fun and relaxing experience! I look forward to reading your posts from Paris AND Rome “someday” (as soon as you decide to hang up your apron), but in the meantime, it’s a treat to read about your culinary journey here and now. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it!

    P.S. You mentioned on-line classes? Do tell!

  9. thanks to Chef Dennis for another great introduction – I do love Guest Post Fridays.

    Kimby I have just poked around your site a bit (you got to me with the water post, the chop salad looks awesome with green olives, and the “Old Boy” post – LOVE it!) you are now in my reader 🙂

    Cheers everyone, happy weekend!

    • Kristina, thanks so much for visiting my blog and adding me to your reader. I agree with you, Chef Dennis’ “intro’s” are something to look forward to (as are his other posts!) — “real” writing, from the heart. Thanks again for commenting!

  10. Hi Kimby, so happy to see you here guest posting for The Chef – Dennis is a lovely man. Thanks Chef for this wonderful post. Kimby that parfait is killer and such a beauty too, I think I met you just last week. Have a great weekend both of you.

  11. Hi, Suzy! Yes, ma’am — we met over a yummy tomato tart! Thanks for your comments here and yonder at the lake. 🙂

  12. What an interesting life! Yummy dessert. I like that it is a no bake one. With all of the heat of summer I cannot turn the oven on right now.

    • Emily, I hope you get some relief from the heat soon. Cool, creamy pudding helps. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  13. Nice recipe! Nice to meet you Kimby…

  14. Chef Dennis, thanks for introudcing Kimby,

    I stayed in West Virgina and love the green mountains and curvy roads. currently living in Houston, Been to Brownsville, love that crystal white sands of south parde Island. So I can relate the beauty of all places.

    This Jam session Parafait is delicious love to make some time.

    • Swathi, it sounds like you’ve put in some miles, too! The scenery in each area is a treat and I’m glad you like the pudding, too.

  15. ooo i love that there are spices in this! what a cool addition!

  16. Your parfait is so beautiful, Kim. Love that intense berry color. So jealous of your musical talents and actually performing with real professional musicians of that calibre!

    • Hello, Mei-i! Fresh berries in season just beg to be featured, don’t they?! I’m honored to perform with the folks I do, but the real honor was having a piano teacher who coaxed the music out of me (9 years’ worth of lessons!) without making it feel like “work.” I’m still reaping the rewards of her gentle patience. 🙂 Thanks again!

  17. mmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm! Love those rig tales and musical encounters! how much FUN is that! especially as it relates to not letting fear stop ya from performing…. whether on the piano, or on a blog or biz! Just the message I needed to hear! and this dessert! YUMMMMmmmm! gonna be a July 4th favorite!
    Red White & Bluuuuuuuuuuuueee!

    Love reading your blog!!

    • Kathleen, I’ve since given up trucking, but your enthusiastic reply makes me want to fire up a rig one more time and take you for a ride — we’d have a blast!!! 🙂 Thanks for your patriotic reverie — love it!

  18. I love this post and the sense of adventure that dances through your words. I loved hearing what you ate as you rumbled through the countryside in a semi. Oh how you make my mouth water as I drink in your words and your spirit. But here’s the line I’ll take with me today: “Don’t let fear keep you from jammin’…on stage, in traffic, or in your kitchen. You never know where you might end up!”

    • Sue Ann, “dancing” seems to be our common denominator — in words and in life! So glad you took away that sense of adventure I tried to impart… you’ve been instrumental in my “fearlessness!” in blog world. 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment.

  19. Chef Dennis, I am excited for the day you are blogging from Paris or Rome with your wife. I think anything is possible and how awesome is it that your online business will be able to travel with you? One day you could be sharing all your great eats with us from around the world. Have a wonderful 4th of July!

  20. oh my, this looks delicious! Thanks for introducing Kim.

    • Wendy Irene, even though your comment is addressed to Chef Dennis, I have to jump in and say I agree with you 110%! Chef Dennis’ posts from the USA are a treat, but the prospect of his international posts (eventuall)y is like sitting down in front of one of his desserts. 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Ellen B! My pleasure to be here.

  21. Yes, don’t let fear keep you from jammin’. Preach it!
    This is absolutely yummy..

  22. Maj, I wasn’t always so “fearless” — but life’s too short to wonder and wait! Glad you liked my “sermon.” 🙂

  23. I am visiting from “a little lunch” and just love this guest post. This line stood out: Don’t let fear keep you from jammin’…on stage, in traffic, or in your kitchen. A great philosophy to keep in mind always. Of course the parfait—and that sauce—look amazing. I’m going to have to make it for my little one—and one for me, too. ; )
    Thank you, Kimby. It’s always a pleasure.

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