Kelly teaches adult, children and family dining classes. Please view this featured link from the Houston Chronicle newspaper regarding Kelly's expertise.

Welcome to "Celebration Logic"

These weekly highlights focus on creative entertaining, culinary creations and recipes that reinforce life's celebratory moments with entertaining confidence. These blogs of creative entertaining tips and recipes are available in printed book form and in e-book form.


Bring Home A True Taste of France (August 9 – August 15)

Boeuf Bourguignon is a hearty and impacting dish which originated in the region of Burgundy, in France. There are many variations. For my version, I don’t utilize the traditional inclusion of bacon and I marinate the beef in Cabernet Sauvignon instead of Pinot Noir. Also, I like the taste of leeks which adds another depth of flavor to the sauce. The ingredients for the overnight refrigerated marinate are: a Filet of Beef, per person; one bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon; 1 peeled carrot; 1 well-washed leek cut in half; 1 celery stalk, herbs – thyme, a bay leaf and juice of one tomato. The next day: Slice 6 peeled carrots; slice 2 washed leeks; cut 8 baby tomatoes in half; and slice 5 celery stalks. In a sauté pan, sauté at least 8 or more mushrooms caps in brandy and butter until the flavors are incorporated. You are not trying to cook the mushrooms, just infuse them. Reserve.
In a roast pot on the stove, lightly sear the beef (only) in a dash of olive oil and 2 Tabs of butter. Remove the beef. Sauté the sliced vegetables: carrots, leeks, baby tomatoes, and celery. Add more oil and butter, as needed. Add the seasoning of a tiny dash of salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Add 2 Tablespoons of Brandy. Add 3 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste and stir vigorously while heating. Slowly add 3 Tablespoons of flour and stir vigorously. Slowly and alternating add a 2nd bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and beef stock (broth). Don’t add more liquid until each portion becomes a smooth liquid. After adding the wine and beef stock, add the seared beef filets back into the pot. Add the brandied mushrooms into the pot. Add thyme to the pot. Simmer to reduce the liquid for 2 hours, stirring about every 15 minutes, uncovered. 30 minutes prior to serving, check the thickness of the sauce. It should be able to coat the backside of a spoon, but not too thin. If you need to thicken the sauce, remove 2 cups of the sauce and pour that into a 4-cup heat proof measuring cup. Add 2 – 3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch and stir the mixture in the large measuring cup vigorously. Strain that thicken liquid back into the sauce and stir. Just prior to serving, add 1 can of well-drained Peas. Serve over Pasta.

*Note: While the sauce is simmering, prepare the noodles. Don’t over or under cook the pasta. Drain it, rinse it, and then coat the pasta with melted butter. Toss. You can sprinkle on dried chopped basil. Don’t add salt. Reserve.

If you are missing the travel experience to France, this is the perfect dish to let the home-cooked aromas surround your senses and bring back special memories as you create new moments with your family. Include the youngsters in the culinary journey by having them share facts about France during dining. Let those who have traveled there, share their favorite memories. Decorate the table with postcards with Parisienne images. Play some French music or of French composers. Indulge in the cultural heritage; it is as easy as energizing your enthusiasm for a Francophile destination experience! © Kelly McBride Loft

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Authentic Fresh Salmon Croquettes (August 2 – August 8)

Bake 2 lbs. of fresh salmon (with the skin removed). First, put a tab of olive oil in the bottom of a Pyrex dish. Place the prepared fish in the dish. Squeeze fresh lemon on the top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Lightly sprinkle a dash of salt on top of the salmon. Bake covered for 35 to 40 minutes at 350⁰F. The fish can be cooked the night before and refrigerated.
Meanwhile, toast day-old hamburger buns. Run the buns through the food processor to make fresh bread crumbs. Then, run 1 onion through the food processor, to mince and reserve.
In a large bowl, place the cooked salmon. Flake it and mince it with a fork. Then, squeeze ½ a lemon on it. Lightly salt it and add a touch of pepper. Mix by hand, with gloves on. Form a “well” and drop in 3 eggs. Mix well. Add about ¼ cup of the minced onion. Add, little by little, the bread crumbs and alternating portions of Parmesan cheese (powder style). You will probably utilize about 8 bread slices (turned into crumbs) and about ¾ of a container of grated Parmesan cheese (8 oz.). Mix well. The goal is to not have the salmon patties dry and hard. You want the patties to stay together but tender. Pan fry the patties in half vegetable oil and half olive oil. These Salmon Croquettes are really nice when served with a Creamy Caesar Dressing as a dipping sauce. It is a great summer recipe that can be utilized as an appetizer or a hearty family meal! © Kelly McBride Loft

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Highlight Your Summer Fiesta With Colorful Cuisine (July 26 – August 1)

Have some fun with a classic family favorite by making it with a spectrum of color. Bell peppers have interesting hues and the peppers can even have a happy face cut into each, too. Stuffing peppers is so easy. Begin with fresh ground meat, a dash of fresh brewed coffee, salt, pepper, egg(s), chopped rosemary and chopped basil. In a sauté pan, sauté fresh spinach and add finely chopped shallots. Drain the spinach by pressing it between 2 plates. Add the spinach and shallots to the raw meat. Mix well. Then, add homemade toasted breadcrumbs and fresh parmesan cheese, keeping the meat less than dry. Lastly, add a small amount of finely chopped pistachios and diced dates. Stuff the peppers, by cutting off the top and reserving it. Clean out the inside of the peppers, fill the peppers with the meat mixture, and put the top back on the pepper. Bake the peppers at 350⁰F for about 30 minutes. Another variation is to cut the peppers in half and fill each half. This way, you don’t purchase as many peppers; however, I think the juicer taste is achieved when utilizing the whole pepper. Make a colorful summer party by utilizing multicolored bell peppers with a spectrum of green, red, orange, and yellow peppers. Pair the stuffed peppers with quesadillas made with sautéed bell peppers and cheese for a Fiesta Summer Celebration! This delightful mid-summer dish spices up any family moment. © Kelly McBride Loft

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Find Some Happiness Through Your Kitchen (July 19 – July 25)

Take care of two needs at the same time…cool down and aid your sweet tooth. I call it Kelly’s Cuatro Leches Cake. Bake your favorite vanilla favored genoise or sponge cake in a ceramic rectangle pan. When the cake is removed from the oven, poke holes in it with a wooden skewer. Combine the following ingredients to pour onto the cake: 1, 12 oz. can of evaporated milk; 1, 14 oz. of condensed milk, a quarter cup of whole milk and a quarter cup of coconut milk. Then, add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract flavoring. Mix well and slowly infuse the baked cake. (You might have some extra liquid left over. Infuse the cake until it absorbs the liquid but the cake is still springy.) Refrigerate the cake overnight in the pan. The next day, top with the cake with crushed pineapple that has been pressed between 2 plates to remove the excess juice. Then, top that with whipped cream, topped with shredded coconut. Serve this astounding chilled cake with Pina Coladas! Whatever might have been worrying you prior to this moment…you are your best keeper of your memorable personal moments. Indulge. You deserve every happiness. © Kelly McBride Loft

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Seeking International Favorites To Stir Up Something Tasty? (July 12 – July 18)

Sometimes we crave Oriental flavors. Egg Foo Young is a classic favorite that can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Prepare a large non-stick skillet with non-stick spray and set aside. Into a large bowl, crack 3- 4 eggs per person. Add 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of shaved ginger root, and finely sliced green chives. Beat with a hand whip. Prepare and reserve: washed fresh bean sprouts, diced and squeezed tomato (to remove the juice), and sliced mushrooms. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared skillet. You can make small Egg Foo Young cakes or one large one. Once the egg mixture is poured into the skillet, add the bean sprouts, diced tomato, and mushrooms. Cook the Egg Foo Young by flipping it or stirring it; don’t fold it, as it is not an omelet. Serve with organic soy sauce. Chop sticks continue the theme and fortune cookies add a little summer humor. © Kelly McBride Loft

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Summer is Synonymous with Flavor (July 5 – July 11)

Nothing waves the sunshine flag like summer corn and there are many exceptional dishes with which corn is the impacting ingredient. From simplistic corn fritters to delightful corn smoked fish and grille smoked artichokes – keep the corn husks (not the silks) for smoking dishes in the grille for exceptional flavors! For delicious Smoked Fish, you will need: a fish grilling rack; 1 whole fish (that will fit into the fish grilling rack); 6 ears of corn (reserving the husks); orange juice; cooking sherry; 1 lemon; fresh herbs; & kosher salt. Prepare the fresh fish of your choice, such as a red snapper or trout. Clean the fish well and remove any scales. Marinate the fish for at least 1 hour in 3/4 portion of orange juice and 1/4 portion of cooking sherry. Spray the fish grill rack with non-stick spray. Place the fish onto the grill rack. In the cavity of the fish place fresh herbs such as thyme, tarragon, and chopped basil. Insert sliced lemons, with the seeds removed. Lightly salt the fish on both sides. Close the fish grill rack and grille the fish for at least 7 minutes on each side. When the fish is almost cooked, remove the fish (in the rack) and toss only the corn husks onto to fire, coals, or heat source. Immediately put the fish back on the grille with the lid shut. The corn husks will smoke the fish with the most amazing flavor. Serve your beautiful fish with a drizzle of lemon butter sauce. Smoked Artichokes are the perfect pairing with corn smoked fish. For the Smoked Artichokes, you will need: an artichoke for every 2 people; lemon rind; olive oil; and balsamic vinegar. Trim off the artichokes tip thorns, cut each in half and remove the choke. Boil the artichoke halves in water with a generous amount of olive oil and lemon rind, until tender (but not falling apart). Remove the artichokes with tongs, shaking off the excess water. Set the artichokes onto a grille pan with ventilation holes. Pour a small amount balsamic vinegar onto each half and then pour a small amount of olive oil on top of that. When the corn husks are tossed onto the fire, coals, or heat source set the grille pan of artichoke halves into the grille. Keep the lid closed to smoke the artichokes for this delightful grille cuisine! The added bonus is that since you are utilizing corn husks, you will have fresh corn-on-the-cob to add to the summer celebration. Try my Corn Fritters, which tastes so good with grilled fish: In a bowl, mix 1 cup of biscuit mix, 1 beaten egg; 1/4 cup of milk; 1/2 can of cream of corn and finely chopped jalapeno. Shake in small amounts of cornmeal until the desired consistency is reached. Drop a spoonful of the mixture, for each fritter, into hot oil and fry. Summer never tasted more true. © Kelly McBride Loft

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Fruit Ambrosia for the 4th of July

Some dishes are not seasonal. Traditional Fruit Ambrosia is a year-round favorite and this dish is perfect for celebrating the 4th of July. When the Ambrosia is put into a rectangle dish, the top can easily be decorated to resemble the American flag with the use of blueberries and raspberries. Kelly’s Fruit Ambrosia: Whip real cream until thick, adding sugar and vanilla flavoring. Reserve. In a bowl, add 1 can of drained diced fruit – fruit cocktail, diced apple, and slices of bananas. Cover the fruit with the whipped cream. Spread the Ambrosia mixture into a rectangle dish and cover with a final layor of whipped cream creating a white “background.” Utilize blueberries for the stars and raspberries for the stripes for a patriot design. Serve chilled and celebrate our Country. © Kelly McBride Loft

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Sweets Make the Sweetest Memories (June 21 – June 27)

Summer indulgences include walking into a full-service bakery, as the combined baking aromas of butter, sugar, and eggs fill the air. These distinct aromas can only mean pleasureful treats. One of my favorite treats is German Chocolate Cake. Its distinctive and iconic icing makes it uniquely a classic. This is the recipe that has been passed down in my family. German Chocolate Cake Icing: 1 – 12 oz. can of evaporated milk; 1 cup of sugar; 2 pre-beaten egg yolks; ½ cup of butter; and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Cook these ingredients and stir over a medium flame until thick – about 12 minutes. When cooked, add 1 ½ cups of coconut and 1 cup of chopped pecans. Spread over a baked chocolate flavored cake or chocolate flavored cupcakes. © Kelly McBride Loft

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No Fuss Taco Tuesday (June 14 – June 20)

Let’s keep dining easy and fast at least one evening per week. Try my No Fuss Tacos for a tasty Taco Tuesday dining moment. First, in a skillet pour in one 28 oz. can of peeled plum tomatoes, including the juice. While in the skillet, cut open each peeled tomato. I recommend discarding the tough, stalk end of the tomatoes because no one likes to find that in their tacos. Then, add 1 lb. of raw ground meat to the tomatoes in the skillet. Give it a little mix to infuse the tomato flavors into the juice. Brown the meat mixture. Drain the meat thoroughly. Put the meat mixture back into the skillet and add a dash of onion powder and Cayenne pepper. [If your family likes hot spices, add more of the onion powder and Cayenne pepper. You can add a dash of chili powder and paprika, too.) Always remember you can add more spice, but you can’t take it out if you over season. Reserve the prepared meat until ready to serve. Shred lettuce and offer shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, avocado, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, hot sauce, etc. for the condiments. When ready to serve, fill the taco shells with the heated meat mixture. Top with any of the suggested condiments to create a south of the border treat! © Kelly McBride Loft

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Summer Brings Exciting Culinary Toys (June 7 – June 13)

New cooking toys are thrilling to explore and my new summer toy is a cast iron shrimp pan. Shrimp dishes make the summer season special and this shrimp pan can be utilized inside the home or with your outside grill. Try my recipe for stuffed shrimp, which explores the creativity of cooking and the fun of flavor. Kelly’s Stuffed Shrimp: Prepare the cast iron shrimp pan by seasoning it, with oil. Just prior to making the stuffed shrimp, spray the shrimp pan with non-stick spray. In a pot on the stove, for the stuffing, cook the “Holy Trinity” of cuisine by sautéing chopped onion, green pepper, and celery in butter. Fold in fresh toasted bread crumbs. Lightly season with kosher salt and Cayenne pepper. Reserve. (Parmesan cheese will be added to this stuffing later.) Prepare and devein fresh shrimp. Marinate the raw shrimp: 1 lb. of shrimp, ½ stick of butter, the juice of half of a lemon and 1 crushed garlic clove. Reserve. When ready to cook, place the marinated shrimp, with the tails up into the crevasses of the shrimp pan. Stuff each shrimp with the prepared stuffing, adding Parmesan cheese to the stuffing mixture, first. Bake the shrimp at 400⁰F for 10 minutes in the cast iron pan until the shrimp turn pink. Serve hot and the summer smiles abound. © Kelly McBride Loft

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We May Not Be Traveling But We Have Our Memories & Inspiration (May 31 – June 6)

When traveling, many places inspire us and sometimes it is the unexpected inspiration that comes from a unique place that lasts a lifetime. Valldemossa, Mallorca is such a place, in Spain. Likewise, music is a lifelong memory trigger and this unique village in the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea, masters the melding of memories and music. Music composer Frédéric Chopin, 1810 to 1849, known for his composition Prelude in E minor, op. 28 no. 4, created music that allows oneself to be lofted into inspiration, as he was inspired during his stay in Valldemossa in the 1800’s. Chopin created some of his most memorable music while living in the Carthusian Monastery, even while ill. This quaint village features frequent Chopin concerts and the town’s people revere music. An island surrounded the sea, Valldemossa preserves a tribute to Chopin and its visitors are gifted with lasting memories of beautiful music, music history, and life by the sea in Spain. Try my Poached Fish recipe to envision seaside memories of enchanted places. You will need a linear fish steamer. Purchase a good whole fish of your choice, which will fit into the steamer. Clean the fish to remove any scales. Into the fish’s cavity place lemon slices and fresh herbs. Set the fish into the fish steamer rack. Pour chicken stock (salted) into the fish steamer. Add lemon rind and bouquet garni. If you like spice, add a pepper to the stock broth. Seal the lid and poach the fish on high heat for about 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. I like to serve a whole fish with a whole loaf of bread to continue the theme of wholesomeness. A whole fish makes any dining experience extraordinary and Chopin’s music playing simultaneously make the dinner momentous! © Kelly McBride Loft

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Traditions Continue to Impact (May 24 – May 30)

Memorial Day ceremonies commemorate those brave souls who have courageously protected our way of life and this year seems even more significant with the active efforts from the frontline battlers of COVID-19. We honor those who have given us our path to quality lives and we gratefully acknowledge those recent heroes who continue to keep us safe in healthcare. – Wishing to spice up your safe-distancing holiday. Try my Mango and Shrimp entree with spicy tomatoes and rice. This dish combines fruity flavor with spice and shrimp! It is a great way to kickstart the summer. Mangos are a delightful fruit with a distinctive taste. When used in cooking, the fruit is easily diced and holds up well during heating. First, dice the fruit of a mango and reserve. Prepare the deveined shrimp for sauté. Boil and prepare the rice of your choice. First, sauté lightly the prepared shrimp in a tab of garlic butter and remove from the pan. Prepare the sauce with 1 – 10 oz. can of mild tomato diced tomatoes & green chilies, 1 – 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let the sauce heat until bubbling. Add the shrimp and mango back into the sauce. Serve hot over the rice. Fly your flag proudly and create an outdoor patio gathering for memorable moments. © Kelly McBride Loft

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Make It & Take It Graduate’s Social “D” Picnic (May 17 – May 23)

Graduates still need to be acknowledged, even with social distancing. Every grad deserves a chocolate cake to go. Let the recipient keep the heat resistant cake container, as part of the gift and include the recipe for Grad 101 cooking-on-their-own! Kelly’s Bayou City Cake: Prepare a 9 in. X 13 in. greased heat resistant dish. Mix together 4 eggs and 2 sticks of butter. Then, add 2 cups of sugar. Add (pre-stirred together): 1 ½ cups of flour, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the egg mixture. Sir well. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 cup of shredded coconut and 1 cup of chopped pecans. Bake at 350⁰F for about 30 minutes, until baked. For the Icing: Mix 1 stick of melted butter, 6 tablespoons of milk, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, 1 package of powdered sugar, as needed until the desired thickness is reached, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread the icing on the cake and then press chopped pecans into the icing! Applause, applause for the many successes and future successes! © Kelly McBride Loft

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Sometimes It Takes A Cake (May 10 – May 16)

Gratefulness for our moms, manifests in many ways and if you know how to cook, your mom was probably your first teacher. Mother’s Day treats are delightful; however, a cake is most celebratory. Enjoy my Carrot Cake recipe, to treat mom to her well-deserved day of recognition. Combine the dry ingredients of: 2 cups of flour; 1 ½ cups of sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Then add: 3 eggs; ½ cup of vegetable oil; 1 cup grated carrots; 2 cups of chopped nuts; a 20 oz. can of drained & crushed pineapple. Pour into 2 prepared cake pans and bake at 350⁰F for about 30 – 35 minutes, until done. Frost with Cream Cheese Icing, which is cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar and evaporated milk to bind. Happy Mother’s Day! © Kelly McBride Loft

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May Welcomes Thankfulness (May 3 – May 9)

Since I know how to the play the piano, I have always had a saying that this gift is one thing that no one will ever be able to take away, because it is part of me, part of my synchronicity with life. With all of the changes in our lifestyles, the one thing that no change can impose on us is our ability to be creative, unless we relinquish it. The same goes for kitchen creativity no matter what the imposition or budget constraint. It is how we style our food, as much as it is natural to say a blessing, for thankfulness for our food. Here is an easy concept, which takes no artistic skill: Create a nest shape of Quinoa mixed with colorful julienned vegetables. Top the interior of the nest with a sunny-side-up or over-easy egg. It will make the people in your life feel most special and it will make you feel special also as you feel thankful for your personal skills, that make you uniquely you. © Kelly McBride Loft

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