At the end of the summer, after many phone calls and e-mails, CBS 21 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania gave the green light. They were going to air “Jen Heasley’s Cooking With The Pros”.  My  friend Leslie, who has helped me tremendously, and I shared a moment of tears.  So much work and energy trying to make this happen and the skies were clear. Let me now roll it out.. Some behind the scenes  and highlights from the first show to air on CBS 21


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Prep for the show starts very early in the morning. Actually days before.  Saturday mornings, Leslie and I pack up around 5:00 am to make the trip to Baltimore. The show is taped at the home of a very dear college friend. Here is the deal…the packing is a lot….a lot of work. As of now, I use laundry baskets to carry supplies. Think about it;  it’s easy and creative. Above you see the reality, face before the make-up artist arrives 🙂 

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And the productions guys….Aaron (AA-Ron), Nigel, and Ken 🙂 No… I don’t lower the temperature to keep people on their toes.. Clearly, knit hats are their fashion statement….My guy Jesse is missing in this photo. 

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And….Dr. Craig! Craig and his wife Lynne have been very good friends for many years. Craig has stepped into the sous chef position.  Craig and I do conferences calls on the menu, he helps me prep the day before, then shows up super early and does his magic called “doing the dirty work Jen doesn’t want to do”….thank you Dr. Craig. And Miss Lynne 🙂 

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Every time we start to tape, Nigel or Jesse remind me not to stomp my feet, clap my hands too much, slow down when I talk and stick to my points. Sure 🙂  You will soon learn when watching the show, I talk with my hands. Gracious, I have been a school teacher for many years…..what do you expect??

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So…..this is Bernie Nowortarski. Bernie is the head coach of the Harrisburg Stampede. Before I tape a show, my guests and I talk on the phone to break the ice …. Bernie and I had a ton of extra time to chat between takes this day…we had a little trouble with the microphones..Bernie was trooper 🙂 

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Bernie was a real pro in the kitchen. He’s the chef at his house. He felt right at home chopping away…

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Bernie’s wife Jill joined us on set. Good time was had by all.

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My shows start with a tailgate/homgate tip…

Tip #1

 Have your friends bring a six pack of unique hand crafted beers. Sometimes these can be pricey; this way everyone can sample and find one they really like 🙂 

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Tip #2

Take one of the cool six pack cases and turn it into a condiment carrier…nice conversation piece 

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Tip #3

Go to a whole sale store and get these condiment containers…decorate them or have your kids do the artwork 🙂 Of course use sharipes, my favorite markers ever! 

Tip #4

Greet your guests with a sweet or savory treat when they arrive

For Bernie and his wife Jill, I greeted them with 

Puppy Chow…

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An east coast favorite, Rice cereal (like Chex), coated with chocolate, peanut butter, and confectioners sugar… melt chocolate chips in the microwave, mix with peanut butter, mix into cereal, in a large bag coat with confectioners sugar…

Our menu for this show 

Cream of Crab, French Dip Sandwiches, Seasoned Oyster Crackers, and Pumpkin Funnel Cake……ahhhh delicious 

After the show we went for a jog…

Cream of Crab Soup

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1 lb lump crab meat (remove cartilage)

 4 cups of heavy cream

1 cups of whole milk

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp dried parsley

2-3 dashes of Worcester Sauce

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

2 1/2 tbsp old bay seasoning


1. In large dutch oven, melt butter and add flour to make a roux. Whisk until blond over medium low heat.

2. Add mustard, parsley, and old bay. Keep whisking add Worcester sauce then heavy cream and milk. Bring to a boil.

3. Once it comes to a boil, add crab meat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes of a medium low heat.

4. Top with an additional lump of crab meat, fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of old bay. I love this soup served piping hot!!!


Seasoned Oyster Crackers 

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French Dip Sandwiches 

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-3 lbs deli roast beef thinly sliced

– 3/4 lbs provolone cheese thinly sliced

– salt and pepper

– 2 cans of beef consomme or beef broth

– 3 cloves of minced garlic

– 2 tbsp butter

– 2 tbsp of flour

– 6 crusty Italian rolls


1. In medium sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to make a rue. Whisk flour until the rue is past blond and golden brown. Add consomme and garlic. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer au jus sauce  for 10 minutes.

2. While sauce is simmering, separate the roast beef into 6 “piles” and season each with salt and pepper. Cut Italian rolls.

3. After simmering au jus sauce, with tongs, dip each individual pile of roast beef into the sauce and then place on roll. Top each roll with provolone cheese.

4.  Place all six rolls on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until cheese melts and is nice and gooey….love it. Reserve remaining au jus sauce for dipping…

Here’s the deal my friends…..this sandwich travels well. Wrap these babies up in some foil and take them to your tailgate. Don’t forget your dipping au jus sauce.

Funnel Cake with Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce 

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  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed + 1 tsp cinnamon for dusting 


  1. Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, egg, brown sugar, pumpkin puree (or 100% pure pumpkin), milk, and pumpkin pie spice until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Mix together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Check oil– if you have a thermometer, it should be around 375º. If you don’t have a thermometer, flick a couple of water droplets in the oil. It should bubble, but not pop out of the pan.
  5. I use one of the condiment containers and zigzag a stream into the hot oil.
  6. Remove the funnel cake with a fork or tongs and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Dust with the cinnamon powdered sugar and enjoy warm!

Cream Cheese Dip


4 oz softened cream cheese

2 cups confectioner sugar

1/2  cup of milk

1 tsp Vanilla


1. Put all ingredients in large bowl and mix. Start on low speed to not “cover” yourself with the confectioner sugar. Blend until smooth.

 And finally the show.  If you don’t live in the greater Harrisburg area, check us out on my Youtube channel!! 

Remember…Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day??