Monday, December 20, 2010

Cucumber Salad

5 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
Olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
2 splashes red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper

Combine the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste

Yield: Approx 6-8 servings

Game Girl's Baked Beans

by: Game Girl aka Cynthia Shaner
Serves 12 -16

4 (16oz) cans baked beans
1(20 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 cup molasses (optional)
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 tblsp yellow mustard
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1(60z) can french fried onions, crushed
1 tblsp hot sauce
2 tsp garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine all the ingredients, but add only half the french fried onions
3. Unless you like things really sweet, cut the molasses in half
4. Pour into a 9x13 sprayed casserole - sprinkle with remaining onions
5. Set casserole on a cookie sheet in case it bubbles over
6. Cook for approximately 1 hour or until it bubbles

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Alton's Egg Nog

This is one that I push every year right before Christmas, courtesy of Alton Brown


4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cook's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Jalapeño Corn Bread

( #CornBread, #Jalapeno )

CREDIT: Kitchen Daily/Mark Samuelsson

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 jalapenos, chopped


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, chili powder, ginger powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, honey, eggs. Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture; stir just until moist (batter will look slightly lumpy). Fold in the jalapenos.

Spoon batter into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with butter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Serve warm. If you'd like, drizzle with extra honey for a sweeter cornbread.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Savory Bread Pudding

( #Recipe, #BreadPudding )


1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh cranberry sauce or cranberry chutney (see Note)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar + more if needed
1/4 cup finely diced red onion, green onion or shallots
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1 teaspoon finely diced garlic
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt or mayonnaise
-- Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups shredded green cabbage (about a 2-pound cabbage)
3 to 4 cups shredded turkey
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted


Place the cranberry sauce in a large bowl and use a potato masher to mash down any large berries. Add the canola oil, vinegar, onion, mustard, garlic, yogurt or mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water, or enough to thin the dressing so it will coat the cabbage evenly. Add the cabbage and toss until well coated, then add the turkey with more salt and plenty of pepper to taste. If it's too sweet, add a little more vinegar.

Place the salad on plates and serve, topped with the almonds.

Note: If using canned cranberry sauce, which is sweeter, start with a smaller amount and add more vinegar to taste.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Potato Gratin

( #SweetPotato, #Gratin, #Recipe )

CREDIT: Kitchen Daily


2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into1/4-inch thick crosswise slices
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into1/4-inch thick crosswise slices
1 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 425F. Arrange potato slices, alternating between sweet and russet, in a buttered 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Whisk together cream, broth, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Pour over potatoes in dish. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake in middle of oven 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove and discard foil. Stir together breadcrumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over potatoes evenly and dot with butter. Return to oven and bake until crumbs are crispy and liquid is bubbling and reduced and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more.

Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gianni's Porchetta

( #Porchetta, #Pork, #Recipes )

Don't freak out, I am still going to do recipes, but I found this during my browsing this week and I really appreciate the production value for being home-made.

Text Directions from Giannitv

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2-pound pork loin. Have your butcher butterfly it to about ½ inch uniform thickness.

For the paste filling
The leaves of 1 branch of fresh rosemary
6 leaves of fresh sage
12 fresh flat Italian parsley leaves
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed
1teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the roasting dish
1 fresh rosemary branch
6 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs of parsley
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO}
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions
Finely mince the herbs and the garlic. Place in a small bowl. Add the EVOO and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Roll out the butterflied pork loin. Evenly spread the herb/garlic paste to cover the entire surface of the loin. Don’t go too close to the long sides, leave about a 1/2 inch border. Tightly roll up the pork loin. Tie with string to keep the paste from leaking out and to maintain the shape of the pork loin roast. Rub the outside of the roast all over with some EVOO. Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper all over the outside of the roast.

In a roasting dish or pan, put the herbs and garlic to form a bed for the roast. Place the pork loin on top of the herb garlic bed. Pour in the wine and water and drizzle the liquids with EVOO.

Put the pan on the middle shelf of the oven pre-heated to 425 degrees. Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until a golden crust starts to form on the roast. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and roast until the internal temperature of the roast is 145 degrees. Take the roast out of the oven and let it rest. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise to about 160 degrees.

Pour the liquid in the roasting pan into a small pan. Use a wire mesh to catch the herbs and garlic. Skim out any fat on the surface. Simmer the sauce on a low flame.
Slice the porchetta into ½ inch slices, top with some of the warm au jus or pan gravy and serve.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Joey's French Onion Soup

1/2 stick of butter
5 large Spanish onions
40 oz of beef stock
Crusty bread
Swiss Cheese (shredded)
1 bay leaf
1/3 tablespoon of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of apple cider

1. Cut the onions into half moons and set aside
2. In a large pot, melt on stick of butter on low heat. Add the onions to the pot.
3. Place a piece of butter on top of each onion, add salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium and cover for 3 minutes.
4. Add the apple cider and cover for 3 minutes.
5. Uncover the onions and stir every five minutes for 35 minutes.
6. When the onions are brown and delicious, add the beef stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then drop down to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
7. Place the soup in a crock, add a nice piece of bread, and cover with cheese. Put the crocks on a baking sheet and place in an oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese

Recipe Credit: YumSugar


Butter (for the dish)
1 pound poblano chilies (4 to 6 chilies)
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
6 white corn tortillas
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups half-and-half
3 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces elbow macaroni
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated


1. Turn on the broiler. Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Rub the poblanos lightly with olive oil and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the peppers as close to the element as possible, turning often, until the skins are blackened all over.

3. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them cool to room temperature. Turn the oven to 350 degrees.

4. Remove and discard the charred poblano skins with the stems and seeds. Chop the chilies coarsely and transfer them to a food processor.

5. In a hot, dry skillet over medium-high heat, lightly toast the tortillas for 30 to 60 seconds per side or until they're just softened and give off a toasted-corn aroma (don't let them become crisp).

6. Coarsely chop the tortillas and add them to the chilies in the food processor. Add the cilantro leaves and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.

7. In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, salt, and pepper until well combined. Stir in the chopped chili mixture.

8. Drop the macaroni into the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the pasta is not quite cooked through. Tip it into a colander, shaking it to eliminate excess moisture. Add the pasta to the egg mixture with two-thirds of the grated cheeses. Stir to combine.

9. Pour the mixture into the buttered dish. Scatter the remaining cheeses evenly over the top. Bake the dish for 40 minutes or until browned and bubbling at the edges. If you want to brown the center more, turn on the broiler again and let the dish brown, watching it carefully. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas


1 Pack of Empanadas Disks (you can get them in the international isle or frozen food section)
1 lbs of chip steak
1 cups grated American Cheese (or cheese wiz if you are into that)
1 large Spanish onion diced
8 tablespoons of butter (a stick)
1 egg (beaten)
2 tablespoons of salt
1 packet of Sazon seasoning


1. Add some olive oil to a frying pan and cook the steak. Use a strainer to separate the beef from the fat, and set the meat aside in a bowl.
2. Cook the onions until they are golden brown. Mix with the steak.
3. Shred the cheese into the bowl with the steak and onions. Mix it around (It will melt).
4. Take one tablespoon of the mixture and place into the center of the empanada shell then fold the shell over in a half moon shape. Crimp the fold with your fingers and then seal with a fork (giving it a nice finish too).
5. Beat an egg and use it for a wash on the shells. Then melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, add the Sazon seasoning to the butter and then brush on the shells as well.
6. Put the empanadas on a cooking tray lined with parchment paper, and place in over heated to 375 degrees for about 20 minutes (keep checking, you want brown and delicious).
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then eat!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Jack's Philly Chili

My buddy Jack shared this recipe with me. I am sharing it with you my readers. Treat this like gold.


4 cups medium onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 lbs ground beef
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 cans Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & Green Chiles
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 15.5 oz. can of chili (red) beans
1 14.5 can of chicken broth
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1/3 cup sliced Jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons "Original Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
4 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 16 oz. bag of tortilla chips


1. Chop up 4 medium onions and 1 large green pepper and set aside.
2. In a 10 inch skillet, brown 2 lbs. of ground beef, drain excess fat in a strainer, and place beef in a 6 quart pot.
3. Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a skillet and saute 2 cups of chopped onion and entire chopped green pepper for 5 minutes over medium heat.
4. Add sauteed onions and green pepper to ground beef. Over medium heat, stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, chili beans, chicken broth, chili powder, jalapeno peppers, dark brown sugar, cocoa, black pepper and "Original" Louisiana Hot Sauce. Cook for 15 minutes.
5. Add Philadelphia Cream cheese and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and stir until Cream cheese is melted completely.
6. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

Ladle Chili into serving bowl and top with shredded cheddar cheese and raw chopped onions to taste. Add 5 tortilla chips on edge of bowl. Serves 6.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Cabbage Salad

Credit: KitchenDaily

For the Salad:
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil
14 ounces pork or veal cutlets, pounded thin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup organic chicken stock
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 baby cabbages, shredded
2 apples, thinly sliced

For the Dressing:
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
A pinch of English dry mustard
1 teaspoon honey
24 small capers
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Blend the oil with the mustards and honey. Stir in the capers and parsley then season.


1. Heat the oil then brown the cutlets in the hot oil. Remove from the heat, season then transfer to a baking dish.

2. In the same pan, soften the onion, adding more oil if necessary. Stir in the garlic then pour in the stock and vinegar, and bring to a bubble. Simmer for a minute or two.

3. Pour over the meat then bake for 5 minutes, or until just cooked but still moist. Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice the cutlets across the grain into thin shreds. Mix with the cooking liquids. Strain the cooking liquids into a pan.

4. Add the cabbage and apple then stir-fry for a few minutes, until starting to wilt, but still slightly crisp. Mix with the dressing and shredded pork or veal then check seasoning. Serve immediately.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tomato Tart

Credit: YumSugar

Since September is Tomato season, I looked around for something interesting....


1 head garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 Pie Dough
2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe tomatoes (4 medium), cored and sliced 1/4 inch Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Wrap to enclose garlic in foil, and place on a small baking sheet. Bake until soft and golden brown and the tip of a knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.

2. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, using either your hands or the dull end of a large knife, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl; mash with a fork, and set aside. Discard the papery skins.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the edges; transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.

4. Spread roasted garlic evenly on the chilled crust. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, in an overlapping circular pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to oven.

5. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. and bake until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, and serve warm.

Sriracha Sauce aka "Rooster" Sauce

Completely forgot to add this to the archive last week....


1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons palm sugar

1. Place all the ingredients except the sugar in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers.
2. Place the mixture and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer and smush out as much juice as possible.
4. Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as the 'Rooster', but less salty and a whole lot fresher tasting!

Check the link for more options and ideas.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vegetable Spaghetti Bolognese

Credit: Daily Kitchen


4 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
10 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano


1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain, then return the pasta to the pot.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, carrot, mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have wilted and the juices have evaporated, about 12 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and oregano and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blueberry Lavender Popsicles

Credit: LA Times

Since the summer is ending, I wanted to put something cool and refreshing up for the ROTW.


1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup blueberry preserves (or grape preserves)
1 pint blueberries
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
Popsicle Molds


1. Place the yogurt, milk, preserves, blueberries and vanilla in a blender. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle in the lavender, then re-cover the blender and pulse briefly to combine.

2. Divide the mixture evenly among the pop molds, pouring so that you leave about one-half inch of headroom at the top. Once they are filled, tap the molds gently against the counter, allowing the liquid to settle evenly into the molds and dislodging any air bubbles that may have formed. Cover the molds and fit with popsicle sticks, if necessary. Freeze the molds until completely firm, at least 5 hours. For easy unmolding, run the frozen pops under warm water for 10 to 15 seconds before removing them.

Each of 8 popsicles: 125 calories; 4 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 5 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 11 grams sugar; 26 mg. sodium.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pesto Lamb Kebabs

Credit: Rommy Steele

1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup (or more) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground in spice mill or in mortar with pestle
2 pounds trimmed boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch squares

Special Equipment
6 to 8 metal skewers


For pesto:
Blend first 7 ingredients in processor to coarse puree. With machine running, gradually pour in 1/2 cup oil; puree until almost smooth. Transfer pesto to bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

For kebabs:
Mix 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, coarse salt, and coriander in medium bowl. Add lamb; toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Thread lamb on skewers alternately with peppers and onions. Place on baking sheet. Brush with oil; sprinkle with pepper. Grill to desired doneness, turning occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare.

Arrange kebabs on serving platter. Drizzle each kebab very lightly with pesto and serve remaining pesto alongside.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Leftover Soup

My mom had some friends over last Sunday and she made too much food. On Tuesday, she dropped off some leftover (cooked) sausage and chicken. I didn't think I had much time left to safely use them, so I made soup. It came out really well.

1/2 lb (or more) of diced sausage links
1 lb of diced chicken
2 large diced Spanish onion
2 cups diced carrots
1 stalk of celery diced
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups of whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli, but Orzo would be good -but only use a cup or maybe less)
9 cups of water
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 cloves of garlic (diced)
2 bay leaves (whole)

1. Add a splash of oil in a pot, heat it on low and when hot, add the onions. After a few minutes, add the garlic, carrots, and celery.
2. Add the chicken and sausage. Mix everything up and let it sit for another 4 minutes.
3. Add the water, the chicken cube, the soy sauce, and the Worcestershire sauce, the bay leaves, and I like to add a splash of hot sauce but that's optional. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot
4. Add salt to taste. TAKE OUT THE BAY LEAVES. While still boiling, add the pasta (cook as directed).
5. After pasta is cooked, shut off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

(Recipe credit: Ann Page)

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas


1 Pack of Empanadas Disks (you can get them in the international isle or frozen food section)
1 lbs of chicken breast
2 cups grated Monterey-Jack Cheese
1 large Spanish onion diced
3 bulbs of garlic finely diced.
1 bell pepper diced
1 chili pepper diced
8 tablespoons of butter (a stick)
1 egg (beaten)
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of cumin
hot sauce
1 packet of Sazon seasoning


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the chili powder, salt, cumin, and some hot sauce. Shut off heat. Add chicken in hot water. Cover. Leave it alone for 35-40 minutes. The chicken will fall apart with a fork. Put it aside in a bowl.
2. Cook the onions until translucent in a large pan, then add the garlic, and after 2 minutes, add the papers. Once everything is cooked, add the shredded chicken. Clear some space in the middle, put the oven on low, and add 4 tablespoons of butter, once melted, add hot sauce (to your liking) and mix around. Put mixture aside.
3. Get the empanada disks and lay out of flat surface. Using a small ice cream scooper, add the filling to the disk shells and then folder the shell over in a half moon shape. Crimp the fold with your fingers and then seal with a fork (giving it a nice finish too).
4. Beat an egg and use it for an egg wash on the shells. Then melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, add the Sazon seasoning to the butter and then brush on the shells as well.
5. Put the empanadas on a cooking tray lined with parchment paper, and place in over heated to 375 degrees for about 20 minutes (keep checking, you want brown and delicious).
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then eat!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Watermelon Salad

My friends mentioned how delicious watermelon tasted this year, and I found this recipe from Slashfood

Salad Ingredients

1 cup watermelon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup yellow tomato, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups arugula, chopped
8 Basil leaves, torn
Pinch sea salt
8 coarse grinds black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice

Toss all ingredients together.


6 oz. Catapano goat cheese feta, crumbled
½ cup olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs snipped chives
Salt and pepper, to taste

Spoon vinaigrette over salad.
Read the whole article

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Broccoli Salad


1 head of broccoli (cut how you like it - I do mine small)
2 carrots (shredded)
2 cups of walnuts (chopped small)
1 red onion (diced)

4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of white rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of low salt soy sauce
2 tablespoons of A1 (or any steak sauce you like - it's to bring out the meatier flavor to the walnuts)


1. Clean the vegetables, and cut everything up and put in a mixing bowl.
2. Chop the walnuts, put into a different mixing bowl, mix in honey (make sure to get everything covered)
3. Make the dressing
4. Add the walnuts to the dressing and mix it well (to prevent clusters in with the walnuts)
5. Add the dressing to the vegetables, mix, and serve.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fish House Punch

From Esquire

Celebrate the 4th of July like the founding fathers.... Drunk.

1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
2 quarts water
1 quart lemon juice
2 quarts dark rum
1 quart cognac
4 ounces peach brandy


1. In a large bowl, first dissolve the sugar in enough of the water to do the trick, then incorporate the lemon juice.
2. Next, add the spirits and the rest of the water -- or as much of it as you wish to contribute (less in summer, to allow for meltage).
3. Slip in as large a block of ice as you can procure. (Use your imagination -- if worse comes to worst, a mixing bowl full of water that's been frozen overnight will do the trick; run a little hot water on the outside of the bowl to unmold.)
4. Let stand in a cool place for an hour or so before serving.

Do not garnish with fruit, herb, vegetable, or paper umbrella.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alton Brown's Pan Fried Chicken

I was thinking about fried chicken this week and I spotted this. I love Alton Brown and this is recipe is short and simple.

1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying

1. Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
3. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
4. Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
5. Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.

Check out the video here

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beef Empanadas

Credit: Kitchen Daily: These savory pastries were created by Mariana Velasquez, a Test Kitchen intern who grew up in Bogot, Colo
NOTE: I removed alot of things I didn't like from the original recipe. Do as you will, the bones are the same.


3 cups all-purpose flour (see Tips)
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1-1 1 cups water
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups potatoes diced, cooked (about 8 small red potatoes) or frozen hash-brown potatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 scallions (white part only), chopped
1 egg mixed with 1/4 cup water for glaze


1. To prepare dough: Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and work with your fingertips until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add water and knead until dough just comes together (do not overwork). Press the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. Cook ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, vinegar, potatoes, salt, and the beef. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes to intensify flavors and reduce liquid. Fold in scallions. Let cool completely in the refrigerator.

3. To assemble empanadas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. On a well-floured surface, roll out one disk at a time to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles of dough using a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (see Tips). Make 24 circles altogether.

4. Brush egg glaze around the edges of the dough circles. Place about 2 tablespoons filling in the center of each circle. Fold filled circles in half, press edges together and crimp with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush egg glaze over the empanadas.

5. Bake the empanadas until golden and crisp, switching the position of the pans midway, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips: You can use 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour to replace 1 cup all-purpose flour. If you don't have the right-sized cookie cutter, an empty 28-ounce can or plastic lid will also work.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roasted Strawberry Bruschetta

Recipe Credit: YumSugar
I made some modifications to the recipe because I really don't like goat cheese, and I think the texture of the raw arugula throws everything off (but that's just me)


2 cups strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup of brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Get a large bowl and mix the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Slice the strawberries into the bowl and gently mix to coat. Spread strawberries out on a baking sheet and bake for five minutes. Remove and let cool.

3. Cut the ciabatta into equal slices, coat with olive oil, and broil on each side until toasted and crisp.

4. Spread feta cheese on hot bread, top equally with the roasted berries and juice. Season with salt, pepper, and a little more brown sugar. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Irish Whiskey Lemonade

Courtesy of Esquire Magazine

1. Juice 12 lemons. Strain the juice.
2. Dissolve 2 1/4 cups Demerara sugar or Sugar in the Raw over a low heat in 2 cups water, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Let cool, mix in the lemon juice, and put in a large (at least 1-gallon) pitcher or jug.
3. Add 2 quarts water, season to taste with Irish whiskey (I use at least a liter) and refrigerate.
4. If you've got raspberry bushes and ripe berries, you can mash a cup or two of them into the hot syrup, strain out the seeds and proceed in the normal way.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Joey's Awesome Salad Dressing

You might need to add more or less depending on the size of your salad. I don't like to drown my veggies.

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of white rice vinegar
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons of A1 steak sauce
1 tablespoon of jalapeño mustard (spicy brown will do if you don't have it)
1 squirt of Sriracha Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1. Whisk in a bowl
(Yes I am being a smart-ass)

In case you were wondering what I put in the salad:

Fresh spinach leaves
Red peppers
Feta cheese
For this particular dressing - london broil works really well, but chicken is good too.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Deep Dish Pizza

In honor of this week's trip to Chicago, here is a recipe for Deep Dish Pizza

1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 green or red pepper (2 x 1/4 inch strips)
1 medium onion, thin sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. thinly sliced pepperoni
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. basil flakes or 1 tablespoon fresh, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tube refrigerated pizza crust (or you can make your own or buy some from your local pizzeria)
3/4 cup pizza sauce (or make your own, which I highly suggest)
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded Mozzarella
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to hot 425°F.
2. Remove casings from sausage and crumble into large heavy skillet. Brown over medium heat, stirring often until meat is no longer pink. Drain on paper towels, pouring off excess fat.
3. In the same pan, sauté peppers and onions in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, pepperoni, basil, oregano and black pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. If the mixture seems too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons water.
4. Unroll the pizza dough and place in a well seasoned 9-10 inch cast iron skillet, stretching dough slightly to fit up sides about 1 inch. Roll pointed corners under or cut off and reroll to make a small pizza.
5. ay down some olive oil on the dough, and then add the cheese as the bottom layer.
6. Then add the sausage
7. Then the vegetables
8. Spread the sauce over the top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
9. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes (depends on your oven) or until edges of crust are browned and cheese is bubbly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grilled Eggplant Burgers

(This will make anywhere from 12-18 servings)


2 Medium sized egg plants that are pretty wide (as wide as a hamburger)

3 cloves of garlic minced
1 red onion (small) diced
1 sweet onion (small) diced
2 roasted tomatoes (just put them on the grill for three minutes on each side, medium heat) diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

6 oz ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


1. Mix the relish ingredients together
2. Mix the cheese topping ingredients together (really whip the ricotta in a bowl, it becomes easier to work with)
3. Cut the eggplant in rounds about 1/2 inch in width. Discard the smaller tops (you want something close to the diameter of a hamburger - a little smaller is okay)
4. Grill the eggplant 3-4 minutes on each side on medium-low heat.
5. Add the cheese topping then the relish. Serve on a plate or in a nice round roll.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Roy's Hot Chocolate Souffle

Since I wasn't home the entire week, I didn't do much cooking. However, while out to dinner, Roy's kindly shared their Souffle recipe.

(Serves 4)
8 oz. semi-sweet dark chocolate
12 tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
soufflé rings

1. Mix sugar and cornstarch
2. Have eggs and yolks mixed together in a separate bowl.
3. In a saucepan, bring butter to a simmer. Add chocolate and mix until smooth. Continue mixing until chocolate begins to simmer along the edges.
4. Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
5. Add eggs and mix at low speed until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
6. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
7. On the next day pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Take out the souffle rings and line with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
8. Place each ring on a square of parchment paper and then on a baking sheet. Fill the ring 2/3rds with the chocolate mix.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. Take out the baking sheet, lift rings with tongs and get underneath with metal spatula to transfer to a plate.
11. Lift mold and remove parchment paper.
12. Serve immediately with ice-cream

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Home Made Snickers Bars

This week's recipe is from Instructables and has a whole embedded feature...

Homemade Snickers Candy Bar Recipe - More DIY How To Projects

But just in case they shut it down...

14 oz milk chocolate (about 2 cups chips, or coarsely chopped bar)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips (divided in half)
3/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (divide in half)

4 Tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
64 g peanut butter (not included in previous measurement)
1.5 cups marshmallow fluff

FOR LAYERS (Caramel):
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1.5 Tablespoons butter
1 pound of caramels
1.5 cup peanuts

Follow the directions in the embedded post....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pretzel Bites

CREDIT: Fake Ginger

NOTE: Ginger used a bread baking machine to knead the dough. But some of us don't have bread machines, but a mixer will do just fine, so my directions are based on a mixer (which I stole from a Bobby Flay recipe)


1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (I used instant)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled just slightly
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
coarse sea salt


1. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and spray liberally with vegetable spray.
2. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
5. Spray a bowl with cooking spray (or oil with with vegetable oil), add the dough and turn to coat.
6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
7. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray two baking sheets liberally with cooking spray.
8. Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
9. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring about 22 inches. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make pretzel bites.
10. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches of about 10-15 for 30 seconds.
11. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place the pretzel bites on the prepared baking sheets, making sure they aren’t touching.
12. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt.
13. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
14. Remove to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grilled Beet Salad

16 baby red and golden beets trimmed leaving 1 inch of stems intact
1 orange
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 t fresh thyme finely chopped
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese (good quality) crumbled
fresh chervil leaves for garnish
salt and black pepper

1. Cook the red and golden beets in separate medium saucepans of boiling water until almost tender about 12 minutes. Drain. (Keep the beets separate so the red beets don't discolor the golden beets.)
2. Peel the beets then cut the smaller beets lengthwise in half and larger beets lengthwise into four wedges.
3. Grate 1 teaspoon of orange zest into a large bowl then squeeze 1/4 cup of orange juice into the bowl.
4. Whisk in the vinegar garlic and thyme.
5. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk to blend well. Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Toss the beets in separate medium bowls with the vinaigrette to coat. Marinate 30 minutes tossing occasionally.
7. Prepare a barbecue for medium heat. Remove the beets from the vinaigrette; reserve the vinaigrette.
8. Grill the beets until they are tender turning as needed about 10 minutes. Return the beets to the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Divide the beets among 4 plates.
11. Crumble the goat cheese over the warm beets. Garnish with the chervil leaves. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette around the plate and serve.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Joey's Mac and Cheese

9 Cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded) (6 for the sauce, 3 for the topping)
2 Lbs of elbow macaroni (or whatever the hell you want to use)
6 tablespoons of butter
6 cups of milk
5 tablespoons of flour
3 cloves of garlic (diced)
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
2 tablespoons of hot sauce
1/4 cup of barbecue sauce
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper

Starting Tasks:
* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
* Boil water and cook the macaroni as directions dictate. (After you drain the pasta, keep it in the pot you cooked it in so you can pour the sauce in there and mix it up)

1. In a sauce pot, melt the butter and and the garlic, let it cook for 2 minutes.
2. Add the milk and bring to medium-low heat.
3. Add the flour and start to whisk (with an egg beater) to eliminate any lumps. (NOTE: After several minutes, if you still have lumps, take them out with a spoon).
4. Add the cheese slowly (make sure to keep the reserve), continuing to whisk. Keep whisking until the cheese mixture is totally smooth.
5. Add the mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and BBQ sauce.
6. Pour the cheese sauce into the pot with the macaroni. Mix it well.
7. Transfer the macaroni into a large casserole dish and top with the reserve cheese. (OPTIONAL: Some people like to add bread crumbs or potato chips, you can do that if you want now). Also - add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Put in the pre-heated oven and let it cook for 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Pasta

I came up with this one out of boredom this week...

1 lb whole wheat penne
1/4 lb of asparagus (chopped into quarter pieces)
2 onions diced
1 red pepper diced
3 cloves garlic diced
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
10 oz. pancetta (or bacon - crumbled)

1. In a deep saute pan, add a splash of olive oil and heat up. Add the onions. Cook down until golden (5 minutes on Med heat)
2. Add the garlic and the pancetta - cook for an additional 3 minutes
3. Add the Asparagus and peppers - cover and cook for 4 more minutes.
4. Add the wine - raise to high heat (bring the liquids to a boil)
5. Add the chicken stock (allow it to come to a boil again, wait 2 minutes, and then bring down to a simmer).
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Cook pasta per the directions. Drain and put it back into the pot. Add the contents of the saute pan and mix well. Add some grated cheese while still hot for a creamy texture (and extra saltiness)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How To Make Potato Chips In The Microwave

1 russet potato
Non stick spray
Salt and Pepper

Mandolin Slicer
Parchment paper or glass plate

1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside of your microwave.
2. Carefully slice 1/3 of a potato into paper thin slices using a mandolin. Don't cut any more because the slices will turn an odd color
3. Completely coat the parchment paper with non-stick spray and place the potato slices in a single layer.
4. Spray the potato slices with non stick spray and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Turn off the rotating option on your microwave and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Additional Comments:
Cooking times will vary based on the strength and power of your microwave. Some chips may turn very dark brown. Ideally you want them light and golden. Repeat the process until you’ve used your entire potato. Enjoy!

This idea was brought to you by the Savory Sweet Life blog. Check out the link for more pictures, comments, and information.

NOTE: I found a mandolin slicer with a handle on Amazon for under $20

Sunday, March 07, 2010




For the Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of paprika
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper

OPTIONAL: BBQ Sauce (you can buy it or make it)

1 regular can of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons onion, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne
fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook the garlic and onion until it's soft, and then add all the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Keep stirring it often so it doesn't burn, then refrigerate for a few days before you use it. This allows the flavors to blend and mellow.

1. Pre-heat oven for 250 degrees. Insert RIBS. Cook for 4 hours
2. Take out the RIBS (OPTIONAL: Brush with BBQ Sauce). Now place the ribs on your grill. Have it set to high to sear in the flavor. Cook for an additional 25 minutes (Keep and eye out for burning).
3. Take RIBS off the grill and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

This recipe comes from the good people at: Wit & Whistle. Click the link to see awesome pictures. I made a few tweaks (very minor) to mine for health benefits (and I hate chocolate chips in granola bars)

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup of ground flax seed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a large bowl mix oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, flax seed, nuts, cranberries and salt. Make an indention in the center of the mixture, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well. (Using your hands makes it easier to get everything coated.)

Press the mixture into the pan. Wit and Whistle suggests not going all the way to the ends of the pans because it is easier to get out the bars when done baking. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Cool for 5 minutes, cut the bars while they are still warm, and store the granola bars in an airtight container so they won’t dry out

NOTE: Check out the comments on Wit & Whistle - some of the readers had some very cool alternative ingredients

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Onion Tart

I am pulling this recipe from memory based on an old episode of Naked Chef. It might not be perfectly recreated, which I am okay with.
This recipe will serve four (you can of course do more).

4 large Spanish onions
4 large pieces of smoked bacon (nice large strips - decent thickness)
1 lb of grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of cream
salt and pepper

1. Cut the very top and bottom of the onion so it sits upright (make the top and bottom flat). Then start scooping out the middle, but not to the bottom. You want to make a cup shape. Take all the scooped up onion and reserve it. Do this for all 4 onions (or however many you are making)
2. Take the leftover pieces of onion, dice it, and saute it in a small soup pot (use butter if you really want to be delicious). Once translucent, add the cream slowly - you don't want a very juicy mixture, you want it to be thick (you can even add some flour if you want). When the cream is bubbling, add most of the grated cheese (keep a little bit in reserve) and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Wrap the onion cups with the bacon and secure with a toothpick. Full the cup with the onion-cream sauce.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add some more cheese on the top and set in the oven.
5. Cook for 10-12 minutes

Enjoy (don't have a heart attack!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Buffle-Chicken (Redux!) Quesadillas

I am stealing this one from my wife's blog who stole a part of the idea from my recipe last week.


Whole Wheat Quesadillas
Buffle-Joe Chicken
Pepper Jack Cheese
Blue Cheese Dressing (optional for dipping)


1. Coat the bottom of a skillet with butter or olive oil, that is slightly bigger than the diameter of the quesadilla.
2. Place on quesadilla in the pan, cover with grated cheese and shredded chicken.
3. Cook on Medium heat for about 2-3 mins, until crispy
4. Top with a second quesadilla and flip, cooking for another 2-3 mins.
5. Take out of pan and let cool, then slice in quarters.
6. Serve with a side of blue cheese dressing for dipping.

How to make the Buffle-Chicken:

1. The night before: Mix two cups of milk with a cup of Tabasco sauce and 3 table spoons of salt. Add the chicken and seal in a zip lock bag overnight. The next morning, take out the chicken, pat it down with paper towels.
2. In a bowl, mix two cups of hot sauce with an egg. Dip the chicken in the wash, and then coat with paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper. Get a frying pan and coat with oil, cook the strips.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Buffle-Joe Sandwich

This sandwich only comes out on Superbowl... here's how to make it


1 large crusty baguette (try to get one that is wide)
3 chicken breasts sliced into strips
Celery stalks (cut into strips)
Blue Cheese Dressing
Shoe-String French Fries
Cooper-Sharp Cheese
Two Large bottles of hot sauce (your choice)


1. The night before: Mix two cups of milk with a cup of Tabasco sauce and 3 table spoons of salt. Add the chicken and seal in a zip lock bag overnight. The next morning, take out the chicken, pat it down with paper towels.
2. In a bowl, mix two cups of hot sauce with an egg. Dip the chicken in the wash, and then coat with paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper. Get a frying pan and coat with oil, cook the strips.
3. Use the same seasoning and coat the shoe-string fries. Place in oven and cook as directed.
4. Mix blue cheese with hot sauce and treat as a spread for the sandwich.
5. Add the cooper-sharp cheese, then the celery, then the chicken to the bread and then top with the fries.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super Hash Browns

Still working on that "what to do with a big pork roast or shoulder you make earlier in the week" idea? This week, we shall make a old fashion hash with a twist. I attempted to make this earlier in the week and while it tasted good, the texture wasn't right, but then my wife gave me a great idea based on her latest blog project.

You will need either a sandwich maker or a waffle iron to make this recipe...

3 shredded potatoes
2 eggs
1 diced onion (you can do two if you want)
1 diced pepper
1 lb of diced pork roast or 1lb of shredded braised pork shoulder
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste


1. Grease up the sandwich maker/waffle iron as directed and pre-heat
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl
3. Form the mixture (by hand) into appropriately sized "cakes" for the iron
4. Cook as directed in the machine (should be a few minutes).

Out will come crispy delicious hash cakes.
(Repeat until the mixture is gone)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Health(ier) Pork Fried Rice

Take the Pork Recipe from 2 weeks ago or you can use a standard roast, or you can just cube some pork and fry it up - your call.

1.5 lbs of pork - cubed
2 white onions - diced
1 red pepper - diced
1 green pepper - diced
2 cups of brown rice
4 tablespoons of low salt soy sauce
1 egg - optional

1. Get 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil (add salt before) - add rice and cook as directed
2. In a frying pan or Wok (the wok is nice because it is BIG), splash some olive oil in the pan, heat on medium low and add the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the pork. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the peppers. If you are going to use the egg. Put all of the other stuff to one side of the pan and crack the egg into the pan. Allow the egg to sit for a minute and then start to break it apart with you cooking spoon or spatula. Move it into the overall mix of vegetables and pork.
4. When the rice is done, add it into the frying pan and and add the soy sauce and some hot sauce if you want. Mix it around and let the rice get fried up. Stir occasionally.
5. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Championship Rice

Mid-week I found myself not having a ton of stuff to cook with and I didn't want to go out to get supplies. I decided to do a "whatever I have in the house" dish. Similar dishes have been called Championship Rice, this is my version.

1 package of diced pancetta (8 0z.)
2 onions (diced)
1 clove of garlic
2 cans of black beans
1 package of brown rice
1 32 Oz container of chicken stock
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a small sauce pot, add chicken stock (instead of the directed amount of water for the rice) and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the rice and cook as the directions dictate. When the rice is done, put into a big bowl. (Make sure you keep 3-4 oz of stock for the beans)
2. In a small frying pan, add a splash of olive oil on low medium head, and when hot, add the onions. Cook then down until golden and then add the pancetta. Allow to cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and allow it to cook in for 3 minutes.
3. Open the beans and drain and clean them from the juice in the can. Add them to the frying pan and then add the remaining chicken stock. Add the salt, pepper, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, and if you want - hot sauce. Bring up the head so the mixture is bubbling and then down to a simmer, cover the frying pan with a lid. Let it cook for 8 minutes (stirring frequently).
4. Add the mixture to the bowl of rice and mix in.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Braised Pork Shoulder

I did a similar recipe in early May of last year using the grill, but if you want pork in the winter (as well as use this delicious meat all week), let's try this. My plan is to show a few different ways to use the pork this month (I am totally swiping this idea from the San Fran Chronicle)


Whole bone-in pork butt, about 8-9 pounds
Kosher salt and pepper
1 piece thick smoked bacon
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth + more as needed
1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir + more as needed
1 small sprig thyme
1 large bay leaf


Trim pork of excess fat. In a small bowl, mix salt (3 teaspoons), pepper (1 teaspoon), garlic salt (2 teaspoons), paprika (1 teaspoon), and mustard powder (1 teaspoon). Rub over all surfaces of the meat.

Lightly cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Place a heavy Dutch oven just large enough to hold the roast over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook the until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and leave the fat in the pan (If you have a 9 year old obsessed with Bacon, you can give him the bacon).

Take the roast out of the plastic wrap and carefully place it - fat side down - into the hot pan. Brown the meat until it releases from the bottom of the pan on its own without much effort; brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the roast and set aside.

Remove any blackened bits of meat from the pan. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently. When vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize (about 5-7 minutes), add the Marsala. Bring to a boil and cook, scraping the pan, until evaporated.

Return the roast to the pan. Add the broth, Pinot Noir, thyme and bay leaf. The liquid level should reach at least halfway up the roast; if it doesn't, add equal amounts of stock and wine.

Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Crimp a piece of foil over the roast, but do not let the foil touch the roast (cover roast with parchment if foil touches it). Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and place in the oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours.

Remove lid, turn roast over, re-cover and cook an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a knife easily pierces the meat and the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer is around 165°.

Move roast to a large cutting board. Strain sauce. Skim the fat then place sauce back into the still-warm pan. Flip roast over and return to the Dutch oven; lightly cover pan with parchment or foil and let the roast rest in the sauce for another 45-60 minutes. Taste sauce, reduce as desired and adjust seasoning.

Slice pork and serve with some of the sauce.

Read more:

I think I am going to mess with this so I don't have to use the Dutch oven... More to come!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I ordered this at a restaurant this week... and I never made it myself. So here we go.


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.