Baked Manicotti - The best part of the visit was when Grams and the boy conspired to make a real treat for everyone. Some home-made manicottis. This is one baked Italian dish that never leaves me feeling like I ate too much pasta. Before all of the magic, a nice pot of sauce gets started, so that it …
Bacon Wrapped Scallops - In light of the limitations of our local grocers to provide us with extraterrestrial sea monsters, we decided that we would use scallops as a place holder. For this dining experience, all we need are some sea scallops and bacon for the main dish. We choose to use bacon as our seasoning. If you think …
Easter Ham - Let’s get the veggies and potatoes out of the way. We roasted everything, in advance of the main event. The main event being our ham. To glaze the ham, we dissolve some brown sugar into some yellow mustard. I would say we use quite a bit more sugar than mustard, but really, I just add …
Bringin’ Home the Bacon - Usually, I am on top of food fads. A couple years ago it was sriracha, kale  and cronuts. Last year it was chia seeds, bone broth, and gluten-free fill-in-the-blank. But there are a couple fads that are always popular, maybe that means they aren’t fads. The first is pumpkin flavored things, (which taste nothing like …
Blackened Lionfish - We decided to blacken the filets and put over a bed of linguine. So we take the filets, rub a mixture of sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and whatever else sounded good, all over one side. Place in some hot oil, and carefully apply the rub to the other side. After only a min or …
Anchovy Stuffed Cherry Peppers - At a wonderful Italian restaurant, La Hacienda, that is noted for its excellent pizza, there is a modestly stated, “anchovy stuffed cherry pepper” in the appetizer section. But if you are so inclined to order such an hors d’oeuvre, what comes to your place setting is so much more than the unassuming name implies. Instead …
Thanksgiving Wrap - Two years ago, Mark was having lunch at the Dog Ears Bookstore in South Buffalo, when he saw on the chalkboard in the cafe a seasonal special, the Thanksgiving Wrap. The ingredients were listed below: wheat wrap with turkey, goat cheese, butternut squash, bacon, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, mixed greens, and a little honey-dijon mustard. …
Chicken Pot Pie - So this weekend, in honor of the Earth’s axis titling away from the sun, we have decided to whip up a homemade chicken pot pie. We don’t need a ton of things to make this happen. Just a chicken, some veggies, and flour and eggs. We start by making some chicken stock. We boil and …
Sauerkraut - One of the finer points, aside from all the great sausage was the sauerkraut that was served with each sausage. I have always loved this side dish. Really good sauerkraut goes down very smooth. It is not too vinegary or salty, yet has a difficult-to-describe richness that perfectly compliments a salty meat, like a sausage, or …
Muffuletta - This may not be brand new too all of you, but I urge you to stick around for the exciting conclusion. The “muff” as they call it, is basically an Italian sandwich, containing salami, mortadella, and ham, with provolone.  Obviously, this is a winner sandwich, and for sure not invented in New Orleans. The genius …
Pumpkin Fries - We brainstormed new ways to eat our pumpkins, and we came up with pumpkin fries. One cool thing about pumpkin is that you can eat it savory or sweet. So we made both kinds of fries. I chose a smaller pumpkin to try this, but the larger the pumpkin, the longer and more french fry …
The Perfect Steak - Now take an ordinary piece of steak. See below. This is not a trick steak. I season it thoroughly, like you would before tossing on the grill. I vacuum seal them. In this case, I have done that by placing them in a ziplock bag, and then submerging it in water when sealing. Now for …
Pig Roast - For this particular pig, we used a box, but you could easily use a pit, or just suspend the pig over coals, but in the box scenario, we place the coals on the top of the box. The beauty of a pig roast, is you just need time. But the final product is fantastic. The …
Awesome Brussels Sprouts - We buy brussels sprouts all the time, and we blanch them, fry them, bake them, steam them, add bacon, lemon, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, etc. etc. But they are never quite as good as the hipster restaurant down the street makes them. Well, we have finally figured it out. We know what elements we want …
Huevos Poblanos - We start with a cornbread-ish type of base. The idea here is for it to be very moist, and tasty, not too bread-like. We start with your favorite cornbread base, and then add minced poblanos, onions and creamed corn, and then we make sure to error on the side of undercooked before pulling out. Next, …
Fried Olives - Here we take an olive of our choice, in this case, I used a spanish queen or manzanilla, already pitted and stuffed with pimento, and add a little dried salami, like a pepperoni, or soppressata. I created a breading from a few tasting things, like Italian bread crumbs, crushed up potato chips, and saltine crackers. …
Cubanos - Blend up some garlic, lime, orange, and cilantro for your very own homemade Mojo. Pick out a nice inexpensive pork shoulder and marinate it over night. The next day, roast that gorgeous piece of meat, and what comes out is the main ingredient. You will have to do your best to get your hands on …
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