Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Game Day

I am not a fan of football, but I'm married to a football freak. So this Sunday will find us in front of the TV.  Hopefully we will be joined by some friends.  At least, I can cook and enjoy the new commercials.  Oh yeah, and Madonna.

If you are still deciding what to serve here are some suggestions. 

This is the only (sort of) football picture I have
Italian Sammies
Grilled Chicken, Bacon, BBQ Sandwiches

Gaucamole with tortilla chips
Sausage and Cream Cheese Wontons
Meatballs with Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Sauce
Peacan Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Dip
Baked Egg Rolls


Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Sauce

This sauce is sweet, tangy, and a little spicy.  I love it as a dip for meatballs, pork dumplings, or eggrolls.

Servings: Makes 1 cup

Time: 5 minutes
Hardware: Measuring cups and spoons, a sauce pan, a whisk

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • Pinch ground Cayenne pepper (optional) 
  1.  Whisk all of the ingredients together in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir until just simmering. Serve warm.

Honey Mustard Dressing

This is simple, but tasty.  I use it as a dipping sauce or a salad dressing.  Honey mustard is Jeff's favorite.

Servings: 1 cup

Time: Prep: 5 minutes:
Hardware: Measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, a bowl, a storage container with a lid

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup mustard
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Whisk everything together. Refrigerate until serving. This can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Italian Sammies

Jeff and I eat these often for dinner.  The spinach takes the place of lettuce and the pesto adds a tangy punch to elevate an ordinary sandwich to something special.

Servings: 4
Time: Prep: 10 minutes
Hardware: A cutting board and knifes, measuring spoons and cups, a small bowl

  • 2 small square ciabatta loaves
  • ¼ pound tavern ham cold cuts sliced thin
  • ¼ pound hot capicola sliced thin
  • ¼ pound cotto salami sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 oz pickled roasted red pepper
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • 2-1 oz slices of smoked provolone
  1. Wash and stem the spinach. Pat dry.
  2. Mix the mayo and pesto.
  3. Drain and chop the pickled pepper.
  4. Cut the bread open. Smear all the surfaces with the pesto-mayo.
  5. Layer the bottom of the loaves with the meat, spinach, pepper, provolone, and top of the loaf.
  6. Cut each sandwich in half.
Served with a side salad and Parmesan Zucchini Fries.


Hass Avocados are still in season in Florida, meaning that they are cheap and yummy. Avocados are scrumptious and good for you. They are full of fiber and vitamin C. Sometimes, I will just salt an avocado and eat it right out of the shell. So decadent.

Servings: 1 ½ cups
Time: 10 minutes
Hardware: Cutting board and knives, measuring spoons, bowl, potato masher, mixing spoon, NO POWDER latex gloves

  • 4 Haas avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (The seeds and the white ribs of a pepper contain the capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the heat. So remove these if you prefer less heat. However, jalapeños are very mild. Always seed and chop peppers using gloves.)
  • 1 small onion (¼ cup)
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Salt to taste

    Green Goodness!
  1. Squeeze the lime into the bowl.
  2. Cut the avocados open and scoop out the fruit. Toss the avocado with the lime juice.
  3. Chop and seed the tomatoes. Chop the cilantro
  4. Dice the garlic, jalapeño, and onion (the smaller the better).
  5. Drain the avocados and mash them.
  6. Stir in the cumin and sour cream until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Fold in the remaining ingredients.
  8. Salt to taste.
  9. Serve with corn chips.

Sausage and Cream Cheese Wontons

Okay, I will admit that sausage and cream cheese wontons are NOT health food, but every once in a while you have to be bad.  These puppies are worth the guilt.  I created them for my friend Brian's birthday.  They were gobbled up!

Servings: 25-30 pieces
Time: Prep: 25 minutes Cooking: 15-20 minutes
Hardware: A cutting board and knife, a frying pan, a deep skillet, a small bowl, a large metal slotted spoon, a plate, paper towels, a spoon, a work surface, an oil thermometer

  • 1 1b bulk sausage
  • 1 small onion (¼ cup)
  • 1 small green pepper (¼ cup)
  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • water
  • 25-30 wonton wrappers
  • 1-2 cups of oil for frying
  1. Place a paper towel on the plate. Set aside.
  2. Wash and chop the onion and pepper.
  3. Cook and crumble the sausage, pepper, and onion in the frying pan over medium heat until the sausage is cooked through (about 7 minutes).
  4. Add the cream cheese to the sausage and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
  5. Allow the sausage mixture to cool slightly.
  6. Fill the bowl with water.
  7. Put enough oil in the skillet to fill it about half way up. Pre-heat the oil until it is 350°. You will want to monitor the oil temperature and keep it between 320° and 350°.
  8. While the oil is heating, place a wonton wrapper with one corner closest to you as if you were looking at a diamond.
  9. Place 2 teaspoons of the sausage mixture in the center of the wrapper.
  10. Fold the wrapper over, now you have a triangle filled with sausage.
  11. Use water to moisten the edges and seal the wrapper. Make sure it is sealed.
  12. Fold two corners over as if the wonton were hugging itself. Moisten to hold the wonton hug in place. Be careful not to tear the wrapper.
  13. Place the wontons in a single layer in the hot oil.
  14. Allow the wonton to cook for about 2 minutes and then turn.
  15. The wontons are done as soon as they become golden brown.

  16. As they finish, place them on the plate to drain. You can place the plate in the oven on the lowest setting to keep them warm.
  17. Serve right away.