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.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Instant Pot Pork Belly BBQ

Instant Pot Pork Belly BBQ

Pork belly is much more than just unsmoked bacon. It has juicy fat layers wrapped around the meat and when cooked properly has a similar texture to pork loin. But is luscious because of that fat. That may not sound like your thing, but that just means more for ME!

The first time I cooked pork belly, I did it low and slow in my Dutch oven. Tonight, I made it in the Instant Pot. If you like BBQ, you will love this. Instant Pot BBQ Pork Belly tastes like you simmered it forever. In reality dinner was ready in took less than an hour, with only 10 minutes top of prep. And it was so, so, so, so very good.

You can use any of the sweeteners but NOT all three. I used soy sauce to give the meat a more appealing color and a little jolt. You could substitute Worcestershire sauce, but I would use less as it can be overpowering. Finally, you can use 1½ cups chicken broth rather than water and Better Than Bouillon, but BTB is magic and I would definitely try it if you haven’t.

Servings: 6 sandwiches
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, an Instant Pot®, a strainer, silicone oven mitt and a wooden spoon
Cooking time: Active time: 10 minutes; Cook: 40 minutes; Sandwiches in an hour


  • 2 pounds pork belly, sliced into chunks
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large red onion (8 ounces)
  • Sweetener (1 tablespoon honey OR 1 tablespoon honey OR ½ tablespoon molasses)
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups of your favorite BBQ sauce-you can use more or less-depends on how sloppy you like your BBQ (We like Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)  
  • Rolls, pickles, pickled jalapeños, mustard other sandwich toppings
Browning first adds depth
  1. Quarter the onion and slice the pork belly into chunks.
  2. Spray the inner pot with cooking spray and set on sauté. Add the pork belly and brown for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion, sweetener, Better Than Bouillon, soy sauce and water. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn off.
  3. Place the lid on the IP, making sure the valve is set to ‘sealing.’ Turn on the pressure cook setting and set for 25 minutes. When time is up, allow to naturally release for about 15 minutes and using the silicone oven mitt move the valve to ‘release.’
  4. Strain everything from the pot and discard the liquid. Return the meat and the BBQ sauce to the IP and heat through.
  5. Serve immediately on your favorite sandwich bun. Offer your guests pickles, pickled jalapeños, mustard and any other sandwich topper that you think they might like.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Chicken Parm Quesadillas

Fusion cuisine combines contrasting culinary traditions from various regions into a single dish. So, I am completely taking liberties with the term when I combine an Italian American dish, Chicken Parmesan, with a Tex-Mex bastardization of a Mexican dish, cheese quesadilla, to get Chicken Parm Quesadilla. I don’t care if it is middle America, this mess was delicious!

You can make your own chicken tenders, your own marinara sauce and/or your own Italian Seasoning. Or you can do what I did-grab tenders from your grocery store’s deli, pick up a jar of Rao’s and make this delectable dinner with minimal effort.

You can offer your guests extra warm sauce for dipping. If you want to make the dish vegetarian, use frozen eggplant cutlets instead of chicken. I like Dominex for the same reason that I like Rao’s sauce, they both use all natural ingredients. If you use eggplant, follow the package directions for heating in a skillet. Then use my recipe to make Eggplant Parm Quesadillas. Add about 10 minutes to the cooking time.
Chicken Parm Quesadillas
Serves: 6 quesadillas (6-8 people probably)
Time:  Active time 10 minutes; Cook: 7 Minutes, quesadillas in 20 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a heavy skillet, paper towels, a silicone spatula, tongs, a sheet pan, and a pizza cutter (optional)


  • Butter (probably around ½ stick which is ¼ cup)
  •  6-8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ pounds prepared chicken tenders
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 6-½ teaspoons Italian seasoning

 1.      Slice the chicken tenders into bite sized pieces. Slice the fresh mozzarella into small chunks. Set aside.
2.      For each quesadilla, melt 2 teaspoons of butter over medium-high. When the butter is melted add a tortilla.
3.      Spread about 2 tablespoons or so of the marinara over the entire tortilla. Place a layer of cheese over the marinara. When the cheese is melty, put pieces of chicken on half the cheese. Sprinkle the entire quesadilla with Italian seasoning. Fold the side with just cheese over the chicken and mash down a little using the spatula If you need to you can use the tongs to push the filling back into the shell while mashing.
4.      You can keep the quesadillas warm on the sheet pan in the oven on the lowest setting while preparing the rest of the meal. Wipe out the pan between quesadillas.
5.      Use the pizza slicer to cut the quesadilla in to thirds. Serve warm.