Butterball Farms Luncheon Event

Loved the porcini-sage butter!

Loved the porcini-sage butter!

So I must say, one of the really cool things about writing this blog is occasionally I get some event invitations.  Last week I was invited to attend an event where my friend Chef Julius was showcasing Butterball Farms butter.  “Lunch?  And you’re cooking, Chef?  Um, yeah, I can make it!”  It was actually a pretty interesting event, kind of like a focus group, where Butterball Farms was looking for feedback on some of their products. (more…)


The Best Raisin Bread Ever! Pan Tramvai!

The Best Raisin BreadI know, I know, not another bread recipe so soon.  But seriously, this has to be the best raisin bread you can make.  It is so chock full of raisins the dough can barely contain them.  How chock full?  Well the amount of raisins in the bread is equal to the amount of flour used.  This Pan Tramvai (or Pane all’Uva) isn’t going to last long in our house! (more…)

St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef (Part 2 – the finished product)

Corned beef with red cabbage After 6 days in brine the brisket was ready for cooking and the photo above does not begin to do justice to this corned beef.  If you could only taste it!  The ready-to-cook corned beef you buy in the store has nothing on this version in terms of flavor.  There’s no way you get as intense a flavor from them.  The cloves, allspice, and bay leaves in the brine layer each with each bite with interesting flavor.  To be perfectly honest, I can’t wait to get a smoker this summer so I can take this same recipe and smoke the brisket instead for some pastrami or Montreal style smoked meat. (more…)

Palette de Porc a la Biere (ou en anglais Beer Braised Pork Shoulder with a Dijon Mustard Sauce)

Palette de porc a la biereOver the weekend Cheryl requested something new and untried for Sunday dinner and said she’d pick from the cookbook shelf.  The winning recipe of the ones she chose: Bourdain’s Palette de Porc a la Biere; a.k.a beer braised pork shoulder with mustard sauce. (more…)

Linguine with Clam Sauce

Linguine with clam sauceFor the longest time I had huge problems trying to make linguine with clam sauce like my mom’s.  Try as I might I could never get it as thick as hers.  I tried everything too, more butter, less liquid, more clams, nothing ever seemed to work.  I had pretty much given up hope I’d ever recreate it until the Christmas I asked for copies of her recipe books.  Once the books arrived I saw the recipe for clam sauce and the secret code was revealed… (more…)

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli – A Refreshingly Light Sunday Dinner

Spinach and Mushroom ravioliAfter New Year’s and the end of carb-overload season I’m always looking to create some lighter yet fulfilling meals and I think pastas are a great blank canvas for this.  It had been a while since I made ravioli so I decided we’d have some for Sunday dinner.  The only major question was, what kind of filling for the ravioli?  Like most people who overdo it in December (paying for it at the gym this month), January is the month where I crave green leafy vegetables, probably because I haven’t seen one since Thanksgiving.  Actually I’m game for just about any vegetable, just so long as it’s not candied, sweetened, or glazed.  So with the goal of incorporating more green into our diet in mind, I made some spinach and mushroom ravioli.  (more…)

A Christmas Cookie Favorite – Peanut Butter Kisses

Peanut Butter Kisses Cookies

Often times on this blog I’m putting up things which are either my favorites or somehow related to my own family’s traditions.  Well there’s another member of my family who sometimes gets overlooked in the foods we eat; my wife Cheryl.  Her favorite Christmas cookie which reminds her of her family are Peanut Butter Kisses, the cookies which have the big Hershey’s kiss in the middle. (more…)