Words to the Wise
July 26, 2016, 5:24 am
Filed under: Kitchen | Tags:

I wear gloves when working with any chile hotter than a jalapeno.  You should too.  And if I cant convince you, maybe THIS will.

Nothing goes with Bluegrass like….Vietnamese food?
May 31, 2013, 5:10 am
Filed under: Camping, Food, Kitchen | Tags: , , , , ,

Seriously. Well, for this family at any rate.

For the last few years we’ve been going to a music festival in western Maryland called Delfest every Memorial Day weekend. Camping out at a county fairground and soaking up the music for four fun filled days. Last year we started what we hope will be a tradition. Vietnamese food night at Delfest!

Clay Pot Pork had made it into the heavy rotation for dinner at home and one night shortly before last year’s Delfest we figured out it could be made pretty easily on a camp stove, particularly if all the prep work was done at home before driving down.

Once the Principessa started cooking, we had a constant stream of people stopping by our campsite, angling for taste. Hell, next year we could probably vend the stuff!




Steak Out
September 4, 2010, 9:37 am
Filed under: Food, Kitchen | Tags: ,

Growing up, Saturday nights in the summer meant one thing: Dad searing a chuck steak on the grill.   And not just any marinade would do.  It had to be the one below.  The smell of this marinade causes serious olfactory deja-vu for me.   And the best part is, if you reheat the marinade it makes a great steak sauce.

The cut of steak is also important for my deja-vu’ing.   It must be what is known as a “7 bone steak” to trigger the memories. Mom bought it back then because it was cheap.  We buy it now because we like it.  The 7 bone steak is not named this because it has 7 bones but, because one of the bones in it resmbles a “7”.  Mmm-kay.  If you say so.  But the great thing about this steak is that it gives you a bit of many different cuts and great flavor to boot.  It may be a bit chewier than other cuts but the flavor is worth it. 

The marinade/sauce will work on other cuts of steak.  If you must.

Saturday Night Chuck Steak Marinade 

2/3 cup catsup

½ cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp. celery seed

1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. Tabasco sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. onion powder 

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Marinate a bone-in center cut chuck steak for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.  Remove steak and reserve marinade.  Grill!

Simmer reserved sauce for 5 minutes and either serve warm with steak or allow to cool.

And, we’re off…
July 21, 2010, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Kitchen, Tomatoes | Tags:

Tonight we’ll have our first pasta sauce of the season from our own tomatoes. A simple Pomodoro I think.

New Year, New Catalogs
January 2, 2010, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen, Tomatoes | Tags: ,

After a wonderful Christmas in Colorado which found the Principessa conquering high-altitude Yorkshire Pudding, (which turned out great at an altitude of 8500 ft. I might add) and Segundo and TB making a gingerbread village we returned to a mailbox stuffed with seed catalogs.  I promised The Principessa I would only grow 2 kinds of tomatoes this year.  The red kind and the not-red kind.

Heavy Production
December 12, 2009, 6:29 pm
Filed under: Kitchen | Tags: ,

Sunday was the annual football banquet. As the coach said when sent out the note asking for contributions “not everyone can bring soda”.   There were four options for contributing entrees:  Baked Ziti, Lasanga, Sausage & Peppers and Meatballs.  You know the kind of banquet we’re talkin’ ’bout.

So we signed up for meatballs.  We made about 60.  Those puppies lasted about 30 seconds around all those 7th and 8th grade linemen.

Countdown to the big day
November 23, 2009, 8:27 am
Filed under: Garden, Kitchen | Tags: , , ,

4 days and counting.  The long range forecast is not looking great for the frying of the bird.  We’ll keep you posted.

On the other hand, this year may be our most bounteous harvest yet for the holiday table.  In the past we’ve had little more than a few herbs to use for the big feast but this year we’ll be able to serve our own Brussels sprouts as well as lettuce if we went nuts and decided we needed to ruin our holiday meal with a salad.  There are also a few shallots poking their fronds up from the soil.

Alas, it doesn’t look like the beets I planted in late August are going to amount to anything.  Maybe enough for a garnish at best.  I’ll wait until Thursday to pull a couple and roast ’em up real fast if there are enough to make a side.

In preparation for the arrival of friends and family we gussied up the yard this weekend.  Mowed, fertilized, raked the remaining leaves.  This year we only threw out one bag of leaves, the rest went to the composting bin to be used over the course of the year.

Also, on Friday I stopped by our guys at NJ Grinding to get our knives sharpened for all the food prep we’ll be doing.

October 13, 2009, 6:35 am
Filed under: Kitchen | Tags: ,

Friday night fish was this wonderful recipe from The Boss (aka Bittman) called Ligurian Fish.  We made it with Alaskan Cod which I’m told is OK to eat according to the PC Fish Police.

Saturday night was more fish and potatoes….stunningly fresh bluefish from the fish guys at the Montclair Farmer’s Mkt. This time is was a Marcella recipe done in a very similar manner to the cod, but involving a parsley and garlic sauce.  Then it was off to Primo’s football game in the wilds of Bergen County.  They romped 27-7.

Sunday was horseradish crusted pork loin along with Mom’s Red Cabbage.  As usual the pork loin, while perfectly cooked, was very lean and tended towards dry.  But a tasty crust made up for a lot.  With the Principessa’s apple crisp for dessert it was our first real “fall” kind of meal.

You can fix anything with duct tape
October 6, 2009, 12:43 am
Filed under: Kitchen | Tags:

You really can fix anything, including this tub of B&B which took a dive from the top shelf of the fridge.

That New Stove Smell
September 30, 2009, 9:18 am
Filed under: Kitchen | Tags:


Actually that’s the problem. There are no smells coming from our new stove. The nitwits who delivered it said they “weren’t really trained” to hook up a gas stove. So why would I be charged for “installation”?


Hopefully it will be up and running for the weekend.  We’ll keep you posted.