I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A few more recipes we have made lately

We have made a few more dishes lately that I have been too busy to post. The macaroni and cheese and the coleslaw are all time standards and we make those recipes all the time.

Teriyaki Pork Chops

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T garlic, minced
2 T fresh ginger, minced
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1 T ketchup
1/2 t red pepper flakes

Combine ingredients and pour over your chops. Marinate for at least 2 hours. I marinated mine for 24 hours. Grill the chops and use the marinade to brush them as they grill.

Macaroni and Cheese ala Koko

Boil enough macaroni to fill a 9X9 inch baking dish. Drain the macaroni when it is cooked and save 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Put the macaroni and pasta water in the buttered baking dish.

Make cheese sauce by melting 1 T butter in a sauce pan. Add 1 T flour and a few red pepper flakes. Stir for a few minutes to make a roux.

To the roux add:
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces velveta
1 t salt
freshly ground black pepper

Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Add 1 t Dijon mustard. Simmer until velveta melts. Add 1 cup finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Pour sauce over macaroni and stir. It will seem kind of soupy.

Make a topping by crushing a few Saltine crackers. Melt 2 T butter and combine with the crackers. Add 1/2 cup finely shredded extra sharp cheddar.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is browning and bubbly. You can also make this in a Dutch Oven, like I did.

Muriel's Coleslaw

My grandmother makes great coleslaw. I quizzed her about the recipe recently. What she does is take a head of cabbage and shred it. She adds a diced tomato and a diced green pepper and pours the following dressing over the top:

Cole Slaw Dressing from Vedie’s Kitchen

½ c. sugar (seems excessive, I use ¼ cup)
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper

Add to:
½ c. Miracle Whip

Mix together:
1 ½ T Kraft’s salad vinegar
2 T cream

Put into the above mixture and store in the refrigerator. Recipe by Shirley Reece.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

From the New York Times, December 2004

Heat the following ingredients together in a sauce pan until the butter melts:

1 c Guinness Stout
10 T butter
¾ c cocoa
2 c powdered sugar

Add to the following ingredients slowly in a mixer:

¾ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 c flour
2 ½ t baking soda

Place into a springform pan and bake at 350 until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

For the icing combine:

1 ¼ c powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese at room temp
½ c heavy whipping cream

Apple Cake

I have been making this apple raisin cake a lot over the last few months. It is my current favorite. I especially like the chunks of apple.

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1/2 cups white raisins
1 tablespoon rum
1 t vanilla

Mix everything up and pour into a bundt cake mold. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and then frost. I like cream cheese frosting on this.


We had a great Thanksgiving. We had all of the traditional favorites. Of course we had a smoked turkey. We also had cranberry sauce, macaroni salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, escalloped corn, candied yams and pumpkin pie. You can find all of those recipes on this website by clicking on the archives to the left. I would look in the archives for November of 04.

My cousin from Chicago came over the weekend. It was fun to catch up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gino's East Recipe continues to evolve

I made Gino's again last night. One thing I have been doing lately is adding more oil to the crust. In my original posts on the subject about a year ago, I was using 2 T oil, but recently I have been using about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vegetable oil per cup of water. It changes the texture of the crust to be more like brioche, which is a change that I like. I also have been adding much less corn meal and I use corn flour if it is available. I only add about 1/4 cup now.

About a year ago I posted my recipe on a forum. Some guy posted on the forum in response and claimed to have the real recipe. The difference between his and mine is the addition of cream of tartar to the crust. I will have to try it and report back. He also uses a lot of oil, but his oils are a mixture of corn oil and olive oil. Here is his post if anyone is interested:

"Although, Ginos uses a TON of oil. You got the oils right. However, they use 95% corn and 5 % Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Do not use regular olive oil. Just buy some Corn oil and take out 5% by volume and add same amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Then, for every 1 cup of water, use 1/3 cup of oil. Also, you can use 1 Tablespoon of corn meal like you put in there, however, there other secret ingredient is about 1 tsp cream of tartar. Ginos does not use corn meal.


1 Cup water
1 package yeast
1/3 cup oil mixture
1 T sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 lbs Bread Flour

In a bowl, put water (luke warm), then yeast, oil, cream of tartar, and sugar. Mix with hand until yeast dissolves. Then, pour in Bread Flour a little at a time. Mix with your hand. Just curve your hand like a dough hook and hold the bowl and mix. Then, knead it until it gets firm. Add more flour if needed. Secret is also in the kneading. Knead it for about 10 minutes straight. Then, roll it into a ball, and put it in a bowl with oil brushed in the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. let sit overnight unrefrigerated. Only let it rise once. Portion and use.

And, the kind of pan they use is a Tinned Steel pan that is seasoned. And, when you cook it, make sure you put oil in the pan also. Stretch it out in the pan and put a layer of cheese over it. Then, put it in the fridge for about a day. Then, take it out and put another layer of cheese, then sauce, then pecorino romano cheese and oregano."

He doesn't mention food coloring but he corrected himself in another post. Yellow food coloring is the secret to this dough. He claims that Gino's doesn't use cornmeal, which is just wrong. The one on Superior street absolutely positively did use corn meal.
Here are links to my original posts.



One of these times I will post a recipe for the way I have been making it lately

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

White Boy Spanish Rice

When I was growing up my mom made Spanish rice a lot because it is cheap to make and very easy. Her version of Spanish rice is probably unlike any I have seen. I especially like the way the onions smell when they are cooking in the bacon grease.

White Boy Spanish Rice

1 cup minute rice
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
2 strips of bacon
2 t chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in the bottom of a sauce pan. Remove bacon when done and saute onions in the bacon grease. Crumble the bacon and add back to the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook, uncovered, until the rice is soft.

Also shown in the photo are Dutch Oven Trig Style Enchiladas (recipe elsewhere).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

An Old Standby

Here is an old standby at our house - chicken picata. There are 1000 different ways to make this, but I have a real easy and delicious way to make it that only takes a few minutes.

Chicken Picata

Take 2 chicken breasts and pound with a tenderizing hammer to flatten. Then coat in a beat up egg and dredge in flour. Sprinkle the battered chicken pieces with Italian herbs. I like Fines Herbs but any blend of Italian herbs will do. Fry the chicken in olive oil until done and set aside. In the olive oil left in the pan saute a handful of shallots. Don't cook them too long because they get bitter after a certain point. Deglaze the pan with a dash of white wine if you have it or just dump a little vodka or chicken broth or if you absolutely have to water. This will bring up all of the tasty bits of chicken and whatnot. Return chicken to the pan along with 1/4 cup of drained capers. Cook until everything is heated through. Juice 1 lemon over the top of the whole mess.

To serve sprinkle a little parmesan over the top. Shown in the photo is one of my absolute favorite sides - rutabegas. I have my method for making them shown elsewhere on the site.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Buckwheat Pancakes

Every time I have gotten a recipe from my Great Aunt Darlene it has been completely amazing. The last time I was up my grandmother had a package of buckwheat flour and we got a recipe from Darlene for buckwheat pancakes. Let me tell you, these rival the family recipe for buttermilk pancakes.

Buckwheat Pancakes from Darlene

Combine in a container:
1 package yeast
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups frour
1 c warm water
1 t salt

Let rise on the counter overnight. Then add:

1 cup boiling water
2 T sugar
1 t baking soda

Fry on an oiled griddle.

If you wish, you can easily turn this into a sourdough recipe. Darlene included instructions on how to do this:

Save 1 c sponge. On evening before using add:
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups frour
1 c warm water
1 t salt

The next morning just follow the usual instructions with the boiling water etc.

PS - that pan came from a naughty boy's home that one of my relatives was staying at in Missouri around WWII

Thursday, November 10, 2005

New cookbook

I have a new cookbook on the way. I heard about it on NPR. You know how in America everyone gets a Betty Crocker cookbook for their wedding? Well in Italy, everyone gets a cookbook called The Silver Spoon. It was recently translated into English by this Italian lady. It is supposed to be THE BIBLE of Italian cooking. There are over 2000 recipes in it and they are supposedly the end-all recipes for each dish. Anyway if you are interested its called The Silver Spoon and you can get it from Amazon.com

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Campfest 2005 Complete

Our yearly camping trip has concluded. It was a lot of fun. We had 10 people there this year, which is an excellent turnout. I did a few things differently this year. I brought a smoker and made ribs one night. I also made chili in a Dutch oven and cornbread. The cornbread was really tasty. I made it in a bundt cake pan and put the pan inside the Dutch oven.

On Saturday night we were on the way to buy the supplies to make Dutch oven enchiladas and a huge thunderstorm hit. We went to the Pasta House in Osage Beach and waited an hour, never to be served. We ended up eating at a Burger King. By the time we were all done the storm had blown over. The tents and everything were dry so it was all good.

One of the kids on the campout had a major blowout when we left Burger King without playing in the play gym. Those things are a nightmare and need to be stopped. Even if you let the kid play in there for 5 hours they still leave kicking and screaming.

We have been making this great apple raisin cake lately. I will post the recipe and hopefully a picture soon.