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Book of the Month


September 2011
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Chicken Fennel Soup

This is a simple slow cooking soup that only gets better with time and packs a punch of flavor.  I love to make this on cold rainy or snowy days where I get it going and let it slowly cook down for hours as I watch football or putz around the house.  Oh and if picky Shae loves this you know it is good, it is one of her all time favorites!

First off, what is fennel?  Fennel is a plant with a bulbous bottom with fine green frowns that look a lot like dill’s frowns but smaller.  It

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Curry Chickpeas with Garam Masala Rubbed Pork

I was out at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival the other weekend and ran into a food demo from Alice the cook.  She has been doing food demos for a long time at the Ren Fest but this was the first year that she had official time slots where she cooked and talked ye ol’ food network style!  The theme for the Fest that weekend was Middle Eastern Mirage so her and her assistants were cooking and talking about food and spices from the Silk Road.  The curry Chickpea Stew smelled wonderful so I thought I would try this one

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Beets with Bacon and Hot Links

Beets with Bacon and Hot Links, okay, this might sound a little weird,,, it was one of those ‘hmm, what shall I throw together and see if it works, moments!’ I’m happy to say, it turned out pretty amazing, if I do say so my self!

I started by cleaning, peeling and cutting into pieces 8 medium size Beets. The pieces are more or less two bite sizes each.


Beets Cut In 'two bite sizes' Pieces


Now I’ve chopped 3 Smoked Hot Links Sausage. I quartered each sausage length wise and cut into pieces.


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oh, BubBanana Bread,,, how do I love thee?

Yup, love, love, love Banana Bread. I think it is actually one of the first things I tried baking, back many years ago, whilst I was just a wee lad…

This is a recipe I created over the years! Enjoy!!!



3 extremely ripe Banana

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Butter

2 Eggs

1 Tablespoon Lemon or Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

2 Cups Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg


Start with a large Mix Bowl, use a Potato Masher to mash your Bananas! Add Lemon or Lime Juice to

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Hunan Style Smokey Ham with Veggies

One of my fav foods to go out for is Hunan Style, it’s regional Chinese style of cooking, dry hot and smokey.

Here’s my take on Hunan Style Smokey Ham with Veggies.


I’ve cleaned, chopped and otherwise prepped for cooking all kinds of Veg.; Celery, Yellow Onion, Red, Green, Yellow and Orange Sweet Pepper, Pasilla Pepper, Carrot, Sunburst Squash, Snow Pea Pod, Roma Tomato and Garlic. You can use any veggie you might have on hand.


Snow Pea Pod, Celery and Sunburst Squash


Roma Tomato, Yellow Onion, Red, Yellow and Orange Sweet Pepper

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Braised pork shoulder w/ fennel and beer:

My intention was to slow cook a pork roast for pulled pork something or another on the grill this weekend but the weather had turned cooler so the itch to slow cook in the Dutch oven took hold.  I chose to braise that pork instead with some fennel and some beer.

What is braising?  Braising is a simple and wonderful way to make tough meats fall apart tender.  The basic concept is to cook the meat low and slow with some sort of liquid and added aromatics until falling apart tender.  It really is an anything goes type

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Shells Baked with Tomato, Cream, Corn and Five Cheeses

Here’s another recipe from one of my favorite cookery books.  It’s from a cookbook someone who use to work at Al Forno, a legendary Providence, RI restaurant gave me as a gift. The chef – owners are Johanne Killeen and George Germon.

Unlike the last recipe I made from this book, this one is quite simple and quick! Enjoy!


‘Shells Baked with Tomato, Cream, Corn  and Five Cheeses’ From: On Top of Spaghetti, by Johanne Killeen and George Germon

Items needed:Baking dish Big bowl

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

2 C Heavy cream 1 cup diced tomato 1/4 c

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