Archive for July, 2014

logoMy beloved football is back. Professional, college, even arena football is splashed all over television and sports pages. I absolutely love it!!  With the start of football I’m also excited about the series “Hard Knocks” which will soon air on HBO.  I am hook, line, and sinker. For those who don’t know,  Hard Knocks is a kind of documentary I’ll say,  where one  NFL team is followed by cameras and microphones throughout the summer and training camp. It’s a means of taking the fans inside the workings of the business of football. Typically, the marquis players are featured and followed incessantly. It’s intended to show the good, the bad, and possibly the ugly. There have been a few busts over the years.  Dolphins and Ocho Cinco just a few years back. Enough said.  For “Hard Knocks”  2014, the Atlanta Falcons will be the team.  I’ve attached the “trailer” for this years series. Check out what I love the most. No this isn’t my number one team, but I love football and gets my juices flowing….

See why I love this stuff…..I’m hoping next year they’ll select me for “Hard Knocks” and Cooking With The Pros 🙂

Today’s recipe is for my daughter and any friend at a tailgate or party that is a vegetarian. Paige is not a vegetarian, she just likes Portobello burgers.

Portobello Burger…..


Please don’t be afraid to try this sandwich…Delicious


– 2 Portobello mushrooms (large ones)

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

– 1/2 tsp garlic salt

– 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning

– black pepper

– Kaiser rolls

– mayonnaise

– hot cherry pepper spread

– lettuce, tomato, red onion


1. Remove stem from mushrooms and clean with a damp paper towel.

2 In small bowl, mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic salt, Italians seasoning, and some pepper.

3. With pastry brush, coat the mushrooms with olive oil mixture.

4. In cast iron skillet or grill on medium heat that has been oiled, place mushrooms and grill about 3-4 minutes per-side.

5. While grilling, mix about 1/2 cup  of mayonnaise and 1 tbsp. of the hot cherry pepper spread.

6. Once mushrooms are grilled, spread mayonnaise mixture on Kaiser roll, top with mushroom, and add other condiments.

Remember…..Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day???



It’s  been  two weeks since I’ve posted anything. Not one recipe,  not one picture, not one thought.  “A Mini Vacay” from posting on this site, but the reality is,  I have been teaching a cooking camp for students from my school 🙂  Let’s say it’s been rewarding and challenging all in on breath. I’m thrilled to have a co-teacher Ms. Liz who helps monitor the crowd. They can get a little rambunctious.

Cooking Camp……I really dress up.


For their culminating activity, the are going to do a live cooking demonstration at our local farmers market in August. 🙂

 I haven’t been missing out on my sports though.  July has been an exceptionally eventful month in the sporting world. Most of my fans know,  I was following the World Cup with a close eye. Last Sunday  I sulked for a minute as it all ended.  Fabulous series. World Cup wasn’t the only thing that had my attention. LeBron James was forced into my life. When the news broke about LeBron’s decision to return to Cleveland, there was not one sports media outlet that didn’t become “The LeBron James Show” for about 48-72 hours. Yes..I’m a LeBron fan and like this decision, but it was  reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day and we were all forced to replay the same footage for 3 days. None of it changed. Wimbledon has gone down as well. Frankly,  going back and forth between World Cup and Wimbledon, was tough. I wanted to see aggressive behavior. Some body checking. No biting, but body checking. The hits kept coming over the last two weeks with the MLB All-Star game and Home run Derby. Minneapolis was the location this year. My take away from the coverage of the Home Run Derby;  the “Juicy Lucy”.  Apparently, this is a game day staple for Twins fan’s. And guess what, it’s the one of the easiest burgers ever!!! Because I never had one first hand, I did my research. The Juicy Lucy is two burgers stuffed with American cheese. Nice.  What I did to recreate the burger;  I took a burger I’ve had in the mid- west, Toledo, Ohio and merge it with the Juciy Lucy. The name of that burger; A Butter Burger found at a 24  hour restaurant named The White Tower. Take a stab why I know it’s a 24 hour establishment. Awwwww… inhale and exhale. I’m joining a burger stuffed with cheese, grill it in butter, and topped with butter after cooking. Just pat me on the back right now and hit the treadmill tomorrow. It’s ok to splurge. Just know I’m back and ready to rock and roll. More great recipes and other amazing stuff for Cooking With The Pros….

The Juicy Lucy Butter Burger….fabulous 🙂



– 1 1/2 ground beef 80/20

– 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt

– 2 tsp Worchester sauce

– ground black pepper

– American Cheese slices

– butter

– hamburger rolls


1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine ground beef, garlic salt, Worchester Sauce, and black pepper.

2. Take slices of American cheese and break into equal 1/4 squares. Take the four together.

3. This recipe yields 6 burgers. Take about 1/6 of the mixture and slit it in half. Flatten into a burgers. Put the cheese

between the two burgers and pinch the burgers together. Make sure they are sealed or the cheese will ooze out while they are cooking.

Repeat the process to complete all burgers.

4. In a cast iron skillet, put several pats of butter. Over a medium heat, fry up the burger. About 3-4 minutes per side.

5. When burgers are done, place on a plate and top each with butter. Put hamburger rolls in cast iron skillet to toast.

6. Put burgers together with desired condiments.

So the Juicy Lucy Meets The Butter Burger……

Remember……Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!!



July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day!!! Truth be told, I think most Americans agree with the idea it really should be celebrated July 4th. You don’t get more American than fried chicken.  But I’ll assume in an effort to give the tasty bird it’s proper “shine”,  the people that decide these dates;  I guess the Colonel, the lady from Popeyes , and the folks at Church’s, deemed this day fit.  With that being said, I could count the ways I love fried chicken. In any interview, get to know you game, or general conversation for that matter;  I have always proclaimed fried chicken to be my favorite food. I love extra crispy and I use a ton of hot sauce. Do I personally make great fried chicken you ask? Yes I do. I really do, but I also love most of the national chains as well. I love corner store chicken, chicken at my local farmers market, deep fried wings minus the breading, fried chicken strips, fried chicken and waffles, fried chicken on a salad…you get it. I love all versions of fried chicken. So with all of that being said, I challenge you all to celebrate this day properly. Buy some chicken, fry some chicken, and eat to your hearts content.


Buffalo Chicken Crunch…

Wonton wrappers filled with a  shredded chicken, hot sauce, ranch, and mozzarella cheese. Then dredged like fried chicken and deep fried..Just like the Cheese Cake Factory

So a blog follower reminded me this week of this recipe. I had to go into my archives for this one. But it’s fried chicken with a buffalo chicken inside…delicious.

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
 1/2 cup ranch dressing
olive oil
buffalo chicken wing sauce or just a hot sauce of your choice
wonton wrappers
oil bay
 vegetable oil for frying
1. Season chicken breasts with olive oil salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes 165 degrees internal temperature.
2. When chicken is baked, use a fork or your fingers to shred.
3. Mix with buffalo wing sauce. Now you don’t want it to wet. Drizzle on until it’s coated nicely.
Add ranch dressing and mozzarella cheese and toss together.  
4. Pre-heat oil to 350 degrees in a large skillet. You will want it mid way up the skillet to cover the bundles.
5. Take the wontons out of packet. Dampen a paper towel and cover them as you work or they will get dry.
6. Take the wontons and put a spoonful of the chicken mixture in the middle. Not to much or they won’t seal.
Get a small bowl of water. Using your fingers, brush water on the edges of the wontons and make little triangles to seal.
Place completed wontons under a damp paper towel as well.
7. After you have completed all wontons, prepare dredging station. You will need three shallow dishes.
The first dish flour, then egg whisked, and then flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
You should taste the flour. You never want to over season.
8. Take wontons through the station flour then egg then flour. Let rest on a baking sheet.
9. When all are dredged, start to fry. You simply want them to be golden brown. It will take about 2 minutes.
10. Once golden brown, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
11. I serve with blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, and of course celery and carrots.

Chipotle Chicken Wings….

St. Francis Academy and Chipotle Wings 010


– 1 lb fresh chicken wings

– vegetable oil

– 3 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce ( 1/4 -1/3 cup)

– 1/3  cup molasses

– 1/3 cup ketchup

– 2 tbsp white vinegar

– pinch of cayenne pepper

– salt

– black pepper


1. Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Fry in 350 degree oil for 12-13 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and immediately season with salt and pepper.

2. In food processor, combine chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, molasses, ketchup, vinegar, cayenne, and some salt and pepper. Puree in food processor.

3. Put mixture in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and reduce allowing to simmer.

4. When all wings are fried, put into a medium bowl, coat with sauce. Toss wings around until all are coated.

5. I served this with ranch dressing…..

Golden Chicken Strips and Cornbread Pancakes

with Mambo Sauce…a twist on chicken and waffles

 Mambo Sauce Delicious!!

1 cup ketchup (Heinz- Pittsburgh 🙂

1 cup sugar

1/4 c. water

5 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp Spanish Paprika

2 tbsp Sriracha (chili sauce with garlic)

2 tbsp hot sauce (crystal hot sauce)

Add all ingredients in medium sauce pan over medium heat

bring to a simmer,  whisking occasionally. Reduce to low heat

Cornbread Pancakes- Easy!!

-1 box Jiffy Cornbread mix

– 1 cup pre-packaged pancake mix

– butter

Following the directions of both and mix together.

Heat griddle to medium heat, butter, and laddle batter onto

griddle. Allow pancakes to bubble and flip. Cook until lightly golden brown

Golden Chicken Strips

– Vegetable oil, for shallow frying

– 3 full chicken boneless chicken breasts

– 3 large eggs lightly beaten

-1/4 cup hot sauce

– 4 cups all purpose flour (split in half)

– 4 tbsp garlic salt

– 4 tbsp cracked black pepper

– 4 tbsp paprika

– 4 tbsp sea salt

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over

medium heat. Whisk the hot sauce and eggs in medium bowl.

Equally divide the flour for dredging station in 2 shallow pans. In both

pans with flour add 2 tbsp garlic salt, 2 tbsp sea salt, and 2tbsp black pepper. In last dredging station only, add

paprika. Cut chicken into tenders. There are three trays to the dredging station.Start  flour, then egg, then flour..Place on baking sheet and allow

chicken to rest a few minutes before frying. The coating adheres better.

Fry tenders 4-5 minutes per side.

Drain on paper towel. Immediately, sprinkle sea salt on the fried tenders.

That is a must! Place pancakes on each plate, add chicken tenders,and

Thanks for joining me and remember………..Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day?