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9 Dec

the spruce

Okay, So , first snow of the year , it must be time to start making soups.

This is a Farmer’s Supper recipe that I got out of a German cook book using Italian sausage, kinda.

This recipe calls for Mortadella , sometimes known as the “Italian Bologna,”




Real Mortadella is a type of cured meat that falls under the umbrella of SALUME( not to be confused with salami ). What  sets mortadella apart from other sausages is its smooth, pink texture and large cubes of juicy fat, and yet a slice of mortadella doesn’t taste fatty ; it tastes porky and nutty, How do they do it ? Part of it is that the rules say the 15% of any log of mortadella must be of “prime neck fat” from pigs.

Select cuts of pork are then  accented with garlic and spices, then delicately roasted in the old world Italian way, just as it was over 600 years ago


Mortadella is cooked cured pork meat that is produced  in central and northern Italy. The original recipe was codified in 1661 in the Bologna area in the Emilia-Romagna

This area is also rich in culinary history :

Emilia-Romagna is the birthplace of the highly prized Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese
Modena is also well known in culinary circles as the origin of another Emilia-Romagna culinary masterpiece:  the coveted Balsamic vinegar of Modena,

which has been produced since Roman times under strict quality standards of highly government-regulated methods in which it is aged up to 50 years in wooden barrels.
Emilia-Romagna is home to the town of Parma, which is the birthplace of Prosciutto di Parma, Italy’s most famous pork product.  Considered to be the ‘king’ of Parma food, Prosciutto is a mainstay for Italian cuisine.


Bologna, the capital of the region, was founded by the Etruscans and is home to the oldest University in the world.



The Romans called the sausage farcimen mirtatum (myrtle sausage), because the sausage was flavoured with myrtle berries, a popular spice before pepper became available to European markets.

What’s a Myrtle Berry ?

An aromatic plant of the genus Myrtus. It symbolizes love. In Greek mythology it was held sacred to Aphrodite.

It is an evergreen shrub or a small tree that can grow up to 5 meters tall. It has white flowers and tiny dark blue berries.

Its berries have a pleasant, sweetish, aromatic and rosiny taste.


Mortadella originated in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna. Because it originated in Bologna, this contributed to the naming of the American sausage meat “bologna”.



Mortadella is very popular  all over the world .

In Spain and Portugal,also very popular in Argentina, Bolivia.
In Hungary, mortadella and a plain variety is  called pariser.

In Greece, where the size is small, the variety is called Parizaki or Mortadelaki, and in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia, the product known as mortadela is widely eaten.

In Poland, mortadela slices are sometimes dipped in batter, fried and served with potatoes and salads as a quicker (and cheaper) alternative to traditional pork chops.

In several countries, such as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel, halal or kosher mortadella is sold, which is made from chicken, beef, or turkey.

In Russia, a very similar product is called “doctor’s sausage” (Russian: «Докторская» колбаса). However, this product is normally made from a beef and pork mixture, and does not include pieces of fat (sausages with pieces of fat are called “Lubitelskaya” and “Stolichnaya”) or myrtle as a primary spice, being instead flavoured with just coriander and nutmeg.

Chả lụa or Vietnamese mortadella is sometimes used as an accompaniment to the Vietnamese dish bánh cuốn.


Well , that’s about everything you need to know about this wonderful sausage.

It is important that you try to get Mortadella from your local Italian deli.

The spices in the Mortadella are what flavors this dish



18 new red potatoes

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup parsley – flat Italian – chopped

3/4 lb mortadella ( I get the deli guy to cut a 1 inch thick slice from a 8 ” diameter Mortadella roll )

Dice  into      3/ 4 ” cubes

1 onion – chopped small

1 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms = sliced

1/3 cup butter

2 Tbsp flour pepper 1 1/2 cup milk

Wash potatoes and peel 1/2 inch strip around the center of each.

Cook , covered in 1′ boiling water with 1 tp salt for 20 min. until just tender.

Drain , and peel,  return to sauce pan.

Toss with parsley and keep warm.

Saute mortadella , onions and mushrooms in butter in a large sauce pan or dutch oven.

Push to side of pan , add flour a few grinds of pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt

Add milk gently and stir to blend.

Add potatoes.

Cook until smooth and thick — more milk if needed

Eat and Enjoy !





3 Dec


Red Beans and Rice with Sausage


In most cities, Monday is known as the dreaded day when the weekend has ended and the workweek has begun. In New Orleans, locals know they can always look forward to one very tasty Monday tradition – Red Beans and Rice.
Mondays used to be the traditional “wash day” of the week

Traditionally, women of the house would put on a pot of red beans to cook all day while they tended to the laundry,

wd2    since the meal required little hands-on attention. The beans were largely seasoned by the leftover hambone from the previous night’s dinner.
While Mondays may not be laundry day anymore and hams may not be served every Sunday night, Red Beans and Rice still appears on most menus and in many homes every Monday and is usually accompanied by sausage or pork chops on the side.

Here’s some thing you might not know
Red Beans and Rice Was Louie Armstrong’s favorite dish !

Jazz legend Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest musical talents of the 20th century. He was also one of the greatest eaters of the 20th century.
Lucky for him, he called New Orleans home. In fact he often signed his record albums and ended his concerts with the salutation of “red beans and ricely yours.

In celebration of Mardi Gras (I know I missed by a couple of days ),  i’d like to  share with you a recipe suitable for a Mardi Gras party or a simple meal of great Louisiana cooking without breaking the bank.


1 lb red beans
4 strips bacon       ( OH BUT WAIT MY VEGAN FRIENDS  — DO NOT LEAVE JUST YET …….)
1 large onion – chopped
2 stalks celery – chopped
1 green pepper  – chopped
1/2 tsp salt
couple of grinds of pepper ( you know you have to get that pepper grinder so that it’s fresh )
pinch of cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp. parsley – chopped
2 tsp thyme
1 lb smoked sausage ( I can actually buy  Andouille sausage (traditional New Orleans kind ) at the grocery store. – sliced into 1/2″ pieces
3 tbsp. chopped garlic
Couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
5 cup chicken stock
5 cup water
4 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup green onions chopped for garnish

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain  and set aside.
In a large pot, fry bacon  over medium-high heat.. Add the   onions,  celery  and bell peppers to the grease in the pot.
Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the bay leaves,  parsley , thyme,  sausage  , and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage
Add chicken stock and water and simmer , uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)  YOU COULD ALSO THROW ALL THIS STUFF IN A CROCK POT FOR ABOUT 7 HOURS  ON LOW.
Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue  to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions. Use some Louisiana     hot sauce to spice it up alittle more if you need to.
Some French bread and a cold beer     and your all set .
Eat and Enjoy !

svf   }

PS: Here’s something else I bet you didn’t know ………..

When the Acadians came in to South Louisiana and settled in the bayous around New Orleans, they just didn’t add major additions to the food culture, but they also added some great folklore  legends to the region.


The rougarou (roo-ga-roo) is a creature that will attach itself to a person, it stays on for a full year like a curse.  By day, the person will be their human self; but sickly, depressed, and full of dark thoughts.  The rule of the curse is that they cannot tell anyone what happens at night or they will die.
At night, they roam the bayous, forests, and cities as the creature with a human-like body and a wolf-like head.  They search for someone else to pass the curse of the rougarou onto, and like a vampire they’ll search for blood.  Once they do find someone , the rougarou will return to its human form, and tell the new person that they are now also cursed for the next year.
They appear werewolf-like with a blood drive of a vampire looking to spread the curse, blood-sucking their way through Cajun Country.
The stories are similar to the French version known as Loup-garou – which translates to werewolf!  There’s also some similarity to the Native American legend of the Wendigo.


The legend was said to have been made up to keep the children at home at night and not roam into the unfamiliar and unsafe bayous and to not cause trouble at night on the streets.
Others say that the legend was born to scare the Cajun children into following the rules of Lent.  They were told that if they broke any of the rules for seven years in a row, the rougarou would come and get them and they’d become one.
The rougarou became a type of boogyman sometimes called the swamp monster.  It was used to scare children so they don’t cause problems and mischief.

Baja Shrimp Tacos

19 Aug

once upon a chef

Looks Good  ,Doesn’t IT  ?  It is and they are very easy to make.




But Hey! Where is Baja ?   

it’s right here ……………



Now that you know where It is ,

Here is a tale to be told

that I will tell you

so that you can tell others

that you might bump into !



Rodríguez de Montalvo’s in his novel Segas de Esplandián (The Exploits of Esplandián)


Talks about A Virgin Queen…………….

Did that get your attention?

It  was written in the early 1500s, at a time when colonization in the Americas was still in its infancy.


  Leopoldo Espinosa

Calafia is introduced as “… a regal Moorish black woman, courageous, strong of limb and large in person, full in the bloom of womanhood, the most beautiful of a long line of queens who ruled over the mythical realm of California.”
She  commanded a fleet of ships with which she ruled and maintained peace in the surrounding lands, and islands including Baja and Hawaii. She  kept an aerial defense force of “griffins”, and other fabulous animals which were native to California, trained to defend the land against invaders.

They were successful in conquering many neighboring territories and known for their courage, physical strength and ardent hearts .


Calafia meets Radiaro, a Moslem warrior who convinces her that she should join him in retaking Constantinople from the Christian armies holding it. Calafia, in turn, convinces her people to take their ships, weapons, armor, riding beasts, and 500 griffins, and sail with her to Constantinople to fight the Christians.

{Sounds like a good read. It’s written in Spanish and a steal a $139.00}

The name of Calafia was likely formed from the Arabic word khalifa (religious state leader) which is known as caliph in English and califa in Spanish. Similarly, the name of Calafia’s monarchy, California, likely originated from the same root, fabricated by the author to remind the 16th-century Spanish reader of the reconquista, a centuries-long fight between Christians and Muslims which had recently concluded in Spain. The character of Calafia is used by Rodríguez de Montalvo to portray the superiority of chivalry in which the attractive virgin queen is conquered, converted to Christian beliefs and married off. The book was very popular for many decades—Hernán Cortés read it—and it was selected by author Miguel de Cervantes as the first of many popular and assumed harmful books to be burnt by characters in his famous novel Don Quixote




   once upon a chef


Baja Shrimp Tacos With Creamy Slaw

For the slaw:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2  tablespoons apple cider vinegar

¾ teaspoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 6 oz.)

2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 6 oz.)

⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the tacos:

Vegetable oil

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup cold  seltzer or club soda

1large eggs

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 (6 inch) flour tortillas, warmed


lime wedges, hot sauce, and sliced scallions, for serving

Whisk together mayonnaise, , vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add both cabbages and cilantro and toss to combine. Let stand at least 20 minutes.

Prepare the Tacos: Pour oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches and attach  a deep-fry thermometer

Heat over medium-high to 350°F.

Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl.

Make a well in the center and whisk in seltzer and egg white   until just combined.

Dredge half the shrimp in batter, shaking off excess.

Carefully lower into hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Heat Tortillas on stove 

Yes right on the stove . Just barley brown it a little , then flip it over and do the same on the other side.

DO not do this if you have a electric stove !!!!!! use a frying pan – Real hot – no oil or use a Comal

Divide shrimp evenly among tortillas and top with slaw, hot sauce, and scallions and crumbled  cheese .

Serve with lime wedges.

Eat and Enjoy!

Greg DuPree,


Brisket on the grill

14 Aug









You need polkas to listen to while you cook the brisket and drink the beer !!!!









Okay, So first you need about a 5 lb. Brisket

What about  that big piece of fat on top ? .

It’s called the FAT CAP and you want  some of it.  Yes there is a lot of arguments among SMOKERS, GRILLERS AND BAR-BA-QUERS  if this should be left on or not.

You can do whatever you want ! Because this is AMERICA  , THE LAND OF THE FREE  flag


But , I personally trim it down to about an  1/8 ” and here’s why —–


The Fat does not melt into the meat but it does keep the meat moist .

Which prevents getting a  ” BARK  – CRUST ” on the side with this big chunk of fat.

Also no spices are able to penetrate this thick fat layer.

With just a little fat on , most will melt off and still give a nice flavor to the finished product.


Use a sharp knife and take off alittle at a time , kinda like filleting a fish  .


2) next , use your favorite rub and some more salt ( do not be shy ) and some more pepper.

I tried this and was pleasantly surprised   chicago




Here is a good home made rub recipe:

3 tbsp  coarsely ground black pepper

2 tbsp. kosher salt

1  tbsp. granulated white sugar

1  onion powder

2 tsp mustard powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp  chili powder

1  tsp  cayenne powder

Rub  the RUB on and rub it into the meat .

Do this on a big cookie sheet or a foil pan .


at this point you can wrap it real tight in plastic wrap, or you can put it in a zip lock bag and squeeze the air out and place it in the fridge over night,



I have been trying this lately and I like it. Just put it in the fridge UNCOVERED  OVERNIGHT . This drys out the meat alittle and intensifies the flavor .

Try it — see what you think and let me know   …………….



Also a new technique I have just picked up


Setting up the coals like this and putting a 1/2 chimney of hot coals on one end gives you about 9 hours with no fuss or muss.

Or you can use a HINGED GRATE ( yes I have one Love it  )



This allows you to add coals and wood chips without disturbing the brisket or dropping it on the ground

place a foil pan under the brisket to catch the drippings.

No flare ups .

no mess in the bottom of your kettle.

You can add the drippings to  them to the BBQ sauce if you like.




So After you get the coals going and the meat is on the grill ,  you want to adjust the top vent to get about 250′

Now you can close the top vent and then just crack it alittle and wing it or you can use a thermometer.

( HEY , you spent enough on the brisket  , you might as well do it right and use a thermometer )

If your cooker lid does not have a built in thermometer its easy enough to put one in.

Here is a short tutorial from         NO EXCUSES BBQ

The first step in the mod was to put some painter’s tape on the kettle to keep the porcelain from chipping. A few taps on a center punch to score the metal, and it was time to drill.


As before, I pulled out the trusty Unibit and cordless drill and had at the lid of the kettle. And yes, I did wear my safety goggles.


I got better results with the hole this time, and there were no signs of damage to the porcelain finish (other than the hole I just drilled).



The thermometer was mounted, and as you can see from the picture the placement was just about right. Any further from the handle and there would be issues with the lid holder bracket on the back of the kettle.


Inside clearance was good too.


Here’s a shot of the finished product. Now it’s time to fire it up and see if the temps can be controlled enough to go low and slow.


or you can use the POTATO METHOD using a remote thermometer.

thermauto          pt



  this will tell you exactly what the temp is . Place potato/thermometer next to roast.

3)  Cook for about 9 hours. Now most brisket recipes call for a final temp of 203 -205′  ( one of these is great ) hand

Sometimes taking 12 -18 hours.


I have discovered that if you pull it off the heat at 175′ let it rest for 15 min , and slice it across the grain  – VERY THIN – the meat is delicious and juicy and maybe med-well done

Add some COKE – A – COLA   BBQ SAUCE and it doesn’t get any better.

Eat and Enjoy !




Strange thing , I  really don’t like Coke – a cola ………….BUT I LOVE THIS SAUCE and so does everyone else !!!!!!!!!!


  1. 1 cup Coca-Cola.
  2. 1 /2 onion – minced
  3. 1 cup ketchup.
  4. 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce.
  5. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke.
  6. 1/4 cup A-1 steak sauce.
  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder.
  8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  9. 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  10. Sauté onion in a little olive oil then add everything else.
  11. Stir well and simmer for 15 min.






Attention ! Achtung ! Atención ! Uwaga!

1 Aug

Attention ! Achtung ! Atención ! Uwaga!     Scotty's Place's photo.

I have just discovered That if any of my true Blue Followers only read my recipes on ONLY their EMAIL…….They may be missing some of the best parts!

Please click to The Facebook site or click to Kristoscooks……

To enjoy the full Banquet of Sights , { Sounds } and delectable , delicious , scrumptious, recipes that some have said ,
“Would Make Julia Child want to cook with this Guy ! ”

Really! I have too heard people say that !

Or was it , “she should throw a right hook and give him a
black eye! ”

Whichever , tune in to Facebook or Kristoscooks to get the full Story.
Thanks for being a fan .
Spread the word Share with your friends!


4 Jul



Okay so this is real easy and comes together real quick .

5 potatoes – scrubbed and  cubed 1/2″ x 1/2 ”

Put the potatoes in a pot  with

1 Tsp salt and cover with water.  pott

Turn up heat to high and cook potatoes until done. Firm but not mushy. drain into strainer and rinse under cold water to cool.


6 heaping Tbsp. Miracle whip   mc

5 Tbsp. mustard  must

Mix well

3 stalks celery – cut in half long ways      cl   and cut very small   cl2

I onion – minced  dc

Mix celery and onion into miracle whip/ mustard mixture

Fold in potatoes

There you go !


Eat and Enjoy !


13 Feb

pot 2

How is it spelled ? Portabella , or Portobella ….from what I understand there is no “right” spelling. Why would that be? Because it is a fabricated name for a cull that was either tossed or the mushroom pickers took home cause they couldn’t sell. Same with a baby Portabella which is called a Crimini mushroom or sometimes I have seen them called Baby Bella. They are the same one is young the other mature. The name Portobello is from unknown origins but has many fun stories. Literally the name means beautiful door. However some think it is named for a road in London England that sells fancy things. Some think it was named after a city in Panama , or there was a TV show once called Portobello.

Okay , So heres is alittle snack  for the afternoon or you could make it a whole meal, it’s pretty rich.

For my vegetarian friends this also works out well if you replace the sausage with 2 cups of cooked brown rice.


6 large portobella mushrooms – stemmed , SAVE STEMS! – chop them up!

Extra virgin olive oil

12 oz mild Italian  sausage ( if you don’t have a good Italian deli like ZEPE”S ,  use Johnsonville )

2 cloves garlic – minced

1/2 cup onion – minced

1/4 cup green pepper minced

1/2 cup tomato sauce ( if you don’t have homemade Paul  Newman’s Marinara is pretty good )

Pinch red pepper flakes

8 oz. spinach leaves

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil ( yes ,  you can get this in most stores ,  even if you buy the little plant )


2 Tbsp chopped flat Italian  parsley

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese – grated

1/4 cup smoked gouda – grates


1 egg –   slightly beaten

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Balsamic vinegar  for drizzling.



Start oven to 400′

use a little oil and rub it onto the mushrooms

Brown sausage with a little oil

Add garlic onion and bell pepper, and chopped mushroom stems  and cook until soft .

Add pinch of pepper flakes and tomato sauce cook 3 more min.

Add chopped spinach  and let wilt stirring into meat mixture

Turn off heat add cheeses, basil and parsley. Mix well.

Divide the filling among the mushroom caps, about 1/2 cup for each mushroom.

Place the filled mushrooms on a  foil lined baking sheet ( spray with a little oil ) .

Combine remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small mixing bowl.

Divide the bread crumb  mixture evenly among the tops of the mushrooms.

Bake until golden brown on top and the mushrooms are tender, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Garnish  with remaining tablespoon of parsley, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar  and serve warm or at room temperature.

Eat and Enjoy !











6 Feb



san2            texas


Okay , So here is another TEX-MEX  favorite.

I first had this when I first visited  father-in-law in San Antonio along time ago. It was so long ago that most folks up north had never even heard of soft taco shells.

Come to think of it there was just barely taco shells at all . You could buy the hard shells and a packet of TACO flavoring for you hamburger, lettuce , tomato and cheese and that was as close to Tex-mex as all us Yankees ever got.

So when we got to Texas ,   the first place we went to was alittle abode building .  Dirt parking lot with chickens running around and a bunch of beat-to-hell pickup trucks.   “Pa, I don’t think this is a good place to take your daughter ( or me either for that matter )

“Oh no ,  it’s okay  ,  you’re going to like this place a lot.  ” he says.

So inside we go and there is a big  mammasita slapping tortillas  and making tacos from scratch.

Red and white checked tablecloth , rickety old chairs candle in an old brown bottle . Are you kidding me .  Where’s John Wayne and the movie crew.

3 tacos for  $1 and all the icetea you can drink .  Man- o- man , up to that time I never had anything so good. No lettuce , tomato or cheese some slices of lime to squeeze on top and   It was pure TEX-MEX heaven .      My first lesson in real Mexican food.

They had this { GRAVEY TACO } It was  everywhere we went in town.

So as time goes by I try to find this recipe. Nobody knows what I’m talking about.  Asking my Mexican friends and partners and they never heard of it.  Crazy gringo !

So it turns out its not really Mexican but TEX-MEX , alittle specialty from the southwest. Still can’t find the recipe .  Made a visit years later and can’t find the restaurant and not this taco either.

More years go by , never saw it in a cook book.   But wait ,  I say lets ask MR GOOGLE , he’s our friend.   So after  a lot of digging ( because MR GOOGLE had not heard of it either )  I found the recipe and with a little tweaking from me you can now enjoy this delicious  dish in your own home .



2 lb. chuck roast

Do not buy stew meat ,  ever!    what you are getting most of the time is scrapes from all kind of beef cut s and a lot of fat and gristle. with a chuck or round roast you know exactly what you are getting and you can trim it as much or as little as you want

3 tbsp. lard ( get it at the Mexican store ) do not buy the processed stuff on the shelf       lard  or dice up 4 strips of bacon and fry it up

3/4 cup flour with a few grinds of pepper and a shake or 2 of salt

1 red pepper  – minced

1 onion  – minced

3 cloves garlic  – smashed and minced

10 cherry tomatoes – diced

1 chipotle in adobo sauce  – minced   chip

2 tsp adobo sauce

6 oz. can tomato paste

1 tbsp.  Mexican oregano – get it it’s gonna make a difference – grind it up by rubbing it between your palms

1 jalapeno  – minced

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp coriander seed grind it in a  mortar and pestle    or   mash it with a rolling pin

1 1/2 tsp chile powder

3/4 tsp paprika

2/3 cup beef broth

1/2 bottle of dark beer like   Dos Equis XX Ambar    beer 4

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 bay leaf

Rinse , dry and cut the  the meat into 1 ” cubes

toss with seasoned flour shake off excess in a strainer

In a  a dutch oven or other large pot ,  melt the lard or fry the bacon and  brown meat on all sides ( do it in batches if you have to . Don’t crowd the pot)


Remove meat from pot and set aside .

Add alittle more lard or oil to the pot if necessary

Saute onion , jalapeno , bell pepper , chipotle , garlic and spices. stir constantly

When the  veggies are soft ,  add tomato paste ,  chipotle and adobo sauce. keep stirring for 2 more minutes

Add beef back into pot

Pour half the bottle of beer in ( drink the other half ) tomatoes and bay leaf and broth .

If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the meat open another bottle of beer and top off the meat ( drink rest of the bottle )

Bring to a boil ,  then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 2-4 hours until meat breaks down and starts to fall apart

Season with salt and pepper and cilantro and break out the  tortillas


Eat and Enjoy!







30 Jan

 – Paprike Punjene Krompirom

                                   That’s Serbian for

           Potato-Stuffed Peppers ,

 for our non Serbian speaking  friends !


 Okay , you have to admit these look really good !

And you remember where SERBIA  is don’t you ?

It’s right here.


Hers some famous folks you might not have known were of Serbian descent :


Milla Jovoich   – actress – Resident evil and the Fifth Element

Image of Milla Jovovich

Weird Al Yankovic – WEIRD

Image of 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Nikola Tesla – Inventor and Engineer

Stana Katic –  of the Castle  TV show  – who just happened to graduate from West Aurora High School

 Image of Stana Katic


The great variety in Serbia’s cuisine  originates from its geographical, national and cultural diversity, and the jigsaw of centuries of population changes. Influences on Serbian cuisine have been rich and varied – it first began as a mixture of Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Hungarian cooking.

An old Serbian legend says that during the time of the 14th-century Serbian Empire, under the rule of Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, meals in the Serbian palace were eaten with golden spoons  and forks. Historians say that mediaeval Serbian cuisine mainly consisted of milk, dairy produce and vegetables. Not a lot of bread was eaten, but when it was, the rich ate bread made from wheat and the poor ate bread made from oats and rye. The only meat consumed was game, with cattle kept for agricultural use.

What is the best way to describe the Serbian national cuisine? Well, like Serbia, on the crossroads of civilizations   a specific mixture has arisen, as a result of combined influences from both the East and the West. Serbian cuisine is really international cuisine  with unavoidable native elements. Today, the real symbol of Serbian national cuisine, above all, is grilled meat.

This is the national drink – a plum brandy called SLIVOITZ


Good stuff Maynard !

This will go good with your favorite grilled meat as a side dish or it can stand alone a whole meal !


1 cup olive oil

1/2 medium finely chopped onion

2 ribs finely chopped celery

2 large peeled and shredded carrots

4 to 5 finally chopped garlic cloves

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/3 teaspoon pepper

5 medium peeled and shredded potatoes

1/4 cup water or more, as needed

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

6 medium red bell peppers (or a combination of red and yellow)

2 medium shredded zucchini or yellow squash (optional)


12  servings Potato-Stuffed Pepper

Heat oil in large skillet and add onions. Saute for 7-8 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes more, adding water to prevent potatoes from sticking to pan. Mix in parsley.

While the vegetables are cooking in step 1, wash the peppers, cut  n half and remove the seeds. Lightly season with salt and set aside while you finish   the filling.

At this point, to the cooked potato mixture, Add the  shredded squash for flavor and a creaminess to the dish. Mix well.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a deep baking pan with cooking spray. Fill peppers with stuffing. Cover and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream  and fresh bread.

Eat and Enjoy !


12 Jan

Okay , so an easy week night meal. even better than take out !


4 boneless chicken breasts – chopped into bite size pieces

1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups mandarin orange segments
2 tbsp. minced garlic

1/3 cup flour

olive oil

1/2 Tsp. salt

1 Tsp. balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp.. catsup

8oz. frozen   concentrate – nuke it for 45 seconds

4 Tbsp. brown sugar

pinch of red pepper flake

Splash of soy sauce

2 Green onion – minced


in a large bowl mix orange juice , brown sugar , vinegar ,salt , and ketchup.

In  a 1 gallon zip-lock bag ( or a bowl )  put in flour and chicken pieces  – mix and make sure chicken is coated well

Add a little oil to a frying pan and lightly brown chicken pieces


Put chicken in crock pot

Add peppers , garlic , orange segments , pepper flake ,  soy sauce.

Cover with sauce and gently mix

cook on high for 2 – 3 hours

Serve with rice


Eat and Enjoy !

The Magic Orange Tree

CRIC? CRAC!There was once a girl whose mother died when she was born. Her father waited for some time to remarry, but when he did, he married a woman who was both mean and cruel. She was so mean there were some days she would not give the girl anything at all to eat. The girl was often hungry.One day the girl came from school   and saw on the table three round ripe oranges. Hmmmm. They smelled good. The girl looked around her. No one was there. She took one orange, peeled it, and ate it. Hmmm-mmm. It was good. She took a second orange and ate it. She ate the third orange. Oh-oh, she was happy. But soon her stepmother came home.”Who has taken the oranges I left on the table?” she said. “Whoever has done so had better say their prayers now, for they will not be able to say them later.”The girl was so frightened she ran from the house. She ran through the woods until she came to her own mother’s grave. All night she cried and prayed to her mother to help her. Finally she fell asleep.In the morning the sun woke her, and as she rose to her feet something dropped from her skirt onto the ground. What was it? It was an orange pit. And the moment it entered the earth a green leaf sprouted from it. The girl watched, amazed. She knelt down and sang: Orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow.
Orange tree, orange tree.
Grow and grow and grow,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother ,Orange tree.

The orange tree grew. It grew to the size of the girl. The girl sang: Orange tree,
Branch and branch and branch.
Orange tree, orange tree,
Branch and branch and branch,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother,
Orange tree.

Beautiful white blossoms covered the tree. After a time they began to fade, and small green buds appeared where the flowers had been. The girl sang:

Orange tree,
Ripen and ripen and ripen.
Orange tree, orange tree,
Ripen and ripen and ripen,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother.
Orange tree.

The oranges ripened, and the whole tree was filled with golden oranges. The girl was so delighted she danced around and around the tree, singing:Orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow.
Orange tree, orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother,
Orange tree.

But then when she looked, she saw the orange tree had grown up to the sky, far beyond her reach. What was she to do? Oh she was a clever girl. She sang:

Orange tree,
Lower and lower and lower.
Orange tree, orange tree,
Lower and lower and lower,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother,
Orange tree.

When the orange tree came down to her height, she filled her arms with oranges and returned home.The moment the stepmother saw the gold oranges in the girl’s arms, she seized them and began to eat them. Soon she had finished them all, ”Tell me, my sweet,” she said to the girl, “where have you found such delicious oranges?”The girl hesitated. She did not want to tell. The stepmother seized the girl’s wrist and began to twist it.”Tell me!” she ordered.The girl led her stepmother through the woods to the orange tree. You remember the girl was very clever? Well, as soon as the girl came to the tree  ,  the stepmother, she leapt on it and began to climb so quickly you might have thought she was the daughter of an ape. And as she climbed from branch to branch, she ate every orange. The girl saw that there would soon be no oranges left. What would happen to her then? The girl sang:

Orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow.
Orange tree, orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother,
Orange tree.

The orange tree grew and grew and grew and grew. “Help!” cried the stepmother as she rose into the sky. “H-E-E-lp….”The girl cried: Break! Orange tree, Break!The orange tree broke into a thousand pieces and the step mother as well.Then the girl searched among the branches until she found …. a tiny orange pit. She carefully planted it in the earth. Softly she sang:

Orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow.
Orange tree, orange tree,
Grow and grow and grow,
Orange tree.
Stepmother is not real mother,
Orange tree.

The orange tree grew to the height of the girl. She picked some oranges and took them to market to sell. They were so sweet the people bought all her oranges.Every Saturday she is at the marketplace selling her oranges. Last Saturday, I went to see her and asked her if she would give me a free orange. “What?” she cried. After all I’ve been through!” And she gave me such a kick in the pants that that’s how I got here today, to tell you the story-“The Magic Orange Tree.”

Now , what has this story got to do with crock pot orange chicken , other than they both have an orange in them ?

Well ……. nothing , Not a damn thing.

So why would I include it you might ask?    

Just to see if you would read the whole thing