Father's Day

Burrata, Tomato & Basil Salad

July 6, 2012

Burrata, Tomato & Basil Salad

This salad is very similar to a caprese salad. The burrata is silky on the outside and creamy on the inside which boasts a richly sweet and milky flavor.  Since burrata is a delicate cheese it should be handled as little as possible.  I love this salad so much.  It is great as a main dish by itself or layered with strips of grilled steak.  It also makes a nice appetizer or side dish.  The perfect combination of flavors and textures make this delicious salad truly magical. 



3 Ripe Tomatoes

12 Ounces Burrata Cheese

25 Fresh Basil Leaves

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Pepper


Cut the tomatoes into slightly thick slices.  Very carefully slice the burrata cheese into slices.  On a large shallow platter layer alternating the slices of tomatoes and burrata and top with basil leaves.  Drizzle the salad with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6

Strawberry Milkshakes

July 5, 2012

Strawberry Milkshakes

It’s hot out and time for a good old fashioned Strawberry Milkshake! 



1/2 Pound Fresh Strawberries

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Pint Good Quality Vanilla Ice Cream

1/2 Cup Milk


Hull and slice the strawberries.  Place the sliced strawberries in a medium size mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and vanilla extract.  Stir to combine and let sit out for 1 hour.  In a food processor or mixer place the strawberry mixture, ice cream and milk and blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and serve immediately.  Serves 2


Grilled Corn With Paprika Butter

July 2, 2012

Grilled Corn With Paprika Butter

Grilled corn is heaven.  Slather your grilled corn with paprika butter and you will be in nirvana. 


4 Ears Of Corn

1/2 Stick Softened Butter

2 Grated Garlic Cloves

1/4 Teaspoon Finely Chopped Rosemary

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


Boil the corn in salted water for just 5 minutes until tender.  You do not want to overcook the corn.  Remove the corn from the water and let rest for a few minutes before placing on the grill.  Place the ears of corn on your hot grill and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side (four sides). Make sure not to let the corn burn.  Remove from the grill and spread with the paprika butter.  To make the paprika butter mix the butter, garlic, smoked paprika, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Serves 4


Thyme Lemonade

June 29, 2012

Thyme Lemonade

Since the weather has turned hot I have to admit that I’ve been really into making iced drinks lately.  Lemonade is hard to beat as the summer beverage.  Here is a nice variation on the much loved basic lemonade.  If you want to make this an adult drink then add 6 ounces of vodka and make sure to hide your “amped” lemonade from the kids!



1 Bunch Thyme

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

1 1/2 Cups Water

2 Cups Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Cups Cold Water

Extra Thyme Sprigs For Garnish

Lemon Slices For Garnish


In a medium saucepan bring the thyme, sugar and water to a simmer over a medium heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.  Strain the sugar water into a pitcher filled with ice.  Now stir in the lemon juice and the cold water.  Serve over ice with thyme sprigs and lemon slices for garnish.  Serves 4

Root Beer Brownies

June 27, 2012

Root Beer Brownies

The small amount of root beer extract really brings out the chocolate in these brownies.  Wow, what a dessert!


12 Ounces Softened Butter

2 1/4 Cups Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Cocoa

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

4 Tablespoons Root Beer Extract

1/4 Cup Cold Brewed Coffee

4 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Demerara Sugar


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In a large size bowl place the softened butter.  Add the sugar to the butter and mix until combined.  Add the eggs and beat until smooth.   Add the coffee, vanilla and root beer extract and stir.  In a separate large bowl combine the cocoa, salt, baking powder and flour.  Stir until well combined.  Finally add the chocolate chips and stir.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the demerara sugar.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes.  The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center.  Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.  Makes 24 Root Beer Brownies.

Garlic Grilled T-Bones

June 17, 2012

Garlic Grilled T-Bones


Skip the necktie gift because the way to Dad’s heart is with an unforgettable steak.  Celebrate Father’s Day with a “fresh from the grill” steak that he can really sink his teeth into!



15 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

4 T-Bone Steaks

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


Your T-bone steaks should be about 12 ounces each & 3/4 inches thick. In a small size bowl combine the chopped garlic, oil, salt and pepper.  Rub the garlic mixture on both sides of the steaks.  Prepare your grill and grill the steaks, covered, over a medium heat.  Cook for 4 to 7 minutes per side depending on how rare you want them.  You can also cook these steaks under your oven broiler 4 inches from the heat.  Cook for 4 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and serve with a salad, baked potato or grilled romaine hearts.  Serves 4

Classic Crème Brûlée

June 16, 2012

Classic Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is also known as burnt cream, crema catalana or Trinity cream.  Consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel it is normally served cold.  Crème Brûlée is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but it is sometimes flavored with lemon or orange zest.  The earliest known Crème Brûlée appeared in François Massialot's cookbook written in 1691.  Wherever Crème Brûlée got its start and whatever it is called I know one thing for sure I love this dessert.



1 Quart Heavy Cream

1 Split & Scraped Vanilla Bean

1 Cup Vanilla Sugar (Divided)

6 Large Egg Yolks

2 Quarts Hot Water


Preheat your oven to 325° F.  In a medium saucepan pour the cream and add the vanilla bean and its scraped contents.  Cook over a medium high heat and bring it to a boil.  Remove from the heat and cover with a lid.  It will need to sit for 15 minutes.  Take out the vanilla bean and either throw it away or save for another use.  In a medium size bowl whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Make sure that the sugar and egg yolks are well blended and just begin to lighten in color.  Add the cream a little bit at a time making sure to stir constantly.  Pour into six 8 ounce ramekins.  Put the ramekins into a large roasting pan.  Pour the hot water into the roasting pan just until it hits halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes just until the Crème Brûlée is set, but still a bit wobbly in the center.  Remove the ramekins from the pan and put into the refrigerator for 3 hours. When you are ready to serve take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on the top.  Take the left over 1/2 cup of vanilla sugar and divide equally among the 6 ramekins.  Spread evenly on top.  Using a torch melt the sugar to form a crispy top.  If you do not have a torch then you can use the broiler.  Before serving let the Crème Brûlée sit for 5 minutes.  Serves 6

Bok Choy Gratin

June 14, 2012

Bok Choy Gratin

I had a bunch of baby bok choy in my fridge that needed to get used before making its way to the trash can.  I grew up in a household that didn’t believe in wasting food and it pains me to throw food out.  I would rather create a disaster meal then throw food away.  This is how I created this dish and it actually turned out quite tasty. 



1 Sliced Yellow Onion

1 Diced Tomato

10 Chopped Garlic Cloves

8 Ounces Unsalted Butter

6 Small Bunches Baby Bok Choy

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Tear off the bok choy leaves, wash & dry them.  In a large skillet melt the butter over a medium low heat.  When the butter is melted add the garlic and onions.  Stir and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and bok choy leaves. Season with the salt and pepper.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and pour into a large glass baking dish.  In a small bowl mix together the panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the vegetables. Place, uncovered into the oven and bake for 35 minutes until done.  Remove from the oven and serve hot.  Serves 4

Pain Perdu

June 13, 2012

Pain Perdu

In honor of St. Anthony we are making Pain Perdu or “Lost Bread.”

What we call French toast, the French call Pain Perdu.

Baked in butter and served covered with powdered sugar, Pain Perdu is considered a dessert in France.


6 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Milk

1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

12 Thick Slices French or Italian Bread

6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Powdered Sugar

Preheat your oven to 400° F.  In a large size bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon until well blended.  Place the bread in a large shallow baking dish

slightly overlapping one another.  It is best to use day old bread.  If you don't have day old bread don't worry about it.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let sit for 30 minutes.

Turn the bread with a spatula so that it gets evenly moistened halfway through the sitting time.  Put the two oven racks in the middle of the oven.  Place 3 tablespoons of the butter on

two baking sheets.  Put in the oven and melt the butter for 1 minute.  Remove the baking sheets from the oven and make sure that the butter covers the entire baking sheet evenly. 

Arrange 6 slices of the soaked bread on each of the hot baking sheets.  Make sure to space them evenly.  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn them over to bake an additional 15

minutes.  You will want the bread to be puffed and evenly browned.  If you need to bake them a bit more then go ahead.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.

Dust with powdered sugar.  Serves 12




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