Buttermilk Waffle

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
.5 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
.5 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups whole buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter and syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

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Dinner rolls

For the dough
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk; more as needed
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2-1/4 tsp.) instant or active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil; more as needed
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lb. 7 oz. (5-1/4 cups) unbleached bread flour; more as needed
  • 1-1/4 tsp. table salt or 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg

Let autolyze for 20 minutes. Knead for 10. Let rise to double.

Shape into 18 pieces approx. 2.25 oz. each. Shape and let rise for about 30 mins., just until they begin to swell. Then preheat the oven to 375 and let finish rising, til they’re about 2.5 times their original size.

Egg wash and bake for about 15 mins. total, rotating once during cooking.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Dish out using a large cookie scooper and space them 2 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

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Red beans and rice

1 lb. red beans, soaked overnight
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 large smoked ham hocks
1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups white rice, cooked
8 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 bunch green onions
.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Saute onion, celery and bell pepper in olive oil until softened. Remove from pot. Brown ham hocks and sausage and remove from pot.

Put beans in the pot and add chicken stock to cover by two inches. Add in seasonings, ham hocks, sausage and beans and bring to a boil.

Partially cover and simmer lightly for about 3 hours, until beans are very soft. Add more stock if necessary to keep them from getting dry.

Remove bones from the ham hock and fish out any skin or gristle. Break up the meat into smaller pieces.

Take about half the beans out of the pot and mash them up, then put them back in. This will make the beans really creamy.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice with garnish of green onions and hot sauce.

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Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. ground beef
.5 onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup peas, frozen
1 cup corn, frozen
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
.5 tsp. onion powder
.5 tsp. garlic powder
.5 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. fresh thyme or .5 tsp. dried thyme
1/3 cup flour
2 cups beef broth
4 cups mashed potatoes (potatoes, butter, milk, salt and pepper)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Saute onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add in ground beef and brown. Add seasonings and tomato paste and cook another minute. Sprinkle flour over the top and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add beef broth and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until it thickens to a gravy.

Add peas and corn. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Place mixture in an 8×8 baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Brush butter over the top of the potatoes. Place in 350 degree oven until the top is golden brown.

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2 cups Arborio rice
8 cups homemade chicken stock
.5 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
.5 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper


Heat stock in sauce pan and keep ready.

In large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. Add rice and saute until slightly brown and fragrant.

Add one cup of stock and stir vigorously until stock is absorbed. Continue to do this one cup at a time until all of the stock is used. Rice should be tender but still a little bit firm.

Stir in Parmesan and butter. Add a protein to make an entree.

Posted in Ethnic Cuisine, Grains, Italian, Side Dishes | Leave a comment

Stuffed shells

1 lb. large shells pasta
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry Basil
2 eggs
1 lb. spinach (or any green)
1 clove garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
2 cups marinara sauce
salt and pepper

Boil shells to al dente and shock them in ice water.

Cook greens with olive oil and garlic, then squeeze out excess liquid. Combine with remaining ingredients except 1 cup mozzarella and the marinara. Fill the shells with the mixture.

Top with remaining mozzarella, parmesan and the marinara and bake covered at 350 until bubbling, approximately 30 minutes. Remove foil and broil on high until the cheese gets brown.

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Marinara sauce

2 large cans tomato sauce
2 small cans diced tomatoes (can be Italian style)
1 can tomato paste
6 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dry Oregano
1 tbsp. dry Basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil on medium heat until hot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two, but don’t brown the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for up to an hour. Taste for seasoning.

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Swiss steak

2 lbs. round steak, cut into cubes
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 bell peppers, sliced
3 onions, sliced
1 large can diced tomatoes
.5 cup flour
salt and pepper
corn bread

Dredge beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil until shimmering. Brown beef on all sides.

Add bell peppers, onions and tomatoes and simmer on low for 2 hours. Serve with corn bread.

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Shrimp and grits

1 lb. 21/25 shrimp, shell on
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup stone ground grits (polenta)
3 cups shrimp stock
3 cups milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bell pepper sliced
1 bunch green onions
.5 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
.5 tsp. smoked paprika
.25 tsp. cayenne pepper
.5 tsp. garlic powder
.5 tsp. onion powder
.5 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
salt and pepper

Peel and devein shrimp, if necessary. Place shrimp shells and four cups of water into a small sauce pan along with 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once that’s done, bring 3 cups of that liquid, along with the milk and 2 tbsp. butter to a boil. Add grits, stir constantly for 4 minutes and partially cover with a lid. Stir every few minutes for 30-45 minutes, until creamy. Add extra stock if necessary. When done, add the cheese.

While the grits are cooking, in a large pan, melt 2 tbsp. butter and place VERY dry shrimp in once it starts to sizzle. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and Old Bay. Brown the shrimp on both sides and remove from the pan.

Put 2 tbsp. olive oil into the same pan and put in the onions, peppers and mushrooms. Saute until browned and cooked through, then add the Worcestershire and the canned tomatoes.

Let the tomato liquid cook down a bit, then add the shrimp back in. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Serve shrimp mixture on top of the grits and garnish with green onions.

Posted in 5 star, Entrees, Shellfish | Leave a comment