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December 29, 2015


Bobotie is a type of minced beef pie cooked with spices, herbs and dried fruit all topped with a mixture of egg and milk then baked until set. While we were in South Africa we tried many different foods and this was one of our favorites.

I was recently reading that this dish was most likely brought to South Africa by Asian settlers and it is now the national dish of the country.

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August 18, 2015

Mini Meatloaf with Herbs and Scallions Served with a Tomato Jam

Make these mini meatloaves in a flash or for a more elegant version bake in an oval baking dish. Either way the meatloaf is so flavorful and the delicious tomato jam can be served as a side or topping.

Serve with Mac and Cheese and add fresh fruit for dessert. Try my ,fruit with mint

Wine pairing: A jammy Zinfandel from Lodi CA.

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UT Cooking Class, Comfort Foods

Comfort food in August?? Well it was a hit and the food was delicious. The class participants perfected my recipes and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal.

Thanks guys for your enthusiasm. It was a great class.

These are really simple and yummy recipes you could make anytime of the year.

On the menu
Mini Meatloaf with Herbs and Scallions served with Tomato Jam

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Apple Cobbler and Ice Cream

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February 08, 2015

The Best Grilled Burger

Another hit from Cook's Illustrated is this tender, juicy grilled burger. I've grilled burgers for years but after following a few simple tips I've finally perfected a delicious hamburger, better than in the restaurants.

This recipe includes grinding your own beef to avoid commercial ground beef that tends to be too fine and too tightly packed resulting in tough burgers. Adding butter makes the burger juicier.

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April 01, 2014

Grilled Italian Meatball Skewers with Parmesan Cheese

I wanted to try something a little different. Instead of using a lot of sauce with the meatballs, I wanted the flavor of them to take center stage. So I grilled them as skewers. Don't forget to top with lots of Parmesan Reggiano- I forget this important step in my class but no one seem to really care since I just added the cheese to the salad instead.

When you are cooking live in front of 20 + folks you have to be flexible.
The key is to have fun!

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February 13, 2014

Mom’s Best Meatloaf

Mom made several favorite dinners that we had on a regular basis. Meatloaf night was always one of our favorites. She usually served the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green peas. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are on my top 10 list for best "Comfort Foods".

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February 12, 2014

Meatloaf with Fresh Scallions and Herbs

Meatloaf, definitely an all time favorite "Comfort Food" can be just about anything you want it to be. I have several recipes and all of them are good in their own way. My mom's is most likely still my favorite but I will have to admit that this recipe is pretty darn good. It is made very flavorful with several wonderful herbs.

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January 07, 2014

Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese has a rich sauce with ground meat usually beef and pork, vegetables, all enhanced with wine and milk. It takes time to make a really good Bolognese but well worth it. If you prefer a quicker sauce see my Spaghetti made simple recipe.

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November 25, 2013

Pasta and Bolognese Casserole with Spicy Meatballs

There's nothing like a good Bolognese sauce, rich and flavorful it is usually served over pasta. This recipe takes it one more step, adding cheese and baking until the cheese melts.

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November 21, 2013

Momma Mia, that’s a spicy meatball

I love teaching Italian cooking classes. There are so many fabulous ingredients to talk about and each region has its own distinct culinary specialties. Again the students had they own set of skills, some more advanced than others but each eager to try a few new recipes. During this class we all learned a little bit more and enjoyed a delicious meal in the end.

They enjoyed the final product, their scallop stuffed roasted red peppers were fabulous.

Presentation was the key and these caprese skewers were beautiful.

They had a good time and enjoyed their successes

It took a little bit of time to cook these egg yolks but they perfectly mastered it.

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September 13, 2012

Gruyere and Smoked Bacon stuffed Burgers

This delicious variation on the classic cheeseburger is stuffed with Gruyere (Swiss) cheese and smoked bacon, then topped with sauté mushrooms and grilled onions. This is my favorite burger, good any time of the year but especially during the summer when you are taking it outside to the grill. Enjoy with a bottle of Zinfandel with pepper and berry flavors. Zinfandel pairs well with both the beef burger and the Swiss cheese.

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November 07, 2011

Smoky Beef Chili

The beef broth added to this chili creates a rich and flavorful broth. Any stew or soup made the night before allows time for the flavors to develop.

I also used my home canned tomatoes to replace the store bought tomato products and I added one can of refried beans to thicken the chili.

My secret ingredient was 2 tablespoons Pampered Chef's Smoked Apple wood Rub. This gave the chili a wonderful rich and smoky flavor.

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