Monday Night Match Up Menus: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

OK, I’m somewhat tempted to hop in Oscar (please, everyone should name the car) and head down to SD for the game on Monday, simply because they’re not hosting the Raiders. We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s what we’re cooking up:

Coconut Almond Antonio Dates Darren SpRolls

Darren Sproles - RB SD

Antonio Gates - TE SD

Chopped Chicken Phillip Livers Pate

Phillip Rivers - QB SD

Laurence Macaroni and Cheese

Laurence Maroney - RB DEN

CaraMalcolm Floyd Popcorn

Malcolm Floyd - WR SD

Eddie Kir Royale

Eddie Royal - WR DEN

Coconut Almond Antonio Dates Darren Rolls

2 c pitted dates (8 oz) – check the pitted ones, the bag I got still had a few lingering in there and jammed up the Cuisinart. No bueno.
1 c shredded coconut
½ c almonds
1 T orange zest (1 orange)
1 t water

Throw all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined and slightly clumpy.
Scoop out a heaping teaspoon at a time and shape it into a log.
You can refrigerate them first or just serve room temp. Happy vegan football fans!

Chopped Chicken Phillip Livers Pate

¼ c olive oil
1 lbs. livers
2 c mushrooms, (I used cremini)
2 T garlic, minced
4 T scallions
3 T bourbon
2 T Shallots
4 T parsley
2 lemons, juiced
6 strips bacon, crumbled

Clean the livers. There may be a proper way to do this but I just removed the connective tissue with my hands and got messy. Since it was all being thrown in the blender later, I didn’t worry about keeping the shape of the livers intact. SWOOPS* the livers. Cook the bacon well-done and crispy so it easily crumbles and set bacon aside. Add the livers and mushrooms to the pan with the bacon grease and cook on medium high heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and stir. Cook another few minutes. Add the bourbon and deglaze the pan.

Once everything is just cooked through, transfer the pan contents to a food processor and add the parsley, scallions, lemon juice, bacon crumbles, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Works well with crackers or on top of crostini (toasted sliced SWOOPS baguette.)
*SWOOPS = Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt

Laurence Macaroni and Cheese

1 16 oz box macaroni, any shape you roll with
4 T butter
4 T flour
4 c milk
2 c cheddar
1 cup jack
1 cup parmesan
1 cup goat
1 cup velveeta
4 jalapenos, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
6 strips bacon, crumbled
4 T olive oil
¼ c panko

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the bacon in a skillet on medium high head until well-done. Drain on paper towel, crumble, and set aside. Saute the onion in some olive oil on med high heat for 2 min. Add the jalapenos and cook another 2 min. Add the garlic and cook another 2 min. Remove from heat and add the bacon. Set aside. In a large pot, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside, (I usually add olive oil so it doesn’t get sticky.) In a large sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Add the milk gradually and stir until thick and smooth. Stir in the cheeses one by one until melted into the sauce. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and bacon. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and mix well. Transfer everything into a baking dish. Top with melted butter or olive oil mixed with panko and some extra cheese if you desire. Spread the crust on top of the dish and bake for about 20 min. Turn broiler on for the last 3-5 minutes to crisp the top. But don’t burn it. Smack and Cheese!

CaraMalcom Floyd Popcorn

1 c butter
2 c brown sugar
½ c corn syrup
1 t salt
½ t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1 c peanuts
½ t cinnamon
1 T ginger root, minced (my secret ingredient)
¾ c popcorn kernels

Preheat oven to 250. Pop the popcorn on the stove. Heat some oil in a big pot on high. Throw a kernel in there. When it starts to bubble, add all of the kernels and cover the pot, shaking it around occasionally to evenly distribute the heat. You will hear the popping. When the noise dies down, remove the pot from the heat and set aside in a bowl. In a medium pot, melt the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium high heat. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Add the salt and ginger and stir well. Remove from the heat. Add the baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir well to combine. Add the peanuts and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over bowl of popcorn and transfer to a baking sheet (don’t line with foil), in an even layer. Put the sheet in the oven and cook for an hour. Every 15 minutes, remove the sheet and quickly transfer the caramel popcorn to the bowl and then back to the sheet and return to the oven. This will make sure all of the popcorn is evenly coated. (So you do this four times.)

Eddie Kir Royale

Champagne of choice (At my 32nd bday champagne tasting, the final rankings were: 1) Krug, 2) Cristal, 3) Veuve La Grande Dame, 4) Dom Perignon, 5) Taittinger)
Splash of crème de cassis (a little goes a long way here)

Pour a few drops of the cassis in a champagne flute. Sometimes I toss in whatever berries I have lying around. Top with the bubbly. For added bubbles, sip in a hot tub.

Now Man Up! And Chow Down!!


Monday Night Match Up Menus: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

We’re on a liquid diet this week. All cocktails.

LeSean McCOysters Shooter

Oyster Shooter

LeSean McCoy - RB PHI

Brent Cazerak


Brent Celek - TE PHI

Asahi Samuel

Asahi Beer

Asante Samuel - CB PHI

Santana Mosscow Mule

Moscow Mule

Santana Moss - WR WAS

Killer Chris Cool-Aid

Killer Kool-Aid

Chris Cooley - TE WAS

Dom Perignon McNabb


Donovan McNabb - QB WAS

LeSean McCoyster Shooter

1 raw oyster, shucked
1 oz chipotle vodka (I use hangar one)
1 squeeze lemon
1 splash tomato juice
1 splash hot sauce
Place oyster in shot glass. Top with vodka, lemon, tomato juice, and hot sauce. Shoot.

Brent Cazerak

2 oz. rye whiskey
5 dashes bitters (combo of Peychaud’s and Angostura)
1 t simple syrup (sugar + water 1:1)
½ t pastis, absinthe, or herbsaint (I used Pernod because that’s my fave of the bunch.)
Lemon peel
Place all ingredients in a shaker. Pour into a tumbler. Garnish with peel.

Asahi Samuel

Open and drink!

Santana Mosscow Mule

2 oz vodka
½ oz lime juice
2 oz ginger beer
Fill a copper mug with ice. Pour in the vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. Stir.

Chris Killer Coolaid

1 oz vodka
½ oz amaretto
½ oz pear liquor
splash cranberry Juice
splash of creme de cassis
1″ piece of melon
Muddle melon. Add ice. Add vodka, amaretto, pear, and cran. Stir. Sip.

Dom Perignon McNabb

Pop and pour. Tie one on. Know the rules of a tie.

Now, Man Up! And Drink Down!

Monday Night Match Up Menus: Steelers @ Bengals

You’ve all heard about my Ben RoethlisBURGERS. We’re not doing that this week.

Salad: Romaine Gresham Salad with Tomatillo TerRelish Owens

Jermaine Gresham - TE CIN

Terrell Owens - WR CIN

Side: Hearts of Carson Palmer Slaw

Carson Palmer - QB CIN

Main: RaCharred Mendenhalibut

Rashard Mendenhall - RB PIT

Cocktail: Troy Cosmopolamalutan

Troy Polamalu - S PIT

Romaine Gresham Salad with Tomatillo TerRelish Owens

1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and halved
1 small red onion, cut in 1″ chunks
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, chopped
¼ c olive oil
½ c flat leaf parsley
1 lime, juiced and zested
celery seed
2 hearts of romaine

Roast tomatillos, onions, and garlic at 425 for 20 min.

Transfer to food processor and add rest of ingredients.
Blend until desired chunkiness.

Cut each romaine heart lengthwise. SWOOPS* the cut side.
Heat grill pan to med high. Spray with non-stick spray. Grill 1-2 min until charred.

Remove from heat and spoon relish on top.
*SWOOPS = Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt

Hearts of Carson Palmer Slaw

½ green cabbage, shredded
½ purple cabbage, shredded
½ pineapple, julienne
2 mangoes, julienne
6 stalks hearts of palm, julienne
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 limes, juiced

You’re welcome to cut the fruit in any shape you desire, but since there’s shredded cabbage involved and it’s a slaw, I like to keep everything relatively uniform in long strips. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and TOSS, TOSS, TOSS! (Ya, that’s “TWO-US” in my mother’s world.)

RaCharred Mendenhalibut

4 halibut steaks (about ½ lb each)
olive oil

SWOOPS Halibut. (Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt) Both sides. Grill on med high heat until charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve on a bed of the slaw and top with the relish.

Troy Cosmopolamalutan

I forgot to photograph mine before I drank it... here's an example of what it should look like.

2 oz. vodka
½ lime, juiced
½ oz – splash of cranberry juice
½ oz – splash of Curacao
1 slice of an apple
curly piece of citrus peel

Mix the vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice, and Curacao in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Sift drink without the ice into a martini glass. Don’t spill – Martini glasses are the stilettos of barware: Best looking. Least Functional.
Fork the apple slice into the prongs of a PICK and stick it in the drink. If you own Steelers D, this ceremony increases the chances of a Polamalu pick.
Drink through a CURLY straw. Garnish with a citrus CURL.


Monday Night Match Up Menus: Texans @ Colts

Here’s what’s on the menu:
Lots of love for the receiving core.

Bacon Wrapped Kevin Walter Chestnuts

Kevin Walter - WR HOU

Veggie Wayne – Joseph PadThai

Joseph Addai - RB IND

Reggie Wayne - WR IND

FLANdre Johnson

Andre Johnson - WR HOU

Dallas Clark and Stormy

Dallas Clark - TE IND

Bacon Wrapped Kevin Walter Chestnuts

1 can water chestnuts, drained and soaked in soy sauce overnight.
½ lb. bacon (sliced in half)
½ c mayo
¼ c brown sugar
1 T tomato paste
1 t Worcestershire
2 T soy sauce
1 t garlic, minced
2 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut your strips of bacon widthwise so they are half as long. Take a water chestnut and wrap a strip of bacon around it. Place the wrapped chestnut in a pan seam side down. Repeat until the pan is full. Bake for 40 min.

While the bacon wrapped water chestnut are cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
After about 40 min, remove the pan from the oven and pour the sauce from the bowl evenly on top so all of the bacon wrapped water chestnuts are well covered. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 15-20 min.

Sauced and Ready for Round 2 in the Oven

Remove from oven. Remove the bacon wrapped water chestnuts and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess grease.
Let cool and serve!

Veggie Wayne Joseph Pad Thai

water on hand
2 T tamarind paste
4 T fish sauce
2 T sugar (I used coconut)
½ t chili paste
10 oz. rice noodles
14 oz tofu extra firm (pressed in towel and weighted for an hour, then marinated in soy and SWOOPS* overnight.)
4 T peanut oil
½ c scallions, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
2 T shallots, minced
2 eggs
½ c cabbage
¼ c carrots, peeled and chopped
½ c bok coy, sliced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
½ c bean sprouts
½ c peanuts, chopped (or cashews)
1 lime
*SWOOPS – Season With Olive Oil Salt and Pepper

To make the sauce, combine the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, and chili paste in a bowl.
Soak the noodles in a bowl with warm water until they’re soft, about 12 min. Drain them and set them aside.
Slice the tofu into little pieces, your shape of choice. I do about 2 inch spears.

Heat the oil in a wok.
Cook the scallions, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms and cabbage while stirring and tossing (pronounce that like my mother does with her NY accent: TOSS = “two” + “us”)

Add the shallots and garlic. TOSS!
Crack the eggs right into the wok, making sure none of the shell falls in. Let them set for a minute and then scramble them in with the rest of the veggies.

Add the noodles. TOSS!

Add the sauce. TOSS!
Add the bean sprouts and nuts. TOSS. TOSS. TOSS.

Squeeze the lime at the end and serve!

FLANdre Johnson!

¾ c sugar
1 T water
2 T coconut rum
2 c milk
1 c cream
1 c coconut milk
3 eggs
2 yolks
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325.
In a small sauce pan on med heat, cook the ¾ c sugar, 1 T water, and 2 T cocounut rum. Stir to combine them well and then don’t touch it. You will see it start to bubble and brown. When it is a golden caramel colored liquid, remove it from the heat and pour it into the bottom of whatever flan shaped container you want to use. (You can make one big one or smaller ones in ramekins.)

In a large bowl, wisk together the eggs, sugar, pinch salt, vanilla.
Then slowly stir in the milk, cream, and coconut milk. Wisk well.

Pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. This strains out the egg white membranes and gives the flan a smoother consistency.
Pour the custard on top of the caramel in the containers.
Now you have to place the containers in a hot water bath.
Boil some water in a kettle. Place a big pan on a shelf in the oven. Place the flan containers in the pan being careful not to spill. Then pour the hot kettle water into the big pan so the flan containers are surrounded in the water, but don’t get any water in the flan containers. Slowly slide the oven tray in. Bake the flans for about 45 minutes (depending on what shape/size containers you use). You should be able to stick a toothpick in the center and remove it cleanly. Remove from the oven and chill for at least 4 hours. Once cooled, slide a knife along the edges to loosen the custard, put a plate on top of them upside down, and flip! Lift flan container and they should now be on the plate with the caramel sauce running down the sides. Done!

Dallas Clark and Stormy

2 oz. Goslings dark rum
1 oz. ginger beer (must be ginger beer, not ale!)
Fill a tumbler with ice. Pour the rum in the glass and top with the ginger beer. Stir. Best enjoyed while the sun is setting in Montauk, NY.

The Final Meal

Monday Night Match Up Menus: Dallas Cowboys host New York Giants

This week we’re getting spicy and going Tex Mex.
Shrimp Jalapromo Poppers
Yes, they’re Jalapeno Poppers – the name’s a stretch. Like the Cowboys, I can’t win them all..

DeMarcus Ware‘s The Beef Chili – Not to say the chili’s lacking in the beef department. (That’s me getting defensive.)

Marion Barber Q Cornbread – He goes well with a lot of Tex Mex, you can Barber Q almost anything!

Chocolate Pecan Pieles Austin – I’m getting Miles to say the Billy Crystal “When Harry Met Sally” Line at some point… PEEEE-CAAAAN PIIIIIIE! Stay tuned.

Shrimp Jalapromo Poppers

24 jalapeno peppers
16 oz cream cheese
1 c mozzerella cheese, shredded
1 c jack cheese, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (about 1 T)
1 bag shrimp
olive oil
1 c milk
1 c flour
1 c breadcrumbs
1 c panko
3 eggs
1 lime, juiced

Roast Peppers at 450 for 20-30 min. (until shriveled).
Remove from oven and let cool in a paper bag. Peel skin and deseed the peppers, being careful not to rip the flesh and keep the peppers in one big flat piece. If a little skin remains on, that’s ok. Also, penalty on illegal hands to the face. I’m tough, I don’t use gloves. But I also don’t touch my eyes.
In a saute pan, heat olive oil, and cook onions, garlic, about 2 min. Add shrimp and stir, until shrimp is just cooked, about 5 min. Squeeze a lime in there and season with salt and pepper.
Throw pan contents in a blender with the cheeses and blend until smooth.
Scoop ½ t of the mixture into a jalapeno roll to stuff it. Roll closed.
Prepare a bowl with milk and another bowl with flour.
Dip each stuffed pepper in milk, then flour. Then place on a wax lined sheet and freeze for an hour.
Prepare a bowl with the eggs and a little milk all whisked together. Prepare another bowl with the breadcrumbs, panko, salt and pepper.
Once the peppers are frozen solid, dip them in an egg/milk bath, and then seasoned breadcrumbs mixture. Return to wax lined tray.
Freeze for at least an hour, I usually let them sit overnight.
Fry in canola oil at 375 and turn to brown both sides.
Drain on a paper towel and consume at your pleasure.

Demarcus Ware’s The Beef Chili

DeMarcus Ware's The Beef Chili

4 T olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 T dark brown sugar
1 bottle red wine
4 T red wine vinegar
1 little can tomato paste (about 6 T)
4 c low-sodium chicken stock
1 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t chili powder
salt, to taste
10-15 okra, sliced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
2 lbs meat, ground beef
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
2 chopped fresh jalapenos, chopped

In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3-4 min. Stir in the brown sugar and cook until on onions and garlic brown slightly, 2-3 min. Stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste and chicken stock along with the cumin, cayenne, chili power, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, 30-35 min. Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over high heat, cook the meat one pound at a time until it browns. Add salt, pepper, and one can of black beans, jalapenos and mushrooms and mix until warm and add to chili sauce. Repeat process with second pound of meat and second can of beans. Add rest of ingredients.
Especially the okra – my secret ingredient.
OKRA – it’s green, it’s gooey, and it’s about to LAUNCH ITS OWN NETWORK!!!!!
Bring whole thing to a simmer and cook until the chili has thickened, (at least 60 min). Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Serves 6.

Marian Barber Q Cornbread

4 T butter, melted
6 T white sugar
2 eggs
1 c cornmeal
1 c flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t salt
1 ½ c buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk all of the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add dry to wet a little at a time to fully combine and form the batter. Pour batter in a greased baking pan. Bake for 30 min or until done (just browning on top).
To make the Crumblin: Pour 1 c milk in a glass, add enough cornbread crumbles to fill the glass, and add a splash of buttermilk. Eat with a spoon.

Chocolate Pecan Pieles Austin

1 stick butter
1/4 c ice water
1 c flour (use gold medal) do not use heckers or pillsbury (they have more gluten = tougher pastry)
pinch of salt
In food processor with metal blade, slow pulse butter, flour, and salt, about four or five times.
The dough will look crumbly (flour with bits of butter).
Remove ice from water. With food processor running add water VERY slowly. You may not need all of it, so just add a drop at a time until you see the dough forming.
Dump dough on a floured work surface. With the heel of your hand “slide into base” and press out pieces of the dough. This gets the dough more cohesive with out over working it.
Repeat the slide until you have lots of clumps that you can form into a disk (flat ball).
Wrap dough disk in wax paper and then in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 1 hr or until needed, can be frozen, I usually make it the night before.
When you’re ready to use the dough, unwrap it and place it on a lightly floured surface. Flour your rolling pin. (You can use a Cabernet shaped wine bottle too!) Roll from center outward, turn disk and repeat until you have a round, flat, even, pie crust.
Lay rolled out dough over a metal pie plate and press down. Trim edges. Prick dough with a fork. Cover with foil, but don’t push in.
Place some uncooked rice or beans into the foil to weigh it down and bake the dough at 400 for ten minutes.
Remove from oven and take off the tin foil and rice/bean weights.
Lower temp to 350
Return uncovered pie crust to the oven and bake about 5 minutes more.
Let cool and add your filling.

1 c pecans
4 oz milk chocolate chunks, melted
3 eggs, beaten
½ c sugar
½ c light brown sugar
¾ c corn syrup
½ t vanilla extract
4 T butter, melted
2 T butter for pecans
1 T sugar for pecans
1 t cayenne pepper (You heard it here third, cayenne and chocolate are a great combination!)
Pinch salt

Melt 2 T butter, 1 T sugar and mix together. Add 1 t cayenne and stir. Pour over the whole pecans and mix until the nuts are fully coated. Spread coated pecans on a foil lined tray and toast in a 425 degree oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In a large bowl combine the corn syrup, sugars, eggs, chocolate, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix until fully combined and smooth.
Pour the filling into the baked pie crust.
Layer the top with the seasoned pecans
Bake at 350 for 30 min.


Monday Night Match Up Menus: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

This Monday, the division rival party is in northern Florida (but southern USA) as the Jacksonville Jaguars host fellow below Mason/Dixon liners, the Tennessee Titans.
Our menu is as follows:
First Down: David Garrartichoke Dip – what’s football without a dip?

Second Down: Blueberry Blintze Young – my favorite named dish. I’m as proud of that one as I am of a 119 pt. word in words with friends.

Third Down: Chocolate Fig Apple Chrisp Johnson – This one’s really cool because each Chris Johnson run burns the calories off of this dish. Sweet, right?

Fourth Down: Mike Pimms Cup Walker – toast and catch a high ball.

David Garrartichoke Dip:

David Garrartichoke Dip

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts, chopped
6 oz cream cheese
1/3 c sour cream
1/3 c mayonnaise
½ c Parmesan, grated
½ t red pepper flakes
2 T parsley, chopped
2 T oregano, chopped


Preheat oven to 375.
Saute onions and garlic until translucent.
Combine with the rest of ingredients in a big bowl and pour mixture into a greased baking dish.
Bake until bubbly (about 20 min).
Serve warm with chips of choice.


Bluberry Blintze Young

You ready to tackle the Blintze Young? You wanna Blitz the Blintze? OK, I’ll stop. This blintze is going to be well covered. One more, C’mon!

Crepe Batter
1 c milk
4 T cold water
2 eggs
1 c all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
¼ t salt
¼ c unsalted butter, melted

Combine the milk, water, eggs, flour, sugar, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add butter and blend it to incorporate. Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour to let it rest. I usually let it sit over night.

The crepe is flipped

Put an 10-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Pour a ladle full of batter into the pan and tilt the pan around so there is an even layer of the batter, (a method I call “pinball pan batter”). Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the batter sets. Flip the crepe. If you have time, you can practice flipping just with a HAIL MARY! flick of the pan. Or, if you’re Farve and you’re afraid you’ll just throw a pick, use a spatula. If you slide a spatula underneath (centrally), lift, and twist it 180 quickly, it should fall evenly pan in the pan. The crepes should be floppy, not crispy, and just browning. Slide them onto a platter and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. (This makes about 8 crepes.)

Cheese Filling
10 oz. ricotta cheese (fresh is better – much smoother consistency, the grocery store ones get grainy)
4 oz. cream cheese
3 T sugar
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
2 T butter, melted
1 egg

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Chill the filling for about an hour to firm it up. (I make it the night before with the batter…)

Blueberry Sauce
2 T butter
2 pints blueberries
½ c sugar
1 t cornstarch
1 lemon, juiced
½ t vanilla extract

Combine the butter, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring up to a low boil and stir gently until the berries break down but are still chunky. Let it cool to thicken up.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Forming the blintzes is kind of like making mini wraps or burritos.
Spoon 2 T (heaping) of the cheese filling at the part of the crepe closest to you.

Fold the bottom edge away from you to just cover the filling; then fold the 2 sides in to the center.

Roll the crepe away from you a couple of times to make a cute little log package.

Place blintzes in a baking dish and bake for 10 min.

Spoon the blueberry sauce on top. I personally think powdered sugar is for pussies, but it’s your blintze, put whatever you want on top.
Look at you, you’ve sacked the Blintze Young!

Blueberry Blintze Young

Chocolate Fig Apple Crisp

Titans RB Chris Johnson who averaged as the #1 draft pick has been quietly showing up to work and leading the league with 6 rushing touchdowns through the first five games.
In other news, strawberry season is over. The carton I bought yesterday turned moldy on the way home from the Whole Foods just down the block.
It’s football season, people, get to know and love the fig.

Chocolate Fig Apple Chrisp Johnson

5 oz white chocolate chunks (I used a serrated knife on a block of chocolate)
5 oz milk chocolate chunks (same method, hi.)
12 oz (two boxes) black mission figs
2 sweet apples, cubed
1 ½ t tapioca, granulated
1 lemon, juiced
1 T lemon zest
pinch of salt
½ c white sugar
¾ c brown sugar
1 ½ c all purpose flour
½ c almond flour*
1 ¾ sticks butter, frozen (in small pieces – cut into T and then cut into 9 little ¼ “ pieces or so)
1 t almond extract

Preheat oven to 375.
In a 9 x 12 baking pan, add chocolate, fruit, tapioca, lemon juice, ¼ c sugar, and lemon zest. TOSS! Make sure all contents are evenly distributed.
Place sugars and flours and extract into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add ½ of the butter pieces and pulse about ten times. Repeat with the rest of the butter until the dough is forming. If it is too dry, add a t of water.
Spread the dough on top of the berry mixture in the pan.
Bake on center rack for 30-35 minutes. The crumb should be golden brown and the berries should be bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Can be served hot or cold. You may want to add a cream to it (heavy, ice, whipped, etc.) or some yogurt when serving.
* To make almond four: grind 1 c whole raw almonds in a food processor until a grainy flour like consistency is obtained.


Mike Pimms Cup Walker

Mike Pimms Cup Walker

2 oz. Pimms
1 t lemon juice
½ Persian cucumber, par peeled (leaving a few stripes of green skin) and sliced into discs
splash Ginger Beer (NOT ginger ale! Cough, amateur!)
Apple garnish optional

Muddle the cucumbers in a high ball. (HOW on earth, did I live my life without a muddler until this year?!?!)
Squeeze in the lemon. Add ice. Add Pimms. Top with ginger beer. Stir. Garnish. Drink. Win.


Monday Night Match Up Menus on GG2FF (Patriots @ Dolphins)

Here are the recipes from this past week’s Monday Night Match Up Menus on GG2FF.

TOMato Bready

Topping with TOMatoes

1 packet of yeast
1 c warm water
2 1/2 c flour (approx.)
1 t honey (because the yeast feeds on sugar)
1 t salt
1/2 c olive oil
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
2 T fresh basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped

Preheat oven to 425. In a glass cup, add the yeast, warm water, and honey, and stir until the yeast dissolves. Let it sit a minute or two. In a large bowl, add half the olive oil, salt, and 1/2 c flour. Then add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon vigorously until combined. Slowly add flour, half cup at a time, until dough is formed and ready (not sticky). You may not use all of the flour. It varies every time depending on many things such as humidity. Wash bowl. Add 1 T olive oil. Put dough in a ball and coat it. Cover bowl with a dish towel. Let dough rest and rise for at least 30 minutes. Punch it down.
Sprinkle cornmeal onto a baking sheet and press dough into it until thin.
Spread olive oil over top.
Sprinkle with garlic.
Place a layer of tomatoes on top to cover the dough, but leave a “crust” around edges.
SWOOPS! (Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt)
Bake for 20-25 minutes until pizza crust is golden and tomatoes are slightly shriveled.
See! Now you’re all hard-core bakers and bread makers!

TOMato Bready out of the oven

Bill BeliChicken Parmesan

4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
½ c flour
2 large eggs
1 T water
1 c breadcrumbs
½ c parsley
¼ c oregano, chopped
¼ c rosemary, chopped
¼ c basil, chopped
8 oz ball of mozzerella cheese, sliced
8 oz burrata cheese, sliced
1 1/2 c parm, grated
4 c my 12 –min tomato sauce (or any genius tomato sauce)
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Put the chicken breasts side by side on a flat surface (e.g. cutting board or counter), and place between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer (or the back of a cast iron pan if you don’t have one) until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In another wide bowl, combine the eggs and water and beat until frothy. Put the breadcrumbs in a third bowl season with salt and pepper, ¼ c parmesan, and the herbs (parsley, oregano, rosemary, basil) and mix.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Now we go wet-dry-wet-dry. Lightly dredge both sides of the wet chicken cutlets in the dry seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour. Then dip them in the wet egg wash to coat completely, again letting the excess drip off. Then dredge in the dry seasoned bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, flipping once.
While the chicken is getting crisp, put a layer of tomato sauce in a baking dish.
Place chicken in a baking pan over the sauce.
Do another layer of the tomato sauce over the chicken.
Sprinkle a layer of parmesan cheese.
Then a layer of mozzarella and burrata.
Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Bill Belichicken Parm

Chad Penne Pasta Salad

Assembling the Chad Penne Pasta Salad

1 box penne pasta
4 c chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 c scallions
2 cup carrots, chopped
6 oz. spinach leaves
1 c Smoked gouda, cubed
olive oil
lemon juice

Cook pasta, drain. Combine with all other ingredients and TOSS! (One of my favorite activities is making fun of my mother’s NY accent. “Toss” is one of her best. She pronounces is like the number 2, plus “us.” TWO-US!


Tequila Lime Rickey Williams
I feel like I should be using a pot leaf to garnish this drink, but that joke is so two years ago.

6 grapes, halved, muddled
2 T lime juice
2 oz. tequila, good, silver
club soda, splash

In a high ball, add and muddle the grapes. Then add the lime juice and fill the glass with ice. Add the tequila and a splash of soda.
Stir, stir, stir. Enjoy!

Not Ricky's most famous form of self-medication...

The Joe Tacco Bar – Ravens/Jets MNF Match Up Menu

Every week for Girls Guide, I am putting together a meal based on the teams in the Monday Night Football game. Here is the Week 1 Menu!

Monday Match-Up Menu

The Joe Tacco Bar
Ray Rice and Beans
Joe Guacco-mole
Mark Sancheese Dip
Pronn Green Chile

MNF Ravens/Jets Meal

Ray Rice and Beans
1 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cloves garlic, large, minced
1 c uncooked white rice
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 cans canned black beans, drained
2 tomatoes, diced, salted (always)
In a stockpot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes more.  Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add seasoning, black beans, and tomatoes. Stir.

Ray Rice and Beans

Prawn Greene Chile
1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 T olive oil
1/2 c half and half
2 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 limes, juice and zest
2 oz. tequila, silver
Heat the oil in a pan over medium high. Add the chopped peppers. Stir in the tequila, lime juice, zest, and cream. Stir until the sauce thickens. SWOOPS the shrimp and add to pan. Cook for a few minutes and flip. Do not over cook the shrimp. Do not fumble the shrimp. Do not look at your opponent who owns Ray Rice.

Pronn Greene Chile

Mark Sancheese Dip
Bobby Flay taught me how to make this when I was his guest last year on Grill It! (But I’m using poblanos and he used Anaheims)
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 c milk
1 1/2 c monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 c goat cheese, soft
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 scallions, chopped
In a cast iron skillet, make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour. Then add the milk and whisk until smooth.  Remove from heat and mix in the jack cheese. Then mix in the goat cheese, peppers and scallions. Return to the stove to heat up again and whisk a little more. You’re done. Dive in!

Mark Sancheese Dip (Queso Fundito)

Joe Guaccomole
3 avocados (pick a nice one, not to firm, not too mushy)
3 roma tomatoes, diced and salted
1 jalapeno, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lime, juiced
Add the chopped, salted tomatoes to a bowl. Add the garlic and jalapeno and mix together. Dice up the avocado and add it to the bowl in 1/2 inch chunk. Mix together with a fork but don’t mash. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix again so the avocado starts to mush a bit but still has some chunkiness to it. Let sit for at least a half hour to allow the flavors to get to know each other. Easy, right? Guac was my first attempt at cooking ten years ago. Home run at first bat!

Joe Guaccomole

Katie, Melissa, Jordan, and Louie at MNF

Bay Cities, Longboard Red, and Dr. John at the Pier

My favorite time of day is called “The Magic Hour,” (aka The Golden Hour for its photographic offerings). It’s the hour right before sunset (so about the last hour of daylight.) The sun is low and lights up the air with warm orange tones. I originally thought of calling it “The Laughternoon” because it was the late-afternoon (well, in January at least), but it seemed like a misnomer to me. For although it brings on a natural high, it’s not really a giddy high. It’s more peaceful and beautiful. I think I’m going to take a picture for a photo journal every day during this time. (We’ll see how I do with that one…)
Yesterday I wound up on the beach just south of the Santa Monica Pier during The Magic Hour. We were setting up for this season’s final Thursday Night Twilight Dance Series with New Orleans legend Dr. John headlining. A few tapestries, sheets, and blankets spread out on the beach, plus a bunch of surrounding votive candles in sand filled paper bags created our little lantern village.

Setting up "Lantern Village" at the pier.

Large Godmother. Works. No pickles.

I had made a stop at Bay Cities Italian Deli, a Los Angeles landmark. I had a friend in from NY that was joining us. Any time I have an out of towner visiting I usually insist that they don’t leave with out having a Bay Cities sammie (or In N Out, but who’s still late for the train on that one?) The go-to order is The Godmother. If I’m “watching my figure” I’ll go with a turkey. But as my friend Mike’s declared, “I’d eat a turd sandwich on THAT bread!” You really can’t go wrong. As a pseudo bi-coastal girl, I often am faced with the “Which city do you like better?” question (NY vs. LA), which I staunchly refuse to answer. But I’m compiling a list of assets for each. It’s a pretty well balanced list. Bay Cities = Advantage LA.

I was not the only one to try this!

While I was browsing the deli aisles, I also grabbed a bottle of the Point Break red blend from Longboard Vineyards. This was our one stop the last time I was up in Sonoma for my friend Megan’s 30th bday dinner at Cyrus. The winery is owned by surfers and their tastings are a blast. A fellow taster was a man donned in polka dot trousers. One Cabernet in and I, of course, was asking if I could play Twister on his pants. We also were making friends with the staff, naming the Syrah “The Jewish” one… because it had a big nose, etc. Not surprisingly, our whole party didn’t even make it through the caviar course at dinner. We thankfully had the rental van parked right outside on North St. for him to snooze in. Clearly, this was the bottle I was choosing from the Bay Cities selection.

Langer's first Godmother experience

Whit's Bahn Mi Sammie (SANS CILANTRO for mama!)

Whit also brought fixings for Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwiches. I went to visit some other friends and hang with their kids when he broke out the cilantro.

Whit’s Bahn Mi:

– 1/2 lb ground pork
– 2 t garlic, chopped
– 2 t green onion, chopped
– 1 T chinese 5 spice
– salt/pepper to taste
– Mix everything together. Form into little 1-2″ balls. Bake for 8 min. in a 400 deg oven. Turn. Bake another 7-8 min. until brown. Remove, cool, and slice in half.
– 1 french bagutte
– roman lettuce
– kimchi
– sliced/diced carrots
– chopped green onion
– spicy mayo (2 parts mayo, 1 part sriracha)
– chopped cilantro (optional) (NOOOOOOO!!!!!)
– assemble as desired.

The Larry “Spritzer”gerald

On Friday we had our all girls live fantasy football draft. (I’ve barely just recovered, I practically had to force myself to sample Kurt’s Paradigm Zin during the Emmy’s on Sunday. But it turned out to be a valiant effort. I drank it all down and added it to my list to get again.)

Every year our league has an official cocktail. This year’s cocktail is called The Larry Spritzergerald.  It didn’t hurt that our Mitches this year were handy in the kitchen. (In fact, one of them even wrote a cookbook, Freshman in the Kitchen.) Thanks Eli and Elliot!

The Larry Spritzergerald:

1 lg carton (we used 22 oz.) organic strawberries, stemmed and halved (don’t wash the strawberries if they’re organic, it takes away too much of their surface sugars)
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped (I so need an herb garden…)
2 bottles white wine (we used Geyser Peak Sauv Blanc)
1 bottle club soda (aka selter)

Place two strawberries and 1 T chopped basil in a cup and muddle. Fill the glass 3/4 full with white wine. Add splash of club soda (1 oz.) and mix. Ice cubes optional. Best sucked down with a straw.

The Man of Honor for our Cocktail of the Year