Decadent Fudge Brownies


After a long, hard day, we tend to gravitate toward one of two things (sometimes both): booze or junk food. Last week, I just had to have junk food. Lucky for me, my wife made homemade, fudgy, super-chocolaty brownies. These things are so decadent, thanks to Dutch dark cocoa, espresso, and lots of butter, that there is no need to top them with ice cream. Just an ice cold glass of milk and a brownie – that’s all you need to turn any day around. Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself.

Decadent Fudge Brownie Recipe


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup double dutch dark cocoa
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (mix it up to what you like – half dark, half milk, all milk, peanut butter – the world is your oyster, damnit)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9 x 13″ pan

  • Beat eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla for about 4 mins on medium speed
  • Melt the butter with sugar until all butter is melted over low-med heat (do NOT let it bubble)
  • Add hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture and stir until smooth
  • Add flour and chocolate chips – stir until smooth
  • Pour batter into the pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato Panini – in a Waffle Iron!


After making a list of crazy things to make in a waffle iron, I decided to “have at it” myself. But what to make? And how much of a mess do I want to make in a waffle iron? Lucky for me, I had a snow day to experiment. Every once in awhile, we make BMT paninis for lunch to satisfy some cravings. BMT meaning basil, tomato, and mozzarella. We make ours with pesto instead of basil. Anyway, I made the typical BMT sandwich and threw it in a waffle iron to make the panini.

The key to this recipe is the bread. A crusty bread is a must when it comes to shoving it into the waffle iron. If you pick a slice of bread that is soft, you will just end up with a big, gooey mess in the waffle iron. We used ciabatta. With the waffle iron bringing heat to both sides of the sandwich, there is no need to flip, and the hit gets to the cheese much quicker. Try it out for yourself!

BMT: Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato Panini…in a Waffle Iron


  • Crusty bread
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Basil pesto
  • Tomato


  • Get out the waffle iron and grease well
  • Build your sandwich
  • Put it in your waffle iron and hold it down with force You may have to rotate your sandwich to evenly flatten it

Easy enough?

French Onion Soup Made Easy


Don’t tell me that you skip over the crock of french onion soup whenever it is on the menu. I have a hard time not getting it! The cheese that oozes over the top of the crock, the delicious piece of bread in the middle, does it really matter what the broth tastes like at that point? But still, even the broth of french onion soup beats out most soups. Then there are the strategies in eating it. Some people mix the cheese in and eat throughout, others save the cheese for last, even others dive right into the bread. No matter what way you eat it – it is indeed tasty.

So one of those cold winter days (feels literally like yesterday), my wife took out the dutch oven and asked “what do you think of french onion soup tonight?” To which my response was, “well, do we have enough cheese?” Hells yes we did. Hours later, we had nice hot bowls (sorry, we don’t have crocks yet) of french onion soup oozing with cheese over the top. This was a success that went straight into the recipe book. Here you go.

Read More

Weekday Brunch: Simple Sausage Strata


What’s a strata? Well, a breakfast strata is a casserole made of egg, cheese, bread, and breakfast meat. Ron Swanson’s dream (other than a heaping pile of bacon on top of an additional pile of bacon, on top of sausage). Anyway, at work, our gracious overlord bought the staff breakfast, but we were also asked to bring a casserole of our choosing. …or juice. Well I wasn’t going to be the ass face that brought juice, so I went to one of my favorite brunch items that was also one of the easiest – Sausage Breakfast Strata. Why? Because I’m an awesome team player with a culinary hand that will blow your face off by surprise. Bitches.

What could go wrong? You have breakfast in one dish. Bread, cheese, sausage, and egg. That’s a 2-2-2 deal in diners across this nation. A staple that one shan’t take away. So I made it the night before, let it sit in the fridge, and woke up early to pop this in the oven. I brought it into work, and BINGO-BANGO – it was destroyed by all. “Oh, I didn’t know you were a good cook!” “YOU made that?!” “Hey, everyone loved that breakfast casserole you brought in.” Faces. Blown. Off. And you can too…here’s how.

Simple Sausage Strata


6 Eggs

2 cups Milk

1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of mustard (yellow or dijon)

1 loaf of bread (your favorite – something crusty)

1 – 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Sleeve of Sausage (1 lb crumbled sausage)

Salt & Pepper


Cook the sausage to brown

Whisk together eggs and milk with salt & pepper

Cube your bread (I had a nice crusty loaf of Puerto Rican bread)

Grease an oven-safe baking dish (about 13 x 9)

Cover the bottom of the dish with cubed bread (use crust parts first). Eat the extra.

Sprinkle sausage on top of the bread – throughout entire dish. Use all sausage.

Sprinkle about half of the cheese on top of the sausage.

Cover with egg mixture

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top

Cover with foil and let sit in the fridge overnight. You don’t HAVE to do this, but it tastes better this way.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the dish (uncovered) for at least 35 minutes. Depending on your oven – it may be longer. To check, put a knife in the center and it should come out clean. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Mushroom Mania : Oyster-Shitake Alfredo


Do you smell that? Yup…mushrooms again. We just can’t get enough! Still working on the large box of shitake and oyster mushrooms, the wife and I were faced with a decision: how do we finish all of these?! We already did flatbread and stroganoff, but wait – I married an Italian…PASTA! Done and done. While any mushrooms will do, I will say that the shitake and oyster mushrooms provided a distinct taste that went really with a cream sauce. Anyway, get out your favorite pasta and have at it, hoss!

Read More

‘Shroom Stroganoff


“SHITAKE mushrooms, that was close!” While I may not coin the phrase, I am coining the dish. As I stated, we have A LOT of mushrooms right now (shitake and oyster). In our quest to shroom-dome, we went to one of our go-to veggie dishes: Mushroom Stroganoff. When made right, beef stroganoff is considered a classic dish with a creamy and savory flavor profile. Of course, we’re all trying to be healthy in the new year, so why not replace the beef with mushrooms? Better yet – the fancy kind of mushrooms.

When we did this before, we would get the typical dark gravy from normal mushrooms with the subtle earthy flavor of mushrooms. This time, we have strong earthy flavors of the shitake and a creamy, almost sweet flavor of the oyster mushrooms. Together, with egg noodles and creamy goodness, we may not need to make beef stroganoff again! Try it out – you’ll even enjoy the leftovers.

Read More

Farro Pilaf with Pork Ragu and Butternut Squash

Farro with Pork Ragu and Butternut Squash

Farro is one of my favorite fall/winter grains to cook with, and in my opinion it is vastly underused. It’s hearty, nutty, toothsome, and is packed with fiber and iron, and boasts a good serving of protein as well. Way better than rice, as far as I’m concerned! And because it’s so hearty, it’s the perfect grain to stand up to robust cold-weather flavors and textures. Nuts, meats, gourds, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens… oh and let’s not forget cheese. Mmm.

Awhile back, I had some leftover pork ragu from my tasty Pork and Mushroom Ragu over Polenta recipe, and I obviously wasn’t going to let it go to waste. Wanting to mix it up from my polenta, I grabbed a bag of quick-cooking farro and got to work. The ragu, made from Smithfield Slow Roasted Golden Rotisserie Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin, was so flavorful thanks to the pre-marinated pork and worked beautifully with my farro. All I had to do was toss the ragu with the warm grain and some roasted butternut squash, wilt in some kale and shaved parmesan, and dinner was served! And if you don’t have leftover ragu? It was so easy to make it in the crock pot, just set it in the morning and it will be ready for this recipe by the time you’re ready to prep dinner.

Looking for a quick yet deeeelicious meal to get you through the holiday hustle and bustle? This simple farro pilaf has you covered, my friend.

Farro with Pork Ragu and Butternut Squash

Farro Pilaf with Pork Ragu and Butternut Squash

Read More
Next »