Monday, August 13, 2012

Can't impress 'em all

Just a Monday smile ... Congrats to the women's Olympic gymnastics team. Once I saw them all making fun of it themselves, I thought I'd join in the fun...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's been a while!!

Hey there! I know there are some cobwebs over here... I've been following through on a dream ... writing my first cook book. It take up plenty of my day and I find small blurbs and hellos are fun on twitter. I'm not done here though, just waiting until I launch my website then I intend to continue blogs and quite possible will hire a writer to catch stuff I don't have time to as I write this book!! Ok, in the meantime if you are in Pittsburgh or the surrounding area, catch me and my buddy, Steeler QB Charlie Batch, Saturday at Giant Eagle. The details are here:
Giant Eagle Saturday June 16, 2011

Just in time for Father's Day, we have a fun menu for dad or anyone special in your life! Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SoBe Wine and Food Festival 2012: Where to find me!

Hey there! I just wanted to tell you about some events this weekend in Miami for the SoBe Wine and Food Festival. This is my 4th year? I can't remember lol, I'm getting old and counting only works when I'm motivated by beer and it's too early for that :-). Or should I say wine? I'm just happy to be invited, it's for charity and I don't see a thing wrong with that! If you want to see some old posts from the events over the years, just click on the "Sobe" tag below this post or look to the right and click on the that list. I meant left and I'm not hitting backspace. Ok, so first thing I want to tell you about is:

1. FRIDAY Catch me co-hosting Live Miami on NBC from 11-noon with the ladies. I've done cooking segments with the morning show, but this time around I'm so happy to join the ladies a bit later in the morning for an hour. I occasionally catch my girl Sara Gore here in NYC on our version of the show called NY Live, so I look forward to the chat-fest in Miami. I'll be there the whole hour, then I have a cooking segment at the end. If the weather holds up, we'll grill outside, if not, I'll make it work on a grill pan indoors, cuz that's what I do ... I make it work like Tim Gunn. :-) I can't wait! We'll have comedian/actor John Witherspoon to interview, he's in town for a show and has a new movie coming out. We'll also have a rep from wine glass makers, Riedel, to talk wine. Why? Why not?! It's the Sobe Wine and Food Festival! Can't wait!

2. SATURDAY MORNING I'm cookin my butt off at the Grand Tasting Village at 5:30PM. Oh my, that means when I go to the parties Friday night, I need to make sure I just do the food part, not the wine part LOL. That's an early rise for a wine fest so I hope ya join me!! Yes, 530 will be early LOL. Check for me on the green stage. Speaking of Friday night, there are so many events, I will surely do the Burger Bash and Robert Irvine has asked me to help with his Party Impossible event. I'm hoping to have energy for it all, look at me sounding old LOL. Ok, FYI, My menu for Saturday under the Grand Tasting tents is called "Words with Friends" and it's all about fun apps and things to make when you have guests over for a chat fest. I'm most excited to show you how to make a fast dessert with beer. Yes, I know it's a wine fest, but beer can hang out too :-).

3. SATURDAY NIGHT This is something I CAN'T WAIT FOR!!! SOOONNNNNIIIIIICCCCC!!!! Ok, let me calm down and tell you the deal. Woooohsaaaaah ... It's the Best Thing I Ever Ate - Late Night event on the beach. This is all about us serving you the things we love. It took some work and some calls and some smiles through emails and phone calls, but Sonic, myself and the SoBe team got it done and my absolutely favorite fast food place to eat late night is on board!! They've even created things for the event. SO HAPPY!!! So, join us in the tents for a Cherry Limeade Martini (virgin style) and several small bites off the menu, with a concentration on their various hot dogs. You know what? You deserve the menu:
Sonic Dog Bites of Premium Menu Dogs
Chicago Dog Bite w/ relish and poppy seed bun
All American Dog Bite w/KMMRO Sauce
New York Dog Bite w/fresh cabbage & kraut slaw, grainy mustard dressing, onions
Chili Cheese Dog Bite w/pimento cheese, warm chili
Sonic Classic Chili Cheese Tots w/ green chili cheese and warm chili
I SAID TOTS!!!!!!!!!! TOTS BABY!!!TOTSSS!!! LOL Can you feel my excitement?!?!?
Classic Sonic Cherry Limeade Martini w/ Lime Scented Sugar, fresh lime and a cherry.

So seriously, come hang out with me under the glow of Sonic. I'm packing my favorite yellow Sonic Cherry Limeade shirt, and my cherry limeade earrings. Yes, I own Sonic wear. This is how much I love it! It may have something to do with it being my 1st paying job in high school, but I have faith I would have found a love for tots and cherry limeades somehow along the way. Join me if you have a love and if you don't, join me so I can bring you over to the tot-side.

3. SUNDAY Join me at the Kidz Kitchen on Jungle Island at 1PM. This year it's all about getting the kids to eat healthy. I never had that issue as a kid, mommy and daddy made it, and I ate it. There were no excuses. I may have to call mommy and daddy for some inspiration before I go on and talk to the families there. I don't get the issue. Eat your veggies and fruits kids!! I've developed a fun and healthy menu. When I turned it in, one of the organizers asked if I'd change the bread on my grilled cheese to wheat and I said "NO" LOL...there's already apples, spinach and protein from nuts in there. I'm not trying to make robot kids, just happy and healthy ones. I think that's where people make a mistake, trying to make every single element of a meal "healthy". Carbs are carbs, let's get some other stuff into play. Ok, so I call this demo "An Apple A Day" because apples are in each course. I'm making soup in a Vitamix, grillin some sandwiches and making a quick apple compote for dessert. Join me with your family for a PG show :-).

Ok, those are my official events, but please .... if you see me, I run with what I call a "NON-tourage", you are more than welcome to interrupt a call, a conversation, anything. This is your time to tell me you think I look smaller in person :-). LOL See ya this weekend!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tailgating in Hawaii with Iron Chef America!

Hi there! Well, I had to knock the cobwebs off my blog and invite you to watch a pretty cool Iron Chef America episode tonight on Food Network. I almost typed Food Network with an "@" in front of it lol, shows I've been on twitter way more than here. I love the long form but I gotta tell you, I can type as the day is long, just like I talk. I often hope it's not too much information. Both here and there. Cool thing is, no one is making you read this or that, if you happen to be a long-format reader versus a short-format reader (did I just coin a term?), then I hope you enjoy :-). In the pic above I'm standing with Miss Hawaii 2012, Brandie Cazimero. She was not only sweet and poised, but she ATE!!! She was a such a fun judge and obviously she has great metabolism, I envy her lol! Here we are with EAT MY GLOBE blogger and fellow judge Simon Majumdar...
Simon is a complete joy to talk to. He loves food like I do and even more he loves to travel for it like I do as well. Check his blog link above and see what he's into, cool guy. Also, be nice to him, he's sensitive to the missives people write online and tweet simply based on his honest opinion. It ain't easy being a judge, I found myself having to nit-pick on stuff and split hairs because seriously, we are talking about IRON CHEFS here lol. It was all so good! Hard to judge at that level.

We taped tonight's Iron Chef America back during the 1st week of December. People always ask me when I'm going to be on the show and I think they want me to cook. Ummm that's the thing ... I'm a cook. Not a chef. I don't even want to pretend to be one for a day. I love nothing more than chillin' in the kitchen. I don't want to run, I don't want to sweat lol, I want to cook. I did a Food Network Challenge a couple of years ago and even then, I fought wearing an actual chef coat lol. I turned it into an apron and kept it moving. I've owned my own catering company and I cook professionally, but the "chef" thing just seems so stiff. I'm cool with being a cook. Ok, so anyway, I was thankfully asked to judge. HECK YEAH!!!! I will gladly sit for two days and let Morimoto, Cora and Symon work on several plates for my palate!

We taped two episodes, but tonight is the one featuring Chef's Morimoto and Symon and it's a tailgating theme! Just in time for my Giants to win the Superbowl next week! (Please, don't be so serious, if you are a fan of another team, just wish us well and rep your team in the comments ... us NFL fans can get along, right? pass me a beer lol). Speaking of, Alton introduced me with a bit of a smirk saying I was a Giants fan. At the time ... our team wasn't doing so well, but I'm no fair weather friend, so I repped BIG BLUE. Now, we're going to the Super HA, Alton! HA HA HA! I don't think he likes me and it's ok, sometimes you don't have to do a thing to be disliked, it's just that way. We met years ago and he was stiff and remains stiff lol. I don't take it personal. He won't be the first person looking down their nose at me in life. I kill 'em with kindness. Ever work with someone you can tell doesn't like you for no reason? You did absolutely nothing to them? Then, we have something in common. LOL. We all ended up having a great time though and I still adore him. I'm crazy, huh?

I say all that to say, he is the definition of professional. I've enjoyed his shows and talent long before I was on Food Network. Check him out leading the U of H Marching Band onto the set, which was a military hangar.
The band was given the sheet music for the ICA theme and killed it! They sounded soooooo good! Can't wait for you to hear it! Look at the chairman, Marc Dacascos, chillin in his tailgating corner...
Marc is such a nice guy and he's from Hawaii, so I met some of his family. You can tell his apple dropped right next to the tree, smiles all around. Pretty cool.

Ok, let's get to the food....
First, I cannot and will not go to Hawaii without a heavy helping of Polynesian food. I got in the car from the airport, did a quick interview of the driver and headed over to ONO Hawaiian Foods. Here I am fresh from the plane, lei in place, smile on my face, tummy needs an embrace ...
We got to ONO and I said O-Yeah!! Take a look at some pics...
It's right across the street from a gas station, I had the taxi wait there and ran inside. Look at the fun waiting sign on the door ...
I love places with crowd control issues, means something good is going on inside. I've been to Hawaii many times, but I've only been able to enjoy poi there once, so I was determined to get it again. Never had it? Here's a sign up in the restaurant telling you why you should ...
Yeah! Gluten free baby! I'm not a gluten watcher, but these days they are multiplying like Gremlins. Wanna read about my first time having poi in Hawaii? It's kinda funny, read "I'm Lau, Lomi Lomi and Poi'd Out". Ok, take a look inside ONO...
Looks like plenty of history in there, eh? I was getting really excited. Sure, tourist traps have some of the same markings; lines, walls cluttered with memorabilia and celeb visits, but the ONE singular thing I ask for when looking for an authentic place is (please don't be mad), but I ask for "an old lady in the kitchen" or "an old man in the kitchen" and if it's a lady, sometimes for laughs, but I'm quite serious, I throw in "an old lady in the kitchen--with a mustache." Seriously, it's the exact way I ask for it. It creates a laugh, but then the person I'm asking gets it, I want something real. So boom, imagine when I turned towards the kitchen and saw this ...
TWO OLD LADIES in the kitchen!! Don't ask about the mustache, ok, not polite :-). Teeheehee... Ok, I ordered pretty much everything I could eat in one night, then loaded it into the back seat of the cab...
I asked the driver if he wanted anything when I went into ONO. He said no, but on the way to the hotel I could tell he wished he'd said yes. It was perfuming the whole cab. Ok, so I go into a classy hotel (and this happens all the time) with a tray like this and people stare. Look, I like room service sometimes, the variations on the Caesar Salad and Eggs Benedict with salmon are a joy, but when in Hawaii ... c'mon now ...

You may ask why I didn't eat at the restaurant? Well, I don't think I eat pretty when I'm hungry and good food is in my face. Plus I wanted to get out of my plane clothes, and who doesn't like eating with a view?
I sat on the balcony and tore up my Pork Lau Lau...
That's the Pork Lau Lau on the right. Then next to it on the left? More pork, don't judge me please. If you've never had lau lau, try my quick and easy recipe using ground pork. I call it Pork Stuffed Collard Greens. Authentically it's made with pork shoulder (butt) and taro leaves. The latter is hard to get in the upper states and the former takes longer. So I make some creative changes to get to the same finish line. Nothing is better than the original though! Sometimes we just want to eat and eat fast. give it a try!! Take a look inside ONO's version...
Seriously, I really did just get a little mouth water action looking at my own pics. If you've never had this, it's a must try. It's salty, and porky and yummy.
Geez. I'm writing this on an empty stomach, not smart. Ok, look at my poi!! I love to cut the density and texture with salmon lomi, it's salty and has an acidic bite, prefect match for the thick texture of poi. Again, I have a recipe for it, I call it Sunny Lomi Salmon. I don't make poi, ingredients are hard to source, but I love the lomi I make with steamed white rice. A friend of mine made it and served it with chips and crostini. Pretty darn good.
And here's the whole spread before I killed it all....
That's a kind of stew in the back on the left there. I ate it all the night before judging more Hawaiian food...pretty happy to do that! Thank you so much for watching. Can you imagine that you along with so many others add up to me having a job? I can and I do everyday. Pretty cool relationship we have and chances are, we've never met. That's why if we do, I will surely tell you thank you.

Ok, now I don't know how to handle the food pics from the Iron Chefs. I know the show is tonight so I don't want to give up who won of course, but how about some pics of what was made? You can try to decide now which chef made what. You can also try to decide which of these following dishes made me cry tears of joy. Because it happened. I took a bite, it took me back ... and the tears flowed. Even now as I type my eyes are watering, there was something divine in that dish. I put it down after the first bite because I could feel my emotions rising and I really hate crying in public. I got myself together, then took another bite and realized the sensation was too strong, I couldn't eat it without crying. And that my friend, that right there... is why I cook. I love how food can touch my heart, it can remind me of places, things and in this case tonight it reminded me of a person. I am sure the person was there in spirit, the feeling was just too strong. Pretty powerful food.

First, a look at the Iron Chefs working on the food. That's Morimoto on the left, then you can jusssst make out Alton because of his hat and then Chef Symon is in the background hunched over...
Ok, can't tell you the secret ingredient or tell you who made what and what was made ... but have at it!! Take a look ...
Ok, there it is! The makings of a great tailgating episode of Iron Chef America on Food Network tonight at 10pm. Tell a friend and let's all wait and see if Spam makes an appearance :-).

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Cooking for Real Saturday!! Sugar, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Everything Nice

Hey there! I was thinking this morning how busy it's been and how I haven't been able to blog as much. I really miss it and I'm going to try to do more in the coming months. If you missed me on GMA a couple of days ago, I'll post the video at the end of this blog.

Just wanted to let you know, in plenty of time for the big day, my holiday episode of Cooking for Real airs tomorrow morning at 8:30, then runs again Monday at 3:00pm.

I titled it Sugar, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Everything Nice and it's just that! I have a nice amount of sugar going on, another way to use up that pumpkin pie spice you may have left over from Halloween and Thanksgiving and a new twist on the green bean casserole! It's a really easy menu and the thing I love the most about it is dessert. Now, let's talk about that dessert ....

Sometimes things get cut for time and it's always really hard to pick what doesn't make it. It was REEEEEEEALLY hard for me to part with the topping that goes on the bread pudding, so...only here on my blog will you get the way to truly bring this dish home!! Now, don't get me wrong, it's great without it, but there is just something about the texture you get when you top it this way that I just suggest you try :-). I mean look at the texture ...
Crazy. Okay, so here goes addition to the recipe for my Double Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bourbon Whipped Cream:

Follow the recipe as is, but before you put it in the oven make the topping:

6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon maldon salt

In a medium bowl combine butter and toss with flour to coat all sides of the butter. Then add brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and salt. Mix together with your hands to get butter to blend into all the ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the dish.

Then, continue with the recipe as is, baking it and topping it with the Bourbon Whipped Cream! See, you really get some inside stuff here :-). I taped this episode earlier this year, so I cannot remember if I even allude to the missing topping, but there it is for you and I really, REALLY suggest you try it :-)!!

Ok, please spread the news!! It's the last new ep of the year and I wanna go out with a bang! :-)

Cooking for Real!!! Sugar, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Everything Nice!!

Saturday at 8:30AM and Monday at 3PM

Ok, now here I go on GMA ... a quick note, it's live TV so I accidentally said Mother's in New Orleans puts

fruit "juice" in their bread pudding, I meant to say fruit "cocktail". :-)

Ok, here goes... several things are in the video, but the star was my Cinnamon Toast Pudding!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nate Berkus ... in case you missed it like me :-)

Hey there! I had the wrong time and even if I had the right time, I fell asleep. I have been working overtime on turkeytime lol ... Here's the video from my spot on Nate Berkus today!
Enjoy and hope you are having a good week!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

WOW!! Look at this!!

I just got the direct link for the Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Cookbook (thanks Aly :-) )and I cannot even believe the table of contents!! Look at me reppin for the home cooks among all the chefs!!

Click here

Catch me Tuesday morning from 7am-8am on SiriusXM 110 aka Martha Stewart Radio :-)