Creamy Potato Salad

  • The perfect side dish for barbecue, sandwiches, pork, or any picnic is Potato Salad.  My Grandma Dot has a great recipe for potato salad.  So, I called up my Mom this weekend for the recipe and instructions for Grandma’s perfectly creamy potato salad.

Perfect Potato Salad

The perfect potato salad takes at least 6 hours to make.  So if you are in a rush, you might want to go to the deli counter and just get some there.  But, trust me.  If you have time this recipe is totally worth it. 

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The Blue Box Revisited – Spicy Mac n Cheese

If you are like me, no matter how much you cook, you always have a box of Mac n Cheese in the pantry.  As much as I want to hate the stuff it is good.  So, I have worked to spice it up in more than one way.  Honestly, it is not much, but it is enough to transform a bland blue box to a tasty concoction.

Spiced up Mac n Cheese

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Sunday “Easter” Brunch

With the upcoming holiday weekend I wanted to post about what to do this weekend in Washington, DC.  But after realizing that it is Easter weekend, there is only one thing came to mind.  Sunday Brunch!!! and… Mimosas.

Sunday Brunch is a ritual for a lot of people, but where to go is always a chore.  I know that every single restaurant these days has brunch and it is hard to decide where to go.  I wanted to write up a list of great places that I have gone for brunch, to make your lives easier.  Plus, a lot of these places are not that well known and will allow you to call today for reservations. 

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Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst

A couple of weeks ago I ran into Nick from Macheesmo, and we started to talk about sausage making. I then invited him over to help make some Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst. This was key as it really requires two people to make sausage. Not just two people though, two people that really like to cook. To spend 3 hours elbow deep in raw meat is not for the faint hearted. Although, the rewards are worth it.

Jalapeno Cheddar Brats

The key to a good bratwust is to make sure that it is juicy yet not so juicy that it explodes in your face. I have had many cheddar brats that as soon as you bite into them you hit the person next to you in the face with molten cheese. That is never good. This recipe is a perfect balance of meat and cheese. No need to wear goggles when the person next to you is biting into one.

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Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragù

Yesterday I wrote about a basic baked potato. The baked potato is a versatile canvas that melds well with many toppings. For instance, bacon and cheese. Mmm. I really like bacon.  I just found the March issue of Food & Wine and it included this exceptional recipe for Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragù. Just seeing the pictures in the issue made me want to run out to the store to get some fresh wild musrooms.

Baked Potato with Wild Musroom Ragù

The earthyness of the wild mushrooms is a perfect accompaniment for Baked Potatoes.

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Basics: Baked Potatoes

When I was 18, I got a job bartending at the Nickerson Inn in Pentwater Michigan.  It was a great place. Great food and a relaxed atmosphere that is missing from modern restaurants. If you had the opportunity to eat and/or stay there before it burned down in 2007, well you were lucky. Along with being a great place to eat, it was also a pretty good place to work.  The only problem was that the dining room was so small, that they did not have enough people to keep me busy bartending.  So to get their money’s worth, they had me became a prep chef.  I was responsible for the dinner rolls, dicing vegetables, preping the stations and baking the potatoes.  My family and friends always noted that the baked potatoes there were the best.  Everyone wanted to know how to make potatoes that are perfectly cooked inside but have crispy skin.  Today I am going to show you how to make the perfect restaurant potatoes.

Baked Potato

I know it sounds simple but the basic baked potato was one of the most asked about recipes that I have received.  To get a nice crispy skin and perfect fluffy inside is hard for many.

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How and where to get good meat for BBQ and Sausage Making

Honestly the title says it all.

When I started BBQ’n and making sausage I had no idea where to find good meat. I started by going to the Safeway grocery store by my house and picked up prepackaged Pork Butts and Briskets. Then I went to a specialty butcher which cost two to three times as much. I decided to call the butcher up at the Safeway and order the best cuts from him. 

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Modifying your Smoker

Old Bessie

It has finally reached 60 degrees out here in DC and yes, it is time to BBQ. This winter I have made a few modification to Old Bessie (Yes I named my BBQ). I was searching all over the internet for good mods to make to the Char Griller Smokin Pro and I have found a great website DeeJaysSmokePit.net. Over on the forums there you can find a great PDF document by Phil Lee that has great mods for the Smokin Pro.

After scrolling through the mods I found a few that were easy to do and did not require too many tools.

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Chicken Stir Fry

Spring is here and it is time to do a little spring cleaning. So, today I decided to clear out my pantry. What is the best way to clear out a pantry you ask? Why it is a stir-fry. You can throw in whatever veggies, meat or random ingredients that you have.  This is slight variation on my Mom’s classic Stir Fry.  Thanks Mom!

Chicken Stir Fry

Above is Chicken Stir Fry with green beans and water chestnuts.

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10 Minute Pizza Crust

5 Minute Pizza

Ahh the elusive 10 minute pizza.  I love homemade pizza but it just takes too long to make for the average individual.  Dough usually needs to be rested, proofed, and formed usually taking up to and over 2 hours.  Below I tried a recipe based on a recipe from Cooks.com for a 5 minute pizza dough that you just mix and put in the pan.

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