Meat, Cheese and Crackers


As you may or may not know, my family and I celebrated my wife’s Birthday this last weekend.  I received such a good response from some of you on Facebook, wishing my wife a Happy Birthday, that I decided to share one of the things I did for her.  And since it pertains to food I thought you might enjoy this.

As you can see in the photo above, I’ve got 2 plates covered with Cured Meats, Crackers and Cheese.  Which in most places around the world, it can really eat a hole in your wallet.  I mean, it’s no secret that cured meats and cheese can be very pricey.  Especially if you start getting exotic.  Where I live, for example, I can buy 4 oz. of Prosciutto for about $10 bucks.  But, that’s virtually $40 dollars a pound!  Are you kidding me?

So am I telling you that’s what I spent for each one of these cured meats?  No, I’m not and I didn’t even come close to that kind of expense.  The Great thing about food is nobody wants it to go to waste.  So if you hit the markets when they’re in rotation, you’re going to save your self a ton of money.


Another example, in the above photo I have two different Salami’s; Genoa and Wild Boar Black Pepper Salami.  Both are a half pound each and were marked down 50%.  The Prosciutto was only 2 dollars for 3 oz.  But at full price, on any other day, I would’ve spent $20 bucks just for what you see on the plate and when it was all said and done, I walked out the door paying only 1/3 that price.


Now when it comes to these Cheese’s the price continues to soar. That is, unless you can pick these up on rotation too, and you can.  The funny thing about cheese, however, is you can’t really tell when it goes bad because it stinks when you buy it.  So you’re completely at the mercy of the attendants that swapping out the prices to keep up with the expiration dates.

Between these five cheese’s alone one could spend $40 to $50 dollars all together.  Some of these slices normally range between $8 and $13 bucks a piece.  There’s a Fromager D’affinois Cheese that is very mild and Creamy(top left), a Port Salute(Orange Label) that is mild and creamy as well just a slighly different taste.  The Blue Cheese is obvious, you either like it or you don’t.  The English White Stilton with Blueberry interesting because it’s very sweet and similar to the taste of cheese cake.  And last but not least, the Jarlsberg lite, which is just a fancy way of saying “Deli Swiss”.  And if you’re wondering what’s in the middle, those are my Marinated and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes!

So the night before my wife’s Birthday, we started celebrating each others company with the peace and quiet of the house(after we put the kids to bed), the widescreen with Netflix, a cheap box of wine and some very expensive Meats and Cheese’s that I bought for practically nothing.  And just so you know, I’m not a cheap bastard, I just know how to live and moments like these are priceless! 😉

Sloppy Joes – Classic Sandwich Recipe


This Sloppy Joes recipe will take you back to those “melt in your mouth” childhood days when you didn’t stop eating until your stomach hurt.  Even my wife mentioned she felt like Igor in the Disney Classic, “Ratatouille”, when his eyes lit up like light bulbs as he proceeded to drop his pen to the floor after he took his first bite.  “It’s that good”, she said.  So without further ado or more bragging, I give you another I give you Sloppy Joes!

Also, if you’re interested in other sandwich or burger recipes, I highly recommend the following.  I think you’ll find the titles are, at least, quite intriguing.  Bison Burger, Turkey Burger Sliders, Double Ground Beef Burger & Cheese Burger Pot Pie.

Sloppy Joes Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs Ground Beef, cooked
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce or Molasses
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp Oregano, dried
1/2 tsp Chili Powder, optional
Salt and Pepper to taste

10-12 Hamburger buns

Pesto with Almonds


Gotta love Pesto with Almonds.  I believe it’s traditionally made with Pine Nuts but even Walnuts are often substituted.  So it doesn’t really matter what you use, just pick your favorite and follow this recipe to a T because it is fantastic.  Just know that I cut this recipe in half when I filmed it in the video.

Also, if you’re looking for something meaty to compliment this recipe, be sure to check out my Italian Sausage and my Italian Breaded Pork Chops!

Pesto with Almonds Ingredients:

3 cups Basil Leaves, freshly packed
1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice, (optional)

Pasta Carbonara


Pasta Carbonara is a delicious Italian recipe that can virtually be made with just about any pasta.  In this recipe I’m using Penne but feel free to substitute Spaghetti, Linguine or whatever else your favorite pasta might be.  One of the other main ingredients is Pancetta.  If you don’t know what this is, the best way to describe it is comparing it to bacon.  It’s generally around the same cut of meat and it’s treated the same.  The major difference is it’s a thicker slice more like ham.  But the flavor, as you can imagine just really sets this dish off.  The Carbonara sauce itself is just egg yolks with a dash of pepper and fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.  So if you think about the bulk of these ingredients with a clove of chopped garlic and some sliced leak, which is pretty much a mild spring onion, then your really talking about a great recipe!

If you’re looking for more pasta ideas, I’ve got tons of them.  But for now, be sure to check out my Spaghetti Squash Pasta and my Lobster Sauce recipe.

Pasta Carbonara Ingredients:

2 Cups Penne Pasta or your favorite
1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup Pancetta or Bacon, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
2 tbsp Leak, chopped
3 egg yolks, whipped
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Butter

Pretzel Bites – Easy Recipe for Large Pretzels


Pretzel Bites are a fun and easy way to make any party rock.  Especially for those game day events or football Sunday.  Even if you just have the munchies, this can be a real tasty way to enjoy a snack.  This recipe is very easy to make and you can use practically in bread or sour dough recipe to make pretzels but I’m going to show you how to do it with Pizza Dough.  Also be sure to check out my Garlic Parmesan Bread Knots and my Steakhouse style Scones!

Pretzel Bites Ingredients:

1 Pizza Dough, for a14″ Lg. Pizza
6 cups Water
1/4 cup Baking Soda
1 egg
1 tbsp Water, mix with egg for wash
2 tbsp Butter, melted
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Dried Oregano, ground

Mix Baking soda with the 6 cups of boiling water and soak the dough for only 30 seconds.  Bake at 450 degrees f for 12 to 15 minutes.