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Everyone has one, here’s mine:

Sitnam’s St. Onge French Onion Soup

3T butter
1T olive oil
2 lbs. of vidalia onions
1T salt
1T sugar
1 Bay leaf
3T flour
2 quarts of beef stock (I prefer Swanson’s Cooking Stock the others I’ve tried taste weak)
1C red wine (I prefer Ravenswood Zinfandel, both cause it adds a deep slightly sweet taste to the soup and cause I like finishing the bottle)
1 tsp sage
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and oil in large pot. Add onions, stir to coat. Cover and cook over a low heat until onions are tender (15 minutes). Uncover, rise heat to the lower side of high and stir in salt and sugar, cook 30 minutes stirring often until onions are brown (stirring often is key, they will burn). Lower to med. Stir in flour and cook stirring to brown the flour, slowly poor in 1 C of stock to blend after flour is brown. Add remaining stock, wine and herbs. Simmer slow 30-40 minutes. Season to taste. To serve, scoop into single serving bowls, top with swiss cheese (I prefer Country Farms Deli Sliced Swiss, the other cheeses I’ve tried have the taste and consistency of wood glue when melted) and croutons (I’ve tried to make my own but they all turn to instant mush in the soup so I use plain large generic croutons from the grocery store), broil until cheese is slightly browned.

I’m a French Onion soup connoisseur and I tried 6 different recipes I will never make again until I discovered this one. Not only is this the best thing I know how to make, it keeps well and since it’s my home remedy for everything from cold rainy days to hangovers I cook a pot of this every 2 weeks and microwave a bowl every now and then.

Uh, those onions have to be thinly sliced.

Not if you’re equipped with a big enough spoon.

Incredibly simple and amazingly good:

Roast Pork with Apricot-Horseradish Glaze

Get a pork roast. Salt and pepper it, and start it roasting at 375 or so. It’ll take at least an hour and a half or so to get to 160. About 20 minutes before it’s done, mix apricot preserves with horseradish - about a tablespoon of horseradish to half a cup of apricot. Make up enough to coat the roast plus plenty more for dipping. Heat the mixture on the stove. Coat the roast for the last 15 minutes or so of roasting, and serve more for dipping.

We do this at least two or three times a month. You can usually find huge pork loins for very cheap if you look. We cut them into a few family-sized portions and freeze.

It’s even better if you brine the pork first.

Chicken enchilada-type-thingies

Bone and cube your preferred chicken cut, 1 inch or thereabouts. Cook 'em. In a large bowl, combine 16 oz sour cream, 1 can of cream of celery, 1 can cream of mushroom, and as many fresh-diced jalepenos as you’re man enough to handle. Set aside half of this, combine the other half with cooked chicken. Grate 1 pound of muenster cheese, and set aside half. Julienne a couple orange or yellow Bell peppers. Spoon sour-cream mixture into tortillas, adding cheese and Bell pepper strips, rolling up tortillas into a well-greased Pyrex. Pour the remaining mixture over the top, spreading evenly on the tortillas to prevent crispification. Remaining cheese on top of that. A 400 degree oven will heat an 11x8 Pyrex of this in about a half-hour. Salsa or chili sauce on top as desired, I generally skip it.

Enjoy the rich, flavorful, gooey goodness that is my mothers chicken enchiladas recipe.

My Super Seeeecret Snickerdoodle recipe:

3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  1. preheat oven to 375F
  2. cream together shortening, butter and sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla extract. Mix together in a separate bowl the flour, baking soda and baking powder; mix gradually into the wet ingredients.
  3. mix in a separate bowl the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into balls around the size of an unshelled walnut and coat with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies look golden on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool somewhat then move to a cooling rack.

This is a recipe I adapted to what I had at my apartment, and it comes out amazing! Wait for the cookies to cool slightly before eating, so that the sugar on the outside has time to harden. They do go stale quickly (when they last long enough to go stale), so store in a very airtight container.

Not mine at all but just delicious. I have a big pot simmering on the stove right now.

My only change: the recipe calls for several chopped red peppers. I don’t like the taste or texture of cooked peppers so I leave them out. The main ingredients don’t sound like they’d go well together but it’s really delicious. Of course it can be made vegan by omitting the grated Romano/Parmesan cheese at the end but wow, does that ever put the final shiver of deliciousness on the whole thing.


Cafe Society, here we come…



Another trick is to wrap a cookie in a paper napkin and microwave it for 10 seconds. Softens them right up.

(I thought Snicker Doodles needed cream of tartar.)

One Pot Roast

Two cans of Campbell’s Golden Mushroom or Beef Mushroom condensed soup, undiluted (or one of each. It’s up to you.)

One packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Throw it all in a crock pot and you’ll have a lovely fall-apart meal when you get home with its own gravy. Of course, if someone is home, they can add potatoes and carrots or whatever veggies suit your fancy to the last hour of cooking.

My world famous brisket.

Red Beans & Rice

1 pound red beans
1 pound sausage–I usually just get a link-style thing from the store. It’s about the size of a half-dollar in diameter, and maybe 18 inches long or so.

Pre-whatever-you-call-it the beans by bringing to a full boil for a few minutes, then kill heat and let em sit, covered, for about an hour.

Slice sausage into half-inchish size pieces.

Strain beans.

Add sliced sausage to beans in a big pot.

Add some of whatever you like…a little ketchup/bbq sauce, some worchestshire sauce, garlic power, seasoned salt, red pepper, maybe a tiny bit of oregano, black pepper, a dollop of honey if you have some, little bit of onion.

Cover with water, coming up to within maybe 1.5 inches from the top of the pot.

Bring to a rolling boil. Cut back heat, cover loosely (so steam can escape), simmer for 3-4 hours.

Have a beer, watch a ball game, play some WoW, or otherwise kill time.

Fix rice as usual.

Serve beans & sausage over rice. Corn bread is a bonus. Refridgerate remainer. It’ll be even better tommorrow.

Note: Not reccomended for dating, or other situations where flatulence would be a problem.

Lissener’s Chocolate Duck

Debone a duck. (Use the bones to make Duck Apple Shallot Port Wine Broth)

Cut meat into slivers, about the size of your pinky. Dredge in cocoa.

Caramelize a cup or so of sugar. When it gets really hot and melty, add the cocoa-dredged duck slivers. Cook the duck in the caramelized sugar.

Serve drizzled with pureed, strained fresh raspberries.

Back when I used to make this, I added sherry instead of the wine. Instead of croutons, it was just toasted slices of French bread and topped with a combination of Emmanthaler and Gruyere cheeses.