Monday, June 29, 2015

Clarity, Patience and Commitment!

Welcome back!  As many of you know, each year my family and I spend a week on the shores of Northwestern Lake Erie in a community called Lakeside, Ohio.  It is here, where I am able to unplug from the life of business and get back to the soul of life!  Putt-putt, shuffleboard, donuts and ice cream are the biggest decisions that I have to make in this singular week.  It is here where my family and I can be just that... Our family!  Centered in an environment of culture that is nearly lost in time. Family dinners together, no major electronics, naps, nightly family entertainment, bike rides, scavenger hunts and a speed limit of 5 mph!  I long for this way of life to be the norm but, alas, the week ends and the reality of faster paced life sets back in.  Although, I would argue that it doesn't have to "Set In" at least not yet.

If there is one thing that I have learned in our 12 years of pilgrimages to this portal to pleasantville, it's this...  When you focus on the real reason that you are here on this rock for such a short time, it's easy to remember the important stuff!  For me, it's Faith, Family and love for life!

Wherever you find is your own personal "Lakeside, Ohio", I sure hope it brings you the clarity and thoughts on what is important as well as how we celebrate the things that are!  And, let the things that aren't just melt away......


Here's a little summer treat to celebrate life on a steak or by themselves!


Crispy Balsamic Onion Straws

1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. balsamic glaze
1 c. rice flour
canola oil for frying

1.soak onions in balsamic glaze for 10 minutes. drain.
2.toss in rice flour to coat well. (onions will be dark)
3.heat oil in saucepan on medium high.
4.fry onions in oil until nice and crispy. (3-5 minutes)
5.remove onions from oil and drain on paper towel.
farm fresh salad

Anniversary munchies

A gift from Cameron on Father's Day

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

All In CLE!!!

There is a saying right now in CLE and that saying is All In!  Our Cavs are up 2 games to one in the NBA Finals and... It's a Magical experience around this town right now.  A city, a county, a region, a State has stepped up to back our prodigal son and his group of merry men as they scratch, claw, man up, never give up and live for one another on the court.  Heart palpitations are at an all time high and for the first time in a long time, we can smell it!  Just 2 more wins to go ALL IN on!!! Finish this fairy tale!!!

With the quickness of summer approaching, I wanted to throw a couple of recipes out there that my family and I love to share around the fire.  Something about an open flame seems to just make things "taste better".  Maybe it's the fact that we are outside or the fact that the smells of hickory wood  seems to trigger fond memories of growing up and simpler times.  Whatever it is, I'm All In on Summer!!!

Here's a few items to twist up your summer fires.


Italian sausage sandwiches with caramelized onions

6 ea. 4 oz Italian Sausage
6 ea. fresh hoagie rolls
2 oz. maple syrup
1 t. sriracha sauce

Caramelized Onions
2 red onion- shaved thin
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 c. sugar
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Method for sausages:
1. In bowl, mix maple syrup and sriracha sauce together.
2. marinade sausages in mixture for 30 minutes.
3. fashion a grill top for over the campfire.
4. grill sausages basting with maple syrup mixture until cooked fully with deliciousness!
5. toast bun and top with caramelized onions.

Method for caramelized onions: saute pan on low heat, cook onions with with olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
2.continue cooking until onions are translucent and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.

Wild S'more's

Ginger Snap cookies
dark chocolate pieces

1.spread your nutella on ginger snaps.
2. add a piece of dark chocolate.
3.toast your marshmallows.
4.make your s'more.

Monday, June 1, 2015

People and Pasta... The need for Semolina!

On Tuesdays from 2000- 2002, I taught myself how to make pasta.  I used an ingredient (semolina) that was as familiar to me as the words remoulade & creme brulee at the time.  I was the chef at an Italian restaurant in the valley of Akron.  We mostly utilized pasta that was dry and therefore, less labor was needed to cook it to Al Dente!  I had a need to learn.  6 years staring at the same four walls for 65-80 hours a week seems to wear on you thin after a while... 

We had a chef coming from Italy to visit with us in a few months in 2001 and I wanted to be sure that I could do some things so that he wouldn't think I was an absolute idiot, so, I taught... and I learned.... trial and error... and error... and error.  Then, it all seemed to come together as I refined my skills.  To the point where, I started producing pasta homemade in the middle of the dining room.  A Stage show for some, a learning lab for me.  I think of these moments often.  Those moments when I start to figure something out and out of that, something new always seems to blossom!

Here's a pasta picture produced by a friend of the family over the weekend with my adapted recipe version attached!


Simple Italian Pesto Noodles

1 lb cooked radiatore noodles
2 lb cleaned fresh basil
1 1/2 t. chopped fresh garlic 
2 T. toasted pine nuts
1 T. toasted walnuts
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c. Romano cheese, grated
1 to 1 1/2 c. olive oil
fresh basil leaves
fresh peeled Parmesan cheese
8-10 pitted kalamata olives


In food processor, combine basil, garlic, both nuts and cheeses on high.  slowly pour in olive oil and continue on high until smoother consistency is achieved.  Toss cooked pasta in pesto sauce, plate, garnish with olives, basil leaves and peeled cheese.
Can be served hot, room temperature or cold!!!