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Showing posts from September, 2017

New Potatoes, Green Beans, and Ham

This meal is comfort food to me. For special occasions, my mother would make this in her pressure pot. I don't have a pressure pot, but I do have something better. Although I frequently use cast iron, I do have some excellent cookware. About a year and a half ago, I was asked to fill in as a chef for the Flavors of the NFL Alumni. One thing I got for participating was several pieces of 360 Cookware. Theses pieces are special to me.  For those unfamiliar with 360 Cookware, it is a waterless cooking system. Rinse your veggies, put them wet into the pot and add the lid.  When the lid freely spins, turn down the heat. This creates a flavor lock and forms a vacuum to cook your food. Nothing gets waterlogged, you just get a flavorful meal.


Start by removing the eyes from some new potatoes. Next trim your fresh green beans. Finally add chunks of ham steak. Cover and cook.

Sorghum Molasses and Ginger Pancakes

The hardest part of a hurricane, in my mind, is getting back to normal after the storm is over, and the power is back on. This recipe came from staring into a half empty pantry and grabbing what was handy. After a storm things in the pantry seem to be a mess, from taking things out by flashlight and tossing them back where ever they land.

Begin by combining: 1 cup baking mix 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon softened butter 1/2  cup milk 3 tablespoons sorghum molasses 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon ginger 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon Stir until combined, but don't over mix.


Heat your griddle over low heat. The high sugar content will cause them to burn easily. These are a little tricky, turn a little earlier than normal. 
Top with butter,  maple syrup, or if you like bolder flavor, a drizzle of molasses. Enjoy.

Hurricane Tips 7

Individual Condiment Packs
When loading a cooler for hurricane preparation, space is a premium. There is not a lot of room for side items like condiments. Yes, you can get individual packs of mayo, ketchup, and mustard, but don't forget small packs of other toppings. Olives and pickles are just a few things that can make a boring sandwich taste great.

Hurricane Tip 6

Canned Sauce

Although some of these tips seem simple, when dealing without power, creating a tasty dinner becomes a little more difficult. You could just buy canned pasta, but they aren't the greatest tasting meal. If you have some meat that needs to be cooked because of thawing, this is the time to use it.

A pound of ground round, some garlic, a diced onion and some diced pepper and you have created a great tasting meal. Grill some bread with olive oil and garlic and dinner is complete. Finally, boil some pasta noodles, add sauce, and enjoy.
Yes I used a couple of half used boxes of pasta, and yes we had gas to cook with.

Hurricane Tip 5

Frozen Bulk Sausage
I try and freeze a roll of sausage when it looks like a storm is coming. It will keep a couple of days in a cold cooler, as long as it stays colder than 35 degrees. Yes I know USDA says 40 degrees; I like to be a little safer.
To cut, roll carefully with a sharp knife adding light pressure, and keeping fingers out of the way. Once cut, it thaws quickly. Wrap what is left to keep it from contaminating other foods in your cooler. 
Remember, once it is warmer than 35 degrees, throw it out.

Hurricane Tips 4

Dehydrated Hash Browns.


When going without power for several days, cooler space becomes a premium. These hash browns from the local warehouse store need no refrigeration, just put them on the shelf until needed.

Place a half a cup per serving in a bowl, add hot water and about 30 minutes later they  are ready  to grill.


The large carton is less than six dollars and contains about 50 servings.

Hurricane Tips 3

Jelly Packs



I like to save some extra jelly packets when we eat out. They are shelf stable and need no refrigeration. Throw a couple of slices of bread on the grill, toast and add you favorite flavor. When dining at you favorite restaurant, ask for a few extra packs, and always top your waitress well for keeping you supplied. If you order take out, save the jelly packs and use your jar from the refrigerator. Another source is the warehouse stores. They are large boxes, but you could always share with friends and neighbors.

Hurricane Tip 2

Flavored Syrup
We keep several bottles of flavored syrups in our cabinet.  Without power you will be limited in drinking options. A couple of shots of syrup and your bland instant coffee suddenly becomes a gourmet drink.  Tired of drinking bottled water? Add some to your water bottle for flavored water.

Hurricane Tips

Thanks for your patience during the last few weeks. My wife had surgery right before Hurricane Irma hit the entire state of Florida, so things have been very hectic around here. Over the next few days I will be posting some ideas for surviving after the storm.

It's no secret that I love breakfast. The challenge is cooking without power. My first tip is precooked bacon. The great thing about it, is there is no need for refrigeration. With a gas grill and a griddle or skillet, you have a solution. A few minutes each side and hot bacon is ready to eat. Toast a few slices of bread on the grill, and add a couple of slices of tomatoes,and you have a great sandwich.
The downside is the pack must be refrigerated after opening, but a couple of sandwiches each and that is no problem. After all you can never have too much bacon. If you are feeling generous, you can always share with the neighbors.

Ginger Cake Cookies

We love Williamsburg Virginia. Anytime we get some vacation time, you can find us there. If you have never visited this living history museum, you need to make the time to do so. It is not a place you can visit on an afternoon, you can spend days, even weeks and not see it all. My wife and I can spend hours at an exhibit,only to return another day and spend additional hours. Our last visit, we watched how they built the kilns to dry bricks, spent several hours at different cooking demonstrations, had a visit with Thomas Jefferson, watched the wig maker, and the cooper.

One thing is certain, if you are looking for me, at 10 AM, you can find me at the Raleigh Tavern bake shop. Every morning the baker fires up the two wood fired ovens and bakes ginger cakes. There  is nothing better than those beautiful cakes hot from the oven. Yes, I will be there every morning, on our entire stay. Have even been known to get a couple for the road when leaving.

To say I am obsessed is an understatement…