Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Originally Memorial Day, was a day designated to honor the soldiers  who died during the American Civil War.  After World War I  the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring American Soldiers who died fighting in any war.  So on this day Instead of  just  the eating, drinking and merriment, let's take time out to honor our fallen heroes.  

On the Menu 





The Hamburger
Yields 12  
4 ounce Burgers

Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef or turkey1
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers – optional
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Instructions
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4 ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger. 
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Brush the burgers with oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey.
Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.
Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side.

Add seasoning to ground turkey 24 hours prior to cooking



The Spices of India Burger
2 Servings
Ingredients
½ pound lean Organic ground beef
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 green chili peppers, chopped
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala, ground
1 teaspoon lime juice

Method
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4 ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a ½ inch-thick burger. 
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Wipe grill rack with oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey.
Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.
Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side or until burgers are completely done.
This burger is so delicious, fixings are not even necessary.  If you insist on fixings, select chutneys, red onions, tomatoes and green leaf lettuce. 


Note: Any of these burgers can be made with ground turkeyJust let turkey marinate in the season 2 - 3 hours prior to cooking.

Afraid of ground beef, grind your own, it's easy, safer and cheaper. Buy chuck/sirloin steaks and grind it 50/50.   If you don't have a meat grinder, use a food processor and pulse it until the desired ground is obtained. Clean food processor thoroughly after use then wash in dish washer on the top shelf.  You can also grind your own turkey the same way.



Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
Serves 4
Ingredients
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano or any dry herb
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 large portabella mushrooms

Instructions:
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic then sit it aside.
Rinse mushrooms under cool water while lightly rubbing by hand to remove any dirt or debris. 
Pat mushrooms dry with a paper towel.
Place mushrooms in a baking dish then pour the marinade over them. 
Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to a medium heat, as grilled portabella mushrooms will burn over a high heat.
Remove mushrooms from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spray grill rack with non stick cooking spray before putting it on the grill.
Place portabellas on heated grill and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.  And 3 minutes on the other side.
You will know the portabellas are done when they turn a darker color and look slightly shrunken.



Simply Grilled Chicken
4 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
½ cup orange juice
1 lemon, juiced
¼ cup grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 – 5 pounds chicken parts

Method
In a large bowl, whisk together the juices oil and seasonings.
Using a large zip lock bag, add the chicken and marinade, manipulate the chicken and marinade in the bag until all pieces are coated.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, manipulating the bag occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
Preheat a gas grill to a medium heat or start coals in a charcoal grill and let them burn until there is a white coating of ash on all the coals.
Remove chicken from marinade and place the chicken pieces on the grate in the grill. Cover with the grill lid and check in 10 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and grill another 10 minutes.
Move chicken pieces to the sides of the grate, away from direct heat. Brush with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce if desired.
Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and remove from the grill.




 Grilled Corn
Serves 6
Ingredients
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
6 ears of corn in the husk

Instructions
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings and sit aside to spread on corn once it’s done. 
Purchase fresh corn on the cob. When you pick out your corn, be sure to partially peel back the husk and silk so that you can be sure you're getting a good ear.
Remove as much of the corn silk as possible without removing the husk. Excess silk will burn while the corn is on the grill.
Soak the corn in water for 15 to 20 minutes. This will ensure that you can cook the corn for a long enough time without it burning.
Take the corn out of the water, and shake off any excess. You want the corn wet, but not dripping.
Close the silk back around the corn and place the corn on the grill and then close the lid.
A gas grill should be on medium heat. If you're using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are no longer flaming.
Turn the corn every 10 minutes, you want the corn to be evenly cooked and browned on all sides.
When the corn husk is charred and nearly black, your corn is done.
Remove the corn from the grill and carefully remove the husk and remaining corn silk. While the corn is still hot, use a pastry brush and brush each ear of corn with the olive oil spread.



New Age Easy Baked Beans
12 Servings

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup minced garlic
2 cans salt free pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 cans salt free vegetarian beans
2 cans salt free diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cups of barbecue sauce
1 cup of water
2 bay leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a Dutch oven on top of the stove add oil, onions, garlic and allow them to simmer for a few minutes.
Add pinto beans, vegetarian beans, tomatoes, seasoning and spices, mix thoroughly.
Add brown sugar, molasses, barbecue sauce, water and bay leaves.
Bring pot up to a boil, stir then cover, put pot in the preheated oven.  Bake for 1 hour covered and undisturbed
Remove beans from oven, uncover and stir.  Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Remove bay leaves before serving.

Coleslaw
8 Servings

Ingredients
1 medium head of cabbage, julienned
1 large carrot, grated
1 medium onion, julienne
1 medium jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Dressing:
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon dried, tarragon or dill seed, ground
1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Instructions
Prepare dressing first by whisking together all ingredients thoroughly set aside while prepping the vegetables.
Place all the prepared vegetables in a large bowl, add the salt and mix thoroughly.
Pour dressing over vegetables and mix thoroughly, let slaw marinate at least 1 hour prior to serving.  The longer the dressing marinates the cabbage the better the slaw will taste.
Mix again thoroughly before serving.

Bleu Ribbon Potato Salad
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
3 pounds red potatoes cut into 1” dice
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
½ bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup vegan mayo
¼ cup fat free sour cream

Method
Wash potatoes and scrub with a vegetable brush, cut off any bad spots or blemishes, but do not peel. Cut potatoes into 1” dice.
Place potatoes and bay leaf in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes are just fork tender about 13 minutes. 
Thoroughly drain potatoes, discard bay leaf and place potatoes in a bowl. 
While potatoes are still hot, season them with salt and pepper then mix in the white wine vinegar.
Spread potatoes out to cool on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them sit for about 15 minutes on the counter before placing them in the refrigerator. Let potatoes cool in refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes. 
Once potatoes have cooled down, add in all vegetables and mix thoroughly then add the cheese, mayo and cream and mix thoroughly.
Cover, return to the refrigerator until salad is cold.

Field Greens Salad
6 – 8 servings
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds salad greens
1 cup mandarin oranges
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecans halves
¼ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Method
In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, oranges, blue cheese and pecans.
Just prior to serving, add the dressing and toss until thoroughly mixed.   Do not saturate greens with dressing ¼ cup is sufficient to moisten and flavor the salad.

Old Fashioned Crumb Cake
Since I first came to LA, all of the old timers talked about how delicious the crumb cake was that the LA schools served.  So of course I had to dig up the old recipe and try it for myself.  I must admit, it's the best crumb cake I've tasted.  And it's easy to make too.

8 –10 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

Method
Combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, nutmeg and oil. Remove ½
cup of mixture from bowl, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside for topping. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, egg and buttermilk and blend just enough to combine, do not over-mix.
Spoon batter into greased 13x9-inch baking pan then sprinkle with the ½ cup of reserved topping.
Bake at 375 degrees 30 to 40 minutes.

 Strawberry Orange Mint
Yields ½ gallon
Ingredients 
64 ounces water
2 sprig fresh mint
3 ripe strawberries, halved
2 slices orange 
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before drinking.  Refill container three time or when strawberries loose their color then discarding ingredients.


Monday, May 18, 2015

New Age Weight Loss Tip #28

DON'T DRIVE THRU


Mom
Back in my day, we ate at home.  Period. 
Angelique
In this New Age, you can't make it home without passing by multiple fast food restaurants. So New Age Weight Loss Tip #28 is DON'T DRIVE THRU.
Mom
Let's be honest. Most of that fast food isn't that good. It's not even hot.  
Angelique
You're right, Ma. I remember when McDonald's used to taste good. Now it's just convenient. I'm driving home. I'm tired. There's nothing prepared in the house. I'm stopping at the 1 of 6 options on the way home. 
Mom
But remember when you quit eating fast food for Lent?
Angelique
Just the act of not stopping at a drive thru started the weight loss process in 2 weeks. I don't remember what I ate, but the rule was no drive thru food. 
Mom
The bigger issue with fast food is the quality. We all know what a quarter pound of beef looks and tastes like. 
Angelique
But by the time the fast food industry gets finished adding preservatives to keep it fresh, coloring to make it look fresh and all their processing.
Mom
It's no telling what you're eating or what long term effects it may have on your body. Even something as simple as lettuce and coffee are "poisoned" in the drive thru.
Angelique
Do I detect some bitterness mom? Still mad that McDonald's was sprinkling their fries with beef flavoring?
Mom
That was just the tip of the iceberg. When people find out that their healthy salads are preserved with the same component found in anti-freeze, they're going to think twice about driving thru. 
Angelique
Bottom line. If it ain't worth getting out of the car and waiting for DON'T DRIVE THRU

Here are a few tips to help you on the quest of not stopping at Drive Thrus.


  • 1. Always have burgers frozen and ready to cook.



Yields 12  
4 ounce Burgers

Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef or turkey1
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers – optional
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Method
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4 ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger. 
Wrap each burger individually in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

  • 2. Have sturdy vegetables washed and prepped and stored in separate containers for salads or sautes. i.e. sliced carrots, celery, green beans, cabbage, collards/kale, Romain lettuce, onions, peppers, squash. 

Asian Style Salad

 Ingredients
1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1 bunch scallions cut on bias
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
For the Dressings
1 cup grapes seed oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¾ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup tamari

Method
Prep all vegetables and mix together in a large bowl.
Blend dressing in a blender or with an immersion blender [hand wand].
Pour ¼ cup over salad and mix thoroughly, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Use remaining dressing to serve over salad when platting. 
You can store any excess dressing in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to 30 days.

  • 3. Always have on hand a nice basic homemade salad dressing/marinade.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Makes approximately ¾ cup

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.
Gradually whisk in oil
Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper
Cover and chill. 
Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes; rewhisk before using.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sunday Dinner May 17, 2015

On the Menu


Orange Honey Barbecue Chicken
6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup hot sauce
¼ cup Dijon mustard
zest of 1 orange
1- 4 pound chicken cut into 8 pieces
½ cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon allspice, ground

Method
Mix the orange juice, olive oil, hot sauce, mustard, and orange zest together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Prepare the grill to medium direct heat. Let chicken come to room temperature before grilling.
Drain the chicken from the marinade. Grill on each side for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low and cover the lid of the grill. Continue cooking the chicken until it's cooked through, about 25 minutes more.
While the chicken is grilling, whisk together the barbeque sauce, honey and allspice.
Brush the chicken pieces with sauce, then flip the chicken, sauce side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Brush second side of the chicken with sauce and flip again.
Continue cooking for 3 more minutes.

Note: Chicken can also be broiled or baked in the oven, you don't need to grill to have barbecue chicken. 


Curried Lemon Rice
4 Servings
Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup cashews or any nut, chopped

Cook rice as directed on the package.  Let it cool for 10 minutes, then spread it on a plate, mix in 1 teaspoon of oil so that the grains will not stick together.  Set aside for later use.
Heat remaining oil in a skillet; add mustard seeds, when seeds start to pop, add crushed chili peppers, onion powder, curry powder and carrots. Sauté until the carrots are slightly cooked.
Squeeze the lemon juice in a cup, add salt then mix it in the rice.
Add the rice to the skillet, mix thoroughly and cook until rice is warmed through.
Taste for flavor, add more lemon juice if desired.
Top with nuts and serve.

                                
                                                                 Curry Powder
                                Yields  approximately 3/4 cups
Ingredients:
½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
3 Tablespoon coriander, ground
2 ½ tablespoons cumin, ground
1 tablespoon mustard powder - from black mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons ginger powder

Method
Place all ingredients in a glass container with a lid then shake vigorously until everything is combined.  Store in a cool dry area up to 6 months.  
Use on:  chicken, fish, rice, beans, vegetables, eggs

 Sautéed Red Cabbage
6 Servings

Ingredients
3 pounds red cabbage- coarsely shredded
1 lemon. juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion sliced thin
2 granny smith apples, cored, sliced thin
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup 100% maple syrup [grade B]
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Method
Squeeze the lemon juice into a large pot of boiling water then add the lemon. The juice is important as it seals the color in the cabbage.
Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil approximately 3 minutes then drain thoroughly, discard the lemon.
In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and onions; sauté stirring frequently until onions are caramel in color.
Add the apples and cook until apples are slightly softened.
Add the juice from the orange, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper,bay leaf and cloves, mix thoroughly.
Mix in cabbage and cook 13 minutes stirring frequently. 
Remove bay leaf before serving.


Black Bean Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
2 cups basic black beans
½ cup roasted corn (frozen)
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon sazon seasoning – recipe to follow
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro

Instructions
Place beans in a colander and rinse just enough to remove excess starch and liquid, let beans drain (beans should be separated and not stuck together).
Place drained beans in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Rinse frozen corn under cold running water until kernels are thawed, drain and add to bowl. 
Add tomato, onion, jalapeno and all the dry seasonings and mix thoroughly.
Add the lime juice, olive oil and fresh cilantro, mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving.

 Sazon Seasoning
½ cup
If you like that commercial brand then you're gonna love this 100% pure Sazon Seasoning!

Ingredients
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon annatto
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon paprika

Instructions
Place all ingredients in a glass container with lid and shake until all spices are thoroughly combined.  If you use an airtight container, product can be kept for 6 months. 

  Strawberry Lemonade
Yields 1 Gallon
Ingredients:
3 ½ quarts [14 cups] cold water
2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries
10 ounces [1¼ cup] freshly squeezed lemon juice [6 – 8 lemons]

The secret to perfect iced drinks is to start by making a simple syrup. Dissolving equal parts sugar and water effectively disperses the sugar in the liquid, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves [This is a simple syrup].
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
Pour remaining water and the lemon juice into a large container.
Using a mesh strainer, strain the strawberry syrup.  Use a spoon and gently mash the strawberries through the strainer.  Discard the seeds and any pulp remaining in the strainer.
Pour 3 cups of syrup into the lemonade and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate until lemonade is cold, then serve over ice.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mothers Day 2015

On the Breakfast Menu


 4 servings
  
Ingredients:
1 – 14 ounce can wild Alaskan salmon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic 
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon oregano 
½ small onion diced
½ small red bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seed, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
¼ cup liquid from can
grape seed oil (for frying)

Directions:
Drain liquid and reserve ¼ cup for later use.
In a medium bowl, add salmon, remove the bones then add lemon juice mix thoroughly.
Add Cajun/Creole seasoning, granulated garlic, onion and oregano mix all ingredients thoroughly by hands, mashing salmon as you’re mixing.
Add diced onions, peppers and garlic continue mixing.
Add cornmeal and flour then mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Add ¼ cup of liquid and mix until mixture becomes gummy like dough and hold together.
Separate mixture into 4 even sections then roll into a ball.
Flatten balls into patties and place them on a lined or sprayed cookie sheet and place in refrigerator.  Let patties rest 20 – 30 minutes.
Make sure you flatten patties as flat as you want them to be.  Once you start cooking patties do not flatten them any further because you’re mashing out the moisture and patties will be dry.
Select a non stick skillet large enough to hold all 4 patties without them touching.  
Coat skillet lightly with oil or spray then heat skillet on medium.
Place patties in a hot skillet making sure they are not touching.  
Cook 5 minutes on one side and 3 on the other side. Resist mashing and flattening out the patties any further.  
Once both sides are golden brown, remove from skillet and serve while they are warm.


The Perfect Scrambled Eggs
4 Servings

Ingredients:
4 large grade A eggs
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:
Rinse eggs under cold water prior to cracking.
Beat eggs, water, salt and pepper in bowl until blended. 
Heat olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium low heat until hot.
Pour in egg mixture, stir slowly with a heat resistant spatula. 
As soon as curds begin to form, increase heat to high and instead of stirring, use the spatula to fold the eggs over themselves while gently shaking the pan with your other hand.
As soon as no more liquid is running around the bottom of the pan, remove pan from the heat.  Serve hot.


Grits with Sauteed Onions and Peppers
4 Servings

Ingredients:
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grits (not instant)
Pinch of turmeric or curry - optional 
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seed chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional

Preparation:
In a small pot, bring the water and salt to a boil.  Slowly stir the grits into the boiling salted water.   
Stir continuously until grits are well mixed. 
Add turmeric or curry powder - optional.
Let the pot return to a boil, cover with a lid, lower the temperature, and cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary.
While grits are cooking, in a small pan, add olive oil, onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and saute until onions are tender.
Grits are done when they are smooth and creamy.
Once grits are done, taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Transfer grits to a serving dish and top with the sauteed onions and peppers.

The Dinner Menu

Savory Pot Roast Potatoes & Carrots
6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients 
5 to 6 pound pot roast (rump)
salt to taste
Savory Spice Rub – Recipe to follow
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cup vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced 
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds potatoes peeled and diced
1 pound carrots, sliced – about the same thickness as the potatoes

Savory Spice Rub
2 tablespoons of mixed whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½  tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Method 
Season the roast with salt and sit aside.  
Place the peppercorns, coriander, cumin and onion flakes in a coffee/spice grinder, grind until seeds are cracked add the remaining spices and sugar and grind until they are well mixed. 
Place the spices in a large dish or bowl and roll roast in spices until well coated.  Wrap roast in plastic wrap or foil and let marinate over night.  
Heat a large pot on high, add the oil, once the oil is heated, add the roast and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat and add the vegetable stock, onions and garlic.  Cover with a tightly fitting lid and let simmer. 
After 1 hour of cooking, turn roast with tongs (do not pierce with a fork because you will release the juices), cook another 30 minutes and turn again.  After 1½   hours of cooking, add the potatoes and carrots, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender. 

Plating:  On a very large platter, place the roast and surround it with the vegetables.  

                                            
Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese
12 - 14 Servings
Ingredients
2 pounds elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper 
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2- 3 cups milk
2 pounds Velveeta cheese, diced
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound (NY or WI)* extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded  
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded

*In my opinion, if it’s not New York or Wisconsin cheddar then it’s not cheddar cheese! 

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large pot, pour in 6 quarts of water and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni stir and bring water back up to a rapid boil.
Once water is boiling, stir again, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let pot sit covered and undisturbed for the length of the cooking time that is stated on the box. 
Drain the pasta and return it to pot.   
Add butter then season with salt, chili peppers and Cajun seasoning and set aside.
Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of milk into a large saucepan and warm over medium low heat. 
Add the Velveeta cheese to the saucepan and cook over low heat until cheese has melted. 
Add additional milk if needed then remove from the heat. 
Using a tablespoon add some of the cheese sauce slowly to the eggs whisking as you add the sauce to the eggs.Once eggs and cheese are tempered, add the eggs to the cheese sauce and whisk together until well mixed.
Pour the sauce into the pot of pasta mixing thoroughly.  Then add the shredded cheese reserving 1 cup to sprinkle over the top of casserole and mix until all is well combined.  If needed, add more milk.  
The shredded cheese does not have to be melted; just make sure it is distributed throughout the pasta.
Pour pasta and cheese mixture into a large casserole dish top with 1 cup of cheese; cover with foil and bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or top is golden brown.

Greens with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes
4 Servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt divided
4 Roma tomatoes cut in fourths
3 large garlic cloves sliced
1 bunch collards, chiffonade
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 oranges, juiced [¾ cup]

Method
In a wok or large sauce pan, heat oil, add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. 
Saute onions on medium high heat until onions are caramel in color, approximately 8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and garlic and continue sautéing until all liquid from tomatoes is absorbed.
Add collards and remaining ingredients mix thoroughly then bring pan up to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes on low heat.