Are You 21…Show Me your ID – White Chocolate Brandy Alexander Ice Cream

Just in time for your own Academy Awards Red Carpet Party, here is an adult dessert that is guaranteed to win the oscar for Most Orgasmic Ice Cream.  Let’s be honest here…what dessert isn’t elevated by adding alcohol?  This ice cream is laced Spiced Rum Vanilla, VSOP Brandy and White Creme De Cocoa.  Just make sure you card your guests before serving and when is the last time you heard someone tell you to… “Eat ice cream responsibly.”


White Chocolate Brandy Alexander Ice Cream


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The Whoopie Pie And A Favorite Childhood Memory

Food is used to nourish us when we are hungry, celebrate events and moments of great joy in our lives, relieve stress, and console us in times of sorrow.  Food can also trigger childhood memories transporting us back in time.  These sensory memories can be very powerful.  All it takes is an aroma of that certain food wafting through the air and BAM! you are transported to another moment in time.

One of my favorite sensory memories relates to the humble Oatmeal Whoopie Pie.  I was staying with my Grandma one weekend, along with my cousin Ralph.  Ralph and I got into a fight.  After stopping the fight she made us sit in opposite corners looking at each other in silence for 15 minutes.  At the end of 15 minutes we told her we were going to run away from home.   Before we left, and with the aroma of the freshly baked Oatmeal Whoopie Pies hanging in the air, she packed Grandpa’s lunch box with two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, two freshly baked oatmeal whoopie pies, and a bottle Faygo vanilla cream soda, which we were forced to share.  Knowing full well we would go into the grape arbor in her back yard to lick our wounds, eat our sandwiches and whoopie pies, share our cream sodas, and return home pride in tact she handed us the lunch box and waved good bye to us from her back door.  I assure is exactly what happened.  You see this had not been the first time.

I found this simple recipe on Bake or Break, Adventures of an Amateur Baker which I would like to share. I hope that will take you back to a simpler, more innocent time and conjure childhood memories of hopscotch, camping in the back yard, the sound of playing card in your bicycle spokes, and childhood friendships and memories.

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies

Oatmeal Whoopie Pie

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New Year – New Kitchen – New Recipes

Happy New Year! Greg Half body

I hope your year is filled with endless possibilities and I hope you are as excited  about 2013 as I am.

If you have been wondering why I haven’t been posting for a while; it is because our kitchen has been under total renovation.  It was completed just before the holidays.   I gave it a test run over Thanksgiving and Christmas to work out any kinks and to totally re-familiarize myself with where everything was. It was as if I just moved in for the first time.  The holidays went off without a hitch and with whisk in hand I’m ready to begin anew.

This year I intend to post video recipes,  “how to” classes, interesting articles and recipes I find throughout the year from other sources.   All of the recipes will be easy, delicious, and yes even healthy. I hope you will follow my blog, add comments,  and pass the link on to your friends and families.

Thanks and have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2013.





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Julia Raps – “Bring on the Roasted Potatoes”

I can’t help but believe that if Julia Childs were alive she would really have enjoyed seeing this fun culinary tribute to her.  It is very clever with a catchy tune and a style that captures her passion for cooking and good food.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Bring on Roasted Potatoes

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Artisan Gin – No Bathtub Needed

About two months ago Tim & I were having drinks at Dive Bar in Jupiter with our friend Cynthia from Wheeling, WV.  We were talking about one of our favorite gins, Hendricks, which is infused with cucumbers.  She said she had done quite a bite of research and wanted to start making her own signature artisan gin.  As the conversation progressed one of the owners stopped by our table and mentioned that they were working on their own artisan gin for the restaurant.

He brought over a sample of a batch they were working on before they go public with it.  It was delicious and like nothing I’ve ever tasted. So I started doing my own research and discovered that gin is noting more than filtered vodka that has been infused with aromatics;  Juniper berries being the main aromatic that makes it gin.  I found that their are many aromatics than can be used to make artisan gin but the one that is imperative to call it gin is Juniper berries.

Thanks to Cynthia, I decided to try it for myself and after researching many recipes I have come up a recipe to make my own artisan gin.  I have made my first batch and now understand why gin drinkers can be very picky about the taste of their gin.

If you are a gin drinker I encourage you to try to create your own gin according to your personal taste.  It is not only fun but make a great drink. I’ve decided I’m going to create a drink named after Cynthia. THANKS CYNTHIA!!! This one’s for you.

Gin Recipe



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Buttermilk Cinnamon Challah French Toast

Whenever we have weekend guests I love to serve French Toast for breakfast/brunch.

This simple yet unpretentious dish has become a staple on the brush buffet along with thick sliced peppered bacon, maple syrup, chopped pan roasted pecans, and cinnamon butter.  I like to make a variety of cooked fruit topping such as apples, blueberries, peaches,  or just fresh berries as an option.

No matter how you serve it, the secret to this French Toast is to use challah that is at least two days old.  It soaks up the egg mixture better without becoming pasty because it is drier than a fresh challah.

Buttermilk Cinnamon Challah French Toast

A delicious variation is to cut a slightly thicker slice, make a slit to form a pocket and fill it with two Tablespoons of a filling made beating an 8 oz. brick of cream cheese with one egg, a little sugar,  and a splash of orange liqueur. TO DIE FOR!!!

Don’t forget the crackling cold Veuve Clicquot Champagne. ENJOY!!!

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St. Patrick’s Day Feast

St. Patrick’s Day is the one day each year where everyone assumes an Irish identity by placing an O’ in front of their last name.   Although I am of German heritage for this one day I’ve decided my name will be Greg O’Strahm.

To lots of people around the world St. Patrick’s Day also means everything green. Besides the traditional “wearing of the green” there are green bagels, green donuts, green cookies, green cakes, green beer, green milkshakes, green carnations.  In Chicago they dye the river green.  In NYC they paint a green stipe up Fifth Avenue.  Although I like the color green, I prefer my food to be naturally colored.

This year I am putting together a dinner party with all an Irish menu which does not include even one drop of green food coloring. Hope you enjoy the recipes.


Irish Cheese Bites With ChutneyIrish Leek & Swiss TartsDeviled EggsCorned Beef and CabbageIrish StewIrish Soda BreadGuinness Stout Chocolate CakeGuinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Irish Coffee  

For beverages I am serving a variety of Irish beers, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Irish whiskey.  For those not imbibing I will be serving iced Irish Breakfast Tea laced with fresh mint.

Wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and I leave you with the following Irish Blessing: “As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never be pointed in the wrong direction.”

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Country Style Ribs and Cabbage

This is a perfect one pot dinner for a cold Winter supper.  It is an inexpensive stick to your ribs meal.

Country Style Ribs and Cabbage

Place 3 1/2 – 4 lbs. 0f Country Style ribs in crock pot or dutch oven bone side down and brush with mustard. Season with salt pepper, and 1 tsp. caraway seeds.


Add 1 bottle of Guinness Stout, and 2 cups of chicken broth.


Add 3 carrots cut into chunks, 1 large onion cut into chunks, 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. small potatoes, and 1/2 head of cabbage in wedges.

Add 2nd tsp. caraway seed over cabbage.

Cover and cook. If using a dutch oven bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 2 1/2 – 3 hours. If using a crock pot cook 4 – 4 1/2 hours on high.

Arrange on a large platter and serve with a nice crusty bread and a pint of Guinness Stout.

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Chicken Corn Chili

This year for our Super Bowl party I’ve decided to forgo the usual heavy wings, ribs,  chips, and dips in favor of a healthier yet still delicious white chili that I discovered on the Food Network.

The recipe is so simple you will want to make lots because once made it freezes beautifully.  I am serving it with chopped onion, shredded lettuce and white cheddar, chopped black olives, fresh guacamole, and a piece of hot cornbread with vidalia onion jam.  A bowl of this chili along with an ice cold beer or a glass of cracklin’ cold sangria and you won’t care who wins the game.

Chicken Corn Chili

                       GO GIANTS!!!




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Chicken & Swiss Chard Pasta Bake

I ran across this recipe on theKitchn  and had to share it. It is is a terrific site and the recipes are great for fast, healthy, and tasty meals.  Hope you check it out.

When you try this recipe double it and freeze one unbaked.  The next time you go to a pot luck just pull it out of the freezer, bake it till bubbly and you are good to go.  Serve it with a Caesar Salad, Garlic Toast,  and a nice Pinot Noir or a crackling cold Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay .

Chicken & Swiss Chard Pasta Bake

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