I had the pleasure of  having dinner with my daughter and son-in-law in their home.  This was the first time I had a chance to see the newlyweds working together in the kitchen.  They did a great job and the food was excellent!

Ashley & Mike

Michael prepared his “special” baked salmon.  He managed to get it done while talking to me, watching the dog and staying out of Ashley’s way while she prepared her side dishes (this guy has potential).  The salmon was flaky and flavorful, and inspired me to dig out my salmon recipe to post here during my lunch break.

I live in Maryland and we use Old Bay on everything, and when we do it gets prefixed with Maryland.  So here is Maryland Baked Salmon, very simple and quick.

Maryland Baked Salmon

  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dill Weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon  Onion Powder
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix seasonings in small bowl.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Place fish, skin-side down, in lightly greased baking pan. Lightly brush fish with oil.  Sprinkle seasoning mixture evenly over fish.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

garlic-butter-recipeI like garlic and I really like butter, so it should go without saying that I love garlic butter!

Garlic butter is best known for making Garlic Bread or Toast (which I love to make and eat with a big plate of spaghetti…, but I digress). Garlic butter also provides a flavor boost to all kinds of dishes. Try it on steaks, chicken, mashed potatoes, bread and rolls and vegetables such as corn on the cob (that’s so good), green beans and steamed carrots. Did I even mention seafood, oh and don’t forget to add a heaping garlic butter pat onto your perfect baked potato.

Garlic Butter Recipe


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika


  1. In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic and parmesan cheese.
  2. Season with Italian seasoning, pepper and paprika.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Garlic Toast Recipe


  • Garlic Butter
  • Loaf, French Bread or Italian Bread


Cut bread about 1/2 to 1 inch thickness. Spread garlic butter on both sides of bread. Put on cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until toasted, about 20 minutes. Turn if necessary for even browning. You can also toast it under the broiler (Broil 4″ from heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden).

Grilled Garlic Toast
Place buttered bread slices on hot grill and cook on each side until the bread begins to show grill marks. Flip and continue grilling. Remove when the bread starts to get crunchy.

Made this for the family tonight as a change of pace and everyone loved it!

I love red petite potatoes because in addition to the attractive bright skin color, they offer a combination of fast cooking time, excellent flavor and are receptive to spicy seasonings.

I also enjoy grape tomatoes, usually in a salad or a standalone snack.  With a higher sugar content than many cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes have become fast food, finger food and kid-friendly. They have a long shelf life, and unlike most cherry tomatoes, can be eaten neatly in one bite, making them a squirt-free choice for social occasions.

The following recipe that combines these two, makes for a great change of pace side dish.  This dish accompanied our Roasted Chicken and Italian Pole Beans earlier tonight.

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes and Grape Tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F,
  • Rub potatoes with softened butter or olive oil,
  • Toss in a bowl with salt, fresh cracked pepper and Italian seasoning to thoroughly coat,
  • Place potatoes in a roasting pan and roast for about 30 minutes or until softened, turning frequently to brown all sides,
  • Add tomatoes about 15 minutes prior to pulling the entire dish out of the oven.

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes & Grape Tomatoes

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes & Grape Tomatoes

Spring has truly arrived when the greatest golfers gather at Augusta National for the annual Masters event.  The Masters teed off with a ceremonial swing from Arnold Palmer.

The King whacked his ball down the right side of the fairway, then turned it over to 96 players competing for the green jacket on a sunny Thursday morning at Augusta National. The rest of us can plop down on the couch, and settle in with a tall cool Arnold Palmer for a great weekend of golf.

Arnold Palmer (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Arnold Palmer (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

An Arnold Palmer or Arnie Palmer, is a drink consisting of half iced tea and half lemonade. It is said to be Palmer’s favorite beverage and is mine also!

The beverage is storied to have been created at the Cherry Creek Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, but is particularly popular in northern West Virginia, Central Ohio and western Pennsylvania, as well as the South, and is known throughout the country. In some parts of the South particularly Baltimore, it is known as half and half. In southern Ohio this beverage is known as a “Blend”. A purely cosmetic variation in which the drink is not mixed, causing the lemonade to settle on the bottom and the iced tea to float on the top, is known as an “Adam Palmer”.

Your local grocery store will likely have some variation. There’s the pioneer, Snapple, with regular and diet versions of Lemonade Iced Tea. And AriZona Tea Co., has a hard-to-find Arnold Palmer Lite Half and Half drink (with Arnie on the can). And, of course, Trader Joe’s has Organic Tea & Lemonade in 64-ounce, ready-for-the-party containers, complete with vintage cartoon golfers on the label as well as golfing terms.

It is very easy to make at home and tinker with the measurements for your own taste. Here is my “recipe”:

Arnold Palmer


  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup Lemonade
  • 1/2 cup Basic Iced Tea


  1. Place ice in a tall glass. Fill halfway with lemonade and top with iced tea. Sweeten to taste.

If you are looking for a little kick, there are a number of alcoholic variations. The first, known as the “Tom Arnold”, consists of the original iced-tea/lemonade mixture, with vodka added. Another variation, the “John Daly”, contains 1¼ oz citrus vodka, ¼ oz triple sec, topped off with ½ lemonade and ½ iced tea. The third variation is referred to as the “Dirty Palmer.” This drink consists of 2/3 Arnold Palmer and 1/3 Sailor Jerry Rum. The “Hard Arnold” or “Stiff Palmer” is equal parts of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Twisted Tea. Also if you add a splash of grenadine it is called a “Bryan Palmer”. Finally, adding a shot of Amaretto, such as Disaronno, is called an “Arnold Palmer Senior.”

My family loves bananas but we always seem to end up with a bunch of bananas that are starting to go bad. You know, the skins on the outside of the bananas go black and the insides get all brown and mushy.  I used to get annoyed and think what a waste, then I realized that these black bananas might be part of a family conspiracy — the Nana Bread Conspiracy.  Could it be that there is a pact in my house to not eat the last four bananas?  They let them hang there, aging, ripening and pushing me to throw the gnat magnets in the garbage or… make everyone’s favorite dessert: Nana Bread.

Nana Bread

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas.
  4. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  6. Add the flour last, mix.
  7. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Cool on a rack.
  10. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

I love my eggs over easy.  Everyone else in my family moans, groans and frowns every time I sop up that delicious yellow goo with my buttered toast.  My wife (via her Twitter friend @MrBradG) introduced me to a great way to prepare my favorite breakfast: Bird’s Nest.

Bird's Nest

Bird's Nest

I’ve learned the dish has many colorful names, depending on where you are from:   egg in a boat, egg in a hole, egg in a frame, egg in a poke, egg in a basket, bird’s nest, toad in a hole and one-eyed jack.  It was also featured prominently in the movie V for Vendetta.

Bird’s Nest

  • 4 slices Bread
  • 4 larges Eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons Butter or margarine

Spread both sides of the bread with butter. In the center of the bread, cut out a 1 1/2- to 2-inch circle (I used a cookie cutter). In a skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat, place bread, the rounds also.   Carefully break the egg into the hole, being careful not to break the yolk. Cook until the egg solidifies on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a large spatula and cook until the underside is golden and egg is cooked to desired doneness, 1 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Sometimes it just gets ugly on the dinner front.  Saturday night it was just my wife and I and we were scheduled for grocery shopping on Sunday.  So, like Old Mother Hubbard, I went to the cupboard and it was pretty close to bare.  Armed with tomato soup and elbow macaroni I set out to make a meal.  With a little help from my friends at Google we had a great meal.

Tomato Soup Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup water; (up to 1 cup)

Cook hamburger and onion til burger is done. Add everything else but water – combine. Add water until slightly thinner than you want sauce and simmer until desired thickness. Serve.

Next Page »