Definition: Hard Crack Stage


Hard-Crack Stage refers to a specific temperature range when cooking sugar syrups. Hard-Crack Stage occurs at 300-310 degrees. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. Remove the candy from the water and attempt to bend it. If hard-crack stage has been reached, the syrup will form brittle threads in the water, and will crack if you try to mold it.


Homemade Almond Roca

Almond roca is a favorite of mine and I hope you will like it too.Roca


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 TBSP Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup chopped Almonds
  • 1/2 pound your favorite bar chocolate (Hershey’s is mostly used) melted in microwave or double boiler.


put first 5 ingredients into sauce pan or skillet and cook to a hard crack stage . Pour hot mixture into a lightly greased or non stick pan. (cookie sheet or similar) Spread melted chocolate over candy while both are still hot. Allow to cool and then break into pieces.


Atomic Buffalo Peppers

Atomic Buffalo Peppers also called ABT’s or Atomic Buffalo Tu*ds (Great Eats, bad name)




  • 12 – Large Jalapeños
  • 12 – pieces thick sliced pepper bacon (don’t skimp it will burn)
  • 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 – hot dog sized chorizo’s (cut skin off)


  • Light grill (I like charcoal but gas is fine or even under a broiler)
  • Brown chorizo in a small skillet and drain on paper towel
  • While the chorizo is browning, take a small paring knife, cut stem and core the peppers.
  • mix chorizo and cream cheese and fill the peppers using a spoon.
  • Wrap each pepper with bacon and tuck over the open end (secure with a toothpick if needed)
  • Grill for 7-10 minutes over indirect heat. move over direct heat and crisp up the bacon, moving and turning often. DON’T burn the bacon or furry dweebles will haunt you for the rest of your short life!
  • Cool and enjoy with a Mango Margarita or a nice craft beer.
Not my picture!


My Potato Soup

Here is my Potato Soup recipe. It’s so full of flavor you won’t believe how simple it really is. So break out your stock pot and lets enjoy

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What you need:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream or half & half
  • 3 Tbsp. Corn Starch
  • 5 pounds of potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • Chicken stock to cover potatoes (chicken bouillon cubes or base works too)
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Celery salt or celery seed ground up
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Parsley

Dice onions and put in stock pot on medium heat. Coat with butter or olive oil and a pinch of salt, let then slowly cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Peel and cube potatoes into 1/2 – 3/4 inch cubes and allow to soak in cold water while onions are caramelizing.

After onions are a light golden, add the potatoes and dried parsley and cover with chicken stock about an inch above the potatoes. I sometimes use just water and add 1 chicken bouillon cube per cup of water.

Boil the potatoes gently until tender, about 15 minutes and then mash a few to help thicken the soup.

Whisk together Heavy cream and corn starch and then pour into boiling soup. Stir for a minute to thicken.

add Salt, Pepper and Celery to taste. And then Serve.

The secret to it’s great taste is boiling the potatoes in Chicken Stock. I do this when I make Mashed Potatoes also.



Slow Cooker Philly Cheese steak

Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

courtesy of Food Network

Serves 10-12 (depending on how big your buns are)


  • 2 1/2 lbs beef steak (cheaper cuts are actually better)
  • 2 green pepper, sliced thin
  • 3 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 (14 oz) can beef broth
  • 1 envelope Italian dressing mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large loaf crusty bread, sliced into sandwich lengths (or hoagie buns)
  • Provolone cheese slices (or Cheese Sauce)


  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cut meat into strips, place in slow cooker.
  • Add green pepper, onion, broth, and dressing mix.
  • Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours.
  • Spoon meat mixture onto bread, top with cheese.
  • Another option is to toast bread in a 375 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, add meat, cover with cheese, then bake an additional 5 minutes to melt/warm the cheese.
  • My favorite way to eat it is with A1 sauce or Ranch dressing. . . you can use any condiments you like.



Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

Best Ever Green Bean Casserole








Yield: 4-6 servings

For the topping:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Non-stick spray

For beans and sauce:
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with non-stick spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2-3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium low and add the half and half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in one-quarter of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.


Thank You to Alton Brown for the recipe.


Quick and easy Chinese meals

Here are 2 ways to make Chinese chicken with 3 different sauces. Easy and SO freaking good. The Sweet and sour sauce s the best I’ve eaten. Eventually  will add my Lemongrass Chicken and spring roll recipes. But those are Thai not Chinese.

First the 2 ways I’ve done my chicken. Then the 3 sauces.

Yes, I use MSG in my Chinese cooking (Accent brand) you can omit it if you want.

Breaded Chicken







Chinese Breaded Chicken

  • Chicken Breast or thigh cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar OR Chinese cooking wine
  • Pinch of each Kosher salt, pepper, MSG (Optional)

Mix above in a bowl and set aside, letting the chicken for about 10-15 minutes.


  • Flour mixed with salt pepper and MSG to coat
  • 375-400 Degree oil to fry chicken in.

Coat chicken with seasoned flour and fry until golden brown (3-6 minutes)







Chinese Battered Chicken:


  • Chicken Breast cut into 1” Strips
  • 1-2 Tsp Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tsp Sesame or garlic oil
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • OPTIONAL: pinch MSG

Mix above in a bowl and set aside, letting the chicken for about 10-15 minutes.



  • Flour
  • Water
  • 350 degree Oil to deep fry


Mix flour and water until it looks like a thick cake batter (about 1-2 minutes)


Coat 4-5 pieces of chicken at a time and drop into hot oil for a few seconds until batter “Sets” (Use a small skewer or similar to keep fingers clean and batter even)

Remove and set aside on draining rack, repeat until all the chicken is coated and set. Return all chicken to oil and fry until golden (3-4 minutes) remove and drain.

Dip or coat in sweet and sour sauce or honey sauce, serve with rice or noodles. Enjoy!!



Chinese Sweet and sour sauce:

  • 1 large Carrot
  • 1 Ginger root
  • 1 green Apple
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1.25L. Water
  • 1/4 C. Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 C. Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Tomato Puree (Ketchup is ok)
  • 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved into 2 Tbsp. COLD water
  • OPTIONAL: pinch MSG
  • OPTIONAL: Red or Yellow food coloring (2-3 drops)


Bring water to boil

Slice fruits and Vegetables fairly thinly and add to boiling water. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain and add the liquid back into the pot.

Add remaining ingredients and let simmer and thicken




General Tso










General Tso Chicken Sauce

  • 1/4 C Chicken stock
  • 2 TB Sugar
  • 2TB Chinese cooking wine
  • 1TB Hoisin Sauce
  • 1TB Sesame Oil
  • 1tsp corn or potato starch
  • 1TB Dark Soy

Mix above and set aside while heating a fry pan or wok.

  • 2 Green Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ½ tsp. Ginger
  • Optional: Broccoli

Saute Onion, Garlic, Ginger, and Broccoli on high in 2TB oil for about 1 minute then add premixed ingredients and bring to bubble. Add fried breaded chicken and mix (about 1 minute) Top with Sesame seeds.



Honey Sesame Chicken Sauce

Honey Sauce:

  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Heat above in wok or large skillet until sugar is dissolved. Mix in chicken until coated and garnish.


  • toasted sesame seeds
  • chopped green onions (optional)