Category Archives: Technique & Dirty Secrets

Quick Pickle

Pickling’s a great way to prepare vegetables for a cold meal or snack. This is the fast and easy method that takes less than an hour and will give you something that will keep in the fridge for weeks.  It’s perfect for anyone who wants to take some time on the weekend to cook for the coming week.


Easy, fast and full of flavor. Just the way I’d like to be remembered.

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Filed under Condiments, Salads, Technique & Dirty Secrets, Vegetarian

Basic Pasta Red Sauce

Pasta’s an excellent way to have a nice dinner in the middle of the week, and what makes it really special is a fresh red sauce. This sauce is versatile, fast and allows for a glass of wine. Happiness all around.


It’s all in the sauce

Basic Pasta Sauce (4 Servings)

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Filed under Main Courses, Pasta, Technique & Dirty Secrets, Vegetarian


An 80s trend with staying power, gazpacho’s quick, easy and comforting. In the positive column it’s versatile. It can be strained and served as a drink, paired with a salad for a meal, or served as a quick snack. On the negative side it’s associated with brunch.


Only a few ingredients.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Filed under Soups & Stews, Technique & Dirty Secrets, Vegetarian

Home Cured Bacon

Some folks think of a cold remedy when they hear ‘home cure.’ Not me. I think of bacon, and there’s no better way to get some of the gateway meat than to make it yourself. To top it off, this is a case where homemade costs less than store bought. It’s easy, cheap and much better than anything off the shelf.

A thing of beauty.

A thing of beauty.

The only hard part is getting the two main ingredients: pork belly and curing salt. If you’re in DC, pork belly is sold at the Eastern Market, and the current price is $4.35 a pound*, and curing salt can be ordered from Amazon**.

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Filed under Pork, Technique & Dirty Secrets

Hand Rolled Pasta

Yesterday I experienced an unnatural urge to exercise. But, before risking serious injury by going to the gym, salvation came in the form of fettuccini.

ImageDeceptively Easy

Pasta is deceptively easy to make.  It uses flour but, unlike baking, it’s wonderfully imprecise.  It’s also very relaxing, taking about half an hour to knead and then roll out the dough.  Kneading and rolling count as exercise too, right? Continue reading


Filed under Pasta, Technique & Dirty Secrets, Vegetarian

Prepping & Preparing Chicken Wings

There are a couple of ways to make folks believe you know your way around a kitchen.  One of them’s knowing how to prep and cook chicken wings.

Say Hello to Your Little Friend

Say Hello to Your Little Friend

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Filed under Baking, Main Courses, Poultry, Technique & Dirty Secrets

Seasoned Oil – the Key to Frying

Promoting fried food is bad.  Bad in such a good way.  But even worse are failed attempts that produce limp and pale food.  (For a geekalicious explanation of why it’s hard to fry in a home kitchen check out How to Read a French Fry by Russ Parsons.)  The short answer on why it’s hard to fry at home is that oil repels water, and most foods contain a lot of water.  To break down this barrier the oil should first be seasoned.

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Filed under Technique & Dirty Secrets