Archive for category Food

Prospector Potatoes

So, I have been experimenting with this so it is not perfect yet, but it’s a really good start and they are easy to make.

They use just one pan, a large black cast iron frying pan. I named them prospector potatoes because I always imagine a prospector wandering around with his donkey and having the fry pan hanging off the pack somewhere. Plus it’s easy and can be cooked over an open fire as well.


  • 4-5 medium size potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 medium size yellow onions
  • 1/4 lb bacon(thick cut)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of diced or chopped garlic.
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil
  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces and put it into a black fry pan on the stove top. Cook it on a medium heat to render off the fat as well as cook the bacon. Turn on the oven to 400° while the bacon is cooking and move to step 2 and keep an eye on the stove at the same time.
  2. Take the potatoes and cut out any large “eyes” and any bad spots, if you use red potatoes I leave the skin on, if russet then I partially peel them. and cut them up into large chunks, usually in half the long way and then cut em into inch wide pieces.  Toss into a large bowl.
  3. Take the onion, cut them in half top to bottom, then cut off the ends and peel away the outside layer. Then quarter the halves and add them to the bowl with the potatoes. The bigger the pieces of onion the better.
  4. Peel the carrot and cut into large pieces, about half the size of the potatoes and add to the bowl.
  5. Take the pieces of bacon out of the fry pan and leave the bacon grease in it.
  6. Take the bowl of potatoes, onion and carrots and toss 1-2 tablespoons of oil onto them, and the 1-3 tablespoons of diced or chopped garlic, then sprinkle with a healthy dose of the salt and pepper, then mix is all around.
    • I personally like to use a little sea salt and kosher salt along with a mixture of fine ground white pepper and cracked black pepper.
    • You can also add other seasonings here, like some Mrs. Dash or Lemon or Northwoods or just some paprika or cayenne or whatever flavor style you might want. I would suggest just salt and pepper the first time to see how that comes out and then adjust the profile later for other meals.
  7. Add the potatoes, onions and carrots to the fry pan and then put it in the oven.
  8. Every 10 minutes, take them out and stir them around with a spatula.
  9. After 20-25 minutes, check the potatoes by stabbing with a fork, if the potatoes are mostly soft throughout but have a slight bit of firmness in the middle, they have about 10-15 minutes left to cook.
  10. Add the bacon and stir them up, then add the corn over the top and put it back into the oven.
  11. Check in 10 minutes and see if the potatoes are done, and check the carrots just for being done as well. If not, stir it all around with a spatula and put it back into the oven for another 5-10.

Once done, serve along side whatever your protein is and you have a mixture of everything.

I will admit, they don’t always look the best, but they really do taste pretty awesome.

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Not So Misdirected…

So, apparently my love of Wegman’s isn’t all that misdirected, they definitely are a great store, and I am definitely not the only person who thinks so. There was a recent Consumer Reports Survery that puts Wegman’s up at the top of all supermarkets in the country.

I am not surprised by this, nor am I surprised about a couple of other supermarkets up at the top which include Trader Joes and Market Basket, but I was surprised at some near the top(Costco), as well as some near the bottom(Shaw’s and Stop & Shop) but then a couple that I thought would be higher because of the cult following they have but they were just in the middle, Whole Foods.

Also really looking forward to the new Wegman’s that is coming to Burlington, it opens up in 73 days I think. I like the Northborough store, but it is kinda far to get to, and the Chestnut Hill store is actually terrible in my opinion. They made a lot of bad choices that stray from the normal things I expect from a Wegman’s store, and the whole feel and enjoyment of the store is affected by it, I won’t be going back there other than to show someone an example of a bad store to shop at for groceries.

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Great Marinade Experiment

So the recipe below is just a guesstimate on the amounts, I haven’t taken the time to actually measure while making it, I have just sort of thrown it together the few times I have made it and it has changed a lil bit, I am going to make it again this weekend and get more exact measurements.

I have used this on boneless pork ribs, as well as with some skirt steak. The pork I marinated it for about 15 minutes and then cooked it in the marinade in a sauce pan, then I reduced the marinade with white sugar for a sauce over the pork when done. The skirt steak, I marinated it for 2 days and then grilled it over a very high heat, and while it was cooking on the grill I put the leftover marinade in a sauce pan and reduced it down with brown sugar that I had dried out and then finely ground it in a food processor.

  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon mongolian fire oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon pureed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sirracha
Wisk it all together, you may need to double it to marinate more than 2 breasts of chicken or more than a couple pork chops or ribs.
To make it into the thicker sauce, I cooked it in the sauce pan and added somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of sugar to help thicken and sweeten it up a bit, but the boiled sugar also helped give it a nice texture that really clung to the meat when drizzled over the top on the plate.

The oil worked really well on the grill and dripped out nicely to cause some flare ups on the grill which helped give the skirt steak a really nice caramelization on the outside.

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Photo 365 – 2/3/2010


Originally uploaded by Nedster78

I came across a site that described this, and showed pictured, so I decided to try it myself. This was my end product.

The bottom was a bit overdone, but that I attribute to my oven still not working, so I had to utilize my grill as an oven.

Chicken wrapped in bacon, stuffed with garlic, asiago, parmesan, some salt and pepper.

Pepperoni tail and side fins, with a sharp cheddar horn.

It was delicious once the bottom was ignored.


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Photo 365 – 1/28/2010



Originally uploaded by Nedster78

This was dinner, I cooked a really thick sirloin steak the other night, wasn’t quite a roast, but wasn’t really a steak either, so I am eating leftovers from it.

Really thinnly sliced steak, medium rare, with a little asiago cheese, a hint of fresh ground sea salt and purple onion. The bread is from a loaf of four cheese bread I picked up at Whole Foods the other day and then sliced at home.


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Photo 365 – 1/27/2010

Peanut Butter Cookies


Originally uploaded by Nedster78

The grocery store near me has some of the best peanut butter with reese’s pieces in em.

I am tortured every time I have to talk past them, fortunately I don’t get them very often.

Their deliciousness is only enhanced when mixed with vanilla ice cream.


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Photo 365 – 1/16/2010



Originally uploaded by Nedster78

Yikes, this looks like the shopping trip for a family of 5 instead of that of a single guy.

Although, at least most of it was healthy stuff, and the only reason it ended up being so much was because I bought a whole bunch of stuff I normally only buy once a month or every couple weeks. It all sorta got lumped into one shopping trip. Things like olive oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, poland spring sparkling water, a bunch of frozen lean cuisine meals and snacks.


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Cooler Day… A Magical Time

Today is what is known as “Cooler Day” here at my office.

The company I work for is a small family owned operation, the 3 main people in charge are brother, sister, and father. There is something quaint and warming about cooler day because it brings back the feelings and the ambiance of “the old days”. “The Old Days” were a time when people were more than just worker bees and you felt like you were really someone at the company you worked for instead of a faceless drone spending your time working for the man who has no idea who you are or what you do.

All 3 of the main people know me, know my name, and treat me with respect. Joe, the father, comes into the office and says hello to everyone by name, and always says hello to me since he can’t get into his office without passing by my cube. He is a happy fellow who is just a ncie guy, but can certainly throw out a jab or two when he feels like it. He often jokes with our outside IT Consultant when he sees him in the office, comments like “Oh, you’re here today, must have another kid who needs to go to college now” or “I see you felt it was time to come by so you could upgrade from a 3 series to a 5 series”

So it’s a really really great place to work.

but back to Cooler Day, today is the day when everyone in the office brings a large cooler to work. No, not so that we can go pick up some beers and throw a “wicked pissah bendah” but so that the company can give everyone their Thanksgiving Day turkey. The tradition was born long ago, sometime back before the 1960’s when the original owner would give out a turkey to all the staff. Joe came to the company in 1963, and they were doing it then. He has continued the tradition since he purchased the company back in 1986. In his own words when I queried him about it this morning”

“It’s a tradition, it’s one of those traditions that reminds of the way things used to be, it’s something to hold onto and let’s people know that you are thankful for the effort and work they put into their jobs. That’s why everyone who works here gets one, as well as some of our customers and our vendors, it’s our way of saying thank you in a more personal way.”

There is a reason I like smaller companies, the paycheck might not be as big, but the people and the atmosphere of a functional small company is something that can’t be beat. Sometimes work really is about the people not just the job.

and for the record, these aren’t just frozen turkeys from some supermarket, these are some locally raised, never frozen, fresh from the farm turkeys. They are honestly the best tasting turkeys I have ever had in my life. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all my leftovers this year, I have a total of 3 people(including myself) who will be having Thanksgiving Dinner at my house, and I have a 22 pound turkey that will be cooked. HELLOOOOO Leftovers!

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The Laurel Grille and Bar

This was not my first time at the Laurel Grill and Bar, and it is still not going to be my last time either. As it always has in the past, the meal exceeded my expectations and was a delightful treat for the taste buds.

I had only previously been to the Laurel on the weekend while taking my mother to a show, or celebrating a birthday with family. So a Thursday night experience was a new one for me, I felt a little foolish when we arrived and said we had a reservation. The restaurant was less than half full. Not really surprising though but better to have been safe than sorry, I know if we did not have a reservation the place would have been packed and we never would have gotten a table.

I had a tasty cocktail called a pink lemonade to start off the meal with, I forget what exactly was in it, but it tasted great so that’s all that matters. Then we had some calamari, which was very good as well it tasted extremely fresh.. I would have skipped the banana peppers that were mixed in, but I was easily able to pick around them.

For dinner, I had the lobster risotto and Kate had the stuffed pork loin, and they were both awesome. The pork loin was stuffed with italian sausage, onions, and cheese. The risotto had lobster, asparagus, fresh tomato, sun dried tomato, and Parmesan cheese. I really liked how they cut the asparagus up into tiny pieces making it part of the meal instead of putting it on presentation style by laying 2 or 3 pieces on top of the risotto, it was also cooked perfectly by still being crisp instead of the over mushy that so many places end up having.

The bartender was a bit loud, and I think a bit tipsy, but it wasn’t anything that would disturb the meal, plus it was obvious he was dealing with a few regulars with his boisterous actions.

Always a win here, and I will be back… again… and again…


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Joe Tecce’s Ristorante

Now, normally I don’t like to write a bad review of any restaurant, I will generally just keep my opinion to myself and save my posts for praise of a good or great meal/restaurant. I need to make an exception this time for Joe Tecce’s Ristorante on the edge of Boston’s North End. I write this as a customer with extensive experience as a waiter in a restaurant who knows what it takes to wait on a table especially a large party that you are virtually dedicated to because of it’s size.

We headed there for dinner this past Friday night with a group of about 16 people. We were seated at 2 different tables and were working on 2 separate checks, our choice on the checks. One table was basically the kids table with their wranglers and one table the adults table.

First off, the menus are completely screwy with how they are laid out. They lack order and don’t follow the general flow of a meal the way a “normal” menu would be laid out for an Italian restaurant. Antipasto, then salads/soups, pastas, entress, desserts. Theirs had some entrees on the first page, salads/soups on the second, antipasto on the third, pastas on the fourth, and then some entrees and then desserts. Confusing to say the least!

Drink orders went sorta mostly ok, the service of them was very slow. Refills for water or soda were no quicker, and she didn’t seem to be able to remember who ordered what drink.

The ordering of the meal went mostly ok, the waitress did the normal start with one person, and then work your way around the table getting everyone’s orders. Then came the wait, it seemed like forever for the meals to come out, and when it did it was pure chaos! She had no idea who ordered what! She had a list in front of her, with everyone’s order, in order from first person to last person. She couldn’t figure out who ordered what, so she was yelling off what she held in her hand while waving it around hoping someone would tell her “hey that’s mine” meanwhile she is staring right at her list of who ordered what. It had been so long since we had ordered that many people forgot exactly what they had ordered, so meals got mixed up when one person was given a chicken marsala when they ordered a chicken parmesian because all they could remember was they had chicken in the name of it. Also unfortunately, the kids, usually the most anxious group of people while waiting for dinner were some of the last people to get their food.

The food itself, well, it gets a giant MEH from me, it wasn’t bad, but for the $30 that I dropped for the Veal Medallions with Proscuitto and Mozzarella, I was extremely disappointed. The medallions themselves were good, but when the waitress was rattling off the specials to us from memory instead of having them written down, she somehow failed to mention they were going to be covered in a mushroom and artichoke hearts sauce. I was certainly shocked when it arrived that way. I was also disappointed when I ordered and was told that it did not come with a salad since when she was rattling off the specials she said that it came with a salad and choice of pasta. The choice in pasta did not come with a choice of sauces though, and along with incredibly small size of the side of pasta, this was an extreme disappointment.

While other people’s meals were larger, I did try some of the chicken parm that kate had ordered, while it was tasty, it didn’t really strike me as anything exceptional.

Overall, underwhelmed doesn’t even come close to describing my experiences at Joe Tecce’s Ristorante. I will not be back.


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