MeHi.  My name is Mark and this is my cooking blog.

I get asked a lot for my recipes, so I decided to start this cooking blog.  What you’ll find here will be my recipes and my variations on others’ recipes, my cooking tips and who knows what else. 

I should say up front that I’m lactose intolerant (check out my lactose intolerance site and I also try to live a low-carb lifestyle.  So the recipes you’ll find here will generally be devoid of milk and milk products and try, wherever possible, to be low in carbs.

I hope you enjoy the site and the recipes.


Main Dishes28 Aug 2011 07:56 pm

This is a modified version of the Chicken Ratatouille recipe that I published some time ago.  Since then, my daughter (Rebecca)  has been living with us and she doesn’t like mushrooms and doesn’t eat much meat.  I also recently needed to make a version that was vegetarian.  My wife and daughter also liked the more intense tomato flavor in Mark’s Chunky Red Sauce, so this is the resulting recipe. (more…)

Main Dishes28 Jan 2011 03:40 am

This is my version of Carbonnade a la Flamande or Belgian Beef Stew.  It was one of my favorite meals when my family and I visited Belgium in the summer of 2009.  It’s a hearty beef stew that in its native form consists mainly of beef and onions cooked in a beer broth.  The best ones I had in Belgium were made with either Kriek or Framboise – a cherry or raspberry flavored Lambic beer.

This recipe is based primarily on what appeared in The New Best Recipes from Cook’s Illustrated, but adapted for the slow cooker and made with the addition of carrots like Beef Bourguignon.  I also changed the meat to boneless short ribs and used the “correct” Belgian beer. (more…)

Side Dishes and Snacks12 Nov 2010 06:29 am

On our honeymoon we ate at the Napa Rose in Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel and had a great meal, but one of the highlights was the Star Anise Dark Bread they served from the La Brea Bakery.  Evidently it’s made only for the Napa Rose, so since we couldn’t buy it, I had to make it!

It’s a dark, whole wheat bread, flavored with molasses and star anise. (more…)

Soups11 Dec 2009 05:09 am

This is a hearty soup, perfect for a cold evening.  Very flavorful and creamy, yet uses no butter or extra fat.  This recipe is for the slow cooker and is easy to make. (more…)

Main Dishes09 Dec 2009 10:22 pm

This is my “chunky” red sauce recipe.  It has chunks of carrots, celery and onion in it.   I serve it over homemade pasta but we’ve also had it with rice and with just steamed veggies like zucchini and spinach.  I updated this receipe on 9/16/14 to reflect the way I make it now.  Basically I have added tomato sauce to make it less thick and stretch it a little. (more…)

Side Dishes and Snacks09 Dec 2009 09:58 pm

Nothing beats home-made latkes (potato pancakes).  They are primarily potato and onion, but some people make them “mushy” with the potatoes and onion ground to a pulp.  Others make them with the potatoes shredded like hash browns.  Either way there’s a lot of prep on the day you make them. 

This recipe was designed to accomplish two goals:  Have the latkes pre-made so they could just be fried on the day you want to eat them, and to be able to make them in a deep fryer.  Both goals are accomplished by freezing the latkes and frying them direct from the freezer.  (more…)

Ingredients&Reviews01 Jun 2009 07:16 pm

I recently purchased the Keurig Single Cup Coffee Brewing System and I wanted to try a bunch of different coffees to pick the ones I liked.  It came with some samples, but I decided to order a lot more.  Keurig offers 5 piece sample packs and free shipping if you order enough.   I put together an order of enough sample packs to get the free shipping, choosing primarily string blends as that’s the way I like my coffee.  What follows are my brief impressions of them with ratings from 1 to 4 stars. (more…)

Equipment01 Jun 2009 06:37 pm

keurigspI never thought I would buy, let alone love, one of the single cup brewing systems.  But when I saw a great deal on one I decided to give it a try.  I got the Keurig Special Edition and I love it.  It’s fast but a bit noisy when it pumps the water from the reservoir into the brewer.  It makes a very good cup of coffee (or tea and hot chocolate) and there are tons of blends to choose from.  The coffee comes in in “K-Cups” which are single cup disposable packages.  You can also get a “My Cup” accessory that lets you use your own coffee.  I haven’t tried it with coffee yet, but I did try it with tea and it made a great cup.  (The instructions don’t mention that you can use it with tea, but it works fine.)

It came with a lot of sample K-Cups, but I wanted to try more.  I ordered a lot of the 5 piece sample packs from Keurig – most all in the “strong” coffee category.  I have reviewed them all briefly in another post.

The bottom line is that I am very happy with it.  It makes a good cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Main Dishes20 Apr 2009 03:19 am

This is a recipe for Chinese-style BBQ pork chops.  It will remind you of Chinese BBQ pork (Char Siu) but is something you can make without a lot of prep and without firing up the oven.   It uses a combination of a dry rub and a basting sauce.


Side Dishes and Snacks22 Mar 2009 01:58 am

This recipe was inspired by a potato dish I had as a teenager at a cookout while on summer vacation.  It was a simple combination of sliced potatoes, onions and butter.  It was made in foil and cooked on an open fire.  My first All Clad pan was their 3 qt Cassoulet and I thought it would be the perfect pan to recreate this recipe, but in the oven instead of the campfire.  (more…)

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