The RV Chronicles — Goodbye, Mrs. Chips (Recipe: Broiled Ham & Cheese Tomatoes)

There’s a scene in Mr. Holland’s Opus in which a retiring band director is surprised by the return of his former students. Similarly, the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips is centered around a once-surly teacher who ultimately leaves footprints of great depth and breadth with his young learners. My ‘Mr. Chips’ was Sylvia Trussell. I […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Fresh Mexican Salsa

I still remember the first salsa (or hot sauce, as we call it around here) that I ever had. The brand was Albert’s. It is a semi-chunky garlicky concoction that works just as well over enchiladas and tacos as it does chip dip. Then there was the version served at the now almost-defunct El Chico […]

Food Snob Chronicles — A foodie fight and some funky good nachos

When I think nachos, I envision a thick layer of refried beans and a lot of gooey cheese (like these). Some folks prefer that every major food group is represented in the toppings, while others get their freak on with the ballpark version — round tortilla chips, cheese ‘sauce’ and pickled jalapenos. That ballpark version, […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Batter Fried Wings and some Electric Cock

Fried chicken is truly done one of two ways, and the oven ain’t one of them. You can either pan-fry or deep-fry. Either, when done properly, will have you eating fried chicken from someone else’s hand. Ms. P, of Ms. P’s Electric Cock, is one of the few purveyors of deep-fried battered chicken that can […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Esquites stuffed Zucchini

I still remember my first taste of zucchini. Sort of. We were probably seven or eight when a childhood friend’s mom presented us with warm muffins and challenged us to guess the main ingredient. But neither of us could escape the perfectly married flavors of sugar, cinnamon and other spices to even venture a guess. […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Crispy Grilled Chile Lime Wings

Confession — I adore fried chicken. And wings in particular. The crunch of the exterior followed by a juicy succulent bite. Heaven. But there’s a better way. Fine. Not necessarily better, but similar results with different flavor components and a heck of a lot less guilt. Pretty darn tasty too. Behold my Crispy Grilled Chile […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Sweet Heat Shrimp en Brochette

It’s a Southern/Tex-Mex fused appetizer with a French name and — with only four ingredients — it’s quite a dandy. I’ve made Shrimp en Brochette (translation: shrimp ‘cooked on skewers’) with as many varieties of peppers as you’ll find at any respectable farmers market. And with a number of sauces and marinades too. Truth is, […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Surf & Turf Sliders w/ Caesar Slaw

After recently watching a YouTube sensation do a video review of his own concoction of fast food products, my wife and I were talking about burger possibilities. Sure, I prefer mine with plenty of mustard and pickles — assembled properly — but our conversation took us well out of the box. Considering that hamburgers are […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Spicy Pickled Okra

I‘ll be straight up. You Southerners who know that fried okra is equivalent to hearing St. Peter say “Come on in,” just need to hold your horses! And you Northerners who are asking “What the heck is okra?” need to stifle it for a second! Okra is the pod of the flower that the Caribbean […]

Confession No. 136 — You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…

For those of you who are new to these parts, this project began almost four years ago with my ‘Confessions’ — everything from rants about people wearing pajamas in public, to very personal pieces about my life as I know it.  Following is one of those intimate essays, a letter to our youngest son. April […]