The RV Chronicles — We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take this any more! (Recipe: Cheesy Italian Baked Beans)

Cheesy Italian Baked Beans — Delicious. Healthy. Filling. Works as a side or main.

It’s been a year and a half. I don’t regret confining myself to a home just barely larger than a prison cell. Neither do I lament trading a range that cost as much as some cars for an aged camp stove. I’ve gotten used to shaving within reach of my ‘pantry.’ I’ve even accepted that […]

The RV Chronicles — A 2016 letter to Santa from the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Slow Cooker Osso Buco)

Slow Cooker Osso Buco —

Dear Santa – As you check out your list in the next week, you’ll see that I’ve been (mostly) nice this year.  I know, this puts you in an odd predicament. Relax, because I already have everything I’ve wished for. Our 2016 has been healthy and happy. Catherine began her new career as a teacher; […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Cheese Manicotti w/ Béchamel & Marinara

manicotti

Stuffed Manicotti is one of those dishes that brings old memories to my forefront. I can count on one hand how many times my father served this dish during my childhood. I enjoyed it every time. So did everyone else. I’m not sure where Dad discovered it — from a magazine cover in a supermarket […]

The RV Chronicles — Getting schooled, and then some

PappardelleBolognese

‘Every year you wait to go back makes it harder to go back at all.’ — Dad, 1990. I tend to do things the hard way. Always have. And for no particular reason. Whether it’s choosing to write a 3,000-word piece just hours before a deadline or sitting through a few extra lights to avoid […]

The RV Chronicles — Marcella would be proud, I think

Creamy fra Diavlo w/ Calamari Croutons —

Who says one can’t eat like Julius Caesar in an RV? Truth is, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself for having to go back to all the stuff I learned on my way to earning my Eagle Scout. Sure, one can make a fine dinner or dessert in a Dutch oven or over […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Easy Peasy Pizza (No, really!)

Easy Peasy Pizza — No, really! (And it's delicious too!)

Call me a slow learner, but I’m usually the last person to find out about something. In this case, it happened to be something that I’ve been working on for years. Pizza crust. You’ve no doubt heard about this ‘two-ingredient’ pizza dough that basically goes from the mixing bowl into the oven and is the […]

The Unorthodox Epicure: Chicken Jerusalem (Italian Artichoke Chicken)

Chicken Jerusalem. Make this restaurant classic at home.

Marshall (Texas), for such a small town, is known for quite a few notable sons and daughters — Lady Bird Johnson, Y.A. Tittle, George Foreman and Bill Moyers, to name a few.  History buffs know this city of about 25,000 as the temporary capital of Missouri during the Civil War and home of Texas’ very […]

Confession No. 134 — My kid said what? (Recipe: Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes)

Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes

He’s our fourth child and without a doubt, the most forthcoming with his words. Following are a few conversations that happened in the past year — before he turned seven on December 19. Keeping me honest At a drive-thru convenience store, I was behind a carload of boisterous young men. The clerk handed them a case […]

Confession No. 130 — Confidential to modern drama queens: You’re no Sarah Bernhardt

Creamy Tomato Risotto w/ Roasted Eggplant — Does that look like a side dish to you?

This essay is dedicated to all of you folks who have gone way out on that overemotional limb about 2,064 times too many. My disdain for drama queens is nothing new. I’ve lived through about 11-dozen years of it with my 16-year-old daughter. I’ve worked with people who could’ve won an Oscar in the melodramatic […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — New York-style Pizza

True New York-style Pizza. Top it your way. I prefer mine with eggplant.

I first ate New York-style pizza in 1978 in my local mall. But I didn’t know it at the time. In fact, that was a treat (as was going to the mall — my how times have changed). In our small northeast Texas town, we had Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn, Shakey’s (the place with the […]