Memorial Day Grill Out

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May 272012

Greetings readers! I hope you are having a great Memorial Day weekend. This year, my partner and I are trying a new style of hot dog. Nothing beats a great grilled wienie surrounded by a scrumptious bun.

We like to taste regional flavors. There’s so much diversity across our country. This year we’re trying Seattle Hot Dogs. They sound really good. Who’s going to try them with me?

Seattle Hot Dogs

  • Hot dogs-split lengthwise, grilled
  • Buns
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Yellow onion, slivered and grilled or sautéed

I like to sauté the onions with high heat and a little olive oil. The high heat chars them without turning them into French onion soup. You can toast or grill the buns if you want. I didn’t. Once everything ready, put a ¼ inch thick layer of cream cheese on one side of the bun, add a hot dog, pile onions on top, and enjoy!

 Posted by at 8:34 pm

Ramps and Eggs with Bacon

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May 052012

In honor of spring and the start of the farmer’s market, here’s a fun recipe.  Partner loved it because everything tastes better with bacon!

Ramps and Eggs with Bacon


  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 1/3 lb. ramps, cleaned and diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 10 large eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook bacon.  Chop about 1/3 of it into small pieces.  Set rest aside.
  2. Put ramps in a large frying pan with a little of the bacon grease.  Add water.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the water evaporates.
  3. Add a little more bacon grease.
  4. Add beaten eggs and chopped bacon.  Stir constantly until eggs are cooked.
  5. Serve with bacon and toast or biscuits.  Enjoy!
 Posted by at 6:32 pm

Grilled Cheese!

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Apr 122012

I’ve just discovered from the folks at that today is a very day… Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

From simple sandwiches served alongside plain tomato soup in school cafeterias to esoteric masterpieces created in high-end restaurants, the grilled cheese is ubiquitous in American cuisine.  There are endless recipes using every variety of bread and cheese.  Everyone I know has their particular favorite and they are pretty adamant about defending their version as “the best”.

And… in case you’re wondering, my basic grilled cheese is “the best”!  I will, however, admit that I like to experiment and try new recipes and there are many very good ones out there.

Alex’s Basic Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices white bread (I use Pepperidge Farms)
  • 3 slices American cheese (do not use cheese food or cheese product)
  • olive oil
  1. Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Assemble sandwich and place in frying pan.
  3. Cook until one side is golden brown.
  4. Using a spatula, lift sandwich out of pan, add another 2 tablespoons of oil.
  5. Flip sandwich and cook until second side is golden brown.
  6. Remove from pan and enjoy!!
 Posted by at 8:09 pm

Orange Allen Wrench

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Mar 262012

The Allen Wrench is a drink that appears in Wicked Game and gets Jonah in a little trouble.  The recipe appears in the Wicked Game Companion.  This is a tasty variation.  Enjoy!

Orange Allen Wrench


  • 1 oz. coconut rum
  • 1 oz. creme de banana
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple vodka
  • 1/2 oz. passion fruit vodka
  • 4 oz. orange juice or orange pineapple juice


Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and then strain into a glass.

 Posted by at 5:58 pm

Truckstop Burger

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Jan 262012

Holy cow, peeps!  I am craving a manwich.  This one is delicious death on a bun.  Use a ¼ lb. burger and enjoy.  If you can put two away, you’re the man!

Truckstop Burger

  •  Hearty white or Kaiser roll
  • Thick sliced American cheese, I use bacon American cheese
  • 1 hash brown patty, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked medium crisp
  • 1 fried egg, I like mine over medium but you do yours your way
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia Island

Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia Island

Pic: Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia Islan

 Posted by at 5:24 pm

Christmas Martini

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Dec 262011

Alex is a happy writer!  For Christmas, my partner gifted me with a penguin cocktail shaker and a penguin ice bucket.  He knows me quite well.  In honor of that, here is a Christmas Martini recipe I developed.

Christmas Martini


  • 3 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • peppermint disc candies or candy canes
  • sprig of mint


Crush several peppermint candies.  Wet rim of martini glass and press into crushed candies.  Put one whole candy at the bottom of the glass.  Pour the vodka and schnapps into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice.  Shake well and strain into the martini glass. Garnish with mint.







 Posted by at 2:23 pm

Montana Burger

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Dec 082011

Holy cow, peeps!  I’m back in WI for less than a week and craving a burger.  This is delicious death on a bun and one of my all-time favorite burgers!  Use a ¼ lb. burger and enjoy.  If you put away two, you da the man!

Montana Burger

  • Whole-wheat bun or Kaiser roll  (Montana=wheat)
  • Thick sliced sharp Cheddar cheese (You can wuss out and go with mild or American cheese)
  • 2 oz. deli-sliced ham
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked medium crisp
  • 1 fried egg, I like mine over medium but you do yours your way
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 Posted by at 8:07 pm

Real Pan Pizza

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Sep 252011

I got this idea from my good friend Brian at EatDrinkMadison. Grab yourself a frozen pizza from the store.  I’m not talking an individual one.  We’re talkin’ a man-size ‘za here.  De-box and unwrap it and then let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes.  Waiting is the hardest part.

When it’s defrosted, get a frying pan that’s big enough to hold the pizza.  Brian recommends folding the pizza over.  I didn’t find that necessary.  Lightly grease the bottom of the pan.  I used olive oil.  If you want to mimic the Pizza Hut deep-dish taste, then go heavy on the grease!

Put the pizza in the pan, add a little water, cover and cook on medium heat for five minutes.  Remove lid, cook until done, and mega ENJOY!

 Posted by at 5:30 pm

Texas Burger

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Jun 172011

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there.  Here’s what I had on Memorial Day and it’s a perfect Dad-burger.   I think y’all should have one or two this weekend!

Texas Burger
Garlic Texas toast, make sure it’s really buttery
Sliced Colby or Monterey Jack cheese
Barbeque sauce, preferably mesquite
Red onion, grilled or sautéed by your partner  😀
Steak sauce, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

 Posted by at 11:42 pm
May 152011

It’s almost summer and now is the time to look into one of the best summer drinks, the gin and tonic. It screams summer and fun while still being manly. It’s one of Eben Foster’s favorite drinks and it got him in a bit of trouble in Possession of Truth.

According to the Bluecoat American Dry Gin Co., gin was invented in the Netherlands in the 17th century and was originally intended to treat kidney ailments. Meanwhile, tonic water, which contained a large amount of quinine, was used to treat malaria for centuries. British soldiers stationed in India mixed quinine with sugar, water and gin to make it more palatable.

Different gins have different aromas. For example, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray Ten have a complex, spicier profile. Beefeater, Plymouth and the original Tanqueray and Bombay make for a crisper and snappier drink.

While tonic water seems like a fairly easy ingredient, it can make or break a G&T. Always use fresh! The single serve bottles are best. Tonic water goes bad and just tastes wrong in a G&T if it’s old.

Lemon or lime? That’s the million-dollar question. Beyond your own personal preference, which should override everything, lemon goes better with the less complex gins while lime augments the ones with more subtle citrusy aromas. Make sure you use a significant amount of either one as it is an important part of the drink.

Here’s how I like mine:


  • 2 oz. gin
  • 2-4 oz. good tonic water
  • ¼ lemon or lime


  1. If possible refrigerate the gin, tonic water, and glasses prior to mixing.
  2. Cut off a small piece of lemon or lime to use as a garnish. Squeeze the remaining piece into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Add gin, shake, and pour into a 12 oz. glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with tonic water and stir.
  5. Garnish and enjoy.
 Posted by at 8:21 pm