What have your food experiments resulted in? Jekyll or Hyde – share them all here.

BASIL BUTTER lifts corn on the cob to an entirely new level. Just stack 3 small leaves of basil and cut into narrow strips. Put in small bowl with 3 tablespoons of butter, melt in the microwave, then let solidify (or toss in the refrigerator to hurry it along). Use like regular butter and enjoy.


In fact, everywhere I order it and stump the bartender, and they throw it together with their own ingredients, you see them light up once they taste it, and I usually have a new friend. I can only take credit for drinking lots of them – not creating the recipe, which is:

The Ninth Ward cocktail created by Brother Cleve

  • 1-1/2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Fee Brother’s Falernum syrup
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters

Shake on ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

I’m a big fan of what I call SINGLE POT DINNERS. These are things you whip up by seeing what you have in the refrigerator, and inventing something new. Here’s one, perfect for 3 people, that was very much enjoyed:

  • 1 fresh linguica (portugese sausage)
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced thin
  • 6 leaves of chard (I used 2 leaves of collards too)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Slice linquica in half and grill (I use a grill pan) to give grill marks and remove some fat. Cut in 1-inch chunks and set aside. Microwave potatoes and cut in 1-inch cubes. Put olive oil, garlic, onion, linguica and potatoes in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Leave it alone so garlic and onion can soften in pan. Stir to mix flavors. Lower heat to medium-low, add greens, water, and lemon juice. Cover until greens begin to steam. Stir into the rest of the dish and cover until greens are tender (about 5 minutes). Add salt and pepper.

LEFTOVER THANKSGIVING TURKEY tip alert! A few months ago I discovered leftover turkey thighs in the freezer. I soaked them in buttermilk in the fridge for the afternoon, then made a coating of flour, ground sage, salt, and cayenne pepper as I might have used for fried chicken. Drain the turkey on cooling racks, then dredge in the flour mixture. Put back on the racks to dry completely before frying in a deep fat fryer of Canola Oil. For crispier turkey, repeat the dredging and drying process up to three times.

My favorite recipe from my 2012 Thanksgiving dinner was this whacky and delicious CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH PORT AND DRIED FIGS from Bon App├ętit.


1 2/3 cups ruby Port
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
8 dried black Mission figs, stemmed, chopped
1 6-inch-long sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar


Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Discard rosemary. Mix in cranberries and 3/4 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until liquid is slightly reduced and berries burst, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer sauce to bowl; chill until cold. (Cranberry sauce can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

This was awesome but heavy on the port and figs and I missed some of the cranberries. I might revise in this way: cut the port down to 3/4 cup combined in 3/4 cup of water. Reduce the figs to 5 instead of 8. Increase the cranberries to 16 ounces.

PERFECTLY SIMPLE BEER-BREAD PIZZA CRUST. This was a college staple because of how super simple, cheap and easy it is to make. It’s also fun to experiment with different beers for different flavors, throw fresh garlic in the crust, etc. I looked it up at lunch today and found a good recipe over at the Livestrong site.

Step 1

Place 2 cups of self-rising flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 6 oz. of dark beer. Stir until the dough forms into a ball. Add additional flour if needed.

Step 2

Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a baking pan with olive oil. Spread the dough to 1/2-inch thickness and place it in the oven.

Step 3

Bake the dough for five to 10 minutes or until a crust has formed on the top. Remove the crust from the oven and cover it with sauce and your favorite toppings. Return the dish to the oven and bake it until the edges are brown and the cheese is melted.

Cherries on Snow! According to my mom this recipe is the closest one to the one she made when I was a kid. Even though I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, I loved this one. So when I tried the Goat cheese ice cream at Sidecar I was literally transported back to my childhood, and had visions of myself watching my mom make it and counting the minutes until I could dive in and eat it.

  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 5/8 ozs dream whip
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 to 12 ozs cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 24 ozs cherry pie filling (2 cans)

1. Melt margarine, add crumbs, mix. Set aside to cool.

2. Add milk to dream whip; beat till thick. Refrigerate to cool. Add sugar to cream cheese; blend until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon milk to help blend. Pour cream cheese into whipped dream whip and mix till well blended.

3. Cover bottom of 9×13 pan with crumb mixture. Cover with 1/2 the whipped dream whip mixture. Spoon 1/2 cherry pie filling over whipped dream whip mix.

4. Add remaining crumbs, then whipped dream whip mix, top with remaining cherries.

5. Chill and serve.

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