Bagna Calda

Bagna CaldaBagna calda you ask? I thought the same thing when my sister-n-law mentioned how good this was, and was also heavily supported by my brother-n-law. This recipe is made once a year by the Gaughn family, and we all know that if you are going to make a dish once a year, it has got to be good. Well, I finally got around to making bagna calda. I consider this dish a warm bath filled with love. Not only that, but one that is way too simple to make.


  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 6 anchovie filets
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Dash of pepper
  • French bread, cut in large cubes
  • Fresh vegetables, I used the following
    • Brocoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Red Bell Pepper
    • Zucchini

Start by cleaning and preparing your vegetables. Trim the cauliflower and broccoli into florets for easy dipping. Take the other and cut them into large quarter slices. Keep in mind that you and your guests will use skewers or toothpicks to dip into the bagna calda.
Bagna Calda with anchovies Once prepared, heat the butter, oil, garlic, and anchovie filets on medium to low heat. Occasionally stir the to melt away the anchovies. Keep the heat on low, and if possible transfer to a fondue plate or some type of warming dish. When you are ready, dip your vegetables, and bread into the bagna calda, and enjoy with a glass of your favorite wine. After having this as an appetizer, I thought that it would also be good drizzled over steamed vegetables later in the week. Remember, it’s all good.

Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce

BBQ SauceLately, I have been watching shows on barbecue. These shows covers areas of our country where, let’s face it, bbq is king. These states include North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee. When I see shows like this, it makes me want to do two things; slow cook some pork, and eat it with some really great sauce.

Now sure, I can pick from one of my nine sauces I have either in the refrigerator or my food cabinet, however this time around, I wanted to make my own. Some of my favorite sauces come from Famous Dave’s, Speed Queen’s, and many more. I wanted to make a sauce that my family would love, however something that would have a kick to it as well. I believe I got it. Enjoy this sauce with pork, beef, fries, or whatever you like to put sauce on.


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of regular white vinegar
  • 7 tb of white sugar
  • 3 tb of cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tb of soy sauce
  • 3 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp of dry mustard
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tb of chipotle adobo sauce

Combine all of your ingredients, and cook over medium to low heat until sauce begins to clear and thicken. Let cool and store in a large ketchup bottle. Trust me, it’s all good.


Mac-n-CheeseA colleague and I had a recent discussion on velveeta cheese. Let’s face it, a block of velveeta is funky, but overall, truly tasteful in dishes like queso or macaroni and cheese. Now I have made several batches of mac-n-cheese over the course of my lifetime, however I would say that I took a different approach to this last batch. My first thought was how can I make the mac-n-cheese not only a bit different, but also something my kids would attempt to eat.


  • 3 small onions, or 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 4 TB of butter
  • Roughly 1/8 cup of all purpose flour
  • One box of medium sized macaroni shells, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Cheese, lots of it, approximately 2-3 cups (I used smoked gouda, medium cheddar, and mozzarella)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mac-n-CheeseIn a skillet, add your butter and chopped onion. Cook this down for roughly five minutes on medium heat. You do not want to caramelize the onions, but let them sweat. Add the flour and mix through. Let this cook for a couple of minutes, then begin to add the milk, and gently whisk until it gets thick and bubbly. You can begin to determine the thickness at this point in time. Add salt and pepper, then add all of your cheese. Let this melt down. In a large casserole dish, add the cooked noodles, then pour of the cheese mixture. I put in the oven for even more golden brownness for roughly seven minutes. Dish out into bowls and enjoy.

I did have these for leftovers the next day and added a bit of chipotle in adobo sauce, it was rocking. I have also mixed in a crushed garlic and pepper paste that also added a great kick to it, if you are into it.

Dipping Sauce

Thai Pepper dipping sauceMy parents recently visited us from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, and with them they brought a recipe that I am going to share. Some history on the sauce is that my parents have been invited to my dad’s coworker’s house for a couple of parties. They say the parties are very similar to those that my in-laws have, the kind that last all day, and cousins, uncles, friends and family attend all day long. A party where cooking is important, as well as the drinking and entertaining, you know, how a party should be. Their friends are Filipino and Hawaiian descent, meaning by the sounds of it, the party already sounds fun! My parents have been bragging about this sauce their friends make, seriously bragging about how good it is. They serve it as a dipping sauce to a huge slab of beef they through on a rotisserie for hours. The ingredients are not much different from the Thai dipping sauce I make, however this one uses soy sauce and onions.

Thai Pepper dipping sauceIngredients:

  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce (They recommend Aloha brand)
  • One cup of finally chopped onion
  • Juice of one lime
  • 10 chopped thai peppers

Based on the ingredients, things could not be easier. Be mindful when handling the thai peppers to wash your hands afterwards, as you would not want to rub your eyes after chopping the onion! Combine all of your ingredients together and let marinade for a couple of hours before using. You can keep the sauce in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. My parents were right, the sauce was awesome, especially with beef.