Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Recipes (page 1 of 2)

Easy Diner

food, pasta, fun, laughter, Italian

Click on the Diner picture above to achieve greatness in the kitchen!
Fabio is some kind of  awesome.
Love this guy.
Trust me, the short video is amazing . . .


Food Fight

Dad’s Diner is now listed on the Foodie Blogroll!!!
Just thought I’d let everyone know.
It’s a small landmark for me.
And the blog is doing quite well, thank you for asking.
I have a BBQ sauce recipe up right now that is just sick!
Please check it out.
For now?
Enjoy the food fight . . .

free video hosting
Free Video Hosting

this is just sick.

I found this floating around YouTube and had to share it.
With a bit of preparation this recipe could conceivably work.
I have yet to try it but I will . . .
Have no fear.
Stay tuned.
I really like Alton Brown.
Try his One Minute Eggplant.
Good God . . .

Happiness is a warm cheeseburger

food, Dad's Diner, recipes

I’ve wanted to keep a record of personal recipes for my daughters to cook
when I’m someday reduced to a room temperature dish of Fettucine-al-Dead-o, or Face-Planting the Meringue maybe even pushin’ up the perpetual parsley.
Something about food that’s familiar is quite simply
comforting with a capital C.
I began thinking about a small book of some sort but that idea fizzled.
A blog made more sense as it’s something I can just keep adding to as the years go by and I come across more recipes.
Click on the picture above and check out Dad’s Diner.
Eat at Dad’s where you’ll live forever and the cheeseburgers are to die for.
As always, I’ll leave the lights on for ya . . .  😉

Ralph's Diner, food, cheeseburgers

ps. special thanks to Maureen for helping me get this up and running.

you will know

I saw this and thought, “What a perfect Christmas post.”
Stuart Shepherd is a good looking and compassionate man but sorry ladies, he’s married.
This will probably be my last post until after Christmas so I’ll wish all of you a day of blessings, good cheer and the surroundings of family.
Christmas Eve may briefly call me back to the blog.
We’ll see . . .
Don’t forget to make the French Toast Casserole
for Christmas morning breakfast. Awesome.
If you don’t make it, you’re missing out on some very serious and delicious calories. (Yoiks!)
Merry Christmas!

paz, folks . . .



Pamela’s Dirty Snowballs

I can’t say enough about these little rascals.
You just can’t stop eating them.
And I’m sure you don’t believe me.
So make a batch and let me know.
These bastards are way worse than a bag of Lay’s Potato Chips in terms of compulsive “eatability”.

1/4 pound butter (none of that “can’t believe it’s not butter” shit ~m)
1 package chopped dates
(buy decent chopped dates in plastic containers, like the ones they sell at the deli. Not sure how much is in a package or plastic container, but I usually just use one container or box. Make sure you get the chopped dates, not the whole dates, and if they have sugar on them that’s alright.)
1 egg beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 bags coconut
(I usually double this recipe when I make themgood advice, ~m)

Put first five ingredients in a large pot on the stove (spaghetti pot), melt and bring to a low boil.
You should stay close and stir quite often so it won’t burn.
Once it is all melted and it comes to a low boil (it will take awhile, you will see the mixture start to bubble), you can turn off the heat and move the pot to a pot holder or another burner and add the Rice Krispies and nuts and stir until it is combined.
You then lay out wax paper and cover it with shredded coconut.
You want the mixture to still be warm so the coconut sticks to the ball.
(God, I love this recipe ~m)
Roll them into balls about the size of meatballs.
You can actually make them as big or small as you like.
(I usually use rubber gloves when I make them because it seems easier to me because the mixture is so sticky, but you don’t have to be.)
Roll the balls in the coconut and push the coconut onto the ball.
Sometimes this is frustrating because it seems like the coconut is not sticking so well, but you can always sprinkle the leftover coconut on top of the snowballs when you are finished making them.
You can either put them on a plate or in a container and sprinkle the remainder of the coconut on top.
Put them in Christmas tins and sprinkle the leftover coconut on top.
They are not hard to make, just very messy.
Enjoy, folks.
Merry Christmas!


Ginny’s Beef Stew

You asked for it.
I delivered.
Mom lives on.


2-2 1/2 lbs. Chuck (for stew, lean)
2 – jars (or cans) of Onions, plus the juice
2 – jars (or cans) of Carrots, plus the juice
2-3 lbs. Potatoes, skinned, cubed and microwaved for 7-9 minutes
2- cans of tomato soup
1- can of Beef Consomme
opt. tarragon, Worcestershire sauce, ground clove, basil (my touch)

Saute beef in butter until brown.
Add onions, carrots, water (or beef consomme) to cover beef. (don’t worry about adding too much liquid, it cooks off)
Simmer all for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Add potatoes and cook for 3/4 of an hour or until beef is tender (and potatoes!)
Add the tomato soup and heat through.
Serve with a nice, warm and crusty loaf of bread and a glass of aged Merlot and see a sliver of heaven. Nice.


ps. any questions regarding the recipe, email me.

Recipes of the heart

It was a cold, brisk November night several weeks ago that Pamela and I went out to dinner (a rare occasion), not an expensive “date” by any means; a burger and a shared salad along with a few Shipyard Pumpkin Ales which were quite good, one or two and you’ve had your fill of this delicately spiced brew.
Maybe it was the up and coming holidays that turned on the “memory” faucet for me but for some reason I began thinking about my mother. (big surprise, huh?)
When I think about her, I really miss talking to her.
I wonder if that feeling will ever stop?
The two just go together, I guess.

It was no surprise that I found myself on Sunday afternoon making a big pot of Beef Stew, a recipe that I adopted from her.
The simple act of cooking something she used to make brings her back to me, in a quiet and introspective kind of way.
She’s almost standing next to me in the kitchen and to be honest, I love it.
Strange, huh? Not really.
After Thanksgiving dinner, I found a great seat on our “way too comfortable” living room couch and joined my daughters while they watched “Ratatouille”, the Disney flick (and a real good one at that).
I’m not giving anything away regarding the movie but now and then souls and memories intersect for reasons unknown.
This simple children’s movie spoke to me deeply.
Sheesh. It’s Dizzney.
Go figure. (one scene in particular)
Should you ever care to watch it, maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from, maybe not.
I’ll just say that special dishes are such a beautiful and lasting thing in terms of our deepest fields of memory.
Our minds literally refuse to forget the special foods we ate and loved as children.
They bring us back.
Way back.

It was no surprise to me that the beef stew came out as good as it did.
The simple act of re-creating a recipe my mom once made me feel so good.
Maybe she had more to do with the end result of the beef stew than I did.
I like to think of it that way, anyway . . .


My mom’s beef stew recipe is up for grabs for anyone that wants it.
If there’s enough interest, I’ll post it here at S&M.

Marinated ‘Shrooms

Thanksgiving is next Thursday.
If you like fungi, check out my own recipe.
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
basil leaves
crushed red pepper flake
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2-3 bay leaves
Heat all to a boil and simmer 1o mins
Add 1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs cleaned, sliced mushrooms
Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Cool and serve.
These ‘shrooms rule.


Pass the Tums

About “No Reservations” . . .

I’ve read some bad film reviews in my life but nothing can top what folks are saying about this rotten turd of celluloid.
Just had to share this.

“No Reservations” has garnered comments such as this from
Shawn Edwards of Fox TV:

“The most delightful film of the year!”

and from Bonnie Laufer of Tribute TV

“Irresistible and charming. The PERFECT DATE movie.”

and from Gene Shalit
(Does anyone really believe this mustachioed whackjob anyway?)

“A Pleasure”
(thank, Gene. Now take care of the caterpillars mating on your forehead)

I want to set the record straight with a few choice comments from a weekly paper here in Boston. You can click HERE to get to the WeeklyDig but right now the site is suspiciously under construction. [BRB]
I’ve read reviews here before and have to say they’re usually outrageous and downright true.
And no, I haven’t seen the movie, but damn, this was funny . . .
Here are a few choice comments from David Wildman of the Dig:

“Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart go through the motions of pretending to be real humans with actual feelings, all the while displaying the depth and emotional resonance of the underwear models in a Sears circular.”


“Watching this film is the cinematic equivalent of taking that dreadful feeling you have just before you know you’re going to barf and prolonging it for 90 minutes.”

You know that feeling?

Wildman goes on and on but I think you get the point; do yourself a favor and take No Reservations off your menu immediately before someone else gets sick.
Just wanted to save you a few bucks.
Hey, there’s always NetFlix, right?


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