Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Five Dollar Meal! Turkey Burger's with Italian Sauteed Relish & Sweet Corn

Turkey Burgers and Sauteed Relish
Hey everyone, tonight I decided to put together the first five dollar meal for all of you who are looking to save money and eat healthy and great tasting food. Tonight I prepared a Turkey Burger with Italian Sauteed Relish and Sweet Corn for under 5 dollars.  Keep in mind this recipe is good for other burgers and is always a favorite when i make it.

Recipe Ingredients:
-4 Turkey burgers on sale for $2.99
-Bread for Buns .10 cents a slice

Italian Sauteed Relish
-Onion for .49 cents
-Garlic clove for .30 cents
-Fresh Basil FREE from Garden

Sweet Corn
-4 ears of corn .99 cents from local food stand

I really think this is an important part of this blog, I really want to provide everyone with the ability to cook great tasting food for reasonable price. If you would like to see if I can make something for you or something special I will certainly try to make it for 5 dollars. Which is not bad since that's the going rate for a Big Mac and fries. So, if I can help feed the Fam for Big Mac money then I have accomplished what I have set out to do on here. I made this meal for  around $4.90 cents, you can eat well on a budget, you just need to know what to look for and what to do with it. Hopefully I can help, let me know if you want to see my budget version of some of your favorites!

As for the recipe its pretty simple:

Turkey Burgers

Start by defrosting your Turkey burgers, remember if you don't like Turkey Burgers you can substitute with anything. After burgers are defrosted, take a skillet and place olive oil, and a 1/8 of a stick of butter on the pan. This helps the burgers from sticking also helps add a ton of flavor to these burgers. Now place your Burgers on the pan on a medium high flame. Keep an eye on these burgers usually takes around 10-15 minutes with a flip half way for these to cook.

Nice Color on the Relish
Italian Burger Relish

Separately, Chop up a half of a onion, 2 cloves of garlic, about 8 leaves of Fresh Basil. Keep on the side, when your burgers are about 3/4 of the way finished, place the mixture in the middle of the skillet, this saute's the mixture in the olive oil and butter, incorparting all these flavors together to make a great relish topping for the burgers.

Sweet Corn

This is simple and delicous, bring to a boil a large pot full of salted water. Place ears of corn in boiling water, and wait 10-12 mintues, the ears will start to float and you will see they are ready to go. Once you drain the corn, place back in pot, throw in 1/4 stick of butter & Salt & Pep to add flavor. Shake the pot and mix the ears around until the butter has melted.


Although this recipe is simple, you will find it to be useful and modified to any type of burger or sandwich you would like to create. Once again Mi Famiglia is full and so is our WALLETS! haha which is growing to be more and more important these days. Just remember that no amount of money can take the place of family and close ones. Whats all that money good for if you do not have anyone to share it with? Take every day for what it is and hang in there. Until next time.

Empty Plates = Satisfaction

-freddy g

"La Trinacria" Some history for you!

Well by now, most of you I am sure have been wondering what the hell is on the top of my blog, this is the picture of "La Trinacria" which is a very important symbol to Sicilian culture, sure Sicily isn't known for to much other than the Mafia, but "La Costra Nostra" (translation mean's "Our Thing") is not the only symbol of Sicily. "La Trinacria" which means "triangle" has been associated with Sicily since the 3rd century B.C, when the ancient Greeks inhabited the island. The Greeks were the first to represent this island with a Trinakie, which is very similar to the symbol that is used today on the Sicilian flag. "La Trinacria" is made up of winged head of Medusa's in the center surrounded by 3 female legs and 3 wheat ears. Taken back by the beauty of Sicily's 3 capes, they used the female legs to symbolize the 3 coasts of Sicily, Peloro, Passero & Lilibeo. Medusa's head represented that the island was protected by Athena and the wheat and wings are symbols of prosperity and luck.
While the symbol itself, can be freighting or odd, I have been very intrigued by it. Maybe, because I am Sicilian, or maybe I am just crazy, but I decided to get "La Trinacria" tattooed on my arm. So I did...

Maybe this was my own way of getting in touch with my past, which I believe everyone should do. If you do not know where you come from, It is certainly a lot harder to find out where you are going. By the great Family I have, great Fratelli's I have and great friends I have; the great food and drink (don't forget the drink) we share is the glue that holds this crazy world all together. Sorry for the history lesson, I will have some new recipes coming at the end of the week. Be safe and I will talk to you soon.

-freddy g

Monday, September 26, 2011

Italian Broil with Sweet Sauce and Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Today was the first day I actually had the chance to make something, I decided to make some of my favorites and make a big dinner for Mi Famiglia. We had some left over steaks in the freezer from Labor Day weekend and I decided to put them to use.

Tenderloin & Italian Marinade
Recipe Ingredients:
-3-4 Beef Tenderloin Steaks

Italian Marinade (see below)
-Italian Dressing
-Favorite BBQ sauce
-Spicy Mustard (Golden)
-Beer (optional, can never hurt)
-Salt & Pepper

Sweet Sauce (Marinara)
Sweet Sauce
-8-10 Tomatoes
-Fresh Basil
-Salt & Pepper
-Chopped Onion

Pop's Homemade Mashed Po's
-8-10 Peeled Potato's
-Salt & Pepper

So, it may seem like a lot for dinner, but you don't know how we LOVE to eat!!! SUO TUTTO MANGIARE!!! IT'S ALL TO EAT!!! It was actually quite funny watching me cook today and my Pop had quite a couple laughs at me running around the kitchen taking pictures of everything, thought I was nuts...It was pretty challenging cooking and running around to right down everything for you guys, needless to say I loved it...haha

So with this recipe and any other, I always find it best to follow some basic rules, no matter what your cooking, Lets just call these the Golden Rules:

The Golden Rules of Cooking as Per freddy g
1. Always wash your hands and cook with clean utensils. especially when dealing with Meat or Poultry.
2. Always use the Freshest ingredients you can. Sometimes you can substitute, but remember you are also substituting flavor.
3. Always have a plan. Be organized and have an idea what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes its best to just Freestyle which I love to do, but for the most part it makes things easier to have a plan.
4. Always BE YOURSELF IN THE KITCHEN. Remember you should enjoy cooking, LOVE what you EAT and EAT what you LOVE.

After looking over the Golden Rules, just remember to respect your food, know your ingredients and add your own twist onto the food you love to eat.

But anyway back to the recipe:

Italian Broil
For the steaks its pretty simple, defrost the steaks depending on the size and weight it may take longer or shorter, While Steaks are defrosting, Mix in a mixing bowl, 2 cups of Italian Dressing, 3 TSP of your favorite BBQ Sauce, 2 TSP of Spicy Brown Mustard, 1/2 Cup of Beer (I usually use a Lager, but any Beer wont hurt) & throw in some Salt & Pep. Mix bowl until all ingredients have been blended together. you can also set your stove to broil and let it heat up. Once the tenderloins have been defrosting Salt & Pepper them and place them in a broiler safe bowl or pan. Once in the pan then place a 1/4 stick of butter in the middle of the steaks, then dress the streaks with the Italian Marinade that you have made. Place the Pan into the broiler and wait until steaks have a nice sear on them, make sure you keep a close eye and not to burn them, In about 10 minutes the steaks should have a nice color on them and will needed to be flipped and finished off with some more Italian Marinade and placed back in the broiler for 5-8 minutes depending on how you like your steak.

Sweet Sauce (Marinara)
For the Sweet Sauce, this is one of my favorite things to make and EAT!!! This sweet sauce is a staple of my Pop's and my cooking, you can find it on our Pizza to our Stuffed Shells.

Fresh Tomato Growing!
It can be made two different ways depending on the time you have. The first way is the old fashioned way, pick 8-10 fresh tomatoes we use our garden and anytime you can I suggest you use your own personal garden if possible. After you Pick your tomatoes you need to wash them, De-core them which is basically just removing the vine from the top. Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil, then place the De-cored tomatoes into the boiling water, after 8-10 minutes they should be plumbed and ready to be cooled and peeled. Again use your eye and best judgment, once they are ready, drain the water and split and peel the tomato. Let Cool, and once you can handle, mash with hands until the tomatoes are broken down. Now you can start adding, Fresh Basil (also from garden), 4 TSP of Sugar, 1/2 cup of fresh chopped onion, 2-3 chopped cloves of garlic, Oregano and Salt & Pep to taste.

The second way is much less time consuming and less laboring. Instead of using fresh tomatoes, you can use 2 cans of tomato sauce and 1 can of tomato paste. Then repeat the last steps and flavor to taste.

Onion, Garlic and Fresh Basil Chopped

Mixing the sauce and the pasta always adds flavor to the dish


Pop's Homemade Italian Mashed Potatoes

Heating up Pop's Mashed Po's
This is a favorite of mine and is great for the holidays coming up. For this you need to Peel 8-10 Potatoes and place in boiling water. Once boiling for 10 minutes, the potatoes should start to become more buoyant and float to the top of the water. Drain the potatoes and place them under cool water to make it easier to handle, begin to mash with hands in separate bowl, then continue to mix with a electric mixer. Add 1/4 to a 1/2 stick of butter and Salt & Pep to taste. The secret ingredient's for this is Parsley, sprinkle a little in and mash to liking some like it real fluffy and others a little more chunky, but to each is own haha...


Well the finished product, was running around, a little hectic and a lot of love but all well worth it for a dinner with Mi Famiglia. It definably opened my eyes and hopefully as I continue to log these, I will be more and more efficient at running around cooking and Bloging...maybe we can call it "Cloging"? or "Blooking"?...I don't know but what I do know is that there will be much more where this came from, please let me know if you have any comments or questions...Once again remember "Suo Tutto Mangiare"...ITS ALL TO EAT!!!
Finished Product, Italian Broil with Sweet Sauce, Mashed Po's & an Anti Pasta

If your plate looks like this at the end of the night you did something right...Til next Time!

-freddy g

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meet The Characters

Well, In my life there is always supporting characters that play a huge part in this crazy facebook photo reel we all call life, I just want to introduce you to a few of mine, and I will be adding more and more as I continue to post, so keep following....

The first and probably most important figure in my life is...

Pop - a.k.a Big Lou
Pop - Celebrating his 76th Birthday!

 He has been passing down family recipes to me since, well since I can remember, Always has the best advice and always is making you laugh. Hes my inspiration for everything I do and my hero... I will be tagging him in dishes and giving you his insight as this develops.

 Pops loves cooking and he knows what hes doing, there and nothing like shooting the s**t with pop over a beer.. here are my top 5 favorite dishes he makes:

5. Italian Meatloaf
4. Stuffed Shells
3. Meat & Sweet Sauce (Gravy)
2. Fettucine with Homemade Red Clam Sauce
1. Lasagna

Don't worry I'll be posting all of these as soon as I start to get cooking...

And, secondly is Krista a.k.a My Beautiful Girl

We pretty much spend every second we can together and between us throwing something together after work, or playing our version of the T.V. show "Chopped" (which I am currently undefeated at) we always are throwing our little twists on my Pop's classics.
Here is Krista is cutting up some Basil for my Sweet Sauce.

Krista & I have been together for almost 2 years now and she has defiantly influenced me and helped me expand my taste and love for food. From making me try Sushi to making for me try fondue for the first time, shes always encouraging me and challenging me to do better and that includes our food that we make! 

Last for now but certainly not least, Is my Ma, She  has always been there for me and supported me no matter what I ever encountered. She is a free spirited women. I draw many of my inspiration from her.

We joke every year when its her birthday that shes turning 18 again...and again...and again...haha but no doubt if there is one thing I can count on it is that my Ma will be my number one fan and number one taste tester...haha

One of the things I can always re-call is my Ma's breakfast from the fluffiest scrambled eggs and the best french toast that I HAVE TIL THIS DAY TASTED, my Ma defiantly taught me how to be my own person and cook an amazing eggs Benedict (also coming soon)...

There is Ma in the middle with the rest of Mi Famiglia

Keep following and I will be sure to make something special for all of you. Including step by step recipes, pictures, information, tips and best of all great tasting five star Italian meals, for five bucks or less...

Talk to you all soon...

-freddy g


Coming Soon! Fresh & Delicious Italian appetizers, entrees and desserts. Cooking for La Famiglia on a budget! Please follow and let me know if you have any ideas for your favorites done on a budget! Thank YOU!!!

-freddy g