A good butcher

I am on the look out for a butcher in the Lawrence/Trenton NJ area. If anyone has one that has reasonable prices and good quality meats please let me know.

Lets go out and eat and then write a review

mozilla french tableI have been working on a project as an editor for the ChefMoz dining guide that is part of the Mozilla Directory project. ChefMoz is a web site for restaurant reviews, from volunteers.

I am starting to use it for planing nights out with my wife to find new places to eat and try. I am also using it to plan where I want to eat on our next vacation to the Keys.

So when you go out and eat, how about taking the time to then write a review for the restaurant. If the restaurant isn’t listed click on the “add restaurant” link on the upper right menu and fill out the form as best you can and then leave a review and the editor for the area will ok it and post it.

So please check out and help us out getting more restaurans and more reviews and help spread the word about ChefMoz dining guide.

Tools I want to add to my Kitchen Arsenal

I am always working on my cooking. I have been cooking since the age of 7 when I started making coffee for my parents, but after that I always watched and worked with my grandparents on holiday dinners and everyday cooking and retained as much as I could. I am also in a culinary 101 course of 5 classes to sharpen my cooking skills.

One of the things I want to get to use in my cooking is a new chefs knife. I have been using a set of Global knives to try them out and see how they feel in my hand. The one I like right now is a Global G-4 Oriental Cook knife. It has a good feel and balance and fits well in my hand. The other thing I like about this is the short bald for a cooks knife. It’s good to use for close work, a 6 inch or 8 inch chefs knife is sometime to big for me when I am cutting and dicing vegetables.

The other tool I want to get is an immersion blender. The one that cooks Illustrated rated as the number 1 is the KITCHENAID immersion blender.

I am sure there are other things I want to add to my kitchen arsenal, but those are the ones at the top of the list.

Cooking and the Kitchen

I am going back to school next month. I am taking some culinary classes at the local community college..I can’t wait…the first class is a knife class which is a good thing since my knife skills are for crap these days. I am hoping to also find out about getting some new knives. The other classes are meat, poultry, and fish. It seems like a fun set of classes to take and the price was right. 🙂

On Saturday Carolyn and I worked on organizing the kitchen a bit. We also decided to convert the junk closet in the laundry room to the pantry and get all the canned and dry goods out of the kitchen cabinets and moved to the new pantry. I still have to clean out the big pot cabinet and get it reorganized so I can find things in my kitchen when I am cooking.

I have also added a recipe section on the site so you can see my recent cooking projects. You can find it here.

A New Grocerie Store….Anyone 3

So I have lived back in this area now for around 18 years. I have been doing my grocery shopping at the Acme in the Lawrenceville shopping center. The prices are to high and the store is dirty and they seem to be out of a lot of stuff when I am there. My wife has been doing the shopping for the last few months and she has been telling that the store has been getting worse.

Today we wandered over to the ShopeRite in the Mercer Mall. It was big and clean and the prices seemed to be better, but it was to crowded and the parking lot was a mess. I like the store and the prices but…

We are going over to the ShopRite on the Pennington Circle to see if it’s as nice a store as the one in the Mercer Mall.

If you live in the Lawrenceville, NJ area where do you shop for groceries?

I sure wish there was a Trader Joes close to the Lawrence area…I love to shop there.

Christmas 2007 has come and gone

Well Christmas 2007 has come and gone and everyone in the Bilancio household had a great Christmas. I spent most of it in the kitchen working on Christmas dinner but it was fun working with food and my folks.

The big gift this year went to my wife Carolyn. I gave her a romantic getaway vacation to the Florida Keys for both of us. We still have to pick where we are going to stay but I have booked the air fair and car rental. We will be going sometime in May. I know I am looking forward to just sitting by the ocean or pool relaxing for a week with a few day trips to Key West and other sites in the Keys.

The family started showing up promptly at 4:30 and dinner was served around 5:30. All the food was great and we all had a great time enjoying each others company. Things started breaking up around 8:30 – 9:00.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and is looking forward to the new year.

Recipe for all those who were asking for it…..

For my fun party guest from New Years Eve here is the roll recipe from Mel.

Okay,so here’s the recipe.

Refrigerator Rolls (yes, they have a name.)

Ingredients Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
2 tsp salt
2 packets yeast
1 cup boiling water
1 cup lukewarm water
2 beaten eggs
approx 6 cups flour

Combine sugar, shortening, and salt and over this pour the boiling water. As it is cooling, add the yeast to the lukewarm water in a separate container. When the first mixture is cool, add two beaten eggs. Cream with mixer. Add the yeast and slowly add the flour, stirring as you go.

When dough is pliable but not sticky, form into a roughly shaped ball in the bowl, cover the bowl and let it rise in the frig for at least two hours. The dough will keep for a week if a little bit of oil or Pam is sprayed on the surface to prevent it from drying out.

Roll the dough out into your favorite style. Clover leaf and parker house is particularly nice, but do what you want. If you are doing parker house style, roll the dough out to 1/4 th inch thickness. Cut with a round shape: I use a drinking glass, Grandma uses coffee mugs. Add a pat of butter to the circle, fold in half. Press the edges down firmly. This methods makes 3 dozen, approx.

Let the dough rise for 2 1/2to 3 hours, covered and in a warm place, before baking.

Ovens and cooking times vary. Grandma bakes hers at 425 degrees for 15 to twenty minutes. I bake at 250 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes, plus I have a pizza stone in the oven to block the direct heat. Start low, watch the first batch closely until you find the prefect temperature for your oven.


Scrambled eggs and fried pepper sandwich

I woke up this morning after only 5 hours sleep craving one of my grand-mom’s scrambled egg and fried pepper sandwich. See you take 2 slices (thick slices mind you) of Lou Bilancio’s homemade wheat bread. Then you take 2 bell peppers and 1 hot pepper cut them up and put them in a skillet to fry up. As they are frying break 4 large eggs in a bowl and beat add a little salt and ground black pepper to the egg mixture. When the peppers are soft and fried down, pour the egg mixture into the skillet with the peppers. Cook till eggs are done. Now remember those 2 slices of Lou’s bread? Put them on a plate right next to each other. Scoop the cooked egg and pepper mixture onto one piece of the bread. Cover with the other piece. Now Eat.

If you are making this for little children you can hold off on the hot pepper.

Another variant is to use slices of Italian Bread From Peoples Italian Bakery in the Burg and spoon little amounts onto the slices and eat it slowly and savor it…

My grandmother used to make this for us grandkids when we stayed over. She also used to send this sandwich with Henry and Tim for lunch at school. But that’s another story…

If you ever stop over my house bring some peppers and bread and I will make some up for ya…

Call first we may need eggs.