The “What I’m Eating, Drinking, Cooking, Reading, Etc.” Roundup- June 2017



Episode 024- In this episode, I will let you know what I am up to food-wise and drink-wise.  It’s my thinking that you might be interested or inspired to try some of these things.  Note:  I do not receive any compensation for you clicking on any of these links. They are for your knowledge, use, and enjoyment.

If you enjoy Guys and Food, it would mean a lot if you could tell your friends and neighbors about it, or send them a link for the website or a specific podcast or blog post.  

What I’m Cooking-  Asparagus Bacon Appetizer, Mexican Street Corn

We got another delivery of Hello Fresh.  The two meals we got were:

  • Beef Burrito Night with refried beans, queso fresco, peppers and onion.
  • Saucy Barbecue Chicken with creamy green bean and potato salad.

What I’m Drinking- Shake Chocolate Porter by Boulder Beer.  I am also trying to switch to rum as a summer drink, without much success.

What I’m Baking- Coffee Cake from “The United Cakes of America” and Banana Pound Cake from Cookbook Junkies.

What I’m Eating-  I offered a recipe for pickled eggs from a list of egg recipes in Episode 020 .  What is really delicious is if you make egg salad with it!  I didn’t mention this during the episode, but the eggs will take on a green tinge because there are no beets included in this recipe.  If the green color bothers you, add beets and enjoy the pink hue.

Marcona almonds are a nut from Spain.  We were introduced to them to have them as part of a cheese platter or tapas years ago and have been enjoying them ever since.  From time to time we get them they come tossed with olive oil and sea salt.  I just got them with paprika and they are delicious!

My Weekend Project-  Wednesdays with Joe has become Thursdays with with Joe.  First loaf was Farl from Paul Hollywood’s book “100 Great Breads”.  It was one of the recipes that we used last year. Here is a blog post about that. 

The box garden is rebuilt and the vegetables are planted.  This season we have tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, banana peppers, red and yellow peppers, eggplant, basil, mint, and oregano.

What Cookbook I’m Reading-  Review of “The Complete Book of Meat” by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly.  I did not get to finish “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet” by Adrian Miller. 

I just got a review copy of “The Harvest Baker” by Ken Haedrich.  He discussed that book a little bit in Episode 021 of the podcast.  However, you can see a promo for it below to get more of an idea about it or click here.  

What I’m Doing- Writing for Edible Western New York, “Where Has all the Pizza Rustica and Pizza Grana Gone?”

Where I’m Going- Toutant for Father’s Day where I had buttermilk fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread, pickled vegetables, and hush puppies.  My wife had smoked prime rib with mashed potatoes. For dessert it was coffee and beignet.  My wife had absinthe.     

What I am Watching- On PBS I watched the American Masters series on chefs in America featuring James Beard, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Alice Waters.

The Great British Baking Show.  My prediction is that Selasi will win though Kate may be the dark horse in the competition.


Please feel free to reach out and let me what you’re doing in these categories.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

The Guys and Food newsletter gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful. Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog. Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)

Remember to subscribe to the Guys and Food podcast in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, GooglePlay, and Tunein Radio.  In social media you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Please feel free to reach out with your questions or comments.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

Blog Post-Summer Food Projects- Good for your Kid and Good for You!

Farl a.k.a “Oven Bottoms”

Last summer, my son, Joseph, and I started a baking project.  Every Wednesday when he was off from school we took a few hours in the kitchen.  It was just us alone, unmitigated by anyone or any technology.  That project is memorialized in one of the first posts of the Guys and Food effort called Wednesday Baking with Joe.

I learned a lot about baking, my son, and myself as you can read in detail in the article.  For those reasons, we deemed the effort a success and this summer we’re doing it again!  However, this year we chose Thursdays for logistical and time management reasons.

The way it works is that I give him two or three cookbooks and he chooses the recipe.  Barring anything unreasonable such as a hard-to-get ingredient, or procedure that will require many days, or some sort of expensive equipment that we don’t own, we usually turn to the job at hand.

Week 1- We brought back a favorite from last year.  Its called Farl and it’s a British bread also known as “Oven Bottoms.”  This year’s version came out better than last year’s.  The crust and the crumb of this butter enriched bread were both better and it seemed better tasting than I remember.  It’s from “100 Great Breads” by Paul Hollywood.  He is one of the judges on “The Great British Baking Show” shown on PBS.  It’s known as “The Great British Bake-Off ” across the pond.

Joe is still trying to figure what is up for this week.  I’ll keep you posted and the project continues.  In the meantime, if you have a young person in your life, this is something that is both fun and educational to do while at the same time keeping them from the gaming abyss and ticks in the woods. Like these, it doesn’t require applying a burning cigarette for removal.   You also have a chance to make some great memories;  I really recommend it!


You see, aside from the podcasts, there are blog posts too!  Aside from this, you can find another example.  Go to guysandfood.com and read my piece on the  benefits of an instant read thermometer. 

The most recent podcast is on wine labels explores whether terms such as “organic” and “sustainable” actually mean something important to your wine drinking experience or if they are merely marketing ploys.  Remember to subscribe to the Guys and Food podcast in Apple PodcastsStitcherGooglePlay, and Tunein Radio.  In social media you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

The Guys and Food newsletter gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful. Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog. Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)

Please feel free to reach out with your questions or comments.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

Dissecting a Wine Label- Organic, Sustainable, and Unfiltered



Episode 023- Have you ever been to a wine shop or seen the terms “Organic”, “Sustainable”, or “Unfiltered” on a wine list?

Are these real terms, important to your wine drinking experience or are simply marketing ploys designed to separate more dollars from your wallet?

Our resident wine guy, Howard Riedel will help you figure out what theses terms mean  and give you important insight for the next time you buy a bottle of wine.  Howard is a wine expert and has 30 plus year career as a marketing consultant to  the retail wine industry.  Here are some of his recommendations in this category:

Bonterra- A brand that evolved out of Fetzer’s early experiments in organic farming in the late 1980s, California’s Bonterra is considered the first mass-market organic brand.

Emiliana-   Chile already has an advantage over most wine growing areas because it wasn’t affected by the phylloxera aphid that destroyed many vineyards around the world, primarily in France, in the mid-19th century. It’s why the vines in Chile grow on their own roots instead of being grafted onto pest-resistant rootstock as most of the world does now. Chile is also one of the world leaders in organic wine growing, and Emiliana is the most prominent example. They produce several brands, and their Natura line is one of their best values.

Dashwood-  New Zealand is another country that has gotten strongly behind the organic movement, and Dashwood is one of their more affordable brands.

McManis Family Vineyards- This winery in California’s Central Valley is one of many certified by Lodi Rules Certified Green Sustainable Winegrowing.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards- Located on the Niagara Escarpment, Arrowhead has long been a proponent of traditional farming methods. They’ve been expanding their estate vineyards and are using sustainable farming methods.


Aside from the podcasts, there are blog posts too!  For example, if you go to guysandfood.com, you can read my latest piece on why investing in an instant read thermometer beats the alternative.

The Guys and Food newsletter gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful. Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog.  Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)

Remember to subscribe to the Guys and Food podcast in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, GooglePlay, and Tunein Radio.  In social media you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Please feel free to reach out with your questions or comments.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

Blog Post- An Instant Read Thermometer…It Beats Touching Your Face!

ThermoWorks Thermapen-Mk4

One Saturday night when I was in my twenties, I was sitting in a diner with my buddy, John.  We were not talking about women, sports,

One Saturday night when I was in my twenties, I was sitting in a diner with my buddy, John.  We were not talking about women, sports, or politics.  No.  As hip and happening guys do, we were talking about the best ways to tell how a steak is cooked to the proper temperature.  Based on this topic of conversation, I know you are saying to yourself, “It’s amazing that these guys would be alone on a Saturday night!”

John, who worked at a bunch of restaurants and was going to culinary school at Johnson & Wales, introduced me to the technique that he used.  Instead of thermometers, he directed me to what he claimed was a simple way that involved touching one’s face, matching the feeling of the meat and a specific area facial feature.

Touch the meat and it feels like your forehead, then the meat is Well-Done.  For Medium, touch your nose.  Medium Rare is judged by feeling the area right above the point of your chin.  If your steak feels like the meaty part of your cheek, you’re looking at Rare.

I had a problem with this method for a few reasons.  First, it was so subjective.  I’ve got a large nose bestowed upon me by my forbears that needed big noses to suck in as much oxygen as possible while living high in the mountains of southern Italy.  There is no way that John’s very average Irish/ Scottish/ German nose and mine when touched would both produce an equally Medium Rare steak.

Second, this routine requires that you touch the meat, then touch your face to judge if it done correctly.  In all likelihood, you’ll have to repeat the meat/face touching process.  Even if the person cooking at the grill is not a pimply-faced teenager, this is just gross and unhygienic.  Plus on a particularly busy night of cooking, you’d be walking around with meat juice smeared all over your mug.

Instead of reading a steak as Helen Keller would read Annie Sullivan’s face, I am a fan of using a proper thermometer.  At first, I used a round dial thermometer.  It was simple to use but it took a long time to register a temperature and its small face difficult for me to read.

My second thermometer was a Williams Sonoma brand whose model number is lost to history.  It came in two parts- the monitor serves as a timer and digitally displayed the temperature.  Its back is magnetic so it conveniently sticks to the stove and refrigerator.  The probe can be connected to the monitor after the business end is inserted in whatever meat you happened to be cooking.

I have really liked using this over the years. The only major challenge here is that there is a bit of awkwardness in organizing the thermometer in the food in such a way that it gives you a good reading while still providing the probe with enough slack to connect to the thermometer base outside of your oven.  Also, when the food is done you have to remember that the probe has spent a good amount of time in a hot oven.  Taking it out with bare hands is not advised and, yes, I have done it on one more than one occasion.  It’s usually around the time that I am in the throes of preparing a holiday meal.  I’ve had that since about 2002, and I still use the timer.

Just a few weeks ago, I received the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 as a birthday gift.  It’s something that I coveted for a while but never would indulge to get for myself.  Simply put, this thermometer is a dream.  While it does not provide the constant reading of the old Williams Sonoma, its easy-to-read, back lit, digital display allows you to quickly ascertain the temperature of what you’re cooking without having to futz about.  I have a feeling the Mk4 and I are going to be friends for a long time.


The Guys and Food newsletter gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful. Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog. Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)

Remember to subscribe to the Guys and Food podcast in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, GooglePlay, and Tunein Radio.  In social media you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Please feel free to reach out with your questions or comments.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

What Makes a Great Hamburger?



Episode 022-  What makes a great hamburger?  It’s such a personal choice but, regardless of your preferences, there are specific things that you take your burger from “meh” to fabulous.

On today’s show, you’ll learn about those things.  We’ll also explore some ideas from fellow burger lovers.  Their suggestions might make you stop and say, “Hey, I want to try that!”

One of my favorite burgers ever is from a restaurant called The Good Steer on Long Island.  It’s called “The Cheese Dream” –now referred to as the “Classic Cheese Dream Supreme” on their menu. This hamburger is bathed in a velvety cheese sauce, tomato, bacon, and crowned with perfectly fried onion rings.  I’ve tried to replicate it at home, to no avail.  My only recourse is to get a Cheese Dream whenever I am back on Long Island.  Usually, I will stop at the Good Steer before I see my family or friends.  If you’ve ever had The Cheese Dream, you’d know why.

There are many ways to enjoy a burger.  How one has it depends on many variables including mood, location, company, who’s doing the cooking, and what’s available.  I don’t eat a burger exactly the same way every single time.  Nor should you;  explore the many ways to achieve hamburger enlightenment!


Peanut Butter?  We saw this at a restaurant not too long ago.  While intrigued, I went with something else.  Have you had or would you put peanut butter on your hamburger?


Today, we’ll cover primarily beef hamburgers.  I know, I know.  There are some very good veggie burgers, turkey burgers, lamb burgers, etc.  For the purposes of simplicity of this particular episode, let’s stipulate that we’re talking about beef with the understanding that some of these hints, tricks, and ideas could transfer over to other burgers made of something other than beef.

The Way That You Cook It

Some people prefer small burgers, I do not.  I like a big burger that has a crust on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. In my opinion, the best way to do that is on a very hot cast iron pan or griddle.

Alternatively, you can do this outside on the grill and I like the flavor that charcoal imparts on a burger.  However, when at home and since we are a small family, I’m not going to do all that work firing up the Weber for three burgers.  All the more reason I should get a small hibachi grill, I know.

The temperature of the burger is important for the taste and consistency.  Some people go by looks, others use a thermometer to get an accurate reading.  Remember, your burger will continue to cook when you take it off the heat. But here are the temps:

Rare 120 °F

Medium Rare 130 °F

Medium 140 °F

Medium Well 150 °F

Well Done 160 °F

For food safety, the USDA has guidelines for safe minimum temperature of ground meat which they say is 160 °F.   For me, Well-Done burgers are unpalatable.  I am usually a Rare or Medium Rare guy, depending on my mood.

Disclaimer:  The temperature of how you eat your burger is your own business and only you take responsibility for what you put in your body.  Don’t eat anything you don’t want to eat.

You Invited me Over for Burgers?  Why are you Serving Meatballs?

Has this happened to you?  You start with patties and then through the process of cooking the meat transforms into a meatball?  If you have this problem, try this:  After you make the patty, make a divot in the center of it with your thumb.  Don’t squish the burger into submission, just make a gradual indentation.

What You Put In It

The quality of the beef is important; the taste and juiciness of your burger depends on it.  If you buy supermarket ground beef it’s very likely that you’re going to get lower quality ground beef than if you bought a slab of chuck and ground it yourself.  That’s just a fact with industrialized meat.  Chances are they are not as discerning about what parts of the cow they are throwing into the mix as you are.

That said, not everyone has the time or patience to start grinding meat at home.  So go to a butcher you trust (whether they be at a supermarket or not) and buy the ground beef from them.  Another option is to buy the cut of meat that you want and have them grind it for you.  It’s worth the extra money!

The amount of fat is important too.  The more fat, the tastier and more moist the hamburger will be.  Most things that I’ve read suggest 80/20 or 85/15 beef- to-fat ratio.  How you get a great tasting burger with anything leaner is beyond me.

Recommendations for the type of meat center around chuck, that’s what I use.  However, I’ve used ground pork, chopped up pancetta, or regular bacon if I have it in the fridge.  I had recommendations of adding tasso, brisket, or short rib meat into the mix too.

Some people suggest adding things such as salt, pepper, Dash seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, or other types of sauces into the meat before forming patties.  I do not.  When you start doing this, it is a slippery slope and then you fall so very close to the territory of meatballs and meatloaf.  Part of what makes a burger a burger, is its simplicity.  I usually just put salt and pepper on the outside after I make the patties.  I add sauces and other accouterments when I’m building the burger.

To combat dried out burgers, there are suggestions to put a small ice cube in the patty to keep it moist.

Another way to do that is to put a frozen chunk of cold butter in the center. This simultaneously imparts fat for moisture and flavor into the meat.  (Side Note:  On my bucket list is to eat the “21” burger at 21 Club in New York City which famously features herb butter in its center.  Here is the recipe for that.)

What You Put On Top of It

But first, this note on construction:  I’m of the mind that when the effort of eating something offsets its taste, I will pass.  I see this at restaurants.  In a effort for them to be unique, hip, buzz-worthy, or any other motivation not predicated on taste, they will create monstrous concoctions.  If you have so many burger patties, toppings, sauces, and other stuff on your sandwich that you need an assistant to help you cram the thing into your mouth, I would respectfully suggest that you’re doing it incorrectly.  You shouldn’t need a foot long skewer impaling your burger to get it to your table.  Further, it’s impossible for the human tongue to taste 34 ingredients all at one time.  Less is more!

Salt, Spices, and Herbs

As I mentioned, it’s Kosher salt and black pepper on the outside for me.  Many folks add other things including garlic salt, spice rubs, dried herbs to the outside a burger before cooking it.  If that’s your preference, okay.  I would offer the caveat that when some of these herbs and spices hit an intense heat or open flame, they can quickly go from tasty to bitter and off-tasting.

Sauce, Vegetables, Cheese, and “Other” Toppings

Sauce–  When I was growing up on Long Island, the joke was that you’d never want to live upstate because they put mustard on their burgers.  Despite this dire warning,  I have lived almost half of my life in upstate New York though I do avoid mustard on my burger.

My preference for sauce is ketchup (preferably Heinz), A1 Sauce, and/ or Tabasco Sauce.  Some like mayonnaise, and I see the appeal, but I think the danger of adding yet another sauce onto the burger outweighs the taste.  I use the word “danger” because the sauce with the (hopefully) juicy burger will diminish the integrity of the bread holding the thing together.  More on that later.

Also, too many sauces also adds to the likelihood that the burger might come slipping out the other side when you try to bite into it. For this reason, if I add a sauce, I will remove a sauce from my predetermined preferences.

I see the benefit of using sriracha as it adds both heat and tomatoey/garlicky goodness.  It’s an added dimension of flavors that I enjoy and, if its around, I will use it instead of ketchup.  The same goes with barbecue sauce and HP Sauce.

Friends recommend Thousand Island dressing which reminds me too much of McDonald’s “special sauce” so I will stay away from that. However, recommendations to try pesto aioli and even cocktail sauce intrigue me.

The best additions to a burger add texture, moisture, and taste simultaneously.  For these reasons, I like the suggestions of chili and guacamole.  With a smear of either on your burger, you can get a lot accomplished!  So too, I never thought to put cole slaw on a burger!

Cheese- Yes, I know when you put cheese on a hamburger, it transforms into a cheeseburger.  My more litigious friends can choose to argue the nuance of that, while I sit down and eat while their meal gets cold.

American or Cheddar seems to be the standard.  Burger-loving friends have suggested pepper-jack, blue cheese (and Gorgonzola).   I prefer Swiss cheese or provolone.

Vegetables- I am not convinced that tomato and lettuce brings anything to the hamburger table either in taste or texture.   However, it was very popular with the folks who opined.

I sometimes like raw onion because of the crunch and sharp taste.  I also like pickles for the same reason.  Here we had some great suggestions:  Piccalilli fits the bill.  It’s a spicy pickled vegetable relish with its origins in India.  Similar to that would be chopped giardiniera or pickled jalapenos.  Onion confit adds a sweet and sour aspect that I had not thought about, but will be trying.

Speaking of onions, like many, I love grilled onions on a burger.  It adds a bit of sweetness and goes very well with earthy goodness of mushrooms, which I also like.

Other Toppings

Bacon-  Mmmmmmmm. Bacon.  Enough said.

Fried Egg- The first time that I had an egg on a burger was in the 1970s at a restaurant called Brill’s.  I ordered it for the novelty and thought nothing more of it until a few years ago when it seemed that every restaurant was putting a fried egg on everything.  As an adult with a more thoughtful approach to eating, I appreciate the added moisture and taste the oozing yolk created.

Pineapple- This was suggested by one of my healthier eating friends. I do love pineapple but never thought to add it to a burger.


Burger Trivia:  In an effort to get more people to eat at its restaurants during Lent when observant Catholics did not eat meat on Friday, McDonald’s fielded a Hula Burger– grilled pineapple and cheese served on a bun.  Ray Kroc was convinced it was a winner.  It wasn’t.  It turned out the Filet o’ Fish was much more popular.


More Other Toppings

Bill Chen offered this unique suggestion, something  that he makes when tailgating that he calls “a hamdog.”  To make it, slice a hot dog long ways and put it on top of a burger with crushed potato chips.  Given the drinking that traditionally goes on during tailgating, this might make sense.

Cheetos were also suggested.  This adds the cheese flavor and crunch to the canvas and I am not necessarily against adding these more low brow foods.  Adding junk food is something that I’ve done before though never on a hamburger.  We have a family sandwich that we eat on vacation called a Doritos Special, which is not as off-putting as it sounds.

What You Put It On

Let’s be clear, some type of bread must be used.  If not, then your hamburger becomes a “hamburger steak.”  If you want to eat it this way, that’s fine.  For me, part of the joy of eating a hamburger is the two-fisted experience.  Get the bread!

I’ve been to some restaurants that serve their burgers wrapped in lettuce leaves as a nod to the gluten free/healthy option.  I’ve had a few burgers this way when I’ve been dieting.  I’m not a fan of this. Aside from providing a handle to eat the meat, the purpose of the bread is to absorb the mingling juices and sauces.  With nothing to the all-important job of absorbing, the result is a slippery mess.  Keeping my shirt clean during a meal is tough enough, I don’t need this added difficulty in my life.

Aside from taste, the most important thing in a hamburger is for the bread to keep integrity throughout the whole eating process.  If it is not sturdy enough for the job it’s out of consideration.  However, it can’t be so sturdy that you can’t easily take a bite without winding up in the “dog with a sock” scenario.

I don’t like traditional supermarket burger rolls because they are too soft.  They have neither flavor nor texture.  They are much more likely to fall apart with juicier burgers.  When you start adding sauces and toppings you are adding to that probability of a gloppy mess in your hand by several orders of magnitude.

I join many many who opined with a preference of kaiser rolls or ciabatta rolls.  I also enjoy English muffins for this reason.  Like ciabatta, English muffins have an an abundance of nooks and crannies to capture the sauces and juices.  The challenge is that it’s difficult to find them large enough to support the size of burger that I prefer.  With the regular-sized English muffin, you wind up with too much of the burger exposed to the elements.  A hamburger is best when there is bread in every bite.

Size is also the reason why I usually shy away from Hawaiian rolls, which are the color and texture of a potato roll but sweeter.  If you haven’t seen them, they’re about the size of a Parker House roll–again, a lot of a larger burger is exposed.  However, just this week I just saw on Facebook a way around the size issue.  Because they come attached in the bag when you buy them, you can break them into groups of four. Slice it horizontally and it makes them the perfect bread for a good-sized burger.

Many who weighed-in like the softer rolls.  If that’s more to your liking, I encourage you to try Hawaiian rolls, potato rolls, or brioche rolls.  They’re a little too soft for me, as I prefer a crusty roll for my hamburger.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going reject a hamburger on a softer roll.  That’s just crazy talk!

I am agnostic on the issue of buttering and/or toasting the roll.  No doubt it adds flavor and texture, regardless of the roll.  Sometimes I toast my rolls.  When making burgers at home, I never have buttered the rolls.  That doesn’t mean I won’t start.

The one thing I’ve learned is that the things that I enjoy over time change.  There are some constants–such as having bread with integrity and using the best quality beef that you can afford.  Life is too short to skimp on simple joys.

But when it comes to burgers, try some of these things out!  There’s a world to explore in hamburger customization.  Things that I like today, I may not like in the future, and that’s okay.  Except when it comes to the Cheese Dream, I’ll  always love the Cheese Dream.

The Guys and Food newsletter gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful. Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog. Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)

Remember to subscribe to the Guys and Food podcast in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, GooglePlay, and Tunein Radio.  In social media you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Please feel free to reach out with your questions or comments.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

Fruit Pie Problems Solved!



Episode 021-  Fruit pie season is not all unicorns and rainbows.  The bounty of fruit that comes from the spring and summer months makes it this the perfect time for putting it to good use in the guise of pies–many, many pies.   However, there are challenges that are unique to fruit pies as opposed to other types, say, custard pie for example.

Anxiety associates itself for more than a couple of reasons.   First, there  are a number of variables when putting fruit into a pie filling. Second, we have to worry about the crust which is the arch-nemesis  of so many a pie baker.  It’s enough to send some into fits of apoplexy!

Ken Haedrich is a cookbook author and pie expert, having several written books exclusively  on the subject of pie.  He also claims the title of Dean the Pie Academy, which is his website dedicated to helping people making better pie.  He provides a calming hand on the shoulder to bakers who want to get their pies right.

On the the very first episode of the Guys and Food podcast, Ken offered an overview on making great pies.  In today’s show,  he’ll get into the specifics of making fantastic fruit pies for the months ahead.

Ken has selected these recipes for you to use this coming fruit pie baking season:

To start, you need a good pastry recipe for the crust.  Ken says making a good crust is, by far, the biggest concern of people who seek his advice.  That is why he created The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course.    In this video course and the accompanying printed material, Ken walks you through the details of making pie pastry.   Instead of merely giving a recipe and saying, “Go get ’em!” he shows you what to do step-by-step.  Let’s face it, Ken is a pie sherpa!

In the spirit of full disclosure, Ken gave me free access to the course in order to evaluate it.  That said, I heartily recommend The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course for anyone who is looking for that extra hand in making pie.  Trust me, I wouldn’t recommend this unless I saw great value in it for you.  I have no other skin in the game and am not receiving any compensation if you buy this course.

As I mention in the interview, like a building, a pie needs a good foundation.  Here is that recipe.

Next, here are three fruit pies that will take you through the next few months:

It’s not too late for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

Midsummer evenings on the porch would be the perfect place for a Blueberry Ginger Pie with a Three Grain Butter Crust. 

Late summer is the perfect time for Peach Lemonade Pie with Pecan Crumble Topping.

Try them out, and let me know what you think.  As Ken Haedrich so often says, ” Pies make people happy!”  and who doesn’t want a little more people happy?

An FYI, Ken’s newest cookbook, The Harvest Baker, is coming out soon.  It will be available where all fine cookbooks are sold, including Ken’s online store.

If you enjoy listening to the Guys and Food podcast, can I ask a favor?  Can you pass this along to a food guy that you know who might like it?

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The Guys and Food newsletter gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful. Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog.  Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)

Please feel free to reach out with your questions or comments.  You can do that by clicking on the Contact button, email me at gabe@ guysandfood.com, or call the listener line at 716-427-GUYS (4897).

Food Writing and Food Podcasting

If you don’t listen to the podcast, it does not exclude you from the Guys and Food family. If reading is more your thing, I am starting to add regular blog posts into the mix because when I am not talking about food, chances are that I am writing about it.

That writing extends beyond this platform.  I’ve been lucky to be able to write for a couple of magazines, most recently in Edible Western New York.  In the latest edition, I write about fading food traditions and family.  A few months ago, I started writing for Buffalo Spree.  Here is the first article that I wrote for Spree, its about sauce.

Both are very good magazines aside from the fact that they publish my work.  If you see them at your local newsstand, pick up a copy.  If you live outside of Western New York, click on the links in this article and read the digital versions.

The Guys and Food Podcast

You may not have the time or know how to listen to the Guys and Food Podcast.  Certainly, it’s my hope that this will change.  If you already listen to the podcast–Thank You!  It’s a labor of love and I appreciate that you listen.  However, if you’re not familiar with what a podcast is and you want to know more, please contact me directly and I will personally walk you through it.  Call me and, if I don’t answer, I will call you back– 716-427-GUYS (4897).

If you’re podcast savvy, you can easily subscribe to the Guys and Food podcast in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, GooglePlay, and Tunein Radio.  On social media you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

However you engage with Guys and Food, whether its on the blog, podcast, or on social media, please sign up for the Guys and Food newsletter!  It gives you delicious recipes, helpful kitchen hacks, and other things that any food guy will find useful.  Some of the things in the newsletter will be exclusive, which means it won’t make it on the podcast or blog.  Sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad that you did! (Don’t worry, your contact information will never be sold or made available to any other person or organization.)