DOWN with Bobby Flay!!!





LMAO…I kid, I kid!


I LOVE Bobby Flay. His Southwestern Fusion style of cooking (always mixing sweet and spicy) is one of my favorite cuisines. He’s a master griller and a has great flair. I swear, Bobby has some sweet Irish swagga. Anyone who knows what a down ass Irish dude is like, knows he’s kinda like an honorary brotha. He’s up there with some of my favorite Food Network chefs, like Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Rocco Dispirito, and Alton Brown (FAVE geek chef EVER). I love those guys. I’ve had a secret crush on him ever since his debut on “The Melting Pot” which aired in the beginning of Food TV’s conception. The fact that Bobby ranks with these dudes…is big…


BUT…


HOW YOU GONE BE ALL UP IN FOLKS BUSINESS…CHALLENGING THEY SHIT? lmao


Myself, my girl Maria and my Trip aka Al…were having this discussion on Al’s status…and we mostly agree that we love when Bobby loses on his show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay“. I love Bobby, I just like his arrogant ass to lose. YES, the little lady whose been making turkeys forever…shouldn’t lose to his scrumptious take on the Thanksgiving staple. NO, and HELL NO again…he shouldn’t win against the Mac-n-Cheese diva herself, Delilah Winder…A SISTA. I mean come ON…that’s our dish dude! There should’ve been a Black judge and a White judge…for REAL…because what we think is the bomb ass mac-n-cheese is totally different than what white folks think is a winning “casserole”. Any mac-n-cheese rocking 7 different cheeses…maaaaaan. *drooling*


SO…yea, back to Bobby…this dude HERE! He steps to folks in their element. Local chefs known for their specific recipes…renowned for winning awards and being neighborhood favorites. He stepped to this one Italian family and beat them out for their ravioli. Come ON. A little old Italian lady shows his ass the secret to ravioli-making and he does an Irish jig over their asses. (It DID look good. One had an entire shrimp in each ravioli…the other a traditional ravioli with a twist…it had olive tapenade mixed in) I know…culinary jargon. At least I’m linking you to references. LOL


Basically…I LOVE watching him attempt recipes for the first time (like the infamous sticky bun throw down he lost) but learning another level of cooking and tucking into his gourmet repertoire. It reminded me of how I go in on a recipe for the first time and usually ace it. (Like a pan of manicotti I made for a friend one year…WHOA!) Even though I hate when he wins against people who have been making their dish for YEARS with consistency and continued praise…I kinda smile. When he LOSES? I LAUGH hard.


I love that show!


Recipe for my Manicotti:


One pack of Barilla Manicotti shells
3 cups of ricotta cheese (I’d buy a 16oz tub)
8ozs blended mozzarella mix (Usually has Asiago, Mozzarella, Provolone, etc)
1 cup of Parmesan (you can use the Kraft…or you can use 1 bag of pre-shredded Parmesan found with the other bagged cheeses)
1 egg yolk
2tbsp parsley
1tsp of nutmeg
1tsp of garlic powder (distributes better than actual garlic)
1tsp each of salt and pepper (the cheese is salty enough)
8-10 slices of sharp provolone cheese for the top


For the Sauce:
You can use your favorite jarred sauce. I make my own:


1-16oz can of crushed tomatoes (I get the one that comes with basil)
1 small yellow onion, chopped (or 3 large shallots)
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced finely
salt and pepper to taste
about 1 1-1/2tsps of sugar (to cut the acidity of the tomatoes)
1 tsp of chili powder 😉
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil


Make sauce in a medium-high skillet. Place oil in pan and then sauté onions…putting garlic in after onions have cooked down. I usually place the herbs and spices in at this time…then the can of tomatoes. Sprinkle in your sugar and let simmer for 20mins. Set aside to cool a little.


For the manicotti:


Parboil manicotti shells until al dente (firm to the bite)
Mix cheeses, egg yolk, herbs and spices together. (quick note: use a ziploc bag as a piping bag. Put mixture inside of the bag, take air out, clip end and squeeze into shells) 


In a 9×12 pan or a “medium” baking pan, lie the filled manicotti on top of a layer of sauce. When fit snugly in (or they’re just all in) ladle sauce over manicotti, place provolone over the manicotti and bake covered for about 20-30mins…or until manicotti is fork tender. Enjoy!


(We enjoyed it with a simple Spinach, plum tomato, red onion salad with Balsamic vinaigrette)


As for ME? I add MORE Parmesan cheese after the fact…what can I say? I’m a cheese whore. lmao

Having Cake…and Selling it, though


I’ve been kicking around the idea for a while now…selling cakes! I’m a good cook. I can “burn” if I do say so myself. My repertoire of what I can make is SOLID. I can also learn how to make just about anything. I made a pound cake for the 1st time a few Mother’s Days back and it was GOOD! FIRST time out the gate. I also got a recipe from the Food Network site by Emeril Lagasse, for a sweet potato cake. I removed the nuts, swapped the all-purpose for self-rising flour, used pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg and added spiced rum and almond extract to the potato mixture. Drizzle it with orange glaze and its a wrap. EVERYONE who tastes this cake falls in love. It’s the kind of cake you have alongside a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I love baking. I love making things from scratch. I love experimenting. *looking for a new guinea pig* I love when something comes out perfect…or at least better than I expected.

I am also creative. I’ve made flowers out of card stock…so why not sugar? I have an eye for detail…why not apply that to something beautiful like a wedding/birthday/shower cake? As I was sitting here watching “Amazing Wedding Cakes” on the WE channel…I saw the combination of baking and art becoming intriguing. I need a little tutorial and some time to perfect a method. I have a few cake recipes in my artillery…some basics that can get pimped and morph into other things. I mean…a yellow cake is plain until you add lemon peel and extract…then VOILA…Lemon Cake. LOL As long as I’ve got basics…I can elaborate on that.

Basically, I am considering slinging dough! 😛 It’s something I like to do that comes easy…or at least doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. I know theres more to it than just baking a cake. Making a cake on demand…possibly in multiples is a whole lot different than making a few cakes for Thanksgiving holiday. Its a serious consideration…ya might just find a Kween’s cake somewhere. 😉