Hey Grandpa, What’s For Supper? – Homemade Stromboli

Take out food is certainly convenient but sometimes homemade, or semi-homemade is better.

You can control the quality of the ingredients, and you can also customize to what your family likes or make extra to put in the freezer for a quick and easy meal another day.

This is another of Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals and she actually calls this Spicy Meat and Cheese Stromboli but it is infinitely customizable to your taste as this recipe makes an individual size Stromboli. 

Homemade Stromboli

1 tube refrigerated pizza dough (recommended: Pillsbury brand)

2 Tbsp. all purpose flour or corn meal Calzone-1681229_1920

½ pound sliced pepperoni, about 24 slices

6 slices provolone

6 slices of Italian hot ham (regular ham works if you don’t like it spicy)

6 slices genoa salami

2 Tbsp.. Extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (may be omitted without issue)

2 tsp. Italian seasoning blend

2 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp. garlic powder

Marinara or pizza sauce for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Break open the tube of dough and remove it from container. Dust your hands and lightly coat the dough with flour or cornmeal the roll out onto work surface. Stretch out dough, gently spreading out the rectangle shape it has been formed into already. Cut the thin rectangular dough into 4 equal pieces, working across the dough: cut it in half and cut each half in half again.

Cover each piece of dough with: 6 slices pepperoni, 1 1/2 slices cheese, 1 1/2 slices hot ham and 2 slices Genoa salami. Roll each piece on an angle from corner to corner making a long roll that is thicker in the middle and thinner on each end. Or just fold the ends in toward each other like a Stromboli.  Brush rolls with extra virgin olive oil then mix sesame seeds, cheese and seasonings in a small cup, sprinkle and pat the mixture into the dough. Bake until evenly golden, 12-14 minutes then serve. If desired, serve with marinara sauce.


Hey Grandpa, What’s For Supper? – Chicken Fried Steaks

Chicken fried steak was one of my dad’s favorite meals.  I never was any good at making them until I came across this recipe published in a Taste of Home magazine.  They come out pretty good, not quite as good as those from a restaurant because they are pan fried and not pressure fried.

This recipe also has creamed pan gravy and suggests serving with biscuits.  I also serve it with mashed potatoes but it would be good with the hash brown casserole as well.

Give it a try and see what you think. It’s almost like a Cracker Barrel meal at home!

Chicken Fried Steaks

1 package biscuits such as Pillsbury, prepared according to package directions Chicken-fried-steak-5327150_1920

2 round steaks, ½ inch thick (1 ½ pounds total)

Wax paper

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour

1/3 c. corn meal

1 tsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. salt

½ ground pepper

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp. water

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp.. Flour

1 ¼ c. beef broth, canned is fine

¼ c. half and half or cream (whole milk will work in a pinch)


Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Set steaks on wax paper lined work surface and cover with another piece of wax paper.  Pound steaks to ¼ inch thickness.  Set steaks aside.  Line work surface with more wax paper.  Pour ½ cup of flour into each of two piles on opposite ends of the workspace.  Add cornmeal, paprika, salt and pepper to one pile of flour.  Beat eggs and water in a pie plate or shallow dish.  Cut steaks in half and coat first in plain flour, then in egg mixture and then in the seasoned flour/cornmeal mixture.  Add 2 tablespoons of oil to hot skillet and brown 2 steaks at a time.  As they brown, remove from pas and add more oil as needed.  When the last 2 portions are browned add the first two back to the pan.  Cover pan and lower heat to medium-low and cook, covered, 15 minutes.  

Remove steaks to serving platter and pour off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of drippings.  Add 2 tablespoons flour to the drippings and cook 2 minutes.  Whisk in broth and season with salt and pepper.  Add half and half or cream and whisk into the gravy.  When gravy bubbles, remove from heat.  Top steaks and warm biscuits with gravy and serve with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.  I prefer to just serve the biscuits on the side with butter and not smothered in gravy. 


Hey Grandpa, What’s for Supper? – Creole Pork Chops

05F33E13-A103-4C3B-B033-33253326BA71This is a recipe I remember my mom making when I was a kid.  I have no idea what makes these “creole” but it certainly sounded exotic when I was a kid growing up in the 70’s.  Maybe it is the ginger? 

I think as an adult cook I would probably add some of McCormick’s creole seasoning blend to spice it up.  It doesn’t take a lot of prep time but it does have an extended cooking time.  This is a good recipe when you have a bit of time to get dinner started but then have some chores or work that needs to be done (like the laundry that is never ending) as once it is in the oven you can forget about it for at least an hour. 

Give it a try and let me know what makes this “creole” if you have any ideas.  

Creole Pork Chops

4 pork chops ( 1 ½ inches thick)

1 Tbsp. Oil

Salt & pepper to taste

½ c. water

½ tsp. celery seed

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. flour

1/3 c. ketchup

½ tsp. salt 

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.  Quickly brown on both sides in the oil in a heavy skillet.  Remove chops to a baking dish.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the chops.  Bake at 325 degrees for  1 ½ hours.  Turn the chops after the first hour of baking.  Serve with potatoes or noodles and vegetable of your choice. 


Hey Grandpa, What’s for Supper? – Breakfast Fry

66F5C790-24B4-44FB-9AEC-9470710E40ADA dear friend of my dad, Ken Hake, passed away unexpectedly last year.  He and his wife were also clients of Bellomo & Associates. 

Anyone who knew Ken knew that he loved food and he loved feeding people.  They also know he was a great joker and loved to “fight” with people over their food preferences.  He always had a great time teasing me about all the things he loved to eat that I couldn’t stand. 

One of my main food dislikes is zucchini unless it is surrounded by fat, sugar and spices in zucchini bread.  But Ken loved zucchini and mostly always had a garden full of them in the summer.  One way he used them was in this breakfast fry that he called “hishy hash”.  Give it a try and see what you think of his creation.  

Breakfast Fry

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small pepper, chopped

Chopped garlic, to taste

Sprinkle of parsley

Season All or your favorite seasoning blend

6 eggs, beaten

Saute vegetables until soft.  Pour eggs over vegetables and fry until eggs are cooked through.  If you give this a try and have leftovers Ken’s dog, Katie, would be happy to make your acquaintance as this one of her favorite treats. 


Hey Grandpa, What’s for Supper? – Oven Spaghetti Sauce

9656FBD2-CB74-4CFB-801A-27D8A056654FIf you have some extra time or just have a hunger for spaghetti but find you are out of sauce this week’s recipe is for you. 

If you are like me you generally have some staples in the pantry that you bought for a recipe that you never made and now you can’t remember why you bought them. 

No, it’s just me?? 

Ok, well here is a way to use up any extra cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce that may have been hanging out in the pantry to make a tasty spaghetti sauce that you can use over noodles or make some meatballs and have homemade meatball subs.  It cooks in the oven so no mess on the stove!

Oven Spaghetti Sauce

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 beef bouillon cube

1 c. boiling water

28 oz. can tomatoes

6 oz. tomato paste

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

½ tsp. basil

1 tsp. parsley

½ tsp. oregano

½ tsp. sugar

Combine olive oil, garlic and onion in 3 quart casserole and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Dissolve bouillon cube in boiling water.  Crush tomatoes and stir with tomato paste, bouillon, spices and sugar into the onion mixture.  Return to oven and cook covered 15 minutes or until boiling.  Remove cover and cook and additional 45 to 60 minutes or until thick. 

This freezes well.  You can also cook on the stove top but be prepared for splashes!  Yummy over any sort of pasta or makes great meatball subs, just make sure to pre-cook the meatballs before adding them to the sauce.  

1 2 3 61