One of my favorite wines (and it’s under $8)

Best Cheap Red Wine

Best Red Wine Under $10

Best red wine for under $8

Fresh bright red fruit balanced by a fine structure and ample bouquet. 

I hesitate to share this scarcely known wine with too many people (don’t want the price to increase), but if you like red wine you will love this one.  Personally, I prefer Malbecs.   I was recently introduced to Borsao Granacha by my local Mariano’s Wine Connoisseur.   She was spot on.  If you like Malbecs, you’ve got to try this bottle! 


Easy Pork Chop and Homemade Apple Sauce with a side of Brussels Sprouts


Italian Spice Rubbed Pork chop, cinnamon apple sauce & pan roasted Brussel sprouts

Italian Spice Rubbed Pork Chop, Cinnamon Apple Sauce and Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Pork Chop Rub Recipe (for 2)  (1) Tablespoon each of:

  • Ground Sage
  • Fennel
  • Sea Salt
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • Black Pepper.
  • Mix together and rub into both sides of pork chop.
  • Pan sear both sides in olive oil
  • Bake for 10 minutes on 375 degrees.  No need to flip the chop while baking.


Easy (Sugar-free) Homemade Apple Sauce (for 2)

  • Peel (3) Granny Smith Apples
  • Add to food processor, use “pulse” until chopped
  • Saute (1) small shallot until translucent in saucepan
  • Add apples to a shot of water and cook in saucepan until tender (approx 20 min).
  • Add Cinnamon to your liking

Pork Chop Brussels Sprouts

  • Cut off bottom tips of Brussels Sprouts
  • Partially steam until tender (Heat saucepan while steaming)
  • Transfer the pan dripping from the baked pork chops into the saucepan with the partially steamed Brussels Sprouts
  • Saute & Serve!

Truffle Clams with Gruyere and Panko Crumbs


Truffle Clams with Gruyere and Panko

Steam clams, chop and mix with panko, clam juice, salt, pepper, parsley, truffle oil or chopped black truffles, place under broiler and enjoy.

Spicy Tuna Sashimi Avocado Bites


Tuna Sashimi Avocado Spicy Mayo Bites

Spicy Tuna Sashimi Avocado Bites

Check out your local fresh fish market for sushi-grade tuna.  If you’re in Chicago, I recommend Isaacson & Stein Fish Co on Lake Street in West Town.  They have a great selection of fresh and quality seafood at very reasonable prices.


  • Chop Fresh Tuna (1/2 -1 lb)
  • Slice Avocado (1-2 at your preference)
  • Chop Cilantro (to your liking)

Spicy Mayo Sauce

  • Add 2 Tablespoons of Light Mayo to Siracha Sauce (to your liking)
  • Add a splash of Lemon Juice, Soy Sauce, and Chili Oil to the mayo.

Mix all ingredients together and serve on a decorative spoon (like shown above) and Serve on a fun spoon!

Garlic Mojo and Apple Cider Marinated Smoked Whole Hog


Garlic Mojo Apple Cider Smoked Whole Hog

Garlic Mojo Apple Cider Smoked Whole Hog

(serves up to 70)

Before you start, you’ll need:

  1.  Clean Bathtub
  2. New shower curtain or sheet
  3. (20) 5 lb Bags of Ice

Marinade Recipe:  

  • 5 lbs of Peeled Garlic
  • 5 lbs of Grated Yellow Onion
  • 2 Bunches of Cilantro and Parsley
  • 2 Cups Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Black Pepper
  • 2 gallons of Orange Juice
  • 2 gallons of Apple Cider
  • 1/2 gallon Lemon Juice
  • 2 Quarts Olive Oil

Place 120 lb hog on new plastic sheet in bathtub.

Cover in marinade for 24 hours making sure there is always ice over the hog. Flip twice.

Smoke at 215 to 225 degrees for 16 hours. Chop and Serve with Apple Cider BBQ Sauce.