Blueberry Ginger Buckle

Blueberry Ginger Buckle

Blueberry Ginger Buckle


Recently I have found myself immersed in the gay dating scene here in the almost Deep South. I had a long talk with Netflix and we are going to explore an Open Relationship. This can be touchy I know. I've seen MTV True Life "I'm in a Polyamorous Relationship". But I think Netflix is pretty chill and open to trying new things. And really just wants me to be happy. 

Things I Learned This Week (about sex) In The South: 

1. It is perfectly acceptable to take the rolled up $20 bill your blind date used to snort a row after he falls asleep just as you are about to ask a muffled "is this good for you?". Time is money. 

2. A real friend deletes the dick pic accidentally sent to them during a date safety check. 

3. And nobody judges if you fall asleep, while sitting, in the dark, with a starfish. Active participation begets active participation.  

One of these things did happen to me this weekend, all others were overheard. I'll let you try and figure that out.  

So in light of the blue subject matter I baked a Blueberry and Ginger Buckle that will make your toes curl. And gurl we know you need it. 

Blueberry and Ginger Buckle


Serves 8-10

French Quarter Beignets


New Orleans seems to be very en vogue this season. Within one month's time roughly 8 people I know will be traveling there to partake in a variety of festivities. From bachelorette parties to drunken hairdresser conventions, The Big Easy will be getting a solid taste of North Carolinians this month.  

I blame Sara. 

Sara moved to Winston Salem just over a year ago. We met the usual way. Through our mutual leasing agent. 

When asked, "where did you move from?", her response is always a resounding "I'm from New Orleans baby!"

Split between the Metairie neighborhood and NOLA you will never meet a more die hard fan of a city. At any given point I would bet money that Sara has beads and/or a Mardi Gras mask in her handbag. Just in case.

She is a walking encyclopedia of information about her home town. She is the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Able to linguistically trace all words back to New Orleans. 

She can give you a heartfelt and eye opening first hand account of living with hurricanes that leave nothing behind. She will passionately speak of hometown food as if it were a first born child (that is when I knew we could be friends). And if you are ever so lucky to be next to her at a bar, there is the inevitable moment when just enough wine takes her accent to 11 and you have ask her to repeat herself. 

And with that, for Sara's birthday this year I attempted to make the New Orleans classic, beignets. After a few hours of scouring the dark net for a bootleg copy of the Cafe Du Monde recipe I had to settle on what I felt was the next best thing. Paula Deen. I know, I know. I really didn't want to. But it really was a good recipe.

So with my deep fryer revved up and rolling pin greased I got to making my first ever beignets. Super easy. Super tasty. And though I know many cultures have their own version of this wonderful sweet fried dough. I will only credit New Orleans for giving this to the human race.   

French Quarter Beignets


Ranch Eggs

Ranch Eggs

Well Hell froze over. And with it North Carolina.

Did your Friday night involve the entire infrastructure of your town shutting down due to some precipitation? Maybe.

Did your Friday night involve a massive plate of pad see ew, a comped bottle of wine, a mildly uncomfortable discussion with a stranger about the now shuttered clothing store Structure, and this same stranger’s orgies that he participated in during the late 80s? Probably not.

Did your Friday night involve your two bartenders abandoning ship to take a bright blue sled down the middle of a snow filled main street while the local news aired it live? I doubt it.

Did your Friday night involve an impromptu, live on Facebook, snowball to the nads? Unlikely.

Did your Friday night involve watching a grown ass woman create a parking lot snow angel in 1” of snow with the excitement of a toddler who just discovered that farting is funny? I'm thinking no.

Did your Friday night involve some midnight racing of remote control trucks in a snow covered parking lot? I don’t think so.

It's okay. I'm sure your Friday night was fun too.

In all seriousness last night was off my plan de jour to make January a “cleanse” month. Not cleanse in the classic sense. Just cleanse in that I'm not binge eating homemade peanut butter balls while waiting for the lasagna to warm.

With an attempt at some clean eating I enlisted the help of my fellow blogger and Netflix aficionado, Steph Ondrusek over at Strong By Steph. Take a moment out of your current binge and check her out.

Steph recently blessed us with a simple guide to some healthy and tasteful food options to start the year out. Below is a slight variation of her Mexican Breakfast. Easily altered to make your own so mix it up! This easy meal is still fulfilling that guilt seeking pleasure we all promised to give up New Years Eve.

Happy Snowpocalypse.

Salted Caramel Ricotta Pancakes

Salted Caramel Ricotta Pancakes

It was a busy week down here in The South. The factory was abuzz all week long with socks flying everywhere. The town was bustling with Pride and homecoming this weekend. And naturally my mind turned to Thanksgiving.

As the Queer community and its allies descended upon our tiny town I hunkered down with friends to watch the parade while sipping mimosas out of well worn insurance themed coffee mugs. There was a heated game of spoons happening. Where you throw a spoon into the street and drink every time a car hits it. Shots were taken whenever a car with a Drag Queen hit a spoon. And there was a revealing moment when I realized my back up back up back up hairdresser was once on tv's Survivor. She later proved her alliance to me as she put some fellow gays in their place after they felt it was okay to talk shit about my hometown, despite my just stating where I was from. 

I am sure you are wondering how Thanksgiving comes into play. Well as it should happen I packed my man handbag for the day with all possible outcomes considered. The contents were as follows: 

1. One bottle of Trader Joe's Blanc de Blancs

2. One box of water crackers. You never know when you need a snack. 

3. Two apples

4. My passport

5. Floss (in case of apple consumption)

6. Two cans of La Croix to stay hydrated

7. Food and Wine November 2016 edition (in case the parade got didn't)

During the slow moments of the parade I started making lists of potential foods to serve for Thanksgiving this year. As I will be dining alone on this most sacred of food holidays I have had to alter my menu so as to not drown in a sea of left overs. With the holiday still over a month away I have the opportunity to test a few recipes before letting them get to the final elimination round. 

This year I have also decided to include a Black Friday Breakfast. I will not be at the malls, but I will be in my nap jeans having a nice breakfast watching the fools on tv at the malls. This talk of breakfast had started earlier in the week while having a chat with another food enabler friend of mine. He posited the idea of using our favorite coffee creamer in a waffle or french toast. 

Not having a waffle maker or bread in the house, but having a large container of ricotta cheese I landed on Salted Caramel Ricotta Pancakes. Needless to say I am bloated and full on some damn tasty pancakes while hoping those Drag Queens from yesterday knew we were cheering for them as well as the spoons.  

Salted Caramel Ricotta Pancakes


I Gave Up Jesus And All I Got Was This Cadbury Creme Egg

French Toast with Blackberries and Peaches

On the 5th day of Elul in the year 5773 I became a Jew. That's August 11th, 2013 for you kids still on the Gregorian Calendar. For a refresher on the event check out what happened here

I gave up Jesus. I stayed with the same G-d that I was used to over that the Catholic Church. Downsized my reading by 50%. Took on some new holidays. And separated myself even further from those around me. Don't get me wrong. My family and friends have been more supportive than I could have ever asked for. But every once in awhile (let's be honest, around the holidays) I realize that my choice made my life a little more lonely. 

Please don't take that as a plea for sympathy. It took me many years to come to the conclusion that I am a Jew. And it took many years after that to make it real. I knew going into it that I would be giving up some things. But I also knew in exchange I was bringing myself closer to who I am on the inside. 

One thing I did not take into account was the novelty of conversion for some and how it would come into play in my day to day. If/when I am asked about my religion I say, "I am Jewish". If, and only if, it comes up do I speak to my former life as a friend of Jesus. More often than not it is my friends who out me as a convert. And it is those moments that the Jewish side of me becomes less than. An anecdote at the bar. I look around the table and wonder who now thinks I am some zealot out for blood?

On more than one occasion in the past 6 months I have been outed like this.

"Oh! He's a convert!", with an extra beat on the 'con' to make it feel even more scandalous. I know it isn't malicious. And the people doing it are more often or not my most supportive friends.

Recently I was picking up some cannolis in a strip mall with one of my four Jewish friends (a Jew by birth). I told her of my recent experiences of being outed by others. She reminded me that once converted, I am a Jew. I am not a convert, I am a Jew. No questions asked. I never told her but that statement meant as much to me as the moment Rabbi Zimmerman welcomed me to the tribe on that summer day in 5773.

I don't wear my yarmulka all the time. I haven't been to Temple in over a year because I feel awkward going by myself. I don't ask for Jewish holidays off at work because I am one of two Jews in a sea of Baptists, Mormons, Catholics, Lutherans, and Adventists. Everyone who I want to see this Passover is either in New England or Seattle. So instead of unleavened bread and bitter herbs this upcoming Passover I am making french toast from some homemade bread and chasing it with a four pack of Cadbury Creme Eggs.

As I said earlier I am not looking for sympathy. I knew taking this on people would have questions. And I am very happy to answer and discuss. I like to think that I am Jew with training wheels. Slowly adjusting to the terrain around me. With hopes that someday I am simply described as "that cranky old Jewish man who lives next door. If you're nice to him he gives you Cadbury Creme Eggs."

Happy Easter.
Happy Passover.
Happy Just Another Weekend In April.

Classic White Bread
(as used in french toast above)

Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook

6 to 7 cups all purpose flour or bread flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons softened butter

2 packages regular active yeast or fast acting dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

2 1/4 cups very warm water (120-130 degrees F)

2 tablespoons butter, melted, if desired

1. In large bowl, stir 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, softened butter and yeast until well mixed. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle. 

2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Kneed about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with butter, shortening, or pan spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. 

3. Grease bottoms and sides of 2 (8x4- or 9x5-inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray. 

4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into 18x9-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edges of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place loaves seams side down in pans. Brush loaves lightly with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35-50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. 

5. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in the center of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake 25-30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to cooling rack. Brush loaves with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter; cool.