Holiday with a Little Help From My Friends

This is a recipe that is a holiday favorite of mine that was passed onto me from a dear friend and created but the wonderful Julia Child

Julia’s Carbonnades a la Flamande (beef and onions braised in beer)

Makes 6 servings

3 pounds lean beef from either chuck or rump roast

Salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cups thinly sliced onions

4 garlic cloves, mashed

1 cup warm beef broth

2 to 3 cups beer

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.Cut the beef into large cubes and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Add the beef, a few pieces at a time, and brown evenly. Transfer the beef, as it cooks, to a platter.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the mashed garlic.

Arrange half the browned beef in a large pot or Dutch oven and lightly season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Spread half the onions over the beef. Repeat the process with the remaining beef and onions.

Pour in the beef broth. Add enough beer to just cover the mixture. Add the brown sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil on top of the stove. Cover and transfer the pot to the lower third of the oven. Braise until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours.


Collard Greens for Billy Holiday


This is a classic recipe for a dish that was comfort food to so many Harlem musicians at the time Billy Holiday was performing there and a favorite of mine too!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.
  2. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

Billy Strayhorn Cocktail Time

Billy Strayhorn loved to entertain in his glamorous New York Apartment.  Here something he would have enjoyed!

Blood Orange Perfect Manhattan


Combine is a shaker with ice:


2 oz. Rye or Bourbon

½ oz sweet vermouth

½ oz dry vermouth

3 dashes of Blood Orange Bitters


Shake well and serve straight up with cherry garnish.


This one is for my podcast BIRTHDAY BABY!  I really don’t like birthday cake or sweets at all.  So this one of my fave treats.  Just stick a candle in it and let the fab time begin!  Some red wine too, thank you!


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the brie on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and spoon pesto sauce in a thin layer over the top. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it starts to ooze but not melt. Serve with crackers or slices of zucchini.


To go along with WORD JAZZ WITH KEN NORDINE, I chose this 50’s hipster appetizer!





6 servings


6 tb Butter

1/2 c  Bread crumbs

2 c  Fresh chopped spinach


2 pk (10-oz) frozen spinach

1/2 c  Parsley

1/2 c  Diced celery

2 tb Diced onion

1 tb Pernod liqueur; or Anisette

1/4 ts Salt

3 dr Tabasco

18 lg Oysters


Melt butter; add crumbs and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Combine with other ingredients, except oysters, in blender until

smooth. Arrange oysters in shells (or individual dishes). Top each

with 1 tablespoon spinach mixture and broil 3-5 minutes or until

lightly browned.


Recipe for 1 Degree of Separation: Spidie’s Baked Fried Chicken

Spidie’s Baked Fried Chicken

This one is connected to this podcast because it is an impostor!  This is recipe I often do for awards show parties at my home.  It’s simple, can be served hot or cold and seems like you are eating something really fattening…….with a fraction of the calories!

The seasoning is one that I received as a gift from a friend who is now restaurant owner in New Orleans!  Meow!  Let’s get cooking!

6 chicken thighs with skin removed

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons Tony Chachere’s spice and herbs seasoning


Sprinkle the thighs with seasoning

Coat with breadcrumbs

Bake on foil covered baking dish for 45min at 425 degrees


Let them cool and feel like you are eating something really wicked!

Mrs. Parker’s Sage Martini

This is not really the purist Martini that Dorothy Parker was known for but I thought I would be fun to give this a twist, so to speak!


2 shots of Vodka (whatever your favorite is)

1 drop of dry vermouth

3 fresh sage leaves

twist of lemon


Combine the vodka, vermouth, and 2 of the leaves of sage.  Shake very well in a cocktail shaker of ice until little shavings of ice break off in the liquid.  Rim the glass with the lemon twist.  Put the twist in the glass along with the remaining leaf of sage.  Pour and serve!  Yum!

The Hot Dog King Ep 30

This is a special recipe from David Valkema of Dave’s Delicious Dogs of The Isle of Man




1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (preferably Dave’s own brand – Sweet Davey J’s American Style BBQ Sauce)

1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce

1 pound (two packages) Dave’s Delicious Dogs (pork, beef or Mr. T’s 1/2 beef & 1/2 pork) hot dogs cut into 1/4 inch slices

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

8 hot dog or hamburger buns split



  1. Heat oil in 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook bell pepper and onion in oil stirring occasionally until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in barbecue sauce, tomato sauce and hot dogs. Simmer uncovered ten minutes stirring occasionally. Fill buns with hot dog mixture and cover meat mixture on buns with shredded cheese. Serve along with your favorite beverage, but my suggestion is with Dave’s American Fairground Lemonade with or without a few ounces of your favorite vodka.


The Art of the Letter Recipe Ep 29

This recipe really has nothing to do with podcast, but since it’s summer, here you go!  You can certainly cut this portion down.  It’s enough to feed the French army…if they are rabbits!

French carrot salad


  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 finely sliced scallions (or 1tablespoon finely chopped shallots)


  1. Grate the carrots in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. In a salad bowl, combine the dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the carrots, fresh parsley and scallions (or shallots) and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve


Rockin to Jazz and Back Recipe Ep 28

Rockin to Jazz and Back Recipe Ep 28


Lunch with Stephanie Browning in my garden after this podcast episode.

A fresh salad for summer day served with a cold bottle of rose!

Baby spinach

Red leaf romaine

Basil, chives and parsley


Hard boiled eggs

Shredded pepper jack cheese

Fresh lemon and olive oil