Great Grandmas Fire Engine Red Cake

Leave a comment

photo 2photo 3  photo 4photo 1 photo 2photo 4 photo 3 photo 1 photo 5


I had never heard of a Fire Engine Red Cake before.  But my friend Kirk has been raving about it for years.  So when he said he was making it this year for his birthday I was a little suspicious.  I didn’t think it even existed.  I was like, view it’s a red velvet cake and your Grandma changed the name to make it more exciting.  Well that is not the case.  It is real!!!  Does it live up to the hype?!?! You bet it does.  Although I would like to add a verb to the title.  Neon.  The color is so vibrant you almost need sunglasses to look at it.  Then there is the flavor and consistency.  Like red velvet but better.  It’s lighter and not as sweet.  Add to that an icing  made with a flour and butter and you got one delicious cake, cheap or cupcakes.  But be careful, dosage with those two ingredients  you could easily end up with gravy for frosting!   Needless to say I had to have the recipe.  Thankfully, he not only gave it to me but photographed the process!


Leave a comment



Jason had a friend over for bbq the other night and we had a small sea food fest.  We started out with mussels.  I steamed them with a semi sweet dark beer we crafted, order added some pickled ginger, a few sweet pickled pearl onions that we canned a couple winters ago and a little pickle juice to cut the sweetness.  They were amazing!  But the real show stopper was the Branzino (striped bass) and Sea Bass that they bought.  Whole fish, gutted and deboned of course.  Well not totally deboned as that is very hard to do.  We salted and peppered the cavity then put whole sprigs of rosemary and lemon slices, wrapped them up in foil and grilled them for about 12 minutes on each side.   The result was a very aromatic, moist, flaky delicious fish.   The perfume of the rosemary was light, and the lemons kept the fish from drying out – and of course the citrus aspect.  Now most people wouldn’t use such an aromatic herb, and usually I wouldn’t either.   It was one of those happy accidents.  We were going to use thyme, but we accidentally bought the wrong herb.  Oops!  We were all glad we did since there was barely any fish left over for lunch the next day.  Of course now I am craving fish with thyme and lemon.  Guess that means another bbq!!

Cabaret in Exile

Leave a comment

GetInlinegio played cabaretinexilemarycame tedventurer  416841_10150842485029112_1378307668_n


Last Sunday we had a very intimate cabaret on the beach.  It was (us) Sonic Uke, ambulance Uke Goldberg and Gio from The War Ponies.  We all met at Riis Beach and after a few beers, illness some Popeye’s Chicken and a dip in the ocean we started the Cabaret.  We even had a couple captive audiences, a few Radical Faeries and later a dear friend of the cabaret, Mary.  We sang our usual set and added a couple new songs including our ode to Riis, a.k.a., “Cha Cha Beach” titled By The Sea.  Ted & Gio played with us as well as a song or two of their own.  Gio even tried to teach us  Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love”.   Although he was right, for us to learn all 9 minutes of the song would take more then a couple lessons on the beach.  By this time Uke Goldberg had left us to perform on Fire Island.  But we still had a blast.  Sadly the day came to an end and the rest of us packed it in and went home.  But, we managed to capture some of it on film.

July the 4th & then some!

Leave a comment


The weekend started with a bang.  It being 4th of July and all.  It was our friend Kirks Birthday and I attended his celebratory bbq bash where he made his Great Grandmas Fire Engine Red Cake and we enjoyed fireworks through a chain link fence. Only in New York can this be enjoyed.  Well not entirely enjoyed but the company was wonderful.  I then went home and took the late morning train to meet up with the beach crew for the rest of the weekend.

As usual we hit the beach bar for a quick arrival drink, abortion then headed for camp.  The weather was amazing and for lunch I brought egg salad sandwiches.  Great for the first day.  The rest was spent soaking in the sun, swimming in the ocean and playing the ukulele.  When dinner came around we were very excited to bust out the newest crazy meal we had thought up.  Meatloaf sliders. Yes that’s what I said.  They were a huge hit!! And really worked out great on the beach.  We accompanied them with coleslaw.  Which didn’t work out as well.  But you can’t win them all.

The next day was the usual breakfast, eggs, bacon and potatoes.   What wasn’t the usual was that our friend Naoum decided to join us.  We were beyond thrilled.  We picked him up a the dock and sang the New Zealand welcome song Haere mai.  He arrived just in time for lunch which was our Spam musubis.   We then constructed a kite made from the mylar balloons we found on the beach.   It took a while but well worth the effort.  For dinner we went for a classic, bacon wrapped hot dogs and macaroni salad.  needless to say there was nothing left.  The night was spent having cocktails and playing our favorite card game.

Our last day was lazy and spent doing what we do best.  Breakfast, swimming, sunning, playing the ukulele and making beach  pizzas for lunch.  Sadly it had to end so we packed up, flew the kite one last time, hit the ferry,  grabbed the train and headed home for Chinese food and a movie.



Meatloaf Sliders
Recipe type: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 Pound of ground beef and ground pork combined
  • 1 Small green pepper chopped
  • 1 Small onion chopped(yellow or white)
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup of quick oats or bread crumbs
  • A couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A little bit of catchup
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Mix with hands(my favorite part!)
  3. Make slider size loaf patties
  4. Grill till done all the way through
  5. Serve with your favorite burger toppings
  6. Best with potato slider buns

How Leftovers Become Stars.

1 Comment



I love taking leftovers and reworking them into something else.  Fried chicken into chicken salad, symptoms roasted veggies into soup, order tortilla chips and salsa into chilaquiles con huevos and the list goes on.   I learned this from my father who would take the previous nights dinner and make it part of breakfast.  It was completely common to have spaghetti and eggs or enchiladas and eggs in the morning.  I have taken that one step further and turn leftovers not only into breakfast but lunch or dinner.  I know a lot of people do this especially if your a parent or a chef.  I find it to be a fun challenge and really get into it.  You may recall a posting where everything was round.  All leftovers.  If I’ve made you brunch or you’ve come over to a bbq, cure there is a good chance some part of it was a leftover.  My latest is was very simple.  Curried corn that had previously been grilled con on the cob.  I just cut the corn off the cob added curry powder, lime juice, red onion, a seeded jalapeno, salt, pepper and some melted butter.  Simple, easy and a crowd pleaser.