A blog about food and cooking by Chris Norris

Author: ChrisN

Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are not hard to make, but they take a bit of planning since they take about 45-60 minutes to cook. It’s always a good idea to make some extras so you have them for hash browns or soup!

Bavarian Gluhwein

Bavarian Gluhwein

A spiced red wine that you can find in the open air markets of Munich in the winter. It is sooooo amazingly good!

Sausage & Pasta

Sausage & Pasta


Sausage & Pasta

This is a fast and super flexible dish that works with almost any kind of sausage and almost any kind of short pasta.  My favorite sausages for this dish are kielbasa, bockwurst, brats, or Italian sausages.  For the pasta, I've had great results using farfalle, rigatoni, penne, cavatappi and campanelle pasta!

  • 4 Sausages (use your favorite kind) sliced crosswise
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 12 crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 fresh tomato (large) seeded & diced
  • 1 lb dry pasta (use your favorite kind)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
Optional Fresh Herbs (use one):
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 4 fresh scallions (green onions) chopped
  • 4 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley coarsely chopped
  1. Start the pasta water boiling, and cook the pasta per the package's instructions.  Drain and let sit in colander once cooked.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

  2. In a large pan, fry the sausage pieces in olive oil until they are lightly browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms to the hot pan and cook until softened, or about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the onion, garlic & mushrooms.  Cook for 1 minute and then add the chicken stock/white wine.

  5. Add the cooked pasta and the browned sausage to the pan, along with the reserved pasta water.  Add salt, pepper and the parmesan cheese and stir well, until the cheese is melted and the ingredients well combined.

  6. Finally, fold in the butter and optional fresh herbs just before serving.

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

This is a totally awesome dish that transforms an original Spanish version into an American comfort food, with a nod from the New World in the form of tomatoes. 

Danish Pancakes (Crepes)

Danish Pancakes (Crepes)

My Mom used to make these thin, crepe-like pancakes when we were kids and we would scarf a dozen or more each.  That kept HER busy and us kids happy.  In those days, our favorite fillings were different types of jams – apricot, raspberry, strawberry – whatever was on hand.  Then, we’d drizzle them with maple syrup.  Although my Dad was more a Karo syrup kind of guy.

Now, decades later, I still use exactly the same recipe for the pancakes, but I prefer fruit fillings – bananas, peaches, or berries.  And I still drizzle ’em with maple syrup!

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup

This is an amazing and exotic soup that is perfect during the fall and winter!

Pumpkin Curry Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins

Don't let the name fool you - this is a fabulous "mid-west" cold weather soup! I came across the core of this recipe in a magazine somewhere a few years back and have tweaked it around a bit since then. It's easy to make and combines some unusual flavors to make a soup that is exotic, yet comforting.

Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Indian, Vegan
Servings: 6
In a medium sized pot, sweat the vegetables in butter until soft:
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
When the vegetables have softened, add the following spices and stir until well coated:
  • 1 tsp ginger freshly grated
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
Stir in:
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree unsweetened (from a can works great)
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and sliced
Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree the mixture in a food processor until all chunks are gone and the soup is smooth. If you have a hand held, electric food mill, it's faster and easier than a food processor!
Now, stir in:
  • 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
Gently reheat before serving. Drizzle each serving with a bit of olive oil or some coconut milk or cream.
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes a great vegan soup simply by using vegetable stock or water in place of chicken stock, and of course, don't use any butter or cream!

Banana Bread

Here’s a simple, fast and amazing Banana Bread recipe!

Kid’s Favorite Chili

 Quick and amazing chili that kids will love!

Restaurant Marc Forgione (my Yelp Review)

Don’t miss this namesake restaurant by Iron Chef Marc Forgione in Tribeca.  And definitely do NOT miss the Apple Pie Souffle!  It is the single best dessert on the planet earth.

Review of Marc Forgione, TriBeCa, Manhattan, October 20, 2011

Mas “farmhouse” (my Yelp Review)

It was a cold and dark and stormy night in the West Village.  But not at Mas, where it was warm, light and calm! Here’s a restaurant that’s a great choice for a romantic night out. Review of Mas (means farmhouse in French), Greenwich Village, […]