Name: Robert Wood
Family: Single. Just me and my cocker spaniel, Sadie.
Job: Principal, R Wood Marketing. It’s a social media marketing for companies that can’t hire a full-time marketing person. We blog, update facebook pages, tweet, create marketing collateral, website usability studies, etc. Anything to do with marketing your business. Plus Sassy Cheese, which has really taken off.
Hobbies, Activities: Cooking, reading, entertaining friends, blogging, working in my yard and gardening
How did you learn to cook?
It’s truly self taught. My mother is a fantastic cook, as well as both of my grandmothers.
What is your favorite memory of cooking or being in the kitchen?
I remember as a child that my Grandmother Wood always made a HUGE lunch, my grandfather would come home and eat, rest a bit and head back to work. My grandfather owned the Curb Market on East Depot Street and later Wood’s Wholesale Produce. So to say I grew up around fresh produce is an understatement. It was also very important to my mother — she and my father were divorced — that we eat dinner together every night. So there is not one childhood meal that I can remember ever eating without my mother and 2 brothers.
What ingredient is always in your pantry or refrigerator?
Mayonnaise, cheese and always a bag of salad.
What is your favorite cooking tool?
A wooden cutting board that I bought at a street fair in San Francisco. It is worn and weathered, and I am afraid every time I use it that it will be the last time.
Do you have a favorite cookbook?
Not really. My mother and I will discuss recipes that we’ve seen and then we try them out, usually making them our own, adding our own flair to them.
What would people be surprised to find your kitchen?
I have a lot of “retro” appliances. I have a Kitchen Aide mixer that is about 50 years old that I use everyday and a juicer that is from the ’70s. No updated gadgets here, except for a food processor I got for Christmas from my mother.
When you go out to eat, what is your favorite thing to order?
I love a good steak or hamburger.
What recipe is your comfort food that reminds you of home and why?
My mother use to make something simple and fast when she arrived home from work. It was hamburger and noodles, with onion gravy and for a side she would make pineapple salad. Still my favorite, as well as my brother’s favorites too.
Do you have a favorite cost-saving cooking idea?
I don’t; I usually just “wing” it.
What was your biggest disaster in the kitchen?
I’ve not had a real disaster, however my mother made homemade chicken pot pie for dinner when we were children. We ate it up, but my mother continued to insist there was something missing. Well, what was missing was the chicken. She had boiled it, deboned it and left it in the refrigerator. So that night we had vegetable pot pie and it was really good!
What is your “old faithful” recipe that you rely on time after time?
My homemade pimento cheese is really, really good. It is so good that I started Sassy Cheese. I’ve just began selling it in store or through online orders — firstname.lastname@example.org.
1-1/2 pounds ground chicken breasts
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onions/scallions
12 Bibb, Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in 1 tablespoon oil for 3 minutes; drain. Add the mushrooms, garlic and ginger; cook 4-6 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and remaining oil. Stir in the carrots, onions and chicken mixture.
Spoon onto lettuce leaves. If desired, fold sides of lettuce over filling and roll up. Yield: 6 servings.
You can substitute chicken for beef or shrimp. You can also add bean sprouts, red, yellow or green peppers.
Hearty Taco Soup
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground chicken
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can ranch-style beans
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
2 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can white corn
1 (8 ounce) can rotel tomatoes (mild or hot)
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
Combine garlic, pork, chicken and beef over high heat. Cook until done.
Return the meat to the pot. Add the onion, kidney beans, ranch style beans, pinto beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix. Mix well, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Serve with tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro
2-3 heads fresh broccoli
1 red onion
3/4 pound bacon ( I use thick sliced bacon)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup yellow raisins
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins and mix well.
To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let chill and serve.
Mom’s Hamburger & Noodles (One of my comfort food favorites)
1-1/2 lbs ground beef or stew beef
1 package wide egg noodles
2 packages onion soup mix
Place ground beef or stew beef in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.
Boil the egg noodle, drain and set aside.
Mix the onion soup mix as stated on the package and pour on the beef simmer for 7-10 minutes
To serve, place noodle on plate and add beef mixture over the top.
Mama always serves a simple pineapple salad on the side
32 ounces elbow macaroni
3 cups milk
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Beat eggs and milk together. Pour half of the cooked macaroni into 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover macaroni with half of the cheese. Pour remaining macaroni into baking dish leaving a little room at the top. Cover with remaining cheese. Pour egg mixture over macaroni. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake in a preheated over for an hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
2 avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Mash avocado with a fork or potato masher in a bowl until the consistency you prefer. Add lime juice and salt and mix well with fork. Stir in tomatoes, onion, and chopped cilantro.
Pour into a serving bowl and serve
Pimento Cheese Rolls
Makes 12 or 18
12 if you use southern style frozen biscuits
*18 if you use pillsbury grands
1 package (25oz) frozen southern style biscuits. (you can also use Pillsbury Grands)
All purpose flour
2 cups sassy pimento cheese (email@example.com)
Arrange biscuits, with sides touching, in 3 rows of 4 biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Let stand 30-45 minutes until biscuits are thawed but cool to the touch.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle biscuits lightly with flour. Press the edges together, and pat to form a 10 x 12 rectangle of dough. Then, spread dough with pimento cheese
Roll up, starting at one end; cut slices into 12 or 18 (1 inch thick) slices. Place 1 slice into each muffin cup of a lightly greased muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove from pan, and serve
*Bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown
Scott’s Cheesy Potatoes
1 – 2lb. pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed (country style works best)
½ Cup melted butter
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp green onions
¼ to ½ tsp. garlic powder (depending on taste)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 to 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients except for the shredded Cheddar in a large bowl.
Pour into a greased 13 X 9 baking dish
Sprinkle the shredded Cheddar on top.
Cover and bake for 1 hour.
You can try any cream soup to add different flavor to this
Scott’s Sweet & Sour Baked Chicken
6 chicken thighs or breasts (with bone in, it makes moister, but can use boneless/skinless) I prefer breasts
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 (14 1/2oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (8oz.) can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay chicken in a shallow pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Combine Remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for Thighs and 30 to 35 minutes for breasts or until chicken is done.
Baste the chicken occasionally while baking.
I usually serve with rice. For an added extra, sometimes a little coconut in the rice gives it a little extra taste.
Want to be a guest cook, or nominate someone to be a cook in the weekly feature?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.