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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dishing Up Thanksgiving, Revisited!

This is a repost from last Thanksgiving with a variety of easy dishes suitable to throw together at the last minute for your Thanksgiving feast! Check them out, and enjoy!!!

I've shared several dishes, recently that would be perfect for holiday parties and your Thanksgiving table. I decided to collect them all here, for you to peruse. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Easy Holiday Side Dish: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries with Goat Cheese and Pecans

Two weekends ago, I made my return to the Webb City Farmers Market for a demo & sampling of a fall/holiday recipe. I wanted to choose something that was very seasonal, fairly simple, and would make a fantastic side dish for a holiday meal. Brussels sprouts came to mind along with cranberries!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Need an Easy Dish for Fall Gatherings? Pumpkin Dip to the Rescue!

It's that time of year, again! Harvest parties, Thanksgiving dinners, and various other gatherings. You might be invited to several of these gatherings.You may be at a loss for time, and/or ideas. An old standby that I like to make that is inexpensive, fast and easy to prepare, and is always popular with guests and friends. I'm talking about a pumpkin dip. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Slacker, Bum, Loafer, Idler...

Hello. My name is Slacker!

Well, seems like a VERY long time since I have posted, let alone posted any original writing. My apologies to the handful of you that actively keep up with the blog. Life got very busy, kept busy, and when that happens, priorities must be made. Unfortunately, the blog took the brunt of the low priority list.

But, I am ready to change that!

I'm ready to get back to writing, recipe development, investigating... I'm ready to bring you the Frank About Food content you have come to expect.

Keep checking back, as I post some recipes perfect for Autumn, more stories on local restaurants, and more food porn!

I want to thank everyone for sticking with me: You are truly appreciated!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

JOMORW End of Summer Edition 2015 Wrap-Up

Representatives from some of the 21 participating restaurants met at Crosslines, on Monday, to drop off
the pantry donations and discuss the success of the second Joplin Missouri Restaurant Week of 2015.
Photo as seen in The Joplin Globe, courtesy of Rikki Smith.

That is how many pounds of food donations were raised, last week during the second addition of the Joplin MO Restaurant Week! That is nearly 2 TONS of food, donated at a very needed time. This number is up over 1000 pounds from the first run of JOMORW. Crosslines will be able to stock their shelves and prepare to serve all the families that are in need, at this time of year.
Representatives from some of the 21 participating local restaurants met on Monday at the Crosslines building to deliver the donations from their locations and to discuss how the week went for their businesses.
A brief side-note: You may notice that I wrote 21, as opposed to the 20 locations you have seen mentioned in JOMORW promotional items and web posts. Polka Dot Fox Coffee and Micro-Bakery were a bit late getting to the party, this year, but were just affective in taking in donations, participating with a great 20% off deal all week, and wanted to really be part of this great opportunity to give back to the Joplin community. They weren't on the posters or mentioned much, but they were there, taking in donations and doing their part. I just wanted to make sure there was no confusion in the numbers that I am reporting.
As I have said before, I believe it was a total win-win-win for all involved. The patrons of all these local businesses should feel very proud of the amount of donations and the impact they have helped create in the community. And a huge thank you for all the great deals that customers got to enjoy, as they helped give back! All but two of the participants had daily deals or a weekly deal. It is just a bit disheartening to see that a couple were not able to come up with some small incentive to offer their customers. Perhaps that is something we'll see amended in the next JOMORW, which should be taking place, again, in January. There may also be room to add a few more local businesses that have interest in this special week, given the success of the past two runs.
Be proud of yourselves, Joplin!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

JOMORW - End of Summer Edition of the Joplin MO Restaurant Week

It's baaaacckkk!!!

The Joplin Missouri Restaurant Week, also known as JOMORW, has returned, this week! After a successful debut run in January, netting OVER A TON OF FOOD for Crosslines Emergency Food Program, it has returned at a vital time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Main Street Pizza Tasting Challenge!

Over the past year, here in Joplin, two new pizza eateries have opened up on our Main Street corridor and another underwent a change of ownership and rebranding. These three restaurants cover Downtown, Midtown, and Southtown. I felt it would be a fun little event to have a "Main Street Pizza Tasting Challenge." And since there is another, oft overlooked, pizza place just a block over from Main, I tossed it in for good measure!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Frank About Food Flashback: Blueberry Upside Down Cake

This is a repost from this time, last year. I appeared on Living Well with Carol Parker and showed how simple it is to create a delicious, easy, and seasonal dessert for your Fourth of July celebrations!

Monday, May 18, 2015


It's garlic scapes season!!! 

They have finally arrived at the Webb City Farmers Market, this year! The season is always brief and fleeting, but fantastic while it lasts! 

Last year, I had a cooking demonstration at the Webb City Farmers Market on All Things Scapes, and appeared on the "Cooking With Carol" segment of Living Well on KSN 16. Here is the link: Cooking With Carol: Frank About Food & Garlic Scapes

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Webb City Farmers Market Demo: Spring Vegetable and Goat Cheese Tart


I had the pleasure of putting on a cooking demonstration/sampling at the first Spring season Saturday at the Webb City Farmers Market, this past weekend. I wanted to prepare something that screamed "SPRING!" Looking around the market, you could see asparagus coming in, spring onions, fresh herb plants, and goat cheese from Terrell Creek Farm. What better way to highlight some of these spring arrivals than to create a savory tart from all of them! Not to mention how eggs are such a symbol of the rebirth of all things living in the Spring.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Frank About... Midtown Pizza Kitchen Soft Opening/Family & Friends Preview Night

Exactly eight weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I posted about Kitchen Pass Restaurant in Joplin closing and the birth of a new local pizza eatery called Midtown Pizza Kitchen, at 1212 South Main Street. Well, last night, I had the pleasure of attending the soft opening, or family and friends night at Midtown. Before I go into detail, I will simply begin with this, partners Jason and Suzanne Miller and Duke Walter has an absolute winner on their hands! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Frank About... Scotch Eggs! with Carol Parker

One of my favorite foods to make around St. Patrick's Day, or anytime really, is Scotch eggs! They are the British and Irish pub fare of sausage encased hard boiled eggs, breaded and baked or fried. At one point a couple of decades ago, they fell out off vogue and were banished to mainly petrol stations in the U.K. However, recently they have been surging in popularity.

The origins of the eggs seemingly have very little to do with Scotland. There are actually three accepted stories of how they came to exist:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Frank About Food Flashback -- St. Patrick's Day Dessert: Irish Stout Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

I posted this originally in March of 2014, for my appearance on Living Well's "Cooking With Carol." I will warn you, this may be my worst television appearance, yet. My younger son was up sick all night before, and I was home with him, all day before going to the studio. I was a bit out of sorts.

I totally stole this photo from the internet, since I cannot find the image I have.
Google shows it came from a site called

When you think of St. Patrick's Day, what comes to mind? Corned beef? Cabbage? Boiled Potatoes? BEER?? Well, yes, those are all good associations to the holiday, but have you ever thought about dessert? Better yet... dessert with BEER in it? And how about topping that decadence off with Irish cream? 

Well, I have just the recipe for you to try, that gets you away from the doldrums of boiling cabbage and potatoes for this year's St. Patty's Party. I'm talking about Irish Stout Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Frank About Food Flashback -- Traditional Irish Fare: Corned Beef... or is it?

The following is a re-post from March 2012 with a brief history of St. Patrick's Day and recipes for corned beef & cabbage, Scotch eggs, and Irish soda bread. I thought it would be appropriate to share these recipes, again. Enjoy! 

In the late 5th Century, St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland, where he was integral in spreading Christianity to the Pagan culture. Many tools used by him are trademarks of Irish culture, today, such as the shamrocks he used to teach the Trinity, and the Celtic cross he originated to incorporate the Sun Cross of the Pagans into a Christian cross to which they could relate. The Romano-Briton was destined for sainthood. St. Patrick appealed widely, to both Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions in Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day, the cultural and religious holiday, was begun by The Knights of St. Patrick, an Irish Protestant organization. The first parade marking the holiday took place on March 17, 1783, in Dublin, Ireland. This day is significant in that it is the anniversary of St. Patrick's death. The holiday is recognized in several religions, and is even cause for lifting of Lenten restrictions on food and drink for the day.

Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated as a celebration of Irish culture in many countries around the world. Parades, "wearing of the green", and shamrocks are common symbols of this day. Along with this celebration, drinking takes a center stage. And with that drinking, Irish food!

When many think of St. Patrick's Day, they think of corned beef and cabbage! I mean, after all, it's traditional Irish food, right?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gettin' Foxy in Joplin: Polka Dot Fox Coffee and Micro-Bakery

Last Monday morning, I noticed a friend on Facebook posted a picture of some goodies from somewhere called Polka Dot Fox Coffee & Micro-Bakery. I clicked to see what city she was visiting. I was completely surprised to find that it was Joplin! I had not heard even the tiniest bit of news about this place opening. And that's sort of how Aaron Blaine wanted it to be...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Frank About Food Quickie: Chicken Pot Pie

Sunday evening I was craving something homey... something warm... something filling... I decided to make a chicken pot pie. It was nothing fancy, nothing pretty, but fit the bill perfectly! A few people have asked for the recipe, so here it is! I'm making this the EASY version. If you want to get a bit more complex, you could use fresh vegetables, you could roast the chicken breast, you could sauté the vegetables with the onions before mixing them into the chicken and potato mixture, and you could make your own dough; it's actually easy using a food processor. Remember, recipes are only a guideline; make it your own. Enjoy!

This one isn't going to win any beauty pageants!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#WomanCrushWednesday: Nancy Silverton

This week's culinary #WomanCrushWednesday is Nancy Silverton.

Nancy is a chef, baker, and author of eight cookbooks. Raised in Southern California and trained in London and France, she has worked at such notable restaurants as Michael's for Jonathan Waxman and Spago for Wolfgang Puck. Nancy founded the much beloved La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant in Los Angeles. She is well known for popularizing sourdough bread and introducing artisan breads to the United States. Currently, she is co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, Mozza2Go, and Chi Spacca in the Los Angeles area, with partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. In 1990, Nancy won the James Beard Award for Pastry Chef of the Year, and in 2014 Silverton took home the highest award: Outstanding Chef of the Year.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Transformation in the Joplin Restaurant Scene: Bittersweet Fairwell to a Joplin Fixture and Hello to Local Pizza!

There are changes coming to the Joplin restaurant scene!

It's a bittersweet ending to a restaurant that has stood strong through difficult economic times, and a highly competitive food market. It was announced on Facebook, yesterday, that Mike and Marsha Pawlus are bringing their 29 year tenure of The Kitchen Pass to a close.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Ponderings of Frank... The Meaning of "Chef"

Cooking can be seen as a hobby. Cooking can be seen as a craft. Cooking can be seen as art. Cooking can be seen as a science. But most importantly, cooking can be seen as a passion, a gift.

Started by World Association of Cooks Societies (WACS), International Chefs Day is celebrated on October 20th of each year. It is a day to pay regards to the culinary professionals of the world, and to recognize the hard work and dedication they give to their craft.

This past International Chefs Day really got my mind churning about what it means to be a chef. I really came up with what I thought it meant, but was curious about others' answers to that question.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#WomanCrushWednesday: Traci Des Jardins

This week's culinary #WomanCrushWednesday is Traci Des Jardins. Traci is the Executive Chef/Owner of San Francisco's Jardiniere, along as chef/owner/partner in three other restaurants. Traci is a Northern California native that spent time in several three star French restaurants and many notable San Francisco fine dining kitchens before opening Jardiniere in 1998. Traci is a winner of two James Beard awards, and has appeared on such shows as "Top Chef", Ilan Hall's "Knife Fight", and "Iron Chef America", on which she defeated Iron Chef Batali. Traci has helped lead the way for women to be a key part of the culinary profession, and is known for her passion for seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients, and the small farms that produce them.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Dinner: Beef Wellington and Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus Bundles

I originally posted this on February 11, 2014 after appearing on "Cooking With Carol" on KSN16's Living Well. I thought it would be appropriate to repost for this year's Valentine's Day dinner!

Tuesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of appearing on the Cooking With Carol segment of Living Well on KSN 16, again. We talked Valentine's Day dinner ideas, and I demonstrated and shared individual Beef Wellingtons and Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus. I had a great time, and have received very positive feedback. You can view the video of the segment:

What's Cooking at The Bruncheonette?

A little birdie (not the pheasant, itself) told me that The Bruncheonette got in a couple of unique ingredients, yesterday. Namely, wild pheasants from Scotland and black truffles from Oregon! I'm willing to bet they are most likely the only kitchen in Joplin, Missouri that you'll find those items, this weekend!
Be sure to check The Bruncheonette's Facebook page to see what specials Chef Sean and his crew will be creating this weekend! 

Wild pheasants from Scotland: brined and ready for action!
Black truffles from Oregon... BEAUTIFUL!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#WomanCrushWednesday: Alex Guarnaschelli

(For a while now, on the Frank About Food Facebook page, I have been selecting a woman of achievement in the culinary world to post as a #WomanCrushWednesday, as many in the social media circles do for their own woman crushes. I thought I would start sharing them on the blog, as well.)

Good morning! This week’s edition of culinary #WomanCrushWednesday is Alex Guarnaschelli. Alex is a “celebrity chef” appearing on and starring in several shows on The Food Network, an Iron Chef on “Iron Chef America”, and Executive Chef at Butter in New York City. Her training started under legendary chef Larry Forgione and continued as she worked through several great restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, and France under notable chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy, and Joachim Splichal. Through her home cook style, and personable interactions on social media, Alex has really made the food world seem more accessible to the casual cook and eater.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Frank About Local Restaurants: Frank About Food featured on KOAM TV 7 with Cailey Dougherty

A few weeks ago I received a message on the Frank About Food Facebook page from Cailey Dougherty, a reporter for KOAM TV 7 and FOX 14. She explained that she had heard about my blog, and wanted to talk to me, on camera, about local restaurants for a special story she was working on. We worked it out, and we met at The Bruncheonette and Joplin Eagle Drive In for the interview. I love to talk about food, and about supporting local business, so I felt it went well. Early last week, I found out from Cailey that it would air on Thursday, February 5th in two parts: one on the 6pm newscast, the other at 10pm.
For the next few days, I was getting comments from people about how they had seen a commercial for the special report. I noticed some increased traffic on here, and the Facebook page. But by the time Thursday rolled around, I had NO IDEA what the story would stir!

Monday, February 2, 2015

History for Team USA!!! - Bocuse d'Or 2015 Review

Team USA (L to R: Thomas Keller, Skylar Stover, Philip Tessier) celebrate, with silver Bocuse in hand, the
first ever American presence on the podium at Bocuse d'Or in Lyon France on January 28th.
And there it is! Team USA shocks the culinary world with a silver finish at Bocuse d'Or 2015, narrowly missing first place by a mere 9 points! The second place finish by Philip Tessier and commis Skylar Stover is the highest finish for an American team, only reaching as high as sixth, on two occasions. Another shocking turn of events happened when France finished in their worst showing in the history of the Bocuse d'Or, started in 1987, placing seventh. France has never placed out of the top five, including seven gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bocuse d'Or 2015

I originally composed and posted this piece in December of 2012, prior to the 2013 edition of the Bocuse d'Or competition. I feel the need to update the post, and get this up before next week's 2015 event. I have left the background information about it unchanged, but updated with the "need to know" on this year's Team USA, and some slight changes. I hope I can bring a little more awareness to this interesting, and important, event.

Until I picked up the book Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition by Andrew Friedman, I had never heard about the Bocuse d'Or World Cuisine Contest. I had heard of the Culinary Olympics that take place in Germany every four years; but the Bocuse d'Or is not to be confused with the Culinary Olympics. Friedman's work followed the training and performance of the 2009 Team USA's Captain Timothy Hollingsworth and Commis Adina Guest of Thomas Keller's French Laundry in Napa, California. It's a fantastic read, and I highly recommend it if you have any desire to learn more about the behind the scenes of a real cooking competition.

So, you ask... "What IS the Bocuse d'Or, Frank?" Well, you're in luck; I just happen to feel like dropping some Food Nerdery on you all, today!

Monday, January 19, 2015

JOMORW - Joplin Missouri Restaurant Week

This week, January 19th through 25th, marks the first year of the Joplin Missouri Restaurant Week (JOMORW)! I'm really excited to see this get organized and taking place. A brainchild of Jason Miller (owner/chef of Instant Karma and Eagle Drive In) and Erryn Jones, there are twenty participating local restaurants, each offering some variety of special deal in exchange for non-perishable food donations for the Crosslines Food Pantry. Crosslines serves an average of 750 families for food requests each month. 
Wait! What?!
That's a stark reminder that whenever we are sitting down at our dinner table at home, or meeting up with friends at any of the great local offerings around town, we have many, many families, in fact, too damned many families, starving... right here in Joplin, Missouri. That means children are going to school hungry, unable to concentrate and learn. That puts them at an instant disadvantage in the world. Crosslines is doing incredible work to try to alleviate some of this hunger and malnutrition. But they rely on donations and volunteers.
This special week brings awareness to the local restaurants in Joplin, benefits a great cause, and most importantly, helps other members of our community that may not be able to provide the necessary nutrition for their families. Patrons can support local business while giving a helping hand to our neighbors, and get a little perk in return.
Each of the twenty restaurants are offering deals such as 2-4-1 specials on their menu items and drinks, a percentage off with a donation, free desserts, free drinks, free side orders, and on and on. I see this as such a win-win situation. And you can register at each participating establishment for a grand prize of twenty $20 gift certificates, one certificate for each restaurant!!! Everyone in the Joplin area should get out on the town, this week, and participate.
Below is a graphic showing the participating restaurants. It's a must that you head over the JOMO Restaurant Week Facebook page and find all the deals being offered. Then, you can put together your local meal itinerary for the week! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Frank About... this Blog

I hope you all are doing well. I realize I've been very quiet, here, and on the Facebook page. For that, I apologize. Life was very busy for me around the holidays, and to be quite Frank about it, I found myself at a bit of a loss of motivation, or juju or pizazz, for the blog. I hope to find my muse again, soon, and re-fire my passion and bring you more great content. Until then, I hope you remain with me, and keep checking in, and be sure to browse older posts on the blog. Thanks again for all your support.