The proper way to make Buckeyes


Every Christmas my Mom would start making these beginning in early December. At her height was was boxing up like 20-30 tins of them for friends and family.

Yesterday for Sunday dinner I dusted the recipe off and Kelly and I made a batch. They came out perfectly! It’s such a simple recipe so I’ve decided to share a long locked down Briggs secret. I don’t think Ma will mind.


Blend 4 cups of crunchy Peanut Butter with 1 lb. of softened butter and 3 lbs. of powdered sugar.

Roll into small balls and freeze till solid. Using a toothpick, dip them into 5 lbs. of melted chocolate discs leaving the top exposed.

Rest on wax paper till cooled. Serve


The NFL and concussions

1377807977000-USP-NFL-Cleveland-Browns-at-Baltimore-RavensFirst off, I am a life long fan of football though baseball is my favorite sport to watch. Last night I was watching the Patriots/Broncos game and as I was watching a kickoff and how the special teams streak downfield in pursuit of the returner I realized that (and this is nothing more than a prediction) the NFL is going to be pressured even more in the coming years to try and minimize the growing list of both former and current players plagued with some form permanent brain injury and I see a time in the next five years where the league eliminates the kickoff altogether and offenses will start with the ball of their 20 yard line. That will be the usefulness of the coin flip before each game now.

You heard it here first!

With age comes wisdom

mikeyOr so they say …

The only thing I remember about this photograph is that it was my idea and that I was blinded for about 15 seconds in my left eye afterwards. All for the sake of Art.

Not much has changed in 50 years

1004002_10201532836981706_1340427071_nHere’s me at Barmini where they use magnifying glasses to amplify the W or M on the bathroom doors. since technology has improved just a bit since the mid-60’s I had no moments of blindness this time.



I was five when (John) Kennedy died and ten when Bobby did. I remember coming downstairs and seeing my Mom watching the TV (in Black and White) showing Sirhan Sirhan being marched down a walkway.

I don’t remember JFK being shot but the story goes that I sounded out and read the newspaper headline to my family. That’s the edition you see above. I was recently going through some of my old stuff and found it two days before the anniversary.

I do remember looking at Life magazine and seeing John John saluting his Dad as his casket passed by the family viewing area. That, friends, was FIFTY years ago. Man, am I old or what?

Amuse Bouche


For Thanksgiving each of the four main cooks that day (Kelly, Brian, Brent and yours truly) are going to each prepare and serve their own amuse bouche.

For those who don’t know what that is let me tell you … An amuse bouche is a one-bite appetizer. The goal is to “amuse” your palette as you wait for dinner. We have had some amazing ones over the years but the one above is what I am making for Thanksgiving. Here’s how:

Amuse Bouche: Savory Crème Brûlée with parmesan and balsamic vinegar syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 4 Safest Choice Egg yolks
  • 1 Safest Choice Egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsps brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees and get out 4 4oz ramekins. In a small saucepan combine the cream and milk. Whisking often, heat over medium heat until the milk is just barely simmering. Add the parmesan and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, whole egg, and salt. When the cream has cooled slightly, whisk it into the eggs in a steady stream. You must whisk quickly or the eggs will curdle.
  3. Pour the liquid into the ramekins. Set them into a glass baking pan and pour about 7-8 cups of very hot water into the baking pan. The water level should be about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
  4. Carefully put the water bath and ramekins into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the middle of one of the ramekin mixture comes out clean.
  5. Remove the ramekins from the oven and remove from the water bath. While the ramekins are cooling, heat the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the liquid simmers down into a thicker syrup, about 8 minutes. It should have a molasses type consistency.
  6. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the tops of the crème brûlées and heat the sugar with a kitchen torch until browned and crystallized. This can also be done in the oven under the broiler for a minute or so.
  7. Serve with a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar syrup over the top. To keep with the amuse bouche spirit, put a small drizzle of syrup (1/8th or 1/4th teaspoon) into a large soup spoon and place a dollop of the crème brûlée on top of that, keeping the caramelized sugar intact. Strawberries are a good serving accompaniment, or a slice of crusty bread.

Bobble Bobble

IMG_8245Recently we had a pipe break in the basement which meant some emergency moving of boxes. Boxes that hold whatever survived from my childhood.

One gem to make it is this Cleveland Browns bobble head figure that has to be from the mid-60’s, back when the Browns were something to actually follow and watch.

Will they retrieve some of their rich winning history and give Cleveland the championship it richly deserves or will they continue to flounder.

What do you think?

Baked Alaska

IMG_5545I’ve always wanted to try baked Alaska so one sunday Kelly and I got the ingredients and made one. What it lacked in visual appearance it made up in flavor. What an awesome dessert. How can you go wrong with ice-cream that’s sealed inside pound cake and topped with meringue?

Read this little history of the Baked Alaska and then go make one yourself, fer chrissakes. Oh, here’s how:

The key to this dessert is keeping the cake and the ice cream as cold as possible, so be sure not to thaw the cake or soften the ice cream before assembling. We recommend using ice cream that comes in paper pints, so that they’re easy to remove.Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 45 min

  • 1 (10 3/4-oz) frozen pound cake, not thawed
  • 2 pints superpremium strawberry ice cream (not 1 quart)
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar


Cut frozen cake crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Line bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with cake slices, some halved or cut into pieces to fill in gaps. Halve remaining cake slices lengthwise and place around edge of plate. Patch up any holes with pieces of remaining cake slices. (You may have a couple of slices left over.)

Cut paper containers from ice cream and slice each pint into 3 rounds. Arrange 3 rounds in 1 layer on top of cake in pie plate and cut each remaining round into 6 wedges. Fill holes in ice cream layer with some of ice cream wedges and mound remainder in center of pie plate. Freeze 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

After ice cream and cake have been freezing 20 minutes, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until foamy, then add lemon juice and continue to beat until whites hold soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, beating, and continue beating until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks.

Remove ice-cream base from freezer and mound meringue over it, spreading to edge of plate to cover ice cream completely. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately.

Happy birthday Liam!

IMG_8384Today was “Bud-bud’s” (my nickname for him) 8th birthday and he had a great day. His Dad took him swimming and Kelly got him a betta fish. Thea got him something for his new fish tank.

He is obsessed with Wii almost as much as I am obsessed with Robert Wilson so I got him a Mario bros. driving game as well as the little steering wheels.

Later, when he was going to bed he told Kel, ‘I don’t want to fall asleep, then this day will end!? Cutie.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUD-BUD. You are an awesome kid!

PS – Earlier this Summer I took him to his first Washington Nationals baseball game. As you can see, the Nats provide great stadium food.

Icing on the cake


Sad that we get stuck with the outside appearances of people. All the hate, discrimination and misunderstandings are nothing more than different kinds of icing on a cake. Take preferences like that away and this is who we are. Better still would be to cultivate a love of different flavors but either way, it’s kinda hard to hate one skeleton over another.