The Chocolate Shake was my first drink recipe as a kid. I started by making them in my mother’s Oster Blender and have progressed to the Christmas gift from my sister in-law shown below.

Hamilton Beach Drinkmaster Double. You can find the single on Amazon for about $40.00


Hamilton beach mixer or Oster bender

Ice cream scoop

Measuring cup (optional)


3/4 cup Milk

1½ cups Vanilla Ice Cream

2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup (optional)

½ Banana (optional)

4 Strawberries (optional)

Whipped cream (optional)

Maraschino cherries (optional)


Add between 1 to 2 cups (approximately) vanilla ice cream to the blender. Pour in about 3/4 cups of milk. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to taste. Mix or blend well until smooth about 90 seconds. Pour into serving glasses and serve topped with whipped cream, a cherry on top, and a straw.


From iced water to cocktails, everyone needs to drink something. Your choice of beverages can be as varied as the items on a restaurant menu. The first beverages the Scouts learn to make out in the woods are iced tea and fruit punch. More importantly, they learn how to clean the beverage coolers and why it’s important to keep them clean. They also learn that iced tea is not a rehydrating beverage, and water on a hot day or a cold day is a must!

It’s summer time, so the beverage selections are VAST and varied. They are usually cold and definitely necessary on a hot day! When I was in elementary school, the first beverage recipe I learned how to make was a Chocolate Milkshake! I am sure that it might be hard to believe with all the coffee I drink, but I still like the occasional homemade milkshake. I have played with my milkshake recipe over the all these years, ever since I was a kid to get it just right! It will take time to post all the following recipes, so you will be able to come back here and click on any  new links that take you to all the drink recipes over the upcoming months here at The Magic of a Perfect Pairing (MoaPP for short). I will also have to post some kind of list or index I suppose to make life easier. They will be under the new category of BEVERAGES.

This new section will slowly cover all of the BEVERAGES I can think of over the course of the next ten months. Trivia: Did you know why sodas are referred to as being soft drinks? Its designation is made because they have no alcohol in them and therefore children can drink them. As soon as you mix rum into Coke-a-Cola, it is now a cocktail or hard drink. When you mix Rum into Coke, it’s called a Cuba Libre. A diet Cuba Libre is made with Diet Coke and if you ask for a Virgin Diet Cuba Libre it is just plain diet coke. This is all thanks to the television show The Big Bang Theory.

The first list is one of breakfast beverages: Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Tomato Juice, Apple Juice (yuck), Milk, Chocolate Milk, Coffee, Iced Coffee, Tea, Iced Tea, and even Hot Chocolate. You know how to make coffee, but how about iced coffee or flavored coffee?

The second list is the lunch menu: Iced Coffees, iced teas, lemonades, spiked lemonade, refreshers, beer, and seltzer.

Dessert beverages: Milkshakes like strawberry, banana, and chocolate. Then there are egg creams, floats, cocktails.

Party Cocktails: Pina colada, Whiskey sour, Tom Collins, Martinis, Long Island Iced Tea,  

Summer Smoothies are good for breakfast, lunch or just as a cool refreshing drink.

Cocktail mixology 101– Tools – Gadgets – blender, bottle and corkscrew, cocktail shaker, ice bucket, pitcher, shot glasses, drink glasses, mugs and wine glasses…

Liquor: Whisky, brandy, gin, scotch, tequila, rum, vodka and liqueurs to name a few…

“Mixers” Sodas: Club, coke, sprite, ginger ale. Fresh fruit juices, like lemon, lime, orange…

Garnishes can include : Olives, cherries, fruit, celery or even cocktail onions in martinis.

BEER: Is one of the oldest beverages know to human beings. It dates back to 5000 to 4001 BC. Why? Perhaps because this is when agriculture spread from Western Asia to Southern and Central Europe. Perhaps it could be said, that agriculture spread to produce beer!

In Germany, they take their beer making very seriously. Reinheitsgebot is a beer making law that was introduced in 1516 by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria. This German law allows only hops, barley, water and, yeast in every Stein. Even though you will find more than 1,200 breweries, producing some five thousand different types of beer, none of it is “craft beer” with any added flavorings like orange, lemon or lime. Here in America, you can find all kinds of craft or specialty beers.

Some beer types and tastes here in America include:

            Ales: These range in alcohol levels but usally remain high in alcohol content when compared to Lagers. They can be sweet, tasty beers or hoppy bitter as in IPA.

         India Pale Ale: Some people liked the higher alcohol and hoppier stronger flavor at the time in the 1800’s. The true reason for the increased hops in bees from Europe was that IPA’s were formulated to survive long voyages by sea better than other styles of the time. I am not a fan of the very hoppy IPA’s but you should at the very least give them try with the right food.

                        Berliner Weisse: This is my beer of choice now. These are wheat based beers and very pale. To me they have a very smooth and refreshing flavor. They include the brands: Blue Moon, Shock Top on the lower end of the mass produced beer and Wiekerke, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Franziskanner on the higher end.

            Lager: This is what I grew up drinking. Budweiser Beer being the most popular in America at the time. It is now owned and brewed by Anheser-Bush InBev that is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. Lager beer is still the most mass produced beer in the world.

        Pilsner is encompassed in the lager family of beers. The brands include: Stella Artois, which is imported from England, and Peroni, from Italy, which pairs terrific with Italian food. 

            If your tastes dictate drinking only one or two beers once in a while, then specialty beers might be for you. These are more commonly known as “craft beers”. They include things like coffee, fruit, and smoke. Some of the most popular name brands include Yuengling, Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish, Harpoon, and Summit Brewing Co..

Wine types:

            White Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigo or Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvigon Blan or Fume’ Blanc like the one I had with the shellfish.

            Red Varieties: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, Merlot.



                        Fortified: Vermouth, Marsala, Sherry, Madeira


                        I have a wonderful recipe for SANGRIA that I will post soon!

Serving and storing wine:

            White wine and Champagne should be chilled. I serve it in an ice bucket.

Drink Basics: Garnishes…How to make, Simple Syrup.

Summer drinks: Shakes, Frozen Margaritas, and Pina Coladas.              

Wintertime beverages: Hot Totty, Spiced Cider, Egg Nog and Mulled Wine.

Year Round: Screwdrivers, Bloody Marys, Margaritas, Mimosas, and Bellinis

This is just the tip of the iceberg, or is it ice cube? We (Jules, Sam and myself) will be writing all about all these things and more as we explore BERVRAGES through out the rest of the year!

Enjoy, imbibe and explore….drinks. Until we meet again, be well.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)


Tuesday, welcome back to the grind. The coffee is perking and the A/C is on. It is going to get hot today. This weekend started out as a washout. Saturday rained and I ordered a pizza and ate anti pasta salad.

Sunday, the weather was more cooperative. We went over our friends house for a barbeque and to keep their wonderful dogs company while the fireworks exploded around us in large numbers. They cooked way too much food as always, but I’m guilty of that myself. I think it’s better to have too much food for guests then not enough. They smoked seven full racks of ribs, a dozen sausages, and two whole chickens. I ate some ribs and a sausage and was full. No matter how bad I wanted the chicken, I had no room. What made it so good was the BBQ sauce Scott made for the ribs and chicken. He uses a whole bottle of St. Francis wine in the sauce and reduces it down with the pan drippings ,from the ribs or chicken. Plus what ever else he puts in it, yum.

Monday was shaping up to be even a nicer day and they invited us over again for the traditional burgers and dawgs. Plus, Scott made steak! I however brought with us one dozen oysters, a dozen clams and two pounds of jumbo cocktail shrimp. I also made large batch of cocktail sauce. Upon my arrival with said seafood, I proceeded to open the oysters for raw oysters on the half shell. Allison watched me open one and said: “Oh god! That’s too much work! I will just throw them on the grill for a minute until they are open.” I looked at her begrudgingly and she added: “Don’t worry, they will still be raw.” I agreed and she left me just two more oysters to open on my own.

Everything was amazing. The grilled oysters just needed to sit on ice a little longer to get cold but they were as good as raw oysters. Sam and I ate the three raw oysters I opened. They were paired with the Fume’ Blanc wine Allison opened from the Robert Mondavi Winery. Next, Scott served an amazing piece of hanger steak that was cooked to perfection. He marinated the shit out of so it melted in your mouth and was season perfectly. He need to put that in his regular BBQ rotation it was so good. The Steak was paired with a St. Francis Pinto Noir. Dessert consisted of two very tasty cakes Sam had purchased and a local farm stand and ice cream we picked up on the way there from Baskin Robbins. All in all, a great weekend.

The coffee is done and it’s time for work. I already posted my Anti Pasta recipe if you want to try it, you can find it in the recipe section. You already have the cocktail sauce and shrimp recipes too, so go cook and enjoy life! Maybe even have a little wine from Robert Mondavi. The 2018 Fume’ Blanc I had was very good!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Fettuccine Alfredo

Welcome to the weekend. It’s Independence Day Weekend AKA 4th of July weekend here in the States. Everyone including me will be grilling. Last night, however, was not a grilling night. It was a cold, wet, and rainy night here in New York. So, I cooked indoors.

I made the last minute decision to make Fettuccine Alfredo. I had to stop at the local supermarket on my way home. It’s a new place and it’s expensive. Lucky for me, the quart of heavy cream was on sale. The rest was not. I didn’t buy much because of the high prices. I purchased two boxes of DeCecco fettuccine pasta. That is always more expensive, but it’s my new favorite dried pasta. I picked up a loaf of Italian bread and one head of garlic too. Butter I already had at home.

I went home and put up a pot of water to boil. The rest is in the recipe below. Enjoy, or like my Irish mother would say, “Mangiare”.

Fettuccine Alfredo


Heavy sauce pan

Small Whisk or fork

Measuring spoons

Measuring cup


1 package dry Fettuccine or Fresh Fettuccine Noodles

Alfredo Sauce

16 fluid ounces heavy whipping cream

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup grated Romano cheese

2 egg yolks

½ teaspoon minced garlic (optional)

Parsley (optional)


Cook fettuccine according to directions, but before adding pasta to the boiling water, start the sauce.

Sauce: Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and simmer one minute. Add heavy cream to the butter. While the cream is still cold but over medium low heat, mix in beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly with a small whisk. Now, add the pasta to the water. Once the sauce comes to a simmer (DO NOT BOIL), add grated Parmesan cheese and grated Romano cheese. Stir constantly until melted. Simmer over low heat for 1 to 3 minutes stirring continuously. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese, fresh black pepper, and Parsley if desired. Add milk or cream if sauce becomes too thick. pour over cooked pasta.

Add sauce to pasta and serve immediately, as sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serving Suggestions: add frozen artichoke hearts or asparagus tips to half the cream before adding egg yolk. Cook until artichokes/asparagus are tender, then add the rest of the cream and the egg yolk. For best results, use fresh pasta.

I served it with garlic bread rounds. They were buttered, garlic powdered and toasted on both sides.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)


Chicken Cordon Bleu


6 thin Chicken cutlets (3 whole cut in half)

6 slices Deli Ham

6 slices Swiss cheese

½ TO 1 cup Bread crumbs

2 Eggs (beaten)

2 tablespoons Butter

2 tablespoons flour

¼ cup frying oil peanut or veg

1 cup Chicken stock (for Chicken Gravy)

½ cup Flour (chicken coating)

1 teaspoon Paprika

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup heavy cream (if not using jarred gravy)


Pound chicken thin between two sheets of plastic wrap. Lay on top on slice of ham and one slice of Swiss cheese. Roll chicken and secure it with toothpicks if necessary. Dip in egg wash. Roll in flour that paprika has been added. Back to egg the wash and then into bread crumbs.

Flour and breadcrumbs

Fry in peanut or vegetable oil until golden brown. Place chicken in 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Cover with two jars of bottled chicken gravy unless making it from scratch (see below).

Hot oil
Frying chicken

While the chicken cooks in the oven, make the pan sauce. Melt butter in the same with the chicken over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and cook until tan. Whisk in chicken broth and cook until thick. Thin out with heavy cream. Pour warm sauce over chicken.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbling. The chicken should be at 160 degrees in the center when tested with an instant thermometer. Sever hot with extra sauce.


Asparagus (Steamed)


Steamer or Large Frying Pan with a cover



Vegetable peeler



1 cup water

1 tsp. salt


Wash and prepare asparagus by cutting off 1 or 2 inches of the stem.  On large or thick asparagus, peel the lower half with a vegetable peeler.

Add one inch of water to the bottom of a pan and bring to a boil. Add salt. Carefully add asparagus. Cook until fork tender.

Serving suggestion: serve with Hollandaise sauce or butter.

Kitchen Tip: Grow your own. Look for asparagus bunches that are firm, straight, and brightly colored. Make sure the feathery tips are tightly closed. Store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or standing upright in a container with 1 inch of water at the bottom. Use them within 2–3 days. You can also blanch and freeze fresh asparagus for up to 8 months.



1 cup large pearl couscous

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (water and 2 teaspoon Better then Bouillon)

1 tsp pasley


Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add parsley. Add couscous. Cover and simmer on low for 8 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand covered for 4 minutes. Serve.



Welcome to Friday. I cooked last night. Feeling guilty about having been cooking the same thing over and over, I went with something new. I made Chicken Cordon Bleu. Is it American? Probably not, but I bet it’s popular in America to eat, unlike Escargot. So, I am including it in the list of recipes I’m posting here. Included on the plate above is Couscous, also not very American but yummy, and Asparagus. The pickled beets I did not pickle myself. Although, I may have been pickled myself with beer while cooking all this.

I started with the chicken dish since it would take the longest to cook.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with extra sauce

Next, I started the chicken broth for the Couscous. I always cook my couscous in chicken broth unless it is served with pan seared Sea Scallops. Then, I have an extra trick up my sleeve that Sam will be showing you soon, I hope.

Couscous in chicken broth

Now to work on the Asparagus. Spring is the best time to buy Asparagus here on the east coast because that’s when it is in season locally. Today, you can buy MOST fruits and vegetables year round. That wasn’t always the case. Even when I was a child, many things like watermelon were only available during the season they grew in locally. Even then, there wasn’t ANYTHING called seedless watermelon available. Now, you can buy almost anything, including some very exotic fruits and vegetables grown in other countries all year round.

I added the pickled beets for color and because it has been ages since I’ve had them. My favorites pickled beets come from Lancaster, PA. These were surprisingly very good and from my local supermarket. Chill them before you eat them.

You can look for all my recipes for this meal by just clicking on the links above. Have fun cooking and Bon Appetit. P.S., this dish is NOT French…just sayin.

Until we meet again in my kitchen, Be well, Be healthy, and Be happy!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)


Thursday. July 1st. Have to go into work early so you have me for a quick article until the coffee is done. Let’s see how fast I can type today.

Last night, I was at a loss what to make. Sam said: “Dad, we have to start planning meals in advance. You have a blog to write and you need to cook new things.” Then, he suggested Swedish meatballs. We found them in the freezer under a bag of curly fries.

I ran to the store to get Heinz Anjou gravy and wide noodles. I also picked up a bag of small baby potatoes. When I returned from said store, Sam had the potatoes in the pan and was frying them up. He added the gravy next and brought that to a simmer. In another pot, he was making Lingonberry sauce. What’s in it I don’t know. Perhaps, he can give you that recipe in his next blog.

I put on a big pot of salted water to boil for the noodles, then started on the potatoes. I washed and put the potatoes in a Pyrex bowl with just a bit of water. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and poked a small hole in it with the tip of a knife. I microwaved those suckers for 6 minutes. I let them stand for four minutes as I melted two tablespoons butter in a pan and added two tablespoons of olive oil. As soon as the butter was melted, I added the potatoes. Then, I seasoned them with salt, white pepper, a pinch of garlic powder, and larger pinch of onion powder. I sautéed them on low waiting for the water to boil. I tossed the potatoes into the now hot pan. Then every now and again as they began to brown just slightly with little brown spots, I gave them a toss in the butter oil and herbs to coat them evenly. In the meantime, I added the noodles to the boiling water. I kept repeating the tossing of the potatoes until the noodles were cooked. Then, I turned off the potatoes and drained the noodles.

I served everything piping hot like the picture below.

Okay, the coffee is done time to run. see you tomorrow.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)



two pounds of small Yukon gold potatoes

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water (for steaming potatoes)

1/8 teaspoon onion

shy 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and white pepper to taste


Wash and add potatoes to a Pyrex bowl. Add two tablespoon of water. Cover with plastic wrap. Poke a hole in the plastic wrap with a knife. Microwave on high for 6 minutes. Let stand four minutes.

Add butter to a pan with olive oil. Add hot potatoes to pan with butter and oil. Keep heat on low. Add seasoning and toss to coat potatoes. Continue cooking on low for ten to fifteen minutes until potatoes are slightly brown and fork tender.