Posted November 21st, 2013 | Food for Thought, Menu Inspiration, Recipe, Recipe-Turkey



 Talking Turkey Truth

It’s obviously that time of the year, so let’s just talk turkey truth. 

I don’t like turkey!

I get the honors of cutting this big bird!

There, I said it!  Mea culpa!

The process of thawing, the care to prevent microbes from turning into sickness, and cooking a non-fatty and flavorless bird, which is so easy to overcook because people are worried about undercooking this popular food – well, it just baffles me!  Why couldn’t the pilgrims and Native American Indians decide on steak instead!


Steak with Advieh seasoning.

Although I have clearly lodged my turkey protests, that doesn’t mean I won’t eat it.  In some cases, I enjoy it, especially if the bird is highly flavored from a long time brining or deep-fried in peanut oil.  But pound for pound, I prefer an easier way of cooking turkey.

Oven-roasted chicken sitting on beer cans.

My recommendation is: get a smaller turkey or a large chicken to cook as the center piece de resistance!  But to feed the hungry crowds, prepare turkey breasts instead!  I use this catering technique of cooking and carving turkey especially for my large family gatherings.  We retain the tradition of a cooked turkey, beautifully presented – and delicious enough.  


See turkey, beautifully presented.

But we’ve noticed that people go for the turkey breasts, because they’re easier to eat, they taste better (it has  bacon for goodness sake), and then we get to keep the pretty poultry on display for family pictures.  And my Filipino American family LOVES taking family food pictures!

Keeping your turkey and trimmings easy will keep your Thanksgiving stress free.  It will help you stay focused on what’s most important on that day.  Giving Thanks!  

And if I do say so myself, this recipe will honestly make you say, THANK YOU, GOD! 

A young man, visiting the Immaculate Conception Church in New Orleans, for a midday moment of prayer.

 Food for Thought:


  • What’s your favorite way to cook turkey?
  • What’s your favorite side dish?
  • Do you have a simple Thanksgiving recipe to share with our members?  


Your comments and questions assist us in our mission. Please post your comments HERE. 

Let us pray:


Father in Heaven, thank You for this time of preparation for the upcoming holy days.  May we do so peacefully, not frantically.  May our efforts bring about the Grace that comes from a faithful family gathering, one that recognizes that You are the giver of all good things, and that we are called to share these blessings with others – especially those in need.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 This Week’s Recipe: 


Bacon- Wrapped Turkey Breast


November 26

Harrisburg, PA
November 30- December 3
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Top 10 Restaurant Meals & Recipe Highlights

As promised, my “Blast from the Recent Past” continues!   My objective in this week’s Eblast isn’t to relive the past, but be grateful for each and every experience I’ve had with my family, friends, and God’s great gift of food.  Starting with ten and ending with one – here are my top ten restaurant meals from 2012:


Pizza, Chinese & Foodie Friends 

Marc Bello and his girlfriend Jennifer are incredible foodies from Pizza-a-Casa in NYC.  They make amazing pizza at their shop where they also offer classes on how it’s made.


Marc and Jennifer joined me for a sampling of a new Yunnan Restaurant, Lotus Blue, managed by a good childhood friend of mine, Jeffrey Lim.  Lotus Blue is not your typical “asian” restaurant. It’s a true fusion of cultures and culinary style with deep, brothy, and bold flavors – including the use of the pungent durian fruit for a tasty dessert!


Home Town Food

Eating in the Philippines means encountering a lot of fresh seafood, pickled seaweed, whole roasted pig, fried chicken, and rice – all eaten “island style.”  One restaurant, Kai Lui Restaurant in Palawan, really impressed me. Not only did it have a great fusion of Filipino flavors but a relaxing, no-shoes policy. If you are ever in Palawan, dinner at Kai Lui is a must.


Auction Dinner with the Baldwin Family

As part of my service I try to provide dinners as prizes for charity auction.  One of the prize winners this year was the Baldwin Family, who also happen to be parishioners at the church where I now serve in Millersville, MD.  The Baldwins own a home construction company, so they know the importance of quality in the kitchen!  At their home I prepared three types of pasta, a sampling of flavor-packed bit-sized foods, chutney, and finally three big bites of the fusion fajitas featured on the Food Network – but it was the kitchen that was a gourmet chef’s dream!

Trio of pasta – pesto, norcina cream, and amatriciana – bacon and onion.


Trio of meats: garlic shrimp skewers, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin over white truffle potato puree topped with an apple onion. 



Asian Gyro in Oklahoma City?


Fr. Hamilton, a good priest friend of mine, was so excited about this hip new food place in Oklahoma City, and after tasting their fusion of flavors, I can understand why!  Delicious.


Foodie Express
Foodie Express


Eats of Italy in New York’s Eataly

I sometimes long for authentic Italian cuisine.  Many small towns have Italian immigrants with the skills and connections to source out authentic ingredients, but I’ve found that Eataly in NYC makes me feel like I’m back in Roma.  If you are able to check it out, make sure you go in the late morning or afternoon to avoid the mega crowds at lunch and dinner times.


 Ristorante Cecilia Metella

Most Italian / Roman restaurants have specialty pastas, but one in particular stands out for me. It’s the world famous Scrigno pasta from Cecelia Metella Restaurant just outside of Rome, near the sacred catacombs.  The meaning behind the pasta, its taste, and – of course – learning how to make it for my TV show Savoring our Faith made it all the more fantastic!



Talk and Eat in Talkeetna, Alaska

Finding food in the small villages across America’s largest state was quite an adventure. I was drawn to the hipster-earthy village of Talkeetna, a famous foodie hotspot, known for its love of food and nature. I had to agree with the masses on this one. It is another must if you have the opportunity.


Alaska Trip Part 2 What To Eat
Alaska Trip Part 2 What To Eat



 Florida Fiesta!

This past year my family went on a vacation to the beaches of Florida. Besides the sun and surf, I also enjoyed the spicy, bold – yet so simple and delicious – Latin influenced foods.  One place I discovered was Fuego Latina, a nondescript Latin food lover’s hot spot in a strip mall. Check out their “sampler” platter – a meal for literally 3 people!



 Mission Barbecue

As you know, food is only a means to an end for me.  The owners of Mission Barbecue have a similar philosophy. In addition to having friendly and super-fast service, providing some of the best local barbecue in the area – smoking beef, pork and chicken at least 2 times a day – they donate proceeds from their food sales to the Wounded Warrior Project.  For Mission Barbecue, good food is the means to a good end – to help our wounded warriors and first responders.


Culinary Confessions -Mission Barbecue
Culinary Confessions -Mission Barbecue


Dinner at Celebrity Chef John Besh’s home with his family!

Through my good food-priest-friend, Msgr. Nalty of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, I had a crab salad gumbo dinner with world famous Chef John Besh and his family. It was a beautiful experience. I was able to witness the faith of their family both in their exchanges and in knowing their oldest son was coming late because he was serving as a peer minister for his high school retreat. Later, in another beautiful experience I found ironically amusing, I was able to surprise Chef Besh’s mother and father, who recognized me as the priest on TV who cooks.


To round out my Blast of the Recent Past for 2012, I also want to share my favorite recipe:

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breasts!

Click on the picture to access the recipe!


2012 was truly a year of great adventures and achievements, and yet, for many of you, there may have been loss or sadness. We offer all of these to our Lord, good and bad times, and give him praise for everything we have, for we are still here today and have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. May 2013 yield many more great times and accomplishments for each of us as we seek to build stronger families, have better meals, and be ever-pleasing to God.
Be sure to keep checking out the website for updates on upcoming events, recipes each week, new blog posts and articles. And now, registered members can leave comments on events and recipes, so we look forward to hearing from you. We would love for you to share your experiences with us, as you are all part of the GBM “fam”. 



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Posted in Dinner Discussion, Recipe, Recipe- Pork, Recipe-Meats, Recipe-Turkey, Restaurants, Video | 2 Comments »

Posted November 18th, 2009 | Recipe-Turkey


1 tablespoon peanut oil

Appx. 1 1/2cup left over turkey, cubed

½ cup red onion

1 clove garlic

1 cup fresh string beans, washed and cut into ¼ inch pieces

2 tablespoons canned cranberry (either the gelled or chunky version)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro (optional)


Heat peanut oil in a large skillet. Add turkey, garlic, onion, and beans, and saute. In a bowl, create the sauce by combining the cranberries, soy sauce, and vinegar, then mix together. When onions become translucent, pour the cranberry and soy mixture and allow this to simmer for a few minutes. This can be served over a plate of steamed rice. Garnish and add extra flavor with cilantro.

Posted in Recipe-Turkey | No Comments »