The Kitchenman Recipes

Cream of Spinach Soup

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped 
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 3 cups whole milk 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper 


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mixture to a blender or food processor, pour in 1/4 cup hot water and pulse until pureed. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, cook the onions in the butter over medium heat until the onions begin to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then pour in the milk, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, cayenne and some black pepper and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the pureed spinach, then cook until thickened, another 3 to 5 minutes.

Check the seasonings, adding more salt, black pepper or cayenne as needed. Serve warm.

St. Patrick’s Day Shakes

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 drops green liquid food coloring
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • Green sugar sprinkles


Blend the ice cream, peppermint schnapps, vanilla and food coloring in a blender until smooth. Pour into two serving glasses and garnish each with a mint sprig and green sugar.

Cheeseburger Dip

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

One 15-ounce jar salsa con queso

1/3 cup half-and-half

1 cup shredded yellow Cheddar

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons pickle relish

2 tablespoons ketchup, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped onion, dill pickle chips, thinly shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomato and yellow mustard, for garnish

Round white tortilla chips, for serving


Preheat the oven to broil.

Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and the beef is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Clear an empty spot in the middle of the skillet, add the tomato paste and toast the paste for a minute. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and stir to coat the meat. Stir in the salsa con queso and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the middle of the dip with the Cheddar, leaving a small border around the edge without cheese. Broil until the top is bubbly and browned in places, 1 to 2 minutes.

Mix together the mayonnaise, relish and ketchup in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the dip with a sprinkle of onions and pickle chips, a mound of lettuce and tomatoes and drizzles of the mayo-relish sauce, ketchup and mustard. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping. 

Fried Shrimp Cocktail

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)

6-8 large raw shrimp per order-shelled and deveined

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 egg-beaten

shredded iceberg lettuce

fresh limes

Dredge Mixture

½ cup all purpose flour

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp cajun seasoning

½ tsp cayenne pepper


1 tbl mayo

1 tbl ketchup

1 tbl horseradish sauce

1 tsp water

1 tsp white sugar

Prepare egg, dredge mixture and sauce in small bowls; set aside.  Prepare small serving plates or cups with lettuce and fresh lime juice.

Heat olive oil in fry pan over medium high heat.  Add shrimp to egg and toss well.  Remove shrimp to dredge bowl and toss well.  Fry shrimp in hot oil until lightly browned on each side.  Remove shrimp and toss lightly in sauce.  Arrange shrimp over lettuce and serve with fresh lime wedges.   

Fried Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)

Salad Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 pints fresh strawberries, cored and sliced

4 oz goat cheese crumbles

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salad greens

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

Sliced almonds

1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine all vinaigrette ingredients well and set aside.

Arrange salad greens on each plate and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the strawberries, cayenne pepper and toss until just soft.  Add the goat cheese until just tender.

Add strawberry and cheese mixture over salad greens and coat well with vinaigrette.  Garnish with orange zest and sliced almonds.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)

3 Tbl butter melted

2 Tbl dark brown sugar

Crushed pineapple

Maraschino cherries cut in half

Pineapple cake mix, prepared per box directions

Option: Grated fresh vanilla beans

Mix melted butter with brown sugar and grease the bottom of each muffin tin with the mixture.  Add crushed pineapple and secure half a cherry (rounded side down) in the center of the pineapple.  Fill each cup ¾ full with prepared cake mix. Bake per box directions.  Allow cupcakes to cool well before inverting.  Cut off top so cupcake will set level on plate.  Lay cut off section on plate next to each cupcake and top with a little crushed pineapple.  Option: Garnish with fresh grated vanilla bean. 

Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


7” flour tortillas (taco size)

Shredded quesadilla cheese

Chopped grilled chicken, seasoned per taste and warmed

Diced pineapple

Chopped cilantro

Diced green onion stems


After sprinkling cheese over a tortilla in a medium hot skillet, top with chicken, pineapple, cilantro and onions.  Finish with another layer of cheese and another tortilla.  Pan fry on each side until golden and cheese is well melted.  Slice into quarters and serve warm with salsa and/or sour cream.

Poor Man’s Lobster (Butter Baked Cod)

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


  • 1 12 lbs fresh cod fish fillets (or frozen fillets, thawed)
  • 1 cup butter or clarified butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 teaspoon white pepper
  • 12 teaspoon paprika
  • fresh parsley sprig, for garnish
  • lemon slice, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Arrange fish in a shallow casserole; pour half the melted butter over the fillets.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Place the fish in the oven and bake, uncovered, basting occasionally, until the fish flakes with fork, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Garnish with parsley; serve with lemon slices and the remaining melted butter for dipping.

Chicken Caesar Cups

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


1-rolled pie crust, thawed if frozen

3-tbl butter, melted

½-tsp garlic powder

½-tsp dried Chives, Basil or Italian seasoning

2-cups finely chopped Romaine lettuce

¾ -cup chopped white chicken meat (rotisserie chicken works great)

½- cup Caesar dressing

2-tbl fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Several slices fresh Parmesan curls

1-2 oil packed Anchovy, chopped


Stir butter, garlic and seasoning in small bowl until combined.  Cut pie crust into approx. 3” squares. (Use cuts as needed to complete)  Brush each side with butter mixture and press into cups.  Bake in 300 degree preheated oven until golden brown; approx. 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let completely cool.  Combine lettuce, chicken and grated cheese in mixing bowl; add dressing and toss.  Fill each cup with lettuce mixture and garnish with cheese curls.  Add chopped Anchovy if desired and serve.

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


3 cups milk

½ cup sugar

¼ cup cocoa

½ cup milk chocolate (chopped or chips)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon red food coloring


1 cup whipped topping

¼ cup marshmallow crème

2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all topping ingredients together well with mixer or wire whisk; set aside.


Combine the milk, sugar, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar and cocoa powder dissolve and the milk is steaming; do not boil.

Whisk in half of the chopped chocolate until melted, then whisk in the remaining chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and food coloring. Pour into mugs and add approx. 2 tablespoons topping mix to each.

Easy Fudge Pie

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


2 regular or 1 deep dish pie crust

1 c sugar

½ c cocoa

¼ c all-purpose flour

1 stick butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1 tbl vanilla extract


1 c whipped topping

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

½ c marshmallow cream

(Mix all topping ingredients until smooth and refrigerate)


Mix all dry pie ingredients until well blended. Add butter, eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Pour into pie shells and bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Remove and let cool approx. 10 minutes.  Add topping and decorate if desired before serving.

Mamaw’s Chess Pie

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)

1 premade regular pie crust

2 C sugar

¼ C flour

¼ C yellow corn meal

½ C (1-stick) butter, softened

5 egg yolks, beaten

1 C cream

1 Tbl vanilla extract

Mix all dry ingredients well.  Add all remaining ingredients and mix well with wire whisk.  Fold into pie crust.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes; lower temp to 325 and bake another 30-35 until slightly brown.  Remove from oven and let cool at least 15-minutes before serving.

Lemon-drop Chicken Wings

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings, tips trimmed off

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine vodka, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Add the chicken wings and mix to coat. Cover bowl or seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9- by 13-in. baking pan with two layers of foil. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in the pan, and pour the marinade evenly over all. Bake until meat is well browned and pulling away from the bone, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Mozzarella Parmesan Meatballs

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)


  •  Italian meat balls (thawed if frozen)
  •  ½ cup panko bread crumbs, plain or Italian flavored
  •  ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese or Italian blend
  •  2 tsp minced garlic
  •  1 Tbsp. yellow onion, finely chopped
  •  1 pinch of salt and pepper
  •  1 egg well whisked
  •  Olive oil for frying
  •  1 jar spaghetti sauce
  •  1 cup shredded mozzarella
  •   Chopped parsley or basil for garnish (optional)


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to cover the bottom.
  • Mix bread crumbs, garlic, onion, parmesan, salt and pepper
  • Roll each meatball in egg wash and dredge in crumbs mixture
  • Place meatballs in the heated skillet and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer meatballs to baking dish
  • Add spaghetti sauce to pan drippings and mix well
  •  Place a spoonful of spaghetti sauce on each meatball. Sprinkle meatballs heavily with shredded mozzarella and top with basil
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F or until sauce is bubbling, the cheese is melted and meatballs have completely warmed through.
  • Allow the meatballs to cool for two (2) minutes, and serve with decorative toothpicks.

Game Day Pretzels

(Michael Lanari-Kitchen & Bath Concepts)

1-can pizza dough

¼ c flour for rolling out dough

1 ½ c shredded Mozzarella cheese

2 tbl chopped Jalapeno

Sea salt

Marinara sauce for dipping

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until approx. 6” x 15”.  Pour a row of cheese lengthwise across dough.  Sprinkle with jalapeno.  Roll lengthwise into a tube and press both ends to seal.  Shape as desired and lay on treated sheet pan.  Sprinkle with salt; bake in preheated 375 degree oven until lightly browned.  Let rest approx. 5 minutes and serve with Marinara sauce.