The recipes in this section are not only John’s favorites, but our audiences as well. It includes our most downloaded recipe…Dog Food. Years ago, John and his wife Donna, were on a special diet to lose weight. It wasn’t so much the food John missed as it was the cooking! So he decided to cook for his dog Jack. John and Donna lost weight, but Jack the dog put on a few pounds…


 Dog Food

 Recipe from shows 16 & 284



                                     What You'll need:


4 cups of cooked instant rice                    2 large carrots             

1 pound of cooked  navy beans                 2 potatoes

3 pounds of 30% fat hamburger               4 eggs 

1 teaspoon of salt                                    1/4 cup of wheat germ                              

Rubber Cooking Gloves                        4 teaspoons of beef bouillon


                               How to Prepare This:

Cook instant rice as per package instructions.

In a food processor, shred the carrots and potatoes. Mix them together in a very large bowl.  Here's where your Rubber Cooking  Gloves come in handy. After you've put on your protective covering, add in the meat, eggs, wheat germ, cooked navy beans, cooked rice, and salt. Mush this with your hands until there are no lumps in the mixture. 


Now, take a large baking pan and place the mixture in the pan.  Bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours at a temperature of 350 degrees. Serve at room temperature. This can be refrigerated and re-served to your dog for up to two weeks. If your dog is a gourmet, you might want to garnish this with parsley.  This can also be served to your mother-in-law with catsup!


Acapulco Stew

Based on a variety of episodes

                                            What You’ll Need:


1 lb. ground beef                            1 teaspoon cumin

3 onions (chopped)                        3 carrots (sliced)

2 ribs celery (chopped)                   14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chili powder          1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 avocado                                   1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt                          4 tablespoons sour cream

large fry pan

                                    How to Prepare This:


In a large fry pan cook ground beef and onions. You may need to add some oil to the pan depending on the fat content of the beef you are using. Once that seems to be on it’s way to cooking, add carrots and celery. Keep stirring and add cumin, chili powder, Tabasco sauce, and tomatoes. Cook until done. In bowl mash avocado, sour cream, and lemon juice. Mix well until it’s really smooth. When ready to serve, place ground beef mixture on plate with a scoop of avocado mixture on the top.


(Chefs & Stirrers: John prefers to serve this in bowls, you may prefer plates...either way…it’s a winner!)


Beef Bourginion

Recipe from shows 192 & 307

                                                  What You’ll Need:


1 ½ lbs. top sirloin beef                        ½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon thyme                                ½ cup olive oil

4 slices bacon (chopped)                      1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon flour                            1 onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon tomato paste              1 teaspoon salt

12 pearl onions                             1 tablespoon garlic

6 parsley sprigs                         1  ½ cup red wine

½ lb. Mushrooms (sliced)              large fry pan


                                            How to Prepare This:


In a large fry pan cook beef. You may need to add a little oil to the pan depending on the fat content of the meat. Make sure meat is cooked well and when done, remove from pan and cut into cubes. Place on the side. Next, chop bacon strips into small pieces and heat olive oil in fry pan. Start to cook bacon and slowly add chopped onions, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. When onions are transparent, add mushrooms and cook until tender. When mushrooms are cooked, add wine, tomato paste, and pearl onions to fry pan mixture. Stir constantly and after a few minutes, re-introduce meat to pan and add bay leaf. Mix in flour and stir until liquid thickens. Serve on a large platter.


(Chefs & Stirrers: Be sure and remove the bay leaf before serving. John says they can get cross-wise in your throat and kill you..I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I wouldn’t want be the one to find out…so be sure and remove it!)


Beef Burgundy Surprise

Recipe from show 14

                                        What You'll Need:


2 cups  of red wine                       1 lb. flank steak

½ lb. sliced mushrooms               1 bunch scallions (chopped)

4 tablespoons margarine           1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons flour                  ½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper                 1 teaspoon tarragon

1 plastic baggie

                                        How to Prepare This:


Cut beef into strips and place in large bowl. Pour wine over beef until beef is completely covered and let soak for about 15 minutes or overnight depending on how much time you have. .


 In a large fry pan, melt 2 tablespoons of margarine and garlic. Place chopped scallions and mushrooms in the pan and sauté until cooked and then remove from pan.


 Next, drain beef and place beef and pepper in a plastic baggie. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously.


Melt 2 tablespoons of margarine in fry pan and add beef. Cook until almost done then add tarragon and ½ cup of wine to beef. Cook for another 2 minutes. Mix all the cooked ingredients into this pan, stir and serve over rice or noodles.


(Chefs & Stirrers: You can get really "loaded" if you stand over the fry pan when you add the wine. So be aware... drunk cooks are not necessarily "good" cooks...but they certainly are "fun"...)


Beef Pot Pie

Recipe from show 181                                    

                                     What You'll Need:


  2 cups beef ( diced)                  10½oz.  Can of  beef gravy

 1 onion (chopped)                         1 tablespoon crushed garlic  

 2 cups carrots                           2 cups bell peppers (chopped)  

 1 box Bisquick                          3 stalks celery (chopped)    

½ teaspoon salt                          large fry pan                      

1 tablespoon vegetable oil       1  potato ( diced)              

2/3 cup of milk                    3 sauce pans with boiling water in them


                                       How to Prepare This:


Place vegetable oil in a large fry pan and sauté beef with onions and peppers.  In three separate saucepans, boil celery, carrots, and potato.  Once they have approximately 30 minutes,  add them to the fry pan with the beef and onions. Add garlic, beef gravy, and stir...


Now take your box of Bisquick and mix 2 ¼ cups of Bisquick with 2/3 cup of milk and make a soft dough.  Roll out the dough on a board. With the top lid of one of your saucepans, make circle

cut-outs of dough.


You are now ready to assemble your product. In single serve baking dishes, ladle beef mixture into each dish  and place one of your circle dough cut-outs on the top of each .  Pinch the edges of the dough around the top of each the baking dishes. Cut off excess dough. Bake in oven of 475 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until dough is golden brown.


(Chefs & Stirrers: Bisquick is a product sold in the USA. It is a baking product that you can make instant pancakes or biscuits with. Any comparable product can be substituted. This recipe also works well with chicken)


Beef Steak Pasta

Recipe from show 177

                                    What You'll Need:


1½ lbs. top sirloin                          ½ lb. mushrooms (sliced)

1 tablespoon butter                       1 teaspoon soy sauce

½ (chopped) onion                         2 tablespoons flour

1 cup half- &-half                        1 green pepper (chopped )

1 red pepper( chopped)               1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 lb. Rigatoni Pasta


                                 How to Prepare This:


Boil pasta as per instructions on box. Drain and place on the side.

Next, cut steaks into thin strips. In a large fry pan, place oil and sauté steak. Remove from pan when cooked.  In that same fry pan, add soy sauce, onions, peppers, and butter. Sauté for three to five minutes or until onions are soft. Add half-and-half and flour.  Keep stirring until the mixture thickens. 


You are ready to serve. Simply position pasta on a plate and place your steak mixture over it. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for that extra zing!


(Chefs & Stirrers:  Half- &-Half  is a product made of half cream and half milk sold in the USA. Be careful when you reach for those red pepper flakes. When we made this dish on the show, the top of the flakes came off and a bunch came pouring out! This was one hot number!)





Cajun Steaks with Cucumber salad

Recipe from show 203


                                        What You'll Need:


4 thick  sirloin steaks                            1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper                1 teaspoon thyme                   

  1 teaspoon salt                                 2 teaspoons curry powder     

  1 peeled cucumber                          3 tomatoes                               

 1 tablespoon garlic                        ½ teaspoon salt                 

  1/2 teaspoon sugar                      ½ bottle cucumber dressing       


                                          How to Prepare This:


In a bowl combine paprika, cayenne pepper, curry powder, thyme, and salt. Once this is all mixed together, cover each side of steaks generously with the mixture. In a very hot skillet with just a touch of cooking oil in it, cook the steaks. About 3 minutes for each side.  They should look blackened when you're done. Slice the meat cross-wise into ¼ inch strips and serve with the accompanying salad...


For the cucumber salad, dice and cube the cucumbers and tomatoes. Place in a large bowl and add the garlic, salt, and bottled dressing. Mix together and enjoy!


(Chefs & Stirrers: This is a great recipe. Quick, fast and hard to mess up!)


Cheeseburger Pie

Recipe from show 85


                                      What You'll Need:


1 cup Bisquick Baking Mix                    ¼ cup cold water

1 lb. ground beef                                     2 eggs

2  tomatoes (sliced)                                  ½ cup onions (chopped)

½ teaspoon salt                                    ¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese           2-inch pie pan 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce    1 cup cottage cheese   

rolling pin                                           large fry pan                                       pastry board  


                                How to Prepare This:


Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Mix 1 cup of Bisquick and water until a soft dough forms.  Smooth dough into a ball on flour covered board. Knead dough about 5 times. Roll out dough 2 inches larger than your pie pan.  Put dough in pie pan.


In a large fry pan, add ground beef and onions. Cook until meat is golden brown. Stir in salt, pepper, and 2 additional tablespoons of Bisquick along with the Worcestershire sauce. Spoon into pie crust. Mix eggs and cottage cheese in a separate bowl and spoon over mixture. Arrange tomato slices over top in a circle and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.


(Chefs & Stirrers: Bisquick is a product sold in the USA . It is a baking product that you can make instant pancakes or biscuits with. Any comparable product can be substituted. This was a very popular recipe back in the1960's when we ALL thought we would live forever and never even heard of the word "Cholesterol"!)




Chili Glazed Meat Loaf

From a variety of shows                  


                                        What You'll Need:


1 lb. hamburger                                 ½ onion (chopped)

2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)      1 tablespoon garlic

¼ cup bread crumbs                      1/4 cup catsup

2 tablespoons chili powder            1 egg

½ teaspoon thyme                        ¼ teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt                           Rubber Cooking Gloves 

½ teaspooon Tabasco Sauce

                                       How to Prepare This:


In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients.  Be sure and have your Rubber Cooking Glove on because this is a real messy recipe.  You'll find this stuff stuck in your jewelry for days to come if you don't use the "glove treatment" in this preparation!


In a long baking dish, form the meat mixture into a "loaf -like" shape.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. If you like the outside a little browner, for the last three to five minutes put the oven on broil.


(Chefs & Stirrers: When you put the final "Broil" touch on the meat loaf, be sure and watch this carefully.  We've lost many a meat loaf in this fashion trying to be fancy....If you screw this up, just tell your family it's "Blacken Meat Loaf".... That works every time! )


Clear the Room Chili

Recipe from shows 34 &78


                                   What You'll Need:


16 oz. can black beans                           14½ oz can diced tomatoes

1 (chopped) onion                                  two 8oz cans tomato sauce

1 lb. hamburger                                1 green bell pepper (chopped)

3 teaspoons crushed garlic                2 tablespoons chili powder

1½ teaspoons oregano                     ¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 bunch scallions (chopped)             dollop of sour cream

grated cheddar cheese for garnish.


                                     How to Prepare This:


In a large fry pan brown the beef until cooked. Add the onion, and garlic and cook until onions are transparent.  Add the chili powder, oregano, and black pepper. Keep stirring.


Next, put in the diced tomatoes with the juice, the tomato sauce, and the black beans. Bring this whole mixture to a boil.


Add the green chopped bell peppers and let this simmer and keep stirring for about 25 minutes. Serve in bowls and garnish with scallions, sour cream and grated cheddar.


(Chefs & Stirrers: You know what they say about beans and chili!  You may want to add a few drops of  “Beeno” to this recipe. It’s a product that helps curb intestinal gas! )




Creamy Mushroom Steaks

Recipe from show 187


                                 What You'll Need:


4 small top sirloin steaks               ½ lb. sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon margarine               3 tablespoons onions (chopped)

2 tablespoons flour                     1 ½ cups  Half- &-Half

1 teaspoon soy sauce                 1 red pepper (diced)

1 green pepper (diced)              1 teaspoon  salt

½  teaspoon pepper                1 tablespoon crushed garlic

2 tablespoons parsley            1 large fry pan


                                      How to Prepare This:


In a large fry pan place margarine and sauté mushrooms, onions, and peppers.  Once they are cooked, add flour and half- &-half.  Keep stirring until mixture gets thick.   Once thick, add soy sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Set this mixture on the side.


With a touch of oil in a clean fry pan, fry the steaks turning often to cook both sides. 


When steaks are cooked to your liking, place them on a serving platter and cover with sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve.


(Chefs & Stirrers: This is a great dish. For those in other countries “Half & Half” is a product of half cream and half milk. The heavy sauce used here can camouflage anything!  Keep this sauce in mind when you make a mistake on something else in this book or are using a cheap cut of meat!)



 Fire Cracker Burgers & Yankee Doodle Noodles

Recipe from show 291


                                    What You’ll Need:


1 lb. fresh ground beef                              1 cup bread crumbs

4 jalapeno peppers (diced)                         1 egg

4  thick slices American cheese                1 lb. Rotelle Pasta

1 diced red pepper                                  1lb. green bean s(diced)

4 scallions (chopped )                        1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

1    tsp. salt                                           1 tsp. ground white pepper

2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)         1/2  cup olive oil

1-2   tablespoon lemon juice            ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

2          strips lemon peel (1 ½ to 2 ½ inches each)

Rubber Cooking Gloves                      4 hamburger buns

                                       How to Prepare This:


Cook Rotelle pasta per package directions. While pasta is cooking,

in large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, jalapeno peppers , and egg. Use your Rubber Cooking Gloves here. This can be messy.  Shape into patties.  Heat a large fry pan.  If you use very lean beef, you will need to add 1 tablespoon of margarine or olive oil to pan. Cook burgers over medium heat, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes turning and cooking each side. Top each hamburger with a piece of American cheese and cover until cheese begins to melt.  Remove burgers and place on bun.


When pasta is cooked, rinse and drain and bring to room temperature. In a large bowl, place pasta, green beans, diced red peppers, salt, pepper, parsley, scallions, tomatoes, lemon peel, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil. Mix well trying not to break the pasta.

Optional:  Sprinkle with pieces of feta cheese on top.


(Chefs & Stirrers: Before we made this recipe on our show, our recipe coordinator spilled the entire package of feta cheese all over the front of John’s apron…it smelled like baby puke….so be careful!)