Archive for April, 2013


You may remember Holland Taylor from the Tom Hanks sitcom “Bosom Buddies” or currently on “Two and A Half Men”, but Ms. Taylor is currently in the Broadway show “Ann”. Go check it out. It was a pleasure to talk with her.


Broadway actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is the Actor’s Fund Chairman.




John Contratti with Boardwalk Empire’s Steve Buscemi




John Contratti and Chazz Palmintari



John Contratti and Oscar Winner Cuba Gooding Jr.

I had the golden opportunity to attend the Actor’s Fund Gala which honored Robert DeNiro. It was a great evening to meet and have dinner with so many wonderful performers.


Lyricist and Composer of Broadway’s “Matilda” Tim Minchin and John ContrattiImage

“Kinky Boots” Billy Porter and John Contratti


The very delightful Blythe Danner and John Contratti




2 grilled chicken breasts (sliced) salt and pepper chicken breasts

8 thin slices of cheddar cheese

2 cups cooked seasoned rice (brown rice w/garlic, salt and pepper is an option)

2 cups shredded lettuce

1 cup of sliced black olives




1. Open a wrap and lie flat on a dish.

2. Spread a tablespoon of salsa on top. Spread a layer of rice, topped with some black olives.

3. Add shredded lettuce. Put a few chicken slices on top.

4. Put a slice of cheddar cheese on top.

5. Roll wrap and fold in edges. Cut wrap in half and serve.

Makes 4 wraps. (8 halves)






1 (16 oz.) can of chick peas (drained)

4 tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 tbs. tahini

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt


1. Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse slowly. You can add, if needed, another tbsp. of olive oil while it is mixing. It should be smooth and creamy.

Serve right after making or refrigerate. Serve with pita bread.

*Optional: Sprinkle a 1/4 tsp. of paprika on top.



2 large eggplants

4 cloves of garlic

3 tbs. fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

1/2 tsp. sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cut eggplants in half. Put on a baking sheet. (Skin side down.) Drizzle a little (2 tbs.) olive oil on top. Bake for 40 minutes or until eggplant is tender.

2. Let cool and then scoop out the insides.

3. In a food processor, add scooped out eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, parsley and olive oil.  Pulse many times until smooth.

*Can be eaten warm or chilled with pita bread.




1 lb. slice of feta cheese

1 cup kalamata olives

1 cup peperoncini peppers

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. black pepper


1. Place feta cheese on dish. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle black pepper. Cover with kalamata olives and peperoncini.

Black and White Cookies



I’ve made these cookies, using gluten free flour too. There are also many gluten free icings that are very good. I recommend almond milk for those avoiding dairy and soy. This recipe is very easy to make for those following a gluten free diet.


2 1/2 cups of flour 

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3  extra large eggs (beaten)

1 cup of whole milk

1/2 tsp. of lemon extract

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking powder

4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 ounces of grated bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add in beaten eggs. Stir in vanilla extract, lemon extract and milk. 

2. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir together.

3. On a greased cookie sheet (use a dab of butter), drop 2 tablespoons of dough. (one if of you want smaller cookies) Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Edges should be slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cookies completely cool.

4. Put confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Slowly stir in (a tablespoon or two at a time) of boiling water. Keep stirring until it becomes thick.

5. Take half of the icing and put it in a double boiler. Double boiler should be on top of boiling water. Stir in chocolate until it is melted. Remove from heat.

6. With a baking brush, coat half the cookie with chocolate icing and half with vanilla icing. Set aside so icing dries.




I was always given the opportunity to attend many opening nights on Broadway. One person I would always run into was the wonderful Brooke Shields. Here’s one of my favorite photos with the two of us.  Keep telling all your friends to follow and check out “Cooking With Mr. C.”




8 slices of lean beef cutlets (thinly sliced)

2 green peppers (seeds removed and cut into bite size pieces)

1 pound of mushrooms (your choice, sliced)

1 lb. asparagus (ends removed and cut into bite size pieces)

3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

olive oil

salt and pepper


1. In a large skillet, add 3 tbs. of olive oil. Brown garlic. Add mushrooms, peppers and asparagus. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir frequently. Drizzle a little more olive oil over vegetables if needed. You don’t want vegetables to burn.

2. Cook vegetables for about 10 minutes until tender. Remove when done and leave to the side.

3. In the same skillet, add 1 tbs. of olive oil. Cook beef cutlets on each side for about 3 minutes each. (depends how you like beef cooked) After cutlets are cooked, add vegetables back to the pan. Sprinkle an additional pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook for an additional 3 minutes and serve.

Serve hot. Serves 4 people.

Optional: Beef cutlets can be cut into smaller pieces before cooking. (See photo)