Chicken and Artichoke Pizza with White Cheddar Sauce/Garrison Wayne

Chiken and Artichoke Pizza

Chicken and Artichoke Pizza with White Cheddar Sauce

I love to make Pizza. Pizzas are a chef’s delight!….They allow for great creativity. I created this recipe to satisfy my friends who do not eat red meat. Chicken is featured here, and although, it can be a flat and tasteless choice for a Pizza, I think you will find that the ingredients I have chosen will provide lots of flavor.

The first thing to know about making a Pizza, is that you should have all of the ingredients ready to go when you assemble it. The second thing to know, is get your oven nice and hot and position the rack to be in the lower one-third of the oven. The third thing to know, is have a clean counter so you have plenty of room to roll out dough, set out your ingredients, etc…..

Now!!!!! if making your own Pizza dough intimidates you!!!!!…..Just buy it….They have it at Trader Joe’s and many other markets. It will save a lot of time.

This recipe comes in two parts: (1)a sauce and (2) the toppings.

The Sauce:

In a medium sauce pan, melt 3 TBSP UNSALTED BUTTER and add 4 TBSP FLOUR to make a ROUX. Add 1 1/2 C. MILK and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp SALT, 1/8 tsp WHITE PEPPER, 2 cloves FRESH GARLIC (crushed), and 1 1/2 C. grated WHITE CHEDDAR. Whisk until smooth. set aside. Prepare this about 10 to 15 minutes before assembling your pizza.

Meanwhile you should of had all these toppings pre-measured and chopped,etc.:

1 1/2 C. cooked chopped CHICKEN ( 1/2 inch chop)

8 jarred ARTICHOKE HEARTS (quartered lengthwise and drained well)

4 oz. FRESH MUSHROOMS (sliced thin)

1/3 LARGE ONION (sliced thin)

1/2 C. jarred ROASTED RED BELL PEPPER (chopped)

1/4 C. SUN DRIED TOMATOES (in oil/drained well/ small julienne)

3/4 C. freshly grated PARMESAN CHEESE.

To make the Pizza:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Roll out dough to extend larger than a large pizza pan. Place dough on pan and fold dough to form a lip all around the edge of pan. Brush the dough with a COUPLE TBSP’s of OLIVE OIL. This will keep the crust from getting soggy. Scatter all of the toppings (EXCEPT THE PARMESAN) on top of dough. Keep them about 1 inch from the outer edge of pan. Pour the White Cheddar Cheese Sauce to cover the toppings. Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese evenly on top.

Bake about 30-35 minutes. The pizza will be bubbling all over. Remove from oven and rest  for 10-15 minutes . Slice in 12 sections. Serves 6 with a Green Salad. Bon Appetito!


Pinch O’ Pepper Ginger Cookies by Garrison Wayne/Organized Chef

Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies with a Pinch of pepper

Pinch O’ Pepper Ginger Cookies

These cookies are so simple and satisfying, I had to share them with you. I love the way ginger permeates my kitchen when I bake with it. This recipe not only features ginger flavor, but gets a boost from a pinch of black pepper. European cookie recipes with spice will often include pepper as one of the ingredients. A small amount of molasses keeps the cookies moist with a slight crisp.

The Recipe:

Mix all of the following in a large bowl:

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 c dark brown sugar

2 Tbsp molasses

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground ginger

pinch of black pepper

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp Flour

To bake:

Form 1 1/2 inch balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 at a time in a 375 degree oven for 11 minutes. Cool 1 minute when removed from oven before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Do not stack to cool. Store airtight for several days. Makes 24 cookies. Aaaaaah! the aroma!!!

Little Dark Chocolate/Almond Gateau A Garrison Wayne/Organized Chef Original Recipe

Chocolate/Almond Gateau

Wonderfully Decadent Dark Chocolate Gateau

With it’s rich frosting/glaze, and an almond meal based cake, this torte qualifies as a Gateau. Having no flour, it is also Gluten Free. It is a perfect choice when entertaining guests, particularly when you don’t know if they are gluten intolerant or not. It is not, however,  Vegan compliant, as it does contain eggs. Have some fresh fruit on hand for them. If you have never made this sort of cake, it is not that difficult, and should be just fine with a first attempt at it. This is one of my favorite type of desserts……..and who doesn’t like CHOCOLATE??????

The recipe calls for only some simple ingredients and they are as follows:


4 1/2 TBSP UNSALTED BUTTER (divided)

2/3 C SUGAR OR BAKER’S SUGAR (superfine)


3 EGGS (at room temperature/separated)

1/4 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT (not imitation)

1/4 C ALMOND MEAL  (finely ground almonds)




How to prepare:

Grease a 7 inch spring form pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a double boiler, melt the bittersweet chocolate with 3 1/2 tbsp. butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and salt. Cool for 5 minutes. Beat egg yolks with the almond extract and add to melted chocolate. Stir to blend well. Add almond meal, all at once, and stir well. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold in to Chocolate mix until well incorporated. Turn out batter to prepared spring form pan and place in oven to bake about 35 minutes. The cake will test by pressing your finger in the center. If it is firm to the touch, it is done. Do not over bake. The center of this cake will not be fully risen and the whole thing will fall a bit when removed from the oven. This is normal. Cool on a rack (in pan) until cool to the touch (about 40 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by melting the morsels with the remaining 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter. The glaze will need to cool to reach the right spreading consistency. When the cake has sufficiently cooled and glaze is just right, spread glaze on top of cake. Press some sliced almonds in to the glaze and place the cherry in the middle of the cake.


This little masterpiece will keep well in the fridge if made a day in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving. Garnish with a bit of freshly whipped cream just before serving. Berries, such as fresh raspberries (only a few), will send it over the top!

This little Gateau serves 8.

Cranberry Bread with Orange Zest A Garrison Wayne Original Recipe

Holiday Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Quick Bread with Orange Zest / Easy

I created this recipe recently, so I could share a good old fashioned type of bread that can be made ahead and kept on hand for the Holiday Season. It is quite simple to make, just follow the steps in the order given.

How to make:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Generously grease 2 loaf pans.

3. Measure 3/4 cup Milk and add 1/2 cup Orange Juice. Combine the two and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

4. Melt 10 tbsp. Unsalted Butter and cool.

5. Wash 2 cups of fresh Cranberries and let dry a bit. Pulse in a processor with 1 1/2 cups Sugar until coarsely chopped.

6. Measure 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour in a bowl and add 2 tsp Baking Soda, 1 Tbsp Baking Powder, and 1 tsp Salt. Mix with a fork and set aside.

7. Dump Cranberries and Sugar in a large bowl. Add 2 beaten Eggs. Add Zest from 1 Orange. Add 2 tsp Vanilla.

8. Mix Milk/ Orange Juice with Cranberries and stir well to dissolve sugar.

9. Add melted butter and flour all at once to Cranberry Mix and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. Do not over mix.

10. Quickly turn out into prepared pans and bake immediately for 40-45 minutes. Test with a cake tester or toothpick.

11. Cool on rack for 10 minutes and then release from pan to continue cooling on rack.

This bread is surprisingly bursting with flavor even though it has few ingredients and no spice or nuts. I recommend that it could be a favorite at your household too! Happy Holidays!

Vanilla Pudding a Garrison Wayne Original

Vanilla Pudding with Fruit

4 Vanilla Puddings in Footed Dishes

When it comes to desserts, you can get as fancy and elaborate as you wish. I generally prefer to keep desserts more simple and straight-forward. We can rely on some of the basic old recipes to leads us in the right direction. Vanilla Pudding, with its gentle flavors, lends itself to be embellished by a number of fruits (peaches, berries, mandarin oranges, etc.). You must top it off with some not too sweet, freshly whipped cream. Serve in an impressive dish and your guests will send you raves.

Here is the recipe:


3 1/2 C. MILK  (heated in micro on hi 4 min.)




Measure the dry ingredients in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and stir with a fork to combine. Whisk in the heated milk and stir until sugar dissolves. Switch to a large spoon and place pan over a medium heat. Stir constantly until pudding comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter. Divide between 6 attractive dishes and cool on counter 30 minutes. Move to the refrigerator , uncovered for 1 hour more, then cover with little squares of aluminum foil. Chill at least two hours more and serve with freshly whipped cream. Add some fruit, if desired. This simple pleasure is sure to please.

Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup / A Garrison Wayne Original

Canned Goods for Tomato Soup

Ingredients for Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup

I thought I might get this out to you before the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. This is as simple as it gets. All you need is a couple cans of stewed tomatoes and a can of beans and this recipe. Summer is winding down, so this may be the last opportunity to pride yourself in a good cold soup for a while. You will find this soup to be as elegant as you like; depending on your presentation. I like cold soups in a footed glass dish with a well thought out garnish. For this recipe, I recommend  a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche and a few snipped chives. Serves 6 as a starter. Bon Appetito!

The Recipe:

Put all the following in a blender or processor and puree’ until smooth . Transfer to a covered container and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve, at least 2 hours. Keeps well for 2 days.


2 CANS ( S and W ) (14-15 oz.) STEWED ITALIAN TOMATOES, UNDRAINED ( you can substitute any premium quality Italian Stewed Tomato)



FINAL NOTE: I WOULDN’T TELL ANYBODY HOW EASY THIS IS ! Also, serve a room temperature bread or flatbread with this cold soup. Hot bread would confuse the palette.


Caramelized Onions in Dry Vermouth (an original recipe from Garrison Wayne)

Caramelized Onions in Vermouth

Caramelized Onions in Vermouth

Sometimes a Chef just needs that certain something to make a dish go from so-so…. to WOW!!!!!!……..Now,….. that may be a little over the top……,but I believe that a good side dish or accompaniment can make all the difference in the world. Onions are one of the most widely available ingredients in the world and are absolutely delicious and versatile when they are caramelized. Rather then dousing them in a dry wine, I find that Dry Vermouth makes a perfect choice , due to its complexity of flavors.

I am making some tonight to smother a lean Sirloin Chopped Steak . Following is a list of other good ideas for caramelized onions:

1. Top a Filet Mignon on a bed of White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

2. Serve with Grilled Sausages and an assortment of Mustards and Horseradish

3. Top a Foccacia Bread or Pizza

4. Layer in a Gratin or top your favorite Casserole

5. Add Chicken or Vegetable stock for an Onion Soup

6. Sprig on top of a Cracker and Cheese for an Appetizer

7. Use as a Condiment for Roast Meats

THE RECIPE…. (TRE’S SIMPRE)…..that’s French for simple:


3 large onions (cut in quarters, lengthwise, and sliced thin)

3 Tbsp unsalted butter       3/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp sugar       10-12 good cranks freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp white or apple vinegar    1 tsp dry thyme

1/3 cup DRY vermouth (make sure its dry, you’re not making a Manhattan)

Place all the ingredients, except the Dry Vermouth, in a large frying (saute” pan), I use a 15″ iron skillet. Cook on med-lo heat, stirring occasionally, and then more often as the onions start  to brown . Do this for about 45 minutes. Do not let the onions get too dark, you don’t want a burnt taste. Adjust heat accordingly. After 45 minutes, cook another 15 minutes and add the DRY Vermouth in 3 additions.

I know these onions take a little effort to make, but they are worth it. Make good use of your time and multitask a few other things in the kitchen at the same time. This recipe serves 4, so double or triple the recipe for your needs. Make them ahead, as they keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat on lo heat and add a little water if they appear dry. I LOVE these onions! I hope you do too! THE ORGANIZED CHEF/GARRISON WAYNE.