Help for Migraine Sufferers

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Migraines are devastating — not just because of the excruciating pain, the light sensitivity, and the nausea, vomiting, or dizziness —  but their power to stop your life. People with migraines must leave work or call in sick, miss fun events, and can’t play with their kids. People who don’t experience migraines may not understand that it’s not “just a headache,” making it even more challenging.

About 38 million American suffer from migraines; nearly one in four households contains someone who suffers. And 2 percent of sufferers experience chronic migraines, meaning 15 or more days per month. About 10 percent of children suffer from migraines.

Researchers say migraines are a neurological disease and that the attacks last four to 72 hours. Migraines feel different to each person; some people don’t experience pain. Those who do often describe it as feeling like someone is drilling inside their head. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch, and smell. Some feel a tingling or numbness in the face or fingers and toes.

Finding Help for Your Migraines

If you suffer from migraines, you’ve probably seen many doctors. If you haven’t, it’s worth visiting one soon. There are a variety of treatment options, including pain medications, preventative medications, and diet counseling.

  • Pain Medications - Your doctor might prescribe something for you to take as soon as you feel a migraine approaching. Over-the-counter drugs such as Excedrin Migraine are a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine and may help moderate migraine pain. Triptan medications come as a pill, nasal spray or injection. They work by shrinking blood vessels and blocking the pain pathways to the brain. Ergotamine comes in a nasal spray or injection in a variety of formulations. Some people’s nausea worsens when using this drug. Opioids are sometimes used, but due to their habit-forming nature, these are typically a last resort. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-nausea medication in addition to a pain reliever.
  • Preventative Medications - Not everyone should take preventative medications. But if you suffer from four or more debilitating migraines each month, ask a doctor about this approach. Cardiovascular drugs, anti-seizure drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antidepressants are all used to reduce the severity and frequency of migraines, though most have a variety of side effects.

Botox (OnabotulinumtoxinA) has also been proven quite effective if given every 12 weeks. Botox injections are a service offered at Generations Family Practice and are administered by a medical provider. Call us today (919-852-3999) to see if you’re a candidate for this treatment.

Other Options
While medication can certainly help you live a better life, there are other options to help control migraines, including:

  • Diet counseling - Begin keeping a food diary and marking days when you have migraines. Many foods are triggers, such as foods with nitrates (hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, sausage), chocolate, alcohol (especially red wine), cheese with tyramine (cheddar, blue cheese, feta, Swiss, Parmesan), foods with MSG, pickled foods, beans, and cultured dairy products. GFP offers diet counseling, so ask your doctor for help.
  • Headache diary - Even if you’re not tracking food, track your migraines. Doing so will help you find patterns. Try to include notes about how much sleep you’re getting, food, activities, and what treatments you’re taking.
  • Muscle relaxation exercises. Many people have found that learning progressive muscle relaxation, meditation or yoga helps them manage migraines better (and not clench muscles) as they feel one coming on.
  • Sleep. Too much sleep and not enough can lead to more migraines. We know, it’s a delicate balance! But take care of yourself.
  • Acupuncture/acupressure - Some people find these methods ease pain or lessen frequency.
  • Massages - Regular massages help you stay relaxed and ease stress, which can trigger migraines.

People respond differently to various treatments. The right pain reliever should help you get rid of pain and function normally within a few hours. Other treatments should lessen the frequency and severity of your migraines. If you suffer from migraines or feel your current treatment is not working, speak to your Generations Family Practice physician.

What You Can Do: Caring for Someone with IBD

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
IBD caregiver

IBD is challenging for those who must manage the disease and related conditions every single day. Family members of those caring for a loved one with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or Irritable Bowel Disease often means watching your loved one in pain, missing out on events, and providing lots of emotional support.

We previously shared the experiences of one of our team members, Carinne, who wrote about living with Crohn’s disease. We spoke to Carinne’s mom and husband to hear more about the other side: caring for someone struggling with these conditions.

Carinne’s mom, Pam Yano, said the hardest part for her is watching her daughter go through something she cannot fix.

“There are no words to explain the emotions one goes through as they watch their daughter battle such a horrific disease. Sitting next to my daughter’s hospital bed, seeing the doctor’s baffled look, and the nurse’s confusion, as you tell them the medication is not addressing the symptoms, knowing we are going into unknown territory (again), is difficult. All the while knowing that your duty as mom is to take away the pain and make all of the bad things go away — but this is one monster you cannot scare from under the bed.”

Pam said providing emotional support has been her most essential role, but most of the time, Carinne is stronger about it all.

“My daughter has always been an overachiever and always put her all into everything she has done. Her battle with Crohn’s has been no different. She is strong and courageous and fights Crohn’s head on. She inspires me every single day.”

Take care of your loved one. Those with IBD and related conditions must monitor their food intake with a diary, be aware of food triggers, and keep up with medical appointments. You can help manage their care by helping them eat right and reducing stress levels.

Carinne was diagnosed a year before her wedding. Her husband, Chad, said most days are “normal,” but “some are heartbreaking and just downright awful.”

Be patient, even when you don’t feel it. These conditions often interrupt life. It can be hard to accept that these conditions will suspend plans. Though Chad says that doesn’t bother him too much.

“The worst part is not the canceled vacations, the long hospital stays, the reality that we will probably never have biological children. Instead, it is the feeling I get knowing there is NOT a thing I can do for her other than stay positive and continue to be her biggest support team. If I could take her place, even for a short period of time, I would do it without blinking an eye.”

Take care of yourself. According to a study in the Annals of Gastroenterology, 44 percent of IBD caregivers surveyed felt overburdened and noted a decline in their quality of life. Remember to seek help if you need it; you can’t take care of your loved one if you are sick physically or emotionally. Seek out support through caregivers groups. It’s easy to feel despair at an unchangeable situation.

“Over the years as we have been in and out of many hospitals, been apart for several weeks, losing hope and faith at times,” Chad said. “I have learned the real meaning of ‘never take things for granted.’ Each day you wake up is a different battle, you learn to deal with the bad and hang on to the good with all you have.”

Maintain hope. With no cures, helping your loved one manage the condition is all you can do. While of course, you’ll feel a range of emotions about it throughout life — just as your loved one does as he/she battles — maintaining hope and positivity is one of your most critical jobs.

“There is nothing that could have prepared me for the days of seeing my beautiful daughter laying in the hospital for months on end,” said Pam. “But for me, I guess I am lucky, my daughter is strong and is an inspiration for all of us. I think in the dark of the night, it has been her, holding my hand while she was laying in the hospital bed letting me know, it’s OK. We will beat this. We can only take one day at a time, and we know and have seen that they are always finding new hope in the medications that are available. And that day may be tomorrow.”

A Growth Spurt Sends Generations Family Practice to a New Location

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
new office location

The doctors at Generations Family Practice focus on caring for children as well as adults, and that means monitoring changes in growth. But the practice has had its own growth spurt lately, one that has led to a new office location.

Generations Family Practice recently moved about one mile away from our old office. The new location offers more space, with 27 exam rooms, but also more advanced technology, said Dr. Melanie Mintzer, a “Best Doctor” Maggy Award winner four years in a row.

“Our patients will find a comfortable, spacious waiting room, plus new services such as on-site X-ray, a separate medical aesthetics spa, and a new doctor. We’ve done this to accommodate the growth of the Cary area and the needs of our patients,” Mintzer said. “Most importantly, this change means we can keep the same high quality of personalized, individualized medical care."

Generations Family Practice offers health services for the whole family, from pediatric on up, including acute care, chronic conditions, dermatology, mental health care and more.

The award-winning team is accepting new patients at 1021 Darrington Drive, Suite 101 Cary, North Carolina 27513.

[Article from Cary Magazine, March 2018 Issue]


Generations is Moving

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
Generations is moving

The time is almost here! The countdown has begun!! Generations is moving to a new office space. The same high quality of personalized, individualized care.

Our current office will be CLOSING at 12 noon on Thursday, February 22. Generations will remain closed through 2/25 for our move. We will RE-OPEN in our NEW OFFICE on Monday, February 26 at 7AM.

OUR NEW ADDRESS: 1021 Darrington Drive, Suite 101, Cary, NC 27513 [Find us here]

There is so much to be excited about, including:

  • 27 Exam Rooms
  • Comfortable waiting spaces
  • State-of-the-Art Technology
  • On-Site Imaging (X-Ray)
  • reGenerations Medical Spa
  • And more - all within a mile of our old office space

We look forward to sharing this next chapter of Generations Family Practice with you!

Best Doctor Maggy Awards Winner

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
best doctor

A record-breaking 15,207 votes and the biggest Maggy Awards ever...and our amazing Doctor Mintzer walks away with her FOURTH Best Doctor award! Cary Magazine writes:Doctor Melanie Mintzer

Relationships matter. That’s the philosophy of four-time Maggy winner Dr. Melanie Mintzer, and her practice proves it, offering care for children, adults and seniors.

Imagine: A sports physical for Susie, an updated vaccine for traveling Dad, and medication maintenance for Grandma, all under one roof.

“Getting patients in, making them feel comfortable, is the really important thing,” Mintzer says. “It’s an honor to take care of them.”

Mintzer decided at age 6 to become a family doctor like her dad, accompanying him on house calls. Now she has lifelong patients of her own.

Doctor Justin GlodowskiAnd to top it off, Generations Family Practice's Doctor Justin Glodowski took second place!

Won't you join us in congratulating them both! And a big thank you to all of our patients who took time to cast their votes. Your confidence in our care is overwhelming and appreciated!!

Read more in the January edition of Cary Magazine.

7 Tips for Teaching Your Teen to be a Safe Driver

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
safe driver

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Reading that is enough to make any parent’s stomach drop. We all want our teens to come home safely each day, but how can we help them do that without interfering with their newfound independence? Here are some approaches to help your teen learn to be a safe driver:

  1. Set a good example. This time of year is a more dangerous time for adult and teen drivers alike, with extra holiday parties, dances, sports events, and more. Set a good example for your teen by choosing a designated driver or taking a cab for occasions when you will drink alcohol. Reflect on your current bad habits such as texting and driving or not wearing a seatbelt and change those habits immediately. 
  2. Create a driving agreement or set some rules. The Centers for Disease Control has a sample parent-teen driving agreement to use. Even if you don’t use the agreement, set rules for your teens in advance about their driving. You might limit the number of passengers or limit the hours per week. Many states, including North Carolina, have Graduated Driver Licensing now, which puts similar restrictions on young drivers. 
  3. Outline punishment in advance for breaking the rules. The rules work best when teens know exactly when will happen to them if they disobey. Obviously, restricting them from driving at all is a good one to include.
  4. Practice makes perfect. The more they drive, the better they get. Each state has rules about how many hours a teen must spend driving to earn a license, but it never hurts to practice more than required. One of our patients offered this great online rescource that she used with her grand-daughter. The website has state-specific practice tests that are a huge help to those learning or needing a re-fresh!
  5. Focus on critical skills. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, parents tend to teach kids how to handle the vehicle and parallel park but focus less on what will save a life. Teach your teen to think about gap awareness, which is knowing when you can safely squeeze in when changing lanes or turn left ahead of oncoming traffic. Teach him or her how to merge safely on the Interstate. As they progress, have them practice on more difficult streets and in bad weather. Here is a checklist of skills to learn and here are more useful tips for how to approach driving lessons with your teen.
  6. Emphasize seat belts. Although teens are known for not listening to parents, the more you focus on seat belts, the more they have a shot at actually wearing them. According to a 2008 study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80 percent of teens said they wear a seatbelt because their parents insisted they do so when they were young.
  7. Teach them to limit distractions. Some parents require their teen to put their cell phone in the glove box. (Not a bad idea for some parents, either.) Whether it’s the radio, a cell phone, or passengers (which is why they are restricted in GDLs), distractions can often lead to car accidents. Teach your child to get into the car with the mindset that driving is the thing you are doing.

Learn more from the CDC about safe driving for teens. If you have taught your teen to drive, what ideas worked well for you? Share on our Facebook page.

Football Foodie Contest - Grand Prize Winner!

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
Football Foodie Winner

This was Justin’s and my final Football Foodie for the season this past Sunday. We both want to thank all of you who made suggestions and visited us on Facebook. We’ve drawn the winner of the December 17 Panther tickets (versus Green Bay). So without further ado…we’d like to give a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Peter U.….our Grand Prize Winner!! Enjoy the game!

Though we have been doing the foodie thing for over a year, your suggestions and recipes blew our minds. Your novelty and sense of fun are inspirational.

Football Foodie Winner

We’re just over the hump of the NFL season, and the Panthers, Steelers and Patriots (who we root for) are all very much in the hunt for playoff spots. The Giants, Forty-niners and Jets (who also have special places in our fan hearts), not so much. It will be interesting to see what happens the rest of the season. At this point, I think it will be the Patriots and the Steelers, and the Rams and the Eagles in the conference championship games. Time will tell.

This week’s cities/teams are were Seattle and Arizona. These two brought a fantastic influx of ideas from you guys, but our Week Four Recipe winner was Erin L with both city ideas. The first pick is simple, and healthy, and a Seattle specialty...

Firecracker Grilled Salmon served with a cucumber salad

Main Ingredients

  • 4 6-ounce salmon steaks (or fillets)

Ingredients for the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup/60 mL peanut oil (use vegetable oil as substitution)
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL balsamic vinegar
  •  2 tablespoons/30 ml green onions (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL sambal chili paste (or 1 teaspoons/5 mL pepper flakes)
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL brown sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL salt


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved. Place salmon in a large resealable bag (or two, if needed). Pour marinade mixture over top, making sure fish is well coated. Force all the air from the bag and seal. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat grill for medium high heat. Make sure to oil the grill grates well before grilling fish. This will keep the fish from breaking during the cooking process.
  3. Remove fish from bag and place on a hot grill. Brush liberally with some of the marinade and discard the rest. Cook over a high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done (between 145-150 degrees F.). Time might vary because of the thickness of the fish.
  4. Once fish has cooked, remove from grill and serve with the cucumber salad

[Recipe by Sabrina S. Baksh via The Spruce]

Summer Cucumber Salad


  • 2 Long English cucumbers
  • 1 medium onion
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped dill
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • ½ cup black pepper


  1. Slice the cucumber in half and then in slices. Slice the onion in thin strips. Mix cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper
  2. Mix white wine vinegar, water, sugar in a small bowl. Pour over the cucumber and onions, and stir well.
  3. Sprinkle some fresh chopped dill and stir.

[Recipe from kitchen of Marta Copland]

Football Foodie Weekly Winners


For the Arizona Cardinals, I was taken with the mix of flavors in this quick, yet delicious appetizer.

Arizona Coyote Caviar


  • 1 can (15-ounce size) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (4-ounce size) chopped ripe olives, drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces diced green chiles
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package (8-ounce size) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • salsa, heat as desired


  1. Mix all ingredients except cream cheese, green onions, and salsa. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Spread cream cheese on round serving plate. Spoon bean mixture around edges, along with salsa. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve with tortilla chips or melba crackers.

[Recipe from CD Kitchen]

Football Foodies has been fun, and a little fattening for us. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you’d like to do it again, give us a shout via the Facebook page. Thanks for reading and contributing to the fun!

Football Foodie Contest - Week Three

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
Football Foodie

Last week featured a bunch of unexpected, blockbuster trades in the NFL. One of the most significant was wide-out Kelvin Benjamin being traded to the Buffalo Bills for a couple of draft choices. On the surface, it appears to be one of the worst trades ever made. I hope time proves me wrong, and that some of the number 2’s and 3’s on the depth chart come through. Benjamin has certainly not had a career year, and maybe the team felt that he had had enough time to show his worth, and hadn’t. Maybe they thought it was more important to have some speed and a deep threat rather than two big, physical wide/slot receivers. We’ll find out.

Justin’s (Dr. Glodowski) Steelers keep rolling on, looking more and more like true contenders to one of my teams, the Patriots. Our shared fandom of the Giants seems to be doomed this season. We hope that no one else is seriously injured, and that they start thinking about Manning’s replacement at Quarterback.

When Justin and I began the “tradition” of picking teams/cities as food themes for our Red Zone football marathons, one of the first cities we picked was Cincinnati (Bengals). Justin, having spent time living in the Midwest, had heard of something called “skyline chilly” which has two peculiarities (from our point of view): it’s served over spaghetti and one of the ingredients is chocolate. It turned out to be not bad at all, and was the first of our unique regional recipes.

So, it feels kind of like going full circle to feature Cincinnati as one of our cities of the week. It also means that we can’t repeat Cincinnati-style chilis. One of our contributors (who will be in the hunt for the Panthers’ tickets), suggested something I’ve never heard of before, and what we are going to try representing the Queen City – Ritz Crackers with a Twist. We’re both curious to see what this dish will be like a canape. It seems to be simplicity itself. We will see…

Ritz Crackers with a Twist

Courtesy of Gloria C. - Week Three Football Foodie Winner


  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 packet Ranch dressing mix
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 box Ritz crackers


  1. Toss box of Ritz crackers with all 5 ingredients
  2. Bake in 300-degree oven for 15 minutes

Our other city, Kansas City (for the Chiefs) is a first timer. A little research, and a suggestion from a contributor led to the family of Kansas City Rubs.

Rubs are normally associated with barbecue, which is cooking meat or poultry slowly over indirect heat (usually with a blend of wood chip smoke) to flavor the meat. Kansas City has developed its own special ‘Cue.

It was 1908. Henry Perry operated out of a city back alley, and sold smoked meats to hungry laborers. When he found success, he moved into a space with a roof. And with a team of then no-names in his stable he developed a reputation that continues to draw awe today. Perry was the architect of Kansas City barbecue, and thanks to his vision, a legion of followers would define this city as a leader for barbecue in the nation.

Barbecue in KC is unique. For starters, Kansas City invented and perfected a delicacy called the burnt end. Expect to find it on just about every barbecue menu in Kansas City. Its composition is that crispy portion of the brisket not suitable for slicing, but delicious and full of flavor on its own. Pitmasters will chop it into cubes or chunks, and then submerge it into sauce, often returning it to the smoker for even more smoking. So, Kansas City Burnt Ends is our other recipe of the week

Kansas City Burnt Ends

Courtesy of Peter U. - Week Three Football Foodie Winner


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup salt 
  • 1/3 cup chili powder 
  • 1/4 cup paprika 
  • 6 tablespoons black pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin 
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder 
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • One 10- to 12-pound whole, packer trim beef brisket


  1. Special equipment: a smoker or grill
  2. Sift the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper into a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Trim all the hard fat from the brisket. Trim all the soft fat to 1/4 inch. Prepare a smoker or a grill, following the manufacturer's directions. Stabilize the temperature at 220 degrees F. Use a mild wood such as hickory or cherry for the smoke flavor. Generously cover all sides of the brisket with the rub and gently massage it in. Reserve the leftover rub. Smoke the meat until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 to 185 degrees F when inserted into the flat part of the brisket, about 1 hour per pound. For example, a 10-pound brisket may need to smoke for about 10 or more hours. Monitor the internal temperature.
  4. Separate the point of the meat from the flat. At this time you can slice the flat part off the brisket and eat. Trim the visible fat from the brisket point and coat it with the reserved rub. Return the meat to the smoker and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the brisket point reaches 200 degrees F. Remove the brisket from the smoker to a cutting board and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Cut into chunks and transfer them to a serving platter. Serve it hot with your favorite sauce on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Phil Hopkins, co-owner of Smokin' Guns BBQ in North Kansas City, MO

Liquid Refreshments
Our Beverage Winner for Week Three, Peter U., suggested a Malbec (red wine) from Argentina which is an exclellent suggestion. Though the great majority of Malbecs sold in the US are from Mendoza in Argentina, the wine originated in southwestern France near the city of Cohors. Though the Argentinian vintages are very good, the French are superb. Both Justin and I are really fond of a winery from Cohors which has the “K” (K-Or for example) family of wines. They are available at the Wine Authority in Raleigh, and are worth the trip.

The beer story this week found more searching locally (continue trying to stay local). I was able to find Kansas City beers around and picked up 3 different Boulevard Brewery brews. Tank 7 Farmhouse ale, the Sixth Glass Quadrupel, and barrel aged Bourbon Barrel Quad. Could not get beers from Cincinnati directly, but since Kentucky in just across the Ohio river and the airport for Cincinnati is actually in Kentucky, went for the Kentucky Brewery, getting Bourbon Barrel ale, Vanilla Barrel cream ale, and Peach Barrel. Tasted these from the lightest to the strongest, alternating Kentucky Brewery with the Kansas City brewery. All were different, especially the vanilla barrel. Found these at Triangle wines in Cary. Went hunting for other breweries to sample but found none. Did get help from Matt at Lowe’s in Apex, and then went to Bottle Revolution in Apex. Derek helped me find some possibilities from next week’s teams of Arizona and Seattle. I called the Bottle Shop in Morrisville, as a contributor to our blog recommended them. They did not have any Cincinnati beers but have one from Seattle that will be pursued next week.

Keep up those recommendations!

Football Foodie Contest - Week Two

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
Football Foodie

Welcome to our recap of Week Two of our Football Foodie Contest!

I still have mixed feeling about the previous Sunday’s (10/22) results. Justin’s Steelers won convincingly, but our Giants and Panthers were wupped. Both teams don’t appear to have reliable offences. I hope both teams fare better today.

The Panthers were beaten by the Bears, who happened to be one of the teams chosen for this week’s food explorations. One of our providers, Carinne Woodworth, is a Chicago native, Bear fanatic and a trove of knowledge about Chicago foods.

Last year, Chicago was one of the first cities Justin and I chose for our inaugural football food fest. Naturally, we went to Carinne. She told us about Chicago Italian Beef sandwiches, and recommended a Chicago restaurant name Portello’s. Wonder of wonder, they actually ship the sandwich makings anywhere in the US; so I ordered. It came as promised, ready to warm and eat. We devoured them, and had enough extra to give Carinne.Beef sandwich Football Foodie

When we drew the Bears for this week’s food city, I was anxious and hopeful that one of you readers would come through and suggest it – you did! You’ll find the recipe below, but since I’ve had it before, I can tell you it’s delicious and you should give it a try.

Here’s a bit of history of the dish from Amazing Ribs:

Created on the ‘Sout Side’ of Chicago (no "h" used in South), in the Italian enclaves around the now defunct Stockyards, the classic Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich (pronounced sangwitch) is a unique, drippy, messy variation on the French Dip. It is available in hundreds of joints around the city, and rarely found beyond its environs.

The exact origin is unknown, but the sandwich was probably created by Italian immigrants. During the early 1900s, as they rose from poverty and ground meat into the middle class, they were able to afford beef for roasting.

Nobody knows for sure the inventor, but the recipe was popularized by Pasquale Scala, a South Side butcher and sausage maker. During the Depression, in the late 1920s, when food was scarce, Scala's thinly sliced roast beef on a bun with gravy and fried peppers took off. Today, beef ‘sangwitches’ are a staple at Italian weddings, funerals, parties, political fundraisers, and lunches "wit my boyz".

I was raised around The City (you never say New York City), so I was also looking forward to what you guys would suggest. The traditions of Jewish and Italian delis are well established, and well as the food from almost every culture that passed through The City. I have a love for the Jewish deli food, so I was thrilled to see Smoked Salmon Crostini. I don’t know of any real Jewish Delis in the Triangle, so this is a double treat for me (if any of you guys know of one, please share it). Fortunately, pretty good lox (smoked salmon) are available at Fresh Market as well as at Manhattan Bagel so that won’t be a problem. If you are deli aficionados, you know the difference between Lox, Gravlax and Nova. Here’s the info from “Cooking Light”.

Lox types Football Foodie

Lox, gravlax, and nova are all made from salmon and involve some kind of cure. Where they differ is in the kind of seasoning and if they are cold smoked or not. Cold smoking uses wood smoke to add flavor, just at a very low temperature (around 80°). Since the temp is too low to actually cook the fish, it is cured first.

A deli staple, lox is traditionally unsmoked and made from the salmon’s fatty belly, making for the silkiest slices. It’s best to buy this kind of lox right at the source—any mass produced lox will usually involve some kind of cold smoke and come from any part of the fish.

Gravlax, the Scandinavian-style cured salmon is also unsmoked. The seasoning is a bit more aggressive, with fresh dill, sugar, citrus, whole spices, and a floral alcohol like aquavit or gin. Gravlax is actually incredibly easy to make at home (no smoke house or special equipment required), and a visual stunner, especially when fresh beets are added to the cure.

Nova, the name for this salmon comes from its origin, in Nova Scotia, Canada, where salmon is cured and then cold smoked. The color is a much deeper pink, almost a burnt orange, compared to other cured salmon. The fish flavor is also a bit more intense than lox or gravlax.

My preference is good old Lox, so that’s what I’ll be using.

Here are the recipes we’ll be using this week:

Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich from Genius Kitchen
(Recommended by Lisa M., winner of Football Foodie Week 2)


  • 10 lbs. beef boneless round roast (sometimes called Inside Round)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic powder
  • dried basil
  • red pepper flakes
  • water
  • au jus sauce, gravy mixes if needed


Day 1

  1. Roll whole beef round on all sides in Worcestershire sauce until it's brown. Roll in garlic powder until it's white. Roll in basil until it's green. Sprinkle lightly with red pepper flakes.
  2. Put in baking pan without rack and bake in oven at 250 dg. for 20 minutes per lb. (Roast will be extremely rare, but don't worry because it will be tender and juicy after recipe is completed) Do not remove roast from pan or drain off drippings. Wrap it all in foil and chill in refrigerator overnight to firm up for easy slicing and to meld seasonings.


  1. Remove from pan and save all drippings including any browned bits from baking pan. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Slice chilled roast as close to paper thin as possible. Put beef slices (saving any juice that dripped off) in plastic bags and chill until ready to assemble.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of water per lb. of beef in saucepan, adding drippings that had been saved earlier. Stir over low heat to make an au jus. If more flavor is needed, add more of the above spices and beef bouillon cubes until flavor seems right. The last few years I've used au jus gravy envelope(s) to speed things up or to stretch out more sauce, adjusting seasonings above to keep the "Italian" flavor If wanted, at this point you can add a bit of garlic powder, oregano, or pepper to taste.
  4. Bring au jus mixture to a boil.


  1. Immediately pour boiling au jus to cover beef slices in a roaster, electric frypan, or large crockpot that will keep sandwiches warm but not hot. DO NOT heat up beef first! The boiling jus will warm up the beef and finish the cooking process. If beef is actually cooked in sauce it will get tough.
  2. Serve immediately by having guests prepare their own sandwiches on small French sandwich loaves or hoagie buns. If Gonella- brand rolls are available.
  3. Serve with green pepper slices that have been sautéed to soften as well as with yellow pepperoncini peppers for those who want more of a kick! You can also add mozzarella cheese. Wrap the sandwiches in foil and heat in oven until the cheese is melted, then pour a drizzle of warm marinara sauce on filling and add a few sautéed green pepper slices (or pepperoncini peppers.

[recipe courtesy]


Smoked Salmon Crostini

(Recommended by Julia W., winner of Football Foodie Week 2)


  • 1 thin baguette
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • Capers or fresh dill for garnish
  • You will also need: Food processor, baking sheet


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the baguette along a diagonal into 1/4 inch slices using a serrated knife. Do not slice them thicker than 1/4 inch, or they will be difficult to bite through when toasted.
  2. Place the slices on a cookie sheet. Stir together the melted butter and olive oil. If using unsalted butter, add a small pinch of salt to the mixture and stir to combine. If using salted butter, no need to add any additional salt. Brush the tops of the bread pieces with the oil and butter mixture.
  3. Place the bread into the oven and let it toast for 8-10 minutes till the bottoms of the bread slices are golden brown and toasted. Flip the slices to check for doneness-- they will brown more on the bottom than they will on the top.
  4. While baguette slices are toasting, place 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, cream cheese, dill, and lemon juice into a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the processor periodically, till ingredients are well combined. Continue to add Greek yogurt till the mixture is soft and spreadable, but not overly liquid. I usually add about 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt, but the consistencies vary from yogurt brand to yogurt brand, so best to add slowly till the texture is right. Add salt to taste and process again to combine.
  5. Cut the smoked salmon into pieces large enough to top the baguette slices.
  6. When the baguette slices have cooled, top each slice with 1 tsp of the Greek yogurt mixture. Top the Greek yogurt mixture with a slice of smoked salmon. Place another small dollop of Greek yogurt mixture in the center of the smoked salmon slice. Top the small dollop with a couple of capers... or a small sprig of dill. Serve Smoked Salmon Crostini as a bite-sized appetizer.


Football Foodie Contest - Week One

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018
Football Foodie

First, I want to thank all you Football Foodies for sending in recipe ideas.  It was a really difficult decision, and completely subjective. Congratulations to Susan Moos for her suggestions of White Chicken Chili (for Cleveland) and Steak Tacos (for LA). We’re cooking them up now, and are looking forward to sampling during Red Zone. You can find the recipes below.

I did want to add that my wife, who normally would do most of the actual cooking, just returned from a family visit to Boston, so I couldn’t count on her for culinary skill. I did, therefore, opt toward what, I thought, would be easier-to-prepare dishes. This will not necessarily be the case in coming weeks, so the “ease of preparation” factor should not be paramount. On the other hand, if the dishes will take days to prepare, and many multiple skills, they might not be chosen in order to keep my marriage running smoothly.

[I’ll add another condition, neither employees of Generations, nor their families can win these little competitions.]

SIDE NOTE: Since this blog should also deal a little with football, I have to question Coach Ron Rivera’s decision making. Remember “River Boat Ron”, the fourth down gambler and aggressive offensive mind in the Panther’s Super Bowl season in 2015? Where has he gone? Perhaps he believes the team doesn’t have the talent, or the spirit to win. But if so, both of these conditions are on him and the General Manager. 2015 was known for aggressive plays, turnovers, and winning close games in the fourth quarter. And if he doesn’t have the shutdown defense form 2015, more the reason to gamble in the fourth quarter since he’s going to have to outscore teams to win.

Since this season seems to have no favorites – many upsets abound every week – the team still has a fair chance of, at least, making the playoffs. But we need a little of “River Boat Ron” back in the game.

A quick review of last week’s food choices, Justin’s Hoosier Daddy Chili and Philly Cheesesteak salad: The chili was pretty good. As usual we made too much, and the Glodowski clan enjoyed the recipe. As for the Philly Cheesesteak salad, save the lettuce. We would have been better off just having the sandwiches.

football foodie chicken chiliBut now, on to the recipes for this past Sunday, October 22! These are the first to come from you guys, and though it was a very tough decision, we’re really looking forward to the eating. Here’s the first recipe, for the Creamy White Chicken Chili that came from Susan Moos, our Football Foodie Week One Winner, who suggested the dish.

Creamy White Chicken Chili


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 24 oz. chicken broth (I use Herb Ox chicken bouillon cubes)
  • 2- 15 oz cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2- 4oz cans diced green chilies (I use one hot, one mild)
  • 15oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne peppers
  • small handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup half and half


  1. Add chicken breasts to bottom of slow cooker, top with salt, pepper and spices
  2. Top with diced onion, minced garlic, Great Northern beans, green chilies, corn, chicken broth and cilantro. Stir.
  3. Cover and cook in a crockpot on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to large mixing bowl, shred, then return to slow cooker.
  5. Add cream cheese and half and half, stir then cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes or until chili is creamy and slightly thickened.
  6. Stir well and serve!
  7. OPTIONAL – add 2 sliced fresh jalapenos in last 45 minutes or so of cooking.
  8. Top with Mexican cheese, sour cream and chili lime tortilla strips.

15-Minute Stir-Fried Steak Tacos

(Idea courtesy of Susan Moos again. Here’s an easy Steak Taco recipe I found on the Food Network)


  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 
  • Sour cream, guacamole, salsa verde, pico de gallo and shredded Mexican-blend cheese, for serving


  1. Cut the steak along the grain into 3-inch pieces, then slice each piece across the grain into 1/3-inch-thick strips. Toss the steak in a medium bowl with the chili powder, oregano, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in a clean dishtowel, and microwave at 100 percent for 1 minute. Let sit, wrapped in the dishtowel, until ready to serve.
  3. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Add the seasoned steak in an even layer. Don't stir for 2 minutes, then give the steak a good stir and let cook until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes more. Transfer the steak to a medium bowl. Immediately add the onions to the skillet, and stir until brown and slightly softened, about 1 1/2 minutes; transfer to the bowl with the steak, and stir to combine.
  4. Set up a taco bar with the steak and onions, wrapped tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, salsa verde, pico de gallo and cheese.

And here’s a BONUS Steak Taco recipe with a definite LA Flair!


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 5-inch lengths
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Warm corn tortillas, for serving
  • Diced fresh pineapple, for serving
  • Thinly sliced red onion, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving


Step 1

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the garlic and ginger. Brush the mixture all over the steak and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Step 2

  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Add the steak and cook over high heat, turning once, until charred on the outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve the steak against the grain
  3. Serve in warm corn tortillas with diced pineapple, sliced red onion and cilantro leaves.

Because we’ll be making the Tacos during the game, I’m going to opt for the quicker recipe, but the LA twist sounds like a winner.

Next week will really be interesting. The teams chosen are the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. Should be lots of choices, but please, no deep-dish pizza. We have a normal kitchen with no pizza oven. Hurry to our Facebook page to LIKE and COMMENT on this week's post with your suggestions!

Searching for the beers this week was easier, especially since we went with San Diego as our city for beer (in slight protest over the change to Los Angeles as home city for the Chargers). We found the beer at the Wine Merchant -- a Windy Hill IPA from Mikkeller brewery in San Diego. We stayed with the Great Lakes Brewing Company from Cleveland, tasting their Eliot Ness amber lager and a left-over Edmond Fitzgerald porter. The Eliot Ness was found at Lowes Foods in Apex.

Doctor G. has perhaps a tougher chore every week than I do, since he must find and purchase appropriate beers/ales. I know he would appreciate your suggestions both on the beverage, and where to get it. The same rules apply as for food suggestions, a treat to the winner!

Good luck, and may all your teams beat the spread!