Cook with simple and delicious recipes for the inexperienced

STATEN ISLAND, NY – If you want to live on your own, cooking is a good skill to have. It’s also something you can do with your family and at your group residence, too. Who knows? You may find yourself helping someone else learn.

We reflected on some of the things we love to cook or eat, and then asked Chef Adrian Gresnigt, Director of Food Services and Executive Chef at Lifestyles Cafe, for advice and recipes.

“Beginners want to be better,” says Gresnigt. “They need an introduction to gain confidence.” Originally from Holland, he has been cooking since he was a teenager. His skills as an executive chef took him to Paris, where he worked in prestigious hotels, and Manhattan, where he owned his own culinary businesses.

When you start out, ask someone with a little more experience to help you with a recipe. Chopping and stirring are the main skills you will need to get started.

“Have fun with what you cook. Do not worry. It will be fine, ”said Joseph Padalino, correspondent for Life-Wire News.


It’s important “to be safe and to know what you’re doing,” adds Juliann V. And it starts with washing your hands.

– Before you start working in the kitchen, wash your hands. Chef Adrian Gresnigt, Director of Food Services and Executive Chef of Lifestyles Caffe, starts at the sink by singing “Happy Birthday”. (Still video / Life-Wire News) Life-Wire NewsLife-Wire News

ONE POT MEAL: Peppers, Potatoes, Onion (PPO)


  • 2 hot Italian sausages (pre-baked), chilled and cut into pieces
  • 2 mild Italian sausages (pre-baked), chilled and cut into pieces
  • 3 medium-sized boiled red potatoes (blanched in water until almost tender), refrigerated and cut into wedges.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (100%)
  • 1 large red pepper (cut into large strips)
  • 1 large red green pepper (cut into large strips)
  • 2 garlic gloves (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 medium white onion (cut into medium strips)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the cast iron or Dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat.

Add olive oil, chop the onion and garlic for about three minutes until it caramelizes a little. Add the chopped potatoes to the pan and cook a little. Add the pre-cooked peppers and sausage pieces to the pot and cook until everything turns light brown over low / medium heat, making sure to stir the ingredients until cooked through.

Once the desired color and consistency is achieved, cooking may stop. Enjoy! Enjoy your lunch!

Make a meal in a pan

Sausages, peppers, onions and potatoes create a simple meal for one or two people. (Life-Wire News) Life-Wire News

Develop your skills in the unique dish with this pasta dish. Donna W has this advice to make things easier. “Prepare everything half an hour before you start cooking so you don’t have to run to the fridge for ingredients,” says Donna, who works in the cafe with Chef Adrian.


First, some pro tips on cooking pasta:

Prepare a large pot of boiling water. Add a little salt. You can also add a tablespoon or two of oil. Tip: “Remember that you can always add salt, but you can never subtract.”

Put the pasta in boiling water and stir for 30 seconds to break up the gluten and prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Cooking time: Varies for different types of pasta. Check the instructions on the packaging. Use as little time as possible as a guide.

“There should be some crunch. A small bite, known as “al dente,” in Italian “to the tooth,” says Gresnigt. “When you take it out of the water, it’s still cooking. If it turns white, that’s overkill.

Put a colander in the sink and when the pasta is done, drain it thoroughly.

“Never wash it,” says Gresnigt. He puts it on a baking sheet, then sprinkles a little oil or cooking water on it. Shake it with tongs or a fork to make sure it doesn’t stick together.

A match for Rigatoni

A well-seasoned stew, meat and veg cooked in a thick gravy over “wonderful pasta and grated fresh Parmesan, it will truly be heaven,” said Chef Adrian Gresnigt, Foodservice Director and Executive Chef of Lifestyles for the Disabled. (Life-Wire News / Aaron Bialer) Life-Wire News


For this recipe, Gresnigt recommends using crumbled pork sausages, which are small pieces or fully cooked pieces of pork. It comes frozen and is very handy. If you can’t find it, simply cut the Italian sausage into bite-size pieces before cooking, “and the results will amaze you, too.” “

Meat stew

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion (chopped, white)
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced celery broth
  • 1/2 cup of red cooking wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups fully cooked crumbled sausage meat

Use a small Dutch oven. Add two tablespoons of olive oil (100%). Add the diced onion (medium to small) to the olive oil and sauté with 1 teaspoon of garlic until the onions become translucent. (Use a wooden spoon to stir around your ingredients)

Add the celery (also cut into small) to the translucent onions, sauté one more minute. Add 1/2 cup of red cooking wine to the pot and reduce by half. (Stir while the liquid simmers while the liquid evaporates to half the amount.) Next, add about 2 cups of crushed tomato or tomato sauce to the wine / onion / celery mixture, while slowly cooking over the Cook.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste and cook for another 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to the pot.

Add the 1 1/2 cups of sausage crumble meat to the sauce or your pieces of crumbled Italian sausage in the pan. (Optional: add a few ground fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon) cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Check the seasoning (salt and pepper).

Cook the rigatoni. When done, add it to the pot and coat the pasta with the stew. Enjoy your lunch!

Make a perfect hard-boiled egg

– A perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg is not rubbery. It is soft, tender, fully cooked, but not overcooked. When a hard-boiled egg is overcooked, the egg yolk turns greenish. (Still video / Life-Wire News) Life-Wire NewsLife-Wire News


Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve with a piece of whole wheat toast and a side salad for a satisfying meal.

Perfectly boiled eggs. “It sounds simple, but you have to do it the right way,” Gresnigt explains. You can cook half a dozen and store them for a week.

Put the eggs in an empty saucepan and add water to cover them. Old eggs are better than fresh ones, says Gresnigt.

Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Prepare a bowl of ice water. When the timer rings, remove the eggs from the pot and immerse them in the ice water. It stops the cooking process and makes the peeling process easier.

To peel an egg, Gresnigt kicks it on the counter to crack the shell, then uses his fingers to peel. There is a lot of debate about the best way on Youtube. here is an example.

You can keep them for a week in the refrigerator. If you peel them, store them in a container with a lid. Place damp paper towels in the container before putting the lid on.

Make an omelet

– When the sides start to feel solid, use a spatula to lift one side and tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg sinks down. (Still video / Life-Wire News Life-Wire NewsLife-Wire News


A cast iron skillet is the key.

  • Small onion
  • A few small tomatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • Fresh basilic
  • A little salt and pepper
  • Cream, milk or half and half optional

Chop the onions, shallots and basil. Cut the tomatoes in half.

Break the eggs into a bowl. Whisk lightly.

Optional: add a small amount of cream, milk or half and half.

Heat the pan. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter to coat the bottom. Add the onion and tomato. Brown lightly. Pour in the eggs.

Sprinkle with basil and, if desired, Parmesan.

When the sides start to feel solid, use a spatula to lift one side and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg sinks down.

When the liquid has run out, fold over and cook for another minute or two to cook.

“Follow the recipe, but be creative. Creativity makes a great meal, ”says Larry O, who works at the grill at Lifestyles Cafe.

(Written in collaboration by Meredith Arout, Aaron Bialer, Kevin Distefano, Andrew Moszenberg, Joseph Padalino, Greg Perosi with Kathryn Carse)

Life-Wire News Service provides a voice for people with disabilities through a partnership between Advance / and Lifestyles for the Disabled, an agency serving people with developmental disabilities on Staten Island.

About Geraldine Higgins

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