Let’s make something delicious together!
I am Count David J. Gagnon, the Count of Sementra de la antiqua Capadocia Del Bizancio, and a respected member of several Royal houses and other numerous titles throughout Europe. I enjoy international work, lecturing, teaching, and cooking. My wife, Countess Shannon R. Gagnon and I founded the A.N.G.E.L. (All Nations Generating Equal Love) Foundation and the A.N.G.E.L. (All Nations Generating Equal Love) Inter-Governmental Organization. These organizations were formed to help eradicate hunger around the world through Permaculture and Self-Sustainability. (Yes, we like to teach and feed people.) ANGEL is a sovereign entity and is recognized, acknowledged and accredited by the United Nations-DESA with the accession of numerous NGO’s and IGO’s around the world. Currently, ANGEL has 32 Ambassadors in various countries around the world. Working with countries, various languages barriers, and different time zones can be stressful. Cooking and entertaining have always been a great stress relief.
Cooking with the Count videos were created in lieu of the cookbook that many family members and friends requested I should write. Cooking to me should always fun, not a chore. Exact measurements are for baking, a splash, dash, pinch, handful, or a glob is Cooking! My Mom and Grandmother were two of the best cooks in the world (in my opinion!) and the only time you saw them measure anything was when they were baking. My wife loves to bake… she measures! It’s taken me some time to measure out that pinch and that handful when I started making cooking videos for YouTube… then displaying all those different size glass dishes so people could see and relate to the ingredients. Fun, Fun, Fun! But then again, I want it to be fun. There are 3 main ingredients that should be in every recipe you make: Fun, Passion, and Pride!
I’m not trying to reach the 5-star chef from New York City, I could learn from him. I want to reach the people that want to learn to cook something new, the person that doesn’t know how to boil water, the college student that believes Romain Noodles is the only diet they can afford, the person that was always too busy with life to learn how to cook, or the newlyweds that want to save money so they can buy a house. The Mom and Dad that want to give their little soccer player a fast, healthy, nutritional meal instead of fast food. We all know dining out is expensive, but more than that, it’s garbage that you’re putting in your body! I will always try to be as detailed as possible during the making of a video, not for the experienced chefs (you could do it from the recipe), but for those that need a little more detail to find the confidence to try something new. I’m looking at you, I believe you can make any dish I make and your family and friends will applaud you for it. Don’t just watch the video, make that recipe… and while you are enjoying every bite, think about what you would add to the recipe next time to make it even better. My old motto used to be: “If you like this meal, enjoy it because you’ll never have it the same way again! Now I write down the recipe… and still manage to add something new to it the next time I make it. That to me is the fun part of cooking, watching peoples face when they take their first bite and you see the pleasure and delight come across their face.
I was in my local supermarket about a month ago and they had fresh Ahi Tuna in the meat case. I love Toasted Sesame Seed Ahi Tuna but refuse to pay $12.95 for a few slivers in a restaurant. I was purchasing a few pounds when another customer commented that he loves Ahi Tuna but didn’t know how to cook it. I chuckled and told him to visit Cooking with the Count on YouTube and see how easy it was to cook. I told him he needed (preferably a cast iron pan) and 4 ingredients, Sesame Seeds, Sesame oil, Honey and Ahi Tuna. He ordered a pound and then followed me to get the sesame seeds and sesame seed oil, (he had the honey and a cast iron pan). A few weeks later I ran into him and his wife in the same store and he was prouder than a Peacock telling me how great his Ahi Tuna came out. His wife had a smile from ear to ear and said they were going to make my Baby Back Ribs next! That’s the type of people I like to teach. Cooking is fun, don’t be afraid to learn and experiment! I’m not a chef, I use the wrong terminology sometimes, but you’ll catch my point and I know it will knock your socks off when you take that bite and it tastes 10x better than anything you’ll get in a restaurant.
I know many people who eat to fill the hole, as they say. Our family, on the other hand, likes to eat and entertain, we like good food and plenty of it. You’ll notice on many videos I’ll say that we’re entertaining tonight so the portions are much bigger than what you’ll be making at home. I normally write the recipes on the website to reflect a dinner for four. Luckily, I have a wonderful wife who also likes to cook and is an excellent cook as well. We enjoy cooking together, but we cook differently in so many ways. I enjoy cooking. Its a great stress reliever for me. I like to experiment. I’ll throw things together and see what they taste like. The more you do this the better things turn out. What’s the worst that can happen…the dogs have a great meal. LOL I also like making my childhood favorites. I was blessed with a grandmother and a mother that loved to cook and who made sure I learned to cook at a young age. I’ll share some of these recipes with you on this website and on YouTube at “Cooking with the Count“, https://youtu.be/kF-SP1wnZRU.
I’ll always try to give you suggestions that will save you a ton of money. Sometimes I like to cook a few extra servings of what we have for dinner, then I use our vacuum sealer to freeze the extra portions for those nights that I don’t have time to cook. By sealing these extra serving into individual servings, everyone can have what they want that night. We have a motorhome because we enjoying travel. Sometimes the weather is bad and we can’t cook outside in the firepit. It sure is nice to pull from the freezer a few servings of a great meal and enjoy the taste and freshness as if I just made it. Another way to save serious money is buying in bulk. I do most of the grocery shopping for our family and though I love great food, I am a frugal shopper. Why buy 6 chicken legs at $2.79 a pound when I can buy 18 for $1.59 a pound? I can make 3 meals out of that package and save $1.20 a pound! The best part about using a vacuum sealer is it will keep that chicken fresh for months. No freezer burn. Best yet, if I already cooked them before vacuum sealing them, I can heat them up in 3 minutes and be eating them in 4 minutes. I watch the sales and buy 15 steaks and vacuum seal each steak individually when I get home and then put them in the freezer. I have fish, shrimp, veal, pork, scallops, buffalo, elk, octopus, lobster, and all sorts of individually packed portions. If my wife wants Salmon and I feel like a steak, no problem. We both have what we want without having to settle. Think about it, it’s worth every dime!
Now that being said, I don’t mind spending money on lobster or more pricier things when I can get them at a reasonable price. Get to know your butcher and your fishmonger. A good butcher and fishmonger can save you money every week and you’ll have the best quality as well. We don’t dine out very often. Why do I want to spend $37.95 for a 3/4″ thick 12 oz. steak that I can buy for $8-$10? Now add another $7 for a baked potato and another $5 for a lettuce salad with two slices of cucumber and a grape tomato. Yeah, NO! Let’s add that up, $49.95 plus tip for just me, hey, there’s 3 of us! I personally like a 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ thick 20 oz. steak when I sit down for a steak dinner. Let’s compare my 20 oz steaks that will cost me $15 each, a 5 lb bag of potatoes (enough for several meals for the entire family) $3, and a pound of vegetables for another $3, a total of $21. You may as well top your meal off with a decent bottle of wine and still have money left over to have a lobster tail this week!!!
God Bless and bon appétit!