Southwest Corn Soup

•September 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

SW Corn Soup


4 cups cut corn kernels

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper

2 jalapenos, seeded and minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

S & P, to taste

1 tsp lime zest

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced

shredded cheddar cheese


In a large soup pot, combine corn, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and olive oil. Saute 5 minutes over med-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Add chilli powder, cumin and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and simmer 45 minutes.

Add cream and season to taste. Cook 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add lime zest and cilantro. Garnish with cheese.

Lemon Pasta with Squash and Bacon

•September 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Perfect for chilly nights in late summer!

Lemon Pasta with Squash and Bacon


  • 1 c. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 0.50 tsp. kosher salt
  • 0.50 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 lb. small-to-medium summer squash
  • 12 oz. dried tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Combine mascarpone, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a large serving bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add pancetta and fry until crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and reserve. Add squash to drippings in skillet and saute 2 minutes or until just barely tender, then scatter over top of mascarpone mixture; cover bowl with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  4. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Add pasta to bowl along with butter and half of the reserved pasta water; gently toss until pasta is evenly coated, adding more pasta water if needed. Crumble reserved pancetta in large pieces over pasta; toss again. Serve with grated cheese, if desired.

Laundry Sack Potatoes

•September 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I had some extra potato plants this year and a broken mesh laundry hamper so I did a little experiment.

potatoes top

They did really well until they got to the top of the hamper. One morning I found them toppled over. While I was able to pick them back up, most of the plants didn’t survive and never really did well after that. Last night, the last plant looked wilty and pathetic, so we decided to see what we had grown.

Laundry sack potatoes

We were pleased with the harvest considering all the problems this planter had. These were Kennebec potatoes and I made some mashed potatoes with them that were the butteriest and best potatoes we’d ever had. In hindsight, staking the corners with bamboo poles might have solved the problem of the sides wanting to collapse. We still have our big chicken wire container going, so we’ll see how those produced in a month or so.

Magnesium Lotion

•September 1, 2015 • 1 Comment

I found an article on Magnesium deficiency and it manifests in a lot of the same symptoms as anxiety, so I decided to make some and see how my anxiety reacted. It’s not absorbed easily orally, so the ideal method is topically. It’s particularly important for pregnant women and can help with morning sickness.

Magnesium deficiency may cause:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • High blood sugar/difficulty managing blood sugar levels
  • Mental confusion or fogginess
  • Fatigue
  • Non-restful sleep
  • Restless legs (especially at night)
  • Insomnia/difficulty sleeping
  • Seizures
  • Low levels of calcium and/or potassium in the blood

Magnesium Lotion


  • 1/2 c. double-strength magnesium oil
  • 1/2 c. avocado oil
  • 1/2 c. unrefined shea butter
  • 2 tbsp. beeswax


Make your magnesium oil, if you haven’t already.  You will not use all of it for this recipe, so save the rest for another batch. To make magnesium oil, heat 1 cup of water to about 100 degrees F. Put 1 cup of Magnesium Chloride Flakes in a jar. Pour warm water on top and swish them around until dissolved.

Melt the avocado oil, shea butter, and beeswax in a small saucepan.  (If you want to infuse any herbs, do it in the avocado oil alone, strain, then melt the infused oil with the shea butter and beeswax.)

At this point you could add some essential oils to the melted oil mix if you want, 10 – 12 drops.

Pour the oils into a blender.

Turn it on low and stream in the magnesium oil.

Put the lid on and turn it up higher.  It will turn into an opaque, cream-colored liquid.  That is when the emulsification is complete, and you have your lotion!

Pour the lotion into glass jars.  This makes about 3 1/2 4 oz jars.

Allow your lotion to cool completely.  It’ll harden up to a butter type consistency.

Bizarre Foods Monday: Hops & Honey Pickled Pheasant Eggs

•August 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This recipe comes from I’ve never been a fan of hard boiled eggs or pickled things, so this one is a hard sell for me. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Not something I’d eat again, but I can see where they’d be a nice compliment to a beer. Hubby likes pickled eggs but he says they’re a bit sour or too vinegary.

Pickled Pheasant Eggs


  • 24 fresh pheasant eggs
  • 1/4 cup hops (I used leaves).  You can omit this or replace it with a teaspoon of bitters OR a tablespoon of minced rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoon smoked salt (you can use regular salt and optionally add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke)
  • 2 teaspoon dill seed
  • 2 heavy handed tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 3/4 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water


To cook the eggs:

  1. Cover eggs in cold water.  Place on stove on high.
  2. When water starts to boil, set a timer for 3 minutes.  Drain and immediately rest in an ice bath or very cold water.
  3. Peel eggs once the shells are cool enough to handle.

To make the brine and pickles:

You can do most of this in advance but don’t boil the vinegar until the eggs are peeled (the hot vinegar added to the eggs will help penetrate them.

  1. Add all ingredients for the brine (i.e. everything but the eggs) into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Carefully pour the brine into a clean mason jar.
  3. Using a spoon, transfer the eggs into the brine (this will help prevent you from ‘dropping’ them into the brine.
  4. Cover with a lid and place in fridge.
  5. The pickles will have the most flavour after 2-4 weeks.  Gently mix the contents of the jar every few days while your waiting (and try to resist eating them; which will be tempting!)
  6. They will easily store for 3-6 months but it’s highly unlikely you’ll have them that long!

Dilly Beans

•August 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Dilly Beans


  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 heads fresh dill weed
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 dried red chile peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon alum
  • 1-1/4 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed


  1. Sterilize 8 (1 pint) jars in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the water, pickling salt and vinegar in a large pot, and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to low, and keep at a simmer while you pack the jars.
  3. In each jar place the following: 1 head of dill, 1 tablespoon of pickling spice, 1 tablespoon of mustard seed, 1 dried chile pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon of alum. Pack beans into the spiced jars in a standing position.

Asian Meat Pies

•August 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I’d cut the pepper and white pepper in half. Otherwise, quite tasty.

Asian Meat Pies

Pie Dough:

  • 400 g of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp of duck fat (remember that duck fat from the duck ragu?) or chicken fat
  • 8 tbsp of boiling water
  • 8 tbsp of cold water

Put flour, sugar, salt, pepper and duck fat in a mixer or a bowl.  Add the boiling water and mix until roughly combined.  Then add the cold water and knead until a smooth, elastic dough is formed.  About 10 min.

Meat Filling:

  • 350 g of ground pork
  • 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1/ tsp of black pepper and white pepper each
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of fish sauce
  • 3 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp of extra dark soy sauce

Mix all the ingredients together with a fork or chopstick until well combined.

Scallions Filling:
  • 300 g of diced baby scallion
  • 2 tsp of black and white pepper each
  • 1/2 tsp of sesame oil

Use baby spring scallions, not the “jumbo” ones.  The thinner the better.  Dice the scallions finely and mix with peppers and sesame oil.

Roll a piece of dough out into a sheet, but this time a little thicker.  Drape it over a bowl so there’s a nice deep dent in the middle.  Put a generous layer of scallion (about 1 tbsp) first, then a layer of meat (about 1 tbsp, too), then another layer of scallion.  With the same unshakable conviction, add a tsp of duck fat on top.  Use finger tips to gently twirl and pinch the sheet together.  It doesn’t have to be pretty but the goal is to have a relatively tight (not too much air inside) pouch without breaking the dough.  Pinch off any access dough on top.

Heat up a non-stick pan, add 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil, then evenly space the pies in the pan. Turn to medium heat, add 1 tbsp of water and close the lid.  Once the water is gone, add a 2nd tbsp and let it steam again. Flip so that both sides are crispy and brown.




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 835 other followers