Wednesday, September 07, 2016


2 cups flour
4 T butter (cold and cut into bits)
1/4 cup shortening or lard (cold and cut into bits)
1 t salt
1/4 cup ice water

In a food processor, combine flour, fats, and salt.  Pulse ingredients until well combined and add water, one tablespoon at a time to form a dough.  Toss mixture until it forms a ball.  Kneed dough lightly against a smooth surface with heel of the hand to distribute fat evenly.  Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and roll each piece into a 10-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Chill the pastry rounds for 30 minutes.

1 lb skirt steak, ground in food processor
4.5 oz diced onions
4 oz diced carrots (about a cup)
3.5 oz diced rutabaga
1 cup diced potato
1 1/3 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Combine all of the filling ingredients except the butter. Place filling on half of each round. Place a butter pat on top of each filling pile. Moisten the edges and fold the unfilled half over the filling to enclose it.  Pinch the edges together to seal them and crimp them decoratively with a fork.  Transfer pasty to silicone mat/parchment paper, and cut several slits in the top.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. Remove from oven, cover with a damp tea towel, cool for 15 minutes.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles

One Quart

3-4 pickling cucumbers
1 1/2 cups vinegar (use half ACV and half white distilled vinegar)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled 
Pinc of crushed red pepper per jar (3/4 teaspoons total)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or a pinch of fresh ground pepper

Wash and slice the cucumbers.

In a large saucepot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer.

Arrange jar(s) on counter and dole out the spices to each. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. You don't want to damage the cukes, but you do want them packed tight.

Pour the brine into the jar, leaving approximately ½ inch headspace.

Tap jars gently on countertop to dislodge any trapped air bubbles.

Apply lids and let jars cool. When they've returned to room temperature, place jars in refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 48 hours before eating. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Old Camp Coffee Percolator

This poor old coffee percolator needed some TLC.
The outside was stained with what I imagine was years of delicious camp breakfasts fried up next to it:
The inside was nearly black:
"Buzz, your basket! Woof!"
First, I worked on the inside by percolating a water and baking soda mixture. This is what the water looked like afterward:
Disgusting, right?! So, I thought I'd percolate another batch of baking soda soup. It wasn't quite as bad that second time around, but that water is still a bit too gross for me:
Next, I percolated a 50/50 mixture of water and distilled vinegar. I didn't see a visible difference, so I can't say if it actually did anything. 
After all of that, it was time for some elbow grease. Using just baking soda and water, I scrubbed everything nook and cranny I could get my fat little paws into. Things started looking really spiffy! Well, except for the rag I used--that turned from white to black pretty quickly.
Here are the results:

Next, I need to learn how to use this puppy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Our Chuck Box...No, Not THAT Chuck

Here's a look into my make-shift chuck box.
I've played with it, and it was fun! However, I have no clue how well it's going to work in The Real Outdoors.
To function as a camp kitchen, the footlocker has to be laid as such:

In this way, the lid can be used as work space. ...First, however, I need to secure it with some jack chain, like the lid in this Boy Scout patrol box:

placed four screw eyes: 
Now I just need to purchase some jack chain, and I will--theoretically--be all set.
Okay, now it's time to pack 'er up for a pretend camping trip!
I placed some screw eyes in the bottom of the box, so I can secure liquids with a bungee cord:
Next, I purchased a 12x24 camp grill for 10 bucks. It fits nicely in the bottom:

Now it's time for the dishpans, plates, bowls, mixing bowl, and cutting boards:

We can't forget our camp mugs for camp coffee!

And our mess kit and spatula:

There is still a decent amount of room left for another item or two, such as a frying pan, dutch oven, or percolator. Unfortunately, there's not enough room for all of those things, but that's really okay. I don't think I would be able to lift the box with all that stuff in there.

And now we are left with the two trays that rest on the top of the box. I created some dividers within the trays using paint stirrers that I "cemented" in with wood glue:

In go the trays...

The trays are even deep enough for me to add a second layer:

And, when we get to camp, we will unpack the box and put it in position (that is the one drawback of my improvised chuck box--we can't just open it up and go to work). 

Our handy-dandy trays will set on "top."

Inside the box, we have room to set supplies:

And extra work space!

Now the hard part...we have to wait until August to use it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Restaurant Style Salsa

  • 1 14.5 can whole tomatoes, liquid included
  • 1 14.5 can fire roasted tomatoes, liquid included
  • onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños or Fresno reds, roughly chopped 
  • 3 heads garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 T apple cider vinegar 
  • Jalapeño Tabasco sauce, several dashes
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
Layer ingredients in a food processor in the order listed. Pulse. 

Friday, April 08, 2016

Honey Mustard Pretzels (testing)

12 ounces Snyder "Sourdough Nibblers"
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
A bit of white vinegar?
Pinch of salt

Mix together oil, butter, honey, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Pour mixture over pretzels and toss. Let the mixture sit for -----?. Line cookie sheet with foil, spray with Pam. Place pretzels in an even layer. Bake @ 275 for 30 minutes, stirring half way through baking.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich. 


12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
14 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
12 tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
Multicolored nonpareils, to decorate


Heat oven to 400°. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add flour and salt; beat. Transfer dough to a floured work surface, form into a disk, and roll until 13" thick. Using a 1 34" star cutter, cut out cookies; transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2″ apart. Bake until brown, 6–8 minutes; cool. Dip top of each cookie in chocolate; decorate with nonpareils. Chill until set.


Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Servings: 26 macaroons
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes


  • One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut (such as Baker's Angel Flake)
  • 7/8 cup sweetened condensed milk (just short of a full can)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces chocolate (2 parts Hershey's Special Dark to 1 part Hershey's milk chocolate)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Using two spoons, form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms and edges are deeply golden.
  5. If dipping the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals, until just smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.) Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and return to the lined baking sheets. Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. The cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.