Category: Food


To go with the smoked lamb, I made pita and tzatziki sauce. The pita was a basic dough recipe (although fairly wet dough!)

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water about 95 degrees F
1 tsp maple syrup
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Maple and water were mixed together & yeast added. The mixture sat on the counter for about twenty minutes and was really frothy. Salt and flour combined in the mixer, then the liquid added and dough kneaded for about ten minutes. Left to rise for about an hour, then split into eight balls, rolled out, and baked at 500F until puffed (4-5 minutes).

Smoked Leg of Lamb

Seasoned an approx 5 pound boneless leg of lamb with salt and pepper — also added about half a dozen cloves of garlic wrapped inside.

Smoked for about six hours with cherry wood

Then wrapped and cooked until the internal temperature was about 200F

Garlic Scape Marinaded Lamb


  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup garlic scapes

  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Blend everything until emulsified and bright green

Rub over lamb and allow to marinade for at least an hour

We grilled the lamb over cherry and oak wood — it cooked a lot quicker than expected! Then allowed to rest for 10 minutes.

Sliced and served with salad and cherry wood whiskey.


I read this crazy way of cooking bacon — so much better than carefully spreading three slices out across the pan and cooking in batches. You take the whole package (or whatever portion thereof you wish to cook). Separate the slices, but pile them up loosely in the pan over medium heat.

This takes 15-25 minutes — just let it cook, stirring occasionally.

Then remove your beautiful, crispy, curly bacon slices to a paper towel to drain.

Tangzhong Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 cups (426g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 16 tablespoons (226g) unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup (113g) milk, whole preferred
  • 2 3/4 cups (330g) flour
  • 2 large eggs, cold from the refrigerator
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (340g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. After several minutes, the butter will sizzle and may spatter. Continue to cook the butter, swirling the pan regularly, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until it’s a dark golden brown color and brown bits start collecting at the bottom of the pan; the butter will have stopped sizzling and may also have a layer of foam on the surface.

  • Once the butter is browned, immediately pour it over the sugar mixture (be sure to scrape out the brown bits at the bottom) and whisk vigorously to combine; this helps dissolve the sugar slightly and creates the shiny surface of the baked cookies. (The mixture will stay lumpy and won’t become smooth at this point.) Set the empty saucepan aside to cool slightly.
  • In the same saucepan used to brown the butter, combine the milk with 3 tablespoons (23g) of the bread flour and whisk until no lumps remain.
  • Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the mixture, stirring regularly with a whisk and then a flexible spatula, until it’s thickened, paste-like, and starts to come together into one mass, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer directly to the bowl with the butter and sugar. Whisk until mostly smooth; some lumps are OK.

  • Add the eggs and vanilla and continue whisking until smooth.

  • Weigh or measure the remaining 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (307g) bread flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Add the bread flour to the bowl with the butter and sugar, then add the baking powder and baking soda. Using a whisk or flexible spatula, stir until well combined and no dry spots remain.
  • Place the bowl, uncovered, in the refrigerator and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • While the batter is cooling, use a serrated knife to roughly chop the chocolate into coarse pieces. Avoid chopping the chocolate too fine, as small pieces will melt when mixed into the dough.

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and fold in the chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl and return to the refrigerator for 24 to 72 hours to allow the flavors to intensify.

  • To bake, remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to warm up slightly. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.

  • Scoop the dough into balls about 2 1/4″ in diameter.

  • Arrange the scooped cookie dough on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 3″ to 4″ apart. For consistently shaped cookies, roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball before baking.

  • Bake the large chocolate chip cookies for 18 to 22 minutes, until the edges are set and the cookies are browned, rotating the pan halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them rest on the baking sheets until cool enough to handle, at least 15 minutes.

Baked Corndogs

Baked corndogs aren’t quite a success. The basic idea is to make a fairly doughy corn bread that can be rolled out and wrapped around the hotdog / veggie dog / sausage.

Rollable Cornbread Dough

1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
6 tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tbsp yeast
1/4 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter, then add honey. Hydrate the yeast in a few tablespoons of water. Mix yeast and buttermilk in until you’ve got a firm dough.

After it sits for an hour, roll it out and cut strips to wrap the dogs. Allow to rest for about half an hour. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

The dough was very crumbly and a little dry. Next time, maybe a little more butter and all purpose flour to make something a little more like a croissant

Beany Soup


  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil
  • Ham bone or bones from smoked pork shoulder (not completely clean)
  • Dried bean assortment: pinto, red kidney, white kidney (cannellini), pink beans, great northern, baby lima, huge lima, black beans, green split peas, black-eye peas, yellow split peas, chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils
  • Smoked pork


In a pressure cooker, saute onions and garlic for a few minutes in butter or olive oil.

Remove from heat. Add about a pound of the bean mixture to a pressure cooker, add the bones (if using ham bone, don’t add salt; if using pork bones, add salt), then fill the pot with water to slightly under halfway. Pressure cook on high for about 35 minutes. Allow to naturally depressurize.

Liquid should be thickened from the beans cooking and flavored from the bones. Remove the bones and add more salt as needed.

Add smoked pork, and stir to combine. Allow to simmer until pork is heated.

Notes: We keep containers of various dried beans and peas. They’re really cheap, keep practically forever (especially since we got the vacuum sealer attachment that seals up Ball jars!), and cook fairly quickly in the pressure cooker. For this dried bean mixture, I just grabbed about half a cup of all of the larger beans and a quarter cup of the smaller split peas and lentils. In total, it’s about a pound of dried beans.

Anya’s 11th Birthday Cake: Orange Chocolate

This year, Anya wanted an orange cake decorated with pieces of orange … but she also wanted chocolate. So we made an orange chocolate cake with orange chocolate buttercream. Very tasty!

Chocolate Orange Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • zest of two oranges
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup decaffeinated coffee, cooled
  • 4 medium eggs

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour two 8″ cake pans.
Whisk all dry ingredients (including orange zest) together.
Whisk all wet ingredients together.
Slowly stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Pour batter into pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven, allow pans to cool for approx 15 minutes, then turn cakes onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp orange emulsion
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips

Whip the butter in the blender until light and fluffy. Add orange emulsion and salt.
Heat the whipping cream, remove from heat, and stir in chocolate chips to melt.
Slowly sift powdered sugar into butter while continuing to blend on lowest speed.
Once powdered sugar has been incorporated, add melted chocolate a scoop at a time and continue to blend on lowest speed until it has all been incorporated.

General Tao’s … Turkey


  • Four turkey thighs, deboned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup corn starch

Combine all ingredients except turkey and mix into a thick paste. Then fold in turkey pieces and coat well.

Add a handful of chili peppers to the oil before frying — the turkey is fried in chili oil. Fry, remove from oil, and drain on paper towel.


  • 1 cup stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

Combine all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until thickened. Serve with a veggie (roasted broccoli, garden peas) and rice. I sprinkled ground Aji Lemon Drop pepper powder over the rice, sauce, and peas. Then topped with fried turkey to keep it crispy.