Category: Food

Duck Egg Challah

We’ve got a lot of duck eggs, so I’ve been trying to find recipes where the extra rich egg … and I thought of challah because most recipes I’ve seen call for an extra yolk or two. Using duck eggs instead of the chicken eggs produced a really delicious, buttery loaf of bread.

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
3/4 cups warm water
6 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp maple syrup
3 duck eggs (one was a double yolk)

Put the yeast in the warm water and let it sit until it becomes frothy.

Mix the dry ingredients, add the oil, maple, and yeast water and knead until a smooth dough ball forms.

Allow to raise until doubled in size, gently punch down. Shape and allow to raise again until doubled. Mix one egg with a tablespoon or two of water and brush over the dough.

I was making rolls for some fancy sausages we got from the farmers market — so I formed them into oval rolls and baked them at 375F for about 20 minutes. You can make ropes and braid a normal challah loaf — that would bake at 350F for about 35 minutes.

Smoked Pork

We spent a lot of time smoking a pork shoulder yesterday — and now have a rule about smoking food … if it’s after noon? Don’t bother starting — it’s pretty reliably a ten hour undertaking and having food finish up at 1AM sucks.

Maple Butterscotch

The maple butterscotch topping I made for Scott’s cake was quite simple — 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream, 4 Tbsp butter, and 1 cup of maple syrup. Melt the butter in a pan, then mix in the whipping cream. Add maple and boil until it’s really bubbly — sauce will thicken on the back of a spoon when it cools.

Scott’s Birthday Cake

Scott wanted oatmeal raisin cookies, so Anya and I found a cake made with oatmeal raisin cookie ingredients. It’s incredibly dense, but moist and delicious. I topped it with maple butterscotch, and Anya decorated it with raisins.


  • 1 cup mixed nuts, chopped (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, almonds)

  • 1 1/3 c boiling water

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

  • 1 1/2 cup flour (white whole wheat or all purpose)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  • 2/3 cup raisins


  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Whirl mixed nuts in food processor so some chunks remain.
  • Combine boiling water and oats and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter with sugars. Add vanilla.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well to combine.
  • Add in oatmeal, breaking up any chunks. Then add in yogurt and stir to combine.
  • Add flour mixture, a third at a time, and stir to combine.
  • Add nuts and raisins, then stir to combine.
  • Pour into a bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes (add more time, in five minute intervals, if knife inserted into deepest part of cake pan does not come out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool before frosting.


A few weeks ago, we watched an episode of Test Kitchen on PBS where they made Greek lasagna — pastitsio. It looked really good (and the idea of adding cinnamon to the sauce intrigued me). I finally got around to making it today — very tasty, although I’d prefer if the top had been less browned.


  • 3 lbs ground beef

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 12 oz tomato paste

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 32 oz tube noodles — the authentic version of this recipe would use long ones

  • 1/2 lb asiago (grated)

  • 1/2 lb parmesan (grated)

  • 4 eggs

  • 8 Tbsp butter

  • 1 cup flour

  • 5 1/2 cups whole milk


  • Brown the ground beef in a large pan
  • Add chopped onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook until onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Add cinnamon and stir to incorporate.
  • Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add 1/2 water to thin a bit, then simmer for three hours.
  • Place meat sauce into glass storage container and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to prepare lasagna, remove meat sauce from refrigerator and allow to warm up (or microwave for a minute or two).
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Boil noodles according to package directions.
  • Melt butter in a large pan. Add flour to make a light roux, then add milk to make a béchamel sauce.
  • Crack three eggs in a medium bowl and temper with béchamel — then incorporate egg mixture into béchamel sauce. Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens.
  • Toss noodles with one egg and layer in bottom of a large baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top of the noodles.
  • Spread the meat sauce over the noodles, then sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top of meat sauce.
  • Spread béchamel sauce over the dish, then sprinkle with remaining 1/3 of cheese.
  • Bake for one hour.

Trail Mix

Trail Mix

Recipe by LisaCourse: SnacksDifficulty: Easy


  • 3 lbs whole almonds

  • 27 oz walnuts halves and pieces

  • 13 oz cashews

  • 8 oz hazelnuts

  • 8 oz Brazil nuts

  • 2 lbs pecans – halves and pieces

  • 10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

  • 12 oz raisins


  • Mix all of the nuts together in a large bowl
  • Take half of the nut mixture and put aside for later. Combine raisins with remaining nuts.

We found a ton of different nuts at Costco — almonds for $3.33 a pound, pecans and walnuts for about the same price. The best price I’d found for almonds was about $5 a pound, and that was at a bulk wholesale place where you had to buy something like fifteen pounds. This is a three pound bag, and the price includes shipping. Cashews, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts were all a little more expensive, but still significantly less than what I buy them for at a bulk / wholesale place. So we made trail mix (and have plenty of nuts left over to make more trail mix throughout the year). I need to make some dehydrated bananas, apples, and cranberries to add in … but it’s tasty already!

Buttermilk Almond Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal from making almond milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 Tbsp powdered buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F — I lined the muffin tin with silicone cups. This made removing the muffins from the tin and clean up much easier.
  2. Stir almond meal into flour and break up any clumps of almond meal.
  3. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and powdered buttermilk.
  4. In a separate bowl, slightly beat eggs then mix in maple syrup and water.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently to incorporate.
  6. Drizzle in melted butter and stir to incorporate.
  7. Divide batter into muffin pan.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

The leftover pulp from making fresh almond milk was always a problem — I know you can dry it out and make almond flour, but that’s a long process. I keep trying to find a tasty use for the pulp, and I think I’ve finally figured something out. These muffins were moist, buttery, had a bit of bite from the buttermilk … and a double batch would use all of the pulp from a batch of almond milk. Muffins freeze well, too — so we can have quick breakfast/snack food stashed in the freezer.

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

Recipe by LisaCourse: FoodCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 pounds ground turkey

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup minced onion

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp basil

  • 1/2 tsp oregano


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined.
  • Either:
    Fry in a pan to brown.
    – or –
    Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.
  • If using in a tomato sauce, slightly under-cook meatballs in step #2 , add to sauce, and simmer until fully cooked.

Turkey Injection Sauce

I got this injection sauce from a Bearded Butcher video — it’s a maple/butter based sauce that we used with a smoked turkey. Delicious!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp … well, they use their seasoning. I used this Magic Dust that looked good

Melt the butter, whisk in the maple syrup, then whisk in the powdered seasoning. Inject it, baste it on, etc. It thickens up as it sits, and I needed to toss the container in the microwave for 30 seconds a couple of times while I used it.

We soaked the fresh turkey in brine (about 2 lbs of salt in 2 gal of cold water) after butchering it — 3AM on Thursday through about 4PM on Saturday — injected it with the butter/maple sauce, then smoked it for hours until it was cooked.