Tag: cooking

Chicken Birthday Cake

Chicken Birthday cake

Recipe by LisaCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup coconut oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

  • 2 cups wet grated zucchini

  • 1/4 c sugar

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Melt coconut oil, mix in eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and cream of tartar
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Mix in zucchini.
  • Add batter to muffin tins for chickens. Then mix sugar into remaining batter.
  • Mix together the topping ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar). Partially fill remaining muffin tins. Sprinkle n topping, then fill the rest of the way and sprinkle topping again.
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from muffin tins and allow to cool.

Our first chickens turned one year old on Tuesday, so I came up with a recipe for a “chicken birthday cake” that would be healthy(ish) for chickens and tasty for us. Leaving the sugar out of the batter worked well — the chickens got whole wheat, coconut oil, cinnamon, and zucchini. We got cake — and the topping mixture gave the muffins a crispy and crunchy top. Would totally make this again.

Braised Rabbit Marinade


  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp ground mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Sunny Paris seasoning
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt

Don’t add all of the water — mix everything else together, then add water until you get the consistency you want. Pour into bag, add rabbit, freeze. Once solid, seal bag. It’ll marinade when it defrosts. Then cook at about 300F for 1.5 – 2 hrs.

This marinade made a wonderful dressing too — I mixed up another batch later that night. Thinly sliced cucumbers and onions coated in the yogurt dressing.

Dilly Beans

We made dilly beans tonight.


  • Fresh string beans
  • 1.25c vinegar
  • 1.25c water
  • 2T salt
  • Whole dill
  • Whatever spices — garlic cloves, peppercorns, hot pepper flakes, chipotle pepper,  cinnamon, maple syrup, mustard seeds


  • Clean beans — wash, trim stem end, remove string if there is one
  • Pack beans into wide-mouth canning jars
  • Add in a sprig or two of dill along with other spices
  • Put brine ingredients into a measuring cup & microwave until boiling, pour over beans.
  • Put on lid, allow to cool, then refrigerate

Sustainability and meat

I’ve seen a lot of info on the incredible (bad) environmental impact of meat production — the amount of land and water it takes to grow a cow is staggering. Something like 77% of the world’s land that is used for agriculture is used to graze livestock. Lamb/mutton, beef, and cheese (mostly cows still) top the list of inefficient ways to produce a gram of protein. I see plant-based fake meat (Beyond, Impossible, etc) marketing toward this — a lower impact way to enjoy a burger. I’d like to see more focus on using existing food sources to reduce the amount of meat contained in meals — rewriting recipes to reduce meat consumption.

I make a lot of meals where meat is a small component of the dish — additions instead of subtractions from the normal recipe. Enhancements instead of restrictions. Turkey burgers with lots of spinach, some feta, and garlic. Stroganoff with three different types of mushrooms, plenty of onions, and a bit of beef. Tacos and wraps loaded with rice, beans, tomatoes, onions, avocado, cheese, grilled corn, and a little grilled chicken. Sloppy joe sandwiches where half of the ground beef is replaced with red lentils. Pasta salad that’s more salad than pasta with a little bit of diced pepperoni. We have completely vegetarian meals, and I use the Beyond/Impossible substitutes to make meatball subs or sausage pizza. That all balances out the grilled steak or rack of ribs some other day.

Spruce Tip Ice Cream

I have a bunch of recipes from https://foragerchef.com that I wanted to make this year … but we seem to have missed the harvest this year. Reminder for next year — snip a bunch of the citrus-y spruce tips and make spruce tip syrup and spruce tip ice cream.


  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup fresh spruce tips
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice 


  • On low, heat the half and half, sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a small sauce pan, whisking occasionally until the mixture is hot and thickens slightly.
  • Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a blender.
  • When the mixture is cool, chop the spruce tips well, then add to the blender and puree until very smooth. It takes a bit of horsepower to break down the needles, for the best flavor you really need them finely blended.
  • When the mixture is pureed, pass it through a fine mesh strainer. If possible, allow the custard to sit in the fridge overnight, which will give a better texture in the finished product. Before spinning, whisk in the lime juice.
  • Place the spruce custard in the bowl of an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturers directions. Mine usually takes about 45 minutes.

German-Style Cucumber Salad

German-Style Cucumber Salad

Recipe by LisaCourse: Sides, SaladsDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




  • 1English cucumber

  • 1 Vidalia Onion

  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 c water (this was a little much)

  • 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (to taste)

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Thinly slice the cucumbers and onions.
  • Mix vinegar, water, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix cucumbers and onions, cover with sauce.
  • Add additional salt and/or pepper to taste.

Recipe: Whole Wheat Bread

I’ve been experimenting with whole wheat flour — white wheat, not red — and have happened across a technique for making light, fluffy dough. ~4 cups of flour, ~1 Tbsp yeast, ~1/2 cup of wheat gluten, ~1 tsp salt, ~1/4 c oil, ~1/4 c honey, and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. Supposedly the healthy stuff in the whole wheat makes it difficult for gluten to form the long, stretchy chains that make bread light and bubbly. Lemon juice helps the gluten, and the resulting bread is less dense than a traditional whole wheat bread. I add enough water to make a soft dough, then leave the dough rise in a warm location (the house this time of year, or the oven with the light on). Gently deflate, form (either form a loaf or spread out a pizza crust), let rise again. Then bake however long that sort of loaf needs to bake. Using my pullman loaf pan, that’s 30-35 minutes.

It’s a great sandwich bread!

55 Days of Grilling: April 16

We’d made ribs a few weeks ago using my usual pressure cooking-followed by high temp cooking to caramelize the sauce approach. While that works well in an oven — where the falling-apart-tender ribs sit safely in a baking dish — it’s not great for grilling. Scott wondered how cooking some ribs just on the grill would work out. I spent some time researching how people make bbq ribs on gas or electric grills and came up with a cooking approach that sounded reasonable — low temp, long cook, and wrapped in aluminum so they don’t dry out.

After washing the ribs and removing the silver skin, I rubbed them with a blend of salt, paprika, chipotle pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and garlic. I put the grill’s temperature sensor into a thick, meaty section and wrapped them in aluminum foil. The grill was heated to 300° F. The ribs cooked for about 90 minutes — the internal temperature was 180° F, which was in the range the cooking technique indicated. I took them inside and carefully unwrapped the foil.

I cut the rack in half because we had two different sauces we wanted to try. The larger half was liberally brushed with Guy Fieri Apple BBQ sauce, and the smaller half was brushed with the Brown Sugar version from the same company. The apple one smelled like some hand soap that had come with the house — not like actual apple, but like apple fragrance oil. I read and re-read the ingredients trying to figure out what the smell was, but didn’t find any artificial flavors listed.

I cranked the grill (set to 600° F, but never got over 550° F) and cooked the ribs for five minutes.

I then brushed more sauce over the ribs, flipped them, and cooked them for five more minutes.

I flipped them and allowed them to cook for another minute because the sauce on the side facing up hadn’t caramelized.

I brought the ribs inside and let them rest for a bit while everyone got ready for dinner.

Scott sliced the ribs, and dinner was ready. The BBQ sauce wasn’t great — the sauces were quite vinegar-y too. The ribs weren’t falling apart like the double-cooked ones we made a few weeks ago, but it could have used a little more time on the grill to get more tender and fully render the fat. But it was a nice meal (and an interesting experiment).