I’m Clearly Procrastinating on Writing, Now. But… (Pancake recipe)

Just made the best batch of pancakes EVAH.

  • 2/3C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2C rye flour
  • 1/2C buckwheat flour
  • 1T Stevia (you can use 2T sugar)
  • 1-1/3T baking powder
  • 2 jumbo eggs
  • 3/4t vanilla extract
  • 1+C kefir (unsweetened, but you can use a fruit version)
  • 3T liquid coconut oil (heat to soften)
  1. Preheat a cast-iron skillet and use coconut oil to grease
  2. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly
  3. Beat eggs into kefir
  4. Add coconut oil just before (to prevent it cooling into a sheet on top of the liquid)
  5. Add wet to dry and combine thoroughly
  6. Ladle batter into skillet. 3 minutes one side, 90 seconds the other. Regrease between batches.

Yield:6×6″ or 3×10″ pancakes.

I lightly sprinkled a little more Stevia on the ‘cakes. Maple or agave syrup would work a treat. Goes well with kefir (I don’t drink raw milk).


Wow. Just wow.


Generative Activities

Short post here.

I write, but I also bake and cook. Bringing food to people is, for me, very similar to giving the literary nourishment of poetry of fiction. After a drought of creativity in the kitchen I’ve been (financially) kickstarted into the kitchen. Here’s something that’s slipping out of culinary favor this time of year: cholent.

It’s a simple recipe, that folks tweak for every different village and family. Orthodox Jewish law doesn’t allow for cooking on Shabbat (the sabbath), and it’s hard to keep, for example, a nice steak on hold for eighteen hours until it’s Saturday lunchtime.

Enter cholent. Take ingredients, toss ’em into a pot, cook it until it’s mostly done before Shabbat begins (a little before sundown on Friday), then go to the baker and stuff it into the bread oven. Overnight. And most of the morning. When it’s pulled out, it’s a heavenly, creamy, yummy thing. Below is the one my mom made, which pegs it to Sosnowiec in pre-WWII Poland.


  • 3-4 oxtail bones
  • 1-2 lbs. Flanken. Well, my mother would say ‘flanken,’ but I think we’re talking about a skirt steak kind of beef. Given my mom knew 9 languages and my dad 10, I think fuzzy would be a good way to describe her recipe ingredients. At any rate, a fatty piece, in one piece.
  • 5-6 kartofel. That one’s easy: use huge Idaho baking potatoes with thick skins. My mom skinned some, but kept others unskinned. In either case, cut in half.
  • 2-3 medium onions, whole and peeled.
  • Garlic. At least a 1/2 bulb. Peeled but whole.

That’s it. Put it in a crock pot until there’s no more room. Put the lid on, then leave it be on low heat for about eighteen hours. When you open it up, the potatoes are brown and buttery, the beef fat and oxtail marrow is everywhere, and basically it’s salted and then a feeding frenzy ensues until it’s all gone.

Some folks put whole eggs, in shell, into the mix. Or (shudder) red or garbanzo beans. Or bulgar. Or other travesties upon the pure Holiness of the recipe above. They shall be purged when the Truth is Known. 🙂

Okay. I feel better now…

On to writing.

Whole-Meal Ficelles


Cook with what you have, the complementary concept to “write what you know.” I’m in love with alternative grains. I’ve got nothing against good old wheat, but it’s just… boring, you know?

This recipe yields enough for a person to have eight complementary-protein meals (each ficelle is about 190 calories). Serving suggestions (gawd, I feel like Susie Homemaker) include:

  • Nonfat yogurt infused with Vietnamese red sauce
  • A nice lamb stew
  • An unusual counterpoint to a very spicy eggplant cabbage curry


  • 4C unbleached flour
  • 1C millet
  • 1C quinoa
  • 1/4C flaxseed
  • 1/4C dried onion flakes
  • 1/4C granulated garlic
  • 1T light salt
  • 1T yeast
  • 1.5T sesame oil
  • 1t sugar
  • Optional: chili pepper flakes, cracked peppercorns, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds


  1. Combine all ingredients but optional ones and oil in a mixer
  2. Add warm water until you’ve got a firm, slightly sticky ball
  3. Take 1/2 the oil and coat bowl. Roll dough into bowl, cover, and let rise 45-60 minutes
  4. Knead thoroughly, then divide into 16 equal balls
  5. If you’re using optional ingredients, spread them evenly on a cutting board
  6. Pull 2 oven baking racks and loosely lay tinfoil on them, letting them (so the ficelles can rest on them). Use the reserved sesame oil to LIGHTLY coat the tinfoil. If you’re a foodie with ficelle racks, please accept my total hatred of you 😉
  7. Roll each ball into a snake about 12″ (30cm) long
  8. If you’re using optional roll-ons, by all means roll them on. The ficelles.
  9. Lay the ficelles down on the racks and cover (if you’ve not got enough towels, support your local energy oligopoly and use plastic wrap)
  10. Let rise for 20 minutes, then set the oven to 475°F. Put a cast-iron or metal pan in the bottom with 1″-2″ water in it (don’t use Pyrex, it may well explode!)
  11. Let the ficelles rise an additional 15 minutes.
  12. Bake for 9 minutes, then reduce temperature to 425°F and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  13. Remove, and let cool on wire racks (or flipped upside-down in their trays at least 15 minutes before cutting open.

Yield: 16 ficelles

Shitake Navy Split Pea Crock Pot Stew


Can’t beat the simplicity of crock pots and simple, healthy foods. Just about fat-free, great, complementary protein dish.


  • 1lb navy beans (7C full beans)
  • 1C split Peas, 1 cup
  • 3.5C (1-28oz can) Diced Tomatoes in Tomato Juice OR equivalent of 4 beef tomatoes
  • 1.5oz. Dried Shitake Mushrooms
  • 12 (30g) Chinese Dried Red Chili Pepper
  • 2T dried oregano
  • 2T parsley flakes
  • 1t cumin


  1. Pre-soak the beans.
  2. If you’re not using canned tomatoes, dice the tomatoes
  3. Take all ingredients except mushrooms and put into a 4Q+ crock pot.
  4. Fill with water to 1″ from brim.
  5. Add dried mushrooms (no need to soak).
  6. Cover and put on “low for 8 hours.


Yield: 12-1C servings


Prep time: 5 Elapsed time: 8 hours (plus bean soak time

Cocoa Venison (or Tofu) Lentil Rice Chili


Cocoa adds an interesting flavor to the mix. Add habanero, serrano, or other peppers as you see fit. All you need with this amazing complete protein is a little salad!



  • 2lb Venison (substitute 1.5lb seitan or 2lb. extra firm tofu)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 12 cloves (~1 bulb) Garlic
  • 2T ground cumin
  • 2T Paprika
  • .5T ground black pepper


  • 1lb Lentils
  • 1lb Brown Rice, medium grain
  • 1/8C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For added spice, toss in 4 sliced Habanero and a half-dozen Serrano peppers
  • 1.5T Tabasco Sauce
  • 1T ground black pepper


In Crock Pot

  1. Toss in rice and lentils & 7C water.
  2. Add Tabasco, 1T black pepper and cooca
  3. If you’re heating things up, carefully slice the hot peppers and add, with seeds, to the pot

In Skillet

  1. Fry up the onions in the oil.
  2. Add the remaining spices until well blended.
  3. Add the protein and sliced garlic.
  4. Stir until browned.

When Rice/Lentils are done, toss in the skillet contents into the crock pot and stir in well. Let cook on low for an hour or two.

D. Serve and curl toes as appropriate.

Yield: 16-1C servings


Prep time: 5 Elapsed time: ~4 hours

Baba Ganoush


I simultaneously love and worry about making this food. Love because it’s a great food: healthy, delicious when warm and fresh, but a wonderful cool counterpart to fresh-baked bread. I worry about it because the main ingredient, eggplant, is a member of the nightshade family (as are tomatoes), and hence a possible low-grade toxin. I sometimes react to it (itchy mouth), so I’m never sure if I’ll react to this yummy dish or not.


  • One large eggplant
  • 1/4C te’chi’na (see recipe here)
  • 1 large or 2 medium lemons
  • 1T ground cumin


  1. Wash the eggplant and remove the green head leaves, then, with a fork pierce it repeatedly all over. Use a fork, if you want to be effective, or an awl if you like yelling ha-HAAAH repeatedly.
  2. Put eggplant on tin foil, then onto a baking sheet and place into an oven on the upper shelf on broil. You can put it directly on a gas flame on top of the burner, or in a BBQ grill.
  3. Burn, Eggplant, Burn! Let it go for about 20 minutes. The skin will blacken, it will smell burnt. Persevere. At 20 minutes flip it over (carefully: it’s HOT). Give it another 5 minutes. Then start checking the ends at 5-minute intervals for squishy softness.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Split eggplant open with a knife. With a spoon, scoop out all the meat, picking out any charred skin. Or any skin at all, for that matter.
  6. Toss into food processor, along with 1/8-1/4C tehina (depends on the size of the eggplant). Start with less and add more during the blending process.
  7. Add the lemon, first the juice, then the (seedless) meat.
  8. Fire up the food processor and add the cumin powder.
  9. Add more tehina until the baba ganoush is creamy, not stringy.

Serves: 3 people for appetizers


Prep time: 10 minutes.  Elapsed time: 45 minutes

Cheap Great Steak


Every year a couple of great friends throw a MudBug Party: a crawfish boil, with plenty of sausage, beer, and other fine drinkables and comestibles. I’m on a fairly tight budget this year, but I wanted to make something my non-mudbug-eating daughter and others might enjoy. Costco trip ensued, and here’s a great dish that has a few serving suggestions at the end of the recipe.


  • 3-4 lbs. Eye-Round Roast (yes, the cheap stuff)
  • 1/2C Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4C low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4C tabasco (or chili flakes if you want more zing and less sodium)
  • 1.5T fresh ground mustard powder
  • 1/4C brown sugar or unsulphured molasses
  • Water sufficient to dilute marinade


  1. Take all ingredients aside from meat and water and pour into saucepan.
  2. Heat until ingredients are well mixed (no need to bring to boil). Add water and continue stirring until you’ve got about 1.5Q of liquid. Set aside from heat and let fully cool. Then refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Take eye-round roast and trim excess fat.
  4. Cutting against the grain, slice into approximately 1/2″-3/4″ medallions.
  5. Pour cooled marinade into a gallon-sized freezer thickness sealable bag.
  6. Place medallions, one at a time, into the marinade. With a wooden spoon, make sure each medallion is fully coated before adding the next.
  7. When they’re all in the bag, remove all air from the bag and gently massage, ensuring that marinade coats all the meat.
  8. Place in fridge for 24 hours, massaging the bag and turning it ever 6-8 hours.
  9. BBQ grill as you would any steak

Serves: 18-24 medallions

Serving Suggestions:


As shown above. I’d taste it before slathering it with any more condiments. The meat, especially if it’s not too well done, is surprisingly juicy and flavorful.

Middle Eastern Style Strips with Pita and Hummus

Cook to medium done. Slice cooked medallions into 1/4″ strips. Taking a pita, add 3-5 strips to a small bed of lettuce and tomatoes. Top with a generous dollop of hummus.

Texas Style Strips with Tortillas and Hummus

Cook to medium done. Slice cooked medallions into 1/4″ strips. Place 2-4 strips on a tortilla already layered with a generous slathering of hummus. Add spanish rice and guacamole to the mix, roll and enjoy.


Prep time: 20 minutes + grilling    Elapsed time:25 hours

Mongolian Steak Shards


Reverse engineered from the Mongolian restaurants, I’ve got this on tap for tomorrow as each kid has their own form of food insanity. Okay, here’s a joke: a carnivore, a vegetarian and a picky eater go into a restaurant. “We’d like to share an entree,” they say.

So this is for the meat-eater. I’ll integrate it into the vegetarian stir-fry (not given here) on my own. And the picky one? She can eat the mac and cheese… 🙂



  • 1/2C Ginger marinade
  • 1/4C Low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 2C water


  • 2.5 lb. beef shoulder
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2T canola oil


  1. Mince the habanero pepper and toss in with liquid marinade ingredients.
  2. Carefully trim fat from shoulder (2.5 lb. shoulder should render at least 1/3C of fat trimmed from meat).
  3. Slice meat across the grain into 1/8″ thick slices. When you come to fat deposits, carve ’em out.
  4. Put meat into marinade, shake well, then squeeze air out of bag and set in refrigerator to soak.
  5. Marinate for 12+ hours
  6. In wok or pan heat up oil. Toss in garlic and onion; stir until softened.
  7. Add strips of meat, making sure each gets browned a bit on both sides when it goes in.
  8. If you like it spicy, strain the marinade and add the habanero peppers.

Don’t overcook! a couple of minutes per slice of meat is more than enough (1 minute/side). Keep the onions and garlic in there until it’s all done, then pour off the remaining liquid and reserve to pour on the meat.

Serve as an entree or add to a larger stir fry. Serving sized based on a 3oz serving of meat. You’ll get a discount on the sodium since you’re not actually using all of it, but I’m not accounting for that. (So feel good about yourself but the numbers will have a separate statement for the press.) 🙂

Serves: 12


Prep time: 25 minutes Elapsed time: 12.5 hours

5.5:1 Quinoa Onion Bread


I’ve been do a LOT of cooking lately. By a lot I mean that I’ve tried to only make food from ingredients, and not buy ingredients. That’s been hard, but until I got my new steadily-paying gig, it’s been tough not to do that.

Bread and various riffs on it attract me: they’re easy and quick to get going, I can beat the crap out of the dough and vent on it, and it’s fun to watch powders and water get turned into this really cool food.

This bread was born of my interest in creating a biyali-type bread, redolent with onion, without the grief I believe is inherent in the dish. Bread I can do. Playing in odd ways… not ready for that (yet). I also love to add protein grains, usually quinoa, to make the bread a more satisfying dish. That has a downside for those looking to lose weight, this isn’t the bread for you.

Using the dried onion and sesame, instead of other oil, serve to intensify the flavor of the quinoa, and make this a great bread for cold cuts or, cubed and then baked, incredible croutons.


  • 5.5C unbleached organic flour
  • 3/4C dehydrated chopped onion
  • 1C quinoa (dry)
  • 1.5t salt
  • 1T yeast
  • 1T sesame oil


  1. Proof yeast
  2. Mix dry ingredients
  3. Add proofed yeast
  4. Mix and add water until it’s a slightly sticky ball
  5. Grease with the almost all the oil and let rise 40 minutes
  6. Use remaining oil to loaf pan
  7. Turn dough into loaf pan
  8. Let rise another 40 minutes.
  9. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 minutes
  10. Decant and let cool 20 minutes!

Serves: 10


Prep time: 7 Elapsed time: 57

An Angry Vegan Dish: Spicy Garlic Lentil Stew


I’ve been rejoicing in making soups, stews, breads and all manner of comfort cooking. I hadn’t done lentils in eons, and, as usual for my recipes, I start with what I have too much of, or what’s going bad. I’m also trying to push my safe zone for spices. So this is something different. As usual, I don’t add salt unless necessary. Feel free to poison yourself when serving it up.


  • 1 lb. dried lentils (yellow or green), washed and picked over for stones
  • 30-40 cloves of garlic, peeled but whole
  • 15 thin-skinned potatoes (not cranky ones, though). Red, gold and butter are all good, washed well and trimmed of ooky stuff
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2C olive oil
  • 15-20 dried red chilis, with seeds
  • 2T cumin
  • 1t tumeric (it’s a healthy spice and I like food that stains things permanently)
  • 1T black pepper
  • 1T paprika
  • 4 quarts water
  • Tart yogurt and basmati rice (optional)


  1. Clearly, you’ll need an 8-quart pot to make this, one with a thick bottom. Otherwise the odds of burning are high.
  2. Prepare the food as listed in ingredients. Have the spices ready to go.
  3. Heat the olive oil on the bottom of the pot. When it’s at the smoke point, toss in the onions and whole garlic cloves. Still quickly to make sure the oil covers the veggies. Add the spices (not the chili peppers) and vigorously mix. Close lid and wait a minute, then add 2C water and stir, then close the lid again.
  4. Wait until most of the water’s been boiled off, then add the dried lentils. Still them until everything is well mixed. Keep stirring until you hear the crackling sound of lentils getting very hot (no, you won’t invent lentil popcorn, sorry!).
  5. Add the rest of the water and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the dried chli peppers (no need to presoak) and cover.
  7. After five minutes at a rolling boil, reduce flame to a simmer.
  8. Stir every 5-10 minutes while it simmers for 40 minutes.

Remove the peppers from the pot and reserve. Serving suggestion: Add 1/2C basmati rice and 1/4C tart yogurt. Place one of the cooked chili peppers across the yogurt.

Serves: 24 cups


Prep time: 10 minutes   Elapsed time: 60 minutes