Ramen Carbonara

Ken converted a regular recipe into this simple, grocery-store backpacking meal.

Ramen Carbonara

Serves: 1


1              Ramen Pack (Discard Seasoning Packet)

1 tbs      Olive Oil (1 packet)

¼ cup    Precooked Bacon Bits

½ tsp     Freeze Dried Garlic

2 tbs      OvaEasy Crystallized Egg Powder

3 tbs      Water (plus additional for cooking Ramen)

¼ cup    Shelf stable Parmesan Cheese

¼ tsp     Ground Black Pepper

¼ tsp     Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp      Freeze Dried Parsley


At home:

Combine bacon, garlic, parmesan, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and parsley in a snack size ZipLoc Bag.  Measure egg powder into a separate 1 quart freezer ZipLoc Bag.  Pack everything together along with ramen and olive oil.

At camp:

Bring water to a boil and add ramen.  Cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine egg powder and cold water in freezer ZipLoc Bag.  Mix well.

Drain ramen and return to freezer ZipLoc Bag containing egg mixture.  Stir immediately.  Add cheese mixture and oil; keep stirring for a few minutes.  The residual heat of the ramen noodles will cook the egg mixture.  Stir constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.

Calorie Count

Ramen                  380

Olive Oil               120

Bacon                    120

Eggs                       95

Parmesan            240

Total                      955

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Chinese Cucumber and Tuna Salad

This recipe is inspired by Lucky Peach’s Chineasy Cucumber Salad

Serves 1

for the dressing:

whisk together

1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
1 teaspoon Sichuan chili oil or other hot pepper source to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


3/4 English cucumber, peeled and sliced

2 scallions, shredded lengthwise

4 radishes, quartered

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 can albacore tuna, chilled, drained, chunked

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1 Tb chopped peanuts

layer the salad ingredients in order listed

pour  dressing over salad

ingredients highly interchangeable/variable


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Meatloaf w/ apples and stout

4 lbs of ground beef, 80/20
1 cup of fresh onion, chopped
6-8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 t of Salt
1 t of Pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup of saltine crackers, crushed
1/8 cup of worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
3 small granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
12 oz of a hearty stout
12 oz of a hearty stout
1 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 T of balsamic vinegar (get something more artisanal and more robust in flavor)
First up, we’ve gotta cook down those onions a bit.
Add some olive oil to a medium skillet at medium-low heat; once the oil is ready, toss in your onions.
Once they become slightly translucent, sprinkle some salt over them and add 1 T of unsalted butter.
Add your herbs in here, letting the oils cook into your onions.
Continue cooking as they soften and brown.
Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or two.
Add your beer in, six ounces at a time, and reduce the liquid until it thickens each time.
When the liquid finishes reducing again, remove from heat.
Discard the fresh herb sprigs and transfer to somewhere to cool quickly.
At the same time…
Add the apples to a skillet with olive oil at medium heat. Sprinkle with a touch of salt, pepper, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook until soft.
OR- Do a fine dice (like, the apples are pea-sized) and add them raw. This will give more of a tart element with that texture change.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, add your ground beef, ketchup, salt, pepper, ketchup, crackers, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs.
Mix together, then add your sauteed onion/beer/garlic mixture and apples.
Mix together well, and transfer to an ungreased loaf pan.
Cover in foil and bake for 30 minutes. As it bakes, make your topping-
Add the 12 oz. beer to a skillet. Begin reducing it at medium heat.
Once the beer is half reduced, add the rest of your ingredients and blend well. Let it cook for a few minutes until it comes together, then remove from the heat. Keep it handy, you’ll need it!
After 30 minutes, remove the foil from the meatloaf and add half of the topping.
Return to oven, uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes, adding half of the remaining topping halfway through.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with a spoonful of the topping over the top.

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My basic turkey stuffing recipe

1  yellow onion, chopped

6 stalks celery, sliced


1 small head fennel, chopped

1-2 shallots. chopped

1 apple, chopped


dried cranberries



2 sticks unsalted butter

1-2 packages of stuffing mix or stale bread cubes (sourdough imparts a distinct flavor, use with caution)

3-4 cups any poultry stock (unsalted is best)

1 bunch fresh parsley, stems removed, chopped

1 bunch fresh sage, chopped fine




truffle salt

Saute/sweat onion and celery until soft in 1 stick of butter over medium-low heat. If using shallots or fennel, sweat them too. Melt second cup of butter, keep handy.

Using the biggest bowl you have, combine bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, any other optional ingredients, and a cup or two of the stock. Add about half of the parsley and sage, some salt and pepper, and mix everything thoroughly. Start tasting the mix and adjusting seasonings/fat/herbs/stock until it tastes good. The stuffing should be in the moist-to-damp range, definitely not soggy. If it’s going inside the turkey, make it a little drier as the bird adds moisture, if its going in a (greased) casserole, a little wetter, as baking will dry it out.

If baking, roughly 30 minutes at 375F, covered in foil until the last ten minutes or so. Stuffing tends to stick less in ceramic or glass. Be sure to grease or spray whatever pan you use.



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Midnight Apricot Jam

A canning recipe of my own making. A batch yields about 8 half-pints.


2# apricots, pitted and roughly chopped

2# red plums, pitted and roughly chopped

4 1/2 c sugar

1.3 oz dry pectin

1/3 c kirsch or other cherry brandy (optional)

combine all ingredients, cook until jam is set, using the frozen plate method. With this small amount of pectin, it takes at least 30 minutes to get the jam to set. Pack into half-pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, seal and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

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Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
  3. Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.
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Cardamom Pear Upside Down Cake


Courtesy of the very talented Robin Leventhal
½ cup + 2Tbls butter, melted
4 large eggs
½ cup olive oil
1/8th cup orange juice
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 ¼ cup sugar
3 each Bosc pears
1 cup AP flour
1 ½ cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt, kosher
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp zest of orange
1 tsp zest of lemon
½ tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare a 10-12” skillet at least 3” deep with butter, dust with flour and line bottom with a round of parchment paper to release the caramelized pear bottom when done baking.
Peel & core pears
In another skillet add 2 Tbls butter, ¼ cup sugar, pomegranate molasses & orange juice, bring to a boil.
Cook pears in this syrup on medium heat, approximately 3 minutes on each side.
Place the pears cut side down evenly spaced on the parchment lined skillet and pour the molasses caramel over them allowing a bit to go under each pear to ensure they each look caramelized when flipped.
Set this skillet in the fridge to set up (or outside if you have cold winters like we do here in Walla Walla)
In a small mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cardamom)
In a large mixing bowl cream the eggs, remaining sugar and zest until light and fluffy with a hand mixer, about 4 minutes.Add the almond extract and then the dry ingredients in two additions, mix well, then stream in the olive oil and melted butter until silky and incorporated.
Pour cake batter over chilled pears and bake for approximately 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden.
Let set up for a few minutes before flipping, but don’t wait too long. I let mine stand about 10 minutes
Your serving platter should be just wider than the pan’s rim.
Placing the platter, presentation side down and with one palm on the back of the platter and oven mitt hand on the bottom of the skillet, quickly flip them over, sandwiched between your hands.
This only requires a little dexterity and a lot of “yes I can” spirit! You got this!
Now got get yourself a few pears and win the hearts of your guest with this irresistible moist cake that indecently makes wonderful leftovers for breakfast!

Serving Suggestions: dust with a little powder sugar, top with a dollop of whipped cream (I put a tiny amount of vanilla extract, pinch of cardamom and powder sugar in mine)
Complete the plate with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, rose syrup or simply honey.
Edible flower and pomegranate seeds or zest of an orange would all be lovely additions.
Enjoy, from my heart to yours

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cranberry oatmeal cookies

2017-03-19 14.52.44_resizedTechnorati Tags:

I got this recipe from one of my trivia players. So tasty.


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar


cream together


2 eggs

1 t vanilla


mix in


1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt


mix together, then add in


1 c dried cranberries

1 c chopped nuts

1/4 c chia seed

1 c white chocolate chips

2 c rolled oats


350F, 10 minutes


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Bread Pudding


4 servings

For the bread pudding
1/4 cup golden raisins
3T dark rum
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1/3 orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash kosher salt
1/1/3 cups heavy cream, plus 2/3 cup for serving
about 6 ounces of good white bread, such as baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces

For the sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup dark rum
Pinch kosher salt
2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk


For the bread pudding: Soak the raisins in the rum in a small bowl; let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or up to 1 day. Drain, reserving the rum for the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a deep, small baking dish at hand.

Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract and salt in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in the 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream; once that’s incorporated, add the bread pieces and drained raisins, making sure that all the bread is coated. Transfer to the baking dish.

Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drips); transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until the top layer of bread is nicely browned, the edges are bubbling, and the center of the pudding is firm to the touch. Let cool.

For the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk in the confectioners’ sugar; once the mixture is smooth, add the reserved rum (from soaking the raisins) and the 1/4 cup rum. Increase the heat to medium; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; this step will burn off just about all the alcohol.

Add the salt, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, stirring for another minute or two until the sauce thickens. Let cool.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Scoop the bread pudding into individual shallow, ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Drizzle each portion with a generous amount of sauce. Place the bowls on a baking sheet; bake for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly. Serve right away, topped with an indecent amount (about 1/4 cup) of the remaining 2/3 cups of heavy cream or top with freshly-made ice cream.

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Coconut Cauliflower

Serves 2

Prep 10/Cook 15

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 T coconut oil or ghee

1/4 onion, finely chopped

1 c coconut milk

1/4 c coconut flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 T finely chopped cilantro

Working in 2 batches, “rice” cauliflower in food processor 20-25 pulses until fine. Melt oil in skillet over m heat. Sweat onion until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower and coconut milk, simmer uncovered til tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cilantro and coconut, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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