Saturday, October 31, 2020

Buttermilk biscuits with cowboy hash & griddle fried eggs were prepared last week at Star Valley Outfitters camp on Wyoming's Little Greys River. In the Southern U.S., these biscuits are known as Angel Biscuits. Yes, this technique takes a bit longer. But they are worth the extra effort. 

This recipe is adapted from the 1969 edition of U.S. Armed Forces Recipe Service recipe D-2 ("Baking Powder & Yeast Biscuits"). It was a favorite recipe of Navy bakers during my service in the 1970s. 

1 pound 3 ounces all-purpose flour
7 ounces granulated sugar

½ ounce baking powder
¼ ounce instant yeast
¼ ounce kosher salt
5 ounces shortening
14 ounces buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients together. Blend shortening into dry ingredients until mixture by resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in buttermilk until combined. Turn dough onto a floured work surface. Knead gently, about 10 to 12 turns, until dough is formed. Cover with a towel and ferment for 1 hour.

Roll or pat to uniform thickness of ½". Cut with floured 2½" biscuit cutter. Place on a greased sheet pan. I like to place the biscuits next to each other. 20 biscuits will fit on a quarter-size sheet pan (9" x 13", pictured). Proof in a warm location for 30 minutes

Bake in a pre-heated 425F. oven 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm with butter, honey or jam.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Classic hummus

The cooks at Oakland Feather River Camp frequently prepare classic hummus throughout the summer season. Hummus frequents the weekly baked potato bar. It's served as a vegan option on the chef's salad lunch. Plus it makes a tasty snack item. Since, hummus is a self-served, campers can use as they like. It's extremely popular on the salad bar.

Hummus is one of my favorite sandwich spreads. Spread inside a pita pocket, hummus compliments my favorite sandwich materials. A big green lettuce leaf, several thin cucumber slices and smoked turkey make the perfect sandwich. And spicing it up with my favorite chili sauce adds a nice bite. Now that I have a new batch at home, I'll enjoy it on sandwiches this week

Hummus is easy to prepare. I find a food processor is the best tool for making a smooth and creamy hummus. I like to first puree the drained and rinsed chickpeas in the food processor for several minutes. It's difficult to give precise times here as all machines run at different speeds. Next the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt go into the bowl. Continue pulsing until until blended.

Make sure to taste and adjust for flavor. This is where your personal tastes come into play. Use the recipe as a beginning point. It gives you basic ingredients and the process. From that point, add or take away ingredients to make it your own. Do you enjoy lemon (as I do)? Add an additional teaspoon or two. It may need a extra pinch salt to suit your personal taste.

It's that easy. Pour into a storage container and keep in the fridge. Remove for sandwiches or snack time. As our campers find, hummus can be used to compliment salads, sandwiches, baked potatoes, burritos or on anything your heart desires.

Enjoy ...

Classic hummus with toasted ciabatta.


Locate tahini in the specialty section of your favorite grocer.

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
½ cup tahini
¼ cup lemon juice
1 garlic cloves, crushed in salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnish)
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Drain chickpeas and thoroughly rinse, discarding liquid. In a food processor, blend chickpeas with 2 teaspoons cold water until they become a smooth paste. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning and viscosity with water, if necessary. Pour into a bowl. Swirl to form a well. Garnish with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, paprika and parsley. Serve with toasted ciabatta or pita chips.

Monday, March 30, 2020

This, too, shall pass away

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

We have an adage for use in times of difficulty: “This, too, shall pass away.” A favorite expression of President Abraham Lincoln, it provides a certain amount of comfort in times of trial. It gives us the stamina we need to overcome our “light affliction.” When faced with distress or trouble, we instinctively know that in time, it will pass.

At the moment, we cannot visit dearly loved brethren. Civil authorities have directed that we practice “social distancing,” stay inside our homes and only venture out to seek medical attention or to purchase food and supplies. We cannot assemble as a church. It is not clear how long the lock-down will last. Not do we fully understand the ramifications of the novel Coronvirus.

Yet, the words of the Holy Spirit comfort us. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Regardless what happens in the temporal, our faith is in God, not in the things that can be seen. We place our faith in a God that is working to provide a “house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” Paul, through the Holy Spirit, confidentially teaches us that we will one day “be present with the Lord.” So, whether our “light affliction” passes tomorrow or at some distant time in the future, it will pass.

Lord willing, the members of the church will remain free of the Coronavirus and will have future opportunity to serve His Son Christ Jesus for many years to come. Yet, we cannot predict the future. In the meanwhile, we will do our best to stay in contact with each other and to pray for comfort, guidance and healing. Be assured when we place our confidence on things eternal, God will provide.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Coney Island chili sauce

This Coney Island chili sauce adds an element of spice and richness to any hot dog. With a helping of finely chopped onions and a stream of yellow mustard, you have a dish that is worthy of any camp meal or potluck. And it can also be turned into a stand-alone chili with the addition of beans.

Now I admit that I have never had a hot dog covered in authentic Coney Island chili sauce. The sauce is said to have been originated by Greek and Macedonian immigrants to Indiana and Michigan in the early Nineteenth Century. One day I'll have to search out a Coney Island restaurant in Michigan.

In my quest for a good hot dog chili for my summer camp, I first thought of trying Coney Island chili sauce when I ran across several YouTube videos. Although I enjoyed these recipes, many were lacking in texture and smoothness. After much research, I found that many "authentic" recipes added ground hot dogs to the chili. That was the key ingredient. Along with the addition of masa as a binding agent, I found what I was looking for.

So, while I don't make any claim to the authenticity of this recipe, you have my guarantee of its goodness. Give it a try. You will enjoy it.

Large quantity recipe for Coney Island chili sauce.


Do not brown the ground beef as you would in a pot of chili con carne. Once you puree the hot dog, onion and garlic, place all chili sauce ingredients in a medium pot with the water. As the chili comes up to temperature, break up the ground beef with a potato masher until the chili is smooth. Simmer, thicken and enjoy!

Purchase lean ground beef for this recipe. While I used 90/10 ground beef for this recipe, a leaner grind will work as well. Lean ground beef reduces the amount of grease that rises to the top. I used an all-beef hot dog for the puree.

Hot dog paste:
6 oz hot dog
½ cup onions
3 garlic cloves

Chili sauce:
1 pound 3 ounces lean ground beef
2 cups cold water
⅓ cup ketchup
¼ cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons celery salt
½ teaspoons ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

⅓ cup cold water
2 tablespoons masa

In a food processor, process hot dogs, onion and garlic into a smooth paste. Combine hot dog paste, ground beef, water, ketchup, butter or margarine, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, celery salt and cayenne pepper to medium pot. Mix with a potato masher or spatula over med-high heat until mixture has a finely ground consistency and begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and reduces, about 1 hour.

Mix cold water and masa into a smooth paste. Slowly pour into sauce, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over steamed hot dogs with finely chopped onions and yellow mustard. Makes a bit over 5 cups.

This recipe is based a recipe by Chef John of Food Wishes, also available on YouTube and Allrecipes.