Smoked Almonds

I did this once before.  It was great.  Thought I might try adding a bit of brown sugar this time around.  We’ll see where that takes it.

I started with the below.  I vaguely remember using a combination of olive oil and butter last time.  Could be wrong though.   We’ll see what I do next time.


  • 48 oz bag of almonds (about 11 C)
  • 2 t cayenne
  • 2 T salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T peanut oil

Put the almonds into a large bowl and coat thoroughly with olive oil.  Combine spices in a mortar and pestle or a ramekin.  Sprinkle and mix into almonds, again coating thoroughly.

Put them in a single layer in pans for your smoker of choice.  Smoke hot (250f to 300f) for some time (twenty minutes or until satisfyingly roasted).

Not as good as my previous batch (down to good from amazing).  I’ll have to experiment more.

Maybe borrow from this one next time.


Black Rice and Cheese with Broccoli

New food experiment.  Mac and cheese but with black rice as the starch and add some broccoli because why not.


  • 2 cups black rice
    • 2 cups water (or stock)
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 t mushroom paste (Better than Bouillon)
  • roux from 1 cube butter and 1 cup flour
    • pepper
    • nutmeg
    • cayenne
    • maybe 1/2 C each Parmesan and Asiago
    • couple cups milk or so
    • 1 lb shredded medium cheddar
    • 1 lb frozen chopped broccoli
    • salt

Add in order above (though that extra milk can be added as needed).  Use lowest heat throughout so the oils don’t break the emulsification.

Pretty thick.  Maybe too thick?  I was lazy and used pre-shredded Parmesan, Asiago, and cheddar.  The Asiago and cheddar contain starches which can interfere with emulsification and make the final sauce less smooth so that’s likely a factor.  Flavor is pretty good but can likely be made better.  Arguably the flavor of the broccoli overpowers all else; it’s very strong compared to the rest.


Dried Blueberry Ice Cream

Last weekend I made a new flavor of ice cream.  Centered around dried blueberries, I used brown sugar and maple syrup instead of white sugar.  Still used the usual vanilla and added cinnamon.


  • the usual custard
    • sub ¾ C brown sugar and ¼ C maple syrup
  • 1 C dried blueberries
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon ?

Next time chop the blueberries and macerate them a day ahead in a portion of the milk and cream mixture.  Also, maybe use cinnamon stick.

Second run and the maceration was very successful.  I macerated the dried blueberries (after finely chopping) in about half a cup of the cream.  Added this after cooking.


Oatmeal Meatballs

Been trying to a) decrease my consumption of red meat (fuck you, cholesterol) and b) increase my consumption of soluble fiber (fuck you, cholesterol), so I’ve cobbled together some meatballs with oatmeal and where I can use various combinations of meat as situations demand.  Here is the basic recipe which I just made and which were really delicious.


  • 1 lb meat (I used hot Italian style sausage made at my local grocery)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 good sized shallots finely chopped
  • 1 C oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 eggs
  • (one could add some Worcestershire or garlic if desired)
  • 1½ t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 2 t cayenne


  • For oven baked, set oven to 375f; for pan fried prepare a cast iron skillet with oil
  • Mix all the stuff in a bowl.
  • Make balls from the mixture no larger than a golf ball.
  • For oven, disperse balls over sheet (with or without parchment paper); or place gently into hot oil to shallow fry and brown evenly on various sides.
  • Bake for 25 minutes; not sure how long to fry but you got this.

This is technically a double batch so one could cut everything in half and do a smaller batch.

Note that I used half ground turkey (chicken would substitute, of course).  I should be able to alter the primary meat (in this case hot Italian style sausage) to use lamb or beef (again using half turkey) with solid results.  I may try the lamb version this weekend.  We shall see.

Have fun!


While we cannot dispense with metaphors in thinking about nature, there is a great risk of confusing the metaphor with the thing of real interest.  We cease to see the world as if it were like a machine and take it to be a machine.  The result is that the properties we ascribe to our object of interest and the questions we ask about it reinforce the original metaphorical image and we miss the aspects of the system that do not fit the metaphorical approximation.  As Alexander Rosenblueth and Norbert Weiner have written, ‘The price of metaphor is eternal vigilance.’

—— Richard Lewontin from The Triple Helix (Gene, Organism, and Environment) p 4