Feeding the Active Writer

This recipe is another meat loaf.  I call it “Pizza loaf” or when I’m in a more playful mood “The Ultimate Meat Lover’s Pizza.”

1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 12 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme.
(Optional alternative:  two cups of a commercial low-carb pasta or pizza sauce)

2 lb ground chuck
1 lb Italian sausage
4 large eggs
2 cup flax meal

6 oz sliced pepperoni
1 lb grated “white cheeses” (Mozzarella, Romano, etc.)

In a small saucepan combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and thyme.  Simmer over low heat 10 minutes or so.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground chuck, Italian sausage, eggs and flax meal.  Mix throughly.

Place 1/4 of the meat mixture into the bottom of a 4-5 quart slow cooker.  Spread it so that it forms an even layer across the bottom.  Top with 1/4 of the tomato mixture, followed by 1/4 of the cheese and 1/4 of the pepperoni.  Repeat in layers using additional quarters until it’s all in the slow cooker

Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Once it’s finished cooking, let it cool at least an hour.  Cut into wedge shaped slices and serve (or freeze to reheat and eat at a later date).  Makes 12 servings.

In the slow cooker, ready to cook.
After nine hours of cooking.

Served up.  Ready to eat.

Christmas Wishes

A short bit I wrote and am sharing:
If you’re an Atheist or Agnostic who doesn’t like “Merry Christmas.”
If you’re a Christian who doesn’t like “Happy Holidays.”
If you’re a Jew who doesn’t like “Blessed be.”
If you’re a Wiccan who doesn’t like “God Be with you.”
If you’re a Muslim who doesn’t like “May Thor hold his hammer between you and harm.”
I have one thing to say to you: Grow. Up. Take these things in the spirit they are offered, one of well wishing, and leave it at that.

And on that note, may I wish you a very merry Christmas and may Thor hold his hammer between you and harm.

Big Christmas Blowout!

Now until the end of December I am offering all of my ebooks at a discount.
The novelettes and novellas are now $1.99 and the novel, Survival Test, is now $3.99

Remember:  Books make great gifts.

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Feeding the Active Writer

Another “sweet tooth” recipe.  This time a simple egg custard.

Egg custards are great because they’re simple, low carb (when done with sugar substitutes), and quite tasty.

2 Tsp softened butter
8 eggs, well beaten
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 cup sugar equivalent sweetener (I use sucralose, generic for Splenda, which is a one to one measurement)
ground cinnamon (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

Grease the slow cooker (4 or 5 quart) with the butter.  Use all of it.
In a mixing bowl combine the next four ingredients.  Mix well.
Pour into the slow cooker
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Check to see if the custard has set either by jiggling the slow cooker or lightly touching the top of the custard with the back of a spoon.
If not set, let cook another half hour.
Test again.  Repeat as needed until set.
Turn off the heat and let the custard set for about one hour.
Divide into about 12 servings.


Feeding the Active Writer

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Today I being a bit of preparation work for the holiday cooking.

So, here’s the menu:

Roast Turkey with Low-Carb Sausage Stuffing
Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy
Green Beans Sauteed with Bacon and Garlic
Port Wine Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pudding with homemade whipped cream
No-Carb flaxmeal muffins (with butter)

And for my wife, candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

The night before, I make the stuffing and the turkey broth (using the giblets) for the gravy.

An additional bit, I cut the meat from the neck bone after making the broth and chop that, the gizzard, and the heart into fine bits which I mix into the gravy.

This has been our traditional Thanksgiving meal for years.  And while I like variety in what I eat, there’s something to be said for tradition as well.

In any case, should you use any of these in your own celebrations, enjoy.

And here are the results:

The Mills of the Gods

I keep running into people who are insist on only voting for the “perfect” candidate.  “The lesser of two evils is still evil” is a common watchcry and that doing so is simply a somewhat slower slide into tyranny.

The flip side is that voting for the “perfect” (from my perspective–I expect yours would be somewhat different) candidate when that candidate can’t even get the support of 2% of the voters is a quicker slide into tyranny.

I like the metaphor that Neil Gaiman used for his career.  It’s like a mountain in the distance.  And as long as I can keep moving toward that mountain I’ll eventually get there.  Don’t try to do it all at once.  That will fail.

By this chart (let’s see if this works)–

 photo politicalpositions_zpsa955ecf4.jpg

–I’m a pretty much a Paelo-Conservative/Classical Liberal.  Some infrastructure things (roads on the chart) I think are appropriate for government, others not.  On the flip side I’m of mixed feelings about education so between them I figure it’s pretty much a wash and the “Paleo-Conservative” label fits fairly well.  Add in that with “health care” and that things like with infectious diseases other folks actions, or inaction, threaten me and it gets a bit complicated.  But still, Paleo-Conservative is probably pretty close.

But look at where we are now.  We’re so far from that “goal” that the Hubble couldn’t see it.  If I had a true Paleo-Conservative candidate to run for office, it’s extremely unlikely he could win (even in a fair election, never mind when the other side(s) cheats).  And if, by some miracle, he (or she) did win, there is simply no way I’d get a paleo-conservative Congress to go along.

But I might get somebody a little bit closer than we are now.  And if I can get that, then the next cycle, maybe I can get somebody a little bit closer than that.  And a little bit closer the next time.  And the same shifting “Overton Window” works here.  As government becomes less intrusive, less restrictive, less all-encompassing, why people can get used to that too, just as they have motion the other way.

People tell me “compromise doesn’t work.” Actually, the cases they site are excellent examples of how very well it does work.  It’s just that it’s been a weapon used against us.  Conservative/libertarian types are like folk sticking to single shot rifles to “not waste ammo” while the other side has been using repeating rifles and machine guns.  Win small concessions, then use that new position as a springboard to win more.  Repeat until you’re where you want to be.  It’s a tactic that works.  So far, it’s worked for our enemies.  Maybe it’s time for it to work for us.

So look at that mountain.  What can we get that moves us closer to the mountain, even if only a little bit?  Get it.  And then keep the pressure on.

The mills of the gods grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

Feeding the Active Writer

I need to move these to the weekends.  With my daughter’s swim team, doing them Monday evening just isn’t working.

I have a major sweet tooth.  This is a problem when on a low carb diet so I’m always experimenting with recipes for sweets that are friendly to my diet.

I’m lucky in that I don’t react poorly to sucralose (brand name Splenda, but I generally use store brands) and don’t find any aftertaste objectionable.

Here’s my latest:

8 oz cream cheese, softened.
1 cup coconut oil.
4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut.
2 cups sucralose artificial sweetener

Put 1-2 inches of water in a two quart saucepan.  Place a large metal mixing bowl over the top of it.  This makes a sort of double boiler but with more room than in the typical double boiler.

Put the cream cheese and coconut oil in the bowl and heat until the oil is melted and the cream cheese is very soft.

Add the coconut and sucralose and stir until combined.

While still warm, spread the coconut mixture in an 8X8 baking pan. Refrigurate until firm then cut into 64 pieces (an 8 by 8 grid). Continue to refrigerate until completely hardened they pry out of the pan.  Store refrigerated until ready to eat.  Yummy.