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Dehydrated Cayenne Peppers

Note the green ones in the lower right tray.

9/19/2020 – We bought a NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator this week and tried it out on the abundant red cayenne peppers from the garden. Picked all the red today and that filled three trays. Some picked the past 3-4 days have been lying out to dry along with some green ones and they filled the 4th tray.

Started the unit at 12:30 pm with the dial set at 135°F. Set it in the corner on the kitchen and within 30 minutes had to move it to the carport as the fumes were not going to be tolerable.

About 4:30 PM (4 hours later) checked it for the first time. The peppers are a bit wrinkled but have a long way to go. Recipes said 5 -20 hours.

At 6:00 AM–17.5 hours later during a high humidity time on the carport–there are a few that are a bit pliable but most are dry like thin leather and some are brittle. Took them inside as it drizzled rain all night and was drizzling still. The humidity outside is 95% and inside is 49% per our weather station.

At 8:00 AM put those that were not dry enough back in the dehydrator. Three hours later they were ready.

Separated the green ones and tried them first in the food processor. A lot of large pieces would not chop up. Put them into a jar and wiped out the processor bowl. Thought that maybe they had not been dry enough. But, that was not correct as the reds also had issues as cited below.

Tried rough chopping them for “red pepper flakes” with the Kitchenaid food processor but it left some large pieces–no consistency. Tried the Vitamix blender as it had worked well last year and it did fine.

Buttermilk-Feta Dressing ToTry

This recipe was provided with one for fried green tomatoes. It would work well with other fried things.

  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) feta cheese, crumbled, divided
  1. Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk in black pepper, 1/2 cup of the feta, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Sprinkle with dill and remaining 1/2 cup feta.

Thousand Island Dressing Development

2/24/2020 – This began with Ina Garten’s ratio of 3:1 of mayo to ketchup. Then increased the sweet relish and added 6POGS. There were other changes such as leaving out the capers–at the level she used–that did not seem to add anything other than a little salt. This is what we made that filled a quart jar plus a small 1.5″ pyrex bowl. It was good. See Next Time below.

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Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers

Reviewed various recipes for pickling spices and using advice and ingredients arrived at the recipe below we think we will like. Used it in our first-ever pickled pepperoncini. The peppers are the larger Italian ones and not the smaller Greek variety.


  • Enough peppers from the garden when sliced to fill three pint jars:
  • Whole garlic clove lightly crushed in each
  • 3″ of a fresh red cayenne pepper from the garden in each pint jar.
  • Well water to white vinegar at 50:50 mix
  • 1/4 tsp of Ball’s Pickle Crisp Granules in each filled pint jar

Spice Mix Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dill seed
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes from our garden
  • 6 bay leaves, crumbled/chopped


  1. Prepare a one-half recipe of the Spice Mix above. [Did not want a lot of leftovers.]
  2. Slice the peppers into ¼” – ½” wide rings.
  3. Add the peppers, the crush garlic clove, and the piece of fresh red cayenne pepper to the hot sterilized pint jars.
  4. Add 2 tsp of the spice mix to each jar
  5. Pour in very hot water/vinegar brine.
  6. Add the pickle crisp.
  7. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

9/20/2020 – First try and they were ok. Not great as the flavor was a bit blah and the texture was almost too soft.

Caesar Salad Dressing ToTry

A steak-house style dressing inspired by the recipe by Karen Weir here.


6 cloves garlic, peeled, divided
¾ cup mayonnaise
5 anchovy fillets, minced
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
4 cups day-old bread, cubed
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces


  1. Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, anchovies, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into quarters, and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, and then remove garlic from pan. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently until lightly browned. Remove bread cubes from oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.

Spare Ribs on the Kettle

8/22/2020 – This cook was good with the pecan coins from our firewood in the kettle with the SNS and lower tray. Tried to follow the similar smoke in March 2017. Dry brined and shook on a good amount of 6POGS to set in the refer about 6 hours. Smoked the scraps on the elevated tray about 2 hours. This was a good smoke with tender, moist, flavorful meat.

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Mediterranean Grilling Rub

8/19/2020 – After considering various recipes, we mixed a few batches of Mediterranean meat seasoning rubs for use on grilled chicken. After a couple of cooks, we made this, shook it moderately on dry-brined thighs, and grilled them on the little gas grill. They were very good.

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Sausage, Egg, and Grits Casserole


  • 1-½ pounds smoked sausage, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1-½ cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 4 cups of water
  • 8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Half-n-Half milk
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 7 to 9 minutes or until cooked; drain on paper towels.
  2. Bring salt and 4 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Whisk in grits, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until completely melted. Stir in half-n-half milk and next 4 ingredients. Stir in sausage.
  4. Pour mixture into 13×9 inch baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and cooked through.
  6. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.