I mentioned that I was going to get around to talking about this stuffing I’ve made for years, so it’s about time I finally did so. It was passed down from a professor back at my doctoral institution. As part of it, you need to prep a pretty solid bird stock first, so let me detail that briefly.

You’ll need some dark-meat bird parts first, be it the neck (ideally) or thighs. Take three of them (mix & match as desired), put them in a pot or saucepan large enough to lay them flat, and fill the spaces & cover the turkey parts with onion, carrot, and celery (don’t need to chop it finely at all). Add a generous helping of sage, thyme, a bay leaf or two (if you have them), some peppercorns, and salt to your liking (I usually don’t bother), and then cover the whole mess with water. Cover it, bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer for at least two hours (I let it simmer for three). Pull all the meat out (mind you, the meat will literally fall off of the thighs), and strain out the remaining parts by pouring the mix through cheesecloth. Once the vegetables have cooled enough to handle, mash them up a little (still in the cheesecloth) and then wring the last of the juices from the vegetables. So much more flavor hiding in there, so don’t neglect to do this step! Afterwards, feast on the delights of the amazing meat you’ve just prepared, and you have a batch of delicious stock!

Now, with that out of the way…onto the best part…the stuffing!

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Easter brought about another feast of food, as per usual. Any holiday that I can make a fancy meal for, I like to. Especially for company, but for myself if nothing else! Anyhoo. As with any bird-based meal that I prepare, I’ve got to make some stuffing. Fantastic stuff, this recipe.

I’ll be posting that in the near future, but I wanted to get working on some of the backlog of posts I’ve been meaning to do lately. With summer coming up soon, I’m slowly getting more & more of my evening time back, with the largest chunk coming back once I’m commuting via bicycle again! So without further ado, click on through for the deliciously smooth bacony-laced (although not bacon-laden…which is equally doable, clearly) mashed potatoes.

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I made a surprisingly fantastic batch of beef stroganoff Monday night. It’s really not any different than the typical recipe I use, but I took some extra time to really take advantage of some Maillard-infused cooking and sear nearly all the ingredients over pretty high heat. The meat & the mushrooms were ridiculously savory, and the onions turned out so sweet that the sauce dabbled on the sweet side.

It was a beautiful—yet unexpected because of the sweetness—combination. As it stands, it might turn out even between with some white wine during the cooking stage to complement that bit of sweetness that the onions contribute. I will have to give this a dry next time if I have a dry white to cook with next time!

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As I’ve been asked on a couple occasions to post this for people, I’m finally throwing my hummus recipe up & online for the curious. It’s probably a little less like a traditional hummus, and more along the lines of a garbanzo/chickpea dip. But I suppose I just colloquially call one of these dishes predominantly made with chickpeas to be a hummus1.


1You can shoot me later for the bastardization of “hummus” as it were, but don’t knock it until you give it a try!


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Elaborating on a future in wine leading to an academic lifestyle last night, it got me reminiscing for the simple things I’ve love to do as hobbies or a retirement/alternative lifestyle. Brew beer. Brew wine. Roast my own coffee. I even got to dreaming about the fancy chocolate at Soma and how I’d love to recreate some of my own amazing concoctions. It was an interesting reminder of my tastes: so much in life, I love things dark, rich, and complex.

Rich, spicy, and fruity wines; thick & complex Imperials, porters, and Belgian beers; dark roasted & spicy or complex coffee roasts; anything less than 60% cocoa chocolate is just sweet!

I love my decor and clothing dark as well. Bold colors (red, violet, blue, dark green) erring on the darker shades. Charcoal greys. Cocobolo & bocote wood. Purple heart & rosewoods. Just so many ways to mix all the dark colors!

I thought I had a goal in mind with this post. Maybe not so much. I’ll blame that on the delicious hot chocolate I made earlier.

    Hot Chili Cocoa

  • 16 oz (2 cups) milk (ideally whole/3.25% fat)
  • 2.5 tbsp Belgian-style cocoa powder (or some other rich, dark variety)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dark vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • Bring to just under a simmer over medium heat in a non-reactive sauce pot while mixing continuously (I prefer to slowly stir with a whisk for this). It should be steaming copiously, but not yet bubbling. Dispense & enjoy!