My Favorite Brisket Rub

(Also works great on a chuck roast)

Mix together ingredients below and coat meat an hour or more before smoking;
1/4     Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 1/2  Tbsp Paprika
1 1/2  Tbsp Kosher Salt
1        Tbsp Garlic Powder
1        Tbsp Onion Powder
1        Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2     Tbsp Black Pepper
1/2     Tbsp Dried Parsley
1        Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1        Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2     Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2     Tsp Ground Coriander

During smoking process, baste with;
1/4     Cup Apple Juice
1/4     Cup Bourban

Banana Bread

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Soften coconut oil and butter, then cream with sugar. Add vanilla. Mash bananas and combine with eggs. Add egg / banana mixture to batter and mix. Sift together baking soda and flour, then stir into batter. Add batter to greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 3

See also…

Part 3 – Building the New Media Server

The Components…

Reused Components (from original machine I built in ’04 or ’05 as well as parts scavenged from here and there)

  • Ahanix D-Vine ATX / micro-ATX HTPC chassis (no longer made)
  • Samsung HD44780 VFD 16×2 (front panel LCD display)
  • Sony SATA DVD / CD burner (traded out on another machine for the original Sony IDE DVD drive that was in the old media server)
  • Logitech wireless USB keyboard & mouse

New Components

  • ASUS M4A78LTM motherboard (on board ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 VGA/HDMI/DVI ports) (on board VIA VT1708S 8-Channel High Definition Audio)
  • AMD Athlon II X2 3.0GHz microprocessor
  • Kingston 2GB  DDR3 RAM
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s
  • Hauppauge HVR-1600 (model 1199) dual tuner (HDTV tuner) (NTSC analog tuner)
  • Diablotek 380W Micro ATX power supply
Isn’t it fun when Santa (the UPS guy) brings you stuff in August???
New Hardware
Have tools, will build…
Below, the right drive cage containing the DVD drive and the 3.5″ multi-card reader has been installed into the chassis.  To the left front (just out of the picture) is the LCD display card.
Next step is to install the processor, heat sink, processor fan and RAM into the motherboard…
 Now install it into the chassis.
Now time for the left drive cage (containing the 1 TB hard drive) to be installed just behind the LCD card.  Also installed at this point is the HDTV tuner, the system power supply and cable connections to the front panel audio inputs, front panel USB connections and card reader.

I booted it up before securing the top cover and checked to verify and configure the BIOS making sure the system recognized all of the basic components.  Then after connecting the LCD (my device is an older parallel port device (HD44780) rather than a USB interface, which will give me great grief in the days to come – but that’s the subject of the next blog post (part 4 – software configuration)), I installed the cover and slid my new media server onto it’s shelf in the AV rack of the entertainment center.

The photos below are after many days of working in my free time on configuring this machine.  It took considerable effort and a lot of research.  As of this writing, I am still dealing with some nuisance problems, but all in all she is up and running…

(I really should have dusted under the stereo receiver before taking this photograph)

The photo below shows mediafurnace running MythMusic (MythTV 0.24.1) with the Arclight 1.0 theme and a high def. desktop image from Interfacelift in HD (1080i) on my RCA 48″ HDTV.  Listening to some ‘Pink Floyd’ as I write this blog post.

Check back in a few days, as I will try and carefully document the software and driver configuration (assembling the hardware was the easy part)…

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 2

See also…

Part 2 – Home Automation / Weather Station

This machine is NOT the media server that is the main subject of this series of posts titled ‘MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project’, however due to the fact that the previous media server described in part 1 contained other processes that are my hobbies as well, It’s construction and configuration is inextricably tied to the rebuild project.  This box also served as a ‘temporary safe haven’ for the hard drive containing the multi-gigabytes of media files from the downed former media server.  It is my intention to come back at a later date and document this machine (which is doing some pretty cool stuff in it’s own right), but for now I am moving on to documenting the media server itself.

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 1

Part 1 – The need for a rebuild

See also…

A Little History…

During the winter of 2004 I built my first Home Theater PC.  I had intended on using some of the scrap / spare hardware I had laying around but as the project planning progressed I ended up ordering new components for the construction.  I started by ordering an Asus A7N266-VM motherboard, an AMD Athlon 2100-xp processor, 512 MB ram, a WD 360 GB hard drive, and a Sony DVD-RW drive from  I installed this hardware along with an upgraded heat sink / processor fan purchased from a local vendor into an old gutted Dell Exclaim desktop chassis (it sort of fit).  Somewhere along the line I scavenged up a suitable power supply.

It was my initial intention to load Red Hat Linux as an operating system (I already had, at the time, a file server running RHL 6.2).  The current version at the time, I believe, was Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4.  After some research I decided to go with Fedora Core 4 and use MythTV on top of the GUI.  This decision was largely due to discovering some how-to docs from Jarod Wilson’s Fedora Myth(TV)ology which made my attempt possible.  After reading Jarod’s site I ordered (can’t remember from where) a Hauppauge PVR-350 TV tuner card for the project.  After several late nights and a few grey hairs I had a working system.  I was then that I found (somewhere on the internet) a specialized HTPC case, an Ahanix D-Vine black micro-ATX chassis with a 16×2 line LCD screen on the front.

Relocating the system’s internal hardware into it’s new case and a few more tweaks and I had my completed PVR / HTPC.  I named this machine ‘Mediafurnace’ on my network, and usually referred to it as ‘the Myth box’.  This system ran nonstop for roughly 6 years.  During that time my original linux file server died so I moved many of those processes to the myth box, the most notable of which was my ‘home automation’ damon Heyu.

Mediafurnace dies…

At exactly 10:07 PM (according to the LCD display), the night before we were expecting 30 guests at our house for my wife’s birthday, mediafurnace froze.  An attempted reboot resulted in the motherboard chirping quickly and then… nothing.  Dead motherboard!!  A physical inspection revealed some melting and that distinctive burned electronics smell.  Damn!  This machine’s done!!


Recipes are now Here…


The software running my recipe blog started acting up a couple of months ago.  My web host (probably not coincidentally) had server problems at about that same time and since then I have been unable to get it to work properly.  So, instead of continuing to try to fix it I have decided to integrate my blog, my website, my photo gallery, and my recipe blog together into one entity here.  So here it is…

What this holiday is all about?

One of my pet peeves (I have many) is when I hear some say “Happy 4th of July” or “What are you guys doing for the 4th of July?”.  We don’t say “Merry 25th of December” or “Happy 3rd Thursday in November”.  We instead say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Thanksgiving”  I think it is important to continually remind ourselves of why Independence Day is such an important holiday!  There is nothing wrong with using the word “Independence” for it is the very essence of what we as Americans are.  For this reason, Today, I am including a few words originally written by a fellow from Virginia and tweaked & debated by he and some other fellows in Philadelphia 235 years ago…

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776

I do have things to say…


I know I haven’t posted anything in some time.  I’ll get on that in the near future…  Maybe??…  In the mean time feel free to check out my recipe blog at (of course as I’m writing this it seems that my food blog is down, Dangit!)

My Cherry Pie

I have been asked for the recipe for my cherry pie often and have intended to add it to this page for some time. Finally getting to it… This recipe makes 1 12″ pie



  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2/3 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
  • 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
  • 5 TBS Ice Cold Water


  • 2 Pounds IQF Sour Cherries
  • 1 1/3 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3+ TBS Minute Tapioca
  • 2 TBS Kirschwasser
  • 2 tsp Imitation Vanilla
  • 2 TBS Unsalted Butter

Directions: Start thawing aproximately 2 pound of IQF (individually quick frozen) sour pie cherries in a colander inside of a mixing bowl. I purchase premium IQF cherries in bulk from a local wholesaler, but a near equivalent product could be purchased from your neighborhood supermarket. Thaw them until they are pretty soft but still cold. If you thaw them too long they will lose too much of their juices. If they are not thawed enough you will need to add oven time for the filling to come to a boil inside the pie. When the cherries are ready, begin preheating the oven to 450° F. Then start puting together the pie filling. Start by wisking together 1 1/3 cups sugar with 3 tablespoon of minute tapioca. Mix thouroghly before adding the next ingredients. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla.And now for the ‘secret ingredient’. Kirsch! According to Encyclopedia Britannica Kirschwasser or Kirsch is a dry, colourless brandy distilled from the fermented juice of the black morello cherry and is made in the Black Forest of Germany. Irregardless of what it is or where it comes from Kirsch gives this cherry pie a little extra “ooomph”!! Add 2 tablespoon of kirsch to the sugar mixture and mix together thoroughly before going further. Now carefully fold the thawed cherries (be careful not to crush them) into the sugar mixture and set aside (photo right).

Now begin making the crust by sifting 2 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of salt into a different mixing bowl. Add 2/3 cup butter flavored Crisco and 2 tablespoon of chilled unsalted butter. Use a pastry blender (I use a table fork, works better for me) to combine until mixture is about the size of small gravel (photo left). At this point add 5 tablespoons of very cold water (ice water). It is important NOT to overmix the dough once the water is added as it will alter the texture of the finished crust. Just fold together enough to get everything stuck together. Divide dough into two parts and roll out the first part for your bottom crust. I use a silicone pie mat for this. If you don’t have one available consider using a sheet of wax paper. Once rolled out, flip dough onto your pie pan and carefully center it down into the pan. Roll out top crust the same way and leave on your mat or wax paper until ready to cover pie. Dump the pie filling into the bottom crust you placed into the pie pan making sure you get all of the yummy stuff scraped out of the mixing bowl and fairly evenly distributed into the pie shell. You’re not quite ready to cover the pie yet though. I sprinkle a little more tapioca onto the pie filling at this point (not more then about a teaspoon). Then drop thin slices of chilled unsalted butter onto the top of the pie. About 2 tablespoons worth. Now cover the pie with the top crust and crimp together with the bottom crust. poke a few very small vent holes or slits into the to crust to vent out the steam. Place pie on a foil covered baking sheet and put into preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then turn down the oven temp. to 350° F and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes depending on your oven (mine is 41 minutes unless the cherries were still a little icy after thawing, then it’s closer to 45). After removing from oven, cool on a rack for a min. of 3 hours before cutting into it (overnight is better, but it’s tough to leave this pie alone on the counter that long….) Good Luck

Yes, my counter really is that color. No, I didn’t build this kitchen. Yes, a kitchen remodel is on my “honey-do” list. No, it won’t be happening this year… Thanks for asking… 🙂

Sailing on Johnson Lake

We went sailing yesterday, I was also Amye’s birthday.  After spending the day on the lake we went out to dinner at a nearby lakeside restaurant.  We all had a great day!  Here are a few videos of the sailing:

Cameron running the sheets on a tacking maneuver.

Sophie (the beagle) likes sailing to.


Just a Little Rant

Do you find it frequently necessary to steer your car ‘left’ in order to avoid colliding with legally parallel parked cars as you barely navigate your vehicle down the street? Do you find it necessary to press down harder on the accelerator in order to complete a turn because the extra drag imposed on your car by having the front wheels turn tends to negate any momentum left in your vehicle? Have you noticed that every car that is heading the same direction down the street as you passes you and the drivers of said cars all crank their head around to try and determine if there is indeed an operator in your car? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions please take out your wallet, remove your driver’s license, and mail it into the DMV along with a note explaining that you are no longer young enough to effectively operate a motor vehicle.

A Week in Downtown San Diego


Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown San Diego at night

My wife and I recently spent a several days in downtown San Diego on a working vacation. Well, it was a working vacation for my wife. She was attending a nursing conference, I was along for the vacation part.

We stayed at The Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego. The hotel has a great atmosphere, is young and hip, much more so than either of us. At least we didn’t seem to be the only middle agers staying at the hotel. I don’t recall seeing any families with children in the hallways or lobby, and I would personally choose a different hotel had our kids been with us. It’s a party hotel.

Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego

The hotel is situated just a block from the San Diego Convention Center, where Amye’s Nursing Conference was held. This made it quite convenient for Amye to walk to her conferences from the hotel. Other than a trip to Ocean Beach and a trip to Santee to visit a friend of Amye’s we could have skipped the car rental. Basically everything we did was walking distance from our Hotel. There is also a public rail system with a station right in front of the Hotel, which I used a couple of times.

Three nights in a row during our stay there, the San Diego Padres hosted the Dodgers and with Petco Stadium just a block from the Hard Rock the area was packed with people. After the games the Gaslamp Quarter seemed to be almost Marti Gras like, with bars restaurants and boutiques spilling out onto the sidewalks with patrons. For a confirmed ‘people watcher’ like myself, this made for a very interesting mixture of people to observe. The lower Gaslamp Quarter is filled with high end boutiques and expensive restaurants so there are many ‘well to do’ shoppers in the area. There seemed to also be quite a few ‘homeless’ looking folks copping a squat on the sidewalks. Street musicians occupied most corners. Then throw in a few thousand baseball fans. Quite an interesting group of people.

Because of the large number of restaurants lining the streets, it was difficult for Amye and I to decide where to eat. Most restaurants are opened up in the front and spill out onto the sidewalks. They have their menus posted right on the sidewalk for passer-by’s to view. Many of them also seemed to employ very sharply dressed and quite beautiful young women in their mid-twenties as ‘hostesses’ to stand in front of the restaurant and entice potential customers into their restaurants. And the tactic works, at least it worked on me.

As for the food, we ate well while staying in downtown San Diego. The best meal we had while there was at The Greystone Steakhouse on 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter. After looking at several menus and talking to several restaurant greeters as we walked down the sidewalk for an hour or so, a very attractive young woman at the Greystone said the magic words to me, “dry aged prime”. We quickly decided this was our restaurant for the evening. Our meal started with a basic dinner salad, then we split a medium-rare new york strip and a side of grilled asparagus. Our wine was a McWilliam’s cabernet sauvignon. Could be the best steak I’ve ever had and that’s saying something coming from a meat cutter who’s been in the business for 23 years.

The undisputed “best burger I have ever eaten” came from Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina located less than a block from the Hard Rock Hotel (sorry Fudruckers, you’ve been knocked down to number two on my list). Their margaritas are quite excellent as well and the staff was excellent.

I ate at Hooters of Gaslamp San Diego for lunch 3 days in a row while Amye was in conferences. Their burgers are very good, not as good as Rockin’ Baja, but still very good (maybe 4th of 5th on my all-time list). Let’s be honest, I was there for the atmosphere. For some reason the ice cold Coors Light draft tastes better when served by a stunningly beautiful Hooters Girl. I should have tried their world famous hot wings, but wasn’t in the mood for wings any of the times I was there, I’m a burger connoisseur after all.

One evening we had a very romantic meal at a place called Toscanna Cafe’ and Wine Bar. The food was good. The wine was excellent and the atmosphere was perfect for sharing a quiet romantic late dinner with my lovely Wife. We had been walking around the Gaslamp Quarter for a while looking for a restaurant for dinner. Amye was in the mood for Itallian food, so we checked the menus of a few Italian restaurants when we walked down the sidewalk near Toscana. A delightful young women (who, for the rest of our vacation, I referred to as ‘Hostess with the Mostess’ because of her beauty) was holding menus in front of the restaurant and convinced us that this was the place. We were not disappointed.

We also ate a delicious late dinner at a place called Tequila 100 Bar & Grill. I had Carne’ Asada and a margarita. This place appeared to be a mom and pop style Mexican bar and grill. We ate there kind of late so we were the only customers in the place. The food was very good, the service was fast and friendly, and the prices were very reasonable.

During our visit to San Diego, we attended the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market, just as we had done 11 years ago. The Ocean Beach community seemed the same as I had remembered it. It kind of has a small town feel to it, although It definitely has a different vibe to it then then any small town in Nebraska. Like a time warp back into the ’60s…

USS Midway, San Diego

I also had the privilege of touring the USS Midway while in San Diego. The midway has been docked in San Diego for just a few years and has since served as a floating museum. I have always wanted to see an aircraft carrier up close and appreciated the opportunity to go aboard the legendary ship. I was so impressed with the Midway tour that I insisted Amye join me for a return trip later in the week. While walking along the harbor and especially while visiting the Midway, I could easily see carrier row at the Naval base across the harbor. I was surprised to see that 3 active carriers were in harbor. I would have thought that while the country is at war on two fronts in the Middle East, most of our carrier forces would have been deployed. But apparently not.

I really like San Diego. I could see myself living there, if it weren’t for the expense. Everything is very expensive compared to prices in the Heartland. But, I’ll be back!

Buttermilk Biscuits

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
5 TB. unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 450 deg. F.
  2. sift together dry ingredients.
  3. cut in butter with pastry blender or fork, until well blended.
  4. add buttermilk and lightly mix.
  5. turn dough out onto a floured board, knead it briefly, then roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. cut with a biscuit cutter.
  6. bake for 10 to 12 min.

Homemade Glazed Donuts


2 packest active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed – I often end up using more as the glaze stiffens as it sits.


  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Place a brown paper grocery sack under the rack for easier cleanup.

Very Chocolate, Chocolate Brownies


1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter
3 fl oz boiling water
3 eggs
4 oz chocolate chips

1/3 cup butter
8 oz semisweet dark chocolate
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoon hot very strong coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Line a 13 x 9 in. cake tin with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  4. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Add eggs, melted butter and hot water and mix until smooth.
  6. Add chocolate chips.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 20-30 minutes.
  8. Cool the cake. Glace with the chocolate frosting.
  9. For the frosting, mix butter, chopped chocolate, syrup and coffee and heat in a double boiler until melted. Stir until smooth and spread over the cake.

3 Layer Chocolate Cake (cocoa powder)


  • 1 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 c. boiling water


  • 1 c. unsalted butter (room temp) (cake ingredient)
  • 2 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 2 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 to 6 Tbs. milk
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter (frosting ingredient)
  • 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 3 9″ round cake pans by either using the grease and flour method or line pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl prepare chocolate by stiring the cocoa powder and boiling water together until smooth, then set aside.
  3. In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift together and set aside.
  4. Using an electric stand mixer and bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar for 5 min. or until well creamed.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the vanilla.
  6. Turn the mixer down to low speed. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the chocolate mixture, add these to the creamed mixture beginning with and ending with the dry ingredients. (Dry ingredients in 3 parts and chocolate mixture in 2 parts). Do NOT over beat the mixture once the flour is added.
  7. Pour batter in equal parts into the 3 prepared cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 min.
  8. Cool in pans for 10 min., then invert onto cooling racks and remove pans. Cool completly before frosting.
  9. When ready for frosting, prepare chocolate frosting as follows:
  10. Combine semi-sweet baking chocolate, butter and, cream in a heavy saucepan.
  11. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted thouroghly blended.
  12. Gradually add powdered sugar stirring well
  13. Cool saucepan containing chocolate in an ice bath and beat on low speed with a portable electric mixer until frosting begins to loose it’s gloss and holds it’s shape.
  14. Add milk a tablespoon at a time to achieve proper spreading consistancy.
  15. Trim curved tops of cake layers as necessary with cerated bread knife.
  16. Stack cake layers using a layer of frosting in between each layer.
  17. Use remaining frosting to coat sides and top of cake.
  18. Store covered for up to 3 days.