Harvest Creations: Bacon-Sprout Apps

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When I took this photo, I was experimenting with this recipe. Then when I made it in cast iron, I forgot to visually document it. But, trust me. Use cast iron. If not, you need a baking rack and foil in your ovenproof pan to make for a crispier texture and easier clean up.

No, you don’t download this baby on your phone, it’s strictly for your belly.

‘Tis the season for potlucks and office parties and gatherings of all sorts. So here’s an easy, in season, appetizer you can trot out easily and quickly. Seriously, it has two main ingredients outside of cooking spray and pepper. You’ll need a cast-iron pan or foil and any oven-proof pan with a roasting rack. If you read any of my recipes, you’ll know that I love cooking with Cast Iron. Prefer it, actually. Lastly, tooth picks. Don’t get the kind with the plastic thrills because the toothpicks go in the oven.

How much you make is really up to you. Each slice of bacon will cover two halves of one Brussels sprouts. This makes two bite-size portions. So, decide how many guests you’re feeding and make sure you have about four bites, at least, for each guest. For me, I just fill it until my cast-iron pan is full. Leftover bacon or Brussels sprouts can always be used in another recipe down the road.

The easiest way to grease the pan for the oven is with cooking spray, but you could rub olive oil on the pan or a stick of butter. I would avoid using bacon grease or lard in this recipe because of it may overpower the sprouts.

I always eyeball the bacon piece center to the top of the dome of the sprout and allow the ends of the strip to meet at the bottom of the sprout. Some may overlap. Don’t stress on it. Makes it nice and neat for plating if you decide to plate your appetizer instead of eating out of the cast-iron pan. I have a country kitchen. We’re not afraid to serve our food in the pot.

Depending on the size of your sprouts, you might want to check on these at 20 minutes of roasting. We like ours a bit crispier and I’ve been known to keep them in for 35 minutes.

Even picky people seem to like this one. You won’t make the vegetarians happy, but next week, I’ll provide an appetizer recipe if you have vegetarians coming to your holiday gathering.


Cast-iron pan — or foil-wrapped oven-proof pan with roasting rack

Plain wooden toothpicks


Bacon slices, cut in half horizontally

Brussels Sprouts, fresh, with ends trimmed and cut in half.

Pepper to Taste

Cooking spray


Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray your cast iron with a coating of cooking spray. Wrap bacon piece around each Brussels sprout half and secure with wooden pick. Place sprouts cut-side down on in the pan. Sprinkle with fresh-ground pepper to taste. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bacon is crisp and Brussels sprouts are tender.

Serve immediately.


Harvest Creations: Cream of Vegetable Soup

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Cream of Vegetable Soup. So good on a windy, cold Autumn day.

It’s soup season. I’m going to give you a ery easy, yet hardy way to make soup that not only makes a meal, but a great pick-me-up snack after you’ve been working outside or whatever. Today’s recipe is Cream of Vegetable Soup. This is a vegetarian recipe, however, you could totally make it vegan if you want. My take here leans towards Keto, but this recipe is mutable to allow for your own dietary preferences.

One of the great things about this recipe is that I often create it using the leftovers form our Sunday-Seahawks-viewing vegetable trays. So you’ll see in my photos that I used broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, peppers. Just don’t use the celery from the veggie trays, because it doesn’t work quite as well. However, feel free to use any combination of raw vegetables (frozen is okay as well) to make this recipe. Like I wrote above, this is a very mutable recipe.

The fat in this recipe is very necessary to make it a satisfying meal or snack. You will note that there is a range of measurements for the ingredients, that is because it depends on the fat that you use. start with 1/4 cup and decide for next recipe, which you prefer. When using lard, I use 1/4 cup; but butter I  use 1/2 cup. Olive Oil falls right in the middle at 1/3 a cup.

In regards to the broth choice,  you decide which to use. My preference is always pork broth. But chicken or vegetable broth works well, too. In a pinch you can even just use water. It won’t be as rich a soup, but it still is good.

You’ll need a Heavy Cast Iron Dutch Oven and an Immersion Blender. You could make the soup in a two-step process and let it cool and blend in a blender. For me? I love my immersion blender.

This recipe will take you a couple of hours, but that’s part of the pull of soup. It starts to create this warm, welcoming aroma in the house, making you want to eat this healthy meal.


Simmer for an hour, but if you need to cook longer, because you’re busy, that’s okay, too. Just don’t let it cook down too much.

4 cups of raw vegetables, chopped

1 cup of onion, chopped

1/4 cup lard, or 1/2 cup butter, or 1/3 cup olive oil

4 cups of broth

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

Garnish (Optional) shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or chives


Heavy Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Immersion Blender


Heat your lard (or butter or olive oil) on medium heat until it coats pan and is warm. Add the onions in. Saute until translucent. Then add the rest of the vegetables, and cook for about three minutes, just heating the vegetables for a short time with the lard and onions. Then add the broth. Cover and simmer on stove top for about an hour. The broth will reduce some, but not enough to worry about. Feel free to stir ever now and then and soak up the warm, inviting aroma. That’s the joy of being the chef. Once the vegetables are super tender, remove from heat. If you need to use a blender to cream the vegetables, you’ll need to let it cool completely. If not, use your immersion blender and blend vegetables until smooth. Return to low heat and add the cream. Stir. Let heat all the way through and serve immediately garnishing with Parmesan and fresh chives or parsley or both. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge to eat all week. You can make a double batch and freeze and reheat slowly afterwards.



In The Weeds: InfoSec Round-Up 11-8-17

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Today’s Giggle. Linking to Original Source.


I think I’ve said it before, but, man, people in the #InfoSec world have to be on top of their game. It’s constantly changing, constantly challenging, and constantly mind-blowing. The only constant, is GO!

Like this gem I learned about this morning. Oh, man.  Talk about a security mole.

The above vulnerability has been floating around for at least a decade. But because it’s buried under a processor, well…kind of hard for the Average Jane or Joey to fix it.

The same could be true of the Internet of Things, which last month got a big long white paper for IS folks to get their hands on. It hit public streams more rapidly today, landing in my inbox as well. The short of it? If you’re going to design technology to connect to the internet, you need to design security into it. That’s on the manufacturer. However, as an end user you need to know that any tech connected to the internet is open to attack. But don’t take my word for it. Read the whole paper. It’s 17 pages, but the meat of it is only 12 pages and the last five pages are works cited and SANS workshops.

That’s not the only academic paper I’ve been studying in my quest to become more InfoSec smart. And recently a friend found me reading about cyber security at my local coffee shop. He asked what I planned to do with my new knowledge, and honestly, if I see this heading down any place outside of just reporting about it — being a tech journalist as it were — I would have to say that Artificial Intelligence is a huge draw for me. It’s thrilling and horrifying and sexy and down right exciting. Don’t believe me? Here’s a few links:

How will AI Impact jobs?

Applied Machine Learning

AI Coming to Crypto Trading

Google’s AI Wizard

Old School Vs. New School

What does it all mean? Well much the same as I said above. Things are constantly changing and you have to keep up.  Wonder if the industry will wait for me to learn the basics and then keep going? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But I’m still plugging along.

Thanks for spending this time with learning along with me.

As in weeks past, feel free to leave a comment here about any of those articles. Let’s learn from one another. Okay, have pity on the noob and let me learn from you.

Have another great week InfoSec geeks. See you next week.


Harvest Creations: Slow-Cookin’ dem Short Ribs

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Recreating a Hawaiian Plate Lunch that I loved when I lived there: Slow Cooked Short Ribs.

I lived in Hawaii for nearly five years. I was exposed to so much yummy, varied food through the diverse culture that lives there. I miss it. Here’s my take on an Island Short Rib recipe that I’ve been trying to perfect and make as healthy as possible.


  •         3 lb beef short ribs – I used the Korean-style aka – flanken-cut type
  •         Olive oil spray
  •         1 tsp paprika
  •         1 tsp black pepper
  •         ¼ – 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  •         2 tblspn rice wine vinegar (you can use red wine vinegar in a pinch)
  •         2 tblspn tomato paste
  •         1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce (mine is sugarless, too)
  •         2 tbsp fish sauce (make sure it’s the sugarless kind)
  •         1 tbs coconut sugar (I’ve made this recipe without the coconut sugar and it’s barely noticeable in taste difference, so feel free to remove)

Spice Rub Ingredients:

This spice rub is so good.

1 tsp ginger, onion powder, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, cardamon, salt


Remove ribs from fridge and allow to warm to room temperature while you prep everything else.

Mix the spice rub together, and rub on ribs.

Spray inside of slow cooker.

Put in chopped onion on bottom, place short ribs on top.

In a small bowl mix remainder of ingredients until smooth. Pour over ribs.

Slow cook on low for six hours or high for three hours.

I steam some rice (or cauliflower rice) with some vegetables in a rice cooker, or as shown above, I sautee some coleslaw mix in a cast iron pan with a little bit of coconut oil until well-wilted. So healthy for you, too and mimics what I often had at the one Island Boys’ lunch truck in Pearl City. So satisfying.

Don’t be afraid of cabbage. It’s very good for you.