Harvest Creations: Low-Carb Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikash)

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Low-Carb Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikash). No guilt comfort food.

In the fall and winter, my appetite hankers for comfort food. But beginning the second half-century of my life means I need to eat those comfort foods more healthily. Heck, I should have looked at this decades ago — but better late than never. Like many people my age, my body makes sure I know that any kind of intake of refined sugar or gluten is not okay by punishing me in various uncomfortable ways for eating it. Hence, why you’re seeing more and more keto-inspired and low-carb versions of my favorite recipes. This version of Paprikás Csirke aka Chicken Paprikash is no different.

In this recipe I use cauliflower in place of dumplings, noodles, rice, or potatoes. But choose your poison. If you add those things back in, it’s not low-carb, however. But you do you.

Do note, though, it’s just as good, if not better, than the original. Do not be afraid of fat. Not Trans fat like in french fries, but the good stuff fat:  rendered lard, real butter, higher-fat-content vegetable oils (like avocado). That’s what gives Paprikas Csirke (pronounced Pop-REE-kash CHEER-kay) Chicken Paprikash its taste and why we feel like it’s a comfort food.


Here’s what you’ll need:

A good cast-iron dutch oven (I have the non enameled kind, too. But this one allows for bigger pieces of chicken).

First you’re going to need a good cast-iron dutch oven. Any more I try hard to make my recipes in one pot. I’m no longer enamored with the dinner where there would be stuff in the oven, a dish on the stove, and a salad in the fridge, which I would invariably forget about. I dump it or forget it in the crock pot, or I use the same pan from stove-top to oven, much like this recipe.

Also, please feel free to mix the paprikas and add more than the one tablespoon this recipe calls for; the recipe is a starting-off point. If you like paprika, add more. If you like your things more garlicky, add more. This is about feeling good, as well as tasting good, and both paprika and garlic are good for you.

  • 2 ounces of rendered lard (you may use unsalted butter or bacon grease, if you like. Avocado Oil is also a good substitute)
  • Peeled and chopped onions to make two cups (about 1 extra large or 3 medium)

    All the good stuff… You can see at about 12 o’clock in the photo a jar of my canned Hungarian peppers. I drained their juices before adding them.
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut up (You can use leg quarters, too. Just be sure to keep the chicken on the bone and skin on. It adds good fat to your diet and keeps the flavor strong, which means you end up eating less.)
  • 1 cup of chopped hungarian peppers (you may substitute red bell or anaheim)
  • 1 large tomato (peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 (14.5-ounce) undrained can chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I used about the equivalent of three cloves, so to your taste, really)
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika (sweet, smoked or hot), plus some for sprinkling for serving. (I used a combination of hot and smoked, my family loves smoke flavor and spice!)
  • 2 turnips, peeled and chopped, w/ 1 large organic carrot, peeled and chopped; makes about 1.5 cups total. (You may substituent white potatoes instead of turnips or skip these ingredients all together. )
  • One head of cauliflower chunked or riced — you decided which –again, if your diet doesn’t prevent eating potatoes, you can use potatoes here instead (You can cook the cauliflower on top of the chicken when it goes in the oven, or you can just steam separately and use in place of dumplings for serving. Do note, this is what helps this meal be low-carb.)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of homemade chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour (you can use baking powder in a pinch if you don’t have coconut flour)
  • Plate for holding the chicken temporarily



I throw my cauliflower in right when I’m putting dutch oven into the oven. Makes for one-pot cooking, but your tastes may vary.
  1. Turn on oven to Heat lard in a Dutch oven with a lid. Cook half the onions and sauté over low heat until translucent, stirring often.
  2. Add chicken pieces and brown lightly on both sides. I cook about 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken on plate for holding temporarily. Add turnnips, carrots, Hungarian peppers, tomato, garlic, and sweet or hot paprika. Add the other half of the onions and saute’ until vegetables start to stick to pan.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in 3/4 cup of broth. Bring to a boil. (If you want to cook the cauliflower with the Chicken Paprikash instead of serving over, as I do here in this photo, put the cauliflower in first before you go to next step.) Reduce heat to low, cover, put chicken back in on the top of the dutch over, cover, and cook in oven 35-45 minutes or until chicken is tender. When chicken is tender, put cast-iron pot back on stove top. Remove lid.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, with reserved broth with coconut flour. Return tempered sour cream mixture to dutch oven, bring back to stove and simmer until juices are thickened.
  5. Serve immediately sprinkling a little more paprika on the plated food. The chicken is so tender and juicy, yet the skin is still crisp. The paprika makes the vegetables pop and you think your Nagymama made this.

    You won’t even miss the carbs in this yummy version of Paprikas Csirke. Your family or dinner guests will think you slaved all day in your babushka. But, really it takes no more than about an hour and 15 minutes to complete this meal.

In The Weeds: Weekly Info-Sec Round Up 10-25-17

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Ouch. We’ve had 10 inches of rain in the last week here in Twin Peaks. I’m looking forward to sunshine tomorrow.

First off, I spent part of the rainy day today filling out my voter’s ballot. In King County, where my vote counts, our ballots had this little tear off dealio. It gave a QR code and said if you went to a certain website you could get a virtual/digital “I Voted!” sticker. Guess what? It’s broken. Sigh. I was kind of bummed. I wanted to put that sticker on my social media presence to remind everyone to get out and vote (especially where local positions are up for grabs!). No such luck. Dear King County, www.kingcounty.gov/elections doesn’t provide me my digital “I voted!” sticker. I feel like I’ve been robbed.


In other weirdness…BadRabbit ransomware uses a website to drop a fake Flash update and then drops its payload. Read more here:  https://blog.malwarebytes.com/cybercrime/2017/10/badrabbit-ransomware-strikes-eastern-europe/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Next I have a confession to make. I love “smart” devices. Currently I have an Amazon Echo Dot installed in a limited way in my home. I let it turn on and off lights, tell me the weather, let me play jeopardy, and remind me when I need to be alert for package delivery. It’s not very good in playing a browser. Here’s a recent conversation I had with “her:”

Me: “Computer, who first circumnavigated the globe?

AED: “I’m sorry I don’t know that.”

Now do I wish her capability were more like Star Trek:  NG, hell, yeah. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to up the ante in this direction:  https://www.amazon.com/b?&node=17285120011&ref=tsm_1_tw_s__1126906097&linkId=43934981. That screams, “Come Hack Me.”

You know how I went off on crappy leadership in InfoSec last week? Well, now it’s not just some Girl Noob squawking about it. There’s about 412 other professionals that are like, Yo, We Have a Problem, Houston. That lead paragraph says it all. And maybe my time in the Army has actually helped me as I dive into learning InfoSec. https://www.ixiacom.com/company/blog/lessons-conventional-warfare-can-prepare-cyber-warriors

Last week I was all excited about Google Rolling out this: https://www.esecurityplanet.com/threats/google-rolls-out-advanced-protection-for-personal-user-accounts.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

But then I read this:  https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/26/google_play_android_malware_bad/?mt=1508979967236

I’m confused. Wait, I’m not. Yep. I am. But…


And leave a comment and the reason why you DON’T think the people who did this hack were 12 year olds? https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2017/10/25/hackers-steal-compromising-photos-from-plastic-surgery-clinic/

Want your cyber giggle for the week? Because to learn we can’t take ourselves too seriously:  https://twitter.com/Bill_Gross/status/920406104911233024

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: Pork Chops & Balsamic Gorgonzola Roasted Low-Carb Veggies

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Fall is in the air and one-pot cast-iron cooking is right on time. Nothing like being able to make something that smacks of comfort food, but is good for you. This recipe has that going for it, for sure. You may find other versions of this online, but I’ve adjusted it to be low-carb, and even Keto friendly.  The recipe here makes four servings; however, the photos will show six servings (I always cook to have leftovers for the next day’s lunch). If you want to make extra, just add 50 percent more (e.g. two more pork chops, 4.5 tablespoons of vinegar). The pork is tender, the veggies a satisfying compliment and the gorgonzola melts all over all of it to provide this warm bite of creaminess. And this cooks within about an hour from start to finish, so you can even pull this off on a week night. I use my cast-iron dutch oven. I can’t imagine cooking this without cast-iron. In fact, I tried. Let me save you the trouble. Don’t try it. It’s ugly.


4 thick-cut boneless pork loin chops

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into “potato” size chunks

2 zucchini’s cut up to match size of cauliflower

3 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 red onion, peeled and sliced into 8 wedges

1 (8 oz.) package Cremini or Baby Bella mushrooms, whole

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

1/4  cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (or extra if you like…)


Preheat your oven to 425*F.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste with a whisk.

Place the mushrooms and the onion wedges in a medium sized bowl. Add the fresh thyme. Drizzle in 2 Tablespoons of the Balsamic mixture, reserving the rest for later, and toss the mushrooms and onions to coat. Set aside.

Heat a large, heavy roasting pan or large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to the pan, and swirl to coat.

Add the pork to the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. If you have thicker chops like I did, you may need to add a minute to each side. Do not cook them all the way through.

Add the cauliflower and zucchini to the pan, cut side down, and allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Next add the mushroom and onion mixture to the pan and toss with the cauliflower and zucchini. Saute veggies in the pan on the stove top for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook. 

Place the pan in the oven and roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so.

Nestle the pork chops into the vegetables and put the pan back into the oven to finish off the pork. Bake for 10 to15 more minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers the pork at 145*F.

Remove the pork from the pan. Sprinkle the vegetables with a little more salt.

Serve the pork chops with the vegetables, drizzled with remaining Balsamic sauce, and sprinkled with crumbled gorgonzola and chopped parsley.




In The Weeds: Weekly InfoSec Round-Up 10-18-17

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Yeah, I get it. I haven’t been consistent. I am trying. But, I got absolutely railroaded by a horrible, horrible illness. You don’t care and that’s okay, just that’s why I’ve been missing. But I’ve been reading, tweeting, and logging hours and hours in InfoSec training. I’ve also been learning how to play the N64, because I never had gaming consoles growing up. Yeah, so my noob status is for real. Whether it’s N64 playing or learning InfoSec, I’ve only been at it about a year…and not full time. It’s a labor of love. And frustration. 

Speaking of labor and frustration, I’ve been really interested in the #unqualifiedfortech conversation that erupted after Equifax’s Security Meltdown. Since scooting myself into the InfoSec world as a writer who wants to learn, it was curious to me about what barriers I might be up against as I immerse myself in this field. It’s well known that techies aren’t very diverse and don’t necessarily treat women that well. I’d really like to have some dialogue with folks about this beyond the hashtag and people who have no educational background in tech to tell me how they got there, especially if they are working in security. Because my gut tells me that if you’re working for a tech company in a non-tech job, like say, public relations, or sales, that’s understandable — even from my neophyte perspective. But, not having a tech background and working in security, or even worse, leading in security, seems like sending a soldier to war without her knowing how to fire her weapon. I’ve had discussions with the circle of hackers who let me tag along and glean information from them like the fifth wheel that I am who are up against some really clueless leaders. They want their own hashtag:  #shutthefuckupaboutyourstupidgoddamnmetrics.

I remember when I was working in corporate communications, a lot of the MBA grads would want to come in and apply black and white principles to things that weren’t black and white. I can tell you how many press releases I sent out but knowing exactly a) how many media outlets picked it up for certain, or b) actions taken by the audience based on that press release are harder. I can see the same sort of situation in information security positions. Because as Equifax showed and numerous less public situations, if you’re a leader, you best have a good team around you and let them do their jobs and not stunt their capabilities to do the job you hired them to do:  protect your company and information. However, if you think you’re going to apply your web design background and MBA to your security team and make them spend time doing anything but security, you’re creating a vulnerability. And that’s a vulnerability your team may be hard pressed to fix if they are going to keep their job. We all can’t be Myke Cole.

So am I off base here? Am I simplifying things too much? My gut tells me, “No.” Let’s talk. I really want to know from those outside my circle. I want to know. As a writer, as a reporter, first, I’m curious and I think there’s more to the story here.

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.

In The Weeds: InfoSec Round-Up September 20, 2017

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We are getting closer to living in a Phillip K. Dick story.

Holy Moly, it seems like I’ve done nothing this week but read about new vulnerabilities and hack attempts and general InfoSec mayhem. While many are at #DerbyCon this week, I’m over here in Twin Peaks just trying to keep up with what I need to learn and remembering what I’ve already learned. I can see why when I talk to #InfoSec professionals many of them feel overwhelmed or that they are drowning in the river of keeping up.

This week I’d like to start by publicly sending condolences to the entire world for losing this hero. I have a vague memory of when this happened. I was in High School. Yes, I’m that old. Whatever. But, it’s stories like this that make me think that maybe my hope in mankind to do the right thing even after they’ve fucked up is not misplaced.

If you’re trying hard to stay healthy and using a FitBit — Be Aware of its vulnerabilities. I’ll say it again, whenever you’re on the internet, using the web, using the cloud, all of that, there are going to be vulnerabilities. You can’t absolutely protect yourself, but know your risk, at minimum. Please.

If you’ve downloaded or updated the CCleaner application in the last month, um, you’ll have an incident response regarding malware on your network to get to…so, um, get to it.

Oh to have the time on my hands to find these kinds of open doors:  PyPI Python repository hit by typosquatting sneak attack

For those both fascinated and terrified by Artificial Intelligence:  Humanoid robots ‘breakthrough’ as engineers create synthetic muscle that can lift ONE THOUSAND times its own weight

And if that’s not disturbing enough, we are our own worst enemy:  Infosec weakest links: Negligent employees and poor password policies

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.