Inkster Dispatch: Changes Coming…

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on

For those who have been paying attention, my microfarm pretty much closed up shop in November 2017. I still have a reasonable sized garden: however, it will be harvested likely by the new owner of my property come fall of 2018. Hubby and I have hatched a plan, for which you can see here:  Proteus Rising. For those struck by tl;dr, we’re selling the house/property, buying a boat, and going from land to sea and all around the world.

I’ll likely keep my own personal website for all projects that are “just Casz,” because I won’t stop writing. But I don’t know what this change here at is going to look like. It will still cover my creative life — whatever that ends up looking like. Not really sure.

But, now you know there are changes coming.

More soon.

Thanks for reading all the way.


Harvest Creations: Seafood Stock ****

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on
Making stock is simple.

Please, please, please, whatever you do. Don’t buy stock, especially not seafood variety from the market. It’s so easy to make at home and costs a fraction of the store-bought kind and is so much yummier and nutritious.

I can my stock  in a pressure canner in quart jars for 35 minutes at 10 lbs. of pressure. But you don’t have to can it. You can freeze it for up to six months (mine rarely lasts that long), or use it fresh within two days. Chicken, Pork, or Beef, or I’ve even made Lamb or Duck, stock lasts a bit longer than seafood in the fridge — about two weeks –, but it’s still the same in the pressure canner.

However you decide to store it — it’s super easy to make. You’ll never want to use store-bought stock again, especially when making chowder, seafood stew, paella, or the like.

Take the time to bake/roast the shells. It gives the stock a richer flavor and decreases the “fishy” smell while the stock cooks.

Notes on the Recipe:

I use a giant pasta pot with detachable strainer. That way you can pull the shells out and cook it down for the long version of the recipe. Short version, mostly noted here, takes three hours. For the long version, you just cook it down a bit longer before canning.

Many people say that the roasting of the shells is not necessary; but, I feel like it gives you a better flavor and minimizes the “fishy” smell while you’re brewing up a batch of Seafood Stock. My advice? Don’t skip it.


about 5 cups (or about 1 1/2 lbs) seafood shells (shrimp, lobster, crab, or fish skeletons)

The ingredients are easy and don’t require a whole lot of prep.

1 yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered

2 carrots, unpeeled and cut into chunks

1 garlic clove, unpeeled

1/2 cup  dry sherry or dry white wine

1 TBS tomato paste

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 handful of parsley

1 bay leaf

10 peppercorns


If you have an insert strainer for your stock pot (I use a tall spaghetti pot combo), it makes this task even easier.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place shells in a baking pan and roast for 5-8 minutes, until they begin to turn golden.

Place shells in a large stockpot (if you’ve got the stockpot/strainer variety, I highly recommend it), cover with water no more than half an inch above the level of the shells. Add onion, carrots and garlic.

Heat on high until small bubbles rise to the surface. Reduce heat to medium and cook for one hour. From time to time remove any scum (gray bubbly foam that stays on the surface) by scooping it off with a spoon.

After one hour, add wine, tomato paste, rosemary, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cook for another 30 minutes.

Strain the stock (If you don’t have the pot/strainer combo you’ll do it through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the solids). If you’re doing the all-day method, just cook down after you strain the stock at least about an inch in the pan. The result for this extra time investment is an even richer stock.

Refrigerate for up to two days, or pour into plastic containers with at least one inch of head room and freeze up to six months. If you pressure-preserve can, it will last in the larder up to a year. Again, it never lasts that long in my house.

This recipe is a four-star recipe because the rosemary and parsley were picked fresh right before, and the bay leaf is from my microfarm, too. Lastly, the shells I harvested myself as well. During the summer, it would be easy to have the carrots and onions at my disposal — so this recipe has the capability of being a six-star recipe. Again, for those new to the blog, each recipe gets a star for each item that I have grown/harvested/cooked myself — hence, Harvest Creations. This stock, in turn, will turn into a star for other recipes.

In The Weeds: Weekly InfoSec Round-up 1-19-18

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on


Honestly, I haven’t done the reading I’ve needed to do for this week’s post due to reasons…no one cares about.

Here’s what I think I heard about without independent research (yes, that’s a thing, fake news dibwabs):

  • Another iPhone vulnerability
  • Inequality in the InfoSec world.
  • Google, Microsoft, et al build a plan to deal with Meltdown
  • Some major retailer (it happens now so often to so many, my brain can’t recall which) data base of customers is hacked.
  • SexRobots have IOT* weakness

So what do you know? Compared to what you hear? 

Tell me here, please.

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: Low-Carb Paella ***

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on

I was telling a friend about this recipe and she called it Faux Paella because it doesn’t have any rice in it. Faux Paella, Low-Carb Paella, call it whatever you want, it’s delicious. And healthy, too.

Get all your ingredients together. Note the peas, herbs and stock are all from my microfarm/kitchen.

This recipe was because I am in the process of cleaning out my freezers and pantry and larder. So this used up some of the things so I could clean and get things ready for the next growing season.


I keep forgetting to note how many stars these recipes have — each star representing something that I grew and used in the recipe. This one is tough. Some of the herbs in the dressing were from my microfarm. And the peas were from our last harvest. But that’s it. However, I also made the stock. So this does get a three-star rating.

Notes on this recipe:

You will need a balsamic dressing for this. Be sure that it is just oil, balsamic, and herbs — no sugar, please. Fortunately, you can get it already made, but it’s super easy to make your own. Just two parts oil and one part balsamic vinegar and your choice of herbs. I prefer parsley, chives, and basil in mine. But you do you.

The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but as I mentioned above, I was cleaning out the freezer/fridge/pantry. So, you’ll see in the photos I used chicken breast because that’s what I had on hand. With breast you’ll use more stock then with thighs, hence why the recipe calls for one to three cups of stock. Even if you don’t use all three cups while preparing, it’s nice to add a little stock to leftover container to keep the paella moist.

This recipe calls for shrimp. In a pinch you could skip this ingredient, especially if you’re planning to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day. Some people are not happy with a fried egg over the paella with shrimp in it at breakfast, but I think it’s delicious. Plus, traditionally, paella is going to have some kind of seafood in it. I had the small cocktail shrimp on hand that I needed to use.

The cooking the chicken and chorizo step.


A cast-iron dutch oven with lid


4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 lb. of chorizo, either chunked or ground

1 carrot, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 cups of cauliflower “rice”

1 to 3 cups of chicken stock*

Don’t skip the saffron. I know, it’s a spendy ingredient. But Trader Joe’s provides an inexpensive and quality saffron for home cooks. No, TJ’s isn’t sponsoring me. Just a tip from me to you.

1 cup of frozen peas, thawed*

1/2 cup of Balsamic dressing*

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

salt and pepper

pinch of saffron (please don’t skip, it makes the dish)

1 pound of cooked shrimp

2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped

1 lemon, juiced


Set the chicken and chorizo aside after the initial cooking. Don’t worry, it won’t necessarily be cooked through. That will happen before the recipe is done.

In your cast-iron dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and chorizo and brown on all sides for 3 to 4 minutes. The meat will not be cooked through. This is fine. This is a pre-seasoning of the pan and the a searing of the meat step. Remove chicken and chorizo from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in pan and add onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until vegetables are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower rice to the pan and stir to coat. Add saffron and stir.

Evenly distribute the “rice” around the pan and slowly pour in stock one cup at a time as not to disturb the “rice.” Only put in enough liquid to cover the vegetables and cauliflower ‘rice.” Next cover the dutch oven and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Do not stir during this portion of the

Cauldron Cooking at it’s best.


Finally stir before adding chicken, chorizo, and shrimp back to the pan, carefully nestling the pieces within the vegetables and cauliflower “rice”. Cover dutch oven again and continue cooking another 10 minutes until meat is cooked through and cauliflower “rice” is al dente.

Top with peas and parsley. Stir. Drizzle with dressing and lemon juice. Serve immediately.


*denotes that it was homemade or homegrown or both

In the Weeds: InfoSec Round-Up January 12, 2018

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on

So the theme of 2018 thus far seems to be “oh, can’t see how that could go wrong…”

/sarcasm for those needing such a hammer.

First up:

Marketing ads, soon to be screening on your car dashboard

I had to laugh about this one. And #infosec is not a laughing matter.

EMC-VMWare Security Bugs Throw Gasoline On Cloud Security Fire

However, this one, I actually laughed about. Sorry, haven’t been a MAC fan since 1994.

Mac High Sierra Vulnerability

But I don’t want you to think everything is a flaming shithole, even at moments it feels like it. There is some hope:

Senator Susan Collins Needs Another GOP Friend

My experiment with Alexa vs. Google Home is going well and I’m excited about this improvement from Google:

Google amps up privacy with display screen.

This week I’d like to ask for some reading recommendations for someone only a year into her #infosec exploration and education. What book, podcast, article, what should I read, digest, and devour? Leave your recs below.

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.