Bourbon BBQ Sauce #1

A basic BBQ sauce recipe, I make the base with no hot ingredients so it can be used in a variety of recipes. If you want to kick it up for a particular use, just add your favorite fire enhancers. You can also eliminate the bourbon, if it’s not your thing. Also, depending on the tomato sauce and paste you used, you may need to adjust the sweet and or salt content to your tastes. This base should be a slightly tangy, slightly sweet, and very tomato-y.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 4 oz bourbon
  • 6 oz distilled vinegar
  • 1 oz rice wine vinegar
  • 1 oz soy sauce or 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared (in a bottle) yellow mustard
  • 4 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  • Stir all ingredients in a saucepan
  • Heat on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until well mixed
  • Allow to cool, and pour into a suitable container
  • Will keep at least 2 weeks refrigerated

via Kencooking

Jambalaya, the sequel

I first made Jambalaya, based on an Emeril recipe, 8 years ago. I learned a couple things since then, and this is a much better version. Note, the various meats, and even most veggies, can be swapped with others or eliminated, and you’ll still get a tasty rice dish.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 3 chicken thighs, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1lb andouille sausage, bias sliced in 1/2″ chunks
  • 1lb other sausage of your choice (I used spicy portuguese for this batch), also bias sliced into 1/2″ chunks
  • 3 slices of bacon (or bacon ends), cut into 1-2″ chunks
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion (2 cups), chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, rough chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Kaydub’s Cajun Blend, or if you don’t have all those ingredients, as many of these as you have:
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons chile powder
    • 2 teaspoons thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional, use more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 1 ~10oz can chopped chiles (I used hatch green chilies)
  • 1 ~16oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ~12oz can chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups long grain rice


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Heat a deep pot (I used a cast iron dutch oven) on the stovetop
  • Add bacon, cook until almost crispy
  • You can also add chicken skin at this point, if there was any after trimming the thighs
  • Add sliced sausage, stir until sausage has browned a bit
  • Add onions, celery, bell pepper, cook 10 minutes, until softened
  • Add chicken, stir in. Cook until chicken is white on the outside
  • Add spices, stir in. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add canned tomatoes, chilies, and chicken broth, stir well
  • Add rice, stir in
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and put in oven
  • Leave in oven for 45 minutes
  • Remove from oven, stir
  • Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve!

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What: Fishcamp

Where: Long Beach Washington

Stops: Crescent City, California; Waldport, Oregon

When: May 23-30th 2017

My brother in law bought and improved a bit of property in southern Washington, making it a wonderful fishing camp. He and many of his friends enjoy heading out in their boats and fishing the Columbia and the ocean just beyond for Salmon and Dungeness Crab. I’m not a boat person, but my wife is, so I get to hang out at camp and the surrounding areas, and enjoy all the rest of the benefits of Fishcamp. This was out 2nd year, last year was Serenity’s maiden voyage!

This also coincided with the eclipse, and we opted to stay on the coast where we had a 97%, instead of heading inland for 100% totality. Was a good choice, we found a great spot to see it over the peninsula and it ended up being a lot of fun.

This year we made it a 3 day trip each way, and went up the coast route all the way from California to Washington. This was far more leisurely, and let us in joy several nights at pretty nice campgrounds on the way. We stayed in the same camps up and back, but next year we think we’ll mix it up a bit.

Crescent City:



Eclipse viewing spot:

Burney Falls

What: Annual Family camping trip

Where: Mcarthur-Burney Falls State Park, Burney, California

Stops: Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California

When: May 23-30th, 2017

Description: My wife’s family has been doing an annual camping trip on Memorial day weekend for over 50 years. When I started going, I didn’t really call it camping, because the park has bathrooms and showers. I was really more interested in camping in remote areas that I’d use my 4wd to trek into. My preference is still remote camping, but having the Airstream makes organized campground so much more tolerable.

Our first year in the Airstream was good, but it was pretty hot, in the mid-to-high 90’s during the day. Not unprecedented, but unusual. The campground has no hookups, and we don’t have a generator. So, no air conditioning, just the Fantastic Fans. Worked pretty well, but realized the battery did not hold a charge very well, and we ran out of power nightly. Used the solar panel to charge back up during the day, which was a great option to have.

Also odd was this year, a lot of people came in and camped for 1 night. We had 5 different people camping next to us over 6 nights.

We also broke the drive out to two days, which was absolutely lovely. We stayed at the Durango RV Resort, which was recommended by a friend. It was just as hot there, but we could use our air conditioner! Got a site that backed up to the Sacramento river, and a first, had a local restaurant deliver dinner to our site. Now that is resort RV camping!


What: Pin-a-go-go Pinball Festival

Where: Dixon, California

When: May 19-21, 2017

Description: My favorite annual pinball fest! Last year in Dixon, and last year it’s called Pin-a-go-go, and sadly, last year I’ll get to visit the British Car Rally that happened the last day of the fest. Since we have an RV now, I snagged a campsite at the fairgrounds, which was so much better than being in a hotel room. Well, except for one rather rude neighbor who partied loudly until about 3am the first night, while he and his guests smoked, so I had to close the windows and turn on the air conditioner to drown it all out. After that, they went to bed at a reasonable hour. Given it got into the low 100’s, I kept the air conditioner on for all 3 days, and having a cool place to go eat lunch, or rest between marathon pinball sessions was delightful.

Slow cooker Carnitas


  • 2 pounds pork butt (shoulder) (2-1/2 pounds if bone in)
  • 2 Tablespoons bacon fat (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic


  • Coat bottom of slow cooker with bacon fat (optional)
  • Trim fat, and cut pork into 2″ cubes
  • Cut onion into 8 slices
  • Peel and crush garlic cloves
  • Mix dry ingredients
  • Fill bottom of slow cooker with meat
  • Sprinkle half the dry spices on the meat
  • Put 1/2 of the onion and garlic on the meat
  • Put the remaining meat on top
  • Sprinkle remaining dry ingredients on meat
  • Push the remaining onion and garlic in with the meat
  • Squeeze the juice from the orange onto the meat (optionally strain, if a seeded orange)
  • Cook for 8-10 hours on low, or 4-6 hours on high (I recommend low if at all possible)
  • Remove meat, shred with a fork (or two)
  • Place shredded pork on a cookie sheet, brown under a broiler
  • Serve up on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, on a plate with your favorite side dishes

via Kencooking

Sous Vide Cooking Times

Just a cheat sheet for me, since I often forget the min/max/temp for a particular meat I often Sous Vide.

Time at temp assumes food has reached that temperature. Add at least an hour for frozen, and 30 minutes for refrigerated, depending on the thickness of the meat being cooked. You can also quickly defrost frozen meat by setting the temp to zero and putting the whole thing in the fridge for an hour or two (or maybe 4 if it’s a pork butt).

Food Temp Minimum Maximum
Burgers 135°F 1 Hour 4 Hours
Rib Eye 135°F 45 Mins 4 Hours
NY Strip 135°F 4 Hours 8 Hours
Short Ribs 135°F 48 Hours 72 Hours
Chicken Wings 145°F 2 Hour 4 Hours
Chicken Breasts 140°F 1.5 Hours 4 Hours

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Olema Rally

What: Airstream Rally

Where: Olema Campground, Olema California

When: April 6-10th, 2017

Description: Annual Northern California Airstreamers spring rally, organized by Jeff Loughridge. Found out about it at the Pinnacles Rally, where I first met Jeff. Got on the standby list, and partially due to the huge storm that came in over the weekend, got a spot! Was a wet, but very fun event. We got over 7″ of rain over two days! Didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, and since Jeff had also rented the clubhouse, we had a warm and dry gathering space as well. Will definitely be joining more of these gatherings!

Great Balls of Fire

Can prepare this so many ways, and customize it to your heat tolerance. Think of it as round chicken wings.


  • Meatballs:
    • 2 lbs ground chicken (or turkey)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup Panko crumbs
    • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp paprika (hot Hungarian paprika is my favorite)
    • 1 tsp ground pepper
    • 2 tsp cayenne pepper – optional, if you like things really spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 1 cup Franks red hot (I buy it by the gallon these days)
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar OR
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus 2 Tbsp molasses – for a little more complex sweetness
    • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (adds a nice bite, and another slight sweetness)
    • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes – optional, and you can add more if you want
    • Other heat boosting sauce additions (Dave’s Insanity, cayenne pepper, diced habaneros, for instance) – optional



  • Mix meatball ingredients lightly, until just combined. Overworking them results in a dry, hard texture
  • Heat some oil in a large frying pan
  • Make meatballs, about 1″ in diameter, and put in pan to brown (I make them with my left hand, and turn them with a spool with my right as they cook). You’ll likely need to do several pan-fulls. (Note: You’re not cooking them through, just browning the outside, so turn them pretty quickly as they brown)
  • Combine sauce ingredients and stir until brown sugar is mixed in
  • Two options for finishing cooking…
  • Crockpot:
    • Add browned meatballs to crockpot
    • Cover with sauce
    • Set on low for 5 hours, or high for 3 hours
    • Turn once in the middle of the cooking time to coat all the balls
    • Turn again at the end of the cooking time
    • Serve in the crockpot as a party appetizer, or dish out into bowl(s)
  • Stovetop:
    • Add meatballs to a large pot
    • Cover with sauce
    • Heat on medium for 20 minutes, stirring gently a few times
    • Serve ’em up!

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To Tucson, and Beyond! Day thirteen+, Pinnacles Airstream Rally

We arrived at our final stop Friday, the Airstream Rally at Pinnacles National Park. We’d planned to stay here 4 nights, but Sydnee got really sick. She spent Saturday in Serenity with a fever, all the covers, and the dogs. We left first thing Sunday morning. Good thing, she got sicker on return, saw the doctor to get some strong cough medicine and an inhaler, and nearly caught pneumonia!

I had a great time though, met lots of really nice folks, ate and drank well, and am looking forward to another outing with groups like this. There were 28 Airstreams, 60 people at the potluck dinner Saturday night.


14 Days
2876 Miles driven
54 Hours driving
12.5 MPG average (14.7 MPG Max, 8.5 MPG Min)
53 MPH average