The fun stuff like running commentary and letters which characters write to each other about the recipes are left out here. You can find those in the 10th Anniversary Editions. Below are recipes only. You can search for a recipe by hitting “Ctrl F/Command F” and typing in the recipe name or even an ingredient like “berry” or “berries” or “chocolate chips” and then search the returns.

Happy cooking!


DESSERTS & TREATS, from RIPPLER, 10th Anniversary Edition


Bridget Li’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ½ c flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup shortening

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar, packed tight

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*.

In a small bowl, mix flour, soda, and salt. Set aside for later. Using mixer, beat butter, shortening, both sugars, and vanilla until well creamed. Add one egg, mixing completely. Add second egg, mixing completely. Slowly, on low speed, add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Using a 3 Tablespoon size cookie scoop, measure golf-ball-sized scoops of dough onto cookie sheets, allowing room for spreading as they bake. Bake for 10-14 minutes, to preferred level of golden brown. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.


Sylvia Ruiz’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour (sprouted, if you can get it)

1 ¼ cups regular flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, brought to room temperature

1 ¼ cups brown sugar OR rapadura sugar

½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp almond extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven to 375*.

Mix flours, salt, and baking soda together and set aside. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts using a mixer. Add eggs, one at a time. Add chocolate chips.

Bake tablespoon size dough-balls for 12 minutes at 375*. Let sit on pan for 2 minutes, then remove with spatula to cooling rack.


Mickie’s Fabulous Chocolate Chippers

2 sticks softened margarine

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup regular sugar

Mix well, then add:

2 eggs, mixed in one at a time

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a separate bowl stir together:

2 1/3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Mix in dry ingredients slowly, no more than a cup at a time. Add 1 cup chocolate chips. Form golf-ball sized cookies and flatten on pan. Cook for 10-11 minutes at 350 degrees. If they look like they’ll be done in another minute or two, they’re ready.

Let cool for a few minutes before eating or they’ll melt in your hands (and the chocolate burns.) (Don’t ask how I know this or I will have to embarrass my little brother by spilling secrets involving him and a trip to the emergency room.)


Bridget Li’s Regular Polvorones

Mix together:

1 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a separate bowl, stir together:

2 1/3 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

Combine wet and dry ingredients and add:

3/4 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts. (Macadamia nuts are sweeter and make the cookie gooier than walnuts.)

Using 1 Tbsp cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes until outside begins to harden. Sprinkle with powdered sugar after allowing cookies to cool on tray for two minutes.


Bridget Li’s Nut-free Cinnamon Polvorones

4 ½ c. flour, sifted. (Do not skip this step!)

¾ cup sugar

2/3 cup palm oil shortening

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

PLUS cinnamon-sugar for rolling dough in. (Make using a ratio of ½ tsp cinnamon to 1 tbsp sugar.)

Mix flour and sugar together. Add shortening. Add eggs, one at a time. Using a 1T cookie scoop, scoop dough into a ball shape and roll in cinnamon sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350*F. Cool five minutes before removing from baking sheet.


Sylvia’s Cheesecake


One small box Quaker Natural Granola – Oats and Honey variety

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar.

Pulse ingredients in a food processor in order listed OR simply mix together by hand. (Crust will have larger chunks of granola this way.) Press into the bottom of a cheesecake pan and bake 10 minutes at 350*F.


3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (total 24 oz.) NOT whipped style

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp almond extract

Mix well until uniform consistency. Pour over top of cooled crust. Bake 50-75 minutes at 350*F. Let cake cool ten minutes. Then pour the following onto the top:


1 ½ cup sour cream

3 Tbsp sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Bake at 425*F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from spring form pan.


Bridget Li’s Syllaberry Pie

(For a visual how-to, visit where you can watch Cidney Swanson make this pie in less than ten minutes!)

Before starting:

(1) Place an ice cube in ¾ cup cold water and set aside for use later.

(2) Preheat oven to 425*F.


Combine ¼ cup minute-style tapioca with 1 ½ cups sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Stir well. Sprinkle dry mix over 6 cups Syllaberries (or blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries, etc.) Allow to rest together for 15 minutes so that the tapioca can begin to soften in contact with the juices of the berries. If you skip this step, you will have undissolved tapioca gravel in your pie.


Combine 1 ½ cups flour + 1 tsp salt (mix well)

Add ¾ cup palm oil shortening  using pastry blender or two butter knives to work shortening into flour until no lumps larger than a small pea remain.

Add ice water, 2 Tbsp at a time, stirring with a fork. Dough is ready when it begins to clump together, forming one moist dough ball. Do not be afraid of a moist dough. You can coat your surfaces, rolling pin, and hands with flour if it is sticky. You cannot go back and add more water later.

Form dough into a ball and press into a disc about ¾ inch thick. Lay disc upon well-floured pastry cloth or silicone mat. Using floured rolling pin, roll gently in all directions of the compass. Turn crust 45 degrees and repeat. Lift dough gently and reapply flour to pastry cloth/mat. Continue rolling crust (well floured) until large enough for a nine-to-ten inch pie pan.

Gently transfer crust to pie pan and flute edges. Fill pie pan with fruit. Top with a crumble topping.

Crumble topping:

1 cup flour

½ cup butter

¾ cup ground pecans or rolled oats (not ground)

½ cup brown sugar

Mix well into a lumpy dough similar to oatmeal cookie dough which you sprinkle on the fruit, as above.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 425*F, then reduce heat to 350*F and continue baking another 30-45 minutes or until fruit is boiling throughout pie plate. (Fruit must boil for tapioca to set it properly.)


BREAKFASTS AROUND LAS ABS from CHAMELEON, 10th Anniversary Edition


Sylvia’s Worth-Getting-Up-For French Toast

2 eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

sliced sourdough bread (a bit stale will work just fine!)

Mix first three ingredients. Soak sliced bread for one minute each before cooking. Heat skillet or griddle to medium high heat. Spread a good tablespoon of butter on hot skillet for each 2 slices, adding more every time you cook additional pieces. Sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg over the cooking slices. Flip over after 2 minutes. Remove from heat after another two minutes.

Serve with butter, whipped cream, and real maple syrup. If berries are in season, these are heavenly with the French toast.


Sylvia’s Buttermilk Pancakes

1 cup white flour

1 cup wheat flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

These ingredients can be pre-mixed the night before, or kept as a pancake mix.

In the morning, mix these wet ingredients:

2 beaten eggs

3 Tbsp melted butter

2 ½ cups buttermilk

Combine your wet and dry ingredients, but do not over-beat. A little lumpiness is normal, although you want to avoid big chunks of flour. Cook in a skillet or griddle using plenty of melted butter to make it easier to flip the pancakes. Fun add-ins: Blueberries (best fresh). Drop a few on a pancake, then use a spreader to cover the blueberries with batter so they don’t stick when you flip them. Chocolate chips. Drop a few on a pancake, then use a spreader to cover the chocolate chips with batter so they don’t burn and stick when you flip them. Freshly chopped walnuts—just sprinkle on top.

Serve with butter, whipped cream, and real maple syrup. If berries are in season, serve on the side.


Bridget Li’s Stollen Without Those Nasty Fruit Bits

The Dough

9 2/3 c. bread flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. PLUS 2 tsp. instant dry yeast

1 1/2 T. salt

5 oz. butter (1 stick plus 1/4 stick)

3 eggs

2 1/2 c. milk

1/3 c. water

The Almond Filling

1/4 c. almond flour (grind 1/4 c. PLUS 1T dry-roasted, unsalted slivered almonds in a blender)

1 1/2 oz. milk

1 T soft butter

6 oz. almond paste (more doesn’t hurt, if yours come in 8 oz cans)

The Butter Streusel

2T butter

2T sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/8 t baking powder

lemon zest of 1/8 lemon, fine grate

Method for dough:

Mix dry ingredients together, stirring carefully. Combine liquid ingredients and add to mixture, mixing for 5 minutes. Add the butter at the very end of the five minutes. Allow dough to rest and rise for an hour or so, or until doubled. Divide into three equal 2-pound pieces. Roll each dough into rectangle about ¼ inch thick.

Almond Filling Method:

Mix paste and butter together until soft using fingers or hand mixer. Add milk slowly until well blended. Add almond flour last. Spread almond paste mixture over top of dough, dividing evenly between three doughs.

Roll dough until it is in one big fat “snake”. Pinch the long ends shut. (Pinch to the rolled dough itself.) Slicing lengthwise, cut dough in half, exposing almond paste filling. Twist the two lengths around one another, trying to keep the paste pointing “up” in the twist. You can also braid if you prefer to try doing this in three lengths. Place side by side on a jelly roll pan or other similar with low sides. Allow to rise until doubled in size.

While dough is rising second time, mix streusel together.

Streusel Method:

Cream softened butter with sugar using fingers or hand mixer. Sieve flour and baking powder together and add to creamed mixture. Add zest last of all. Set aside for drizzling just prior to baking.

After dough has doubled in size, drizzle/sprinkle streusel over the tops of all loaves. Bake at 375*F for 25 minutes or until cooked through to a temp of 155-170*F.


Will’s Killer Sourdough Waffles or Pancakes

The night before, take one cup sourdough (See below for the 7-Day Process: HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH FROM SCRATCH) and mix it thoroughly with 2 ½ cups flour and 2 cups luke-warm (de-chlorinated) water. Next morning, mix together:

1 egg + 2T melted butter + ¼ cup buttermilk

Mix thoroughly into the overnight-sourdough batter.

Then mix up:

1 tsp salt + 1 tsp baking soda + 2 Tbsp sugar

Sprinkle the dry mix over the sourdough mix. Gently fold the two together. (Be gentle but thorough.) You should see some bubbling and foaming as the baking soda meets the sourdough. It’s kind of cool.

Turn on your waffle maker and go! If the batter seems too thick, add a bit of milk or water. If it seems thin, add a bit of flour. The batter is very forgiving.

Spread your waffles with butter and sprinkle powdered sugar and berries on top for a yumtastic breakfast! Note: you can use this exact same recipe to make pancakes, instead, if you don’t have a waffle iron or don’t like waffles.



Humans have been making bread, flatbread, pancakes and so on using sourdough cultures for at least 6,000 years. This is how people got their “yeast” back when there weren’t any stores selling packets of yeast. Sourdough tastes amazing, and it is really simple to keep alive. (Yes, it is a living thing. The stuff in the packets are also living things in a dormant state on the store shelf.)

So, here’s the thing about sourdough. If you want to keep it alive, it helps to think of it as a pet. And if you’re going to adopt a pet, you want to know what it needs to stay healthy, right? Actually, it isn’t so much that you’re adopting one pet. A healthy sourdough culture is more like an apartment complex where you are a benevolent landlord trying to make apartment life pleasant enough so that everyone sticks around and stays healthy. If you don’t care for the apartment, the apartment dwellers will get sick and die or move out. Someone should totally make a Sim Sourdough game, by the way.

When you start a sourdough, you are gathering wild yeast right out of the air you breathe everyday and convincing it to get along with microbes that already live in wheat flour. When they get along—TA DA!—you have a sourdough culture. If you’ve ever had San Francisco sourdough, you’ll know it has a very distinctive tang, thanks to the critters that hang out in SF’s air. This means that unless you live in the California Bay Area, your sourdough isn’t going to taste like San Francisco sourdough. Sorry. Thought you should know that straight up from the start.

So, sourdough culture lives on flour and water. Yup. That’s all. It is your job to convince the critters in your air and flour that they want to live together in your water and flour. (Remember, you’re the landlord of their dwelling…) I’m giving you some tips so that you have better luck attracting renters and keeping them happy.  See, if you just mix up flour and water, the pH is pretty neutral and the yeastie-beasties don’t like neutral. They like things a bit on the acidic side. My recipe for creating a sourdough culture is to include pineapple juice, which gives just the right amount of acidity.

The last thing to keep in mind is that just like building an apartment and attracting renters takes time, so does creating a healthy sourdough culture. Fortunately, making sourdough is faster and should only take a week or so.

Here’s what you need to get started:


If you have non-chlorinated water, you are lucky. Chlorine tends to kill things (think bleach) including the renters you are trying to attract. There’s a simple solution, though. Just set out a bowl of your chlorinated water on the counter for an hour. Chlorine is a gas, and it will mostly gas-out of the water in that time. (I asked Mr. Polwen and he said so.)


When you are “building your apartment,” you should use ideally be a mix of fresh-ground rye and wheat. You just need a tablespoon of each. (IMPORTANT NOTE: I know it is a pain to find this. But once the apartment is full of renters, you can use plain old white flour to keep the residents happy.) How to get it fresh ground? I suggest you start at your local healthy food store. Before grain is made into flour, it exists as a “berry” (nothing like the stuff you put on pancakes—in fact, a wheat berry looks a little bit like a grain of brown rice.) Some stores will carry wheat berries and rye berries which you can grind yourself using a coffee mill or a blender. Some healthy food stores even have grain mills where you can grind their wheat berries fresh yourself. If you run into a dead end for finding wheat berries, don’t despair. You can usually convince a sourdough culture to start using whole wheat flour that comes in a bag already ground.


Lucky for you, canned pineapple juice works at least as well as fresh pineapple juice. Just make sure you get a can that says “in its own juice” or “no sugar added.” You don’t want a sugar-added syrup-y juice. And if you live where fresh pineapple is easy to get, lucky you. You just have to figure out how to juice it, which I honestly couldn’t tell you how to do. Stick to the can.

Here’s where it gets like a science experiment. Hey, if you have a little brother or sister, you might be able to get them to do this for you. Not that this has happened in my house or anything. (In fairness, Mick bribed me with a movie if I got the sourdough experiment done right.)

The method:


Mix together 2 Tbsp whole grain flour (1 Tbsp each rye and wheat) and 2Tbsp unsweetened pineapple juice. (Save the rest of the pineapple juice in the fridge for later.) Cover and let sit on your counter (room temperature) for 24 hours.

NOTE: don’t use metal containers or metal spoons. I don’t know why, but it makes your sourdough nasty. Plastic, wood, or bamboo work well for stirring spoons. Plastic or glass containers work well for storing the sourdough.


Stir in another 2 Tbsp whole grain flour and 2 Tbsp pineapple juice. You might see a few bubbles at this point, or you might not. The renters can take awhile to move in. Cover and let sit on your counter (room temperature) for 24 hours.


Stir in another 2 Tbsp whole grain flour and 2 Tbsp pineapple juice. You might see a few bubbles at this point, or you might not. The renters can take awhile to move in. Cover and let sit on your counter (room temperature) for 24 hours.


By now you should have some serious bubbles, which are an indication that the renters have moved in. If there are no bubbles, toss the whole thing and start over, or maybe give it one more day on the counter to see if bubbles show up. Your option. You’re the landlord.

Assuming you are at the “I’ve got bubbles” stage, stir the mixture well. Take ¼ cup of the mixture out. This will be your starter. Discard the rest of the stuff. Or give it to a friend if they want to go into the landlord biz.

To the ¼ cup of starter, you will add ¼ cup of whatever kind of flour you plan to feed your starter from now on. For most of you, this is probably just plain old all-purpose white flour. Then add ¼ cup of non-chlorinated water and stir everything together.


Add another ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup water.

Note: Sometimes, around day five, six, or seven, you will come back to your mixture and it will look flat instead of lively with bubbles. (Bubbles = your evidence you have renters, remember?) If you should see a flat looking goo instead of a bubbly goo, you can try adding ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar along with the ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup water. This makes everything nice and acidic which should encourage the renters to come out and play.

A special Note on patience:

Just mixing up flour and water and covering it for a day or two can encourage some bacteria to start emitting a bubbly gas. This isn’t quite the mix you are looking for. You are waiting for the airborne yeasts to get in there and shake things up. This takes several days. So, whether you see bubbles or not at first, and whether they go away on day two or three for a little while, give your mixture four days before throwing in the towel.

A healthy sourdough culture has a pleasant odor. If yours smells nasty, you should probably throw it out. When in doubt, ask around. If you have a local bakery, they can tell you whether you have a nice sourdough smell or a toss-it-now smell. Also, your mom or dad may have friends who keep sourdough. Ask them to take a whiff and tell you if what you have is good or bad. After a while, you will be able to tell for yourself if your sourdough smells nice and fresh.


If you want to make sourdough bread daily, you can keep your sourdough out on your counter (covered) and just replace the amount you use every time you use some. If your recipe calls for ½ cup sourdough, you add back 1/3 cup each flour and water and you’ll have about the same amount. You don’t have to add precisely the same amount. That is the beauty of sourdough. Who had measuring cups in the Iron Age, anyway?

But let’s say you don’t want to make bread every day. Let’s say you only want sourdough waffles once a week on Saturdays. That’s fine. You can keep sourdough happily “dormant” in your fridge until you are ready to make something with it. Think of the fridge as the place you put the renters when you are too busy to deal with their daily needs.

You will need to plan ahead, however, when you make something with your sourdough. It is not like a packet of yeast where you dump it in the flour and water and you have instantly use-able dough. Think of sourdough as slow food. It tastes better, too, just like actual slow food compared to fast food. Most of your recipes will tell you to allow the mixture of sourdough, flour, and water to set overnight on your counter. There is a lot of flexibility, I have found. Overnight can be, like, eight hours, or you can leave it for as long as twenty hours. Anywhere in that range is fine. You just need to plan ahead when you are wanting sourdough pancakes. Like, at least the night before.

Lastly, if you have trouble with your starter, there are some fantastic websites around where true-blue sourdough fanatics can trouble-shoot for you. Google “sourdough” to see what I mean. Have fun!



MAIN DISHES from UNFURL, 10th Anniversary Edition

Will’s Killer Pizza Dough

The dough recipe was first presented on Dani’s fabulous blog, in this letter from Will to Sam while they were on opposite continents (as recorded in Unfurl)

Will’s not-world-famous Pizza Crust to Die for Recipe.

3 cups flour

½ tsp salt

¼ cup sourdough OR 2 tsp baker’s yeast

1 cup water, luke-warm (so it doesn’t burn your fingers)

1 tsp sugar

1Tbsp olive oil

Mix up the flour and salt first. Mix up the water and sugar and oil and sourdough OR yeast separately. If you are using yeast, let the yeast mixture sit five minutes and get bubbly. If you are using sourdough, you don’t have to wait five minutes.

Stir the flour mix and the water mix together. It should be kind of sticky, but not gloppy. If you press your thumb into it, your thumb should come out clean. If a big glob of dough is stuck to your thumb, you need to mix in more flour. Don’t mix in too much at once, though. Like a quarter cup at a time is good.

When it’s all mixed and just barely sticky, you can put a lid or a sheet of plastic over the bowl you mixed in. For sourdough, set it on a counter for 8-20 hours. Then it’s ready to roll out and use. For yeast dough, set it in the fridge for 8 hours. Then bring it out a couple hours before you want to make pizza.


1  tablespoon  olive oil

1  garlic clove, pressed or minced fine

3/4  cup barbecue sauce, divided

8 ounces sliced rounds of fresh mozarella (or just use 8 oz. grated)

1 1/2  cups diced cooked chicken

1/2  medium pineapple, chopped into small chunks or 1 small can pineapple chunks

1/2  medium red bell pepper, chopped into small chunks

1 cup red onion, chopped fine

2 oz. Parmegiano Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated if at all possible

1 pizza dough, rolled out on your pizza pan, stone, etc.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the chicken with ½ cup of the barbecue sauce. Pour the remaining ¼ cup into a zippy plastic bag for use in a minute. Mix the olive oil and garlic together and brush lightly over the rolled out pizza crust. Grate parmigiano reggiano over crust. Taking zippy bag of BBQ sauce, cut a hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle the sauce over the garlic and parmegiano already on the crust. Lay mozzarella slices evenly around dough OR sprinkle grated mozzarella over dough. Scatter the chicken, onion, pineapple and bell pepper on top of the cheese. Bake the pizza about 10‑16 minutes, until crust is browning and cheese is melted and bubbly.


Coach Giuliano Fortini’s Sausage Pasta

1 pound dry pasta noodles

½ pound mild Italian sausage

2 T butter

½ tsp rosemary, minced fine

1 28 oz can San Marzano Plum Tomatoes from Italy

¼ cup diced sundried tomatoes

red pepper flakes to taste (I like ¼ tsp, but I like it hot.)

salt to taste

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ cup freshly grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese

1.) Cook your sausage. You can cut links into “coins” or just smash everything like you’re browning ground beef. Me, I like the coins, like my Grandmother from Napoli used to make for me.

2.) Start boiling your water for your pasta. Add a tablespoon salt to the water to help the pasta taste like Grandma’s.

3.) Melt the butter in a skillet and add the sausage and rosemary. Cook until the tomatoes are looking melted down. It’s okay to get in there and smash ‘em. (Should be 5 mintues.)

4.)  By now your water should be boiling, so drop the pasta in. What are ya’ waiting for?

5.)  Season with red pepper flakes.

6.) Add the cream and stir until it has reduced by half. How can you tell? I’ll give you a little tip: Pour half of the cream in and eyeball what it looks like. Then pour in the rest. Remember what it looked like with only half? That’s your target.

7.) Your noodles should be finishing about now. Drain ‘em. Toss the parmegiano with the noodles in a large serving bowl. Add sauce over top and toss.



This is not a real, traditional Mexican carnitas recipe, and my abuelita would shake her head at it. My abuelita used her oven to store pots and pans inside. Pretty sure she never cooked in it. But for easy carnitas, this recipe is pretty good.

4 pounds pork shoulder (sometimes labeled pork butt) with bone in

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 yellow onion, sliced into rings

1 cup water

1 tsp liquid smoke, optional

Cut the pork into cubes about two inches by two inches. The bone is for flavoring the juices, so leave it in, with some meat attached is fine. Mix the liquid smoke in a cup of water, then pour over the pork. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the meat. Layer the sliced rings of onion over the top, too.

Cook in a covered oven-proof container for at least 8 hours at 250 degrees. When fall-apart tender, remove pork and shred it using a fork. Add back in some of the liquid so the carnitas isn’t too dried out. This is great with my barbecue sauce, served on potato rolls. But it’s great wrapped up in a warm corn tortilla, too, just by itself. Makes great leftovers, too!


Dave Ruiz’s Cheater Enchiladas

Here’s another recipe my abuelita would definitely not approve of.

12 corn tortillas

10 oz can enchilada sauce

1 jar salsa

6 oz. shredded cotija cheese (okay to substitute Monterey Jack or a Jack/Cheddar combo)

1 lb. carnitas (okay to substitute cooked, diced chicken or cooked ground beef)

½ cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)

Mix the enchilada sauce and the salsa with the chopped cilantro. Stir in the carnitas (or other meat.) Set aside. Stack the corn tortillas and cut into triangles, like you are slicing a pizza. Set aside.

In an oven-proof 9×9 inch pan, layer half the tortillas. Top with half the meat sauce. Top with half the cheese. Repeat tortilla, meat, cheese layer. Cover with foil and bake at 350* for half an hour or until bubbly.

This is a very sloppy-joes kind of enchiladas. Serve with tortilla chips on the side, or use them to scoop up bites. You can also put dollops of sour cream on top. Sometimes Sammy crumbles her tortilla chips and sprinkles them on top of her serving. She says it is good this way, too.


Mickie’s Pesto Pasta

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

3 oz. parmesan cheese

2 cups fresh basil (loosely packed)

2 tsp salt

¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts

1 cup olive oil

Run all through a food processor or even a blender. If you are stuck in a cottage outside of Carcassonne, France, where you don’t have either of these items, you will have to mince the basil very, very fine. (Takes about ten minutes.)

Boil water, pop in 1 Tbsp salt, stir, and dump in a package of dry pasta. Cook al dente and then drain, stirring in pesto. Serve immediately with a loaf of Will’s sourdough bread.


Sylvia’s Lasagna

1 lb ground beef

1 lb Italian Sausage

2 ¼ tsp Italian seasoning**

1 tsp salt

½ onion, minced

4 oz fresh spinach leaves*

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

6 oz can tomato paste

15 oz ricotta

2 eggs

about ½ box dry lasagna noodles

8-12 oz mozzarella, shredded

Cook meats together in a large 12 skillet, over medium heat. When browned, add salt and Italian seasoning, stirring well to mix. Make a “well” in the center of the pan and cook the onions there. Layer the spinach over the top. Place a lid over all and cook until veggies are softened/wilted. (About 5 minutes on medium heat.)

Meanwhile, mix tomato paste with crushed tomato and, reserving ½ cup for later, add sauce to meat once veggies have wilted. Remove meat/sauce from heat.

Mix beaten eggs with ricotta.

Spread the reserved ½ cup tomato mixture on bottom of 9×13 ovenproof pan with 2” or taller sides. Then, layer as follows: dry lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, meat sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, meat. Top final meat layer with a mix of mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese.

Bake for 65-90 min. at 325 degrees, covering snugly with tinfoil. Noodles will soften as it bakes. Enjoy with a salad and some fresh hot bread. ( I recommend Will’s sourdough!)

*you can increase the amount of spinach up to 20 oz. if you really like to notice your spinach. If you don’t like it at all, just leave it out.

**(or a to-your-taste blend of basil, oregano, garlic, savory and fennel. Start with ¼ tsp each and adjust to your preferred blend.)


Cassoulet, Recipe by Sir Walter Jean-Baptiste de Rochefort

“The preparation of a cassoulet is, as with the preparing of any great meal, foremost an act of love.” -Sir Walter de Rochefort

If we consider the Cassoulet as consisting of five layers which melt together under a golden crust, we can see at once that the one who cooks a Cassoulet cooks five dishes which can be served with convenience as a single course meal. But do not forget that while you may serve the final dish in one container, you must first prepare the five parts.

They are as follows:

Firstly, The Beans, cooked with bacon, later separated from the bacon.

Secondly, The Pork, roasted to your taste.

Thirdly, The Lamb, cooked with duck fat and onions.

Fourthly, The Bacon, as above, having cooked with the beans and then been separated from them.

Fifthly, The Cakes of Sausage, having been formed from loose and uncooked sausage which has no casing (or you may remove a casing if your butcher does not offer loose sausage.)

(The final layer, dried bread crumbs with parsley, drizzled with duck fat, I do not count as one of the five dishes, as bread crumbs with parsley can be purchased from any reputable grocer. You may prepare your own from scratch if you prefer.)

Step I. For the beans, gather together:

2 T lemon juice or liquid whey

2 ½ cups dry white beans of any variety

4 oz. salt pork

8 oz lean bacon

½ cup onions

a bouquet of herbs tied in cheesecloth or tied to one another if you lack cheesecloth (such as: 2 cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf).

Preparation of beans:

Firstly, one day ahead:

Soak dry beans all day in 1 quart of water with 2T lemon juice or liquid whey. In the evening, drain and rinse beans and place beans in crock pot with a 2 fresh quarts of water and simmer overnight.

Secondly, upon the day of eating cassoulet:

Drain beans, reserving their liquid for use later. Place beans into a sauce pan, adding enough of the bean liquid to cover everything. If you lack sufficient liquid, water may be added to make up the difference. Cook until beans are tender. (One hour should suffice.)

Meanwhile, slice salt pork into ½ inch cubes.

Once the beans are tender, add the bacon and salt pork and cook another twenty or thirty minutes, allowing the flavors to combine.

Then, drain, reserving liquid once more. Separate the beans and salt pork from the bacon and set aside in 2 vessels, one for beans and one for bacon and pork. Dice the bacon, reserving for layering. You may give it a quick fry if you prefer a crispier texture.

Step II. For Pork, gather together:

1 pound pork tenderloin, or any boneless cut you prefer.

Salt and pepper

Preparation of The Pork:

Roast the pork for 1-2 hours, after sprinkling with salt and pepper, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165*F. Allow to cool, reserving juices. When cool, cut into ½” to 1” cubes of meat. Set aside.

Step III. For Lamb, gather together:

1 pound lamb of any cut, without bones

2 T duck fat

1 cup chopped yellow onion

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1-15 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes from Italy, or 5-6 very fresh tomatoes from your garden, peeled. If desired, you may remove the seeds, but it is a messy business and I avoid it, myself.

1 sprig thyme

1 ½ c dry white wine or vermouth

2 cups beef stock (preferably from bone broth)

Preparation of The Lamb:

Cut lamb into one inch square chunks. Heat the oil in a skillet until almost smoking and add lamb, browning on all sides. If your skillet is not large, you should do this in stages, browning ¼ or ½ of the meat at a time. When all meat has browned, remove the meat from skillet. Add onion and cook in fat, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add meat back to onions, along with smashed garlic, tomatoes, sprig thyme, wine, and stock. Cook together for 1 ½ hours, simmering slowly. Remove meat and set juices aside for later use.

Step IV. Preparation of The Bacon:

You have accomplished this already, in the preparation of The Beans.

Step V. Preparation of The Sausage:

From 1 pound of a mild sausage of your choice, form small patties of sausage measuring 2 inches across and ½ of an inch tall. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through, flipping over to ensure even cooking. Drain excess fat and discard fat.

Step VI. To Assemble the Cassoulet:

Into an 8-quart oven-proof casserole, layer the ingredients as follows:

1/3 of the beans

½ of the lamb

½ of the pork

½ of the bacon and salt pork

½ of the sausage cakes

1/3 of the beans

½ of the lamb

½ of the pork

½ of the bacon and salt pork

½ of the sausage cakes

1/3 of the beans

Now, over all these layers, pour the juice from the cooked lamb (the juice with tomatoes) and the juice from the roasted pork. These should nearly bring the level of liquid to cover the top layer of beans. If you have yet to cover the top layer of beans, add as much of the reserved bean liquid as required to do so.

Spread over all 1 ½ to 2 cups dry bread crumbs with parsley.

Heat 3 T duck fat to the melting point and drizzle over the top of the bread crumbs.

Place in oven at 350*F and cook for at least one hour, or for up to three hours at 300*F. It will become gradually drier during the longer cooking time.

If you will be at home while the Cassoulet cooks, you may form an exceptionally tasty crust by repeating the following: every 15 minutes or so, break the crust open in several places using the back of a spoon. Then, using the spoon in the regular fashion, gather liquid from below the crust and drizzle all over the top. C’est manifique!


SAUCES & SALSAS, many of which feature in the Ripple series!

Will’s Tomato Sauce for Pizza

You will need:

2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes* 1 medium carrot

2 cloves garlic, divided

2Tbsp olive oil

bunch fresh oregano

bunch fresh basil

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp dried crushed chili peppers

1 tsp brown sugar

¼ tsp anise seed (optional)

Peel and seed 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes. Peel and finely diced one medium carrot. Peel and thinly slice one clove garlic. Peel and mince one clove garlic. Fry minced and sliced garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil for one minutes over medium high heat.

Remove garlic and oil from heat and set aside. Finely chop 1 tsp fresh oregano. Finely chop 1 Tbsp fresh basil. Measure ¼ tsp salt, or to taste. Measure ¼ tsp crushed red chilis, or to taste. Measure 1 tsp brown sugar, or to taste. Measure ¼ tsp anise seed, or to taste.

Now you’ve got two choices: the “I’m in a hurry” method, or the “I’ve got time” method.

If you need sauce, like, now, then just combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Mash and stir and cook together for ten minutes.

If you don’t mind making it ahead, for best flavor, use this method:

Allow tomato/carrot mixture to cool completely. The cooling is not optional. Then, place all ingredients in food processor or blender and puree. Pour back into a saucepan and cook over low heat for an hour, stirring frequently.

Depending on how thick you like to spread your sauce, this will be enough for one, two, or three pizzas. Keep refrigerated. This stuff only lasts one week in the refrigerator, so get cooking, man! You can pour it over spaghetti noodles, too. Or spaghetti squash, according to Mick. (Whatever, man.)

*Don’t bother with store tomatoes if you don’t have garden fresh. Instead, substitute a 28 oz can of Whole Plum Tomatoes, preferably (1) San Marzano type from Italy or (2) Any other type from Italy. Do get the seeds out, as much as you can. Messy, messy job.


Will’s Pico de Gallo

6 roma tomatoes

1 large yellow onion

1 jalapeno pepper

¼  tsp salt

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dice tomatoes, onion, pepper and stir these together. Stir in chopped cilantro. Sprinkle salt over top. Pour lime juice over top. Stir all ingredients really well. So good over fresh barbecued chicken or just to dip chips in. I’m hungry now.


Sylvia’s Mango Salsa

2 large, ripe mangoes, chopped fine

1 red bell pepper, chopped fine

1 orange bell pepper, chopped fine

1-3 jalapenos, to taste, chopped fine

1 red onion, diced fine

2T fresh lemon or lime juice

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp smoked paprika

(note: If your mangoes aren’t ripe, you can improve the flavor of the salsa by adding up to 2 tsp sugar. Go light!)


Dave’s 4 Ingredient Killer Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 tsp rice or apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp smoky barbecue rub (any brand)

¼ cup dark brown sugar

Mix all four ingredients in a cook pot and bring to a simmer stirring constantly, allowing to simmer together for 2 minutes. Be careful of splatters.


Sylvia’s Best Barbecue Sauce

2 cups Dave’s 4-ingredient Barbecue Sauce

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

pinch cayenne pepper

½ tsp cumin

1 Tbsp molasses

2 tsp smoky paprika

Place all the ingredients in a pot over low heat on the stove. Simmer over low heat for half an hour, stirring frequently, and checking often to make sure sauce isn’t burning. I have to use my lowest heat.

This stores well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. It is fantastic on chicken, pork, beef, hamburgers, turkey burgers, and even some kinds of fish. (I recommend it on salmon.) You can make sloppy joes with this sauce by tossing 1 cup sauce with 1 pound cooked ground beef. So delicious!

Note from Cidney: Favor time. If you notice an error or something super confusing, please contact me. Thanks!