Why is Fun Food so Damn Bad?

We all have our favourite comfort foods, our go-to-crowd-pleaser meals for gatherings and  special events, our must-have bits and pieces (pickled herring at Christmas, ugh), and our signature, day-to-day dishes. The signature dishes are generally easy to make, nutritious, and don’t take a lot of time to make. The fun meals, the ones that make us stand out in the crowd and bring massive raves from folks who taste them however, are the ones that might just likely be the food that adds to our demise.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching here. I love things slathered in garlic butter, thick sirloin steaks on the bbq, with a good 1/4 inch slab of fat and intense marbling. I love gravy, especially on Yorkshire puddings and mashed potatoes. Pizza. Gyros. Chevapi. Burek. I could go on for hours.

My partner signed up for a bbq challenge at work on Feb 14, and it was her job to create a wicked sampler plate done on the bbq. She chose to make Onion Bombs. These are wicked. TRUST ME!


Fresh off the BBQ!




All you do is take a pound of lean ground beef, a pound of ground pork, a whole bunch of spices (salt, pepper, paprika, Slap Ya Mama (available in hot sauce stores in Ottawa and the outlying area. Some stores, such as Pepper Palace no longer carry it due to price confliction with Amazon) basil, rosemary, Vegeta, cayenne, etc…whatever you have in the house). Hand mix the meats and spices, and roll into meatballs. Then, take a large number of onions (we prefer red), cut the tops and bottoms off, and peel them back to make onion shells. Next, put a meatball between 2 shell halves. Once that is done, wrap each shell in 2-3 pieces of raw bacon, hold together with tooth-pics soaked in water, then slather in bbq sauce and bbq, basting with more sauce.

The result is pure heaven.




The expulsion from the onion bombs however, is disheartening.


Ugh….so much flavour, and yet, so bad.

Fat. Lots and lots of fat. Sure, fat bleeds out as you cook, but how much remains? Yeah, we all need a percentage of fat in our daily diet, but not like this.


The morning after, congealed fat.

We both had onion bombs after the bbq competition, but it was one each (not a lot of leftovers) for 2 days. We went heavy on whole food/plant based add-ons to go with them, to try and balance out our meat consumption.

We are doing pretty good at maintaining a whole food/plant based diet, but we slip sometimes. Pizza one night, then 2 weeks later, sirloin steaks on the bbq, with lots of fat. It’s not an easy process to follow, when we both are over 40, and have those years of mindless consumption behind us, but we try.

If you are interested in eating better, you can check these websites and videos out. They really do give wicked alternatives to meat. Trust me on this…..I liked veggies before, but wasn’t a fan of the “salad with dinner” bullshit options. Faux tuna salad made with cashews? Wicked!


Make tuna melts…brilliant!


Avocado and tomato on toast for breakfast? Frigging brilliant!


I slice my tomato thinly, at work. people are curious, and jealous.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese? Not too shabby (I went too heavy with the sauce). No picture for this one, as the picture and reality do not equate. The taste however, is pretty damn good.

Lentil Bolognese with sweet potato pasta?  Heaven!!! (I also added tofu “spaghetti”. Wow. Yum).


Even the boy enjoys this. Weird….


Vegan/Paleo potato skins? Hell, yes! (i’m becoming a fan of sweet potato, since there is no maple syrup in this).


Yummly.co…thank you!!

BBQ cauliflower salad with ranch dressing?  Hell, even my partner loved this!


Really damn good. Seriously.

So, yeah…..feeling sluggish and bloated? Want to do something for your body. Give them a shot.

If you want to learn more, and always take everything with a grain of salt, you can check out these videos, usually found on Netflix or YouTube:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Forks over Knives

A couple of websites with wicked and FREE recipes:






Don’t get me wrong, we will continue to bbq meat and make beef jerky in the dehydrator; albeit on a much smaller level, but we are evermore being mindful of what we as humans consume, and the damage it does to the planet as a whole, and ourselves.

Consume wisely.

Categories: Bad Food, Clean Food Dirty Girl, Eat Well, Fat or Fit, Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Food can Kill, Good Food, Joe Cross reboot, Knowledge, Learning, Mindful Consumption, Plant Based, Reboot, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Food, Whole Food/Plant Based, Yummly.co.uk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A day at the cabin (part 2) FIRE!!!

After some post-lunch chill time, we got down to completing some challenges: making fire. No, not with a lighter or matches. Old School methods: the Ferro Rod and a Flint and Steel kit.

Every other month, I receive the APOCABOX


2 of my 3 boxes (so far)!

from Creek Stewart. Creek is a Survival Instructor, Survival Host and author, as well as running the Willow Haven Outdoor center in central Indiana. Just FYI, I’ve never met him and have no affiliation with him, except to receive the box I mentioned earlier.

There are literally hundreds of subscription boxes out there, but  we can’t get a lot of them in Canada. Why not? They include firearms parts and accessories which are mostly restricted here.

Besides, when SHTF, and batteries run out, lighters die and gasoline gets extremely scarce, how do you plan to stay warm, build a shelter and feed your family? Trust me, having the upper receiver for a weapon you can’t legally own, or a thirty round magazine will not help you.

On the other hand, good old fashioned knowledge and know how will get you a lot further along.


Flint and Steel, Ferro Rod

This month’s APOCABOX (February 2017) is titled IGNIS, and is all about fire making. The December 2016 box was titled TAIGA, and was based on Russian trappers and hunters, and featured the tools and kit they use to hunt and survive (it even included a non-commercial trapping hatchet, based on Russian design). Pretty cool, USABLE gear in every box.

We started out by me finding, then clearing out the fire pit while somebody stayed warm and cozy in the cabin, reading in her Adirondack chair. How did that happen?


It’s cold out, and there are Eastern Coyotes after me!

Next, we charred the char rope (furniture piping from a craft store) that came in the Flint and Steel kit, in our cook stove.



Charring the char rope

Neither of us had done this before, and I admit, I think I cocked it up a bit by opening the tin to look at it, which made it far more brittle and less likely to catch fire. It was the same colour as depicted in the demonstration video, but not as robust. I now know for next time.

With the Ferro Rod, all we had to do was scrape the black matte covering off before striking. In the early 1900’s, the  Ferro Rod was created by an Austrian inventor, while percussion fire-starting has been around since the dawn of time. From the Iron Age forward, Flint and Steel (until matches and lighters) was the most common method of creating sparks.

I was going to upload videos of this fun, but I’m using the basic (free) package, which does not support videos. Don’t worry; if you want to watch us light fires, you can see them on  my YouTube Channel. It’s brand new, and will deal with things talked about on this blog.

Stay safe, stay tuned, and most of all, get out there! Adventure Awaits!!!!!!


Categories: Cabin, Hiking, Knowledge, Learning, Off grid food, Respect the Old Ways, Science, survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A day at the cabin (part 1)


On the way in!

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, you get 2, 3 or 4 really kick-ass days that let you know that the world isn’t freezing you to death. You know the ones; where, after a week or more of relentless snow dumps, rotated with ice storms and more snow dumps, you get a forecast of “Holy Shit, it’s gonna be 7° C (which in real terms is almost 45° F), so we should go to the cabin and chill and stuff”.

It’s like falling in love, or seeing Guided By Voices play live as often as you want, hanging with Bob, Doug and the lads. It’s pretty freaking amazing.

Side-note: Nobody asked me if I wanted to switch from Imperial to Metric, and I’m still traumatized by the whole event. Would you prefer to hear it’s 17° or 64°? I know which I prefer. Metric blows goats. The warmer it is, the higher the numbers should be, FFS!!!!!! Anyhow.

This weekend is one of those wickedly brilliant times. Family Day weekend, 19 Feb 2017.

We had originally thought of taking the dogs with us, spend the night, have a blast. But what we did not know was the condition of the way into the cabin once we got to the end of the cleared road. It’s a 2km hike in, once you stop at the school bus turn-around circle. In lots and lots of snow.


Riding the snow-shovel down a hill on the way into the cabin.

Sure, it’s sometimes packed down by ski-doos or ATV’s, but ya never know. So we left the amigos behind today, and made a half-day trip of it for us. Just to see the Burrow, tell Her we loved Her, and to attempt a few challenges.

Don’t get me wrong here; the cabin is just that, a cabin. Not a beach house with hydro and running water. It’s completely off-grid, as are the other cabins around us. It’s a brilliant adventure, even when we can drive in via the goat paths that lead to Her. But today, after all the crazy weather of late, we did not know if the dogs could actually walk through whatever snow was there. A Bassador, short and stocky, a Lurcher with long, spindly legs, and a Spanish Galga; same legs as the Lurcher. It might have been a total disaster.

We hit the road, drove for an hour, with a coffee pit stop, arrived at the stopping point for wheeled vehicles, geared up and headed forward.


That’s a lot of snow for a plastic kid’s shovel!

Another side-note: I’m recovering, still, from a mis-diagnosed broken ankle from over 2 years ago. 2 surgeries later, I’m just recently at 8% Dorsi-flexion….which is at the bottom level of normal human walking range. My PT consists of (trying to) walk like a normal person; without limping. Fun. Not. Snowshoes however, make life a whole shitload easier.

We managed the entry hike in 45 minutes (I think it’s mostly more downhill than on the way out).


Yeah, that’s the BBQ! Sigh.

Once we actually made it to the cabin proper, we stripped off snowshoes and jackets, and got down to the fun task of shoveling the accumulated snow from the steps and part of the deck, so we could actually get to the door and open it. Trust me, it was a bit of a chore!

Once enough snow had been cleared away, we greeted the Burrow as we usually do, with compliments and expressions of love.

We chatted with a few neighbours who either skied in or walked in, and got the 19th century cook stove going….after I had to dig out the chopping stump to build up our firewood supply for the day, dig out the fire pit for a couple of really cool and uncommon fire-starting challenges (more on that in part 2) and my partner snow shooed a path to the outhouse. Good times!


Re-hydrated gruel!

We had lunch, a first test of a real dehydrated meal (we have made jerky, dried apples, kale chips, dried peppers, etc; but never anything substantial). It rocked. Dehydrated ground pork, corn, chickpeas (garbonzo beans), rice and separate salsa to add flavour.


Dried Gruel!!

Yes, the video I watched showed how to make everything together in the dehydrator, but I  didn’t totally trust the presenter on his YouTube channel. No I won’t name him, or others who give shit or dangerous info, in this post. That is a totally different blog post. Just be careful what you learn from YouTube. Lots of dangerously stupid people have computers……

Lunch consisted of 2 home-dehydrated beef jerky (bottom round roast) flavours, spicy and curried, dehydrated Mexican, cheese, dehydrated apples, trail mix, chocolate and water. Nothing spectacular, but frigging amazing.


The sides.

As it’s February in Canada, water for dish-washing was provided by melting snow in the over-sized kettle. Gotta love simplicity. Dishes were washed in the main room, where the stove is, giving us a bit more warmth. Water was disposed of outside in the snow, away from the cabin, and certainly not down the sink as we do in good weather. No point in messing around with a frozen septic bay, is there?

With the fire dwindling in the stove, we got dressed again, to head out and commence our fire-starting challenges, which will appear in A day at the Cabin (part 2). Prepare to be amazed and amused, folks, because now is when everything gets pretty damned wicked.


Curious? You should be!





Categories: Cabin, Cabin food, Camping food, Jerky, Knowledge, Learning, Off grid food, Respect the Old Ways, survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

About Me. And other shit.

I’m a Luddite. Plain and simple things work best, for me. Plain and simple. Yes, I have a penis, but that does not mean I can rebuild a car engine, frame a house, program a computer/design a web page or build a server. I like things, the simpler, the better. Tech has a place, but for me, it’s not the be all / end all. Common television annoys me. I like things that make me think. Books rock.

Having said that however, I have skills, tolerances, abilities (can build an entire second floor of Ikea furniture in under 24 Heineken). I can chop wood without losing a digit or limb. So far. I can for some reason, understand how pallet up-cycling works, and make a deck and other workable items from them.

I will share my partner’s blog with you; why not? If you are reading this you are probably reading hers as well. We love simplifying our lives, and a little slice of land out in the country makes it possible. Visit her blog; it’s quite good. http://www.tinycabinbigdreams.com

I have a penchant for my club, of which I am merely a cog in; Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).

I support Reduce, Reuse, Rescue.

Be polite to everyone you meet, but always have a plan to secure your family and friends in case of of any disaster, either man-made or natural.

I hope that something; anything in this blog helps if it comes to that.

Except the restaurant reviews. Those are the express beliefs and opinions of my dog, Reagan. As he lacks opposable thumbs, he’s probably a bit dodgy. Just saying.

Without People, You’re Nothing.

 – Joe Strummer

Categories: Cabin, Knowledge, Learning | Tags: | 1 Comment

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