Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Using sourdough gives these cinnamon rolls an amazing flavor and texture. I like to measure out the sourdough starter 8 to 12 hours before mixing up the recipe. I then add a tablespoon of flour and sugar to the starter so starter can get nice and bubbly. This helps the dough rise and really brings out the flavor of the starter. Using the bread machine saves some time and simplifies the dough making process.



1 cup sourdough starter

3/4 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons soft butter

1 egg slightly beaten

3 1/4 cup bread flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon yeast


1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon


1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

About 2 tablespoons milk


  • Put all ingredients in bread machine as per machine instructions. Set for dough cycle and make sure dough is of the proper consistency.
  • When dough cycle is done, remove the dough to a floured surface, punch down, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Grease a 9 X 13 cake pan
  • Roll out dough in a large rectangle shape. Rectangle should be bigger than the cake pan.
  • Brush melted butter on to the entire surface of the dough, then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the buttered dough.
  • Roll the dough on the long side until it is in a long “log.” Dampen the top edge of the dough with a bit of water so the final long edge rolled dough sticks together.
  • Cut dough crosswise into pieces that are about 1 to 1 ½ inches wide.
  • Place rolls in greased pan. Leaving as much space as possible between the rolls
  • Cover and let rise at least 60 minutes. I usually prepare the rolls the night before and let rise over night.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes
  • Let cool slightly and frost. To make frosting, place sugar and vanilla in a bowl, add a bit of milk and beat. Add a bit more milk if necessary. Frosting should be smooth and creamy.

Pheasant in Cream


4 deboned pheasant breasts

1/3 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

8 oz. portabella mushrooms

1 pint heavy cream


Add salt and pepper to flour and mix. Coat each piece of pheasant with the flour mix. Melt butter with garlic in a Dutch oven. When hot, brown the pheasant breasts on both sides. Remove the pheasant from the pan and add mushrooms. Lightly saute the mushrooms. Take Dutch oven off of heat. Remove the mushrooms and place the pheasant back in the Dutch oven. Put mushrooms on top of the pheasant and pour heavy cream on top of both. Put lid on dutch oven and bake at 350° for 60 minutes.

Nettles Watercress Soup

This soup is a great late spring/early summer food for folks that like to gather their eats in the wilds.

Combining two relatively abundant wild foods in one dish is a great way to jazz up a meal. This recipe comes from Germany. Being a fan of both wild food and German Food I absolutely had to try this soup. Gathering the nettles is the most challenging aspect of putting this soup together. I was able to pick the nettles sting free by using the scissors on my Swiss army knife, a pack basket and gravity. When making the soup, I did not have any spinach in the garden so I substituted Swiss Chard as the two have a similar taste. Plus, the Swiss and the Germans get along, so I figured the ingredients would compliment each other in the soup. My wife highly recommends the soup.


1 ½ cup baby spinach or Swiss Chard
½ cup stinging nettles leaves
¾ cup watercress
1 medium onion
3 small potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 strip unwaxed lemon zest
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon cold butter
black pepper


Wash and drain the spinach or Swiss chard. Blanch the spinach or chard and the nettles separately for about 1 minute. Then plunge into ice water. Drain well, squeezing leaves and then finely chop.

Wash drain and finely chop the watercress. Since water cress comes from creeks, I spray the watercress with vinegar before washing to hopefully remove any gut flushing bacteria.

Peel the onion and potato. Finely chop and add to vegetable broth. Simmer for 20 or minutes or until the onion and potatoes are soft and tender. Add cream and blend with immersion blender. Add lemon zest. Let zest infuse for a few minutes and then remove it.

Peel and finely chop the garlic. Shortly before serving, add the spinach or chard, nettles, watercress, garlic, and butter. Again, blend with immersion blender. Let stand for 3 minutes. Then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

I don’t have an immersion blender so I strained the onion and potatoes out of the broth after it was done and then ran the potatoes, onion, garlic, nettles, chard and watercress with a bit of broth through my blender. After blending, it all went back in the kettle for three minutes before serving. Also, to save time, I started the broth, potatoes and onions cooking and then blanched the chard and nettles.

Sour Kraut Salad


1 quart of sour kraut, well drained
1 4-0unce jar of Pimentos, drained
2 carrots shredded
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil


Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Let sit in refrigerator over night. Serve cold.

Rabbit Gravy over Wild Rice

By using a pressure cooker, rabbit and gravy can be made in about one hour.

This recipe is for all the gardeners who are wondering what to do to keep rabbits from destroying their gardens. I used a pressure cooker for the rabbit which is a fairly fast way to make really tender and juicy rabbit. While the rabbit is pressure cooking, make the wild rice and you have a delicious meal in short order.


1 rabbit dressed and quartered
I teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 onion quartered
1 cup of water
and ½ cup white wine.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
¼ to ½ cup flour
cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Sprinkle poultry seasoning and paprika on rabbit pieces. Place rabbit in pressure cooker along with water and wine and onion. Bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. (My cooker is calibrated for 15 psi of pressure). When the rabbit is done, depressurize the cooker and remove rabbit. Stir cream of mushroom soup, salt and pepper into liquid left in the cooker. Mix flour into cold water and add to mushroom soup mix. Stir until gravy thickens. The amount of flour used will depend on how much liquid is in the pressure cooker and how thick of gravy you prefer.
Use two forks to debone rabbit meat and return deboned meat to the gravy. Let simmer on low for a bit.

Wild Rice

1 carrot thinly sliced
2 stalks celery chopped
½ cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped ramps (can substitute 1 medium onion and one clove diced garlic)
1 cup wild rice*
2 cups water

In a cast iron skillet heat 1/3 cup oil and sauté carrot, celery, mushrooms and ramps. Add wild rice and stir in for a couple of minutes. Then add water and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let steam for 5 minutes. * If using commercially harvested and processed wild rice the cooking time will be about 30 to 45 minutes and you will need 2 ½ cups of water so the rice will need to be started before the rabbit and cooked separately from the vegetables

To serve, put wild rice on plate and add gravy over the top.

Red Dragon Pie


Red Dragon Pie is a Hearty and filling vegetarian meal.

Fortunately, one does not need to don shiny armor and a sword and head out to mystic mountains to slay a red dragon to make this vegetarian dish. The red comes from the use of the red adzuki bean and red pepper. Adzuki beans are hard to find so you can substitute any red bean. I used a mix of beans from the garden. Kidney or chili beans will work well. There is also red pepper flakes in this dish so it could be as hot as dragon flames if desired. Another possibly hard to find ingredient is soft goat cheese for the mashed taters. Cream cheese can be substituted for the soft goat cheese. If canned beans rather are used instead of dry beans many hours of cooking time will be saved.


1 cup of dried adzuki beans or substitute another dry bean or canned beans. If using dry beans, soak them over night. 2-8 oz cans of beans will work.

1 teaspoon thyme or 1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot diced
2 stalks of celery diced
dried chili flakes to taste
1 large red pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
3-4 large potatoes chopped
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup of soft goat’s cheese or cream cheese


1. Simmer the soaked beans in a large pot for about an hour or until beans are tender with the bay leaf and thyme. If using caned beans-open the cans. When done simmering drain beans, but save liquid.

2. Heat oil in cast iron skillet and then saute the onion, carrot, celery and chili pepper. When this mix begins to get soft, add red peppers, and cook for about 8 more minutes.

3. Measure out 1 ¼ cups of bean liquid and add it to vegetable mix, also stir in tomato puree and soy sauce. If using canned beans, now is the time to add the bay leaf and thyme. (remove the bay leaf when done simmering) Simmer gently for half an hour. Add parsley at end of cooking time.

4. While bean veggie mix is simmering, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain. Place in bowl with goat cheese butter. Wait a few minutes for butter and cheese to begin to soften and then mash.

5. Spread potato mix on top of bean/veggie mix. If using cast iron leave bean/veggie mix in skillet. If not, transfer mix to casserole before putting on mashed potatoes. Bake at 325° in the oven for about 30 minutes. Pie should be bubbly on bottom and lightly brown on top.

California Style Ramps & Eggs

Ramps are one of the first wild foods to emerge in the spring. To me, their flavor is a cross between onion and garlic. Ramps can be eaten raw or incorporated into many dishes.

Last December, we were fortunate enough to spend a week in California. We visited my daughter who lives in Los Angeles and ate some amazingly good food. We quickly noticed that just about every dish in LA is served with avocados. We also had some really great vegetarian meals. So I used these ideas for my starting point when I created this ramps recipe. The ramps are up, but their growth so far is stunted. They are about half the size that they normally reach. Not sure if the slow growth is being caused by the snow, cold, or lack of moisture.

CA Style Ramps & Eggs


1 bunch of ramps cleaned
1 green pepper
1/2 container of fresh mushrooms
2 cups diced potatoes
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
handful of cherry tomatoes

Thin slice the white bulb and purple portion of the ramps. Slice the green leaf part into 1 inch wide strips and set aside. Chop green pepper and slice mushrooms. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet then begin to saute sliced ramps, green pepper and mushrooms. After about 5 minutes add diced potatoes. Stir frequently. While potatoes are cooking, beat eggs well and then mix in milk. When potatoes are cooked, stir in cherry tomatoes and ramp leaves. Next, stir in egg and milk mixture. Reduce heat, and cover and let cook until the egg mixture is solid.

Sour Dough Bread

Few food items conjure up images of pioneers and prospectors like sour dough bread. Hardy Alaskan prospectors who had been in country for a winter or more were accorded special status with the title “Sourdough”. The Sourdoughs in Alaska protected their starter from the cold of winter by keeping in it a bag under their clothes. Since bathing during the long cold Alaskan winter wasn’t practical, I wonder what flavors were imparted to the starter while it was kept under the prospector’s clothing. Sourdough is sort of a self rising ingredient so one can use low gluten flours like all purpose and rye flour which do not work well with active bread yeasts which needs the gluten to make the bread rise. The trade off is that sourdough breads take longer to rise than breads using active yeasts.
Sourdough Starter
The first step to making sourdough bread is to create a starter. This process can take up to two weeks. The two basic ingredients for sourdough starter are water and flour. A third basic ingredient is wild yeast which is everywhere. The water and flour is left open to the air so the yeast can fall into the flour/water mixture where it begins to ferment. Eventually the starter is formed. To speed the fermentation process up, a sugar such as honey, white sugar, brown sugar, or a fruit juice can be added to the starter. Packaged yeast can also be added to the starter. The starter I used called for
1 package of dry yeast
21/2 cups warm water
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Table spoon honey or sugar. (I used honey)

The ingredients were dumped in a bowl, a cheese cloth was put over the top and the mixture was left to ferment. The mixture had to be stirred two or three times a day. When the starter was bubbly and smelled like a frat house after a wild beer party-it was ready for baking.
Sour dough bread
1 cup sour dough starter at room temperature
1 package dry yeast dissolved in 1 ½ cups warm water
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ to 1 cup all purpose flour

Mix 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, baking soda and sugar into dissolved yeast mixture. Add starter, then mix in as much of the ½ to 1 cup of flour to mixture stirring with spoon. Kneed on a lightly greased surface adding flour until you have a moderately stiff dough. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down, divide into two loaves and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough into round or oval loaves and place on a greased cookie sheet or round pan. Cut a criss-crossed pattern on top of loaves with a sharp knife. Cover loaves and let rise until doubled. This may take up to a hour and a half. Bake in a 400 degree over or in a hot Dutch oven. One tip from the cook shack: If using the oven preheat the oven to 450 and the turn down to 400 after the dough is in the oven. If using the Dutch oven preheat prior to placing the bread in the oven. Also, place the dough in a cake pan and elevate the pan from the bottom of the Dutch oven to lower the risk of burning. I use metal corner brackets to elevate the pan. The bread is one when you tap on the crust and it sounds hollow.
Sourdough bread is a culinary experience worth the time and effort it takes to make it.

Blues Burgers

Blues Burgers is a great way to dress up a hamburger. It can be grilled or broiled.

Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray, Mark Cameron, and tons of other awesome musicians all play some mighty great blues. Its my favorite type of music. So when I saw a recipe call Blues Burgers I knew I had to try it. I even had the sound track to the Blues Brother 2000 movie jammin in the background while I was cooking. I added caramelized onions and dry sauteed the mushrooms rather than sauteing them in butter as in the original recipe. I used a burger press to make the burgers. I kept the burgers on one sheet of the wax paper until it was time to cook them up. This made handling easier and gave more area for sprinkling the blue cheese on the burger. Take special care to make sure the edges are sealed around the entire burger or the cheese will leak out. This is a great burger. Definitely worth the extra effort

Blues Burgers


½ lbs fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ lbs burger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
BBQ sauce
Caramelized Onion slices


Saute the mushroom in a dry pan until tender. In large bowl, mix burger and spices and form into 8 thin patties. Sprinkle half the patties with blue cheese. Place remaining patties on top of blue cheese and smoosh together especially the edges. Grill or broil for ten minutes or till desired doneness. Place on a toasted bun, and top with BBQ sauce, onions, and mushrooms,.

Maple Roasted Venison

In between cleaning snow off the drive way and snow shoeing, I was able to toss a venison roast in the oven. As an experiment, I poured a mixture of maple syrup, and rose wine over the venison roast. I also tossed the ingredients for a loaf of fresh whole wheat bread in the bread machine. I was so hungry when supper was finally done after smelling baking bread and roasting venison all afternoon. Maybe that is why this roast was so good. The venison was also served with a wild rice side dish.


Venison roast
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup red wine. (I used cheap rose)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon onion powder
Teaspoon garlic powder


Place roast in dutch oven. Combine rest of ingredients and pour over roast. Cook at 275° for 4 hours. Ladle sauce over meat about every half hour. When roast is done, remove meat from dutch oven and use left over sauce to make gravy. Pour gravy over meat before carving.