Castaway Seed Blend (Whole 30)

Yesterday was a good day. It was filled with small acts of kindness, a three hour long nap and best of all, a long, properly social distanced, visit from my dear friend, ess. We haven’t seen each other in over 2 months. We very seldom go more than a week without seeing each other. I didn’t realize exactly how starved I was for in person human contact until she showed up.

Ess brought me three dozen fresh from the chicken eggs. They are so pretty and I can’t wait to start using them. What a nice surprise. Ess is one of the few people in my life that gets my “cooking thing” as my family calls it.

The first thing on my agenda was to get ess some time with my cockatiel, Squeak. Ess loves Squeak and I think Squeak loves her right back. He puts up with ess doing things to him he doesn’t even put up with from me. I know of all my animals, Squeak is her favorite. Don’t worry, ess, I won’t tell.

I think Squeak has missed ess as much as I have. None of my birds like to be held much or sit with me for long. We interact with each other in different ways. However, when I brought Squeak out and handed him to ess, Squeak went to her shoulder and sat there the entire time we waited for our dinner to be delivered.

Then we sat out by the picnic table and ate and talked and ate and talked and then talked some more. It felt normal and that hasn’t happened in a long time.

Castaway Seed Blend

From The Made Whole Made Simple Cookbook

2 TBS cumin seeds

2 TBS garlic powder

2 TBS ground mustard powder

2 TBS white peppercorns

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS sesame seeds

1 tsp dried minced lemon peel

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Combine the spices in the skillet and toast until the seeds begin to sizzle and pop and the sesame seeds smell toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Immediately transfer seed blend to a spice grinder; let cool for a few minutes then grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Air Fryer Won Ton Meatballs

Sometimes it takes a good friend to point out the obvious. A few days ago I was complaining about the limited choices I have for lunch now that I am working from home because I don’t own a microwave. I can hear you all gasping but I hardly ever used it. It was taking up valuable kitchen real estate I would rather use for other things, like my air fryer, that I use all the time. When mine quit working, I never replaced it and until now never missed it.

My friend, Ess, said “why don’t you reheat things in your air fryer?” How come it took me 5 1/2 months of owning an air fryer to think of that?

Wonton Meatballs

From the Air Fryer Revolution cookbook

1 pound ground pork

2 large eggs

1/4 cup chopped green onion, white and green parts

1 TBS fresh minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp oyster sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional

In a large bowl, combine the pork, egg, cilantro, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper. Use your hands to completely mix the ingredients into the meat, about 2- 3 minutes.

For the meat mixture into 12 balls. Place the balls in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve.

Beef Shawarma (Whole 30)

As long as I can remember, the library has been my happy place. I just love wandering around the stacks looking for new novels to read and cookbooks to cook from. I can’t count the hours I have spent working on this blog on library computers. I am at at the Main library or one of its 3 branches a minimum of once a week, a lot of time 2 or 3 times a week.

That’s why I was so absolutely devastated when the libraries closed because of the quarantine. I get why they had to close and I fully support the decision to do so but I can’t count how many times in the last two months I have caught myself thinking, I am going to go to the library today. I can honestly say the library is the only place I have missed going to since quarantine began.

Well, last week the libraries in my hometown opened up again…. sort of. Last week, the libraries reopened with curb side service. You call the library with your choices, they pick them, pack them and place them on a table and you pick them up.

The system isn’t perfect because I rarely go to the library looking for a specific book. I get what speaks to me at the time. So when I called and asked the librarian to randomly pick 3 cookbooks and 3 novels for me, he was kind and accomodating enough to do so.

It was so much fun to come home from the library and see what was in the bag for me. Honestly, none of the books were something I would have picked to read myself. That’s not a bad thing, one of those books could be my next favorite author of all time.

Beef Shawara

Adapted From Easy Keto In 30 Minutes

Spice blend:1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Beef:1 TBS olive oil

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

11/2 tsp lemon juice, optional

In a small bowl, combine all the spice blend ingredients; mix well and set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium beat; add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until almost cooked, 4 -5 minutes.

Turn heat to high. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon shawarma spice blend, stir well. Add cabbage and 1 tablespoon water. Cover. Steam the cabbage for about 1 minute. Remove the lid and stir well. Add lemon juice if using.

Sourdough Biscuits

This is the last sourdough starter recipe I tried before my starter died. It’s so sad because this recipe would have made it to my daily rotation for breakfast. The biscuits were light and fluffy. Perfect for egg and bacon breakfast sandwiches.

Sour Dough Biscuits

Adapted from

1/2 cup flour

1/8 salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 1/2 TBS cold butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup sour dough starter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl , combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Using two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumps about the size of a pea. Add the sourdough starter and mix until combined into a shaggy dough.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured board. Knead a few times, until all of the flour is mixed in.

Pat/roll dough to 3/4″ and cut out biscuits; place them on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes, until slightly brown.

Sourdough Pancakes

The second recipe I made with my sourdough discard is pancakes. I couldn’t believe how fluffy these pancakes got.

Sourdough Pancakes

Adapted from

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 TBS canola oil

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

Preheat the griddle or frying pan over medium heat; about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.

In another bowl, combine the egg, oil and sourdough starter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.

Drop by ¼ cupfuls onto a heated pan coated with cooking spray. Cook until the bottom is golden, 2-4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden.