The Cave Behind the Cabinet Door

This post is not food-related in any way.  It is a short story I wrote based on an all too real nightmare I had many years ago that seems all too appropriate for Halloween next month.

I suggest you not read this story at bedtime, especially if you’re bothered by creepy-crawlies, pitch-black places, and claustrophobia.  Click on the link below to read this 4-page nightmarish tale:

The Cave Behind the Cabinet Door

How to Remove Tea Stains from a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Yesterday, my doctor told me to quit drinking so much tea and to drink water instead. Normally, I make 3 quarts of iced tea every day using my old Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker.  Before I put it away, I noticed the years of accumulated brown tea stains on the decanter and the tea bag basket.  Normal washing with warm water and liquid dish detergent has never been good enough to remove this stain buildup, and it looked really grungy.

Trying to think of something different, I wondered, “Okay, what would I use to remove tea stains from clothing?”  Answer:  a normal washing machine.

Next, I poured about 2 tablespoons of Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent into the bottom of the decanter, filled it halfway with warm water, and proceeded to rub the stains with a sponge.  Lo and behold, for the first time ever, those stains began to disappear, and before long, they were completely gone.  Next, I attacked the tea bag basket.  Using the soapy water in the decanter, I used a long-handled brush with a round head of stiff nylon bristles that I normally use to clean deep drinking glasses on occasion.   After about 2 minutes of scrubbing with this brush, the stains disappeared from this plastic basket, too.

Now I can store my iced tea maker on the top shelf, knowing that the next time I need it, it will look almost brand new.  I love Arm & Hammer laundry detergent!

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent


Pocket App for Reading my Posts

Have you tried the Pocket app?  I just installed it today on my PC and Android device.

I’ve been using Evernote to store links to web pages, videos, and other articles I want to save for later, but Pocket lets me save articles I find on the web, including posts from this blog, but without all the clutter.  It’s much easier to use Pocket for a quick read while you’re waiting in the doctor’s office, the airport, or just sitting under a shade tree on a lazy afternoon.  A big plus:  Pocket lets you share with your Evernote app, too.

I predict that Pocket is going to be my most-used app for saving articles for reading later, and now when I publish a post here, one of the share buttons below each post is a Pocket button.  It even has the photos from my posts, and it’s so clean to look at!

You can download the Pocket app here: or one of the links below.

Don’t forget to install the app for your mobile device while you’re signing up.

Just follow the links below to get started:

Pocket for your computer:

Pocket for Android:

Pocket for iPhone:

Pocket for iPad:

The Pocket app for Kindle Fire is available, but I don’t have the link for that.

Texas Hash

Texas Hash

Texas Hash

My Texas Hash will never win any prizes at the county fair with its non-descript seasonings, but if you’re looking for an uncomplicated, easy to prepare, and filling dish that satisfies a craving for food, this is the one.

I used to go camping almost every weekend in the 1970s, and this was very popular with all my camping friends.  After a hard day at play, this dish cooked on an outdoor camp stove was hard to beat for filling those growling tummies.  Most of the time, it was a one-dish meal, and we didn’t bother to cook any extras on the side.  It’s got beef, veggies (onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers), and rice.  After a short nap, we were ready to jump back into the lake.

Not bursting with spicy, strong flavors, but very palatable when you’re hungry for something more “normal,” this is sure to hit the spot whether you’re at home or in the woods!

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Inspired by my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, this Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies recipe will delight you!  NOTE:  You will need a heavy duty stand mixer with dough beaters, such as my Sunbeam Mixmaster, because the final dough is too dense and thick for most hand-held mixers.

I used McCormick’s Coffee Extract in this recipe, but if you can’t find that, coffee liqueur or Kahlúa coffee liqueur (my favorite) will work just as well.

HINT:  If you’ve got some leftover cookies, but they’ve gotten a little hard, put them in a 800-watt microwave oven for 4-5 seconds each.  They will be warm and chewy, just like they were out of the oven!  You gotta love those chocolate chunks, too!


Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

A little of my newly-revised Southwestern Chicken Rub and Marinade, olive oil, boneless chicken breasts, and a grill are all you need for this delicious Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken.  If you’re like me, you might like some of my homemade BBQ sauce on the side for dipping, too!

There is a secret ingredient in your burgers: wood pulp

Jim Ashberry:

One more reason to make your own burgers. I knew there was a reason that my grilled burgers taste better at home

Originally posted on Quartz:

There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp.

The emulsion-stabilizing, cling-improving, anti-caking substance operates under multiple aliases, ranging from powdered cellulose to cellulose powder to methylcellulose to cellulose gum. The entrance of this non-absorbable fiber into fast food ingredients has been stealthy, yet widespread: The compound can now be found in buns, cheeses, sauces, cakes, shakes, rolls, fries, onion rings, smoothies, meats—basically everything.

The cost effectiveness of this filler has pushed many chains to use progressively less chicken in their “chicken” and cream in their “ice cream.” McDonald’s ranks highest on the list with cellulose integrated into 14 of their menu items including their renowned fish fillets, chicken strips and biscuits, with…

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Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

After butterflying large boneless skinless chicken breasts for my new Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast recipe, I rubbed them with some of my Southwestern Chicken Rub and Marinade, sprinkled some charcoal seasoning ( on both sides, and placed them on my gas grill.  I only recently started using the charcoal seasoning on various meats, and it really does increase the flavor of meats.

About two minutes from finish, I poured some of my new hickory bbq sauce on the top, and then served some additional sauce on the side.  This was so yummy!

Jim’s Hickory BBQ Sauce

Jim's Hickory BBQ Sauce

Jim’s Hickory BBQ Sauce

This sweet, tangy Jim’s Hickory BBQ Sauce is and attempt to create a new and different all-purpose BBQ sauce that was different from all my other recipes.  I believe I’ve achieved a new all-around all-purpose BBQ sauce that is good on all kinds of meat.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired by my mother’s Toll House cookies, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe is my favorite cookie, and several of my friends and neighbors agree!  You will need a heavy duty stand mixer, such as my old-fashioned Sunbeam Mixmaster, some parchment paper, and at least one large insulated or air bake type cookie sheet.  Oh yes…don’t forget a large glass of milk to wash down these tasty treats!


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