I finally found the words that describe why I camp, cook, write, photograph, fish and hunt. They come, frankly, from John Eldredge, author of "Wild at Heart". In his thoughts about the changing of the wild west Eldredge writes:
."...and why I linger here still, letting the old bull get away. My hunt, you see, actually has little to do with elk. I knew that before I came. There is something else I am after, out here in the wild. I am searching for an even more elusive prey...something that can only be found through the help of the wilderness. I am looking for my heart."
~ John Eldredge "Wild at Heart"

As am I, John, as am I.

Kickin’ Chicken Piccata

by Bart "Cookie" Gragg

From: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2011/04/prick-your-tongue-with-chicken-piccata.html


READ the entire recipe through for notes and comments.


Chicken Piccata Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • OR use chicken breast fillets, already thin. They will swell when cooking, but not to worry, go the full 5 minutes on one side and then 4 on the other.
  • *salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed
  • *cayenne to taste
  • all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained (tip: for more intense flavor, mince 1 teaspoon of the capers, leaving the rest whole)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in 1/4-in slices
  •  2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped

*Spices – In place of salt and cayenne pepper, I used Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and sprinkled it on there like it was salt. And added black pepper.

Pre-prep: This cooks relatively fast, so use pinch bowls to set up all of your ingredients ahead of time. If you don’t have pinch bowls use small coffee cups or whatever you have to hand.

*Skillet – I found that a stainless skillet with a heavy bottom and burnished inside make for a better browning and ‘crumbs’. But, use what you have.
*The sauce – it’s a white wine reduction with butter so it is going to be thinner than many are used to. It’s NOT a gravy, okay!

NOTES: From the comments on the blog many people tried to double or triple the recipe and a common comment was that the lemon juice was too tart. Might want to back off of that a bit if multiplying. To what extent? I am going to try it at about 1/3 cup juice for doubling the recipe.


Prep the chicken

1.         Pound chicken to 1/2″ thick or you can use thin sliced chicken breast fillets.
2.         Sprinkle with cayenne, salt and pepper – I use Tony Chachere’s
3.         Dredge both sides in flour and shake off excess.  You want a thin, thin coating of flour.


1.         In a heavy pan heat olive oil.
2.         Cook chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side. Set aside on a warm plate.
3.         Place the capers in the pan and mash half of them with a fork. Sizzle in the oil for about 30 seconds.
4.         Add white wine. Deglaze the bottom of the pan. Reduce to half (boil for 2 minutes)
5.         Dump in lemon juice, the water or chicken stock and cold, sliced butter.
6.         Over real low heat keep the pan moving until the butter is melted.
7.         Add fresh chopped Parsley.
8.         Put the chicken back in to heat through – about a minute – turning once – not too long since they are still warmish.
9.         Plate the chicken. Spoon the sauce and capers over and enjoy!
10.       Serve or over rice or with roasted red peppers, buttered noodles, a wet rock, whatever…

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I went looking for the Texas Roadhouse green bean recipe as people I know are interested in it. I for one think that recipe is okay… well… actually just marginal. And it only gets marginal marks because it at least adds some flavor to green beans.

Before you get all up in my grill let me say that I LOVE me some green beans. Even raw. ish. But let’s face it – like turkey and chicken breast they can be pretty bland.

So I developed my own recipe and damned if it didn’t come out tastier. That’s my opinion. Does anyone else’s count? Of course it does. I want to hear what you have to say about these beans.

For 2 to 3 people –  and if you want the vegan or vegetarian version it’s easy – don’t use the turkey bacon!

  • 2 cups fresh green beans, washed and cut into 1″ lengths*
  • 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked until almost crisp. Not quite.
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 Tbls. coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or salt substitute**
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper**
  • 1 cup water

*measured after cutting to length
** or whatever your hearts desire

  1. Saute the onions until just beginning to turn brown on the edges.
  2. Cook the bacon and dice, or dice and cook the bacon. Almost crisp. Not quite crisp.
  3. Put the beans in a 2 quart pot and cover with water – 1 cup should do it. Add the onion, bacon, coconut oil salt and pepper.
  4. Stir and simmer 20 minutes or until to your preferred doneness. I go 30 minutes. I like tender but not

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