Humble Pea & Ham Soup w/ Fluffy Dumplings

This recipe was originally posted at but has since been removed. Posted here to keep it available for use.

Humble Pea & Ham Soup w/ Fluffy Dumplings

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


for the soup

  • 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham
  • 2 small onions small dice
  • 3 sticks celery small dice
  • 3 large carrots rough chop
  • 3 bay leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 sprigs rosemary leaves picked & chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

for the dumplings

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
  • freshly grated nutmeg


  • Remove the meat from any bone, skin, and fat. Cut into ¾" thick slices. Place the slices in a large, dep pan (at least 9" wide). Add onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and a smattering of pepper to the pan. Cover with 12 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Put on the lid, then turn heat down to a simmer. Let cook for 1½ hours, skimmy foam every now and again.
  • While this is simmering, make the dumplings. Place flour in a bowl with baking powder and a pinch of salt. Using a box grater, grate your cold butter into the bowl along with a few good grates of nutmeg. Add about ¼ cup of cold water and then, using your hand, work everything into a ball of dough. It should be firm and fairly malleable. Add another drizzle or two more water if it seems to dry. Work quickly so that your body heat doesn't melt all the butter.
  • Dust a tray with flour and then divide the dough into 12 fairly equal pieces, roll into balls, and place on tray. Refrigerate until needed.
  • When cooking time is up, either pull your meat into shreds or pieces using a couple of forks or remove to a cutting board and use a knife. Return to pot. Bring back to a boil then add the peas, rosemary, and lemon zest. Plop in the reserved dumpling dough. Turn heat down to medium and allow to simmer for another 15-20 minutes to allow the dumplings to plump up and cook through.
  • Enjoy!

Penn Jillette’s Las Vegas Steak

On New Year’s Eve, I made this steak based on the description that Penn Jillette gave on an episode of Penn’s Sunday School. I surprised even myself when it came out so perfect and delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Photo of raw steak

Penn Jillette's Las Vegas Steak

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 lbs filet mignon or beef tenderloin steak
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided


  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • mix the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl (make sure to taste it, as it should be delicious when the ratio is right)
  • coat the steak thoroughly in olive oil (massage it into the meat)
  • coat the steak with the brown sugar mixture
  • heat a large oven safe saute pan until just before it starts to smoke
  • add the remaining olive oil into the hot pan to coat
  • fold the steak onto the hot pan and let sear for 1 minute (fold away from you to avoid splashing)
  • flip the steak and let cook for 1 more minute
  • move the entire pan into the oven and cook until done (about 10 minutes)
  • remove steak from pan and serve

Updated site

I switched this site from Tumblr to a hosted instance of WordPress recently and I’m going to try to post a few times this year as a new year’s resolution for 2015.

Health Initiative 2015 is underway, but as a throwback to last year (before the diets of 2014) I will post a recipe for delicious steak based on Penn Jillette’s steak recipe.  Look for that in a few days.  In the mean time, please let me know if you have any questions, comments, ideas, etc. for the direction of this site.

Mac OSX 10.7 Lion problems

So when Lion came out last week, I went ahead and bought and downloaded it… I then spent 3 or 4 days trying to figure out why I couldn’t install it. I was also experiencing some problems with my installation of Snow Leopard and even trying to boot my known good Snow Leopard installer disk. The problems I was experiencing was that when booting up, it would completely freeze once everything came up and would sit like that for 5 minutes or so before I could start using it. Lion would not install stating only “An error has occurred, please run this program again later”

Only after I had been doing some searching for the errors that showed up in the installation log, I found a suggestion to try clearing the PRAM and NVRAM. I did that by turning on my Macbook Pro while holding down Option, Command, P, and R. And guess what, everything worked fine then.

So, my suggestion to any mac owners that are experiencing weird problems, reset your PRAM and NVRAM before you spend days searching for the answer like myself.