Wednesday, March 22, 2017


What wonderful weather for mid-March today (March 18, 2017).  Temps hit 90°F with clear blue skies in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I was happy to come away with a first place win in the “Main Dish” category.  Serving up BBQ Pulled Pork, to take home a trophy Plaque and a free annual pass to Nevada State Parks for the year.  That pass will certainly have some mileage put on it.

A group of us have competed in this annual cook-off for 3 or 4 years now.  We saw attendance go way up this year.  I came with 144 sandwich buns to serve the pulled pork on.  (12lbs of Pulled Pork).  I remember buying the buns and thinking I was practicing “over kill”.  When I saw the eating line start to form I started cutting buns in half.  Right before show time I started changing to 1/4 bun per serving.  I as well as many of the other cooks were wiped out.

The unofficial report I got this evening from someone connected with the fort put the headcount at 300.  A far cry from the 25-50 we had seen in previous years.

The 10lbs of coleslaw that never made it to the end.  It was just a bonus side dish to go with the BBQ.  Gone before the line finished passing the first time.

I also entered the dessert category with a double batch Cherry Chocolate Cake.  It didn’t even place with all the competition and great cooks.  Though it too was wiped out and only crumbs left.

Hopefully others that attended email me their photos for use on this site.  Also the winners for each category and the dish they served up.  Its tough when you cook, to find the time to take some photos or even sample all the great food.

I didn’t even have the time to enjoy the live music and fiddle players that were just out of ear shot.  Below is a portion of the cook set-ups.

Thanks goes out to Kathleen & Dave LeBlanc for serving up a Mountain Man breakfast for us early birds that were setting up at 7:30am.

Also thanks to those at the Fort that put this all together, then their task to get their park back to normal for the next business day.    There is lots of behind the scenes work and effort going into this event people never see.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


February 24-26, 2017

A great event to get out of the house this coming weekend.  Pahrump, Nevada is about 75 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada.  If you live in the area, or are just visiting, this is a great opportunity to enjoy Nevada's small town hospitality. 

We are posting this as a public service. This event is Sponsored by the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce. Please check their Facebook event and page for further info.

Their Facebook Event Page

Their Official Facebook Page

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Recipe & Image by Rick Beach

This is an experimental recipe for a lower glycemic index version for diabetics out there.  Also no cholesterol.  White sugar was omitted completely and agave nectar used instead at a lesser quantity.  All eggs whites.

If done properly these are a soft muffin.  Not a hard crusty muffin.

The  plain version, or the basic recipe is the most healthy.  But there are many options such as adding chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, or other fruits and nuts.

I had the blueberry version with breakfast and it was great!


3/8 cup      Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup     Vegetable Oil
4                Egg Whites
1 1/4 Cup  White Flour
1/4 Cup     Almond Flour/meal
3/4 tsp       Baking Powder
1/2 tsp       Baking Soda
1/4 tsp       Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp       Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp       Salt  (Using a 1/2 tsp tastes better if you need not limit salt intake)
1/4 tsp       Ground Nutmeg

1/2-1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2-1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
Combination of both
Sprinkle of roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
Other fruits or nuts.

Makes 12 Muffins
Preheat oven to 400°F
Line muffin tin will paper cups and spray the paper cups with Pam or spray oil

Use two bowls
Whisk all wet ingredients in the first bowl until well combined
Whisk all dry ingredients in the second bowl until well combined
Dump the mixed dry ingredients into the wet and fold in with rubber spatula until uniform
If adding nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit, fold them in last.
Spoon batter into the oiled paper liners in the muffin tin
Sprinkle with several roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds if you care to.
Bake 16 minutes until tooth pick test comes clean of batter.

The basic recipe Nutrition Facts  (Adding options will of course change these numbers)

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 143.5
  • Total Fat 6.0 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 2.8 g
  • Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • Sodium 149.9 mg
  • Potassium 63.3 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 19.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
  • Sugars 8.6 g
  • Protein 3.1 g
  • Vitamin A 47.7 %
  • Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  • Vitamin B-6 0.7 %
  • Vitamin C

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Since I am still trying to abide by my New Years Resolution, that being to strive for better eating habits, this recipe developed.

This is great for dieting, or for those diabetics attempting to reduce carbs and sugar intake.  This could be for those that just want to eat lighter.  There is no need to pass on many peoples favorite.  That glorious pizza!

For the most part pizza ingredients are fairly healthy.  That is if you can reduce the heavy filled feeling and bloating from chowing down on too much crust.  This recipe uses an 8 inch Whole Wheat Low Carb tortilla.  I find them at Costco but they are available at many places.

Further I take a standard 24 oz size jar of meatless spaghetti sauce and doctor it up.  First to make it go further, reducing the sugars it contains per serving, and secondly to add some added nutrients.

Once the sauce has cooked down to thicken and remove excess water, I build a pizza with any of the favorite ingredients.  This can vary greatly as will the resulting carbs, sugar, and fat content.  Peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, and sliced tomatoes (Roma preferably) can be heaped on with little negative effect.  If you are watching your weight or blood sugar levels skimp on cheese and meats.  But just getting rid of a thick crust, or even thin crust made with traditional pizza dough, will drastically cut down on calories, sugars, carbs, etc.

Limit yourself to one or less.  Serve with a salad and an iced tea.  It just doesn't get much better. 

24 oz            Spaghetti Sauce (A quality meatless choice)
1 Cup           Fresh Spinach Leaves (Coarsely chopped)
1 Cup           Fresh Kale Leaves (Coarsely chopped)
1 Tbsp.         Garlic (Fresh minced)   
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a sauce pan add all the ingredients.  Simmer until the spinach and kale are tender.  Continue to simmer until any excess water in the sauce has been cooked away.

Preheat Oven to 375°F.

Cover a cookie sheet with foil.  Spray the foil with PAM.  Sprinkle with a little corn meal.  Arrange a couple of tortilla's on the cookie sheet.

Start building your pizza.

Spread a thin brushing of olive oil on the surface of the tortilla that is facing up.
Spread a thin layer of your prepared sauce.
Sprinkle the sauce with grated Parmesan spaghetti cheese.
Arrange whole fresh basil leaves on top of the sauce.
Layer your favorite toppings such as pepper slices, sliced fresh tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, pepperoni.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Top with shredded Mozzarella Cheese.  Return to the oven just long enough to melt the Mozzarella.  These are delicious and really assists on helping to cut down on some of the bad stuff.  But still enjoying life.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


This is another experimental (work in progress) recipe.  This time a dessert.  My twist on a more basic recipe I came across.  This is actually version number two.  The original recipe called for double the peanut butter and sugar now shown for the Peanut Butter Layer.  (Photo's appearing here are from the original attempt with the double dose of peanut butter).  I love Peanut Butter but that amount was way over the top, even for me.  The recipe shown below has cut the peanut butter layer in half.

This is made in a 9 inch spring form pan.  No baking required.  Someday I am going to attempt this one while camping.  Using ice and a Cast Iron Dutch Oven to do the chilling.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Cake
Rick Beach

Serves 8–10
10                    Graham crackers
7 Tbsp.            Melted butter
¼ tsp.              Cinnamon
2 pinch            Salt

24 ounces        Cream cheese (Room Temperature)
1½ Cups          Powdered sugar
2 pinch                        Salt
1 tsp.               Vanilla extract
1½ Cups          Chocolate chips, melted

1 Cups             Peanut butter, melted
1/2 Cup           Powdered sugar
1/16 tsp.                                Cayenne Pepper powder

1 1/2 Cup        Crushed Chocolate Cookies

Crumb Crust Bottom Layer
1.  Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan with wax paper.
2.  Crush graham crackers.  In a bowl, whisk the Cinnamon and Salt into the crumbs
3.  Pour the melted butter into the crumb mixture and mix until uniformly damp.
4.  Press the graham cracker crumbs/butter mixture into the bottom of the 9-inch pan
Cover & Refrigerate while mixing the cheese layer.
Cream Cheese Chocolate Layer
5.  In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese until smooth.
6.  Add powdered sugar and salt, then mix until uniformly blended
7.  Add vanilla and continue to mix until blended in.
8.  Add the melted chocolate and mix until uniformly blended
9.  Spoon the mixture over the graham cracker crust in the spring form pan. Smooth out over the    top of the cracker crust.
Cover & Refrigerate while mixing the Peanut Butter layer.
Peanut Butter Top Layer
10. In a large bowl, mix together melted peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar.
11. Pour mixture over cheese/chocolate layer in the spring form pan. Spread it evenly over cheese layer.
12. Refrigerate 2-4 hours
Crushed Cookie Topping
13. Prior to serving cover the Peanut Butter Layer with the Crushed Chocolate Cookie Topping
Remove from spring form pan. Pull off the wax paper sides.  Slide onto a serving plate.  Slice and serve while cold..  Keep cold/refrigerated.