Low-Carb Cole Slaw


Everything changed when I realized I could make this in just five minutes with the food processor!

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Low-Carb Chocolate Pie


Yes, it’s possible to have a low-carb Chocolate pie on Pi Day.


1 c slivered blanched almonds

1 c coconut flour

1/2 c blended cocoa

1 t baking soda

1/4 c Kidsweet or other non-nutritive sweetener

1/2 c coconut oil

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 c water

2 eggs

  1. preheat oven to 350F.
  2. pulverize almonds in blender/food processor
  3. add other powders.  Mix.
  4. Add eggs, oil, and liquids and blend.
  5. Press evenly into 9″ pie dish.  Clean up top edge so it doesn’t burn on the edges.  Blind-bake for 20 minutes, then cool.


4 oz, by weight, baking chocolate

3 oz, by weight, coconut oil

1 oz, by weight, Kidsweet

1 oz, by weight, water

  1. combine ingredients into bowl.  Microwave 2 minutes on high.  Stir to blend, then place in refrigerator to cool.  Stir occasionally.
  2. when the chocolate has cooled to 60 degrees, microwave again for 30 seconds.  Stir and set aside.


1 12oz package soft silken tofu

1 batch chocolate, as above

1 T Kidsweet

1 t vanilla extract

1 t instant coffee

1/3 c water

  1. combine all ingredients in blender/food processor, for about 1 minute.
  2. pour into cooled pie crust.  Place in refrigerator to cool/set for 2 hours.
  3. Slice into eight pieces.  Try to believe it’s sugar-free and low-carb.


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More-Healthy Energy Bars


These are great energy bars, with a nice profile of protein, fat, and carbs to provide energy and satiety.  They’re only appropriate for a low-carb diet if you eat them during exercise.  They have better ingredients and better nutrition than most anything you’ll find in the store, since those need to be shelf-stable instead of being nutritious.  Best of all, these are fairly low in sugar while still being quite tasty and they should have a fairly nice glycemic profile for energy both now and later.





1/4 c chia

1/2 c hemp seed hearts

1/4 c flax seeds


2 c “old-fashioned” oats

1/2 c coconut oil


1 c raisins


2 c pecans

1 c sunflower seeds (raw)

1 c pumpkin seeds (raw)

1 c cashews (raw)

1 c almonds (raw)


1 package silken tofu

2 T Kidsweet (or 4 T sugar)

3/4 t sea salt

1/2 t NuSalt

1/2 c honey



1. In food processor, finely grind chia, hemp, and flax to a powder.  Set aside.

2.  Toast all nuts and seeds in the oven at 350*F.   Pecans (usually not raw) take about 25 minutes, the rest about half an hour.  Allow to cool.

3. Coarsely grind pumpkin and sunflower seeds, set aside.  Grind pecans, set aside.  Grind almonds and cashews.  (a large/powerful food processor might be able to handle them all at once).

4. Drain tofu then mix it with the Kidsweet, honey, and salts.

5.  Heat coconut oil in a pot, then add oats.  Stir until light brown and toasted.

6.  Slowly combine all ingredients in food processor with one cup of water.  For a standard  power food processor, it’s probably two batches, with half of each step’s ingredients at a time.  For  a smoother texture bar, process longer.

7.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and pour mixture (nearly a paste now) out onto parchment and spread evenly.  Bake at 350* for 40-50 minutes, until the top is becoming golden brown (the very edges will likely be dark).

8.  Cool for a few minutes and cut into bars while still hot.  Remove parchment from pan and place directly on cooling rack.  Cool and package.

Yield: 20 bars.


Keep bars refrigerated until the day you’re going to use them.   For easy transport, wrap like a gift in wax paper and close with a small piece of masking tape.






Nutrition data (via MyFitnessPal):

Calories: 561

Carbs: 30g

Fat: 46g

Protein: 16g

Sugars: 8g

Sodium: 75mg


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Jocks are Smart


I’ve debated with others in the past about different types of intelligence. I’ve used the example of star athletes – a football quarterback for example – who can look at everybody on the field, judge their positions, velocities, and make a prediction such that he can lob a pass far down field with exactly the right angle and velocity so his wide receiver need only put up his hands and hold onto it.  I’ve held that this requires calculations that we can only simulate with calculus and supercomputers today. Others have held that this is “just instinct” and not really a sign of intelligence. It seemed like a fair point of disagreement given a lack of evidence to support one position or the other.

Imagine my surprise to find further data on the argument on a “History” Channel reality show that my eight-year-old son is enjoying. On the first episode of Stan Lee’s Superheros, they profile a man who is a “human calculator”. He can do any arbitrary arithmetic (including cube roots) in his head almost instantly, as if by instinct. The show adequately demonstrates the skill (using the UCSD Math Department as examiners), but then they put him into an fMRI to see what’s going on. What’s going on is that he’s doing math in the brain center that’s used for motion, not the typical brain center most people use for math.  Besides presaging the future of humanity, it effectively demonstrates just how marvelous the motion centers are at doing enormously complex mathematical computations.

Touchdown for “Jocks are Smart” (though I’m not yet claiming the field goal).

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Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup

1 large yellow onion, diced
1 oz minced Anaheim chili
1 oz minced jalapeno chilies
3 oz cooking oil
2 T sea salt

3 t garlic paste (~6 cloves)
1/2 t ground peppercorns
1 1/2 T oregano
2 T toasted cumin, ground
2 T coriander, ground
1 T paprika, ground

2 t thyme
2 lbs leftover dark meat turkey

28 oz diced tomatoes
2 c chicken stock
1 can hominy, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 c frozen mixed vegetables (w/ corn)

1/2 t potassium salt (salt substitute)

2 cups tortilla chips, partly broken
2 c mexican-blend cheese (shredded)

1. Coat pot with 2T cooking oil and start tomatoes cooking in pot on high.

2. Saute onion and chilies in saute pan in 2T of cooking oil with 1 t salt until golden.

3. Add garlic paste, pepper, oregano, 1T cumin, and paprika.  Cook for three minutes and add mixture to tomatoes.

4. Place turkey in saute pan and cook over high heat with 2 t salt, thyme, remaining cumin, and 2T cooking oil.  Break up pieces and pan-fry on medium-high heat until browned and stringy.

5. When tomato mixture begins to stick to bottom of pan, add chicken stock, vegetables, hominy, black beans, and salt substitute.  Bring to a boil.  Mix in turkey.  Check for salt.

6. Stir in tortilla chips until thoroughly mixed.  Stir in cheese until evenly distributed.

7. Add water to desired thickness.

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Accessing my.scouting.org with Firefox 34

Since Firefox 34 landed, users of Mozilla’s Firefox have been unable to access my.scouting.org, due to the disabling of SSLv3 in Firefox 34 (it’s slightly more complicated than that but close enough).

Users will encounter an error like this:


One workaround is to switch to Chrome, but for those who like Firefox, a short journey into the configuration editor will re-enable SSLv3 and allow you to access My.Scouting.

1) Type about:config in the location bar.
2) In the search bar that comes up, enter: security.tls.version.min . Double-click on the entry that comes up and change the value to 0 (zero).
3) Do the same for security.tls.version.fallback-limit .

You should now be able to access the site again. It’s not great to leave these settings like this.  Hopefully the Office updates sooner or later to support more modern ciphers (propeller-heads: ECDHE suites) or Mozilla backs down from its overly-aggressive stance (too much, too soon, good long-term idea). If you’re doing this change, try to remember to come back in a year and undo it, for better long-term security.

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Crock Pot Beef Stew

Crock Pot Beef Stew

2.5 lbs chuck
1/4 cup bacon grease
fresh cracked mixed peppers
1/8 c cooking wine

1 onion
12 oz beer

1 lb bag carrots
8 medium potatoes

8oz mushrooms

2 t minced garlic
1 t thyme
1 t marjoram
1/3 t ground celery seed
1/2 t white pepper
2/3 t salt
2 c bone stock

Heat 2/3 of bacon grease in griddle (or heavy pan) on high.
Cut beef into 1" x 3/4" x 3/4" pieces.
Liberally salt and pepper the beef.
Brown beef,  4 minutes per side, no stirring.

while beef is browning:
Slice onion.
Place onion in bottom of crock pot.
Add beer.
Set crock pot for 8 hrs, low.

Slice mushrooms.

Peel and chop carrots & potatoes.
Add to crock pot.

Add browned beef to crock pot.  Deglaze griddle with cooking wine.
Dissolve drippings into wine & pour into crock pot.

Sautee mushrooms in rest of bacon grease.  Add to crock pot.

Add garlic, herbs & spices, celery, and salt to crock pot.
Cook three hours or until sizzle is heard from crock pot.  Stir.  Add
bone stock.  Allow 8-hour cycle to complete, stirring every two hours if
available (otherwise add all ingredients at beginning and it will be
almost as good).

This will yield a thick stew.  Add and heat water for soupier stew.
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The 1913 Scout Law Postcards as a PDF

Here’s a 12-page PDF of the Scout Law postcards from 1913, formatted for easy printing.  These will come in very handy for teaching Cubs the Scout Law in 2015.



h/t Bryan.

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NH Supreme Court Runs Amok

Today’s NH Supreme Court ruling in Duncan v. NH  is great for low-income students who can still get scholarships to attend their  school of choice  (as they say, the rich always have school choice).

What’s not so great is how this case was decided.  On first analysis, it appears to be a huge abuse of power by the NH Supreme Court.

The Court found that Duncan did not have standing to argue the case as a taxpayer.    Because this is in contravention of NH Statute, as codified by the Republican Legislature and Democratic Governor in 2012, the Court also found that the Statute is unconstitutional.  Which part of the Constitution does the Court claim the statute violates?

[Art.] 74. [Judges to Give Opinions, When.] Each branch of the legislature as well as the governor and council shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme court upon important questions of law and upon solemn occasions.

This article of the NH Constitution unambiguously requires the Court to render opinions to the Legislature (General Court), Governor, and Executive Council.  Today the court claims that it also prevents it from ever considering an argument from taxpayers, despite a long history of such decisions (many such examples are cited in the decision). By extension, the decision also claims that aggregate economic arguments may not be raised in NH Courts, since such arguments would create standing, which it claims does not exist. While the Obama administration has been arguing against taxpayer standing, such recognition is still accepted at the Federal level.

The court argues that any opinion it could render to a taxpayer would create “advisory opinions to private individuals” and as such exceeds its authority under Article 74. This argument does not pass the laugh test.

As the Court states in its decision:

“The simplest and most obvious interpretation of a constitution, if in itself sensible, is most likely to be that meant by the people in its adoption.”

The simple and sensible interpretation of Article 74 is that it is a requirement on the Courts, not a barring of the Courts to hear arguments from taxpayers.

This leaves the People with three distinct possibilities:

  • First, that the Framers of the Constitution meant what the Court claims but completely failed to articulate it and instead deeply hid the meaning in Article 74 to be discovered in 2014. This argument fails by the very quote they cite above.
  • Second, that the Court is simply not competent to interpret the Constitution.
  • Third, that the Court simply disliked the “restored” standing the 2012 bill returned to the taxpayers and chose to find a contrived path to find it unconstitutional.  Besides being an improper use of Court power to advance a political agenda, doing so would also be throwing Duncan under the bus.  One need not agree with the plaintiff to agree that he has been treated unfairly by the Court.

There are only two remedies left in NH to the People and the Legislature in the latter two cases. First is a Constitutional Amendment. It would be quite odd to have the Constitution describe the particulars of criteria for standing at the Supreme Court – that is a job properly left to Statute (as has been the case)

The second remedy is impeachment of the judges in this case (which was a unanimous decision). While the term ‘impeachment’ has drastic connotations in modern America, due to the popular notion of US Presidential impeachments being a high bar, it is, in reality, simply a tool that the Legislature has to “unappoint” judges that it finds are no longer suitable for the job. Either of the latter two possibilities are adequate criteria for such a finding.

The political feasibility of such an action will likely be determined this November.

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