• 1 package frozen gumbo-style vegetables, 16 oz, a mixture of okra, peppers and onions.
  • 29 oz canned diced tomatoes, with mild chiles.
  • 12 oz refrigerated grilled chicken breast fillet, cubed, about 3 cups.
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning


  • Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add vegetables and saute over high heat, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 more minute. Stir in tomatoes, chicken, and Creole seasoning. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot, about 6 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Servings: 4


  • 4 points per serving
  • Cooking time around 20 minutes

  • Step One Ingredients
    • 2 Cups sugar
    • 1 Cup corn syrup
    • 1/2 Cup hot water
  • Step Two Ingredients
    • 2 Cups (10 oz) raw Spanish peanuts
  • Step Three Ingredients
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 2 teaspoon real vanilla


In a medium size saucepan, combine the “Step One” ingredients. Bring to a boil over a medium to medium-high heat.

In another container, such as a Pyrex measuring cup, combine the salt and butter. Microwave the mixture to melt the butter and dissolve the salt before adding the baking soda and vanilla.

Cook the sugar mixture around 20 minutes until it changes color slightly and the mixture will stream from your spoon around a foot when raised above the pan. The string should be as fine as a hair and will string a foot before breaking. Add peanuts and cook until peanuts are browned (around 3-8 min). Don’t over-cook the peanuts as they will brown a little more after the mixture is poured out to cool.

Get a long spoon! I like to use a long wooden spoon for this next step. You want a long spoon because you will burn your hand from the steam when the “Step Three” ingredients are added.

Stir the “Step Three” mixture well and pour into sugar mixture. STIR LIKE CRAZY (with long spoon) and remove from heat. Stir briskly for 30 to 60 seconds or so.

Pour out into 9×14 pan. I suggest a new “Bakers Secret” pan because I’ve never had any problems with the candy sticking. Cool as fast as possible! A snow bank works well for this.


  • 1 1/4 cups 7-grain hot cereal mix (this is hot cereal mix, not cold cereal labeled 7-grain. I prefer the Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


  1. Place cereal mix in the bowl of your stand mixer and pour boiling water over it. Stir to mix and let stand until mixture cools to around 100°, stirring occasionally. Once mixture has cooled, add yeast and stir to mix. Don’t add yeast until the mixture has cooled or you will kill the yeast.
  2. While the mixture is cooling, combine both types of flour and the salt in a bowl and use a whisk to mix.
  3. Combine honey and butter in microwave safe measuring cup and microwave to just melt the butter. Ensure this mixture is not over 100º and stir this into the hot cereal mix.
  4. Using the dough hook on your stand mixer at low speed, start adding the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Using the mixer, knead dough for 3-4 minutes then add the sunflower seeds and knead just long enough to incorporate the seeds into the dough.
  5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are evenly dispersed and dough forms a smooth, taut ball. Place dough into greased container double the size of the dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (45 to 60 minutes).
  6. Preheat oven to 375°. Coat two 9×5 loaf pans with shortening or nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and divide into two loafs.
  8. Roll the loafs in the oats to coat (you may need to lightly wet the loaf to ensure the oats stick) and place into loaf pan. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise.
  9. When dough peaks over the top of the pan 1 to 2 inches, bake on middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire rack for 2 to 3 hours before cutting.

Cooking time: 120

In an effort to mend our broken hearts after losing our last Bichon Frise, I came across a dog breed which I’d not heard of before. The breed is called Cavachon and is a mix of two different pure breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise. I found her on the web while searching for another Bichon Frise and after seeing her, I knew she must be a part of our family. I drove to the pet store, Town & Country Pet Center, to pick her up before the store closed and made it with a few minutes to spare. It’s a nice little pet store and the animals seem to be well cared for.

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I just finished my server migration and am now serving up CIFS shares from a 4TB RAID1 zpool.  This site is served via a native FreeBSD jail which also handles my email.  It was a bit of a bumpy migration as I suspected my hardware had gone bad.  My original ‘plan’, was to install two new 4TB NAS disks, install Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, install ZOL, and transfer the data to a shiny new zpool before my existing raid died (spinning for 4+ years).  Things went fine until a few hours after the transfer completed and then the box started locking up.  I assumed it was a hardware problem as I had rewired all the SATA connections and swapped some memory.

I tried swapping the memory back, moving it to a new bank, fiddled with the bios, but nothing fixed the problem.  Then I thought I’d try the latest FreeNAS just to see if it truly was the hardware and besides… It has zfs and the zpool format should be compatible so why not?  I threw in a  FreeNAS- CD and booted it up.  I manually imported the zpool, fixed up the mountpoint’s, then exported and imported using the GUI. That was 3 days ago.

I think I’m going to like this FreeNAS.

Update: Sat Apr 26 09:12:16 MDT 2014

I thought I’d throw in this snapshot for a bit of humor…  Back in 2010 when I was putting this box together, I didn’t have any drive rails and it was late on a Sunday so I manufactured my own drive rails out of some scrap oak I had in the garage.  I had totally forgotten about these until I did this migration.

custom drive rails