The Granola Blogroll: The Ultimate Authority on Great Granola Recipes

If you Google the words granola recipe, you'll get approximately 137,000 hits. Putting quotes around "granola recipe" will get you down to, oh, about 25,000 hits.

That's just a bit too many.

I thought I'd help bring some order to the granola universe out there, and so I've put together a linkfest of what I consider to be exceptional granola recipes. Some of these recipes come from food sites and blogs I know and trust, other recipes caught my eye because they were particularly creative or original. I have looked over each and every one of these recipes with a critical eye for quality.

In general, a good granola recipe shouldn't be too sugary (we're making granola here, not candy), nor should it contain too much salt (in that case you might as well buy industrially-made granola at the store). The recipe should be relatively easy to make, and it shouldn't break the bank--after all, this is Casual Kitchen.

Some of these recipes contain creative, even obscure, ingredients, but the vast majority of them are totally straightforward. My goal was to have all of these recipes pass at least some of the five easy questions, so they should all be fairly easy for you to make in your own kitchen.

This exercise was surprisingly fun, and best of all, it gave me some great ideas for variations on my own granola recipe. I hope you find it helpful!

And of course, feel free to chime in down in the comments section if you have any favorite granola recipes you'd like to share.


Homesick Texan: Uncle Austin's Granola
Once again, Homesick Texan gets it done with this one. Simple and straightforward, with an emphasis on coconut flakes. One of the amusing alternate names for this recipe is “Health Camp Hi-Carb Granola: Preferred by Nudists Everywhere.” It must be good with that kind of endorsement.

Chunky Date, Coconut and Almond Granola from Epicurious
I think I'd double this recipe right off the bat. Contains cashews and dates.

Jennifer's Granola from Allrecipes
The flax seed in this recipe will give you a healthy dose of omega-6 and omega-3 oils, and the wheat germ will give you a healthy dose of protein. One especially useful feature in Allrecipes is the convenient buttons for converting to metric or for scaling up the recipe.

Homemade Granola by Stephanie Jaworski
At This recipe is sweetened with maple syrup, also contains a lot of useful suggestions for modifications.

A Granola Recipe from My Mom's Hippie Youth
At Marisa McClellan shares a granola recipe from 1970's San Francisco with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut. When you Google granola or any related terms, this will likely be one of the very first results. It deserves to be there.

Smitten Kitchen's Granola Recipe, adapted from Calle Ocho
SK's recipe starts off with a pumpkin butter recipe which looks interesting, but if you want to get right to the granola recipe, just scroll about 1/3 of the way down the page.

Even the New York Times has a granola recipe
What's most surprising to me is how unpretentious this recipe is.

Pam Anderson's granola recipe in the USA Today
No, it's not that Pam Anderson. Contains eight variations on the main recipe. Try #3: Granola with Tropical Flavoring. Also contains useful advice on making granola clusters: "to help the cereal cluster, add a smidgen of water. In combination with the oil and liquid sweetener, the water mixes with the wheat germ to create a delicious mortar." Mmmmm... mortar.

Mix and Match Granola from The Prepared Pantry
What's intriguing about this recipe is that it calls for any combination of rolled oats, wheat, or barley as the base of the mix.

Going Raw's Raw Granola
A shout-out to any of you who are interested in a raw-only version of granola. Although if you ask me, it's a slippery slope using a dehydrator and still calling your recipe "raw." You'll probably have to make some substitutions here for some of the more difficult to find ingredients.

Pistachio Granola from
Naturally, this recipe comes from a large pistachio producer, Paramount Farms. But I like the fact that this recipe uses apple juice instead of oil to hold itself together.

Diet for a Small Planet's Chunky Granola Recipe, courtesy of TulipGirl
This recipe contains whole wheat flour and millet. Very interesting. Also with several suggested variations.'s Quick and Simple Granola Recipe
Really, really easy to make. Although I have to admit I don't know what "Earth Balance Spread" is. I think I'll stick with canola oil.

A delicious and quick granola recipe with no oil added
From Dee's Cereal. Also be sure to check out his Popcorn Granola--I never thought of adding popcorn to granola, what a great idea!

Crunchy Granola from the Culinate Kitchen recipe collection We've got everything but the kitchen sink in this recipe. Contains wheat germ and bran plus different nuts and dried fruit. Fairly low oil content.

Rancho La Puerta Granola, courtesy of Orangette
Another granola recipe with de minimus oil. The orange zest and small amount of orange juice in this recipe seem fitting somehow... I'm not sure why.

Allrecipes' Stovetop Granola
Another granola recipe from Allrecipes, but this one doesn't require any oven time. Thus it likely has the shortest preparation time of all the recipes in this list.

Justin Trails Resort's Award Winning Granola Recipe
Unfortunately it doesn't specify exactly what award it won, but the recipe caught my eye because it contains peanut butter, a creative idea for a "fixer" to hold the granola together. Justin Trails is a bed and breakfast in Sparta, Wisconsin.

Related Posts:
Casual Kitchen's An Easy Granola Recipe
How to Modify a Recipe: Granola Before and After
15 Creative Tips to Avoid Holiday Overeating
41 Ways You Can Help the Environment From Your Kitchen

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How to Rewrite a Recipe: Shells with Artichoke Hearts and Shrimp in Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

Today I will share a delicious pasta recipe that needed just a bit of editorial help.

I'm particular about how a recipe is written. It should be straightforward, with the steps written in the same order that they are cooked. But you'd be surprised how many recipes require a round of deciphering before they can be put into use. Today's recipe, which came from the otherwise exceptional 365 Ways to Cook Pasta, was just such an example.

You can see in this picture how the recipe follows the typical, rote format of listing all of the ingredients up top, and then listing all of the cooking instructions after that. Seems reasonable, right? Except on this occasion, it's exactly the worst way to write a recipe.

You see, this pasta dish is really three quick mini-recipes in one. There's an artichoke heart marinade, which you make ahead of time. Then there's the veggies, parsley and olives, which get chopped up and wait in a bowl for everything else. And then there's the shells and shrimp.

To list all the ingredients together, especially when it's a long list of 14 or so items, is pointless. It just adds to the confusion and makes the recipe hard to read.

Of course even a confused recipe can still taste amazing. And this dish was a real keeper. But just as some of the best recipes come from the most unassuming places, sometimes they, uh, come from the minds of unassuming writers.

Thus this recipe just needed a little editorial surgery. So I rewrote the recipe in three discrete mini-sections, with the ingredients for each process step broken out separately.

I'm curious: do readers out there have the same difficulties that I have reading and processing a recipe like this when it's put together in this traditional, rote format? Seems to me that the more ingredients and the more steps involved, the better it is to write it in a format broken down by process steps.

Take a look at my rescripted version of the recipe below and let me know what you think!

Shells with Artichoke Hearts and Shrimp in Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette
(modified from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta)

2 15-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (this is a bit less than one lemon)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (this is the very outermost skin of the lemon--use a fine grater)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2-3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Combine the above ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat to simmering, then let stand and cool for 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate overnight for a stronger marinade.

1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes (halved if necessary)
1 cup pitted black olives (either in oil or canned is fine)

Put these ingredients in a extra-large bowl and set aside.
1 pound medium shells
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Cook the shells in plenty of boiling water until al dente; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil to medium-high heat in a non-stick pan; add the peeled shrimp, shake in some red pepper flakes, and cook them for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on shrimp size, or until done (do not overcook!) Throw the pasta, shrimp and artichoke marinade sauce into the extra-large bowl (along with the red onion, parsley, tomatoes and olives), toss well, and serve at once.


As I've done for several other posts on this blog, I've loaded the entire set of photos from the making of this recipe over at flickr for anyone interested in more detail. Have a look!

Spicy Eggplant Ratatouille

Today I bring you a recipe for a spicy eggplant stew. It’s another imaginative and unusual dish adapted from Jay Solomon's Vegetarian Soup Cuisine. It is low in sodium, high in healthy vegetables and laughably cheap to make (the entire recipe can be made for around $8.00).

This is a brand new dish that we made for the first time last week, and it was a big hit in our home. It contains no added salt and it certainly doesn’t need it: the jalapenos add an extra kick to the dish, and the cumin, red wine and fresh parsley make it flavorful and exotic.

Best of all, this recipe is easy. In well under an hour you can put yet another healthy meal in front of your family without boring them to death with bland food.

Spicy Eggplant Ratatouille
(slightly modified from Jay Solomon's Vegetarian Soup Cuisine)

4 Tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 jalapenos or other hot chiles, seeded and minced

4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste (that's 4 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 15-ounce can red or pink beans

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, eggplant, bell pepper, garlic and chiles. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add water, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and seasonings (everything else but the can of beans). Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans just a few minutes before the end. Let stand for 10 minutes and serve with optional whole grain bread.

Serves 6+
Note: One very important warning if you use fresh jalapeno peppers--be careful what you touch after chopping these guys up! Don’t touch your eyes (or for God’s sake any other highly sensitive body parts) unless you’ve first carefully scrubbed your hands.

We will speak of this no more.

The Favorite Cookbooks of My Favorite Bloggers

What are your all-time favorite cookbooks?

In our recent discussion of how to apply the 80/20 rule to cooking, I suggested that you don't actually need that many cookbooks--you just need a few really good ones.

But how do you actually find the really good ones that you should own? In my opinion, one of the key litmus tests for a cookbook is this: does somebody whose taste you trust recommend it to you?

And so I asked three of my favorite bloggers (Kris at CheapHealthyGood, Hannah and Phoebe at I Heart Kale and Meredith at Like Merchant Ships) if they'd be interested in sharing with me their three all-time favorite cookbooks with a few brief comments on each title. I included a list of my own favorites from our kitchen too.

And on top of that, Kris at CheapHealthyGood also wrote up a highly insightful article, in conjunction with this post, on The Dos and Don'ts of Buying a Cookbook.

The exercise yielded an absolute gold mine of cookbooks: some unusual, some workaday, all useful. Have a look, and consider these for your "critical few."

Here are Kris from CheapHealthyGood's favorites:

1) The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
In the Amazon reviews for this, the word "simplicity" comes up over and over again, and for good reason. Using just a few quality ingredients, Ina creates a solid collection of delicious, gorgeous dishes. Some are meant for parties and gatherings (the brownies), but others (turkey meatloaf) are just fine for the everyday. I haven't found a dud in the group.

2) The Best 30-minute Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated
I received this book for Christmas, so I've only had the chance to make five dishes so far, but they've been uniformly stellar. What's more, they include only whole, fresh ingredients and they can actually be made within the allotted 30 minutes. While the book could use an additional photo or two, the tips, illustrations, and equipment suggestions more than make up for it. Aces.

3) I'm Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown
What's best about this cookbook (besides it's awesomely nerdy author) is that it reads like a really great piece of non-fiction. Yeah, Alton's included a few recipes here and there, but mostly, IJHFTF is a nifty explanation of how scientific principles work in the kitchen. I refer to it often when I run into trouble, or when I just feel like learning about convection. The design isn't too shabby, either.

Phoebe and Hannah from I Heart Kale:
Our top three cookbooks are:

1) Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey
This cookbook weighs in at over 600 pages, so we're always finding new recipes! It includes dishes from all over the world with a heavy emphasis on vegetables, grains and legumes, which is exactly how we love to cook. Best of all, it's sorted by ingredient, so if you find yourself with, say, a surplus of yellow split peas or eggplant, you can immediately find recipes with the desired ingredient.

2) Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
What a gorgeous book--the recipes are interspersed with photos and stories from the authors' years of travel across the Indian subcontinent. We've discovered new recipes and perfected techniques for classic ones, and our South Asian cooking is way more authentic-tasting thanks to ingredients we learned about in this book, like curry leaves.

3) Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen by Deborah Madison
This one really fits well with our style of cooking because it's explicitly seasonal--vegetable soups are grouped into spring, summer, winter and fall, so they're designed to rely on the natural flavor of an August tomato or some April asparagus. There are also separate sections for grain soups, bean soups, and restorative soups. The photography is drool-inducing and each soup has a suggested wine pairing.

Meredith from Like Merchant Ships says that these are the cookbooks in her kitchen "most spotted with food stains," a clear sign of heavy use if there ever was one.

1) Breakfasts: Sue Gregg's Eating Better Series Breakfasts Book by Sue Gregg
I didn't know what wheat berries were before reading Sue Gregg. Now I whip up blender batter waffles and other soaked grains every week.

2) Recipes from Miss Daisy's by Daisy King
Menus from the now-defunct Southern tea room have saved my sanity while entertaining. Miss Daisy was a Nashville celebrity decades before anyone heard of Paula Deen.

3) The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes by John Willoughby and Zanne Early Stewart
I would have been intimidated by The Gourmet Cookbook had I not just finished Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires. This Salvation Army find has proven its worth with surprisingly easy recipes that turn out right every time.

Finally, these are the three cookbooks that get the most use here at Casual Kitchen:

1) Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant by the Moosewood Collective
This cookbook did more to shape my philosophical approach toward cooking than anything else. It turned me into a part-time vegetarian. It made me realize that vegetarian cooking isn't just for vegetarians, and it's not just food minus the meat.

2) 365 Ways to Cook Pasta by Marie Simmons
I found this cookbook at about the same time I found "Eat to Win," so naturally it was a good fit with a high-carb diet. At first I thought it was a gimmick cookbook, but on the contrary, this is one of the most encyclopedic cookbooks I've ever found. It covers almost every combination and permutation of pasta cooking imaginable, from summer salads, to a puttanesca sauce, to a carbonara sauce, to NINE different lasagne recipes. And at $5.99 in paperback, this has to be the best value I've ever found in a cookbook.

3) Vegetarian Soup Cuisine by Jay Solomon
This is a warhorse in our kitchen. Almost every recipe in the cookbook is excellent and most are highly scalable (assuming you have a large enough soup pot!). And you can cook these meals for very low cost.

Enjoy! And if you have favorites you'd like to add to this list, please feel free to include them in the comments below.

How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Cooking

Applying 80/20 thinking to cooking can help you get far more enjoyment out of your culinary efforts, and it will ensure that you don’t get bogged down by the drudgery that can often make cooking a chore rather than a pleasure. Put these tips to use in your kitchen to get better results for much less work.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 80/20 rule, it says that the bulk of the output of a system typically comes from a very small number of inputs. Usually people think of this concept in business examples, like how 75% of sales come from 25% of a company's clients (so you should either spend more time on those clients, or find more clients like them), or 90% of defects in a manufacturing plant might come from a very small number of causes (thus you only need to fix a few critical problems to reduce your defect count substantially).

In its most basic sense, the 80/20 rule suggests that for every situation, there are a few critical inputs (the "critical few") that you should pay a lot of attention to, and many unimportant inputs (the "trivial many") that you can ignore.

My goal today is to help you get thinking in 80/20 terms when you cook. I’ll go over several ways you can apply this powerful rule and accomplish a lot more in your kitchen--even if you have limited time and resources. With any luck, this post will stimulate you to think of even more 80/20 applications unique to your own cooking habits.

1) Cookbooks
If you take a hard look at your cookbook use, you'll find a clear manifestation of the 80/20 rule: Most of the recipes you cook will come from just a few of your cookbooks, and most of the rest of your cookbooks will sit on your shelf, underused. This conclusion actually has some surprising implications.

First, you don’t really need that many cookbooks. You just need a few really good ones.

Second, when you are considering buying a new cookbook, you should ask yourself, “will this cookbook be a part of my ‘critical few’ or will it be part of my ‘trivial many?’” Asking that simple question should go a long way toward helping you decide if a cookbook is worth buying. In the next couple of weeks I hope to use the collective expertise of some of my favorite blogging colleagues in compiling just such a list of really good "critical few" cookbooks.

Third, take your best cookbooks--the ones you really use heavily--and exploit them for everything they have. Chances are the recipes you've overlooked will be exceptional too.

But if you happen to be a cookbook packrat, fear not: 80/20 thinking doesn't say that you can only own a few cookbooks! In this blog I'm often encouraging my readers to experiment with new cuisines and new recipes, and it's going to be tough to do that if you're stuck with three cookbooks that you've already fully exploited. So by all means rotate new cookbooks into your collection, but consider donating some of your lesser-used cookbooks to Bookmooch, or your local library or charity. Perhaps they can become part of somebody else's critical few.

2) Kitchen Tools and Equipment
Yep, you guessed it, roughly 80% of your cooking will be done with 20% of your kitchen items.

Therefore, spend some time thinking about how your kitchen is organized. Are the high-frequency-of-use items always close at hand? You can bury the bundt pan and the funnel cake pans deep in your cupboard, but keep your favorite knife and cutting board within easy reach. Spending a few minutes organizing your kitchen around 80/20 thinking should save you untold hours from a time-and-motion standpoint.

Furthermore, just as with cookbooks, you can ask the "will this be part of my critical few?" question when considering the purchase of any new kitchen gadgets. Will you actually use that gleaming new garlic press, or will it sit unused and forgotten in a drawer--next to the fondue forks you use once every three years? Asking these types of questions before you get to the checkout counter could save you a lot of time, money and kitchen space.

3) Recipes
I can already hear you thinking, “okay, OKAY!! 80% of my meals will be cooked from 20% of my recipes. Leave me alone!”

Don't worry, I'll leave you alone after this post is over.

But here's my point: What kinds of recipes are in your critical 20%? Are they healthy? Are they easy to make? Do you truly enjoy making them and does your family truly enjoy eating them?

Ask yourself these questions and you'll arrive at a more subtle 80/20 conclusion: with the enormous universe of great recipes out there you should seek out new recipes that are not in your critical few, but should be. By finding just a few new critical few recipes, you could dramatically improve the results and quality of your cooking output.

So keep your eyes and mind open for new recipes, and use my Five Easy Questions test to help you read them more critically so you can filter out high-workload recipes without actually having to make them. For a great list of easy yet delicious recipes to consider, take a look over at CheapHealthyGood under the label 15 minutes or less.

4) Use Heavy Rotation
Once you've found a group of hit recipes that satisfies your 80/20 standards, start working them into your weekly or monthly dinner rotations on a regular basis. I call this the concept of heavy rotation, borrowing the term from the horrendous local radio stations I grew up with as a kid.

In our home, we have a list of 10 or so house favorite recipes that are on heavy rotation, and we cook 1-2 times per week from that list. With leftovers heated up for lunches or a second dinner, we can easily make more than a third of our meals this way.

Of course, nobody wants to hear Stairway to Heaven five times a day for three weeks straight. So be sure to strike a balance between making these dishes often enough that you capture the 80/20 benefits, but not so often that you get sick of the recipe.

But when you find the right balance, you'll be surprised how much faster and more efficient you will be at making these heavy rotation recipes with regular practice. It will get to a point where you can practically make them blindfolded. This is how you can really exploit a solid list of critical few recipes.

5) Make Double (or Even Triple) Batches
Close readers of this blog have heard me remark before about how when you double or triple many recipes, an amazing thing happens: You will get 2x or even 3x the food for something like 1.2x the extra work.

To put this into 80/20 terms, the extra 0.2 units of incremental work drives an enormous increase in cooking output. In fact, when you make a triple batch, you actually get ten times the productivity out of that incremental 0.2 units of work (to explain: the first unit of work makes 1 batch, but the next 0.2 units of work makes two full batches--batches two and three). That’s powerful stuff, and it’s a classic application of 80/20 thinking.

Thus if you want to maximize your time and effort in the kitchen, look for recipes that are highly scalable, and focus your cooking around them. Several recipes featured in this blog, including my Chicken Mole or Lentil Soup, fit that bill perfectly.

Closing thoughts
For those of you who want to go deeper on 80/20 concepts, I highly recommend Richard Koch's book, The 80/20 Principle.* I read it closely a couple of years ago and it helped me radically rethink how I handle many aspects of my life.

How do you apply 80/20 thinking in your kitchen? I'd love to hear reader feedback on this! Feel free to leave a comment below on any 80/20 innovations that you'd like to share.

Related Posts:
More Applications of the 80/20 Rule to Diet, Food and Cooking
Ten Tips on How to Cut Your Food Budget Using the 80/20 Rule
Seven Rules to Get Faster at Cooking
Cookbook Exploitation Month is Here Again!

Related Links:
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
What is the 80/20 Principle?
Top 4 Misapplications of the 80/20 Rule

* Note: if you purchase this book via the amazon links provided in this blog, I will receive a small affiliate fee.

How to Make a Versatile Vegetable Stock

Today I’m going to post a recipe for a versatile vegetable stock that breaks almost all of the rules you’re typically supposed to follow.

I posted a much more traditional stock recipe several months ago that was fundamentally a seafood stock, but it could be based on other meats or modified to be vegetarian.

But I was entirely unsatisfied with the vegetarian version. It suffered from the same flaw shared by many vegetarian recipe modifications, which simply instruct you to leave out the meat. Thanks. How creative.

The result is that you end up with two-dimensional version of the original recipe. It’s vegetarian by default, not by design. So today, I’m going to share with you a simple stock recipe that is vegetarian by design. It’s from one of our house favorite cookbooks, Vegetarian Soup Cuisine by Jay Solomon. And best of all, it throws out a lot of the conventional wisdom for stock recipes.

Let's start off by quoting Jay Solomon himself:

"...feel free to improvise.... If you desire a piquant broth, add a few chile peppers. Ginger adds a fragrant nuance; beets turn the broth magenta. Experiment on your own, and remember, variety is the spice of life. "

Of course, traditional convention dictates that a soup stock should be mild-tasting, and should act only as a vehicle for the flavors of the dish you are making. This stock recipe, however, actually encourages you to add flavorful and creative ingredients.

Convention also dictates that a soup stock should be bland in color--again, in order to be a passive component of your dish. But here we have our friendly vegetarian expert Jay Solomon telling us to consider adding beets to our vegetarian stock for a deep magenta color! Imagine if I used this stock recipe to jazz up a batch of brown rice, or as a base for my insanely easy-to-make Mock Wild Rice recipe?

For a (former) stock traditionalist like me, this is radical, mind-exploding stuff.

And that’s what’s so great about cooking. There is always room for new challenges to the conventional wisdom. Enjoy this stock recipe and think about what dishes it could influence in your kitchen!

Versatile Vegetable Stock
(slightly modified from Jay Solomon's Vegetarian Soup Cuisine)

3-4 carrots, coarsley chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3-4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4-6 whole garlic cloves, cut in half
1 small bunch parsley, stems and all, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, coarsley chopped (optional)
6 or more cups water (enough to cover all the veggies)
1/4 cup dry white or red wine (optional)
Any other stems, trimmings or leftovers from greens or vegetables you are using.

1) Combine all the ingredients in a large stock pot, make sure all the vegetables are covered with water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 4 hours at least (7-8 hours is preferable for a rich stock). Add more water to the pot if necessary to keep the vegetables covered with liquid.

2) After you are finished simmering the stock, use a strainer to strain out the vegetables, and save the liquid (obviously). Your stock should last a week or more in your refrigerator, or indefinitely if frozen.

From the recipe:
"Here is a basic recipe, but feel free to improvise. If there are leftover parsnips, tomatoes, or stems from leafy greens, add those as well. If you desire a piquant broth, add a few chile peppers. Ginger adds a fragrant nuance; beets turn the broth magenta. Experiment on your own, and remember variety is the spice of life."

A few final notes:

1) The original recipe says to cook the stock for just one hour, but I believe a good stock should be cooked for a minimum of 4 hours and preferably more like 7-8 hours. Don't worry, you don't have to stand there and watch it all that time! Just get the pot boiling, cover it, and turn the heat down so it's at a gentle simmer. Then just check in on it once every hour or so, adding water back if too much liquid cooks away.

2) Have confidence about experimenting aggressively here. It's only a stock recipe, and by definition it will be made predominantly of water. So no matter what you do it’s not going to have that strong a taste. Feel free to take some chances.

3) I'd consider doubling or tripling this recipe if you have a large enough pot. This is a perfect example of a scalable dish where doubling or tripling the batch doesn't really require any more incremental work, yet you still get 2x or 3x the finished product.

4) Finally, consider putting the stock into a group of pre-measured containers and then freezing them. We usually freeze them in some combination of 1-cup, 2-cup and 3-cup units. This way, it doesn’t matter if a recipe calls for one cup of stock or seven cups of stock, you can combine your various pre-measured containers to match your needs.

The Bhut Jolokia Pepper--The World's Hottest Chili

It has a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 1,041, 427. That's 200 times higher than a jalapeno, and as much as twice as hot as the habanero chili.

In northeast India, at the company that is the sole exporter of the bhut jolokia chili, workers wear goggles, face masks and protective clothing when handling them.

And in the US and Israel, these chilis have been considered for use in riot control.

This is the hottest chili pepper on Earth.

Even one of the US-based websites that sells powdered bhut jolokia peppers will issue this discouraging warning before you buy: "when you eat it, it's like dying."

I can't wait to get my hands on one.

Take a look at the feature article on this tongue-melting chili in today's Weekend Wall Street Journal for more on this brand-new favorite of spicy food fans everywhere.

Related Posts:
The History of Tabasco
An Ode to Tabasco Sauce
Braised Pork in Guajillo Chile Sauce
How to Make Your Own Tabasco Sauce

Related Links:
Dave's Gourmet (home of Dave's Insanity Sauce) ("it's like dying"), The Fiery Foods and Barbecue Supersite
Frontal Agritech, Ltd (the India-based sole exporter of bhut jolokia peppers)
Scoville Heat Units