Chongqing Chicken

This is my version of a classic Chinese dish. While the heat can easily be increased, the recipe as written will produce a very mild level of spice (at best one star on a restaurant scale).


Spiced Salt


  • 1 T Shaoxing wine
  • 1 T Soy Sauce
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, washed and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar (or quality substitute)
  • 1/4 tsp ground chiles (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of the Spiced Salt (see above)



  • 1/4 cup Corn Starch
  • 1/4 cup Potato Starch

Meat and Vegetables

  • 1.1 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 1/4″ x 1/2″ pieces
  • 12 oz Green Beans

Other Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups of oil for frying (Rice Bran oil is preferable)


Combine the sea salt and the sichuan pepper and grind until the pepper is broken up and the salt is fine rather than coarse.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade, reserving the remaining spiced salt for later.

If the chicken isn’t already cut, cut the chicken thighs and add them to the marinade. I usually buy the chicken when it is on sale, and then cut and freeze the appropriate amount to save time when cooking. Let the chicken marinate for 30-60 minutes, then remove the slices of ginger.

In another bowl, combine the coating mixtures, and then add the chicken, trying to remove as much marinade as possible before adding the chicken to the coating mix. Coat the pieces well.

Prepare a wire rack to hold the cooked chicken. I recommend lining the pan underneath the rack with paper towels to absorb any grease.

Heat the oil, ideally in a Wok (if you have gas or induction), or an enamel cast iron dish (if you have conventional electric, and need to retain more heat as you work). When the oil is shimmering, dip a small test piece of chicken in to make sure that it starts to fry immediately. Fry the chicken in batches until a light gold color, being sure not to let the oil get too hot or too cold, and then put each batch of chicken on the drainage rack.

When all of the chicken is fried, return the chicken to the oil (whether in batches or all at once will depend on the size of your cookware and the efficiency of your range) to fry it a second time, this time cooking the chicken to a deep gold color.

Fry the green beans in the oil until they are a deep green, and then remove them to the rack. Overcooking the green beans will not ruin them, but will take away any crispness.

Pour the oil off into a filtered container and wipe the residue of the frying out of your cookware, then add 2 TBS of oil back into the pan and return to the heat. Add the aromatics, and cook until fragrant (30 seconds or so, depending on the range). Once fragrant, turn off the heat, as we don’t want to scorch the aromatics. If your pan is big enough, return all the chicken and green beans to the pan and toss to coat them with the spiced oil evenly. If not, combine everything in a large bowl off the stove. Sprinkle the remaining spiced salt over the dish, and again, toss to spread it evenly. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

A low carbohydrate (although not necessarily low calorie) cookie. Please note that this recipe depends on a number of ingredients that you may need to mail order. This is a 1-1-1 ratio cookie (1 part sugar, 1 part fat, 1 parts flour), and will therefore spread when baking. This recipe makes about a dozen cookies.



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (or 325F if using convection)
  2. Combine the water, vanilla, baking soda, and flax meal into a small bowl and mix well
  3. Cream the sugar into the Ghee
  4. Blend the flax mixture into the creamed sugar
  5. Blend in the flour until fully incorporated
  6. Add in the chocolate chips
  7. Using two small spoons, separate the dough into roughly a dozen equal sized balls. Then use your hands to turn them into small flat cylinders.
  8. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet, keeping them well separated.
  9. Bake the cookies for ~8-9 minutes. The cookies are done (but will be soft) when the edges are just browned.
  10. Let cool. Or eat immediately. Chocolate chip cookies are like that.

Almond / Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

A low carbohydrate (although not necessarily low calorie) cookie. Please note that this recipe depends on a number of ingredients that you may need to mail order. This is a 1-1-2 ratio cookie (1 part sugar, 1 part fat, 2 parts flour), and will therefore be soft but will not spread when baking. This recipe makes about a dozen cookies.



  1. Combine the water, vanilla, and almond extract into a small bowl
  2. Cream the sugar into the Ghee
  3. Blend the water and extracts into the creamed sugar
  4. Blend in the flours until fully incorporated
  5. Shape the dough into a small cylinder (the wider you make the cylinder, the larger but fewer cookies you will end up with), and wrap it in plastic wrap or equivalent
  6. Place the dough in the freezer to firm up (~10 minutes)
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F (or 325F if using convection)
  8. Cut the dough into slices (cutting across the long axis, so that you end up with many small discs rather than a few long oblongs).
  9. Placing each slice onto a firm surface (cutting board or plate), gently press down in the center with your thumb, while using your other hand to help the disc hold its shape and not split
  10. Using a spoon, fill the indent with the raspberry jam, and place on a baking sheet
  11. Bake the cookies for ~12-14 minutes. The cookies are done (but will be soft) when the top edges are just browned.
  12. Let cool.

Glass Ball or Rubber Ball

There are terms for decisions that are often used in business discussions in tech companies in America. Sometimes they are referred to as “one-way door versus two-way door”, other times as “glass ball or rubber ball”. In either case, the meaning is the same. “Is this a decision we can undo later?”

You may see where this is going, if you paid attention to the tags on this post.

First, a few disclaimers. I am not a lawyer, so I am leaning on articles written by those who are. And while I have spent decades around the table top industry, it has never been my livelihood. Nor have I ever published anything under the OGL.

Last week, word leaked of a revision to the OGL from Wizards of the Coast. The most significant part of this was that Wizards intended to revoke (sorry, “deauthorize”) the 1.0a OGL that has been in use for a couple of decades. For an analysis of this by an actual domain expert, look to this article by Kit Walsh

Today, Wizards released a non-apology-apology which, frankly, isn’t that believable on its face. You’ll note that no one is actually taking responsibility for the errors directly, and the spin of “Our plan was always to solicit the input of our community before any update to the OGL” just doesn’t pass the smell test.

I’m going to assume you’ve read the piece by Kit Walsh linked above, because I’m not a lawyer. But, to summarize my understanding, the OGL largely gave publishers rights they already had, and required them to give up some rights they may have had. So, what, precisely, was in it for the publishers using it?

In general, in a lawsuit in America, each side pays their own legal expenses, win or lose. There are exceptions, but they are edge cases. So even if you are within your rights, the cost of establishing that in court can be prohibitive. In effect, the biggest benefit of the OGL was security, the knowledge that this was absolutely authorized and you weren’t going to have to spend far more money than you ever made on a product to defend your right to have printed it in the first place.

The actions Wizards took broke the trust in that security. And that’s a one way door. The glass ball is in shards on the floor, and it looks like the industry will adopt a different license. Who would tie themselves to a business partner they cannot trust, when there are other options?

How badly will this hurt the D&D One (which some angry fans have started referring to as “D and Done”) release is still to be seen. But with the loss of at the very least a significant part of the third party ecosystem support, significant negative brand publicity, and an enormous amount of free publicity for their smaller competitors, they certainly did a lot of damage to themselves.