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Shishito peppers are (usually) mild Japanese peppers. If you've ever had these at a restaurant, you've more than likely heard some stat along the lines of "1 in 10 are spicy". In my experience, it's completely random.

Get to playing pepper roulette in no time with my easy, and easy-to-modify recipe.

Ingredients/Shopping List:


  1. Heat your pan and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Add your shishitos and allow them to cook on medium heat in one single layer. Avoid flipping/tossing them at this point.

  2. After 3-5 minutes, flip the peppers. You want them to be blistered and charred.

  3. After another 3-5 minutes of cooking on the other side, season heavily with salt and toss for another 3-8 minutes depending on how done you want the peppers to be.

  4. Turn off the flame and use a microplane to zest your lemon over the peppers right before removing them from the heat. I like A LOT of lemon zest.

  5. Finish with flake salt.

Note: Finish the peppers with bonito flakes for extra umami.

Shepherd’s pie takes me back to a restaurant I worked at some time ago. The chef made it for family meal on a weekly basis and I rememeber always looking forward to it because it was easy to scarf down in the middle of a busy night. The concept of “family meal” it’s basically a free staff meal. One of the *many* *PERKS* (sense my sarcasm) of working in food and beverage.

Everything is chopped finely, it’s delicious and filling, and like I said- easy to eat. Nothing like a one-pot meal for someone with eating complications.

This recipe can be made as simply or as complicated as you choose. Chopping vegetables and making mashed potatoes takes the most time, but you can minimize that by using pre-chopped, bagged veggies and by using prepped mashed potatoes. This also makes for the perfect opportunity to minimize waste and use whatever you have in your fridge that’s nearing its expiration date.

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • Olive Oil

  • Ground beef or turkey - Optional if you're vegetarian. Like most of my recipes, this can be made without meat.

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Your choice of veggies. I used:

  • onions

  • garlic

  • peas

  • mushrooms

  • carrots

  • Beef bouillon or broth - I love the "Better Than Bouillon" line of products. They have veg-friendly products as well.

  • Tomato paste (ideally) or marinara (use whatever tomato product you’ve got)

  • Seasonings:

  • salt

  • pepper

  • granulated garlic

  • thyme

  • bay leaves

  • paprika

Recipe tips:

  • Brown the meat in small batches

  • Cook the veggies and meat separately, then return everything to the pan once the meat is browned

  • Adding red wine to the “broth” will add a depth of flavor

  • Many people add flour to thicken the “gravy”

  • Feel free to top the dish with cheese prior to broiling it

Watch the video here:

Moss poles are meant to mimic plants’ natural environments and give them a surface to climb and grow on. For example, how epiphytes grow on trees in the wild.

Attaching your plant to a moss pole for support, trains it to grow upwards and encourages the plant to grow larger, more mature leaves.

In order to use a moss pole correctly, it’s important to keep it moist. (but keep in mind, I’m saying this from the dry desert of Nevada) My number one issue has been maintaining the moisture of my poles until…self-watering moss poles.

A self-watering moss pole looks like any other moss pole, but underneath the moss, there is a wicking feature added to the pole. In this case, we are using rope. The rope is inserted into the pipe, and wrapped around the pipe, underneath sphagnum moss. You "water" the pole by filling the pipe with water, which then wicks upwards and around the pole, to the moss. I promise it sounds more complicated than it actually is ;-)

Here is how to make one:

Supply List/Shopping List:

  • Sphagnum Moss

  • Plastic Chicken "Wire"

  • .5" to 1" PVC Pipe (Height of the pipe is up to you but I like using 2' and up. Consider shorter if your plant is in less than a 6" pot, unless you have figured out a way to secure the pole, since it will be at risk for tipping over. It's not exactly....lightweight.)

  • PVC Pipe Cap (Diameter of this should correspond to the diameter of the pipe)

  • Cotton Rope

  • Zip Ties


  1. Moisten moss thoroughly and set aside.

  2. Measure enough rope to reach the bottom of the pipe. *This piece will be inserted into the pipe.

  3. From there, tie a knot around the top of the pipe and start wrapping rope along the pipe. Tie a knot at your endpoint to secure the rope. You will be inserting the bottom of the pole into soil. The endpoint of your rope needs to be above the soil.

  4. Measure and cut enough chicken wire to fit around the pipe, with a little extra to account for the moss you’re about to fill it with.

  5. Lay the wire flat and fill with damp moss.

  6. Wrap and secure with zip ties at every 2”.

  7. Cut off excess zip ties and remove any loose moss.

  8. Once your pole is planted and ready for use, fill the inside of the pole with water. The water will wick up and around the rope, and will moisten the moss.

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