Macaroni and Cheese

This is a simple macaroni and cheese recipe, which doesn’t involve making a rue. It can be done in one pot. The pasta water will bring the sauce all together. It is extremely important to not drain off that pasta water.

Serves: 3 to 4 people


For cooking macaroni:
1 cup Macaroni
1 3/4 cup Water
1/4 tsp Salt

For cheese sauce:
4 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Milk
3 oz Cheddar (cut into small chunks)
4 slices of American Cheese

Other tools:
Pot and Lid


  1. Add water to a pot and bring to boil on the stove.
  2. Add salt and macaroni, then stir.
  3. Cook until pasta is fully cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not overcook pasta!
  4. When pasta is about 2 minutes from being done, add the butter.
  5. When pasta is done add milk, stir and return to light boil.
  6. Turn off heat. Add cheddar, and American cheese. Stir then cover with lid.
  7. Wait about 7 minutes for everything to melt, then uncover and stir. Your macaroni and cheese is now done.
  8. If cheese needs to melt a little more, then you can turn the heat on low and stir for a little bit to finish.

French Onion Chip Dip

This chip dip is my take on Quality Dairy’s French Onion Dip.  I served this at my family’s Pumpkin Carving get together this year, and it was a huge hit!  This is so easy to make, and there is no cooking involved.  Be warned that it is addictive.  Enjoy!

Serves: 1 to 2 people

1 tbsp Milk
16 oz of Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Parsley
1/4 tsp Mayonnaise
1 bag of your favorite original or rigged potato chip for dipping


1. Transfer sour cream in to mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Add all of your ingredients and mix well.
3. Put in storage container, cover, and set in refrigerator for preferably 4 hours to let the spices marry.
4. Stir before serving.

Vilest’s First Show

Justin Parkhouse and I at The Loft in Lansing, MI 6-22-19 – Photo Credit: Candace Robinson

My band Vilest finally had our first performance ever! It was a ton of fun! There is also a long story leading up to finally performing.

I have been a guitarist in a handful of bands in the Lansing, MI area, but it has been a long time since I have performed live. The story of Vilest for me starts with my last heavy metal band.

I was a founding member of a melodic metal band called Toilsome from Lansing, MI. We were active from 2002-2008. In that time we recorded a few E.P.s an L.P. and did a few tours. When that band ended there was a huge void in my life for playing extreme, heavy, dark music. I continued to play rock music, but skill level for fast playing went downhill quite a bit. I knew I wanted to get back into playing that kind of music. Also, I had a lot of challenges balancing work, school, home, and band life. I was still in a band called Quarter Past Never, which evolved into Motor City Skyline.

In 2016 I reached out to a metal band on looking for a guitarist. I auditioned, got the position, and began playing music with musicians that were previously from a Lansing, MI band As Empires Decay.

The new band had a few songs, and now a complete lineup of members. They were patient with teaching me the songs, we were working on a band name, and we were talking about playing a small show. Hindsight is that it would take another 3 years to hit that milestone.

In short over those 3 years following Vilest’s formation, the instrumentalists all grew tighter in their skill, wrote more songs, and became hungry to play a show. At the same time we had a lot of vocalists in the band that just didn’t work out. The main reason most of them didn’t work out was because they would fail to show up to band practice.

So now it’s 2019 we have a new singer, the band sounds good, and we want to play a show but we don’t have lyrics. We then got a show offer to perform and play a tribute show to any band of our choosing. We talked it over with the band and decided that was a good opportunity to get back on the scene, and it was a good goal to push up. We decided to do a full set of songs by the band In Flames and we had about 2 months to prepare. After learning songs for a month our singer stopped showing up, and communicating. We immediately got a fill-in vocalist and a fill-in for the fill-in, and practice continued. There was also a change in the set list to help out the new vocalist.

We continued to prepare by learning the songs, and getting tighter, while feeling the pressure of the deadline getting closer, but sounding better and better each practice. We knew we could do a good job.

The day of the show finally arrives and we have sold almost all of our tickets. We knew there was going to be a lot of support for us.

We performed those songs very well, had a lot of fun, made some contacts with other bands, and completed our goal of playing our first show! Now that I have recently been on stage I want to know when I get to do it again next. I am feinding, like a caffeine addict, to play another show! Special thanks to the band members of Vilest: Chris, Cody, Dustin, and Theron. Also special thanks to our fill-in vocalist Justin Parkhouse and our fill-in to the fill-in Ben from Canada Dry. Thanks to the other bands: Laurentian Tides, Cold Faction, Dedlights, Freak on a Leash, The Maension, and Square Hammer! Thanks to the promoter Alfonso Civile of Heartsick, and The Loft! Lastly thanks to our friends and family that bought tickets and came out to support us in following our dreams!

BBQ Sauce

This is my homemade barbecue sauce recipe. So far it’s really good, but a little too sweet for me. It is still a good starting point!


1 1/2 cup Ketchup
2 tbsp Honey
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke
2 tbsp Molasses


  1. Put ketchup in a pot and cook on stove at low heat.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Turn off heat and transfer to a bottle or storage container.



In this recipe I use a food processor, but it isn’t needed. You can just finely chop up the jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro.

28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
28oz can Diced Tomatoes (drained)
1 Jalapeno Pepper (half with seeds and half without seeds)
4 cloves Garlic (or add Garlic Powder to taste)
1 Lime
2 tbsp Salt
1 handful of Cilantro chopped (about 1 tbsp)
1 large Onion (or 1 and 1/2 smaller Onions)
1 and 3/4 cups Water
Food processor (optional)
Cutting board
Large spoon


  1. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes to a food processor.
  2. Chop up jalapeno pepper (half with seeds and half without seeds), salt and garlic, then add to food processor.
  3. Cut lime in half, and squeeze juice into food processor, then pulse.
  4. Add a handful of cilantro to food processor, then pulse.
  5. Transfer to large bowl.
  6. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained), 1 chopped onion, and 1 3/4 cups water to the bowl and stir.
  7. Transfer to storage containers. I prefer glass containers because of the tomato. Put in refrigerator for 2 days, then your salsa will be ready to eat!

My Second Water Fast

After doing a second water fast, I can now say more about what worked and what didn’t work well during that experience.

I recently decided to do a two-day water fast in order to become more healthy, help get me off of my sugar addiction, and lose some weight. I started my fast without any preparation. I woke up one morning and while getting ready for work, I thought that I could do a fast today because I knew that I was going to have a little extra help at work and that work would keep me busy and I wouldn’t be thinking about food.

I had eaten my last meal late at night the night before around 10 P.M. I then went almost two days without food, and I only drank water. On the second day of the water fast, I caved in and broke the fast with some food. I was about 5 hours away from my 48 hour goal.

What didn’t work for me was having my last meal so late at night. What also didn’t work for me is that I used so much energy at my job that water alone didn’t seem to be giving me enough energy.

I now know that my last meal before a fast should either be breakfast or lunch. I also know that I can only handle a one day fast while working my laborious job. The last work day before a day off would be ideal for me.

Just like the first fast, I think it is good for my health and am happy with the results. I lost 5 lbs!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. You make up your own mind, and make your own decisions as to what is right for you.