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Hey folks, Do Not read too much into the title or expect charts and graphs and other purdied up data points here, rather this is just what I have noticed being someone who is always out and about.

Basically, what I have noticed is that folks are being more neighborly. For instance, while walking my pup I say hi or waive at folks I encounter. Generally, people of the Pacific Northwest have failed “how to be a neighbor” class, so seldom does the same respect get reciprocated, but I do it because I feel it is the right thing to do. However now that folks are starved for connection and conversation, my goodness! I actually know a few of my neighbor’s names, most now know and get excited to see my dog (yes folks, her social life is way better than mine). It has been an interesting transformation. I am thinking if this continues for about 6 more months, we might get rid of the bickering and useless noises that often set us against each other for no reason other than to distract us from what our “leaders” (use that term loosely) are putting in motion.

In fact, I want to challenge you readers (both of you) to write down and put in motion how you want to come out of this, because like anything else that starts, it will end! So do not look at your day as if you are being grounded, rather look at it as the only time in your life you have been given this much free time to figure out what you want, and put together a plan to get there, Once the quarantine lifts, run like hell for it and swing for the fences.

And if you are still not quite ready, the bust out your Instapot or Pressure Cooker and make a hearty bowl of Spilt Pea Soup. Recipe is down below.

Enjoy and stay healthy amigos! & Don’t forget to watch my Cooking Videos on the Seattle Chef Joe Facebook Page for more free Recipes and Tips.

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Pressure Cooker Split Pea:

Serving Size: 4 – 5 People

2 Tbs Olive Oil, Grapeseed or Coconut Oil

1 Lbs Ham Hock or Smoked Turkey (cut to match cooker size)

1 Ea Medium Onion – Chopped

2 Ea Leeks – Washed and Thinly Sliced

2 Ea Shallots, Large – Chopped

1 Lbs Green Split Peas, Dried

8 C Chicken Stock or 50/50 Chicken Stock & Chicken Bone Broth

6 Ea Thyme Sprigs (the whole stock, leaves and all)

2 Ea Bay Leaves

Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. Set your Pressure Cooker to Sautee or Browning. Add the oil and let it heat up. About 1 – 2 minutes depending on manufacturer.

  2. Add in the Ham Hock or Smoked Turkey Hock and Brown on all sides then remove the hock from the pot.

  3. Add in the Onions, Leeks, and Shallots and Sautee until they are almost translucent, about 4-6 minutes.

  4. Add in Split Peas, Thyme, Bay Leave, Sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper, and Hock and let it all sizzle. Once you start smelling the Thyme, then go to step 5.

  5. Once everything is sizzling and fragrant, add in the Chicken Stock, and bring to a simmer.

  6. Once Simmering, seal your pressure cooker and change the setting to High Pressure for 1 hour.

  7. Once your pressure cooker has cooked on High Pressure then depressurized, safely remove the lid and unplug the cooker.

  8. Remove the Hock, Bay Leaves, and Thyme.

  9. Carefully Blend the soup with a Immersion Blender or tabletop Blender. Work in batches if needed to not injure yourself.

  10. Once it is the consistency you enjoy, shred the meat off the Hock and put meat into the soup.

  11. Taste for final adjustments of Salt and Pepper.

  12. Enjoy!

I have stood on my soapbox for many years talking about the power of Liquid Brines. Now I stand before you (electronically) about to show you an even easier way to Liquid Brine. That’s right folks, I’m taking away the excuse of you needing a recipe to create a brine.

But first let us review what a Liquid Brine is.

Liquid Brines typically are highly concentrated liquids based mostly around Salt and Water. They are used for preservation of food (like pickles, hint hint) or adding equalizing the salt level in your Meats. Why is this important?

Simple, basically it is increasing the liquid content in your Meats. While you cook the Meat, you are losing the same amount of moisture as you would without the brine, so in the end you’ll moisture left in the Meats. An example to help illustrate, say you have a steak with a moisture content of 20% and when you cook it you loose 15% of that moisture. That would leave you a dry steak with a moisture content of 5%. Now Liquid Brine that same steak and you bump its moisture content to 35%, so when you cook it you still loose the same 15%, ending with a cooked steak moisture level at 20%. See what I mean?

How to Start?

Liquid Brines typically start with a ratio of 1 Gallon of Water to 1 Cup Salt, then you add in Herbs, Spices, Juices, and Sugar. You can be as creative or as boring as you’d like when making them. Imagination is part of the fun here. Think about what you are making and go to town!

My favorite cheat…. Pickle Juice!

Yes you can order just the pickle juice!

Think about it, Pickle Juice is a Liquid Brine, it just is. Not only does it work for Meats, but people use it for Gut Health, Lowering Blood Sugar Spikes, and Muscle Cramps to name a few options. Folks this is the Vics VapoRub of the Culinary World! So much so that you don’t have to empty all your pickle jars for brining only to dry out your pickle, just check out Amazon and Walmart (to name a few). They sell it by the Gallon!

So how does this new information help you?

Try my Fried Chicken Recipe Below and let me know.

Enjoy my friends.


Pickle Brined Fried Chicken:

Serving Size: 4 People

4 Ea Boneless Chicken Thighs

3 Cups Dill Pickle Juice

3 Cups Buttermilk

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

3 Tbs Corn Starch

1 Tbs Salt

½ Tbs Fresh Cracked Pepper

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Garlic Powder

½ tsp Onion Powder

3 Ea Gallon Sized Ziplock Bags

8 Cups Frying Oil – I like Avocado or Grapeseed Oil for this


  1. In one of the Ziplock Bags put the Chicken Thighs and Dill Pickle Juice. Seal and refrigerate for at least 6 to 48 hours. Make sure to remove the air so the chicken stays submerged.

  2. In the Next Ziplock add in the Buttermilk. Once the Thighs have Brined in the first bag, remove them, pat dry & put them into the Buttermilk Bag to Marinade for about 6 to 12 hours. Make sure to remove the air so the chicken stays submerged.

  3. In the Final Ziplock add the Flour, Corn Starch, Salt, Pepper, and Spices. Seal it a shake your money maker! We’re bringing Shake n Bake back!!!

  4. Remove chicken from the Buttermilk Bag and put into the Flour Ziplock. And shake it like a polaroid picture!

  5. In a heavy pot big enough to house the oil, chicken and still enough room to safely fry, heat the oil to about 350 degrees (work in batches if needed, stay safe). Cooler in temperature and it’ll be greasy and soggy (not crispy). Hotter and it’ll burn on the outside without cooking the inside properly.

  6. Fry the chicken thighs for about 6 to 9 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

  7. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  8. Serve on Toasted Brioche Buns with your favorite Slaw, Pickles, and whatever sauces you like.

  9. Enjoy!

Alrighty folks, this blog has been a long time coming.

Free Advice, cost of advice, listen, bad advice, elders, coaching, helping people

Some People Like to talk:

We all know that fat people have some of the best diet advice. Don’t get defensive, I personally identify as fluffy, so I’m right there. My question becomes if they have some of the best diet advice, then why has it not worked for them? I mean they’ve read, studied, and tried things I cannot even begin to comprehend. From wife’s tales to straight up cellular science, and anything in between.

My answer is that they lacked 1 or more of the Mary K Image of Excellence Formula.

  1. Imagine yourself Successful.

  2. Reflect on your past Successes.

  3. Set Definite Goals.

  4. Respond Positively to Life.

Basically, you need to see yourself successful in order to become successful, especially when embarking on new roads. Once you envision yourself changed, you then need to use Consistent Action toward your Goals. I often say, “A thought without action is only a thought”.

Free Advice will leave you broke:

I have taken my fair share of bad advice from hobo’s to Industry Experts and everyone in between. I was taught to listen to my elders and folks that think they know, but after many setbacks I have boiled it down to 1 test when someone is spouting like a Gray Whale. Basically, calculate what it will cost to put their advice into action, and ask them to front that amount of money. If they believe in what they are saying, then it shouldn’t be an issue. You will see a lot of Subject Matter Experts and Consultants try to out talk you on this, so you forget the ask.

Here are my rules for following the Free Advice:

  1. What is the cost either way (to follow or not to follow)?

  2. Will the advice giver stand behind their words?

  3. Is the advice giver a talker or a doer?

  4. Remember your time is part of the cost and must be calculated.

At the end of the day I still say we have 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason, to listen more. I know that in the beginning of the year advice runs rampant and figured this guide may help someone.

People to listen to:

If you feel that you need some advice from a quality source, then here are a few folks that I know who might help:

  1. Caprice Pickett – Spark Something Coaching - Transformational Coaching

  2. Claire Jones – Clarification Coaching – Entrepreneur Coaching

  3. Tami Bensen – Intuitive Art Seattle – Inner Child, Inner Self and Intuition Coach

** Click on their company name to magically be transported to their site**

Here is some fun advice I’ve heard throughout the years:

  1. Squeaky wheel gets the oil – truthfully terrible advice, if you have to tell people how great you are, then are you?

  2. Dress for the day – I love this one, however I’m not always a snazzy dresser but appreciate when I see someone put together.

  3. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open – Yes!

  4. Pull my finger – Never!!!

  5. Listen to your Elders – sure but realize that some of them are insane.

  6. Don’t take the Brown Acid – always good advice.

  7. If you see a Bear and don’t have time to run away, hug it. Bears can’t scratch their stomach. – Someone please try this.

  8. To avoid embarrassment start beatboxing after you fart.

So I’ve shared some of my favorite advice given over the years. Please leave a comment on the FB & IG Page leave a comment of your favorite bad advice.

Happy February Folks!

Chef Joe