Bean And Mushroom Chili

My variant of a recipe I found in the “Forks Over Knives” Cookbook (which is worth purchasing PERIOD).  This isn’t quite where I want it yet, but the unusual combination of spices, in turn, produces a delightfully deep and unique flavor – fennel works well with cumin and coa powder in ways I didn’t expect.  The beans and mushrooms work together better than I’d expected – and I strongly recommend using diverse beans.. It’s a bit milder than I’d hoped, but some extra salt picks it up.  I think I’ll tweak it with cinnamon next time (and maybe cut the black pepper).

Makes about 6 servings.

  • 1 White onion, diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp coca powder
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes (or 1 28 oz can)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ½ cups different beans. (3 14 1/2 cans) – I use kidney, pinto, and black beans
  1. Place onion and mushrooms in a large dutch oven or other saucepan. Dry sauté, adding water as needed to keep them from sticking. Stir and sauté for ten minutes until onions and mushrooms soften. The mushrooms will release their water over time.
  2. Add all spices, stir to mix, cooking for 3 minutes or so until well blended.
  3. Add all other ingredients. Bring to simmer, cook covered for 25 minutes

I first tried it with a pickled cabbage salad – which worked very well.  A sour kick and a spicy kick but neither overwhelming.  Rounded it out with some nice mild corn.


– Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 5/16/2015

Sorry it’s been a bit of a busy week, so updates are a bit late.

First of all, there’s the Magic Power Generator – my latest creation at Seventh Sanctum. It’s for magic that’s more like a Superpower – common in anime and video games. Thus you have not so much spells, but a set of abilities like “Dance Magic” or “Eternal Emerald Enchantment.”

What made it interesting is there’s an “Artistic” option to produce alliterated results like “Ancient Air Alchemy.” That required me to try different forms of data sorting and classification, which taught me a few lessons I can use to make future generators. Most valuable was how to use some of my code, and an Excel spreadsheet, to quickly generate data structures.

I also just did an analysis of a local Wrtiers’ group I attend, and how their method of combining social and creative times can be extended. Check it out over at Muse Hack.

I’m really coming to the end of Way With Worlds. Some intermittent ones may follow afterwards, but I think I’ve gotten close to finishing the rewrite. Then again, this is me, so who knows . . .

I just spoke at PMI Silicon Valley on using LinkedIn. This is going into my regular speaking offerings, so if you want to hear about using LinkedIn to get noticed – and get beyond LinkedIn 101 – let me know! I might want to record this, but probably don’t have the time.

On top of this, I’m also starting work on two books, one is on anime and culture and is still formative, the other is a Project Management Book – I’m looking to do one as a collaborative effort, so it depends on if I get enough collaborators.

The Way With Worlds compendium and the anime book probably won’t be done until sometime in 2016. The PM book I hope to finish this year.

Whew, quite a lot to write. So how are you doing?


– Steven Savage

Want To See Me Speak On LinkedIn?

A reminder if you’re in Silicon Valley. Wednesday May 13th I’ll be speaking at PMI Silicon Valley on using LinkedIn to get noticed.  What I did for this was dig into LinkedIn advice to get beyond “LinkedIn 101″ and focus on getting people to pay attention to you.  The results were about 50% standard – and 50% surprising (for instance, LinkedIn search is more sophisticated than I thought).  I also take a specific tact to exploring LinkedIn that I think you’ll enjoy – but you’ll have to attend . . .

This is will probably enter my regular panel repertoire as well.  So if you want me to go full career geek on your convention attendees, let me know . . .


– Steven Savage

You Might Want To Pay Attention To This Guy

My good friend Serdar over at Genji Press has an update on all of his projects I recommend you read.  The guy is working on multiple novels, as well as a CMS system and just reading all his ideas is fascinating.

Also his upcoming semi-fantasy work sounds intriguing.  His Flight of the Vajra basically restored my faith in Space Opera, so I’d like to see where he can go with this.


– Steven Savage

Rooster Sauce, Version 3


My attempts at a homemade Sriracha-like sauce (aka Rooster sauce) continue.  This version seems to balance the heat and taste closer to my liking, so I think I’m about to where I want it to be.  The heat is there but not overwhelming, and the taste has some richness and complexity to it.

I consider this a success (indeed all the sauces have been good, I’m just improving it over time).  The only issue is the heat outlasts the taste longer than I’d like, so I’m wondering what else I can do – I’d rather a taste that stays along longer than reducing the heat much more.  At the same time it’s just pretty damn good so why mess with it?

Let me know if you have any ideas!


  • 1 1/2 lbs red chili peppers; Fresno, jalapeño, or Serrano
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 2 red bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 8 Tbsp crushed garlic cloves garlic (24 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  1. Remove stems and split jalapeño and habanero peppers. Dice the red pepper.
  2. Puree all ingredients but red wine vinegar and soy sauce in blender/food processor into a coarse mix.
  3. Place mix in airtight jar. Leave for seven days to ferment, stirring once a day with a wooden spoon.
  4. Place mixture into pan with vinegar, bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat, let cool, stirring occasionally.
  6. Place mixture into a strainer over a bowl. Press mixture with wooden spoon repeatedly to drain all the liquid.
  7. Add soy sauce to drained liquid. Pour liquid into bottle via a funnel.
  8. Store in refrigerator. It should keep for three months, maybe as long as six.


– Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 5/3/2015

Hope everyone is doing well.  Here’s my latest updates.

Over at Seventh Sanctum I’m working on a Magical Power Generator for those oft anime/video game like magical abilites that are between magic and superpowers.  It takes a few poetic tweaks to get right, but the initial data is sorted.  I’m also going to finish up Way With Worlds and then re-edit that into a book, and I’ll probably finish up/start that this summer.

Muse Hack is going to go through some changes, I’ll keep you updated.  But for now, stay tuned.  Next week I’ll start exploring some shared-universe experiences.

I’m sorting out my next book projects in May, but the first is going to be a book on Project Management.  I need to see some folks want to get involved, and then take it from there.  So the future has . . . about 3 books or so into 2016.

Needless to say, I think that’ll be enough, so I’ll be focusing on other writing as well.

How are you folks doing?


– Steven Savage

Ennead Games Is Looking For Contributors!

Ennead Games is looking for blog contributors.

As a designer I’m running out of time to work on both my blog and the publishing side of things, so I need your help.
Most of us have the urge to try to get something published on the net at some point, or just get exposure for our own previously published work.

What I’m looking for is contributors for the blog. This blog was orignially planned to be a resource for both designers, stroytellers and and roleplayers for all genres. A combination of bad health, multiple family deaths and work-load has seen this fall by the wayside and I’m trying now to correct this , hopefully with your help. All contributions will of course be credited to the author. Think of it as a platform for showing off your work and ideas.

The type of contributions I’m looking for :

  • Random Generator
  • Articles
  • Short Stories
  • Artwork
  • Posts about anything you may find within a gameworld, such as equipment, spells, NPC, races etc

The main genre is fantasy/medievil, but other grenres, espically science fiction, is welcome.

If this is something you are interested in doing, then please get in touch via

Baltimore, Ferguson, And More

Watching the protests and the riots in Baltimore, I speculate “what’s next?”

We see it again and again. A black man killed or fatally wounded by police. Protests. Riots. Ignorant Pundits. Too little change, or no change.

People being angry. Angry, and then the next one happens, the next death.

Over and over,I ask “what’s going to happen here?” People are fed up, there are clearly a large amount of deaths that don’t have to happen and keep happening. Hashtags of the last victim light up my Twitter feed.

But it doesn’t feel like anything is changing. Yet.

WHat gnaws at me is the feeling that “yes, something will happen, something will change, something big” but I don’t know hat it is. I feel like the future of these things is more and more unpredictable. I feel that something will, must happen, inevitably, but I don’t know what it is.

It can’t stay the same. THe anger is real, has been real for a long time, if ignored by a lot of America (says the straight white guy). The deaths are shameful and blatant. The awareness of problems is increased with camera phones and video feeds and Twitter and email.

I just wish I could come u with a theory, even some halfassed arrogant one created from my position of privligege of what’s next.

And I can’t.

Maybe I shouldn’t, maybe we shouldn’t. No matter what we can or can’t predict we have problems to solve, people to help. Folks are hurting. We have to make an effort.

But some of me thinks if we could get an idea of what’s coming, wed be much better off.

Some of this we’ve never seen before. Some of this, some of this has been seen over and over again for far too long.


– Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 4/26/2015

Hello everyone, here’s what’s up!

Kraken-Con went great. The convention is amazingly fun – indeed at some point I may need to stay over as opposed to hit it for a day.  I spoke on resumes (which was early, didn’t have much attendance, but the attendees were great folks!) and making Japanese Curry (plenty of attendance and suggestions).  I’m thinking the Resume panel might not be a good fit, but I’m thinking of more food panels.

In fact I’ve been wondering about doing a book on curry – and collect curry recipes, analyze them, format them, and bundle them up.  There’s a book from Japan on curries served on Battleships in the Japanese Navy – but it’s not translated.  So why not do my own?

I’m starting work on my next few books in the month to come.  There will be one on Project Management (and if it gets done depends on getting some contributors), and one on anime culture.  Those are in the schedule – the curry one is just an idea.

Tumblr’s latest update messed up the Seventh Sanctum Tumblr feed, but it’s working now.  The feed is re-enabled, so let the ideas flow!  Turns out none of it was my code, so I wasted time troubleshooting that.  Which means now I can get back to generators.

Finally the latest Crossroads Alpha Podcast is up!

– Steven Savage