ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Drunken Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Author: Living Dangerously
Duration: 3 hours
Average Cost: $25.00 US

Serves: 16

It's been scientifically proven that chicken noodle soup helps fight colds. You can believe it or not and just throw pharmaceuticals down your gullet, or you can do the great tasting healthy alternative. A recent NY Times article broke it down.

The most widely cited of these studies, published in the medical journal Chest in 2000, is by Dr. Stephen Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He conducted laboratory tests to determine why chicken soup might help colds, beginning with his wifes homemade recipe, handed down by her Lithuanian grandmother. Using blood samples from volunteers, he showed that the soup inhibited the movement of neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cell that defends against infection. Dr. Rennard theorizes that by inhibiting the migration of these infection-fighting cells in the body, chicken soup essentially helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms. (To read the whole article go here)

How can you argue with a Lithuanian grandmother, much less the NY Times? But if you're reading this, I doubt I have to sell you on the feel-good properties of chicken noodle soup. You, like me, prefer it, using it as a warm blanket for the soul.

You could get some creamy chicken ramen. God knows it's terrific, but it has enough sodium and fat to make it the food version of an anti-tank missile.  Don't forget that ramen noodles are fried before they are placed in the nice plastic package. You never knew that? Well, now you know.

You could also go the canned soup option, but again, the sodium is very high, and frankly, why?

If you make this recipe you'll have enough soup for ten people, which means you can freeze whatever you don't eat and thaw it out when needed. And let me tell you, when you make this and try this, you'll never go back to canned again.

So here goes.

For the Stock
1 (2 - 5 pound chicken)
3.5 quarts water
1 onion roughly chopped
4 bay leaves
3 chicken bouillon cubes*
1.5 tsp oregano
1.5 tsp basil
3 tsp grated lemon
3 cloves minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
*I prefer to use the Better Than Bouillon Low Sodium Chicken Base. It's as rich or more in flavor and has less sodium than the cubes. But if you can't find this, then use bouillon. Just don't use store-bought stock. It defeats the purpose of making your own.

For the Soup:
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery with leafy green tops
1 bag of uncooked wide egg noodles
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves (not dried)
.666 cup brandy**
3 tsp chopped rosemary leaves (fresh if possible)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup heavy cream
Crusty French or Sourdough bread, for serving
**A non-alcoholic substitute would be .5 cup simple syrup and .5 cup balsamic vinegar


For the stock: This is how I do it. I add all the stock ingredients to a large soup pot. I chop up the chicken into smaller pieces. I leave the skin on to add a deep robust flavor, but when I remove the chicken later, I throw away the skin. Cook until chicken is tender which turns out to be about 65 minutes. Boil, then simmer covered. Once tender, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Remove the bay leaves and onion and toss. Once the chicken is cool enough, shred chicken using two forks. Toss bones, skin and cartilage. Don't forget to save the wishbone for later

For the soup: Bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 6 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package (about 11 minutes). I prefer No Yolk Egg Noodles which are lower in cholesterol and sodium. When the noodles are almost done, add mushrooms, parsley, and rosemary. Add the brandy, ensuring that the cook gets a quick shot so he or she can make it through the rest of the cooking. I then add the chicken back in, then the Parmesan and cream. Cook for another 2 minutes on a rolling bowl to marry all the ingredients (uncovered), then turn off. 

Leave uncovered for ten minutes.

Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding salt and pepper. This is a lower sodium meal than comes in the can or at restaurants, so be careful to only add as much sodium as you need. Too much sodium is never good.

Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French or sourdough bread.

An alternative to the rosemary would be sage. If you're just not a fan of rosemary or just want to try something new, you could add sage instead. I'd add an additional tsp because of the difference in flavor strengths. Lucky for us we love rosemary and have it growing wild in out front yard as you can see.

Something else to be said for high desert living.

Please enjoy and let me know how it turns out. And remember, you can always enjoy a bowl of soup with one my books, either in your hands, or listening to it from Audible.com. Food for the body, mind and soul.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Eye Level with a Vulture - 10.5K Montezuma Pass

Joe's Canyon Trail
Distance: 3.1 miles (5.285 KM)*
Montezuma Pass (with thumb)
Trailhead Elevation: 5,300 feet
Top Elevation: 6,864 feet
Time to summit: 1:41
Time to base: 1:11

Total Time: 2:52.10
Total Distance: 10.57 KM

Total Calories Burned 1108

My GPS watch is set to kilometers. This is actual distance from my watch and is probably where I took a wrong turn. (Device-Suunto Ambit 2S GPS Watch)


I've been street level with a thug before, but never eye level with a vulture. When I began hiking up Joe's Canyon Trail this morning, that all changed. I'm not sure if it was tracking me and hopefully waiting for me to die, or if it was tracking something else, but it spent a good deal of time with me as I ascended 1500 feet on the thin winding trail up Smuggler's Ridge to Yaqui Ridge, then to Montezuma Pass. At times it was below me, coming within a few arm's lengths. I tried to snap a photo with my cell phone, but the phone isn't a camera but rather my social media communication device. If I'd only had my wife's Nikon.  Maybe next time.

I was eager to make the hike because I had brand new Altra Superior 1.5s. I felt a little achy this morning and had already made excuses not to go. But then my desire to get out of the house and embrace nature kicked in. And did I get nature. It was beautiful. From the views of Montezuma and San Rafael Valleys to the bubbling spring fed streams, to the rocks, to the wide sweeping expanses of desert that WASN'T Afghanistan, this was just what I needed.

 I had trouble finding the lower trail head. I knew it was supposed to be at a Ranger Station, so I drove all the way up to the pass looking for it. I saw the upper trail head. I could have taken that, but with just me and only one car that meant I would have had to run down and walk up, instead of walking up and running down. So once I got back down the mountain I saw a side road to a picnic area and asked a border patrol agent who was fitted out in tactical field gear.

He knew and I was on the trail within moments after that.

The first mile is steep but on a well-maintained path with enough switchbacks to help you rise 1000 feet in that first mile. About half a mile in I heard water and soon was greeted with a microclimate of evergreens and a bubbling brook with waterfalls. How awesome!

About a mile and a half in I saw the saddle for Smuggler's Ridge covered in golden wheat against a blue sky. Extraordinary. I took a wrong turn near the top. The trail splits and it's not marked. Had I continued on what must have been the Yaqui trail for a mile, I would have been in Mexico. But I backtracked and soon found myself at Montezuma Pass.

Wow. To think that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado brought conquistadors through this very spot in 1540 looking for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola. That's some history for you.

I spent ten minutes on the top, adjusting my shoes and getting a lot of water. I'd brought a pack with a camelbak, but I saved that for on the move drinking and drank out of the other water bottle I packed. I was wearing brand new Altra Superior 1.5s. They're fairly minimal with zero drop and made for trails so I was eager to break them in. I was going to wear ankle socks, but these shoes eat them. I've had shoes like them before and they cause the sock to come off the heel. So I did it barefoot and cleaned out some sand that had gotten into the shoes. High on the heel of my left foot I had loose skin which was preparing to become a serious blister, so I made sure to tighten both shoes. The right foot was just fine. The shoes were terrific. Lots of stability. Although minimal, the stoneguard rock protection was just awesome. 

After ten minutes, I was back on the trail, this time running when I could. Some of the path was too rocky and I just didn't want to run. But where it was a dirt path I was hauling and cut thirty minutes off the descent.

This was a great hike. 

I'm definitely going to do it again.

And as a reward I grabbed two Adobada Tacos and ate them in the park.

Water and my new kicks!

Babbling Brook

Looking back as I ascend

Babbling Brook

San Rafael Valley

San Rafael Valley

Lichen on th erocks.

The Saddle on Smuggler's Ridge - Looks so far away

Looking down

From the saddle on Smuggler's Ridge

A rare flat point

For Mom

Looking back as I climb

Spring Water Cave

Reward Tacos!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sometimes You Just Want Some Pasta - Squid Ink with Basil and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

I decided to start a series called Sometimes You Just Want Pasta, because...well... sometimes you just want pasta. Like tonight. I've been eating really healthy the last six nights, laying off any crazy meat or starches. Plus, my neck-shoulder is aching and I'm not feeling so hot. I thought of just making leftovers, but that's not reaching the comfort zone. I want to feel good when I eat tonight. I want to fold myself into whatever it is I'm going to have and then bask in it for awhile. What better dish to do this with than pasta.

I decided right away I wanted something light and bright. So to me that meant no tomato sauce and no meat. I hear all of you meat lovers and traditionalists out there groaning. Well fegettaboutit! Meat and tomatoes have their place in the great shrine of pasta, but they also tend to drown out the flavors. Same thing with fish. Now chicken is pretty balancing, but I don't feel like that either. Nor tofu or torfurky. In fact, as I write this I've decided that Torfurky Pasta is an affront against all Pastafarians (All Hail the Noodly Appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster).

So I checked my pantry. When we shop, we tend to stock up. Preppers and certain religions centered around a certain salt lake that shall remain anonymous have a belief that they should be ready for the end times. This is a great belief. Ite's an awesome belief. My wife and I have a similar belief. We believe that we should be ready for the good times so you'll find our pantry stocked with squid ink pasta, Spanish chorizo, lemon flavored penne pasta, sweet pea rissotto base, and a hundred other foo foo items that are a delight to cook. So I noticed the squid ink pasta right away. I think we got a couple of packages at world market. I cooked one and I think my wife didn't like it. Because she's away rwight now and I'm cooking for one, I'm going to absolutely believe that, so that if I'm wrong I won't get into any trouble.

We're also growing herbs in our screenhouse, including a lot of basil. And nothing packs a bright punch to the eye like a whole mess of basil. I always use garlic and diced onion. Always. So while I make my pasta, I fry up the garlic and diced red onion in a little meyer lemon olive oil. After about three minutes on medium heat, I add a quarter cup of good white wine and capers (if it's my house this normally means a Chardonnay). I let this simmer for about seven minutes.

Meanwhile, the pasta is cooked al dente. (there's areason for this). Then I drain it reserving a quarter cup of water. Remember, if you leave the pasta in the water it's going to continue to cook. If you drain it and leave it over the steaming water in the sink it's going to continue to cook too. There's little worse that limp, flacid pasta. Okay. There are a lot of things worse that limp, flacid pasta, but you gotta admit, lim, flacid pasta is pretty bad.

With about three minutes to go on the white wine reduction, I add in the basil whole. This will serve to infuse everything with a nice bright double eye gouge of basil.

After then after the whole seven minutes, I add in the reserved water and the pasta and stir. for two minutes. (See, I told you there was a reason. The pasta is still cooking) Finally I add in the scallions and tarragon. Stir once more, then plate it. The last step is to top the pasta with a little lemon olive oil and shaved parmesan cheese.

Then eat.

     Serves 4
1 Package Squid Ink Pasta
1 cup finely diced red oinion
4 tsp dized garlic
4 handful (big hands) of fresh basil
3 tsp capers with juice
grated parmesan cheese

4 - 5 scallions
2 tsp tarrogon
.5 cup good white wine
.5 cup meyer lemon olive oil (and more if needed)

Wait? What was that you said? Did you say that pasta can't be black?

Of course it can, silly. Anything can be black. Black is beautiful.

I can't think of any color I wouldn't want to see pasta... well... pink. I don't think i'd like to see pink pasta. It seems so unappetizing. And maybe not orange. Definitely not orange. And blue would be wierd. Kind of like eating Smurf noodles. Definitely not pink or orange or blue. But black is okay. Black is great.

So what do we call this dish?

In italian it would be - linguine nero con basilico e olio d'oliva limone meyer
In Spanish it would be - linguini negro con albahaca y aceite de oliva limón meyer
In Javanese it would be - ireng linguini karo Basil lan Meyer lenga linglang zaitun

I can't even saty that last one. Those are just google translations anyway.

How about calling this Black Summer Basil Pasta?  

I bet you can do better.

Give it a good name and I'll put leftovers in an envelope and mail them to you.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about dessert. It's simple and amazing. Take slices of pear, in this case a red pear, put them in ramicans and microwave for twenty seconds. This will soften them up and break down some cell walls. We want this. Then drizzle fig balsamic vinegar over them and refridgerate for thirty minutes. Trust me.

Weston Ochse is the author of twenty books, most recently two SEAL Team 666 books, which the New York Post called 'required reading' and USA Today placed on their 'New and Notable List of 2012.' His newest novel is Grunt Life and is already in its second printing. Visit him online at www.westonochse.com

Monday, July 7, 2014

Three Free Book Giveaways by My Publishers

I'm a struggling writer who spends too much money on other people's books and trying to live the good life, I totally know how hard it is to want something and not have the cash for it. So when I the chance comes to offer something free to my fans and friends, I am elated. Three of my books are being given away on Goodreads over the next few weeks. You have a better chance of winning one of these than winning the lottery, not getting hit while dodging traffic, not getting cut when running with scissors, and definitely not being lip-sliced while eating a bowl of granola-flavored razor blades. And you can quote me on that.


Sprawling Haunted House Novel featuring:

 Elvis, Mexican Mafia, WWII Curses,
Hollywood Porn, L.A. Gangs, and Horror

The Halfway House…a place shrouded in mystery…standing shunned and ignored…yet seeming to devour the souls of everyone who dies in San Pedro.
Bobby Dupree…an epileptic loner from a Memphis orphanage who is on a journey to find out if he truly is…the Halfway House…
son of the King of Rock and Roll. When Bobby’s quest becomes entwined with an old surf bum and his estranged daughter, the 8th Street Angels, and a dicey porn director, he discovers that Los Angeles holds more opportunities and dangers than he could have imagined. Discovering he’s at ground zero to a seventy-year-old spiritual curse, all the chaotic events in Bobby’s life begin to circle back to the inscrutable force of the 

For a chance at winning a free copy go to this LINK. There are ten copies available. This book is also available in a signed and numbered collectors copy directly from the publisher

GHOST HEART - YA Coming of Age Novel

While Matt Cady's parents are contemplating divorce, Regina Running Deer can't grow up fast enough. Together, along with two dead-biker guardian spirits and an immense German Shepherd, they escape to the Black Hills. Steeped in bloody history, the Black Hills is a shadowy world where creatures, real and unreal, would rather see them dead than alive. Finally the cryptic advice of a witch, a fortune teller and a troll, plus the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickok leads them to find the very thing they didn't know they were looking for. And to get it, the must enter the Badlands...and survive. 

For a chance at winning a free copy go to this LINK. There are three copies available. This book will also be available in a highly collectible lettered edition available directly from the publisher.

SNAFU - Military Horror Anthology

A military horror anthology featuring a hot mess of awesome authors.

When the going gets tough, the tough fight to the death in SNAFU.
(SNAFU – military slang for ‘Situation Normal – All F*cked Up)

Some contributors:
- James A Moore (A Jonathan Crowley story)
- Greig Beck (A new novella – see synopsis below)
- Weston Ochse (Author of Seal Team 666)
- Jonathan Maberry (A Joe Ledger tale)
- Joseph Nassise (A Templar novella)

My story is titled Cold War Gothic and takes place in 1960s San Francisco where America and the Soviets are fighting a supernatural battle with Earth at stake.

For a chance at winning a free copy go to this LINK. There are three copies available. This book will also be available in a highly collectible limited edition available directly from the publisher.