Heath McConnell

One Of The Burning Tribe, Musician, Photographer and Outdoors Dude


Cherry Tomato Spinich Marinade Chicken Bacon Tacos

Prep Time: 1 hr
Notes / Directions

  1. Combine cherry tomatoes, green onions, garlic, chilies and spinach in a food processor and purée. 
  2. Cover diced chicken with sauce and marinade an hour or two. 
  3. Take three pieces of thick cut bacon and use scissors to cut one inch pieces into skillet. Cook over med high heat till almost cooked. 
  4. Add the marinated chicken to the bacon and cook for a while. 
  5. Add 1 tbsp corn starch. 
  6. Mix and cook a bit. 
  7. Finely grate Cotijas cheese over chicken and bacon and cook mixture till nicely brown and lightly crispy. 
  8. Serve in corn tortillas topped with shredded cabbage and grated cheddar cheese. 
  9. Serve.


Campfire Citrus Shrimp, Andouille Sausage and Corn


  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh Cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2-6 ears corn, small ears 
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined  
  • 4 Andouille Sausage, sliced in 1″ chunks
  • 4 cups couscous, cooked

Notes / Directions

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag, add the shrimp and marinate for one hour. Place the corn in a such oven, add the andouille Sausage, pour the shrimp mixture over the corn and sausage to cover it.  

At campsite, Place sealed Dutch oven directly on hot coals, or in a BBQ with the coals piled all around the Dutch oven (or cook in a 450° oven if at home); cook 20 minutes. Serve over couscous.

I have a kid who hates seafood, so I used the same marinade recipe for 6 chicken thighs. I poured chicken and marinade from the bag into heavy-duty foil, sealed and placed directly on the coals next to Dutch oven, as seen in picture above.   


Hike to Kentucky Falls

We went on an adventure yesterday! My Fiance had said that it would be good to get me out in the woods. I am pretty sure she said this because she could sense my restlessness starting to exponentiate as it had been some time since i had done any camping, kayaking, hunting/fishing, or hiking. My love for her rose at the thought that she knew what my restlessness was from and how to fix it.

It was a very blustery day, as Winnie-the-Pooh put it. However, we decided to hike to Kentucky Falls on the North Fork Smith River. We loaded up 5 kids, a dog, and headed out. To get there, I decided to follow my phones navigation instead of my maps. During our journey there the navigation led us through the Coast Range on various logging roads. It finally led us down one that was so overgrown on the edges that it felt more like a 1/2 lane road, or a goat trail. I felt safe knowing I could get there on this path, but if there happened to be a locked gate…it was going to be a very, very long drive back in reverse. I couldn’t help but think about that ordeal, years ago, where a family followed their Google Maps app from California and ended up perishing on some logging road here in Oregon.

We came upon a pretty steep clear-cut area and had to take a picture because of how steep it appeared. As we drove along this old back (logging) road, seemingly forever, the vegetation was so thick on the sides of the road that at times it was rubbing on the roof. It made me all the more astonished when we came upon a little clearing with a burned up car. What was this fella thinking. This really wasnt some road you take a car on.

The first waterfall didn’t seem that far and it was nice, but we hiked on. All the while we were getting more and more wet. I chose not to bring rain gear because I wanted some idea of what the kids would be facing at any given moment. I stayed pretty dry and warm because of my wool sweater.

When we finally arrived at the lower waterfalls, it was well worth the hike, however, the little ones were totally soaked to the bone and cold. The first thing We noticed was the thundering from all the rain we were having. Next, I noticed that there were two falls cascading over a box canyon wall.

I instantly left everyone behind and went out off the deck towards the middle of the canyon. You had to jump from mossy boulder to boulder trying not to fall in the water. Once out there, amid all the noise, rushing water, waterfall spray, pouring rain and wind, I felt amazed and knew all my needs to get out into the outdoors had just been met. The chaos that was my calm. I was at peace inside once again.

I quickly made my way back to the viewing deck where my fiance had her arms around all the kids like a mother hen, trying to warm their soaked bodies. I gave her a kiss and we all headed back. I realized that I gained 20 pounds of water while I was out in the middle of that canyon. The hike back warmed us up…little. We got to the car after hiking back for 1.5 hours and drove the easier route home with the heat on high.

I am pretty sure we all had a wonderful adventure, and I thank my woman for knowing what I needed and helping me achieve it…as always. I love you!

It felt like we were standing on the edge of the world, with the rain and wind, guess you had to be there...

It felt like we were standing on the edge of the world, with the rain and wind, guess you had to be there…

I used my iPhone navigation that led us over the mountains on logging roads, that at times, were not even wide enough for my goat, let alone our Tahoe.  This guy didn't make it.

I used my iPhone navigation that led us over the mountains on logging roads, that at times, were not even wide enough for my goat, let alone our Tahoe. This guy didn’t make it.

one of the wider spots on the trip.

one of the wider spots on the trip.

Lower Kentucky Falls

Lower Kentucky Falls

There were a lot of trees this size and bigger.

There were a lot of trees this size and bigger.








Orange Pepper Sauce Shrimp Sticks

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins

1 pound 11-16 whole Gulf Shrimp 
1 pound 16-22 de-veined Shrimp 
2 pounds 28-34 head on whole Shrimp 
1 cup vegetable oil 
1 cup orange juice 
2 teaspoons honey 
2 teaspoon ground cumin 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper 
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves 
3 large Jalapeños, cut in peices 
3 Habanero, quartered 
4 tablespoons Orange Marmalade 

Notes / Directions
Leaving the shells on helps make shrimp juicy!
Leaving the shells on helps keep the marinade from being to spicy if using the *SPICY* additions. 

Skewer shrimp and place in a rectangle pan ready for marinade. 
Combine a all ingredients except marmalade and pour over shrimp. 
Let sit refrigerated for about a half hour. 
start coals and move to side when ready, as indirect heat. 
When marinaded shrimp is ready, pour off marinade into a saucepan and save. 
Place shrimp on grill, INDIRECT HEAT, and turn after five minutes. 

Orange Pepper Sauce
Put the reserved marinade on med high heat and add the marmalade. 
Whisk continually as you bring to simmer. 
Use as dipping sauce or pour over finished shrimp. 

Skewer pineapple and veggies and grill to compliment shrimp. 


Solo Stove Campfire

The sun came out today and it was glorious. Spring is in the air. I decided to sit outside  today and make lunch with my Solo Stove Campfire. 

I grabbed a shirt load of small pine cones, which are everywhere, and got the fire going.  I then put 3 liters of water on to boil. I then waited. 

The fluffy clouds were moving to and fro as I watch from the bench I am laying on in the yard. Every time the sun pokes it’s head out, it feels warm all over. 

As I lay here, I I hear the wind chime on the portch once in a while. I hear birds and a chipmunk. I hear the bells on my goats collars as they forage around the yard. Wait…what is that I hear??? It’s the wild turkey’s not far away. Reminds me of the little turkey poults and 8 chicks I’m raising in the barn. 

Well, after 27 minutes, the water begun to boil and it’s time to add noodles.  

What a wonderful day, except, that it could be much better if my fiancé or children were here with me. 


Coconut Ginger Verde Chicken

Coconut Ginger Verde Chicken

Coconut Ginger Verde Chicken

I didn’t know what to make with the night getting late so I decided, as usual, to create something with what we had available in the kitchen. There was half can of coconut milk from a previous Satay dinner. There was also a 2″ chuck of ginger, which I love. I started cooking and saw the Herdez salsa verde and decided that anything with salsa tastes good. So I created a tasty Frankenstein of a meal with hints of ginger, coconut, and lemon, this is a tasty quick meal for the family.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

1 large shallot, sliced fine
3 finger size fresh ginger, non-peeled, grated
1/2 can Coconut milk, sweet
1 tablespoon finely sliced Lemongrass or use freeze dried chopped in a jar (litehouse brand)
1/2 cup Salsa Verde (I used Herdez brand)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 dashes Asian fish sauce
8 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless cut in 2″ pieces

Notes / Directions

-Sauté the shallots and ginger in 1 tbls olive oil in until translucent.
-Add chicken pieces and cook until no more pink is visible.
-Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until a thick sauce is made and sticking to the chicken pieces.
-serve on a bed of rice.

Source: Heath McConnell


Salt Creek Falls

My girlfriend and I took a trip to Salt Creek Falls this weekend to see the second highest single drop waterfall in Oregon, which cascades 283 feet. Salt Creek Falls is one of Southern Oregon’s most powerful falls, with an average yearly flow of 50,000 gallons per minute flowing over the rocks. The primary observation platform at the top of the waterfall is only 50 yards (45.720 m) from the parking lot. However, The entrance was snowed over and the gate closed. we parked at the gate and hiked on the snow about 5 minutes to the platform. The platform is wheelchair accessible with railings that accommodate wheelchair sight-lines. A loop gravel trail (Salt Creek Falls Trail #3673) with interpretive signage offers a short hike with multiple vantage points along the canyon rim.
A steep trail from the platform to the waterfall’s base is short, but is not wheelchair accessible due to numerous stairs. The best viewpoint is said to be halfway down this path. I felt it was the very bottom of the falls being blasted by the wind and spray created by the falls. This required leaving the main trail and climbing down a steep section of hill while trying to keep from sliding on loose rock fragments all the way to the waters edge.


To get to Salt Creek Falls from Interstate I-5, take HWY 58 about 57 miles to Forest Service road #5893. Once you turn right onto aforementioned road, stay right and continue about 0.5 miles to the parking lot.



imageA drawing that I created today in Paper53 for Cindi.


Symmetrical Flower



Live with a heart exposed?

The joy in my life from living from the inside out, a heart exposed, has made this life one of exquisite beauty and an even deeper joy. Words can’t describe the love of life I am experiencing. Friendships take it even higher than that!