Friday, 30 November 2012

Test Kitchen: Final Day

Not much in the way of test kitchening today. This was breakfast, a slight twist on my usual breakfast scramble. Those Korean yams were super good in this and I historically haven't liked runny eggs but these were good!

For my birthday my mom's friend gave me this weird Glade candle thing. Do you have one of these? Have you seen them? We have no tv so I don't see any commercials so I thought this was the shittiest candle ever until I figured out what it actually was. I bought pine smelly refills so I can feel all festive and shit when my fake ass tree goes up (Dec.8th-31st is tree time).

I had to go food shopping which now involves going to like 6 different stores. I found my baby camera, looked through the pictures and saw that I forgot to share the goodness that is my fabulous meat store with y'all the other day.

A WALL OF MEAT. Only 2 of the products on the wall contain sugar! 2 out of all of them! I love that all the tags are hand written. This is local family business. They are friendly, helpful and I will gladly hand them fistfuls of money for their amazing meat


My sick meat haul...start with the farm fresh eggs, grass-fed bison rib eye, some kind of smoked meat, prosciutto, bones on the bottom, MASSIVE free range turkey breast, bison farmers sausage, more bones, bison pepperettes, grass-fed hormone free ground beef and bison and chicken livers. I actually had to stop myself from buying a massive 5lb bison heart that was the size of my head. I really wanted to buy it though.

I am obsessed with buying 3 things and always have a hard to not buying one I like. The first thing is to-go vessels. I am truly obsessed and will never have enough (I stopped myself from buying 3 different ones specifically made for loose tea yesterday). The other 2 things are chapstick and nail polish. More chapstick in the winter and nail polish in the summer. The last 3 chapsticks I have bought have been the little pot kind not the easy sleazy tube. I love Burt's Bees so I had to try their new medicated one (I love a medicated lip balm in the winter). Very loverly.

And I bought this, what I am calling a "pinch". It is literally perfect for the Breville since all the plates come out fucking scalding and we have really shitty oven mitts.

Speaking of the Breville. I have been without a microwave for over a week now and I am ready to post mine on Kijiji. The Breville does everything and more that a microwave does without all the creepiness of a microwave. I mostly used my microwave for reheating my coffee a zillion times a day but I don't drink coffee anymore so that made it easy to get rid of and after a week I figured out the fastest settings for reheating cold food (the broil setting if you were curious). I heat my bone broth on the stove in a tiny pan which works just fine and it warms as I prep my breakfast.

A quick dinner of leftovers (leftover turkey burger, fried "rice", spag squash) some quickly satueed broccoli and half a sad looking avocado. Mayo for the burger. I like how it looks like I am drinking the mayo. It is good enough to drink and that jar lasts a week. Check out the candle all melted down.


A little veggie prep after dinner. I riced up a whole head of cauliflower and froze it in one cup portions. I read on that if you freeze the rice, the freezing "cooks" it meaning you only have to defrost it and it's ready to go. My kinda easy.

"Yo man, you got that cauli?"

Can you guess what these are? Anyone?

These are my liver "pills" apparently some people chop up liver into tiny pieces them take them like pills. Honestly liver in a burger at 10% ratio is barely distinguishable and pretty tasty, but I had to try the liver "pills" route. And it actually works. No liver taste and easy pill ingestion if you want the benefits of organ meat without actually tasting it.

Be here tomorrow for BIG NEWS EVERYONE! And also listen to the song Thrift Shop by Macklemore ...sickest fucking beat I have heard in a long time it makes me smile BIG TIME...

"Imma take your grandpa's style, Imma take your grandpa's for real, ask your grandpa can have his handmedowns?"
" Oooo that Gucci that's so tight, I'm like yo that's $50 for a t-shirt.... I call that gettin' swindled and pimped, I call that gettin' tricked by business"

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Test Kitchen: Day 4

Anticipation! First thing I did  (because I was hungry!) was crack open my bone broth

Hmmmm much liquidier than the first batch. I am wondering if the tomato paste had anything to do with inhibiting the jelly formation since tomato is acidic. Oh well no worries, I know all the good stuff is in there. If you attempt bone broth and you don't find meat jelly FEAR NOT. All the goods are still in your bone broth. Mine was a very rich dark brown color this time.

It honestly looked like a massive creme brule

Can you see that tiny little strip of light floating in the air? That is the massive 150 foot Ikea sign you can see with the naked eye from my house. Ikea opened here yesterday. People lost their minds. People waited in -30 weather for over 12 hours. People are fucking stupid.

Back to the kitchen! I learned all about the terribleness that is carrageenan about a month ago and now I no longer buy boxed alternative milks (LOADS OF CREEPY THINGS!) for myself and my family to drink. I make my own bitch, I'm like the hippie, primal Martha. So I soak my own nuts...everything about making your own "nut milk" is high-lariously childish to talk about. Soak your nuts in a bowl of water for like 12ish hours.

Soak dem nuts

This is why you soak your nuts! It removes the stuff in them (super scientific...stuff, in almonds) that can cause bloating and discomfort in people. Plus dem nuts get all soft and water logged. Admittedly I peeled and ate about 4 water logged nuts before remembering that I was actually making something. Soaked almonds...very yummo.

Almonds meet my friend the Blendtec

Mine is a handmedown that is missing the top matter I am clever and talented, check out this action shot. I blend it twice on setting 5 which varies the speed during the cycle and it runs for 35 seconds. Run longer if you are using a regular blender.

Perfect and frothy no creepies. You can add coconut oil, dates, vanilla, cacao powder, maple syrup and other things to your milk to your own taste. I leave mine nude.

There are no pictures of the straining process as it is a one woman job and I have put the poor mama jama through more food than I ever thought it would see. I strain my nut milk through my rawsome nut milk bag. Then you can save the pulp to make almond flour. I was lazy this time and didn't. Glass milk jug is a precious thrift store find. No lid but I seal it with a piece of plastic and a heavy duty rubber band. Ingenious!

You might never see this again...ok actually you will never see this again. The test kitchen counter clean, clear and wiped down. Look at my sexy Cuisi FP in it place of honor on the counter. Ignore my ugly cabinetry and even uglier hardware, I can do nothing about that.

I promptly covered the counter with the dinner preppings. I think these are Korean yam. They were purple on the outside so I thought they would be purple inside. Nope, white. I was cooking for a friend who was coming over.

Peeled, diced, drizzled in extra light evoo (I don't like olives or the taste of evoo that isn't light. The light stuff makes ah-ma-zing mayo)

I wasn't planning on making 2 separate dinners but that's just kinda how it happened. This ground turkey needed attention, I needed protein in my dinner and I need to eat it soon as I was scuttling off to Hot Flow (some would call this "power yoga"...I hate that term...fear not, a big yoga post isn't far off!) Burgers are easy and I had fresh rosemary...fuck yeah, who's the Martha now!

 Then I remembered that I went to my fantastic (seriously, y'all should be very jealous) local natural meat store. Hands down best meat ever and all but 2 of their smoked products have sugar and most are egg, wheat, dairy and soy-free and are made from local animals. Fresh proscuitto!  I ate a few slices and chopped up a few slices into the ground bird with the rosemary, pink salt (Himalayan, not curing) and fresh ground pepper.

Cooked em in the cast iron since I was too lazy to turn on the bbq. I am happy to report it didn't smoke too much 

And they turned out fabulously, especially for being cooked in a pan on the stove


A little rosemary on the Breville roasted Korean yams

My dinner of proscuitto rosemary turkey burgers topped with more proscuitto, fried "rice" and a salad with homemade dressing. I also ate the burger with my own and easy and it perfectly fueled my very very intense yoga class

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Test Kitchen: Day 3 (Homemade Bacon)

"Pip Pip and good day chaps. I'm Mr. Bone, brand new ambassador for bone broth. Fear no bone mates, you have nothing to gain but health and welly! Now back to the MVJ Diaries. Cheerio!"

Bahahah, don't you love Mr.Bone? He's so cute. You haven't seen the last of that saucy Brit, I can promise you!

Busy busy busy in the test kitchen....Bone Broth round 2. The first thing I did after a very needed sleep in was examine my bone broth. I was slightly horrified to realize the water level had dropped so low. I mean it's good because it's nice and concentrated but bad because I have less actual volume of liquid and this level was still with the bones in it. For future batches when I remove the veggies at the 24 hour mark (I found that this is my method rather than throwing them in later I put them in at the start then fish them out after 24 hours) I will add more water then instead of around the 30 hour mark

Since the level was so low I wanted to see what state the bones were in...they were in a very very good state. This knife went in rather easy.

I let the bone cool and I was able to flake the bone off with my finger nail. SUCCESS! I was totally in position to do what I was unable to do last time...

I fished out the huge shank was still freaking rock hard and scalding hot but I noticed the marrow was still clinging to the inside so I grabbed tongs and turned the bone over to let the marrow slide out which slide out in a long 6 inch intact piece. So I fished it out an took a picture...just for you. It is the circular tan tube on the left. I dropped that fantastic-ness back in the pot although admittedly I was tempted to take a bite.

The bones were soft enough to do what I was too much of a vagina to do last time, which was blend the bones in a high powered blender...*PLEASE ONLY DO THIS IS A VITAMIX OR BLENDTEC FOR THE LOVE OF MR.BONE!* or just smash 'em with a hammer for the truly low-tech, free workout way.

Bones ready for take off. I'll admit, I was kinda terrified and have totally junked up my expensive camera with animal products

I put the lid on, flexed my yoga biceps and ran the longest cycle. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Bone mash after 35 seconds.

A better look at the bone mash or bone slurry that technology gave me. Thank you progress for high powered appliances.

Licked clean?

Next up...Zeee BA-CON! After slow roasting last night, then cooling, then getting a luxurious one night stay in Hotel Frigidaire he was ready to FINALLY be cooked and nomed. This bacon is 100% made by me. Only sea salt and a pinch of garlic powder went into this belly. I started this bacon last Monday.

Time to slice it up...THICK CUT FOR YOUR BUTT! (bahaha...EMT I love you)

Fry it up. With all the busy-ness in the test kitchen I didn't really make myself a proper breakfast and I was out of bone broth so no normal morning but I had a hard boiled egg and a glass of homemade almond milk with about 2 tbsps of cold pressed organic virgin flax seed oil it to hold me over until the bacony goodness. I am pretty sure that oil is not compliant so I am trying to finish up as much as I can before Saturday. Here it is in the shaker cup before shaking. After shaking I just pound it or else the oil and milk separate quick. Cold pressed flax seed oil was the very first supplement I ever took over 10 years ago. I like it. I used to eat it mixed into Greek yogurt. It has a kind of nutty taste. It is only good in the fridge after opened for 4 weeks and it is not for heat cooking.

Bacon cast iron seems to smoke a lot. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong but I have no hood fan and the world's most sensitive smoke detector so back to the non-stick for now.

 The beautiful perfect, finished product *cue angel music* Soooooo good... salty, fatty, crunchy with a slight pork taste that is covered up by sugar and fake maple flavor in store bought products.

Sliced up and ready for the freezer (since it's not smoked, it needs to be frozen. From my research I am under the impression that smoked bacon can be stored in the fridge once sliced. Correct me if I am wrong meat lovers! I love knowledge.)

The bone broth was a success. I strained the meat but it had a more granular texture from going through the blender....sooooo...if the bone broth isn't mega gelatinous I won't do the blender trick again because I am not big on the grainy-ness on the meat. That meat is a large portion of my meat intake for the week and I don't want to have to just choke it down.

These were the larger chunks that were not quiet as grainy. This stuff I will eat with breakfast. The other stuff I have ideas of pate and meatloaf floating in my head.

The hollow shank. The batch went for just over 48 hours and all the other bones broke down but not the shank. I am curious to know how long it would take it to fully beak down (possible experiment)

CONFESSION: I ate bones. All the small bits of bone were soft. The crumbled like a cheap candy when pressure was applied. I tried a small piece, then a bigger piece and it wasn't as awful as one would assume. Slightly granular and it kinda sticks in your teeth but not utterly revolting. Not that I would sit down with a bowl of boiled bones but I had to try it.

Also just a quick article on "canola" oil...there is no such thing as canola, "canola" is a made up word that was made up because heavily processed rapeseed oil just wasn't selling. I have lived in Canada for damn near my whole life and most of that information was new to me (I found out about the rancid oil and deodorizing about a month ago...disgusting!) And the fact that it basically looks like the Canadian government strong armed the FDA into giving it the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) certification even though there are no long term studies...TERRIFYING!

READ HERE    "canola"