Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Good Things Come in Jars

You know that avjar and malizzano I bought a while back? I never got around to finishing them off, so I took them out today. The avjar (red) smells like alcohol, and the malizzano grew some whiteish, slimy mould in some places. How cool is that?! I've made alcohol and a probiotic environment!! :)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Easy Poached Eggs

After five days of charred, (natural) barbecued food, I wanted gently cooked eggs for breakfast. But boiled eggs just weren't working for me. So I poached eggs it was. On a weekday morning.

I can't say I cannot poach, because I've only really tried it once or twice. And it didn't work, so I've given up prospecting on that. Hoping for the albumen to remain in a singular state doesn't mean it will.

So I tried something new out. Using a larger surface area in water, not as much water, tension and area taken up by neighbouring eggs, and the idea of frying, I came up with this.

How to Poach Eggs when you have the Cooking Skills of an Amoeba

1. Fill a high-lipped saucepan with water a third of the way up. Bring the water to a ferocious simmer (mine didn't want to boil).
2. Crack an egg, and very slowly and carefully slide the egg into the water. You can do this by either opening the egg so that the shell is so close to the water that it might be wet, or crack the egg into a small cup and slide it in that way. Whatever you do, keep it close to the water and don't move it around once it's in there.
3. Once the first egg is in, fill the saucepan with enough eggs to cover the surface area of the top of the pan, by following the method in step 2. This will keep all the eggs together.
4. Cook on the same temperature you had it on before until the whites are cooked. I did mine too long, so my yolks were cooked too.
5. Use a flat-headed strainer-on-a-stick to pull out the eggs, and place on paper towel to drain. It would be better to do each individual egg for this, but they may have stuck together, making this an extremely difficult task to keep the yolks in tact.

This may be an easier way to poach eggs, but if you like your yolks runny and in one piece, all I have to say is: good luck!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Korea's Hidden Superfood Meal

I must admit, this isn't a traditional bibimbap in the very least. I just got excited because I found some good kimchi yesterday. Since 'bibimbap' means 'mixed rice', this is definitely not that, but I've got some Korean ingredients (or just Asian) and raw yolks. It's the same concept, right? I wouldn't be surprised if Koreans had the best digestive systems in all the land. This stuff is so acidic! (Well, my random version was).

From the top going clockwise I had some funny brined mushroom things, a whole cubes avocado with apple cider vinegar to stop it from oxidising (and there was a LOT of avo by the time I'd mixed it all in), kimchi hiding under everything else, far too much wakame for my liking (but it hid well in the kimchi vinegary sauce), scrambled egg whites (I had to make something look like rice), fish sauce in the dish at the top, md of course raw egg yolks. I so want to try a normal version with some sliced beef or raw fish and rice to sop up all the vinegar. I'll have to get my Korean friend to take me out one day :)

Friday, 14 June 2013


I've done it! Would you look at my (very dark photos of) s'mores!! They're made using this marvellous biscuit as a graham cracker, this magical marshmallow recipe and a basic chocolate (coconut oil, cocoa and honey) on top. It was a really thick chocolate so it didn't melt as much as I wanted, but if it was really thin it would've all disappeared! I'm really proud of my sickening dessert. Last night I had two, and the second one I didn't 100% want but I had it because 'I'd regret it if I didn't have it'. I regretted having it, let's just say that.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Middle Eastern Meatballs

Walking through one of those family-run grocers where they have all the overseas products, mum and I picked up the za'atar at the same time and knew that it NEEDED to come home with us. I was imagining spicing all my meat with it, and mum was imagining dipping pita bread in oil and the spices. I did that too, only with a spoon instead of bread. (let's just say it's much more pleasurable to normal way).

I'd prepared to make some roasted sweet potato so I complimented the whole dish with a Middle Eastern flavour that I can never get enough of: cinnamon. I never thought of it as a spice to add to savoury dishes until I tried it at a restaurant once, and I've never regretted a dump dash FIX of cinnamon in a meal.

So I dusted my sweet potatoes with some of it, and got meatballs made and on the baking tray. Spooning over olive oil was a little weird. Next time, I think I might pan fry them to see if they stay moister, because all the olive oil leached out and into the baking dish. Oh well.

I tried a few without cinnamon, and they were probably a bit moister, and the za'atar was more obvious. But the cinnamon gave it a pretty crust and made it tie in well with the sweet potato.

I couldn't take photos because they were all gone before I knew it :)

Middle Eastern Meatballs

500g minced meat (I used pork, but lamb would be great)
1/2 cup za'atar
1/3 cup animal fat or olive oil (I used olive oil)
additional olive oil, for the outside of the meatballs
cinnamon, for rolling

1. Combine the mince, za'atar and fat/oil in a bowl.
2. Form small balls of the mince with your hands, then roll the ball in cinnamon until coated.
3. To bake: Place meatballs on a prelined baking tray, brush with olive oil and bake in an oven preheated at 180 degrees, for 10 - 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. To fry: Heat fat of your choice in a fry pan and add the meatballs, turning as each side cooks. Remove from the pan once they are fully cooked through.
5. Serve with other Middle Eastern vegetable sides, like some roasted cinnamon sweet potatoes, baba ghanoush LINK or some tahini.

Glorious Gelatine Mask

Like you all know, I'm over my eczema. It absolutely sucks, and I'm trying every sort of natural remedy to get rid of it. The only one that I SHOULD really be doing is stressing less, which is the reason behind my eczema anyway. But, nevertheless, I like smothering my sore skin with stuff that I just hope will make it go away. The hope is always there. And yesterday, that wishful thinking actually did something!

The funny mask was a recipe from the lovely Wellness Mama, but she didn't add much detail so I really wasn't prepared for what I was doing. Here's what I think would be the best way to go about this mask:
- Mix the warm water and the lemon juice together
- Slowly add them to the gelatine, stirring/whisking as you do so
- Once you've got a smooth(ish) paste, paint it on with a brush of some kind. Preferably not the same brush you use for basting a raw chicken with. But you have to do this step IMMEDIATELY and as quickly as possible. And if you're too lazy to use a brush, I'm sure lathering it on with joined fingertips will be sufficient (it was for me).
- Let it dry. I don't care how long that takes, let it harden. Meanwhile, don't move a muscle, because if it's wet, it'll take longer, and if it's dry, it'll crack and hurt your skin.
- Waddle over to the shower and use a nice, warm, damp face towel to wetten the gelatine back up again. Start wiping it off if you can, otherwise take a shower. It's pretty hard to get off with just a little towel.

And the results of yet another eczema-go-away treatment?

Day 2: I put it on in the morning yesterday, and my skin is STILL oily. Not oily oily, but it's not dry! It's incredible. Of course, it's not the entire area that is like skin that is better than the rest of me, but the bits that are, MAN are they awesome! A few flakes have started to appear since yesterday, but apart from that, it's still going great.

Day 3: Still looking good! Even more flaky bits have arisen now, but it's still making it's own oils. I haven't stopped putting avocado oil on it like I always have, but it's much less drier than it normally is.

Day 4: I had a massive stressful day yesterday, followed by four hours of running around following my stressful and logically, impossible, demands for myself. At least I know now to eat carbs and sleep in when that happens, because I feel great today. Anyway, my eczema today is starting to come back to normal, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. There's still a few patches of normal-skin-ness. And I've been eating a lot of gelatine (bone broths) too, so that would probably be helping it. I'm overall so surprised at how well this stuff worked.

Day 5: Another stressful night and next to no quality sleep, but my eczema patch is still patchy. Unsurprisingly, there's more eczema than there's not (and where there's oil-producing, smooth skin) but HELLO: I've gone nearly a week with a lot of stress and my skin has basically REPAIRED italics itself from one skin mask. Edit How crazy is that?!

Day 6: I'd say it's time to stop including updates here. There's definitely eczema on my arm again, and I can't comment on the severity in one word, but it's not as bad in some spots. It's improved, I must say. But it helped me come to a bit of a revelation: maybe I'm not absorbing everything as well as I could or should be. Eczema is a gut problem, and if I have a problem with my gut flora (which I do - I have a heavy reliance on sauerkraut) then I have to fix THAT to clear my eczema.

My little experiment also proved how absorbent skin is. Obviously I absorb more gelatine through my skin than my intestine (very thin skin at that), and my body likes gelatine. But it hardened! My mind just doesn't comprehend how I suck nutrients out of something that's rock solid!! I'll get it one day.