Sunday, 28 July 2013

Books I Love: The Third Space

Guess what I found on sale yesterday?

This has been one of the many books I want, and one of the few books I would absolutely die to have, and I found it on SALE! I had to have it. Now, I read a few pages (and by 'few' I mean 2 - 4) pages before I go to sleep. That way, I'll actually end up reading it, and it might help me go to sleep. Maybe that only works with fiction books. We'll see...

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Mistakes I've Made - What NOT to Do with Eggs

I've seen a few mentions of calcium powder, made of boiled, dried and crushed eggshells. I gave it a shot with a dozen eggs that were pretty good quality, stored them in a zip lock bag in the fridge, removed the membranes, boiled, dried in the oven, and crushed the shells, and they weren't crushed enough so I put it in my blender but that didn't work. So I put it through a (really fine) strainer and tried some in my random chocolate stuff in a cup (cacao powder, cinnamon, cayenne, carob syrup and honey - somehow this was runny).

Not the tastiest thing.

(PS that's in the bin)

Actually, it wasn't the taste, but the texture. I like to chew things. What I don't like chewing is, is grit. Someone said it tastes like sand, and I'm all aboard for that comparison. Couldn't think of anything more appropriate.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tupperware, but Better

Tupperware, but Better

Another one of my random finds. The other day, I was in some random Asian shop (which had stuff like stuffed toys and notepads, not a thousand types of tea and vegetable oils), and I found some Tupperware containers. Only, these containers were remarkably heavy for their size.

I had a look at the lid. They were made of glass! Well, mostly glass. The container bit was anyway. If it was completely glass it wouldn't hold in liquid like the silicone ring does.

Although I got these a few weeks ago, for some reason I only decide to use them yesterday while I took my Brussels sprouts to school (swimming in acv and olive oil, as always).

How cool are these little things?! I could put my piping hot Brussels in there without having to worry about plastic leaching (the lid didn't go on until later)! And they didn't leak throughout the day. I would've known. Really. Crucifers give off the worst smells... (that's due to their sulphur.)

Once we 'use up' each plastic Tupperware box (if that's possible), we're SO going onto glass based ones. Or I will at least, if mum doesn't want to fear breaking it. Or keeping her hands on her wrists after holding them. Or being worried about plastic toxicity.

Saturday, 20 July 2013


To put it simply: this is a rant about the GOODNESS of sat fats, not that they'll give you a heart attack when you're in the middle of your stroke. Stupid media.

Today I made some tallow from some suet I got from the butcher and 700g of suet turned out to be more than I thought it would. I filled 900g of jam jars with just the fat, and I got a heap of deep fried meaty 'croutons' from straining it out. It was really quick (I'm a little anxious I didn't render it for long enough) and the 300g jam jar solidified in an hour. I wonder what the more white bit is at the top of the jar. Isn't it all just fat?

Then I went to woolies to get cream and milky stuff for my food tech assessment, where we have to make caramels.

I also wanted to make some ice cream (method - not recipe - will be up IF it works), so I needed some heavy cream and some light cream. But in the cream section, I didn't know what to get! The closest to 'light cream' I got was 'thickened lite cream', 'lite thickened cream' and 'thickened light cream'. What does one do with such options? We ended up buying plain cream, but what the hell is light cream anyway? I thought cream, by nature, was meant to be heavy. It's just really fatty milk, so if you take the fat out of really fatty milk, you've pretty much just got skin milk (read: heart disease).

One more thing. I was waiting in the shops and looked at a packet of chips. 
Their new ad campaign has been '75% les saturated fat' and so I looked at back of the packet. Yep, same old story.

'POTATOES, VEGETABLE OILS (SUNFLOWER AND/OR CANOLA), yadda yaddah flavouring preservatives gunk'

Just quickly: why is it sunflower and/or canola? Why can't they just use one? What is the point of not adding both if they could potentially add both oils?

But the annoying thing about them was this:

The 75% less sat fat claim is when the chips are cooked in palm oil, which they haven't been for a loooong long time (in Australia at least). What a stupid but cunning ad campaign! 'Yes, we have 75% less saturated fat than any potatoes cooked in a saturated fat'.

Anyway, that was my nothing rant about fat that's collected up throughout today. At the butcher, he asked if I was making soap (and later, if I had done a French cooking course) because I wanted suet, so I'll be looking that one up. Sounds familiar, but I'd love to lather myself in some beef fat. :)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Deo for my BO

Made up a batch of deodorant for school for the next few months... God knows I'll be sweating like a pig through the prelim exams! First day back for term 3 and I'm going to be busier than ever (yes, that's possible). Look out prelims, here I come! (and I'm prepared to fight stress sweat, aluminium free!)

Deodorant recipe from Mommypotamus :)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Slow, Unique Tomato Sauce

Good things take time. Everyone knows it. Traditional tribes soak their grains for the time it would take them to reach a shop. Indians let their spices meld overnight for a better curry. Holidays are better when they're longer. So I had an idea to transform this ingrained knowledge to an Italian favourite: tomato sauce.

Not exactly squeezy bottle, catsup-inspired ketchup, I mean the stuff you could ladle over chicken schnitzel (like I did last night - recipe will be coming soon!). Stuff you could toss into pasta if that's your thing. Stuff that makes anything boring taste much better. It's not much of a dipping sauce, but a ladle sauce. And you'll want a ladle for it too. You could even use it as a soup with some sprouted bread if you only want a small meal (or an entree).

The sauce turns out very individual to the last one you made, once you've made this more than once. And you can't just go 'I want that awesome sauce' right off the bat. Give yourself time to treasure this amazing stuff that's gone in two seconds at my house.

And no, apart from the obvious 'tomatoes' you're not going to guess the ingredients until you read the recipe. Guaranteend.

Unique Tomato Sauce

1 batch osso buco, cooked in a runny tomato-based sauce
arrowroot (optional)

Eat the osso buco. (never thought I'd see that as a first instruction!) Leave plenty of liquid-sauce behind.
Pour the sauce into a saucepan that fits it, and bring it to a boil where it's not overflowing but not simmering either.
Keep it on a high simmer (should I call it that?), stirring occasionally to scrape the sides, until reduced to your liking, preferably 1/4 - 1/5 of the size it was at the beginning.
Ladle over food and enjoy!
“A human being becomes truly human when he plays.”
Friedrich Schiller

Friday, 12 July 2013

And You Thought It Was Almond Flour

Breakfast was a random toss-in-the-pan that I'm going to make into a recipe.

Hint: it includes eggplant, and NO almond flour, and yet it tastes like breaded eggplant. It's gonna be awesome! Stay updated as I create low carb eggplant rounds that'll knock your socks off!


Japanese for FURIKAKE!

Michelle at Nom Nom Paleo is one of my top three paleo bloggers I love (even though she doesn't know it). She's always got these amazing Asian dishes paleo-fied and has such great ideas for recipes. And her little kiddies are gorgeous too! Not to mention her extraordinary photography that makes everything look scrumptious... I think the photography definitely adds to the awesome dishes she makes.

As I said, she makes Asian food a lot (I would guess it's because of her background), and one of the way she adds flavour to her dishes is with furikake. She seems to like it a lot. But she didn't actually make it...

Mum has thyroid problems that makes her go even more haywire than she already is, and for this, she needs a little more iodine than she actually consumes. Trying to get her to eat seaweed not holding rice and fish together would be a challenge.

However, when I mentioned that I was making this, she said that she absolutely loves this stuff. She worked with Japanese for thirteen years and grew to love the umami sprinkle put on rice. I have a feeling rice consumption in this household will rise with this new addition.

So what is furikake? In it's simplest form, it's toasted sesame seeds and seaweed, but it can have other stuff like bonito flakes, salt, dried mushrooms and even stuff like dried egg in those weird packetpreservativedeadly gunk versions. I didn't know which one to try, but seeing as I researched the history of furikake AFTER actually making it, my imagination did the work for me.

I've made three versions:
- furikake salt (more like a flavoured salt)
- plain furikake (furikake + a little salt)
- furikake plus (scroll down!)

I can't wait to try it on tonight's dinner: curry prawns and mango! It's gonna be soo good :)

Basic Furikake

Makes 200g maybe? Maybe more, I really don't know.

1 cup raw sesame seeds
70g dried seaweed (I used wakame, feel free to use nori if you're scared of other seaweed)
1 tbsp sea salt

Heat a frypan (not as small as mine) on medium heat, add the sesame seeds and toss quickly to prevent burning. Take them off the heat once they are slightly golden.
Crush the seaweed into teeny tiny bits. This may take a while.
Mix the sesame seeds, seaweed and salt in a bowl. I found it easiest to use my hands.

Furikake Salt

1 batch basic furikake
1/2 cup salt

Combine the furikake and the salt until mixed.

Furikake Plus

1 batch basic furikake
2 - 3 tbsp chilli flakes
1 - 2 tbsp spirulina powder

Combine the ingredients. The spirulina will fall to the bottom, so make sure you shake the container every time you use it.

I suppose you could make the furikake a bit more refined and make the spirulina mix in a bit if you put it all through a coffee grinder or put it through one of those grind-top salt 'shaker' things.

However you use this stuff, and whatever mixture you make, you'll have a fantastically umami treat for your thyroid!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Roasted Broccoli Soup

I've always wondered what the difference between a vegetable soup and a vegetable purée was.

Well. Wonder no more. Just get your oven, stove and blender of choice ready and prepare yourself for the simplest way to pack as much liquid flavour into broccoli as possible.

This is actually super easy, and doesn't take very long hands on time to do. Especially for the warm hug of flavour you get from it.

Roasted Broccoli Soup

2 heads broccoli
olive oil, for roasting, for frying and adding at the end
4 cloves garlic
500ml broth, plus water

Chop the broccoli into pretty large florets, cover with oil (especially the brushy bits) and pop into a prelined dish. Roast in a preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender.

Fry garlic cloves in a large saucepan with some oil in the bottom on low, until slightly brown. Add the broccoli (with the roasting olive oil too, if you like) and fry it a little if you want.
Pour in the broth, and if the water level doesn't reach to nearly the top of the broccoli, add some water until nearly covered.
Heat the water until hot (not boiling - it ruins the gelatine in the broth) and let it go for 10 - 15 minutes.
Purée the contents of the pot. I used a stick blender, which is a lot easier, but feel free to pour it into a normal blender and do it like that. Blend to your consistency liking (I like mine chunky).
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Big Batches Save Time

Don't even ask why I haven't blogged.

School is such a nuisance, isn't it?

For my 'week' at dad's, I decided to make a big batch of stuff I can warm up in the oven during prelims time (less than two months! Eek!) so I made two pots of broth (fattiest and most gelatinous I've made yet), a few jars of applesauce and for lunch I had some lambs kidneys. If you don't count marrow and bones in any form as offal, this would have to be my favourite! Kinda because it's less bad than the others, so to speak. In my opinion, it looks like a squished sausage and tastes like farm. Just that essence of 'farm'. They mustn't have been too caged up then! My applesauce turned out a depressing faint orangy-pinkish-grey colour (it tasted fine) so I added a little boiled beetroot and that livened it right up. And my broth was mostly beef bones with two little lamby bones. And if I hold it upside down, it doesn't move! Loving my big batches of good food :)

I have recipes I played with ages ago that I haven't put up yet, so I will get to doing that some day or another.

Also, as I think of it, being winter here in Australia, I'm going to be making so many slow cooked meals for the times when I have no time (ie prelims). Be prepared for some awesome slow-but-fast recipes coming soon :)

One more thing. Yesterday we were shopping and I just randomly thought out of the blue to convince dad to get me the anchovy-smelling cod liver oil capsules. So in a few days I'll be trying them out - swallowed, mixed into stuff, on my eczema - and I'll let you guys know about it.