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Friday, December 30, 2016

My first turkey in the Char Broil Big Easy

Today I made my first turkey using the Char Broil Big Easy. 

It's marketed as an "oil less turkey fryer", but it's actually an outdoor roasting oven.  There's no such thing as an "oil less fryer".  That's a marketing gimmick.

It was also the first turkey I cooked, using an injectable marinade.  I used Tony Chachere's Creole Butter flavor.

And let me say, that I will NEVER make another turkey, without using an injectable marinade.  That turkey was incredible.  JUICY turkey-- even the breast, and I don't even like turkey breast.  

Because I used the injectable marinade, I didn't think I needed to rub butter on the surface of the turkey.  Actually, I should have, but it was still a great turkey.

You could also brush the turkey with olive oil or corn oil, if you'd rather not use butter.

I also seasoned the turkey, inside the cavity and out, with my usual turkey seasoning blend -- poultry seasoning, black pepper, seasoned salt, and chicken granules. 

Because this was going in the outdoor roaster, which roasts the turkey vertically, I did not put a stick of butter in the cavity, like I usually do.

As far as how the turkey cooks in the roaster, I was impressed with how the skin got really crispy, while the inside (credited to the injectable marinade) stayed juicy.  

The major downside to using the Big Easy is, I don't have a covered patio, so it entirely depends on the weather.  And it rains a lot where I live!  

Also, cleaning up the Big Easy afterwards is a chore.

Although the Big Easy does NOT produce a "fried" turkey, I will give it points for producing a great crispy skin all over.

Most definitely use an injectable marinade when you cook a turkey in the Big Easy.  And even if you don't!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Shrimp mirliton casserole, for the second time in my entire life

Years ago, I made a shrimp mirliton casserole that was very close to my grandmother's secret recipe.

Mirlitons are also known as "chayote squash".

She always made shrimp mirliton casserole for thanksgiving and christmas-- it wasn't the holidays without those mirlitons!

So I decided to make some for christmas.  I had to do it differently, since someone who will be eating it is allergic to butter; I had to use cooking oil and Parkay margarine, instead of butter.

Also, this time instead of boiling the mirlitons, I smothered them in a covered pot on the stove, with onions and a small amount of cooking oil.

I thought that cooking the mirlitons this way would make them taste better.  I haven't decided if it made them taste better or not-- I really like fresh green beans cooked this way, but it made some of the mirlitons overcook.  Also, it was more work, because I had to pick out the pieces that overcooked, and cut off the burnt part.

So here is what I did differently:

Heated up a small amount of cooking oil in a pot on the stove.  Added chopped onions and cut up mirlitons.  Covered the pot and let the vegetables cook down in the oil.  Drained and set aside.

Heated up a small amount of cooking oil (instead of butter) in a skillet.  Added chopped onions, minced garlic, and raw shrimp; Sauteed in the skillet.  Added black pepper, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder.

When that was cooked, I added the mirlitons, then added parmesan cheese and italian bread crumbs.  

I mixed the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese all through, then added more of both on top.  

Sliced up a stick of Parkay margarine (instead of butter), and put the slices on top.  Into the oven at 350 degrees.

This recipe was good, but not as much like my grandmother used to make, as the previous recipe.

So I'll just boil the mirlitons next time... 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My first prime rib roast, on the rotisserie

I have a rotisserie, and wanted to use it for something.  Since I am not the biggest fan of chicken and pork, I used it for something I rave about:  Prime Rib Roast.

It was really quite easy.

My roast aged in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  

I coated the rib roast with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.  Let it sit for a couple of hours.  

Put it on the rotisserie for an hour and 15 minutes.  It was a six pound roast, so that's about 12 minutes a pound, and it turned out medium rare.

Sliced it, and had it with horseradish sauce.  It was divine.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

After 7 years, I finally tried toasting real pumpkin seeds.

I've had every intention of toasting my own pumpkin seeds, for the past 7 years.

This year, I finally did it... and I did it wrong.

Unfortunately, none of the grocery stores had any more pumpkins.  So I guess I will have to wait till next year to try again.

What you are supposed to do, is get the seeds out of the pumpkin-- and don't bother with those flimsy pumpkin cutting kits that bend and break on the first use.  Use a serrated knife.

Don't worry about rinsing the bits of pumpkin off-- that adds flavor.

Let the seeds dry on a flat pan.

Coat the seeds in Olive oil.

Add salt, or seasoned salt if you want.

Into the oven at 300 degrees.

That's how you're supposed to do it.  Never mind how I actually did it, since I did it all wrong... 

I'll try to remember next year.  I'm not waiting another 7 years.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mock "prime rib" and Au Jus

I love prime rib.  It's my favorite "steak", but it's not actually "steak".  It's a rib roast that has been sliced, and is usually served with horseradish sauce and "Au Jus".

Au Jus is a dipping juice made from beef broth.  

There are several ways to make Au Jus; I made some by heating up some beef broth with Worcestershire sauce on the stove to a boil, then reducing the heat to a simmer, and allowing the broth to "reduce".

So when I went to the store to get a "prime rib" roast, the butcher suggested to me that bone-in ribeye was the same cut of meat, only sliced into steaks, and was two dollars a pound cheaper.

I don't know if that was correct or not, but, that was what he told me.  And, it was two dollars a pound cheaper.

So I got the bone in ribeye steaks.  Now, steaks definitely cook differently than roast, so I did not expect it to be exactly the same as the prime rib I love to order from a restaurant.

But I cooked it similarly.  I stacked the two steaks on top of each other in an open roasting pan, and roasted them in the oven at 250 degrees until they were pink.

When I first tasted it, I decided it needed more flavor, so I put Worcestershire sauce directly on it.

I read later that it would have been more flavorful had I seasoned the meat with garlic cloves and black peppercorns before putting it in the oven.

Other than that, it wasn't exactly the same as in a restaurant (and it wouldn't be, since steaks indeed cook differently from roast), but it was just about.  

Especially with the horseradish sauce!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Chili with no beans

One of the oldest arguments in the world is, should chili have beans in it or not?

Some people insist that real chili does not have beans in it.  Some people insist that chili is made with beans.  Who is right?

Well, in my honest opinion, neither is "right."  It's just a personal preference.

I have always made my chili with beans, whether it's red kidney beans, or pinto beans.  I actually prefer the pinto beans.

But for grins, I decided to try making my own chili recipe, without the beans.

1 pound of ground chuck, browned in a skillet with chopped onions and minced garlic.  Drain.

Add 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes (undrained), and a packet of chili seasoning.

Because I didn't add beans, I also added a bit of beef broth.

Simmer for a couple of hours.

It was good chili.  I'm used to beans since I always make it with beans, but even without the beans, it was good chili.

I will say that adding beans makes the chili have more servings, since the beans stretch it out.  Without the beans, there are fewer servings in the pot, but the chili is "meatier".

So.  Beans or no beans?  Do whatever you want.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Seventeenth recipe created by me: Coca Cola Ranch Ribs

As with most recipes "created by me", this was pretty much on accident.

I found a recipe on the internet for coca cola baby back ribs.  I love baby back ribs, and I love coca cola!  So I decided to try it!

Alas, the store did not have baby back ribs; They had St Louis ribs.  Not quite the same thing; They are both pork ribs, but baby back is a different part of the pig.  Personally I prefer baby backs, but, I got the St Louis ones.

The recipe called for salt, pepper, coca cola, and BBQ sauce.  You season the ribs with salt and pepper, put them in a crock pot with some coca cola, slow cook on low for 8 hours, transfer to an oven pan, slather with BBQ sauce, put under the broiler until the sauce is caramelized.

Well, it's a great recipe, except I kinda did it wrong.  I seasoned the ribs with salt and pepper, but instead of pouring just a can of coke in the crock pot over the ribs, I used about a liter of coke.  Also, the bottle had been opened 2 months ago, so there was little carbonation, which may or may not have made a difference.

So, I slow cooked the ribs in all of that coca cola.  Refrigerated overnight, removed the fat cap, slow cooked some more.

Because of the excess liquid and longer cooking time, these ribs weren't just fall off the bone... they already fell off the bone!  The ribs were now the consistency of pulled pork, and I didn't even have to "pull" anything.  

Now, it's still rib meat, right?  I scooped it all out of the pot with a slotted spoon into a bowl.  

I suppose I could have gone onto the next step and slathered with BBQ sauce and put under the broiler.

But instead, I wondered how it would taste with ranch dressing.  So I put some ranch on a plate and dipped the rib meat into the ranch.  Mmm, pretty tasty!

Now, if you want the actual experience of eating ribs off the bone, you want to do the above recipe correctly.  

I named this recipe "ribs" because it really was rib meat, as opposed to pulled pork, which is made from the shoulder or butt.  If you like ribs, try them with ranch dressing sometime!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sixteenth recipe created by me: Fully Loaded Sloppy Joes

I decided to deck out a plain sloppy joe sandwich (which tastes great plain already) with some of my favorite condiments.

Make your favorite recipe sloppy joe mix.  Today I used a seasoning packet and followed the recipe.

Then put the meaty mix on a bun.

Add a little bit of ranch dressing, bacon bits, and parmesan cheese.  Yes, you read that right:  ranch dressing, bacon bits, and parmesan cheese.

If that seems too weird for you, you can substitute sour cream for the ranch dressing, and your choice of shredded cheese for the cheese.

Either way, it will be delicious!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fifteenth recipe created by me: Crunchy Toast

I have always liked toast and butter.  

I liked it so much, that when I was a teenager, I made up a song about it:  "Toast and butter is very very good.  Toast and butter is my most favoritist thing in the world.  TOAST AND BUTTER!!!"  OK, that's not much of a song, just a silly kid singing random phrases, but anyway.

Today I officially created my fifteenth recipe:  Crunchy Toast.

I decided to add a little twist to my beloved toast and butter.  I added some grated parmesan cheese, and some bacony Bac-O's.

Actually they were generic Bac-O's, but you know, crunchy bacon bits.

Those are two of my favorite condiments.  I like to add them to a lot of things.  Macaroni and Cheese is an example.

It was awesome, of course.

So there you go... Crunchy Toast.




Sunday, August 21, 2016

rotisserie chicken in a crock pot

How is it possible to cook rotisserie chicken in a crock pot?

You see, normally when you cook chicken it a crock pot, it becomes "stewed" and it falls off the bone.  Which would be good if you want stewed chicken that falls off the bone.

Rotisserie chicken is normally cooked in a rotisserie, and has crispy skin.

So to cook "rotisserie" chicken in a crock pot, you have to do something a little different.

I prefer drumsticks, so I cooked 5 drumsticks.  But you can use this method with a whole chicken.

First you line the bottom of the crock pot with balls of aluminum foil, to keep the chicken elevated.  Or you can use onion quarters.

Then you season your chicken.  I used lemon pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Then you coat the chicken with olive oil.

Keep the lid of the crock pot cracked open with a fork or spoon.  An oval shaped crock pot works best for this.

The recipe says to cook it on low for 8 hours, but I wanted it to cook faster, so I turned it up to high.

The skin was moderately crispy.  If you want the skin to be super crispy, you can finish it off in the oven.  

It smelled and tasted SO good!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fourteenth recipe created by me: Sloppy Joe Tacos

All right, I didn't want to have only thirteen recipes created by me-- that would be bad luck.

So I came up with a fourteenth recipe, after deciding that I really prefer sloppy joe seasoning, to taco seasoning on ground meat.

So the next time I make tacos, I'm going to make sloppy joe mix, and put it on taco shells.

And there you have the 14th recipe created by me-- Sloppy Joe Tacos!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thirteenth recipe created by me: Smoked Gouda Tacos

This recipe was created for the very simple reason that the only cheese I had on hand to put on my tacos, was smoked gouda.

I wanted tacos, so I browned one pound of ground chuck.  Drained.  Added a packet of taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of beef broth.  

The recipe called for 2/3 cup of water, but I prefer to use beef broth.

I mixed in the seasoning and beef broth, and spooned the mixture on a taco shell.

Added some grated smoked gouda, and sour cream to make a taco.

It was messy, but good!

Smoked gouda is a little unusual to put on tacos, but hey, I like smoked gouda.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I finally taught myself how to use a stovetop percolator

More than 10 years ago, I bought a stovetop coffee percolator, just in case I might need it.  I never used it.

I figured it was simple to use-- just put water in the bottom, coffee in the top, and boil on the stove, right?

Well, yes, but there's a method to using it-- otherwise, the coffee will be no good. 

So today, I finally taught myself the right way to use a stovetop percolator.

How much water and coffee depends on how many cups you want; I made four.

Four cups of water, five tablespoons of coffee.  Note that the standard is ONE tablespoon of coffee to ONE cup of water, but I like my coffee a bit stronger, so I add an extra tablespoon.

You don't need to add a coffee filter if you use coarse ground coffee, which you're really supposed to use for percolators anyway.  To get coarse ground coffee, you have to buy whole bean coffee and then grind it with a coffee grinder on the coarse setting.

Once you've added your water in the bottom and coffee in the top, put it on the stove.  If you have a gas stove, use medium heat; if you have an electric stove, use medium high heat.  Bring the water to a boil.

Watch the top of the coffee pot.  It will have a see-thru knob.  When you see water coming up through the knob, reduce the heat a notch or two and start the timer.

You want it to "percolate" for 8 minutes.

When 8 minutes are up, turn off the heat and remove the coffee maker.  Let it cool for a couple of minutes.

Notice I wrote this shortly after I wrote my previous article about popcorn.  Yep, I had popcorn and coffee.  What a combination, for a lonely Sunday evening.

Using the Hamilton Beach popcorn popper

Yes, I know.  I just made popcorn the other day.  And now I've made popcorn again; This time with the Hamilton Beach electric popcorn popper.

First, you must take the black lid cover off the clear plastic lid.  This allows the steam to escape.  Don't forget to take it off!

Then add 3/4 cup of popcorn and 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil.  I use Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil, but you can use cooking oil.

Put the lid on, making sure you have taken the black cover off the lid.  If you want butter, you can put up to four thin pats of butter on the steam holes, so it can melt into the popcorn while it's popping.

Plug in the popcorn maker, and it will begin to work.

Once popping has slowed to 1 second between pops (and the machine will be pretty full by this time), unplug the machine.

Now put the black lid cover on the lid, especially if you had butter on top.  

Turn the machine upside down, because the lid will be used as the popcorn bowl.  Take the machine off the lid.

Now you have freshly popped popcorn.


I made my first banana bread

Today I made my first banana bread.

It was done out of necessity.  I had three over ripe bananas and had to do something with them.

So I peeled the bananas, and mashed them in a bowl until they became smooth.

Melted half a stick of butter in the microwave, and mixed it in with the bananas.

Added 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1 beaten egg, and mixed it all together.

Then added 1 1/2 cups of SELF RISING flour.  Self rising flour is important.  If you don't use self rising flour, then you will also need 1 pinch of salt and 1 tsp baking soda.

Mixed in the flour until it became a batter.

Poured the batter into a loaf pan.

Into the oven at 350 degrees.  Mine was done in about 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

the presto microwave popcorn popper

What?  This isn't "ramblings on microwaves!"  Whatever happened to cooking popcorn in cast iron?

Well, yes, I have done that before, but this is not your usual microwave popcorn.  It's an actual popcorn popper, that you use to cook real popcorn in the microwave.

It's very easy to use.

You need a Presto Powercup concentrator, to put at the bottom of the popper, or it won't work.  You can buy the concentrators wherever the poppers are sold, or online.

So, put a concentrator at the bottom of the bowl.  Then add 1/3 cup of loose popcorn kernels, and 2 tbsp of oil.  I use Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil.

Put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes, or until it stops popping, whichever comes first.

Add salt and whatever seasonings you like.  Don't add too much salt, like I just did.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Raw Potato and Baking Soda to clean rust off cast iron

So why did I abruptly stop posting three months ago?

Because my new found freedom was abruptly stopped, that's why; The place I had just moved into, burned down.

Luckily, most of my stuff was spared; Not all of it.  

My cast iron cookware was all spared.  However, between being randomly sprayed by fire hoses, and then  thrown into storage immediately before the place was bulldozed, some of my cast iron now has rust that needs to be cleaned off.

I was told that rust can be cleaned off cast iron, using baking soda and a raw potato.

So I tried that with the 9 quart pot.  I sprinkled baking soda in it, a little bit of hot water, and scrubbed with a raw potato cut in half.

It didn't take much scrubbing, and the rust spots came right off.  It works!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A couple of experiments: Sea Salt on Steak, and a makeshift propane grill

Years ago, I tried a method of tenderizing an inexpensive steak using salt.   Unfortunately, I did it wrong.

So tonight, I decided to try again, and do it right.

I took a 7 bone steak, and seasoned both sides with sea salt.  Previously, I had used table salt; Do NOT use table salt!

Since it was only a half inch thick, I left the salt on for a half hour.  The salt stays on for one hour per inch of thickness.  Don't leave it on too long.

After the time is up, rinse the salt off completely.  Then grill the steak.  

This time, the steak did not taste salty, although it did flavor the steak.  I was happy with the results.

I grilled my steak on a makeshift propane grill.

You see, I don't have a propane grill, and I really have no place to put one.  But, I do have a Bayou Classic propane burner.

I figured that I could turn that burner into a propane grill, by putting a cast iron grill pan on top.  I used this one, which fit perfectly on top.

Did it work?  Well, yes, with a bit of a learning curve.

First, be sure you are wearing an oven glove, because at one point the grill pan started to slide, and I had to move it back with my hand.  Which, of course, you cannot do with your bare hand!

Second, the meat stuck to the pan, and I had trouble flipping it.  Which is to be expected with new cast iron, even if it's pre-seasoned.  All cast iron will stick the first few times you use it.

But you can help alleviate the sticking, by applying a thin layer of corn oil, or peanut oil, on the pan before you put it on the grill.  Corn oil and peanut oil have high smoking points; I would definitely not use olive oil.

You could use a Lodge double play pan on top of a propane burner, as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

red lentil soup

I never had red lentil soup before.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot, along with a tablespoon of minced garlic.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk.

Add a chopped onion, a chopped red potato, and a chopped carrot.  Saute for a few minutes.

Then add a 2 cup bag of red lentils and 6 cups of chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the lentils and veggies are soft.

Puree the soup with an immersion mixer.

Season with pepper, paprika, and salt.  Add lemon juice if you like.

I made this in a rice cooker, but you can use a pot on the stove.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

boneless pork ribs in the rice cooker

There goes me and my rice cooker again...

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the rice cooker.  Turn it on.

Coat boneless ribs in brown sugar.  Put them in the pot and dump the rest of the brown sugar from the plate in with them.

Add some dark beer, worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce.

Cook the ribs until done.

Next time I'll add less worcestershire sauce, and I also prefer bone-in ribs to boneless.  But the ribs were still good.

parmesan garlic drumsticks

Formerly, I had a tradition of making chicken wings on superbowl sunday, whether I actually watched the superbowl or not.

So I wanted to resume that tradition, but, I did not have any wings, and did not want to go to the store to get some.

I had some drumsticks on hand, and decided that it was close enough.

So I made parmesan garlic drumsticks!

Melt some butter; To the melted butter, add minced garlic, dried minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Brush drumsticks with the butter mixture.  Lay them on a cast iron pan.  Into the oven at 350 until done.

When they are cooked, brush some more of the butter mixture on them.  Add some more parmesan cheese.

Yep, they were just as good as the wings!   

using the hamilton beach breakfast sandwich maker

It's no secret that I love egg mcmuffins from McDonald's.  I always have.

So, when I was lucky enough to find a brand new Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker at a thrift store...

Now, don't expect a sandwich you make on this, to taste anything like McDonald's.  

McDonald's has some type of magic trick, that makes their food taste a certain way, that you and I do not have.

That would be like expecting a hamburger or chicken nugget you make at home, to taste like McDonald's.  It just won't.

But, after a few uses, I finally figured out how to make it taste a lot less "not like McDonald's".  

What the instructions don't tell you to do, is to toast your english muffin in the toaster beforehand, and then butter the outside of it.

Butter the inside of it too, if you want, but outside is very important.

It's a couple of extra steps, but believe me, it's worth it.

When you butter the outside of the muffin, you won't have to use Pam.  The instructions say to spray the surfaces with Pam, and that makes the sandwich taste funny, even if you use butter flavored Pam.  Use butter!

Add a little butter to the plate where you cook your egg, before you drop the egg on it.

Otherwise, follow the instructions that come with the appliance.

The ingredients are, of course, a toasted and buttered english muffin, a slice of cheese, a slice of canadian bacon (or ham), and one egg.

First you plug in the sandwich maker to preheat, and wait for the light to turn green.

Then you put the bottom bun, a slice of ham, and a slice of cheese in the bottom compartment.

Then you crack open an egg and put the top bun on top of the egg.  Close the sandwich maker.

When the light turns green again, slide out the center plate to bring the sandwich together.  Be careful because the appliance is very hot.  Use a metal spatula to serve the sandwich onto a plate.

My guess is, whoever bought the sandwich maker and donated it immediately, had followed the instructions to the letter and decided it was nothing like McDonald's.

Well, if you use Pam, and don't toast and butter the muffin beforehand, you probably won't like the results.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

rice cooker spaghetti sauce

Hey!  This is "ramblings on cast iron", not "ramblings on rice cookers!"

Well, yes, but, it's my blog, and I really like rice cookers.  So I am experimenting with things to cook in them.

Today I cooked spaghetti sauce in a 16 cup* basic rice cooker.  As in, just one switch for "cook" and "warm".  Not a bunch of fancy settings.

*If you have a 14 cup rice cooker, that will also work.  The pots are actually the same size.  Most companies call theirs a "14 cup", but Black & Decker calls theirs a "16 cup".

It's pretty much the same as if you would cook it in a pot on the stove.

Brown 1 pound of ground chuck, a chopped onion, and 1 spoonful of minced garlic on the "cook" setting.  This is not a "set it and forget it" task; You have to stir the mixture around to make sure it cooks evenly.

If you want to also add raw sliced mushrooms, or raw sliced zucchini, then add that too.

Of course, since you are stirring, you won't be using the lid.

When the meat is browned and the onions are soft, drain, and put back in the pot.  You will have to reset the "cook" setting.

Add a can of diced tomatoes, and the tomato sauce of your choice.  I also added a can of mushrooms, because I didn't have any raw.

Stir the sauce on the "cook" setting for a few minutes.

Then switch to "warm" setting, put the lid on, and keep warm until ready to serve.

You can boil pasta in a rice cooker, too.  The same way as you boil pasta on the stove.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

how to use the makin bacon



Pictured above is called a "makin bacon" microwave bacon maker.

"What?  You don't make bacon in the microwave!  You make bacon on cast iron!"

Actually yes, that is correct.  I wanted to try this to see if it was easier and less of a mess.

Well... it is fairly easy, but, not less of a mess.

You drape the bacon pieces over the "T" racks, put a paper towel over it, and microwave one minute per strip.

Be aware that the strips on the edge will cook faster than the strips in the middle.  

So, you will have "just right" bacon on the edge, and "under done" bacon in the middle.  Or, you will have "too done" bacon on the edge and "just right" bacon in the middle.

To remedy this problem, don't cook too many strips at one time.  Only enough to have them hanging on the edges.

It is an easy way to cook bacon, but not "no mess".   I don't think there is a "no mess" way to cook bacon.

Personally, I much prefer bacon cooked on cast iron.  



my first use of the "whirley pop"



This is a whirley pop.

It's a stovetop popcorn maker.  

So, why use this?  Why not just use a plain old pot?

The whirley pop has a crank, that you turn while cooking, so that the oil and salt is evenly distributed all over the corn, and also keeps the corn on the bottom from burning.

Believe me, it's a lot easier to turn the crank, than to continuously shake the pot while you cook.

They sell "kits" to use with the whirley pop, but you don't have to use a kit.

Just use 1/2 cup of popcorn, 3 tbsp of oil, and 1 tsp of salt.

I was very happy with the results.  It didn't take very long to pop at all, there were very few unpopped kernels, and NO scorched kernels.  Which is my pet peeve!

I'm not fond of microwave popcorn, because it usually results in either half the kernels being unpopped, or, it's all scorched.  Yuck.

Monday, January 18, 2016

stir fry using stuff in the pantry

So, after two years, I am finally in a place where I am able to cook.  As a result, I will be posting a lot more often.

There were a few items in my pantry that I wanted to do something with.  So I decided to make a stir fry.

I had a box of rice noodles, a jar of satay peanut sauce, a can of bean sprouts, and some salted peanuts.  I figured I could do something with that.

So I made the rice noodles according to the directions on the box, which came with a seasoning packet.

I threw the seasoned rice noodles into an electric wok.  Added the can of bean sprouts and peanuts, along with some fresh cilantro, and some raw shrimp.  Then turned on the wok and stir fried until the shrimp and cilantro was done.

After it was done, I opened the jar of satay peanut sauce and stirred it in.

I regretted that I did not have chow mein noodles.  I love to add chow mein noodles to stir fry.

It looked like shrimp and peanut flavored slop, but as I love shrimp and peanuts, I really liked this stir fry.