My Two Cents

 

I’ve seen OITNB, Trolls, GirlBoss, and GLOW over the last few weeks. I liked all of them. OITNB was not well-received this season, but I found it… on point, I guess? “Good” isn’t really the right word for the season, but things like “well-portrayed” fit.

I found Trolls surprisingly moving at times, and visually lush. The music was great at times as well.

GirlBoss and GLOW… are both a little problematic for me, even though I enjoyed them. After I watched these, I looked up the real-life inspiration. I just don’t think I’d like the person GB was based off of, and oh, goodness, to read what the actual women of the real GLOW dealt with, and where they are or aren’t now was a little hard to take. The fact that the characters they helped create are being used on a show, (albeit with fictionalization), with no kickbacks coming to them is hard to reconcile.

 

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Air-Fryer: First Try!

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Please note, this is not a sponsored post. But, if Phillips wants to send me some attachments or ingredients to try more recipes, I wouldn’t stop them, and of course, I’d tell you all about it!

I was delighted to receive a used air fryer as a gift recently. I like fried foods, but don’t eat fried food all that much anymore.  However, some things just taste better fried. I’ve been interested in air-frying for about a year or so, but hadn’t had a chance to try it out.

As I understand it, Air-Frying seems to mostly operate on convection, though it can produce a crisp as well. To test it out, I tried a recipe straight from the source: Crispy Potato Skin Wedges, from pg.4 of the Avance Recipes book.

To make a long story short, I wasn’t entirely enamoured with how this particular recipe turned out, but I am going to give the fryer a few more trials. I had made some modifications to the recipe, which may have contributed to the less-than-desireable results. In the process of taste-testing the results, I also discovered that there is also one ingredient that I needed to modify, but didn’t.

 

Picture Key:

  1. After boiling, cooling, & dicing: coating the wedges with oil and seasonings
  2. After air frying

 

Modifications:

I used olive oil because I don’t have any canola oil & I thought olive would taste better.

I used Eastern potatoes because they were on sale, and the Russet potatoes were regular price: In retrospect, I think the Russets would have been better for producing a crisp, since they have thicker skins.

 

Ingredient note:

This recipe uses 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika: I like paprika, I’ve had it before. But 1 1/2 teaspoons is just too much for my system. The fries tasted good, but paprika is a laxative. It can cause nausea and heartburn as well… not things I need in my life.

Next time, I will either cut back on the paprika, have them plain, or give Mrs. Dash a try.

 

Thoughts on using the fryer:

It was very easy to use. Most of the work is in the prep. The oil went on the food, not in the fryer. All I had to do after pre-heating was drop the potatoes into the basket & set the temp & timer.

Pre-heating only takes 3 minutes. The prep time was longer, so I ended up setting & re-setting the timer several times. Next time, I will set the pre-heat timer for longer.

On the analog model, you basically have to wait the pre-heat timer out if you finish prep beforehand. You can’t force the dial like you can with tabletop analog timers.

You should know the machine gets very hot. It heated up my kitchen, which was fine on a cool day, but important to note for warmer days.

I used an extra large trivet to sit the machine on to protect the counter-top.

 

Thoughts on the results:

The fries did taste good, but they seemed under-done in the center, and not crispy enough on the outside. Since it is the crispyness that I am interested in, I plan to try different approaches to see if this is my error, or the limitations of the machine.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Italian Rolls

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I made Italian bread for the first time the other day. Everyone always talks about how difficult bread baking is, but I have to say, it was an enjoyable experience, probably because I tried a basic recipe. I also consulted my bread-baking partner for advice, and referred to the tips published by KitchenAid in their mixer manual.

Bread is another one of my favorite staple/comfort foods, and I was eager to try making some. In the process, I’ve learned a few things from experience that I’d only read about before, such as “baking bread is expensive”. If you buy the flour specifically intended for bread, it costs more. In fact, these two gorgeous loaves cost more than several from a baker. So, for me, bread baking is not about saving money. It’s just about the joy that comes from trying something new, and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

I followed this recipe to the letter, and I didn’t have too much trouble. My most significant misstep was getting all color-field during the glazing step. Yeah, don’t do that, no matter how tempting it is. If you don’t already know why, it’s because doing so will basically cement the rolls to the sheet. Obviously, I eventually freed them, but it’s not something I wish to repeat.

But all in all, this was a fun experience- definitely a “do-again”.

🙂

Celebration Roast

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently was lucky enough to catch this nifty product on sale. I’m sure my readers also know by now that my wee little blog does not receive sponsorship of any kind, and if this ever changes, I’ll be forthright about it. Funny thing about Field Roast, though, I’m not sure they actually *would* request my opinion on their own.

I recently read an interview where they claimed they’re not actually positioning their products for vegetarians, but rather, for those omnivores who just like to switch it up. (At least, that’s what I got from reading it). In this interview, they also said they’d never make faux bacon, which broke my little seitan-loving heart, since I’m allergic to the soy based crap, er, products, that Morningstar produces. The justification for the omnivorous approach is their correct assumption that most vegetarians are interested in the health aspects of what they eat. They state with a refreshing honesty that their products are not particularly healthy, but taste good.

As someone who was formerly teased for being the most unhealthy vegetarian on the planet, I can say while that while many vegetarians go for the healthy approach, not all do, and not all the time. Some vegetarians have trouble figuring out the ins and outs of the diet at first. In my opinion, better to offer them seitan than have them eating cheese fries every night.

This time of year, I don’t always have the time to linger in the kitchen, or even to prep food ahead of time like I usually do. Having a little seitan around keeps me from reverting to the frozen pizza option, and actually offers some protein my body can use. I discovered Field Roast right before my camping trip this summer, and so we ended up taking the faux hot dogs, the faux Italian sausage, and the faux lunchmeat slices (the reddish ones, I forget the flavor). All three were the perfect compliment to my partner’s meat-based selections, and we were easily able to share the rest of the sandwich components like bread, lettuce, and the like. It was also fantastic to have this protein in my system for a very active vacation. I was kayaking, walking, swimming, and I even tried a short zipline! Knowing that I get easily tuckered out without a proper diet, we consciously made an effort to ensure I had enough protein in my system to enjoy myself. When I returned home, I tried the mushroom slices, and then, the Celebration Roast pictured above. Everything I’ve tried, I’ve liked so far.

I first microwaved the Celebration Roast. It’s fine microwaved, because, as they state, it’s already cooked, you are essentially reheating it. Once I got mid-loaf (about midweek), I tried frying it, and obviously, I enjoyed that even more. It’s also fine right out of the fridge. The closer it got to Xmas, the more I needed quick but good, and this fit the bill. And now that the Celebration Roast is finished, it’s time to celebrate!

Happy Holidays! 🙂