Latest News

How to clean up spill?

I’ve noticed some of the most difficult messes to cleanup happen in the kitchen. I opened the fridge and a large container of salsa fell out and spilled on the floor and beneath the fridge. It was chunky and a rag didn’t absorb it well.

Lot’s of things in the kitchen are partly solid and partly moist so it’s not easy to pickup in one piece but to chunky to wipe up or wash away. Another example is spilled stew or cereal. Any advice on how to clean up things like this? …read more

OOPS!! Sugar failure in jelly

I just made 38 jars of strawberry jelly and realized I did not put all sugar in recipe thought I could scale back until I read small print on Certgel … Can I dump it all back in a pot and recook it adding sugar or do I have to throw it all out and resart?? …read more

What would happen with food stored in a sterile environment?

Imagine I get a heat-proof plastic bag or other convenient container, put a chicken in it sealling it completely and bake it. All bacterias/living thing should be dead and the food should rely inside a sterile environment, right? Could I be able to store it on my kitchen shelf and leave it there for a long period of time without spoiling it? I have a feeling it’s not possible otherwise we would be using this technic for a while, but why itsn’t it? …read more

a 4.5lb pork loin

So we setup a 4.5lb port loin in the crock pot with all the seasoning, including soda and BBQ sauce (as the special taste) come home 10 hours later and find out we never plugged it in. How do we know it’s now bad? Or would it be fine to eat if we actually plug in the crock pot. (Haha) thanks all.

Tony …read more

“Akiko’s special jam”—or, making a bright yellow preserve

In a couple of months, I will be attending a housewarming hosted a friend who is a big fan of Key/Visual Arts anime. In honour of this, I plan to recreate an infamous—albeit fictional—recipe: Akiko’s special jam.

It would be silly (and rather cruel!) to try and reproduce the recipe from the show; this is left intentionally ambiguous and is known to be quite unenjoyable. Instead, I plan to make something which reproduces some of the key characteristics while remaining palatable.

Main goals

These are my objectives in order of importance:

It must be suitable for vegetarians.
It must be bright, vibrant yellow. (Gold/orange are acceptable but not preferred.)
There should be no obvious chunks, seeds or discolourations.
The consistency should be thick but largely smooth.
Rather than appearing to be a thick puree, it should have the syrupy translucency of a traditional jam or jelly.
It should be a novel but enjoyable accompaniment for a sandwich.
Preferably, it should not be overly sweet—though I am willing to compromise on this for aesthetics.
Where I need help

The main questions I’m debating and would like some help with are:

What ingredients can I use for the desired colour and taste?
What type of preserve works best with those ingredients?
What techniques, tips or tricks could help me obtain the desired consistency and appearance?
I am a novice to jam-making and have only tried my hand at it a couple of times, so any ideas, direction or commentary will be very much appreciated.

What I’ve considered already

I will be trialling and refining recipes well in advance but would like to narrow down the candidates before I start experimenting. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

Yellow pumpkin/squash: I’ve seen recipes which get pretty close to the desired colour, though less jelly-like than I would prefer—and it would certainly taste interesting.
Yellow tomato jam/chutney: just the flesh without seeds may work well and should taste interesting; however, I’m unsure how well it would hold its colour and I’m unsure how hard it would be to get the right consistency.
Mango chutney: this would be quite sweet, unfortunately, but I’ve seen several recipes online that look very similar in appearance and texture to what I’m trying to achieve. Another drawback is that it may not work well on sandwiches.
Kaya: this would absolutely be sweeter than I want, but it is also delicious, unusual to Western tastes and can be made to look pretty bright. I’m concerned that it may be more opaque than what I’m going for, however.
Lemon curd: this would do in a pinch, but is still very sweet and a bit pedestrian.
Jam vs jelly vs curd vs chutney vs…: I’m keeping my options open about what sort of preserve to make, and am not sure which would work best.
…read more

Confusion about chicken leg & thighs nutrition facts (calories)

First of all, the nutrition facts given by USDA doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll refer only to skinless facts. Chicken breasts have 120kcal and chicken legs have the same. I know chicken breast have more protein and less fat, however I think chicken legs are much fattier.

When the are roasted, chicken legs have a higher caloric value (174 kcal) than breasts (165 kcal). The same applies for chicken thighs, which have very similar values.

I tried to calculate the amount of nutrients/calories in a chicken leg, but I got incongruent results.

I weighted full chicken headquarters without skin and it was 266g. I bake it in the oven at 400F/200C for 40 minutes and it reached and internal temperature of 200F/93C.

Cooked weight was 225g. Bones was 64g. Therefore:

Raw meat: 266-64 = 202g ; 202g * 120kcal/100g = 242 kcal
Cooked meat: 225-64 = 161g ; 161g * 174kcal/100g = 280 kcal

So 280 kcal / 202g raw meat = 139 kcal / 100g raw meat

Why didn’t they match? I think the are very well done, so they should have lost a lot of water. But they would have to lose more water so the calories match (In particular meat would have to weight 139g cooked). …read more

Brewing kefir with powdered cinnamon

I’ve been experimenting with brewing with kefir. Fruit and fruit juice produces a nice tasty result but I would like to use ginger, nutmeg and a lot of cinnamon.

The common answer for using cinnamon is to place a cinnamon stick into the mix. This allows the stick to be easily separated from the kefir grains after brewing (so they can be reused) and does not leave bits in the final product.

However, I do not have any. I do have medicinal quantities of my favourite spices. I looked into muslin bags which are often used to make herbs easy to remove after cooking. Given how fine the powdered spices are, I have no idea if this will work.

Is there any way to infuse the spices into the water without ending up with “gunk” (I am sure there is a better term)? …read more

What kind of cheese did I bought…and how am I supposed to eat it?

Today I was doing some shopping at the Tsentralni Hali in Sofia, I usually go there partly to buy the usual stuff, partly to buy something random to try.

Today I bought some cheese, cause it looked so damn gooood.

Well, it is good indeed…but it has the consistency of a brick and you don’t cut it, you chop it! And you don’t eat it, you chew it!

So, maybe I’m missing something. Luckily, I dunno why but I took a photo of the top of the jar:

What the heck did I bought? Can someone tell me how am I supposed to eat it?

(Ok, I admit it, I could install the Bulgarian keyboard on my phone, and search on Google and so on, I can even read Bulgarian alphabet a bit…but I feel this is one of the cases in which I’ll get much better information here…) …read more

Food to bring to work and heat with a microwave [on hold]

As I’ll be soon moving from a small town in which I can come back home for lunch everyday to a bigger city in which it would be best to bring lunch from home to work, I was wondering: do you know some good recipes that are easy to transport and also are microwave-able or reheatable? …read more

How do I apply the seasoning for ‘Leon’s Baked Fries’ to potato wedges or quartered roasted potatoes?

From to right: Leon’s official website, 2, 3. Google for more images.

Click More above (as I indicate in green) to reveal:

Ingredients

Crisscut Fries (Potatoes, Vegetable oil, Modified starch, Corn flour, Rice flour, Salt, Starch, Spices, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Raising agents: Sodium Bicarbonate, E450(i), Yeast extract, Spice extracts Thickener: Xanthan Gum, Dextrose),Leon Seasoning (Spices (Paprika, Smoked Paprika, Coriander (ground), Black Pepper), Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano), Dried Garlic, Sea Salt, Smoked Salt, Onion Powder

How do I apply Leon’s Seasoning above to baked potatoes wedges or quartered roasted potatoes (that I prefer for simplicity, over arduous cut forms like crinkle- or waffle-cutting )?

Need I only mix the italicised ingredients (hereafter IGT) in a bowl, and then sprinkle them on the baked wedges or quarters? This seems wrong, because the pictures above exhibit little seasoning on the fries.

Or must the IGT somehow be in(ter)jected in the potatoes? …read more