Radiant Heat, thing of the past?

Wood stoves provide a consistent source of heat when they get going. Despite the work involved in getting the wood, starting the fire cleaning up the chimney, I still prefer it to gas or electric heat. The main reason is that wood stoves' cast iron body act as a heat capacitor to store and radiant heat, while gas/electric heat controlled by a thermostat turns on and off on cue when temperature fall below certain set value. Also the gas or electric heater turning on and off constantly is really not pleasant.

I have seen the radiant type of heater (cast aluminum) were being used in some older buildings. They are filled with circulating hot water to control the temperature, you will need to control the temperature of the water. I have never seen these type of devices sold in home improvement stores. I have seen the the kind that you lay tubes under the floor of the house where hot water circulate to provide heat, but that's expensive and impossible to repair without tearing down your house.

Does anyone know if there are radiant type of heat dispensing device available, if not someone should make it. it will be more comfortable, and probably saving more energy.

Making bread with different spectums of bubble sizes

THAT"S WHY! You probably have read that some bread recipes specifies making a loose batter and let it set for a while before adding more flour to make a stiffer dough for baking the bread. I didn't think much of it until I tried it today, and made the BEST BREAD EVER! It turns out the at the batter stage, yeast ferment and bubbles and have a lot easier time to work the flour since it is not stiff. when you add more flour to make the final dough, more bubbles will be created from the continued fermentation process. This process creates different sized bubbles in the bread, hence making it softer and more delicious! I have pics to proof it.
So there is a difference between the one stage fermentation and two stage fermentation. I also added the Amish Friendship Starters in both batch. The two stage bread has a ranges of bubble sizes.

Eating good food with less money

Eating good food for less money is neither a science nor an art. While, maybe there is a little science involved. With our modern day conveniences we should be able to do this with far less efforts compare to our accessors.

With the increased food cost, the benefit of eating good home-cooked food is more obvious than ever. you don't need to be a gourmet cook to enjoy good cooking, learn a few recipes and take off with them. You don't have to follow a recipe to the "T", add your own creation (except when it comes to baking cakes or cookies, you need to develop some serious skills before you wing it!). Learn how to use a few combination of spices, and try it on different things. The following is a few example:
Italian: Basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice
Mexican: Cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano, cilantro, lime
Asian: ginger, green onion, lemon grass
Middle eaten: cumin, mint, parsley,lemon juice
French: basil, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary
Then there is the universal: garlic, hot pepper flakes, onions, pepper.

You can also buy the pre-mixed herbs. One thing I like a lot is the Jamaican Jerk seasoning, makes great pork or chicken dishes. I use steak rub for different things as well. It makes really good Blackened Salmon! I also use Mrs. Dash a lot, I learn this trick from my friend Patty.

Experiment, you will find your favorite things to use.

My favorite kitchen appliances

Here's the ranking of my favorite kitchen appliances and how I use them:
(1)Bread Machines-Zojirushi two-roter. I make bread almost daily. I only use the "dough" setting, which runs in a 45 min cycle. I make my own French bread, dinner rolls, pizza doughs and fancy versions of the above such as cheese bread, onion rolls. Buy a good bread machine, it may cost you a little more at the beginning, but it will pay for itself in a long run. I make my bread for less than 30 cents a loaf, and they taste soooooo good!
(2)Rice Cooker - Get a nice one with good insulation. I use mine for making rice (duh), sushi rice, Spanish rice, jambalaya, dirty rice, cook potatoes for mashed potatoes... When I make the other versions of rice, I first saute the the veggies or meats on the stove top, then add the rice cook a bit longer to coat the rice with flavors, add tomatoes sauce or broth, then dump the whole thing into the rice cooker, simple.
(3)My new Electric Pressure _ Deni. this is my new favorite, I love it for stewing meats or making chilies. I cooked beef ribs (with a few spices) in it until it is tender, then bring it out and smasher the ribs with my homemade bbq sauce (recipe later) and put it back in the oven, cook until it is done, yum, and much quicker!
(4) Electric hot water cattle- A must have if you are a tea drinker like me. I actually make coffee for my husband using a French press coffee maker. It taste really good.
more later....

Made my own pasta!

I have a pasta maker (the hand operated metal block one) for years and never really used it. Today I busted it out and gave it a pin, it made perfect pasta. I used semolina flour, which is made of hard wheat, ideal for pastas (soft wheat on the other hand, is used in Asian noodles). what I found out is that I only needed only one cup of flour to serve the four of us, I used two. so I made have with Alfredo sauce, and the other half with red sauce. Too much noodles! I will know better next time.


My Review of Electric 5qt Pressure Cooker

Originally submitted at Every Crock Pot

  • Shortens cooking time up to 70%
  • Fully programmable timer
  • Delay function up to 8 hours
  • Built-in thermostat for automatic temperature control
  • Steam release valve allows you to release pressure quickly
  • Pressurized steam cooks healthy meals ...

Love it!

By pressure cooker lover from Northwest on 4/24/2008


5out of 5

Pros: Compact Size, Easy to Operate

Cons: None

Best Uses: Meats, Rice, Chilis beans porridge

Describe Yourself: Avid Cook

Love this product. It is easy to use, cutting cooking time to a fraction. Works best for meats and beans. I don't use the brown function though. I find it's easier to brown meats on the stove top and then place them in the pressure cooker with spices and herbs. Saves energy and time. would like to try using it to can vegetables in the summer.



Amish Friendship Bread_the gift that keeps on giving

My friend Julie gave me a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter, that got the ball rolling. I have made it twice, gave away 6 bags of starters. It is a sour dough type of starter, makes wonderful sweet cake type of bread. Now I have more starters than I can give away, so I begin to experiment with the starter for all sorts of things. I added two table spoons in my pancake batter, and made the BEST pancakes ever! It is really soft and fluffy and has a nice golden crust. I also add the starter to my bread dough when I make bread. It makes the bread extra soft. So if you run across the Amish Friendship starter, keep it going and use it in your kitchen. I am certain you will be happy you did!
Grow a garden, make your food from scratch, learn to live the good life from the old timers....reduce your carbon foodprints at the same time.


In the Kitchen

My new electric pressure cooker, I am loving it!
My new electric pressure cooker arrived today! I have read about the electric pressure cooker and imagin it would be a wonderful picece of small appliant to add to my collection. It certainly did not disappoint! The first function I tried was using the "High Pressure Setting". I made my porrige of rice and beans and jujubee in a record 10 minutes, and then I made Mexican "seemered" beef in 20 minutes cooking time, it usually takes me 2-3 hours! It was delicisous and soooo tender! There are also slow cooking and brown options...I can’t wait to experiment more with my new favorite kitchen appliance!

The nice thing about the electric pressure cooker is not only it can cook delicious meals, but it also save a LOT OF energy. I am thinking, it could relace several other gadgets that I am using....