lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
There's enough cheese leaking from this folded over tortilla that I'm starting to think I might as well skip the tortilla and make chupaquesos.

Mmmm, crispy cheese.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
As reported on Slashdot, an appeals court has ruled that the USDA can ban any testing beyond the current USDA testing for Mad Cow Disease. 2 to 1 the judges ruled that the USDA can can prohibit test kits from being sold or used to test for the disease. The USDA's argument is that even though the test kits aren't used until after the cows are killed, using them amounts to a medical treatment of the already deceased bovines.

Um. Right. Pull the other one.

It is at least fortunate to know that one of the judges still has functioning brain cells. "I find unpersuasive the Department’s arguments that a product with no other use than the diagnosis of an untreatable and invariably fatal disease is a form of 'treatment.'" Wrote Chief Judge David Santelle in his dissenting opinion.

This case came about because a Creekstone Farms Premium Beef decided to see if they could export successfully to places like Japan and South Korea if they pledged to test 100% of what they sold. Only there was that pesky USDA rule that said no one was allowed to do any testing beyond the USDA tests.

It is also fortunate to see that there isn't a total lack of brain function in the judges who ruled against Creekstone Farms. While they have upheld the USDAs authority to prevent the sale and use of the test kits, they did send the case back to the lower court to decide whether the ban was arbitrary and capricious. Hopefully we'll the lower court will rule in favor of a safer food supply.

I also have a suggestion. Go ahead an allow the USDA to ban any further testing. But also rule that in any case where the rancher can document that they asked to do additional testing and were denied, USDA official who ruled against testing (not the agency, but the individual official) shall bare full legal liability in the event anything does slip through. They won't mind being required to carry heavier liability insurance than surgeons, right? After all, the current testing is sufficient enough to require banning further testing, right? Right?

Thought so.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Lesson learned: If making chocolate milk without the benefit of a store bought chocolate milk mix, yes you must add sugar to the baking cocoa. Well, I suppose people who like their coffee bitter might be willing to drink the result, but I am most certainly not a coffee drinker.

On the other hand, lesson two: Powdered sugar will mix into the milk quite readily.

Lesson three. A simple mix of cocoa, powdered sugar, and a light touch of salt makes a perfectly good hot chocolate. No need for all those additives the commercial mixes have. Of course a splash of vanilla would have made it even better, but I used the last of my vanilla on the cookies I baked last week.

Which raises a question. How long will a cookie dough that includes eggs stay good in the fridge? I still have a little of the dough left over. But I'm starting to wonder if I've let it sit too long.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Last trip to the store we decided to grab some little rounds of baby gouda. Wasn't sure exactly what we'd do with them, but it seemed like a good idea.

Today I decided. Opened a can of chicken, added a little vinegar, some garlic, a couple of dashes of dried herbs, some paprika and chili powder. Then once that had simmered a little while, some butter and flour, a round of gouda and a little cheddar. Mixed in some pasta... Yum!

The mix would probably offend any gourmands who saw it. Oh well, too bad, I still think it is yummy.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Blurry Newsprint Pixilated)
I've made some of what I call tacos. Although there is no lettuce or onions, and the meat is prepared more like spaghetti sauce. So sue me, I'm not Hispanic (despite the officer who questioned me about ten years ago insisting, "We're sure it's you. It's the same kind of car and the witness said the driver was Hispanic.") and I love my baka gringo soft tacos. That's the trouble though, I really love these things.

Using smaller tortillas helps, since eating five feels like more than two even if the five are made with those little five inch tortillas. Those little ones also force you to cut way back on the meat since you can't put in much without bursting them. But I keep wanting to eat just one more. And even only two spoonfuls of meat each still adds up.

And I really want just one more and just one more after that. Maybe still one more...

Surely this has nothing to do with still being above two hundred pounds. Nah, there cannot be any connection.
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Time for an admission.

Dinner's gravy experiment... failed.

This makes the (number lost) time I have failed in the attempt to make a proper roux. Although I hoping that maybe, just maybe, this time it might have been the proportion of roux to liquid that was off. That is I still didn't quite cook it long enough to get rid of all of the flour taste.

Gosh darn you to heck roux! One of these days I shall master you, and then you shall bow down before me and become many tasty sauces!
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Today's experiment... Successful!

I just had my sister tell me that my oven baked chicken is better than our mothers! *shock* *blink*

I haven't really been following a set recipe, but I have to put some of the credit towards Alton Brown. This time around I made thighs and last time I made drumsticks, and both times I soaked them in buttermilk. I would not have thought of doing that accept for having watched Good Eats.

The ever so vague Oven Baked Chicken recipe: Put a few shakes of paprika, a few grinds of black pepper, and a dash of chili powder into a bag. Add a tiny dash cinnamon and another equally tiny dash of cloves, and about a half teaspoon to teaspoon of dried minced garlic into the bag as well. Put the chicken in the bag and distribute the goodness. Put the bag in a container just big enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Pour in just enough buttermilk to cover the chicken. Let that sit in the fridge giving it a few turns before using. How long to soak? The drumsticks were put in late the night before they were cooked for dinner. The thighs due to some troubles only got about a five hour soak.

After the chicken has been able to get a good soak drain off the liquid. I believe Alton let it sit for a little bit on a rack back in the fridge, but I just give it a little bit of a shake before putting it in the dredge. The dredge? A little flour with a few grinds of pepper and a little paprika. Coat it all over with the flour dredge and shake off the excess. Place on either a silicon baking mat or a sheet of parchment, then place that in a sheet pan in the oven at 375 degrees F. Cook for roughly 45 minutes giving it a turn halfway through.

You will note that I did not pour on melted butter at any stage like some recipes call for. This does not need the melted butter. The buttermilk soak adds moisture, and the fat on the skin side provides all the fat it needs.

Cost? Four thighs on sale for $1.50, about one fifth of a $1.99 bottle of buttermilk, and whatever the half cup or so of flour, and few dashes of seasoning cost. In other words much, much less than the fast food places would have charged for four two three-quarter pound servings of chicken thighs.

And really, how often are you told, "I hate to say this, but I think this is better than what mom used to make."
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
Question: Should raw chicken have a smell to it? I know they say fresh fish shouldn't smell fishy, is chicken the same way? (relevance below)

They say that nature abhors vacuums. Maybe so, but I happen to like my vacuum sealer. There was a really good sale last week on kitchen products, and so after paying off my bill with the store I turned right around and bought a blender, a new (non-patched power cord of DOOM) crock pot, and a vacuum sealer. So as a result I am no once again in debt to the store, and a happy vacuum sealer.

Sealed up a pouch of pasta as my first project, and oh my! After being frozen and thawed it reheated better than I've ever had any of my homemade pasta reheat. No dried out leathery noodles and watery sauce this time, it was nearly as good as when it was first cooked. I'm tempted to pick up some of the canisters you can vacuum seal with the machine (available at a couple of stores locally).


So today I pulled a bakers dozen of chicken drumsticks out of the fridge to vacuum seal and freeze since we will probably not fix any for at least another week. When I sliced open the plastic I thought I could just barely smell something. I had to lean down closer package to be sure. I have no idea how to describe it. I wasn't strong enough to be revolting, just there. Perhaps faintly metallic. Although I took out the trash a little while ago even though it wasn't but halfway full because the package after getting warm had a stronger smell. Although even that was just a little unpleasant. This wasn't anything as strong or objectionable as a strong vinegar or rotten eggs.

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lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
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