March 2012 Archives

What I ate: March 31, 2012

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese. On a homemade whole wheat bagel. And a mimosa.

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Lunch: Twice-cooked pork, broccoli and scallion stir-fry.

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For his spring break, my 11 year-old nephew is heading to camp grandma and grandpa where I am a camp counselor. Though I took pictures of almost all of Mom's food, I should point out that there are second, and sometimes third, servings at Mom and Dad's. When I make food at my home there are no seconds - what you see in the picture is what I ate.


Dinner: Mom's barbecued pork, rice and asparagus at Mom and Dad's.

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Dessert: Apple pie.

Weight at beginning of the day: 119.0 lbs.

What I ate: March 30, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.


Lunch: Roast beef sandwich. With homemade eye of round roast beef, horseradish, mayo and lettuce on one slice of Barowski's wheat bread, cut in half. And Kettle Chips salt and black pepper potato chips.

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Snack: A Saranac Pale Ale.


Dinner: Chicken paprika, rice and broccoli. And 2 glasses of Souverain chardonnay.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 119.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.0 lbs.

What I ate: March 29, 2012

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. With homemade sausage on a homemade buttermilk biscuit.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.

Lunch: Beef with snow peas.

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Snack: 0.8 oz. peanuts. And a Saranac IPA.

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Dinner: Tingua poblano, smoky and spicy Mexican pork, potato and tomato stew. And 2 glasses of Aguaribay malbec.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Dagoba lavender blueberry dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.0 lbs.




What I ate: March 28, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito and a glass of orange juice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix and a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Zucchini and bacon stir-fry. There's a whole zucchini and 2 1/2 slices of bacon in it.

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Dinner: Chicken tenders, boneless Buffalo wings and French fries. And a Saranac Adirondack lager.

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And 2 glasses of Aguaribay malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.6 lbs.


What I ate: March 27, 2012

Breakfast: Blueberry muffin and bacon. And a glass of orange juice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Sausage and green pepper stir-fry.

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Snack: A Saranac Black Forest black beer and 0.7 oz. peanuts.

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Dinner: Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and homemade red wine tomato sauce. With 2 glasses of Sensual Malbec.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's Maya Gold (orange and spice) dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.8 lbs.



What I ate: March 26, 2012

Breakfast: Eggs, toast and bacon.

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Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich with Kettle Chips salt and black pepper potato chips.

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Made a batch of Sriracha Chex Mix.

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And 3 servings of sous vide pork for stir-fry. It's what was left over from the pork roast after making spicy pork breakfast sausage. There were 3 3.2 oz. servings of cooked, sliced pork and some left over for Roscoe.

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Dinner: Nachos. With homemade ground beef, black beans, jalapeños, tomato and cheddar cheese.

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And 2 glasses of Sensual malbec.

Weight at beginning of the day: 120.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.6 lbs.


What I ate: March 25, 2012

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.


Lunch: Beef, broccoli and scallions.

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A Saranac IPA.


Dinner: Iron Chef Chinese Buffet with Mom and Dad.

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And 2 glasses of Liberty School cabernet sauvignon.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.0 lbs.


Separating flour tortillas

ate.2012.03.25.c1.jpgI get these flour tortillas from my grocery store and they're always one solid block. I've tried a number of ways of separating them, which mostly do not work:

Using the sharp edge of a knife didn't work at all. Well, it effectively separated them, but not in a useful way, since I ended up tortillas with holes.

Using the flat edge of the knife worked a little better, but not much.

Sliding my hand between the room temperature tortillas sort of worked, but there were several broken ones.

Sliding my hand between refrigerated tortillas worked the best, until I found the perfect method...


Heat the tortillas for 30 seconds in the microwave in their bag. Take them out of the bag, peel them apart. This should be very easy to do. Separate the tortillas with wax paper, put back in the bag, and refrigerate. This is by far the best method, and is the first time I've separated a whole stack of tortillas without breaking a single one. And it was fast.

I had hesitated to do this initially because I thought it might adversely affect the texture of the tortillas but so far, so good.

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What I ate: March 24, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito.

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Made a batch of homemade spicy breakfast sausage patties.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.


Lunch: Spicy vegetarian chili and cornbread.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts. Later, 0.7 oz. Kettle Chips salt and black pepper potato chips.


Dinner: Steak, baked potato and broccoli. With a strip steak this time.

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And 2 glasses of Liberty School cabernet sauvignon.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 121.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.8 lbs.


What I ate: March 23, 2012

Breakfast: Corned beef hash, egg and toast.

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Lunch: Twice cooked pork, broccoli and scallion stir-fry.

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Snack: 3 Kashi roasted garlic crackers with Cabot habanero cheddar cheese.

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Dinner: Tonkatsu and rice with furikake. And 2 glasses of Aguribay malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 120.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.2 lbs.


What I ate: March 22, 2012

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade spicy pork breakfast sausage on a Barowski's wheat English muffin.

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Lunch: Japanese-style "crushed hamburger." There's 5.0 oz. (cooked weight) serving of the beef on the plate. It probably should be a little smaller, 4.0 to 4.5 oz.

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I made a new batch using 16 oz. of homemade ground beef (previously frozen). That was enough to also make two 4.4 oz. servings, vacuum sealed and frozen.

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A Saranac Pale Ale.

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Dinner: Asparagus and prosciutto pasta.

ate.2012.03.22.d.jpgAnd 2 glasses of Aguaribay Malbec.

ate.2012.03.22.e2.jpgDessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 121.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.2 lbs.

What I ate: March 21, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito. And a glass of orange juice.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.

Walked to the Village Variety, about 1.5 miles.

Lunch: Grilled chicken Caesar salad and a homemade whole wheat and oat roll with butter.

ate.2012.03.21.l.jpgWalked to the bank and post office, about 1.5 miles.

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Dinner: Crumb pork chop, rice, asparagus. And 2 glasses of 90+ pinot noir

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Weight at beginning of the day: 121.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.8 lbs.






What I ate: March 20, 2012

Breakfast: Egg, toast and bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.


Lunch: Barbecued pork sandwich. It's the meat leftover from one pork spare rib with barbecue sauce on a Barowski's wheat hamburger bun. With Kettle Chips salt and pepper potato chips.

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I cooked and froze two pounds of bacon.

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And made a batch of homemade whole wheat and oat dinner rolls, which are really the best dinner rolls I've ever had.

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And I grilled, sliced, vacuum sealed and froze some chicken for chicken Caesar salad.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Souverain chardonnay. And 0.7 oz. peanuts.

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Dinner: Roasted chicken, rice, gravy and asparagus.

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And 2 glasses of 90+ pinot noir, California.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate.


Weight at beginning of the day: 121.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.0 lbs.

Grilled chicken for Caesar salad

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I pre-cook and freeze portions of sliced grilled chicken for Grilled chicken Caesar salad. It's super easy to make a tasty salad when the meat is already cooked and ready.

Season chicken breast (tenders, in this case) with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and a little olive oil. Vacuum seal and sous vide for an hour at 160°F. The sous vide isn't completely necessary, especially for the thin breast tenders, but it does eliminate the problem of the outside of the chicken getting too charred before the chicken is cooked through and lessens the risk of cross-contamination with raw chicken.

Immediately chill the vacuum bag in cold water.

On a grill over high heat sear the chicken for 1:30 to 2:00 on each side. Let cool.

Slice, portion into 2.8 oz. portions, vacuum seal and freeze.

Update: With the chicken tenders it's easy to grill them without pre-cooking. Season, grill for 2:30 on each side. Check the temperature, mine were a little frozen when I put them on the grill so the insides didn't quite get up to 160°F but 30 seconds in the microwave solved that problem.


Barbecued pork sandwich

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There's no real recipe for this, but when I have leftover pork spare ribs I often cut off the meat, warm it up in the microwave, add a little barbecue sauce, and put on a Barowski's whole wheat hamburger bun. Quick, easy and tasty!




What I ate: March 19, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Spicy beef with snow peas.

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Snack: 0.7 peanuts.

Dinner: Homemade sausage and green pepper pizza. The pizza dough, pizza sauce and pre-cooked Italian sauce were all frozen and I just defrosted them. And I had one more 1/6 of the pizza.

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And 2 glasses of The Seeker malbec.

Weight at beginning of the day: 121.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.2 lbs.



What I ate: March 18, 2012

Breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese on a homemade whole wheat bagel. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.

Lunch: Beef, broccoli and scallion stir-fry.

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A short walk/run. 1.84 miles in 27:01, but with a fairly ridiculous long hill. Plus I haven't run in months.


Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Urban Riesling. And 0.7 oz. peanuts.

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Dinner: Iron Chef Chinese buffet with Mom and Dad.

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And later, 2 glasses of The Seeker malbec.


Weight at beginning of the day: 121.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.6 lbs.

What I ate: March 17, 2012

Breakfast: Bacon, egg and cheese English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.

Lunch: Sausage and green pepper stir-fry.

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An Omegang Hennepin Belgian-style Saison ale.

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Dinner: Spare ribs and 3.0 oz. seasoned French fries. And 2 glasses of Santa Cristina Chianti. I prepared the ribs, vacuum sealed and froze them earlier. And I reheated them for 45 minutes from frozen at 155°F in the sous vide. But the revelation this time was dropping them in the deep fryer for 45 seconds at 160°F to finish them. Amazing! These are the best ribs I've ever had!

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Weight at beginning of the day: 120.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.6 lbs.





Dry Barbecue Rub

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This recipe makes about 1 cup of an excellent dry rub for barbecue.

1.300 oz. granulated sugar (3 tbsp.)
0.380 oz. brown sugar (1 tbsp.)
0.600 oz. kosher salt (2 tbsp.)
0.350 oz. cumin (2 tbsp.)
0.558 oz. coarsely ground pepper (2 tbsp.)
0.446 oz. chili powder (2 tbsp.)
1.000 oz. paprika (4 tbsp.)
0.052 oz. cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp.)

Combine all of the ingredients well. Store in a covered container in a cool, dry place.

The recipe is scaled from the excellent River Run Cookbook by Jimmy and Maya Kennedy and Marialisa Calta, pp. 195 - 196.

Pork Spare Ribs #2

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Okay. This is it. This is the best plate of ribs I've ever had. It's very similar to my previous recipe but I thought I'd update it a bit.

Start with a package of pork spare ribs, or pork back ribs, pictured here.

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Coat the ribs in dry rub. I like to use my homemade dry rub.

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Vacuum seal, and refrigerate overnight or for a few days. I like to do this in the morning, or at least before 1 PM.

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Heat the sous vide machine to 155°F and cook the ribs for 18 hours. I find it works well to start them cooking at 1 PM so they come out at 9 AM the next morning.

Chill for 30 minutes cold water in the vacuum bag so the meat can reabsorb the juices, then drain the bags. Pat dry.

Some of the best barbecue recipes use low heat and smoke for a very long period of time. This is hard to control, however, and can lead to dry meat if you're not careful. The sous vide takes care of this very well. Not to mention running the Bradley Smoker for 12 hours would use $ 18 in pucks!

Coat in barbecue sauce. I like my homemade barbecue sauce.

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Put in the smoker for 1 hour at 150°F to 180°F. I used hickory. The smoker definitely adds a dimension missing when finishing off the ribs in the oven. It dries out the barbecue sauce perfectly and the ribs smell like they've been smoked the whole time!

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The ribs are very tender, moist, and met my new metric for well-textured ribs: I did not need to floss my teeth after eating them!

Since I can't possible eat a rack of ribs by myself, I then separate and vacuum seal them into serving size.

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The revelation this time was how I reheated them: In the sous vide at 155°F for 45 minutes from frozen to defrost and reheat. Then the magic: 45 seconds in the deep fryer at 360°F. I've known about the technique for a long time but never tried it. Sous vide to deep fryer is life changing. Seriously.

I used my standard frying setup.




What I ate: March 16, 2012

Breakfast: Corned beef hash, egg and toast.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.

Lunch: Shrimp and onion stir-fry with spinach.

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I went grocery shopping. As a general rule I like to cook the food before freezing it, but there are some exceptions for end-products that don't freeze well. Today I added some thin-sliced bone-in pork chops so I can make crumb pork chops in the future. Vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn and also dramatically reduces the mess should your freezer fail when you're away from home since they're exceptionally well sealed and rarely leak.

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Seared two strip steaks. Actually, it's one strip steak cut in half. Vacuum sealed and frozen so it can be defrosted and cooked in the sous vide.

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And a batch of four servings of Japanese-style chicken curry, cooked, vacuum sealed and frozen.

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A Saranac Black Forest, Bavarian-style black beer.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Urban Riesling.

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Dinner: Pasta with zucchini and meat sauce.

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And 2 glasses of Santa Cristina Chianti. It was okay, nothing to write home about.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.0 lbs.

What I ate: March 15, 2012

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. With homemade sausage on a homemade buttermilk biscuit (previously frozen).

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Chicken soup with soba noodles spinach.

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Walked 4.56 miles in 1:17:22.

Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Urban Riesling.

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Dinner: Roast beef, rice, gravy and broccoli. And 2 glasses of Eagle's Rock malbec.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.4 lbs.

What I ate: March 14, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito,

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Tofu, scallions and broccoli.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Urban Riesling.

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Dinner: Fish and chips. And 3/4 of a Saranac Adirondack Lager (the rest went into the beer batter for the fish).

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Later: 2 glasses of Eagle's Rock malbec.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Dagoba lavender blueberry dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 121.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.6 lbs.

What I ate: March 13, 2012

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon. Both previously frozen.

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Walked to get my hair cut, about 1.4 miles.


Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Chana masala. Previously vacuum sealed and frozen, reheated boil-in-bag for 22 minutes.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Urban Riesling.

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Dinner: Beef stroganoff. And 2 glasses of Blackstone pinor noir.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 121.6 lbs.


What I ate: March 12, 2012

Breakfast: Eggs, toast and bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Pork, broccoli and scallion stir-fry.

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Walked to the post office, about 1.4 miles.


Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Villa Maria sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Grilled salmon, spicy green beans and rice.

ate.2012.03.12.d.jpgAnd 2 glasses of Blackstone pinor noir. Quite tasty!

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Dessert: Homemade chocolate chip cookie and a white Russian.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 120.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.4 lbs.

What I ate: March 11, 2012

Breakfast: Homemade bagel, lox and cream cheese.

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Lunch: Grilled bacon cheeseburger, baked Lays barbecue potato chips and a beer at Windham ski area.


A Saranac IPA.

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Dinner: Japanese-stye curry with rice.

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Later: A glass of Cupcake malbec.

Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.6 lbs.

What I ate: March 10, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito. Reheat of the the filling I cooked last Wednesday on a freshly heated tortilla.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Hot dog. A grilled Hebrew National hot dog, previously vacuum sealed and frozen. Reheated in the sous vide, 30 minutes at 155°F. On a Barowski's whole wheat hot dog bug with Dijon mustard and pickle relish. And 3.0 oz. seasoned French fries.

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And a glass of Saranac pale ale.

ate.2012.03.10.e1.jpgSnack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar and and a half glass of Villa Maria sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Chicken paprika, rice, asparagus.

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Later: A glass of Cupcake malbec.

Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.8 lbs.




What I ate: March 9, 2012

Breakfast: Waffle and sausage.

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I cooked a full batch of waffles so I have three more frozen for future breakfasts.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix. And a Spicy V-8.

I was in a cooking mood so I wrote out my menu for the week and headed to the grocery store (and liquor store).

I made a roasted chicken and pan gravy. There were three dinner servings (5.0 oz. each) and two servings for stir-fry or salad (3.2 oz. each) all vacuum sealed and frozen.

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Also two servings of chicken soup base (about 16 oz. homemade chicken stock and 4.0 oz. chicken per serving). My previous experiment with vacuum sealing the soup in quart jars was mixed. While it's much easier to fill a quart jar than a vacuum bag, they're much less convenient to store in the freezer and much harder to defrost. This batch went into vacuum sealed bags.

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2 pounds of bacon cooked and frozen.

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And finally a batch of blueberry muffins. In case you're wondering why I only make a half dozen - I eat at most one a week and sometimes I skip a week. If I made a whole dozen they'd end up sitting in my freezer too long.

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Lunch: Shrimp and onion stir-fry with spinach.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar.

ate.2012.03.09.s1.jpgAnd a half glass of Villa Maria sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Tuna sushi and sashimi platter. And a glass of sauvignon blanc.

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Later, 2 glasses of Cupcake malbec.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.6 lbs.


Grinding your own beef

In case you needed another reason to make your own ground beef:

Pink Slime Found In 70% Of Supermarket Ground Beef In ABC Investigation

And you don't even need a meat grinder. It only takes a few minutes to cut up a chuck steak into cubes and toss it in the food processor, about a half pound per batch.

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What I ate: March 8, 2012

I finished boiling and baking a batch of homemade whole wheat bagels.

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Breakfast: Toasted bagel with butter and 3 slices of bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix and a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: Sausage and green pepper stir-fry.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar. And a half glass of Cupcake sauvignon blanc.

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Beverage: Saranac Adirondack Lager.

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Dinner: Bacon cheeseburger and French fries.

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And 2 glasses of OZV zinfandel.

Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.8 lbs.

What I ate: March 7, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito and a glass of orange juice.

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I did the next step in making homemade whole wheat bagels: making the dough and forming the bagels. I'll boil and bake them tomorrow morning.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix and a Spicy V-8. And 0.5 oz. peanuts.


Lunch: BLT. On one slice of Barowski's wheat bread, cut in half. And Kettle Chips salt and pepper potato chips.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar. And a half glass of Cupcake sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Steak, baked potato and asparagus.

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And 2 glasses of Old Zin Vines 2008 from Oak Ridge Winery, Lodi, California. Tasty! And jammy.

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Dessert: 1 strip of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar - that's all that was left in the bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.6 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.8 lbs.

Fried food

I have this weakness for fried food, not limited to French fries, fish and chips and fried chicken fingers. Not to mention tonkatsu.

I have this fairly substantial 1 gallon deep fryer that amazingly can bring a full gallon of oil up to 360°F in 8 minutes. It requires so much electricity it requires a special outlet.

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Recently, however, I've been using my Avantco IC1800 induction hot plate and a quart of oil for my single servings of fried food. While you can always use a pot of oil on the stove, the induction is safer and much more convenient because it has a digital temperature control. You just dial it to 360°F and that's it!

ate.2012.03.06.c2.jpgI'm making frozen French fries here. If heated in the oven, the package says to use a 450°F oven, which takes 10 to 12 minutes for me to preheat, then 13 to 19 minutes to cook.

With the induction hot plate and a quart of oil it takes 10 minutes to heat the oil to 360°F and 2 minutes to cook. And the fries are much better.

With the old fryer I would carefully filter the oil after each use and clean the fryer, which is a fair amount of effort. Since it uses so much oil, it's necessary to reuse it several times. With just a quart of oil I just put the cover on the pan and set it aside to reuse just a few times which really saves a lot of effort.

I set the hot plate on an inverted sheet pan on my stove so it's directly under the vent hood. It's effective enough that I don't have any fried food smell in the rest of the house!

What I ate: March 6, 2012

Breakfast: Blueberry muffin and bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.. And 0.7 oz. peanuts.

I started the poolish and soaker for a new batch of homemade whole wheat bagels.

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Lunch: Pork, broccoli and scallion stir-fry.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar. And a half glass of Cupcake sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Pork spare ribs and French fries. And 2 glasses of Gianni Russo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 119.8 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.6 lbs.


What I ate: March 5, 2012

Breakfast: Eggs, toast and bacon.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.


Lunch: Turkey and cabbage stir-fry.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts.


Today was grocery shopping day so I prepped a bunch of food.

Years ago I bought a lot of individually quick frozen pre-cooked sausage links but I stopped when I started eating more locally made sausages. A month or two ago I bought a bag of Banquet IQF sausages and I'll never make that mistake again! They're not very good, and not very well cooked, either. Much better to cook and freeze them myself.

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I made homemade ground beef today. Part of it went into four 4 oz. (before cooking) burgers, grilled, vacuum sealed and frozen. They're not fully cooked through - they'll be both defrosted and cooked in the sous vide.

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And the rest went into packages of taco seasoned ground beef for beef tacos or nachos. Four packages of about 3.0 oz. and one package of 4.2 oz., vacuum sealed and frozen.

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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar. And a half glass of Cupcake sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Asparagus and prosciutto pasta.

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And 2 glasses of Gianni Russo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.2 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.8 lbs.


Sushi tuna tip

I really live in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York now.

Fortunately my grocery store (well, 20 miles away), the Hannaford in Oneonta, New York, often has tuna fresh enough for me to make sushi. But if you look closely you'll notice the "previously frozen" on the label. Most tuna is processed and quick frozen on the ship now, and they just defrost it for you in the store.

Unless you live close to a place where you can catch tuna, freezing is not a bad thing because it ends up being fresher. And freezing can also kill some parasites, so there is that, too.

My tip is that you can ask at the seafood counter if they have some frozen tuna in the back. They usually do, to refill the display case. Take that, instead. You never know how long the fish has been sitting in the display case.

Here's my frozen tuna, vacuum sealed and ready for the next time I want tuna sushi or sashimi. It doesn't really need to be vacuum sealed - it can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap then in foil or a ziplock bag, but vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn better and I vacuum seal everything, anyway.

When I defrost it (in cold water or in the refrigerator), I'll know it's fresh.

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What I ate: March 4, 2012

Breakfast: My traditional Sunday morning breakfast: Bagel, lox and cream cheese. On a homemade whole-wheat bagel with red onion and tomato. And a mimosa.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha Chex Mix.


Lunch: Spicy sesame beef with snow peas.

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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts. And a Saranac Adirondack Lager.

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Dinner: Iron Chef Chinese buffet with Mom and Dad. There was another plate before this, but the picture was out of focus. It looked pretty much like every other week, but a little smaller.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 120.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.2 lbs.


What I ate: March 3, 2012

Breakfast: Chorizo breakfast burrito. Reheat of the filling from last Wednesday.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix.



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Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar. And a half glass of Cupcake sauvignon blanc.

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Dinner: Italian sausage spaghetti. And 2 glasses of The Seeker malbec.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green & Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 119.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.4 lbs.

What I ate: March 2, 2012

Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon. 

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Made a fresh batch today with enough for today's breakfast and 3 more breakfasts.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix. And a Spicy V-8.


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Snack: 0.7 oz. peanuts.

Snack: 4 Garden valley veggie Wheat Thins toasted crisps with Cabot extra sharp cheddar. And a half glass of Cupcake sauvignon blanc.

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And 2 glasses of The Seeker malbec. It was okay, but not as good as the Sensual malbec from a few days ago.

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Dessert: 2 strips of Green and Black's hazelnut currant dark chocolate bar.


Weight at beginning of the day: 120.4 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 119.4 lbs.

What I ate: March 1, 2012

Breakfast: Sausage, egg and cheese English muffin. With homemade spicy breakfast sausage on a Barowski's whole wheat English muffin.

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Snack: 1.0 oz. Sriracha chex mix and a Spicy V-8.


Lunch: BLT, on one slice of Barowski's wheat bread, cut in half. With Kettle Chips salt and pepper potato chips.

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Snack: 0.8 oz. peanuts.


Dinner: Nachos with homemade taco seasoned ground beef, black beans, jalapeños and cheddar cheese. And homemade guacamole. And 2 glasses of Sensual malbec.

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Weight at beginning of the day: 120.0 lbs.
Weight at the beginning of the next day: 120.4 lbs.