• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


hollysmokes last won the day on December 22 2018

hollysmokes had the most liked content!

About hollysmokes

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Interests
    in no particular order: smokin' meat, fermenting, cooking, preserving food, music, hiking, gardening, biodynamics

Recent Profile Visitors

768 profile views
  1. So good to hear from you @LadyLisbette! I was just reading about the terrible weather and hoping you weren't one of the many thousands without power. Unless you happen to be going anyway, don't waste your time at WF. I saved about $3 and was totally frustrated by the Whole experience. I did manage to get some Epic duck fat and some of their baked pork rinds but, other than that, it wasn't worth the aggravation. No curtains was a new experience for me because I've always lived in a typical urban neighborhood and needed them for privacy. When we moved in our house there were mini-blinds on EVERY SINGLE window even the ones that face out of the back and look over a couple of acres of our hill. The first thing we did was pull them down and bring them to Habitat For Humanity. I love it when the weather is nice and we can open up all of the windows and doors. I feel like I'm camping when I can lie in bed and hear the leaves rustling and all of the other night sounds. It's so easy to opt for letting someone else feed you when you're tired but it's so nice to know you have good-for-you stuff in the fridge, especially for breakfast. I got a big "thing" done at work this week and am so relived that it's done but now I'm having a hard time staying productive! I have a lovely lunch of chuck roast, haricot vert and cherry tomatoes to celebrate. I'm going to run my errands in the rain tomorrow morning then get myself home before it gets icy-ugly outside. I think I'll finally get on with the lotion project and now I have a recipe for a cured salmon that I'm going to try so this weekend ought to be nice and busy. The countdown is on- three more football games and it's over. The good thing is that I get a lot of reading done when the games are on! Enjoy the first night in your house!
  2. hollysmokes

    Home food preppers (bacon, charcuterie, dehydrator foods etc)

    I ferment my sriracha and I was thinking that I could smoke the peppers before fermentation but I think it might kill off the lactobacilli unless I cold smoke. There's always the option of using smoked salt, too. Have you done that? I keep saying that I'm going to do it the next time I fire up the smoker but never get around to it.
  3. hollysmokes

    Whole30 Compliant Lox

    That looks fabulous! Thanks @SchrodingersCat. I stock up on wild-caught salmon from Costco during the summer (only time it's available) so I have some in my freezer. I'll have to buy fresh dill this time of year but I am so going to get this started this weekend! It looks like I'll have some special lunches next week!
  4. hollysmokes

    Home food preppers (bacon, charcuterie, dehydrator foods etc)

    Thanks! Smoked sriracha sounds AMAZING! I've smoked jalapenos for chipotles in adobo and I've smoked red bells just for fun but never thought about sriracha. Something to aspire to this growing season.
  5. Sounds like you're rocking everything! Eating on track is such a challenge in the midst of change, chaos and long to-do lists so congratulations! I've never heard of Black Bear Diner. It looks like it's a western US thing and the closest one to me is Missouri but I'll have to keep it in mind if we ever get to road-trippin' again. I tend towards the chocolate-y Rx bars; the fruit ones seem sweeter- sweet enough that my sugar-loving husband likes them. I haven't tried any of the peanut butter flavors because I'm afraid they would be too close to those evil peanut butter cups I love so much. I had the chocolate hazelnut bar the other day and couldn't taste the hazelnut so that was a little disappointing but still tasty. That honey caramel popcorn sounds so decadent and just thinking about it makes me crave the sweet saltiness so I should probably not go there. I hear you about feeding others sugar/flour. I feel guilty when I feed other people (like my husband!) things that I know are terrible for them. I still have my baking pans but use them so rarely that I have them stored away in a tip-top cabinet that I need a step ladder to reach. I call the basement my butler's pantry! Like you I've had to decide what I want at my fingertips in the kitchen and what I can store elsewhere. We found a set of metro shelves on sale a couple of years ago and they are pretty full. I got some plastic tubs to store little stuff- one has fermenting supplies, one has sausage-making supplies and one has canning supplies. It helps keep all of the little pieces under control. You got the stained glass AND cut a deal! Everything is falling into place. We have so many windows in our house but all of our windows look out into the trees so I feel like I'd be detracting from the beauty of the stained glass and obstructing the view all at the same time so I've resisted the temptation. We don't even have curtains except one set for decoration and sound muffling in the stairwell. I can't wait to see the pic! The weather here is awful as well. I don't think we're going to get quite that much rain but the temps are going to be crazy. Saturday is supposed to get up to almost 60 with rain then drop to 20 so everything will be all icy. Yay. I'll hit the farmer's market for meat, eggs and cream for my husband then hunker down in the warm, dry house the rest of the weekend. Oh! I don't know if you'll be near a Whole Food but they have Vital Protein collagen on sale plus an additional discount if you do the Amazon prime thing. No one ever puts it on sale and it's always an exclusion on Vitacost's discounts so I'm heading there this afternoon. Happy packing!
  6. hollysmokes

    Home food preppers (bacon, charcuterie, dehydrator foods etc)

    Yeah, the cruciferous vegetables can get a little farty smelling sometime; I notice it most with sauerruben. As long as all of your vegetables are completely submerged and there's no furry beasties growing on top, you're good to go (and you can just remove the top layer that has fuzzy, moldy stuff if it happens). I like that ferment, funky smell! That chile/garlic condiment sounds delicious. If you get it worked out, please share the recipe! I do hot sauce and sriracha and have wanted to do gochuchang but have only done a quickie non-fermented version of it. I love harissa and saw where someone had fermented it so I think I'm going to try that one soon. Condiments are our friends! I'm running low on sausages as well. My bratwurst has cream in it so I haven't had any in a couple of months but they're one of my favorites. I'm originally from south Louisiana so I've been trying to perfect andouille and need to get a new batch of that started soon. It's getting there but I don't quite have it where I want it. I'm impressed that you're doing whole hams! How long do you let them hang? Smoked? I got to try a ham that had been forgotten in a friend's barn for three years and it was amazing! More like prosciutto than American ham.
  7. That parallel universe we occupy! My husband is a hoarder also! Broken things and pieces of broken things are his specialty, yep, "because, you never know". He has an entire bag of miscellaneous pieces of tents, tarps and poles that HAS to come with us camping. So funny! We've had to purge books several times; I am a book hoarder from way back. Now, due to limited space, I carefully think about each book and decide if it worth the precious space that it would occupy. Most do not make the cut! I have a really old set of Charles Dickens' books (minus ONE volume that, of course, makes me crazy) that I bought many moons ago and I keep thinking I should reclaim those two feet of book shelf space by donating them but I can't bring myself to part with them. I didn't have enough fat or protein at lunch yesterday so by the time I got to my little store, I would have gladly eaten plain fish and broccoli Since that wasn't an option I had an Rx bar and a meat stick- not ideal but could have been worse. This is what happens when I fail to plan ANY lunches for the week. On top of that, I meant to pick up some prosciutto at Costco on Monday but forgot so now I'm obsessing over prosciutto- so nuts! I wanted to wrap some asparagus spears in it because I've never done that and it looks so delicious. Have you tried it? I think it would make a great breakfast with a couple of eggs or some egg salad on the side. Your chicken concoction sounds really tasty- a squirt of Dijon mustard would probably be pretty good in that, too. I forgot to mention I re-introed corn! Sunday night I popped some heritage popcorn I get from Anson Mills and I used ghee. It was amazing and produced no unexpected effects or cravings. I love popcorn and limit it to a special treat a couple of times a year so I feel pretty good about that. I did a careful corn re-intro last time and didn't notice any problems but it was easy enough to do it again. In my browsing around on the interweb, I also came across an article from 2009 citing the American Chemical Society (!) saying that popcorn has a surprising amount of polyphenols in it so I can enjoy my occasional popcorn knowing it's not totally devoid of nutrients! I agonize over the craziest things in the middle of the night! Hopefully your first date jitters will settle down soon and all of the work you'll be doing will help you sleep.
  8. hollysmokes

    Home food preppers (bacon, charcuterie, dehydrator foods etc)

    Hey @SchrodingersCat yep I do all of those except vegetable stock powder but I have lots of cayenne and chile powder from chiles we grew. It's fun, isn't it? I haven't done a whole ham either; have you? I participated in Charcutapalooza a few years ago so I've done summer sausage, salami, corned beef & pastrami, duck prosciutto (with comically small wild duck breasts), tasso, Canadian bacon and regular bacon (been doing that for years now) and lots of fresh sausages. We grow and can our tomatoes, too and I do big batches of beef bone broth and can that as well to free up freezer space. Chicken bone broth I tend to make in smaller batches most of the time because I just make it as we finish eating the chicken but about once a year or so I'll do a big batch just to make sure I don't run out. Do you do any fermenting?
  9. Yaaay! I'm so happy for you! We slept in our house the very first night (in sleeping bags in front of the fireplace) but couldn't do anything else because all of our stuff was still on its way from NO. Now that the drama is over, the (fun) work begins. Think of all of the movement you'll be getting. So much newness! It's a good thing you have those golden cuffs! I love being able to resist temptation and it's even better when it's not even tempting, yes? Still working on that part. There's a little local store that I stop in fairly regularly on my way home from work and I got into a routine of "rewarding" myself with a bar or a piece of cheese or a piece of local chocolate-y candy and I still find myself looking for my snack when I'm there. I've managed to restrain myself but I pouted about it. I have to stop there today so no pouting; I'll just rely on the golden cuffs. Drinking more water had been helping me a lot as well. That was one of my goals this past W30 that I kept forgetting to mention. I'm better about it at work than I am at home so I really have to remind myself on the weekends. I hope that piece of stained glass will fit when you have envisioned it; I love stained glass, too. So many decisions to make. I looked at some bedding sites lately, too, even though I'm kidding myself; there's no way my husband will ever part with our tempurpedic. I've ditched my pillow and would love to "downgrade" our bed to something more minimalistic and definitely chemical free but I don't see it happening. We have a platform bed but it's raised; not flush on the ground with storage. I would never get another one because it's just another place that has to be cleaned and it's a pain to really get under there to get the dust bunnies and fur balls. It would be fine if it was ON the ground or if the space was occupied by drawers but it was a freebie when we bought our bed so it is what it is. On the wine & sulfite front, I picked up a small box of organic red yesterday that said it had no detectable sulfites in it. After I got home with it, I realized it wasn't a regular box wine; it has a screw cap. Once exposed to air, it will go bad pretty quickly and it's the equivalent of two bottles so now I don't want to open it. I guess I could transfer it to a bottle so I can use my little vacuum pump on it to keep it fresh a little longer but that's really more wine than I want open at one time. Depending on what happens this weekend, it looks like we might be having a Superbowl party so maybe I'll save it for that. I'm not a football fan and am even less of a fan since they interjected all of the political stuff into a ridiculous game where adult men get paid an exorbitant amount of money to chase after a stupid ball. Anyway, rant over and we kinda got drafted into it but that's OK. I'll enjoy the company and ignore the marketing and absurdities. The good part is that I can make snacks and other food that's compliant. We cooked a chuck roast in the sous vide apparatus and it was unbelievable! I was thinking about doing it for the (possible) party but don't really want to serve a meal or sandwiches. It came out amazingly tender, juicy and pink- more steak-like than roast-like so I'm pretty excited about being able to take one of the cheaper cuts of meat and make it into something amazing. In meat smoking circles, some people treat it like brisket and, at about half the price, that's pretty awesome. I'm thinking about turning one into corned beef. If I then smoke it, it's pastrami and that sounds pretty good, too. I'm heading to my favorite gigantic used book store this afternoon in search of more Earthsea books but first I have to get through computer upgrades/migrations at work. Gotta pay to play!
  10. hollysmokes

    Kira's Whole30 Log

    Does chopping vegetables count as an "activity"? That helps a lot; thanks. It sounds like the app converts the number of steps into miles? What about when you're backpacking? I assume you just don't use it in GPS mode so it keeps a charge? There are so many options that I don't know how I'll ever decide!
  11. I feel the downsizing coming on, too. I've been doing well downsizing my portions (but still adhering to template!) and not feeling hungry. Portion control/awareness was one of my goals this time so I'm feeling pretty good on that front. I slightly overate a couple of nights ago and really felt it. It was one of those nights that I combined several leftovers and by the time I realized I was full, it wasn't enough to save for another meal so I polished it off. Ugh! I usually do use some kind of shelf paper in my kitchen and bathroom cabinets but didn't this time. We remodeled the kitchen right after we moved in so I put some cork liners in the drawers with my pots so I wouldn't mess up the hickory but that was it. Smart idea to line under the sink; I didn't and it's a mess after several plumbing issues . We painted the bathroom cabinets so I felt OK just using them as is. I think this is the first time ever that I don't have shelf paper! Duck stock for the cat! I love it! She's a lucky girl. All of our doors have full glass inserts in them so the cats look out of the doors to survey their kingdom all of the time but my little girl likes to look out of the windows, too. I've seen little shelves that fit in a window and brace against the wall. Maybe your girl would like one of those. Whenever anything happens, we always blame it on the cats so when I came home yesterday and there was a box waiting for me in the kitchen, my husband said that the cat was bad and ordered a sous vide immersion circulator. Not that I've ever expressed the desire for another gadget but here it is so I guess I need to learn how to use it. I needed another project! I'm on information overload on the lotion project! After much (maybe too much) reading, I decided I needed to get a preservative for my lotion because it will have aqueous ingredients. Body butters and lotions that are all oils don't need it but I want to include aloe so I opted for an organic plant-based preservative that should arrive tomorrow. I'm getting one ingredient at a time. Maybe I'll have it all gathered together eventually. Maybe. On the re-intro front, I had two large-ish glasses of white wine yesterday afternoon and then had an awful sinus headache during the night. Now I'm thinking about sulfites being a problem. How do they affect you? On NYE I had one glass of red wine and had no problems but it was from a place that makes their own and doesn't add sulfites. I guess I'll wait a few days and try a non-sulfite-added wine then try one that I know has them added (not looking forward to that but I need to know). It sucks that the wine industry is one of the many that has paid off our lawmakers so they don't have to disclose all of the [email protected] they put in wine. Food-wise, I've been compliant and loving it. Time for me to figure out how I can use the immersion circulator to make my cook-ups easier. Wish me luck!
  12. hollysmokes

    Cottage Cheese Substitute in Egg Bites

    What timing! When I came home yesterday my husband had a sous vide immersion circulator sitting on the kitchen counter. I don't go to Starbucks so I'd never heard of egg bites until just now but it looks interesting and I use coconut milk as the creamy component for my breakfast casseroles (essentially a crustless quiche) all the time so I'm going to try it out tomorrow. I'll report back on the results. Thanks for the inspiration!
  13. hollysmokes

    Kira's Whole30 Log

    Hi @kirbz I hope all is going well! I'm curious about your watch! I'm on the fence about getting one but I really want to know my distance traveled daily; not just steps since that's so inaccurate, especially with it strapped to your wrist. I noticed when you log your data that you only log steps and not miles. Do you find it to be fairly accurate? I work with someone that said she "walked" a couple of thousand steps when she was sitting on her sofa watching football, drinking soda and snacking. Since you wear yours all the time, when/how often do you have to charge it? Right now, unless I have my phone on my person (which I rarely do at home) I just get partial information and I'm starting to want more data but (since I am sort of in the data business) bad data is worse than no data so I'm torn.
  14. I was already writing this when your post popped up! The soup rocked! I based it off of a recipe from one of Mark Sisson's books but made it a bit more free form to accommodate what I had on hand. The base was a can of coconut milk and 3 cups of chicken stock. I was out of fresh ginger so I used dried, some garlic powder, a little Thai chili paste and salt. I wanted to incorporate lots of vegetables and didn't want them to be overcooked so I steamed my broccoli separately and let it cool and cooked all of my other veg (I apologize to your husband, @LadyLisbette) one at a time- bok choy & cauli- and scooped them out into my containers as they were done- same with some cubed up chicken breast but it would be easier with leftover chicken. I let the broth cool off then divided it among my containers and I have lunches! And warmth! It was 24 degrees this morning (I can't figure out how to insert symbols). We ate out of the freezer last night- beef stew and pole beans so I could spend my time making soup. It's been a pretty good week even though I haven't been motivated to move as much as I should. I'm settling for spending some time on the floor instead of on the sofa when we settle in to watch some tube after dinner and I think I'm starting to get more comfortable on the floor than on the sofa. I'm feeling a little slimmer maybe? Like you, though, I'm a ways off from downsizing. I'm most wanting to downsize a bra size! Try hooking your bra with fingers that don't move or feel very well (like having gloves on, I guess) and I hate spinning it around so having three hooks instead of four would be awesome but that requires a smaller size and I'm getting there. The most organized move I ever made involved getting the kitchen completely done first. It made everything seem much easier because, #1, we could eat and, #2, there was one room that wasn't utter chaos. If you have time (yeah, I know that's funny!) you might make a big batch or two of something just so you don't HAVE to cook or HAVE to eat out. I've been trying to de-clutter and get rid of stuff while simultaneously trying to find two hats and a pair of gloves that are all nested together hiding in whatever dumb place I put them last spring that wasn't their normal spot. As my husband says, it's on that long list of things that make me crazy! How does your kitty handle change?
  15. Now that sounds like a place I could spend hours in and an extra piece of luggage would be necessary! How fun! I'll check out Ursula's blog and Maria Popova as well. Thanks for the tips. I've only grilled the chicken so I'm speculating here but I think if it's a whole chicky or bone-in/skin-on pieces that it would bake up well. Boneless/skinless might do better pan frying? Let me know how it goes. What are you using the duck broth for? Sipping? It does sound delicious. I'm impatiently waiting on my vitacost order for my lotion ingredients and it finally shipped! I ordered a new brand of tahini called Windy City and, like a little kid, it makes me giggle because I too have had windy issues lately. I was attributing it to broccoli but not really sure; I just wish it would stop. Well, it looks like I'll actually have to do some cooking tonight. No more coasting on my already cooked smoked chickens. I have the wings for lunch today with the last of the haricot vert in better butter and I'm going to freeze enough for one meal so we can have a treat one night further down the road. It's supposed to go back to being winter, too, so no more grilling- in the upper 20's tonight. Maybe I'll get that soup done for my lunches and pull some stew out of the freezer for dinner. I think chili might be on the menu this weekend. So the house is a done deal???!! No more hanging by a thread? That is so exciting; I'm so happy for you.