Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cooking up a storm

Yes, there were a ton of pics that went with this! I got so obsessed with photo editing,I  fell into the dark world of Instagram et al. Then I realized I was taking days to just out this post up, and then I thought- well, while photos are great, I am procrastinating. Screw the photos. They know what they did.  So here this is: light on photos. But it's HERE. VICTORY!!

I have been going crazy with the new addition to our family: The Vitamix. This blender has been on heavy rotation. I am having to curb my usual slovenly "I'll just soak it" excuse, and have made a rule with the VM AND the Cuisinart that I have to wash everything out immediately. While it's irritating at the time, it makes life a heck of a lot easier.

So far, the Vitamix has pulverized multiple smoothies, blended coconut ice cream, coconut milk, apricots (for apricot chicken on Monday night!) and probably other things I can't remember. My fridge is filled with tiny containers with colorful pureed masterpieces nestled within.

So I was pretty confident when I decided to roast two bags of sunflower seeds and frappe my way to homemade sunbutter.

One thing: making nut or seed butter with the VM is more challenging than just throwing the stuff in and hitting a button. My blender would go for fifteen or twenty seconds, and then the "emergency overheat" feature would kick in. If you think this is annoying: well, you would be right. I was beginning to think my new Precious was defective. But: BEHOLD!!! For future reference, this is the magical VitaMix nut butter procedure:

"You should always start the machine on variable #1 and very quickly increase the center dial to #10 and then immediately flip the left switch from variable to HIGH. This operation should only take 3 seconds. If you are running the recipe on the variable low settings as you are describing below the machine overheats at about 15-20 seconds and shuts down.

Try making the recipe with the appropriate settings and you will see that the appliance will produce the most awesome almond, peanut, pecan, and cashew butter. For best results you should you no less than 4 ½ cups of raw nuts and 3 tablespoons of oil. Additionally, please make sure that you are using the tamper.

So it has been written. So it shall be done.

The kombucha is just sort of sitting in the cabinet, looking inscrutable and completely unchanged. I am not sure what I am waiting for....although signs of cultures forming will be nice. I am thinking that as experiments go, I am way too impatient, and not quite forgetful enough.

Last night was another cooking bonanza: I am out of my funk, but it's still hot here, so SG was assigned to make hamburgers outside on the grill, and I made Paleo Burger Buns, cranked out hand cut sweet potato fries, came up with a recipe for macadamia pesto pretty much on the fly (the one I linked is similar: I cut out the cheese and doubled the macadamias, as well as adding a little more olive oil to part of the batch to make it "drizzley"), and sliced up some veggies to go with.  My mandoline either needs to be sharpened, or it just doesn't like sweet potatoes, because trying to use the fry-slicing feature was a nightmare. I just ended up slicing them by hand.  I see now why frozen fries were such a popular convenience food.

This has been an interesting week, food-wise: I am spending a LOT of time on FastPaleo, which even has an app, and also discovered something I have been searching for forever: Eat Your Books. It's a fantastic resource for keeping track of recipes- I have so many Primal/Paleo cookbooks now, and can't for the life of me remember the source of recipes anymore. Was it on the web? Did I save it to Pinterest, and if so, to which board? If it's in a book, which book? I desperately wanted to make my cookbook collection searchable- by recipe title, or main ingredient, course, whatever. And this seems to be a really seamless way of doing all of that: it pulls indexes from books, magazines, and blogs, plus you can add your own recipes.  AND it seems to have indexes, cover photos, and info for all the recent Primal/Paleo cookbook offerings on the market. Wooohoo! I used a coupon code to get the first three months free. I tried a few codes before I found one that worked: if you want to try it out, you can send me an email here or PM me on Facebook (Maybe throw me a "like" on there, if you haven't already ;) and I'll hook you up. Cheers!

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