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Nutri Ninja Pro – Item of the Day

nutriEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Nutri Ninja Pro.  Like many of you guys I also own Vitamix but my kitchen is small so it mostly stays off the counter and put a away.  Hence for small batch stuff, it is a pain in the ass to take out, use, clean and put away.

So when Dorothy said she wanted a small compact tool like this I went to work on research.  After a lot of reading and youtube reviews it came down to the Nutri Ninja or the NutriBullet.  In the end the Ninja had better reviews, more power and simply better designed blades.  And it is small enough that it lives on our counter top and doesn’t take up much space at all.

Dorothy uses this for smoothies but that really isn’t my thing.  Here is a great paleo drink though that I use mine for, get this Strawberry Limeade.  Oh don’t worry, forget that crap from Sonic with all the syrup and goop in it.  Try this.

Per gallon

  • Juice of 8 limes, about 8 ounces
  • 2.5 cups of slice strawberry (fills the Nutri Ninja to max fill on the big cup)
  • Water to fill
  • Stevia to sweeten to taste

How I make it.

I take a 1 gallon jug and squeeze 8 limes into it.  I then fill the Nutri Ninja big cup to the max fill line with sliced strawberries.  Frozen or fresh but if you use frozen make sure no sugar is added and let them thaw first or you will make a slurpie!   Fill the cup to the max fill line with water to help with extraction.  Process until all berries are destroyed.

Now the important part, take a metal strainer and put it over your jug.  Stain the berries though to get out all seeds and pulp, this takes about 2 minutes and you need to stir it a bit but it is totally worth it.  Fill the one gallon jug to the top with cool water and mix.

Serve over ice and sweeten by the glass to the taste of the drinker with liquid stevia drops.  For those counting carbs, here is the break down.

  • 8 ounces of lime juice have about 20 carbs
  • 2.5 cups of sliced strawberries have about 25 carbs
  • Total carb count is 45 carbs to the GALLON
  • That makes you ten, 12 ounce servings
  • Each 12 ounce serving has a total of 4.5 carbs
  • This drink is loaded with vitamins by the way
  • A 12 ounce can of coke has 42 carbs to the 12 ounce can
  • Translation you can drink a gallon of this or a single disgusting cola

Yes you can make this with lemons or other berries.  Just as you change berries check your carb count if you care.  Strawberry is about the biggest bang for the low carb buck.  But some others are just as good or close!

1 cup of Blackberry or Raspberry juice has about 45 carbs and that is plenty to the gallon of lemon or limeade.  Not as low carb as strawberry but still pretty low, you get 65 carbs to the gallon with that and that is 6.5 carbs per 12 ounces.

To go uber low carb, just leave out the Nutri Ninja and go with just lemon or lime aide, that gives you 20 grams to the gallon and only 2 grams to the glass!

Anyway guys I hope you have noticed that in my Amazon Item of the Day posts, I am trying to give you more than just an item, but some ideas that you can use if you already own it or use other things to acomplish the same thing with it as well.  That said if you are in the market for a high speed, bad ass, blending machine, give the Nutri Ninja a shot and you won’t regret it.  The price on these is now down to 60 bucks unless you want to make a fashion statement with a red one or something like that, it is a hell of a deal at 60 bucks.

PS – Yes this makes a damn fine margarita with a bit of good tequila in it.  You don’t even need to blend it frozen, just an ounce of tequila to about 10 ounces over ice, go EASY on it though!  Seriously.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder.  I spent a lot of time in 2017 deciding on what meat grinder I wanted to buy.  I was pretty much in love with the Cabela’s Carnivore but had a real hard time paying 400-500 dollars for a grinder.  Specifically since I use on heavily 2-3 times a year during hunting season, then only about 1-2 times a month for small amounts throughout the year.

So I looked at a lot of options but came down on the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder because I firmly believe it is the best value under 300 dollars on the market.  First it is a size 12, in other words big, it has great capacity.  It also has two speeds and a reverse setting, which at times can be important.

It comes with three blades, most only come with one and while such blades are a standard product in all grinders they usually cost 12-20 bucks a piece to replace.  It is also powerful.  The first weekend I had it,I put 20lbs of deer and pork though it in about 15 minutes and it worked flawlessly.  One day I had a beef roast that I wasn’t thrilled with as a roast, so I picked up some pork and ground up both with the wagon wheel for chili meat.  It took longer to take it out than it did to put 10 lbs of meat though it.

After months of research, using several different grinders and finally buying and using this one I have found THE GRINDER I recommend.  I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with this one.

On another note we made about 20 lbs of sausage with this grinder using the sausage stuffer attachment.  Dorothy and I ended up getting pretty good at it, but it will be the last time I use a grinder, any grinder to stuff sausage.  I have now added the LEM 5 pound stuffer to our pantry.  The grinder worked fine but likely it took 2-4 times as long as using a dedicated stuffer.

It also makes keeping meat more chunky if that is what you are looking for in a sausage impossible.  Even if you grind your meat chunky, that second time around the screw breaks it down a lot more even without the cutting blades involved.   A stuffer simply pushes the meat into the casing with no screw or friction, so it is a better tool for the job.  Yes it is a unitasker, but for some tasks a unitasker is the right fit.

But for grinding you just can’t beat the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder unless you spend hundreds of dollars more, and then, you don’t beat it by that much.  So if you need a grinder in your kitchen, I can’t recommend this highly neough.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 P.S.  – Here are a few videos I posted to facebook using this grinder.

Even though these videos are on facebook, you should be able to see them even if you don’t have a facebook account as they are publicly posted.

Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker.  I have talked about Sous Vide Cooking a lot on the show and this is my third cooker to purchase before settling on which to recommend.  One worked great until it crapped out in six months and a value model proved to be of little value for consistency.

There are three versions of the Anova to consider, they are,

The difference is you can control the Bluetooth and Nano versions with your smart phone when in bluetooth range.  But the WiFi one becomes a device on your network attached to an account (that is free) with Anova.  This means you can control your cooker from anywhere you have signal to your phone.  Like the parking lot at your office when you leave work.  More on why you may want this in the PS below.

Here is my thoughts on this though, when I buy anything I think about its disposal value.  If I need to sell or barter it, will the cost of the additional option make it more valuable at hat point, in this case for 10 extra bucks, I say yes it will.  So with no further thought I got the WiFi model.

The Anova on the other hand is what I always look for, it JUST WORKS, always works and also always works.  Sous Vide is a method of cooking that I describe as a dry poaching.  Poaching of course is holding a food item in a liquid until it is cooked to your liking.  This keeps foods moist and prevents over cooking.  It is also simmering in water when you get right to it, for some stuff that is fine.

There are a few primary differences with Sous Vide.  First it uses a precision cooker, meaning if you want 137 degrees you get exactly that, if you want 165, and you might, say for chicken, you get EXACTLY THAT.  Not 162, not 166, not 163, you get precisely the temperature you want.  Most poaching is a best effort process.  It also in general uses higher temps say 180 for instance for eggs.

Next Sous Vide is dry, well not exactly dry but the food doesn’t contact the heated liquid, it is instead held inside a food safe bag.  This can be done with a quality zip top bag but I prefer to use a vacuum sealed bag.  The meat or other item is seasoned as you choose, then cooked to the exact temp you want.  After that it is finished with a quick sear, about one minute per side or less.

For steak the results are a perfect cook to your preferred temp, we are talking end to end pink or red or what ever you want.  Not perfect in the center and darkening to the outside. We just did up some steaks with this tool in Episode 5 of Biltong For Breakfast.

There are other uses too though.  Like today I am thinking a new riff on jerk chicken.  Part out chicken and marinate in Walkerswood  Jerk Seasoning.  Vac seal and sous vide to 165.  At this point the chicken is perfectly cooked, no cool spots, not over cooked spots.  Now just crisp the skin on the grill and done, perfect.  How about fried chicken, imagine just being able to fry to a perfect golden brown and never worry about the chicken being “done”.

There are tons of things you can do with Sous Vide cooking, tune in today to learn some more and check out Episode Five – Dead Cow Flesh of Biltong for Breakfast to see this cooker in action.   Above all if you have been considering a Sous Vide cooker, I truly recommend the Anova for consistency, value and longevity.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – So why would you want to be able to control your cooker from miles away.  Imagine you want to come home and have steak for dinner.  Well in the morning you take your vac sealed steak and put it in a pot of cold water and fill it with ice. Your trusty Anova goes in to the pot too.

A one inch steak takes about an hour to cook but still mostly frozen it will take 90-120 minutes.  So as you get in your car, you push start.  When you get home say 45 minutes later, the steak has about 45 minutes to go.  You start your side dish and salad, open the bag when ready, sear and eat.  Oh and while you can run Sous Vide too long for a cut of meat, it will NEVER over cook because it can’t, 135 is 135 period.  More on this in today’s show.

P.S.S. – Okay despite what I have said about the WiFi, if you have always wanted to get in to Sous Vide, with the old units selling for under 65 bucks it is just stupid cheap.  I may pick one up just to have a second one on hand.  I mean really this same unit was selling for 119.99 not long ago, tons of the audience bought them and no one has yet complained.

 

Sadaf Sumac – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Sadaf Sumac.  Note that this is middle eastern sumac not our native variety here in North America.  While there are some similar characteristics sumac from the Mediterranean and Arabic parts of the world is a different species with a long history of culinary use.

Dorothy and I really got hooked on this stuff when we found a recipe for “carrot fries” which are really just roasted carrots with this stuff on them, the recipe is really simple.  Cut carrots into sticks, coat with peanut oil, sprinkle Sumac, Salt and Pepper on them, roast at 425 until done, (20-30 minutes depending on your oven).  We use the “convection roast” setting on our oven when we make these and they come out great.

One of my other favorite uses for this stuff is my Lamb Heart, Lamb Sausage and Oyster Mushroom stew.  I have posted that on facebook and you can see it here.  I use Sadaf Sumac in the homemade lamb sausage that goes in the stew, I have to tell you it was pretty fantastic.

This stuff is great on fish and chicken as you might imagine as it has a tart lemon like flavor much like its US cousins we all know and love.  On that note, the reason for this is it is high in ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C).

Hence it is natural anti oxidant and has quite a bit of good press around health benefits.  There is a pretty good write up about that here.  This is about the best quality stuff I was able to find and at less than 10 bucks with free shipping on prime a 12 ounce container will last you a long time for not much money.  So consider adding Sadaf Sumac to your spice cabinet today and expand your culinary options.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I guess I have to say it, no this isn’t poison sumac and no variety of sumac with red berries is poison sumac.  So no this stuff will not make you itch.  That said anyone with an allergy to cashews may have an allergy to sumac, so keep that in mind if it effects you or your family.  Bluntly always use all new food items with caution on the first use.

Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper – Amazon Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper.  As always I recommend buying herbs/spices by the pound, buying by the ounce is a suckers game.  Also while I don’t eat 100% organic, I feel in this case you really should. 

Lemon pepper is made with lemon zest (the yellow part of the peel).  The citrus industry is one of the most heavy users of pesticides in the world.  When you think about these things being sprayed and the out side of the peel being removed and eaten, well, if you want a conventional product go for it.

Okay so as you might imagine this one is going to come with a recipe, but not just any recipe, the best lemon pepper herb chicken you will ever and I mean ever eat.  If you are making a lot just double the recipe, and it will work with any chicken but I formulated this for either boneless skinless thy or breast.  If you are doing breast cut it into thinner and smaller slices before starting.

Jack’s Lemon Pepper Herbed Chicken

  • 1/3rd cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon and the zest
  • 2 oz of white wine
  • 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (if it is large needles crush it with your fingers a bit)
  • 1/2 tsp of basil
  • About 1 teaspoon of dry mustard – or as much as you need to emulsify.
  • Skinless boneless chicken (as much as you want to make, the above will do about 4 breast halves or about 8-10 thy cutlets.

Wait?  What the heck is emulsify?  Okay this marinade is made of oil, lemon juice, wine and rice vinegar.  Do you know what happens when they are put together, well in short they don’t get together.

The wine, vinegar and lemon juice all blend and the oil floats on top.  How can we get a good uniform marinade like that?  Well we can’t!  So we need an emulsifier, this lets us blend an oil and a water based liquid and keep them together.  For instance mayonnaise is an emulsification.  Made mostly of eggs and oil.  This emulsification is much easier though.  The dry mustard will allow us to mix oil and the other liquids and suspend them while keeping the mustard flavor very low compared to “prepared mustard”.

So take a ball jar and put all the ingredients except the chicken into it.  Put the lid on and shake the hell out of it.  Like for a good 45 seconds to a minute.  Stop shaking and let it sit for about a minute, take a look and see if the liquids stay mixed.  It is normal for the herbs to settle some but the liquids should not separate.  If all is well continue, if it is separating give it another bit of dry mustard and repeat.

Put all your chicken into a large zip lock bag, shake the marinade one more time to get the herbs all suspended again and dump it into the bag.  Push most of the air out of the bag, massage the bag and work the marinade all over everything.  Put in a bowl (in case it leaks, which would suck without the bowl) and put it in the fridge.  Leave it over night, a few times during this period massage up the bag and flip it over.

The next day remove the chicken and put it on a few paper towels for about 30 minutes at room temp.  This is important or you will be frying in a pool of oil and it will be hard to get  good brown.  Then fry in a pan of your choice or grill until done.  Don’t over cook it!  Cook to 145 if you use an instant read thermometer, but I can just tell when it is done by feel.

You can make this with any lemon pepper and it will be very good, you may find yourself addicted to it.  But if you want a superior organic product consider adding Frontier Organic Lemon Pepper to your pantry today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, I prefer the Hot and Spicy but you can also get it in Mild or in a Pack with One Each.  I like heat, but I don’t like mental crazy heat and to me anyway, the hot and spicy is fairly mild.

This is another one of my “cooking cheat codes” building on Friday’s review of Doenjang Paste.  I have always loved Jamaican food, especially the star of the show, jerk chicken.  So long ago I taught myself to make it from scratch.  When I met my former business partner and fellow foodie Neil Franklin, he told me about this stuff, and said, “just try it mate, you’ll never do it from scratch again“.

Neil was spot on, and a look at the ingredients shows you why, no junk and the core of solid jerk seasoning, scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, all spice, nutmeg, citric acid, cane sugar, thyme leaves.

Not far off what I used to make from scratch.  And a hell of a lot easier and faster!

It is so easy to use, rub it all over chicken, put chicken in a zip top bag and let it sit over night in the fridge.  You can then bake at 350 till done, kick the broiler on and crisp the skin.  Oh and save that juice, add that to a bit of rice and it is hard to not eat until you think you are going to explode.

My favorite way to use it though is grilled, low and slow over indirect heat.  If you want the juice put a drip pan under it, then give the drippings a quick simmer over direct heat to be safe.  And guess what I just found out, you can buy pimiento wood chips.  In Jamaica real jerk chicken is cooked over pimento wood.  So just make up a foil pouch of chips and poke some holes in it and bring that final bit of flavor to the party.

So that is main reason why this stuff exists, making jerk chicken and if that was all it did, it would be enough.  Remember though, this is a Spirko cheat code, so you know I have more to add.  Rub large shrimp with it, dust them with a bit of lime zest, bacon wrap and grill on skewers.  The shrimp, the bacon grease, the lime, the jerk, yes it is all very, very good.  Make a sauce from rum with pineapple for these and you may think you died and went food heaven.

Spirko Hack – When bacon wrapping shrimp it is hard to get bacon crisp without over cooking the shrimp.  Step one, par cook the bacon, to where it renders about 1/3rd of the fat but will still wrap easily.  Step two, put a cast iron skillet on the grill or a side burner, put each skewer on the cast iron for 15-20 seconds per side at finish.

How about jerked baby back ribs, really easy ones that are almost no work!  Rub your ribs well and marinate over night.  Sacrifice a beer into your pressure cooker, put in steaming rack, then add ribs, pressure cook for 40-50 minutes.  Take out ribs and make a base from the stuff in the bottom of the cooker 50-50 with your favorite BBQ sauce.  To do this simmer it to reduce by half and blend in about the same amount of BBQ sauce, after the reduction.  Baste top of ribs and finish on grill or under broiler.  Save some of the baste for dipping.  Just cook long enough to dry out the baste and firm up the ribs, about 10-15 minutes.

Jamaican meat balls, there is no such thing.  Oh but there can be!  Finely chop one 12-16 ounce pack of bacon (oh you thought I was just going to mix this and hamburger didn’t you?), now add one pound of ground beef and one pound of pork and the bacon to a bowl.  Chop up a bunch of green onions and a few cloves of garlic.  Use about 1-2 tablespoons of Walkerswood seasoning, I do this by eye.  Add one egg and half a cup of panko bread crumbs to bind.

Mix well and this is important, let it sit for an hour at least, over night is better.  Bake in a 400-425 degree oven until done.  I like to bake them on a rack so the drippings fall away and they crisp a bit with the convection roast setting, save those drippings though, use foil for easy cleaning.  Why does it have to sit before cooking, those wonderful panko crumbs suck up all that seasoning and hold onto it, that is why.

Frankly you can jerk up just about any meat and even some veggies with this stuff, so give Walkerswood Hot and Spicy, Mild or Variety Pack a try today.  It doesn’t just make great chicken, it makes great everything.

One last hack you say?  Okay, next time you are hungry for burgers, mix some into your meat.  Also coat one side of some bacon with it, grill your burgers and bacon, also slice an apple into about 1/4 inch slices, (trust me), grill the apple till just done and grill some chili peppers, seeded jalapeno is good.  Now assemble the burger with peppers and apple where say lettuce and tomato would normally go.  Of course cheese is optional but highly encouraged on this, pepper jack is my preference.  Toast your bun of course with a brushing of garlic butter.  So now you are hungry right?  So you know what to do, get some Walkerswood Today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com

P.S. – It seems that this seasoning and chicken thighs will be featured on a new episode of Biltong for Breakfast soon, something about a salad with jerk chicken or something like that!

P.S.S.  – The mild version is the exact same ingredients, just less scotch bonnet peppers.

Forlife Tea Infuser – Item of the Day

infuserEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Forlife Tea Infuser.  We tried a bunch of different ones and found this one to be absolutely the best.  At around 18 bucks there are lower cost infusers for sure, but I have yet to find a better one.  Like many that drink loose teas I tried many of the “ball type” infusers, sorry but they are nothing but a pain in the ass to fill, a bigger pain in the ass to clean and they just don’t last a long time.  Not to mention for many herbal teas they just don’t have the capacity.

I also tried the tiny hanging baskets, back to small capacity, and pain in the ass to clean.  I also tried the snap mesh ones, again same story.  The day I got the Forlife Tea Infuser I took all the rest and put them into the donate to Goodwill Box.

This thing is heavy stainless steel with micro tiny holes.  It will last as long as you do unless you say drive over it with your car or something.  1200 plus reviews and 94% are 4 or 5 stars.  Here are the features I like most about it.

  1. High capacity
  2. Tiny mesh so you don’t have floaters
  3. Easy to clean, just swish it in water to get it perfect
  4. The lid keeps the seam in while it infuses
  5. Turn the lid upside down and it becomes a drip tray after infusion

Now honestly I use my French Press most days when I make tea in the morning, because I get two big cups per run.  And I and my wife drink several cups each in the AM.  But when I just want a single cup I still grab my Forlife Tea Infuser.  And today I am going to give away my recipe for our morning tea.

Until today this was a closely guarded secret as I was considering taking it commercial under the label of “Nine Mile Farms Tea”, but I decided to just make it well, open source.  You can make this for a fraction of the cost of tea in bags or pre blended and be sure 100% what is in it, and with one substitution you can make it caffeinated or decaf and it will tastes about the same.  I was drinking WAY too much coffee daily and this got me off of it like with no issues at all.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

One day I ran out of Green Tea and used Blackberry Leaf, the taste was well, the same.  That is how I usually make it now.  The parts are by volume they are NOT BY WEIGHT.  I mix this up in a huge bowl so I have plenty for a month or so, and use a small glass to measure my parts.  If you want to make a smaller amount use a table spoon or reduce the 3-6 ratio down to 1-2.   Sweeten with your choice of sugar, honey or what I prefer, liquid stevia.

I brew it at two tablespoons per large cup.  Here is a secret though.  In a French Press, when you want to make a second run, just leave the old stuff in, and add one tablespoon to it, you can do this for about 4-5 runs, plenty for a day for two people.  In the Forlife Tea Infuser just add a slightly heaped teaspoon to your last run.

Even if you don’t get a Forlife Tea Infuser give  my tea a shot it will blow you away with how good it is, and while buying all the herbs if you don’t have them may seem expensive, compare it to buying pre made teas and the cost per serving is really low.  I just store mine in ball jars, and by the way a Canning Funnel is really helpful in getting the tea into those jars.  And REALLY mix it well before jarring it up.  And mix your jar often as you use it.  To help leave about an inch at the top of the jar when fill it.

I may give away some of my other tea blends in time, but this is my absolute best daily drinker, check out my video below to learn more.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

SweetDrops Liquid Stevia – Item of the Day

steviaEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is SweetDrops Liquid Stevia and I recommend the 4oz bottle because it lasts a hell of a lot longer, though you can get it in a 2oz bottle or go the other way and get a twin pack of 4oz bottles.  This is one of those cases though were the more you buy the better the price.

I took a bit of time to come to love stevia, it is sweet, but no it doesn’t taste exactly like sugar.  It does taste a lot better than every single other calorie free sweetener I have ever tried including sucralose.  What I learned worked was to use just one drop say in tea, taste it, then add one more, until I found my perfect amount for a given cup.  After about a week of using it, you realize it doesn’t taste that different from sugar after all.

The deal is your body is highly tuned to sugar, it knows exactly what it is supposed to taste like, one reason those of us who grew up in the 70s know those of you who are younger have no idea what Coke is supposed to taste like!  Corn sugar is not cane sugar!

It is kind of the same with Stevia, it just takes some getting used to.  Once you do though you may very well prefer it to sugar.  The liquid alone means you can sweeten cold drinks and it will actually dissolve.  I use this all the time in my morning tea and in our amazing low carb strawberry limeade.

If you are looking for stevia on Amazon, SweetDrops Liquid Stevia is your best option.  It is on prime, a 4oz bottle is only about 20 bucks with free shipping, I paid 8 bucks for a one ounce bottle at a store recently because we needed it.  I have tried other vendors on Amazon, with poor shipping times and damaged and returned by the shipper orders due to shitty packaging.  While it may seem expensive I drink 8-10 cups of tea most days and a bottle lasts me about 3 months.

If you check SweetDrops Liquid Stevia has 561 reviews and 4.5 stars and if you actually read the one star reviews it will hurt your faith in humanity!  Seriously.  My favorite negative review is, “I don’t like this one either”. sigh.

The only valid criticism is that the dropper is a bit short so you end up with some at the bottom that is hard to get out.  This is a non issue to me, when I get close to running out, I simply order more.  Then, when it gets difficult to get the last bit out, I open the new bottle and use it about two weeks, by then you have some head space and just pour what is left in the old bottle into the new one.  Also frankly if you tilt the fricken bottle, you can get most of it out easily.  Again some negative reviews on Amazon make my faith in humanity fall further than it already is.

In the end guys being serious, excess sugar consumption is the number one cause of lifestyle disease in the modern world.  Yes this site is The Survival Podcast, and man this is a survival topic, getting off sugar could save your life.

Here is a simple low end break down, say you drink 4 cups of coffee or tea a day, with one tsp of sugar per cup, and 4 “soft drinks” or similar at 12 ounces each a day.  We will go low and say those have about 2 tsp of sugar per drink.  Well that is 12 tsp a day, 84 tsp a week.  That is almost 310 carbohydrates a week, in pure sugar form, jacking up your insulin resistance.

From a purely caloric standpoint, that is 1344 calories, if you are on a 1500-2000 calorie a day level, well that is almost an extra day of eating per week, 52 times a year.  And this is if sugar is your only vice and you only consume it in drinks!  And here we are talking self sweetened ones, look at what happens with say 4 cokes a day.

We toss out the tea, one coke has 39 carbs, x 4 is 156 x 7 = 1092 grams of carbs a week!  Cut that in half down to two a day, you are now at 546 carbs a week.  Can you even begin to know what that does to insulin resistance.  Calorically 2 cokes a day is almost 2000 calories a week!  If we go back to 4 a day, 8000 that adds up to four full days of eating to every week.  With no nutrition at all.

If you are thinking, but I don’t do that, what about your kids?  Kids seem to be able to eat this crap, and they can but if they do by adulthood they are addicts, and that amazing insulin resistance always goes away in the end.  Just something to think about.

Why not give SweetDrops Liquid Stevia a shot in your coffee or tea.  Try whipping up some of my special morning tea blend or my amazing strawberry limeade.  Trust me folks kids love the limeade, so do big kids.  Sugar isn’t evil but read a label it is in almost everything any more.  All it is doing now is creating lifelong customers for the medical industry and drug companies.  Take your health back and this is just one simple way to start doing that!

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – For my latest uses of this stuff involving the world of mixology (IE adult beverages) tune in to today’s episode of TSP.

The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber.  As a long time user of cast iron I was pretty interested when I first heard about this little gadget.  I picked one up figuring I would try it out and likely it would be like many gadgets, sure it sort of works but big honking deal and it would end up in the junk drawer.

Um, WRONG!  This thing is awesome, and it is one I am frankly late to the party on.  I have had a lot of folks over the house and if I used cast iron to cook for them, I always show them the ringer, most are like, yep got one of those.  Why?  Because it fricken works and it makes your cast iron better over time.

Here is what I do, I generally heat up my pan with what ever crud is in it to medium hot, I then dump in a cup of water or two, it deglazes the crud.  I take the hot pan over to the sink and dump out the water, add a bit more and give it a scrubbing with the ringer.  This with a well seasoned pan is all you really need, just heat dry and oil and you are good.

What I do a lot of times though, especially if there is a small amount of crud left is put in a big pinch of kosher salt, it acts like scouring powder and give it a bit more scrubbing with the ringer.  This not only cleans it perfectly but it is doing micro sanding of the iron and patina at the same time.

I have a lot of old school milled cast iron, but one thing I have never found is a dutch over like that, well one I didn’t need to sell a kidney to buy anyway.  So I have a modern Lodge Dutch Oven, and with this technique even it is almost as good as old school cast iron.

So if you cook with cast, either old or new, consider getting The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber into your kitchen today.  At only 15 bucks it is a great deal, I have had mine about 2 years now and it is still as good as new.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle – Item of the Day

kettleEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle.  This item gets used daily.  Now I paid a bit more for mine to get a red one.  Why?  Dorothy likes and wanted a red one.  Well, when a woman puts up with all the crap that a full time podcaster and part time farmers wife puts up with and asks for red, by God she is gonna get it from me anyway.  By the way since the first time I posted this item, the cost of the red one has dropped to only about 10 bucks difference in price.  And I got to admit while red is not really my color it does look good.

In the end though red or silver they function identically and the silver one is only $24.57 with free shipping on prime.  What do you do with it?  Well clearly you boil water with it but here are my big uses for mine…

  1.  Making mead as seen in this video
  2. I make 4 boiled eggs with no effort in it at a time (more on that below)
  3. I make my tea or coffee with my French Press with it every day
  4. I pre heat water with it for boiling when I am doing a lot of cooking

Okay about those eggs, want perfect eggs hard boiled to this, with any electric kettle by the way.  Put 1-4 eggs in the kettle, fill about half way with water, turn the kettle on, most will automatically stop when they boil, this one does.  When it shuts off, set a timer for 12 minutes, let it just sit for that long.  Pour off the water, rinse with cold water to cool things off and remove your eggs.

Why does this work so well.  Okay when you do the same thing with a pot the eggs sit on the bottom and get hotter on the bottom and get hotter than the 212 it takes to boil the water.  And electric kettle is efficient, heat comes from all sides evenly heating the water, which is why it boils faster.

Due to this your eggs are heated to the exact 212 range of the water and boil to hard perfectly.  Add a tsp of vinegar and they will even peal more easily.  Oh, also use eggs about 2 weeks old for boiling if you have fresh from your own yard eggs, they will peal easily compared to super fresh ones as well.

In any event a good Electric Kettle is something I just could not live without in my kitchen, and the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle is the best value to price one I have yet found.  Consider that it has 4.5 stars over all with over 1200 reviews and it makes a lot of sense that it is a quality product.  In fact over two years I have sold several hundred of these and have never heard a word of complaint from the audience.  That says a lot.

My personal kettle is over 3 years old now.  I run an average of 3 batches of something a day in it.  3 x 365 x 3 = 3,285 mission this thing has run with my crappy hard water and it is still going strong.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com.

P.S. – While I have not yet reviewed it, I will soon review this awesome coffee carafe.  Teamed with this and the French Press I recommend this kettle makes the best coffee I have ever had.  I make up about three batches in the morning and with an initial pour of two cups it all fits in the carafe.

I do this with tea as well.  They are still piping hot hours later with no degrading of quality.  It has saved a lot of waste because one press makes about 3 big mugs of coffee or tea.  That third one was mostly being tossed out because it became tannic and nasty by the time we got to it.  So the way I look at it, the carafe pays for itself pretty quickly.