Tag Archives: cooking az

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

 

Masontops Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit – 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 Masontops Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit.  Previously I reviewed a product called FermentEm Mason Jar Lids.  A lot of you got them so much so they not been available for over a month!

I have been asked for alternatives and I have researched a lot of them and found another great one to recommend.  I want to point out here while I am reviewing the full kit, you can get…

You can also get these in regular vs. wide mouth jars but I personally prefer wide mouth for most fermenting.   Anyway I am very happy with this product.  The pebbles do a great job keeping stuff under the brine, everything cleans up in seconds with just hot water and they just fricken work, and like the FermentEm lids they are waterless so they can’t dry out, they are about as fool proof as it gets.

For more info see the video below where I give an over view and show a few of the ferments I have going right now.  And consider the Masontops Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit or specific components of it for your fermenting needs.

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. – The endorsement of this product should not be seen as a negative to my previous endorsement of the FermentEm product, both of these items are stellar, that said, so far I would give a very slight edge to the Mason Tops Pickle Pipes, they are just fantastic and store in such a small amount of space.

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 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.

Taco Tenders – Item of the Day

Special Note – If you are MSB do not order here, I was so impressed with this little product I tracked down the owner and got an MSB discount, a BIG one percentage wise for members.  If you are MSB and want these, login to your MSB account for info on the discount before you order.

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 a cool product called Taco Tenders.  Wow do I and my family love these things!  We don’t eat a lot of tacos but we eat them say once every two weeks as a treat.  My problem has always been how soft tacos just fall apart and are a pain in the ass to make and eat.

We were at a restaurant one night and I got some Fish Tacos that were awesome.  The restaurant had a product similar to this (as most do) that held your tacos nicely for you.  I liked that they were held and didn’t fall apart, I liked even more that they let you put a part eaten taco down and have a sip of a drink or talk to someone without it totally falling to pieces.

I got to thinking, man I have seen these in restaurants forever, there must be a “civilian version”.  I browsed Amazon and found Taco Tenders in both Original (holds three) and Oven Safe (holds two).  Given I personally warm my tortillas in a hot cast iron pan (I like them a bit toasty) I went with original.  One big selling point to me was they were stackable and that means they take up very little space in the kitchen.

Well now I am hooked and so is every family member and guest who has used them!  They make tacos even better because you can easily fix them up with toppings and they don’t fall apart or get coated in your side dishes. So check out taco tenders in both Original (holds three) and Oven Safe and make your Taco Tuesday’s even better.  Check out the video below to see how great they are to use.

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 online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – I wanted to let you know that it turns our the owner is connected to the TSP community and actually had tried to reach out to me in the past but we never synced up.  When I posted about these on Facebook, Patrick Roehrman of M.T. Knives and our Expert Council said, hey I know that guy he lives a few miles away from me.  Patrick connected us and I worked this discount.  So by buying this product you are supporting an American run business by a good guy who is also a member of the TSP community.

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

Spicy World Black Tellicherry Peppercorns Item of the Day

pepperEvery 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 Spicy World Black Tellicherry Peppercorns and I recommend it based on a philosophy I have about all things.

“Whenever possible pay less and get better quality”

In this case you may wonder how that applies to something like pepper.  Well lets look at it this way, pepper is a go to spice, if you cook likely you use salt and pepper daily.  Any good cook knows that fresh ground pepper is the only way to go.  Why?  Well black pepper’s real magic is in the oils, if you buy preground most of that wonderful taste and aroma is gone by the time you use it.

If you have ever wondered why pepper smells so amazing when you grind it, it is those oils being released.  And aroma and taste are incredibly linked.  This is why food tastes so bland when you are sick and congested and can’t smell.

So what most people buy is a small jar of peppercorns at the market, usually malabar, which is fine but about as base model as you can get.  They will end up with 2-4 ounces of pepper and pay 4-5 bucks for it.  If we do the math you are now paying 20-40 dollars a pound for a low quality product.

Conversely this one pound bag of Tellicherry peppercorns is 13.49 on Amazon with free shipping on prime.  What is a Tellicherry Peppercorn?

Tellicherry peppercorns are like San Marzano tomatoes: they need to come from Tellicherry, a city on the Malabar coast of Kerala in India. They’re considered some of the finest peppercorns in the world, and one of the few “names” in pepper that people are familiar with.

As black pepper goes it is especially sweet, and has aromas from fruity to grassy to citrus and pine—but most of all, a certain bright freshness. The sweet, balanced flavor and complex aroma and really hard hitting spiciness makes it my go to pepper.

And that one pound bag will fill about 4 jelly canning jars, the 4th will be about 3/4th full.  I just pop them into my vaccucanner and seal them up, you can do the same with a Foodsaver and the jar attachment.  When I get down to 2 jars I order more, I never run out, hey we are preppers right.  Key is if you use pepper daily and most of us do, you don’t really need to vac seal them, just put them in a jar.  Don’t ask me to explain why, but the price per ounce goes up if you order a two pack, so if you want more than one, get the one pack and change the quantity in your cart.

This is a small savings I admit but if you do this with many of the spices, herbs and seasonings you use regularly it adds up over a year and you build up a storage, and you cook with top vs. mediocre quality.  As to quality this item has had 988 reviews on Amazon, it averages 5 stars and only 2% of reviewers rated it two stars or lower.  That is stellar performance, give them a try and you will see why.

Remember you can always see 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.

 

Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes – Item of the Day

brushes

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 Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes.  Simple little item but these are the best thing out there in value and quality I can find.  I really enjoy cooking that is no secret and one of the great tricks to add flavor to food it is dry season and grill it, then baste it right at the end.

Now let me tell you silicone is the way to go here.  Unlike nylon or natural fibers it won’t burn on the grill when you hit it by accident.  The problem is every single silicon brush I have ever found is a multi piece arrangement.  The silicone head and bristles are in one way or another attached to the handle in a way in which they can be removed.

So you know what happens over time, the head gets loose and starts falling off.  So when I found these I knew I had found the solution to this issue.  These are formed from a single piece of silicone, so the head can’t fall off.

While we are on this subject let me give you one of my go to bastes for lighter fair like say chicken wings or quail or something like that.

  • 3TBS of Soy Sauce
  • 1TBS of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 TBS of Hot Sauce (I like Cholula)
  • 5 TBS of Jalapeno Infused Olive Oil
  • 5 TBS of White Wine
  • 1 TBS of Mustard (plain yellow is fine for this)

Put all this into a jar, put the lid on the jar and shake the heck out of it.  The mustard in this is an emulsifier.   In that capacity it will allow you to blend all the ingredients and they won’t separate including the oil. If you do have any problem with separation, squirt in a bit more mustard and shake again until you don’t.  Since I am not looking for a lot of mustard flavor in this I use as little as is needed to get the job done.

Brush this on to your meat in the last few minutes of your cooking.  To guild the lily a bit then sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the sticking coating after you take it off the grill.

So for making this and other great bastes and not ending up with your brush head in the coals, check out the Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes today.

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.

 

Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Charcoal Baskets from Quality Grill Parts – 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 Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Charcoal Baskets from Quality Grill Parts.  I recommend these over the stock Weber Charcoal Baskets due to simple quality.  Now the Weber Baskets work just fine for what they are and at about 15 bucks with free shipping, they are a reasonable value.  I just got rid of mine after about 3 years of use, but the truth is they were pretty useless at that point and I have been using my Slow ‘N Sear as a basket more often than not for the past year.

So last week I decided to break down and buy a new set.  One of the reasons I had yet to do so was that I just wasn’t happy of the quality with the Weber baskets for the volume of grilling I do, we are talking 3-6 nights a week in Spring – Fall.  Then I stumbled on these.  What an upgrade, I would say they are three times the quality for only double the cost.  For me that is a winning cost/value ratio.

They are made from heavy duty 304 stainless steel and the product gets a Fake Spot Grade of an A with 72 reviews with 95% being 5 stars.  They are perfect as to dimensions with perfect coverage of the 12 inch center panel of my Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate.

I personally see charcoal baskets for the Weber Kettle as being something you don’t really appreciate until you use them.  Sure you can just pile the coals in the center or on the side but you don’t get the uniform control.  As the pile burns it collapses unto itself, and if you want to move a hot zone you stir the charcoal and it goes nuclear with heat.

With these baskets you get superior control and your hot zone is uniform, which to me is very important.  Because the coals are held at a specific height and a specific density the entire hot zone is very stable so when searing your three steaks or chicken cutlets sear uniformly until moved to indirect heat.  It is a small thing but a big efficiency and convenience enhancer.  So check out the Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Charcoal Baskets from Quality Grill Parts today. Together with the Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate I think they are the two best upgrades you can make as a Weber Kettle Owner.

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

P.S. – Check out the video below to see how you can set these up several ways and the quality of the material they are made from.  Also check out my recent episode on cooking with the Weber Kettle to learn more about the value of this set up.

Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate – 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 Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate.  I did a great deal of research and thought about finding the most cost effective upgrade for the Weber Kettle when it came to a better grill top.  This was my choice for quite a few reasons.

Cost – This was a big consideration here.  Most of the higher quality cast iron upgrades available would cost close to or over 100 dollars which is 2/3rds the cost of a Weber Premium Kettle Grill itself.

Material Quality – At first I thought this was just a stock weber grill grate with a hole in the middle that you could remove an insert from.  Upon reading reviews though I found it was almost twice the weight of a standard grate.  Coming in at 8.2 vs. 4.5 lbs.  Heavier material equals more thermal mass for more even cooking and heat retention and stability.

Flexibility – To be blunt I wanted a grate that had a center panel you could remove, this had that but it also retained the side hinged panels so you could use it with a hot zone center or on both sides or on one side.  You can also cook something like a beer can chicken in the center on the bottom grate so you can close the lid, you can run a Vortex in that are, you can cook something like potatoes under a low and slow pork shoulder.  The flexibility is almost unending.

Additional Accessories – In addition to the base flexibility above this grate is designed to work with a variety of additional accessories including a cast iron center searing grate, a plancha/griddle, a pizza stone,  a Wok, along with some other items and Weber seems committed to expanding these options.  This has me thinking of really seeing just how much this simple grill can do.  Not to mention the cast iron insert gives you a cast iron surface at 1/3rd the price of most other options!

Personally I find this to be the most cost effective upgrade you can give your Weber Kettle, so check out the Weber 8835 Hinged Cooking Grate today.  At only 35 bucks with free same day shipping for Prime Members, in most markets it is a hell of a deal!

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

P.S. – Check out the short video below of this new grate installed on my Weber Premium Kettle Grill.

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Weber Premium Charcoal Grill – Item of the Day

bronzegrillEvery 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 Weber Premium Charcoal Grill.  I have owned a lot of grills, both gas and charcoal and this is my all time all around favorite.  While I do appreciate the instant light and go of my gas grill if I have 30 minutes to wait for the coals to ash over I go to my Weber more times than not.

Consider the orginal Weber Kettle Grill was made from an old buoy in 1952 and in 1956 was redesigned to look much like today’s grill.  Since 56 it has had some changes here and there but it is still pretty much the same.  Folks that is 60 years!  When something is around 60 years, one must conclude it is because it works.

The grill I recommend is the mid level model, the Weber Premium Charcoal Grill and mainly due to the upgraded “one touch cleaning system”, which should be called the no touch system in my view.  No need to ever get covered with ash.  Just turn the vent handle back and forth and remove the catcher, dump and replace it, done.

I grill at both high and indirect temps with my Weber, I smoke with it, I have done skewers over strait coals, I have even cooked meat directly on the coals.  Honestly if I needed more space for grilling at 149 shipped free on prime, I would just buy a second Weber Premium Charcoal Grill and call it a day.

A word of advice, if you take care of a Weber Kettle it will last a very long time.  Meaning someday your grill may be coveted by something called a “Kettle Head”.  What is a Kettle Head?  A collector of these grills, they even have their own very active forum.  And when you see them find and restore older gills they always seem to crave anything besides black.

I am not saying your grill will become a collectable some day but if you want the ability to sell it you will find Kettle heads prefer colors like bronze and green.  Personally I got bronze because well, it just looks cool and I like to be different.

Grilling is my favorite way to cook and the simplicity of the Weber is a great way to go.  If you have been considering a charcoal grill I have to say nothing really stacks up to the Weber Premium Charcoal Grill from a value to cost ratio.  Best part is how easy to assemble it is, it is really just a one beer job.

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 online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.