Tag Archives: kitchen tools az

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 two versions of the Anova to consider, they are,

The difference is you can control the Bluetooth only version with your smart phone when in bluetooth range.  But the WiFi 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.

 

King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack – Item of the Day

wingrackEvery 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 King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack.  Oh you out door cooking types are going to love this, though it works quite well in the oven too!  Since I first reviewed this item the price has gone up to 16 bucks but the good news is it is no longer an “add on item” so you can buy one alone if you want to.

There is so much I love about these things, first they hold either 12 wings or 12 legs and they do it in about 1/4th of the space that you’d normally need.  Next is that they end up with perfectly crisped and seasoned skin.  Since they never touch the grill rack and you never have to turn them.

I generally cook my chicken on a low temperature on indirect or very low direct heat until almost done.  Then bring up the temp at the end to crisp up the skin.  It also makes sense to set these in a small pan or toss away aluminum pan to minimize flare ups when cooking over direct coals or flame.

Again they work great in the oven as well, cook until almost done at say 350 then pop up to 425 for a bit to crisp up the skin, want a recipe, tune into today’s show for one!  You cans see in the above photo how the wings are hung from the rack by the tips and in the photo below how the legs hang and are held by the knuckle.

Let me tell you try the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack and you will never loose that crispy skin off a drum stick ever again.

legrack

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. – Here is a cook I did with these was indoors and let me give you the skinny.  I coated the wings in my famous “chili garlic pepper oil” and then dusted them with a mix of chili powder, smoked salt, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper, all about equal amounts ground in a Mr. Coffee Grinder. (FYI this is my everything seasoning mix)

I used the “convection roast” setting in my oven, ran them at 425 for 45 minutes, they were beyond fantastic.

To do this without creating a grease fire or lots of smoke take a large aluminum foil ban like for baking a turkey, put this rack inside it and put about 3 inches of water in it.  This will catch dripping fat and the water won’t let it scorch on the pan when it gets caught.  The extra humidity will be good for keeping them juicy.

On this latest run I got 15 wings on the rack with a bit of fiddling, which is 30 pieces.  The only down side is you can only fit one of these in a standard oven.

P.S.S. – We also featured this item on Episode Three of Biltong For Breakfast – Jerk Bird Salad.  I did some wings on the grill using it that were rubbed with Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning.   These are my new favorite wings though I recommend the mild version of Walkerswood for them.

Microplane Classic Zester/Grater – 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 Microplane Classic Zester/Grater.  I love this tool and use it often in my cooking.  The way I ended up with this is a friend who has helped with some of our workshops brought one to us as a gift.

My response was, I have always just used a small grater for zesting, her response was simply try this and you won’t use anything else.

Well she was dead on!  The three primary things I use this for are grating hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, zesting rinds of citrus like limes, lemons and oranges and finely grating large spices like nutmeg.

These are all almost like cheat codes in the kitchen.  Here are two examples…

  • Slice up some peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and carrots and slice a big handful of green onion on the bias (that just means slanted) now add olive oil to a pan, season your veg with salt and pepper.  Saute the carrots for a minute or two, then add peppers and mushrooms and saute for about 3 more minutes, then toss in zucchini for about one minute.  Then shut off heat and add most of the green onions and stir in and serve.  Most would be happy, here comes the cheat codes!
    `
    When you start out also grate up finely some ginger and garlic and lime zest.  Add these when you add the peppers and mush rooms.  Then when you serve the dish, top with the reserved green onion and grate a small amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.  The first dish is good, the second is great and it only takes about 2 minutes of extra time to make it happen.
    `
  • Next one, take a whole chicken and cut the back bone out of it with something like these shears.  While you are at it cut the wing tips off and reserve those.  Flatten the chicken out and rub with oil, then season both sides with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.  Par boil some potatoes, build a bed in a roasting pan with the potatoes, an onion chopped coarse, some carrots and celery.  Place bird on veggies and roast in oven at 425 till chicken is done.
    `
    While roasting boil chicken back, wing tips, neck, heart and liver with salt, pepper, celery and carrots to make a stock.  Do this in about 4 cups of water and add about 1-2 tsp of Better than Bullion Chicken base to it.  Strain stock and make it into a gravy with a flour and butter roux.  Serve chicken and veggies with gravy and enjoy a great meal!
    `
    Cheat codes, use zester when you are getting the chicken ready, and zest 2 lemons and 4 cloves of garlic, rough chop some fresh basil and parsley, mix thyme and rosemary with basil, parsley garlic and lemon to make a paste.  Gently separate the skin and stuff this paste in between the skin and meat under the breast and thy skin use about 75% of the paste this way.  Oil and season chicken as before, but rub remaining past on it along with the oil.  Place on veggie bed and squeeze lemons on top of chicken and veg.  With a little fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and proper use of this tool, you have gone from good meal to gourmet dinner.

There are so many ways to use this tool, just adding lime zest to your stir fry in addition to the customary ginger, garlic and chili is big boost in flavor for instance.  Zest a bunch of lemons, put in jar with vodka and allow to soak for bout a week, then strain out the zest and mix with 50% of the volume of simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water), you have high proof Limoncello at a fraction of the cost at a store.

Heck take some dark chocolate and zest it over that desert you are so proud of and take it to another level in appearance alone, not to mention taste.

One big thing is how well this tool shines at zesting citrus.  The key with citrus zest is you want all color and no white pith.  The colored part is teaming with flavor and amazing oils, the white pith is bitter.  This tool does an amazing job of taking off the part you want and leaving the rest behind.  So check out the the Microplane Classic Zester/Grater and for under 9 bucks you can take your cooking to another level!  For more ideas on using this tool, tune in to today’s show.

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.

 

 

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 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.

 

French Press Coffee & Tea Maker Complete Bundle – Item of the Day

pressEvery 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 my favorite French Press on Amazon.  It is marketed as the French Press Coffee & Tea Maker Complete Bundle, but I will be honest I am far more interested in the press itself rather than the spoons that come with it.

The thing I love most about this press is it comes with FOUR screens.  I run mine with all 4 installed.  A few times a week I unscrew the filter holder and wash them all out, that is all the maintenance I do and that takes about 1 minute flat.

I will also admit we have come to like the little metal spoon with the s-turn in the handle.  We keep it on our kitchen island hung on the inside of a small glass, we use it to stir drinks and any drips go in the glass.

Previously I featured our favorite tea infuser, and it is what I reach for when I want to make a single cup, but almost every morning we fire up our French Press.  It makes 34 ounces in one go, or two of our really big cups.  If you use the recipe from that article, this is the way to use it with a full sized French Press.

Put in 3 tablespoons of tea.  Make your first batch, for each additional batch just add one additional tablespoon and do another run.  I do up to 6 runs a day like this, (we drink a lot of tea) and always sweeten with liquid stevia.  Since I always try to do a value add with these posts I will give away another of my tea blends today, do not let the simplicity of this one fool you.

Jack’s Three Mints Tea (yep lemon balm and bee balm are actually mints)

This is a great sipping and contemplation tea.  It also is my favorite tea to make for iced tea.  Done that way with a bit of lemon and stevia or honey it is quite amazing, just pre sweeten with honey if you are going that route while it is still hot.

This brings up an interesting issue.  While I grow a lot of herbs, I drink a ton of tea and like to buy high quality bulk herbs for ease and convenience.  Guess what, far as I can tell it is all but impossible to find bulk (think by the pound) Bee Balm, (AKA monarda or “wild bergamot”) anywhere. If you ever do let me know the source of it please.

And I have tried, big time.  Anyway if you are in the market for a French Press again this is the absolute best value for the money I have found.

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. – I first reviewed this item in June of 2016 well over a year ago.  Since then I have formulated many teas, here is a new one I am really enjoying.

Folks that have made other teas of mine in the past will recognize it as a modified version of Jack’s Morning Blend, doing away with the Lemon Balm and doubling the Lemon Grass.  This small change pays a big dividend in flavor.  In short you get a lot more lemon hit from Lemon Grass than Lemon Balm.

I also cut back the Chamomile and let the Lemon Grass and Mint become the stars of this blend.  I like it even better than the original, and that is what is so rewarding about blending your own teas, discovering things like this over time.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder – Spice Grinder – Item of the Day

coffeeEvery 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 Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder.  And yes it does a bang up job grinding coffee and occasionally I grind up some Mai Thai Coffee and drop it in my french press, but that is not my primary use for this tool.

To me this is the greatest ever dried vegetables and spice/herb grinder you can get your hands on for under 20 bucks.  In fact for Prime members this awesome tool is just 18.56 with free shipping.

I use this grinder to make hot pepper powders.  Garlic and onion powder from a store?  Never I buy dried onions and dried minced garlic in large quantities, I then make up powders as I need them in small quantities.  Just smell fresh made garlic or onion powder and you will see why.

I whip up my own spice mixes like this one which is a great go to rub for almost any meat but especially chicken on the grill.

  • About a table spoon of each
    • Thyme
    • Dried garlic
    • Dried onion
    • Mustard Seed
    • Fennel Seed
    • Chili Powder
    • Dehydrated Celery (yea that is a secret)
    • Cumin
    • Tellicherry Black Pepper Corns (another secret)
    • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Then about 3 table spoons of paprika
  • About 2 table spoons of parsley

This is all done by estimate by the way, not with spoons but you can do that if you want to.  This is a go to rub for poultry and fast grilled pork.  I just whipped up some for my buddy David to go on quail.  You can see that here.  The best thing with small pieces like quail, cut up chicken etc, is to put it in a large bowl and toss till well coated then grill.

Anyway it is unlimited what you can do, did you see the celery above, we always have it on hand, grinding it gives you the same type of punch as celery seed but it sure costs less and it is more versatile.  You guys that grow 15 different hot peppers can go mad scientist with pepper blends.

The Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder is also equipped with what they call a “Chamber Maid Cleaning System”.  This little device you spin with your finger and it helps get out all the stuff hiding on the edges.  For actual cleaning though, the bowl is water tight!  Fill it just below the max fill line with water (don’t get the base wet), put the lid on, pulse for a few moments, dump it out, set it upside down to dry, DONE!

Lastly I bought my first one of these before I even started TSP, it lasted until this year, when I stupidly tried to grind oyster shell with it!  So I got a new one, and I have found its limits, no rocks or shells, LOL.  Trust me no kitchen specifically no prepper kitchen should be without this tool.

This item has 1900 plus reviews and 76% are 4 or 5 star.  If you read the negative reviews they seem to be either coffee snobs that want a 18 dollar grinder to grind with the precision of a 500 dollar tool, or people to dim to get the cord out of the storage space on the bottom.  Friends you can’t fix stupid but you can fix up some amazing rubs and powders with this fool proof tool

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.

 

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 almost no real difference in price.

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 700 reviews and it makes a lot of sense that it is a quality product.

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.

 

 

 

Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Polish – 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 Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Polish in a four pack but you can also get it in a single pack or even in a six pack.  The four pack is a much better deal then the single can though.

The six price is the best price per ounce but six of these is a LOT of it.  So I think most people will do best with the four pack at $12.92 or only $3.23 a can.

I first discovered how great this stuff was when a listener called in about it.  We actually had some that a house sitter had brought with her during one of our vacations.  So I gave the test of tests at our place, washing a simple glass.

You see our water is hard, really hard, washing a glass makes it get hazy, the more you wash it the worse it gets.  We tried everything, washing glasses on hot water, using vinegar or special rinse enhancers in the dish washer.

Hell I even got desperate enough to try grain alcohol.  Nothing worked!

It got so bad I refused to buy new glassware, prompting a buddy to declare that I was, “Too cheap to own a decent martini glass”.  The nerve of some people!

Anyway I got one of my worst high ball glasses out and gave it a quick scrub and it looked good but I was skeptical, they always look good wet, they haze over as they dry.  But after drying the glass it was still crystal clear.

Since I have tried it on faucets, stained sink drains, etc. and it works wonderfully for all of them.  Check out this video of one of our hazy glasses being restored right here.

In any event consider adding this stuff to your homestead.  I can see why they call it “Barkeeper’s Friend” but I really see it as home owners friend.  It doesn’t do everything but it does somethings better than anything else.  So consider picking up a six pack, four pack or at least a single can today.  If you give this stuff a try it will earn a full time place in your cleaning supplies.

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.

Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels – 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 Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels.  I am going to tell you that really any flour sack towel I have used has been fine, these are just the best price per towel I can find and they are on prime.

Lot’s of people like these because they are lint free and dry dishes nicely, etc.  Some people use them for embroidery.  I don’t really care about that with them, I use them rather than cheesecloth and think they make a much better alternative when making yogurt cheese.

Cheese cloth wears out fast and doesn’t really offer any advantages for this use, where as flour sack towels last a very long time, you just wash and dry them and use them over and over again.  I am a huge fan of getting good bacteria like lactobacillus into your diet in many different ways and none are more awesome than yogurt cheese.  In fact it may be the easiest and most delicous way to up  your probiotic game.

All you need to do to make basic yogurt cheese is take one of these towels and dump plain yogurt with “live and active cultures” into it, stir in a bit of salt, put it in a metal strainer over a bowl and wait 12 to 24 hours.  You will than have something akin to tangy cream cheese.  But I have never made it so bland.

While your yogurt is still very soft is the time to stir in herbs and seasonings.  Here are a few of my favorite things to add to it.

  • Fresh Basil and Fresh Garlic – this is the universal one everyone likes
  • Chopped Jalapenos and Garlic
  • Cracked Black Pepper, Rosemary and Thyme
  • Cracked Black Pepper and Almond Slivers
  • Lemon Zest and Chopped Walnuts

Honestly if you think it might taste good with cheese it will likely work.  How much, well as in most things I do it by eye, just remember you can always add more but can never take it out.  Here is a save if you ever over do anything, make a plane batch and blend it.

Also if you want your yogurt cheese a bit firmer, try this, take a large heavy can of something, put it on top of the towel and it will help expel a bit more of the whey.  Oh the whey that stuff is probiotic gold.  You can drink it and you will also find that your animals will like it too.

So if getting more probiotics into your diet is in your plans for 2018 give Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels a shot.

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.

Lodge Carbon Steel Seasoned Skillet – 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 Lodge Carbon Steel Seasoned Skillet.  These are my go to for searing and if you ever go to a professional restaurant where a lot of searing happens you will likely see dozens of these in use, and there is a reason, they work really damn good.

There are quite a few options from 8 inches up to a huge 15 inch one with double handles.  I currently own an 8 and 12 inch and they serve my needs very well.

I am a huge fan of old cast iron but it is heavy and it is not efficient when it comes to getting it hot, what it is good at is staying hot once you get it there.   Thinner carbon steel is efficient at getting hot quickly.  These come pre seasoned and if you use proper care they will stay stick free and last forever.

When I first got these pans I really used them the most for searing off meat in two ways.

One –  I will sear steaks and such BEFORE finishing on the grill or in the oven.  They provide the best sear I have ever gotten and if you are finishing in the oven they can go strait in.

Two – For searing after a sous vide cook.  Again they are just the best thing I have found.

But over this year that has changed.  First I found the factory seasoning on them to be very good, way better than I expected.  They are very low stick, note I didn’t say non stick.  I have pretty much given up on other cookware at this point and use Lodge along with old vintage Griswold Cast Iron (scavenged from antique malls) exclusively.

The primary advantage of the carbon skillets over the cast iron is they heat up a lot faster and are easier to get searing hot.  They also weigh less so they are easier to toss food around with when you don’t want to use a spatula and damage food by doing so.

After trying both expensive and low cost cookware over the years today I do almost 90% of my cooking with the following

My current plans are over time to add a Lodge Mini Cast Iron Wok, a Lodge 10 inch skillet and perhaps a second 8 inch skillet as they offer so much utility.  The mini wok seems like a great idea for stir frying sides of veggies for Dorothy and I when the big wok is a bit of over kill.  About the only other thing I am still in the market for is a great paella pan.  What is paella you say?  That will have to wait for another day.

Lastly as a prepper, when it comes to carbon steel pans, I love the efficiency here. If you are ever in a situation where fuel needs to be rationed you want a pan that heats up fast, cooks fast and finishes fast.  So check out Lodge’s Carbon Steel Skillets 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 online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.