Category Archives: Cooking

The Amazing Non PFAS Frying Pan

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If you manufacture or sell a product you’d like me to endorse, forget about it, I don’t generally do that. But every now and then I come across something I want to blog and brag about.

Friends, I want to tell you about this Amazing GreenPan Frying Pan* thingie. I needed a new non-stick frying pan. I hated the idea of getting a PFAS spewing cooking utensil. I did not want to spend a lot of money. The Amazing GreenPan Frying Pan* is a non-stick ceramic surface aluminum 10 incher with a glass cover.

The key term here, I think, is “GreenPan.” I don’t know anything about this company. Maybe they are evil, or green washing. But it seems pretty legit to me.

It is inert, has excellent heat distribution qualities, a nice fitting lid, does NOT go in the dishwasher but practically washes itself by hand (it is, after all, non-stick).

Apparently it was invented in 2007, so there is a good chance you have not bought a new frying pan since they existed. They sell all sorts of pans. I did not know about them. Maybe everybody else did but not me. But now I know and so do you as well.

I love my 10″ GreenPan with glass lid. No kidding.

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Tabouli Recipe

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The ingredients are pretty standard, but there is some technique, which I focus on here. Best if the main ingredients (parsley, cucumber, and tomato) are fresh.

Take one cup of (dry) Bulgar wheat, and add one cup of boiling water. Measure the water out while cold and don’t let any boil off, so it will be a bit more than a cup while boiling. Let that sit for a while.

Two or three bunches of parsley (any kind, fresh, curly is better) with most of the stems removed, cut into small bits. (You can use some cilantro in here if you want.)

One bunch of fresh mint, leaves only (no stems) chopped up very small.

Three bunches of scallions, or one or two bunches and some shallots, or a small to medium very sweet onion. Some combination of these, experiment, figure out what you like. You’ll eventually settle on scallions. Chip this onion-ish material into small bits. Meanwhile, heat a dry skillet/fry pan (no oil) not quite hot enough to fizz a drop of water, turn off the heat. Take the pan off the heat and throw the chopped up onion substance on that fry pan and stir it around. DO NOT COOK IT. This is just to force out some of the syn-propanethial-S-oxide.

Dice up about the same volume of tomato that you’ve already go with the parsley and onion, plus a bit more. It is a matter of taste. This is about six Roma tomatoes, or any other combination. Nice alternative: Cut a big pile of cherry tomatoes in half.

Two small or one larger cucumbers. Mostly peeled, remove most of the seeds (just cut in half long wise and scrape across the seedy area with a spoon). Does not need to be perfect. Diced.

Squeeze three or four limes and one lemon, run the liquid through a screen to get out any bits of seeds. You can skip the lemon, that’s just a think I do.

I go heavier on the spices than other recipes:

1/2 tsp – 1/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil (yes, olive oil is a spice in this dish.)
2-3 tsp cumin.

Throw it all together and mix it up.

Best if it sits for a while, but only a little while. Doesn’t really keep that long, so eat that day and the next day. (It will still be edible but cucumber doesn’t last).

Serve with Naan or Pita.

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Food Or War by Julian Cribb: Excellent new book

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For many years, scientists who studied biology, behavior, and ecology (under the name of various disciplines) looked at resources, including and especially food, as a major determinant of social structure in social animals, herd structure in herd animals, and so on. Then, there was a revolution and it quickly became apparent that sex, not food, underlies everything and is the ultimate explanation for the variation we see in nature. That pair of dimes lasted for a while, then the other penny dropped and thanks to key research done by a handful of people (including me, in relation to human evolution), it became apparent that there was a third significant factor, that ultimately trumped sex as an organizing force. Food. Continue reading Food Or War by Julian Cribb: Excellent new book

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OK, there is a report just out that suggests that we are playing too fast and loose with food additives and other chemicals, and that we might want to draw back on some of that. Fine. We should maybe.

But I’ve already seen this report misconstrued, with panic ensued. I’ve seen people suggest that we should no longer use microwaves for food. Or that we should not dishwash plastic or put plastic containers in the microwave. And some other stuff.

For both of those behaviors, the concern is the potentially harmful BPA getting out into our food. If you put BPA laced objects in the microwave of dishwasher, that could be a problem.

The thing is, if you’ve been paying attention to BPAs all along, then you probaby don’t have BPA laced water bottles or microwavable containers, so there is NOTHING TO SEE HERE. Typical “Tupperware” (never actually Tupperware) wares typically don’t have BPA. Most water bottles don’t either.

Here’s the thing. This report covers a LOT of things, not just BPAs, not just microwaving things or cleaning water bottles. And, the report is pretty easy to read and very clear. Well, the whole issue of what to do and not do is not necessarily clear, but you can easily figure out what they are getting at.

There are two sources. Read them, and then you’ll know what all the buzz is about. An overview from the American Association of Pediatrics is here. The policy statement itself is here.

There are items of concern here, but if you simply stop using plastic in the microwave and think you are done, chance are that a) you did something useless and b) you are missing something important.

Read the darn thing!

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Cooking Laid Back Turkey

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First, consider cooking something other than a turkey

Cooking turkey is actually kind of a dumb idea. Most people don’t ever cook turkey. Turkey is like chicken … it’s a domestic bird that is familiar to all Americans … but it is very difficult to cook in a way that does not ruin it. So once a year, you cook this huge bird and try not to ruin it, and invite everybody that is important to you over to see if it worked.

As a result of this the truth is that many people have never had good turkey. They’ve only had ruined turkey. And for each of these people, what they think turkey tastes like is unique to the particular way their family’s turkey cooker learned to ruin the turkey every year.

How to cook a turkey

Continue reading Cooking Laid Back Turkey

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Two great ways to make a pumpkin pie

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I’ve got two pumpkin pie recipes for you. One is the way I usually make it, and it is the best pumpkin pie. The other way also turns out to be excellent, but it is designed for kids who don’t like pumpkin pie even though we think they should. I think kids are sometimes repelled by that pumpkin pie spice flavor. In fact, this kid friendly pie may be good for adults who are just plain sick and tired of everything having to taste like pumpkin pie spice this time of year and want a break, but still want their pumpkin pie.
Continue reading Two great ways to make a pumpkin pie

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How to make stock

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I admit that the last several times I’ve needed stock, and that is about once a week for me as of late, I just bought it in the store. For making Amanda’s soup, which she brings to school, I combine one large container of vegetable stock, one large container of some sort of meat stock, and one large container worth of water, and go from there.

But making stock is fun, and sometimes necessary, especially if you have certain ingredients building up in you home and would rather have things go to waste than waist.

Here are my stock guidelines: Continue reading How to make stock

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