Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

Feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or just to let me know what you think. Thanks!

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I want to thank you for the time that you spend here, and hope that you can find useful things here.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Carne Guisada - Cooks in the Jar!

Mexican beef stew for your pressure canner – in a 1 qt Mason jar.

This is not intended to be a primer for home canning.  You should already be familiar with that.  Additionally, do NOT attempt to make this recipe using a water bath canner.  Although it may cook and seal the jars, you have NOT prevented the possibility of disease that way.  You MUST use a pressure canner for this.

1 t pepper
1 t dried granulated garlic                                          
½ t beef bouillon granules
¾ t flour                                                                      
½ t dried granulated onion
¼ t cumin                                                                    
¼ t chile powder

1 lb beef – chuck|round|sirloin, no fat and gristle      
1 fresh jalapeno, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium chop                                 
1 bell pepper, medium chop
1 T tomato paste


1.      Measure the first 7 ingredients into a bowl; mix together well.

2.      Cut beef into approximately 1” cubes.  Remove meat to a large bowl.  Add in mixed spices, stirring to coat all of the meat.  You want to gather up all the spice you can and coat the meat. 

3.      Add your prepped vegetables to bowl, and mix the entire contents together well.

4.      Using your canning funnel, fill a quart Mason jar to just over half-full.  Using a rubber or plastic tool, remove the air pockets. 

5.      Next add in the tomato paste, and continue filling the jar, tightly packing in the remaining ingredients but leaving a 1” head space.

6.      Clean jar rim, covering with lid and band as per good canning practice.

7.      Process in a pressure canner for 90 minutes at 10 psi.

If  you have prepared it correctly and have a good seal, you now have a nice meal already 
cooked that can be stored for up to a year on a shelf, ready to go!

8.      When you finally do open the jar, you will notice that there will be quite a bit of liquid,  Although packed without any added water, the meat and especially the vegetables produce quite a bit as they cook.  If serving over a starch like rice, this is a plus.  For use in tacos, for example, you might want to simmer this down to a thicker consistency.

Carne Guisada can be eaten as-is, served over rice, or even in flour tortillas as tacos.  Season it with more black pepper and some hot sauce and it is a mighty good meal!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Putting up Canned Bacon!

Well, it will come to no surprise to those that know me that I would have learned yet another way to work with bacon.  Here you will see how I have learned, mostly from BexarPrepper, how to can bacon so that it can be safely stored without refrigeration.

I need to say that you MUST do this using a pressure canner, not a water bath canner.  There is no safe way to can meat products with boiling water, it must be done under pressure.  This article assumes that the reader is familiar with the process before attempting to duplicate it.  This bacon was in the canner at 10 psi for 90 minutes. 

First, you need parchment paper, and it definitely has to be parchment paper, NOT waxed paper.  They are two different things for different purposes.  What I have seen it comes in a 15" width. 

I started out by unrolling some parchment paper.  In the shot below, I have laid out the bacon flush with the bottom edge, and you can see that I have left a space at the left hand edge about the width of a slice of bacon.More on this space later.

Next, I have covered the bottom half of the the bacon with a piece of parchment the same length but cut down to half the width of the bacon strips.

Next, fold the flap on the left over the first piece of bacon, and then take the entire covered bottom half of the bacon layer and fold it up and over the exposed bacon, like this:

  Now, starting from the end without the fold, start rolling the bacon up, tucking it in to keep everything even and snug.  When finished, you will end up with something that looks like this:

Insert your bacon roll into a wide-mouth quart Mason jar, bacon end first, and then push the rest of the parchment paper in before applying the lid and band.  Don't add any liquid to the jar, as the bacon will give off both bacon grease and water as it cooks in the canner.

When you do open, you will be presented with some soft-cooked bacon, which you can eat as is or cook longer to your desired degree of done-ness.  As a bonus, you will also have all of that wonderful bacon grease that was rendered from the canning process for cooking with as well.  Win-win!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe was blatantly copied from - it's just that good.

This is so simple there's no reason not to make it.  The original author made a point of listing a few tricks, so I repeat them here:

First – When rubbing in the fat you want a good portion, around 90%, to be the size of pecans.  It will look, and feel wrong at first.  Trust me on this, big fat equals big layers.
Second – When I say knead the dough I do not mean the traditional push and turn.  I want you to flatten the dough with your palm until the dough is an inch or so thick then fold the dough in half over itself.  You will repeat this ten times.  You will see the dry mess you start with and say, “No way!  This will never come together!”  Trust me.  It will.

Third – When cutting out biscuits NEVER TWIST THE CUTTER EVER!  Did I say ever?  Yes?  Good.  Even after you press down and you are sure the biscuit is cut don’t be tempted to twist.  Just shake the cutter back and forth gently.

Last – Egg wash.  It will turn what would be a tepid biscuit into a gloriously golden, irresistible biscuit.  You can skip it, it makes no difference in flavor, but in overall appeal you will not regret it.

I encourage you to visit her site for the recipe plus numerous pictures, but here it is in plain form so you can see how easy it is.


5 ounces bread flour
5 ounces all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce sugar
3/4 ounce baking powder
3 1/2 ounces lard or butter, or a mix of each
6 1/2 ounces cold buttermilk
1 egg, beaten well

Heat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl weigh out your flours, salt, sugar, and baking powder.  Blend well then add the shortening.

Rub in the shortening with your fingers leaving the majority of the shortening in large pieces.

Add the buttermilk and gently fold into the flour mixture with a spatula, about five folds.  Turn out into a floured surface.  The dough will be very shaggy.
Press the dough into a fat disk, then knead it ten times by pressing the dough out 1″ thick, folding the dough in half , turning it 1/4 turn and repeating.  Do not over knead.

Dust the surface with additional flour, and dust the dough, then roll out to your desired thickness.   Cut out the biscuits with a cutter of your choicem making sure never to twist the cutter.  You can press the scraps together, kneading then three times using the method above, and cut out additional biscuits.  Discard any remaining scraps.

Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking pan and space them 1″ apart.  Brush with the beaten egg, making sure not to let the egg drip down the side.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (18), or until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.