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Showing posts from June, 2022

InstantPot Bread - Bake versus Air Fry

I have an 8 quart InstantPot with the Air Fryer lid. The manual recommends the "Bake" setting for breads at 365 F for 30 minutes, but I thought why try Air Frying it? Here's how the experiment went: Dough I used the simple bread dough I always use. You can probably get away with using whatever bread dough you normally make, but here's the recipe I use in case you're stuck for one: 5 cups flour 2 cups water + 1 tablespoon quick rise yeast + 1 tablespoon sugar I let this sit for a bit to let the yeast wake up and start bubbling, or at least not still look like dry grains 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup cooking oil After mixing it into a dough, I let it sit and rise for about an hour or so till it has approximately doubled in volume. Once this has happened, I scrape it out and gently knead it into a manageable shape, then cut it into eight to sixteen buns, depending on how large you want them to be. Normally I put them in the freezer and only pop them in the InstantPot

Cheaper than chocolate spreads - you won't believe what isn't

Even though I'm currently living on a rather severe budget, I still wanted something (cheap) to go with my homemade bread buns. After some thought, I settled on Nutella. Not only did it satisfy my requirements, it was also chocolate! Total winner! Of course being on a budget, I didn't just waltz down to Walmart and pick up Nutella, since name brands tends to be on the pricier side. I ended up with the Walmart brand Great Value Chocolate Hazelnut Spread  -- almost 40% cheaper than Nutella  and I wasn't going to be fussy about any difference in taste (honestly just having that much chocolate made me pretty happy). Now a third of the way through the jar, I got to thinking... What might satisfy my chocolate-on-bread craving and be even cheaper? The first thing I discovered was Walmart.ca didn't have nearly enough precise subcategories. You can't even find baking chocolate (slide 2) in its own category, for example. For the slide presented I actually ended up searching

Pringles Cheddar Cheese - bitter aftertaste

Apparently my mom forgot what happened the last time she bought Pringles  and bought a tube on discount. Sadly, the results were just as bad: Weak cheddar flavor, tastes more lie something salty but not clearly cheddar. Chips have no potato flavor. Bitter aftertaste -- highly suspicious! They only dusted about 2/3rds of each chip with the powder, although that is probably because the undusted portion is in some kind of holder while they move all the chips to be dusted, ensuring that all chips have some flavouring powder. Even if it's on discount you can probably do better with your money. Maybe buy an unprocessed snack, like a fruit.

Lazy Sweet Rice Snacks

When my Japanese friend's children were still young, she prepared tasty rice snacks to put on standby for the hungry kids. Basically you mix rice with something tasty , pat a handful into a nice shape, and wrap it in seaweed so people eating it don't have to deal with the same sticky mess you did. Looks like sushi! The reason I remembered this is because I'm currently living alone on a tight budget, and if I were hungry I didn't want to reach for chips or other "snacks". They are expensive, of dubious dietary impact, and of course not really filling. Which would be what I need in a snack to banish any sudden hunger before a proper time for lunch or dinner. But I didn't have fancy ingredients, and devoting time to squeezing rice into nice shapes was just too much work for someone lazy like me. I even considered borrowing a ice cream scoop to shortcut the rice-shaping process, but... nah. So instead, I devised something simpler: Making them by the tray. Pr

Chicken Broth Powder - Knorr versus Lee Kum Kee

When I ran out of Knorr Chicken Broth Mix and my local Walmart didn't have any (!) on the shelves, I contented myself with Lee Kum Kee Chicken Bouillon Powder , thinking they'd be approximately the same thing. Even the proportions to use (1 tsp per 1 cup of boiling water) were the same. Well, it turned out I was wrong. I normally use a whopping 2 tablespoons per 1 tablespoon of uncooked rice when I prepare the chicken soup version of my " TV dinner rice bowls " and the Knorr powder resulted in what tasted like instant noodle chicken soup. Whereas the Lee Kum Kee powder tasted like... SALT. Yes, it just tasted salty. Whatever flavour was flattened by the overwhelming amount of saltiness. If you follow the instructions and use 2 tsp of Lee Kum Kee per 2 cups of boiling water and just make chicken stock, it's not super salty, but the flavor is weak. If you double it, the flavor improves a bit but you can tell the saltiness will overtake it if you put in even more