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Making your own oil and vinegar dressing

May 13, 2009

For those of you who like a nice homemade dressing for your salad, there are plenty of options!  One that I have always used was Good Seasons makes a packet of seasoning, which you mix the oil, vinegar, and water together to create a nice dressing.

Well, this weekend I figured out a way to make some real interesting dressing!  I took a pan on the stove top and put it on medium (5 on my glass top) and added my oil.  I used extra virgin olive oil for this.  I have a good amount in the pan also.  What we are doing is heating up the oil to about 225+ degrees, preventing anything from burning in the oil.

To start, I peeled and thinly sliced some garlic.  While the garlic is roasting, I am cutting up my other flavor enhancers.  Onions, peppers, olives, really anything that you want to add to your oil flavoring.  Remember, this is an experiment, and it’s alright to mess up, or even fail.

Your garlic chips(they will be nicely roasted to a almost brown color) should be removed from the oil with a skimmer or other device that suites your fancy.  Set those on a paper towel on top of a plate, and let them rest for a moment.  They are going to turn into some nice little snacks while doing the rest of the work.

Once your oil is garlic free, start adding other ingredients.  So far I have made a few different oils.  I really like Basil, so I’ve used that in all of the oils I have tried so far.  Want a twist on onions?  Soak them in some hot water for a few minutes(before you put garlic in pan).  Once they are down soaking(remove from water), coat them with some of your favorite seasoning that you would like on in your oil (I used a greek seasoning that the meat man at Harris Teeter recommended) along with some fresh ground pepper and basil.  Here is the twist– I sprinkled sugar all over these.  This really did something different for me!  It made these onions very tasty (I have used them for bratwurst and for pork burger topping) and also added a sweet flavor to an otherwise non-sweet dressing.  Really your possibilities are endless with the different items you can infuse into your oil.  There is no right or wrong items here, it’s totally dependant on what you feel like putting in.

Here is a good saftey net for you unsure cooks out there.  Make sure you use an oven safe pan — and when your chopped items are starting to brown up a bit, put them in the oven.  This will prevent them from burning, and cook those veggies into the oil.  (Oh yeah, turn your oven on to about 250 — And don’t make the mistake I have, grabbing that handle.  250 won’t sear your hand right away, but it will cause you to want to drop that pan.  You don’t want that oil on you at 250, no way jose!

After you feel you have infused your oil (I waited a good 45 minutes total time between the stove top and the oven – I don’t know if more or less is better) pull it out and let it cool.  Get yourself a funnel and put that into a nice looking bottle.  Remember to grab a bottle twice the size of the original amount of oil.  Go ahead and add your vinegar(almost the same amount of oil, I use a little less than oil amount) and a little bit of water.  You can leave the vinegar out and let people mix it(and use your oil to cook other things in also) on thier own.

White Balsamic Vinegar — That stuff right there is soo tasty, and really livens it up!

Go ahead and experiment a little, it’s not gonna hurt you to try something new.

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The Difference is?

May 12, 2009

Browsing through facebook this morning, I noticed someone asking what the difference between white and brown eggs are…  I do remember it being on a commercial.  However, the first commercial that comes to mind is that amazing boy that moved all those cups around so fast.  Luke Myers moves those cups like it is no ones business!  I am just completely amazed that childern are moving that fast and are so into things.

Played Rock Band before?  I’m sure you’ve been beaten by a 12 year old online, or even in person (maybe even the first time you played it)…  What about a 4 year old playing the drums on expert.  This 4 year old almost gets 5 stars on expert — Something I struggle to do on medium.

Chun Hoo Ulf Wong solves a Rubiks Cube in 37 seconds… He’s 6 years old!  Have you ever done that?  I had my Rubiks Cube for about 4 months before it was destroyed by friends moving the stickers around.  I managed to ONLY get two sides.  I could have went online and figured out how to beat it, but I never did.  I could have memorized the tricks to this.  Could I solve the rubiks cube in 37 seconds? I have no idea.

I don’t always take the time like I used to…  Getting caught up in the moment of something little.  Take some time to smell the roses today, or maybe try something new.  It doesn’t hurt to feel like a kid again.  I’m not going to set a goal of 37 seconds on the solving a rubiks cube, but I’ll pick one back up!

Oh yeah..  the difference…  They are just eggs, color doesn’t make a difference.  You already knew that though!  I googled it this morning and found all answers to go along with each other pretty well.  At one time it could have been better eggs — then the commercial farmers caught on and started charging more for the same eggs…  Or this one:  http://ask.yahoo.com/20000523.html – that may help to explain from a few different sources.

GO CAVS!

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Carpe Diem!

May 11, 2009

Ray Higdon, a Florida Internet Marketing friend of mine (http://rayhigdon.com) recently posted something that caught my eye in a recent blog post of his.  Ray talks about people that say they are going to do something… and when they do, they will be happy.  Isn’t that always the case?  Everyone is trying to win the lotto, quit smoking, and exercise more.

Recently I really did start exercising more.  I’ve been saying it now that I needed to start since this winter.  There was always something in the way, the weather, too much to do, not enough time, etc.  I had more excuses than the amount of new chins I was growing…  Until one day I decided to quit talking about it and take action.  That was almost 4 weeks ago now!

I put on a speedo as a joke while I was down in Florida.  When that picture ended up on Facebook — I was done.  I saw myself in a whole new light.  Not only did I need to get in shape, but I needed to tan(and not to mention, NOT wear a speedo).

It started with a run…  I didn’t have a goal.  I just ran.  It was time.  From then on I have really been moving forward with it.  I didn’t wait for other people to join me, I just started.  You know what?  They followed.  It started with running, then basketball twice a week.  But food was still so hard to say no to!

I really cut down on overeating.  I cook some awesome food, as do some of the people that I eat dinner with, and we really cook out!  I stopped taking seconds and thirds, just because it tasted so good.  That was when I really started to see a difference.  4 weeks ago I was at 197 pounds.  Currently I am at 180 pounds.

I have some more excuses I’m dealing with right now…  Push-ups and sit-ups.  Maybe once I’m done being sore in my mind and get tired of the excuses, I’ll start.  LOL…..

–Nicko
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