Crazy Yummy Holiday Herb Oil

This will be the first in a series of articles that I will present that include my personal recipes for Thanksgiving that have been tested with my family for over 10 years. I begin the first with a recipe from ChefSteps, yes the joule sous vide people. The chief over there is named Grant Crilly and this chef has serious, mad skills. A last year he came up with this oil infusion procedure which blew my mind. It is the yummiest and most flavorful holiday condiment recipe I have.

This recipe bottles up all the flavors of Thanksgiving into a fragrant, delicious herb oil so you can use it to liven up any holiday meal. If you’re anything like the rest of America, you’re probably loading your cart at the grocery store with one-ounce packs of fresh herbs for holiday meals. Not only are those expensive, but they wither and blacken quickly in the refrigerator. It’s a much better idea to make this oil instead.  Make this herb oil and you will have a flavorful oil for drizzling on everything in the next month.

Ingredients:

24oz (600 ml) Grapeseed oil

3oz (85g) Shallots, sliced very thin
1.8oz (50g) Garlic, elephant, sliced very thin

0.07oz (2g) Coriander seed
0.14oz (4g) Black pepper, whole

3oz (10g) Nonfat dry milk powder

0.25oz (7g) Sage, fresh (no stems)
0.71oz (20g) Rosemary, fresh (no stems)
0.35oz (10g) Thyme, fresh (stems on)
0.18oz (5g) Chives, fresh

0.14oz (4g) Bay leaf, fresh
0.35oz (10g) (1 Lemon) Lemon peel

Procedure:

Gather your oil, the herbs, Strip leaves from rosemary and sage stems. Leave the thyme on the stem though. Weigh out all the herbs and place together, but keep the bay leaf and the lemon peel seperate

Give the peppercorns and coriander seeds a good crack. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and shallots.

Set a 3 quart saucepan on medium heat. Pour in the grapeseed oil. When the oil has reached 300 deg F, add the garlic and shallots and fry them until they are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Do not let them burn. You will not be able to remove that flavor.

Add in the cracked coriander, pepper and bay leaf. Let them cook for 30 seconds. Add the nonfat dry milk powder. Let cook for another 30 seconds.

Turn off the burner. Add in the herbs and stir to push herbs down below the hot oil. Once the mixture has calmed down from cooking and the herbs have settled, you can transfer the mixture to a cooling vessel and chill overnight.

The next day, remove the cooled-oil mixture from the fridge and set up a strainer over a bowl. Strain the herbs and allow them to drip an hour or so until all the oil has passed. Try not to push it through. Be patient and let gravity do its thing. Bottle up your holiday herb oil. Keep it in the refrigerator, ready for use.

Disney’s theme park division loses $2.4 billion

The coronavirus cost Disney’s theme park division $2.4 billion as Disneyland remains closed, cruise ships are docked and Disney World is open at a limited capacity, the company disclosed Thursday in its quarterly earnings report.

But looking ahead, executives expect the next few months to be busy in Orlando since about 77% of the park reservations are booked for the next quarter, including an almost completely full Thanksgiving holiday.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the reopening is going well enough for Disney World to raise occupancy from 25% to 35%, adding he believes it is still possible to maintain 6 feet of social distancing among visitors with the higher number of people allowed inside.

For the company, it’s a hopeful sign as Disney theme parks try to rebound from the global pandemic.

“We’re very pleased by how we have become adapt at operating under these constraints,” Chapek said during Thursday’s earnings call. He said Disney has a proven track record of running theme parks with new strict safety rules several months into the pandemic reopening.

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Fried Chicken Livers

Southern Fried Chicken Livers! Love them or hate them? I happen to love them and have since I was a child. I wasn’t even tricked into eating them. I knew exactly what they were and have liked them ever since my first crunchy bite.  In case you’re thinking you don’t care for chicken livers, you may have had them in dishes and weren’t even aware of it. For instance, they are a main ingredient in preparing Cajun Dirty Rice. The chicken livers are what give the rice the “dirty” look.  Chicken livers are also part of making the beloved giblet gravy for holiday meals.

1 lb chicken livers, trimmed

2 cups buttermilk, full fat not low fat
1/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 cups AP Flour
¼ cup Cornmeal
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 TB cajun seasoning
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Remoulade Sauce:
1 cup mayo
2 TB grainy or Creole mustard
1 clove garlic minced
1 TB creamed horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice, or pickle juice
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper optional
1 TB fresh parsley chopped

Instructions:
❶ Preheat deep fryer to 350 degrees.  

❷ In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups of the buttermilk with the hot sauce and soy sauce. Add the chicken livers and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  

❸ Remove the livers from the buttermilk, then dredge them in the flour mixture.  Set aside to allow coating to adhere to the protein.  

❹ Drop half the coated livers into the oil and allow to cook for minutes.  

❺ Remove from oil and allow to cool for a bit.  

❻ Remoulade:  Combine the mayo, mustard, garlic, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and parsley in a small bowl. Refrigerate until needed (I like to let the flavors sit for a while, but you can serve it immediately).

Notes:
The Cajun seasoning that is used is Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.    The bread crumbs used were the Progresso Italian Style bread crumbs.    The livers can be marinated in the buttermilk for as little as 4 to 6 hours for a bit more toothy feel in texture.  Overnight will produce a smooth and creamy product.    This recipe can also be done with the dry, wet, dry method of dredging for a thicker batter.

Sweeteners and Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index:

The Glycemic Index is an indication of how quickly a specified amount of food will cause a rise in blood sugar level. The amount of food is the portion that contains 50 grams of carbohydrate (200 calories from carbs). So it is really an indication of how one carb compares to another.

Certain foods cause a spike, or rapid rise, in blood sugar level. This spike causes an insulin response and may over time lead to health problems such as diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and other issues. Maintaining a more even blood sugar level appears to be beneficial in many ways.

Only foods that contain carbs cause this spike, proteins and fats do not. They provide calories but do not cause an immediate rise in blood sugar levels. Meat and eggs contain no carbs at all, they can be considered to have a zero glycemic index. However this is not strictly true as the test cannot be carried out on them: no amount of eggs will give the required 50 gm of carbs.

The test is carried out on volunteers who have been fasting for a period of time. They are fed a portion of food containing 50 gm of carbohydrate and their blood sugar level monitored over a 2 hour period. This data is drawn on a graph and the area under the curve measured, the larger the area, the higher the glycemic index (GI). Glucose is used as the standard with a value of 100 and all other foods are compared to this.

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Coconut Curry Shrimp Ramen Bowl

How about we make a noodle dish that’s kind of a curry, but also kind of a ramen, and happens to be ridiculously delicious? Like, one where you can clean out the fridge, but also kind of make it Instagramably beautiful, all while feeling like you’re eating takeout?

Ingredients:
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB Thai Kitchen red curry paste
2 cups chicken broth
15 oz can Thai Kitchen Organic coconut milk
6-8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3oz (1 sleeve) Hakubaku Organic Ramen Noodles
½ lime
1 TB chopped cilantro

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in stock pot. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes, until softened.

2. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add red curry paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes fragrant.

4. Add chicken stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Add shrimp to the pot. After 3-4 minutes, add the ramen noodles to the pot as well (just the noodles – toss the flavor packets). Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until shrimp is opaque and ramen noodles are soft.

6. Add the juice from ½ of a lime to the pot and garnish with cilantro.

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Disney fires back at Elizabeth Warren’s letter blasting the company’s 28,000 layoffs

Walt Disney Co. is fighting back after Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote a scathing open letter this week that slammed the company for reinstating pay for senior executives who had taken salary cuts during the coronavirus pandemic and other financial decisions benefiting shareholders before the company revealed massive layoffs.

The company said in a statement, “Senator Warren’s misinformed letter contains a number of inaccuracies.”

Warren, D-Mass., wrote to Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Bob Iger, the former CEO turned Disney executive chairman, critical of the company’s compensation to executives and how it has treated workers.

“In the years leading up to this crisis, your company prioritized the enrichment of executives and stockholders through hefty compensation packages, and billions of dollars’ worth of dividend payments and stock buybacks, all of which weakened Disney’s financial cushion and ability to retain and pay its front-line workers amid the pandemic,” Warren wrote.

Warren also expressed concerns about the company terminating Florida workers and blaming the layoffs in California on “public health measures, which were implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.” Disneyland remains closed without an opening date. Disney World theme parks reopened in mid-July.

Disney’s statement responded with, “We’ve unequivocally demonstrated our ability to operate responsibly with strict health and safety protocols in place at all of our theme parks worldwide, with the exception of Disneyland Resort in California, where the State has prevented us from reopening, even though we have reached agreements with unions representing the majority of our Cast Members that would get them back to work.”

Walt Disney Co. announced last month it was laying off 28,000 people across its theme park division.

The company later disclosed details about how it would affect Orlando, revealing nearly 6,700 non-union Disney World employees are losing their jobs in December.

In addition, about 8,860 hourly part-time union employees who had been furloughed will be laid off, according to the company’s largest union coalition, which said those workers can get recalled when the company eventually needs them again.

The layoffs in Florida amount to about 20% of the company’s pre-coronavirus workforce of about 77,000.

Eddie Van Halen, Guitar Hero, Dies At 65

Eddie Van Halen, the guitarist and songwriter who helped give the rock band Van Halen its name and sound, died Tuesday; October 6th, after a battle with cancer. He was 65.

His death was announced by his son, Wolf Van Halen, on Twitter.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this,” the statement said, “but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”

In a band known for its instability — due in part to a rotating cast of lead singers that most notably includes David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar — Eddie Van Halen and his brother, Alex, remained constants, appearing on 12 studio albums that reached across five decades and sold tens of millions of copies.

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Legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden tests positive for COVID-19

Former Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden has tested positive for the coronavirus.

ABC 27 spoke to Bowden on Monday, who confirmed the news.

Despite the positive diagnosis, Bowden, 90, said he’s doing pretty good and is waiting to see what’s going to happen.

While he did not say if any of his other household members have also tested positive, Bowden told ABC 27 they are all going to get tested again Monday.

Bowden said he does not know when he contracted it and did not mention when exactly he tested positive.

During his 34 years as Florida State’s head coach he had only one losing season in 1976. From 1987 to 2000, the Seminoles finished every season with at least 10 wins and in the top 5 of the Associated Press College Football Poll, and won the national championship in 1993 and 1999.

Breakfast while on Vacation 2020

My wife and I are both on vacation this week. We schedule this every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Every year previous, we would book a hotel room at a resort on the beach somewhere in Florida. 2019 was a fine time at Amelia Island, The Omni Amelia Island Resort was are destination which proved to be everything that we had heard. Due to the time of year, there are no crowds and the Florida humidity is lower. We stayed at a wonderful section of the resort that is actually condos that snow birds rent out when they are living up north. Our room came complete with a fully stocked kitchen, a living room and a very nice bedroom. I would say, probably 1000 square feet. and we paid around $179 a night. Yes my friends, it pays to live and grow up 1 hour from several beach’s in Central Florida. It’s precisely the reason I have never left this area.

Fast forward to 2020, the scenario this year has changed quite significantly. I have always said that the best vacation I ever had is the year I wasn’t at work and this cycle is no different. I did, however, want to have a few special moments for my wife considering we have been on lockdown since mid March. A few days ago I began planning a special breakfast complete with all our favorites. I chose to have breakfast on Sunday morning because I am always at work on Sunday. I figured that an awesome breakfast, followed by a nap, and then an afternoon of NFL football would be just the ticket for my wife and I. Did I mention that my wife is more into football than I am. That’s right, I hit the wife lottery. In more ways than one. The breakfast menu was an easy to list to prepare. We had been to breakfast at several fine restaurants here locally and with most things, we are creatures of habit. So here is what I planned for……

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