Saturday, October 22, 2011

#57 4 Things To Do With Pumpkin Seeds

I follow Paula Deen on twitter, and this post right here is why. She recently tweeted out a link to a page on 4 different snacks you can make out of Pumpkin Seeds. I come from a family where we just bake the seeds with butter and salt on them, so I'm excited to try some of these out myself.

The 4 snacks she lists are:

Silly Seeds (To my understanding, Silly salt is her particular brand of salt, replace for whatever you prefer)
4 cups pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Paula Deen Silly Salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove pumpkin seeds from pumpkin and discard any pulp. Rinse seeds under running water to remove any remaining pumpkin. Spread seeds out on paper towels to thoroughly dry.
Toss pumpkin seeds with olive oil and sprinkle with Silly Salt. Spread seeds out in an even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes to prevent burning. Allow pumpkin seeds to cool before eating. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add seeds and toss to coat in butter. Stir in brown sugar and chili powder. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool completely.

Pumpkin Seed Snack Mix
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted almonds
1/2 cup candy coated chocolate pieces
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Pepita Brittle
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and honey. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is medium amber and a candy thermometer registers 280 degrees, about 6 minutes. Stir in pumpkin spice spice and pumpkin seeds. Cook until mixture reaches 300 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool completely. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can visit the tip page for yourself here

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#56 How To Build A Wigwam

Whether you're just curious, or need something to seriously protect you out there, learning how to build a Wigwam is pretty interesting. If you were ever going serious camping or adventuring out there and wanted a stable shelter, learning how to build this Native American style house out of tree branches could help protect you from the weather and animals alike.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#55 How To Serve Wine

I'll be getting back to the informationals, videos and self-contained posts soon, but I decided this was important enough that I needed to share it with all of you in it's original form: Primer's Guide To Serving Wine.

It's too much information for me to summarize here, but basically, they give you a step by step run through of how to serve your wines. Important for any sort of professional meeting or being fancy, or if you just want to dress yourself up fancy and feel like you're doing something classy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

#54 10 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Dancing

 I found an article that gave out 10 tips to Overcome Your Fear of Dancing. It's mostly geared towards men, but I think it serves a good purpose for everyone.

"Some people simply freak out at the thought of dancing. Whether it’s at a wedding, or at a bar, or even at their first dance class, some people are so overwhelmed at the feeling of being humiliated and shamed that they cringe and cave inward, and either hide wherever they can or walk away.
If you are one of those people, fear not - help is on the way. James Joseph, author of Every Man’s Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing, says plain and simple, “It doesn’t have to be that way. Dancing can transform someone who thinks they are doomed for life into a winner who is as popular and sought after wherever they go.”
“You can break through your fear barriers, if before you even step on the floor, you get some really straight forward attitude adjustment,” he says. “It’s a crucial action once done, you are free to enjoy the pleasures that can be found.”
Men – dance is the only activity where you can go up to beautiful women one right after the other, spend three minutes touching them artfully all over their body, and each one will thank you for it afterwards."

  1. Understand the music. Learn how to count the beats of music to identify the musical structure. Focus on the music you love. It makes it so much easier.
  2. Take Lessons. A good teacher will demonstrate the elements of music and dance that defy words and will tell you when you are doing something right and wrong. If you need to, take the beginners class a second time before moving on to a harder class so you really get the basics down.
  3. Focus on rhythm patterns, not direction of movement. Learn to understand when to step. It is far more important than where to step.
  4. Focus on technique, not learning more step patterns. The step pattern is the fancy moves you make when you move on the floor. Technique is what you look like and feel like when you do it. Make what you do look really good before you make it complicated.
  5. Get out and dance. Time on the floor dancing is the only thing that will make you better. Get out and dance! With great classes, great music and enjoyable people, it’s fun and it’s easy.
  6. Dance with a variety of partners. Dancing with one person risks the creation of bad habits. Having to dance with a variety of partners is a basic dance skill. It removes the stress of dancing and is a good way to build confidence and skill.
  7. Dance Up – which means that you ask better dancers to dance with you. When you work with someone more skilled than you, suddenly the difficult things will start to work.
  8. Recover seamlessly from missteps. Handling mistakes is tough. Lighten up, smile, take the next step. Some of your best accidents will produce the most interesting results and improvements you will ever make. As Ms Frizzle says, “Go ahead. Make mistakes!”
  9. Watch great dancers! Some of the best dancers in the world are on TV week after week. Watch the dancers and learn from the best. Men – if you get hooked on dancing, you’ll stop gazing at the women and start studying the men – to steal their moves!
  10. Learn manners. Be a gentle and polite dancer and you’ll have lots of happy willing partners. It’s hard to dance with someone who lacks sensitivity of their partner. It’s OK to be a little klutzy. It’s not OK to be rude or arrogant. Be warm and friendly with all eye contact. Treat everyone with respect.
Read the whole article here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

#53 Fancy Grilled Cheese

What I have here today is a picture showing a myriad of different things you can do to class up a grilled cheese sandwich. One I particularly like is apple slices and provolone. I've had that, and it's wonderful.

A few that I've discovered myself are also quite tasty. Let me share them with you:

The ABC.

The ABC is an apple, bacon, and cheddar grilled cheese. The combination of flavors is hard to pass up. You just fry up a few slices of bacon, slice up your apple (I prefer Granny Smith's) into thin slices (look at the picture, that's a good size) and put a slice of cheddar on either side of the bread, with the apple and bacon in the center. It's simply wonderful.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese is all about excess, so be warned if you don't like greasy things, this isn't for you. What you do is combine 1/4th cup of mayo and 2 tablespoon's of cream cheese. You whip this up until it's blended together. Then you add in 1 cup of cheddar, 1 cup of mozzarella and a pinch of garlic powder. mix together, then spread on your sandwich. Bear in mind, this is enough mix for two sandwiches, usually. What you get is a creamy, gooey mess of delicious. I've also experimented with using a cup of havarti or a cup of colby jack in for cheddar, and it still turns out amazing. This is also 1/5th of a recipe I took from the internet. The original version was a huge batch that would be used to make little 2x2 sandwich squares as hors d'oeuvres. I've not found the occasion to make that yet, but I want to.

Enjoy your fancy grilled cheese!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#52 Quick Tip: Use An Old Binder As A Laptop Cooling Stand

That's pretty much all you need to know about today's tip. It's simple, cheap, and best of all it actually works. It may not be fancy, but it only costs $2-5, or you can just use one you have laying around your house, and your laptop will dispense heat better.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

#51 Learn About Emotions

If any of you out there are interested in psychology like I am, you will probably be entertained by this theory of emotions, which maps and charts which emotions correspond to what, and also breaks them down into their most basic forms. If you're into studying this sort of stuff, you'll probably dig it.

It seems Blogger doesn't like how big this picture is, so I uploaded it somewhere else so you can view it in full. Go here

Saturday, October 8, 2011

#50 How To Make Fried Chicken

It seems my blog is taking a turn for cooking, and I'm okay with that.

I love Cooking With Jack, he's just an all around good, informative guy who makes entertaining videos. And I want to make nearly everything on his channel.

So today I figured I'd share with you Jack's video on how to make fried chicken. I've done it, and can verify that it is simply delicious.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#48 Turning Cheap Steak Into Choice Steak

First bit of information since coming back, so I figured I'd make it a food one.

The subject today is how to turn cheap steaks into choice, high quality steak through a pre-cooking process.

According to the article, "The Steak Secret: massively salt your steaks 1 hour before cooking for every inch of thickness." What this means is that you just liberally coat your steak with salt before cooking, adding an hour before time to cook per inch. This means if it's a 1 inch steak, coat the steak in salt an hour before cooking, 2 inches 2 hours, and so on. The idea is that the salt will break down the protein's in the steak, and draw water out of the steak. This accomplishes two things; one, breaking down the protein's makes the steak softer and less chewy, and bringing out the water makes it easier to get rid of excess that does nothing for your meat. Right before grilling, you pat down your steak and remove the excess water and salt, and when it cooks, the rest of the salt goes throughout the entire steak and makes for a piece of meat that is delicious and quite possibly cheap. Save money on expensive cuts and just learn how to turn your cheap cuts into delicious slices of beef.

Check out the article Here

It's been nearly a year, but I'm back!

Hello everyone! I highly doubt I have that many regular visitors anymore, it's been nearly a year since my last post. I deeply apologize. I had a lot of things happen in my personal life and I just plain forgot. I did however recently find a file that I had stored upcoming posts for the blog in, and remembered I had neglected it. Starting today, I will go back to blogging a tip or trick or any other useful information at least once a day.

Here's to blogging!