Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Bake Bacon

Need to make 2 lbs (or more) of bacon in 25 minutes?

No problem!  Just set the oven to 400 degrees, lay the pieces flat on baking sheet (i use the industrial type with 1" sides) and bake 25 minutes (more or less, depending on how crunchy you like it).

The slices come out straight and pretty, just like in a restaurant.  And the bacon grease won't pop you in the arm either.  Just tilt the pans to drain the drippings into another container for future use.  Done!

Turkey No-Noodle Soup

 It's that time of year.  You know, the one when everyone gets sick.  So here's a recipe i came up with for a soothing meal that can be eaten when you really don't feel much like eating.

It could also make a good gift to a loved one, friend, or office mate that isn't feeling so awesome.

Turkey No-Noodle Soup*

Turkey Stock** from one medium (appx. 12 lbs) turkey
Chicken Broth (2 cans)
2 cups turkey, cubed
3 stalks celery, cubed
1 small sweet potato, cubed
2 cups shredded coleslaw mix

1.Bring stock and broth to boil over medium-high heat
2.Add cubed vegetables and meat; continue boiling until vegetables are soft, but not mushy.
3.Turn off heat and add shredded coleslaw

*all quantities are suggestions only; feel free to make substitutions

**add 16-24 oz water and two cloves garlic, minced, to carcass, neck, and organs. Cook in crockpot, 8 hours on low. Strain and use immediately or refrigerate.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guess what? The Dietary Guidelines are a joke

so says Adele H. Hite, M.A.T.(Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA), Richard David Feinman, Ph.D.(Department of Cell Biology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA), Gabriel E. Guzman, Ph.D.(Science Department, Triton College, River Grove, Illinois, USA), Morton Satin, M.Sc.(Salt Institute, Alexandria, Virginia, USA), Pamela A. Schoenfeld, R.D.(Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, New Jersey, USA), Richard J. Wood, Ph.D.(Exercise Science and Sport Studies Department, Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA) who published the following paper in the journal Nutrition:

In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee

Concerns that were raised with the first dietary recommendations 30 y ago have yet to be adequately addressed. The initial Dietary Goals for Americans (1977) proposed increases in carbohydrate intake and decreases in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt consumption that are carried further in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report. Important aspects of these recommendations remain unproven, yet a dietary shift in this direction has already taken place even as overweight/obesity and diabetes have increased. Although appealing to an evidence-based methodology, the DGAC Report demonstrates several critical weaknesses, including use of an incomplete body of relevant science; inaccurately representing, interpreting, or summarizing the literature; and drawing conclusions and/or making recommendations that do not reflect the limitations or controversies in the science. An objective assessment of evidence in the DGAC Report does not suggest a conclusive proscription against low-carbohydrate diets. The DGAC Report does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that increases in whole grain and fiber and decreases in dietary saturated fat, salt, and animal protein will lead to positive health outcomes. Lack of supporting evidence limits the value of the proposed recommendations as guidance for consumers or as the basis for public health policy. It is time to reexamine how US dietary guidelines are created and ask whether the current process is still appropriate for our needs.

The paper continues with:

The DGAC Report had the opportunity to review and evaluate the emerging science, to distinguish between established principles and ideas that are still areas of research or controversy, and to provide clear, consistent information for Americans. Instead, the 2010 DGAC Report continues to make one-size-fits-all recommendations that are based on evidence that is weak, fragmented, and even contradictory in nature.

In other words the DGAC screwed the pooch and filled the Dietary Guidelines with bad science (if you could even call what was written as "science"). In the Nutrition article, the authors take the DGAC to task like when the DGAC complains that Americans aren’t following the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which of course call for consuming less fat and more carbohydrates:

Average daily calories from meat, eggs, and nuts have increased by about 20 cal since 1970 as average daily calories from flour and cereal products have increased by nearly 10 times that amount (p. D1-10). In short, the macronutrient content of the diet has shifted in the direction recommended since the 1977 dietary goals.

Total and saturated fat intakes have decreased as a percentage of calories for men, the absolute amount has decreased whereas carbohydrate intake has increased. Notable from the DGAC Report is the absence of any concern that this shift in macronutrient content may be a factor in the increase in overweight /obesity and chronic disease; the proposed recommendations suggest that this trend should not only continue but also become more pronounced.

Towards the end of the paper, the authors present a little history:

It is of interest to consider the opinion of the American Medical Association (AMA) with respect to the first implementation of dietary guidelines. In an editorial, it was stated:

“We believe that it would be inappropriate at this time to adopt proposed national dietary goals as set forth in the Report on Dietary Goals for the United States. The evidence for assuming that benefits to be derived from the adoption of such universal dietary goals as set forth in the Report is not conclusive and there is potential for harmful effects from a radical long-term dietary change as would occur through adoption of the proposed national goals.”

In the three decades since, carbohydrate consumption has increased; overall fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol consumption have decreased to near or below targeted levels; caloric intake remains within recommended levels; and leisure-time physical activity has increased slightly (pp. D1-1, D3-10, B2-3). At the same time, scientific evidence in favor of these recommendations remains inconclusive, and we must consider the possibility that the “potential for harmful effects” has in fact been realized.

In other words, what the public is being told about food and their diet is complete bull and those in power would rather to continue to try and shove BS down our throats instead of saying "You know what, we done goofed up for the past 30 years. Here's what the science is actually showing." I have a sneaking suspicion this is due to the high number of special interests,lobbyists, and subsidies *cough*corn*cough*

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Paleo/Primal Bacon Peach Recipes

With the summer bounty of peaches nearly over with, as well as it being National Peach Month, I've thought about some peach-related recipes that are delicious and can be eaten by Paleos and Primals with ease.

First up: a Peach Salad w/ Bacon, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thoughts on renewing my wedding vows

My wife wants to do a big, elaborate thing for out 10th anniversary, i.e. she wants to renew our vows. I’m cool with this. I mean, we didn’t have a great big wedding to begin with… actually, we didn’t even have a small wedding. It was my wife and I, standing in a roadside gazebo (which was overlooking a very awesome little town by the name of Eureka Springs). We loved it, at least until my wife’s aunt got married with a large, comparatively, ceremony which got my wife a bit jealous. I have a sneaking suspicion she really wants to outdo that, which wouldn’t be very hard, not by just a little but by a lot. And not to be all “Look at us, we did it even bigger and better!”, but just because it is a thing that name girls dream about as theygrow up and my wife has become much more “girly”, in a feminine sense, over the past few years.Case in point, her favorite color is now pink. And not just any pink, but a darker hot pink. She even asked me to buy her high-heel shoes the other day, though they were still the mary jane style, but still! This is not the woman that I fell in love with and married, she has changed from being tomboyish and uncaring, to being girly and wanting to look pretty (dont get me wrong, I am NOT complaining!).

While in her mind, pretty flowers, everyone all dressed nice, and being outside on a beautiful piece of land is her idea of an awesome ceremony, I’m thinking a bit differently. See, I would love to do a theme ceremony: preferably superhero, supervillian, steampunk, or a mixed theme of pure, unadulterated awesome-ness! Further proving my point on how awesome she is, she would love it too! Although, her fears of how our respective families might think of such an idea cause her to say it would be cool in theory, but in application it is more of an “why dont you help me pick out some nice floral arrangements and lace” sort of thing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Paleo Ice Cream, Lactose-Free

So I've tried the banana ice cream method and it rather failed for me, and I am rather non-picky when it comes to cold treats.

My wife then tried to make ice cream in our old-style ice cream maker with coconut milk for me, since I am lactose intolerant. Didn't work. In fact, the coconut milk caused it to freeze up around the sides way too fast, forcing us to try to make it set up in the freezer. Turned out to be more like ice, without the cream. I ate it, because I wasn't going to waste it, but I wouldn't ask my wife to make it again. Also, no one else would even touch the stuff.

I've tried the ice cream from the stores that are lactose-free, but it seems my body cannot be fooled, so there goes that option (as does using the lactose-free pills).

Strangely, while just a nibble of lactose will send me to hell for the next few hours, I can eat butter from the stick all day long, safely. Well, beyond the fact that the taste would cause me to upchuck rather early on.

Luckily, I hit upon the following recipe that I tried and even my wife thought was the same consistency and flavor as ice cream, just not quite sweet enough for her while I thought it was perfect.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What is your gaming (player/GM) style?

Due to other threads on different gaming forums, I have been curious about this: What is your play/GM style?

For myself…its hard to say. I started roleplaying with free form V:tM so I have a special place for that in my heart, and I believe that it still influences my playing/GMing style today. In that game, interaction was between character and character, between character and public NPC’s (public in that anyone could control said NPC), and much less common, between character and owned NPC (such as bodyguards and whatnot). Because of this, I tend to thrive in games where NPC’s are just a small aspect of the game.

The next aspect of gaming I had was that of Palladium Fantasy, my first foray into gaming at a tabletop instead of over the internet. I loved it and as such, fantasy gaming is my favorite by far. This game also cemented my idea of NPC’s being of little importance, with the exception of perhaps one or two NPC’s that are part of the characters group.

So in regards to NPC’s, I feel they should either be part of the group or should fade into black the moment they are no longer being spoken to and whatnot (this is not to mean that said shopkeeper is not alerting the authorities or whomever that you are in town after taking your money, but that should be done inside the GM’s head).

The PF game also gave me something that I really liked: Specifics. I like specifics being there in games that I play and run. I find it refreshing to know not only that my character can summon a fireball out of thin air and throw it at someone, but also know how hot said fireball is in real-world terms and what it can and cannot burn through. However, due to that game and others that I have played over the years, I really hate it when the specifics get in the way of having fun and taking time away from the game.

For example, if the GM says that the fireball burns through a certain substance, for me that is all that I need to know, that the GM said it does. I could care less if the rules state that this is impossible, maybe that section of the wall is weakened or a difference substance altogether made to look like it was something else. So when someone begins to argue the point, that’s the moment the game immersion ends for me, which I really hate.

I guess this means that I gravitate towards crunchy systems that is very rules light when actually in use (probably why I like Tri-Stat dX and Savage Worlds: Explorers Edition so well).

I am not big on romance in games that I play/GM, unless it is between my wife and I, in which case I feel it is rather insignificant to the story and game.

As far as purpose of a game, a grand scheme of things, I can go either way. I am fine with tv show-like game sessions where each week is something new to take care of. I am also fine with having a need to save the world. I am not into political games, precisely because they cause NPC’s to become rather invasive and in-your-face, which is not where I want them. To me, the game is about the characters and their interaction with each other.

Why some people want a game with other players but prefer to interact with NPC’s instead of doing what they want, which is obviously playing a game that consists of just themselves and the GM (1-1 type of gaming), is beyond my comprehension (not to say that that type of gaming cannot be fun, I have done this in the past and have had a great time, but if you are joining a group, then the game is about the group, not your character and some NPC).

I like long, epic storylines but I feel that I am not very good at implementing them as a GM. I tend to play characters who are rogues/thieves/scoundrels who think outside of the box and would prefer to come up with a unique and off-the-wall approach to solving any problem than to take the easier route, so my riddles and plot-lines tend to be about the same. Meaning my players often have a hard time figuring it out, so I downplay it and… well, I get bored (course, I’ve not done something like that since I ran a game with a crunchy system for combat and resolution, so I think I could do better now).


I like to play/GM games that are a chrunchy in character creation and have real-world examples, but want the system to be nearly invisible during gameplay. NPC’s should know their place: Either be part of the group (only 1 or 2, max) or interact only when interacted with. Players should play as part of the group, not desire one-on-one time with the GM all the time. Games should be full of political intrigue. I am very much so a “Why yes, you can do that.” as a GM, but I also like skill/stat checks when appropriate.

So, what about you? What is your style of playing/GMing?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Future of Food

Excellent documentary that I hope everyone watches. It scares me to be in the dark about genetically modified foods, in regards to if I am consuming them or not. It is also terribly frightening to know that our food supply is controlled by businesses, not farmers. I fear that this will be the cause of our Apocalypse: Not Zombies or Robot Overlords, but Food Control.

The Future of Food Free Documentary from Deborah Koons Garcia on Vimeo.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD is a feature length documentary that offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade

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