30 January 2014

Homemade Beef Jerky

This week-end I finally made beef jerky and it was so easy. 

Time consuming…but easy.

All I did was: 

1. Buy a roast. I used a sirloin tip because it was on sale. It was about three pounds. I think a round roast would probably work better but this was fine. I put it in the freezer for a few hours and then cut off as much fat as I could. I then sliced it into very thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.

2. Next I mixed a marinade together in a ziploc bag. I used 1/3 cup of worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup tamari, 2 tsp sriracha hot sauce, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper, 1 tsp smoked salt (sea salt could be used instead), 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp smoked paprika. I just put all the ingredients in a ziploc bag and squished them up a bit. Then I tossed the meat in the bag, sealed it and massaged the marinade into the meat trying to coat every piece. 

3. I put the meat in the fridge and let it sit, turning it occasionally for about 24 hours.

4. The oven was preheated to 170 degrees F.* I pulled out a couple of cookie trays and placed cooling racks on top of them and placed the meat on the racks. I put two trays in the oven and waited. 

5. The thinnest pieces were ready after about four hours. I continued to add extra pieces of meat as I took pieces out. (I couldn't fit all the meat on my racks at once). The entire process took about twelve hours. Around 2am I started getting a little jealous of everybody who has two ovens…

The jerky turned out really good. Although, I will admit a couple of pieces were a bit too dry because I dozed off for a bit around 4am and didn't get them out of the oven at the right time. But they were still pretty good. The kids loved it. The biggest problem I had was it disappeared way too quickly. 

But isn't that always the way with good food. You spend hours preparing it and it disappears in minutes. I always like to think the faster it disappears the better it is. 

As an added bonus, I think I have earned a new level in superhero status with my boys…homemade jerky. Try it…your kids (and your husband) will think you are awesome.

*I am not an expert in food safety and am not sure if this is the current recommended temperature…it's just the lowest setting on my oven. 

14 January 2014

I Made Marshmallows

I may have previously mentioned and if you know me you probably already know this. But, I tend to have a problem with procrastination. It's not so much that I procrastinate…it's just that I like to think…a lot. This is very useful at times. But at other times I spend all my time thinking and then I have no time left to do anything.

Over the holidays I was playing a game and the question was asked: "Does the world belong to the thinkers or the doers". The general consensus was the doers. I had to stop and think about that.

Also during the holidays, a friend was over looking at recipes for beef jerky. He wanted to make some. The following week I stopped by and tried some of the jerky he made. I was a little jealous actually. It wasn't the best jerky in the world, but it was pretty good. I was so impressed that he did it. I've wanted to make jerky for a long time. I'm actually embarrassed to say how long - let's just say it has been years. I've read a bunch of recipes, watched a video or two, thought about making jerky. But, I haven't made jerky. I don't really know why. I want to. So, this week I have been thinking about that.

I've felt a little inspired. I am slowly…very slowly…learning to stop thinking and just do.

One of the other things I have wanted to make for years is marshmallows. I was talking about it this week-end and yesterday I decided to stop thinking.

 and I made marshmallows.

toasted coconut marshmallows.

They were insanely easy…and so good.

I was so happy I finally made them.

This week-end I'm making beef jerky.

I am learning my lesson. I need to think less and do more.

07 January 2014

Holiday treats

The holidays went by so fast. I loved being home with my family.

I also loved being able to spend so much time in the kitchen baking. 

I didn't get to my Christmas baking until a couple of days before Christmas but I still managed to get a fair bit in.

I was in treat mode all through the holidays. Even my leftovers became treats. I had some leftover phyllo from making spanakopita and a little leftover frozen mango and frozen peaches from smoothie making that became strudel…I love leftovers.

Even though we have no family here in the maritimes we still managed to squeeze in an extra seven people at our table for Christmas dinner. We hosted a birthday dinner for a friend and had a couple people over for New Year's Eve. We managed to keep our house full of friends and lots of stories, games and laughter over the holidays.

and treats…there were lots of treats.

I also was lucky enough to add to my cookbook collection over the holidays…I think the Butter book is my favourite. Years and years and years ago I came up with the idea of having a bakery that made homemade style baked goods. I had an image of my shop and how cute it would be. My bakery never became a reality. I read about Butter in a magazine about six years ago and was finally able to see "my" bakery. When we lived in Vancouver "Butter" was one of the first places I went. It is the cutest shop. I was so excited for the cookbook to come out. I'm really excited about trying all the recipes.

 The holidays went by so fast. I almost can't believe they are over already. I know this is belated - but I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.