I made some bacon the other day, in our electric skillet. We still don’t have a stove or an oven (my preferred method for makin’ bacon) so it was my only recourse. It worked out well, though, since I ended up with an electric skillet full of hot bacon fat, a couple of potatoes and a coarse grater. That’s hashbrowns, baby.
I’ve never actually made hashbrowns from scratch, oddly enough. A friend gave me crap about that, claiming that all hashbrowns are from scratch, but that’s not true for me. I’ve tried to make them before, but always from freeze-dried or frozen. They didn’t go well. Partly because they weren’t fresh, I’m sure, but also partly because my last attempt was still when I was mildly fat-phobic. So I’d put a little oil in the pan, put in the limp, dead potatoes shavings and hope for the best. This time, I had lots of good bacon fat, and tossed in some freshly grated organic potatoes. I’d worked very hard at the gym the night before, so I felt pretty justified in treating myself to some taters. Don’t judge me.
The hashbrowns turned out amazingly well. Easily the best I’ve ever made, maybe the best I’ve ever eaten, too. There is just something intensely satisfying about cooking in animal fat. Everything just tastes amazing. So we had bacon and hashbrowns for breakfast, with some fruit to finish. It was great.
For dinner on Sunday, I made steaks. Some beautiful, giant, grassfed NY Strips from our freezer. I used our charcoal grill, the Big Green Egg. I always grill steak on there, but this is the first time I’d cooked steak on there using the plate setter to do indirect heat. I normally just get the grill as hot as it will go (with this thing, it’s north of 600º F) and just putting the steaks on for a few minutes on each side. I’ve been having trouble with the timing of it, though, since I rarely wait long enough for the steaks to reach room temp all the way through. So they end up perfect on the outside and underdone inside. Then I throw them back on the grill and they end up overdone on the outside and just right in the middle. Since I’ve been hearing more bad news about scorched meat having nasty effects on the body, I’m trying to be more conscious of that stuff. So I decided to use the indirect heat. I got the grill up to the 450-500º range and put the steaks on for 6 minutes per side. They were much less done on the outside than usual after just 3 minutes on each side with direct heat, but still weren’t properly done inside. I put them back on for another 6 minutes each side, and they turned out pretty perfectly. Still not scorched on the outside, but pink and juicy all the way through. I’m normally not a huge fan of NY Strip (I prefer ribeyes), but these were excellent. I’m sure some of that is the quality of the meat, but I’m also sure that some of it is the indirect heat. I’m going to keep experimenting, but so far I’m pretty pleased with the results. I will keep you informed of further experimentation.
What else? Not too much, really. The workout on Friday was a Bootcamp session at our gym with a friend. She does it three times a week and really enjoys it. I enjoyed this session, but it’s very much not what I’ve been training for. It’s more of a cardio beatdown than anything, and that’s not something I’ve been doing at all. It was fun, and I’m glad I did it, but I think that’s more of a “once a month or two” sort of workout for me. I’m going to keep doing my walking, my body weight stuff, maybe some more yoga, etc. Still need to get out and sprint, but I’m still crazy sore from Friday’s workout, so I’ve been slacking on that so far this week. I’m probably just being a wuss about it and would feel better if I got my legs moving. We’ll see.
Still feeling great, looking lean, sleeping well and all the rest. No complaints from me!
Okay, that’s enough about my stuff. Let’s get to some links.
How Sweet It Isn’t – A really thorough breakdown of the different sweeteners. They come down in favor of stevia and honey, which is kind of where I end up. They mention some sugar alcohols, but do make sure to mention the GI distress they can cause. So anyway, this is just another review of the sweeteners, which we’ve seen before, but I like how thoroughly this one goes through it all, and all the links within it to other sources.
Good Fats Bad Fats – A great article about the benefits and detriments of various sources of fat, with dozens of links to the evidence for all of it. This is a very well-done piece, and will be my go-to whenever anyone asks me about why saturated fat is good and why they shouldn’t be eating canola oil or whatever.
Nutritional Epidemiology: More harm Than Good? – A piece that calls into question how useful those food frequency questionnaires really are, and how much good science can be done using that sort of methodology. Good read, for sure.
That’s enough for today, I’m thinking. Enjoy the links, and thanks for reading!