Hoisin Beer-Butt Chicken.

Because I’d never cooked one before!

Ingredients:

  • whole chicken
  • 1/2 full can of beer (put the rest in a bread, or the cook)
  • 2tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1tbsp onion powder
  • 1tsp mustard
  • 1tsp paprika

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl and fork
  • baking tray
  • skewers for emergency propping

Recipe:

  1. Place the chicken over the beercan, the further in the can goes the more stable it will be.
  2. Prop the chicken with skewers anyway because a chicken on a beercan is stupidly unsteady.
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Slather all over the chicken. We want it looking fake-tanned!
  4. Roast in a preheated oven at 160C for 2h.
  5. Roast at 230C for a few minutes to crisp up.
  6. Make gravy with the drippings and remaining beer in the can.

 

How To… nurture desire.

It’s a common refrain in the manosphere and red pill circles that desire cannot be negotiated. Which is true. When you simply do not want someone or something, there is very little that can be done about it. However there is a big difference between something we simply do not want and, unless we change radically, never will, and something we do want, but not the way it is presented to us.

This philosophy starts with sex and sexuality, but also extends into self-improvement, diet, employment and, realistically, everything you will ever do.

For me right now the problem is alcohol. When TTC, pregnant and breastfeeding, I will not drink. But everyone around me still does and did so during last weekend’s BBQ. And I had to remember that what I wanted was not best for me right now.

As a simple, relatable example, we may want pizza, not omelette for dinner. We don’t dislike omelette. We just want to eat a pile of junk. However for some reason it isn’t in our best interests to have pizza. Maybe we’re saving money. Maybe we’re on a diet. Maybe it just doesn’t fit into our day. Our desire for pizza cannot be negotiated: we want it and that’s final. And if we were presented with food that we definitely do not enjoy, perhaps brussels sprouts, our desire not to eat that cannot be negotiated. We will if we must, but even if we make ourselves we do not want to. However the emelette exists in a middle ground: we do desire it, but the circumstances right now mean we do not currently desire it. And that is where nurturing comes in.

1: Identify your desires and non desires.

In this case our main desire is pizza, our non desire is brussels sprouts and our secondary desire is omelette. We really want pizza, would be OK with omelette, and be unhappy with brussels sprouts.

2: Identify the reasons for your desires.

The reason we desire pizza and omelette is because they suit our palettes. They are savoury dishes with salt and fat and protein. They fill us up and the taste tells our bodies they are good. Likewise, we do not desire brussels sprouts because they are not savoury, salty, fatty, proteiny foods. They are bitter and plant-ish and lacking in calories.

3: Identify the pros and cons of your desires.

The pros of our desire for pizza are that it stimulates our taste buds and provides calories. The con is that it is expensive, unhealthy and/or inconvenient.

The pros of our desire for omelette are that it stimulates our taste buds, provides calories, is healthier, cheaper and more convenient. The con is that, lacking carbs and cheese, it does not make us as hungry as pizza.

The pros of our lack of desire for brussels sprouts are that we do not eat a food we find unpleasant which provides few calories. The con is that we are avoiding a perfectly healthy food.

So, as we can see, the one that wins out is omelette, meeting our needs and desires in the middle. However it is not enough to deny ourselves pizza. We need to work on our desire for omelette. And, though we cannot eliminate desire for pizza or create desire for brussels sprouts, we can reinforce our desire for omelette.

4: Feed your desire for the best options.

Work on making that omelette an important part of your day. Season it well, cook it well, make it an enjoyable experience. When your mind drifts to pizza, remind yourself why you do not want to eat pizza: it is unhealthy, expensive and inconvenient. Think of the tastes and textures of the omelette. Feel the hunger. Build a craving for it.

5: Promote the best options with in-betweens.

And, of course, sometimes you will feel strongly pressed to go for something more like pizza. Sometimes the craving will be very strong. At times like this, you find a compromise which does not take away from the benefits of the omelette but allows you to enjoy the experience of pizza. Maybe you will fold cheese and cured meats into your omelette. Maybe you will make a pizza at home with cheap and healthy ingredients. Whatever you do, try and go for the best option for you.

In other words, desire cannot be negotiated. But to assume that means “I want pizza so I will have pizza” is ridiculous. We have more than one desire in the choices we make. And by nurturing the productive desires, we can make the most of our options. So pizza-omelette, here I come! 😛

What are some choices and decisions you find hard to make? Would love to hear about any time you overcame a craving, inertia or another conflict of desire!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Making your own nut and seed butters!

We all want to eat a bit healthier. And we all seem to love peanut butter! We’ve probably devoured it by the tub from the age of one, so it’s hardly surprising. Of course, the first thing any healthy eating fanatic discovers is that peanut butter is actually awesome for you, albeit calorie laden, just as long as we eat the all peanut, low sugar, low salt variety. Some people are happy at that point, but some of us psychos then start to look for different nut butters: almond butter, sesame paste, cashew butter… And I’m sure that you, like I, have noticed that these special nut and seed butters are expensive. Well fear not! You can actually make all your nut butters very cheaply at home and so quickly, even the traditional way, you will never go back!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nuts or seeds of choice
  • 2tbsp equivalent oil
  • a pinch of salt

Utensils:

  • bowl
  • meat grinder and blender, or a food processor

Recipe:

  1. Soak your nuts or seeds in boiling water, leave overnight.
  2. Drain them.
  3. Roughly chop or mince the soaked nuts.
  4. Add the oil and salt.
  5. Blend until a paste forms.
  6. Serve.

Is it really that simple? Yep!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Belated WWW.

Sorry it’s so late. Just getting back into the swing of things and working around a new puppy, improved nutrition for when we’re TTC (around February or March, wish us luck!), new students and loads of writing, I’ve not had much time for recipes or fitness posts.

However I have completed my Beginner Homemaker book and got the timetable mostly in order, so regular recipe and fitness updates can return.

Recipe 1: My best pie crust.

Between a music festival and lots of jam to get through before berry season, I’ve been making many pies and I think I have worked out my best crust recipe yet.

Ingredients:

Makes enough for over one pie, so freeze or make snacks with the rest.

-2 cups plain flour

-3 eggs

-150g butter

-5tbsp sugar

-1tsp salt

Utensils:

-mixing bowl

-fork

Recipe:

1: Mash the eggs, salt and flour together.

2: Fold in the butter and sugar.

3: Knead until uniformly yellow. Fold in half, stretch and fold again at least 10 times.

4: Place in the fridge.

5: Bring to room temperature before halving the dough. When you roll it, roll it out nice and flat.

Recipe 2: Chicken pan stew.

Another new staple, can be mixed up with different seasonings but really makes for a wholesome and tasty dish on its own.

Ingredients:

Serves 4-6.

-6 deboned chicken thighs

-200g bacon

-2 onions

-2 carrots

-400g pureed tomato

-400g presoaked lentils

-400-800g presoaked butter or cannellini beans

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: Chop the carrots and onions finely.

2: Place in a pan with tomato and lentils and bring to a boil.

3: Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and add the chicken and beans. Let both rest on top.

4: Turn the chicken once cooked on one side.

5: Once both sides of chicken are cooked, lightly salt and pepper.

WWW. Rhubarb&Apple Crumble, Mascarpone Sauce.

The best main and best pudding we had this week! The crumble is a lower sugar twist on a classic and the mascarpone sauce is so easy, you won’t believe it!

Mascarpone Sauce.

If you’ve never made a rich and creamy tomato sauce from scratch, this is amazingly rewarding.

Ingredients:

(Serves 6-8.)

-1kg/35oz chopped tomato

-80g/2.8oz mascarpone

-1 large onion

-3 cloves garlic

-1/2 a jalapeno chili

-butter or another cooking fat

-herbes de provence

-black pepper

-salt

-assorted vegetables

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-pot

Recipe:

1: Finely mince the onions and garlic. Fry in the fat.

2: Once browning, add the tomatoes and the herbs, bring to a boil and then turn down to reduce.

3: Once all the flavours have blended, add the mascarpone and chili.

4: Simmer.

5: Chop your vegetables and cook them in the sauce.

The one pictured is with broccoli, savoy cabbage and parsnip. I topped mine with hard boiled eggs and Jon topped his with peppered fried mince and bacon.

Mascarpone1

We actually enjoyed it so much that I recently made another one, with olive oil, red onion, loads of red peppers, some green pepper, mushrooms, broccoli stem and butternut squash. I absolutely recommend that one, as the butternut squash melts into the sauce, thickening it even more and the sweet peppers make it unbelievably sweet contrasted with the spice of the chili. An amazing burst of flavour.

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble.

An old classic I made almost properly.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4-6.)

-2 large stalks of rhubarb

-1 large cooking apple

-60g/2oz flour

-60g/2oz butter or another fat

-20g/0.7oz palm sugar, honey, molasses sugar or maple syrup

-cinnamon

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Remove all leaf from the rhubarb (poisonous!) and the core from the apple. Clean your chopping board to be on the safe side.

2: Cut the rhubarb into small segments and the apple into similarly sized cubes. Place in the tray.

3: In the bowl, mash the fat, flour and sugar with your fingers until golden crumbs are formed.

4: Sprinkle over the apple and rhubarb. Bake at 200C/390F until crisp on top.

5: Dust with cinnamon and serve.

Crumble

And those were our favourite main meal and pudding this past week!

What have you been cooking? What was the best thing you ate all week?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Lentil Chicken and Protein Cookies.

This week’s recipes are lentil chicken and some protein cookies.

I made the lentil chicken firstly to test whether I can digest red lentils efficiently and secondly because both of us are eating lower carb meals and more stir-fries at the moment, so rice was out of the question and plain veg was getting a little dull. Lentils are a good middle ground.

I made the protein cookies because Jon’s been having a few sugary snacks on the job and he wanted to replace them with something more wholesome.

Lentil Chicken Stir-Fry.

stir fry

Actually made in a wok, though not essential.

wok

Ingredients:

-1 cup dried lentils

-1.5kg assorted veg (cabbage, carrots, onions, bean sprouts in any combination)

-the meat from 1/2 a chicken

-spring onions, some cucumber and sweet peppers for garnish

-1/2 a habanero chili

-2tbsp salt

-1tbsp pepper

-2tbsp onion powder

-olive oil

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-a large (1l) jar or pot

-a large wok or frying pan

Lentil prep:

1: Rinse in boiling water.

2: Soak in th jar for 24h.

Recipe:

1: Chop the chicken and all vegetables besides the spring onion and sweet pepper.

2: Coat the base of the wok with olive oil. Add the vegetables, chicken and lentils.

3: Sear the mix at a high temperature. Keep stirring.

4: Turn the temperature down and add the seasonings.

5: Cook until all combined.

6: Serve with diced sweet pepper, cucumber and spring onion.

Protein Cookies.

Ingredients:

-4 small bananas

-1 heaped tbsp peanut butter

-1 heaped tbsp almond butter

-2 eggs

-1.5 cups oats

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mash the bananas and eggs together.

2: Slowly combine the nut butters.

3: Once smooth, add the oats.

4: Pour out onto the tray as a single lump or as separate cookie pieces.

5: Bake at 150C for 20min.