Tag Archives: Kitchen

From A Woot Deal To QVC To A Sous-Vide Supreme Demi

When I initially took advantage of a Woot daily deal on a Rival Food Vacuum Sealer, I thought maybe at best, I was going to be able to really take advantage of my Costco membership and actually start buying some of the bulk meat packages. I was looking forward to taking advantage of the discounts available for buying in bulk because now I’d have a way to actually save the meat in the freezer without getting freezer burn by the time I finally got around to using it all up. The last thing I expected that it was going to lead to two additional purchases and drastically change how I cook in my own home.

When the vacuum sealer from Woot showed up, I was hooked. I got a good deal on the unit, I spent a total of $24.99 for the sealer which was very reasonable for an entry level machine. The unit came with four bags, so I went to the store and bought some bags in the form of a FoodSaver roll that lets you custom make bags to your choice of size. And within a few days I was really enjoying the ability to vacuum seal food and finding the Rival unit to be decent but lacking in the ability to cut off the vacuum and move directly into sealing if I didn’t want to completely remove all the air. Also the Rival unit operated by applying pressure to the lid until the hands free operation light came on, at which point it would then take over and continue sucking out all the air until it could suck out no more then activate the sealing mechanism. The lid required quite a bit of pressure to activate it, which is fine, but I could see the complaint I later saw from a lot of people commenting on the unit in online reviews. But ultimately, I decided I was going to need a fancier vacuum sealing unit for my needs.

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My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

My previous roommates had a Magic Bullet, so I could kind of experiment with making shakes like the one in Jorge Cruise’s “Belly Fat Cure” book, but the Magic Bullet has a small capacity and really not a lot of power for some serious blending. Now that I’ve moved and got my own kitchen, I didn’t have a blender of any kind. And I really didn’t want to spend any money on one either.

At work, when we meet our customer service goals, they award us a bonus. The bonus used to be a quarterly cash bonus that maxed out at $200 but once taxed at the rate the government taxes bonuses, it was barely more than half the value. As part of a cost cutting measure last year due to the economy, the quarterly bonus opportunity was transitioned into a point program where the points could be saved and redeemed through an awards catalog online. The points can be redeemed for a wide variety of products and if that’s not quite enough for you, they even have a partnership with Amazon.com for supplying Music and DVD options to be redeemed for points.

When I logged in to look at what was available, I really wasn’t looking to purchase yet with the point I had available. But I just happened to look and not only did they have a variety of blenders available, they also had KitchenAid Blenders. I’m already familiar with KitchenAid quality thanks to my grandmother’s mixer being passed down to me. And I love a great deal, the mixers are normally 7,176 points, and they were on special for 3,915 points, essentially 45% off the usual “price” only thing was there’s only one choice of color, the “Willow Blue” model. Fortunately, it’s a nice color and since buying the blender for real money would be about $100, I felt it was a great deal and placed the order. Within in a couple days the blender arrived. Continue reading My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

Moving From Poway To San Diego

One of the unexpected surprises that lead to a brief hiatus here on Ryan’s Incredible World was that my roommates of the last couple of years had decided they wanted to get back to having their house to themselves. They are a married couple and I work with one of them at the casino on the same shift, so for the time I was there it worked out to be convenient for both of us to live in the same house and commute together to work since we worked in the same place. However, my roommates have decided that it was time to be on their own again and in mid January, I asked to find a new place to live and was given until the start of April to find a new place.

I initially wasn’t thrilled with the request, but my roommates reassured me that they felt I was the best roommate they had ever had, and the only reason they were asking was because they wanted to be on their own and have the house all to themselves again. They reassured me that it was not anything I had done and that they feel I’ve been the most considerate roommate they’ve ever had in their lives and I had been there the longest any roommate has ever stayed with them. When I originally moved in they envisioned my stay there being about two years, and I was there two and a half years. They have been the best roommates I’ve ever had as well and I look forward to continue having a great friendship with them well into the future.

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Christmas 2009 With The Family

Christmas 2009 was special in many ways this year. First off my mom and dad were in their new house in Temecula. Also this year my brother and his wife came out from Nashville to spend Christmas here in Southern California. And my grandfather on my mom’s side also came down from Calgary to spend the holidays here. It’s first Christmas in a while that many of us have been together.

My parents’ new home in Temecula looked great with my mom’s Christmas decorations. Some of the things that weren’t yet finished when I last visited at Thanksgiving were finally done such as the backspashes in the Kitchen. The cabinet doors for the cupboards in the kitchen were finally back with the center sections of them cut out and glass inserted to replace the wood removed. The old iron bed frame that was in the lower level guest room had been completely repainted to a metallic grey color and the new mattresses for both the lower level guest room as well as the upstairs bedroom had arrived. About the only thing that still hadn’t arrived yet were the blinds for all the windows.

I came over on Christmas Eve to take my dad and grandpa to the Xanadu production in Costa Mesa. This gave my mom some time to do some errands without my dad and grandpa in her hair. My brother and his wife were arriving late Christmas Eve and I since I had to work I decided to stay over at my folks place, go to work, and then return to my folks place first thing in the morning after work. I had volunteered to have my schedule changed at work in order to work Christmas Eve so that my usual night off could be given to someone on the shift with kids. As I’ve gotten older it’s become less important to enjoy Christmas morning at the earliest possible moment, it doesn’t make much difference to me if the festivities begin at 6 am, 8 am, or 10 am when I’d be back from work. Small kids on the other hand, every extra hour they’d have to wait for mom or dad to come home from work would feel like an eternity so I didn’t want to deprive one of my co-workers from the chance to spend an early morning Christmas with their kids.

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Thanksgiving At My Parents’ New Home

Mom's New HouseI got to have my first look the new house my parents moved into in Temecula, California on Thanksgiving. I was a little sad to see the old house in the process of being packed up and ready to go last week when stopped by. (Click here to read about that visit.) But I was excited to see the new house even though it’s considerably further away from where I’m currently living.

My first look at the house wasn’t actually when I drove up, when I got the e-mail from my mother with the new address, I checked it out on Google’s maps using the street view feature. The photo was not unlike the one I took that’s shown above. The house is definitely bigger than the older house and as my mom tells me, it’s approximately 1000 square feet bigger than the old house, but because lacks the same level of storage space of the old house. Understandable considering the old house, my folks had “California Closets” installed in all the closets to maximize the closet spaces and a full set of storage cabinets inside the garage. The new house has just the bar to hang clothes in the closets and from what my folks told me, the garage wasn’t even drywalled when the bought the house. So eventually the closets will get transformed into California Closets and cabinets added to the garage, but it’s not a priority.

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Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar Factory In My Kitchen

Nanaimo Bar FactoryYesterday, I took on the daunting task of making four batches of Nanaimo Bars using the Sugar Free recipe I developed earlier this year. (For those new to my blog and unfamiliar with my adventures developing my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar recipe, click here to see all my Nanaimo Bar entries. The recipe also appears below.) It was the first time I have made multiple batches in one day and it was certainly an interesting experience. As the dessert is a layered treat, I did all four sets of each layer before moving on to the next layer. It was definitely a big production and of course, I couldn’t do them all the same, so I did three batches as the regular version of the recipe and one batch in the peanut butter variation.

Part of the reason for doing so many batches at once is that I promised a batch to be a gift for a friend for his birthday, also I’m attending a couple of Thanksgiving events that I don’t want to arrive at empty handed. Also my roommates really liked the peanut butter variation when I first tried that variation of the recipe but I haven’t made a second batch of that one, until now.

I had to set up the kitchen into almost a factory setup with many little “stations” to handle the various preparation work. I had a food processor station, a mixer station, a boiler station, as well as a station to store the pans between batches. And I was jumping between the various stations often working on more than one batch at a time. In some cases I was putting butter into the double boiler to melt for the next batch while finishing the chopping and mixing for the previous batch. It definitely felt like quite like a factory production with various stations I set up in the kitchen to handle the specific preparations tasks. It definitely worked really well for getting the base layer made.

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Trying Hodad’s, One Of CNN’s Top 5 Burgers In America

Hodad's BurgerIn one of those the truth is so strange it sounds like fiction moments, I was listening to Mary Occhino on my Sirius Satellite Radio because I woke up fairly early this morning. Her show now airs here in California between 4 am and 7 am due to the recent addition of Rosie O’Donnell to the Sirius XM Stars channel lineup. I decided to give Rosie O’Donnell’s program a try and stayed listening to her show.

During the Rosie Radio show, she was discussing how she and her daughter are addicted to one of the coffee style drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts. So I ended up checking out Dunkin’ Donuts webpage and on a long shot checked to see if any were in town. And it came up with no results. But a Google search yielded some different results, and so I ended up on Yelp.com where some local reviewers of some local donut shop were reminiscing about how that particular shop used to be Dunkin’ Donuts at one point in time. On the right hand side of the page was a Canadian Maple Leaf that caught my eye. Naturally as a Canadian, I had to see why there was a Canadian Maple Leaf on this page of reviews for a local donut shop that used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts however many years ago.

The Maple Leaf image was basically being used as a profile picture and it was tied to a list called “Comfort Foods” that was under a header called “Related Lists.” So whoever this person is had prepared a list of locations on Yelp, that he or she felt were great comfort food locations in San Diego, so out of curiosity, I clicked on because I’m assuming that he or she is also Canadian like me, so maybe they would have similar tastes.

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