Roasted Almonds

A  few weeks ago, a friend made four flavors of roasted almonds. Some were sweet and some were savory. I ordered almonds to make some but was halfway afraid to eat them with two temporary crowns in my mouth. Today I go back to the dentist to get permanent crowns so I figured what the heck . . I would roast some almonds. I made one batch with salt, chili powder and rosemary.

Seasoned Almonds

Seasoned Almonds

Almonds are supposed to be pretty healthy . . a source of protein and there’s some research showing they can help lower LDL Cholesterol. They have to be better than potato chips or cookies, right?

Roasted Almonds

Roasted Almonds

These are delicious! Vince doesn’t much like rosemary. I could (and sometimes do) eat it straight off the plant. I think it tastes so good .. but he doesn’t like cilantro either and I love that stuff too. Anyway, I put way less rosemary than I would have liked but this way, he should like them too.

Next, I’m going to make some using Herbs de Provence. I’m not sure if Vince will like those so I’ll make a smaller batch. This one was 11 oz. of almonds with the rosemary. Maybe I’ll do 5 oz. with the Herbs de Provence in case he doesn’t like them.

 

Cutting Out Sugar

It all started Sunday evening with us watching a documentary from 2015 called Sugar Coated. I know that I eat too much sugar, and I drink too much sugar. After doing a bit of research, I found that the recommended max for women is 25 grams of sugar per day. One can of Dr. Pepper has 40 grams of sugar. I was drinking an average of 4 cans per day. That’s 160 grams of sugar per day, not counting any other sugar I might consume during the day and there was plenty.

While I’m not much in the mood for a low carb or low this or that, kind of diet, I know that I need to cut so much sugar out of my diet. I need to lose weight! I need to do whatever I can do to make sure I stay healthy as I get older.

While not going cold turkey to cut out all Dr. Pepper, I’ve calculated that 4 ounces per day will be about 13 grams of sugar and if I’m pretty careful, I can stay under the 25 gram max. I’m not so much worried about naturally occurring sugar as found in fruits and veggies, though I am limiting my fruits to 3 or 4 servings per day. I think cutting out 120+ grams of sugar from the soda is going to make a world of difference. If, after going that route for a few months, I find I need to cut back more in order to lose weight, I’ll re-evaluate then.

Dinner

Dinner

For dinner tonight, we had tuna salad in avocado halves, carrots, tomatoes and a few almonds. Usually I put sweet pickle relish in my tuna salad. I left it out today and didn’t miss it. The salad had chopped onions, celery, a bit of chopped apple, but less than I normally would put, chopped boiled eggs and mayo.

Mostly for my own reference, I started a blog called Cutting Sugar. It truly isn’t to convince anyone else that what I’m doing is right, or to be a wealth of information on healthy eating . . it really is for my own reference so I can look back in six months or a year and see where I was on May 16, 2015. and how I got to where I hope to be on May 16, 2017.

 

Smoked Pork Loin

The last time I made buckboard bacon, I was reading through the directions and decided to cure and smoke a pork loin that was in the freezer. I had made Canadian bacon before, using basically the same idea but with a different recipe and it was good but I wanted to try the one at Playing with Fire and Smoke.

You don’t need a fancy smoker to do this. It can be done on a larger (anything larger enough to get indirect heat) grill. It always aggravates me when I read “YOU MUST TRY THIS!” but seriously, YOU MUST TRY THIS! It is so good, and so easy, and pretty failproof. One day for lunch, I baked sweet potatoes and served this “ham” and we both decided we’ll never buy deli meat again. Vince said “Get several of these and let’s do them and we’ll get out the big slicer, shave it all and freeze it.” I love the way he throws around “we” in that statement. He will have to do the slicing . . that thing scares me.

Smoked Pork Loin

Smoked Pork Loin

As you can see, there’s already some missing before I took the picture. I started sampling on the end and then took a couple of slices to a friend to try.

This was only part of the loin. After I had cured it, I sliced off 3 thick pieces for pork chops and we had grilled them.

Smoked Pork Loin

Smoked Pork Loin

Aren’t those slices pretty? This would make great sandwiches, ham for breakfast, pizza topping . . whatever you want to use it for.

Smoked Pork Loin

Smoked Pork Loin

When I got to the end, instead of slicing off my finger, I just cut those going the wrong direction. I think I’m going to mix the little pieces with BBQ sauce and serve it on buns this weekend.

If you try it, my recommendation is to be sure and don’t skip the following steps:

  1. Rinse the meat well and soak in water for 24 hours. You may want to change the water out at least once during that time. This helps remove some of the excess salt. When I had made Canadian bacon before, I rinsed it but didn’t soak it and it was a bit too salty.
  2. Let it sit, uncovered in the fridge, for at least 8 hours. According to Playing with Fire & Smoke, the rest helps the cure disperse through the meat. I didn’t allow the first Canadian bacon I made to rest and I think that may have made a difference in the texture of the meat.

Pork loins are often on sale at the grocery stores. I’ll be watching for those next time so I can do several more of these.