About uaskigyrl

Urban gardener, amateur cook, lover of life, suffering from a severe case of wanderlust.

Kitchen Review: VacMaster VP95

I attended the International Sous Vide Association Summit in late August and, to my surprise, I won the Grand Prize! The Grand Prize was a VacMaster VP 95.

The VacMaster VP 95 is a chamber sealer. Think of a chamber sealer as a super fancy, hands off Food saver! I’ve really been enjoying it! Check out my video below.

Thank you VacMaster & ISVA for this lovely gift!

Prime Day Review: Waneway Vanity Lights

One of my old vanity lamps kicked the bucket so I decided to peruse what was available on Amazon on Prime Day.  I found these totally cool, modular, self sticky bulbs that turn any mirror into a hollywood glamour vanity mirror & I really like them!

Check out my YouTube video below!

The vanity lights can be found here:

Mixed Seafood Grill with Paprika Chimichurri

About a decade ago I found myself with a long layover in a nondescript airport in a nondescript state.  Since the layover was so long I decided to stop by the USO.  I was reading a couple of cooking magazines and came across a recipe for a mixed seafood grill.  I love a good mixed seafood grill.  Not wanting to destroy the magazine for another soldier I committed as much to the recipe to memory as possible and I’ve been chasing this recipe ever since. The paprika chimichurri is a different way to make a chimichurri but is so delicious and makes the grill. It calls for 3 different paprikas which add layers of flavor on the grilled seafood. I’ve settled on a ratio of the sauce for my family’s taste but it is easy enough to tweak that you can play with it at will. You want to prep everything before you start to grill because once you get the food on the grill everything cooks fast. I offer two “new age” cooking steps in this recipe that are clearly marked: 1. Using edible essential oils and 2. Sous vide octopus. These steps are optional, however, I highly recommend them; if you’ve never “sous-vide-que” octopus it’s a fool proof way of preparing octopus!

Ingredients:

1. 1 baby octopus – per person
2. 1 x 4 oz filet Chilean Sea Bass – per person
3. 6 x 13-15 count Pink Argentinian Shrimp – per person
4. 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
5. 2 lemons plus 1 lemon per cedar plank
6. ½ tsp smoked paprika
7. ½ tsp paprika
8. 1 tsp sweet paprika
9. ¼ cup diced shallot
10. 2 garlic cloves diced
11. 1 pound brussels sprouts
12. French bread
13. ½ cup Chardonnay
14. Olive oil
15. Salt
16. Pepper
17. OPTIONAL: Edible thyme essential oil (i.e Young Living Vitality)
18. OPTIONAL: Edible lemon essential oil (i.e Young Living Vitality)

OPTIONAL Octopus Preparation

The octopus is prepared “sous-vide-que”, the sous vide part of this is completely optional but if you’ve never had sous vide octopus before I highly recommend it. The octopus comes out silky and juicy but toothy. You do not need to blanche the octopus before hand either but the short blanche makes the tentacles curl and give them that nice restaurant visual. Plunging the octopus into ice water immediately after blanching helps stop the skin from slipping off.

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Have a second bowl full of ice water. Clean the octopus by pulling out the gills. When water is boiling, using tongs drop the octopus in the boiling water for 30 seconds or until the tentacles curl. Fish out of the boiling water and immediately plunge into the ice water.
2. Once the octopus is cold fish them out of the cold water and dry with paper towels.
3. Slice the head from the tentacles and slice the tentacles into individual pieces.
4. Toss the octopus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
5. Place octopus into a zipper bag or vacuum seal in a vacuum bag
6. Place bagged octopus into a water bath (if using the zipper bag this is where you would use the displacement method to push the air out of the zipper bag)
7. Sous vide at 175F for 5 hours

OPTIONAL Cedar Plank and Skewer Soak

1. Soak cedar planks and wood skewers in your sink or a large bowl of water.
2. OPTIONAL: Add 3 drops of edible thyme essential oil and 4 drops of edible lemon essential oil to the water.
3. Let cedar planks and wood skewers soak while preparing the rest of the meal
4. Let soak for at least 30 minutes

Brussels Sprouts

1. Slice the bottom of the brussels sprouts, remove the outer leaves, and slice in half from top to bottom.
2. Place brussels spouts in a tinfoil pouch, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, ¼ cup of wine, and juice of half a lemon. Seal pouch by folding the edges and top seam into itself.

Chilean Sea Bass

1. Pat sea bass dry, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice

Pink Argentinean Shrimp

1. Clean shrimp by removing the shells and deveining but leaving tails on. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry.
2. Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Thread shrimp onto skewers

Finishing the Sous Vide Octopus

1. When the sous vide is complete, cut the bag open and drain the octopus into a colander.
2. Pat the octopus dry and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Octopus – No Sous Vide

1. Clean octopus by pulling out the gills. Rinse the octopus and pat dry.
2. Slice head from the tentacles and slice the tentacles into individual strips.
3. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Grilled Bread

1. Slice French bread and brush with olive oil.

Paprika Chimichurri

1. Bring a small sauté pan to medium high heat.
2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté shallot until golden and soft. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
3. Add a tsp more of olive oil and add the paprika. Sauté paprika until nutty and fragrant.
4. Deglaze pan with ¼ cup of wine and pour into a bowl
5. Add salt and pepper and lemon juice from half a lemon.
6. While whisking add a half cup of olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified
7. Strip parsley leaves off of stalks and roughly chop the parsley leaves.
8. Stir in parsley leaves to the paprika and olive oil mixture
9. Taste and balance with more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper.

Grill It!

You will add the brussels sprouts to the grill first since they take the longest to cook. The next longest time is the Chilean Sea Bass, then the shrimp, then the bread, and then the octopus.

1. Fire up your grill to medium high.
2. Add brussels sprouts pouch to the grill, cover the grill, and let grill for 30 minutes
3. After 30 minutes, check the sprouts. Once fork tender start grilling the seafood.
4. Slice one lemon per cedar plank and place lemon slices on the cedar plank. Place cedar plank on the grill.
5. Place Chilean sea bass, skin side down, on top of the lemon adorned cedar plank.
6. Let the Sea Bass grill for about 5 minutes and add the shrimp to the grill
7. Let the shrimp grill for about 5 minutes, turn the shrimp to grill the opposite side.
8. Once you turn the shrimp, add the French bread to the grill.
9. Place the octopus on the lemon adorned cedar plank. The octopus will take around 3 minutes to cook. (if you sous vide the octopus remember that it is already cooked, you are just finishing it on the grill; if you did not sous vide the octopus it will take 6 minutes)
10. Pull of pieces of the seafood grill as they are finishing up.
11. The sea bass is ready to take off the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 135F or flakes easily with a fork.
12. The shrimp is ready when it’s bright pink and has a slight C-curve.
13. Pull the brussels sprouts off the grill at the very end.

Plating

Plate the brussels sprouts on the plate and place the sea bass, shrimp, and octopus around the brussels sprouts. Drizzle the seafood with paprika chimichurri, garnish with grilled lemons, and serve remaining sauce on the side. Use bread to sop up any juices.

How to Can with Frozen Tomatoes

Hi all!

I’m back with another vlog! I wanted to make a vlog about how I can tomatoes. Since I had tomatoes in my freezer that needed to be preserved for easier use I thought it would be a good time for a video!

Enjoy!

Sustainable Home Products, Part 2

In this video I talked about other ways I am trying to reduced waste & what I thought of them.

Bamboo Reusable Paper towels: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07L38LXDD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_fVQ9Eb5VMGB2T

Reusable bamboo cotton rounds: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07D5XQRFW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_RXQ9Eb073WFMD

Bamboo Toilet Paper: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00YGIW2B2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_7VQ9Eb6KF6Y8B

Loop: https://loopstore.com/

TerraCycle: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/

The Lie of Recycling & Sustainable Oral Products

Hi All,

I’ve been researching the efficiency of recycling for awhile now & if it’s really doing what it’s supposed to do. From there I came across sustainable self care products. Today I talk about Sustainable shampoo, deodorants, & oral products.

By HumanKind: https://byhumankind.com/

Myro: https://www.mymyro.com/

Bite: https://bitetoothpastebits.com/

Recycling: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-landfills-plastic-papers.html

Microplastics in Antarctica: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/22/microplastics-found-for-first-time-in-antarctic-ice-where-krill-source-food

I don’t think we will ever be able to rid ourselves of one use plastics but the hope is that we can significantly reduce our use of one use plastics.

Zeelool Haul

Hello All! I made another youtube video! Check it out below!

The glasses that I bought were:

Sydney: https://m.zeelool.com/fm0125-01.html

Hilary: https://m.zeelool.com/fx0206-01.html

Maria:. https://m.zeelool.com/zoa01451-03.html

Evelyn: https://m.zeelool.com/rm0545-01.html

The round ones seen to not be available anymore.

You can get a discount on your first order using the following link: https://m.zeelool.com/?mw_reward=f5d1

Bar Top: Limequat Daiquiri

My first recipe with the limequats was a limequat daiquiri. A traditional daiquiri made correctly is not that overly sweet drink that you typically get at a bar, it’s actually a very strong drink in the ratio of 2:1:1: 2 parts rum, 1 part lime juice, 1 part simple syrup.

I don’t make simple syrup to put in my mixed drinks for my home bar as I just don’t use it that often so in this drink I muddled powdered sugar with a thinly sliced limequat, muddled, and added a bit of water. Then I added the rum and the limequat juice. See my video below!

What’s in the Box, Ep 4: Pearson Ranch California Oranges

A virtual friend of mine owns a small independent citrus farm in California; he goes by Farmer Tony. The other day Farmer Tony posted an article about how the citrus industry is getting affected by COVID-19 so I decided to make a small purchase from him and bought the Exotic Citrus Sampler. Check out my video below!

If you’re one of the lucky few who is still employed over this time, swing on over to his site and order some delicious citrus. His citrus is top notch. You will not be disappointed!

Vacation Week 1: Spirit Airlines is a Disaster

I made a last minute decision to take a vacation for myself – by myself.  The first went to Panama City, Panama to visit family.  I was *supposed* to arrive in Panama City at 1am on a Saturday morning but when I showed up to the airport and saw the line I knew something was up.

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“Oh Dear God,” I thought, “I’m going to miss my flight!”

The first time I ever flew Spirit was to Puerto Rico for a long weekend a few years ago.  We arrived in PR 6 hours later than expected.  Since then I vowed to never fly Spirit ever again.  Fool me once, shame on you.  A few years go past, I had heard they gotten better, and then last year they had the best on-time performance in the industry.  No, you are not reading that wrong.  They were #1.  I am not lying to you.  So I thought I would give them a second chance.  Haha, fool me twice, shame on me.

Like, this isn’t fake news folks:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/grantmartin/2019/04/20/spirit-airlines-edges-out-delta-air-lines-as-most-on-time-air-carrier-so-far-in-2019/#4234305014a1

When I showed up to the airport it was complete pandemonium.  I believe something had to be going on with their system because the lines were sooooooo ssssslllllooooowwwwww.  It appeared that they had enough people manning the counter and it appeared that the people were checking into the self check-in kiosks just fine but as soon as they got in line to drop off their bags they just stood there.  It got so bad that people started almost missing their 45 minute minimum bag drop off time.  Counter agents started calling out destinations that were reaching their 45 minute minimum so those people could drop off their bags!  Just yelling out cities, “LA!  WE ARE ONLY ACCEPTING BAGS FOR LA FLIGHT XXX RIGHT NOW!  LAST CALL FOR LA!” I-AM-NOT-JOKING.

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This is the first quarter of the line.  This line made it all the way back to security

Since I was flying international, I was not allowed to check-in with the self-check-in kiosk and had to stand in line to actually check in at the counter.  I was in line for 2.5 hours before I got to the head of the line.  TWO AND A HALF HOURS!  We were in line so long that many people behind me actually missed their flights because they missed their minimum bag drop off time, wouldn’t make it through security, nor make it to their gate in time for the flight.

It was so bad people were randomly cutting the lines to talk to counter agents – thus slowing things down even more.

It was so bad, so many people were losing their tempers, that the manager HAD TO CALL THE POLICE to ensure that it didn’t get out of hand.  Ya’ll I almost thought a riot would break out.  People were self checking in then cutting the bag drop off line to request refunds because they missed their flights.  Tempers were flaring and it was only a matter of time before people stormed the ticket counter. At this point I started feeling bad for the counter agents because it’s not their fault that their company is a disaster, they just work there and have to deal with the fall out.

So, I get to the front of the line and they tell me that my flight has been cancelled and the earliest flight they can get me on is the next day, exactly 24 hours later.  They say the flight was cancelled because of weather but I call BS.  Both the city the plane was leaving from and the city it was landing in were crystal clear.  No, I believe something was wrong with their Network and/or System and/or Processes.  The lines were moving way too slow for it to be because of weather.

I show up the next day, FOUR HOURS EARLY because I am completely shook by what happened the night before and it is all SMOOTH SAILING.  Like, what am I going to do in the AP for 3 freaking hours?!  This just gives me more evidence that something was going on with their network the day before.

Then I finally get to Ft. Lauderdale AND THEY DELAY THIS FLIGHT BY 4 HOURS.  Like, seriously, all I want to do is get to my destination!  At this point I feel like I’m going to be in an airport for the rest of my life!  Again they tell me it’s weather but my sources tell me that Panama City was fine, Ft. Lauderdale was fine, and the city that the plane was supposed to take off of was fine.

IMG_20190818_185542

They need to add a word to their slogan:  “Spirit:  You’re practically, basically, almost there…maybe”

DO NOT BELIEVE SPIRIT WHEN THEY SAY DELAYS OR CANCELLATIONS ARE BECAUSE OF WEATHER!  IT’S LIES, ALL LIES, BECAUSE THEY ARE LYING LIARS THAT LIE!  They blame it on weather so they have a valid excuse instead of “our network sucks”, because you can fix a network but you can’t fix weather.

I wonder how much it costs them to special order their planes a bright yellow color because that can’t be cheap?  Maybe if they ordered their planes in a white color with a small yellow logo THEY COULD ACTUALLY AFFORD A NETWORK THAT WORKS?! Or, you know, planes with actual cushioning on their seats with actual pockets?!

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Seriously, Spirit, you can afford to paint your planes bright ass yellow but can’t afford pockets?!  Or maybe a new network?!

Never again, Spirit, never – again.  You won’t fool me a third time.