Archives for August, 2011

Amazing Pug “Jenny”

 If you have been reading previous posts for long time, you would notice that I love to teach fun tricks to our dog “Palette” the Corgi.

 “Let’s eat!” and she licks her mouth. “Are you scared?” and she goes hide under the blankie. “Who’s there?” and she comes out from under the blankie.  She rolls over, spins, weaves through my legs, speaks, high five,and more..

 Some of her tricks is actually one of her chores; bringing leash for walkie, closing  door after me when laundry time..

 I do not say anything but, judging from how I am moving around the house, she picks up the cue and she brings her leash or come downstairs for being ready to close the door after me.

 Once new trick is learned, I teach her another and it takes some times for some tricks to be learned perfectly, but she learns things quite fast and, it amazes me sometimes.

 In many ways, I feel that dogs are amazing.

 I do not have babies in the house and, we do not have baby stroller, but can you imagine your dog is pushing the baby stroller and strolling around the neighborhood?

 If any of our neighbors’ dogs passed by our house pushing their baby strollers, I would look at them twice to make sure I am not dreaming

 Recently, I came across the youtube video of amazing dog (Jenny the pug) that pushes her baby stroller and strolling around the neighborhood with smooth walk with hind legs.

 I thought she was so cute and her walk with the stroller looked so natural. She is one amazing pug

 Here, I would share the amazing baby stroller pushing dog “Jenny” the pug video with you.

“Jenny” the pug pushes her stroller

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Aug 30, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Ciabatta bread

 * Trot,trot,trot* This is the sound you would hear often when I make homemade bread/pizza.

 Every now and then, our stumpy little dog “Palette” comes check on me how much I have progressed in the making of homemade bread/pizza.

 After a quick glance, she sometimes sits on the corner,following my motion with her eyes so she would not miss anything.

 Dogs have amazing scent ability,and considering bread making usually takes about 3-4 hours from the start to finish, their nose must be tortured with such a yummy smell floating around in the house for hours.

 Palette usually is a quiet dog who loves to chew her Antlers while we eat.

 When homemade bread/pizza night though, it is a different story. She whines,whines,whines and being restless around the table and pops her head up at far side of the table once in a while signaling us “Hey,I am here. I want nibbles,please!”.

 Especially, when she hears crusty sound when we bite into the crusty bread, it drives her crazy.Crusty crust sound is irresistible for Palette and she just cannot help herself but letting us know that she wants one too.

 If you have been reading food/cooking entries from the past, you would notice that I love to cook/bake and, I make pizza/bread now and then.

 I love bread baking and, for me, bread baking is like comforting in many ways from kneading the dough, aroma while bread is being proofed or being baked,sound of crust when you slice into the bread.. There is something about bread baking that makes the whole experience special.

 When I started baking bread,I got myself a book for bread baking,and I tried one type of recipe for French bread (Baguette) over and over until I get satisfied result from making one. I made so many French bread to learn the basic technique,and get to know more about bread baking in general.

 I find that making artisan bread has depth in learning and more technique,and I have got a lot more to learn about it.

 Just recently, I have made a Ciabatta bread for sandwich.This one is without pre-fermented dough or sponge. It came out good; crusty top and soft inside and, it made quite nice sandwich bread. So, I thought I would share how to make it with you.

 So, how do you make Ciabatta bread? Here is how.

Ciabatta bread…

0. Preheat the oven at 200F and when it reached to 200F,turn the oven off

1. To a microwave safe bowl, pour 1-1/2 C water, microwave about 30-45 seconds or so 

2.Take a temperature of the water and if the temperature was at
110F-115F, add 1.5 tsp of dry yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and mix well and let it sit a
while (about 5-10 minutes)

** If you use jar of dry yeast, make sure the yeast is at room temperature. Cold yeast would not make your dough rise properly.

** Water temperature to rise the dough (proof the dough) should be at 110F-115F.
Lower temperature water would not proof the dough properly, and higher
temperature water would kill the yeast and would not proof the dough

You should see the frothy stuff on top like this..

To a big bowl, add 3-1/4C Unbleached bread flour, 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
and mix well

For EVOO, first-cold press extra virgin olive oil is the best and
tasty. My favorite brand is “Colavita brand”. It is product of Italy,and
you can get them at local grocery store.

4. Pour the frothy yeast-sugar- lukewarm water mix to flour-salt-olive oil mixture
a little at a time and stir and when dough became to form a ball, toss
them onto lightly floured surface, and start kneading the dough until it becomes smooth surface.. about 6-8 minutes.

** Using silpat mat is easy to work with

** This dough feels a little wet,and sticky but do not add extra flour. The dough should be soft and a little sticky with smooth surface

5.You can test your dough to see if you knead it more. Do the Windowpane test.

What is windowpane test??

Windowpane test is the test the gluten development in the dough.

you do is to cut off small piece of dough,and gently stretch
out/pulling to see if it will hold a paper-thin membrane.If it tore
apart,you would knead a bit more and do the test again.

6. When dough comes together, drizzle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto empty bowl and smear it around side and
inside bottom to make easy for you to take the dough out later

7. Place the dough into the bowl,drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the dough and smear the olive oil all around the dough

8. Cover the bowl with saran, and place the dough in the oven,set the timer for 90 minutes

9. 90 minutes later, dough will be larger size in volume

10. Once the dough gets nearly double in volume, take the dough out from the bowl onto the silpat mat/slightly floured surface

11. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and form the dough into rectangle shape by stretching and folding.

** Stretching-folding method for shaping the dough **

1. Dust the top of the dough with flour a little and pat the dough to make the shape into rectangle,and hold both sides and stretch them to about double in size

2. Fold the dough over the letter folding way to make it to back to rectangle shape again

3. With dough scraper, cut the top,bottom,right hand side to trim the dough


12. Place them onto pan sheet where you sprinkle yellow cornmeal over non stick foil

** If you have nice size baking stone, use them instead

13. Spray EVOO on top of the shaped dough,and sprinkle a bit of flour, cover the pan with saran,and put it back into oven for another 30-45 minutes until dough gets nearly double in volume

14. Prepare for heath baking

What is heath baking?

Heath baking is the method of bread baking directly on to hearth of oven.

With hearth baking, it can radiate the heat directly into the dough as soon as possible and it makes crisp crust on outside.

Hearth baking also use steam by misting the water for shiny crust finish,and also allow the dough additional time to spring in the oven.

For this, I have used heavy bottom try-ply stainless steel sautee pan from calphalon.

1. Take out the proofed shaped dough from the oven and put an empty heavy duty stain less steel sautee pan or roasting pan (something it can take the 500F heat and something that would not buckle with high heat) or cast iron pan on the top rack

2. Preheat the oven at 500F

** While oven is preheating, boil the water; enough amount to cover bottom of the heavy duty sautee pan; about 1 C

3.  When oven is preheat with 500F, take off the saran and place the bread with sheet pan on one rack down from the empty hot heavy duty sautee pan

4. Take out the empty hot heavy duty sautee pan,and place the big lid in front of your body to protect you from spattering hot water

5. Pour 1C of hot water into heated hot heavy duty sautee pan

** Please be careful with spattering hot water

6. Put the heavy duty sautee pan back on to top rack and close the oven

7. If you have plant mister bottle, you can do extra steaming by spraying the oven for 3 times with 30 seconds intervals after dough went into the oven.

** Misting is not wetting the dough with water

** If you do extra steaming with mist spray bottle, do not spray water onto light bulb or glass

8. After 5 minutes dough in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 450F

9. Bake 10 minutes and rotate the sheet pan 180 degree

10. Bake another 10 minutes,rotate the sheet pan 180 degree

11. Check the doneness.If not done,continue baking.

** Color should be golden

** Bread temperature should be at 205F in the center

(Put the meat thermometer on back of the bread and read the temperature)

** When you tap the bread, you should hear hollow sound

12. Cool it off on cooling rack

** As bread sits, crusty top will soften. I personally prefer crusty crust and, I wait just enough for bread to gets to the temperature I can handle,and eat them while it is still warm and enjoy crusty crust.

** This recipe can yield about 4-5 Ciabatta Bread loaves ( 4″ x 7″ each). I have baked 3 loaves plus ball shaped tiny one on the day,and 2 more laves are in the freezer.

 All I need to do is to let it thaw in the fridge day before and, proof once (since I froze some of the bread dough I used for this recipe intended to bake everything and eat within 2-3 days, it might not rise as much) and bake them the same way I did with fresh bread dough.

When you make bread,pizza, you can freeze the dough for later use.If you make lots of cookies, you can freeze the cookie dough in the freezer too.

Freezing dough is one way to cut the long bread making time short and enjoy the fresh baked bread in short time. If you know in advance that you will freeze the bread dough, many bread baking website recommends to increase the amount of yeast (1/3 more or double) than the recipes called for in the dough so it will rise when proofed.

You can also bake bread, and freeze the baked bread and reheat it when you want them.

If you freeze the baked bread, wait till it gets cool completely,and wrap it with saran and wrap it over with foil.Then,when you want to reheat the baked bread, remove the saran and re-wrap the bread with foil and warm them up in the oven at 350F- 375F for about 15-20 minutes.

You can do the same with pizza.

Our stumpy dog “Palette” asked me ” Is that mine?” staring at the small ball shaped bread…

Since I have tortured her nose with yummy smell in the air for hours for bread making, I gave the small ball shaped bread to her.

She was very excited about it and while she was on “wait” cue, I saw the drool strings coming out from her mouth non stop.

She had one nice jackpot snack day

What do you put for your sandwich?



Aug 28, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Stem cell therapy for dogs

 In the previous entry titled “Run like wind again;Palette’s limping story“, I wrote that when she was about 1 year old, we noticed that our dog “Palette” was not putting much weight one one of her hind legs and, started limping so,we took her to the local vet.

 There,the vet took her leg’s X-ray and he has performed test called “drawer sign test”:it is to see the abnormal function of the legs. What he did was manipulating her leg to see if she had any
abnormal sliding motion.

 He showed us the X-ray picture and told us she
might have torn ligament considering she had drawer sign when he tested
it. So, we were off to see Orthopedic Special Vet.

 At the Orthopedic Special Vet office, looking at the x-ray picture, the orto vet also thought it must be tore ligament problem,which later turned out she had perfect ligament and, nothing was wrong when the ortho vet took a look inside her leg. Therefore, the ortho vet just closed her leg up, and she was still  limping after the surgery which went through for nothing. Ortho vet had no idea what caused the limping if it were not the ligament tore.

 Why Palette was limping is still the mystery to us.

 It might be just the sharp turns she does sometimes while zoomie time might have put the stress on her joint or maybe slipped on slippery floors and pulled the muscle, or maybe the particular day’s walkie was lot longer than the usual and might have caused limping.

 What helped her was tablet that contained glucosamine/chondroitin/NZ green lipped mussel etc..and in short amount of time, her limping went away and she started enjoyed her favorite fetch ball/Frisbee game again.

 She is not on the tablet anymore. However, since she has history of limping, I make sure to give natural source of glucosamine rich treats or food regularly.

 With treats,I give trachea,poultry feet, and gullet treats regularly. You can find those at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen;trachea  (Beef,Lamb,and Buffalo) , poultry feet (Chicken, Duck), and gullet (Beef,Lamb).

 In addition,since Palette is on fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet, I also feed fresh poultry feet (Chicken,Duck) and Beef Gullet with her regular diet menu regularly.

 Before the “surgery that improved nothing”, we talked about many surgery options such as TPLO,which ortho vet will cut the bone to make it flatten tip, and secure bones with screws. However, with stumpy Corgi like Palette’s size,the ortho vet thought that the method and tools they use for TPLO would not
match well.

 So, what she recommended was to do non screw method, which
involve suture to secure the bone, and suture itself would dissolve into
body overtime.

 There were also possibility that if we restricted her activity for long time and see if she would recover naturally.

 Watching Palette limping was painful
for us, and especially when we know she loves running around the house
or loves to compete running to house on walks with me. So,we chose to go with
non invasive surgery with suture and, Palette went under the surgery.

 Recently, I came across quite interesting article on stem cell therapy that has been used for treating arthritis,fractures,ligament injuries and so forth.

What is stem cell therapy?

 According to the article written by Rona Sherebrin DVM,CVA, stem cell therapy is done by collecting the small amount of fat in the animal and then, isolating the stem cells,whose job is to produce the correct types of cells to repair the damage, from an animal’s own tissue and injecting them back into their own damaged tissue to heal.

 When the stem cells are isolated, they are concentrated and those concentrated stem cells will be injected into the damaged tissue and it helps heal faster.

 She writes that fat tissue contains enough stem cells to make collection and isolation.

 I feel that since there is not cutting the bones or screws involved, it seems less invasive and this might be good addition as options for joint injuries surgery methods.

 Plus, stem cells that will be injected will be from their own, so as Rona writes, vets do not have to worry about tissues being rejected by body and no need to use the anti-rejection drugs.

NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-inflammation drugs)

 If your dogs have/had joint problems, you maybe familiar with the word “NASAID”.

 Popular drug in the Non Steroidal Anti inflammation drugs category being Remadyl.

How NASAID drugs works

 According to Dogs naturally magazine article, NASAID drugs alleviates the pains and inflammation caused by dogs’ arthritis. The NASAID drugs can do that by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory enzyme prostaglandin.

 When NASAID inhibit the pro-inflammatory enzyme “prostaglandin”, it also suppress the other enzyme’s other functions.

 The article says NASAID can cause ulcer,because the pro-inflammatory enzyme “prostaglandin” is important components in the protective stomach lining and upper intestine.

** Signs to look for for ulcer are vomiting,change in appetite, blood in the stool

 Pro-inflammatory enzyme “prostaglandin” also plays important roles for kidneys,because “prostaglandin” will make sure that the enough blood was reached to the kidneys.

 The article says that if there were enough NASAID in the dog’s system, it can reduce the blood flow to kidneys.

 NASAID is well known for the side effects on liver function,as well.

 If your dogs will be on NASAID drugs for long period of times, it is best for your dogs to have their blood tested for liver enzyme levels regularly.

 In the article, vet Wayne Randlph says he test the dogs’ blood before and after NASAID for liver and kidney.

 I think that checking the organs’ function before and after might be the better ideas if you know your dogs will be on it long period of time.

 To relief the joint pain after surgery, Palette was on tramadol. Tramadol is not NASAID and it is a pain relief medication,and dogs can be on it for long period of times.

 I am not a vet,and I am not sure if there were any type of dogs that should not get tramadol as pain relief or dogs that should not have tramadol as medication because of the other medication that are already being prescribed to. So, ask your vet whether tramadol can be the safe alternative to NASAID drugs for your dogs’ pain relief.

 To read the full article at dogs naturally magazine website,please click here.
 As I wrote above, if dogs had limping problems, just like Palette’s case, vet often times prescribes some sort of pain reliever.

 When you think about it, pain relief can help your dogs to do their normal activities they enjoy, but the drug can be suppressing the pro-inflammatory enzyme with NASAID drugs,for example, thus dogs would not be without constant joint problems.

 With stem cell therapy, Rona writes that it rebuilds the healthy tissue so joint can improve.

 In some cases like below, Rona says to correct it with surgery first before stem cell therapy.

** dogs with unstable joint (ACL; anterior cruciate rupture)

** if there were bones/cartilage fragments inside the joints

 She also write that for dogs with cancers, dogs with severe infections, and topical wounds, stem cell therapy is not recommended.

 To read the full article written by Roma Sherebrin,DVM,CVA, please click here.

 The company “Vet Stem” ,where vets send small amount of fat collected from animals so they can isolate the stem cells, is now testing stem cells to treat kidney disease in cats, liver disease in dogs.

 You can see the stem cell therapy youtube video below.

Stem cell therapy for dogs

If you are a blog subscriber or reading this entry from Facebook,please click here.

 Stem cell therapy article at time magazine here ; German Shepherd “Blue” with Hip Dysplasia

 Stem cell therapy article at USA today here ; German Shephered “Maggie” with Arthritis

 Dogs be dogs… That is what makes me smile.

I love seeing Palette running around with big grin on her face, roll on something in our yard with big,big smile on her face, and I have fun when she brings her squeaky eggs toys for me to throw for her with excitement “woof” with small nubs moving left to right…

What are your thoughts on stem cell therapy?

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Aug 23, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

People food for thought Part XVIII; Artificial sweeteners

 In the previous entry titled “People food for thought Part II: Hidden sugar in food“,I wrote about hidden sugar in food and how to identify the hidden sugar in the food.

 There,I wrote that according to Julie Deardorff article on hidden sugar at Chicago tribune website, American Heart
Association now have new guideline for sugar intake.

 For women, 25 grams
of added sugar is boarder line sugar amount, and for men, it is 37.5
grams of added sugar is border line for guideline.

 When you think about it, sugars are added to many products, and you will find that so called “healthy” snack such as granola, apple sauce,honey roasted Turkey breast, fruit flavored yogurt etc are actually sugary stuff and not so healthy as you might think as we wrote in the previous entry titled “People food for thought“.

 Considering 12 oz can of coca cola has already 36 grams of sugar in there, it is already pretty close to the daily guideline for sugar intake for men, and already more than guideline sugar intake for women. If you have meals that had added sugar in it,then, you will be consuming much more than guideline sugar intake amount in a day.

 In fact, according to the article written by Mara Betsch at website, Americans consume 165 pounds of added sugar each year.

 That is a lot of sugar to consume..
 Naturally, if you look into reduce the sugar intake or calories from daily meals/snacks, you may look into switching the table white sugar to artificial sweetener or pick the food labeled “Sugar free”,”Diet”.

 Is Artificial sweetener good for your health?

 According to mayo clinic website article, artificial sweeteners are found in the variety of food and drinks that marketed as “sugar free”,”diet” such as sodas,chewing gums,jellies,candy,baked goods,fruit juice,and ice creams.

 By definition, sugar substitute can be anything that adds sweet taste to the foods such as honey, but some of the artificial sweetener can sweeten up the products without adding any calories to the products, and many food companies are attracted to the use of artificial sweeteners in their processed food.

 To read the full article at mayo clinic website,please click here.

 What exactly are artificial sweeteners?

 Artificial sweetener is synthetic sugar substitute,but they can be delivered from naturally occurring substances  such as sugar or herbs. These artificial sweeteners are known for the intense sweetness because they are much sweeter than regular white table sugar.

 According to the article written by Jocelyn Selim at discovery magazine, in 2004, food industries introduced 2,225 reduced sugar or sugar free products.Of which, many were made with artificial sweetener sucralose.

 If you have dogs, you would know that they will give you that sad eye look when you munch on food, and sometimes you would give in with the look and give nibbles.

 However,please be aware that some of the “Sugar free products” such as Sugar free baked goods etc contains “Xylitol”,which is toxic to dogs, and it is NOT good stuff to share with your dogs.

 You can read more about “Xylitol” in the previous entry titled “Xyilitol” here.

** Sucralose

 In case of artificial sweetener “sucralose”, they are made via complex chemical processing involving chlorine and phosgene gas.

 She has the chart on her article to tell you how sweet the artificial sweetener is, but if table sugar was level one sweetness, sucralose is at 600 level,which means, the artificial sweetener sucralose is 600 times more sweeter than natural table sugar.

 These artificial sweetener “sucralose” and “sacchiarin (which was in the list of anticipated human carcinogen in 1981)” are not absorbed by the body and, it is not completely calorie free because additives “maltodextrin” ,which makes bulk the sweeteners up, or “dextrose” which dilute the sweetness to imitate the real sugar taste or both are in the artificial sweetener and contains about quarter of sugar calories.

 To read the full article by Jocelyn Selim at discovery magazine website,please click here.

 For food industries to be able to put the claim “zero calorie” on the box of products, FDA permits the manufacturers to use the “zero calorie” claim on the box if products were containing less than 5 calories per serving.

 Another kind of artificial sweetener is the use of acesulfame K, according to website.

** Acesulfame

 Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar, and it has no calories in them because body cannot metabolize them.

** Aspartame

 Asparyame is 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar like Acesulfame. Difference between aspartame and acesulfame is that body can break aspartame down, and aspartame provides 4 calories per grams. Since aspartame is not heat stable, use of this artificial sweetener is limited.

 For products made with aspartame, manufacturer must put the warning for those who are phenylketonuria that read “product contains phenylalanine” because people with phenylketonuria cannot metabolize it,and must limit all foods that contains phenylalanine.

** Neotame

 Neotame is made with aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and it is 8,000 times sweeter than regular table sugar. Just like aspartame, body can metabolize neotame and, has calories in them.

** Sacchiarin

 Sachiarin is 200-700 times sweeter than regular table sugar. With sachiarin as artificial sweetener, ingredients would list “dextrose;which dilute the sweetness to imitate the real sugar taste“,”sodium sacchiarin”, and “calcium silicate;which prevents them from caking”.

 To read on artificial sweetener at, please click here.

Real sugar vs artificial sweeteners..

 If you are just looking calories,and nothing else, switching regular can of coca cola to diet coca cola can slash a lot of calories due to artificial sweeteners in them, but knowing that some artificial sweeteners were made at lab with some added food additives,or gas etc.., for me, personally, artificial sweeteners/products made with artificial sweeteners are not something I would put it into in our shopping cart.

 Plus, I am a big fan of fresh food,not processed food. So, I prefer the real thing.

 When you look around, you will be surprised to know that there are so many substitute food products such as butter substitute made with “vegetable oil blend” instead of real thing;sweet cream and salt.

Recently, I came across the article about interesting study; artificial sweetener and body by Purdue University professors.

 According to the study, professor Terry Davidson,and associate professor Susan Swithers has found that artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s natural ability to count the calorie based on food’s sweetness.

 The study suggest that being able to automatically match the caloric intake with caloric need depends on the body’s ability to learn that the taste and feel of food by the mouth suggests the appropriate caloric intake.

 Interesting thing in their article is that body will learn,without thinking about it,it can use the food characteristics such as sweetness,viscosity to gauge the caloric intake.

 They have done study using two groups of rats;one was served natural high calorie sugar so there will be consistent relationship between sweetness and calories ,and the other group was served liquid sweetened up with non caloric sacchiarin so the sweetness and calorie were inconsistent.

 After 10 days of exposure to those sweetened liquid,they were served sweet, high calorie small chocolate flavored snacks. Then, as a result, the group that was exposed to artificial sweetener liquid ate a lot more than the other group.

 They suggested that with this rat study, experience with inconsistent relationship of sweet taste and calorie reduced the natural ability of rats to use the sweet taste to judge the caloric content of the snack.

 The professors also studied with rats for viscosity (difference in the liquid thickness) by providing one group of rats regular meal with chocolate pudding like consistency of dietary supplement, the other group with regular meal with chocolate milk like consistency of dietary supplement.

 The rat group that were served chocolate milk consistency of dietary supplement gained weight.

 The study suggests that rat could not use the viscosity to gauge the caloric intake properly with liquid than semi solid foods.

 To read the full article at sciencedaily website,please click here.

 It is also good idea to reach for real fruits when you have sugar craving. They are not processed,and fresh, and gives you more nutrient than highly processed sugary snacks.

 In the past, I have seen a segment in talk show that asked one viewer to try out sugar free diet; not the diet made with artificial sweetener, but take all the sugar out from the regular diet.

 The lady viewer could do sugar free days for 3-4 days, but she could not do sugar free diet for long term.

 I think that we all love sweet things; donuts,ice creams, candies.. but everything should be moderation. It does not have to be extreme;taking all the sugar from the diet etc.. I think that it is okay for us to eat the food made with real sugar now and then.

 I find there are so many diet styles in the states and one particular style says “you cannot eat xxx”  or the other style says “you should eat xxx for xxx days and eat yyy for yyy days..” and in the past, there was a segment for one high school student who wanted to loose the weight by prom night and one talk show helped her by providing staff that made diet menu plan for her.

 I saw a lot of struggles in her because diet was restricted, and she had certain things she could not eat to follow the plan.

 The first lady “Michelle Obama” encourages people to eat fresh food,not processed food and, in the past, radio DJ statement made was on news show that said she is promoting the healthy food but she had BBQ ribs..

 I too encourage people to eat healthy and, cook with fresh ingredients, and I try to provide healthy meal for our family. I eat/make pizza, I eat/make ribs, I eat/make burgers.. but I do not eat them day in day out. I eat those with moderation and, diet should be that way.

 I think variety of foods,eating food with moderation, and strong will so you would not indulge in the meals that are not so healthy day in day out are important.

 And of course, exercise and limit sugary food out from the pantry would help too.

 Going to the restaurants, or flipping through the food magazines, flipping through food TV channel, I also feel that there are not as many variety of vegetable on the plate as I see back home in Japan.

I found that not many restaurant here in the states serve cut-up fruits as desert and always baked goods, or other type of sugary desert.

 Maybe it is time for America to start thinking about food concept on the plate.

 What are your thoughts on real sugar vs artificial sweeteners?

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Aug 21, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s note:Moose Antlers

 Have you ever
wondered if you could actually see how other dogs are enjoying the
treats and chews? Not just pictures,but in video so that you can
actually HEAR and feel the treats’ textures?

have started series titled “Palette’s Note”, which you can read about
products detail and see video clips from Palette’s taste test.

 This time,I like to put out detail on Moose Antlers.


Palette enjoy her Moose Antler…

 In the previous entry titled Long lasting chews/recreational bones for dogs,
I wrote about what Deer Antlers are, and how much I love (and of
course, how much our  stumpy little dog “Palette” the Corgi loves) those Antlers
for long lasting chew.

 To recap, Deer
Antlers is the Deer horn if you will.Deers shed Antlers once a year and, they are harvested for dogs to chew on.

 Our Deer Antlers come from Domestic
free-range Deer/Elk and, comes with different
Some are branched out two ways,some are straight, some are different shapes), and length and it gives your dogs more variety of fun to chew on. No Deer antlers would come exactly the same. You can see the L size of Deer Antler picture below,and see those 3 Antlers are not exactly the same shapes.

 We have 6 sizes available;
XS (2″-4″),S (3″-6″), M (4″-7″), L (5″-10″),XL (6″-10″), and XXL (6″-12″).

** Antler size is determined by the weight of the Antlers,not length.

Deer Antlers “L size”…

have found these long lasting chew “Deer Antlers” almost 4 years ago. I
was not sure if Palette would enjoy it,but she was hooked with these Deer Antlers and goes back to Antlers religiously 2 times a day,each about 15
minutes chewing session and despite the fact that how much she enjoy
gnawing so much and going back to Antlers daily,it has been lasting more than 1
year. Same Deer Antlers are being chewed for so long.

 She likes to
carry the Deer Antlers around the house and gnaws on different spots. If you
were giving bully sticks for long lasting chews,you would be spending
much more on them.

 Bully sticks are fun and nice snack but 6″ long
bully stick for our 32lb Corgi lasts about 20-30 minutes and gone for most of the times. When we gave Free Range Moo! Odor free supreme bully sticks 6″ to her, it lasted 2 days but it still is much shorter time than the time she can spend more time on the same Antler.

have no odor,no stains,no splinter like smoked bones (chewing grinds
down rather than chunk off from the Antlers), and it provides natural
minerals, etc.

 I like the fact that the Antlers I got 4 years ago are
still being enjoyed by our dog as much as she did before and,it really
was worth the cost for me. And,of course, there is nothing artificial in
it. This is the reason why I started offering the Deer Antlers for others.

  Over the years, I have heard from satisfied happy furriends about their experience on their Deer Antlers.

 Then, I have come across other kind of Antlers recently,and decided to let Palette try out the new kind of Antlers; “Moose Antlers”. Since she was 5 paws up and, I liked it, I have decided to offer those to others as well.

Moose Antler..

Variety of Moose Antler shapes..

 These Moose Antlers are harvested in USA, after Antlers were shed each year. As you can see, unlike Deer Antlers, some of the Moose Antlers are flat and some are round straight Antlers.

Side edge of Moose Antlers is sanded a little,but if you prefer, you can sand the edge more for your dogs to chew on.

 If you were looking for variety of shapes for your dogs to enjoy, Deer Antlers are the better pick. If you were looking for a little different kind of chews, Moose Antlers are good addition to your dogs’ chews they already have.

 Lets watch how she gnaws on her Moose Antler below.

 Palette and Moose Antler

 If you were a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video clip.

Can you see how much she is into gnawing the Moose Antler? At the very end of the video, she grabs the Moose Antler and pause to hear the weird sound she heard from outside.

 After a while, she decided that it was not worth going to go check what is going on outside,and she started chewing the Moose Antler with 2 legs kicked out; superman style

 She loves to carry the Moose Antler as well around the house and, I find her Moose Antler upstairs room sometimes, downstairs room sometimes, under the bed sometimes… She takes her Moose Antlers everywhere in the house

 Just like Deer Antlers, as your dogs chews on Moose Antlers, it gets grind down. Below is the picture of her Moose Antler after being chewed a while. You can see it is grind down a little rather than chewed off some pieces from the Moose Antler.

Palette’s Moose Antler after being chewed…

 I wrote Palette’s Deer Antler has been enjoyed for more than 1 year, but how long it would
last for your dogs will be depending on dogs’ jaws ability to chew and
how long they spend on it.

 With her Moose Antler, it has been about 3 months or so since Palette started chewing on. As you can see in the picture above, she has got more to chew on.

 Please observe how
they chew and if they were putting their whole body weight on Antlers
and trying to break into half, please take it away.It is not the good
chew for them.

 As with any chews,supervise your dog. And when it gets
small enough for dogs to swallow,please take it away.

 It is always good
practice to wash the Antlers with warm soapy water thoroughly before
handing them to your dogs.

 Please note that Moose Antlers does not come as many variety of shapes,colors,textures as Deer Antlers. No branched out like Deer Antlers.

 One same Antlers
can provide Palette so much fun,and I am sure you can clearly see how
much she loves it.

I can chew with one paws.. my secret talent

One paw chew.. pausing for mom..

Two paws chew..with wet nose..

Moose Antlers got a little slimy with my drool…

I love Moose Antler!!

you got Moose Antlers yet?

 Join Palette’s secret Moose Antlers club.
Palette would enjoy Moose  Antler pawty with other furry friends!


 To visit our store,please click here or paste and copy the link below into your browser.

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Aug 18, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Transportation in Japan Part IV


 Then, in previous entry titled “Transportation in Japan Part II“, I wrote how to buy a train tickets in Japan,and smart rechargeable card called “Suica”,which you can use to ride train,bus and also you can use it for vending machine or at convenience store.


Long distance,highway buses..

 Some travel agencies and bus companies offer tour bus package deals,and the buses would take you to popular tourists spots and souvenir shops from local bus stops.

 Nice advantage of using the tour bus is that you will be with guide and she/he would tell you stories about the popular tourists spots,and you may find something interesting to learn from them.

 On occasions, the tour guide would entertain your ride with singing songs etc..

 I came across the youtube video where you can see the Japanese tour guide singing song for the tourists. P

Aug 16, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s summer treats diary; August 14th,2011

 Last month, many days were at over 90F,100F in the daytime, and often times, we got thunderstorms,which
made Palette feel she prefers to be curled up under my desk,placing her
head on my foot using as pillow, and dozes off.

 It is still hot but after some rainy evening a few weeks ago, it seems the temperature cooled down a little.

 We pick cooler time for walkie and, stroll around the neighborhood everyday if not too hot or rainy days.

 Palette loves to go for walkie and, she gets so excited as soon as she sees me routine preparation before the walkie. She trots back and forth with excited movement,and she comes check on me as if to say “Mom,come on! Let’s go,let’s go! You are not quick enough!”

 When she sees me picking up the poop bag for walkie,she brings her leash,toss over to me as if to say “I know what you need. Put it on me,put it on me!” and then, after a small excited jump with huge grin on her face,she turns around facing her back toward me so I can put her leash on easily.

 It will be nice if she could bring my shoes,poop bag,leash everything we need for walkie but,if she did, as I have written before, poop bag will be handed over with her name all over it with holes

 I have seen family that seemed to have hard time letting their dogs calm down and put their leash on them for walkie on TV shows,but if you train your dogs to be on sitting positing with their face facing outward,showing back to you by turning around, it takes less time for you to put the leash on for walkie.

 From early  puppyhood, I reinforced Palette to “sit” before everything they love. After you teach your dog what “sit” means, there are so many opportunities throughout the day to practice “sit”.

 “Sit” before meal,”sit” before door open,”sit” before play time like play ball/Frisbee,”sit” before getting any sorts of attention from you, “sit” before leash attached etc etc.. list goes on.

 When Palette was puppy, I did not put the leash on/stopped process of putting her leash on as soon as I see her butt left the floor,and she tries to stand up or jump.

 Overtime,she learned she needed to be “sit” for leash being attached to her collar. Then,after that, with grooming purpose,I started teaching “turn around” cue to Palette and I have added extra step to regular “sit”; after she sits,I asked her to “turn around” and tell her to “sit” and I put the leash on. If she were excited and,moving around too much, I stopped the process of putting the leash on.

 Therefore, she now automatically “turn around” and “sit” for leash to be attached. I personally think that if dogs were able to control the excitement for upcoming fun time -walkie with solid “sit” or “turn around-sit”, it is probably working good for impulse control as well.

How to teach “Sit” with clicker training

3. As soon as your dog’s butt touch the floor with all paws on floor,click and treat.

** This way,they will know “sit” means 4 paws on floor with
butt on floor.

4. Practice “Sit” before everything they love

How to teach “Turn around” with clicker training

Japanese cooking; Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese Noodle with sweet vinegary sauce)

 These days, it has been very hot and humid all across the country,and I see our stumpy little Corgi panting while potty and come right back to her water bowl to cool her down. When inside the house,she spends hours on her cool bed,and nap on there.

For me,when temperature goes up above 90F,100F, I usually be in the mood for cold foods dinner to cool down. Cold foods are usually very simple to make,and not much heat involved,so I do not have to cook on stove top long.

What food do you tend to cook often when very hot,humid summer days come?

One of the cold foods I make a lot is called “Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese Noodle with sweet vinegary sauce)” . The dish is made with Chinese noodle,red onion, cucumber,scramble egg,ham or shredded boiled chicken, and vinegary sauce is drizzled over the dish.

It is very tasty,and my husband,my mother in law love this dish. For me, I could say it is one of my favorite dish to eat.

Since cold foods would be something you too could enjoy during the hot,humid summer without standing in the kitchen too long, I thought I would share the recipe with you.

So, how do you make “Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese Noodle with sweet vinegary sauce)” ? Here is how.

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese Noodle with sweet vinegary sauce)..

** More sauce will be pour over right before the dish being served..

<Topping Preparation>

** Red onion;thinly slice 1/8 red onion and put them in the small container and wash under the cold water,pour water out, and pour some water in,and put the lid on,and keep in the fridge.

** Cucumber; slice off about 3″ long,and slice it to thin strips and keep in the container in the fridge

** Shredded chicken

1. In the sauce pan,place 2 skinless,boneless chicken breast,pour water till enough to cover the chicken breast.

2.Sprinkle McCormick Grill Mate Steak seasoning over the chicken/water in the sauce pan

3. Add dash of sherry to the sauce pan and boil the chicken breast,and when cool it down,shredded it

** If you were in hurry, you can buy a whole roasted chicken from Deli counter at grocery store and shred the chicken meat,and use it instead.

** Scrambled egg

1. To a measuring cup,crack 3 Large eggs and add 2 oz of heavy cream,sprinkle Molton’s Natures Seasons with blue cap,and beat the egg mixture in the measuring cup until everything in the egg mixture mix well

** You should not see egg white, egg york separated. Egg york,egg white, and heavy cream etc should be mixed well, and beaten egg mixture should haveeven color.

** Mixing until everything mixed well ensure that the air would get in into the beaten  egg and you can get fluffy scrambled egg

** When my mother has taught me how to make scrambled egg, she taught meto use the chopsticks and tilt the measuring cup or container that has egg in it a bit to your side and beat the egg with chopstick with motion from right hand corner to left side corner, moving chopsticks out from the egg and back in to right corner side to left side corner with ratherfast speed.

 By doing so, you can get a lot of air inside the beaten egg and you can make yummy scrambled egg. But you should not over-beat the egg. 

2. Put the 9″-10″ skillet on stove with medium high heat and add about 1/2tbs butter and let it melt

3. When butter is melted, tilt the skillet side,forward, etc and make sure the surface is buttered.

4. Pour all the beaten egg-heavy cream mixture onto the skillet and,using the wooden spoon, stir it circular way and push the egg toward center and repeat for about a couple of times with rather slow speed.

** Pushing the egg toward center ensure that the runny egg can settle faster.

5. By 2nd or 3rd circular stir with pushing egg toward center, you would see the egg start to set better

6. When almost all eggs are set, you can then break the egg into larger pieces and when you think all cooked through, you can place them into a bowl

<Sauce preparation>

In the small bowl, add 6 tbs rice vinegar,9 tbs water,1 tbs vegetable oil,3 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs table white sugar, and dash of sesame oil and whisk well.

<Assembling the Hiyashi Chuka dish>

1. Cook 7 oz of Chinese noodle in the water and, drain water when cooked and wash the noodle under the cold water and drain water well.

** Washing under the cold water after noodle is cooked is to take off any remained starch off from the noodle.

** My favorite brand of Chinese noodle is by Asian Gourmet ( red package ),and 7 oz of dry Chinese noodle would make about 2 -3 servings or so.

** You can find the Chinese noodle at International aisle at local grocery stores or at Asian stores.

** If you did not find the Chinese Noodle, you could make the dish with Angel hair pasta.

2. Pour all the drained Chinese noodle into big bowl, add toppings except scrambled eggs (red onion,cucumber, some handful of ham/shredded chicken),pour some of the sauce over (make sure the sauce is not separated.If it was separated,whisk well again),and mix well

** 2 chicken breast,shredded, will be more than enough for this dish and,you can freeze the shredded chicken in the freezer for later use.

3. Plate the noodle with topping up and place some of scrambled egg over,and drizzle more sauce over,and grind toasted sesame seed over the dish and serve.

4. Enjoy!

** The sauce can be used for salad dressing,too!

** If you dress up this noodle dish more gourmet style, you can fry wanton wrapper cut to strips. You will just lightly salt them when they come out from the oil and place it around or over the dish.This wanton strip chips tastes good when sauce is on too.


Aug 09, 2011 | 0 | Asian cooking 911

Flea/Tick control for dogs Part II

 In the previous entry titled “Flea/Tick Control for dogs“, I wrote about non toxic, natural ways to control fleas/ticks, how to remove ticks, what you would need to do after ticks were removed, and tick tests.

 Just recently, I have come across some more natural ways to get rid of fleas, and I thought it interesting and I would like to share with you.

<Flea trap>

 Fleas get killed in soapy water (Dish soap mixed with water), and I knew that you should drop any fleas that were caught with flea comb to kill them.

 Also,I knew if your dogs were covered with tiny little ticks, shampooing your dogs with dish soap “Ivory” can get them off from your dogs.

 However, “flea trap” was new thing to me and, it seems to come from the same idea of using the soapy water for flea by enticing them to come over and jump into the soapy water themselves by using night light over the soapy water dish.

 I have never tried this method and, I cannot comment as to how well it would work,but reading about how well those traps performed for many, it might be worth trying to see if it works for you.

 All you need for this homemade flea trap is “Dawn” dish soap, water, shallow dish, and night light.

 Here is how it works.

1. Mix water and Dish soap “Dawn” in a shallow dish

** the youtube video I came across suggests to mix 1 parts dish soap “Dawn” , and 3 parts water in a shallow dish

2. Place the soapy water dish right underneath the night light at night

 In theory, fleas will be attracted to the night light,and jump in to the soapy water dish,and they will be killed, and by the morning you will be up, if there were any fleas, you will see them in the soapy water,and you should toss them and make the new one until you see no fleas in the morning in the soapy water dish.

** If your furry friends were not crated in the night, you may want to use puppy panel pens to section off the area where flea traps are to keep them from being able to access to the soapy water dish.

Homemade flea trap..

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the  video.


 Another interesting thing I came across is that, just like food grade Diatomaceous Earth (not the kind to use for pool), ground salt also dehydrate the bugs like fleas.

 All you need is ground salt/sea salt.

 According to the article written by Barry Silverstein at flea control book website, it is important to make sure the salt you would use for flea dehydration are as finely ground as possible, to the consistency of powder.

 Then, you would sprinkle the finely ground salt over the carpet and,brush/rake it in,and  leave it on for 12 hours to 48 hours.

 Then, vacuum the room thoroughly.

 Barry writes that salt drawn out the moisture,and if the salt were left in the carpet for long period of time in hot,humid condition,the carpet will become wet.

 He also recommends to use Borax in addition to salt for serious infestation,but if it were me, I would probably not try Borax method unless dogs were safely positioned far away from the treated area,and all of their water are placed far away from the treated area to avoid them from ingesting/inhaling the Borax with drinking water or through the air.

 According to natural news website, Borax,also known as sodium borate is used as rat poisons, laundry detergent,cosmetics,enamel glazes,flame retardants, and buffer solution in chemistry. Also, this is used as preservatives in HPV Vaccines for girls.

 It is also used as food additives in some countries but, US has banned the use of sodium borate as food additives.

 In medical field, it was used as disinfectant or treatment for wounds,but patient got sick and it is no longer used in medical field,except as preservatives in HPV vaccine despite the fact that it seems some girls who received the vaccine got sick.

 Using the borax for flea is new and interesting,but since lemon water is working for us, I would stick with it. At least, I know for sure that I do not have to worry about Palette licking paws and her body after she gets lemon water solution over her body for tick/flea would not make her get sick,plus I do not have to worry about her ingesting Borax through the air as well.

 To read full article at flea control book website,please click here.

 To read full article at natural news website, please click here.

 I have been keep writing about this, but no matter what method you would use to combat flea/ticks etc., it is very important to provide the good diet to your dogs for overall good health.

 Then, use the flea comb daily.Fine tooth of flea comb can catch the tiny fleas and, you can just dip them in the soapy water to kill them.

 Also, make time for
bonding with your dogs and, use some of the time for rubbing/petting.
While you are rubbing/petting your dogs, sometimes, you could find the
tick/flea that just laded on your dogs and, if you caught it early, less
painful for your dogs down the road and, it is good for early detection
of the flea/tick.

 Vacuuming the house often,and mowing regularly also helps.

 Washing your dogs’ bed weekly is good,too.

 It is easy to use monthly spot on products to combat with flea/ticks, but when there are other ways to combat fleas/ticks without exposing your pets to harmful chemicals, would you still choose to use the spot on monthly treatment?

 I’d choose the natural ways to combat with them.

 What do you use to combat  flea/ticks?


Aug 07, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

People food for thought Part XVII; DIY Bacon

 In the previous entry titled “People food for thought Part VII;Cold cut meat“, I wrote that some
of the cold cut meats such as bacon, salami, bologna, hot dogs, sausage and processed deli or luncheon meat contains chemicals and preservatives to keep the
appearance of the products attractive to customers or to have longer
shelf life.

 I also wrote that Sandwiches
with cold cut/deli meat are tasty but, eating such sandwich frequently would not be good for your health.

 The reason why is that cold
cut meats are cured with salt, and it contains high amount of sodium;the processed cold cut meats contains 4 times more sodium and 50% more nitrate preservatives, which is known to cause health risk such as cancer, than unprocessed red meat.

 High amount of sodium increase the blood pressure and it can causes 
heart problem,too.

such as Sodium nitrite,sodium nitrate,BHT/BHA are used widely in
processed food from canned soup to frozen pizza,not just processed deli
meat/cold cut meat, and it is best if you could make your own bacon, soup,pizza with fresh ingredients at home.

 That way,you can eliminate all those preservatives,additives etc.. that you consume via processed food plus you will have tastier food on the table.

Make your own Bacon at home..

 Recently, I came across very interesting DIY Bacon article written by Alison Ladman. You would be surprised to read “DIY Bacon” because myself included, I did not think about making own Bacon at home.

 Bacon is king of the processed food,and many people loves Bacon. Our stumpy little Corgi does this cute little ballet dancing for pinky nail sized bacon bits by twirling,twirling standing up with stumpy paws.

 However, when you flip the Bacon package over, you will read the ingredient list; Cured with water,salt,sugar,sodium phosphate, sodium ascorbate, and sodium nitrite.

 You will see 3 kinds of preservatives/additives there. From sound of it, you could guess all are related to salt, but what are they really? What for they are there in the processed food products like Bacon?

 According to southern Indiana butcher shop website, and live strong website, total health breakthrough website,preservatives/additives in the processed meat products has its own purpose.

** Sodium phosphate; this is preservatives, and it is there to retain moisture,preserve the color, and to give the products tenderness. Also, it helps prevent the fat from becoming rancid.

** Sodium nitrite; this is preservative and its purpose is to fixate the color,and to prevent rancidity,and to prevent the growth of microorganism in the processed meat products.

** Sodium ascorbate; this is food additive, and if you are into canning, or preserving food such as dehydrating sliced apples,you maybe able to guess what it is for. This is vitamin C combined with sodium, and keep the color from changing.

 By adding sodium ascorbate, it keep the red color of the meat from turning greyish color.

 As you know, apple turns brown if you cut into half and let it sit on the counter a while. Vitamin C prevents the color change caused by oxidation.

 You can read more on food preservatives used in processed meat products at southern Indiana butcher shop website here.

 You can read more on sodium ascorbate in the processed food at livestrong website here.

 You can read more on nitrite in the processed food at total health breakthrough website here.

 Now you know why processed food like Bacon is high in sodium. Salt is used to cure the meat, and then, products are preserved with preservatives/food additives that was combined with sodium..

 If you make your own Bacon, it will be less salt,without harmful preservatives/food additives, and I thought it would taste better.

 According to Alison Ladman, Bacon is made from Pork belly, and purchasing the fresh,uncured pork belly might be the hardest part of “DIY Bacon”.

 She suggests to ask the meat guy at grocery stores,or try butcher shops. Then, she suggests to ask the butchers to trim the skin from pork belly if the pork belly comes with skin.

 After getting the pork belly, it will take one week with 30 minutes active time. It looks so easy to make,and if you could get the fresh uncured pork belly,I think you would give it a try and see if you like homemade Bacon.

 Since it was so interesting subject, I decided to try out on my own and show you step by step pictures so you can visualize what you would expect it to happen.

 Now, pork belly. If you live in VA, one place you can get is butcher shop called “Olde Towne butcher” ,located in down town Fredericksburg,VA. That is where I have got the pork belly to make bacon.

Pork belly..

 It was quite interesting shop. They have got nicely trimmed,beautiful Angus beef steaks, interesting sausage, yogurt made from grass-fed beef,very plump and huge black berries,fresh eggs,blue berry sodas… They even got a sign that said they will take an order for a whole pig. They also offer sea food and a while back, they were offering wild caught shrimp and Tuna from NC,too.

 The shop is located along side the street,and they do not have their own parking lot. Therefore, you would need to find the place to park the car on the street.

 Below is the recipe from the article written by Alison Ladman. Alison’s method is dry cure method,and I used pyrux 9″x13″ casserole dish.

** I wanted to try out dry cure method and wet cure method so, I have bought 2 lb pork belly, and used half for dry cure method,half for wet cure method.

DIY Bacon.. (Dry cure version)

1. Mix 2C Kosher salt,2C brown sugar, 1 tbs ground black pepper, and additional seasoning if you prefer.

Dry cure mixture..

** With pyrux 13″x9″ casserole dish,even if I used half the amount of pork belly called for in the recipe,cure amount did NOT need to scale down.

2. Find the container that pork belly can fit in with 1″-2″ spaces all sides

3. Pour half the seasoning mixture onto container where you will  put the pork belly in,and level it out

4. Set the pork belly on

5. Pour rest of the seasoning mix over and press firmly

DIY Bacon dry cure method before going in to fridge..

6. Refrigerate,uncovered for 6-7 days

After 7 days later,before being washed under cold water..

7. Remove from seasoning mixture, discard the seasoning mixture,and rinse it under cold water,and pat it dry with paper towel

After being washed under the cold water..

** After 7 days later, dry cure mixture gets harden up,and bottom of the cure gets wet look..

** Before slicing and bagging Bacon up, cut the edge off (edge is the saltiest part,so do not use the edge for taste testing for saltiness),and slice thin, and cook up the Bacon on the skillet to test the saltiness.

To cook the Homemade Bacon on the skillet,start with skillet not heated up.Just place a tiny piece and set the heat to medium heat and cook Bacon up and see if it is too salty.

8. Pour water into a bowl or casserole enough to cover bacon (pork belly) and put saran on,and soak in the water for 1 hour in the fridge.

** Mine with dry cure method,wet cure method,both tasted quite salty with just rinsed under the cold water,so, both needed to be soaked in the water in the fridge.

9. Slice bacon and freeze them up to 3 months.

DIY Dry cured Bacon..

 To read the full article by Alison Ladman,please click here.

** Dry cured Bacon cooked up quite crispy,and we loved them. It tasted like generic Bacon. I am happy with the result!
 Technically, by definition, if we did not smoke the cured pork belly,it is Italian Bacon “Pancetta”. To make a real American bacon,we must smoke the cured pork belly in smoker,but I did not notice much difference between store bought American bacon and DIY dry cured Bacon.
 I looked around and read other recipes as well to make homemade Bacon after reading about the homemade bacon in the article. Then,I noticed there are two ways to make it.

 One way is to make with rubs (dry cure method like above), and the other way is to submerge the meat into brine just like you do with Turkey (wet method).

 Also, I have noticed that some recipes instruct you to rub the seasoning mixture onto pork belly and bag them up in the zip bag and flip it over once a day for 7 days.

 That being said, I came across youtube video on how to make your own Bacon at home. The recipe used in the video use zip bag to keep the pork belly with rubs,and it instruct you to flip it over once a day.

 This method is the wet cure method I have tried, but cure mixture measurement is not exactly the same with the youtube video you find below.

 Before showing you the youtube video I came across, here is a recipe for DIY Bacon wet method version I have adapted from youtube video below.

DIY Bacon.. (Wet cure version)

1. Mix 1/2C Kosher salt,3/8C brown sugar, 3 tbs pure maple syrup.

** My favorite brand of maple syrup is Maple grove farms pure maple syrup. It got no preservatives and, no artificial flavors or corn syrup in it.It just tastes great.

Wet method cure mixture..

** This cure mixture will turn to liquid later..

2. To 1 lb of fresh uncured pork belly, rub the wet mixture in,making sure all sides are covered with cure.

DIY Bacon wet cure method before being put in the freezer bag..

3. Put the wet cure covered pork belly into a freezer bag,and set it on the sheet pan that fit the belly in,and put the bag in the fridge.

DIY Bacon wet cure method before going in to fridge..

** Make sure to put the date on the bag so you know when to pull out from the cure mixture

4. Every day, when you wake up in the morning, flip the bag over for 7 days

5. After 7 days later, pull it out from the fridge

The wet cure will be looking like brine..

6.Remove from wet cure mixture, discard the cure mixture,and rinse it under cold water,and pat it dry with paper towel

After being washed under the cold water..

** After 7 days later, wet cure mixture turns to all liquid

** Before slicing and bagging Bacon up, cut the edge off (edge is the
saltiest part,so do not use the edge for taste testing for
saltiness),and make another slice, and cook up the Bacon on the skillet to test
the saltiness.

To cook the Homemade Bacon on the skillet,start with skillet not heated
up.Just place a tiny piece and set the heat to medium heat and cook
Bacon up gently and see if it is too salty.

7. Pour water into a bowl or casserole enough to cover bacon (pork
belly) and put saran on,and soak in the water for 1 hour in the fridge.

** Mine with dry cure method,wet cure
method,both tasted quite salty with just rinsed under the cold water,so,
both needed to be soaked in the water in the fridge.

8. Slice bacon and freeze them up to 3 months.

DIY Wet cured Bacon..

** DIY Wet cured Bacon came out quite flavorful although it did not get as crispy as dry cured bacon. With flavor in mind, we like wet method bacon,but texture in mind,we like dry cured Bacon.

How to make Bacon at home Part I

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch video.

How to make Bacon at home Part II

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch video.

How to make Bacon at home Part III

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch video.

 With the freezer bag wet cure method, I noticed that some recipes call for pink salt,which is dyed salt so people would not make mistake with regular salt.

 This pink salt contains sodium nitrate (preservative I have talked about above), and it keeps meat color fixed and inhibit the growth of microorganism.

 I have to say “What is the point of making Bacon on your own at home if you use the pink salt and bring nitrite back into the cure mixture?”

 At home, Bacon will be disappeared with quite fast pace, and it gets kept in freezer as soon as it was made and,it really do not need something like preservatives that gives us long shelf life.

 For long shelf life purpose, many bacon manufacturers use nitrite as one of preservatives, but I recently found one company that use no preservatives in their Bacon.

 If you were looking for more natural Bacon without preservatives, you may like Benton’s Bacon made in TN,USA. Their picture package shows ingredients brown sugar,salt,and black pepper. Drawback is price. It is quite pricy..

 To visit Benton’s,please click here
 You will find that when you cook DIY Bacon, it does not emit as much liquid as it would with store bought Bacon.

 After a little bit of taste test, we made burger using the DIY Bacon that day.We enjoyed the dinner very much.Everything on the plate was made from scratch including onion rolls..

Onion roll bun with beef burger Pattie,caramelized onion,with crispy bacon.

Side is crispy oven baked rosemary red potatoes..

I want one too! – Palette

Palette and DIY Bacon

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 As you can see,DIY Bacon was approved by Palette the Corgi with 5 paws up!!

 Palette got so excited with endless drool,and bubbles around her mouth and it was funny watching her reaction. I have given tiny tiny morsel of store bought Bacon to her in the past,but I am thinking that she was more excited for the DIY Bacon.


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Aug 04, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized