Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hot dogs + stuffing + bacon = delicious!

Carol over at Frugal Like Grandma posted today on her blog about stuffed hot dogs. I rarely eat hot dogs, stuffing, or bacon and can't recall ever having eaten them together but I had the ingredients and the pictures looked good so I made stuffed hot dogs for my dinner tonight. Let me say that this one is a real winner but if you're sodium conscious, you might wanna have these as a rare treat!

I used turkey franks, stuffing in a box because I couldn't see making the tiny amount needed for four hot dogs, and vegetarian "bacon" because it's what I had on hand. I don't have any toothpicks but when I googled for ideas on what to use instead, I decided the idea of uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces, would work. The stuffed dogs were on the prepared pan and I went to get the spaghetti and ooops, I'm out of that. So, I made the dogs without anything to keep the bacon on and had a mental image of bacon flopping around in my oven but the skinniness of the franks and the length of the strips worked to my advantage. I just tucked the end of each bacon strip under the dog and after 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, the bacon was still in place. Oh, and I put the bacon on only two of the dogs and the ones without the bacon were just as good as those with.

So, here you have it - stuffed hot dogs. I ate them with steamed spinach and am a very happy camper!

I'm going to play with different low carb stuffing ideas to see if any of them will work in these delicious dogs but in the meantime, I have a new meal idea to enjoy now and then.

Thanks, Carol!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Catching a yeastie beastie!

I love sourdough bread. It's a favorite of mine and the fact that it's lower on the Glycemic Index means that for me a slice of sourdough bread requires a smaller amount of insulin than other breads and the chances are lower that I'll get an unexpected high blood sugar reading after eating it. But I don't like buying loaves of it because I only eat a couple of slices a week and the bread eventually gets tossed into the trash. I started reading about sourdough and starter and learned about "catching a wild yeast". I know, there's quite a bit of debate about whether the yeast is in the air, the flour or both but regardless, I thought it would be fun to try sometime.

Conveniently, on Thursday a friend of mine posted to a forum we're both on about her starter made with wild yeast. She listed the steps and shared a picture and it sounded so simple even I could do it so I bit the bullet Friday.

I mixed one cup of unbleached flour and one cup of warm water in a glass bowl. I wet a kitchen towel with hot water, squeezed out the excess, wrapped the bowl in the towel, and set it on top of my microwave.

This is how it looked on Day 1 after being mixed.

When I was home, I stirred it every four to six hours, wet the towel again, wrapped the bowl in the towel and put it back on the microwave. 

On Day 2 I noticed a few small bubbles in the mix. Not many but a few. I continued the stirring, towel wetting, and bowl wrapping routine every four to six hours. I wish I'd gotten a picture of that but I'd had a long day at work and was too tired to do much but what I absolutely had to.

Today is Day 3 and when I checked the bowl this morning, this is what I found. I hold the secret to life! Itself!  ('scuse the reference to The Rocky Horror Picture Show but this moment seemed fitting for it)

The friend who posted about her starter is sick and unable to answer questions so I read her posts about the starter and gathered from them what I needed to do next. I added a pinch of flour and a pinch of sugar to the mix, stirred it, wet the towel with hot water, squeezed out the excess, wrapped the bowl in the hot towel, and put it back on the microwave. A few hours later I found a growing, yeasty smelling mess of stuff in the bowl. Success!

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I've gone to several sites and read about making starter this way and some say to discard half of what's in the bowl, feed the remainder and and leave it out for another couple of days. Others say to just feed for a couple of days without discarding any. For now, I'm going to leave Adam (that's what I've named this starter since he's my first) alone and will stir and feed him tomorrow morning before work. 

I hope I don't return home to a blob of yeast taking over my kitchen!