101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

I Call BS

There Are No Silver Bullets Tonto

Happy New Years to All except liars and shisters. A little harsh you say... why you say? It's the season when many of us try to correct our bad habits. And always in the top 5 New Year's resolutions will be get healthier and lose weight.  And I see them coming out from under their rocks.

There will be well meaning (but clueless) experts telling you what to do or eat. I listened to one on the radio this morning. In 20 minutes, she had not one fully true statement. There will be the outright shister wanting you to believe only they have the magic knowledge. There will be compelling stories that are sprinkled with pseudo-scientific BS and if you don't know better, you may believe it. There will be celebrities who you trust making a pitch for this diet plan, that magic supplement or a magic energy bracelet.

Are you really that clueless? Well if you are, I will give you some clues to look for...  

First key phrase that I hate:
  • Supports the Immune System - I don't know what this means and I'm a doctor. I call BS anytime you hear this
  • Increase your metabolic rate - I call BS
  • Burns fat - I call BS
  • Loss weight while you sleep- Really?- A major I call BS
  • Emerging studies or science reveals- I call BS
  • Promotes or Supports whatever - really... then how? prove it sucker - I call BS 99% of the time
  • Colon health - again a 99% bogus phrase to fleece you  - I call BS again
  • The magic of -I don't believe in magic - I call BS
  • Leading experts - you can be sure they aren't - I call BS ever time
  • Antioxidants - not a bad thing by it self but almost always BS- just eat your veggies.
  • Stem cells - I just saw an ad to "turn on" stem cells in the skin. I see a major cancer risk if true. I call BS again 
  • "Detoxifying" What does that mean??? - This one is just plain stupid - I call BS (see the comment from Christine)
Other things to watch for:
  •  Infomercial - BAD- Always
  •  Doctor or Dietitian provided to the local TV station by your hospital system - Usually good
  • "Expert" on morning TV- frequently bad- watch for key words. 
  • An advertised product - almost always bad - I will say I believe Weigh Watchers is GOOD for adults.
  • Your PCP (Primary care provider) - Usually good
  • A friend or relative - Almost always wrong. 99.9999%
  • You mother - better than you think usually
Some general rules that may help:

  1. The middle of the bell shaped curve is usually the correct place to be. This means that the mainstream is more likely to be correct then the extremes.
  2. Your local nonprofit hospital system will have you best health in mind.
  3. Almost all PCP's are good resources for you.
  4. Even your insurance company wants you healthy. Even if yours is a blood sucking leach on society, a healthy you is cheaper than a sick you.
  5. Drug companies almost always try to sell inappropriate and expensive drugs.
  6. Most of the time when a insurance company doesn't pay of a $200 or a $500 procedure from your marginal care provider, it is of little or no value. The first clue to these providers is that they don't take insurance because they don't want a third party that has some knowledge taking a close look at them. The shister will ding you over and over. Run the other way and rescue your friends and family.
  7. If they tell you that doctors or the AMA doesn't want you to know a secret. I again call 100% BS. Hold on tight to your wallet.
  8. NEVER make a major change in your diet or exercise program without consulting you PCP.
Final thoughts:
  1.  A pound of fat is about 3500 calories. So a can of pop or 12 oz of juice a day is 20 pounds of weight gain per year.
  2. Weight is all about calories in and calories out.
  3. Your thyroid is probably fine but your doctor can check. There will always be somebody willing to give you an excuse if you'll pay for it.
  4. A low glycemic diet will help you control your appetite. But be careful what is called low glycemic. I just saw a recommendation for a "healthy" low glycemic breakfast of a glass of OJ with a bunch of heavy cream.. NOT healthy nor low glycemic.
  5. If it sounds stupid or too good to be true , it probably is stupid or too good to be true.
Special note: I'm changing my comment policy for a while so I don't get slammed. I will be approving all comments for now before publishing. If you want to disagree... Start your own blog and say whatever you want. I will publish comments that I consider scientifically sound but ranting or pseudo-scientific BS will not be published.

Sorry, I stepped on toes but it needed to be said.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

KitchenAid Pasta Attachment - A Review

Just call this a toy report. One of the cool things about having a Kitchen Aid stand mixer is all the associated toys. I had my eye on the pasta attachment for the last year. In fact, I think I got the mixer in someway aiming for this attachment. Well this year, it went on and off my Amazon wish list several times. I thought I left it off finally but in one of the trips on and off the list, one of my daughters went for it. So it was a complete surprise.

A few weeks ago Rex at Savory Reviews ran his through a first run with inspiring results. So we had left over Chicken Parmesan that my wife made (excellent with some pepperoni for allot of taste). A great time for a trial run on my day off.

I cut the recipe in half (we are cooking for two remember). The final result were very good but I had a stumble or two to mention in-spite of the hints Rex had. The dough was too dry. I initially went with the recipe provided by Kitchen Aid, but in the end, I needed an extra teaspoon of water to make the dough hold together through the roller. I though it was too dry when I did the hand kneading but left it. I added the extra water when I found the dough would not hold together through the roller. I think that cutting the recipe may have had something to do with this.  

1 3/4 cup AP flour
2 large eggs
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t water (plus 1 t that I think is needed)


1) Combine all ingredients in the bowl and mix on 2 for 30 seconds.
Too Dry!!
2) Move to surface and knead for 2-3 minutes by hand to combine all dough.
3) Let set for 20 minutes.
Also too dry, I added a small amount of water here.
4) Divide in half  and flatten to about 1/8 inch by hand. Start with the roller set to 1. Your initial few passes with by raggedy. Keep folding the dough in half and reincorporating any separated dough.
5) After 4-5 passes you should have a sheet of dough. Now change the setting to 2 and do several passes. Continue to narrow the roller until you have the desired thickens. I went for 4 in thickness.
6) Now change to the desired cutter and make your pasta.
7) Cook for 2-5 minutes.

A very nice toy. There is a small learning curve. I was very afraid of cleanup before I read the instructions. I imagined soaking the thing and have multiple parts to clean, NOPE, just wipe it off and let any stuck dough dry and then brush off. 

The results even here on my first try were better than a restaurant. Now that I have had my learning curve about the dough consistency, it will be much faster next time. With all my fumbling tonight, it was about 50 minutes until we were eating. Cut about 10 minutes off that for the learning curve thing. 

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Easy Oven Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Oven Baked Paresan Crusted Tilapia from 101 Cooking For Two
Wonderful. A crispy Parmesan crust with great flavor with only a few ingredients. A quick and easy weeknight recipe with weekend appeal.  This will become a standard in our home.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Freezer Burnt Chicken Tortilla Soup

One of my most popular posts is what to do with freeze burnt chicken.  I'm going to have to start a "Freezer Burnt Chicken" series at this rate because  my wife found more freezer burnt skinless boneless chicken breast this week and told me to make soup with it. We love my Tortilla soup so I buffed that up with excellent results.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Excellent White Chicken Chili

I'm a big chili fan so when I had three split chicken breast staring me in the face, it just seemed right. I was buying the ingredients for Tortilla soup but I ran into my neighbor who was shopping for chili ingredients. So today when I got to it, I decide to do white chicken chili instead.

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Continued Slowdown

I'm not lazy, really. I'm working about 12 hours a day and the few possible posts in the last two weeks just weren't up to par but I have a really good one that will be up in the next couple of hours. You'll love it.

There appears to be no end to the long hours for now...