Monday, November 18

Party in my mouth.

There really isn't anything better than flavors exploding in your mouth when a tasty morsel hits your tongue. Nothing. Better. Well maybe one thing.

I have never really been a pork person. You know when you are little and your mom has like ten meals that she makes for dinner and you either love, hate or are indifferent about them? So I LOVED taco night and hated when we had pork. But since its the other white meat and I enjoy trying out new cooking methods/recipes, I have had to expand from my chicken and beef repertoire in the last year. So when I made my order from US Wellness Meats I decided to go all out and get a pork shoulder.  It's been hanging out in our freezer for a few weeks now and I didn't really know where to start...
Left: picture of the recipe in Well Fed and a Margarita while
waiting. Right: Finished shredded carnitas. 
This weekend I made Melissa's stove top carnitas and it turned out to be the best piece of pork that has ever reached my taste buds. Better than bacon and that's something. Admittedly the smell of boiling pork wasn't very appetizing at first but once the water evaporated and the flavors of the different citrus juices became more concentrated, the more delicious the aroma became. 

As I mentioned we have been eating pork on a weekly basis for the last year but have stuck to mostly tenderloins and chops. Oh and bacon. But I just wanted to world to know I am officially a converted pork eater. Plus I used the succulent shredded pork in a *taco! GENIUS. So in the end I turned my least favorite meal into my most look forward to one.

If you get a chance, check out Melissa's website Clothes Make the Girl or buy any of her two amazing cookbooks (Well Fed and Well Fed 2). You won't regret it.
I certainly don't.


*For this dinner I also used the tortilla recipe from Simone of Zenbelly. Do it!

Friday, November 15

Pop goes the Kombucha!

5 days later. 

I had just gotten done cleaning the kitchen. Next move was to put the already bottled and fizzy Kombucha in the fridge so that we could drink it later that night. While I was moving the bottles, I noticed that one must not have been sealed correctly or something because it started to make this hissing noise. This obviously meant that this particular bottle was ready. Right? 

It got everywhere and here are the *photos to prove it. 
Splattered on the cabinets, above the
cabinets ceiling across the room. 
It got on the walls and on every single
 container/utensil on my shelves.

Exploded on the ceiling. 

And on my white sheers in the dining area.
Immediately I thought this was hilarious, of course that was before I got a good look around. Even after to seeing all of the carnage that used to be my kitchen and dining room, I was delirious with laughter. I mean who does this sort of thing happen too? Just me. It was still pretty funny as I discovered new places that remnants of fruit and juice got too. It was only after an hour and half of cleaning did I start think: How could I have avoided this? So if you do not want to do a 2-3 hour deep clean of your kitchen please read the tips below. I wish I had. 

Tip 1: After initial bottling, put bottles on the floor or in a box in case of too much carbonation. If one explodes, at least it is not at eye level and if in a box the mess can be contained. 
Tip 2: Never open a bottle of Kombucha when it is "hissing" at you. 
Tip 3: Refrigerate all bottles before opening. This accomplishes two things. Stops the fermenting and gets the beverage cold for drinking.
Tip 4: Always have a glass ready for pouring. 
Tip 5: Open the bottle like you would champagne- as in have a towel covering the cork while **opening. 
Tip 6: Haven't you ever gotten a tart blueberry and a sweet one in the same container? Remember when you are flavoring with different fruits or fruit juices; ***Not all fruit/fruit juices are equal in sugar content. 

What is the biggest mess you have made in your kitchen? How long did it take you to clean it up?

Don't want to deal with any of this and would like to just buy your stinky tea. This is my favorite store brand. You have be 21 and older to purchase as it may contain some alcohol. 

*These pictures also do not do the kombucha justice, it really got EVERYWHERE but I was flustered and took terrible pictures.
** If you are like Mr. FFF, you can make your wife go outside with a towel and open the bottle on the grass in the back yard. Overkill? I thought so too. 
***This is the reason why homemade flavored kombucha has so mane variables. The good news is you will learn the correct amount if you are using the same flavorings each time.  

Thursday, November 7

the Kombucha experiment

According to Mr. FFF I have turned into a hippy. This isn't the case but this is what he sometimes says to me. 

In one of my more hippy moves I decided to make some Kombucha. Which is fermented tea and its good for your gut. I know that is super sexy right? So at $3.74 per 16 oz bottle at Whole Foods, I decided to make it myself. Duh. I mean we have made beer before and that is fermented hops soooo why can't I make fermented tea. 

It was a month long process because I decided to start from scratch. I had to first create a *S.C.O.B.Y.  Of course, I could have bought a kit but the whole reason for making my own was so that I didn't have to shell out the king's ransom for my stinky tea. With the recent release of her new book Fermented, luckily I stumbled upon Jill's directions for the WHOLE ENTIRE process on her website. I followed them to a T(ea). 

I made two types: a Black tea which is caffeinated and and a Roobios tea which is not. Below is a picture of the first ferment for the Roobios and the starter for the black tea (which wasn't quite thick enough yet so it's still getting it's S.C.O.B.Y. on). 

After the first fermentation, technically the Kombucha is ready but I didn't want to drink stinky tea; I wanted FIZZY stinky tea. For the fizziness I needed to do a short second fermentation. In beer you would do this by adding priming sugar but I **researched and decided to use a mixture of fruit and fruit juices.

Here is the Kombucha ready to be bottled. 

So I cleaned the bottles.
  Got my ingredients together.
 Chopped and weighed my fruit.
  Got my labels ready. 

The finished product, all bottled, capped and ready to...
  wait 3-5 days for the finished product. Stay tuned for what happened next!

Have you ever tried Kombucha before? 
Did you love it? Or would you rather get your good bacteria from other sources?


* Oh yeah, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Even sexier. 
** Read a little over a dozen websites to gather the information. The internet knows all- right? Plus it's never wrong.