Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homemade Jerky

I received a very special birthday treat this weekend from my wife.  No, not that.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  She made me a batch of homemade beef jerky.

She tells me that it was pretty simple to make, though it is a bit time consuming.  Let me tell you, it is so much better than anything you can get in the grocery store.

It all starts off with some flank steak.  You slice it at an angle in very thin slices.  You then marinate the beef slices in some soy sauce.  Take some cooking racks and place them on a baking sheet.

After marinating the beef, place the strips on the rack so that any drippings from the beef will land on the baking sheet.  Then season the beef with some lemon pepper and garlic salt.  Place the meat in the oven at about 170 degrees.

It usually takes about 6-10 hours in the oven for the jerky to be done.  My wife recommends checking the beef after about 6 hours.  To check the beef to see if it is done, take a slice and bend.  If it breaks, it is ready.  Enjoy.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Stride Shift Chewing Gum

In my job as a candy and snack buyer, I sometimes get to see new items before they hit the stores.  Every now and then, I get to see something that is pretty cool, at least in my humble opinion.  The makers of Stride chewing gum are coming out with an item that I think is pretty different.

OK, you may be asking what could be different about a chewing gum.  These new varieties of Stride gum are unique because they start out with one flavor but then shift to another flavor the longer you chew it.  Hence their name, Stride Shift.

Stride Shift comes in two flavors, Stride Shift Citrus and Stride Shift Berry.  They each start with a citrus or berry flavor, but the longer you chew on it, the flavor becomes a mint flavor.  The product is expected to hit stores sometime in May.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Asian Hamburger Helper-Mongolian Beef

I was out at my local grocery store this morning to pick up a few items for meals for the week.  My initial goal was to just go in and get the proteins for the week.  I had no real intention of looking for anything new to try, especially since the store is undergoing a major remodel and reset.  I had a difficult time finding a lot of my regular groceries, but I digress.

As I was walking down one of the aisles, something new caught my eye.  We don't usually go for Hamburger Helper very often, but last week during one of the blizzards we had Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper and it was pretty good.  Well, my local grocer had a new line of helpers from the good folks at Betty Crocker, Asian Helper.  There were three varieties that I remember seeing, Beef and Chicken Fried Rice, and the item that I decided to pick up and give a try, Mongolian-Style Beef.

The Mongolian-Style Beef Asian Hamburger Helper is pretty simple to make.  In addition to the boxed ingredients, all you need is a pound of hamburger and some hot water.  First step, is to brown the ground beef in a skillet.  After browning the beef, you are supposed to drain the fat drippings from the pan, but I failed to follow that step.  Next you add 2.75 cups of hot water and the ingredients in the box.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 11 minutes, stirring every now and then.  When the noodles are tender, remove from the heat, uncover, and let sit so the sauce can thicken.

The aroma of the Mongolian Style Beef Asian Hamburger Helper was very appetizing while it was cooking.  The flavor upon eating was pleasant as well.  The sauce did not thicken as much as we would have liked, but it was probably due to the fact that failed to drain the fat from the pan after browning the beef.  It won't make you forget the Mongolian Beef you can get in a restaurant, but for a mix and an inexpensive meal, it is a pretty good deal.  The mix and the ground beef came to just over $5, which is a pretty good price to pay for dinner. 

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