I love to cook, especially with healthy, natural, and home-grown ingredients.

Cheap Bread

So I’m looking for a good, cheap bread recipe.  Everyone leave a comment! Here’s the one that I’m going to use, courtesy of the The Simple Dollar:

1/4 cup milk
5 teaspoons sugar (or 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons butter (or 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 package active dry yeast (you can get yeast near the flour at your local grocery store)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour (get unbleached white for your first attempt)
Corn starch or nonstick cooking spray (just to prevent the bread from sticking to the bowl or pan)

I’ll update in a few hours and let you all know how it turns out!

Tortilla Press with Homemade Tortillas

Wooden Tortilla Press

Tortilla Press with Homemade Tortillas

I used 2 x 4 scraps and some oak for the handle. The only thing I had to buy were the hinges. Total cost: $3.57

Today’s Edition of Brian Makes Crap out of Slightly Lesser Crap: A tortilla press made out of 2 x 4 scrap!t

I adapted instructions from another person’s video so I won’t bother to rewrite them here. If you want to make one, just check out his video and follow along.  All you really need to make one of these is some thick lumber and a table saw.  However I used my planer (to square up the 2×4 prior to glue-up), a router with a roundover bit to smooth the corners, a sander with 80, 120, 220, and 300 grit paper, and a band saw to curve the handle. The additional power tools certainly aren’t necessary, but they make the finished product a little nicer.

I made mine out of 2×4 scrap that I planed down to 1 1/4″ thickness and edge-glued the pieces together into 12″ wide squares.

I made the handle out of oak for extra strength, but that was made from scrap.  The only part of the project that cost me any money were the hinges, for a total cost of $3.57.

You can check out Steve Ramsey’s tortilla press video here.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Cut the Crap! The Right Way to Cut Just About Everything

If you’re like me, you made it your job as a child to ignore anything useful your parents might have taught you.

My mom is an amazing cook and now I find myself regretting my lack of concern for her cullinary craftsmanship every time that I enter a kitchen. She’s always happy to give me advice when I ask, but I like to do my own thing before I call people begging for help.  Plus, you know, there’s YouTube.

My most recent difficulty involved trying to make a half-decent salad.  The quest actually began when I made a very sad salad for a dinner I was invited to: the vegetables were either to big or too small, and the tomatoes ended in a puddle of more skin and goo than a Saw sequel.

Yes, being 30 years old and not knowing the right way to cut lettuce is pathetic.  So sue me. You’ll be happy to know I’m now slicing and dicing like a pro and my salads no longer look like I tossed them in a wood chipper.

I’m compiling a list of videos on the right way to cut various foods.  Have anything to add? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll throw it on the list!

Vegetables

Carrots

Cucumber

Cucumber (sushi style)

Lettuce

Onions

Tomatoes

 

Other

Hard-Boiled Eggs