Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Please Don’t Feed the Ducks

 

 

 

 

The Bread…You can use almost anything dry and crunchy to make your dry breadcrumbs—including hot dog buns, baguettes, croissants, sliced sandwich bread, Italian loaves, white, wheat, sourdough, rye, crackers, bagels, Goldfish, potato chips, or any combination of these.

Both sweet,and savory breads will make perfect breadcrumbs as long as your bread is nice and dry before crumbling.

Actually combining several different types of bread will add more flavor.

However, do not use stale bread. Stale bread makes stale-tasting breadcrumbs…go figure?!

Collect various odds and ends of breads in a large, re-sealable bag in your freezer until you have a need for using breadcrumbs.  One loaf of typical bread will yield about 4C crumbs. Then when a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, use this as an opportunity to make crumbs out of whatever bread you have collected.

But your bread needs to be dry.

Toasting the Bread…If  you’re using fresh bread to make your breadcrumbs, place the slices on a baking sheet and bake at 225 for 15min. Halfway through the baking time, turn the bread over so that the bread dries evenly.

Your goal in baking the bread in the oven like this is to evaporate all the moisture out of the bread, completely…

Toasting the bread  at such a low temperature will obviously take longer, but this temperature will heat the bread just the right amount to sufficiently vaporize moisture without darkening the bread’s surface or changing its flavor.

The Prep Work…Once your bread is totally dry and crispy, crumbling it into smaller pieces honestly won’t be that big of a deal.

Ar rhis poinr, you xould use one of three methods to finish making your breadcrumbs.

  1. The Blender or Food Processor
  2. The Box Grater
  3. Your Hands

The Blender of Food Processor…Perhaps the easiest and most common way to make breadcrumbs is in a blender or food processor, I honestly don’t have a food processor…still debating whether or not I would actually use one since I have a nice blender already…(more on that later).

Place chunks of the torn dried bread into a blender or the bowl of a food processor.

Add the chunks of bread in small batches.

Be careful not to overcrowd the bread so that grinding wjill be easier.

The Box Grater…A box grater, like the one that I understand is used to grate cheese at home…(honestly I can’t remember the last time I bought cheese that wasn’t already grated)…is another option.

To use a box grater to make breadcrumbs, place the grater in the center of a large bowl. Swipe your bread down its sides like you would a block of cheese.

The “DIY” Method…Finally you can simply make your breadcrumbs by hand. Place the dry bread in a Ziploc bag. Smash with a rolling pin until you have the desired size of breadcrumbs.

The Grand Finale…Regardless which method you are using, you need to end up with crumbs that range in size from crumbs that are the size of oatmeal flakes or rice and larger pieces about the size of small peas.

Now you are ready to toast your crumbs.

To toast your breadcrumbs on the stovetop, pour about 3Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the crumbs, stirring or tossing frequently, for about five minutes…until they are crunchy and golden brown.

Finally season your breadcrumbs with kosher salt. Let cool on a paper towel-lined plate.

Storing Breadcrumbs…How long your breadcrumbs can be used will depend on whether you store them in your fridge or freezer or at room temperature.

Fridge…Your breradcumbs will stay “fresh” in your fridge for up to one month.

Freezer…Your breadcrumbs will stay “fresh” in your freezer for up to three months, as long as they are kept in a resealable bag,

Room Temperature…Your breadcrumbs will stay “fresh”  at room temperature for up to three days, as long as they are kept in an airtight container.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Kimchi—The What Else—Gochujang

Another well-known Korean specialty ingredient to look for while surfing Korean websites or walking through an Asian market is gochujang.

Gochujang is a dark red chili paste with a savory, sweet, and spicy flavor and a thick and sticky texture.

This fermented condiment is made from the following ingredients…

  1. Red Chili Powder…This chili powder is made from Korean chili peppers that are spicy yet sweet, providing a healthy amount of lingering heat that’s not burn-your-mouth spicy.
  2. Glutinous Rice Powder…This is what gives gochuchang its touch of sweetness. This rice powder can also be substituted with normal short-grain rice, barley, whole wheat kernels, jujubes, pumpkin, and sweet potato. A small amount of sweetener—such as sugar, syrup, or honey—is also sometimes added.
  3. Meju (fermented soybean) powder
  4. Yeotgireum (barley malt powder)
  5. Salt

Making gochuchang is a long and arduous task that involves fermenting the mixture for years in earthenware vessels called “jangdok” on an elevated stone platform, called a “jangdokdae” in the backyard. That’s the reason that I’m not adding a recipe for it.

Instead buy it from reputable sources such as Chung Jung One or Momofuku.

Tips For Choosing Gochujang

  • Add a teaspoonful at a time. A little goes a long way because of its spiciness.
  • Check the package before purchasing to see how hot it is, kinda like buying salsa.
  • Keep an eye open when searing or grilling meats that have been marinated with gochujang that contains sugar because the meat will have a tendency to burn easily.
  • Look for gochujang that only contains the above ingredients…no corn syrup, starch syrup or hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
  • Look for it to be  sold in small, red square tubs.
  • Store in the fridge once you open it.
  • Thin your gochujang with a liquid of some sort–such as sesame oil, crushed garlic, sugar, soy sauce—because the thick texture of gochujang makes it a bit difficult to use straight up.
  • Unlike sriracha or Tabasco, gochujang is too aggressive to be used as a finishing sauce.

Uses for Gochujang

Butter…Gochuchang can be paired with “everyday” foods—such as steak, tacos, and burgers. One way of doing this is to make your own gochuchang butter.

Marinade…Another common use is as a marinade for meat…such as this bulgogi recipe from Crazy Korean Cooking.

Sauces…Gochuchang can also be used in condiments, salad dressings, and dipping sauces…such as Ssamjang, a thick, spicy paste made from gochujang, sesame oil, onion, garlic, green onions, and optionally brown sugar….as in this recipe from Fine Cooking.

Stews and Soups…One of the most common uses of gochujang is by the spoonful to add depth to stews and soups and stews…such as this Gochuchang Soup from Little Corner of Mine.

Getting Healthy

How to Be Kind on Cyber Monday

   
One of the first steps to making a lifestyle change is finding websites and actual stores where you feel comfortable shopping for cosmetics and skincare.

    Below is my rendition of an online shopping guide for online sources  primarily focused on vegan and vegan-friendly cosmetics and skincare.

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    1.   Citrine

    Brands…Jane Iredale, Tata Harper, RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, May Lindstrom, and many more

    Mission.. to promote healthy choices while exuding the most luxurious and glamorous aspects that all beauty products should have

    Started…opened their flagship store at Biltmore Fashion Park’s UNION in Phoenix AZ in November 2012

    Products…the latest and best in all natural and clean beauty products
     
      
     2. Credo…Credo stands for I “believe,” and we believe in a world of beauty where effective makeup and skincare products are safe and clean. We provide you eco-friendly and cruelty free and organic cosmetics that will give you the complexion you desire without causing any health issues.

      
    3.  Edson FarmsBrands…Acure, Aura Cacia, Mineral Fusion, Pacifica, Simpler’s Botanicals, Tom’s of Maine, ….
     

     

     4.  Grove Collobaratives

    Products…the best affordable and effective natural products for your home and family – from non-toxic laundry detergents that are tough on stains to sustainably sourced argan oil that will make your hair and skin glow

    Purpose…to help everyone create a healthy, beautiful home

        

       

      5. IHerb

      Company…one of the world’s largest online stores for natural products…the world’s leader in bringing the best overall value in natural products to its customers

      Founded…1996 
      Prices…typically 30 – 40% less than what you may find at health food stores and natural pharmacies

      Products Offered… over 1,200 brands and 35,000 brand name products of cruelty-free skincare, bath, toothpaste, shaving, laundry, 

      Reviews…only honest and candid customer product reviews  written by iHerb customers who have actually ordered the specific product from iHerb

        
      6.   Makeup Geek

      Company Goal
      …to make applying makeup easy and fun, and enhance your makeup skills in the comfort of your own home…to help even just one person feel more beautiful

      Products…cruelty-free makeup at affordable prices

      Website…a variety of videos on almost every makeup technique

        

       7. Petit Vour
       
      Based out of...Austin, Texas

      Founded…2013.

      Founder…Madeline Alcott

      Mission…to be a lifestyle brand that caters to modern, educated women with a softness for animals, nature, and life’s little luxuries

      Number of clients…
      over 10,000 women worldwide, each and every month.

      Products…
      only cruelty-free makeup to body products

          
      8.  Sephora

      Founded…in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970

      Known for……
      unparalleled assortment of prestige cruelty-free brands and product, unbiased service from experts, and interactive shopping environment

      Mission
      …to inspire clients to “play” in a world of beauty

      Number of stores.
      .approximately 2,300 stores in 33 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 430 stores across the Americas

      Opened its first U.S. store..
      .in New York’s Soho neighborhood in 1998

      Owned by…
      LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods group

      Philosophy
      …”every stroke, swipe and dab reveals possibility”

          
        9.  The Detox Market


        Founder…
        Valerie, a health and wellness coach, and breast cancer survivor

        Mission…
        to create an educated community of health and beauty experts and to educate and serve our community of like-minded and like-hearted individuals who believe in the power of pure products

        Products…
        pure, effective and elegant cruelty-free and vegan natural products

           
        10. Ulta

        Company…the largest beauty retailer in the United States and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products and salon services

        Founded…opened its first store in 1990

        Number of stores…1,010 retail stores across 48 states and the District of Columbia

        Products…more than 20,000 budget-friendly and high-end products from approximately 500 well-established and emerging beauty brands across all categories and price points, including Ulta Beauty’s own private label…a full-service salon in every stores featuring hair, skin and brow services

          
        11. Vitacost

        • Prices…offers savings up to 50% off retail 
        • Products…over 45,000 different healthy products from more than 2,500 leading brands—vitamins, supplements, health foods, sports nutrition products, bath & beauty favorites, home and pet products