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So I got this great idea that I was going to make crockpot chili.  It’s been a long time since I had good chili and ground beef is cheap at Lidl.  I found a recipe online and followed the spice measurements exactly.  I was a little put off by the 1/2 a cup of chili powder, but I went ahead and put it in anyway.  I smelled the mixture and thought that I could hardly smell any spice at all, so like like an idiot, I added MORE spice and THEN I decided to try a small spoonful.  Well that hairbrained idea didn’t get me far.  I mean, I like I spicy, but this literally scorched my mouth.  Not the kind of spice I was looking for!!

After some research and talking with Tony (a professional chef), here are some tips for other people out there battling this very common problem.

You can add sugar.  Of course, adding enough sugar to completely tone down the spice may make your dish gross.  You can also add more vegetables and broth to try to spread the spice out.  You can also prepare the same recipe, minus the hot stuff and mix it together with the spicy batch.  This will create a much larger batch, but hey, it’s better than throwing it away!

Natural acids can also help neutralize spiciness.  Try lemon juice and wine vinegar.  Coconut milk or other dairy products can help.

Have you had a similar experience?  How did you handle it?  Leave your tips and tricks below.

UPDATE

I added coconut oil and honey to the chili and it was still way too spicy.  I drained it and used coconut oil and honey as the liquid and left for about an hour.  It was still too spicy, so I drained it again (saving the liquid) and rinsed with cold water thoroughly.  I put the meat mixture back in the crockpot/slow cooker and added one can of condensed tomato soup, water and a small amount of the coconut liquid I had saved.  It seems a lot better.  There is still a kick to it, but I think with crackers, shredded cheddar and sour cream to serve, it will do.


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m putting together homemade meals and freezing them to make my own TV dinners.  Unfortunately, I’m already running out of freezer space and wish I had a second freezer.  It’s definitely on my list of things to search for.

I just finished making eight mini breakfast burritos and I took pictures as I went through the process.  Let’s start with the ingredient list:

7 strips of bacon

8 breakfast sausage links

4 eggs 8 slices of processed cheese

Shredded cheddar cheese

8 small soft tortilla shells

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: I started by frying the bacon on medium-low temperature (so as not to overcook it).  I chopped up the breakfast sausage into small pieces and fried it on medium-low temperature as well.  When the meat is done, I remove the pans from the heat and drain the bacon on paper towel.  You can drain the sausage too, but I did not.  I cut each strip of bacon in half lengthwise and then chopped into small pieces or bits.  I scrambled the eggs in the same pan I fried the bacon in (drain any grease beforehand) and salt and peppered to taste.  I added a small amount of milk to my scrambled eggs too.

Building a Burrito:

I laid everything out on the countertop and I built them all at the same time, so that the ingredients were evenly spread between each burrito. DSCF8070

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I tore one piece of processed cheese in half and laid one near the bottom and one near the top of an open tortilla shell. Next, I added equal portions of egg on top of the cheese.  Please note that you can sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar around at this time as well.  The cheese will help keep everything together.  Finally, I spread equal amounts of bacon and sausage on top and finished off with more shredded cheddar cheese.

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Folding: I started by folding the bottom up first.

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While holding my first fold into place, I fold the top down.

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While holding my first two folds in place, I carefully roll from one side until to the other and firmly press down (without breaking the shell) so the rolled burrito stays rolled when set down.

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Storage:

I wrapped each burrito with tinfoil and then plastic wrap.  I wrote today’s date on each one, along with what it was.  I filled out this same information on a gallon size freezer bag and placed all eight breakfast burritos in the bag and into the freezer.  All of my ingredients were cooled by this time.

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Serving:

These can either be microwaved or baked.  To bake, heat oven to 350 degrees and bake until tortilla shell turns a light golden color.  You can bake in the tinfoil, but I would remove all wrappings.  To microwave, remove foil and plastic wrap and wrap in a wet papertowel.  Microwave on high 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.


There are not very many TV dinner choices in Ireland.  Stores like Iceland have a decent selection, but Iceland stores are not everywhere and they are not where I am currently living.  Even the cheapest TV dinners are not very inexpensive (in my opinion) compared to what you can pay in the U.S., but we have a lot of need for something quick and easy to throw in the oven or microwave, so I decided to make my own.  And I thought I’d share what I did with my readers. 

To start, I need to buy some foil baking containers.  I had hoped to find some smaller, rectangular-shaped shallow containers, but only found deeper ones.  I bought a five-pack of the deeper ones.  I also cleaned out our freezer of any of the meat products we don’t seem to be eating.  I’m either making recipes out of those products or baking them off in the oven to be re-frozen for later use. 

Here are some of my thoughts on things I could make and freeze:

  • Meatballs:  Tony’s mother gave me this idea a few years ago.  She made some amazing Swedish Meatballs and would cook a bunch of them off and then freeze them so when they wanted something easy, all she had to do was heat them up. 
  • Lasagna:  Although, this takes a bit more preparation than some other ideas, homemade lasagna is much better than store-bought.
  • Spaghetti:  Very simple, because you can get away with store-bought sauce (jazz it up a bit) and pasta is cheap and easy.  When you’re ready to make it, butter two sides of sliced bread and sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper, salt and a small amount of Italian seasoning and bake until golden.  Add cheese for cheese bread. 
  • Meatloaf:  Meatloaf is great, because it can be heated up with mashed potatoes and buttered corn or individual slices can be frozen and thawed for meatloaf sandwiches. 
  • Pot Pie:  You can make beef, chicken or turkey.  I used a mini springform pan to make my pot pies, because I didn’t have any mini pie pans.  Once the pie has cooled for 15 minutes, you can separate the springform and carefully remove from the bottom.
  • Various Chicken Dishes:  There’s a lot you can do with chicken.  You can season it various ways and bake it, stuff it with cheese, bread it—any number of things.  Serve with frozen vegetables, mashed potatoes or more.
  • Potato Wedges:  I had a bag of potatoes already and picked up some garlic potato wedge spice.  I’m going to bake them off in the oven and use them as sides with my meat dishes.
  • Burritos:  Burritos are excellent for the freezer.  I’m making breakfast burritos, but you can also do enchiladas, baked chicken wraps and more.   
  • Pizza:  Who doesn’t love pizza?  I guarantee your frozen homemade pizza will knock store-bought frozen pizza out of the park!

Since I don’t have enough baking dishes for everything, I’m going to create five meals using the aluminum pans, a few pot pies, homemade pizza and some breakfast burritos.  I’ll be taking pictures of the food I make and posting recipes, so check back for more.


Hello Everyone,

You may have noticed I skipped yesterday’s post.  So not long after I published my last post on this subject, I became so hungry, I had to eat something.  I figured it would be okay after 6 full days of nothing.  I had a very small snack.  Just enough to make my hunger pangs go away.  Within a few hours, I was seriously ill.  The stomach cramps were not fun and I was sick.  After that, I had a glimpse of what it will be like when I start putting food back into my belly and I realized that going from eating nothing to solid food is going to be painful and make me feel very ill.  I don’t want that.  So, I’ve been eating small amounts each day since.  Not full meals.  I have to work myself back into regular food.  I’m hoping to be back to somewhat regular eating on Monday.  


Hello Loyal Readers,

I will be the first to admit that today is the first day I’m really struggling with not eating.  I’ve been fine all day, but now as I sit here and the evening carries on, my hunger pains are that much stronger than they have been.  My energy level is fine.  I started telling myself a little bit ago that it wouldn’t kill me to eat a few slices of cucumber, an orange or a banana, but I’m struggling with myself.  I feel like if I take one bite of something, I am likely to not stop and may give up on the cleanse four days early.  

I’m also curious to see how many centimeters I actually lose on day 10.  One thing I can recommend is making sure you use real maple syrup.  Maple syrup is rather expensive here, so for the first couple of days I bought pure maple syrup, but then had no choice but to switch to golden syrup maple flavored.  It definitely gives it a crappier taste and I’m finding it more difficult to want to drink it.  

That’s all for now.  I’ll let you know how it all goes tomorrow (whether or not I ate anything).  Have you tried this master cleanse?  If so, did you make it through the ten days?  What was the outcome?


Hi Readers!

Today is day number 6 of the master cleanse.  I am noticing that although my hunger pains remain dull and are not too overly bothersome, I am thinking a lot more about food than I was on previous days.  I think that this is due to the fact that Tony was home for two days and ate as normal.  I’m still able to keep my temptations at bay, however, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the food that I will eat on Monday when the fast is over.  I do our grocery shopping every Friday, so I will have to plan for food for me from Monday on.  I suspect this will make fasting Saturday and Sunday somewhat difficult.  I am noticing that my clothes are fitting slightly looser.

I took a walk yesterday with the dog and I’m still feeling pretty tired, but again, I never go to bed when I should and I get up too early, so who is to say that I’m more tired today than on a normal eating day.  

I am undecided as to what the next step of my diet will be next week yet.  I do know that I plan on taking a day or two of regular eating on Monday and Tuesday.  I do not plan on going overboard, but I want to be a little bad and then plan on being on a strict diet plan Wednesday through Sunday.  I have found that it is just easier to diet on the days when Tony is not home.  

Still no change in my energy levels.  The house is clean, my work is getting done and I’m able to continue with my regular obligations.  


Today is the halfway point.  I have successfully gone through these five days without eating anything.  Today is the first day I’ve started to feel slightly irritable about not getting to eat, but again, if I listen to my body, it’s not all that hungry.  I think what I crave is habit.  This is precisely why I wanted to do this:  discipline.  Since I have no scale at home, I have no way of knowing if I’ve lost any weight during this experience, but I have taken my measurements.  Overall, I’ve lost 17 centimeters or around 7 1/2 inches.  Again, I’ve had no problems doing my mental work (homework and work) and have been able to keep up with the daily household chores and my daily responsibilities without issues.

 

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