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What is your Hot Dog IQ?
Posted by Sven on 03/31/2017 (242 reads)


   
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How to Cook the Cheaper Microwave Pot Pies
Posted by Sven on 03/14/2017 (936 reads)

How to Cook the Cheaper Microwave Pot PiesPot pies used to be a staple food for college kids and single adults. They're delicious and inexpensive, but cheap foods aren't usually convenient. Pies take what seems like an eternity to bake in an oven. Eating a couple of these little treasures is a significant undertaking... or at least it was. With the dawn of special microwave trays and pouches, pot pies have become much like any other pre-prepared meals and can be cooked rapidly. Fast cooking means more costly, but you can get around that with a little creativity.

Traditionally, oven baked pot pies made by companies like Banquet have been less than a buck, but they come in a foil pan that can't be cooked in a microwave. If you want a crispy pie, you need to shell out two and a half times as much for something like a Marie Callender. You get a microwavable tray and a microwavable pouch and a crispy delicious treat. Great, unless you're still a poor college kid.

So are there options? Are they delicious? Yes and no. Banquet, Swanson and other companies now make "microwavable" pies that come in a special tray but with no top. The instructions all state that you need to put several slits in the pie, then cook in the tray for five minutes and then let the pie stand in the microwave for three to five minute. That's great, except that every single time I have followed these instructions the pie is overcooked on the outer edges and pretty much raw in the middle. The middle of the crust is soggy. Really soggy.

After much experimentation in a real life kitchen with an everyday microwave, I have come up with a sure fire method of cooking the college-kid-friendly-pie-for-a-buck. Yes, your results may vary if you have a million watt microwave or the opposite, a 400 watt hand-crank model. Otherwise you should be good. Use your brain. You know if you have an out of control cooking device.

Microwave a Banquet Pot Pie PerfectlyStep One:
Buy a cheap microwavable pot pie. I'm partial to Banquet's "Sausage & Gravy Deep Dish." Keep it frozen until you are ready to eat it.

Step Two:
Open one side of the box.

Step Three:
Cut the two sides of the box adjacent to the side you just opened along the top folds creating a lid.

Step Four:
Without slitting the top of the pie, place the box with the pie in it and the lid over the top of the pie on a paper towel or plate in the microwave and cook for five minutes.

Step Five:
Leave the pie in the unopened microwave for four more minutes. This is important. Don't ask why, just accept this as part of microwave science.

Step Six:
Eat your crispy one-dollar delicious pot pie! Actually, you might want to bust it open with a fork and let it cool off a bit first. Now... eat your crispy one-dollar delicious pot pie!

   
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The Holy Grail of Fire Starters
Posted by Sven on 02/24/2017 (239 reads)

 Boy Scouts Solid Fuel Egg Carton Sawdust Fire StarterYou've probably seen a homemade fire starter or two in your day, but the Holy Grail of portable starters may originate with the Boy Scouts themselves.

Scouts are not actually allowed to carry things like butane cylinders or lighter fluid. Any fire starting aid in their possession needs to be dry, such as a flint striker or a magnesium rod. Back in 1982, instructions were published for a "Solid-Fuel Fire Starter" in The Official Boy Scout Handbook. The starter is simply a combination of melted paraffin mixed with sawdust in the compartments of a paper egg carton. Genius.

Click on the illustration (from the original handbook) and follow the instructions. When your paraffin is cool, store the carton in a relatively dry place and break off one section at a time. Place it beneath some dry wood (twigs, kindling or whatever you get your fire going with) and light the carton section. In a few minutes you'll have roaring fire, with no messy paper and no blowing incessantly at barely lit twigs.


Source: The Official Boy Scout Handbook, BSA, 1982. Tracked down based on the tales of its discovery and many years of handy presents from brother Bjorn.

   
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Meat Meat Meat in the Can Can Can!
Posted by Sven on 02/17/2017 (336 reads)

Libby, McNeill & Libby Corned BeefLong before they got their pie ingredients from a Libby's can, Americans got their daily meat from it. Most people who are familiar with the name "Libby's" are thinking of canned pumpkin and other fruits and vegetables. Perhaps you remember the television ads with children singing "Libby's Libby's Libby's on the label label label." The name is synonymous with juice, but it wasn't always that way.

Libby's started out as Libby, McNeill & Libby in Chicago, Illinois, presumably in the 1870s. Founders Archibald McNeill and the brothers Arthur and Charles Libby actually sold canned meat. Specifically, the company sold beef in brine, or corned beef. In 1875, the cannery launched a unique trapezoid shaped can that put them on the map.1 During this time Libby, McNeill & Libby used print and premium marketing heavily, even going so far as to offer William Shakespeare plays in trading card format to help move the then popular canned ox tongue.

By the 1880s, Libby's was a major player in Chicago's job market with over 1,500 employees. Libby's continued to grow, but was controlled by the Chicago meat-packer Swift & Co. between 1888 and 1920.2

Libby, McNeill & Libby Ox TongueIn the early twentieth century, Libby's began selling fruits and vegetables, and yes, its famous juices. You can still, however, get your hands on an authentic can of Libby, McNeill & Libby Corned Beef (direct from Brazil).

Sources:

1. Libby's – Our History
http://libbys.com/our-history
2. Encyclopedia of Chicago – Libby, McNeill & Libby
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/2751.html

   
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Contact Us
Posted by Sven on 02/11/2017 (320 reads)

You can send us recipes, article ideas or just your general hate-mail at:

meat (at) cowsaredelicious.com

Sometimes we even read it.

   
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