Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Friday, February 2, 2024

Good, Bad or Otherwise

Okay, so the age of Artificial Intelligence is here. Yes, it has been around for quite a while, but now it is in your face, everywhere. Have you ever seen a picture of cute otters on Facebook? Everyone in the comments oohs and ahs over them, saying how adorable they are...on and on. 

Do they not realize that the majority of these cute critters are just the product of AI?

Here you see my otter "photo shoot". Isn't he sweet and adorable"?

Full disclosure, the snow scene in a recent post was AI generated, just for fun.

What else does AI do? Well, it can write recipes for you. There is a site called goblin tools and it has a "chef" (link at the end of the post). You can put in your ingredients and it will give you a recipe. For the most part, these recipes will work, but you do have to check each one closely. If you leave out an ingredient such as broth, it may not automatically assume that more liquid is needed to make the dish work.

For example, my ingredients were ground beef, potatoes, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, egg noodles, onion powder, garlic powder. I intentionally used one can of soup and no additional liquid. It have me a recipe with one can of soup. I changed it up and did not specify the amount of soup, and it assumed two cans would be necessary. 

Dish Name: Creamy Beef and Potato Bake

- 500 grams (1.1 lbs) ground beef
- 4 large potatoes, thinly sliced (approx. 500 grams or 1.1 lbs)
- 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
- 200 grams (7 oz) egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain any excess fat.
3. Spread half of the sliced potatoes evenly in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix well.
5. Layer half of the cooked ground beef on top of the potatoes in the baking dish. Pour half of the soup mixture over the beef.
6. Add a layer of egg noodles on top of the soup mixture.
7. Repeat the layers with the remaining potatoes, ground beef, and soup mixture.
8. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender.
9. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
10. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Give it a try for yourself.

Until next time, take care and stay safe.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

How To Save Money On Your Food

Are those pesky "best by" dates getting you down, hinting that you should discard the product or suffer dire consequences?  I'll let you in on a little secret. They are just guidelines for maximum freshness and have zero to do with product safety.

Example #1: This is spaghetti that I obviously purchased in April of 2017. This has been in kept in my cabinet in it's original packaging ever since. It has a best by date of December 6, 2018.

Now note the date I opened it...October 3, 2023. That is six and a half years, folks. Now you know. Don't worry if you find a package that has apparently gone walkabout and just now shows up for dinner. It's okay! 

Need more proof? Example #2:

A can of corned beef hash.

Purchased in May, 2015.

It has a best by date of March 15, 2018.

So what did I do? Well, let me see... I cooked it and we ate it. Guess what happened next? Nothing!

If your can is not severely rusted or dented so as to damage the seal and is not leaking, open it. If it doesn't spew, give it a sniff. Does it smell like it is supposed to? Yes, then prepare it and enjoy!

Note: Any time a canned product is bulging, leaking, spews when opened or smells bad, toss it immediately.

The majority of your canned food will last significantly longer than the date printed on the can. As for pastas and rice, kept dry and away from pests, they will last for many years. 

Now, how to save money on your food. Stop throwing out food because of the "best by" date. Use your eyes and nose. If the can and food look good, smell good and didn't forcibly eject itself from the can when you opened it, you're good to go. 

The same is also true for your peanut butter, mustard, mayo, ketchup and hot sauces.

This has been a public service presentation that will save you money in the long run with prices going nowhere but up.

Here is a useful source of information. 
What about the foods in your pantry? Most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely. In fact, canned goods will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling). Packaged foods (cereal, pasta, cookies) will be safe past the ‘best by’ date, although they may eventually become stale or develop an off flavor. You’ll know when you open the package if the food has lost quality. Many dates on foods refer to quality, not safety. See FSIS’ Shelf-Stable Food Safety fact sheet for more information.