Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[recipe] SF Chocolate Avocado Paste Balls

Last month, when I was reading I breathe... I'm hungry, I ran into this very awkward yet interesting recipe. It takes your standard bourbon truffle and substitutes avocado to make it creamy. So I got three avocados and stuck them in my 5 dozen egg carton to ripen for a couple of weeks (still not enough -_-) and got to mixing everything (except the nuts) until creamy, then folding in the pecans.

2 ripe avocados
2 T coconut oil
1/2 C premium cocoa powder
1 T Splenda
2 T SF chocolate syrup
2 T heavy whipping cream
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
1/2 C chopped pecans

It is very important that the avocados really are as ripe as possible, without starting to rot. Judging by the ingredients she uses, I'm guessing the writer of the other blog lives in a warmer climate, prone to all the good produce I miss.

Unfortunately, mine still were a bit green, highly influencing the taste. I tried to counteract this by increasing the Splenda to 1 T and adding vanilla and almond extracts.

Another substitution, which I doubt worked, was SF chocolate syrup (Walmart brand Hershey's knockoff) instead of SF chocolate flavored syrup (Torani). I bought one that was caramel flavored last month that I really didn't like, so I didn't feel like filling my pantry with yet another subpar bottle just to use two tablespoons. This might not have been an ideal substitution, either, as it was quite bitter.

Next time, I want to try eliminating the syrup and adding some more cream, Splenda and extract to compensate. And riper avocados :/

Also, I went the lazy route and just left it in the mixer bowl to be eaten with a spoon ^_^

Makes 12 portions, each with:
111 cals, 10 g fat, 4.5 g carbs (3 g fiber), 1.5 g protein

[recipe] Cauli-pizza Mash

Last night I made the yummiest healthy thing by accident! I took a head of cauliflower (5 cups?), boiled it a bit, then tossed it in the food processor with:

- 1/2 C ricotta
- 2 t California Sun Dry Julienne Cut Tomatoes with herbs
- 1 oz grated parmesan cheese
- 1 oz pepperoni

That's it! The tomatoes I used, though, were packed in oil with some herbs, making it taste exactly like pizza. Stupidly yummy.

Nutritional facts for the whole thing:
Ricotta - 216 cals, 16 g fat, 4 g carb, 14 g protein
Tomatoes - 30 cals, 3 g fat, 3 g carb, <1 g protein
Parmesan - 120 cals, 9 g fat, 6 g carb, 12 g protein
Pepperoni - 138 cals, 12 g fat, 6 g protein
Cauliflower - 140 cals, 30 g carb, 10 g protein

TOTAL - 644 cals, 40 g fat, 43 g carb (only 10 g being fiber), 42 g protein

Monday, March 26, 2012

How to wash your pads

Ok. The basics to having unstinky gear.
This is a post I wrote a while ago when I started, full of ideas and research. Down below is what my routine has evolved into after a year and a half of trial and error.

1) Go home after practice and pull everything out of your bag.
2) Lay everything out in a place that has good air circulation. Ideally, a covered porch or in front of the dehumidifier in the basement. Others will hook things around their shower curtain rod (or hang them from their ceiling tiles) with the fan running. Make sure the sweaty sides are exposed.

Extra tips:
- Spray with something alcoholic (really cheap vodka) or an enzyme spray (Nature's Miracle, Funk Out something or other) to kill bacteria and decompose biological warfare components.
- Some people on Etsy also make satchels filled with super absorbant polymers and baking soda that you can toss in your bag for the ride home. They aren't a solution, just a small help.
- I have also seen a "pad tree" made with perforated PVC tubes on ropes that you can put your pads on and hang somewhere to help aerate them. You keep it in your gym bag and put your crap on it as you take it off, then just pull it out and hang it up when you get home.
- Gaskets can stand up nicely around old bottles so you don't have one side covered by the other.
- Nevereverevereverever spray with Febreze, perfume, or anything else with a lot of added odor or I will hunt you down and kick you in the jimmies.

1) Make sure all of your pads are turned inside out, with the velcros well attached. This includes removable helmet paddings.
2) Toss in a washing machine with 1/2 cup chlorine bleach, and run with enough cold/warm water to cover them. I don't use soap because I don't want to have to get all the soap off. Leftover bleach will just evaporate.
3) Lay out to dry like you do every night.

Tips: I don't use hot water nor the dryer because heat will help the padding decompose faster.
Some people also put everything inside a garment bag or old pillow case to keep velcros from coming undone and snagging.

1) buy new shit! I'm supposedly on a rotating schedule where I'll replace one piece of gear every two months so I don't get hit with sticker shock.

1) Never leave your gear in your plastic gym bag! Shit will get moldy, you will get an infection, and people will hate you and your stench.
2) Never leave your gear in your car! The extreme heat will again decompose your pads, but more importantly will warp your skates.
3) I told you already, scents. Skating in a pace line behind someone with funk is bad. Skating behind someone with funk AND horribly strong perfume (which some of us are allergic to!) will lead me to violence.

1) "flipping your pads inside out" does not mean digging out the padding. It means leaving the side that goes against your skin as exposed as possible. Not all pads are reversible (my 187 elbows and some slip on wrists aren't), so meh. You do what you can with what you've got.
2) Shells don't need to come off. I actually have never personally seen pads with removable shells, so I don't know how detrimental this is to the integrity of the pad.
3) "Covering the velcro" doesn't mean using tape. Just make sure every strap is well matched up with its other half, so that the snaggy plastic side has as little exposure as possible

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bearings pt. 2

Ok, I know not everybody has access to industrial solvents (like I did in my first post). Luckily, all of this can be done at home with stuff purchased at a supermarket.

1) Wipe down excess dirt with a rag.

2) Take off plastic guards. Unfortunately, metal crimped bearings cannot be opened.

3) Wash!
The easiest thing to use is Dawn or any other degreasing soap. Hold the center of the bearing and spin the outer ring while submerged in a container of very soapy water, then do the same under the tap running warm water. This can also be done with Goo Gone or other orange oil based degreasers. Just make sure you remove all residue.

4) Rinse.
If water isn't cutting it, use acetone or some other solvent that will evaporate clean.

5) Dry.
While you can just leave them drip drying on a towel, it is in your best interest to dry them as fast and efficiently as possible. One option is to put said towel with bearings in a toster oven or dehydrator. Another is to hold them from the center (like when washing) and spin them by blowing with compressed air, or with a blowdryer set on cool.

6) Oil.
Ok, this isn't completely necessary. There are people that skate on "dry" bearings. This keeps crap from getting caught in them and gunking up. Most people, though, oil them. While you can get Speed Cream for about $10/oz, you can also get food grade mineral oil at the pharmacie for a couple of bucks the quart. Will you ever go through the whole quart? Most probably not, but you can probably share it with your whole team for the next five years.

7) Replace guards, wipe excess oil, and put them back in your skates.

As standard maintenance between washes, make sure to wipe down your hubs with a cloth or old tooth/paint brush after each use, and add a couple of drops of oil to each bearing every week or so.