Showing posts from January, 2009

Gadgetry: Orion Cooker

Wow look at me two posts in one day. Ok you can call me a shill if you like, I know I go on and on about my gadgets and toys. And I've been meaning to put up a post for you about my flaming inferno tower smoker cooker thing-a-ma-jig. So I present to you my quasi review/show off of the Orion Cooker. I swear these people should be paying me when I feature their products, not enough eyeballs I guess :) The orion cooker is not technically a smoker. A smoker is a unit (be it electric or otherwise) that can sustain a low heat and create smoke. This device is a convection cooker that applies smoke. For my purposes it's a bit splitting hairs, however bbq purests would definitely *not* refer to this thing as a smoker. As you can see this thing users coal, lots and lots of coal. In fact it's possibly my only complaint about this device is that it requires 15 lbs of instant light charcoal. Most of it goes along the bottom "gutter" and 20 or so briquettes go into the tower at

They can't all be winners

All of my bentoers were out except for my wife. She opted for simply putting together what we have on hand. So it's not pretty but it does get a fairly healthy lunch out the door to nourish her. As part of our gluten-free initiative, we've learned to stock the fridge with pre-cooked "building blocks". Pre-boiled pasta, various proteins, corn tortillas, baked GF bread, bags of salad, you get the idea. This certainly makes it an easier since dining out has become a touch more difficult and better on our budget since usually our first inclination when the fridge is empty is to go out. I still have a ways to go when it comes to providing some snacks, particularly of the sweet variety so that we don't turn to really bad junk food. Just because you're gluten free, it doesn't mean you're automatically eating healthy. If you stick with all the pre-packaged stuff you'll end up gaining a ton of weight (surprising to see the labels). Anyways back to lunch. I

Gluten Free Italian Style

Second week of gluten free and we're going after an italian theme. I'm still getting my sea legs under me on working with gluten free pastas and carefully sifting my pre-made ingredients for any sign of wheat. I'll have to say that each of the three types of GF pastas have performed quite differently, so far corn and brown rice flour pasta has seemed to perform much better than their quinoa counterpart. Quinoa once chilled seems to lose it's moisture very quickly and become very hard and difficult to re-heat (I had to do a reboil on one batch). The brown rice seems to disintegrate pretty quickly so watching the time was critical there. Corn has proven to be my favorite of the three so far. I haven't gotten back any reviews from my eaters so far, but I'm eager to see how the lasagna went. Maybe I'll devote a post here about the various pastas we've been using, and if anyone has an suggestions please comment and let me know. Anyhow on with the show. We sta

I'm back!

Welcome back readers! 2009 starts out with a proper challenge for me. The household has decided to try out a gluten free diet for the next two months. This extends far out of my bento territory as now I'm preparing building blocks for a whole weeks worth of food. So for those that aren't in the know on the gluten free thing, I'll write up a bit after the food post to explain some of the reasons why we moved to gluten free and why it's suppose to be good for you. So all that said, gluten free doesn't necessarily mean healthy. You can be gluten free and still eat like a pig, so my original challenge still stands of building a healthy bento for my eaters under budget, but with the added constraint of it being gluten free. So you might be asking what is gluten free? Well in a small nutshell, no wheat products (it's more complex than that, but just go with me on this one) This type of change is a lifestyle change, we basically re-bought our pantry and had to become m