Archive for Olive Oil

Top Searches – The Current Trend is MUCUS.

Posted in Entertainment, Health, History, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2013 by urbannight

In the past, my top searches had to do with Doctor Who, or more specifically, the Tardis.  This was because of a stitching project where I am doing the Tardis in several different stitching methods.

Then it became Epidermal Suffocation because I did a Bond post and was mentioning the gold-painted girl.  That brought so many people to my page trying to find out if certain things could cause you to suffocate and die by putting them on your skin so I did a post about the fact that medical science has proven there is no such thing as epidermal suffocation (or at least anything fatal).  It is bad for the skin to be covered with gunk that fills the pores on a regular basis but it won’t kill you.  It then lead to a post on the fact that overuse of lotions can be bad for the skin while covering your skin with olive oil is not only NOT fatal, it is probably very good for the skin.   The ancient Romans used olive oil as soap.  I still think they must have had amazing skin.  I put a few drops in my bath water in the winter to keep my skin from drying out.

Searches of Crow Indians and Indians also brings a lot of traffic to my page.  This is because I researched Johnny Depp’s costume for Tonto and found it to be a copy of a stylized painting of a Crow warrior. Researching the Crow Indian images lead me to a photo series done a long time ago that seemed to give valid justification for elements of that particular look.

But now that winter is here and flu season has hit, the searches bring me the most traffic are searches on Mucus, Phlegm, and Clearing the Throat or variations thereof.

I guess I ought not have been surprised. One day, when I had been sick, I wrote a post on all the methods I was using to clear my sinuses and my throat.  So at least the people searching are going to get some information on what actually helped and what didn’t.  But I don’t really care for it being a high search item.  I don’t want to be the Mucus Girl.

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Another post inspired by a search topic – Olive Oil and Epidermal Suffocation

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2012 by urbannight

No, it won’t kill you. Not even Olive Oil. Olive Oil will moisturize the heck out of you.

I’ve already discussed how people once thought it was possible to suffocate if the skin was completely coated with a non-breathable, or non-porous, substance.  That has been completely debunked.  While the skin does ‘breath’ to an extent, it has nothing to do with the respiratory system that keeps us alive.  Frequent coating with latex, gold paint, or grease paint may make the skin itself a little less healthy if a person does not take care of it properly in the first place.

As for olive oil —  even if you put yourself in a vat of the stuff, the only way you will suffocate is if you forget to come up for air.  Its breathing through the mouth and nose that keeps us alive.  It is the work of the lungs, not the skin, to pump oxygen into the blood stream.

In fact, olive oil was used as soap by the Romans.  They poured it over themselves, rubbed it in, and scrapped it off with a special tool called a Strigil.  This was a slightly curved wooden blade.  Sometimes salt was mixed with the oil to produce an exfoliating oil.  They might also crush herbs into the salt before mixing with the oil to produce a pleasant, scented exfoliant.  Sometimes, this mess that was scrapped into bows.  I call it a mess because it was full of sweat and dirt.  If the person was famous, like a gladiator with a large following, these bowls would be labeled and perfumers would purchase them.  Then they would make perfumes, aphrodisiac scents to be more exact, that people would buy to try to attract whomever they were interested in.

I imagine that the people who used less salt probably had amazing skin.  Olive oil is great for the skin.  In the winter, if you are having trouble with dry skin, the best thing to do is put a cap full into a warm bath.  Too hot dries the skin more.  Washing in slightly oily water is great for dry skin. 

Some people prefer to wash in the shower and then take a bath.  They don’t want to soak in dirty water.   I do see the logic in that but I also see the huge wastefulness of water.  I, myself, find that the water doesn’t start to get too dirty until I actively start washing.  So a pre-soak to relax before I scrub always feels good.

A little oil in the bath water will leave a bit of a residue on the tub.  So you want to be careful getting in and out.  But Olive Oil is a great moisturizer and you don’t ever have to fear that you may die if you cover your body in it.

Evening Chores

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2012 by urbannight

My apartment resembles this.

I’ve picked up olive oil and sweetener from the store and had dinner and fed the cats.

The litter box needs to be cleaned before I can take a hot bath.

I need to get the Holiday tubs out of the storage closet.

I need to find the book I was have through last night.

I need to cook up the pork chops and millet for lunched over the next three days.

I have a Halloween ornament to work on and some shows to watch and some articles to read.

I need to try to get the two blogs, one on a particular show and one on an article written.

And I wanted to go to bed early.

What does your Tuesday evening look like?

Chicken and Rice Noodles and the danger of cooking with a migraine.

Posted in Food, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by urbannight

There are all these ways to cook with less oil to make things healthier.  But I’ve discovered a secret.  And I will share it with you.

 

If you want to properly sauté up onions and garlic, and get the onions close to caramelizing without them starting to char up, you really need to use more oil and not less.  For a veggie that is very strong and bitter, it amazes me that it has enough sugar in it to caramelize when cooking.  I’ve found that I like mine best if I stop just as it is hitting that stage.

 

SO . . . I started by mincing up three slices of onion and adding a heaping spoon of minced garlic from the jar.  I dumped it into the heating oil and sprinkled with cayenne.  Yes, I use a lot of cayenne.  I love it.  Like I may have mentioned before, it has a lovely sweet mild flavor with heat that comes through otherwise mildly flavored dishes.  And it adds a lovely heat to strongly flavored dishes without altering the flavor.   

 

The smell of onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil is one of my favorite smells.  Unfortunately, migraines screw with your sense of smell.  Not for everyone, but definitely for me.  You probably don’t really want to know that it smelled like cat piss to me.  I was very unhappy about that. 

 

While I kept an eye on the minced herbs (because, really, an onion is more of a very large herb than a veggie) I diced up a chicken breast.  It was a lovely chicken breast.  If I had been thinking, I would have taken pictures of my lovely sautéing onions and garlic as well as the chicken breast.  I have, in the past, tried using precooked chicken.  It ends up tasting rather horrible with a terrible texture.  No matter how horrible I feel, if I don’t start from raw chicken breast from the meat counter, it doesn’t turn out right.

 

Now this is the trick, to not only cook the chicken, but to get it to start to brown up without the onions starting to fry themselves.  I stirred often and let it sit for short bursts and for once managed this trick perfectly.  At this point, I had used no salt at all.  I used a salt-free chicken and poultry seasoning my parents sent me from their last trip to Hawaii.  I added several cups of water and two chicken-flavored bullion cubes.  And the salt goes through the roof.  If I had been thinking, I would have picked up low sodium chicken broth.

 

I opened a package of rice noodles.  It was in 3 ‘sheets’ for lack of a better description.  I took out two and put the last back in the bag for another time.  Gripping a sheet firmly in each hand, I twist it in the middle to break it in half, slowly and carefully, so not to send bits of rice noodle in every direction.  I have tried cutting it with kitchen sheers but that just made a huge mess.  I stirred the noodles in, covered it, and let it cook until the noodles were done.

 

By this point, it lost it’s distressingly unpleasant aroma.  It smelled quite good.  It tasted even better.  I could have had two bowls of leftovers.  But I decided to have a second bowl instead.  I would have taken a picture of it today but it just doesn’t look as pretty in a Ziploc bowl as it does in a proper bowl at home.  So no pretty pictures for you.  I really have to do better to remember the camera when I cook up delicious things.

OMG, Black Bean Heaven!

Posted in Art, Food, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by urbannight

Start w/ half pound stew meat.  Dice up into smaller pieces.  Brown in olive oil. I used Alpine Touch seasoning at this stage.

Add 3 cups water and one beef bullion.  This has enough salt so don’t add any more.  Unless you like really salty food.  Cover and simmer until beef is tender.

In small pot or pan, heat olive oil, mince onion and garlic, amount to taste.  I added Cayenne here.  Saute until soft and just starting to caramelize.

While I was stirring the above, to keep if from burning, I peeled and sliced 2 small potatoes.  I added these to the pot and then added the onion and garlic. Add black pepper to taste.

Cover and simmer while reducing the broth about half way.  Potatoes will be almost done.  If your broth isn’t reduced enough, raise temp and take lid off for a couple of minutes.

Open, drain, and rinse one can of black beans.  Add.  Cover and simmer until beans are heated through. Turn off heat and add 1/4 cup of potato flakes.  I like to use that over a flour or corn starch thickener.  But you can do it whichever way you want.

Really, it was heaven in a bowl.

My Experimental Kitchen. Cooking as Art.

Posted in Art, Books, Entertainment, Food, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by urbannight

I love to cook. I love cookbooks. I love the glossy coffee table cookbooks where every dish has a picture. Cooking is part science and part art. Art for your tummy. It can be visual art. But it is more important that it is art for you taste buds.

I have to share the most WONDERFUL pasta dish I made tonight.

Chicken and Garlic Tortellini in a Tomato Pesto

Since I’m serving myself from the pot and dishing the leftovers into freezer bags for work you don’t get to see any pictures. Between cleaning, packing, and trying to move, I didn’t want to dirty an extra dish to take a picture.

(Sorry, I don’t use many measurements)

In a food processor add two tablespoons of basil, pine nuts (I used almonds today), some cheese (any hard white Italian type), red pepper flakes (you can skip this), onion, garlic, and olive oil, a bit of hot water (not much) will help it mix. You are balancing the rest of the stuff to the amount of basil you used. Run until mixed very well. Add one of the small cans of tomato sauce (5 oz). Blend well. Set aside.

Put one package of cheese and garlic tortellini in a pot to cook. Dice up two chicken breasts. Fry in a tablespoon of olive oil (use a large pot). Season with a bit of pepper, salt if you use it, and when half done add the some of the pine nuts (almonds) and finish cooking until chicken is done.

Add the tomato pesto sauce to the chicken to heat while the tortellini finishes. Once done, drain and add to the chicken and sauce. Toss well.

Makes 5 servings. I sprinkled a bit of cheese on top (not much, just to look pretty). I used a soft cheese for the topping. Another white Italian cheese.

I’m deliberately leaving out the exact type of cheese used because you should use your favorites rather than mine, or what is available, or what you have in your fridge. That’s what makes experimental cooking so fun.