Monday, July 2, 2012

Cast Iron Grill/Griddle and an Ice Cream Maker - Reviews

Neck update:  went to see a rheumatologist last week (yet another doctor!).  He gave me tramadol bc I have a "very low" chance of having an autoimmune disease (specialists always think you have whatever it is they treat).  I think the tramadol is helping with the pain.  I felt completely pain free this morning for about 15min, then the usual here and there pain started.  Sitting/standing straight and sitting in a chair are still challenging.  Only problem is that it makes me sleepy.  It's hard to keep my eyes open.  It must affect the eyelids somehow.

Tramadol was a drug often given to my canine rehab patients for pain.  Those dogs usually had glassy eyes.  I'm hoping the side effect will go away once I've taken it for a little while.  Back to the fun stuff...


Grill Pan Review


I have always wanted a grill pan that you could put across 2 burners on the stove.  Well, I finally looked into it and they're not that expensive given the fact that they're cast iron and will last forever.  Only $29 at the dreaded Walmart, but I just had to go pick it up, no ordering or shipping.

Grill Pan

It's just one pan, but it's double sided.  The food tastes phenomenal!  We grilled some burgers the first day we had it.  They were crispy on the outside and juicy inside.  The flavor was wonderful.  Then I made grilled chicken.  Again, crispy on the outside, juicy inside.  The white meat was so juicy I had to keep checking to make sure it was cooked, which is was.  I also grilled some mushrooms, tomatoes, and corn on the cob.  The mushrooms were fabulous.  I think the corn needed a bit longer cooking, maybe wrapped in foil with a little water.  I had left the husks - sans silk - on, but I think it needs more moisture.

Can't wait to try to grill bacon or watermelon.  I think I will grill every day for a month!

Pros
  • Cast iron - will last forever and adds iron to your diet (really!)
  • Large area to cook on
  • Food has great flavor
  • Can grill indoors
  • Meat is juicy
  • Nice grill marks on food
Cons
gas burner grateIt slides around on top of my gas burner grates sometimes





I give it 5 buttons up
5 buttons up



Ice Cream Maker Review


I also got (while at Walmart, yes I went in for one thing and got more than I planned of course, but I researched them last weekend and really wanted one anyway) a Rival Ice Cream maker.  It comes in 3 colors, mint green, pink, and tan.  I got the pink one.  It's supposed to look like an ice cream cone or something.  The bottom is cone colored and textured.

Rival Ice Cream Maker Review
Pros
  • Ice cream comes out smooth and creamy
  • You don't have to store the bowl in the freezer like some others
Cons

  • It's all plastic, and I'll bet it will break after only a few uses. (but Walmart returns are easy)
  • It is noisy
  • No on/off switch just plug in or out

The ice got stuck to the outside of the canister (inside the bucket) and caused the machine to stop. I shook it around every 30 seconds or so for a while until I decided to pour some water in the bucket.  That worked.  

It takes about 20-30 minutes to make the ice cream.  It would have tasted great (using my grandmama's recipe - see below) but I had cut the recipe in half but still put the full amount of salt :(.  It's still ok, but not as great as it would have been.  Just an excuse to make more!

Rival Ice Cream Maker Review
(You can see my bag dispenser in background :)


I give it 3 buttons up - because I think it the plastic will break
3 buttons up





Grandmama’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Yum num num!

Obviously I give it 5 buttons up
5 buttons up

Whole Batch Ingredients

8 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 large (12-oz) can evaporated milk
2 cups (16 oz) whipping cream
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 quarts whole milk
5 lbs rock salt
20 lbs ice
1/2 Batch Ingredients

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
6-oz evaporated milk
1 cup (1/2 pint) whipping cream
1 ½ vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
3 cups whole milk
rock salt
Lots of ice

  • Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl at low speed.  
  • While mixing, add 
    • Sugar
    • Evaporated milk
    • Cream 
    • Add vanilla
    • Salt 
    • Milk
  • Mix well
  • Chill cream mixture in fridge until very cold (~30min-1 hr)
  • Follow maker’s instructions for assembling freezer or
    • Pour cream mixture into freezer canister
    • Put paddle into cream mix in canister
    • Put lid on canister
    • Put canister in bucket
    • Attach motor
    • Plug in motor
    • Put 2” ice in bucket  
    • Put ¼ cup rock salt in bucket
    • Alternate ice and salt until bucket is full
    • Add 1-2 cups water to salted ice in bucket to prevent motor from jamming 
  • The freezing time should be about 20-30 minutes 
  • Continue to add salt and salted ice as needed to maintain a full bucket

Rival Ice Cream Maker Review
  • When the motor strains and quits at the end of the process, unplug motor.
  • Remove motor
  • Remove canister
  • Ice cream will be soft serve consistency
ice cream maker paddle
  • Put in your real freezer to harden further

Tramadol is wearing off, going to rest...

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