Monday, October 13, 2014

Please Vote for our Photographer for Best of Washington King 5 News.

In Washington King 5 News has a contest each year.  The contest is to vote in the Best of Washington businesses... Our photographer Jami West Photography is in the running and at #2 our of 246 other photography businesses.

We need your help to push her to #1 please.  

Anyone can vote one time with an email address.  Follow the link and create an account.  
(They do not send any spam)  

Please take a few minutes and vote.  Jami is the best, a wonderful daughter, wife and mother.  She has started her little business from scratch, and is producing fantastic work.  Mostly what she does is lifestyle work but for us she does a special favor and shoots new products.  

Please vote here!  




Thank you 

VacUpack PMG 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to make Vacuum Cooking a Roller-Coaster Ride




CHEFTALK


How to make vacuum cooking a roller-coaster ride


 Many of us love to be thrilled in life; I don’t mean thrilled like buying something new or getting a present. I mean the thrill of raising your stress levels to the max.

The thrill
I have never figured out why people spend money on an amusement park to get that thrill. Riding a roller-coaster that takes you up and down a hill to scare the, I do not know what out of you, just to beat death in a little cart dropping that turns your stomach inside out.

The stress
On the other hand when some stress comes into our lives, something we did not pay for, the world seems to come to a standstill. Life’s stress gets us down so easily, because we do not expect it, it comes out of the blue and therefore we cannot handle it. Stress at work because we are under pressure, financial stress because we have difficulties making ends meet.
How come we can be so brave when we pay for a scary ride and are so whimsy, whinny when we need to get the job done we get paid for?

Well, smart people have studied the subject at length and found that we love, “not me, but many of us” predictable stress (coming down a steep hill in an amusement park) but we cannot handle unpredictable stress. Meaning that when you are on top of the roller coaster ride you can predict that you stomach gets turned in-side out, but when the boss shouts we panic and get stressed out.

How to de-stress
We go home stressed, forget about important things in life, our family, health, having a healthy dinner, a good night’s sleep and start afresh the next day, life goes on after all.

So, what can we do to intercept that kind of unnecessary stress, one thing you can do to release that kind of stress is having a good dinner with loved ones. Talk about different things than issues that cause stress, divert and set focus on the moment.

Food unites, a dinner with close relatives makes you feel warm and unstressed, if you do not feel like cooking after a stressful day at work make use of pre- prepared meals you made at a quieter moment.
Once you sit around the table facing a bunch of happy faces you know that investing in a quality vacuum sealer was a good and wise decision.

All you need to do is grab one of your (and your families) favorite meals that you pre-cooked, vacuumed and stored in your freezer and heat it up, maybe with a small addition of some pasta or another staple, but you are done in a whimsy.



My story may sound a bit philosophical, but we all have issues in life, feel stressed and somewhat in limbo maybe. I truly believe that a united meal brings you happiness and releases some of the stress you may encounter.


Here are a few ideas for meals to make in advance and freeze: 

Chicken Cacciatore:

All you need is cubed chicken breast, mushrooms, onion, garlic, canned (or your own tomatoes), oregano, salt and pepper.

Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a skillet, season the chicken cubes with salt, pepper and oregano and fry until golden brown, add the chopped onions, chopped garlic and the mushrooms (sliced or quartered) and fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and bring the mix to boil, check for taste and you are done.
Allow cooling, place the mix in a vacuum bag, vacuum and freeze. 

When you are ready to use this homemade delicious concoction, microwave the whole bag for 2 minutes to get the defrosting started.
Place the bag in a pot with boiling water, boil your favorite pasta and top with the Cacciatore, sprinkle some grated cheese.

Pre-preparing this meal takes around 10 minutes, making it ready to serve 15 minutes.

Crispy Pork Belly:

Ingredients:
10 oz                                                   Pork belly (cut in 1 cm pieces)
1 Tbsp                                                 Oyster sauce
2 Tbsp                                                 Light soya sauce
1 Tsp                                                    Crushed black pepper
½ Tsp                                                   Salt
Dash                                                    Chinese rice wine
Oil for deep frying

Method:
Marinate the pork slices with the rest of the ingredients and leave to marinade for 2 hours or so
Drain excessive marinade from the meat
Heat oil to 180 C and deep fry marinated meat for a minute, drain on kitchen paper
Deep fry a second time just before serving, about 2 minutes until crisp
Serve with steamed rice and braised Chinese Nappa Cabbage


Simplicity is the key to good home cooked food. The first and second recipe freeze very well, are a roller-coaster to make and delicious.

Your vacuum sealer helps, if you do not have one, find one here:

 www.vacupack.com  for USA and www.vacupack.ca for Canada. 

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn