Saturday, August 15, 2020

Flan with Condensed Milk

 The last Flan I made contained Lactose Free Low Fat Milk and A2 Whole Milk plus Heavy Cream.  This time I tried with Low fat lactose free milk, Borden's low fat condensed milk.  It turned out quite smooth and tasty.

Preheat oven to 325'F with Baine Marie.

Caramel - 1 Cup Organic cane sugar in a stainless pot over medium heat.  Add 3 Tbsp water.  Do not stir.  Watch it very carefully for the heat to melt sugar.  Do not touch the bubbly foaming sugar.  Watch the color of the sugar - do not let it turn too dark.

Pour immediately into container - Ramekins or cake molds - to coat the bottom and sides.  I used 8" cake mold.    Set aside.

Ingredients for egg mixture:

4 Eggs - hand whisk in a bowl.  Then, add 12 oz low fat condensed milk plus 1/4 tsp salt.  Add 12 oz low fat lactose free milk. Mix well.  Then add 1 - 2 Tbsp Vanilla extract.   Strain the mixture.

Pour into caramel coated cake mold.   Carefully transfer to Baine Marie in the oven.

Bake for 45 min to 50 min.  The inserted tester should be clean.  The Flan is jiggly still.

Remove from oven and let it cool.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Loosen the side a bit, then, turn it upside down onto a rimmed platter to serve.

Ready to bake in the oven - baine marie
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.  The tester should come out clean.
Baked.  Still jiggly when touched.
Cover when cooled before storing in refrigerator.
Loosen the side.  Place a rimmed platter on top and flip the flan over.
Taste - Light and creamy.

If you want a taller slice.  Use a 4  or 6 inch cake mold.

Is the New Nutribullet Combo Worth It?

 I saw the new Nutribullet blender combo on COSTCO's monthly ad, and I wanted to test it out. I already have a NutriBullet 900.  Sometimes, I thought of blending food the normal way by top loading.  Since the new Nutribullet Combo comes with a blender, I thought it could be very useful.

Here is the result.  The blades did not do a good job in mixing ice and food like the normal NutriBullet 900 model.  It also leaked out.  The blender container size is too large.  The Nutribullet combo's blade design is different from the NutriBullet's.   NutriBullet's effectiveness is in the blade design.  The low profile of the bottom blades assure full blending of the items at the bottom of the jar.  The Nutribullet Combo's blades are different and is not effective in cracking ice and mixing the items at the top to the bottom.  

The blender's container size is too large.  The blade is not effective and cannot be removed from the bottom for cleaning.
The blade on the left is NutriBullet 900's.  The blade on the right is Nutribullet Blender Combo's

The blender's blades are different and the new Nutribullet Blender Combo's is not efficient in bringing food from the top to the bottom to be mixed.  The motor runs fast, but it's just seems to spin with no food movement.  

Awkward motor to jar base connector design.  Should have kept them the same way as NutriBullet 900's. 
Juice splattering out and leaking out.  It's likely from overloading it says in the Instruction book, but what is the SEAL doing?

Conclusion - Returning for Refund.

Friday, August 07, 2020

Polly's Dragon Fruits Plant Adventure - 2020

8/26/20 - Update on Dragon Fruit plants.
New third Bud one week ago.
The new third bud 8/25/20
The first bud fruiting.
The second bud dying.
The third bud 8/26/20

Two weeks and a half ago, the bud I thought would take another day or two to open obviously sneakily bloomed over night. 

By 8 am, when I found it, it was already wilting.  What a Miss!
It must have been gloriously beautiful.  As beautiful as the Moon Cereus
I am just amazed with the sheer size of the stem of the flower to the blossom.

Didn't have any other dragon fruit flower to pollinate with, except mini sun flower.

It's overall 14" long
Wilting flower is about 3-1/2 inches wide.  I imagine it would have been at least 7 to 8 inches in full bloom.
By late afternoon, it wilted.
Will it turn into a Dragon Fruit?  Just wait and see.
I found two other flower buds.  Exciting to wait and see how they will bloom.
(Previous blog:) 

The first time I tried to grow the dragon fruits plant at home was back in 2011.  Hopelessly, the plant died because I over watered it.  Then, in 2015, I sprouted some seeds from the dragon fruits I purchased from the Asian market in 2014.  I saved the seeds from the dragon fruits I ate.    It worked.  It's been an adventure.  Babying it for the last few years during the winter and hot Sacramento summer. Even built a hot house out of large canine cage.  Covering it with plastic blanket and Christmas lights in the winter and shade during the summer.   Last year, I caught a single blossom, but I was too late.  It was dried up and it did not fruit.  This year, I found another single bud.  I think it is a good position to blossom fully all the way.  All the how to grow dragon fruit video on the YouTube seems to be so groomed, but I tried so many times to keep just a few stalk and grow them tall and down the loop at the top, but mine just like to grow wild.  I trimmed it many times but I guess I just don't have the knack for the farming.  Nevertheless, it is exciting.  Let's see what it will do.



2020-7-30  Discovered Single Bud It's early days back in 2015 through 2018:

 2016 Growing from Seed

Sprouted seeds were planted into soil and kept indoor for a year or  two.
After it got a foot long or so growing indoor, it needed a lot of protection to get used to the Sacramento hot summer.
 After it got a foot long or so growing indoor, it needed a lot of protection to get used to the Sacramento hot summer. It thrived outdoor, but the Sacramento summer sun is too hot for them during noon to 5 pm.  They needed a cover for shade to keep from getting sun burn.
Time to build a hot house as a solution.  Beside Dragon Fruits, I managed to grow Cherimoya tree from the seeds from the fruits I bought from the Asian market.

During the winter, the Christmas lights kept them warm.  Shower Curtains wrapped the cage to keep from frost.
Have fun in your adventure.