Friday, June 22, 2012

My New Camera and Case

 This is my new camera I got recently. It's a little smaller than other cameras I've had. It needed a camera case so I decided to sew one.

It's nothing fancy, but I did use soft material for the lining and I quilted it. I dyed the velcro to match the lining (I should've dyed the part on the body gray or used black to match the fabric). I bet you're curious about the hole in the strap huh? Well, we'll get to that in a little bit. 

See how small the camera is? Oh, don't worry about that card and the info on it - it's a bogus card.

Side-by-side comparison.

Ok, let's get to that mysterious hole in the strap. My camera has the strap attachment thingy in the center of the side and with the strap closed, the strap wouldn't close right. So I decided to put a HUGE button hole where the strap attaches to the camera so that would not be an issue. The hole is big enough for the middle of the strap to go thru. Pretty cool huh?

And speaking of the strap - I have an issue with it. Especially for digital cameras, most straps look like the one in this  pic. See the thin wimpy end at the bottom? Well, I know it's supposed to be strong, but I've always hated it. I've always thought that it looks very disproportionate to the camera, and to me, it doesn't feel right when I carry it. 

So, I took 3 strands of some strong fishing line and braided it, used some black automotive shrink tube where the red is (the red is the same lining fabric), and I attached a wider fabric piece in the middle for better grip.

  So here is my new tricked out camera and its protective case. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sesame Chicken Remake

Chinese food is very tasty, but can be expensive. Especially if you're gluten free (gf), like me, a lot of Chinese dishes are not compatible to our diets - they use real soy sauce that contains wheat and they coat a lot of fried foods in white flour, which we all know contains gluten. Well, I was recently watching Melissa d'Arabian on the Food Network and she made this wonderful Sesame Chicken recipe - it has soy sauce and flour in it. Well, I wanted to give this recipe a try and being gf, I figured out how I can enjoy this recipe without all the side effects that I can get from eating gluten.

I changed the soy sauce to wheat free tamari - it looks and tastes exactly like the real thing, you'll never know the difference. I also changed the flour to almond flour - you can find it online or at any natural food store, or you can grind it yourself. I did leave out the orange juice as citrus causes me to have a runny nose, I added some sesame oil for added flavor.

I used chicken thighs as I feel they are tastier and doesn't dry out like breasts do. I clean my chicken thighs - did you know the thighs have fat on them and there is a vein that I pull out, I don't like eating those extra things. Here is how I clean my thighs:

Here is a chicken thigh - sometimes it has stringy fat hanging off of it, I cut it off.

See that patch of fat where the tip of my knife is? I use the tip of my knife and scrap off that fat. Look for other patches of fat and scrape those off too.

Turn the thigh over. On one side there will be a pocket of fat, on the other will be the vein - you sometimes have to poke around to find it - here is the pocket of fat, scrape that off like you did before.

Here is the vein on the other side:

Get your fingers in there and pull it out.

It's as simple as that. You will get your hands dirty, but you'll be glad that you won't be eating all that extra junk.

Now on to the recipe:

I gather all my ingredients and have them ready to go.

The chicken is marinating in the wheat free tamari, sesame oil, wine, and red pepper flakes (I threw in the sesame seeds - they were supposed be mixed with the flour, but I forgot).

Prep a lipped cookie sheet - line with foil and place a cooling rack on top and spray generously with oil. 

After marinating the chicken - you bread it. You can either put it in a pie pan or 

You can use a zip top bag. This is what I used this time, but I like the pie pan method better.

Place chicken on your rack and spray with oil.

Turn over 1/2 way thru your cooking time.

This is what your chicken should look like. If you use the pie pan method, you get a better coating on the chicken. 

Sesame Chicken     (printable recipe)

6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tb. wheat free tamari
2 tb. sesame oil
1 tb. mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) or white wine
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c. almond flour (can use any gf flour)
2 tb. sesame seeds
Spritz of spray olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a lipped baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack in it and spray with olive oil.

Cut the chicken thighs to 1 inch pieces. In a pie plate or bowl, mix the tamari, sesame oil, wine and red pepper flakes - marinade won't be much, just enough to flavor the chicken.

Place chicken pieces in your pie plate and marinade for at least 10 minutes or up to 8 hours - I did mine for 2 hours. Get your flour ready - place in a another pie pan and stir in your sesame seeds.

After marinating, place your chicken the flour mixture. If you use the bag method, just dump and shake. If you use the pie pan method, you can roll each piece to get coated (I like a lot of coating, so I ended up adding extra flour and seeds).

Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared rack and spray liberally with oil.

Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over the chicken to finish for another 10 minutes. If you like your chicken extra crisp, like I do, turn your broiler on and broil for 3 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice or quinoa (my choice) and a side dish of your choice.

Happy Cooking!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!