Oatmeal Equivalent Measures

Sometimes when working with recipes the ingredients are not always provided in the measure with which we are most familiar.  So, here is a quick reference for converting dry oatmeal to an equivalent measure which you use regularly.

Amount In CupsAmount In Grams (g)Amount In Ounces (oz)
1/8 cup10 g0.4 oz
1/4 cup20 g0.7 oz
1/3 cup25 g0.9 oz
3/8 cup30 g1.1 oz
1/2 cup40 g1.4 oz
5/8 cup50 g1.8 oz
2/3 cup55 g1.9 oz
3/4 cup60 g2.1 oz
7/8 cup70 g2.5 oz
1 cup80 g2.8 oz
2 cups160 g5.6 oz
4 cups320 g11.3 oz

Recipe – Oatmeal With Pumpkin And Cinnamon

I’ve been seeing the usual fall selection of pumpkins and winter squash in the market for a couple of weeksnow, so, I thought it might be nice to put them to some use. Here is a quick and easy way to have some fresh pumpkin or winter squash (Butternut, Hubbard, Tan Cheese…etc.) to use for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal – 50 gr (1.8 ounces or 5/8 cup)
  • Pumpkin – 70 gr (1/2 cup)
  • Milk -250 ml (1 cup)
  • Pinch of cinnamon – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Vanilla sugar -1 teaspoon
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Butter – 1 tablespoon

Directions

  • In a saucepan combine milk, honey, butter, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat.
  • Grate pumpkin with a coarse grater.
  • When the milk with spices starts to simmer, add the pumpkin, and stir gently.
  • When milk with pumpkin starts to simmer again, add oatmeal, and slow simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let the oatmeal to infuse for a few 5 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Servings

  • Makes one serving

Is a Steelhead a Trout or a Salmon?

What Is A Steelhead?

Steelheads also called ‘Rainbow Trout’ or ‘Steelhead Trout’, these species of fish are found in both freshwater and ocean bodies of water in North America and also Siberia in Asia. The fish are great migrators who as juveniles emigrate to the ocean water before returning to freshwater during the summer months in rivers, streams, and lakes.

This species of fish love habitats that are full of plants, gravel and anything else they can use to hide their eggs from predators until they hatch by themselves during the summer seasons. Once the fish hatch, they soon begin their journey towards the northern regions of the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Siberia.

Known to be a very aggressive fish which is great for fishermen as they can use a wide variety of bait and also they have to spend less time waiting around for the fish to bite the bait despite the fish not expending a lot of energy on hunting after they have just spawned.

Steelheads are a fish that is found through North America in the United States, Canada as well as Russia. This species of fish is also well known for going deep into United States territory in rivers and lakes in states such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

What Is A Salmon?

Salmon is another ‘anadromous’ fish that lives both in salt and freshwater which is quite an amazing feat since few fishes can live in both environments as they are such diverse habitats that the cells of most fish will simply burst and they will also suffer from psychological issues. There are many species of Salmon with 9 species currently being recognized. A very smart fish that is known for returning to the exact rivers and streams where they originally spawned years ago.

Juvenile Salmon tend to be a different color compared to when they mature, with the most well-known species of Salmon being originally light blue with a silver head when they are fresh spawns before eventually turning bright red or orange with a green head. Despite being tasty when smoked, Salmon is a great fish to try and catch when fishing due to their rarity, catching them is a fun challenge to embark on.

Salmon are found throughout the world with the fish migrating into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In the United States, these fish are found in the Salish Sea, Alaska and other states including Washington, Montana, Idaho and South Dakota to name a few.

What Is A Trout?

Trout is a name for a large number of species of fish that live in freshwaters but can also be found migrating to salt waters. They feed on other smaller fish, insects found in water and on land as well as plankton with Trout itself is a very popular edible fish in Europe.

Species of Trout are a common species for fishing in rivers, streams, and lakes around the world. Ice fishing is also a popular way to fish for Trout particularly in rivers, streams, and lakes in Canada and Alaska and other northern parts of the mainland of the United States.

Trouts are a fish that are found all over the world in Asia, Europe and of course North America with species of Trout also being introduced to other parts of the world such as Australia and New Zealand by European settlers in the 19th and 20th centuries quickly becoming some of the dominant species of fish in those areas.

Are Both Salmon And Steelhead, Trout?

Salmon is just one of a number of species of fish that fall under the collective name of Trout.  Some people even use the term ‘Salmon Trout’ which is officially an incorrect term as Salmon is just a type of Trout. Due to the different ways of life and behavior as well as the taste of their meat, many people think that Salmon is a separate species to Trout.

All this confusion does not go away with Steelheads, which are also a type of Trout but are confused by some people of being a type of Salmon due to their very similar behaviors with the biggest being that they take on large ocean migrations while most Trout species do not. Furthermore, due to spending a lot of time out at sea their meat has a very similar look and taste to Salmon. Despite this, Steelheads are currently an endangered species, unlike Salmon which has a large healthy population due to the fish species being widely farmed.

Conclusion

To conclude, Salmon and Steelhead are both two separate species that are part of the Trout family of fish which are known for always returning to spawn in the same areas with confusions arising due to some species of Trout such as Salmon and Steelheads migrating from the usual fresh water habitats of Trout to salt water environments.

Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

What To Know About Rainbow Trout?

1. What Is A Rainbow Trout?

A rainbow trout is a cold-water fish found in the freshwater streams and lakes in the entire Northern Hemisphere in North America and Asia. Rainbow trouts living in different regions have different colors and have acquired different names such as rainbow, bow, steelhead, silver, and Kamloops trout.

Rainbow Trout Characteristics

Rainbow trouts are about 16 to 30 inches long and weigh between 2 and 16 pounds. They have an elongated and compressed body ending with a squared tail. They have different colors among fishes in different regions. All trouts have a maximum of 12 anal finned rays. They usually have a dark back with shades which are either steel blue or green to brown in color. Their cheeks and sides are silver in color and with a red or pink stripe that runs through their lateral sides, all along or a part of the body. They have a silver-white belly and speckled with dark spots on their back of the body. Rainbow trouts usually change their color during spawning periods.

Rainbow Trout Food

Rainbow trouts are strict carnivores and feed on other fishes, crabs, shrimps, lobsters, and small trouts as well. Young trouts feed on insects, worms crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. Rainbow trouts can travel to long distances in search of food. When food s scarce, they can feed on insect larvae, fish eggs, and pupae.

Rainbow Trout Habitat

Rainbow trouts are cold-water fishes that live in freshwater, creeks, lakes, small and large rivers, estuaries and oceans. They can collectively use some or all these habitats, which has water which is clear, clean and cold. It has great ability to swim up and down the streams which enable them to sustain in a wide variety of habitats, migrate to long distances for food and spawning.

Rainbow Trout Sustainability

They have the ability to thrive in hatcheries which enabled them to be introduced in many streams and lakes across the US. It also has great popularity as a recreational sport fish among the anglers. However, the change of vegetation, soil erosion, man-made constructions like dams, roads cause obstruction for rainbow trouts to swim up and downstream, which has led to a significant drop in their numbers.

2. Are Rainbow Trout And Steelhead The Same Species?

Rainbow trouts and steelheads are of the same species of trout. They both are ray-finned fish from the Salmon family, but they have a different style of living. Rainbow trouts mostly spend their entire part of life in freshwater, while a steelhead mostly lives in the seas and oceans and move into rivers for breeding. Due to their varying lifestyles, rainbow trout and steelheads appear different in their size and colors. Rainbow trouts have multi-hued colors and dark spots on their backs while steelheads have a more streamlined body and have silver or brass color.

Steelhead spends its first two to three years in freshwater and then spend their next two to three years in oceans. Steelheads are typically larger in size than rainbow trouts.

Both rainbow trouts and steelhead are native to North America, but they are introduced in various states and continents to diversify their habitat and numbers. Both rainbow trout and steelhead spend varying tine in freshwater at some point in their life. They both use boulders, wood, aquatic vegetation as a protective cover.

3. Where Do Rainbow Trout Spawn?

Rainbow trout start their spawning during spring season every year. They usually travel upstream and select places with small and large gravel and use small substrates to construct its nest, called redd. Rainbow trouts redds are usually located in streams which have higher water velocity and with shallow waters. Their place of selection for spawning is not affected by water temperature or sunlight.

Rainbow trouts can breed between the ages of one and five. Males have the ability to mature faster than females. Rainbow trout spawns upstream and can travel quite a distance to find a suitable location and lays its eggs in redd. The female rainbow trout uses her tail, the digs a depression in the gravel to create the redd and lays her eggs in it, covers it with gravel using its fins. A male rainbow trout releases his sperms over these redds to fertilize the eggs. These eggs hatch after four to seven weeks to produce young trouts. These young hatched touts are called sac fry, and as they start growing, they develop dark vertical bars on their sides.

Unlike a salmon fish, a rainbow trout never dies after spawning. It returns to the freshwater and continues to spawn again in the next spawning season.

Conclusion

A rainbow trout is a versatile and widely available fish throughout the year. It is one of the top five sporting fish in North America for its attractive and vibrant color. It is also grown commercially in farms for food. Consuming a rainbow trout provides to you many vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, and nutrients to you. They are also rich sources of potassium for your body.

They are widely distributed and bred in artificial water bodies. As they are available in large numbers, they are not endangered nor become extinct in the near future. However, excessive fishing for recreation, man-made constructions, climatic changes are affecting the breeding and survival habitats of the rainbow trouts. There are few non-profit organizations like Trout Unlimited in North America which are dedicated to the conservation and development of rainbow trouts.

Recipe – Australian Meat Pie For Two

Australian style meat pies have a long history and are a welcome sight on most any table.  These meat pies are a hearty and flavorful main dish, which require minimal effort to make.   

Australian Meat Pie For Two Ingredients

US                                                              Metrics:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry                      1 sheet frozen puff pastry

1 sheet frozen shortcrust pastry             1 sheet frozen shortcrust pastry

½ lb. sirloin steak, cut into small cube     226 gr sirloin steak

2 cloves garlic, chopped                       2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp tomato paste                              1 tbsp tomato paste                     

1 sprig fresh rosemary                          1 sprig fresh rosemary

¼ cup red cooking wine                        60 ml red cooking wine

½ cup beef stock                                 118 ml beef stock

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce                  2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of salt                                       Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper                                   Pinch of pepper

oil for frying                                      oil for frying

1 egg yolk, beaten                               1 egg yolk, beaten

Australian Meat Pie For Two Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté garlic for a few minutes until they are a little brown, add the cubed steak and brown for 4-6 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, rosemary, beef stock, red wine, Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the shortcrust pastry on the floured working surface. Cut the pastry slightly larger than the pie base. Place the shortcrust pastry inside the greased 6” x 8” pie dish.
  • Place the puff pastry on the working surface. Cut the puff pastry the same size as the pie dish top. This will be the ‘lid’ of your pie dish
  • Fill the pie with the cooked steaks, cover the top with the puff pastry. Using your fingers, gently press the edges to seal. Cut the excess dough and brush the puff pastry with egg yolk
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Servings

  • This recipe makes two servings

How to Freeze Green Beans at Home

Do you want to know how to freeze green beans? Are you looking for the best storage option to use green beans throughout the year? Green beans are healthy and can help you to boost your digestion. However, fresh green beans are not available in all seasons. But you can store them in your freezer and use whenever you want.

Storage is easy, and you can store frozen green beans for almost a year. You might be thinking about how. Here are a few tips that can help you to store green beans in your freezer. You will have to take care of every detail, such as to pick the beans at the right time as well as following the right storage method.

How to Choose the Best Green Bean for Freezing?

For the storage, you will have to be a little choosy while picking green beans. Picking is important since if you choose wrong beans or at the wrong time, then you might not store them for long. Also, beans might lose the freshness and flavor if not chosen properly. The peak season to store green beans is from May to October. You can choose any day between these months to ensure the best outcome. In the peak seasons, yummy and fresh green beans will be available in your local store. Visit your local store and choose blemish-free, crisp, and bright-colored beans. Take extra caution to avoid the green beans with shivered ends or limp.

Make sure that these beans do not have small beans inside. Though the small beans do not affect the quality and taste of the green beans, still, these are not considered good for the storage. The size signifies that the bean is past its prime.

You will have to choose the freshest possible bean and freeze soon after picking them from the store or your garden. It is suggested to freeze on the same day. If you want to wait for some obvious reason like a busy schedule, then keep them in the freeze in the meantime.

Prep Your Freezing Containers

Your freezing container does not need much preparation. You can use jars, bags, and a freezer container to store green beans. All you need is to clean those containers and then make it completely dry. Any moisture is not suggested since it can damage the beans. After keeping green beans in the container or bag, you can simply shake them to compact beans.

How to Prep the Green Bean for Freezing

Now you have the fresh green beans and freeze containers. The next is how to prepare the beans for storage. You can consider any with or without blanching. We will discuss both the methods. To start with, use cool tap water to wash green beans. After washing, take a small handful of green beans and line up their stem ends and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the stems. Repeat the process with the remaining beans. If required, you can trim off its tapered tail ends. As a lot of recipes need cut green beans, you can cut your beans into one-inch pieces for easy storage. If you want, you can store whole green beans depending on your preference. Both ways will offer the same benefit.

Wash your beans with water again to get rid of any dirt and then dry beans completely. Proper drying up is important to ensure better storage. You can use a paper or cloth towel to dry green beans completely. The drying up process will not take more than half an hour.

Now pack the beans into the jars, bags, or container. Seal the container following the manufacturer instructions and press hard to get rid of all the possible air. You can also use a freezer tape around the container lid edges to get a tight seal.

The above method will enable you to freeze green beans with blanching. Some suggested blanching for more effective storage. Blanching will demand one more step. You will have to boil beans in water for a few minutes and then dunk them in ice water. It will help green beans to maintain the flavor and color during freezing.

For boiling, get water in a large pot and boil them. Place beans into the boiling water for two to four minutes depending on the size of beans. While using large beans, you can boil for four minutes and small beans, the time should not exceed two minutes. Soon after, you will have to cool the beans quickly in rice water. Once the beans are cooled down, drain them and follow the same process for the storage. Pack the drained green beans into containers, bags, or jars. Shake the container to compact green beans and add more beans while leaving 1-2 inch headspace.

Package and Label Your Green Bean

After packing the beans in the container by following the above instructions, the next step is to label those containers. You will have to label each container with the content name, packaging date, and amount. It is important to mention all the details in the labeling. Otherwise, you might forget the packaging date and might not use them at the right time.

How to Freeze Your Green Beans

If you are using bags, then rearrange your bags in such a way that you can lay them as flat as possible. This will ensure quick freezing and will preserve the original flavor and taste of your beans as well. Lay the containers or bag flat to the freezer in the batches. Besides, leave some space near the container so that air can easily circulate. Now, your beans are safe in the freezer. You can use them whenever you want for cooking.

How Long Can Frozen Green Beans Be Stored?

As stated earlier, frozen green beans can be stored for a long time up to a year if you follow the right freezing method or choose the right green beans. You can store frozen beans around nine months while using a conventional freezer. If you want to store even longer, then you can use a deep freeze appliance.