Ballin’ on a Budget: DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

Any aspiring baller knows that there are 3 principles of balling one must consider when tryna’ ball:

  1. Know when to swerve.  That is, if you suspect that the object or service of your desire could be procured at a lesser cost or effort with little to no determent to your baller status – regroup and do your research,  cop somewhere else, or go in a completely different direction and be a trend setter.
  2. It’s aiight baby, Treat yo’ self.  When the risk/reward analysis works out and you really want it, or it’s something you’ve gotta’ jump on or miss out – DO IT/BUY IT/SPLURGE.  IF you can afford it – it ain’t ballin’ if it puts you into debt.  Nobody likes a broke bitch.
  3. I got ‘dis.  Meaning, you can either make, trade, barter, or otherwise produce a comparable or higher quality good or service from your own devices.

In the case of liquid laundry detergent (I know, I’m fancy huh?) – I got ‘dis.

My skill set of playing around in my kitchen and the effort it actually takes to produce 5 gallons of laundry detergent is worth it to me.  It isn’t difficult, and it’s important to know that what I’m putting next to my most sensitive parts won’t leave me with an allergic reaction that looks something like raw hamburger – ya dig?

In any case – how to ball on a budget: laundry detergent edition.

The ingredients are cheap, non-chemical-y, and easy to come by.

Materials:

  • Stock Pot
  • Cheese grater
  • Plastic Stirrer (I used a plastic batter spatula)
  • Measuring Cup
  • 5 Gallon Bucket, preferably with a lid

Note: The utensils you use to mix/cook the detergent don’t have to be dedicated utensils.  We’re not working with any gnarly chemicals – just be sure to thoroughly clean them when you’re finished.  You won’t even need to use extra soap.  ‘Cause, ya know, we’re making soap.

Raw Materials:

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The Process:

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STEP 1:

Grate that bar of soap.  Yeah, the whole thing.  It will make your house smell like you scrubbed it with sunshine.

I did it over the pot to eliminate possibility of hubby accidentally eating what looks like stray cheddar cheese only to be greeted with highly concentrated soap flavor.  Mmmmm.

STEP 2:

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Add a cup of water to the pot and turn heat on medium.  Stir occasionally until soap is melted.  DO NOT over stir or get fancy and whisk or beat with hand mixer.  Excess bubbles will result in a chunky gel on the finished product.  Just gently, occasionally, stir it.

STEP 3

Add another cup of water, the cup of Borax, and the cup of laundry soda. Turn down heat, and occasionally stir until dissolved.  Let cool till you can handle the pot.

STEP 4

Dump contents of pot into 5 gallon bucket.  SLOWLY add warm water until almost full.  About 1/4 room left to the top of bucket.  Give it another stir to break up any developing chunks.

YOU’RE DONE!  Take the bucket to where ever you keep your washing machine.  Ours lives in the basement next to the utility sink.

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See those chunks on the top?  I tried to get fancy and whisk the melting Naptha – don’t do that.  Also, I didn’t add the water to the bucket slowly :(.  It ain’t pretty but it smells awesome, was CHEAP, and works!

Use about 4 oz per load (about one of those regular sized laundry detergent cups).  You’ll get around 160 loads out of a 5 gallon bucket.

NOTES:

Now, I’ve heard of some people super charging their detergent by adding some powdered OxyClean – but in my opinion, if I wanted expensive detergent…I’d just by it.

At about $5.33 in raw materials for for around 160 loads that’s like $.0333333333 CENTS per load.  If that ain’t ballin’ on a budget – I don’t know what is.

What do y’all think?  What’s one of your favorite ways to ball on a budget?

Steak & Blow Job Day is March 14th – Part 1: The Steak

If you (or your SO) struck out on Valentine’s Day … this holiday is not for you.  Believe me, come March 14th you won’t be gettin’ sh*t.   Clock it, think about next Valentine’s Day and move on.

However, if your SO really went the extra mile for Valentine’s Day and you’re still telling your girlfriends about it – Steak and BJ day is a wonderful opportunity to reciprocate those warm and fuzzies.

Before you balk at the notion of a day just for him AND one that requires you to exercise those jaw muscles for something other than throwing shade or chewing gum – hear me out.

March 14th, Steak and BJ Day, has value.  There’s an incredible amount of pressure placed on men in our society to “pass” the Valentine’s Day test.  Just one month ago this dude was racking his brain and doing things his friends would punk him for just to make you happy, feel loved, and included in the V-day “loves me/loves me not” game.  Why not do something nice for him that registers deep in his primal brain?  Yes!  It’s an awful generalization – but you understand where I’m going with this.

A steak, and a motha’ fuckin’ blow job.  Because he’s worth it.

Alright, you say, I’m in.  How do I do this steak and blow job thing?  Well first,

Cuts of Meat

My recommendation is to go for beef as local to you as possible.  If you’re in my ‘hood you can take a trip to Double D Meats to find whatever it is your little carnivorous heart desires.  Or, if you’d rather know your cow’s name before it meets your plate, you can look into “cow pooling” or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) meat shares in your area by checking Google with the search terms: CSA meat [your city].  You can also check www.eatwild.com for the grass-fed dairies closest to you.  For the rest of us who ain’t got time fa ‘dat – head to the closest butcher block to scan your options:

Rib Eye – Tender, beautifully marbled with natural fat.  The fat keeps this cut flavorful and tender.  Done right,  the beefy flavor and lovely succulence of this cut can’t be beat.  It will run you about $6 – $13.00/lb (nat’l average) and you’ll need about 1.5 – 2 lbs for two people plus a little bit of leftovers.  If you can, remember not to get too much of the excess fat trimmed, it’s what keeps this cut delicious and moist.

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Top Sirloin – Not as marbled as rib eye (more lean meat), can be accompanied by a nice strip of fat round the edge but far less throughout.  The fat (and flavor) is generally trimmed from the edge but, if you can, ask for the fat to be less trimmed.  Still has some nice marbling, with more lean meat, there is less margin for error but it’s still quite nice.  Good economical option at $5 – $11/lb.  You’ll want about 2 lbs or two nice sized steaks.

T-bone/Porterhouse – The holy grail of steaks.  They. Are. HUGE.  Note: Porterhouse and T-bone are two different steaks, but come from the same general area, so I’ll be referring to them simultaneously. Difficult to get right as one side is a New York strip, and the other is a tenderloin filet.  However, if you’re on top of your game, the porterhouse/T-bone can be amazing.  The ratio of marbling and lean meat is pretty incredible.  It’s also a steak that will serve two.  Generally, I would reserve a porterhouse for grilling, but if you’re careful, you can skillet fry the shit out of a porterhouse/t bone with pretty good results.  And, it just looks impressive.  They are not cheap though.  A good T-bone/porterhouse will run you about $10 – $20/lb.  You’ll want at least a 2 lb steak for two.

How to Cook a Steak

It’s all about the dry rub.  You remember when you came home crying from the 6th grade dance looking like a clown with your ill applied make-up all smeared and mascara running down your face, and your mama told you you’re beautiful just the way you are?  A natural beauty?  Yes you do.

The same concept applies to a glorious hunk of meat.  It needs little adornment and minimal molestation.  Do NOT try and sex it up with fancy seasonings and certainly NEVER apply a wet seasoning (i.e. sugar laden marinade, Worcestershire sauce, etc.).  You will be sorry.  It will boil and steam, become tough, and ruin a perfectly good piece of meat.  Most tragically – the steak will resist developing the coveted seared crust your’e going for.  If you disregard my advice – you better make for damn sure the blow job is the best thing that’s ever come out of your mouth since the word “yes.”

Whichever you choose, follow these simple but important steps and you will be in steak lovin’ heaven.

You will need:

  • Steak of your choosing
  • Butter (at least 4 tablespoons)
  • Dry herbs of your choosing ( I like rosemary or thyme)
  • Oil with a high smoking point (at least 2 tablespoons)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cast Iron or Heavy Bottomed Heat Proof Skillet

Step 1 – 30 – 45 minutes before you ready to put heat to the meat, unwrap your meat, and pat dry any excess moisture with a paper towel.    

OPTIONAL: If you find there’s still some gritty residue left from the cutting at the butcher block (I don’t, I find it adds more flavor to the cooking), you can lightly rinse off the bone fragments but you absolutely must pat completely dry with a paper towel afterwards.

Step 2 – Season both sides liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. In a pinch, I use natural sea salt  and freshly ground pepper.  This will serve as is the base for the lovely crust that will develop during cooking as well as draw out any additional moisture from the meat, so make sure to evenly season.  Again, try not to get fancy with the seasonings.  Powdered seasonings like garlic, onion, or chili powder will quickly burn and add an acrid taste to the finished product.  However, if you just can’t help yourself, now is the time to season with a DRY seasoning of your choice as it will be patted once more before cooking.

Step 3 – Let the seasoned meat rest at room temperature for 30 – 45 minutes to let the salt do its thing.  It might be tempting, but DO NOT put the seasoned meat in the ‘fridge to rest.  The cold will cause condensation  = surface water build up = no golden crust for you.

Step 4 – Preheat your cast iron skillet on high heat.  Before the fat or steak even hit the pan, it should be screaming hot.  About 20 minutes on a gas burner should be efficient.  If you do not have a cast iron skillet: Use the most heavy bottomed, heat proof skillet you have.  I do not recommend a non-stick coated skillet if you can help it.  The pan will be on very high heat for a prolonged period.

Step 5 – Pat the prepped steak dry once more.  Then add enough fat to coat the bottom of the skillet (about 2 tablespoons) and heat until barely smoking.  Use a neutral oil with a high smoking point.  I don’t go in for refined seed oils, so I prefer to cook with ghee (clarified butter).  You can make your own compliments of the good people at Every Day Maven.com.  If you have no beef  (ha! see what I did there?) with commercial oils the best commonly available commercial choices: Safflower Oil, Vegetable Oil, or Canola Oil.  Good choices: Lard or Virgin avocado oil.  Whatever you choose, STEER CLEAR of olive oil, coconut oil, and standard butter (non-clarified).  The smoking points of these oils are some of the lowest, and they will burn before getting hot enough for your purposes … and will maybe ignite.

Step 6 – Lay the steak in the center of the pan (AWAY from you, FFS!) and let it cook on high heat, undisturbed for about 2 minutes.  Flip the steak after 2 minutes and let cook undisturbed on that side as well.  Keep flipping every 2 minutes until the internal temperature is 10 degrees F from the the minimum of the rage for where you’d like the finished product to be: 

Doneness Internal Temp Description
Rare 125 degrees F Thinly seared/cooked layer, followed by very thin strip of pink, deeply red 75%
Medium Rare 130-135 Degrees F Medium sear/cooked layer, followed by thicker ring of pink, 50% red center
Medium 135-140 Degrees F Well seared layer, pink layer blends with 25% faintly red center, no deep red to be found
Medium Well 140-150 Degrees F Mostly done steak, pink center, no red whatsoever
Well Done 155+ Degrees F No pink whatsoever.  Uniformly brown throughout

Step 7 – Once steak is about 10 degrees F from your minimum desired range, turn heat to medium and add 3 – 4 tablespoons of butter (standard unsalted is perfect) and let melt.  Place any fresh herbs on top of the butter, and look for consistent butter bubbles.  If the butter is has turned dark brown, you’ve waited too long.

Step 8 – Once butter starts to bubble, carefully and continuously spoon butter over the top of steak (again, AWAY from you, FFS!).  Note:  The skillet and the butter will be hella hot, so use an oven mitt to tip the skillet and coax the butter into a pool if you need better access to the butter.

Step 9 – After about 1 minute, flip the steak, and baste that side as well.  After another minute, check the internal temperature once again to see if it’s reached the mid range of desired doneness  (see above).  If your steak is still outside of your desired doneness range, keep flipping every 1 minute and basting until internal temp is perfect.  In case you need a visual for finished product:

Step 10 – Remove steak from pan and place on a cutting board.  LET IT REST for 10 minutes before cutting into it.  Please, don’t fuck this part up. It would be a shame for all of your hard work to go to waste.

Final Result – You can slice it with a very sharp knife or leave it unmolested and slap it on a plate next to some traditional veggie sides (or none at all, cause f*ck veggies).  Enjoy!

Some tips: 

DON’T FORGET TO VENTILATE.  Seriously.  You will be cooking with fat on very high heat that will need to be watched and tended carefully.  Do not make the mistake of setting off the smoke alarm during that small window of time you have to properly watch and tend the steak.

MINIMIZE EXTRA MOISTURE:  I can not stress this enough.  If you want to add any wet seasoning, it should be presented as an option along side the finished product.

LET THAT SHIT REST: The steak is still cooking, and juices will be preserved during this step.  The internal temp should continue to rise up to about 5 more degrees F, so it’s paramount to execute step 9 correctly to achieve desired results.

And that’s it for the steak part of the holiday.  What sides do you do with your steak?

Chocolate Coconut Custard Cream Pie – Kind of Keto

The thought of a coconut cream pie popped in my head and never left.  I had my mouth all fixed for it, but I was not willing to break my fast from refined flour and sugar enough to buy a commercial one.

A little trick that’s kept me on the keto path is promising myself that if I want something that badly, think on it then and only then I may have it, IF I make it from scratch.  Besides, the conventionally sweetened pastries that I used to love so much never taste as good as I remember.  Then I feel punked, and I HATE that.

So – I set out to make the most refined flour and sugar free coconut cream pie I could knowing from the outset there was no way, no how, I was going to be employing the use of fake sugar in such a labor intensive project (fuck that noise!).

The Research

First place to start is the crust.  Finding a recipe for a grain free crust that would mimic graham cracker or shortbread crust was easy enough.  Amazing things are happening with almond flour.  www.againstallgrain.com has an amazing paleo Honey Graham Cracker Pie Crust recipe that was the jam!

Then I thought since I was gonna do it, why not do it big?  What’s a dessert without chocolate?  Like masturbating with a dildo when you *really* wanted some dick, that’s what.  I surfed  the ‘net and decided to make an amalgam of different chocolate/ganache recipes into a filling (recipe below).

The tricky part came with the coconut layer.  I would need a coconut cream layer that would a) be full of coconutty flavor and b) have some texture to it that would stand up to the chocolate layer on the bottom and still keep its shape.  Because, texture.

This, in itself wasn’t so difficult but try as I might, I couldn’t find a low carb filling that didn’t use fake sugar or those weird sugar alcohols.  I don’t believe in that shit.  Yes, my carb count will take a hit in the end but for a decadent mostly legal indulgence – I’ll allow it.  Besides, sugar alcohols have no business in baked goods.

This process did take a while so I did what I always do when I’m playing in the kitchen: poured myself a glass of wine, put a kung fu flick on the laptop and got started.

The Method

The Crust

I found a really fantastic grain free almond/coconut flour Honey Graham Cracker Pie Crust crust by Danielle Walker at AgainstAllGrain.com.  Its actually the easiest crust grain full or grain free I’ve ever made.  Which was an added bonus because I *hate* making crust by scratch.

Next, the chocolate ganache layer – 

Chocolate Ganache Layer

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1 1/4 C. Heavy Whipping Cream

1/3 C. Sugar in the Raw

2 TBS Raw Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I used Bourbon Vanilla extract)

6 to 8 ounces good ass unsweetened chocolate broken into small pieces.  I used a Ghirardelli bar I whacked against my counter a few times.

Directions:

  1. Add cream, honey and sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together.   Barely bring to a boil then turn off heat. Stir in vanilla extract.  NOTE: if raw sugar has not dissolved keep heat on low and whisk until dissolved.  Turn off heat and proceed to next step.
  2. Add chocolate and let it sit until chocolate has melted.  Bust out your hand mixer to ensure it’s smooth.  I used the whisk attachment on medium/low speed for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes

Pour filling into crust and place it somewhere away from heat to cool to room temperature.

The Coconut Custard Cream Layer –

Coconut Custard Cream Layer

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1/2 C. Sugar in the Raw

2 TBS Cornstarch (I did cheat with the cornstartch)

2 TBS Coconut Flour (not meal)

1/4 tsp Salt ( I used natural sea salt)

3/4 C. Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 C. Coconut Cream

1 Can (13.4 oz) Refrigerated Coconut Milk (not the kind in a box, the REAL stuff)

4 Large Egg Yolks (carefully seperated)

1 TBS Real Vanilla Extract (I used Organics Bourbon Vanilla Extract)

Directions:

  1. Heat (but do not boil) 1/2 C. of the cream in a small bowl or heat proof mug.  Whisk coconut flour and cornstarch into milk until dissolved and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add sugar and salt, slowly add coconut flour/cream mixture whisk until incorporated.
  3. Gradually add the remaining cream and continue to whisk until coconut flour and cornstarch has dissolved.  Add the can of coconut milk, and 4 egg yolks while whisking constantly.
  4. Cook over medium heat continuing to whisk constantly until you start to see the first large bubble surface – about 4 – 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, and continue whisking and cooking for another 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
  5. Once custard cream is almost room temperature, give it a stir (or skim the skin from the top) before layering it on top of the chocolate layer in the almond flour crust.

PROTIP: If you want to cool your custard faster in the ‘fridge, you can let the pan cool until it can be handled then put a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the custard.  This will prevent a skin from forming on top.

Then, I toasted some unsweetened coconut, whipped some heavy whipping cream and threw it on top with a couple of sprinkles of unsweetened cocoa.  And voila! Chocolate coconut cream pie, as keto as I could make it without sacrificing the spirit of the pie.

NOTE: Now, if you wanted to make your layers truly keto, you could.  I just can’t stomach sugar substitutes.  It feels wrong.  if I’m gonna take the time to make a pie – I sure as fuck am gonna use real sweetener.  Sorry, I just. can’t. even with the fake shit.

ANOTHER NOTE: This is a decadent dessert.  Not low cal, not low fat, not really that low carb.  You might have to IF for the day to make it fit your macros for the day.  I gave away half the pie to our bachelor friend but if you keep portions in check, it should serve 12.  Or 8 if you’re not tryna’ share.  Double nutrition info for 8 instead of 12.  Taken from recipe calculator at myfitnesspal.com.  Check the nutrition* below:

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Okay, presentation isn't *great* but I'm working on it!

Okay, presentation isn’t *great* but I’m working on it!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 359
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27 g 42 %
Saturated Fat 19 g 96 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 140 mg 47 %
Sodium 37 mg 2 %
Potassium 32 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 26 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 14 %
Sugars 19 g
Protein 4 g 8 %
Vitamin A 13 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 1 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

*Nutrition info DOES NOT include extracts, salt, or baking soda.