Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Get WiFi Voice and Text Phone Service for Free

My wife suggested getting a cell phone for my son, but I fear that he’s too young to be responsible for an expensive device. I’m also pretty sure he’s not going to be using it to make phone calls often. Still, it would be nice if there was an inexpensive way to contact him when he’s at a friend’s house or at the library.

Our local cable company is offering a WiFi-only cell phone service for $9.95 a month for its subscribers. There is no cell-based voice or data connection. They’re relying on their WiFi hotspots for connectivity away from the home. A proprietary app is what’s used to make (voice-over-IP) phone calls and SMS text messages. I don’t think this is a good deal considering it’s a WiFi-only solution. The phone they provide costs about $100 on top of the monthly fee. However, this got me thinking about other services that could offer the same thing for less. Inexpensive Android OS devices combined with free voice-over-IP and free phone bridging services are out there if you know where to look.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Low Carb Gouda “Butterfinger” Ice Cream

I found an article online titled, “Cheese And Dessert Pairings That Will Blow Your Mind” that piqued my interest. Some of the pairings were familiar, some were new, but one stood out: aged Gouda and dark chocolate. The claim was that it “tastes like a grown-up version of a Butterfinger.” How can I resist?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Low Carb “Lite” Butter Pecan

Butter pecan ice cream was my first attempt at low carb ice cream many years ago. The first batch froze like a rock because I didn’t consider the effects a lack of real sugar would have on the recipe. This flavor was very simple to make and extremely satisfying since it’s pecan halves cooked in salted butter with the salty browned butter mixed into a sweet cream base. The only downside is that it’s extremely calorie dense. Now that I have a relatively low calorie, low carb ice cream base to play with, I thought I’d try making a “lite” version of butter pecan.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Low Carb Whole Milk Replacement for Ice Cream - Part 2

Let’s recap the results of part one. Replacing whole milk with almond milk for use in ice cream can be achieved by adding whey and casein proteins. In order to ensure these proteins and the fat from the heavy cream result in a homogeneous ice cream mix, we will require the following:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Low Carb Whole Milk Replacement for Ice Cream - Part 1

Chefs that make regular sugar-based ice creams use ingredients like corn syrup, nonfat milk powder, and cream cheese because they contain simple sugars like glucose and/or milk proteins that improve aspects of the finished product. I’m going to concentrate on the milk proteins for obvious reasons.

Home ice cream recipes generally use a 2:1 ratio of heavy cream to whole milk yielding a product that’s a little over 20% milk fat. (The legal minimum milk fat required for ice cream in the USA is 10%.) Heavy cream is great for low carb dieting since it has very little sugar and is high in fat. Whole milk is relatively low in fat and higher in sugars like lactose that are not only a poor source of nutrition, they’re undesirable for making hard ice cream. The parts of whole milk that are useful are the proteins. Whey protein provides a lot of benefits such as water binding, viscosity (thickness), and emulsification. Casein adds body (chew), texture (smoothness), and resistance to heat shock. Substituting whole milk for almond milk means we’re missing out on these important milk proteins. The solution is simple: add them back in...and then some!