Blackstone Labs Used Oil Analysis

9,708 miles on the oil. You read right. Nine thousand, seven hundred, eight miles!

Higher levels of silicon is probably due to the fact that I haven’t changed my air filter in 25,000 miles! No need to worry. I am getting a new one in the mail today!

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2017 – American Autocross Series – Round 5 and 6

Hi all.

Here are my videos from this past weekend’s autocross event. All and all, the event went well. Couldn’t quite catch the leaders in D-Street, but overall super happy with my runs. The BRZ got a few tweaks last week and the modest upgrades were a day and night difference.

Thank you to Rich for allowing me to use his garage and helping me install the Hotchkis Front Sway Bar. Amazing how much the sway bar and alignment can do. I also ended up installing the OEM crash bolts and had Auto Innovations do an alignment on the car last Thursday. The final specs for the alignment came out to:

-1.3/-1.4 camber in front
-1.6/-1.7 camber in rear
0 toe

Thank you to Erik for running with me and helping me dial in the car on Saturday and An for running with me on Sunday. With the tweaks, the car felt worlds better!

Kevin’s Best Run – Saturday – Round 5

Kevin’s Best Run – Sunday – Round 6

An’s Best Run – Sunday – Round 6

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Autocross Update

Hi all.

Sorry that I haven’t been keeping up to date with the autocross updates. I promise that I’ll try a little better keep the update coming. A quick few notes:

I’ve uploaded my best runs from Round 1 (Boondoggle), AAS Round 3, Round 2, and Round 3 to my YouTube channel. All my videos can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCENVJmHcaGtRyOkbl9Qs9EQ

In addition, I started to organize my videos by year. Hopefully, this will make accessing videos a little easier!

That’s all for now!

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Instant Pot – Cottage Pie

Serves 4-6 | Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes

Source:

This Pilgrim’s Life – Shepherd’s Pie – http://www.thispilgrimlife.com/instant-pot-shepherds-pie/

Ingredients:

Notes: This is the recipe from This Pilgrim’s Life. My notes are are in bold.

  • 4 russet baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes KB: I used 4 medium sized potatoes. Ended up with a lot of mash potatoes.
  • salt, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced KB: Small onion would be perfect.
  • 3 carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 C chopped mushrooms
  • 1 C frozen peas KB: I used canned sweet peas (15oz)
  • 1 C beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp flour KB: Tablespoons and not teaspoons!
  • 1 C cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine potatoes, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. KB: I think next time, use the trivet. When I cooked the potatoes, I found that the potatoes ended up sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner making it a pain in the butt to clean. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons butter to the potatoes. Mash the potato mixture with a masher, or whip with a hand mixer.
  2. In the now-empty Instant Pot, sauté the ground beef for 5 minutes until it begins to brown*. Add the carrots, onions, peas, mushrooms, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Stir to combine. KB: I tried to let the veggies, especially onions, reduce a little bit before adding the beef broth. Mix together beef broth and flour in a small measuring cup, then pour the broth mixture into the Instant Pot and stir to combine again.
  3. Top the beef mixture with the mashed potatoes and smooth the top of the potatoes with a spatula. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.KB: I felt like I had a ton of beef filling mixture and mash potatoes. Nothing wrong with cooking the Cottage Pie in that quantity, but might be worthwhile to split the quantity between the Instant Pot and a small casserole dish.
  4. Quick release the pressure. Immediately** top with shredded cheese and serve.

Other Notes:

As my friends have pointed out… Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. Cottage Pie is made with beef. Enjoy!

Flo Lum has her own twist to Cottage Pie using scalloped potatoes instead of mashed potatoes. Check out her recipe here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvfZrhCY8N8

Mashed Potatoes: If you enjoy homemade mash potatoes, I would recommend the first half of this recipe. 4 russet potatoes, cubed into 1″ pieces, plus 1 cup of water and some salt. Cook on manual for 8 minutes. Add 1 egg, 2 Tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; and mash, mash, mash.

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Instant Pot – French Dip Sandwiches

Source:

No. 2 Pencil – http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2016/09/04/instant-pot-pressure-cooker-french-dip-sandwiches/

Ingredients:

Notes: Recipe by No. 2 Pencil. All my notes will be in bold.

  • 2.5 pound chuck roast KB: Enough for 4 or 5 people
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 onion, sliced KB: I used one medium white onion
  • 1/2 cup of red wine KB: Don’t need anything fancy. Use the cheapest red wine you can find. I ended up using a $3 bottle of Merlot.
  • 1 14 oz can of low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 6 soft rolls
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • KB: Consider adding some soy sauce and/or Worcester sauce. The Au Jus was missing something.

Directions:

  1. For best results, let chuck roast rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before searing.
  2. Add vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and hit the sauté button.
  3. Season chuck roast with 2 teaspoon of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder on all side. KB: See item 3 in the notes at the bottom of the page.
  4. Using a pair on long heat-proof kitchen tongs, sear roast on all sides in Instant Pot.
  5. Remove seared roast from Instant Pot and set aside.
  6. Add onions to pot and sauté just until they start to soften.
  7. Add red wine to pot and let simmer until reduced by half.
  8. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up seared bits from the bottom of the pot as it simmers.
  9. Once wine has reduced, add low-sodium beef broth and bay leaf.
  10. Return roast to Instant Pot, close lid and make pressure release valve is set to sealing.
  11. Hit Meat/Stew function and increase time to 100 minutes.
  12. Let Instant Pot natural release for 25 minutes, then turn valve to venting to release any excess pressure.
  13. Remove lid and transfer roast to a serving plate and shred.
  14. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer and serve warm for dipping sandwiches. KB: Definitely do this. The cooking process made the onions super mushy and you don’t want to use them in your sandwich.
  15. Set oven to broil and place sandwich rolls on a baking sheet.
  16. Combine melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl.
  17. Brush over rolls and toast 2-3 minutes, just until gold brown.
  18. Pile meat onto rolls and top with cheese. Return to broiler and heat just until cheese has started to melt.
  19. Top sandwiches with freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley and serve with warm au jus for dipping.

Notes:

I thought this recipe was really good. Like I mentioned above, the Au Jus sauce wasn’t quite right. It seemed to be missing something. I’ll be adding some Worcester and Soy Sauce (or maybe fish sauce) next time to get the dipping sauce to where I would like it.

Might be worthwhile to splurge the $1.60 (at Safeway) for the McCormick’s Au Jus spice packet.

Instead of cooking a whole beef chuck, next time, I’ll try cutting the chuck into smaller pieces and cooking for 60-65 minutes instead of the 100 minutes that this recipe calls for. I don’t see any real benefit to cooking the beef as a whole. The smaller pieces would be easier to handle and will cook quicker.

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Instant Pot – Chicken Noodle Soup

Notes:

Super easy chicken noodle soup recipe! Just follow the recipe. Fair warning that you’ll have a lot of chicken meat. Either save the meat and use it for a different recipe, or consider getting a smaller chicken and supplementing with chicken bones or chicken broth.

Source:

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces KB: Too much carrots. The broth tastes more like veggie soup than it does chicken. Will try 3 carrots next time.
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces KB: I like celery. I will do 3 celery sticks next time.
  • 1 whole 5 pound chicken, giblets removed and discarded
  • 2 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 8 cups of water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces of extra wide egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup of minced fresh flat leaf parsley

Instructions:

KB: Notes: Here’s the original recipe from No. 2 Pencil I’ve added my notes in bold. I’ve been spoiled with Pho Ga growing up, so I tend to like my chicken noodle soup with prominent Chicken flavors. Easily serves 5-6 people.

  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute function.
  2. Heat olive oil and onions until onions start to soften and become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another minute.
  4. Add whole chicken to Instant Pot, followed by water, soy sauce, 2 teaspoon of salt and several turns of freshly ground pepper.
  5. Turn off Saute function, lock Instant Pot lid in place, make sure pressure valve is set to sealing and set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 20 minutes, via manual mode. KB: As the broth didn’t really bring out the chicken flavor, I would recommend running the Instant Pot for a little longer. I ran mine for 25 minutes.
  6. Instant Pot will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure, then will countdown from 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes at high pressure, Instant Pot will beep and switch to keep warm mode.
  8. Turn pressure release valve to Quick Release pressure.
  9. Carefully open Instant Pot, keeping lid angled away from you to avoid very hot steam.
  10. Remove whole chicken and set aside to shred.
  11. Turn Instant Pot back to Saute function and let chicken broth come to a boil.
  12. Stir in egg noddles and let cook for about 5 minutes.
  13. While noodles are cooking, shred chicken into bite sized pieces discarding bones and skin.
  14. Once noodles are cooked, stir in chicken meat and fresh parsley.
  15. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
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Instant Pot – Meatloaf

Source:

Didn’t really use any one specific source, but rather a mash-up of several. I try to keep my recipes simple and straightforward with minimal ingredients!

I Save A to Z – Pressure Cooker Meatloaf – https://www.isavea2z.com/pressure-cooker-meatloaf-recipe/

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 chopped onions (yields ~1 cup; doesn’t need to be precise)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ketchup (About half a cup, maybe more. Eyeball it!)
  • mustard (A few squeezes.)
  • spices (salt and pepper is fine, or consider using Monterrey Steak seasoning)
  • Optional: I cooked the meatloaf with 1.5 lbs of mini-red potatoes. One pot. One more item cooked. One less pot to clean!

Instructions:

Notes: Two notes. Meatloaf is really easy. Don’t worry about getting exact measurements of the ingredients. There’s a lot of variations of meatloaf with various additional ingredients. For the most part, if you have ground beef, onions, bread crumbs, and ketchup, you are in really good shape.

https://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Piece-Mini-Loaf-2105-1425/dp/B00KIFGXW6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1484630218&sr=8-3&keywords=mini+bread+pans

Second note: For the Instant Pot, consider using these mini bread loaf pans. Each mini pan feeds about 1.5 people. This recipe makes enough for about 4 of these mini pans. I ended up cooking two in the Instant Pot and freezing the others for later use.

  1. Preparation: Chop your onions and place it in a large bowl. Then add the other ingredients: ground beef, Parmesan Cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper (or Monterrey Steak Seasoning), ketchup (about 1/2 cup), and mustard (a few good squeezes, maybe 1/8 of a cup). Pretty much all your ingredients.
  2. Prior to mixing the ingredients, I would recommend lightly greasing your mini bread loaf pans and setting them to the side of your mixing bowl.
  3. Once you have the pans ready, go ahead and start mixing the meatloaf mixture. I prefer to use my hands. Mix it with your hands until the mixture is uniform. If you feel like your mixture is a little dry, add some ketchup.
  4. Once mixed, add the mixture to the mini loaf pans. Press the mixture into the pan and leave about 3/4″ space at the top.
  5. Once all your pans are filled, grab your ketchup and apply a thin layer of ketchup on top of the mixture.
  6. Wrap the tops of each pan with foil.
  7. In the Instant Pot, place the trivet into the stainless steel pan. Add water so it fills up to just about below of the trivet.
  8. This is where your Tetris skills come in. Tetris 2 of the meatloaf pans and your mini red potatoes into your Instant Pot. I ended up stacking the two on top of each other so they make a plus (+) sign and placing the potatoes around them.
  9. Cook on Manual for 30 minutes.
  10. Quick Release the Instant Pot valve when done.
  11. Remove the meatloaf pans, remove the foil, and place the meatloaf under the broiler for a few minutes!
  12. Optional: The mini red potatoes were cooked perfectly. Consider dressing them with your favorite spices/flavors.

My Cousin’s Meatloaf

Amy Nguyen’s Meatloaf with a twist on the sauce

Amy’s Meatloaf Sauce

  • Ketchup
  • BBQ sauce
  • Worcester sauce
  • brown sugar
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Instant Pot – Barbacoa

Source:

Didn’t really use any one specific source, but rather a mash-up of several. I try to keep my recipes simple and straightforward with minimal ingredients!

Rick Mammana – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqr3WI7IxcM&t=973s
Chef Tips – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oltFEuuJFMg
Taste and Tell – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XkhjuOANdY
No Bun Please – http://nobunplease.com/chipotle-barbacoa-copycat/

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Notes: Super easy to make! I mostly followed the directions on the Frontera packaging and then cooked in the Instant Pot on manual for 65 minutes.

  1. Prep your beef chuck and onions. Cut the beef chuck into 2″ cubes and lightly season with salt and pepper, then set aside. The beef chunks doesn’t have to be precise. Thinly slice the red onions and set aside also.
  2. Oil the bottom of the Instant Pot pan and set the Instant Pot to saute.
  3. Add the onions and slightly saute.
  4. Add the beef cubes to the Instant Pot also and allow the cubes to lightly brown.
  5. After all the beef cubes are browned, give the onion/beef cube mixture a  nice mix.
  6. Add the 1 package of Frontera Barbacoa marinade and 2 cups of water. Make sure that the two are well mixed. You can do this in a separate bowl, but I chose to mix it in the Instant Pot to avoid cleaning another bowl.
  7. Cook on Manual for 65 minutes. After cooking, do a pressure Quick Release.
  8. Remove all the cubes, then shred. The cubes should be really easy to shred. If they aren’t, you might need to cook them a little longer. Return the shredded beef to the marinade.
  9. For best flavor, allow the shredded beef to soak in the marinade for several more hours using the Keep Warm function on the Instant Pot.
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Instant Pot – Apple Pie Bread Pudding

Source:

Buzzfeed Tasty Apple Pie Pudding: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alvinzhou/this-apple-pie-bread-pudding-is-so-good-you-wont-want-any-ot?utm_term=.yp47v1v05#.icvAQrQDN

Buzzfeed Tasty Apple Pie Bake: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alvinzhou/apple-pie-bake?utm_term=.msnm747Nx#.wuZ8gpgoZ

Reviews by Pink: http://reviewsbypink.com/apple-cinnamon-pull-apart-bread/

Ingredients:

2 packages of cinnamon rolls with frosting (or 6 slices of white bread)
1 can of apple pie filling
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Notes: I used the combination of the three source recipes to come up with this recipe. Instead of making my own apple pie filling, I chose to buy the pre-made filling to keep ingredients to a minimum.

  1. Take your unbaked cinnamon rolls and cut each into quarters. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces if you are using large cinnamon rolls. Set aside. If you decided to use white bread, cut the bread into 1″x1″ pieces (4×4).
  2. Next, make the batter that will be used to soak the cinnamon rolls. Mix the milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extra in a bowl.
  3. Combine the cinnamon roll pieces with the batter.
  4. Once soaked, take out the soaked cinnamon roll pieces and mix together with the apple pie filling.
  5. In a greased pan, place the cinnamon roll and apple pie filling combination.Cover with foil. Covering the pan will keep the pudding from becoming soggy during the cooking process.
  6. Cook in Instant Pot on Manual for 20-25 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook for a little longer.
  7. After the cooking process is complete, quick release the pressure valve and remove. Top with frosting and/or ice cream and enjoy!
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Instant Pot – Carnitas

Carnitas (Shredded Pork)

Source Recipe: Flo Lum Carnitas
http://flolum.com/pressure-cooker-carnitas/

Video (YouTube)

Ingredients: (source: Flo Lum)

  • 2lbs pork butt/shoulder roast KB: I ended up using 3 lbs as that was the last package left
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, bruised KB: I forgot to grab these so I went ahead without them.
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 1-2 cups of water KB: I tried to keep the ratio 1 cup of liquid to 1 lb of pork. In this case, I ended up using 2 cups of water and 1 cup of liquid carnita seasoning.
  • KB: I ended up using this for seasoning. 8 oz. packet of chipotle-lime carnita seasoning. This and 2 cups of water ended up being 3 cups of liquid to my 3 lbs of pork shoulder.
    http://www.fronterafiesta.com/store/seasoning-sauces/garlic-pork-carnitas-slow-cook-sauce/27-116

Instructions: (source: Flo Lum)

  1. Cut up the roast into 1.5″-2″ cubes and put all the ingredients in the liner of the Instant Pot. KB: Water, liquid spices, seasoning, salt, pork shoulder, and bayleaf.
  2. Close and lock the lid, making sure the sealing knob is on sealing. KB: Instant Pot Manual Mode for 45 minutes.
  3. Once the cooking is done, you can release the pressure by the quick or natural pressure release.
  4. Option 1: Heat up a frying pan and add some oil. Fry the pieces of pork until nicely browned on both sides. Option 2: Spread the meat out on a sheet pan (KB: Shred the carnitas. You can use a fork or similar to just crush them. They’ll fall apart easily.) and place under broiler (KB: On Hi.) until nicely browned and turn them over and brown the other side. KB: We ended up using option 2 as it was a much cleaner method. For best results, we recommended you really allow the carnitas to burn. Get them to a nice dark brown color/almost black. Some burning is GOOD! Experiment and see what works best for you!
  5. Serve with rice, beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. You can also make burritos or tacos.

Other Notes:

Super easy and super delicious. 3 lbs of pork shoulder was enough to serve 4 people. We ended up using the carnitas for tacos. Corn tortillas and topped with cilantro, onions, and lime juice.

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