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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Shake it like a flour sifter.

Shake it like a flour sifter.

I recently decided to make my first homemade carrot cake. The recipe that I decided to try required a flour sifter. In the past, I have just used my fine mesh strainer which worked fine, but I wanted to actually buy a flour sifter this time. I bake enough to justify the purchase, so off I went on my quest for the world’s greatest flour sifter. My first inclination was to just get a standard ol run of the mill sifter. I picked up the most basic one I saw, at an unnamed retailer, and looked at the price. Then looked back to the sifter. Then back to the price. My first thought? “Well, this doesn’t make any sense!” It was almost $10 and looked like it would rust and/or fall apart after one use. Mind you, $10 doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but I am opposed to essentially throwing $10 in the trash. I went to two other retailers and found the same thing. I went home and thought to myself, this is crazy. I thought back to my Kitchenware buying days and remembered the OXO sifter that we had brought into the Kmart stores a couple of years back. I looked it up online and found excellent reviews. Eureka! I went on Amazon, ordered it (for $12.99) and was so excited when I saw the box on my front porch.

Some fun facts about this handy kitchen tool: It has measure marks on the inside for easy measuring of your dry ingredients. It has a cover for the bottom AND the top! Huge, right? No more flour slipping out while you are measuring. No more mess in your cabinets when you don’t get every speck of flour out. Love it! Ok, best feature ever is…. the way you sift. No crank. No handle to squeeze until you feel like you have permanently damaged your wrist. Nope. You just shake it gently from side to side with one hand. I just want to point out one more time, this was marginally more expensive than the original one I looked at with about 10 times the benefit. Absolutely a best buy.

FYI-It is also available at Bed Bath and Beyond ($12.99), Sur La Table ($14.00), Target ($12.99).

Happy Sifting Everyone!!

 

In honor of National Garlic Day, I thought I would repost this blog.

MincedReviews

I have had a few requests to review garlic presses but when I really sat and thought about it, I have yet to meet a garlic press, or any garlic gadget for that matter, that has impressed me thus far.  I do own a garlic press, two actually.  They have lived their long life happily in my drawer virtually untouched.  We love garlic.  I always keep it on hand and probably cook with it at least twice per week.  I have found that grabbing my handy-dandy chef’s knife is far more efficient than reaching for the garlic press.  My husband may give you a different answer.  He absolutely hates when I make 40 Garlic Chicken (thank you Heidi for that most amazing recipe) and I plop down a huge bag of garlic and ask him to peel 40 cloves.   His biggest complaint is all of the garlic ‘skin’…

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Holy Avocado Seed, Batman.

Holy Avocado Seed, Batman.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I am reposting an old blog about one of my favorite tools.. the OXO Avocado slicer.

Update:  It is available everywhere now!  🙂

Well, here we are on day 2 of my fun finds at the Houseware’s Show.  My second fave is an upcoming gadget from OXO.  I am a huge fan of OXO to begin with (pronounced OX (as in the animal) – OH).  It may seem silly to some to clarify the pronunciation, but many people aren’t so sure, so there you have it. OX-OH.  Anyway, every year that I go to the show, I sort of relish going to the booth.  Incredibly fun, useful products.  This year, my fun find at this booth was the Avocado tool.  I absolutely LOVE avocados!  I absolutely HATE getting the seed out.  I feel like I have mastered slicing it open, the twist and pull and also scooping it out but that seed.  That stupid seed.  I swear I am going to slice my finger off every time I try to spike the knife into the seed.  For those of you unfamiliar with what I am referring to, please see the link below on how to typically cut and core an avocado.

http://youtu.be/5mzHVuAdcuc

Now, look at the OXO avocado tool. AmaZing.  I’m sold.  I am going to be first in line when this tool becomes available!  It will retail for @$10 and will be available in white and green.  I’ll keep you posted on my Facebook page when I find out exactly when it will hit retailers

OXO Avocado Tool

Happy guacamole everyone?  I seem to be running out of my happyisms.

See you tomorrow.  Same time.  Same place.

Stop the wilting!

Stop the wilting!

I am finally going through my stacks and stacks of photos, notes, press kits and catalogs from the International Home and Houseware’s Show. Better late than never, right?  This week, I am going to attempt to bring you daily updates on fun and innovative kitchen products that I found at the show.  Attempt being the key word here.

My absolute favorite booth at this year’s show was Prepara.  Colorful, innovative, solution oriented product.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

For anyone that cooks with fresh herbs, you will appreciate my first fave.  It makes me crazed to spend money on fresh herbs, use two leaves/sprigs and the rest just wilts away in the fridge.  Prepara has come up with a solution.  The Herb Savor.  The Herb Savor prolongs the shelf life of your herbs by allowing the stems to sit in water at the bottom of the container.  It has a convenient stainless steel basket that removes easily so that you can rinse the herbs and then return the unused portion to the container for storage. The Herb Savor fits perfectly in the fridge, even the fridge door.  It is BPA free and dishwasher safe. Plus, doesn’t it look cool?

You can find Herb Savors at several retailers for @$30 (such as Bed Bath and BeyondMacy’s and Williams Sonoma).  However, the best price that I found today was on Amazon.com for $25.   Love these.  Let me know what you think!

They also have a set of three Herb Savor Pods that are equally cool.   These smaller versions of the Herb Savor serve the same purpose, only on a smaller scale.  These also retail for @$30 at select retailers.  Right now, Amazon.com has them for $24.81.  There are a few negative reviews on Amazon, not with the actual usage of the product but that they were difficult to open.  I personally tried it at the Show and didn’t have an issue once I figured it out.  So please don’t let that dissuade you.

Prepara Mini Herb Savors

Honorable Prepara mentions:

1. The Tabletop Mister–  I really liked this because I am trying to steer clear of cooking spray and really don’t want to rely on butter.  These allow you to finely mist your salads, your pans, your cookie sheets, meats, etc…  You can add herbs, garlic, peppers, etc to the bottom to infuse your olive oil with a fun flavor.  Really a great product.  These typically run about $20 (at Williams Sonoma, Macy’s).  Amazon.com has them for $17 right now.

Prepara Tabletop Mister

2. Ice Balls–  With Summer looming large, these are a fun alternative to the boring old ice-cube.  These interesting little spill proof molds allow you to freeze fun stuff in the ice (Strawberries, Lemons, Mint leaves etc) or to freeze juice.  They look so cute in the glass.   They are completely sealed so they don’t pick up any odors in your freezer and they snap together for easy storage.

Prepara Ice Balls

Lastly, here is a link to Prepara so that you can take a look at their other fun products:

Prepara’s Website

So, there you have it folks.  Hopefully your are as intrigued as I was.  More fun finds to come!

Happy Shopping?

Boiled over.

Boiled over.

Still thinking about eggs.  Hard boiled today. In anticipation of an excellent egg dying session tonight, I was in a desperate search for a hard-boiled egg recipe that actually allowed me to peel the egg.   I always make deviled eggs with the dyed eggs and am crazed by the time I have peeled all the eggs.   The peel sticks/peels off parts of the egg/doesn’t come off at all/ugh.  So, I started researching techniques.  I finally have found success.  I tried Emeril’s tips, Martha’s tips and Food Network.  The winner is….

Martha.   Link below.

Martha Stewart’s Hard Boiled Eggs

Had I been thinking,  as my Sister reminded me this morning, I would have realized that this is almost exactly how our Mom used to hard boil eggs.  Sigh.  🙂

Happy egg boiling everyone!!

Taking risks.

Taking risks.

As we approach Easter, I have had eggs on my mind.  Hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, chocolate eggs, candy filled eggs.  Eggs.  Eggs.  Eggs.  Everywhere.  Literally.  Really.  They are all over my living room floor. Behind me as I type this.  Well, plastic ones. Empty plastic ones post-neighborhood egg hunt.

About ten minutes before my husband was heading home from work today,  I was irritatingly lackadaisical in trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  My first thought, always in this predicament, is to make breakfast.  I love it.  The boys love it.  Husband though?  Not so much.  For those of you that know my work out/protein-loving-husband, you know that he eats scrambled eggs (6 egg white/2 yolks) EVERY morning.  For TEN YEARS.  EVERY DAY.   “Most important meal of the day” he says.  Ok, well this most “important” meal has to be at DINNER for the rest of us.  Short story long, I decided to spice it up a little.  I decided to make omelets for dinner.  The intimidating omelet.  I had attempted many times before but was painfully disappointed every time and always ended up turning them into faux scramble eggs.  I had just read the April issue of Food Network Magazine (sigh… love) and Alton Brown breaks it down.  I was willing to jump in head first and risk another omelet failure.  There’s only four adorable men patiently (im) waiting for dinner, right? I did mention I was running behind, didn’t I?  I followed it to the letter and they tuned out perfectly  (they looked exactly like the picture above)!  Wahoo.  Success.  I had to share this with you all.  While not a typical product review blog, file this under Tips and Tricks.   The link below is to the recipe for the Perfect Omelet.  I highly recommend you try it.  Silly little feats of accomplishment are the best, aren’t they?

Perfect Omelet on the Food Network.

I am going to try a few other Egg tips in the next few days, I’ll be sure to pass along any other helpful info.

Happy egg cooking everyone!