Category Archives: Cooking

I’m highly satisfied with this skillet

I purchased this skillet because on our latest camping trip I noticed that we really could have used one more pan. There were 2 other cast iron skillets that other folks had brought with them so I decided it was time to invest in one for our family. I went home and did some research on cast iron skillet pans and found that Lodge was the only brand made in America. Of course I turned to Amazon to check out reviews and prices. Reviews on the brand looked good and I couldn’t find a better price of the 12 in skillet than getting the skillet/silicone handle combo here on Amazon.

Pan was purchased and it arrived in a timely manner and in perfect condition. I followed the tips i read here in the reviews and seasoned the pan 4 or 5 more times myself with coconut oil in an 500 oven for an hour, allowing the pan to cool in the oven each time. A couple days later I cooked a pound of bacon in my newly seasoned pan and it cooked up wonderfully. Clean up was a breeze, just a little warm water on a burner, barely any scrubbing, dried with a towel and then over the burner on low and that was it.

Overall I’m highly satisfied with this skillet. The pan will be a great addition to our camping trips. I actually plan on using this pan in our kitchen on a regular basis. I’m so tired of teflon/non stick coatings flaking off after a year or two. Eventually I’ll be purchasing the 10″ and 8″ pans as well. Yes cast iron does require a little more care than your non stick pans but I think its worth it. - K. Harp

 

The best affordable toaster ovens to look for

Some thrifty consumers would no doubt forego a toaster or toaster oven on the grounds that it’s redundant. For others disinclined to fire up a full-size oven just to toast a slice of bread, a toaster oven makes a convenient and energy-saving addition to the kitchen. Experts tout high-end toaster ovens for successfully cooking everything from pizza to cookies to whole chickens — and, of course, toast — but those models can top $200. The low end is littered with toaster ovens that struggle to fulfill their most basic function, turning out uneven or underdone toast.

Amid the chaff, Cheapism has found four top picks for affordable toaster ovens.

  • The Black & Decker TRO480 (starting at $30) can accommodate up to four slices of bread and has a tray that slides out for easy disposal of crumbs. This model features keep-warm and bagel functions in addition to the usual bake, broil, and toast. Users can set the timer for up to 30 minutes. Positive reviews point to evenly browned toast and well-cooked meals for two.
  • The Proctor Silex 31116Y and 31118Y (starting at $25) are, respectively, white and black versions of the same four-slice toaster oven. Experts credit these models with making toast quickly and even baking a cake as proficiently as a regular oven, although the timer maxes out at 15 minutes. Users empty out crumbs by opening a drop-down tray underneath.
  • The Hamilton Beach 31508 (starting at $30) is the largest toaster oven on this list, boasting a six-slice capacity, although numerous reviewers call that generous. Still, experts say it’s capable of cooking a 6-pound chicken. There’s a slide-out crumb tray for easy cleaning and a 30-minute timer.
  • The Hamilton Beach Toastation 22708 (starting at $37) has a unique design: a two-slice, pop-up toaster on top and a shallow oven below. Reviewers say the size is sufficient for reheating two slices of pizza or toasting an open-face sandwich. This model has a drop-down crumb tray and no broil function or timer, only dials for adjusting the darkness of the toast and the temperature of the oven. (Go to source)

If you can, check out a toaster oven in person or see if the specs list the interior dimensions. Manufacturers often indicate only the number of slices (and the size of pizza) a model can accommodate. As we’ve seen, that’s not always a reliable indicator.

The toaster ovens with timers shut off automatically when the time is up, so they must be reset for foods that require longer than 15 or 30 minutes to cook. Users can also set these models to stay on and turn them off manually.

A toaster oven with a drop-down crumb tray may be more awkward to clean than a model with a removable tray. Don’t let that deter you from emptying it often, however — the crumbs pose a fire hazard. (More: Chef’s eye view of a toaster oven)

More on toaster oven:

Mind blowing toaster oven recipes

Microwave or toaster oven?

 

My All Clad Cookware Review

All Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set is a totally exorbitant thing at online shops, for instance, Amazon. Notwithstanding the way that its expense would dispirit various people. Each and every All Clad pan wonder me with its unrivaled cooking execution. It moreover could pull in two or three dissensions from individuals who say sustenance sticks and that this cookware requires some elbow oil to clean.This set circuits 8-inch and 10-inch blaze skillet, 2-quart and 3-quart sauce holder with tops.

Execution

All Clad is built such that, two layers spread around an aluminum center. Thusly it drops off a moderate and consistent warmth in capable tests. Likewise, the pots and dish are totally suited with the aluminum focus connecting up their sides that guarantee uniform stream of warmth. in any sort of cooking 10-Piece Cookware set performs impeccably. These container have improved me a cook. A couple of protests are normal since its unrealistic to please everybody.

Usability

I say there is a desire to figure out how to using any All Clad cookware honestly in light of the way that stainless still is not nonstick. Fortunately numerous assets are accessible for doing the errand from All-Clad lovers. Each time an affectionate or an outside structures on the surface of the stainless steel skillet, more scouring is normal than on a nonstick surface. On the other hand you could simply drench the search for gold couple of hours then wipe it out. Notwithstanding the way that the pots and skillet are dishwasher safe, i slant toward washing them by hand. Its disillusioning the set does exclude a 12 inch skillet. Most All clad cookware survey concur 10-piece set is a decent determination.

With the skillet’s surfaces being made of 18/10 stainless steel, putting personality a top priority that it contains 10 percent nickel that improves consumption resistance. Attractive stainless steel is utilized to build the outer surface, which allows it to be used on impelling cook-tops. As I would see it numerous sets look like new even following a couple of years of usage.

Hope you like my All Clad cookware review.

Choosing a Kitchen Knife

You know you want one, but which one? What size, shape, style, weight, handle, blade, steel, make and so on! Fear not we have prepared this simple crash course in kitchen knives.

Choosing a kitchen knife is not as hard you might think, it just seems it’s due to all the choices available, the cost and the fear of getting it wrong but don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure it all out.

Here’s a quick test you can try

Do try this at home – Fold a sheet of normal A4 paper and see if your current kitchen knife can do this. If it can’t, you might want to carry on reading our guide and treat yourself to a new knife!

First up is be honest with yourself. If you are a keen home cook with a busy life then you want a low maintenance knife, you don’t need super light high performance, you just want it to stay sharp a long time, be easy to sharpen when you need to and not rust (yes some knives can rust, not all of them are made from stain resistant steel).

The Masakage Yuki Santoku – Our best selling all round chef knife – we usually say “just buy this one” if you’re not sure!

Some knives need a little more care than others but don’t worry about them being delicate ornaments, the Japanese kitchen knives you see on the site have been designed and used in this way for hundreds of years!

It might sound like a cheesy sales pitch but all the chef knives we sell are personally reviewed and meet a minimum quality we’re happy with.

This is why you will see high marks for nearly all of them across the site but we’ve tried to maintain our honesty in our opinions and we only sell knives we would be willing to buy ourselves.

As a result all you really have to do is pick one you like the look of and that suits your budget.

Continue reading here.

Quinoa in Rice Cooker

by glutenfreegoddess

How do you cook quinoa? I was recently asked. The answer is simple.

Easy. Fast. Rockin’.

I cook it in my best rice cooker.

In fact, quinoa is the easiest no-fuss “grain” you’ll ever cook. It’s healthy fast food. Cook up a batch ahead of time and you can stir up a fabulous light lunch (like the Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint) in a New York minute.

Well, maybe a Los Angeles minute. No wait.

A Venice Beach minute.

How to cook quinoa in a rice cooker:

1. Using a fine mesh sieve rinse 1 cup of organic quinoa in cold water. Drain.

2. Dump rinsed quinoa into your rice cooker.

3. Add 2 cups fresh water* see notes.

4. Turn on your rice cooker.

That’s it. In about fifteen minutes* you’ll have hot fluffy quinoa to play with.

Quinoa is rather bland on its own and loves flavor spikes. So add herbs etc. My favorite thing to do is stir-fry cooked quinoa with various seasonings- herbs, garlic, spices, onion, etc. I add in fresh veggies and whatever else I might have on hand.

Quinoa makes delicious and hearty pilaf, sprightly salads, or a warm and grainy side dish in place of rice. I’ve even used it to stuff cabbage, acorn squash, peppers and portobello mushroom caps.

For those of you without a rice cooker:

Add the cup of rinsed organic quinoa to a saucepan add 2 cups fresh water; bring to a boil, lower the heat to low; cover and simmer until cooked. Fluff with a fork.

Season while warm and use in salads or stuffing recipes, Store covered, in the fridge, for almost instant meals. Use within three days for best taste.

Notes*

Start with 2 cups water in a rice cooker. At higher altitudes, use more water– 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups water. High altitude also requires a longer cooking time, generally.

If the quinoa turns out too crunchy or nubby you need to up the ratio of water to grain; start by adding another 1/4 cup liquid. I prefer my quinoa soft and tender, fluffed with a fork. Note- red and black quinoa may require extra water- especially if it turns out more crunchy than fluffy.

Sometimes I add broth to the liquid to boost the flavor of the quinoa- this works especially well when making a savory pilaf or winter quinoa with hearty flavors- onion, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. I don’t use broth in my lighter salad style quinoa dishes- but that’s my personal taste.

Why you might want to try quinoa…

Quinoa is very laid back and not full of itself at all.

It’s not upper crust or snobby, or ultra-cool and exclusive. I imagine Tony Bourdain hates it (he likes to mock vegetarians, you know, which spurs him to demonstrate just how much by eating blow fish, animal tongues and roasted insects on camera fresh from the writhing
snake blood tonic and chewing on various goat parts buried in a pit for two days).

If it were a movie, quinoa would star a flip-flop wearing Jeff Bridges and insist you call it Dude.

Or Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

Besides its worth-its-weight-in-gold gluten-free status, quinoa (sounds like: keen-wa) is a superb source of balanced vegetable protein (so important for vegans) that packs a nutty nutritional punch. It contains nine amino acids- making it a complete vegetable protein. Some call it a super grain (I always envision a blazing red Q and a windswept cape when the word super is touted- a testimony to my visual thinking process) but quinoa, I have to tell you is not a cereal grain, Bubela. It’s actually a seed from a plant family that includes beets and spinach.

That might- technically- make it a Super Faux Grain.

Or Faux Super Grain.

I know. It doesn’t have the same ring.

Do we care?

Stainless Steel Cookware and How to Use Them

For those who are new to cooking, the first thing you need to know is this: you won’t get anything to brown in non-stick coated cookware. Stainless steel is the only way to go for beautifully browned meats, but there are some things to know about stainless steel pans. Temperature is important, so learning to use your stainless pans is a good idea if you don’t want to ruin your food and destroy your pots. If you don’t know how to use them properly or how to manage the temperature, your food will stick to the pan or burn.

Here are some important tips about cookware.

  • Aluminum pans will actually leach into the food as it cooks. That’s why acidic foods such as tomatoes will keep your aluminum pans looking new.
  • Copper pots are used by professionals but are very expensive and difficult to maintain, and they’ll react with acidic foods.
  • Glass pots have poor heat distribution and food will burn.
  • Cast iron pots are porous and trapped grease can turn rancid. They’re heavy and cook well, but they’ll react with food and rust if not properly “seasoned” and maintained.
  • Coated pans, no matter how expensive or well made, will eventually chip off. What you don’t see before the actual chipping begins are the minute particles that wear off and lead to chipping.
  • The right types of utensils are needed for all types of pans, including stainless.
  • Stainless steel by itself is not a good heat conductor, so look for pans with copper or aluminum cores. Copper cores conduct heat very evenly, heat up quickly, and adjust to temperature changes quickly. Aluminum cores also conducts heat very evenly and is cheaper than copper.
  • Stainless pots come in various thicknesses, so buy the best you can afford. Cheap stainless steel pots without a copper or aluminum core will cook unevenly, giving you hot spots.
  • Stainless is durable and can maintain its appearance for as long as you own it (some stainless cooks have had their cookware for as long as 50 years).
  • Stainless doesn’t impart any flavor or create a chemical reaction with food.
  • Even the best stainless cookware will get tiny scratches if you use knives on them, but generally, stainless is resistant to scratches and dents.

What should you do when it comes to stainless?

Cooking is all about temperature shocks and exchanges. The reason a chicken is roasted at a higher temperature in the beginning is to shock the meat and create a nice, crispy and brown skin. The remainder of the roasting is done at a lower temperature. This same technique is used when cooking on the stove top.

So what’s the trick to finding the right temperature?

  • Never place food or cooking fat in a pan without preheating the pan
  • When you add your cooking fat, you should see it shivering somewhat in the pan. If your pan is too hot, the fat will smoke and burn. If this happens, discard the fat and start again. The pan will be very hot at this point so take it off the burner and let it cool a bit while you lower the burner and let the temperature regulate.
  • It’s best to heat the pan slowly over medium high heat so it can heat up evenly.

Read more here.

Don’t You Just Love This Professional Cutlery Set!

Ever dreamt of owning the best knife in the world ever? Do you wish your set to be the unique among the rest? Well, if these thoughts have been conquering your mind, then it is a sign to upgrade your cutlery set into the professional cutlery set with the best knives to buy in 2015 you can find in the market! As a basic rule, you can have as many knives as you want in your cutlery set but generally most people prefer to have a 7 knives set. There is also a 11 knives set but 7 is more than enough to make your set the most fabulous of all! Believe in it and let’s crack the secret code to own your professional knife set. The main keyword for this is ‘know your knives’ and this article will guide you through the process of knowing the important features of your very own cutlery set.

First of all, you need a seafood knife in your set. Now, why do you need a knife customized for seafood when you can use a normal knife for that? Well pals, that is the reason why I call this a professional cutlery set and not the ordinary one. Every knife can be used to slice, chop or cut seafood but a professional always does it in a proper way by utilizing the knife tailored for that purpose such as flexible, long and narrow blade are specially use to remove fish bones for fillet. A seafood knife contains special features that allow it to be used on seafood more effectively compared to other knife. Chef’s knife or cook’s knife is used practically for most of the slicing and cutting job in your kitchen. It usually has a wider blade as it has to be versatile enough to be used on almost all kitchen chores.

On the other hand, paring knife is primarily used to peel, slice and chop small fruits and vegetables. It carries a characteristic feature of sharp and short blade which allows it to easily pierce through the fruits and vegetables. Boning knife is another type of knife in the cutlery set that is used specifically to remove bones from any pieces of meat. It can be found in various length of blade but usually it has a narrower blade than any other knives in the set.

When you are finding it really hard to chop large slices of raw meat into smaller portions, the cleaver will come in handy. It is designed to cater the need to chop large slices into smaller ones. Butcher’s knife can perform the same function as a cleaver. However, it is more predominantly used to slice and carve roasts. Utility knife or sandwich is mainly used to slice small sandwiches and can be also used for other general cutting and chopping of small fruits and vegetables.

All the 7 knives mentioned above are the basic type of knives that you can usually find in a professional cutlery set and do remember that each knife has its own specific role in the set and missing out any of those knives would only make your cutlery set incomplete. Own those 7 awesome knives and become a professional yourself!

Bread Making Made Easy!

After years and years of trying and failing to make great bread at home I have finally come across the single greatest bread making method. My secret? Well, to actually have you understand completely you need to know a little about my past, and more specifically, my grandmother.

As some of you may know, my grandmother Jane was a fabulous baker, she would always bring the most beautiful and delicious assortments of muffins, cookies, and pastries to the church potluck every weekend. She is hands down my biggest influence when it comes to cooking and baking, and nothing comes close to her unbelievable zucchini bread. If there is one thing I regret most in my lifetime it is not getting her recipe for that zucchini bread. The most unique thing about that bread was that it was not a product of her enchanting vintage General Electric stove, but rather her new mysterious bread machine. Believe me, I have made many, many attempts to recreate that recipe based on my fading memories from childhood baking it with her, but never have I been able to precisely replicate the moist, flavorful bread that my grandmother was so proud of. That is, not until this last weekend.

You see, I happened to be surfing online shopping sites (a dangerous hobby I know) when I came across a great deal on Amazon for a Breadman BK1050S bread machine. I’m not one to make purchases without a lot of research prior to typing in my credit card number, and this was no different. While there’s a ton of information out there on the best rated bread machines and that, I had to lean on a couple of trusted friends who swear by the Breadman name. That said, I was definitely not planning on a new kitchen appliance but something about the aesthetic both threw me into a fit of nostalgia and had me daydreaming about how good it would look next to my chrome espresso machine and I ordered it on a whim. I know that bread machines are typically a thing of jokes and regrets, but I’ve got to say that this machine is worth the investment, and I plan on giving it plenty of use in the future.

I went ahead and took another shot at the zucchini bread once the bread maker arrived, and I’ve got to say this was the best batch yet. I’m not saying the machine is why the bread was so good, but I’m convinced that it gave it that extra touch that instantly sent me back to the 1990′s. I can tell you that as soon as this recipe is perfect I will be sharing the it with the world online. Also I can confidently say, especially with the good words I’ve heard over and over from those that I know, that the Breadman is the best bread machine you can buy today.

Get My Toasting Needs

One of the greatest celebrated technological developments is the internet. The internet has revolutionized not only general communication, but has also been used as a great platform for business. Tech savvy individuals agree that blogging has taken internet by storm. Most companies in this age and time posts their products online in order to tap on the global market. There are millions of blogs online that contain links to many products. There are generally three categories of toasters, the pop up toasters, toaster oven and conveyor toasters. When one considers acquiring the best toasters, many factors are to be put in place in order to get real value for money.

Firstly the toaster should come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This is a sure way that gives client’s piece of mind knowing that the product is genuine and can be returned to dealers in case of any malfunction. Secondly, its Important to check the products price costing in relation to the rest in the market. Some unscrupulous dealers may swindle their clients of their hard earned cash. Thirdly, the toaster should be able to meet the basic toasting needs of the client. Industry players agree that the best toasters should be able to combine the ability of making toast light or dark with a consistency in browning.

Among the best toasters in the market are:

Frigidaire Toaster FPTT02D7MS: Rated as the best toaster, this product browns bread evenly and consistently from batch to batch. It’s designed with digital controls that include a progress display and bagel. In addition, it also modeled with a defrost and reheat mechanism.

Breville BTA830XL Die-Cast Smart Toaster: It’s designed with a shiny die-cast exterior and round-edge rectangular shape, this toaster gives value for money. Industry players define it as a perfect toaster. Additionally it’s designed with a “lift and look” button, which helps users know the status of toasting.

Cuisinart Metal Classic 4-Slice Toaster CPT-180: It’s designed with a sturdy, retro look, with dual control panels that work independently. It also has a slide –out crumb tray that makes it easy to clean after use.

To be able to sample the variety of toasters available in the market, a perfect place to start is a review website. Online shopping can’t get better than this.

Related:
The 10 best toasters by Independent.co.uk

Welcome to My New Personal Cooking Blog

Welcome to my new cooking blog, this is the home for a wide variety of my cooking experiences, reviews, and more. Also, please leave a comment, sign our guestbook, leave a prayer request, or tell a friend!

“Our God is bigger than the air I breathe the world we’ll leave. And I said God will save the day and all will say my Glorious.”