Saturday, June 6th, 2009 at
Stand mixers are for most preparation to do with baking – pie crust, bread dough etc. A Food Processor is great for chopping, pureeing, slicing, grinding nuts and coffee, finely chopping herbs…the list is endless. Try to think of the stand mixer as helping with sweet foodstuffs and the Food Processor with savory. Although that ‘rule’ is interchangeable, it helps to see why you would benefit from both.
- Try not to be seduced by a machine with many ‘extras’. These only add to the cost and you may only use them very rarely – or never at all!
- Food Processors that live in cupboards don’t get used! So don’t forget to check how much space the Food Processor will take up on your counter top. When you’re deciding where it will ‘live’, make sure it’s near a power point and that you have enough free space nearby for any rough chopping or peeling etc.
- Check that the parts of the Food Processor are safe in the dishwasher as this can save time on cleanup.
- For a family-sized processor (9 to 11 cups), look for a model that has a motor of at least 600 watts, to minimize the likelihood of the motor burning out.
- Choose a model from a manufacturer who offers service options, a range of additional blades or mixing tools and replacement parts.
- Look for a model with smooth ‘touch’ pad controls rather than raised buttons. This makes it easier to keep clean.
- Food Processors make graham cracker crusts or cheesecake bases a breeze!
- They are ideal for pureeing food for babies. Just cook your regular meal and whizz up a portion for your baby (unless you are having highly spiced food which could upset baby’s stomach!).
- Make your own peanut or almond butter. Simply put shelled nuts into the bowl and grind until it’s the consistency that you desire.
- When shredding Mozzarella cheese, freeze it for 20 minutes first. This will make it shred much more easily and stop it clumping together.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 at
Bundt is a trademarked name for a piece of cookware with a raised middle to cook ringed style cakes. It’s a popular baking pan in almost every home. There are hundreds of styles out there. So let’s look at some of the options available.
Here’s a guide to Bundt cookware.
If you want an authentic Bundt pan then you’ll have to buy a Nordic Ware product. Everything else is just a style of cookware.
Let’s look at some of those styles.
Your first option is a cheap aluminum pan. You can find these in any department store for only a couple of dollars. Aluminum heats evenly this means your cake will come out of the oven without any burned spots.
The only downside to aluminum is you’ll be increasing the fat content of anything you cook. Granted that might not be that big a concern when you’re baking a cake but any little bit you can reduce helps. Aluminum needs to be greased. So if you’re happy with using a non-stick spray or buttering the pan then this will be a good option.
The next type of pan you can use is silicone. It’s a bit more expensive than aluminum but has some great advantages over aluminum.
Silicone pans are naturally non-stick. This means you can just dump the mix into the pan and cook.
Silicone is flexible. Once the cake is finished just flop the thing upside down and you can wiggle the cake out of it.
Finally, silicon dissipates heat quickly you’ll be able to grab it with your bare hands in only a minute or 2 after pulling it out of the oven.
Whether or not you choose Aluminum or silicone there are all sorts of Bundt Cake Pan styles available. Or you want a bundt in a wide range of styles and be assured of success you can always just go with the original Nordic Ware.
Any of them will produce a great yummy cake.
Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at
When it comes to cookware there are plenty of options – metal, Teflon, plastic, wood, and of course silicone. Silicone is rapidly rising in popularity for a variety of reasons.
So why choose silicone cookware?
- Silicone is a soft material, which means it won’t scratch any of your non-stick pots and pans.
- Cleaning: Silicone rinses off easily. It doesn’t hold a smell like wood, or stain like plastic. No more garlic scented spatulas or chili stained ladles.
- Temperature: Silicone will work in any temperature range you have in your home. You don’t have to worry about your ladle melting as you stir up a pot of stew.
- Heat: Silicone is non conductive and won’t hold heat. No more burning your hand if you have to stir something for any length of time.
- Non-toxic: Silicone is a naturally occurring mineral, unlike plastic. It’s safer for you and your family.
- Naturally non-stick: A silicone cooking dish let’s you pop out baked goods without leaving half of it stuck to the pan. Not only is clean up easier but you can cook more healthfully since you no longer need to grease the bottom of the pan.
- Durability: With proper care silicone cookware will last for ages. It’s not going to fray at the edges like plastic.
- Flexible: silicone bends quite easily. This lets you scoop out any food stuck in the corners of your dishes.
- Recyclable: While silicone isn’t biodegradable like wood it is easily recycled, saving trees and energy.
- Style: you can find silicone cookware in any color you need to match your kitchen décor.
There really isn’t any good reason not to use silicone cookware. It’s easy to clean, resists high temperature, cleans easily, and is environmentally friendly. You can find silicone cookware for any culinary need from spatulas to oven mitts.
You can find a range of Silicone cookware at Amazon.com
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at
If you like to bake but hate the mess and problems that often come with the baking process, you may want to add the Matfer Exopat Baking Mat to your cooking arsenal.
This nonstick baking mat is the perfect way to take the stress out of your baking projects.
What is the biggest complaint when baking?
The cookies or candy sticking to the pan and then becoming a mess as you try to remove them, right? Well this mat will stop that from happening. Instead of having to scrape and make a mess of those perfectly shaped cookies, your baked creations will slide right off of the mat, give it a shake and it will be ready to be used again for the next batch of treats. Do not use water, and store it flat or slightly rolled.
This is even better than the old parchment paper cure. With parchment paper you have to cut it to fit and it always seems the roll runs out right in the middle of baking and you have to improvise.
The size of this mat also is great as at 11-5/8″ x-16-3/8″ it is large enough to keep you baking at full potential. If you are a serial baker you may want to get two of them so you always have one ready to go for the next batch of cookies.
The Matfer Exopat nonstick mat is freezer safe and can withstand oven temperatures up to 580 degrees.
Use it over and over – it’s guaranteed to last up to 3,000 bakings.
What We Like:
- It gets rid of the waste and expense of having to use a lot of parchment paper.
- It’s big enough to make a lot of cookies at a time.
- It lets you have perfect cookies every time because they don’t stick.
- Easy to clean just rinse and it’s ready for the next baking project.
- Putting it away is easy as it rolls up and can tuck nearly anywhere.
Other things to consider:
- It’s not dishwasher safe, but it is quick and easy to wash up by hand.
CLICK HERE to buy the Matfer Exopat Nonstick Baking Mat and enhance your baking experience.
Read what others have to say at Cooking.com and Amazon.com
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at
Looking for Easter Inspiration! The Wilton Step-by-Step Bunny Pan will certainly help you get on track.
Simply bake, ice and decorate for a great looking centerpiece for your Easter Table.
Get the kids to help you decorate this happy Easter bunny’s features. Just looking at this Easter bunny brings a smile to your face.
Bake your bunny in this contoured aluminum pan which comes with complete instructions on creating this happy face with its plump cheeks and perky ears.
And if you are feeling adventurous why not design your own one of a kind bunny face using sprinkles, food coloring, chocolate frosting, jelly beans, M & M’s, in fact anything that takes your fancy. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating this bunny.
iOnly takes on box of two layer cake mix.
Aluminum is not only lightweight it is also durable. And it is excellent for when you are baking as it heats evenly.
This pan measures 9-3/4 inches x 14 inches x 2 inches.
Now you don’t only have to use this pan for cakes, you can also use it for bunny shaped molded gelatin desserts and ice cream.
CLICK HERE to buy the Wilton Step-by-Step Easter Bunny Pan