Review: Tree Spirit Solid Wood Handcrafted Salad Bowl Review

tree-spirit-wood-salad-bowl.JPGIt’s getting harder and harder to find quality products that are handcrafted these days. Tree Spirit are the exception.

The Tree Spirit Solid Wood 14.5 in Salad Bowl is handcrafted from one piece of solid wood. This means that although these bowls all have the same shape and dimensions, each is unique because of the piece of wood used.

What We Like

  • This will last a lifetime. You will be handing this one down to your children.
  • The bowl has a very simple yet elegant look to it.
  • It is a 22 cup capacity.

What We Don’t Like

  • This isn’t dishwasher safe.
  • This is a pricey item but you are looking at an heirloom here.

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Review: Riedel O Wine Tumblers for Cabernet/Merlot, Set of 2

riedel-o-tumblersIf you  want to have a set of beautiful glasses  for when you are enjoying a glass of wine in the evening, you should look no further than the Riedel O Tumblers, Set of 2 .

Reidel Crystal is known as the worlds top manufacturer of wine glasses, Ask any wine connoisseur and it almost a surety that they have Reidel glassware in their wine cabinet.

The Reidel O series are a lower priced wine glass that has been designed for casual entertaining.

Each set of glasses in the O series are specifically designed to match a particular grape variety and this set of tumblers is suited to the full bodied wines such as cabernet and merlot.

The only problem with traditional wine glasses is that the stems tend to be a bit fragile and easy to break making them somewhat impractical for everyday casual drinking.

This new breed of wine glass tumbler has taken that problem out of the equation. Imagine if the traditional wine glass was removed from that stem and turned into a tumbler, well this how these tumblers are shaped. They still have the perfect shape to cradle your cabernet or merlot and allow the right amount of air and sipping space, but without the stem.

The glasses are manufactured in Germany, from lead free glass. They are dishwasher safe an because they lack the stem they fit nicely into your cabinet or picnic basket.

Each tumbler is just less than 5 inches tall and can hold just over 21 ounces of wine.

CLICK HERE to buy a set of the Reidel O Wine Tumblers for your wine drinking pleasure.


Review: Rachael Ray Bubble and Brown Bakers are Fantastic Cookware

rachael-ray-bubble-and-brown-bakers The  Rachael Ray Bubble and Brown Bakers are just another of the Rachael Ray range of innovative cookware and they are available in two combinations:

1.  The two piece set which consists of :

  • 1  x Quart and
  • 1 x 1½ Quart Oval Baker Stoneware Set (One Small Baker and One Medium Baker)

2.  A  Single Piece :

  • 3 Quart Large Oval Stoneware Baker (Large Baker)

The Bubble and Brown Bakers Measurements:

  • Small Baker with 1-qt. capacity, measures 11.5 x 7 x 4.5-inches. ·
  • Medium Baker with 1.5-qt. capacity, measures 14 x 9.75 x 4.5-inches.
  • Large Baker with 3-qt. capacity, measures 16.5 x 11.75 x 4.5-inches.

I just love these wonderful stoneware bakers from Rachael Ray. For a start, they go straight from the oven (up to 500 degrees) to table and look so pretty. They’re also safe in the freezer so (if you could live without them for a while) you could prepare a meal, freeze it, then (make sure it comes up to room temperature to avoid cracking the baker) put it into the oven and then take it straight to the table. What a timesaver! And only one dish to clean! They’re also safe in the dishwasher!

The design is so original and ingenious. The wide top and shallow sides mean that there is maximum surface area for bubbling and browning…hence the name. You get an extra crunchy topping!

The oval shape cooks better than a rectangular dish so with dishes like lasagna, you don’t get those dried out or overcooked corners.

The glazed surface is non-porous so you can cook anything in it without food interacting and unlike some cookware, strong tastes and smells don’t linger even after washing.

The handles are part of the dish and come up high but the best part is the large holes which make it easy to take the dish out of the oven, even when you’re wearing bulky oven mitts.

Storage is fantastic as the bakers nest inside each other. Do be careful when you pick up a stack of them though, especially if you have the largest one too, as they are quality products and quite heavy!

rachael-ray-bubble-and-brown-bakerThe sizes are good, so you could have an entire dish in either of the large ones, like mac and cheese, lasagna, a casserole, fried chicken, pasta or chili. Or you could have meat or a whole chicken in one and vegetables in the other. Or, you can use them just to use as tableware to serve bread rolls, fresh fruit, salads, dips and crudités…the only limit is your imagination.

As you would expect with a Rachael Ray product, they are very colorful. All of the bakers are available in daffodil yellow, lime green, cobalt blue or her trademark orange.

Two slight, minor grumbles…it would be great to be able to purchase them separately so that you could have one in each color. Also, a 2 quart one would be very useful as lots of recipes use a dish of that size. Maybe I should email Rachael…

Otherwise, these are really fabulous dishes that you’ll wonder how you lived without.

CLICK HERE to buy the fabulous Rachael Ray Bubble n Brown Bakers.

See what others are saying at Amazon.com and Cooking.com

Review: Calphalon Commercial Hard Anodized 2.5 qt Shallow Saucepan With Lid

calphalon-commercial-hard-anodized-shallow-saucepan-with-lid1This Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized  Shallow Saucepan with Lid is a 2½ quart, 8¾ inch diameter, 3 inch deep, straight sided pan with lid.

If you’re considering a Calphalon Hard-Anodized saucepan, my first recommendation would be to read the technical details and description very carefully. This is because Calphalon offer two such saucepans which differ slightly but that difference can make a difference to your cooking.

Both saucepans hold 2½ quarts but differ in their diameters and their heights. The ‘regular’ saucepan is 3? inches deep, compared to 3 inches for this ‘shallow’ saucepan. The ‘regular’ saucepan is 7 inches in diameter compared to the 8? inches offered by the ‘shallow’ pan.

These differences don’t sound like much but if you choose this ‘shallow’ pan, with the lower height and greater diameter, you will have a pan with a higher surface area. This means that more of the pan is in direct contact with the heat because it has a larger base. Therefore, more of the food gets exposed to the heat which gives you faster cooking. It is also helpful when making sauces, gravies or reducing because more of the sauce is exposed to the heat below and air above with speeds up the reduction time.

If that doesn’t convince you, just check out the prices. In general, the ‘regular’ pan cost at least 50% more than this more useful ‘shallow’ one. It’s a no-brainer. The extra diameter gives it lots of room for two or three chicken breasts, a steak, or a vegetables. It’s wonderful for dishes like coq au vin because it can go straight from the stove top into the oven. It’s also oven safe up to any temperature which is an enormous bonus and very unusual.

The anodized aluminum is wonderful to cook with because it is such a great heat conductor so it heats up quickly and evenly. Also, you get the bonus that pure aluminum cookware is dissipates heat quickly, so just taking the pan off the heat is an immediate way to drop the temperature – especially useful if you’re making a sauce or something starts to boil over.

The handle is very strong as it’s got three rivets. It’s also well balanced and stays cool for a longish time on the stove top but it’s still best to keep the oven mitts to hand if you’re cooking something for a long time.

The pan is made from heavy-gauge aluminum so it is quite weighty. The amazing heat conduction means that you have to keep your heat down lower than you may be used to. If you don’t, food will burn and stick and as it’s not safe in the dishwasher, you will be making work for yourself. However, a quick soak in hot, soapy water or a sponging with Bar Keepers Friend will rectify most stuck on disasters.

A really great pan – highly recommended!

CLICK HERE to buy the Calphalon Hard Anodized Shallow Pan with lid.

See what others are saying at Amazon.com and Cooking.com

Review: Circulon 16inch NonStick Roasting Pan with Rack

circulon-16-inch-rectangular-nonstick-roasting-panThis is the Circulon 16-Inch Rectangular Nonstick Roaster with rack measuring approximately 16½ x 3¾ x 13½ inches.

“Because this pan is made from heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum, it is great for cooking at high heats and is very durable. The quality of this pan is great. It feels very sturdy and because the strongly riveted handles face up on the sides, it is quite easy to put it into a very hot oven (and take out again!) without catching your wrists on the sides of the oven…which many of us do, even while wearing oven mitts!

The roaster is oven safe up to 500 degrees so this is a big help!

The rack that comes with the pan is great for keeping poultry or meat off the bottom of the pan. This lets the hot air flow all the way around the food. It also means that the fat and juices can drip freely into the base of the pan and you can then put the pan on the stove top to make delicious gravy. Because it’s got a non-stick surface, just be careful to use silicon or wood utensils if you’re making gravy in the roaster.

Also, because the food hasn’t been sitting in the fatty juices, it doesn’t get a ‘soggy bottom’ and stays dry. You can even flip it over towards the end of cooking to crisp up the bottom!

If you don’t like using a rack, this pan scores points too, as it has high and low grooves that protect the nonstick surface.

Also, because this pan is good and deep, it can easily handle a large amount of drippings from the meat. If you don’t want to make gravy straight away, it’s easy to pour the fat and juices into a heat-proof jug as the grease doesn’t seem to drip down and back on the sides of the roaster, as we have often found when trying to pour liquids out of regular pots and pans. This is not only helpful and safer but makes cleanup easier too.

This roaster can take up to a 25 lb turkey so that gives you some idea of its’ capacity! Great for Thanksgiving…

When it comes to cleaning this pan, the rack is non-stick too, so that the food releases easily from it, leaving minimal stickiness behind. The non-stick surface means that it can’t go into the dishwasher but again, because it’s non-stick, cleanup isn’t too hard. For really hard stuck on food,  just put some hot soapy water into the roaster andleave it on a low simmer on the stove top for ten minutes and the stuck on bits will just float off.

Roasters aren’t the most glamorous things to buy for your kitchen but if you invest in a good one like this, you’ll never look back!”

CLICK HERE to buy the Circulon 16 inch Nonstick roasting pan with rack