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Pampered Chef Measure-All Cup

by TT May 18th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
Mayonnaise, cream cheese, and peanut butter can prove to be daunting while cooking.  When an exact measurement is needed for a recipe, a standard measuring cup isn't very useful.  Sure, you can scoop the desired ingredient into the cup, but then you need to use a spatula to scrape all of it out of the cup.  It becomes a messy, timely activity.

Although Pampered Chef's Measure-All Cup is not a new item, it is a much needed kitchen tool that solves this problem.  With its two-part design, the cook can adjust the cup to measure the exact amount.  Once the
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Polder All-In-One Timer/Thermometer

by TT April 18th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
As someone who uses a variety of cooking methods, quite often I need to gauge the temperature of the item that I am preparing.  Although there are some who can determine the doneness of meat by touch, that is a skill I have not acquired.  Other items, such as candies, need to be cooked to a specific temperature, which is easier to determine with a thermometer.  Thus, the Polder Original Cooking All-In-One Timer/Thermometer is a commonly used tool in my kitchen.

One of the features that I like about the thermometer is that the display has a magnetic back.  Whether
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Microplane Gourmet Coarse Grater Revisited

by TT February 28th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
Two months ago, I published a review of the Microplane Gourmet Coarse Grater.  At that point I had mixed emotions about this kitchen tool.  Yes, it did a fine job of grating, but I found it to be a nuisance when cleaning, as the handle collected water.  Sadly, residual water in the handle was not the biggest problem I would have with this tool.

The other night we were enjoying a dinner of chili and cornbread and using the coarse grater to top our bowls of chili with cheddar cheese.  Being a semi-firm cheese, it does require a little
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Magic Bullet Blender

by TT January 10th, 2011| Equipment Reviews
Not quite a year ago I wrote about the amazing blender that I own.  Nothing has changed in regards to my affection for this kitchen appliance.  It still provides perfectly smooth frozen drinks and purées soups quite nicely.  However, it isn't the only blender in my collection.

While the Oster blender is the choice for larger batches of foods in  need of processing or anything containing ice, it is large and takes slightly more effort to clean.  Therefore, my other blender is the compactly sized Magic Bullet.  With cups that come in two sizes (12 and 18 ounces), it
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Microplane Gourmet Coarse Grater

by TT December 10th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
Several years ago, I purchased my first Microplane Grater.  I thoroughly enjoyed using the Professional Coarse Grater.  With a sizable grating plane, it worked efficiently.  I used this kitchen tool at least daily, if not multiple times each day.  From grating cheese into a breakfast wrap to topping a lunch salad, this grater was the most used tool in our kitchen.

Besides being useful in grating our blocks of cheese, this tool had other benefits.  The grater was lightweight, making it easy to use for all of our household.  With only a single plane, it is quick to wash, as opposed
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Mini Crockpot

by TT November 16th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
cheddar chenin blanc fondueI am a longtime crockpot user.  In fact, I received my first crockpot as a Christmas gift from my parents when I was in college.  While it tends to be a seasonal kitchen appliance, only coming out during the colder months, it has been quite valuable.  There's nothing quite like the smell of chili or beef stew simmering all day long.  And what could be more fun that a batch of Spiked Mulled Cider on a cold winter afternoon spent with friends?

However, on a Sunday a couple winters ago we were debating what snacks to make for an
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Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker

by TT October 12th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
Santa Fe Quesadilla MakerLast December, my husband became the proud owner of the Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker via a "Secret Snowflake" gift exchange.  While it wasn't a surprise, as all participants had to register for gift ideas, it was a welcomed present.  My husband had chosen this item because our twelve year old daughter is a huge fan of quesadillas, and he thought she might enjoy this kitchen tool.

Almost a year later, I can confirm that she enjoys having this item at her disposal.  In fact, almost everyone in our house enjoys using it, at least everyone who likes quesadillas enjoys using
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Bagel Guillotine by Larien

by TT August 23rd, 2010| Equipment Reviews
All four of our children enjoy bagels.  It's not uncommon to see a bagel being toasted for breakfast or lunch on any given summer day.  Some of the time we stock our pantry with pre-sliced, packaged bagels, and other times we have either homemade or bakery bagels, which need to be sliced.

As all of the kids are old enough to make their own bagels to their liking, we thought it would be best to buy some sort of bagel slicer to make that part of the meal preparation easier.  This purchase would eliminate the need for a cutting board
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Calphalon Unison Slide Nonstick 10″ Fry Pan with Poacher Insert

by TT July 26th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
With a flock of fourteen chickens, rarely do we lack eggs at our house.  Gathering about nine eggs a day on average, there are plenty to be used for cooking, baking, and as breakfast dishes.  While I prefer egg white wraps and an occasional scrambled egg or omelet, the guys in our house are fond of eggs with runny yolks.  Though they can fry their eggs over easy, both my older son and husband prefer them poached.

For a period of a few months, we experimented with ways of poaching the eggs.  Our first attempt was cracking eggs into boiling
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All-Clad Gourmet Accessories Panini with Press

by TT May 26th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
At our house, there is a general feeling of love toward good sandwiches.  When it is make-your-own-sandwich dinner night at our house, creativity surges.  Interesting combinations of meats, cheeses, veggies, and spreads are commonplace.

Although a well-filled sandwich is delightful, a well-filled sandwich that also includes hot, melted cheese is enthralling.   While we could make these sandwiches in the tried and true manner of grilling in a frying pan, the idea of having a panini press was pretty exciting.  We could make toasty sandwiches that would be well compacted and have nice grill marks.

Thus began the journey to find the
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Oster Professional Series Blender

by TT April 28th, 2010| Equipment Reviews
Most mornings I am a creature of habit.  Without the aid of an alarm, I am awake at 6:00.  By 6:15 I am starting that day's workout.  Some time after cooling down, I make my breakfast.  Typically, this breakfast is an egg white wrap or a fruit smoothie.  The egg white wrap never was a problem; cook a few eggs in the skillet, throw them in a wrap, and add some spinach or veggie sausage and cheese, and breakfast is ready.  The smoothie, however, was a bit of a problem.

I've owned a few blenders, and all of them have
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Nespresso Aeroccino Automatic Milk Frother

by TT January 14th, 2009| Equipment Reviews
One of my favorite beverages is coffee.  After breakfast I brew a pot, and as I work from a home office, I enjoy refilling my cup throughout the morning.  I am slightly particular about how my coffee is served, though.  I like it with a pinch of sugar and some skim milk, and most importantly, I like my coffee to be piping hot.  Although I like our coffee maker, once you have added some cold milk, the coffee just isn't hot enough for me.

Or at least, it wasn't.  My dear husband apparently noted my ritual of making a cup
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