Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale

EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale

I've been wanting a kitchen scale for two reasons. First, I want to learn to bake macarons. Macaron recipes are very specific and you have to weigh each of the ingredients. Second, I have absolutely no idea how much food weighs. Whenever I am faced with any kind of diet, I always guess when it comes to how much food weighs so I'm probably eating twice as much as I should be even when I call myself dieting.

I was excited to have the opportunity to review this scale, the EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale from EatSmart. This scale is light weight, affordably priced, and comes in several color choices.

This scale is one of the smaller scales in the EatSmart line of products and is perfect for my needs as a home cook. Fortunately, tt is simple to use and comes with easy-to-follow directions. It doesn't take up much space in my kitchen cabinet. It was definitely a welcome addition to my kitchen tools.

To use the scale, place your bowl on the scale. Hit the TARE button to reset the scale to zero. Select your unit of measurement and add your ingredients. I was quite surprised to actually see how much food weighed as opposed to what I thought it weighed. Now, I know how important it is to weigh your portions whenever you're cutting back or following a specific diet.

The scale has four units of measurement: grams, kilograms, ounces and pounds. This is an important feature, especially in baking. The ingredients for macarons are measured in grams.

This is 25 grams of sugar. I would never have been able to estimate the weight of the sugar and certainly would never have been able to convert it from ounces to grams. Having this scale has opened up a world of baking possibilities for me, a world that I hope to be able to share with you soon.

If you've been considering adding a kitchen scale to your home, I highly recommend the EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale. I know I'll be using it for years to come.

Disclaimer: EatSmart provided me with the produce for review; however, the opinion expressed here is my own.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Joining the "Young Chefs" Blog Tour

I'm happy to be part of the Young Chefs Blog Tour through Cedar Fort Cookbooks. Young Chefs is a new cookbook by Christina Dymock. The cookbook is designed for teaching children cooking skills and is filled with kid-friendly recipes.
The first part of the book provides children with a glossary of cooking terms to familiarize them with the language used in the kitchen. After that, there are step-by-step photographs that demonstrate different cooking processes to teach children how to correctly and safely perform tasks such as measuring dry ingredients and liquids, cracking an egg, taking food out of the oven, and using a sharp knife.

The recipes that follow are divided into traditional categories such as breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, sides, and desserts. Each recipe features a Tool Box that tells us exactly which tools will be needed to complete the job. My son chose to make one of the featured sandwiches. The tools he needed for this job was a plate and butter knife. 

Of course, adult supervision and help is needed with most of the recipes. But, that's the fun part of being in the kitchen with your children - sharing the tasks. I fried the bacon for his sandwich. If we would have had pre-cooked bacon, he would have needed no help at all. He also requested toasted bread for the sandwich. Since we don't own a toaster, we toast our bread in a skillet. This is one of the tasks that my son has mastered recently - toasting the bread in the skillet (with my supervision). He enjoys flipping it with a spatula. I also had him wash the lettuce and gather all of the ingredients for the sandwich.

He was quite proud of his accomplishment. He said it had always been a dream of his to have a club sandwich at home. We ended up preparing these sandwiches on Saturday and Sunday. He couldn't get enough.

The recipes in this cookbook are simple to prepare and will appeal to both children and adults alike. I love the idea of a cookbook that is geared towards engaging children in the kitchen. My sons are eight and ten and have recently taken an interest in learning to cook their favorite dishes. Now, we have added a cookbook to our collection that they can consider theirs. I'm looking forward to more dreams coming true in the kitchen.
Disclaimer: Cedar Fort provided me with a copy of the cookbook for review for the blog tour; however, the opinion expressed here is my own.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Tovolo Bug Pops

With two young sons, I go through plenty of popsicles during the warm weather months which are plentiful here in Georgia. Last summer, I started making homemade popsicles to supplement the boxes of ice cream sandwiches, push pops, and tubs of vanilla ice cream that were flowing through my freezer doors.

When someone asked this question on Facebook, "Which ice pop molds do you recommend?", I immediately answered, Tovolo. In addition to these cute Bug Pop molds that Tovolo provided me for review, I've gone out and purchased these Groovy Pop Molds and Ice Cream Pop Molds. I already owned these classics, the Rocket Pop molds. There are several reasons that I think these molds are superior to some of the other molds that I've tried in the past.


First, these molds are made with thick plastic so both the molds and the "sticks" are sturdy. Second, these molds seem to be larger than others so they hold a larger amount of frozen goodness. Finally, these molds release the ice pop easily after running under hot water for a minute or so.

The Bug Pop ice molds were different from the other Tovolo molds that I have in that instead of having the ice pops together in one tray, they were divided up into two pops per tray. Aren't the trays cute? They're leaves with a bug bite in them. Why did I like having three sets of two pops instead of one tray of six? Having them divided like this made them easier to place in different spaces in my freezer. I tucked a set on two different freezer shelves and even stuck one set in the freezer door. That comes in handy if you have limited freezer space.
I use a simple recipe for my ice pops. Mix one small box of Jell-o gelatin with one pack of Kool-aid and one cup of sugar. (I'm a purist in that I use the same flavor of Jell-o and Kool-aid together, but mix it up if you like it like that.) To this mixture, add two cups of boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. After gelatin is dissolved, add three cups of cold water. Stir well and pour into the molds. I recommend using a bowl with a pouring spout to make pouring into molds easier. This recipe makes approximately 12 ice pops. Freeze overnight for best results.
If you have a bug lover in your family, you've definitely got to get these molds. But, even if the Bug Pops aren't your thing, definitely look for the Tovolo brand when purchasing ice molds. Don't worry! Just because they are high quality molds doesn't mean that they're expensive. I've purchased my molds from T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods and paid between $5-$6 a set. That's not too much to invest in a little summer fun!
Disclaimer: Tovolo provided me with this product for review; however, the opinion expressed here is my own.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chef'n Product Review: Stem Gem

I was pleased to have the opportunity to review several products from Chef'n here at A Well-Seasoned Life. I'm sure that you've seen Chef'n products in your favorite kitchenwares stores. Everything that I received from them was high quality and I can't wait to give each product its own feature here on the blog.
First up is the Stem Gem, a strawberry huller. Yes, it's strawberry season so it is the perfect time to try out a product like this. Isn't it the cutest thing? It looks like a little strawberry itself. As far as kitchen gadgets go, this is a fairly small one that won't take up much space in your kitchen drawers. It's also highly effective and I'm happy to add it to my collection.

As you can see, the huller has a claw-like grasp. It's quite simple to use and only took me one or two strawberries before I got the hang of it. You open the claw with the green button on top, plunge it into the strawberry stem, release the claw, then give it a little twist. The stem comes right out of the strawberry and leaves a nice little space to fill with goodies such as whipped cream, chocolate, or cheesecake filling. Yummy!

In the past, I've avoided making stuffed strawberries because I didn't want to be bothered trying to core the strawberries. I figured I would either cut too deeply and tear the strawberry in half or I wouldn't cut deeply enough to have room for the filling. But now, with the Stem Gem, I will be a strawberry-stuffing fool! When is the next party?
If you love strawberries or have creative uses for strawberries, you will definitely want to consider adding the Stem Gem to your wish list. It's one of those gadgets that you didn't know you needed until you have it!

Disclaimer: Chef'n provided me with the product for review; however, the opinion expressed here is my own. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

GIR: Get It Right Spatula Review and Giveaway

Photo provided by GIR: Get It Right

If you were to ask me what was the one kitchen gadget that I couldn't live without, I would answer a spatula. I've had many spatulas over the years from many different companies. However, I have finally found the ultimate spatula from GIR: Get It Right.