Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

What Sold on eBay?

Visit this post and discover a few of the interesting items that sold from my eBay store one fine fall weekend in September.
Frequently, friends and acquaintances often ask me what’s sold on eBay lately and I often receive interesting comments when I do share some of my latest sold items on social media. Therefore, I thought that I would do a review of exactly that – what has sold on eBay recently from my own eBay store. Please come along with me and we will check out a few of the interesting things that I sold one fall weekend in September of 2021.

The items that sold are as varied as the stock is in my eBay store, Treasures By Brenda. However, this weekend the sales included just a few gently used and vintage items and none of my new stock although I do have many new items in store. I have actually heard it said that about 80 percent of the items on eBay are new though I think the platform is best when it helps unite buyers with items that are no longer produced and therefore hard-to-find. I have had the pleasure of reuniting many buyers with beloved items that they had as children or even as adults.

I would like to start by sharing my favorite item but I find myself hard pressed to pick just one so here then are the four fun items that sold arranged in no particular order:

HANDMADE BABY OR LAP QUILT


The colors, the stitching lines and the wavy edges of this handmade lap quilt were absolutely darling and I think made it quite special. If I needed a throw blanket, I might have added it to my collection even though it really featured fabrics that are meant for babies. Someone somewhere put a lot of work into making this lovely piece and now it has gone to a new home where someone new will treasure it. You can see the other quilts that I have in my eBay store by clicking right here.

VINTAGE ORIENTAL DIPPING BOWLS


I am not actually sure what these tiny bowls are for. If you know, I’d love to hear. At two inches, they are too small, I think, to be used for dipping though I have called them dipping bowls. Have you any thoughts on what their original purpose might have been? If you are interested, you can discover some similar oriental dipping bowls on eBay by clicking right here.

MOUSETRAP CHEESE BOARD


This is a novelty gift idea, for sure and one that is sure to surprise guests at your next cocktail party. It is a very realistic Acme mouse trap that is oversized so that you can use it as a cheese or small charcuterie board and we know those boards are very trendy right now. I thought of gifting this item to a family member who once had quite a struggle at home with mice. I’m sure she would have responded with a roll of her eyes and exclaimed, “Oh, Brenda!” You can find your own Acme cheese board here on eBay.

TREMAR CORNISH CHIMNEY SWEEP FIGURINE


Finally, I sold was a little vintage Cornish art pottery chimney sweep or cleaner by Tremar. The company Tremar was located in and named after a village in eastern Cornwall that started producing pottery in the early 1960s. They made pieces that were popular with tourists and that included items like animals, people, vehicles and buildings. Some 'sets' were created to encourage buyers to collect multiple pieces, a technique we know today but was used less often in the middle of the century. The Tremar pottery company closed its doors in the 1980s. You can see all of the Tremar Pottery pieces on eBay by clicking here.

While these items are no longer available in my store, I do have a large stock of interesting and unusual items in my shop. Do drop in!  You can visit my store, Treasures By Brenda, on eBay by clicking here!  

You never know
what I might have
in store for you!
Brenda



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Monday, October 4, 2021

Gift Baskets for every Occasion - Reviewed

 

Gift Baskets for every occasion - Reviewed
Photo By Pixabay

The idea of giving gifts in baskets is centuries old, gifts delivered in baskets have been around ever since someone figured out how to weave a basket.

 

The Holiday season is without a doubt the most popular time of the year to give a gift basket. In the Holiday season, many corporations send gift baskets to their valued customers as a way of saying thank you for your business.

 Many companies give their employees gift baskets during the season, or all year long as a way of saying, “great job”.

 

The Holiday season is a time to bring family and friends together, but sometimes that’s not always possible, as family members or friends move away. Sending a gift basket to a faraway family member or friend is a perfect solution for gift giving.

 

Gift baskets are a practical gift, as the basket or container can be used after the gifts are consumed. Many Holiday basket containers can be used after there’re empty, by filling them with some sort of festive Holiday décor and placing it as a centerpiece on a table.

 

The Holidays are not the only time of the year to give someone a gift basket. The gift basket industry has grown into a multibillion-dollar business a year. Today you can find or make a gift basket for any theme or occasion.

 

Here are some other popular times to give a gift basket, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Halloween, New Home, New Baby, Birthday’s. I guess that I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. As they say, Gift Baskets are for all occasions.

 

Making your own Gift Baskets:

 

Making your own gift baskets is fun and easy. For one thing, you can choose the items in the basket to be specific to the person you are giving them to. For example, a coffee or tea basket, a chocolate lovers’ basket, how about a fruit of a cheese basket. Here is a neat idea, A Bakers Basket for someone who loves to bake.

 

Here is something that many of you may not know. Some years ago, when I was out of work for a while, I started making and selling gift baskets.

 

No, I didn’t get rich or turn it into a thriving business, but I sure did have fun making and selling gift baskets. I finally had to give it up when I got a new job but I still enjoy making my own gift baskets.

 

Here is an article that I wrote on my review site. Make a Halloween Gift Basket. It is a gift basket for kids, look and see just how creative you can get with the different ideas for items. The instructions in this article would apply to any gift basket that you want to make.

As I said, making your own gift basket is fun, easy, and creative. So, you can make your own or buy one. Either way gift baskets are a great gift giving idea.


More Gift Ideas from ReviewThis here: ReviewThisGifts.com

Wine Country Gift Baskets Gourmet FeastWine Country Gift Baskets Gourmet FeastCheck the PriceSpa Baskets for Women, Spa Luxetique Spa Gifts for Women, 8pcs Rose Bath Gift Set Includes Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, Best Gift Set for WomenSpa Baskets for Women, Spa Luxetique Spa Gifts for Women, 8pcs Rose Bath Gift Set Includes Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, Best Gift Set for WomenCheck the Price

 




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Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Christmas Riddles Book - Stumped Riddles Book Seven

Christmas Riddles - #Stumped Volume 7

When I write a new riddle book, I'm always excited when it's completed! "Christmas Riddles" is the seventh book in the StumpedRiddles Book series and is officially completed, published, and available on Amazon.

What is the Stumped Riddles Book Series?

I've always had this crazy ability to write riddles. Since learning how to self-publish books, I took the leap from publishing a poetry book to writing riddle books. To date, I've written and self-published seven riddle books, with Christmas Riddles being the seventh.

Christmas Riddles - The Book's Details

Like the other riddle books in the Stumped Riddle Book series, Christmas Riddles features eight chapters with ten original riddles per chapter. This book's chapters are broken down into riddle topics as follows:

  1. Santa Claus
  2. Christmas Trees
  3. Holiday Lights
  4. Winter Season
  5. Holiday Foods
  6. Festive Things
  7. Family Time
  8. The Meaning of Christmas
Here's a Sample of a Riddle in the Book:


Riddles for the Whole Family

The StumpedRiddle Book series is written for teens, adults, and bright kids. Ages 8 and up should be able to solve at least some of the riddles. The riddles featured range from easy to slightly difficult, thus giving everyone a chance at solving one or more.

These riddle books can also be played as a game. The game rules are simple:

Game 1

. Use a timer
. Decide on the amount of time to allow for a riddle to be solved
. Choose a person to read the riddle out loud
. The first person to shout the answer out correctly gets the point

Game 2

. Choose a person to read the riddle out loud
. Everyone writes down their guess of the riddle answer
. Put all the answers in the middle of the table
. Each person who guesses the correct answer gets the point

Additional Ways to Use The Stumped Riddle Books:
  • Teachers can use them to challenge students
  • Gifts for teens or teachers
  • A family hostess gift
  • Stocking Stuffers
  • Contest Gifts
  • Party Prizes
  • Personal Challenge
  • Distraction
Amazon eBook Preview Below - If you're unable to see the preview below, here it is directly. 



Stumped Riddles Social Media:
I'm excited to announce my expansion into another series of activity books - keep your eyes peeled for these ones!




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Saturday, September 11, 2021

Review of Woodland Forest Animals as Soft Toys

The definition of a Woodland is a place that features trees, grasses, shrubs, and other plants. A Woodland Animal is one which finds this their natural habitat. Therefore, a deer would be found in a Woodland, but not, for instance, a Zebra.


There are a great many creatures that would be found in a Woodland, including deer, bears, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, birds, bees and butterflies. Crafters love to create a representation of these animals as soft toys for the delight of children. Thus, we shall look at a few of these creations in this review.



Woodland Animals in Fabric


Woodland Squirrel



These felt squirrels are the perfect addition to a woodland themed nursery or make a snuggly companion for small creature lovers. Found in the Etsy Shop of Sweetest Soybean, where Children's items are lovingly handmade in Sarah's home studio in Madison, Alabama.


Woodland Fox



The sweetest little woodland plush, one adorable fox in rich autumn orange.

This cute little guy is made completely from super soft poly fleece in rusty orange, with black and white details.

Orange Fox is made completely from fabric, and stuffed with extra soft and plush poly fiberfill.

Handmade by Lily of Salem, Wisconsin and featured in her Etsy Shop Wild Rabbits Burrow


Woodland Frog



For those who like to sew and create cute stuffed animals, Paulina of My Scrappy Ideas has created this adorable frog pattern available in an instant download.


Ribbit the Fearless Frog has many faces. That is because he can be anything out of the following:

  • a very soft and cuddly plushie; (a terrific friend for your child during endless hours of fun)
  • unbelievably cute door stop, (guarding any desired room)
  • decorative item somewhere in your hallway; (to make your Guests feel at home)
  • or a welcome gift (that for sure will not only immediately make a way to your friend’s house, but certainly to his/her heart as well!)
  • and last but not least: a frog is always a clear sign of spring!


Woodland Animals in Yarn



Choose a handmade crochet woodland animal with long legs and arms from this collection which includes a wolf, a fox, a bunny and a big stuffed reindeer.  The Warm Cats Etsy Store created these adorable animals which are perfect as nursery décor or plush playmates for children.


Woodland Owl



Amigurumi Owl in Crochet. Plush Toy Owl. Gray Owl Stuffed Toy. Cute & Cuddly Plush Owl. Handmade Kawaii Cutie. Nursery Décor. Gift for Kids. Soft and cuddly toy owl woodland creature.

Handmade by Pat and found in her Etsy Shop Coastal Crochet Crafts


Summary of Plush Woodland Animals


Felt Woodland Animals on Etsy

The Woodland forest may be the natural home of real-life animals. But a plush Woodland Creature can easily live in a child's toybox or perched on their bed or cuddled in their arms. A fun and safe way for children to enjoy the world of these wild Woodland animals.


*Woodland Forest Animals as Soft Toys - review written by Wednesday Elf





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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How to Choose the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers

Fine mesh strainers are used for many different types of cooking, baking and food preparation tasks, from sifting powdered dry ingredients for baking or garnishing baked goods to straining sauces and custards, rinsing uncooked rice, quinoa or beans, and draining pots of cooked pasta. 

When the sieves I inherited from my mom that had served us both for decades eventually needed to be replaced, shopping for replacements turned out to be more challenging than I could have anticipated. 

In this review, I'll share my advice on how to choose the best fine mesh kitchen strainers for your needs as well as my product reviews for the fine mesh sieves I purchased nearly five years ago and recommend highly.

How to Pick the Best Fine Mesh Strainers for Your Needs: 3 Pro Shopping Tips
Learn how to be a savvy consumer when shopping for fine mesh kitchen strainers.

3 Pro Shopping Tips for Choosing the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers for Your Needs.


Think About How You Will Be Using Them.

When shopping for fine mesh strainers, the best choice will depend on what you want to use them for. The ideal diameter, depth, handle, weight balance, durability, wire mesh size and stiffness will be very different for mesh sieves used primarily for sifting cocoa powder, flour or powdered sugar than for those used mainly for straining fresh raspberry seeds or draining a large quantity of just-cooked pasta. 

So, before you start researching or shopping for new fine mesh sieves, take a few minutes to think about the types of tasks you want, need and expect your new strainers to perform well.

Consider the Most Important Product Features and Characteristics for Your Specific Uses. 

Once you have made a list of the things you want to use your new strainer(s) for, it's time to educate yourself about the different types of materials, construction, mesh fineness, and other options available in models at different price points and think about which ones might be best suited to your needs, priorities and budget. 

For example, if you are shopping for a small strainer for steeping loose tea in a cup or travel mug, an inexpensive model made of a very finely woven nylon mesh material might do the best job of filtering out the tea leaves. On the other hand, if you also want to be able to sift or dust small amounts of cocoa powder or confectioners sugar, you might decide to go with a more expensive, stainless steel model that has a stiffer wire mesh and a slightly looser weave, the tradeoff being that it wouldn't be quite as effective at filtering out the small, powdery bits of tea leaf. 

Similarly, having a comfortable, contoured, riveted handle (and preferably two) may be a priority if you are looking for a large-capacity, heavy-duty strainer, but a thinner, flatter handle attached with spot welding might be fine if you only need a small or medium size strainer for lighter-duty tasks.

Stay Focused on Your Needs As You Compare Fine Mesh Strainers and Read Product Reviews.

Whether a review is positive or negative, consider the author's praise or complaints in the context of your own needs and priorities. Also keep an eye out for negative fine mesh strainer reviews based on inappropriate assumptions or unreasonable expectations. 

Reviews by reputable industry experts can be extremely valuable, but it's important to consider how well the reviewers' evaluation and rating criteria match for your own needs, preferences and intended uses for the product. 

I learned this firsthand at the beginning of 2017. A few weeks after I bought a Cuisinart set of small, medium and large strainers that I wanted just for the two smaller sizes, Cook's Illustrated published a fine mesh strainers equipment review (subscription required) that rated the Cuisinart set as "not recommended." Since I trust and respect the America's Test Kitchen staff's opinions, I was dismayed by the low rating for the set I had just bought. However, when I looked at the reviewers' product selection criteria and the performance tests they had devised, I saw that many of the features, specifications and use cases they had focused on (e.g., approximately 9" diameter, stiff, extremely fine wire mesh baskets, handles that were comfortable to hold over an extended period of time, long, wide hooks that fit easily over both medium and large pots and bowls) weren't relevant to the small and medium Cuisinart strainers or the types of tasks for which I had chosen that set. 

On the other hand, those criteria and tests were extremely relevant to my needs and wants for the much sturdier Kukpo 9-inch strainer I had purchased to complement the small and medium sized Cuisinart sieves. If that Cook's Illustrated equipment review had been published one month sooner, I might have had second thoughts about buying my $14 Kukpo, despite the $45 price tag of the only "highly recommended" model, the Rösle 7.9-inch Stainless Steel Round Handle Kitchen Strainer

So, keep your own needs in mind as you are reading fine mesh strainer reviews and looking at product features and specifications. Also, remember that no strainer can do every job equally well and be open to the possibility that investing in more than one might be your best bet, depending on how many things you want to use them for.  

Recommended Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainer Reviews 

Here are my personal product reviews for the best fine mesh kitchen strainers I purchased to replace the much older ones I had inherited. The ones I am recommending have been in frequent use in my kitchen for at least several years, show minimal signs of wear and continue to meet my quality and performance needs and expectations.

Kukpo Stainless Steel Double Fine Mesh Strainer Review

If you are looking for a large, versatile, affordable sieve that does a good job at a variety of kitchen tasks, the Kukpo Stainless Steel Fine Double Mesh Strainer, 9 Inch Diameter is an excellent choice.

This sturdy, inexpensive Kukpo 9-inch stainless steel fine double mesh strainer can handle most straining, sieving and sifting tasks well.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Practical size. The basket rim is 9" across and the fine wire mesh basket itself is about 8" wide at the top and 3.25" deep, large enough to easily drain a pound of cooked pasta, but not so large that it's unwieldy.
  • A versatile workhorse. If you're looking for a single, good quality, inexpensive fine mesh food strainer that performs well for most uses, I highly recommend this 9-inch Kukpo model. It's great for straining stock, sauces, yogurt, custard, frying oil and coffee grounds; separating milk solids from melted butter for clarified butter or ghee; rinsing rice, beans, lentils and grains such as quinoa; straining seeds from fresh berry purée; and sifting flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa or powdered sugar.
  • Durable construction, including two riveted handles. Unlike many fine mesh strainers, this one has no gap between the wire mesh screen and the rim/frame where bits of food residue can get stuck and be hard to remove. It also has two handles that distribute the weight more evenly and are riveted to the rim rather than spot-welded, making it more comfortable and well balanced to hold when draining a large volume of heavy food, such as cooked pasta.
  • Two layers of fine wire mesh for better strength, stiffness and filtering ability. Doubling the mesh creates a stronger, sturdier basket that holds its shape better and resists denting, despite its size, even when mashing fresh strawberries, raspberries, or confectioners sugar firmly against the mesh to strain the seeds or break up hard lumps.
  • Dishwasher safe stainless steel. I generally prefer to wash my fine mesh sieves by hand, but it's nice to be able to run them through the dishwasher occasionally to sanitize them more thoroughly. This one has an all stainless steel construction that doesn't rust, not only in my own experience but also in those of many other customers, according to their product reviews. 
  • 100% money back guarantee. Although I couldn't find any details about the terms of this guarantee, quite a few Amazon customers have raved about the company's outstanding customer service in their reviews. 

Cuisinart Set of 3 Mesh Strainers

I've found that pairing this set of three Cuisinart stainless steel strainers with the larger, sturdier, 9-inch Kukpo double mesh strainer covers all the bases for any use I can think of.

This set of three Cuisinart mesh strainers is excellent for light-duty tasks like dusting desserts with cocoa or confectioners sugar, rinsing berries and juicing lemons.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Three useful sizes. This set includes 3 1/8”, 5 ½”, and 7 7/8” diameter fine mesh sieves.
  • Great for less strenuous tasks. The two smaller sizes in this set are ideal for things like straining loose tea leaves, dusting powdered sugar or cocoa over desserts, washing a cup of fresh berries or string beans, or straining the seeds while juicing a lemon. The largest one is fine for sifting a couple of cups of dry baking ingredients and similar light-duty tasks, but the spot-welded handles and thinner wire mesh make it too delicate for heavier contents and more demanding applications that require the sturdier Kukpo strainer.
  • Surprisingly inexpensive. At the time of publication, this set of three cost less than $14 on Amazon. Even though I prefer the 9" Kukpo to the 7 7/8" strainer in the Cuisinart set, I consider that a very good value, even for just the small and medium sizes.
  • Dishwasher safe stainless steel. I haven't found a single speck of rust on any of mine after nearly five years of frequent use.
  • Limited lifetime warranty. Cuisinart offers a limited lifetime warranty for its products if you register your purchase with them. I haven't been able to find any information about what it covers for this strainer set. 

Bonus Tip: Use a Stiff, Thin-Bristled Brush to Dislodge Any Food Particles Stuck in the Fine Mesh

Whether you plan to wash your strainers by hand or in the dishwasher, I highly recommend inspecting the fine wire mesh carefully for any bits of food residue that might be stuck. It's best to wash and check the mesh as soon as possible after use, since any clogs will be much harder to dislodge if they are allowed to dry inside those tiny openings. If you need more time, just submerge the strainer in hot water and until you are able to clean and inspect it properly. 

I have found that small, dense brushes with thin, stiff bristles, like the two in the OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set, are the most effective tools for clearing stubborn food particles from the fine wire mesh. 


How to Choose the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers by Margaret Schindel


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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Five Great Grandpa Aprons

Discover five fun aprons for the grandfather in your life!

My grandfathers are both gone. One I did not have the pleasure of knowing; the other, I knew as a child and as a teenager. I have fond memories of him and remember him as being quiet and gentle at least to his three grandchildren. I remember him offering support by just being there. My mother often tells me that when I was a baby my grandfather often checked on me, making sure that I was okay whether I was sleeping or playing.
Five Great Grandpa Aprons

I never had the opportunity to give my grandfather an apron and, to be perfectly honest, it would not have been a suitable gift idea for him. A man cooking was definitely not the norm of the time or in our family. However, we all know that is different now and if there is a grandpa doing the cooking and/or grilling at your family get togethers, one of the grandfather-themed aprons reviewed here on this page ought to make a fun, affordable and practical gift idea.

Everybody knows that grandpas are perfect at least in the eyes of their grandchildren, which is what the first aprons celebrate. 

Listed in no particular order but shown somewhere in the picture opposite this text, our first apron reads Nobody's Perfect but if your name is Grandpa, You're Pretty Damn Close. Find it here on Amazon. 

Next up, The Best Grandpa Ever apron. Available in a number of colors, you will find it here on Amazon. 

If you want a grandfather-themed apron with a grilling reference the Best Grillin' Grandpa Ever apron, found here, ought to suit.

Another choice with a barbecuing reference would be the Grandpa to Some Bar-B-Q Master to Others apron, which seems appropriate for the grandfather who takes a lot of pride in his grilling skills. I love how colorful it is. It is shown in the top box in the picture opposite the text and you will find it here on Amazon.

A personal favorite of mine is the Great Dads Get Promoted To Grandfather apron, which I think would make an amazing gift for a new grandfather or for a grandfather who does not yet know that he is going to be a grandfather. Wouldn't that be a fun and totally unexpected surprise from the expectant parents or of course for any man who has already been promoted to grandfather. Find it on Amazon here.

Edited after publication to say that I found one more great Grandpa apron. This one is also cute for the grandfather who is intensely into his grilling be that in a good or not-so-good way. Stand Back, Grandpa is Grillin' is perfect for a serious griller or for grillers like my husband and father-in-law who are sometimes perhaps a bit distracted when manning the barbecue. Find it on Amazon here

That's it, my short list of five six fun aprons for the granddads you love. Which one suits your grandfather best?

See you
in the kitchen!

Stand Back, Grandpa is Grillin' Apron
MORE APRONS:

Check out a fun debate and maybe even throw in your two cents worth.

A page of How to Make an Apron resources.
If you love sewing and even if you are not experienced, you will find a host of ideas for making aprons on this page.

Curious about the famous chef's apron? Learn about it here.












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Friday, September 3, 2021

Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven Reviewed

Countertop Oven Review
When my oven went out for the second time in a year, I knew I needed an alternative so I searched for the best countertop oven for baking. Discovering the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven has been like finding a riverbed of gold!

Not having a working oven in our home is a major inconvenience. It has taken months to get the circuit board parts for repairing our built-in double ovens (twice). I understand there is a backlog and some parts are simply not available at this time. However, cooking dinner for my family can't wait for months, or that proverbial "slow boat".  

Of course I cook on the stove, in my Instant Pot, in my Crockpot and in the microwave. However, we love pizza, lasagna, manicotti, chicken enchiladas, roast, salmon, casserole style dinners, plus various breads, baked sides & desserts, which require an oven. I use my oven for something almost every day.  Therefore, this time, I had to find a separate countertop oven to carry us through until my double ovens are fixed.  

At the time of writing this article, my double ovens are still waiting for repair and I have been using my Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop (Convection option) Oven multiple times each day for weeks now. I am here to tell you, this little countertop oven is fabulous!  I have decided it actually does a better job of baking bread than my large convection oven. Therefore, even after my ovens are repaired again, I will continue to use this magnificent work-horse appliance.


Why Choose the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven

Countertop Toaster Oven Review
Previously, I did not want a countertop oven because I was warned that they get really hot on the outside.  Plus, most have small interiors and are very limited on what they can cook well.  It seemed like it would be a waste of counter space.

When desperation forced me to reconsider and research countertop ovens, I chose the Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop Oven simply because it is "cool touch".  The outside of the oven doesn't get hot! Plus, I read that the interior cooking space was a little over 12" x 12", which is large enough for a variety of pans. Even though I have needed to purchase smaller cookie sheets and a casserole dish without handles separately, I would like to note that the oven did come with a 12" pizza pan and a baking pan that fit the oven. That allowed me to start cooking immediately.

My first baking experiment for the "little oven" was my banana bread.  My standard loaf pan fit in the oven without any problem.  You can imagine my surprise when I pulled out a beautifully browned loaf of bread, followed by the real test of cutting into it to find it was fully baked with no under-cooked center spots.

Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven
I was beyond excited to serve it to my family for breakfast.  I admit, that was the best ever banana bread and I've been baking banana bread for decades. Next, we baked biscuits and they were also cooked to perfection.

Then we tried pizza and it was perfect!  Followed by broiled beef sausages.  Admittedly, my husband prefers a charred skin on his beef sausage, but I thought the beef sausages were better than usual because the skin wasn't burnt.  Then came the clincher, the one meal that sold me on believing this convection countertop oven is better than my built-in ovens. I baked my lasagna and it was cooked perfectly.

In the midst of a stressful major appliance outage, this little oven has delivered peace and perfection! 

I give the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven my highest recommendation.

 

Features of the Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster Oven

 Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Countertop Toaster OvenCheck Price
  • Cool Touch Exterior
  • Large Interior Capacity
  • Convection or Standard Oven Settings
  • Oven Light
  • Non-stick Interior
  • Easy to Select & Set Cooking Options
  • Easy to Set Timer
  • Preheats Really Fast
  • Preset cooking functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, (Bread) Proof, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, & Dehydrate 
  • Keep Warm & Defrost Buttons
  • Wire Cooking Rack with Optional Upper or Lower Position
  • Included Accessories: 12" Pizza Pan, Baking Pan, Dehydration Basket, & Crumb Tray
  • Does Not Heat Up the Kitchen like a Regular Oven
  • 3 Year Warranty - Product Registeration at Calphalon.com


A Few Placement Notes
  1. While the sides and top are cool touch, the bottom and back are hot, therefore I pull the "little oven" out about 4" from the wall when using
  2. The Electric Cord is on the right side of the back, not the center.  This keeps the cord away from the heat of the back, but might limit placement depending on where your electric outlet is installed
  3. The Cooling Vent is on the right side and should not be blocked.
  4. Rubber Feet on the Bottom create a 1½" separation between the counter and the bottom of the countertop oven
  5. Exterior Measurements:  19" wide x 12½" height x 17" depth (including handle)
  6. Do Not Place Hot Food on the Glass Oven Door  
  7. Print the User Guide Here

My New Lasagna/Casserole Dish That Fits This Countertop Oven




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Monday, August 30, 2021

Real Men Don't Wear Aprons, Do They?

Real men don't wear aprons, do they? What do you think? Join the debate now.

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS, DO THEY?

What do you think? Real men don't wear aprons do they? This page is dedicated to the issue of whether or not real men wear aprons. Are you a real man? If so, do or do you not wear one? Herewith find a friendly and occasionally funny debate about whether or not men actually do wear aprons. Please participate in the comment section at the bottom of the page and be sure to share this page with others so that they can add their voices to the debate. Do real men wear aprons?

HEY BANANABRAIN! REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS!


Hey, BananaBrain! Real men DON'T wear aprons. Doesn't matter how many fantastic men's aprons you find, Brenda. I'm not going to put one on, no way, no how! 

But maybe you don't feel that way. Maybe you are a MAN WITH AN APRON in which case you're going to want to vote for them.

This page is meant as a bit of fun and has been moved from where it originally was posted on another website. Therefore, the names of the commenters have been changed to protect their real identities. 

REAL MEN DON’T WEAR APRONS. DO THEY OR DON'T THEY? HERE'S WHAT THE PEOPLE HAD TO SAY:  


Anonymous: They do.

VLC: Yes.

SJ: "Just" an apron? :) My wife wouldn't care if I wore newspaper as long as I cooked!

WV3: Hmm, I think it's fine, I just don't know any who do!

Anonymous: Unless they are cooking something extremely messy. Or they're wearing nice clothes.

LM24: The only aprons we have in our house are for the kids. My husband does most of the cooking.

QS: A real man would just get in there and take care of business, apron or not. Especially if he could get a little dirty and the wife is the one doing laundry!

J: I thought that ties provide enough protection while cooking.

MPA: Well, if you are using apron as a metaphor for cooking then yes, but I have never worn an apron in my life!

HLM: I don't wear an apron. Neither does my wife.

KT: Real men can't find an apron!

Anonymous: No, Real men do not wear aprons!

JI: Yes!

SD: Unless the apron is to be used as a giant bib it would be useless! LOL

EK13: I don't even know any men who can cook, let alone wear an apron. =P

Anonymous: Well, my man doesn't wear an apron, just like he doesn't know how to "clear as you go" when he cooks. But at least he cooks!

L22: I don't but never thought about it either so I just figure no you don’t see it every day.

CSM: Well, my husband does not wear an apron, but I sure wish he would. I do the laundry!

Anonymous: Aprons are for wimps - cook, get dirty and then get your lady to clean you up!

MRE: Mine doesn't but then he only makes toast.

Mrs: I don't even own an apron so I don't think the hubby is likely to wear one!

Anonymous: Aprons are protective apparel; nothing more, nothing less. If you are doing "dirty" stuff, cooking, washing dishes, etc. whilst wearing good clothes wear an apron! If you are going to work in the garden, wash the car, paint the house; dress appropriately - ie wear old clothes, no apron needed.

Anonymous: Chefs, meat cutters, welders, bike mechanics wear aprons. Real men wear whatever they want 'cuz they are men and are not afraid of what others might think.

ViJ: Real men don't care what others say. Real men are confident in any skill they've got and comfortable in their own skin.

NV: Ouch, dahling.

Anonymous: Bobby Flay wears aprons.

Anonymous: Part of the grill experience is having beer, meat and the smell of flesh on the grill. You can choose to wear an apron or you can choose to carry a towel around or you could take part in the third option and wipe your hands on your shirt and walk around the party with grease stains on your shirt. While you’re at the third option, you may as well put on a half shirt with your beer belly hanging out the bottom. If wearing an apron takes your man hood, I don't think you had much to take. Of course, this all said is intended for a manly apron wearer not the flowery apron you stole from your wife before the divorce.

Anonymous: Real men wear aprons, when and only when I want them to. Otherwise, they're kept starkers. ;D

Anonymous: Why not? Nothing is wrong with a nice PVC apron. It keeps you clean when cooking and is easy to clean after you finish.

E L S: I wear my apron for all the fellas who can't or won't and I'm quite OK with that!

Anonymous: No problem - pinafore or smock style, but no frills and certainly no stupid half aprons.

SE: Real men are sexy men and sexy men cook :-) They have to be able to throw together a good meal, or the ladies will find someone who can!

KTC: Men definitely do wear aprons. How about when doing a BBQ? There are some great BBQ aprons out there. Make sure the BBQ-er has a beer in hand at all times and that's manly! (Find a great selection of Sizzlin' Hot BBQ Aprons here.)

MR: If women can wear tight jeans, men can wear sexy aprons!

LH: Oh yes, they do. My very best-selling Zazzle product is the King of the Grill BBQ apron but hubby only wears a leather apron and that's only for when he's welding. Hmmmmmmm. (I couldn't find LH's apron but I found a fun selection of King of the Grill aprons on Etsy here.)

Anonymous: "Real Men" Any man that has anything worth protecting down there would be wise to wear an apron when working with hot food. Taking a bath in hot caramel is never fun.

Anonymous: Of course, they should wear aprons. Full length. PVC.

CRLM: Real men are totally sexy in aprons. (It has to be a manly apron though.)

Anonymous: Real men wear aprons - PVC when dishwashing

Anonymous: They do.

Anonymous: At a church supper, you want to be able to mingle, without being covered in slop! Working under different, sometimes rushed conditions, with a new crew - stuff happens, and the resulting "decorations" are not always pretty.

Anonymous: Yes, absolutely they do! Real men do AND look pretty good in them as well. (I know I do.)

Anonymous: This idea, that wearing an apron makes you less manly is silly. My carpenter and butcher wear aprons... does that mean they are any less manly than anyone else. Real men can and do wear aprons! RTV LM: My hubby loves his apron I had custom made for him when he grills and, LOL, I can attest he's a real man ;)

VS: I started wearing aprons in 1975 when I went to work for Howard Johnson's. As a manager, we had to run the line in the kitchen most of the time but be presentable for the front of the house as well. I kept an extra set of clothing in the office for emergencies like bending over a deep fryer and dipping in your tie but aprons saved me many, many times! I've kept the habit.

RW: My husband wears the apron in our family -- and it is sexy!

PI: Yeah, they do but only if there is something really stupid written on it.

TG: I never wear an apron myself and neither does my husband, but that's just because I don't like to put them on and off again, but I don't truly see why men can't wear an apron if he wants to. I always wear trousers, does that make me less feminine? And yes, if a man likes to cook and keep his clothes clean, he should wear an apron of some sort.

Anonymous: I love to see my men folk in aprons

Anonymous: It takes a real man, secure in himself, and no need to prove his "machismo" to wear an apron.

Jack: Chefs wear aprons. Men that aren't chefs wear them when they cook, if they're not girlie aprons.

IM: I have met a REAL man, a manly man and he uses an apron now and then.

Anonymous: Sure they do, sometimes.

Anonymous: Yes, some do wear aprons 24/7.

GW: Real men can do anything!

Anonymous: Well, as long as they are not girlie aprons, LOL.

EW: Real men can really wear aprons!

Anonymous: Men who know that the healthiest foods are home cooked are the 'smarter' men. What makes them even smarter is that they choose to wear aprons because they know that aprons keep their clothes clean while they cook those healthy meals. Eat that ! ;)

TAWA: Lots of men wear aprons and can still be manly. (Sure a frilly pinafore isn’t making anyone feel THAT masculine but DANG FLABBIT ITS AN APRON!!) MY POINT IS MEN JUST WEAR A DANG APRON! Sheesh this is like saying real women don’t wear pants!

Anonymous: To say men do not wear aprons does not make sense really. All kinds of professional men wear aprons. In Freemasonry, we give aprons as awards.

JC: I worked for several years as a cook in restaurants and residences. You better believe men wear aprons when they cook for a living. As for around the house, well, they do it they barbecue, I think. Anonymous: Dirty apron = clean clothes PL: Yes, he does, well, maybe not all of the time. In fact, this just gave me the idea to write a page about my man in his apron. I'm sure he won't mind, will he? This is a fun debate, deserving of 5 aprons.

EJA: My husband is all man and he's more likely to wear an apron than I am.

AG LM: When I meet a REAL man, I’ll let you know. I’ll know he is real as he WILL be wearing his apron and not hanging onto my apron strings, he he he.

Anonymous: Real men can and do wear aprons

HB: Chefs wear them and many of them are "real men."

KTBTEN: Real men fry tofu -- it can be wise to wear an apron when stir-frying tofu in a wok over very high heat.

Anonymous: Real men DO wear aprons. They do.

WWH: We don't own any aprons but they seem to be really fashionable!

R7: I know one man who DOES wear an apron occasionally but to be honest I haven't seen many people in aprons period. Men or women.

BD: Real men aren't afraid to wear aprons and I like my man in nothing but an apron.

LK: My real men wear footie PJs! Aprons, too!

TD: Real men don’t care what other think... :)

SD: Mine should and I wouldn't mind as long as he's doing the cooking!

SLM: Well, let's just put it this way. Before I ever did any cooking apart from a braai (barbeque), I wouldn't have been caught dead in an apron. However, lots of men wear funny aprons at a braai. Now, however being forced to cook, I'll put on the wife's apron. Handy to wipe your hands on.

K: They wear aprons, but they never tie them in the back - just hang them over their neck and go.

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Before you vote, here is an opportunity to add a good, solid, basic apron to your man's wardrobe. 

The first one shown below is by Chefs Work and is simple but durable and receives top marks from the reviewers on Amazon. Check it and the reviews out for yourself on Amazon by clicking right here

Chef Works basic striped apron receives solid reviews from users. Perfect for the apron-wearing man in your household.
The second apron also shown below is for those already converted to wearing an apron, reads Real Men Wear Aprons and is available in a host of colors. Find it on Amazon here.

Perfect for the man who cooks and wants to protect his clothes. Real men DO wear aprons!
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Phew! If you made it this far, now is the time. It is your turn to add your voice to the debate. Please don't let the previous comments change your opinion but do add your thoughts. What do you think? Do real men wear aprons or not?

See you
in the kitchen!  

MORE APRONS:






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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Julia Child's Apron

Learn a bit more about Julia Child, the famous television chef and author's apron!

The pandemic world sent many people who previously spent little time cooking into their kitchens where many learned that a good apron protects your clothing from stains and can also keep your kitchen tools (and your cellphone) close at hand. There are many styles of aprons but, if you want to follow the lead of Julia Child, the famous American chef, cooking teacher, author, and television personality, you should know that she preferred her aprons plain and sturdy. Pretty and frilly, she felt, is not useful. She once said of a pretty apron that was gifted to her, "Oh, Dearie, dainty doesn't do in the kitchen."

That quote comes from EllynAnne Geisel’s 2002 HuffPost interview with Julia Child on the eve of her ninetieth birthday. They discussed Child’s apron memory and Child told Geisel that she had not worn an apron at all until she met her husband Paul and that she then adopted the Cordon Bleu tradition of wearing a blue denim apron with a towel draped over the ties at the waist. It makes sense that the Cordon Bleu (and Child) wanted an apron that was simple and serviceable and that the towel is better for wiping hands on than the apron.

On Geisel’s blog post, she says that she recorded an hour-long interview with Child and that the recording is safely tucked away for safekeeping. Wouldn’t you like to hear that interview? 

In the 1970s, Child was a cooking icon and Saturday Night Live created a parody skit. According to the L.A. Times, Child was delighted and agreed that “cooking is often messy...” When faced with mess, Child continued on and was, I am sure, glad she had her apron on.

AN APRON LIKE THE ONE JULIA CHILD WORE?


I went looking and could not find an apron exactly like the one that Julia Child wore. However, I found this interesting denim apron by Chef Works that should prove suitably durable and that has two pockets and a tie for tucking that all important towel into. Shown here is the full-length bistro apron that is available with or without a bib as well as in varying lengths. Find Chef Works' denim bistro apron on Amazon here.

Here's an apron, reminiscent of the one Julia Child wore. Denim, with pockets for kitchen tools and an all-important tie for tucking your towl into.


JULIA CHILD APRON ADORNED ORNAMENT AND DOLL


Julia Child fabric ornament by Silk Road Bazaar


Julia Child wooden peg doll by Peg and Plum.

In my search, I also found these two great gift ideas. That is, a Julia Child fabric ornament by Silk Road Bazaar and a Julia Child wooden peg doll by Peg and Plum both of which wear an apron, are from Etsy and would make unusual gifts for any fan of the television chef.

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If you’re curious about the famous chef, you have probably already seen the movie Julie and Julia  starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. But did you know that in 2021, HBO picked up a new television drama series called Julia? It is currently in production with no release date available as of yet but I know some of us are waiting to watch the series.

See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Sizzlin' Hot BBQ Aprons
Julia Child picture used via Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0.








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