Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts

Monday, January 7, 2019

Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick Perforated French Bread Pan Review

Baguette loaf bread pan.
Years ago I purchased a bread pan that I really liked. Currently, with the cold and gloomy weather, I've been in the mood to bake some bread. I have a couple of bread recipes that I can rely on producing successful loaves of bread. The Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-stick Perforated French Bread Pan is the pan I depend on when I want baguette-style loaves of bread. 

The Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-stick Perforated French Bread Pan has nearly a 5 star rating on Amazon which supports my belief that the pan is a main reason I'm successfully able to bake these small bread loaves.

The first time I used the pan, I made a small Wheat Irish Soda Bread loaf. I was afraid the dough would stick badly in the perforations and I was afraid the loaf would break. I sprayed the pan very lightly with cooking spray. After the loaf was baked, I ran a spatula along the sides of the bread to make sure it wasn't stuck before I tipped the loaf out of the pan. I was concerned for nothing. The bread was not stuck to the pan at all.  Also, because of the holes and the shape of the pan, the loaves come out evenly baked, nicely shaped, and delicious. 

The Chicago Metallic Commercial pan is non-stick and clean-up is super easy. When I am finished baking and after the pan has cooled a bit, I soak the pan for a couple of minutes in hot soapy water, to get any bits of bread out of the air holes. I follow the soak with a rinse in hot water.

I'm not much of a baker and my skills at baking bread are fairly new. I started with Irish Soda Bread. It was my first success at baking bread because it did not require yeast. It was also a very dense, heavy bread. Later, I became really good at baking two different breads that require yeast: Peasant Bread and Patara's Bread Recipe

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this pan. I think that everyone who enjoys baking bread should have one of these highly recommended bread pans. I purchased the two-loaf pan but for those of you who bake more than I do there is also a four-loaf pan available.




The next bread I want to learn to bake is a Subway Sunflower Crunch bread. Their bread is delicious. I feel more confident experimenting while using the Chicago Metallic Commercial pan. I hope I am able to find a sufficient copy cat recipe. Wish me luck.

Related Link: 

Sam on Ahead of Thyme blog shares a sunflower seed bread recipe. I have chosen this sunflower seed bread recipe to try first because the ingredients list seems to be the closest to what the Subway restaurant version tastes like to me.





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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hobby Time from the Review This! Contributors




hob·by - an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. 

January is known as National Hobby Month.   The contributing writers here on Review This! each have their favorite ways to enjoy a relaxing pursuit and have written many reviews of various how-to books, crafting supplies and DIY tutorials, gardening tips, recipes & kitchen aids for the cook, photography lessons, reading or listening to music, sports, and a host of other hobbies. 

These are but a few of the hobbies enjoyed by the Review This crew. The list of hobbies is almost endless.  If you are interested in looking for what we writers here have reviewed, type in the name of your 'hobby' either in the box in the top left-hand corner of any Review This page, or in the search box down the right-hand side. By looking at the author's name, you won't have any problem figuring out which HOBBY is each writers' favorite! For instance, mine  (Wednesday Elf) is crochet and my hobby is shared by several other contributors here, so we learn and share with each other. A more comprehensive list is shown below.


National Hobby Month




Begun by the Hobby Guild of America in 1955,  National Hobby Month was celebrated in April until 1976, then in October until 1986.  Since then, it has been celebrated during the month of January. 

January was most likely chosen for National Hobby Month as it is the beginning of a new year and a good time to start a new hobby.  Many people have never had hobbies during their working years or while raising a family and begin one in their retirement or after the children are grown.  Others try many hobbies throughout their life before finding one or two that gives them the most enjoyment. 


Hobby Examples on Review This!



Hobbies can be passive (such as crafting, reading, writing, listening to music or watching a movie) or an activity such as gardening, cooking or participating in sports. Many people have more than one hobby and often combine them, such as listening to music while crafting. 

In addition to writing reviews here on Review This!, most of the contributing writers here write for their own blogs and websites.  Writers consider writing to be more work than hobby, so time away from writing is important. That's where the activities done in our leisure time become such a pleasure. It is also interesting to note that the passion we feel for our hobbies is shown in many of the subjects we write about.


  • Barbara Tremblay Cipak (Brite-Ideas) is crazy about country music and frequently writes about the artists and their music she is so passionate about.  She is also loves to experiment with color in home décor. 
  • Dawn Rae does crochet and participates in a group of fellow jeep owners.  She also enjoys gardening and lately 'learning about homesteading'.
  • Cynthia Sylvestermouse is a freelance writer and photographer who loves all different kinds of crafts, including crafting in the kitchen, creating fancy cakes and cupcakes. 
  • Barbara (BarbRad) is an expert on books and loves to read.  She is also a nature photographer who most enjoys photographing her central California area. 
  • Mary Beth Granger (MBGphoto) is a fabulous photographer who continually takes photography classes to learn more.  Photography has become her passion in her retirement, along with traveling.  Lighthouses and beaches are her favorite subjects. 
  • Wednesday Elf loves crochet and needlework, watching baseball and reading. 
  • Beverly Owens is busy researching her Native American Indian heritage and loves to write about spirit animals and the wisdom of her ancestors. She also enjoys crocheting. 
  • Olivia Morris loves gardening and following the fashion world.
  • Brenda Little (Treasures By Brenda) collects coffee mugs and researches the history of vintage cups and other vintage items which she shares in her eBay store.  She also loves reading, great movies, cooking, and pop culture. 
  • Diana Wenzel (Renaissance Woman2010) enjoys an off-the-grid lifestyle where she pursues her interests in animal rescue, wonderful nature photography, and DIY projects. She also loves to read. 
  • Louanne Cox (Lou16) loves reading, 80s music, zombies and dolls, among a host of other interests. 
  • Heather Burns (Heather426) is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Her hobby is her artistic accomplishments, including the colored pencils she has created for coloring pages and coloring books. 
  • Coletta Teske is a published book author and loves to sew. 

These are just the highlights of hobbies and interests I have observed from the articles they publish and the interaction we have as a team here on the staff of Review This!.  I am sure there are other interests each of them have.  


Quick View Home Page



By clicking on the Quick View Home Page button at the top of any Review This! page, you will have weekly examples of many of the articles your hobbyists here enjoy (plus many non-hobby reviews).  

Stop by the comments section and tell us your favorite hobby or activity. The Review This! staff would love to hear about what gives you pleasure in your leisure time.

(c) Written by Wednesday Elf on 1/20/2018







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Monday, December 5, 2016

Easy Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie Recipe Review

I have always loved Snickerdoodle cookies. I remember eating them as a child, growing up in Amish country. I love eating fresh baked goods - cookies, breads, and pies. Unfortunately, I have very little time to spend in the kitchen so I am always looking for tasty shortcuts. This is a super fast, easy, and delicious way to bake something we call Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie.


Why and How I Make Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie


I regularly bake brownies (from a box mix, of course). Brownies from a box are quick, easy, and fairly fool-proof. Even for me. I love eating cookies, but because I'm fairly lazy in the kitchen I rarely bake cookies. After all, dropping cookies onto sheet after sheet and having to be attentive to the oven every few minutes seems like a lot of work to me. I end up burning more cookies than I bake successfully. Because of these tendencies, I thought I'd try to make bar cookies using Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix. 

I have used the different Betty Crocker cookie mixes and have found every single one tasty and dependable. I know what I am getting when I buy this brand of cookie mix. I recommend this cookie mix for folks like me who aren't very talented in the kitchen. Or for people who have minimal time for baking.

After experimenting with a 8" square baking dish and just one pack of cookie mix, I then experimented with a 10 1/2" round baking dish and two packs of cookie mix. I do like the 8" baking dish with one package of peanut butter cookie mix (just follow the directions) but for the Snickerdoodles, I prefer the round dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 T water
  • only 1 of the packs of cinnamon (included with each cookie mix package)
  • optional - crystal sugar sprinkles

also:
  • Baking dish 10 1/2" round and at least 1" deep baking dish
  • non-stick cooking spray

Step-by-Step directions:

pre-heat oven to 375 
set butter in dish and warm to room temperature



set the cinnamon packs aside

add cookie mix (both packages) to the bowl
add eggs and water

mix together



lightly grease the bottom of the baking dish

sprinkle approximately 1/4 of one of the cinnamon packs in the bottom of the baking dish




drop the cookie dough by large spoonfuls into the dish flatten/spread slightly

(the dough is very thick. Trying to pour then spread is only successful in pulling the cinnamon up from the bottom of the dish)




sprinkle the cinnamon remaining in one packet on the top

(you can choose to use both cinnamon packets, but I prefer less cinnamon. I simply save the extra packet for use on toast or oatmeal)



optional - during the holidays I use red and green crystal sugar in addition to the cinnamon




bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes

test for doneness with a toothpick or small wooden skewer
when the skewer pulls out clean, bake for an additional few minutes

(I bake for an additional 5 minutes. If you end baking as soon as the skewer comes out clean, your cookie pie will be doughy in the center.)




cool, slice and serve

can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream




Notes:

You will need to adjust the length of baking time for your oven, elevation, and preference. I prefer my cookie pie to be a bit on the doughy or under-cooked side. You may prefer yours cooked through a bit more. 

As I was preparing this article I noticed that the Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix is less expensive in Amazon's Prime Fresh category than it is at my local stores. Be sure to check out the lower prices if you are an Amazon Prime and Prime Fresh member.







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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's National Banana Day!

National Banana Day happens on April 20th and for all of you that don't have a calendar handy, that just happens to be today.

Now I don't know about you, but for me, bananas are not just monkey food, they are the best people food too.  After you are finished eating them, don't throw away the peel either.  I'm not going to suggest eating it, but did you know that you can bury it in the ground around your rose bushes and they will love all the nutrients that are coming to their root systems.

No mess and no waste, all of that banana goes, first, to feeding you, and then the peels, into feeding your garden.

Picture courtesy of Pixaby : I love My Minions and my Bananas
Bananas are one of Nature's most perfect fruits.  They are very high in vitamin B6  and low in sugar. They also contain essential minerals, Vitamin C,  and dietary fiber.  While bananas also contain potassium, they are not as high in potassium as other fruits and vegetables.  Having said that, you will still get a good amount of potassium,  8% of your daily requirements from a banana that weighs about 100 grams.  You get more potassium from beans, apricots, carrots and bell peppers, but they aren't nearly as ready to eat as that beautiful yellow skinned banana. (USDA)

What is really neat about bananas is that they help to regulate your blood sugar and cholesterol.  They are good for people who are having issues with their heart.  Bananas have also been studied in relation to High Blood Pressure and found to be very effective in regulating blood pressure in many people.  That is good news if this is something that worries you.  


Different Ways to Use Bananas 


I'm always interested in ways that people use bananas other than just peeling and eating them.  I love to peel them, cut them up and then layer them with ice cream either chocolate or vanilla.  If I've had a bad day and you make me a bowl of ice cream and banana, I will be a happy camper.  There is also the perennial standby of a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I don't know anyone, regardless of age that doesn't like that for a treat (unless of course you have a peanut allergy).

Banana bread is always a welcome treat too.  There are so many recipes with different variations, but the same soft moist and nutritious outcome.

In my kitchen there is always a banana available.  Those banana hooks are pretty good at keeping them from getting all bruised.  They are right there in the open for anyone looking for a healthy snack. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and not a whole lot of sugar.  So perfect for anyone who is watching their waistline too.  Quick and easy to eat, nutritious and delicious and really good for you.

When you buy too many bananas and they start to go brown, you don't have to make banana bread right away if you don't want to.  Just peel the bananas and place them into a Ziploc Bag, freeze them and when you are ready to make a banana dessert, they will be ready too.

Basic Banana Bread Recipe:


2-3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar (you can make this 1 cup if you want it sweeter or 1/2 cup if you like less sweetness)
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 4x8 loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Stir in the melted butter.
Add to the mixing bowl,  soda and salt.  Stir in the sugar, beaten egg and vanilla extract. Add flour,
mixing until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.  Test with a skewer, when it comes out clean, the loaf is done.

Remove from oven and cool completely.  Remove from the pan.  Use a serated knife to cut into slices.

That is the basic recipe from Simply Recipes (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread), but you can add chocolate, nuts, cherries, dates, and a host of other additions to make this banana bread your very own.  I have used this recipe so often, and each time I try a new addition.  I have not been disappointed yet.

It is moist, delicious and nutritious. Banana bread is always a good seller at Bake Sales too!  You can also freeze it, just in case unexpected guests arrive.

Some things that may help you keep Bananas at the ready in your house.....







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Monday, November 24, 2014

Best Bread Recipe for Kitchen Dummies

Thanksgiving and the holidays are quickly approaching. This time of year brings discussions of celebrations complete with good food and good company,  As a result, I found myself getting into the baking spirit.  I began to look for easy bread recipes.  Historically, I have not been able to make bread that contains yeast with any success.  But I have found a recipe, of a bread containing yeast, that I am able to bake with reliable success.  I am thrilled about it and I will share that recipe with you in a just a minute. 

First, I want to begin with why I love homemade bread.  My mom sometimes made breads such as banana nut bread and zucchini bread.  As a child, I could help make those types of delicious breads. I haven't made a loaf of banana bread in decades and have recently asked around for a good recipe. 


Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Sylvestermouse shared her banana bread recipe with me. I am excited to add this recipe to my baking successes. With the exception of having bananas most of the time, not all of the time, I always have the necessary ingredients in my kitchen. I can almost smell the banana bread baking now. 


I also spent part of my childhood raised with Amish folks, farmers, and other women who baked their own breads.  Bread recipes that called for yeast. Since I was not able to get my breads to rise properly, I look for an alternative.  I have been baking wheat Irish soda bread for some time now.  The recipe does not call for yeast, which is why I've been able to bake it successfully.  We love this full-bodied, whole grain, dense bread.  I make long loaves in this amazing bread pan and we partner our soda bread with soups.  I don't end up baking this wheat Irish soda bread often enough and the Mister ends up asking me to bake some more.  

Photo by Dawn Rae
One Thing that has been indispensable when it comes to baking my Irish soda bread has been this amazing bread pan.  I had experimented with baking the soda bread in the traditional round loaf, in a little bread pan, and then finally in this loaf pan.  I love the pan.  And if you bake bread, you may end up loving this pan too. 

Now, I will tell you about this amazing white bread, with yeast, recipe that even I can bake.  Alexandra describes it as the easiest bread you will ever bake. She is not exaggerating.  She gives step-by-step instructions for every bit of the yeast-proofing and bread baking. There are videos and photographs, but even without the videos, she describes the process in a way that made perfect sense to me.  I made her mother's peasant bread in the round bowls a few times before switching to a small square baking dish that worked beautifully too.  I have not yet baked it in my amazing loaf pan, but you can bet I'll try that soon. 

Since I found Alexandra's mother's peasant bread recipe, we have not been without homemade bread in the house.

As I said, Alexandra's tutorial about baking peasant bread comes complete with photographs and videos. So, in case there is any doubt that you should also try baking this bread, I will leave you with this tempting video: 



Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with Amazon.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of  Amazon  products.








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