Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Friday, November 8, 2019

Chocolate Covered Fruit DIY Recipes Reviewed

Fruit Trays Are Fabulous!

 Chocolate Covered Fruit DIY Recipes Reviewed - Chocolate Fruit Tray
Fruit trays have been gracing event tables for many years. Whenever friends or family are planning a wedding shower, baby shower, tea, reception or party, I always volunteer to bring the fruit tray.

For decades, I have prepared Chocolate Covered Strawberries for my family. Purchasing chocolate covered strawberries from a candy store, can be very expensive. Making my own, is inexpensive and easy.

One day I was preparing a fruit tray for a gathering and I decided to take a side dish of chocolate covered strawberries as a special treat. I looked at the prepared fruit tray sitting next to the chocolate covered strawberries and I thought, "why not dip all of the fruit in chocolate?" That is how my chocolate covered fruit tray began. 

Over the next few days, I tested different fruits dipped in chocolate and allowed my family to be the judges. We have found that there are a lot of fruits that we love dipped or covered in chocolate.

This will probably be the first time you have seen some of these fruits covered or dipped in chocolate. After all, the day I prepared them, it was the first time I had seen most of them. 


Chocolate Dipped or Chocolate Covered Fruit Recipe


Preparation to cover any fruit in chocolate begins basically the same way.
  1. Wash and dry the fruit.
  2. Peel, if necessary.
  3. Melt the Chocolate

Some of these fruits have special instructions.

You may wish to visit the individual article for each one. Some articles have examples of large chunks fully covered in chocolate, as well as slices with dipped tips.


Virtually any fruit can be dipped or covered in chocolate. Let me know if you find one I haven't made or featured. I would love to try it!

Chocolate Fruit Tray Recipes

Make a Special Treat


Chocolate covered fruits are wonderful treats anytime.

Either one makes a great afternoon snack, a simple dessert or even a special treat for the lunch box.

Just select your favorite fruit, melt your chocolate and start dipping!







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Chocolate Covered Fruit DIY Recipes Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2009 Cynthia Sylvestermouse - This Article was originally published on a website that has closed.
 



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Monday, August 12, 2019

Nonni's Biscotti Reviewed

Nonni's Biscotti Reviewed
Looking for a light and airy snack? Perfect to accompany a nice cup of tea or coffee? Nonni's biscotti is a yummy alternative to the after meal cookies and sweets or a mid afternoon snack.

Biscotti The Alternative Snack

The biscotti are made with real butter, eggs and sugar. No preservatives or artificial flavors are used in Nonni's recipe.

Each biscotti is individually wrapped which is very user friendly and keeps the biscotti fresh. The biscotti are light and airy yet crispy. These are perfect for those who like to dunk a crispy treat in their coffee, tea or milk.

These are a very nice alternative to sweets and cookies, but remember that biscotti does translate to a crisp cookie or biscuit. Biscotti is the plural of biscotto and biscotti are traditionally twice baked to obtain the light and dry consistency.

Who Is Nonni?


Nonni is the grandmother of the founder of Nonni's Bakery. The lore of the biscotti recipe began with Nonni in Lucca, Italy an area of Tuscan. The family recipe was then brought to America over a century ago.

Flavors Of Nonni's Biscotti


There are quite a few flavors for the Biscotti!


  • The Originali
  • Cioccolati
  • Dark Almond Chocolate
  • Limone
  • Salted Caramel
  • Toffee Almond
  • Turtle Pecan
  • Triple Chocolate


Where To Buy Nonni's Biscotti


The Biscotti are not inexpensive at our local independent grocer or brand name grocery store. I have found the selection and prices are much better on Amazon. If you'd like to look for Nonni's in your area, check the retail store locator here.

Amazon has a very nice variety pack of Nonni's Biscotti which has four flavors of the Biscotti: Originali, Limone, Turtle Pecan and Cioccolati. The biscotti are much lower priced online than I found locally.


Biscotti are a nice change of pace for those who like sweets and snacks. The flavors are subtle so no need to be worried about being over powered by the flavors. 

As they used to say, "Try it - you may like it!" The tagline of Nonni's is Nobody treats you like Nonni's!





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Friday, March 15, 2019

Minestrone Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot

Minestrone Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot
When Bev reviewed the Instant Pot here on Review This Reviews, I knew I had to have one too!  It immediately went on my own Christmas wish list.

Mom and Dad granted my wish and gifted me with an Instant Pot, plus a fabulous Instant Pot Cookbook by Jennifer Smith.  It is listed as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon and there is an excellent reason why.  It truly is packed full of great recipes for the Instant Pot, as well as tips and Instant Pot use instructions.  I was extremely grateful for the use instructions!  The instructions that came with the cooker were not as clear as Jennifer Smith's instructions in her published cookbook.

One great recipe in my new cookbook is the Minestrone Soup recipe.  One of my all time favorite soups is minestrone soup, but before I had my Instant Pot, I had never made it at home.  It was always a specialty that I treated myself to when we dined at our favorite Italian restaurant.  However, I no longer have to dine out to have excellent minestrone soup!  


Minestrone Soup Recipe from the Instant Pot Cookbook
by Jennifer Smith 
 

Minestrone Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot
I made few changes to Jennifer Smith's minestrone soup recipe, but they were simple changes.  I add more carrots and less onion.  Plus, I leave out the garlic completely.  I've never been a fan of garlic and find that I prefer this soup without it.

I am sharing my version of the Minestrone Soup recipe for the Instant Pot, but you can certainly have Jennifer Smith's original version if you wish to purchase the cookbook.  It really is worth buying.  There are several other great recipes in it that I have already tried and love.  Without it, I might have ended up returning my Instant Pot.  The recipes and instructions that came with it were confusing and unappetizing. 



Minestrone Soup Instant Pot Recipe


Ingredients

Minestrone Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 of a White Onion
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 2 large Carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Spinach, chopped
  • 1 Cup Elbow Pasta or Bow Tie Pasta (bow tie shown, but either is delicious)
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth (I use Simple Truth Organic)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 15 oz can White Beans  (I use Great Northern Beans)

 Directions

  1. Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting Saute.  Add & heat the oil 
  2. Add the onion, celery & carrots.  Saute for 5-6 minutes in the heated oil, stirring constantly
  3. Stir in basil, oregano, salt & pepper
  4. Stir in diced tomatoes, chopped spinach, pasta, broth & bay leaf
  5. Press the Cancel button to stop the Saute function
  6. Close and lock the lid.  Select Pressurecook button and cook on high for 6 minutes  (note:  it takes a few minutes to heat to cooking temperate.  The cooker timer will not start counting down until it reaches the high temperature.)
  7. When the timer beeps, let the soup sit for 2 minutes, then use the quick release valve on the lid to completely release the very hot steam.  Carefully unlock and left the lid.
  8. Add the White Beans and stir
  9. Remove the Bay Leaf that was used for seasoning.  They are not very tasty to eat.

Now, it is ready to serve!



Instant Pot Use Tips
Based on My Personal Experience


The Instant Pot has a few things that are totally different than any other cooker that I have ever used. 

Instant Pot Lid Diagram - Minestrone Soup Recipe
First to note is the steam release valve on the top.  There is a lot of hot steam and pressure that builds up inside the pot and that hot steam must be released before you unlock the lid.  The Instant Pot makes that easy with the release value on the lid, but you need to stand back away from the steam.  I also recommend pulling it out and away from the underside of your top kitchen cabinets.  It will cause a moisture buildup on your cabinets if you allow the steam to release under the cabinet.  The steam release takes at least 30 seconds to fully disperse.  There is a secondary pop-up valve indicator on the lid that lets you know when it is safe to open the lid.

Second to note is the timer and recipe cook time.  The recipes tell you the cook time, but that time does not include the heating time.  The Instant Pot temperature must reach the cooking point before the timer will start counting down.  That takes several additional minutes for my Instant Pot.


Instant Pot Control Panel - Minestrone Soup Recipe
Third to note is the difference in the recipes cooking selection buttons versus how my Instant Pot buttons are labeled.  For instance, this recipe states to "select Manual", but my Instant Pot button is labeled "Pressurecook".  I am guessing that is based on the age or model of your Instant Pot.  You will need to familiarize yourself with your Instant Pot buttons before you start cooking with these recipes.

Selecting and Setting the Timer is a little confusing at first.  It is like a digital alarm clock or automobile clock.  You turn the knob to make a selection on the display and then press the knob to change the timer numbers.  Perhaps that is just me, but I thought mine was broken the first time I used it.
 

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More Instant Pot Soup Recipes



A delicious recipe for potato soup cooked in an InstantPot will delight your taste buds and fill your tummy.

Potato Soup Cooked In InstantPot ReviewedInstant Pot Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
This instant pot easy chicken noodle soup will surely warm you up on those cold winter days. We are just loving our new Instant Pot.




Minestrone Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse







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Friday, March 8, 2019

The Famous Wigleys Corned Beef Reviewed


When I see St. Patrick's Day on the calendar I immediately think of corned beef and the traditional Irish boiled dinner. Actually an authentic boiled dinner is the perfect comfort food year round in our household and if you are from an Irish depression era family - well, Grandma did tend to excel at boiling :) !
Wigleys Famous Eastern Market Corned Beef. The best corned beef in Detroit reviewed.

Wigleys Famous Eastern Market Corned Beef provides the perfect mix of seasonings and high quality corned beef that allows the flavor of the corned beef to shine while the seasonings enhance the corned beef versus overpowering the beef.

Who Is Wigley?

Wigleys dates back to the 1880’s in England and the Wigley family meat recipe.  Job Wigley arrived in Detroit in 1924 with the Wigley family meat recipe along with the vision of the American dream. The family tradition continues to this day with Job’s grandson Tom continuing the Wigley business.

What Is Eastern Market And Why Is It In The Name Of Wigleys Corned Beef?

Established in 1891 Eastern Market was originally a market for wood and hay. Additional sheds were added in 1921, 1926 and moved to its’ current location. The end of W.W. II brought the wholesale food industry to the market. Hence why Wigleys Corned Beef has Eastern Market in its’ name.
Photos courtesy of CC 4.0:  Sarahebrowning,
Bill Whittaker, Etx313
Eastern Market is renowned in Detroit and the metro Detroit area. Before farm to table became trendy, vendors at  Eastern Market have provided the freshest meats, seafoods, vegetables, spices, candies,  flowers in an open air market.  Enjoy the amazing murals, antiques, art and crafts throughout the market as a destination stop for locals and tourists.
Whether it be for corned beef or flowers, Eastern Market is a treasured Detroit tradition and institution which was recorded to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978. Wigleys and its’ corned beef is an integral part of the tradition.

The Fool Proof Corned Beef - How To Cook Wigleys?

So easy and so fool proof! Wigley’s corned beef is packaged pre seasoned; the seasoning surrounds the corned beef like a marinade.  Simply remove the corned beef from the package and squeeze the seasoning from the package and into the pot. Cover the corned beef with cold water and simmer. Depending upon the size of the brisket the corned beef will be ready in 3-4 hours.
Perfect every time!

Where To Buy Wigleys

If a visit to Eastern Market is not possible Wigleys is available throughout the metro area at grocery stores and specialty markets.  




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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

IKEA Food Reviewed

And You Thought It Was A Furniture Store!

ikea has food
IKEA image courtesy of pixabay.com
We recently visited the new store that just opened in our area and were surprised that IKEA food was even an option. My husband and I were prepared to see interesting types of furniture in the huge store. Well, let me rephrase that. We had heard from others that we should be sure to try the meatballs while there.

To be honest, I had envisioned something like Costco or a weekend at any given grocery store where there are people offering samples of food to try. I wasn't sure why IKEA would offer samples other than a sort of hospitality type gesture. Perhaps I thought that it was a way to celebrate the Swedish culture and their style of meatballs. Was I in for a surprise? You bet ya!

It seemed like there were miles and miles of furniture. The place is huge! Let me tell you the place is a virtual maze of interesting vignettes of ideas for the home or office. I oooed and ahhhhed at every corner, but I digress. There are signs overhead to guide you to different areas and at one point I noticed that the sign showed that we were on a path that would lead us to the restaurant. I said to my husband, "These people have thought of everything! Since this place is so enormous, they know a person can get hungry from all of this walking. So, they feed you too!" I should probably mention that upon entering the store we saw an area for parents to drop their children off so that they could shop in peace. Anyway, we headed for the restaurant...

It appeared that others had entertained the same thought, the place was packed with people. We got in the cafeteria style line and quickly got waited on. I chose the meatball dinner and my husband chose the salmon dinner, both were very reasonably priced. Oh my word! The food was really good. My meatball dinner included five or six meatballs, mashed potatoes and a vegetable dish of carrots and cauliflower. The potatoes and meatballs had a gravy like sauce over them and there was this other stuff next to the meatballs that almost looked like cranberry sauce. Well, I was in heaven! 

I really liked the gravy like sauce that covered my mashed potatoes and some of the meatballs. I said to my husband that I would really like to get some of it to use at home. Turns out, I could get some right there in the store along with frozen meatballs and all sorts of other food items. Who knew, right?

For some reason I only purchased one packet that day. Silly me! I was delighted to see that there is an option to get the cream sauce online!

Oh, and that stuff that looked like cranberry sauce on my plate. First of all, it was extremely good and tasted great when I dipped a piece of meatball in it. It was not a Swedish version of cranberry sauce but instead it was Lingonberry jam. This stuff is awesome! Kind of sweet but also tart much like cranberry sauce. I enjoy it with meat but it is also good on a piece of toast in the morning.

So, here is the deal. If you find yourself close to an IKEA store, you need to go inside. Prepare to spend some time there because there is a lot to see. Treat yourself to some of their food! I'm telling you; you will not be disappointed! By the way, the salmon that my husband had was wonderful. You can buy it frozen in the store, too. 



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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review of Favorite Banana Bread Recipe

Bread for Fall Menus

When the weather turns cool my thoughts turn to baking and baking breads is one of my favorite fall activities.  I have tried many recipes over the years and have combined different recipes to come up with tastes my husband and I enjoy.  

Banana Bread

It seems like we always have bananas that have gotten a little too ripe and when we do I use them for banana bread.
  • Tip: If I can't bake that day, I peel the bananas and put them in a freezer bag to freeze for later use. When I'm ready to use them I just sit them out for a few minutes and add them to the recipe.
I have tried many different recipes over the years and have combined several to come up with the recipe below, which is my favorite.  The secret ingredient in this recipe is the sour cream, which helps to keep the bread moist and delicious.


Recipe for Favorite Banana Bread

 
Start with: 2 mashed bananas, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 2 eggs well beaten.  Mix together.


Mix together 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 t baking pwd, 1 t baking soda, 
and 1/2  t salt.

Mix together wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in one half cup of one of the following:
    your favorite nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries.

Pour into 1 sprayed bread pan.
Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Adding Extra Ingredients

I particularly like adding nuts to my banana bread, but I have found it is also delicious with chocolate chips and cranberries.  Experiment with your favorite additions to create new taste sensations.  I have also combined nuts and chocolate chips and that  produces a delicious bread.

Recipe Card

Below is the recipe on a card you can purchase from Zazzle by clicking on the link.




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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Best Bento Box for Adults

Best Bento Box for Adults
Featured bento box available on Amazon
I'd like to review bento boxes to try and find the best bento box for adults, but first do you know what a bento box is?

Bento boxes are used in Japanese culture and are basically a single portion meal that people take for their lunch - these can be brought as a takeaway, but are traditionally made at home.

A few years ago when my child was in primary school bento boxes were hailed as the best thing for children's lunches.  This wasn't the basic bento box though, but rather the Kyaraben (character bento), which was basically a way of making your child's lunch box look like a work of art!

The idea behind the bento box is to ensure that you have a well balanced lunch that looks appealing, tastes good and is nutritious - why aren't we all preparing bento boxes?

I've used a few tupperware style containers with different sections in them to take to work in the past, but some of them aren't leakproof and others are just too big so let's have a look at some of the choices on the market today.

Bento Lunch Boxes for Adults

These two options both appear to have conquered one of the biggest problems when looking for bento boxes - they are leakproof!

The first option is actually a set of two bento boxes which means that if you're single you can have a spare which is very handy if like me you routinely leave your container at work!  If you're half of a couple then you can have a lunch box each - simple!

 PlusPoint Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Set -2 in 1
Not only are these lunch boxes leakproof as a whole, but apparently they are also leakproof between containers according to verified purchasers on Amazon.

This is a pet peeve of mine as I absolutely hate getting divided containers and packing your lunch nicely only to get to your destination and finding that everything has mixed together between compartments!

These boxes are also freezer friendly which I love as I do like to cook in bulk so I would love to have a few of these so that I can take something different every day of the week!

The next option has 4 compartments to it instead of 3, but is also the all important leakproof!

 YUMBOX TAPAS Larger Size (Antibes Blue) 4 compartment Leakproof Bento lunch box
This container is designed for lunches that are eaten cold or at room temperature I should note as the container is not designed to be microwaved. This isn't a problem with some people, but is definitely something to think about when choosing your lunch box.


Yum Box certainly seems to attract return customers which means they must be doing something right so as a bento box for an adult this one has to be a contender.



The Stainless Steel Bento Box

When I think of a stainless steel bento box it makes me think of the classic aluminium style bento box that was popular in Japan in Taisho period (1912-1926).

These are definitely not them though!



Bento boxes for adults, healthy & fun!

Best Bento Lunch Box

So which of these boxes do you think is the best bento box for an adult?  It's hard to say as all adults are different in what they like to eat so obviously different boxes would be better for different people. I'd love you to tell me below which you think is the best bento box and I'll let people draw their own conclusions from what I've told them here.


Personally I absolutely love the look of the green (I also love the blue and pink options not pictured by the way), stainless steel bento box, but it's not the one that would suit me the best.

For me the best bento box would be the one that comes in a two pack and I think I need to buy a few of them because being able to fill the largest compartment and then freeze it is perfect for me.  I can pull it out of the freezer the night before and then in the morning add some salad and fruit or yogurt to the box and I'm good to go!




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Monday, May 1, 2017

Pati's Mexican Table Review

I love food but I'm not a foodie. I enjoy cooking and baking but I'm not very good at it. I need recipes that are easy to follow with explanations of any "exotic" ingredients. You may wonder why I am writing a cooking show and cookbook review if I struggle in the kitchen. Well, that is exactly why I want to share what I know about Pati's Mexican Table. Pati Jinich takes some of the mystery out of Mexican cooking and presents it in a way that is easy and delicious.

Pati's Mexican Table Review


Pati's Mexican Table is a cooking show on public television channels. This weekend I was very fortunate to find a cooking show marathon that featured Pati's cooking shows back-to-back. I was in tamale heaven! And I had forgotten about creative gelatin desserts. With Cinco de Mayo approaching, she made me crave authentic Mexican food. 

Many of the recipes featured on the show are listed on her website. While the internet makes finding recipes a snap, there is something I really like about having either a cookbook or a printed recipe. I don't seem to lose track of where I am or what I'm doing if the printed recipe is with me in the kitchen while I cook.

That's why I am thrilled to see that she has two cookbooks offered for sale. 

Pati's Mexican Table is a cookbook filled with authentic Mexican recipes. Customer reviews are highly complimentary of this cookbook. The notable "pros" about this cookbook are the very helpful "cook's tricks" and the sidebars that explain ingredients or cooking techniques. These extra instructions are helpful in successfully making the recipe. One of the few "cons" listed by a few reviewers is that this cookbook does not list all/exactly the recipes shown on the television show.

Pati's Mexican Table cookbook

Mexican Today


Pati's second cookbook, Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens offers authentic Mexican favorite recipes with a contemporary twists. Again, the cookbook features helpful advice and sidebars that are especially helpful for those of use who aren't formally trained in the kitchen.

Authentic Mexican food is plentiful when I travel to the area I was raised. When I am away from that area, I find myself missing authentic Mexican food. With Pati's television show and cookbooks for inspiration, even I should be able to make some delicious meals for Cinco de Mayo and all through the year. 

Mexican Today cookbook by Pati Jinich

Related Link:


There is a good chance you are already familiar with Pati Jinich and her cooking show. But just in case you aren't, here is a quick introduction to her easy recipes and down-home style:





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Monday, February 27, 2017

Recipes for Real People a Site Review

Recipes for Real People is a recipe and kitchen website that offers recipes and food ideas that are quick, easy, and useful for everyday meals. From Aprons to Vegetables, you will find comfort food recipes, meal ideas, and kitchen gifts for you and your family.

Why I Turn to Recipes for Real People


I can't even begin to guess the number of recipe websites on the internet. So why would I turn to Recipes for Real People?  There are several reasons I look to this site for ideas. Just this morning I woke with many things on my mind. I have household chores to do, reports to write for work, and assorted things I would like to accomplish with my own website. I have to find a way to save some time today.

After unseasonably warm days, a thunderstorm rolled through last night and brought behind it a very cold and cloudy morning. I am craving comfort food and not sure what I have in the kitchen. After having spent the past few days driving around with the Jeep top open and enjoying the warm weather, I had no reason to buy ingredients to make chili or stew. But now it is very cold outside, the furnace is on, I am under the blankets, and I am craving something warm and filling. Something like stew or chili. However, to make either of those things, I'd have to run out to the store.

Thanks to a recipe found on Recipes for Real People, I have found a meal idea and won't have to go to the grocery after all.

I should clarify that I am writing this on Sunday and it will be published on Monday. On Monday I will be back at the office, hard at work - giving my time and energy to others. So I am especially thankful for time-saving ideas that allow me to spend more time on the weekends on myself. 

Hamburger Vegetable Soup Recipe


Susan's Hamburger Vegetable Soup recipe is just the type of thing I am craving.  Her four-ingredient recipe is easy and made from ingredients that are often found in the kitchen at any given time.  I do not currently have any fresh ground beef in the fridge. But I do have ground sausage. So I will substitute the sausage for the ground beef and have a filling, warm, comfort meal and won't have to leave the apartment today!  In fact, come to think of it, I have a few different cans of soup that I could use as substitutes for the vegetable soup in Susan's recipe. Perhaps I'll add the sausage to a can of creamy chicken soup.  I don't know. I will decide later.  But I am relieved that a trip to the grocery is something I can remove from today's full to-do list.  All thanks to Recipes for Real People.


 (photo by Susan)


A few more reasons I turn to Recipes for Real People


  • Recipes for Real People is a website owned by one of our Review This! contributors - Susan Deppner
  • I trust that Susan is sharing recipes that she cooks in her own home
  • these recipes call for few ingredients that are readily available
  • quick and easy prep recipes
  • leftovers are used in the Recipes for Real People kitchen - I am a firm believer in using leftovers



  • Susan's kitchen helpers are adorable


    Related Recipe Links


    The Review This! contributors share some of their favorite recipes on this site. The variety of recipes, meals, kitchen items, and food reviews that the contributors bring is amazing. From slow cooker beans and TexMex lasagna to buttery shrimp pasta and party menus, there is something to suit everyone's tastes. To see those recipes, use the Review This! recipes tab and scroll. Our own Sylvestermouse Cynthia enjoys food, entertaining, and the holidays.  She is the owner of two food-related sites Fun Food and Cooking for the Holidays.

    Fun Food focuses on "fabulous fun food". I swear some of the ideas shown are works of art!  From bright and colorful swirls of jello to snake cakes and food castles, these recipes are as fun to look at as they are tasty to eat.




    Cooking for the Holidays is exactly as advertised - meals, desserts, and appetizers specific to holidays and entertaining. This website is elegant and offers recipes that will likely never happen in my little kitchen for one but are perfect for those who enjoy celebrations and entertaining. 









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    Saturday, December 3, 2016

    Aroma Digital Rice Steamer Review

    Rice Steamers Review
    It's been 3 years since I got my Aroma Digital Rice Steamer. So I decided it was time to share my review of how it's worked in my kitchen. Along with sharing some of my favorite recipes for delicious rice and grains, you can learn a few of the tricks I've discovered to make perfect grains every time. You can never go wrong with a great rice side dish. Or maybe a base for a yummy stir-fry. Or any number of other ways to enjoy rice and grains.



    Review of Aroma Digital Rice Steamer


    Aroma Digital Rice Steamer
    After reviewing many different choices, I picked the Aroma brand for my rice steamer for several reasons. First, the capacity. This can make 8 cups of rice. At a half cup per portion, you could feed 16 with one batch. Granted I've never tried to feed 16 people at once, but it's nice to know I can. Second, it has both a white rice setting and a brown rice one. That's important when you use healthy grains like quinoa and millet. Use the brown rice setting for these, which cooks a bit longer giving you fluffier grains.

    The third and final reason I chose the Aroma brand was the price. It's not the cheapest one on the market, but it's certainly affordable and fit nicely into my tight budget.

    A feature of the Aroma Digital Rice Steamer that I didn't think I would need is a delayed timer setting. WOW - that has turned out to be the feature I most enjoy. If I want to serve dinner at 6, I just start the rice steamer at 3, set it for 3 hours delayed and the perfect rice is ready when the rest of dinner is finished. The delay cycle is long enough that you can set it before leaving for work if you want.

    Cooking Different Grains in the Aroma Rice Steamer


    Since I've cooked different grains and a variety of rices, I can offer you a few tips to make them perfectly every time. For grains like quinoa and millet, I've found that a little bit less liquid makes a perfectly cooked grain. The Aroma rice steamer comes with a measuring cup for the grains. Per each cup of grain, I use 1 1/2 cups of liquid. For wild rice, I use 2 1/4 cups of liquid. For stickier rice, I use about 2 cups of water and for long grain rices, I use about 1 3/4 cups of liquid.

    This may seem a little picky, but it matters. You want the rice or grains to turn out to be perfect for the recipe you're making so a little pickiness works wonders. All the water is absorbed into the rice so the amount does matter.

    Onion Wild Rice Recipe


    One of my family's favorite recipes is Onion Wild Rice. And it's so easy to do. This recipe makes 4 servings.
    • Finely chop about half of a yellow or white onion.
    • Add the onions and the dry wild rice to your rice cooker.
    • Add 2 1/4 cups of broth, vegetable, chicken or beef broth works.
    • Add in a dash of salt and pepper to your own taste.
    • Stir the mixture up and turn on the rice cooker to the brown rice setting. 
    See, I told you it was easy. I've tried it with ground dried Shitake mushrooms as well and that works great, too. With a rice steamer, you can let your imagination help you create interesting dishes.

    Coconut Almond Grains


    This is another easy recipe using quinoa and millet together. They are similar grains, but have slightly different flavors. To your rice cooker add:
    • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened dry coconut flakes
    • 1/4 cup almond slivers or chopped almonds
    • 1 cup of mixed quinoa and millet - can be equal portions or not
    • 1 1/2 cup of liquid - water works just great, as does broth
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Stir this up and turn on your rice cooker, setting for brown rice. Another simple way to add healthy grains to you meals.


    Choosing a Rice Steamer


    The market has many different rice steamers. Nearly every small kitchen appliance maker makes one. So you will need to make a choice. The Aroma brand is not as well known as others, which is why I felt it needed a review after all my years of using it. 

    Companies like Oster and Cuisinart also make rice steamers. You may be more comfortable with a brand you recognize. Besides the brand name, you also want to consider capacity. Make sure you can make enough cooked rice to feed your family. For many price is a major consideration. You need to balance how often you will use the rice steamer, the features, the capacity, and the price.

    See more great product reviews at Review This! Products


    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Pineapple Corer and Slicer Review

    Pineapple Corer and Slicer Review
    This pineapple corer-slicer is a relatively new addition to my kitchen gadget collection, one I use often and always enjoy. This week when I prepared and served a fresh pineapple I documented the event with my camera, so I figured this was a good time to share a brief review. (Photos below are all mine.)

    Who needs a pineapple corer/slicer? Anyone who loves to eat fresh pineapple but hates the cutting-it-up process!

    Here's what I used to do. I'd see a display of pretty pineapples in the store that looked so tasty and reminded me of our long-ago trip to Hawaii, so I'd lovingly select one, gently put it in my grocery cart, take it home, and set it on the counter where I'd let it stay for days, until the leaves started drying up. Eventually, I'd pull out the cutting board and two or three knives to tackle the cutting and slicing, then grab the poor pineapple. After 10 or 15 minutes of slicing, dicing, changing knives, trimming, and chopping, I'd have my pineapple chunks, but I'd also have a big mess to clean up.

    No more!

    Now, I simply grab the pineapple then pull out my stainless steel pineapple corer-slicer, one sharp knife (for cutting off the top), and the cutting board. It takes just seconds to cut a few inches off the top of the pineapple then no more than a minute or two to line up the cutter with the pineapple core, twist the handle to work the cutter to the bottom of the luscious fruit, and pull out the gorgeous pineapple slices.

    Let me show you how it works:

    Using the sharp knife, lay the pineapple on the cutting board and cut a couple of inches off the top.
    Using the sharp knife, lay the pineapple on the cutting board and cut a couple of inches off the top. 


    Holding the pineapple with one hand, line up the cutter with the core of the pineapple then start turning. You'll need to apply just a bit of pressure.  Continue turning and slicing until you reach almost to the bottom of the pineapple.
    Holding the pineapple with one hand, line up the cutter with the core of the pineapple then start turning. You'll need to apply just a bit of pressure. Continue turning and slicing until you reach almost to the bottom of the pineapple. 

    Use the handle to firmly pull the pineapple slices out of the pineapple.
    Use the handle to firmly pull the pineapple slices out of the pineapple. Hold everything upright so the juice doesn't run out like it did here.
    (I had to lay it down to take the picture.)

    Remove the handle to easily slide the pineapple slices off the cutter.
    Once you've pulled the slices out of the pineapple, push the two black buttons below the handle to remove the handle, then slide the pineapple slices off the cutter. Use a knife to cut the slices into chunks if you prefer. Use the empty pineapple "shell" to serve fruit salad or a fancy drink. Replace the "lid" for an elegant presentation.

    Which Pineapple Corer Slicer Works Best?


    There are basically three types of pineapple corers. I'm very satisfied with the simple stainless steel model, the style that is most widely available and comes with mostly excellent reviews. There's also a plastic model that works the same way but, based on reviews that I've read, may not cut the pineapple as smoothly and will eventually break. Or you might want to consider the ratcheting model that costs about twice as much (still less than $20), but the ratchet mechanism makes it easier to turn the handle without continuously re-positioning your hand. Some plastic models come with a convenient wedge cutter; most do not and judging by the videos I've watched, you won't miss it.

    Compare the three types at this Bed, Bath and Beyond link and watch a video of each, showing exactly how they work. Or check out the huge selection and low prices of pineapple corers on eBay.

    Should you buy a pineapple corer and slicer to add to your kitchen gadget collection? If you enjoy eating or serving fresh pineapple, it's a no-brainer. You'll spend from about 6 to 20 dollars and never again have to let another beautiful, fresh, delicious, good-for-you pineapple go bad as it wastes away on your kitchen counter. I say go for it!  

    ~ Susan
    Read More of My Reviews




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    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Traveling Food - Holidays and Potlucks

    Autumn Welcome by Stephanie Marrott
    As soon as Halloween passes, I begin to think of travel in a slightly different way.  I think of traveling with food.  I do not entertain for the Holidays and I am not a good cook.  On Thanksgiving, I either travel up the road to the Mister's mom and dad's home for the day or I travel back home to Indiana for my huge family reunion.  Combining "bring a dish" with a one to ten hour road trip is often challenging.

    When I go up the road for Thanksgiving, the Mister's mom prepares a mini-feast. We tend to help with the things she's preparing and help with cleanup. And we try to bring a little something along to add to the meal.  When I go back home, the family meets together and we gorge ourselves with good food and conversation.  

    My dilemma is being able to prepare dishes that will travel well or that can be prepared very easily once I arrive.  The biggest dilemma is that I am not good in the kitchen.  I have to have reliable recipes that even I can't mess up. 

    I am thrilled that this year I have a Pumpkin Snickerdoodle recipe to try.  Our favorite cookies are Snickerdoodles.  I can usually bake cookies without incident.  This year, I will likely bring these little treats along.  

    Last year,  my Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie was a big hit. It begins with packaged cookie mix and ends in a nice and thick "pie" shape.  The Mister asked me to make this over and over.  It was easy enough that I was happy to oblige. 

    Harvest by Stephanie Marrott
    The Mister and I eat quite a bit of baked yams, drizzled with a tiny bit of maple syrup and sprinkled with a pepper spice called "hot shots".   I'd love to serve our yams at a gathering but could not figure out the logistics of travel and oven issues. I believe I have found the solution with this  mashed yams in the slow cooker recipe. A slow cooker will allow me to serve my "hot dish" at the family reunion potluck.   

    Finally, I can't think about potlucks without craving a 7 layer salad.  I always use the lettuce, frozen pea, and mayonnaise recipe. But you can substitute ingredients to suit your tastes. This year, I may use spinach instead. 

    Wherever you go and whatever you do for the upcoming holiday season, I wish you safe travels and plenty of good food and good company.




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



    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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