Friday, November 21, 2008

My New Favorite Kitchen Toy!

I bought this the other day. And do I ever love it! The KitchenAid® Immersion Hand Blender with Chopper is incredible. I was getting so tired of making pea and bean soup and having to scoop some of it out with a cup and mix it in my blender. What a mess that made. I finally broke down and bought this. I checked out all the reviews they got and this was the best one. I know that I will be able to use it many different ways!!! Beating eggs really fast for a quick bread. Chopping a small amount of nuts with the chopping attachment. The uses are endless but this here is my favorite...

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup (Heidi of 101 Cookbooks)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (I added 3 cloves of garlic as well)
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water (I substitute3 cup of the water with homemade chicken stock)
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)

a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle

Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.

Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.

Check it out...KitchenAid® Immersion Hand Blender with Chopper

Best Regards


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bread Machine II, can't live without it, okay won't live without it!

Yesterday I was touting the worthiness of this bread machine. Today I want to fill you in on another use that I have for my Oster 5838 ExpressBake Breadmaker. I use it to make pizza dough.

No kneading from me and after 1-1/2 hrs I have a great ball of Whole Wheat pizza dough, enough for 2 - 10X15 pans of pizza!

We have 4 people in the family so we split the dough into 2 balls and make 2 large pizzas and then divide those 2 pizzas in half. Everyone can have whatever they want on their pizza. Works out great for us on a busy weeknight!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook)

1-1/3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil

2-1/2 cups unbleached AP Flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Place all of the ingredients in the pan according to the manufacturers directions. Using the dough cycle press start.

Once the cycle is finished divide the ball in half and allow to rise, covered by a damp cloth for about 30 minutes.

Helpful hints:

Make sure dough is pulling cleanly away from side and bottom. If not add more flour a teaspoon at a time.

If the dough ball is making a knocking sound it may be too dry and you will need to add more water. A dribble at a time.

This dough is so nice and easy to work with. I make it early in the day and after the rise on the counter I place it in a ziploc bag in the fridge. Pull it out about 30 minuted before you are ready to use it.

Best Regards,


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bread Machine, Can't live without it...okay, won't live without it!

I live for my silly bread machine. Years ago before I had children I would make our bread by hand. When I had my first child I realized that this could not go on like this. Hubby bought me a breaqd machine. Very sweet of him but I never used it. The loaves were shaped funny, I couldn't get the recipe perfect and I was used to the feel of making it m=by hand. There is something so therapeutic about kneading dough and taking it from almost liquid form to a solid ball of dough.

About a year later I had my second child. It was then impossible to make bread by hand. So out came the bread machine. After many, many, many tries at this I finally found a loaf of bread that we all like. I now use my bread machine just about every other day to make bread for the family and once a week to make pizza dough. I am going to try and make some quick breads in it next.

This is the one that I own. Oster 5838 ExpressBake Breadmaker, it is my second one. The first one, same model and all, fell off the counter during the knead cycle. When I had to buy a new one I looked at all of the other makes and models but decided to get this one again. I loved how it worked and knew everything about it already!

Easy Whole Wheat Peasant Bread

For a 1-1/2 pound loaf


1-1/8 cups water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

3-1/4 Cup Bread Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 tsp vital gluten
2 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt

2-1/2 tsp bread machine yeast


This all gets added to you machine at once. This machine has the liquids in first then all of the dry ingredients with the yeast going into a well made in the dry ingredients.

Helpful hints-in the first 10 minutes watch your dough ball. The dough needs to be dry enough to clean the outsides of the pan but still wet enough to not be knocking in the the pan. You can add more water or flour as needed but only until the beep goes in the second cycle.

Best Regards,


Monday, October 20, 2008

Do you make a lot of soups? This will help you!

I just bought this the other day. And do I ever love it! The KitchenAid® Immersion Hand Blender with Chopper is incredible. I was getting so tired of making pea and bean soup and having to scoop some of it out with a cup and mix it in my blender. What a mess that made. I finally broke down and bought this. I checked out all the reviews they got and this was the best one. I know that I will be able to use it many different ways!!! Beating eggs really fast for a quick bread. Chopping a small amount of nuts with the chopping attachment.

Check it out...KitchenAid® Immersion Hand Blender with Chopper

Best Regards


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cuisinart Knife Set...Save 57% off yesterday's price!!!

Absolutely incredible deal for today...Check this out

List Price:
Yesterday's Price:
Today's Discount:
- $109.01

Gold Box Price:
$89.99 (57% off)



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mario Batali Salt Cellar

Now you may think that you have no need for this but I think any one who cooks should have something to hold their salt in beside the stove.

It's a great thing to have for salt use while cooking, instead of having to pull out a shaker and all. We have always used just a small crock to hold it but I am buying this for a small gift for hubby for Christmas. Mario Batali Salt Cellar will look so much better beside my stove than the old white crock that we always had. I love the idea of the lid and the wood will match almost any kitchen decor!
This salt, Guerande 'Fleur De Sel' Sea Salt, will make a perfect companion to the salt cellar!

Best Regards,


Friday, October 10, 2008

Halloween Bowls

Halloween is such a great time of the year. The colors are great and the candy is delicious!!! Here are some very cute bowls to hold all that candy this year...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Halloween is right around the bend!

It's almost Halloween...are you prepared? I know I 'm not. The girl's haven't even picked out costumes yet this year!

But I am about to make it easier for you to get your kitchen ready!
Peggy Karr 14-Inch Glass Spooky Tray-I think that this tray would be perfect for that Halloween party that you've been invited to...can't you just see spooky cupcakes served on this?

Department 56 Krinkles Witch Shoe Cake Plate-I just think that this is one of the cutest things for halloween. I think this needs to be added to my collection, NOW!!!
Wilton Halloween Metal Cookie 18 Piece Cutter Set-What a cute set of cookie cutters. Just the right size for that classroom Halloween party!

Wilton Halloween 6 Cavity Silicone Pan-Can you just imagine the cookies or cupcakes made out of these???

Wilton Halloween 6 Cavity Nonstick Mini Cake Pan-What child wouldn't love to take a tray full of these to school for Halloween???

Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies (


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg


  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients to form a soft dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Dough is sticky so be sure to add more flour to the rolling surface as needed. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I Love my Mandoline!

I received my Pinzon Stainless-Steel Mandoline as a gift from my sister for my birthday several years ago. This is probably my favorite gadget for my kitchen (besides my Kitchen Aid Mixer that is). With this I am able to grate and slice in uniform slices. I use this to slice potatoes for french fries and scalloped potatoes and onions for just about everything! I grate cabbage for cole slaw, cheese for pizza and tacos. The uses are endless and clean up is a breeze too!

Here is a great recipe that you can use your new Pinzon Stainless-Steel Mandoline to make...

Scalloped Potatoes (

A basic scalloped potatoes recipe baked in the oven.

Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes, about 6 to 8 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups scalded milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


In a buttered 2-quart baking dish, place a layer of about 1/3 of the potatoes. In a cup or small bowl, combine flour with salt and pepper. Sprinkle about half of the flour mixture over the potatoes; repeat with another layer of potatoes and the flour mixture and top with remaining potato slices. Dot with butter then pour hot milk over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle cheese over the top. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes, or until scalloped potatoes are tender and cheese has melted. Scalloped potatoes serves 6 to 8.

Best Regards,


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a's a chopper (and just plain cool)!!!

Okay so today the coolest thing I could find was this thing from OXO. If you are not familiar with this brand you probably should be. They have a lengthy history of quality products that are specifically designed to help make your busy life easier. They also have a leg up on most other products because of their chunky design which make them ideal for people with arthritis in the hands and finger.

OXO Good Grips Salad Chopper and Bowl

I can see this product easily being used in my house for numerous things. The first thing I will make will be my incredible pico de gallo. I can see that this will eliminate me chopping up the onions, peppers and the cilantro. What a time saver it is already!!!

Best Regards,


Monday, October 6, 2008

Tagine Cooking...the Moroccan Way!

This has got to be one of the coolest things to own! Moroccan food is all the rage right now and especially with winter coming who wouldn't want their homes smelling of all of the warm spices that go into a tagine??? Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Moroccan Tagine is the perfect size for a family meal.

Here is some information and an easy recipe to get you started with your new found Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Moroccan Tagine!

How To...

Recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Olives

Best Regards,


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Apples, Apples, Everywhere...

Throughout the internet right now you see countless recipes and pictures highlighting autumn. What is always symbolic of autumn?


This nifty gadget here will make all of your apple recipes a piece of cake (or should I say pie?).

I can see this item becoming one of the most used gadgets in my kitchen during the fall months when apples are everywhere. And then used all winter for great potato recipes!!!

Here is a great recipe to use your knew Back To Basics Apple and Potato Peeler for Apples in Puff Pastry!

Best Regards,