The Original Kitchen Cooperative: Straight Wooden Rolling Pin #Review #RollingPin

dsc_2062

I bake on a weekly basis and sometimes even twice. From baked goods that range from sweet to savory, I have come to the point where I rarely even buy baked anything from stores. When I do, I regret it. The one thing I learned over the years, is the tools you use matter. It’s not the cost but how they perform. I have a french style wooden roller that has lasted me over a decade. Simple to care for and I am one of those that if it needs a wash, a wash is something it better handle because this wipe and store idea to make it last…….well, I find it gross. Butters, fats and oils age and if your crust or dough has them, they will oxidize and go rancid on the wood. Not something I exactly wish to share with my next baked creation.

 

dsc_2063

 

Retail Price Point: $13.75 via Amazon with free shipping if you have Prime Membership.

 

dsc_2061

Verdict:

The straight rolling pin from The Original Kitchen Cooperative is made of 100% Beech wood. The roller arrived smooth and with zero imperfections. Has a nice weight that is balanced and easy to roll even when your pie crust is between having cold spots and softer warmer ones. It plays nice with most dough types and because it’s so smooth, it almost acts like if it had a nonstick surface, allowing the dough to softly stretch without tearing. I have used the roller and washed it and what was nice, no split wood or separations the next day, so this roller is not only fairly priced but should last with regular use. I do not have to worry about treating it softly, just as long as I wash it (never fully submerge in water), quickly dry it and then allow it to air dry on the rack before storing. The company also offers a 100% money back guarantee and that means they stand behind the quality of the products they produce. I don’t see myself needing to use the guarantee but there is something to be said about a company standing behind their products.

Connect with The Original Kitchen Cooperative at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Original Kitchen Cooperative. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Advertisements

U.S. Cake Supply: Chefmaster Liqua-Gel 12 Color Set #Review #USCakeSupply

DSC_0978

The month of March for us means Birthdays in this home. Everyone who resides here, was born in March. You throw in St. Patrick’s Day and those times Easter falls in March….let’s say it gets busy. I always run out of red food dye because of red velvet cakes. Desperate times means I have made pink velvet cake or even purple velvet cake! I’m picky about what I use from how the food dyes  perform to what they are made of, so I don’t always buy from the local market, which only thinks the one thing food dye is made for, is for coloring eggs.

Gel based dyes are great because they tend to be more stable and don’t require a lot of liquid to achieve the pigmentation you desire.  Extra liquid may result in your frosting breaking down unexpectedly. A little goes a long way when it comes to achieving the hues you desire, so the bottles last. Stability also becomes important when temperatures alone can affect decorating. You want dyes that you truly do not need to worry about and won’t upset or compromise what you are trying to achieve! Not nice when you spent time decorating to then have the cake be soggy because the dyes began to separate the fats (butter, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese ect.) from the water, which then started to affect the cake itself. I have been there where dyes that bleed and the next day everything looks more like a swirly mess versus the pretty landscape of flowers you spent 2 hours working on the night before. Don’t wake up to nightmares!

DSC_0973

Retail Price Point: A set of 12 colors is $19.96 via Amazon with free shipping for Prime members.  The bottles are made of plastic, which makes it easy to squeeze and control the flow of the gel (easy to just count the drops you need by gently squeezing).

When U.S. Cake Supply offered me to try the Chefmaster Liqua-Gel 12 Color Set, I was thrilled because I love to bake. These gel dyes can be used in everything from cake batters, cookie dough, sauces to simple icing/frosting decor. Even rices can be changed, so this is not just for sweet based dishes.  Sweet breads to savory breads too! That means you are just limited by your imagination! No worries when it comes to the Liqua-Gels affecting or breaking down anything because stability is what they do best, as they do to adding happy colors to your edible goods. The set comes in 12 beautiful and vibrant colors that you can even mix to make your creations go further, so 12 colors can easily become hundreds of colors by customizing your own blends. Like I said, no limits here! You get:

  • Coal Black
  • Royal Blue
  • Sky Blue
  • Buckeye Brown
  • Fleshtone
  • Leaf Green
  • Sunset Orange
  • Deep Pink
  • Rose Pink
  • Super Red
  • Violet
  • Lemon Yellow

DSC_0974

Create edible art safely as these dyes from U.S. Cake Supply are FDA approved (certified Kosher too) and made in the USA. I was able to create 4 red velvet cakes for my Husband’s birthday and the dye never bled out onto the white batter even days late. The last thing you want is red cake with white frosting that turned pink! The Chefmaster 12 color set provides color and no off taste. You just taste what you created!

IMG_20160301_235647

Grab a set at and connect with U.S. Cake Supply at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from US Cake Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Kitchen Hearts Silicone Baking Mat Set

I do more baking than anyone I know. As a result, I’ve got a wealth of tools to assist me and I’m always on the lookout for something new and innovative to help me along. Over the years I’ve graduated from wax papers and sprays to parchment and silicone mats. If you’ve used one, you know they quickly become indispensable. But Kitchen Hearts had something I’ve yet to try: A ROUND silicone pizza mat!! Oh, baby!

DSC_0738

Silicone mats are probably one of the most versatile tools in a kitchen. They can be used for a multitude of things, and be used hundreds of times before needing to be replaced. From a splatter-catcher in the oven, to making french fries, cookies, macaroons, or biscuits, there’s almost no limit to the goodies one can make on a silicone mat. They clean up with a little warm soapy water, need no oils or sprays to be non-stick, and virtually nothing sticks to them. Fats and oils bead up, and little crispy bits fall right away. They are also oven safe up to 475 degrees, so the limit is really your imagination!

Ideally. Sadly, 9″ Kitchen Hearts Pizza mat came with a critical defect. See, silicone mats are almost just that: silicone. The silicone, however, encases a fiberglass mesh weave that gives the mats some tensile strength and help to hold it’s shape better. But when you puncture the silicone, the fiberglass is exposed and it’s time to toss the mat, both for health and safety reasons. And my round mat had exposed fiberglass all around the outside edge. Not only would that let water in and ruin the mat, but it’s unsafe. One should never consume the fibers from fibergalss, and putting a sticky dough on exposed fibers a sure-fire way to do just that. So I didn’t even get to try it, sadly. The large mat (a now-standard half-sheet 16.5″ x 11.6″ size) did not have these issues. I may contact the company about this because I’m really hoping to a new tool in my kitchen!

Connect with Kitchen Hearts:

DSC_0741

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kitchen Hearts.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Stewart Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Chicken Liver Treats

logo-stewart

Our little girl gets spoiled. She’s 13 going on 3 and somehow almost always has her proverbial toast land butter-side up. This Christmas has been no different, first with the amazing squeaky toy we got to try, now with these Stewart Pro-Treat Liver treats, and later with a pet bed. Someone made out like a bandit, but of the three, the one thing she loves best are these Stewart Pro-Treat Chicken Liver treats.

DSC_0527

Nowadays it’s hard to find good, decent real food to give our pets. The industry is very loosely regulated and it seems that the vigilance needed to keep poor quality and dangerous food and treats out of the US is sorely lacking. We used to give our dog the chicken jerky treats, and she did love them, but the continuous incidences of pets getting sick and dying from them made us swear off them permanently many, many years ago. We’d taken to giving her mostly homemade treats and dry “liver snap” treats we bought from Trader Joe’s because we just didn’t trust anyone to make a decent product. But Stewart is a different company and their products are in a class by themselves. Their Pro-Treat Chicken Liver treats are just that: 100% raw liver, freeze dried and shelf stable. Think of it as liver concentrate cookies. And our girl, bless her heart, loves them. Small, bite sized (which is good for “gulpers”), and packed with all the vitamins and nutrients that can only come from natural, actual chicken livers. No binders, no fillers, no additives or preservatives. I mean, check out this nutritional analysis:

Guaranteed Analysis:
Minimum Protein 70.45%
Minimum Fat 15.38%
Maximum Fiber .07%
Maximum Moisture 6.5%

 

Yessir, that’s the good stuff. For over 40 years Stewart has been providing the gold standard for “training” treats trusted by professionals far and wide. And the genuinely care about your pet, unlike many of the overseas conglomerates that seem content to import junk and maybe kill your little furry family member.

DSC_0529

I had heard of Stewart Pet Treats before and never had the opportunity to try them until now, and I’m so fortunate I did, because now I have another company I trust with the health of my beloved little dog. A 3 oz. container has about 100 pieces per tub, and will only run you $6.29 on Amazon. That’s a steal in my book, and I know where I’ll be getting our dog’s “nummers” from now on.

DSC_0528

Connect with Stewart Pet:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Stewart Pet Products. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Tryazon: Ines Rosales, Sweet and Savory Tortas from Spain #InesRosales

DSC_0295

Tortas in every culture has a dish that bares the same name, even though it may not be identical.  In Spain, tortas de aciete are made with extra virgin olive oil and varieties range from sweet to savory, the distinction is usually made by the sweetness of the dough and the ingredients used. The Ines Rosales tortas are still made by hand and in Seville Spain. The recipe has not changed throughout the years and remains the same since 1910, with just more flavors added to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Some people have asked me how to describe a torta from Spain and my best answer is that it’s like a pita that crumbles and flakes when enjoyed. The distinct taste is hard to describe because the sweet versions are almost cookie like in flavor, while the savory tend to lend more towards a cracker but one thing I can share, is that the Ines Rosales tortas are amazingly delicious! When something is delicious……..what more can be said than just eat it and enjoy it!

I was sent a beautiful array of tortas from Ines Rosales to share and enjoy:

DSC_0298

  • Original; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, anise seeds, sesame seeds, yeast, sea salt, natural anise essence.

DSC_0297

  • Seville Orange; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, crystallized orange from Seville, yeast, sesame seeds, sea salt, natural orange essence.

DSC_0299

  • Cinnamon; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, yeast, sesame seeds, ground cinnamon, sea salt, natural cinnamon essence.

DSC_0296

  • Sesame and Sea Salt; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, whole wheat flour, sesame seeds, sugar, sea salt, yeast.

Now, you see tortas in aciete and you think oily. They thankfully are not and the oil is in the flavor but it’s not overwhelming and you are left with no oily residue on your hands when you are eating them, just the beautiful flaky goodness. Each torta is individually wrapped in it’s waxed paper, so makes it easy to grab and go, or even to put out for guests to enjoy. There are no rules when enjoying these tortas. Many times they are eaten as-is in place of a snack, with a dip, a coffee or even a spread or to accompany any meal. The dough used is simple but that is where the goodness lays because there are no lab created ingredients here, just real good ingredients and like any baked good, the quality of the ingredients used make the difference and it shows with Ines Rosales tortas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I made a Spanish/Italian (hey, I said no rules here!) theme dinner that was an array of cured meats and cheeses, plus I had 2 vegetarian guests. Ines Rosales tortas are even Vegetarian friendly, so making a counterpart dish was easy but a little of a first for me. I made a pasta-less Vegetable Lasagna. I grilled all the seasonal vegetables, from eggplants (both striped and mini varieties), Italian squash, and a sauce made from fresh tomatoes. I made the lasagna ahead and asked guests which cheese was approved beforehand because I did not want to add an ingredient that was not acceptable. I can say that making lasagnas in single serve dishes makes serving easy and especially when lasagna slices can come apart and not look appetizing. The lasagna sees none of that because you make and serve in the same dish, so these style dishes allow the host to now worry about serving guests and every dish looks as perfect as the next.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now, I thought my meat eaters would stay free of the veggie lasagnas but most enjoyed sharing a serving along with their tortas. The Ines Rosales tortas I used were the savory ones, the Original and Sesame with Sea Salt versions, as this was to accompany our dinner. I made spreads that were Mascarpone based and even an olive toss, that was several olive varieties with just a touch of grain mustard and a lemon based olio. Having guests pick what they want and how much by allowing them to make their own tortas, guarantees a happy host that does less, but more importantly, guests that make their dish as they wish. I purchased everything from Mortadella with Peppercorn and Pistachios, Capocollo and I even found a nice spicy version, Sopressata, Prosciutto, Salami (both peppercorn crusted and normal) to a variety of cheeses. I included Provolone, Manchego to a crumbly Feta cheese because these cheeses tend to cut the fat from the cured meats well along with the spreads. The Ines Rosales tortas have that paper wrap I mentioned and when you unwrap the torta, you can even prep it right over the wrap. It’s then easy to transfer to a plate or just enjoy right there off the wrap!

Torta with cured Meats

Ines Rosales Torta with an array of cured meats

Easy and Fast to make any dinner enjoyable!

Easy and Fast to make any dinner enjoyable!

I can share there was not one torta that was not enjoyed. The Ines Rosales cinnamon variety reminds me of a churro-like cookie to those Bunuelos I enjoyed as a child. Perfect with a cup of coffee to dipped in hot chocolate. The cinnamon used is an accent to the torta and not overwhelming. The Seville Orange is my favorite of the sweet versions. I love Valencia oranges and the orange used resembles those citrus notes. I plan to make a honey Mascarpone spread (again) and enjoy this torta in the morning. So far, I have enjoyed the Seville Orange from Ines Rosales in this manner for 3 mornings straight. I made orange slices in a simple syrup from scratch to add, then toss some toasted Walnuts (or any nuts of your choice…..imagine Pistachios) and you will walk out the door with a smile. These tortas are just a delight and each one is like unwrapping a little treat that plays well with many dishes, not just those with a European flair. They would be great to accompany with a salad, a warm soup on a cold day, to even creating a crust for meats (pulse in a food processor) and you can ever make a great crust for Mozzarella cheese sticks. The possibilities are really up to you but even on a lazy day, I can enjoy an Ines Rosales just as it is and still have a smile 🙂 .

IMAG3645

Connect with Ines Rosales at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ines Rosales and Tryazon.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ardenne Farm: Giveaway for Chocolate Cookie Gluten Free Baking Mix

IMAG2523

***GIVEAWAY ALERT***

Ardenne Farm’s is offering one of my wonderful readers one free Chocolate Cookie baking mix, just like the one I received. To enter, all you need to do is:

  • Follow the company on Facebook
  • Via Twitter and
  • And, leave me a comment on this posting (the review for the product).
    Almost as simple as baking these cookies!

I will announce the winner in March 7th, so you have a little over a week to enter. Good luck!  Ardenne Farm’s will be sending out the product to the winner.

Final Product as baked at home

Final Product as baked at home

I used a simple Vanilla Bean and then press and enjoy!

I used a simple Vanilla Bean and then press and enjoy!

Ardenne Farm: All Natural Chocolate Cookie Baking Mix Review #ArdenneFarm

ardenne-farm-logo-medium

 

Even though I love to cook and bake, there are days I want to break down and just be able to drop contents in a bowl, stir, bake and eat! My biggest guilt comes from when I grab a box and start reading or glance at the list of ingredients. The stuff has so many chemicals that they might as well include a mad scientist inside to make the stuff for me. Most of my boxed mixes expire and when I throw them out, I make a mental note to never buy________ again. I think it’s my way of telling myself I know better.

My family and I are thankfully not gluten intolerant but I am always open in trying a product that is gluten free to add a change to our routine diet. I must admit that most gluten free products I have tried, well they are like imitators but of the worse kind. Think about an Elvis impersonator and then look at the real Elvis (in his good days) and maybe the outfit looks sort of the same but definitely not the wearer. When I saw Ardenne Farm was kindly offering an all natural baking mix and it said the magic word “chocolate”, I figured I would give it a try.

IMAG2523

The Chocolate Cookie Mix is Vegan friendly and like I mentioned Gluten Free, but the list is short when it comes to ingredients. I know what everything listed is and that is not something I see at the common market when it comes to baking aisle.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredient List: Cane Sugar, Gluten Free Flour Blend (White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour), Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Baking Soda, Non GMO Aluminum Free Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Xanthan Gum, Natural Vanilla.

IMAG2524

 

The directions are also simple and it’s not like some mixes where I need to bring so much to the cookie party that I end up realizing, I just bought a box of flour with a pretty picture on the front that is only possible if I add $5 more of ingredients to make it happen. You just need one stick of unsalted butter and three tablespoons of water. That is it and everything else is included.

Ardenne Farms’ has simple instructions to follow and the only factor that differs from my everyday made from scratch mixes, is the 5 minute setting time after you take the baked product out of the oven. I usually only do 1 to 2 minutes, but this is a rich chocolate product that needs to set and I’m thinking because it’s lacking the gluten glue 🙂 Other than that, no eggs to crack and you just open one bag, mix and bake.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Appearance:

The box yields 20 cookies and I am use to cookies being so small that when mixes state this, I know I will be lucky to get 10 cookies, but you see the cookie spreads out more than other cookies, so do stick to a tablespoon per cookie drop, versus the 2 tablespoon-ish I did. I am making ice cream sandwiches, so I needed a larger size. I now call it ice cream sandwiches for two, so even my oopsie has a fix!

Retail Price Point: $4.79 on-line via Ardenne Farm’s website for a 16 ounce box

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Taste Test:

My Husband has been negative about gluten free baked products because they are all impostors (he says). He told me it’s like craving a pizza but you eat a bagel bite and of course still crave pizza. It never fills the craving, so he of course was not too positive about me even baking this. He kept saying, “just make real cookies”. I ignored him and went on baking. I did notice the mix has no chips of chocolate but when I opened the bag, you quickly are taken over by a sweet and cocoa rich cloud. I say a cloud because I was hunting for chocolate chips and forgot you let things settle before cutting open. The smell is very pleasant. I mixed as directed, baked, and waited 5 minutes for the cookie to set. I tasted it and thinking is this just something we will be throwing out and I was truly surprised at how good the cookie tasted. It’s a simple chocolate cookie but the dark rich chocolate flavor is there and so is the softness. You can see it’s flat but it has that desired slight crisp texture on the outside, but it’s very gooey on the inside. I gave him half and he groaned and took a bite. He stated it’s not bad and took a second bite of the cookie (the thing has maybe 1/4 bite left) and then said, “for gluten free stuff….this is not bad but I call it more like pizzelles are cookies but this is softer”. In this house, it’s a win because he would just stop eating it and walk away from the treat. He finished the 1/4 bite and walked off while I finished the ice cream cookie sandwiches. I loved the taste and it’s sweeter than I make my own dark chocolate cookies, but it really is one of the better gluten free products out there. I would pick-up this product and especially for making ice cream sandwiches and not caring if it had gluten or not. The batter lends itself beautifully for this application and I don’t feel bad baking from an Ardenne Farm box, because the ingredients are “family friendly” and I know the cookies will be eaten. 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

IMAG2473

***GIVEAWAY ALERT***

Ardenne Farm is offering one of my wonderful readers a free Chocolate Cookie mix, just like the one I received above.  I will be posting the giveaway within a few hours and all you need to enter is follow the company on Facebook, Twitter and leave me a comment on this posting.  Almost as simple as baking these cookies! 

IMAG2526

Connect with Ardenne Farm and they have cookies, cakes, and all the sweet stuff your heart desires at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ardenne Farm.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

The Simple Baker: Premium Silicone Baking Mat for Macarons #Review #macaronmat

IMAG2110

 

IMAG2108

Being a baker means I need products I can count on and a multi-tasker is a must in my kitchen. The Simple Baker does everything my expensive silicone baking mats do, plus as much as I did not appreciate the circle pattern at first, I became to really like the convince it provided. My cookies never touched each other, so I have to admit I’m not the best spacer I thought I was!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The mat yielded the same results as my french branded mat and clean-up was a cinch. The mat cleans up instantly with a little soapy water and I just fill the sink 1/4 way up, make some bubbles and suds on top of the mat and this I find is the most gentle way to clean the mat with no sponge and/or sink brush needed. I simply roll the Simple Baker mat (without creating fold or creases) and use a silicone band to keep it in place.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I wanted to test the silicone mat out with by making dark chocolate ganache cookies. The cookies are a butter base recipe and I tried both round shapes and heart shapes when baking. My baking time was adjusted, as these silicone mats provide even baking, which tends to accelerate the baking but produces what I call the “perfect cookie”. You get a soft flaky texture on the inside with a cookie top crust that stays in place and only crumbles until you take a bite.

 

Retail Price Point: $17.97 via Amazon

IMAG2109

The Simple Baker Mat will save you money in the long run and pay for itself. I use parchment paper and that gets costly over time and can be a wasteful expense. These silicone mats are reusable, do not hold odors, and are also safe because they are non-toxic. The silicone used is food-grade quality and no need to add extra fats or oils to make them non-stick……their finish stays non-stick time and time again!

Connect with The Simple Baker at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Simple Baker.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BakeItFun: Baking Mat in Blue #Review #BakingMat


 

 

IMAG2111

I always use the best ingredients we can afford when cooking and baking, and the same goes for the tools we use in the kitchen. Price does not always equate good quality and/or performance, so I give opportunity to everything because I have been disappointed by high prices/good known name and fallen in love with items that did not even cost half as much!

BakeItFun, makes professional grade silicone baking mats that fit your cookie sheet. I already use parchment paper and I do use a baking mat of like kind made by a French company. I have been happy with both materials, as each serves different needs, so I was eager to see how BakeItFun would perform against my expensive silicone mats.

I baked the most common recipe of them all, chocolate chip and chunk cookies. The cookie dough contains both shortening and butter, with sugars coming from dark brown sugar alone. I begin by unwrapping and washing the BakeItFun mat and washed it as instructed. The directions state the product needs a oil finish before the first use. First time I have seen this, as oil usually beads up/off silicone surfaces. I thought this was odd but I do as directed and opted for Vegetable oil due to it’s neutrality in flavor. Once the mat was “primed” with the oil, I proceeded to bake and tested with one cookie alone.

IMAG2257

I set the timer for 14 minutes, as this is how long this recipe takes with my other silicone mats and keep a close eye. I first notice a smell from the vegetable oil and I look inside the oven and notice oil beads sort of floating above. I notice at the 10 minute mark that the cookie looks browner than usual, plus the smell in the air is sort of close to “toasted cookies”. I take the cookie out and allow it to cool one minute on the pan and then move it over to the cooling rack. Once the cookie was on the spatula, I notice the bottom is over crisped and brown. We allow it to cool completely and do a taste-test. The cookie is much crisper on the bottom than desired. I decide to deeply wash the mat and even if I feel the oil is off, I am not adding it back on. Instructions state to oil only at first use and if you use the dishwasher (top rack only) to clean the mat.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I bake fries and the such as the weeks go by and the mat performs perfectly. It saves me on parchment paper, as I have been using the mat to bake savory dishes from potatoes, rewarming pizza, to puff pastry appetizers I made and froze for later enjoyment. I clean the mat by hand and the directions do say dishwasher safe but I feel it will last better if treated kindly 🙂

Retail Price Point: $11.97 via Amazon for a Half Sheet, 16.5″ x 11″

IMAG2258

Final Verdict-

BakeItFun silicone mats can withstand temperatures from -40°F up to 450°F, so it is freezer safe too and also says microwave safe. I found the product easy to wash and it did not absorb smells of what you cooked prior, so no blending of odd flavors when reusing it. The price point is low for these type of products and this is BPA free materials and FDA approved. My only con, was having to oil it and knowing the results that would cause. It made no sense as all other mats of same like kind do not require any oil prior use. Oil beads up and the entire point of using these surfaces, is to not have foods sit in oil or leak through. Once I stripped the oil off, which was easy as it just floated in bead form…..I was 100% satisfied with the product. I always follow directions but in my opinion, I would not pre-oil a product like this again! No type of oil is also recommended and with the list of fats from Coconut Oil, Peanut Oil, Olive Oil, Grape Oil……I went with one I felt would add little to no flavor if it was going to remain on. BakeItFun also has a 100% Life-Time Guarantee (no questions asked) and I value that greatly. The product has up to 2000 re-uses and if you bake like me, that adds up quickly with daily oven use and not just using it once a day………so I save on parchment paper and my cookie sheets as well!

Connect with BakeItFun at: 

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BakeItFun.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

HouseParty: Lavazza Taste the Passion House Party #LavAzza #Review

IMAG1874-1

Lavazza has been a household name and favorite for over 100 years in Italy! That is a lot of roasted coffee beans! Once I tasted this coffee, it has been my go-to for drinking and a must for baking. Nothing intensifies chocolate notes like coffee, so like wine, you want to use the very best and Lavazza is just that.

Now, that I can find the coffee here, I have noticed new items and selections available. I was so fortunate in being able to host another party and decided with the colder days ahead, baking a Coffee Chocolate Chip cookie, which went perfectly with the coffees. Simple, quick and the bittersweet chips mixed with the semisweet ones, makes this an irresistible cookie!

First Let’s start with what LavAzza’s Taste the Passion House Party included:

  • 1 Barista apron with the Lavazza logo for host
  • 4 bags of Lavazza Coffee in different varieties
  • Coffee Mug for host with the Lavazza Logo
  • Generous Coupons for guests to save on Lavazza coffees
  • Magnets shaped like a coffee mug for guests
  • Coffee Cups that were just like you get from your local Coffee Shop, with even the little sleeves to go over the cups
  • Fun cards and games to entertain guests, including the “Italian hand gestures” game, which we all tend to “speak”.

The LavAzza Selections:

IMAG1878

  • Gran Aroma- Medium roast, smooth & aromatic, with citrusy notes.  This is the coffee that appealed to everyone and a perfect “everyday and at any season” cup you can enjoy.

IMAG1875

  • Classico- Medium roast, rich & full-bodied, with hints of dried fruit.  This was my second favorite and most guests really enjoyed this variety.  For some the roast was a little stronger than expected but welcoming.

IMAG1876

  • Gran Selezione- Dark roast, intense and chocolaty. 100% sustainably grown coffee that comes exclusively from Rainforest Alliance™ certified farms.  My favorite and every dark roast lovers favorite! This one is just delicious and strong, but without the bitter notes.  The aftertaste is nice and just makes you crave another cup of coffee!

IMAG1877

  • Perfetto- Espresso roast, dark and velvety with a lingering caramel finish.  I’m an espresso girl and this is it without the work.  You get the strength that wakes you up and also everything you love about coffee in one cup, but just in a non-espresso size!

IMAG1901

LavAzza Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2/3 cup of All Vegetable Shortening
  • 3 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3 Tablespoons of any LavAzza Coffee (I brew a strong cup so I can get that intense coffee flavor. I used the Gran Selezione in this batch)
  • 1 1/4 cups of Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg at room temperature
  • 2 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 cup of mixed Chocolate Chips (I use Bittersweet & Semi-Sweet)
  • Optional- you can add 1/2 cup of toasted pecans or walnuts if you desire. You can get adventurous and even add dried fruits and the Lavazza Classico variety is perfect for that combination with it’s fruity notes.

Set your oven to 375 degrees (I use convection)

Using your mixer with the beater attachment, just combine the shortening, butter, coffee and brown sugar. Beat until you have a nice creamy and fluffy consistency. Then add the milk, extract, and egg and blend well. Remember to scrape down to make sure you get a smooth batter. In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to your mix and blend until combined. Make sure to not over beat. Then add the chocolate chips and combine (fold) with a spatula, so the chips do not get destroyed by the beater.

To make the cookies, I like to use a large ice scream scoop and just scoop (leave in ball form) about six scoops (cookies) on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes and allow the cookies to rest for about 5 minutes before moving them onto a cookie rack to cool.

IMAG1900

The cookies will be nice and soft, plus gooey when split open to eat. Really delicious and they hold well in a covered plastic container (room at temperature) for about 3 to 4 days. You will get about 12 cookies that are medium/large in size out of this recipe.

IMAG1902

Don’t be sad if you a one cup machine!  Fate would have it that LavAzza sent me this postcard via mail, so their great coffees come in K-cups too.

IMAG1879

Connect with LavAzza and find your favorite cup of coffee at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from HouseParty and Lavazza.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: