BakeItFun: Baking Mat in Blue #Review #BakingMat


 

 

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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.

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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.

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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″

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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!

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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.

The Gourmet Nut: Tilapia Fish Bites made with the Himalayan Pink and Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt #Recipe #Review

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With fish prices rising and myself still craving fish, I have pretty much made every fish readily available in a manner of ways. Nothing satisfies a dual craving of seafood and fried food like the recipe below. The combination of salts brings a unique flavor to the dish as do the flours, which create a perfect thin crust that is super crunchy but remains light. You can make the dish using pretty much any fish (that is not ultra oily)or even use shrimps….po’ boys style or just bites to enjoy. You can also make “Devil Fish” bites by adding Sriracha to the buttermilk soak. Great for fish tacos too because the batter is crunchy but not heavy!

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The combination of salts is what makes the impact because the salinity in the Himalayan Pink Salt is great in the buttermilk soak but does not “pickle” the meat. The Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Salt brings those earthy notes that is almost like a truffle but so unique that is difficult to pin point. In the end, you just end up with a flavor combination that is perfect and better than anything you can buy. It’s also quick to make!

Let’s get started……

I start the night before to allow the fish soak up all the flavors and I like making meals that allow me to prep the evening before, so I get less mess but the benefit of capturing every flavor note without doing a thing.

 

  • Start with 3 Tilapia Fish Fillets and cut them into finger size pieces and I usually try to make bites in size that take one to two bites each to eat.

Buttermilk Soak:

  • 1/8 of teaspoon of each (Dried Herbs)- Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Dill Weed, Marjoram, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, and the Gourmet Nut’s Himalayan Pink Salt.
  • Optional- You may add 1/8 of a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper or more to suit your taste. I have added Sriracha in the past to create “Devil Bites” but again this is to your own discretion. You can also make 1/2 normal and 1/2 deviled to get different bites out of one dish.
  • 1/2 cup of Buttermilk

You add the dry ingredients and the fish to a bowl and mix to combine and cover everything evenly.

Then add the buttermilk and allow the fish to soak over night. I like to give it at least 4 hours but the more you give it, the more the fish absorbs and the better the flavor.

The following day, take the fish out and allow it to lower in temperature for about 20 minutes and then begin making the coating/batter.

Batter/Coating:

  • 1/4 cup of Corn Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Gourmet Nut’s Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • Optional- Cayenne Pepper to taste

Combine the batter and no egg needed bath is needed as the buttermilk serves as a great “glue” to make the coating stick. You simply drop each bite and coat evenly, repeat until finished.

 

Frying:
I use Peanut Oil to produce a nice crisp outside and a clean taste when frying but you may use any oil you desire. I heat up the oil between 370 and 395 degrees because I find this heat point perfect for less spatter and spitting, even though my chicken tends to cause more than the fish does. Simply drop the bites and because this is a light batter, the fish coating will remain light in color and you will achieve a light golden tone. The fish literally stops making noise when they are done. You will see within the oil the bubbling starts to subside and it takes only a few minutes to fry in small batches. It’s quick and self telling when it’s done, so that works for me.

 

 

Serving:
You can make fish tacos or serve the fish as-is with a side of tartar sauce. I made shrimps and crab cakes that evening, plus fries because I wanted to nip my fried food craving. I also like to grind a little finishing salt of the Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt when serving because it gives it touch of extra flavor and the color against the white meat of the fish is just gorgeous! Enjoy!

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Get in touch with, or find out where to buy Gourmet Nut’s fantastic products by visiting them:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Gourmet Nut.  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.

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The Spice Lab: Ghost Pepper Crispy Oven Fries

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The myth. The legend. The Ghost Pepper.

I have heard about the Ghost Pepper and even seen people taste it but their reaction was always to the intense heat with very little to report on taste. Scary stuff. I’m a girl that loves heat and spice but I want flavor too. My best description is that this pepper tastes like a non-latin red pepper, but with attitude. The notes are actually good and intense but end with a touch of smokiness. Not like a chipotle or a poblano, so there is where I come off with the “non-latin” description. It’s good……like, really good. After I tasted the salt as-is, I not only respected Mr. Ghost Pepper but could not wait to try it in a recipe. But wait for me to get some more water 🙂

Potatoes are usually bland so I felt they were the perfect pairing, plus I am always in that race to use up every Russet potato I purchased in the bag because then what I paid is not a super bargain. These fries are simple to make and only take 25-30 minutes to cook. You are left with crispy and I mean extra crispy fries from the oven. I am not overstating that here, because I have tried so many oven fries recipes and ended up with floppy sticks….no flop here.

Let’s get started…..

  • 3 to 4 Russet Potatoes (washed but with peel….I said this was easy)
  • 1/8 cup of Pecorino & Romano cheese blend (grated and if you just have Parm, that will do)
  • 1/8 cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup of White Rice Flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Oregano (dry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Parsley (dry)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Dill Weed (dry)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of The Spice Labs Ghost Pepper Infused Salt (or more if you dare 🙂 )
  • Smoked Salt (to taste) and I used The Spice Labs Applewood Smoked Salt
  • Black Pepper (to taste)

 

  • Baste- 1/4 cup of Buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of Peanut Oil (or a oil with a high heat point of your choosing). I find Peanut Oil gives me the perfect crisp!

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Cut your potatoes into fries and soak them in cold water for an hour, just make sure to change the water about 3 times. Removing the starch helps aid with the crisp factor.

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Take a bowl and just add all the above dry ingredients and mix, then set aside.

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Once the hour passes of your fries swimming in water, I spin them in a salad spinner to dry them. Patting them with paper-towels until completely dry works too.

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Place the fries in a bowl and allow them to bathe in the 1/4 cup of Buttermilk. You will think a 1/4 cup is too little but as long as you come by and give them a stir, you will see that it covers nicely without waste. If you feel your bowl needs more Buttermilk, feel free to add more because this is just for the fries to soak in it for 30 minutes. Once the fries have been basting in the Buttermilk for 30 minutes or so, add the Peanut Oil and toss making sure to coat the potatoes well.

Turn on oven to 425 degrees. I used the convection setting.

Then comes the dunk! I take the fries by the handful (leaving whatever Buttermilk/Peanut Oil that did not soak up behind) and dump them in the batter. I make sure each fry gets a nice crust adhered to it and then place it on parchment paper.

It took me two pizza pans (the ones with holes) to get all my 3 potatoes to fit. I spaced them enough and in the oven they went for 25 to 30 minutes. At the half-way point, I made sure to get them out and give each fry a flip, so it would cook evenly. If you cut your fries bigger, they may need a little more time to finish but always taste-test to know if they are done.

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These fries are crisp and have heat, so I paired them with a dip and chose a Caesar dressing! It’s yogurt based and went really well with them, plus saves you from the heat when needed.

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Get Your Ghost Pepper kick and many others at:

  • The Spice Lab On-line– http://shop.thespicelab.com/
  • Via Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiceLabInc
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/TheSpiceLab

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Don’t forget to pick-up their wonderful Applewood Smoked Salt too and they carry so much, you will get lost in Spice Lab’s World!

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I received the above products free of charge from The Spice Lab.  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.

 

 

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