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

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

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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.

William & Douglas 4-Piece Ravioli Maker Set

Few things are as yummy as fresh, home-made ravioli. And while with much practice one can develop the skills to make them at home without specialized tools, many of us, myself included, just don’t have the time to develop that particular skillset. So along comes William & Douglas and their nifty 4-Piece Ravioli Maker Set, looking all cool and begging for me to use them!

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All the tools sport solid hardwood handles and zinc-alloy metal cutting edges. They’re not sharp so they should be safe for the entire family to use! I would have preferred stainless steel, but in the long run unless I use them way too vigorously than I should they should last a good long time. I would advise against dishwashers, because the zinc-alloy can start to oxidize, and the hardwoods can split if that’s where you decide to wash them, but it’s not advisable by me or the company. I love the little rolling pin tool, because a full sized-rolling pin can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth, and can be overkill for a small batch of ravioli and make a disaster on the counter.

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These tools are easy to use and are ergonomic enough that making large batches won’t cramp your hands or be to taxing on the arms. And William & Douglas offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. I liked them well enough and would recommend them for both the experienced user or novice home chef.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from William & Douglas. 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.

MYS Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

It might seem superfluous to have more than one set of grinders on your counter, but in this house, even two sets falls a little short. Because for us, we have 3 different salts and 4 different peppers to grind depending on the meal, so it can get a little crowded on the counter at times. What that also means is I get to compare and contrast MYS’s Grinder set versus, say, the previous set from Q’s Inn. They look alike, but do they perform alike?

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Sadly, no. Not that the MYS set performs badly, it’s just not as butter-smooth as the Q’s Inn set. There’s some binding in the grinding action, as well as a squeal or two. Occasionally they stick a bit. Other than that they function identically. What was absolutely superb was the collapsible silicone pouring spout for refilling. That’s a bonus that has unexpectedly made filling my grinders a joy instead of a chore. The julienne peeler is neat, but I have a few of those, and none of the are as dangerous. This one as sharp blades that are right out there for my soft, pink digits to get sliced and diced on, so have a safe place to store it. The included cleaning brush is also an inspired inclusion that is one of those “Well, duh!” tools that I should have had much sooner. But the meat and potatoes of this set are the grinders, and they’re decent, not great.

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The stainless steel is also slightly thinner, and not as “polished” so I would be wary of putting in salts that have high moisture content. The ceramic burrs are adjustable and should last a while. The glass bases are easy to clean, grip and use. And the included goodies are mostly awesome, but the action on the grinders, which means the most important part of the set, is lacking and problematic on my set, so I have to knock a couple of stars off for that, but I’ll add one back because the silicone funnel for filling? Inspired. And MYS states on the Amazon listing: “100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE; we aim to keep you perfectly happy with our products and want to know if there are any concerns or questions; please contact us as we will make it right!” So it’s up to you, but for my money, Q’s Inn gets my business instead.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MYS Homeware. 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.

 

William & Douglas “Pasta Pal” Ravioli Maker Molds

 

One thing we thoroughly enjoy around here is pasta and raviolis. We’ve grown accustomed to the frozen ones you can buy at the store, but sometimes you want to make your own, filled how you want them filled, and fresh. William & Douglas knows my pain, and offered me the Pasta Pal Ravioli maker to soothe my soul!

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Made from injection molded plastic that’s dishwasher safe (top rack!), you have a choice of 3 top dies/shapes and one back with plenty of space in the hollow for fillings. The 12-pocket tray will sit flush and flat on the counter while you make your raviolis, and won’t mar the countertops like some metal dies might. The food-grade plastic is also not very good at transferring heat, which means that the pasta won’t start heating up and sticking like metal might. Cleanup is a breeze, because you can just throw them in the sink (don’t actually throw them, though!) full of warm soapy water and with a quick brush and drip dry, they’re ready to go again!  There’s no rust to worry about like steel, or oxidization like with cast aluminum. With proper care, your Pasta Pal should last for years and years!

William & Douglas also offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your Pasta Pal, and it’s versatile enough that you can use it to make all manner of dumplings, perogi, wontons, and more. At $15.97, I think it’s priced a bit on the high side, but it’s made well and is “satisfaction guaranteed”, so take that into consideration. I would also like to see William & Douglas offer different sizes, because sometimes you want a larger ravioli or dumpling, but I like my Pasta Pal just fine.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from William & Douglas. 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.

Orblue Angled Spatula 3-Pack

I’ve never been one to believe that one always needs specialized tools to do specific jobs. It’s usually after I’ve found that using the right tool for the job makes the job infinitely easier that I become a believer. Such was the case with these quality angled spatulas from Orblue.

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Content in the past to use a cheap-o plastic job I got as part of one of those new homeowner “gotcha” sets that include a plethora of cheap plastic tools for some unbelievably low price. You know the ones, the ones that clutter up the drawer until you break down and buy a quality version? Well, these Orblue angled spatulas are the good versions you’ll use to replace the cheap-o’s. They’re made from durable stainless steel, but with enough flex in them to be useful for more than just icing a cake. Long 5-inch plastic handles fit nicely in the hand but have enough grip to them to keep a secure hold. The offset design will also do wonders to keep fingers and knuckles out of icing. And while they are dishwasher safe, I’ve found that the best way to extend the life of my quality stainless steel kitchen tools is hand washing and either wipe with a towel or air dry.

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At just $15.87 shipped (at the time of this writing), for a three pack?! You’re going to be hard pressed to find a better set for less money delivered right to your door. The set comes with plastic sleeves for drawer storage, and I’m ashamed I took this look to add something so basic, yet so necessary, as these Orblue Angled Spatulas to my kitchen arsenal. You should get a set right away!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Orblue. 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.

X-Chef 100% Silicone Basting Brushes, 4-Pack

There are some kitchen tools you can never have enough of. Spatulas. Spoons. Bowls. And basting brushes. When I got offered the opportunity to test out a four pack of 100% food-grade silicone basting brushes from X-Chef, you better believe I said yes with a quickness! And am I ever so glad I did.

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You see, despite the advertisements to the contrary, silicone does hold scents and can transfer them between dishes. And up until recently, I’d been keeping my one smaller silicone brush especially for sweet and neutral dishes, or for egg washes, and a separate one for my savory dishes in a separate drawer so they never got confused. Now, thanks to X-Chef, my brushes can all go in the same drawer because they came in four bright colors to easily tell one from another. The clear lucite handles means I can even label them with a Sharpie if I so desire. The handles are long and sturdy, and the heads can slip right off for easy washing. And being that the silicone brushes are dishwasher safe, I can just toss them right in after use. They’re also temperature safe for foods up to 500°, so basting right out the over or right off the grill is no problem. What I especially liked was that the silicone on these brushes was softer than my other brushes, which means I no longer had to brush very slowly or just dab, because the silicone bristles won’t whip or fling marinades or sauces all over the counter, stovetop or oven door.

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As if all that wasn’t enough, X-Chef guarantees their silicone brushes with a 1-year, “No-Hassle” money back guarantee. It’s not just convenient, it’s essential to have multiples of some tools in your kitchen. A silicone basting brush in and of itself is very essential, but having a few on hand at all times will make a day’s worth of cooking and baking a little less of a mess and hassle. At $8.99 shipped from Amazon, I don’t see any reason for your kitchen to be without them!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from X-Chef.  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.

 

X-Chef Easy Flex Silicone Spatula Set

 

I cook and bake a lot, and one thing I’ve learned, aside from you can never have enough mixing bowls, is you can never have enough spatulas. I usually buy them 2 or 3 at a time, and when X-Chef offered me their 4-pack, I was soooo game. They’ve been a blessing in the kitchen, but their not without their faults.

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Silicone spatulas are ubiquitous in the kitchen, so much so that I don’t know a single person without one. And yet, there’s good ones, and bad ones, and the line that delineates them is often very easy to cross. To rigid and they won’t flex, to soft and they won’t hold. Too short and you end up with schmutz on your fingers, too long and you can’t get the fine control you need for nooks and crannies. Handle shape, build quality…It seems like I’m really overthinking this, but until you’ve used a bad one and been so frustrated you wanted to hurl it across the room, you realize I’m not just picking nits. X-Chef’s spatulas are almost there. There’s a lot to love here, too. They’re long enough, with good rigidity without being too stiff. They’re different colors, so you can essentially “color-code” them for different mixes when doing more than one dish. They’re dishwasher safe, non-stick, and heat resistant to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. But then they sort of start to fall apart, figuratively speaking. The shape of the spatula is did not have enough curve on the end, and there was no tip for whipping up peaks or getting into corners. The handles are thin and not too ergonomic, so prolonged use will be a pain in the hand. And the palstic the handles are made from is the kind that clouds and gets brittle after a few trips through the dishwasher. I don’t know about you, but after spends a couple hours mixing and making int he kitchen, the last thing I want to do is stand there for another 30 minutes hand washing everything.

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Maybe I’m being too picky. A four pack of these X-Chef spatulas with only run you $6.99 shipped. At that price I would look at them as disposable, because they certainly aren’t going to last a very long time. So in the end, you could do much worse. You could also do a lot better. They do have a ” LIFETIME NO-HASSLE FREE-REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE!”, but when mine discolored and cracked, I asked them about it through the “contact us” potion of the website and didn’t get a response yet.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from X-Chef.  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.

Ozeri’s GreenEarth Fresh Spin 4.24qt. Salad Spinner

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Around here we consume a lot of greens. Well, I should say that I consume a lot of greens. Hubby somtimes acts as if they might cause him some harm. But I eat more than my share, probably more than anyone I know. Kale, lettuces of all shapes and sizes, broccoli, squash…you name it, I eat it. And one thing they all have in common is a need to be washed, prepped, and stored dry. I’ve tried other brands of spinners, all of which fell far short of my beloved OXO spinner. And then Ozeri went and offered me their Swiss-designed GreenEarth Fresh Spin Salad Spinner. I may just swoon.

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With a fast-spinning ergonomic pump handle, non-slip base and table-ready BPA-Free clear bowl, this spinner has displaced my OXO and become my go-to for big heaps of lettuce. It’s size is deceptive from the pictures…It’s huge, at 4.2 quarts. Before what took me several rounds of “rinse-spin-pour-repeat” now is all done at once. The spin action also doesn’t cause the entire bowl to become unbalanced and threaten to wobble off the counter and scatter my greens to the four winds. It’s quite and only takes 2-3 pumps to achieve maximum velocity. And the brake button brings everything to an immediate halt with no issues, squeaks, squeals or noise. What I love best, and had become a major gripe with my OXO, was the spinner shaft that comes down and takes up valuable real estate inside the bowl. That’s a thing of the past with Ozeri’s GreenEarth Fresh Spin Salad Spinner. All that space in there is free to use, and use it I did.

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I never thought anything would take the place of my OXO. And yet here I am, with my OXO in a closet and My Ozeri GreenEarth Salad Spinner under my counter and waiting my next batch of green goodness. With Ozeri’s 2-year warranty and stellar record of outstanding customer service, this GreenEarth Fresh Spin Salad Spinner is going to see a lot of miles in the coming years.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri.  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.

 

Chefsperience 56-Blade Meat Tenderizer

 

Every now and again, despite my best efforts, I end up with a cut of meat that’s tough. Chewy. No so “choice”, even if the label says otherwise. And when that happens, I used to wish I had a meat tenderizer. I know, I know…how could I not, right? Thankfully, the folks at Chefsperience went and remedied that for me by offering up their 56-Blade Tenderizer. And I’m super glad they did.

See, what can make meat tough is connective tissues. The stuff that hold the muscles together. Everything from age to environment to feed affects these tissues in animals. And you usually have a choice: Extended cooking times to break down these tissues, or take the shortcut and use a product like the Chefsperience 56-blade Meat Tenderizer. Since Chefsperience send it, I’ve chosen the latter option. And it’s no shortcut. I punches through even frozen meats with ease, though particularly dense meats have had the blades stick in a bit. The blades are made from stainless steel, so rusting shouldn’t ever be an issue. So far, all the times I’ve used mine and let it air dry after, not a spot of rust. And beyond making meats more tender, beyond the quicker cooking times, you can now marinade your foods and get deep penetration of flavors, instead of things having a tasty crust on the outside and being bland on the inside. The tenderizer has a locking ring on it to keep hands and fingers safe from accidental deployment of the blades, and a clear acrylic storage cap as well.

I think this is a product that should really be a staple in every kitchen. And while i think I’m still partial to the longer rectangle shape of traditional meat tenderizers, the Chefsperience 56-Blade Meat Tenderizer is round and perfect for irregularly shaped cuts of meat, so it becomes a matter of personal preference. At around $15 shipped, it’s on par price wise with other, similar products, so I think it’s worth a try!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Chefsperience.  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.

 

Sunsella 100% Stainless Steel Collapsible Steamer Basket

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There are things you take for granted you have in your kitchen and then when it fails you, are at a loss where to go to get a quality replacement. A rolling pin. A dough scraper. Cookie sheets. You know the brands, and the big box stores that sell them, but which one is good? Which one will last you? Which one won’t fail? Well, when my collapsible steamer went kaput, I’d had it for so long I didn’t know where to start. And like a knight in stainless steel shining armor, in rode Sunsella’s Stainless Steel Collapsible Vegetable Steamer. And let me tell you, it does so much more than steam vegetables.

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See, these steamers are a staple in almost every kitchen, regardless of the background of the cook. It’s been used in this house to steam homemade tamales, to steam Asian-style pork buns and potstickers, to of course to steam veggies. It has a smooth action to open and close, a handy ring on the center post for easy grabbing, and little feet that are long enough to be able to put a good amount of water in your pot to keep the steam flowing. Have something big to steam? Just unscrew the center post and voilà, you’ve got all that real estate in your pot to fill. It takes up virtually no space in the cabinet but is absolutely indispensable in any kitchen. And the 100% stainless steel means it cleans like a dream and will last you for years and years. And while it says it’s dishwasher safe, I recommend cleaning by hand and air drying, as the harsh detergents in the dishwasher might cause it to tarnish and rust over time. I want my tools to last, and while my last steamer was over 2 decades old, I wanted him to last longer. And this Sunsella 100% Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer might be there when I’m ready for Social Security. 

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The one drawback I find myself hitting over and over and over lately is price. At $13.99 (at the time of this writing), this steamer is, in some cases, almost 50% more than others on Amazon with the same features and materials. I had to go to Williams Sonoma to find one with a comparable price, and we all know how “out there” Williams Sonoma is with prices. Most were around $8 or $9. I just don’t know how to justify the markup here, and I feel it’s an awesome product. I don’t know, but I know I wouldn’t pay that kind of markup for a product. I liked it, I just don’t know if I liked it 50% more than the rest.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sunsella.  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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