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.

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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.

Ozeri Green Earth Non-Stick 12″ Wok

We use dinner time here at my house to “travel the world” and eat foods that are inspired by many exotic ethnic dishes. One of the favorites, for Hubby at least, are our trips to “the Orient”, and thanks now to Ozeri, we have a new spin on our old classic with their fabulous Green Earth non-stick Wok.

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Ozeri’s smooth non-stick ceramic coating is is second to none, and where we’ve had issues within months with some of the larger company’s non-stick offering (Calphalon, I’m looking at you), we’re going on a year with some of our Ozeri Green Earth pans working like the day we got them. Wok cooking will also made a huge difference with our stir-fry dishes and got a nice sear on the veggies while leaving them crisp, and browned the meats very well while leaving them tender. And clean up was a cinch, I’m talking a rinse with hot water and this pan was nearly clean! The handle stayed cool even with medium-high heat, and there was enough real estate in the pan that I could feed us both of us with a single pan! Made from heavy die-cast aluminum, this pan is made to last and provide years of use. And Ozeri’s patented ceramic coating is 100% PTFE and PFOA free, so no harmful chemicals are going to be leaching into your food! And yes, for those of you wondering, it has a magnetized induction stove safe base.

If I had one thing that was a slight problem for me, it was storage. This is a big pan, bigger than the 12″ sizing would lead you to believe, and I had a hard time getting it in with my other pots and pans. It’s not heavy, it’s actually quite light for it’s size, it’s just so large I may need a shelf of it’s own. And because it’s Ozeri, you can be sure they only want 100% customer satisfaction and will go out of their way to get you there! If you enjoy cooking with an Asian flair, I can not recommend this pan highly enough! You simply must have one in you kitchen!

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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.

 

Ozeri’s Green Earth Frying Pan 3-Piece Set

Ozeri

I always have my cookware radar tuned for a decent set of non-stick pans because let’s face it, they just don’t last anymore and eating the non-stick coating is bad for your health. And I don’t care what anyone says, there’s always a place in my kitchen for a good non-stick pan because there are times you just want the ease, simplicity and convenience of warm, cook, wash and go. I was so looking forward to Ozeri’s Green Earth frying pan set, especially since I recently tested and loved their other Green Earth pan so much.

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But while there are definitely some areas where this set will shine, it fell pretty short of the mark I set for a must-buy pan set. For starters, the Greblon ceramic non-stick coating is slick and probably the most non-stick of any pan I’ve had, ever. But that is a double edged sword, in that while nothing stuck at all ever, it also would not brown or even remotely sear anything to save it’s life. And I know what you’re saying, you don’t buy non-stick to sear anything, but every non-stick pan I’ve had since the mid-90’s has allowed me to get a decent bit of browning on the meats I cooked in them, even the prior Ozeri Green Earth ceramic non-stick pan, but not any pan in this set. Even the Asian-inspired Fried Rice from Trader Joe’s would get a crispy crust on the bottom, but not in these pans. If I had to hazard a guess, the waffle-like texture on the pan’s surface might create air pockets while cooking that does enhance the non stick properties but also won’t allow any decent browning. So, things like scrambled eggs and pancakes might be dynamite in this pan, but browning meats will just not happen. The pan washed up like a dream and the heat-resistant silicone handles on these pans are oven safe to 350 degrees and make handling even the hottest pan no problem. The slippery non-stick coating is 100% PTFE, PFOA and APEO free, which means no heavy metals or chemicals were used to manufacture it, which means it’s a healthier alternative to older generations of non-stick pans. The pan is light thanks to cast aluminum construction, and while it heats quickly and evenly, the heat does quickly dissipate. You get a 12″, 10″, and 8″ size pan in this set,so there’s a size there to accommodate any size household.

There are some real nice features to these pans and I can totally see them being indispensable for certain cooking styles and certain kitchens, but unfortunately mine just isn’t one of them. It’s pretty rare when an Ozeri product is a miss like this for me, but I’ll grade them on the curve and say that while it doesn’t work for me, it might work better for others, and as always, you just can’t beat Ozeri’s dedication to customer service. They stand behind their products 100% and customer satisfaction is their number 1 priority, so I encourage you to give these pans a try and see if they work for you!Let’s not forget the included “value added” green felt pan cozies, which make storage simple and easy allowing you to “nest” you pans without any feat of damaging the ceramic non-stick surface!

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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.

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

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

Ozeri Green Earth 10″ Ceramic-Coated Non-Stick Frying Pan

Ozeri

I cook every day. Sometimes twice a day. So I need tools that will keep up with me, and not give up the ghost in a few weeks time, but stick around for the long haul. It’s not easy finding products that meet these metrics, but so far, this Ozeri Green Earth ceramic-coated frying pan is up to the task.

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Some people will try to convince you that there’s no place for a non-stick pan in a serious kitchen. Well, I take my kitchen very seriously and there’s always a place for a good non-stick pan. From quick scrambled eggs, to a bag of asian-style fried rice, to some frozen veggies stir-fry style, the times you want a quick, good, home cooked meal but don’t want the hassle of stainless steel or anodized aluminum and the cleanup involved. Ozeri has utilized an “ultra-safe ceramic coating inspired by nature which is 100% PTFE and PFOA free”. So it should be a “healthier” alternative to traditional non-stick pans and the fumes they can release. But it has the same drawbacks as traditional non-stick, in that searing (and really, all really high heat cooking) is just not possible, because it will break down the non-stick coating quickly. It does still brown very nicely without drying out the food, and glazes with a high sugar content didn’t burn at all. And preheating the pan is a no-no. Which, depending on your preferences is a plus or a minus. And no metal tools either. But, if you’re like me you have a drawer full of plastic and wood kitchen tools so that’s not a big problem. And the coating on the Ozeri Green Earth pan stands up to those plastic and wood tools just fine. The base of the pan is even magnetized for induction cooking ranges too! The Bakelite handle feels flimsy and has some give in it, and even though Ozeri boasts heat-resistance for it, though I can’t readily find what temperature it’s safe to, so I’d not use it in the oven out of an abundance of caution.

So far, after 2 weeks of nearly every day use this pan has held up to all the meals and concoctions I’ve thrown at it. Nothing has stuck, or even given a hint that it will. All it needed was a light coating of peanut oil before the first use, and a teaspoon of so of oil when cooking for browning or flavor. It cleans up quickly, with no residue or scrubbing at all. Did I mention the Ozeri Pan Protector included at no additional cost? Yeah, that’s just awesome. So stacking any future additions to my Ozeri Ceramic pans will be a breeze! And it’s competitively priced with competitors, all backed by Ozeri’s stellar customer service. I can see no reason to not add this Ozeri Green Earth Ceramic Coated Non-stick Fry Pan to you kitchen.

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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.

 

 

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.

 

Ozeri Deluxe Stainless Steel Frother with 4 Attachments

Ozeri

I have been disappointed time and time again by frothers, because they’re made so shoddily and don’t last. I’ve bought several, from big national brands to smaller, lesser-known brands and to a one, they’ve all failed. I think, finally, I’ve found a frother that will be with me for the long haul. And I have Ozeri to thank.

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Most frothers seem to made to be uni-taskers, as well as disposable. Use it to froth milk and then put it away, hoping it works the next time you need it. Ozeri, however, made their Deluxe Stainless Steel Frother to be used all over the kitchen , for multiple jobs, and to last and look good doing it. The frother comes with 3 different attachments, and a spare frothing head. The beater and whisk heads seem dainty, but the whisk held up to a couple of eggs in a cup for an egg wash, and the beater did just fine for a small amount of ganache for a cake. Ozeri refers to it as a “cocktail mixer”, but I’ve retasked it in this house since we don’t drink cocktails. It was dynamite, however, for a vinaigrette for my salad. Yay. Powered by two AA batteries, it has two settings (low and high, up to 15,000 RPM’s!!) to meet the needs of whatever task you throw at it. And the stainless steel body is a cinch to clean and feels solid in your hands. The top mounted clicker to turn it off and on is easy to use and reach as well. It comes with a matching stainless steel stand, but it’s a little finicky about placement and because there’s heft to the frother can become unbalanced easily, so I don’t always use it. But that’s a minor quibble about what I consider a bulletproof product. After a soild 2 weeks of use, this frother has had nary a hiccup and I foresee it becoming a long standing member of our little family. Ozeri even included the batteries this time (How I love that!) so you’re good to go right out of the box.

Frothers come and frothers go, and anyone who’s had one can attest to that. Nothing’s more frustrating than a product you come to depend on and it fails you. Ozeri understands this and makes their products top-notch and made to last. But I know that Ozeri would stand behind their products 100% if for some reason it failed you, and for that, as well as the above reasons, I recommend this product highly!

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Get in touch with Ozeri’s family of products:

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.

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