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.

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.

Dick Taylor Craft Handmade Chocolate and French Silk Pie Review and Recipe #DickTaylorChocolate

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Every once in a while, you run into a product that is a game changer. Someone who ups the bar so high that you don’t know who or if it can ever be topped. I really try to reserve some labels for a truly superlative product. Dick Taylor’s Craft Chocolate hits every metric for me to call it “The Very Best”. Nothing I’ve ever had before can even come close. It’s in a league all it’s own. I’ll go over why below, and even add a recipe that, should you have the willpower to not devour the chocolate immediately, will be dynamite.

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Chocolate in the United States has been done a great disservice. What was once an American icon, Hershey’s, can be held partly accountable for the woeful state of chocolate confections in this country. Because if you’ve only had Hershey’s, you’ve not had chocolate. Craftsmen like Dustin Taylor and Adam Dick are looking to right a terrible wrong with their small-batch craft Dick Taylor chocolates. With a hands-on approach that takes up to a month or more, it starts with selecting only the finest fair-trade raw cacao, all the way up to the pouring of this molten magic into it’s molds. You’ve not lived until you’ve treated yourself to a piece of Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate. The vintage machinery used belie the dedication and skill inherent to this labor of love, because one would think to make the best chocolate, you’d need the latest and greatest in automation and innovation. The craftspeople at Dick Taylor chocolates scoff at the notion, and impart a love and devotion to being the best that I could only strive for. Heart will take you far, it seems.

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The list of ingredients for the 72% Madagascar, Sambirano is so simple it’s almost as if they left out a step on purpose to keep anyone else from finding the secret to a truly superior chocolate. Ready?

Organic cacao and organic cane sugar.

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That’s it. No emulsifiers, no fillers, no chemicals, no artificial gunk, no waxes. The flavor envelopes your mouth immediately, with no harsh bitterness, no oily or overly creamy mouth feel, no grit. Impossibly smooth from first bite to final swallow, you almost never want the experience to end. There’s nothing else like it. It was almost transcendent. Our bars of Green & Blacks now sit in the pantry, lonely and wanting. The Guittard Dark baking chips that were my baking cabinet queens have been kicked to the curb. I’m fully and completely in love with Dick Taylor’s Craft lovelies. I mean, they even look exquisite. We were so fortunate that the weather was in our favor when the box arrived, as I’ve have been inconsolable to have had this chocolate adulterated by the heat. There’s 5 different types of “dark” chocolate with cacao percentages from 72% up to 76%, as well as 4 specialty flavors (Fleur de Sel?! You had me at “chocolate”, you devil!), drinking chocolate, and even a Father’s Day Gift Collection! Should I gift one to hubby despite not being a father? Hmm… At any rate, there’s truly something for everybody there!

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Located to our north in Eureka, CA, we have a standing invitation to tour their facility should we ever find ourselves in the neighborhood. I don’t know if I’d trust my self (or hubby) to not grab everything we could carry and run cackling like madmen out the doors at first opportunity, probably to the tune of “I’ve got a golden ticket”. There’s thankfully an authorized retailer just a short ways away, but I’m not sure if my diet thinks this is a good thing. We finished the first bar in 5 minutes after the first nibbles, and we just don’t do that in this house. Chances are, there’s someone to sell you a bar locally. And if not, they do sell direct from the website, shipped to your door.

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Not since the mythical Willy Wonka has there been something so magical available to eat. Nothing you’ve had comes close. Be forewarned, after you’ve had Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, nothing will ever come close again. You’ll be spoiled for all time, chasing a chocolate dragon until your end of days. Do it anyways. It’s sooooo worth it.

Connect with Dick Taylor Craft Chocolates at:

 

 

Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate French Silk Pie:

With Summer here and the weather finally warming up for us, I wanted to bring back a classic but a goodie.  A good pudding always allows you taste the honest chocolate notes.  With Dick Taylor’s Madagascar, Sambirano 72%, I found it to be like the perfect espresso without the bitterness.  A good chocolate will not add oils or large amount of sugars, so neither shall I.  My Husband has always loved this pie but disliked what time has done to it.  It went from a way to showcase a fine chocolate bar and having a cold pie on a hot day, which hits you perfectly like a car ride (of course top down) with a chocolate shake in hand.  We now get ready-made puddings out of a box and the custard pudding below is good and rich enough to eat by the spoonful!  Say goodbye to eating desserts out of the box and treat you and yours with real pudding made like other, with Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate.  If I could only find a way to transfer the design of their bars onto this pie…….life would be perfect.  I swear they should sell stamps of their bar’s imprint and of course paired with chocolate scented ink 🙂 Enjoy!

Lets Begin……

Filling (Custard Pudding)-

  • 1/3 cup of Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of Whole Milk (at room temperature)
  • 1/8 cup of Corn Starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 2 Egg Yolks (at room temperature)
  • 5 1/4 ounces of Dick Taylor’s Dark Chocolate of your choice
  • 1/8 cup of Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 of teaspoon of Cocoa Powder (reserved as you sprinkle it on the crust before adding the filling)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of Butter (salted and used KerryGold)
  • 1 Pre-baked Pie Crust (search my recipes if you need one or you can use whatever recipe you desire)

You Start by pre-baking a pie crust.  The crust has to be fully cooked and cooled before you begin making the pudding for the pie.  Below is my crust, and I use a butter and shortening recipe.  I won’t judge if you even get a ready made pie crust, just as long as you make the pudding and you can just skip the crust and serve the pudding in cups with a graham cracker to dunk with!

Now, comes puddin’ time!  You first start by combining the dry ingredients.  This is the corn starch, sugar and salt.  I combine them in a bowl, whisk and then they go into the pot you wish to make your pudding in.  I use a non-stick for that added no stick insurance they have.  Next, combine the milk and the 2 egg yolks.  I use the same measuring cup I use for the milk and just whisk and set aside.  You then measure out your chocolate (break up bars **sniffle**), and you need 5 1/4 ounces.  If you go over, it produces a thicker product but trust me this is pudding that is as thick as it is and rich.  Add the 1/8 cup of Cocoa Powder to the same bowl you have your chocolate in.  If you opted to make this a pie, add the 1/2 teaspoon and dust the bottom of your pie crust with it.

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Now comes the cooking process.  Combine the milk and egg mixture to the sugar, salt and corn starch mix.  Combine with a whisk and turn the stove’s burner on low.  Keep mixing, whisking (get those edges too!) and continue whisking.  You can set the burner to a low-medium setting if you are a heavy whisker at this point and the mixture will begin to show small air bubbles around the 3 minute mark.  You will feel some heat on you knuckles from the steam but keep at it.  After all, we’re burning calories here!  As you whisk, you will feel at the 5 minute mark (if not sooner), the mixture getting thicker and thicker and when it truly bubbles, just before it boils, off the heat it comes.  Turn off the burner and add the chocolate to your custard, along with the Vanilla.  You got pudding!

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Then add the tablespoon of butter.  Now, you have a glistening and rich pudding.  Heaven!

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Now, pour the pudding into the pie shell or if making pudding cups, you can pour into a container to cool (uncovered).  Once cooled, you can then add a cover to not have a choco-smelling fridge, but then that’s not a bad thing either.

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You allow the pie (or pudding bowl) to cool on the counter for an hour and then into the fridge it goes (uncovered).  I let it cool about 3 hours to avoid that condensation you can get if you covered it.  After the 3 hour mark, I then cover the pie (or pudding bowl).  I allow the pie to cool over night and yes, it tortures my loved ones.  I figure they can salivate while it’s cooling and you really get the pie to settle and this is why that 1/2 teaspoon of Cocoa is added.  Any wetness gets absorbed and there is no sliding around from the filling when cut.  Now, topping time!

I have made several topping from whipped cream with mascarpone cheese to salted caramel.  This time I made edible fun-fetti.  It’s a sugar cookie batter but why use white sugar when you can add color!

Fun-Fetti/Confetti Cookie Crumb Topping:

  • 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
  • 3/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Multi-Colored Sugar Crystals
  • A Dash of salt
  • A Sprinkling of Multi-Colored Sugar Crystals

Set Oven at 375 degrees and begin incorporating (cutting with fork or I use my hands) the butter and flour.  It’s cold and you want to create crumb with about pea sized crumbles.  Add a dash of salt (if wanted) and the 1 tablespoon of the sugar crystals.  Mix until incorporated and in it goes into the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.  When the 7 minute mark comes, add a sprinkle of the sugar if you want extra shimmer.  Then back it goes for the last 3 minutes of cooking.  You want the crumble set but not browned because it takes away from the appearance.

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Take out cooled Pie.

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Add whipped topping and Fun-fetti/Confetti topping and done………..well, you can do more and this is why I never decorate the entire pie!  You can also add red, white and blue sugar crystals for a 4th of July theme to the confetti crumble.

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You can opt for a Fleur de Sel Caramel topping with crushed Pistachios…….

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Or, you want it all!

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And, if you’re feeling nifty and want Fleur de Sel Topping with Maldon Salt Crystals (of course, Hubby fought me on not leaving the Fun-fetti out)……the possibilities are endless!

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Enjoy!

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate.  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.

 

 

Orgullosa Event: Entre Nosotras, Mi Casa es mi Estadio #Fùtbol #Orgullosa

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With the FIFA World Cup matches heating up, this has been a year where record numbers are starting to tune in. I can say that I have had more “soccer” conversations than I usually did in the past. Orgullosa, a Procter & Gamble division was kind enough to treat my guests and myself to some P&G products and a little party to celebrate the event(s). I have found serving a buffet of desserts and making it a “sweet treats” event keeps the guests happy and I have mastered the art of mini pies and desserts. Finger foods and small servings lets everyone make enough room to have a little bit of everything 🙂

Let’s begin……

 

  • Tide & Orgullosa T-Shirts:

Finally, shirts that are cut beautifully to fit a female. Each shirt featured a colorful Futbol embraced with the Orgullosa logo and colors. The slogan read, “Orgullosa De Mis Colores”, meaning Proud of my colors. A Tide logo is located on the bottom left corner and the facebook address and Orgullosa logo on the back. Nice white shirts that are comfortable to lounge in and my guests were excited to receive them. I folded the shirts to resemble a basket and stuffed them with goodies and others I used as a base, and stacked the Procter & Gamble items with a finished bow to hold it all together.

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  • Tide Pods:

The pods are perfect for HE washers and regular models. You simply toss a pod in the drum, add your clothes and the machine and the Tide Pod do the rest. Everyone received the Spring Meadow scent. One pod is enough to do one large load and if it’s an extra large one, simply add two. I love that they dissolve easily in any water temperature and perform well when it comes to removing stains and getting clothes clean. Not hard on fabrics and actually tends to brighten colors. Each pod contains detergent, stain remover and a brightener, so you are covered when it comes to getting clothes cleaned their best with Tide Pods. You can find these pods at your local stores and don’t forget your coupons. A 72 count usually retails for $17.99 and places like Target have the Cart Wheel app, where savings can be greater.

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  • Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 in Green Apple:

Shampoo and Conditioner with a nice fresh green apple scent. This is a anti-dandruff shampoo that has a clean and crisp scent. The product contains Pyrithione Zinc in 1% as the active ingredient. Many anti-dandruff shampoos tend to be drying to hair and even the scalp, making the dandruff problem worsen plus creating others. Head & Shoulders leaves your hair manageable and looking beautiful, plus benefiting from a healthy scalp. This product contains conditioner and for those days that I am short on time or need a quick wash to get the pool’s chlorinated water off, this fits the bill perfectly. A 14.2 ounce bottle is a low price of $5.79.

 

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  • Charmin Basic Huge Rolls:

I have purchased the normal rolls, double to big rolls and when I saw the word HUGE, I just thought the big rolls had changed their name. This roll saves my sanity! Why you ask? I seem to be the only one in the house that has mastered the skill of changing the TP roll. Since I have held such a skill, this means for some reason I go in and the roll is empty but still there, empty but a roll was placed on the counter (like saying “almost got there”) or two square sheets are left and this includes the one that is glued on. The Charmin Basic Huge rolls have 385 sheets, which breaks down to 41.9 square feet of peace. You save with the Basic line and you don’t sacrifice quality. Even though this is a 1-ply tissue roll, the sheets are comfortably soft and still “hold up”. I like saving and that includes my skills as bathroom TP roll installer! You can find this new product at your local store and if you can’t find it, ask for it!

 

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  • Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Old Spice:

Being that I also have male guests, Orgullosa sort of figured out that not all the guys want to smell like flowers or even a green apple. In comes the Old Spice scent that smells clean but with less of a floral bouquet fragrance. The product still contains the same fighting power of 1% Pyrithione Zinc and conditioner because guys even with short need it. I don’t want to date a Porcupine, so please condition your locks no matter how long or short they are. The “handsome scent” as listed on the bottle does smell nice and not at all like most men products that smell like musk or the woods. This is a welcoming scent that does it’s job but in a more “manly” way 🙂 A bottle retails for $5.79 for the 14.2 ounce size.

 

  • Orgullosa Tumbler:

I have been on a kick to increase my water intake and it has helped to add lime and lemon slices.  My skin has improved and I feel better, so I have continued the habit.  I do not enjoy always refilling a bottle and trying to stuff citrus slices, so these types of tumblers always make things better and easier.  Easy to wash means I keep my water drinking habit and the Orgullosa logo just makes me appreciate it that much more.  Great gift because it will get used on a daily basis.

 

  • Coupon Booklets & Tide Pods Magnets:

Every guest received not only all the items above to try but also a savings book filled with coupons.  There was also other coupons for other P&G products like Covergirl, which were not included.  The Tide Pods magnets gave instructions and tips about the pods.

  • Futbol Feast:

As I mentioned, I find serving an array of desserts and treats as a way to make something for everyone.  I made 4 mini pies that each yield 4 slices.  I went with a star theme as the that is what La Copa (the cup) had.  I went with an apple, blueberry, blackberry and a strawberry rhubarb pies.  I also included 2 other treats, a Lemon Pound cake with a cream cheese swirl laced with Meyer Lemon curd and a Blueberry Buckle.  I wanted my guests to leave with a treat but a not so sweet one, so I made each a small artisan loaf.  My way of thanking them for coming and something they can enjoy at home with their next meal.  Nothing like fresh bread to make a sandwich for two or just enjoy with a little butter.  We plan to see los partidos together that involve the countries we are rooting for.  I wanted Argentine, Brazil or Germany and then I was told I had to pick one.  I’m waiting for more games to finish to see who ends on top when it comes to my favorite.  Orgullosa also supplied us with a field poster and cut-outs.  We had fun….maybe too much fun 🙂

Fresh Baked Bread for guests to take home.

Fresh Baked Bread for guests to take home.

 

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We got crazy with cut-outs and even the dog was included but she smiled 🙂

 

Visit the above Procter & Gamble products to learn more:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Orgullosa and P&G.  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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