Archive for the 'In The Kitchen' Category

What Are Some Bacon Lovers’ Must-Have Cooking Accessories? 21Oct14

It’s a fact: no meat eater can resist bacon. It takes any breakfast from ordinary to extraordinary, and it has the ability to add enjoyable crunch to any sandwich. If you love bacon, you’ll want to honor this crispy treat with the kind of preparation it deserves. Whip up this savory snack with specialty kitchen tools and gadgets to create unique bacon dishes. There’s no wrong way to enjoy bacon, but there are tons of fun ways to chomp down!


Cook your Bacon in Style


Bacon Bowls


These nifty little cups allow you to fold strips of bacon into a mold and stick in the oven or microwave. They are perfect for serving morning eggs, or home fries. Kids can help make the bowls and they love to eat them, too! Put chili or potato and leek soup in a bacon bowl for an interesting take on a bread bowl. A great quality about this bacon bowl maker is that there is a cavity around the bowl for collecting grease. You won’t get burned because it all stays below the form. If you have a large family to feed, you may use an upside down cupcake tray, although you should be careful of the hot liquid!


Powercrisp & Ceramic Mug



Dishwasher safe and easy to clean, this cooking rack is a healthier way to consume salty strips of meat with your entire family. As the bacon cooks, the grease falls into the pan below so the strips don’t sit in oil as they would with traditional pan cooking. Cover with a paper towel and stick in the microwave. You’ll never get stung with popping grease and you can cook other dishes of your meal as the bacon sizzles. To remove strips, simply slide a knife between the clear ‘tent’ pieces and lift all 5 pieces at a time. You may also try a ceramic mug with a built-in saucer found on our small kitchen appliances page. The glazed stone heats up in the microwave to a temperature hot enough to crisp bacon to perfect little strips of heaven. The saucer catches the grease and has a tiny spout for easy disposal.


Creative Consumption and Storage


After you’ve cooked the bacon, now what do you do? Make bacon cheeseburgers, of course! Place cooked bacon, cheese, mushrooms and onions on a thin patty and top with another patty. This can get messy, so we suggest using a tool like the Stufz Burger Press to make one of the patties into a bowl shape, another on top and a nice squeeze all around. This way, the bacon stays in the burger and won’t slip out from underneath the bun—every bite is wonderful and bacon-filled!


When you’re finished cooking your bacon, toss the greasy packaging it came in and store remaining pieces in a clean, re-sealable container for optimal freshness. The Bacon Keeper is a plastic case suited for bacon and deli meats and can be found under our food storage page. It snaps shut and will keep bacon fresh for days longer than the original packet.


If you love bacon, you’re not alone. Share the bounty and cook up some tasty cuts with some of these cool gadgets from Taylor Gifts! These tools are excellent gifts for the bacon lovers in your family and make eating bacon a slightly healthier, simpler and more enjoyable task. Check out the many bacon cooking accessories on our kitchen cookware page today!

What Are Some Holiday Cookie Baking Tips for the Home Baker? 10Dec13

The holiday season is here and with it comes one of the most popular of all tasty treat – cookies. Holiday cookie baking won’t be difficult if you choose the right tools to help you. Professional bakers know that starting with high quality ingredients will help create the most delicious end products. There are two main types of cookies including drop cookies and rolled cookies. You can make drop cookies uniform with a cookie gun. It comes with various inserts that allow you to create a variety of shapes using soft cookie dough. Simply insert dough and pull the trigger to place them onto a prepared cookie sheet.


Rolled cookies can be made into shapes by using cookie cutters. Holiday shaped cookie cutters help you make cookies in festive shapes. Once the cookies are baked you can decorate them with frosting. Use a deluxe icing set to decorate cookies. The set has a selection of tips and bags so you can create professional looking cookies with ease. When making rolled cookies it is helpful to place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for a while before rolling it to prevent sticking and to make the shapes form properly. Bake cookies on an extendable baking sheet.


Holiday cooking can be a fun family project if you’re well organized. When baking with young children measure the ingredients and have everything ready before you begin. Allow the children to participate by giving them safe and easy tasks and keep them away from a hot oven. Let them assist in decorating cookies with as assortment of candies, sprinkles, and frosting they can use to make unique creations. Place cookies in bags or airtight containers to keep them fresh for up to a week. If the cookies are for a bake sale, place several cookies into each plastic package and tie with a colorful ribbon so they can be sold in small quantities.


Sources:


http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/5-tips-for-baking-the-perfect-cookie4.htm

What Are Some Terrific Turkey Tips? 19Nov13

The holidays are just around the corner so it’s time to start thinking about family food get-togethers. According to the National Turkey Federation, Americans eat 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving. This equates to about 736 million total pounds of turkey making turkey the most popular meat item for the Thanksgiving holiday. Proper organization ahead of time will make holiday cooking a breeze. Using the correct roasting pan will ensure a bird that is cooked to perfection. Choose an oval roaster set with a rack so the turkey won’t rest directly on the bottom of the pan. This will provide the best heat distribution.


Roast the turkey without the lid for the first hour so the skin will get brown. Then, place the lid on the roaster or cover the turkey with foil to keep it from drying out or getting too crisp. Roast the turkey with the breast facing up in a 325° F. oven. The length of time needed to cook the turkey depends on the size of the bird as well as whether the turkey is stuffed. For example, a stuffed turkey that weighs 9 to 18 pounds will need to roast for 3 ¾ to 4 ½ hours. Use a fast read food digital thermometer to determine when the turkey is done. The temperature should be 165° F. in the breast or stuffing and 180° F. in the thigh.


Before carving the turkey, allow it to rest for about 30 minutes after taking it out of the oven. In the meantime, use the pan drippings to make delicious gravy. Remove the rack from the pan. Add some turkey or chicken stock to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Heat the gravy on the stove, adding flour and butter mixture to thicken it before serving.


Sources:



http://www.livescience.com/17161-thanksgiving-turkey-americans-eat.html
http://www.butterball.com/how-tos/roast-a-turkey

Would You Like to Host a Holiday Wine and Cheese Party 15Oct13

The holidays are a festive time to have get-togethers with friends and family. One of the easiest gatherings to design is a wine and cheese party. This fun party only requires a little bit of planning to create an enjoyable evening for everyone. Use a large table to set up the wine and cheese bar. Start with a holiday tablecloth and use a roll of craft paper as a base for the wine and cheese. This allows you to write the names of the wines and cheese directly on the paper so people can easily identify pairings.


Gather a few items that you’ll need including some wood cheese cutting boards. Choose a cheese board set with a cheese slicer, fork-tipped knife, and cheese spreader to easily manage serving the various cheese options. You’ll need some wine glasses, small plates and napkins, which you can place on the table where guests can serve themselves buffet style. Slice the cheese ahead of time or provide the tools to let guests get their own. Purchase wine or ask guests to bring a bottle for sharing.


Plan on about a bottle of wine per guest and provide cheese pairings for each one. You can also use other items for pairing such as freshly cut apples. You’ll also want to serve some crusty bread, which you can slice and place into small baskets on the table. The bread helps to cleanse the palette. Be sure to have a set of wine tools available for easy use. Provide wine glass id tags so guests can easily keep track of their own glasses. Add some music from your favorite playlist and the party is ready to go. Keep some wine and cheese on hand throughout the holidays so you can easily whip up an impromptu party whenever guests drop by.


Sources:


http://www.tablespoon.com/posts/how-to-host-a-wine-and-cheese-party/db2245e7-19ed-494e-8971-245d2ae7f08c

Stock Your Kitchen with Handy Kitchen Gadgets 07Oct13

If you’re like the average person, you may enjoy cooking, but at times it may feel like a chore. Home chefs are often tempted by gadgets, and some are more helpful than others. Kitchen gadgets are often promoted as something you can’t do without, and some of them do turn out to be very helpful.


Fruit is very healthy for you, although sometimes it’s a pain to do all the peeling and slicing that comes with eating right. A melon cutter can slice one melon into multiple slices with one motion, so it can save you lots of time. They are made from stainless steel, so they’re easy to clean.


You may have drawers full of kitchen must-have’s that you never use. You may reach, however, for peelers and knives more often. The best kitchen gadgets are the ones you know will do the job right whenever you use them. Some are electric and some are manual, according to the Guardian: Kitchen Gadgets.


Food processors have been in use for awhile now, and some cooks use them a lot, whereas others leave theirs sitting unused for weeks at a time. Ice cream makers sound like fun, but they can mean work, too. Juicers are useful tools if you want to get plenty of those healthy fruits in your diet.


Not all kitchen gadgets are made for healthy foods, of course. The French Fry Express makes up to 25 home fries at a time, and you can just pop it in the dishwasher when you’re done. Deep fryers make wonderful fries, although they are certainly not healthy enough to be a regular staple in your diet.


Chef’s baskets are great tools for your kitchen. You can use them to steam healthy veggies and to strain foods after you cook them. They are a handy alternative to the traditional colander, since they work inside the pan as well as outside.


Source:


http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/feb/20/kitchen-gadgets-matthew-fort

What is the Fad With Organic Cookware? 28May13

Ads for organic cookware are all over TV and the internet these days. It seems that everywhere you look, you see someone demonstrating cooking with an organic skillet, pot or other pan, proclaiming its benefits. But just why is organic cookware so popular? In a word, it’s ‘healthy’.


The Original OrGREENIC Frying Pan, for example, is designed to allow you to cook food in the healthiest way possible. original orgreenic 10 inch frying panBecause its aluminum core is coated with a non-toxic ceramic coating, you don’t have to worry about harmful PFOAs leaching into your foods. PFOAs are synthetic substances used in many non-stick coatings—but not in the OrGREENIC Frying Pan. That’s because the designers of this frying know that exposure to PFOAs has been linked to several risks, not the least of which is higher cholesterol.


But the OrGREENIC folks didn’t design their organic cookware simply to eliminate PFOAs. They also designed it to allow you to cook healthier food through its non-stick ceramic coating. Because nothing sticks to the surface of the OrGREENIC Frying Pan, you can cook without oil, fat or grease. That means that your chicken and fish are better for you because they have no added fats. Vegetable stir fry is truly good for you because you don’t have to add anything to keep your delicious veggies from sticking to the pan as they cook.


The construction of this wonderful 10-inch frying pan offers more efficiency, too. It allows heat to transfer throughout the skillet evenly so everything cooks faster than it would in a traditional skillet. And the handle is ergonomically designed so this skillet is easy to maneuver, plus the handle features stay-cool technology so you won’t burn your hand when you lift the skillet. And the surface of the OrGREENIC Frying Pan won’t chip or peel. In fact, it is designed to last you a lifetime. So however you prefer to cook—boiling, braising, sautéing, frying or searing—you’ll love using the Original OrGREENIC Frying Pan every day.


But the Original OrGREENIC Frying Pan isn’t the only organic cookware that is gaining in popularity around the world. orgreenic 10 inch lidPair the frying pan with the OrGREENIC 10 Inch Lid. Like the frying pan, it is constructed of aluminum and coated with a non-stick, non-toxic ceramic coating. Using it helps you to cook even faster, and it cuts down on splatter from the natural juices in your food. A hole in the lid allows steam to escape, and the handle is ergonomically designed to make this lid easy to lift on and off the frying pan.


For a larger family or a friendly get-together over a home-cooked meal, the OrGREENIC 12 Inch Frying Pan will quickly become a favorite. orgreenic 12 inch frying panLike other OrGREENIC cookware, it offers a lifetime warranty. That’s because it will last a lifetime, remaining chip-free even if you use it every single day. And you’ll be tempted to do so because it’s a comfortable tool to use in your kitchen…comfortable and efficient and healthy.


Do you love grilled cheese sandwiches or pancakes? If so, you’ll discover that the OrGREENIC Griddle is the perfect piece of cookware for you. orgreenic griddleYou won’t have to spray the griddle with non-stick spray before you cook your meal, so you’ll save money and cut down on those pesky extra calories. No more buttering the griddle before cooking—save that butter for the top of the pancakes!


But the folks who designed the amazing OrGREENIC Frying Pan and Griddle didn’t stop there. They knew that today’s cooks need more than these simple staple tools. orgreenic 10 piece cookware setThey put together a set that includes ten pieces—everything you need to prepare your family’s favorite meals. The OrGREENIC 10 Piece Cookware Set includes an 8” fry pan, a 10” fry pan with lid, a 1.5 quart sauce pot with lid, a 2.5 quart sauce pot with lid, a 6 quart sauce pot with lid and an aluminum steamer insert. You’ll be able to prepare an entire feast faster and healthier than ever before. And like the original frying pan, the set features that fabulous aluminum core and the revolutionary non-stick, non-toxic ceramic coating that makes cooking fast and fun as it provides you with healthy results.


So try cooking a meal of your own with organic cookware, and you’ll quickly discover why it’s become such a fad.

Bionic Wrench 06Sep12

I am pretty sure on this blog I have mentioned to you all that I actually enjoy doing things for myself. I really like buying furniture and pieces for my apartment and putting them together. I get a lot of satisfaction out of not only putting things together for myself, but I also like being able to fix things without having to ask for help.

bionic wrench
I would not really consider myself a “handyman” but I would consider myself “capable.” Yes, I have a tool kit in my closet. I thought everyone knew how to put things together, and take care of things like using the directions to put together a bookshelf…but after talking to some of my co-workers, I have learned that is actually not the case. My friends rely on other people to do things that I always thought were pretty simple tasks. Furthermore, I love multi-tasking tools. My favorite new multitasking tool is the Bionic Wrench.

The difference between the Bionic Wrench versus a regular wrench is that the Bionic Wrench uses six powerful, adjustable sliders built-in to the 360° head to help you firmly grip nuts on all six sides, instead of just two like a standard wrench. The great part about this is that the Bionic Wrench will help to prevent slips and give you 2-3X’s the power while loosening or tightening nuts. I love products that make big projects that take less time.


So, if you are anything like me who likes to do things for yourself, but also prefers for the project (while fun to do) still be as easy as possible, so the you can enjoy the final product sooner rather than later, the Bionic Wrench might be just the tool you have been looking for. I know I love the idea of doing the hard work, but I love even more the feeling of looking at my final product and being proud that I did it on my own.

Mr. Lid! 14Aug12

Welcome back to another week. I hope you all had a nice weekend that was full of fun, productivity, and hopefully, a little bit of time for some relaxation. If your weekend was anything like mine, you were taking in the last of the 2012 Summer Olympics because they sadly came to an end on Sunday. I know we have not spoken about the Olympics on this blog, but any moment I had to watch television, I was watching the Olympics. They completely grab my full attention, no matter what sport was on, and I was giving up all of my favorite television shows for whatever the network was showing of the Olympics. Additionally, they were keeping me much more focused at the gym rather than the regular television I watch to help me through my treadmill runs. But now the Olympics are over…so what do I do?

twist n clip

Well, I have learned that now that I do not care to sit on the couch in front of the television for several hours every night anymore, I have a lot more free time in the evening after work. Due to my addiction to everything-Olympics, I did not make it to the grocery store over the weekend, so I went on Monday night. After dinner, cleaning up, and getting lunches together for the week, I still needed more to keep me occupied (nothing good was on TV). So, I did what any normal girl who was bored would do: organized! Monday night I tackled the kitchen. The lingering culprit of the kitchen is the all-time-dreaded Tupperware cabinet. No matter what I do, I can never seem to get it right. Naturally, I turned to the internet for advice on how to keep containers and lids organized in the cabinet which contents always seem to tumble down on me every time I open the door. What did I find? The new Mr. Lid


I know what you are probably thinking: “Another container that promises to keep organized but probably won’t.” Well, I have high hopes for the Mr. Lid. What makes Mr. Lid better than other containers to store food? Mr. Lid has the lids attached to the container – yes – attached! So you will always have the matching lid to the corresponding container. So, the lesson I learned from all of this: By no longer watching the Olympics I can actually be productive in my apartment and find the right items to keep this place organized.

Summer Grilling 04Jun12

Summer grilling is one of my favorite pastimes. I regularly center my time spent around food all year, but during the summer it’s just so perfect. Food is light and healthy and grilled (not fried). Food is fresh, crunchy, juicy, and hydrating. While I generally eat a lot of vegetables throughout the year, I really gravitate to lots of fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables in the summer.


outdoor cooking and grillingIt is so hot in the summer that hot, rich, heavy, deep fried, oven roasted food just is not what I crave. But, because it is so hot I find myself wanting fruits and vegetables that are full of water and nutrients to rehydrate my body; because even though it can be ridiculously hot outside I like to take full advantage of the warm sun, and I’d rather be hot than cold. So, with all of that said, I try to do what I can to research different summer grilling veggie recipes to make eating fun. I recently came across this recipe for Grilled Vegetable Focaccia and I cannot wait to give this a try. It’s nice to eat raw vegetables, but veggies on the grill are unbelievable! If you haven’t tried vegetables on the grill, you have got to either do it yourself, or if you live in an apartment which grills are not allowed, please befriend someone with a grill – you will not regret this decision. It has always been my belief that everything tastes better if it is grilled (this includes romaine lettuce).


So basically, in a nutshell, I love summer grilling and the food that goes along with it. I love grilling outside, eating fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables, and eating it outside as I continue to sit in the heat of the summer. What do I recommend? Well, if you have the means, I suggest picking up a portable grill, BBQ set, BBQ cover or other grilling accessories:


Grilling Accessories at Taylor Gifts


Make the most of this awesome summertime grilling season. You won’t regret cooking on the grill, and your family will love you for it.

Corn Cob Desilker 03May12

I love May! The weather is getting warmer and warmer and each night I can smell the wonderful foods my neighbors are cooking on their outdoor grills. I don’t have one and I am oh-so jealous. There is nothing like cooking fresh foods on the grill. Everything tastes better!


One of my favorite foods to grill is corn on the cob. For the longest time, I didn’t know you could grill it. I had always had it boiled. The only problem with corn on the cob is all those little silk strands that are so hard to clean off. The inevitably get stuck in my teeth and then I have to break out the floss. It’s not a problem that would deter me from eating corn, but just an annoyance.


Corn Cob Desilker” width=Hasn’t anyone found a way to get the silk strands off the cob? Yes! The Corn Desilker is an amazingly simple gadget that grabs the strands and pull them off. It’s so simple, it makes me wonder why I haven’t always had this!


I have a feeling I’ll be eating a lot of corn on the cob this summer!


Our customers rate this Corn Desilker:

4.7 out of 5 Stars (based on 3 reviews as of May 3, 2012).