So, my husband is drawn to things that start with the name Zombie, like all kids his age. Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser by B. Nectar Meadery is pretty darn tasty. We bought this at the Bottle and Barrel in North Market when we were searching for some fun drinks to add to our hard cider list.
You have to admit, this bottle is attractive for a Zombie loving fool. The ingredients: Michigan cherry juice, apple cider and star thistle honey – the taste – cherries, apples and honey. A nice crisp apple and cherry taste with a sweetness but not over the top too sweet and a light carbonation; you won’t be belching after drinking this. Very little foam, pours out pinkish with an orange tinge and a cherry/ honey with (maybe a little floral) aroma. I’m not an automatic mead fan because I think many are way to sweet for me, but this was very good carbonated mead.
I will say that I think the bottle is amusing – my husband loved it. The website for B. Nectar is pretty cool. The label states that it contains sulphites if that is an issue for you.
Disclosure: This bottle was bought and paid for by me. We would definitely try it again.Diana
Is hard cider really an ale or beer? No, probably not but it’s what I’m going with this weekend. My husband and I have tried some hard ciders and are enjoying the crisp clean but fizzy apple taste of Angry Orchard varieties. Hard Cider is becoming more and more popular as the alcohol of choice at gatherings. It’s not more popular than wine or beer but it’s making advances. I can see it being used in braising liquids in place of beer or soda too.
- My favorite is the Apple ginger which seems a little less sweet, though it could use a bit more of the ginger bite(heat?) that I enjoy.
- Crisp Apple was appropriately named with a nice sweet crisp apple flavor – the downside to this one was that we drank it way too fast. You can forget that it’s hard cider until you start to feel the effects.
- The Classic is more of a dry hard cider, less sweet but still great apple flavor.
Hard Apple Ciders are growing in popularity and becoming easier to find. When I went to the Cincinnati Beerfest last year a friend who has to live a gluten free life was looking for beers or ales that worked, and the hard ciders were represented there. Angry Orchards is located in Cincinnati, though it is part of the Samuel Adams Brand. All of the ciders are about 5.0 % ABV – lightly alcoholic, very tasty and perfect for a friendly gathering but be careful, it goes down too quickly.
I can see that hard cider would be great in recipes, or mixed drinks. My husband likes it too, so it’s not just a chick drink. This weekend Angry Orchard but just so you know, we’ve got some other hard ciders waiting in the wings. We want to expand and we liked this one so much we’re going to try more of them.
Angry Orchards Hard Ciders were sent to me for a review. The opinion expressed is my own honest assessment.
This a quick listing of books that I have received for review and suggest to my readers. This is not a complete guide to every new book; I can’t afford all that’s available but I can give suggestions among those I have received. The one book I bought for myself in the beginning of the year is The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine. If you are looking for a more upscale book, a little bit pricier but packed with suggestions, tips recipes and techniques, then this book is a great choice. It does cost a lot less than I paid for it last year, so it’s a good choice.
When available, I’m adding links to amazon. I do get a tiny bit from it, but feel free to find it on your own, buy it used from another bookseller or borrow from the library. I’m attaching links for your convenience and so you can find the correct book but you don’t need to go through these links. This will be a long post but there are a lot of cool books, some by bloggers like me and I like to encourage that. Some books came to me in .pdf form, and I will let you know if that is the case. Cookbooks are always a good gift, I hope you can find one for someone you love.
Holiday Slow Cooker: A Year of Hassle-Free Celebrations When a friend asked for recipe suggestions for her Christmas meal, I showed her this book. Though the recipes are for meals created in a crock pot, they can easily be adapted for the oven. My pick for her – the lamb roast because she’s never made a lamb before, however I decided to go one step further and we’ll be enjoying lamb shanks for New Years – my latest extravagance. This cookbook is organized by holiday and the edges of the pages color coded to make it easy to use.
Ingredient Index – No (but only 100 recipes), Ingredient type – Mostly fresh some canned
Cover type – Soft, Pages – 106 glossy
Delish A Home-Baked Christmas: 56 Delicious Cookies, Cakes & Gifts From Your Kitchen This cookbook was produced by Hearst Books and Delish.com a Hearst Publication website. If you like fruitcake – the real stuff not the cardboard stuff with fake fruit; this is for you. There are about 15 different types including gluten free and plenty with alcohol. A Home baked Christmas is about putting together a gift rather than a serving for a meal, though it is all edible but most of the treats are a nice visual presentation and would be a nice gift whether you are giving or receiving the treat. There’s a section on gift and table display.
Ingredient Index- Yes, Ingredient type: Mostly baking ingredients, but no mixes
Cover type: Hardbound binder (smaller), Pages – 127 including index and conversion. Semi glossy
Photos: 1 per recipe
The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents Christmas in Tinseltown: Celebrity Recipes and Hollywood Memories from Six Feet Under the Mistletoe – Pop culture cookbook is a good way to describe this cookbook. We’re introduced to some interesting tidbits about the actors, actresses and movies that celebrate the holiday season. Then we get recipes that belonged to some of the celebrities of those holiday movies. It’s a fun quirky book though the recipes are your normal family recipes. It might be me, but I enjoy that the two people most famous for being Mom’s in their Christmas shows have box mixes in their recipes. I also enjoyed the Star Wars Holiday Special synopsis and I love that the Walton’s is part of the tribute – watching it is my Christmas Tradition – along with Holiday Inn, another movie mentioned. I would buy this book for the fun factor, or for someone who has a cookbook collection that needs a little something special.
Ingredient Index- Kind of – semi ingredient list/ celebrity/ recipe index, Ingredient Type: Fresh, canned, box mix
Cover Type: – unknown .pdf , Pages 242.
Photos: Photos of celebrities, not food.
Kitchenability 101- The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food. This book is definitely for kids heading on their own to live in a dorm or small apartment. This is a very basic book for kids like my son who is not big on the cooking thing, so he goes for the easy eats. Most of these recipes can be cooked in less than ten minutes and some that are longer. The recipes are labeled with a D for dorm and an A for apartment, though I disagree with some of the dorm labeled recipes because they require a toaster oven and my kids weren’t allowed to have a toaster oven. However, a toaster oven is a great tool when you are cooking for one and those recipes would be nice for the apartment. The recipes in this book also fit the college kid’s budget, the ingredients are easily available and affordable.
Ingredient Index – Yes, Ingredient type: Fresh ingredients, cans, pre-made waffles
Cover type: Soft bound, Pages – 175 including Index, Acknowledgment and PR for speaking engagements. Glossy.
Photos: 1 per recipe
The I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Healthy Recipes Using Foods from the World’s Greatest Grocery Store. I decided that this book should be under the college student heading rather than the vegetarian because of the cooking style and ingredients used. Most of the recipes are very easy and can be prepared in a few minutes using (Trader Joe’s) canned, fresh and bagged ingredients from the local store aisles. It’s a little more diverse than a college student has probably made, but very doable. It’s especially good if your student is a vegetarian, but my omnivore kids eat vegetarian too, and would enjoy many of these dishes. There are also vegan and gluten-free recipes included and labeled.
Ingredient Index – No, but there is a recipe index, Ingredient Type: Fresh, cans, bagged.
Cover type: Soft bound, Pages – 191 including recipe index and photo credits. Glossy
Photos: Most recipes have photos but not all
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Slow Cooking This slow cooker book for vegans is comparable to a regular slow cooker book in that the selection of recipes is similar though adjusted for the Vegan diet. The recipes run the gamut of breakfast through main , side dishes, appetizers and desserts. I could use any of these recipes in my cooking, though I don’t use seitan very often. As a vegan, a slow cooking guide would be a plus in the kitchen. As with every Idiot’s Guide -there is a good 101 chapter in the front dedicated to slow cooking and another chapter on adjusting to vegan cooking, as well as a glossary in the back.
Ingredient Index – Yes, Ingredient Type: Fresh, cans, bags, dried
Cover Type: Soft bound, Pages – including index, appendix, glossary and the two intro chapters – 292
The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Delectable Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You If you want to try vegan, this would be a book I’d recommend. Most of these recipes don’t seem to be replacing meat with another ingredient like soybean and trying to make it seem like a vegan beef stew, instead it’s based on building on the flavor profile of the ingredients used to create the vegan dish. That’s not to say they aren’t making stews or soups, but they are making stew, soups, appetizers, breakfasts, mains, sides and desserts that are all plant based and they do look pretty darn delicious.
Author: Melissa Costello founder of KarmaChow.com
Ingredient Index – Yes, Ingredient Type: Fresh, Canned
Cover Type ? – received a .pdf version, Pages 242 including index, baking substitutions, acknowledgements, etc.
Photos: Yes for most recipes
This is open to interpretation, so to me it means it’s based on meals that the average family dining experience. Since I’ve already done vegan separately, it isn’t included in this category.
America’s Favorite Food: 200 top-rated recipes from the country’s best magazines – The book is a compendium of recipes from many different magazines including Cooking Light, Real Simple, Health, Southern Living, Sunset, All you, and Coastal Living, the publisher oxmoor house, and the website myrecipes.com. This is a decent size book with plenty of recipes to fit everyone’s tastes, and abilities with lots of great photos.
This is my first interactive book. Using a digimarc app you can download the entire book, some extra recipes and techniques in print and video to your smart phone. I had a little trouble getting the digimarc app to work and download the book. I did not have trouble scanning the photos of the recipes for their link to their myrecipes site or the videos, just the book download. I’m going to keep trying since the app was new to me. Without the app links the book is still a good buy and when the apps no longer work it will still be a good one to own. The quality of the book is independent of the app.
Ingredient Index: Yes (also nutritional info) Ingredient Type: Fresh, frozen, bagged
Cover type: Soft bound, Pages: 288 including index and nutritional info. Semi-glossy Photos: Yes for each recipe.
The Golden Book of Pasta: Over 250 Great Recipes – Pasta is a great staple for family meals. This book is chocked full of pasta recipes, and all types of pasta are represented including rice noodles. The book is divided into short pasta, long pasta, fresh pasta, stuffed pasta, baked pasta, and noodles. This could go in the college kid category too, because pasta is such a fast and easy meal to prepare in most cases that it’s a staple. The golden books are great because they are pretty extensive and have great recipes and photos, but there isn’t an index by ingredient, just by pasta type, it doesn’t have breakfast or dessert. There are photos with tags of many different pastas, but not how to pronounce the names. The very, very plus side, is that my husband could do these recipes, or my son.
Ingredient index: No – only index by pasta type Ingredient Type: Fresh, Canned, Dried
Cover type: Hard bound with Gold book cover, Pages: 608 including index by pasta type. Glossy.
Photos: Yes, for each recipe.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking – This book is so popular, it’s out – well, at least on amazon. You might be able to find it in the store or at almanac.com/shop. This is a book I recommend for you – to keep. It’s not a large book, but it has lots of great baking material – breakfast treats, quick breads, cookies and bars, pies, crisps, crumbles and crunches, cakes for every occasion, a crash course for pie bakers. This book is pretty inexpensive – at only 9.99, it’s worth the price.
Ingredient Index: Yes. Ingredient Type: Baking ingredients
Cover type: Softbound, Pages: 136 including index, conversions and weights. Glossy.
How to Be a Breadhead: A Beginner’s Guide to Baking – This is a cool book written by a monk in Peru, Illinois. It is the basic bread book – starting at the very beginning why and how things work. He shows what basic tools are necessary for a breadhead. You get instructions on a simple bread dough recipe and how to use it to make other special treats like an herbed spiral, cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls.
Ingredient Index: No, but with limited ingredients, not necessary. Ingredient Type: Baking Ingredients
Cover Type: Softbound, spiral bind. Pages: 87 including the final exam. Stock paper.
Photos: Yes, black and white.
Mini Donuts: 100 Bite-Sized Donut Recipes to Sweeten Your “Hole” Day – This is a cool book and though the donuts are mini – the recipes cover a wide range of options and cooking methods. The donuts aren’t just deep fried, they can be baked in the oven or in a mini-donut maker and there are recipes to cover all of them. Besides the ordinary, there are the extraordinary including those for the adult who imbibes in their donuts and the kid in you who might like confetti. It makes one want to go out and get a doughnut maker or oven pan to bake donuts in.
Ingredient Index: Yes. Ingredient Type: Baking Ingredients
Cover Type: Hardbound. Pages: 172 including index. Semi- Glossy.
The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Cookie Lover’s Cookbook: Gooey, Chewy, Sweet & Luscious Treats (Good Housekeeping Cookbooks) This is one honking big book of cookies. The Cookie Monster himself would be impressed with the size, quality and quantity of cookies in this book. If you are looking to do a cookie exchange, you will find something everyone else isn’t making in this book it’s so complete. These are well tested in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, with plenty of hints tips and tricks. The book is so big it’s in a binder, which means you can open it flat while you are mixing up your ingredients. There is an appendix, and an extensive index plus an index that divides the cookies into the type of person who might enjoy them. This is also an interactive book with qr codes referring back to the Good Housekeeping website and videos.
Ingredient Index: Yes!!! Ingredient Type: Baking Ingredients
Cover Type: Hardbound Binder. Pages: 444 including appendix and indexes. Semi-Glossy.
Spiked Desserts: 75 Booze-Infused Party Recipes – A cool recipe book that combines your favorite desserts with your favorite alcohol, nsfw – or at least not safe for my workplace, yours may have different rules. The author relies on boxed mixes for some desserts as well as canned fruit. It’s a fun book full of fun treats.
Ingredient Index: Yes, Ingredient type: Baking Ingredients, canned
Cover Type: Softbound Pages: 130 including index. Glossy
Dishing It Up Disney Style – A Cookbook For Families With Type 1 Diabetes & the companion book Coco Goes Back to School. Lilly and Disney teamed up to put together some books to help out children with type 1 diabetes. The cookbook – Dishing It Up Disney Style is a recipe book with great child friendly meals that fulfill the nutritional needs of a child with type 1 diabetes. The recipes are all named after a Disney Characters with tips by the characters. This book is available free from the pediatric endocrinologist office. If your child has type 1 diabetes, ask for a copy of this book. The companion book Coco Goes Back To School, is a children’s book that will help your child explain to her friends what diabetes is, and how it will affect her diet and her physical routine in a fun way using disney characters. Though the cookbook is geared towards the nutritional needs of a child with Type 1 diabetes, the recipes look tasty enough for any person, or child to enjoy.
Ingredient Index: No, Ingredient Type: Fresh, frozen, canned
Cover Type: Hardbound, Pages: 80. Semi-Glossy
The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook: From Turkish Delight to Gooseberry Fool-Over 150 Recipes Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia If your kids (or you) are a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, you might enjoy cooking some of these recipes based on the book. There is a lot of eating meals going on in Narnia it seems, and the recipes are based on the meals in the book, though some rather loosely – as a large meal is represented with what a large English meal would be. Some of these meals are too advanced for young kids to do more than assist you in making the meal, or watching, but most are good for children, teens and (of course) adults to attempt.
Quotes from the book are presented for every meal. So, “Prince Rillian Orders Lunch For The Updwellers” has a book quote ” The knight is very strange, but he doesn’t forget to order food for his visitors. Before facing the difficult decision of whether to free him or not, our faithful trio enjoy some good food (The Silver Chair, chapter 11). “ After which a recipes are presented to represent the food he ordered – Pigeon and Morel Pie – Cold Ham – Green Salad with Apples and Raisins – Heavenly Honey Cake – Triple Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling. The Pigeon and Morel Pie is really pigeon and morels, though in an earlier recipe they say you can use cornish hens. This is not kids food for a picky eater, this is more upscale fare but representative of the book. The book is unauthorized and unofficial and not endorsed by CS Lewis or Twentieth Century Fox.
Ingredient Index: Yes, Ingredient Type: Fresh
Cover Type: Hardbound, Pages: 234. Off white stock.
Misc. – You might think this is those I didn’t care for, but you’d be very wrong. One of my very favorites is Savory Pies, but it didn’t belong in baking or the other categories. Tastes of Treme is very regional so it too was a lost soul and goes in this category. I just thought to put the rest here as well. So enjoy.
Savory Pies: Delicious Recipes for Seasoned Meats, Vegetables and Cheeses Baked in Perfectly Flaky Pie Crusts The recipes in this book are droolworthy – and very savory looking. Not only would they make great meals, but a lot of them look like they would travel well. None of the pies are dessert, this is about being the center of attention and the main meal. Pies, pasties, pockets, tarts, galettes and pot pies are all represented in this great little book. Greg Henry is also known as Sippity Sup and well known among the food blogging community, a very supportive guy of all the other food bloggers.
Ingredient Index: No, recipe index only, Ingredient Type: Fresh, baking, canned
Cover Type: Softbound, Pages: 192 including recipe index. Glossy.
Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts My kids think this book is neat, as do I. If you have a lot of running around to do, make ahead meals in muffin tins makes sense. It’s also kind of fun and portable. My kids would have loved it if I made breakfast that they could gulp down while waiting on the bus out front. Little quiches, salads, muffins, desserts – it’s all covered. I could do everything for dinner in muffin tins, but I might have to get more tins. These would be great for packable lunches too, something I do more often these days, and portion control too.
Ingredient Index: No, recipe index only, Ingredient Type: Fresh, baking, canned.
Cover Type: Softbound, Pages: 148 including recipe index. Glossy.
Taste of Treme: Creole, Cajun, and Soul Food from New Orleans’ Famous Neighborhood of Jazz Regional is a good word to describe this book. It doesn’t mean that you must belong to the region to cook the recipes, it means that it’s pretty representative of a region – Louisiana would be the region, and maybe especially New Orleans. This book is filled with local authentic dishes and recipes, along with short blurbs about traditions, local attractions, and local fare. I love that Treme starts out by giving you the directions for a spice mix called “Suck Da Heads and Pinch da Tails Creole Spice” and talks about file powder made from sassafras leaves used as a thickening agent. The Holy Trinity (Wit or Wit-Out Da Pope) is discussed since it’s used in many of the recipes. This is a good book using really good regional ingredients and flavors.
Ingredient Index: No, recipe index only, Ingredient Type: Fresh, canned
Cover Type: Hardbound, Pages: 208 including recipe index. Glossy.
Every year Kosher Fest is usually part of my food news. Kosherfest highlights kosher product companies with emphasis on new product lines. It’s held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ and is on schedule for tomorrow. Manischewitz has a few new products for this year’s Kosherfest, that can help you get through the jewish celebrations and holydays as well as any regular day. I wasn’t sure what I would get when I agreed to do to the review. Without further ado – here’s my review of some of Manischewitz new product line of 2012.
- Mediterranean Matzos – flavored with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Onion, Garlic and Herbs – This was one of my favorites. The underlying herb, and olive oil flavor comes through as almost an after note. It’s mild, but still there and leaves a good impression. This would be fantastic with tomato soup.
- Chocolate Gluten Free Cake – As far as cake mixes go, this is good, especially gluten free. I’ve found some of the gluten free cake mixes to have a different texture than I’m used to but this feels like a regular cake. The flavor is good and the icing spreads nicely. My only issue is that it is overly sweet, I could use a little less sugar. The box contains the cake mix, icing and a separate pan – to help keep the pan gluten free if you don’t normally bake gluten free. That is a nice idea.
- Jason Cornflake Crumbs – These were great for my chicken. I mixed the cornflake crumbs with paprika, italian herbs, salt and pepper and dredged my chicken through it. No milk but no skin also and the chicken came out moist with a crunchy crumb crust. Not the same as using milk, but it worked out nicely – and my husband went back for thirds. There wasn’t much left when he was done.
- Turkey Broth – the turkey broth had a nice turkey broth flavor and would be great for Thanksgiving. The only issue is the sodium level is pretty high, 580 mg per cup. If you were making soup with it, avoid adding salt to the recipe.
- Roasted Turkey Gravy – it’s low fat and has no MSG. The roasted turkey flavor is really good, and would be great for Thanksgiving if you aren’t into messing with your own. The sodium is still a little high, but not bad at 140 mg per serving (1/4 cup).
Overall, the things I would buy again – Jason Cornflakes Crumbs, Roasted Turkey Gravy and the Mediterranean Matzos. The turkey broth is fine but the sodium is too high to make it on the short list. The chocolate cake would probably not be a regular purchase, however, if I had a gluten free person coming to visit, I might pick it up.
This was not a sponsored or paid review. I received the products to do the review and the opinions are my own.
Daylight Savings is ending this weekend. Usually we are told to check our batteries in our smoke detectors. I have a suggestion though. I have been trying out a new smoke detector, one that can be used near your kitchen. The Iophic Smoke and Fire Alarm with Universal Sensing Technology won’t go off when you open the oven even when the food is a little charred. So when you change your battery this weekend, think about changing that smoke detector with all of the nuisance alarms, the one that’s affected by the kitchen the most.
I was skeptical when I accepted the offer to review the smoke detector. I have them throughout the house, but the biggest problem is that the detector down the hall from the kitchen goes off every time we open the oven door. When the smoke detector arrived I was determined to do a good test of the smoke detector because if I was endorsing it, it had better work.
So, this is what we did. We took the new smoke detector and we placed it on a wall very close to the old smoke detector. It was easy for my husband to install on the wall, a few screws and it was secure. I wanted to see that every time the old detector went off, that the new one wasn’t also going off. The old one wasn’t awful in that it does have a button to push to shut it off when the alarm is blasting. Of course, in another three minutes, it would go off again or the next time you opened the oven door. The dogs and cats would scurry the off in a panic in all different directions to hide from the blast. The kids and my husband would hit the button and wave towels to clear up the heat and smoke if there was any. This was a nuisance alarm at it’s worst and I was not always quick enough when it came to closing the oven door.
Well, after we placed the new Iophic Smoke Detector on the wall we left it in place for at least a month. In that time, the old smoke detector went off 4 different times: once with a pan on the stove and 3 times with an open oven door. The new detector didn’t go off any of those times. My husband is thrilled, my son is thrilled and if the animals knew what we were asking about, they would also be thrilled because they hate smoke detector noise.
I recommend the Iophic Smoke Detector with Universal Sensing Technology (battery operated) because I tested it and it worked. However, whether you invest in this smoke detector or not, remember it’s time to change your batteries and press those test buttons to make sure the detector will alert you when you really need it.
The Iophic Smoke and Fire Alarm was provided to me for review. It worked in my home, my opinions are my own.
Today is National Beer Day but I’m not a beer drinker or at least not a regular beer drinker- and maybe that’s why Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss has become my summer drink on the deck with dinner. I wanted something light, with a fruity-ish flavor and some alcoholic fizz and I want it when I walk in the door. Yeah!
Okay, maybe it’s not light in calories, but it is light in taste and not really sweet. I’m a wine drinker, but my tastes are evolving. In college we could only afford 3.2 beer, so that’s what I drank though I didn’t enjoy it much. When I could afford wine, inexpensive but sweet wine was my choice. Slowly I’ve been tasting and exploring adding new things here and there. I’ve moved from sweet, to more complex in my wine drinking and today Berry Weiss my drink of choice on national beer day.
Leinenkugel also has Summer Shandy and a Lemon Berry, but the Berry Weiss is my favorite. The berry flavor isn’t the artifical syrup taste you get in the iced teas, but more of a real berry flavor. It has a nice foam on top when it’s poured out. It still has a beer taste, but definitely a fruity beer. If you are a beer lover, this may not be your thing, but if you are a wine drinker looking for a fruity beer, this one is pretty good – especially for a summer drink. Only a few more weeks of sitting on the deck sipping something cool before the time change and we’re in the dark at dinnertime, so enjoy!
Poaching is one of lower fat ways to prepare eggs. I love eggs over medium, cooked in olive oil but left still runny. I like poaching, but they’re always messy when I do it, leaving little trails of egg floating around and sometimes sticking. Forget cooking a bunch of eggs at once. I’ve been eyeing Fusionbrands Poachpods wondering if they work. When I was offered a chance to try them out, I went for it.
The poachpods are food safe silicon cups – that you place the uncooked egg in before dropping it in the pan to poach. So no swirling tentacles of egg all over the pan, it’s all contained in the poachpod. You boil the water, drop the poach pod with the egg into the pan, top with a lid and when it’s poached, pull it out of the pan, turn it over and flip the egg out.
I’ve been playing with it a little, and these are my observations.
- It takes a little longer to use the poach pod – but you have to keep an eye on it because like regular eggs it goes from ready to over cooked pretty quickly, but not too fast if you are paying attention.
- You can use it as a way to boil an egg without the shell – in the microwave. A couple of pokes into the yolk, and then cook in the microwave. My son was sure it would spit and splatter but it didn’t for me. (These might make a great gift for someone in a dorm looking to cook eggs up in the microwave.)
- The egg is a little weirdly shaped after it is cooked, one side is flat, and the other oval. I’m not complaining, I can take weirdly shaped, but I thought I should mention it.
- They go into the dishwasher for easy cleaning, it would have been a deal breaker otherwise.
- Stackable and storable – silicon flexible they stack inside each other really well.
- There’s a red white and blue set for those that are patriotic, or celebrating the Olympics, or just like red white and blue – actually the individual poachpod cost is less for three.
All in all, it’s a cool product.
Disclosure: Fusionbrand Poachpods were sent to me for a review. This is an unpaid post, my opinions are my own.Diana
Thomas Tilert entrepreneur and part owner of TJ Gallivan’s Pasta Sauces learned about Old World sauce from his mother Mama Alma and his grandmother. The family sauce recipe has been passed down through the family with each generation adding his or her own little twist. His mom tweaked his grandmother’s recipe and he also altered it a little bit making it to his own taste. His sauce is delicious, tomatoey and clings to the pasta much better than my homemade. I think I need some insider information.
Before I go any further, I want full disclosure out there. Tommy is also known as Buff and one of founding authors on this Cookerati site. He’s shared some of his favorite recipes, reviewed a few ingredients and added his two cents in the comments. He’s moved on to other endeavors and though he doesn’t have time for our page because he’s so busy with his own foodie adventure, he keeps in touch and asked for a review of his sauce. My review is hopefully impartial but I thought I’d use this opportunity to have him share with us some of the steps he went through to produce his own pasta sauce. In today’s world of do it yourself, it’s difficult to think of the steps to start out on your own and go up against well known big name corporate products. It can be intimidating, but Thomas Tilert & Co has jumped right in.
Tommy, the chief chef and bottle washer decided to go into a sauce making business based on the recommendations of family and friends who have been sampling his pasta sauces for over 25 years. TJ Gallivans, a family owned and operated business, started in April of 2011 as a labor of love. Their tag line is “An Amazing Array of Bold Flavors”. They currently have 5 sauces (3 pasta and 2 grilling) and 10 different kinds of dry rubs in their product line.
Part One – is our talk with Thomas Tilert co-owner of TJ Gallivans. Part Two is our review of TJ Gallivans sauces and a Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta recipe.
COOKERATI> How are your sauce ingredients sourced?
Thomas Tilert> We use all natural products in our sauces the bulk of which are purchased locally. We are certified fresh from Florida. We also are particular about each ingredient and insist on certain brands of ingredients to maintain the homemade taste integrity.
COOKERATI>What did you have to go through to get your company up and running?
Thomas Tilert> I would have to say that it’s extremely difficult to start a company and there’s no How-To list to from your kitchen to the grocer’s shelf. The biggest difficulty is finding a company ( co-packer) who will manufacture your product in a small enough amount to be able to present it to the people who want to buy it.
I was lucky enough to find a small co-packer and the minimum order for the product was 100 gallons – since I had three sauces the minimum amount I had to purchase was 1500 jars!
Labels and branding is extremely important and I am fortunate to have a family member who is a graphics designer. I believe if you try my sauce you will buy it, but what about the customer who is in the store looking to buy? The label has to be appealing enough to get people to buy it without trying it.
Since I am not in the food business, finding a broker is very important. Some stores deal with one broker and one broker only , many deal with only one or two. There are different margins/fees that each broker charges for your sauce to be sold.
COOKERATI> Where can we find TJ Gallivans Pasta Sauces?
Thomas Tilert> I do mail order from www.tjgallivans.com and I’m in the Fruitville Grove Farmer’s Market and in Whole foods in Florida. We’re working to get into some stores in the Northeast and Byerly’s in Minnesota.
From all of us at Cookerati (wait – I think that’s just me now) to Thomas Tilert and TJ Gallivans …. Good Luck with your new foodie adventure.
Penne is one of my favorite tubular pastas – the sauce seems to cling in and around the pasta better than some of the others while keeping the tube shape. I love to cover it in a meat sauce and layer it with ricotta. Since I was reviewing TJ Gallivan’s Pasta Sauces, I used La Matrice to make my Baked Ricotta Penne Pasta.
TJ Gallivan’s Sauces are great when you don’t have the time to make the sauce yourself. They are full of tomato flavor – that’s something my kids and I noticed right away, how the tomato stood out. The other big plus was how thick the sauce is and how well it clings to the pasta. I love a sauce that sticks.
The Tradizionale – is a sauce full of tomato, garlic, basil and oregano and is the mildest of the three sauces. My daughter liked this because she thought it was customizable. She could take the sauce plain, or if she wanted to punch up the basil a little more, she would add more basil and it wasn’t competing with any other spices.
La Matrice – has a bit of zestiness to it with tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers and herbs. This was what I used in my Ricotta Penne Pasta Bake. I like the sauce a little kick when I’m cooking with cheese, otherwise it can get too muted – so La Matrice was just perfect.
Arrabbiatta – If you like a bigger kick with a bit more spiciness, then Ariabatta is for you. It still has a great tomato flavor, but it’s very spicy with tomato, basil, oregano, garlic and red pepper. It’s a little more adventurous than the other two.
I used La Matrice in with the Penne Ricotta dish I made for dinner. The sauce was mixed in with ground beef and poured over the penne which it clung to nicely. I nestled dollops of ricotta in between layers of penne and sauce and also on top before sprinkling grated parmesan over top. The three of us ate almost the whole pound of penne I cooked up – it was so good, my husband had difficulty stopping.
The sauce was provided by a former Cookerati blogger – Buff otherwise known as Thomas Tilert who has moved on to his own entrepreneur buisiness of pasta sauce making, and the company does rubs and spice mixes as well. My review is my honest opinion and I recommend the sauce. I interviewed Thomas Tilert about how he got started in the pasta sauce business. If you are thinking of going into business yourself, it has some interesting information.
Here’s my Ricotta Penne Pasta Bake:
- 1 lb ground beef (or bison)
- 1 onion diced.
- 2 green peppers diced
- 1 lb Penne Pasta
- 1 jar pasta sauce (I used TJ Gallivans, but you can use your own)
- 1 container ricotta
- grated parmesan
- Cook ground beef, onions and peppers together until the beef is browned.
- Drain and set aside.
- Boil water and cook penne pasta according to package directions.
- Drain water.
- Add sauce to browned meat and stir to combine.
- Layer this way:
- Dollops of Ricotta
- Grated Parmesan
- Dollops of Ricotta
- Grated Parmesan
- Bake at 350 until the Sauce is hot and thick and the cheese is melty.
Healthy Cooking for Kids by Emily Rose, is a cookbook that caters to the young palate, but also has no butter, no white flour and no added sugar. It does use rice bran oil, honey, whole wheat pasta, plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Emily’s book contains about 100 pages – with 50 recipes, and nice photos to match. The kids can join in to help with cooking and baking and putting the food on the table because they are simple in preparation and in taste. Kids seem to enjoy foods that are uncomplicated – and I think this book fits the bill, and also manages to get in lots of good for you ingredients.
I made the Tuna Wrap Roll in about 2 minutes – I like the idea of adding avocado and cucumber into the wrap with the tuna. Give it a try, I think your kid will like it also.
- 160 g tuna (tinned)
- 3 tsp mayonnaise
- ½ continental cucumber
- ½ avocado
- 2 rye wraps
- Place tuna and mayonnaise in a bowl and mash with a fork.
- Slice the cucumber lengthwise into strips and remove the seeds.
- Slice the avocado.
- Place the rye wrap on a sushi mat to assist in rolling the wrap.
- Place tuna in the center,then top with cucumber and avocado.
- Roll the wrap and then slice.