New Cooking Equipment for Christmas!

I sometimes hesitate to list everything I acquire on special occasions, I don’t want to seem like I’m gloating, but it seems lately that I’ve been getting kitchen things faster then I can find space to store them.

Recently, I’ve come to own:

A juicer by t-fal, I haven’t used it yet, but the idea is quite exciting!

Back before Thanksgiving, I bought a 6 qt. multi-cooker from Cuisinart, which I’ve used once and turned out wonderfully. I love things that can do multiple tasks and do them all well. He, around the same time, got a sous-vide machine, which he’s used several times and it’s always gone well. It’s something we’ve been trying to replicate using cooling racks, clothes pins, and the meat thermometer, so this seems almost too easy!

Many, various pans for cake, bread, cookies, mini muffins and so on. I’ve only used some of them so far, but having a surplus of cookie sheets has come in handy and I love the mini muffin tin from my soon-to-be mother-in-law for Christmas that holds 24 at a time!

A 6 qt, cooper exterior pan, ask one’s fiance and one might receive! He also brought up an all-clad stainless steel roaster recently.

He gave me a large bag of pink salt and an old-timer press/juicer for Christmas, as well as lots of chocolate. Anyway, I love the juicer, it’s so smooth and solid. I’ve gone through many, many oranges in the past few weeks!

Also from him for Christmas, a Bread Proofing Box from King Arthur Flour, to help my head ride and turn out well, even when it’s cold (my apartment is averaging around 60° this year, if I had to guess). I’ve used it twice and am afraid I’m not entirely impressed. The lid sits on the box awkwardly and the cord is short! Also, once I divide the dough, I can’t fit both loaves in. Still, it keeps the dough very moist and has a viewing window on the top, which is more then I can say for last year’s method, tucking it only my waterbed….

Someone else sent me some enameled cast iron (various name brands). I’ve orange, red and green now. The problem with this has become the storage, I haven’t cabinet space (it mustn’t be stacked or nested) and the normal kitchen overflow location, the attic, is out. Anyone have an idea?

There have been little things, like another paring knife (one can never have too many) and 2 basting spoons, we’ve gotten frustrated with our small stirrers/servers. A large, bamboo, carving board…

I shan’t tell of what he got for Christmas here, but stay tuned…

And lastly, we are anxiously expecting the mailman to bring us our Valentine’s Day present (yes, we’ve become the sort of couple who buy cooking things as gifts for each other), a Kitchen-aid Pro Line Hand Blender. We have a small, plastic, corded one, so we didn’t entirely need it, but we’re indulging, hence the romance behind the present.

I shall try to add reviews/comments on the various objects as I use them

S’mores Cookies

It was my birthday a little while ago and a friend gave me 3 s’mores cookies from a local convenience store, which was perfect, for I was hungry for some good, chocolate, cookies, but didn’t want to bake them or have an abundance to eat later.

They were better than I expected, given their origin, and I thought, if they’re this good from a store, I should be able to make some that are even tastier! Plus, I’d gotten a 6 qt. KitchenAid stand mixer for my birthday and it seemed like the perfect thing for its maiden use.

Found a recipe online that was similar to what I’d eaten, a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips, marshmallow bits, and graham chucks, and set about mixing it up. It said it served 12, but not how many cookies I should expect from it, so I made a triple batch, wanting to have enough for several events over the weekend. It nearly filled my new mixer bowl,  see?

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And it looks so chocolately too!

Used my largest cookie scoop and baked them just until the wet look was gone from the top. They looked good.

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Three batches might have been too many though, I started running out of containters.

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Tasted one, the big moment… They were full of chocolate flavor, no complaints there, but the graham flavor didn’t come through at all. You could see them, but not taste them! The marshmallow could be found, but nowhere near as much as the chocolate.

I’m thinking maybe some sort of graham cookies will add some of the flavor I’m looking for, but I’m stumped on the marshmallows. In the cookies that were given to me, they weren’t as melted, how? Does anyone out there have a tip they’re willing to share? I want to mix them in, not add them on to at the end… please help!

Christmas in July!

It feels like Christmas! When my fiancé arrived last weekend, he had some things to unload from his van. I knew about some of them, (his mother was lending us her canning equipment, both for pickles and basil jelly, at least) but some were a surprise.

There was a fondue pot… not something that I have on my kitchen accessories wish list, but okay. If one removes the fondue parts, it’s a nice pan, and with a glass lid too.

The exciting one was an induction burner! His Dad bought it and doesn’t use it, his mother was tired of it taking up space and asked if we wanted it… OF COURSE!! It’s only from nuwave, but with a small kitchen and the ability to plug it in and use it anywhere, I will happily adopt the orphan. We’ve been wanting one for awhile. All sorts of ideas for ways to use it have been coming to me all day.