Archive for the ‘Kitchen Tools’ Category

Testing Out Blue Apron: A Weekly (You Cook) Food Delivery Service.

April 15th, 2015 2 comments

Spicy Turkey Meatball Pitas

Have you heard of Blue Apron?  It’s a weekly food delivery service.  Blue Apron delivers recipes and ingredients to your doorstep for YOU to prepare.  Blue Apron takes meal planning and grocery shopping off your To-Do List.  They do that for you then deliver all to you.  We tested them out.

Blue Apron Delivery

Our delivery included 3 Recipe Cards and all the ingredients to make them.

Leon and Blue Apron

All was wrapped in bubble foil insulation with sealed frozen ice blocks.

Blu Apron Box Inside

After review of its contents, let’s just say that I hope every box is as fresh as this one.

Fresh Ingredients

All produce was fresh — Kale, Spinach, Bibb Lettuce, Fava Leaves, Sugar Snap Peas, and the meat appeared fresh too.  The box of ingredients even smelled fresh.  The quality of all made me happy.

Blue Apron Ingredients

Each recipe comes with a “Knick Knacks” bag, which holds small and measured ingredients.

Shrimp Ingredients

Knick Knacks bags may include Butter, Cream, Spice mixtures, etc.  I love organization.

Beef Ingredients

I had fun exploring my first Blue Apron food box and couldn’t wait to make and taste everything.

Blue Apron Ingredients

Shrimp, Flank Steak and Ground Turkey were included in this delivery for Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp with Fresh Linguine Di Cavolo & Fava Leaves, Pan-Seared Steaks with Green Peppercorn Sauce & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Spiced Turkey Meatball Pitas with Sugar Snap Pea & Bibb Lettuce Salad — A good variety of recipes I wouldn’t make or try, but for Blue Apron.

Blue Apron Meat

I like trying new things and I like surprises, so this type of service is entertaining.

Recipe Cards

You can look ahead at upcoming recipes online or surprise yourself when the box arrives.

Meal Prep

The step-by-step instructions on each recipe card are done well.  I’ll often change something in a recipe to make the dish better, but I didn’t need to and wasn’t going to, as I wanted to make all as instructed for this post.  Recipes are created by Blue Apron’s culinary team and renowned guest chefs.  Recipes will never be repeated in the same year and meals are 500-700 calories.

Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp

Meals take about 35 minutes to prepare and ingredients are pre-measured, so there’s no waste.

Pan-Seared Steaks

Matt liked all the meals too — Maybe I’ll get him to cook one of the recipes.

Hey Matt likes it!

I didn’t expect to like Blue Apron as much as I now do, but I find it convenient and enjoyable — You still need to chop, mix and cook all, but it’s nice to not have to plan what to make and shop for the ingredients.  If I shopped for the quality ingredients I received here, it would probably cost more money, and more time and stress to look for and obtain all, let alone conceive the recipes.

Blue Apron Meal

Choose when you want your box of food delivered and how often — Once a week, every other week, once a month, etc.  I set up Blue Apron to deliver recipes and ingredients every other week for now and look forward to trying more recipes.  If everything remains fresh, I may be a customer for a long time, though I simply intended to try it.  I’ve seen advertisements for similar food delivery companies and may need to compare them to Blue Apron who sets the bar high.  Blue Apron’s prices are reasonable too, approximately $60/week for three meals for two.  Shipping is included in the price too, which helps sell me.  Check back to see how our second box of food turns out.  Posted will be a clear side by side comparison of each recipe card and meal.

Well… We’re Movin’ On Up To Serve A Deluxe Piece Of The Pie.

November 25th, 2013 No comments

Moving Kitchen

Several food reports are in the writes (if you will), but I intermittently pause to move by December and prepare to marry in January.  Orange County FOOD reports will then be bigger and better and home cookin’ should get more interesting and will hopefully be aesthetically pleasing.  It’s a busy time, but I’ll soon be posting about Bruxie, Catalina and El Cholo.

Sweetheart You Must Know ‘Yolanda’s Fridge’ Of Beverly Hills!?

April 2nd, 2013 No comments

Yolanda's Fridge 1

Meet Yolanda’s FridgeThe latest STAR on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  It would inspire me to cook and eat (and drink) well.  All is easily identifiable and accessible.  It’s pretty like Yolanda too, and better stay pretty since it’s a walk-in fridge with see-through doors.  I love its contents in both photographs.  Pre-washed and ready to eat is a most ideal treat.

Yoland's Fridge

Where’s the Grey Poupon?  Hopefully there’s a hidden fridge too for the less attractive food, condiments and leftovers.  I wonder!?  Yolanda’s Fridge is on Twitter — Why not ask it.  Huh?

Ultra-Cool Hot Gadget: How To Grill A Hip Chicken.

March 6th, 2013 No comments

Funny Food 53

This Chicken plans to cross many roads — Don’t ask why.  He’s already on the other side.

Knives Speak Jive Turkey: Cut Me Some Slack Jack Cheese.

February 27th, 2013 No comments


How many knives do you see?  Three, four or five and a possible rectangle trivet?  Unique. 🙂

Grandpa Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days: Beef Cut Reference Chart.

May 20th, 2012 No comments


I still have questions for my Grandpa, especially these days, and sure wish he was around to ask them.  He was a Butcher for decades and a very special man.  He lived past 90, so I’m thankful for that, but now must post the above chart for future Beef cut reference.  Boo. Moo.

Enlarge chart for a better view — Do you know your Beef?

Roasted Peach Ice Cream: Will Never Not Roast ‘Em Now.

February 21st, 2012 1 comment

Searching for an adaptable Peach Ice Cream recipe, I came across Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy’s Roasted Peach Ice Cream and it was over and on — I began roasting Peaches.

I had 5 Peaches, 1% Milk, Cream, Sugar & Vanilla on hand and made the best recipe with all. 

Inspired by the linked recipe, I got lucky with the ingredients and measurements used to make the pictured Roasted Peach Ice Cream, and will happily make the same over and over again.

Always wanting to simplify a process, I merely blended the ingredients, and then transferred the mixture to an Ice Cream Maker to churn — And it couldn’t have turned out better.

It’s crazy good — I’ll roast Peaches forever for this Ice Cream.

A new favorite, Roasted Peach Ice Cream is documented below — Try it.

RECIPE:  Halve, pit, and toss 5 – 6 Peaches with Brown Sugar (1 – 2 Tbsps.) and roast them cut side down in the oven at 400° for 25 – 30 minutes, and then set Roasted Peaches aside to cool.  Add cooled Roasted Peaches (with skins) to a blender with 1/2 Cup of Cream, 2/3 Cup of Sugar and 1 Tsp. of Vanilla.  Once well-blended, add 1 Cup of 1% Milk and blend a little longer to combine.  Transfer mixture to an Ice Cream Maker and churn for 30 minutes.  Viola.

Cost Plus World Market Contributions To A Christmas Party.

December 19th, 2011 No comments

A formal THANK YOU to Cost Plus World Market for the lovely prizes and party supplies.

All were pleased by the smart kitchen tools, house decorations and gourmet Chocolates.

Thanks also go to my friends who contributed the appetizing FOOD, even the Jack in the Box Tacos cut in half, disguised as an Appetizer — That’s funny Michelle.  What do you call ’em?  Ironically several were happy to eat them, and it was fast, easy and cheap for her.  So be it.

Always look forward to the Chocolate Dipped Oreos from Loretta — Wish I had some now.

Merci, Gracie, Danke Shoen, Mahalo, Arigato, Gracias y mas Cost Plus World Market.

A wave to you for making this 17th Annual Christmas Par-Tay a success.

I tour the world at CPWM.

PREP Kitchen Essentials: Antica Olive Oil & Vinegar And Cooking Classes.

November 5th, 2011 No comments

My lovely Mom in front of PREP Kitchen Essentials — A Cooking School and specialty store.

It’s located in the Shops at Rossmoor in Seal Beach.

Take a Cooking Class or taste the Antica Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars.

We fell hard for Antica’s 18 year aged Balsamic Vinegars — They are staggeringly tasty.

Took home a bottle of Antica’s Dark Aged Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and can’t stop drinking it.

And left with a bottle of the Ultra Robust Frantolo/Leccino Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  We’re ready to return for more Balsamic Vinegar, oh my.  Once upon a time I lived within walking distance from this store, before it was ever conceived.  Didn’t take a Cooking Class but you might want to!?

Peek Back In Time: Who Used These Vintage Kitchen Tools?

October 7th, 2011 No comments

I’m fascinated by old photographs and objects from days gone by and have often declared the following… I wish I could pick up an old or ancient object, close my eyes and step back in time to see it being used or displayed.  Perhaps the Whisk, Potato Ricer or Masher above?  It would be mind-blowing to instantly be transported to a place that once was, to silently observe the past life of an object you’re holding or seeing today.  I’d want to take it all in, though I might be leery to learn more about a few of the pictured items, yikes, hahaha, hhmmm. 😉

Poorly Perforated Paper Towels Are Really Starting To Piss Us Off.

July 26th, 2011 1 comment

Poorly perforated and disintegrating Paper Towels are getting on our nerves.  We’re going to start monitoring these issues to name the best and worst Paper Towels out there.  If they don’t tear off properly, sheets are wasted, and if they disintegrate when drying something or soaking up a spill, what good are they?  It’s time to identify and stop purchasing the bad ones.

It All Started With An Easy Bake Oven: From Light Bulb To Blog.

July 21st, 2011 No comments

How To Make Lychee Ice Cream: Recipe For Your Ice Cream Maker.

July 11th, 2011 No comments

Rock Salt and Ice are no longer needed to make homemade Ice Cream.  I’ve been wanting a new Ice Cream Maker for years, but really didn’t need one since my old fashioned one is still trucking along.  That’s great, but the pictured Ice Cream Maker was on sale for a price I couldn’t pass up.  I feel a little guilty about it, since it’s nicer than the one I bought my Nieces last year for Christmas, though roughly the same price.  Hopefully they skip this post. 😉

Homemade Lychee Ice Cream — I found a simple recipe online that was varied slightly to make the pictured Lychee Ice Cream.  It can (and should) be made in any Ice Cream Maker, because it’s fabulous and couldn’t be easier.  I lightened the recipe with Milk and less Cream.

Ingredients:  (1) 20 ounce Can of Lychees, 1 3/4 Cups of Whole Milk, 1/4 Cup of Heavy Cream, 1/4 Cup of Sugar and the Juice and Zest of (1) Lime — All with an Ice Cream Maker.

Directions:  Reserve the Lychee Syrup and puree the Lychee Fruit, then combine both with the remaining ingredients listed above.  Place ALL in an Ice Cream Maker and churn for 30 minutes.  That’s how long it took in this Cuisinart.  Pictured is the first batch made in it — A success.  The consistency and flavor couldn’t have been better.  The photos don’t do it justice.

Improvised Mini Tongs: Another Use For Clothes Pins, Not Just A Chip Clip.

April 2nd, 2011 No comments


Somehow I ended up with several wooden clothes pins that come in handy as Chip Clips and various bag sealers.  And I’ve recently discovered a new use — They work well as Improvised Mini Tongs, while cooking Tortillas in the toaster oven.  Can you think of another kitchen use?

Homemade Pasta: Check It Off Your List Of Things To Make.

March 8th, 2011 No comments

I’ve had this Pasta Maker for way too many years and it’s not even mine.  Isn’t that terrible?!  And to make it worse, this is my first time using it.  I’ve periodically reminded my friend that I still have it and did intend to use it someday.  Since she hasn’t been ready to use it, my confiscation was overlooked.  Thanks Nora — I’m finally making Pasta.  I’ll try to save you some Fettuccine, Linguine or Spaghetti.  This Marcato Atlas Pasta Maker works really well.

Two cups of Flour, two large Eggs and a little water was used to make all that’s pictured.

Make a well of Flour.

Add the Eggs to the center.

Stir the Eggs before or after adding to the Flour well.

Slowly start to bring the Flour into the Eggs.

Add a little water, enough necessary to arrive at a Dough consistency.

Ta – Dough… My very first Pasta Sheet.

How exciting — It’s easy when you work with a little Pasta Dough at a time.

Making the Pasta Sheet longer and thinner — A little tricky, but fun.

I was very impressed with the quality of this Pasta Maker — It was still shiny too.

I believe Fettuccine is being made, but unsure of Pasta’s subtle name/size variations.

Turning Pasta Sheets into Noodles.

Separating the Noodles.

It’s Fettuccine graffiti in the hood.

And Spaghetti graffiti in the house.

Straightening out our act. 🙂

‘Make Homemade Pasta’ can finally be checked off the list.  Next it’ll be Tortillas.

Boiling Water was awaiting the Spaghetti.

And a pre-made Marinara Sauce was heated and ready.

I boiled the Noodles a couple minutes, drained ’em and added Sauce and shaved Parmesan.

All went so well!  I pre-laid parchment everywhere before starting, which helped.

Noodles ready for future Sauce action — An Ala Limone from Cook’s Illustrated stands by.

Here’s the recipe used to make the above and here’s how to freeze the leftovers.

It’s Not A Tool Like Some I Know: It Does Good Things In The Kitchen.

July 15th, 2010 No comments

I’ve had the pictured kitchen tool (Pastry/Pizza Roller) for several years now.  I don’t remember where I got it, but just found the same one online for less than $5 — Not too shabby, since it’s come in handy many times over the years.  Its size is great for kids and it’s useful when trying to roll or smooth out Dough in baking dishes or tight spots.  A typical Rolling Pin couldn’t do the same.  The above Crust turned out nicely, but unfortunately this tool couldn’t have saved the Filling.  The final results of this dish are pictured here. 🙂

Book Recommendation: Substituting Ingredients.

May 28th, 2010 No comments

Nibbles of Tidbits highly recommends Substituting Ingredients, The A to Z Kitchen Reference, by Becky Sue Epstein.  We’ve only had it a few days and already love it.  It’s clear and concise, easy to use, and so far it includes everything we’ve ever wanted to find a substitution for.  Wish we had this book years ago — We had marked several ingredient substitution pages in certain cookbooks, but it’s nice to have all the information (and more) in one crisp book.

We’re HAPPY to have this necessary book as an important part of our cookbook collection.

Fish Cooked On A Rack In The Oven — It’s An Okay Option.

March 15th, 2010 No comments

Bertolli 001

If you can’t BBQ, grill or poach Salmon, this cooking method works well too – The above Salmon was marinated in a Chimichurri Sauce, then cooked at 350° for 15 – 20 minutes on a rack that’s placed on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Any rack will do.  There’s very little clean up and the gross white stuff (fat) that tends to collect around cooking fish is minimized.

TIP:  Save the rack from an old toaster oven before discarding it — It’ll come in handy for various cooking purposes, like this.

Improvised Cup Warmer Sold As A $5.00 Candle Warmer.

January 23rd, 2010 No comments

Cup WarmerIn addition to having a freelance writing career, I’ve been a Litigation Paralegal for several years — And I’ve always gotten a big kick out of walking around the law office with my Coffee in this cup. 🙂 Fortunately I’m not abused by too many hours anymore, so the main point of this post is my excitement over Coffee that stays warm.  Yeah!  I no longer have to keep reheating it in the microwave.  This so-called Candle Warmer is working fabulously as a Coffee Warmer.  Although I cannot vow for its complete safety for this purpose, it’s been working well for me for 30+ days.  Use at your own risk.

*The identical looking product that’s sold as a Coffee Warmer usually sells for $12.99 – $14.99, and the pictured product sold as a Candle Warmer was only $5.00.

Foodbuzz’s Version of 24 — It’s Impressive.

September 22nd, 2008 No comments

 Foodbuzz just kicked off its 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs promotion.  They picked 24 Blogs from around the world to participate by posting a Meal within the same 24 Hours.  I entered, but you’ll see that the competition was stiff — Hopefully my idea will get picked next time.  Until then, here’s a link to the 24 excellent posts.  All did an amazing job –

As a Featured Publisher, I received this Apron and Spatula in the mail today.  Thanks Foodbuzz!  I’ll take a picture using them someday. 🙂

A Favorite Kitchen Tool.

September 9th, 2008 1 comment

This Microwaveable Pot is one of my favorite kitchen tools.  Here I cooked diced Potatoes to soften them up for Corned Beef Hash.  I blanch and cook vegetables in it all the time.  It’s so convenient.  Just add water, microwave desired amount of time, then easily drain the water and eat, or add its contents to a recipe.  

They’re so handy — I have two, but want more.  I’ve had them for a few years now and they’ve held up very well.  And I just learned GREAT NEWS, the “Microwave Pot” is still available where I got mine.  They’re so inexpensive too.  I like that.  If you’re interested too, see below.  Happy cooking.

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