Thursday, November 6, 2008

Softening Butter

Have you ever randomly gotten the urge to bake cookies? Perhaps you were making a recipe and had everything out and ready to mix together when you suddenly realized that you needed softened butter? Well today is your lucky day. Today's tip is how to quickly soften butter.

You have two different options here. The first of which is to cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces (or smaller if you are really impatient like myself). The butter should be soft enough for your recipe in 20 to 25 minutes.

The second option is to grate the butter. Yes, grating butter can be a greasy task but it is so fun you will soon forget how greasy your hands are. Just please refrain from licking your fingers or accidentally rubbing your eye. :) This method will yield recipe ready softened butter in 10 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Saving Thursday

Time Saver - Clean and prep all your produce as soon as you get home from the grocery store.

My Two Cents - Many people find that cooking dinner after a long day's work is a labor intensive task. The last thing they want to do when they get home is stand in the kitchen chopping onions and peeling carrots before even starting on dinner. The time saving solution here is to clean and prep all your veggies immediately after you bring them home from the store. That way they are ready to be cooked or snacked on at a moment’s notice.

As soon as you get home from the store put away all of your groceries except for the produce, you will want to keep those on the counter so you are more motivated to prep them right away. Wash your hands, grab your favorite knife and cutting board, some storage containers or bags and start washing and cutting away. Once you get into the swing of doing this you will find that it does not take long at all and within 15 - 30 minutes all your produce will be prepped for the upcoming week. You will be amazed at how much more motivated you are to cook dinner, or even snack on some celery just because you took the extra time when you brought it home from the store to prep it.

For more information on preperation and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables check out the following sites.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Heart and Soul of My Kitchen

Product: Kitchen Aid Artisan® Series, Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Description: This 325 watt mixer has a tilt head design which allows clear access to the beater and the 5 quart bowl. The tilt-head has a locking mechanism that will lock it down while the beaters are in motion. The 10 speed slide control ranges from a very slow stir mode to very fast "whoa" mode. There is an attachment port at the front of the unit that can be used for any of the kitchen aid attachments. This unit weighs in at a hefty 22.8 pounds. With 22 different colors available it can easily be purchased to fit the decor of any kitchen.

Included accessories: Wire whip, flat beater, 'C' dough hook, 5 quart stainless steel bowl w/handle, wide chute pouring shield.

Available attachments and accessories: Kitchen Aid offers several unique attachments and accessories for their stand mixers. They offer everything from additional beaters and bowls to pasta rollers, meat grinders, grain mills and ice cream makers. Check their
website for the complete line of attachments and accessories that can be purchased.

Warranty: Kitchen Aid offers a hassle-free replacement warranty that guarantee’s that if your counter top appliance fails during the first year, Kitchen Aid will replace it for free of charge. Kitchen Aid will deliver a replacement product to your door, arrange for the return of the failed appliance and guarantee the replacement product for one year.

My two cents: I have owned this mixer for over 3 years now. It is the heart and soul of my kitchen and I would probably be lost without it. The mixer is strong, heavy duty and built to last for decades. I have used my mixer for everything from cookies and cakes to mashed potatoes and bread dough. It is still as beautiful as the day it it became mine and I have had absolutely no problems with it.

I would recommend this product to anyone who is in the market for a stand mixer and wants something that will last a lifetime. Kitchen Aid's customer service is second to none. I am brand loyal to them after the excellent customer service I have received from them in the past.

Price: MSRP $349.99. Watch for sales and rebate offers for the best price.

Where to buy:, this product is also sold almost anywhere small kitchen appliances are sold. Kohl’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Lowes, etc.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


You are probably thinking that this picture is pretty abstract and wondering what it is doing on a culinary tool and tip blog. Well I am thinking that myself so I am going to take this abstract image and relate it to my adventures in the culinary world. Looking at this picture I see a tunnel, a tunnel that is larger at the front, which we will consider the present, and smaller as it goes back which we will call the past. Now let’s take that thought and relate it to my blog shall we.

I am currently a 26 year old married woman that can find my way around the kitchen pretty easily, I cook dinner for my husband and myself every night and I am always baking up something whenever I have some free time. I even create some of my own recipes every once in a blue moon.

Almost three years ago when I got married I kind of knew my way around the kitchen but was skeptical about so much stuff. I had some ups and downs (portrayed through the ridges in the picture) but I managed to overcome those obstacles and get back onto my feet. Purchasing new products and learning about new tips and techniques along the way. Three years ago if you asked me what a roux was I probably would have laughed at you but now I can answer without flinching.

Growing up I knew nothing about cooking, sure I took a couple Home Economics classes in junior high and high school but those were just swirls in the making of my tunnel of knowledge. Thanks to my tunnel of knowledge and its many ups and downs I can easily bring you this blog sharing my experiences with you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What to Expect From This Blog

Since this is a new blog you are probably trying to figure out how it came to be, what is the point of it, and why does it even exist. Well that my friends is what I am here to share with you.

Ever since I was a little girl I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. When I got married two years ago this thing that I use to enjoy suddenly became a full blow love. Spending time in the kitchen became relaxing for me, some people like retail therapy, I prefer kitchen therapy. To me there is nothing more soothing and stress-relieving than kneading a big ball of dough that will later become a loaf of freshly baked bread.

In March of 2007 I created a food blog called Amber’s Delectable Delights to share my kitchen accomplishments with the world. I have learned so much, both in the kitchen and about myself, and have met so many new people while writing that blog that I was inspired to create this new blog highlighting culinary product reviews and tips.

You may be asking yourself why I chose product reviews and tips. Well for me it was simple. If I buy a product and really like it I want to share the news with everyone, I want people to know my experiences in case they are in the market for that same product. Also, there are so many neat little tricks that I have learned and came across that I wanted a place to document them not only so I could remember, but also so I could share them with anyone that was interested.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this blog; I know I will enjoy writing it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

50 Most Powerful Blogs

Have you ever seen the list of the 50 most powerful blogs? When asked to take a look at it and pick my favorite 3 blogs, this is what I came up with.

#1 I Can Has Cheezburger- I have been following this blog for about a year now and always end up getting a laugh from it. Sure the grammar is not quite there and it is sometimes hard to figure out what the caption on the picture is really saying but it's a mindless blog, that is the point. Really, who can resist cute pictures of cats anyway.

Chocolate and Zucchini - As soon as I read the name of this blog I knew that I would fall in love with it. Once I opened it up I knew I did in fact love it. Her photographs are stunning and she provides great commentary to her posts.

Beansprouts - I love all of the aspects of this blog, the recycled crafts, the challenges, and the miscellaneous tips and posts that give everyone some insight on learning how to be more "green".