Category Archives: Kitchen

Mock Welch’s Strawberry #IcePop Recipe

IceWabanga Ice Pop Molds Review by My Crafty ZooBefore summer is officially over, I thought I’d share this amazing recipe with you!  When I was a kid my Mom would buy Welch’s all fruit popsicles as a special treat from time to time.  This recipe tastes JUST like them.  First bite took me back years!  A quick check in the mirror revealed it was only in my head though.

The Popsicle molds pictured are IceWabanga Fill and Freeze Ice Pop Molds.  There are many reasons I’m loving these!  We’ll start with the thing I look for first: they are dishwasher safe!  I have plenty of items that can’t go in the dishwasher so I like to have the option of popping them in if I’m busy or have a houseful.  I also love that you can take each Mold out of the holder one at a time, so you don’t have to run water over the all the popsicles to get one out, you can make just a couple of ice pops if you like and you can wash them as you use them as opposed to having the top part ready to wash and waiting for the bottom.  I’m always worries about losing them!

They also came with a bonus of 2 silicone ice pop molds.  I think these are going to be great for a push pop type popsicle!  If you are on the market or just hate your current ones, you should definitely check these out.  There aren’t a ton of products like these that I feel like I must have, but these are on that list!

Now, on to the recipe!

Mock Welchs Strawberry PopsIngredients:

4 cups chopped, hulled strawberries

3 Tbsp corn syrup

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1.  Puree in blender or food processor all ingredients.
  2. Pour into molds, you don’t need to leave much space as this particular recipe does not expand when it freezes.
  3. Freeze until frozen (like you would have never thought that was next!  LOL)

Please Note: This will yield about 10 pops!

disclosure

Originally posted 2016-08-24 21:40:00.

#Brieftons Vertico Spiralizer

Brieftons Vertico SpiralizerBeing a blogger means making food pretty. It isn’t always easy, as a matter of fact, it can be quite a challenge. Not only do we need to be able to take gorgeous pictures, we also need to be able to make the beauty of our subject look great and food isn’t always easy. Food photographers get paid very well to do what they do, they also use techniques for it which means you can’t necessarily actually EAT what is in the pictures. I assure you, every single picture of food that I take is promptly eaten.
Brieftons Vertico Spiralizer is made to, basically, cut fresh veggies and fruits into spirals. They can be either big or small, depending on how you choose to use it. I have plans to use mine for some dinner parties and this summer I will be making some amazing and gorgeous salads. However, this week is kind of slow and I didn’t have any fancy food to test it out on. I still have to eat though and when I went to get an apple to snack on, I realized it was the perfect test object. It if looked terrible, I wasn’t depending on it for garnishment on food for guests. Fortunately, it looked gorgeous. In order to prepare the apple, all I did was washed it. I personally dislike biting into an unsliced apple (unless it’s covered in caramel, haha) so ‘spiralizing’ my apple was a win-win scenario.
Putting the Vertico Spiralizer together was quick and easy, taking only a minute or two. I was able to figure it out without any instructions, though Brieftons does have a youtube video demonstrating how to do it on youtube and on their site. Cleanup was also a breeze, a good rinse got the left behind fruit out of the blades and it is top rack dishwasher safe. Have I said how much I love my dishwasher? LOL. There was a little bit of pressure required to keep the slice going once I got to the middle of the apple, but it wasn’t very difficult. There are grips on the bottom that holds it in place as you operate it. I was able to get 2 out of 3 suction cups and they did well to hold it in place.
There are only two things I would change about the Vertico Spiralizer. The first is the ability to add pressure. While it was easy to modify the way I turned the crank, I would really have loved for there to be a little more weight to the crank so that perhaps the additional pressure wouldn’t have been necessary. The other thing that I would have loved is if their slicer would better double as a mandolin. While it probably is possible to use the blade on the bottom as a make shift mandolin, the top rack gets in the way of really using it much. Plus, that particular blade is not very long.
All in all, the spiralizer is a really good and fun product. The company sends you 3 virtual recipe books that contains recipes to use with it. One of which is a raw foods recipe book. While I, personally, haven’t ventured into the raw foods arena some of the recipes sound really good and I may eventually try them out. Right now, I plan on using it for gorgeous garnishes and to play with during meals. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with it. I know it is going to make some beautiful chocolate spirals for cakes and cupcakes. Bring on the sweets, baby!

disclosure

Originally posted 2016-02-02 00:31:29.

GIR Ultimate Spatula Review

GIRSPATULA_2If you bake, you know the importance of a good spatula!  Nothing drives me crazier than when I accidentally break one while I’m cooking or not to be able to mix because the spatula is too weak!  With the holidays just over, I’ve thoroughly broken in my beautiful pink GIF spatula and it has survived!  This, ladies and gentlemen, is a testament to it’s durability and lasting power!  The last spatula only lasted a few recipes!  To be honest, I once broke a cast iron skillet so there is not anything I can’t manage to break!  I have to say, the last spatula was purchased at a restaurant supply store, so I expected it to survive me…  boy was I wrong!  This one has done great!  It bends a little so it doesn’t snap when I’m mixing tough doughs and it works perfectly for all other baking!  I even use it to make meatloaf!  No more dirty fingers!  Yay!  For whatever reason, that texture has began to bother me so I love that I can trust my new GIR Ultimate Spatula to mix things thoroughly without my having to stick my hands in nasty ground meat!

If you have a kitchen and use it from time to time, you’ll want this spatula!  There is a reason tools are so important: they last!  Get yours now, you won’t regret it!  I have come to realize we very often get what we pay for.  There is a reason that we can buy things extremely cheaply, it’s because when they break we say ‘well, it was only _ dollars’ (usually being $1-$5 for that lovely excuse) but let’s be honest with ourselves, if we break a new one every month or so, that adds up.  This spatula is sturdy and meant to last for years.  I foresee this being in my kitchen for a very long time!  You can get yours here!

GIRSPATULA_1

From the Company

– Food safe silicone
– Eco friendly Manufacturing
– Dishwasher Safe
– Heat proof to 464°F
– Heat resistant to 550°F
– Lab tested to decomposition at 986°F

464°F is a very conservative estimate for the GIR spatula’s temperature rating. In fact, the spatula will perform admirably at temperatures higher than that — the food-safe silicone we use is not readily combustible, and does not melt or drip. It may discolor around 550-570°F or so, with prolonged exposure.

Originally posted 2015-08-18 00:01:59.

Litter Free Lunch Box

litter-free-lunch

A Review By Monkey

The  ‘Litter Free Lunch Box Kit is an amazing lunch box for a high school student. I took it to school and i got a few comments on the bag. They either said it was ‘cute’ or ‘colorful’.  I was really excited when i got to take it to school and use it for my lunch.(except for the part where i had to write this review:)  It kept my lunch nice and cold (without an ice pack) till lunch time. The bag itself was very easy to
carry around, and on the inside was very neat.   The containers that came with the bag were very helpful with keeping my food separated.
The water bottle was a problem solver, because I didn’t have to carry a separate item to my lunch. I enjoyed carrying around the individual bag. I will love to use it again and get some more compliments. Over all today was a good day to use the ‘litter free lunch box’.
Using the Litter Free Lunch Box for a second time, we decided to change it up a bit.  I put an ice pack in it and it did even better in keeping my food cold.  I suggest to put one in the box itself so you would keep the food inside cold. The little containers helped with the smaller sides (obviously). But if you had a salad planned for lunch you could put some dressing in one and the other one you could put tomatoes in it. For the medium sized container i would put fruit and some walnuts in it too. But hey, that’s just me! I also want to say that the lunch box is big enough to put other things in it. I put a half of a bag of Doritos in it and it still zipped up! Oh my goodness, I just love this bag!  You just can’t tell what I will have next!   Altogether the ‘Litter Free Lunch Box’  was a great product and I love having it to take lunch in.

lunch

The Zoo Keeper’s Thoughts

Let me just say that Monkey has officially made her writing debut!  *Proud Mom moment!*  Okay, now to the lunch box!  Each of the containers inside the lunch box are both microwave and dishwasher safe.  The container itself can be washed in the washing machine!  There is extra room inside even with all of the containers and the water bottle.  Plenty of space for other packaged goodies and such.  There is also a pocket on the inside to place things such as condiment packets or silverware so it won’t get banged around everywhere.

Monkey has been taking her lunch to school for the last 3 1/2 years and I have never seen her more excited to pack and take it!  She told me that the bus driver and her friends complimented it and she was quite proud to have it.  Preparing her lunch in the containers and taking it in the box seems to be something she loves to do now, which is always great!

I used the lunchbox when I went on a take out run to keep the food warm and it did well.  The food stayed hot and we didn’t have to eat lukewarm takeout.  I love that it is so roomy without taking up a lot of space!  No worries about it leaking or the food temperature changing too much.  Fabulous!  Plus, it’s great for the environment to use these types of products!  All in all, it’s a win!  Definitely a must have for anyone who takes their lunch anywhere!

Product Info From the Company

With great colors and fun designs, everyone in your family will want to carry their lunch in our Litter Free Lunch Kit! This kit has an insulated shell, four BpA-free airtight food containers (2 small, 1 medium and 1 large) and a 15oz BpA-free bottle – everything you need to pack a fresh, healthy lunch.

Bottles are dishwasher safe. Bag can be washed in a washing machine.

2 small containers: 3.75” x 2.25” x 1-3/8” deep

Medium container: 5.25” x 3.75” x 1-3/8” deep

Large container: 5.25” x 3.75” x 2.75” deep

Bottle: 2.25” x 2.25” x 6.5”

Find ‘Em Here

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Originally posted 2013-11-23 00:01:23.

Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios Review

Duff Product Review & Giveaway Ends August 15, 2012

I could probably do two reviews out of these fabulous products, but then you might only read one and you have to read about all three!  I had the pleasure of testing 2 8″ baking pans, Duff’s Tie-Dye Cake Mix, and Duff’s Cream Cheese Ready to Serve Frosting.  Amazing quality!  You will love them!  I’m gonna break it down a bit to give you a clear review of each product!

Company Description & My Thoughts

The Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios line of bakeware and cake decorating products was designed by celebrity bad-boy-of-baking and star of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman to let everyday bakers “unleash their inner artist” and easily create masterpiece cakes of their own at home. The line offers a trend-forward, high-quality collection of products never before available outside of professional bakeries, including such fun items as: edible spray cake graffiti; zebra striped and tie-dye cake mixes; cake tattoos; and an airbrush machine to create amazing edible special effects.

Let me start off by saying, if you go to a professional kitchen, you are quite unlikely to find the typical non-stick cake pans you’ll find at your local mass marketing store.  They just aren’t durable and don’t hold up to the wear and tare of a professional kitchen.  Ever ask yourself why it is we buy stuff that we will have to replace sooner than later?  I once thought it was just too expensive, however after doing my homework, checking out restaurant supply stores, and sites like the one by Gartner Studios, I’ve realized that I was wrong!  They aren’t more expensive and they tend to last longer!  Next time you need to buy a new pan, I highly suggest checking out the collection here!   The pans made perfectly identical layers, which is super amazing as I was the ‘chef’.  LOL

I received two 8″ round pans made of heavyweight aluminum.  The pans are super easy to clean (plus you don’t have to worry about scratching off the non-stick because there is none), takes just a few minutes to wash them out and you are done.  However, they aren’t dishwasher safe.  *Never put aluminum baking stuff in the dishwasher!*  Aluminum is great because it distributes the heat evenly and won’t warp.  I’ve read that aluminum isn’t all that great because they will stain easily, but honestly I haven’t had that issue.  In my experience, once the cake has been dumped out, run water in it and wipe it out with a wet rag and it’s done.  Obviously, if you wait til everything hardens, it will be harder to remove…  But then I think that’s common sense!

Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios Tie-Dye Cake Mix 
Experience a wild explosion of color with Duff’s “far-out” Tie-Dye Cake Mix. Blow your friends’ minds with this psychedelic cake! Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios’Premium Cake Mixes use low protein, low gluten flour, which makes for a lighter, fluffier cake. Top your cake with Duff’s flavorful fondant to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Available at select Walmart and Michaels stores, and www.duff.com
We LOVED the cake mix!  The end result for us wasn’t quite as pretty as it could have been, but then that is a baker fault, it’s not due to the mix!  The directions were very easy to understand and very easy to complete.  It took a little more time, as you have to get the various colors separated and dyed, but it was very simple.  They didn’t leave any room for questions in the directions, which is always a great thing!
The only thing that we had a problem with is the amount of moisture in the cake.  The cake was SO incredibly moist that it literally fell apart.  That one made it hard for a layered cake.  That didn’t stop us from chowing down though, we ate the cake in two days….  I’m a little ashamed to admit that one…
 
Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios Cream Cheese Ready to Serve Frosting  
Looking for the most flavorful way to top your cake? Reach for the most delicious, easily spreadable frosting available, from the Duff Goldman byGartner Studios collection. Delicious flavors include: Cream Cheese; Fudge; Chocolate; and White. Available at select Walmart stores, and www.duff.com
AAAAAaah, the icing…  If you like cream cheese, you will be addicted to this icing!  It’s one of those icings that you want to lick the inside of the icing canister…  You can’t help but love it!  I didn’t look at the calories on it, mainly due to the fact that after one taste I was compelled repeatedly to sneak a taste of it!
Overall, I’m loving the Duff Golman line by Gartner Studios!  I had a little problem with the top wanting to fly off the bottom layer, I’m not sure if that was an icing issue or due to the excess moisture in the cake.  Not many negatives.  Amazing prices, great product.  This one is a must have!

Check Them Out Below

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Giveaway Ends August 15th @ 11:59 CST

US Only, Sorry to my Northern Friends.  🙁

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Originally posted 2013-08-01 08:01:37.

Healthy, Paleo Friendly Snack Food! KitchFix

This healthy snack is so delicious that it’s hard to believe the amount of descriptions if qualifies for: paleo, dairy free, non-gmo, gluten, low-carb and preservative free! It’s the perfect snack for a pick me up and to quench that sweets craving that attacks!


KitchFix Review Yummy Healthy Paleo Snack!

Healthy Snack???

Having spent an entire life struggling with eating healthy, I had never tried a granola mix.  There was nothing anyone could say that would convince me to believe the words even I am now saying to you!  I just refused.  I finally tried it for a review (would never have done so otherwise) and I am sold on this amazing healthy snack.  Absolutely convinced.  I let my husband try it and immediately became stingy again.  While I wanted to share, I also didn’t want to run out!  haha.

Due to narcolepsy and cataplexy, my doctor instructed me to go on the Paleo diet.  I have a much harder time than my husband, but that is not surprising.  While it does make me feel better (and he is shedding pounds like crazy), I have a hard time resisting my sweet tooth.  I am pleased to announce, that KitchFix is literally the best sweet snack I’ve had that is actually paleo!  It also, as described above, has a lot of other things going for it.  The best is that it’s a healthy snack that is actually good for your body!

KitchFix has quite a few different mixes: Original, Honey Pecan, Cocoa Sea Salt, Lemon Berry Chia, and others.  Mine has been an amazing snack, especially the honey pecan!  I can’t wait to try the Cocoa sea salt!   I highly recommend checking them out!

Website

KitchFix

Win a Kitchfix Grain-Free Granola Bundle #19

The Accessory You Need, No Matter What Your Lifestyle!

The Accessory You Need, No Matter What Your Lifestyle! @CraftyZooSo many uses for the Yummy Pouch bags!  They are, of course, made to keep snacks in but I’m currently using them for make-up in my purse which, let’s just face, it might as well be a suitcase!  If it spills or leaks, yummy patch will keep it in and I can wash it easily without needing to clean my entire purse!

I love the colors and patterns they have!  There so many different colors but the ones I chose are pictured below.  I love them and I really have a thing for the Paisley and Chevron patterns!  Of course, you can use them for sandwiches and snacks given that they are designed for it!  They perfectly fit a sandwich or small pita.  The snack size bags easily fit serving sizes of most snacks.  They are especially wonderful for road trips and diaper bags.

Yummi Pouch also has larger wet bags for wet clothes and cloth diapers.  It is always amazing how somehow children manage to get either wet or filthy, no matter where you are or what you doing!

Be sure and check out the entire Yummi Pouch Collection!  I’m sure that you’ll find one that you later love and you’ll definitely love them when you get yours!  They are so versatile!  Take a minute add them to your wishlist and get started ordering yours today!  Trust me, they will become a favorite accessory very quickly!

Want to Try the BEST Jerky? It’s the One Your Tastebuds Have Been Looking For! @WildZoraFoods @CraftyZoo

I’m not Jerkin you around…

Wild Zora : Best Jerky Around!This Jerky is awesome!

 

Let’s be real for a minute. Everyone loves some beef jerky. It’s like baseball, the all American snack is beef jerky just as baseball is the all American past time…everyone loves them some jerky. And the variety of flavors, chunks styles and cut sizes a consumer has to pick from. Heck it’s no wonder everyone loves it because there is a kind out there for even the strangest appetites. So I was more than happy to sample so jerky from Wild Zora, and guess what?  I loved it!!

This small family business offers cage free, grass fed jerky to their buyers with a taste that no mass production company can beat! The fact that the cattle are cage free and grass fed means no unnatural nasties hidden deep in under preservatives or disguised by competitor pricings. No this jerky not only tastes amazing but is also so much better in comparison! WAY TO GO WILD ZORA! Thank you for putting a safe yet yummy snack out there for us!

Want to Try the BEST Jerky? It's the One Your Tastebuds Have Been Looking For!

Maybe together we can soon put an end to hidden health cons in our snack foods! Once you try Wild Zora you won’t ever want a competitor’s product!  It’s amazing!  So here’s what I tried:

Wild Zora Jerky Organic, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Nuts! No soy! Paleo Friendly! Yum!

Parmesan Beef with Tomato, Basil & KaleHas a fabulous flavor similar to jerky I’ve tried before, except you can’t taste any chemicals.  It’s very fresh!  (But then, all of it seems to be very fresh!)

BBQ Flavor Beef with Tomato, Pepper & Kale: Oh my gosh, I could eat this by the truckload!  Definitely my absolute favorite of all of the flavors!  Seriously, if you don’t try ANY of the others, try this one!  If you like BBQ, you’ll love the pure flavor in this jerky!  (Currently hiding it so I can rashon it out to myself and not let hubby have any, LOL.  Don’t judge, you would do it too!)

Curry Masala Turkey with Dates, Cardamom & Spinach:  While I’m not normally a fan of curry, I really do enjoy this jerky!  I has such a great flavor!  I have a feeling the husband is going to be swiping this one up!

Chili Beef with Kale, Cayenne, & ApricotDEFINITELY HAS A KICK TO IT! If you didn’t gather by the cayenne, let me tell you!  This is the perfect jerky for those that love the hot stuff!  Pretty sure that I’ll be getting this for my Dad and brother come Father’s Day and Christmas!

Mediterranean Lamb Bars with Spinach & TurmericJust gonna be honest here, I haven’t tried these.  Hubby snagged them and has yet to tell me how they are.  Judging by the others, I’m sure they’ll be fantastic!  When he finally tells me, I’ll let you know!

Want to Try the BEST Jerky? It's the One Your Tastebuds Have Been Looking For!

Check Them Out!

Wild Zora

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