May 2017 Big Product Review Feature

 

 

MAY 2017 A Note from Marcy BB Gift Issue

May seems like a good time to clean up, pare down but also outfit our kitchens and homes with some new perks. Here's a round-up of some really special products we've been working with in the BB Test Kitchen for food shoots and more. There's even a  yoga pant round -up!

 

 

 

Emile Henry
www.EmileHenryUSA.com


 

There’s a reason Emile Henry has become as iconic: the stuff is just damned good and it is always so pretty! Emile Henry, a fine line of ceramic ware from France is always evolving. People collect this brand each time they come out with a new color or seasonal dish and it’s no wonder. The styles and colors are so vibrant and never has something so aesthetic also been such a great performer. Plus Emile Henri is what food stylists rely on a statement pieces.

I recently tested out a new batch of EM lasagna pans, ramekins and extraordinary Ruffle Pie Dish. The ‘bakers’ (or what I call lasagna dishes) come in a few sizes and finishes and are perfect for roasts of beef or whole chickens, vegetarian casseroles, lasagna (of course) and your best scalloped potatoes. I’d be lost without my batterie of Emile Henry dishes and at this point, each new one I purchase becomes an instant heirloom. The minute I try a new recipe the recipe and the Emile Henry dish becomes inseparable, i.e. as soon as the dish is put on the counter, at the ready, anyone knows something great is on the way.

The Ruffle Pie pans, like their deep dish pie pans, are simply gorgeous. The ruffle edge makes this particular piece of bakeware wonderful for both rustic pies and open-faced tarts or flans. It doubles up as a service dish for lemony potato wedges and frames corn on the cob just so. The newest little addition to the line is the ramekins. At once homey but capricious, these are great for small desserts (molten chocolate cake anyone?), sweet flans, custards or even as mini onion soup au gratin serving ware.

As perfect cook and baker’s gift, especially for Mother’s Day, Emile Henry is meal-making, occasion making crockery from France and at home anywhere! http://www.EmileHenryUSA.Com

 

 

Abbott Collection
https://www.abbottcollection.com/

 
Speaking of food styling and all things ceramic and pretty, you will go wild when you hit on Abbott Collection’s website. Innovative, aesthetic, and simply beautiful house and kitchen wares, anything from Abbott makes a stunning gift. Take a look at this classic, oh-so-British butter dish (any baker would love a great butter dish for their home-made breads) or their Market Berry Boxes which are great for flatbreads, berries, olives and anything you need something quaint to serve in. Their retro style deli mugs come in a few colours and have that homey diner look that's so cosy. Check out the Abbott site and for a retailer near you, just visit this link: https://www.abbottcollection.com/retailers/

Silo Mitts From Life Quintessentials
https://lifequintessentials.com/products/sili-mitts-silicone-oven-mitt-set

I could say a lot about these fantastic kitchen gloves but the copy on the Life Quintessential site says it best. What could be better than: A Perfect Pair of Silicone Oven Mitts... Fashionable, Stain Resistant, Heat Resistant, Comfortable, Extremely Durable and More! These oven mitts get the job done better than your gramma's regular cotton gloves plus they are extremely comfortable and look fantastic. Made of high quality FDA approved food-grade silicone, these gloves are heat resistant (up to 482 F), waterproof (no boiling water, flying hot grease from a roasting pan or steam burns!) and washable. Who can stand those grandma oven mitts of quilted fabric that can’t be laundered and have to be replaced? Measuring extra-long at 13.5 inches, this gloves ensure your wrists and forearms are equally protected from spatter and oven racks. Inside, there’s a comfortable, cozy but cool cotton/polyester lining offering superior fit and comfort. Wash your Sili Mits in warm, soapy water and hang to dry. Satisfaction guaranteed! 100% satisfaction or let the company know and their customer service will ensure things work out right –that’s how much they stand behind their product.


Rosewill Bread Machines! Simple, Inexpensive and great bread!


From NewEgg.ca and Rosewill comes two high performance, nicely priced kitchen appliances that should appeal to anyone. The Rosewill RHBM-15001 bread machine is a bargain and a wonder of electronic chef-dom. Like most bread machines it certainly kneads and bakes the bread (or prepares bread dough for you to bake outside the oven) but there handy ‘add fruit or nuts now’ dispenser is so helpful for bakers like me who tend to forget. I love the generous 2 pound capacity of this machine but it’s so compact it neatly fits anywhere, tucking away under counters or cupboards so that it’s nicely unobtrusive and stream-lined but ready when you are. A terrific machine, especially good if you need a second bread machine or want to get a newbie into bread machine adventures.


  There's also the Rosewill 4.0 Liter Dual Dispense Speed Stainless Steel Electric Hot Water Dispenser with Night light, Auto Feed Hot Water Boiler and Warmer (1 Gallon), RHAP-16001


JK Adams https://jkadams.com/
Quality woodware for all your baking and cooking needs; nothing beats Vermont maple!

As a baker, I am pretty partial to maple wood for anything to do in the kitchen. At JK Adams, it’s baker heaven. I recently tested out their butcher blocks and was thrilled to find a perfectly crafted (hefty but not immovable) work surface in their Equinox board – It’s maple with walnut accents. Because there are undercuts you can easily lift the board for cleaning or to place elsewhere. It’s sanded to a silk finish and makes a perfect baking surface of cooking prep board. Their wood service pieces are also so appealing. Each can be engraved but nothing beats their Heart Novely board (which also comes in Whale, Apple and other shapes. Everything from muffins to bread and cheese looks stellar showcased on Vermont maple and JK Adam's special designs and incomparable quality. With over 72 years in operation, JK Adams (who also make amazing rolling pins) is as passionate about wood as we are about baking. They also offer full replacement guarantee on anything they sell.

www.Breville.ca
From Breville come two healthy juice makers - a full service, cold press as well as a quick and easy smoothie maker.  The Breville Boss to Go is for the person who wants to make a full healthy drinks for on the go - and needs something to fully, smoothly pulverize nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables and fruits. Snap on a lid and the vessel itself becomes your on-the-go smoothie. For the full Monty, when you want pure juice, full extraction, rely on the outstanding The Juice Fountain Cold Juicer.  You can pretty well put a sofa in this juicer and it would extract vitamens galore! It's a professional as they come and built to last years and health craze after health craze.


Tea Time?

The BB test kitchen goes through a lot of hot water: for melting chocolate and butter, or plumping raisins and for pots of tea of course. We like seeing the water boil and enjoy no messy electrical cords on the counter. We found two amazing kettles, with slightly different styling but either one is a joy for pour-over coffee or tea-time.


Capresso’s H20 Plus is slightly more compact than some kettles while still holding 1.5 liters of water but the smaller shape makes it a good choice for smaller hands and easy pouring. It has an incredibly easy system of a big leaver that goes down to heat water for tea (and a pretty light comes on signifying the unit is on) and it automatically goes ‘up’ when the water is done and in case you’re not around. Can’t beat an automatic shut off. Nothing beats this kettle for looks either and ergonomically correct handle, plus what's more lovely than seeing water come to a perfect boil, right before your eyes, in about three minutes, tops! Check out the other amazing Capresso products such as their incomparable coffee grinders, espresso makers and coffee drip machines.

 


Gourmania GDK340 Digital Glass Kettle
If you want a slightly bulkier, larger capacity kettle Gourmania offers a full 2 quart kettle that also offers variable water temperature settings and neat LED color display for different water temperatures. Durable, stain and crack resistent Borosiliciate Glass, the Gourmania kettle is getting raves in all the glass kettle reviews. Of course it features that totally necessary auto-off safety mechanism so dry kettles are impossible.

 
Coffee Time? Bodum is Boss!

Bodum just does so many things exceptionally well. It has that swanky Euro design along with great functionality. On the heels of the copper housewares trend, Bodum offers two beautiful pieces of art that happen to also grind and brew coffee - their Chambord French Press and the workhorse of a grinder, also in copper.



www.Zojirushi.com Bread Machine



From Zojirushi, is a state of the art, still-the-best, bread machine. Why? Zojirushi has made bread machines one of their specialties and they just get better at designing them each year. This 2 pound model makes big loads of silken bread dough that bakes into an attractive (sic horizontal loaf) of bread or simply prepares perfectly proofed dough, ready for baking the traditional way.

www.Rosewill.com


Hot water on tap is something all bakers need and the Rosewill water boiler, easily programmable and large capacity is perfect. Whether you want a cup or a pot, this is  a perfect sized water boiler that dispenses hot water, at a few, keep-warm temperatures.

 

Red Copper Square Offer
Yes, this pan works!

Https://www.redcoppersquareoffer/mid=9117501
Even though I’m a food professional and a trained chef, I’m a sucker for any sort of culinary gizmo sold on TV. And surprisingly, many of the products I’ve succumbed to and bought were remarkable great. Some? Not so much. Happily this wasn’t the case with the Red Copper Chef. I couldn’t resist the info ads that showed everything and anything slipping right off no matter how seared or (appearing to be) scorched on! I bought the classic square pan that also came with a fryer basket and steam tray. I simmered, sautéed, slow-cooked, boiled, and stir fried to my heart’s content and nothing stayed in that pan! I especially loved the size and making casseroles in it had twin benefits: a great looking serving dish and easy clean up after – no long-term soaking required! Billed as a ‘family-sized’ pan this square pan is great for making big batches of chili and the like, where you’re going to be freezing portions for a rainy day. Plus the square shape made for easy fridge storage for a few make-ahead meals such as coq au vin. A winner!



Braun - Still one of the best in Immersion Blends with all the perks!

Braun is back - and one swirl of their Braun immersible blender
http://www.braunhousehold.com/en-ca/products/food-preparation/hand-blenders/multiquick-7-hand-blender-mq735.

Shown here in black, it's also available in white and the blender is also the 'motor' behind the whisk attachment, blender, chopping bowl and smoothie maker. It's efficient, stores snug and perfect for lots of little jobs (smoothies, soups, hummus) and especially helpful as a back-up at the cottage or dorm.

Novis Juicers!
https://www.novisusa.com/



It's true - a Novis Juicer is the cream of the crop but it's an investment in two ways. Firstly - your health. You can make spa-worthy healthy juices with this amazing machine and two, it saves you from buying $15.00 kale concoctions and you can custom brew your own.
www.gourmia.com/item.asp. Oprah endorced, the Novis it also is renown for its 4 FUNCTIONS IN 1: Citrus Pressing, Centrifuge with Citrus Pressing, Juicing, Pureeing. What's especially great about this machine is that is looks beautiful and is rather compact plus there's little juicing 'mess' when you use it. If you're serious about juicing, this is probably your best one-stop juicing pal.

Food Processors - a trio of heavy weight contenders!


  www.Gourmia.com


A newish contender in the food processor segment, there's the 14 cup Gourmia food processing  machine. It has variable speed, a convenient side handle and a wide feed mouth. If you need a machine with considerable capacity at a great price, this is a perfect choice.

www.Cuisinart.com



When it comes to food processors, many home chefs consider Cuisinart the first one (if not Robot Coupe). Sometimes it's a matter of what your used to and Cuisinart is the choice for die-hard Cuisinart peeps. You can't argue the quality! Cuisinart's Elite ® 2.0 12 Cup Food Processor is a kitchen marvel and boasts a 4 cup work bowl nested inside traditional big bowl, along with adjustable slicing discs and a reversible shredding disc to provide you with multiple food processors in one! With a 1000watt motor, the food processor will easily tackle any of your favorite recipes. The exclusive SealTight™ Advantage System not only prevents spills but maximum use of the work bowl and locks the blade in place to maximize safety and pouring out ingredients without removing the blade.

www.Kitchenaid.com


Of course, nothing beats Kitchenaid for mixers but their food processors are also a Betterbaking.com test kitchen staple. They are workhorses, come in so many colours, sizes and perform like a good work horse should - reliably and efficiently . The BB test kitchen has a 12 cup one for cooking needs and a solid 14 cup for baking (so necessary for big floury recipes).

 


www.Gourmia.com Ice Cream Maker

 This is simply the perfect ice-cream maker. You don't need to pre-cool the bowl (there's an inside-the-machine cooler system), it makes ice-cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet, it's affordable, compact and comes with more recipes and videos to teach you how to be an ice-cream pro. It's as simple as dump in ingredients, press a button and 60 minutes later you have hard or soft serve gourmet treats!
From www.Gourmia.com, one of the most innovative of kitchen electrics (slicers, food processors, blenders, grillers, and more) with accessibly prices.

 



Seamless worry in lingerie? Is it possible?

What do you have when you combine style, comfort and high performance fabrics? You get Knix Wear, a company that has revolutionized a comfortable, supportive bra in the Evolution 8-in-1 bra, which comes padded or non padded. To quote Knix:

We’ve reinvented the bra. Our Evolution 8-in-1 uses molded, wire-free construction to support your unique shape with no pinching or pulling, and our 4-way stretch, Italian-made performance fabric naturally wicks away moisture and odor. Wear it from the office to yoga to date night -- we’re positive it’s the most comfortable bra you’ll ever own. The only problem? You might never want to take it off.



We tried the bras and panties and can’t praise the incredible, smooth, breathable fabric enough – nor the fit, overall.  In the bras, you might need to fiddle with which size is best for you but there is something for everyone. For buxom beauties, the lack of construction is appealing but I would still see this as a light impact bra (good for yoga versus running).