Category: cooking

Make BTS a Smooth Transition with the Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker

I am not going to lie and I am not proud to admit this, but I remember going off to my first year at University and being unprepared to tackle basic life skills like cooking for myself. The only things I knew how to cook were 5 minute rice, breakfast sausages and cereal. I remember a friend asking if I could make a fried egg and I just looked at her, like fried egg – where do I start? I wasn’t a spoiled teen, I just wasn’t given the opportunities to learn or the tools to learn.

This is why it is so important to me for my boys to have the skills and confidence that they need to take care of themselves and make nutritious meals for themselves, even when I am not around. I want them to feel comfortable in the kitchen and be able to use tools in the kitchen to help them prepare their meals.

I can also appreciate that they are busy, they are tired (I feel like this is the number one thing I hear all the time) and they don’t have enough time. While I can understand, relate and appreciate these concerns – it is also super important that they ensure they are eating healthy meals especially breakfast, trust me a year of five minute rice, breakfast sausages and my very famous Ketchup based tomato sauce (although to be fair this is actually really yummy – probably because it is so sweet) is not good for anyone.

Hamilton Beach has a great line of products that make life easier for young adults and fits in with their busy schedules. My favourite is the Dual Breakfast Sandwich maker.

The Dual Breakfast Sandwich maker is as simple as plug in and go (no lie!). We pulled it out and expected it to be a bit more complicated and were pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t. We plugged it in and during its warm up period, we got our other ingredients ready to go (cheese, eggs, chicken slices). We laid out the ingredients – English muffin on the bottom, cheese, chicken and then slide the grill part for the egg over and placed the scrambled eggs on top (we didn’t pay enough attention the first time and didn’t ensure it was sealed properly and the egg leaked!) and then topped it off with the other half of the English muffin. All that was left was to set the timer for 5.5 minutes and let it cook.

Removing the finished sandwich was quite simple, lift the lid and slide over the plate that the egg was cooking on. We used a spoon to press down a bit on the bread to ensure we could lift each plate easily. The handles do become a bit hot, so make sure you use oven mitts or a towel to lift each plate. They used a spatula to remove each sandwich from the appliance. Voila! Hot, delicious and nutritious breakfast sandwiches ready in under seven minutes.

Our favourite features of the Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker were:

  • simple set up and easy to use (only buttons are for the timer and the plates were easy to figure out
  • you can set the sandwich maker and continue on in your morning routine, getting ready for school
  • easy to clean – the plates wipe clean easily even with a piece of paper towel
  • small and discreet design that can fit anywhere
  • excellent price point and value for money

You can create a variety of sandwiches with this appliance so don’t feel limited to the traditional ideas of an English muffin breakfast sandwich. This Pepperoni and Veggie Mini pizza looks delicious and very easy to follow!

The Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich maker can be purchased from Amazon, Best Buy (both online and in-store), Wayfair, The Bay (both online and in-store), London Drugs and Walmart (both online and in-store) and has a suggested retail price of $64.99.

This product will make an excellent gift for students that are heading off to college or university but also a fantastic item to have in your home for high school students to learn independence and confidence in their own abilities in the kitchen. It is a definite must have item for back to school.

Make sure to stay connected with Hamilton Beach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest products, recipes and more!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

By empowering young chefs to make their own choices in the kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen is building a new generation of cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.

About The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

Want to bake the most-awesome-ever cupcakes? Or surprise your family with breakfast tacos on Sunday morning? Looking for a quick snack after school? Or maybe something special for a sleepover?

Using kid-tested and approved recipes, America’s Test Kitchen has created a cookbook that every kid chef needs in their home. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your friends, or your family, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs has delicious recipes that everyone will love.

Recipes were thoroughly tested by more than 750 kids to get them just right for cooks of all skill levels— and this includes recipes for breakfast, snacks and beverages, dinners, desserts, and more.

Our Thoughts

There is nothing more empowering for a child than learning an important life skill (like cooking) from their parents. This was not a skill that as a child or teenager that I thought was important and I suffered for this when I left my childhood home to live on my own. Eating five minute rice and breakfast sausages for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the first year of University was not pleasant and I am determined for my boys not to be the same.

This hardcover book is packed full of not only recipes but also an introduction to the kitchen (measuring, prep-work, tools, etc..) and healthy eating and how to read recipe and nutrition labels (calories, macro and micro nutrients). This is very important for young children (and some adults!) as they begin to learn their way around the kitchen and get comfortable with new words, labeling and instructions. Plus they let you know that mistakes are okay, how many of us have started to make something in the kitchen only for it to turn into a disaster? It is so important for young ones starting out that they know that this is normal and happens to everyone. I know that I have created several desserts and dinners that have needed to go straight into the green bin.

I loved how the book was divided up into sections, making it easy for you to find recipes and jump back and forth. Each recipe comes with its own coding for beginner, intermediate and advanced and also if it requires the use of a knife, stove top. Each recipe comes with either a photo of the finished product or multiple photos showing the steps along the way (featuring children – not adults!). We found that this helped us decide on what we wanted to try out first, some of the final photos looked too delicious for words! The font, colours and instructions are well geared to children and teens. They should have no problem following along with the instructions.

This is an excellent resource for young children as they start out in the kitchen, with a good variety of recipes that will suit the needs of even the pickiest eater in the house.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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March Break Fun with Mommy and Me Bake #DKCanada

Mommy and Me Bake #DKCanada March Boutique

What better way to spend the March Break (or any time really) than baking with your child! DK Canada introduces Mommy and Me Bake, a book full of fun recipes and ingredients for your child and you to make together.

Mommy and Me Baking During March Break #DKCanada

About Mommy and Me Bake

Mommy and Me Bake introduces children to the fun and exciting world of baking. This book is full of easy to read and follow classic recipes to help children bake along with their parents.

My Thoughts

Talk about the perfect first recipe book for children of all ages! Mommy and Me Bake contains large, bright photos that are perfect for children. The steps are easy to follow (even for the baking impaired adult!) and are in large, bold font.

The recipes take on new names that will entice your children: Crunchy Cookie Cutouts, Fruit Boats and Cookie Blossoms. The names got our children excited to try out the recipes especially with the animated introduction picture for each recipe.

Mommy and Me Bake #DKCanada

We had an incredible time baking with these recipes. Mommy and Me Bake makes it easy to follow, understand and explains the science behind baking making it a fun experience for all. The hard cover and thick pages make it easy to keep in the kitchen while baking without ruining the book.

What is your favourite recipe to bake?

Make sure to check out the March Break Boutique over at DK Canada!

Mommy and Me Bake #DKCanada March Boutique

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The @IdiotsGuide to Slow Cooker Cooking #review

With fall on our doorstep (I am teary as we say goodbye to our beautiful summer months!) out comes my slow cooker and my determination to master the art of slow cooking. When I first bought my slow cooker (I had to have one because my Dad has one) it literally sat in the cupboards for a year and a half without being used and just collecting dust. Why? I had no idea what to do with it! Sounds silly right but it seemed like a lot of work when I could cook it all on the stove one time. I can now say 100% that I was wrong – it is God sent!

The Idiot’s Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking arrived on my door step last week and I was super stoked to hop right in and take advantage of all the delicious recipes. The Idiot’s Guide has been revamped and now in full colour, beautiful photography and a gorgeous cover page while still staying true to it’s roots and allowing readers to learn new things in an easy way. I love how much work went into revamping the guides – they are beautiful!

The Idiot’s Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking contains over 120 recipes ranging from breakfast, dessert, meals broken down by protein source to breads (yes breads!). Start off with the basics on a slow cooker (trust me this is a must if you are still learning how to use your machine properly!) and then dive into the amazing recipes . My favourite ones? The top one has to be a Philly cheese steak sandwich as I would never have even thought to prepare something like this in my slow cooker. I have only ever really used it for chilli’s and soup before! This is followed closely by a creamy broccoli cheese soup, sloppy joes and tri tip beef stroganoff – aren’t these names making you hungry right now?!

Each recipe comes with details on how many servings it will yield, serving size along with the length of time to cook the meal in your slow cooker. Each page also has helpful tips on making variations or how to perfect that recipe. The pictures are large and mouth watering with easy to follow instructions (a must have in a recipe book for me!). With it’s smaller size and soft cover format it is the perfect book to hide away in the kitchen and whip out when you need to make that perfect meal. A slow cooker is the perfect solution for busy families with limited time to still prepare a healthy meal at home!

Check out the Idiot’s Guide – As Easy As It Gets boutique and receive a 30% discount for a limited time!

Do you have a special go to slow cooker recipe that you love?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Step By Step Bread #DKCanada #Review

This year I have set severals goals for myself in the areas of cooking and baking. I am determined to eat healthier and purchase less processed foods. One of my goals is to provide my family with more home baked pastries and breads (I want to be able to control what goes in my food and choose healthier options). I have tried on several occasions to make bread loafs and have failed each time (sigh!).
I jumped at the chance to review Step By Step Bread as part of DK Canada’s Start Something New promotion. I was determined to finally make THE perfect bread loaf!
Step By Step Bread has over 125 recipes to suit any bread lover needs as well as for any occasion. Recipes range from classic breads, artisan breads, flat breads, crisps, quick breads to sweet breads (the complete set of recipes!). It was hard to even know where to start! The author Caroline Bretherton has worked in the food industry for the last fifteen years. She then opened up her own catering company and now owns and operates her own eatery in the USA.
One of the best features of this book has to be the photographs. Each recipe has a page or two dedicated to itself with large and clear photographs. She breaks each recipe down step by step making it much harder to make a mistake (especially for this newbie in the world of baking bread!). The ingredients were simple and included items that I always have stocked in my pantry. Caroline covers every possible question that I could possibly have had in this book! Not to mention the fantastic variety of recipes that were included. It covers such a large variety of recipes which eliminates the need to have multiple recipe books laying around the house.
For my first trial, I made a simple ciabatta bread. This is a family favourite in our home and we have it with dinner quite frequently and is delicious when topped with cheese. I have attempted to google recipes on four separate occasions and each time my loaf either did not rise, was rock hard or uncooked on the inside. The instructions for this recipe were simple and easy to follow. I was actually able to start this recipe while getting the boys ready to head out for school/daycare and continue it while working from home. Which is the perfect fit for me!
The final verdict from my family? They loved my ciabatta loaf! This was the first loaf that I have ever made that came out perfect – have to admit I was quite proud of myself.
I love this book and it has made the perfect addition to my recipe book collection. It is incredibly easy to follow, a great variety of recipes as well as a variety of easy and harder skill level baking. A definite must have for families! I am excited to be starting my new year providing great home baked breads for my family!
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