Monday, February 21, 2011

Reviews and Blog Awards!

Tax season is my favorite season! I actually really enjoy doing my own taxes (nerd much?). I also look forward to my much-needed tax return every year. I try and save the majority of what I get back. I do like to get myself a little gift if I can, something to thank myself for being so good all year. These are usually kitchen gadgets, and I simply can't resist a good offer to get a new one ;-) CSN Stores recently asked me to do a review of one of their products. There's so much to choose from! They have everything from luggage stores for those jet-setters out there to my personal favorite of their 200+ online stores, Last time I shopped there, I bought a set of 2 lovely All-Clad pans that were a tremendous deal at 63% off! I can't wait to pick out another fun kitchen accessory to test out and review :)

All-Clad Stainless 7.5" Nonstick and 9" French Skillet Set $99.85 (Originally $269.95)

I also recently received some delicious Pure Dark chocolate to try out from Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program. I got to sample a dark chocolate Slab, which was perfect for cutting into big chunks! At 70% cocoa content, it was a nice bittersweet, and I decided to chop it up, melt it down, and make cupcakes with it. First of all, the bar is labeled as weighing 3 ounces, but when I scaled off my chocolate, I found that it actually was closer to 3 1/4 ounces. More chocolate is not a bad thing, but if you need exactly 3 ounces, and decide to use the whole bar, it may or may not actually weigh more than what the package says. I'd double check to be sure since it's a pretty rustic-looking slab, and not shaped into a perfect rectangle by a machine. The chocolate itself tasted really great though, I'm a huge fan of bittersweet chocolate. In fact, it's my favorite :)

I whipped up some Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook. I had never made this recipe before, and although the result tasted good (rich, dense, dark chocolate with a touch of peanut buttery goodness), it was disastrous in my oven. For this reason, I am not going to share the recipe. The chocolate batter was very thick (no biggie), but then I was supposed to spoon some peanut butter filling onto it, then top with more chocolate and more peanut butter filling, and then swirl it together. The chocolate batter was too thick for the peanut butter filling to really sink into it. Therefore, it became more like layers of chocolate and peanut butter than an actual filling. While the rich chocolate batter baked up and held together quite well, the peanut butter filling oozed out during the baking and even dripped into the oven. Not fun. I managed to trim the cupcakes after they were done cooling, and they looked a lot less ugly, and actually tasted pretty amazing, but I would never make them again because of how badly they baked up overall. I followed the instructions implicitly. In any case, ugly or not, I will happily snack on these rich chocolate and peanut butter treats. I would also happily use more Pure Dark Slab Chocolate in my future baking (and just pray for a more reliable recipe next time, haha... I really thought I could count on Martha).

What a mess!

See, the chocolate batter actually held together well, but the peanut butter filling simply went amuck!

I recently received a couple blog awards from Nourhan at Miss Anthropist's Kitchen. It was only a month or two ago when I first discovered Nourhan's wonderful blog, and immediately became an avid follower. She is incredibly sweet and supportive, and I'm honored that she included me with the other recipients of these awards. If you haven't stopped by her blog, I highly suggest you do! She's very inspiring :)

I would like to give a shout-out and pass these on to some of my fellow bloggers. I decided that this time around I would share it with bloggers who I haven't awarded yet in the past, so no repeats! Some of these are blogs I've only discovered recently, but I'm sure glad I did! If you haven't visited these blogs in the past, I hope you will now!

A Mama With Flavor
A Spicy Perspective
Cookbook Archaeology
I Just Love My Apron
Marmande in the Kitchen
My Fiance Likes It, So It Must Be Good
That Skinny Chick Can Bake
The Cookbook Worm

x's and o's,


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...