Friday, June 05, 2009

Products to Love

EatSmart Nutrition Scales: Although culinary school was a long time ago for me (16 years!) I still find myself breaking out my copy of The New Professional Chef, the preferred textbook and guide for many chef schools. The recipes are some of the best I've ever had and I like to use the pastry and bread recipes in particular. The only problem with that is the recipes ingredients are more often than not listed by weight rather than volume.

Being without kitchen scales kept me from making many of my favorites. Lots of the conversions are fairly simple, but the end result isn't always the same. Having a set of scales has made it far simpler for me to replicate those much-loved recipes.

The EatSmart Precision Pro Multifunction Digital Kitchen Scale has an extra large LCD readout and a capacity of up to 11 pounds. For something to small, it sure does a big job. It's exact to the smallest amount in both metric and customary units and takes up very little space in my kitche. That was a huge plus for me because the kitchen we had just prior to this one was about 8ft x 8ft - truly diminutive.

For a scale that packs a punch, whether you're measuring ingredients or keeping track of your food intake, this one beats the rest hands-down in functionality and most especially, price. It sells for a mere $25.

Gaea Mediterranean food products: Certified Carbon Neutral food products from Greece. Partnering with myclimate, Gaea has offset carbon emissions from each step of their process resulting in carbon neutral products. I tried two products:

Cyprus Sauce - Rich Tomato & Orange Fusion Sauce. I had a moment's hesitation at the thought of a tomato sauce with citrus in it, but this sauce is absolutely delicious. I used Gaea's label recipe for Izmir Meatballs, and they were perfect; even the kids ate them!
Olive Oil - Laconia P.G.I. (which stands for Protected Geographical Indication) Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the land of the Spartans! After a few references to the movie, "300" we tried it and adored it. The flavor is light, bright and buttery smooth.

Ile de France Suprême Cheese: A soft-ripened cheese made with crème fraîche that boasts a fat content of 63%, this is one seriously rich cheese. While I try to come up with a great recipe for each of the Ile de France cheeses I've tried, this one was put to so many different uses that I lost track. I added it to creamy polenta for breakfast, tucked it into the vegetable filling of of my latest strudel, added it to the top of toasted bagels and stirred it into a rich homemade macaroni and cheese. This is a truly decadent cheese, meant to be eaten in small amounts, that delivers big flavor with every bite.

Scanpan: Scanpan, a Danish cookware maker, has just released the World's first PFOA-Free line of nonstick pans using Green Tek surfacing. I just won one of these at What's Cooking and I'm already in love with it. Made of ceramic and titanium, it holds and distributes heat very well and the safe nonstick surface has made this my go-to pan for omelets and other egg dishes. I also love that the pan comes with its own heat-resistant holder that fits right over the handle. Putting this pan in and out of the oven is a breeze and the fact that it can be put into the oven is my other favorite feature.

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil: Did you know that coconut oil is not bad for you? After years of being vilified, coconut oil is making a comeback, and rightly so. The antibiotic and healing properties of this simple oil are unmatched and the saturated fat content is actually a 'good' saturated fat. If you don't believe me, get over to Tropical Traditions to watch the video, read the testimonies, and check out amazing (and heartwrenching) story of how this particuar coconut oil, the first certified 'virgin' and organic came to be.

This is the best coconut oil on the market with higher antioxidant levels than any other sold and the flavor doesn't compare to others either. We've used it in cooking, straight up and even set aside some to use externally on minor cuts and rashes. It's amazing stuff with awesome healing properties that begs to be looked at.


Annie Jones said...

Thank you for the blurb about coconut oil. After reading about and using tropical oils, as well as olive and peanut oils and some animal fats, I'm convinced that mainstream thinking on fats is all wrong. I wouldn't intentionally touch canola oil with a 10-foot pole now.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anne Coleman said...

Hey, FILE - wrong SPAM for a food blog!

Kate said...

Would love to try the meatballs & sauce. That looks like it would be a winner with my kids!

And thanks for the info on coconut oil. I had no idea, but will head over to Tropical Traditions to check it out. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Anne
Nice to sharing your informative post. I need a digital kitchen scale but i don't thinking that what is the best ? Now i selected this scale. Do you know rachael ray cookware set is good for cooking ?