Dark chocolate. Zucchini. Cinnamon. Walnuts. You in?

Dark chocolate. Zucchini. Cinnamon. Walnuts. You in? I thought so. These Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Brownies are absolutely magical. They are crazy moist with a gorgeous sweet crunchy top that sets them apart from all other brownies out there.

walnut-brownies

They also have a secret, besides their hidden zucchini, these brownies are gluten free and diary free! Think you could tell? Well, I fed them to 6 adults and 4 kids and no one had a clue. When I told everyone that they were filled with zucchini and gluten free and diary free…well, they were shocked. And then they promptly grabbed another brownie.

I love to feed people. It’s a big reason why I started this blog. I like to cook, bake and shake up cocktails for everyone who walks in my door. It’s what makes me feel good. It’s how I show love.

Two of my girlfriends have dietary restrictions that make that hard sometimes. One is gluten free and the other has to be diary free (she even carries an epi-pen). When they come over, I like to make sure I have at least a few options for both of them.

When they stopped by earlier this month for a little catch up chat, I was scrambling for what to make. I ended up pulling out some hummus, my Fully Loaded Guacamole and I whipped up a batch of these brownies.

I had actually never made gluten free brownies before and was pretty nervous. I have had wonderful success with using Pamela’s Chocolate Brownie Mix previously and was trusting her not to let me down. I used Pamela’s Chocolate Brownie Mix and I am so glad that I did. They were even better than I could have imagined and they baked so quickly — only 20 minutes in the oven!

When I pulled these out of the oven, I knew I would have to wait until the next day for them to really be “ready” to eat. Anytime you bake with chocolate and zucchini, it is ALWAYS best if you let them rest overnight. So I let them cool and wrapped them with foil and let them sit. The smell was killing me, but I waited and waited…until breakfast.

This is the best bread maker ever, I highly recommend it.

 

Bread is the oldest product and the stories about it are always inspiring and interesting. The bread is the first thing we put on the table for lunch and something that we are very used to. Although, today we have tons of bread machines that help us making the bread and I think we all have one at home, I would want to explain why I think Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker is the best bread machine 2016.

best-bread

The first thing that should be mentioned is that it is really easy to use. It has three sizes of bread that can be made for you. You can also make not only an ordinary bread out of white flavor, but you can make a bread with grains, sweet bread etc. On the other hand, it has a timer, which allows you to set up the time and just do the other commitments. When it comes to me, I have made a various types of bread since I have it. Because I am a person who wants to explore new tastes and I can assure you, this is the best bread maker. I never regret it since I got it. And you know what the best thing is – the bread has never stuck into the inner side of the bake pan. And we all know how annoying can that be for women. The price was affordable, not too high. I can tell that I have had many other bread makers until now like, Sunbeam, Cuisinart etc., but for my taste, this is the best bread maker ever. I highly recommend it.

So, get it today, don’t hesitate. You will be thankful to yourself. Then you can start experimenting with the flavors and ingredients and you can make the bread that will be just as you imagined it. And you will become your own best baker.

 

 

My choices on the best pots and pans in the market

First, I must admit that I love cooking. It is this very same love for cooking that compelled me to set out on a mission to unearth the best pots and pans. I must confess that I was spoilt for choice as I perused through the available ones in the market. My experience with some was not that amazing but I must point out that some had me dig deeper into my pockets to get extra cash and carry them home.

My experience with Cook N Home pots and pans cookware was quite amazing. Complete with pan, spoons, knives and any other necessary equipment, I must say that it was quite awesome. The price is what actually caught my attention. Going for $48.89, it is a great cooking set.

The next cooking set I had a look at was Rachael Rey Cucina Porcelain pots and pans set. Complete with all the necessary equipment, the color is also amazing. It however calls for ultimate cleanliness for whoever buys it. Going for $99.99, the price is a clear reflection of its perfection.

The bright and shinny Cook N Home 12-piece stainless steel also caught my attention. Complete just like the rest, its price was quite affordable. Taking the price not to imply low quality, it was going for $ 54.54 which I would say is quite affordable for a cooking set of its caliber.

A look at Calphalon non stick 10 piece set got me wanting to stop my search immediately. In a great design, it caught my attention and I should say; it was awesome. At a price of $119.99, it is a cooking set you can recommend for a friend. It is also worth the price.

Perhaps it is about time you went out and to get one of these pots and pans cookwares. Be sure to get the best pots and pans for your home. You must consider price as well as quality and the size.

Helpful article: How to choose healthy pots and pans

Mushrooms & Parmigiano

Remember the Campbell’s soup jingle, Mm Mm good? That’s kind of how I feel about Merlot. It’s velvety tannins, plum and blackberry flavor and soft character make it easy to enjoy and very popular. It’s one of the “noble grapes” of France or cépage noble and is used as a blending grape but also as a single varietal. It’s planted all over the world and of course its character varies depending on the region.

In France where it’s a primary grape in Bordeaux Merlot tends to have more acidity, in Italy it can be lighter and more herbal, in the US it was so lush and delicious it led to a craze in the 90’s and the quality dropped as winemakers scrambled to plant it everywhere. It’s still the second leading variety planted in California, just behind Cabernet Sauvignon. Fortunately today it’s better than ever. I particularly like Merlot from California and Washington where the best examples combine the fruitiness you expect from a New World wine and yet the structure of an Old World wine.

You might think this wine would only pair well with beef, but it’s actually terrifically versatile and works with much lighter dishes than you might expect. In general, Merlot is a good wine for vegetarian dishes, especially if they have umami flavors (think eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes). I tried the wine with two dishes. It was good with roasted game hens I seasoned only with salt and pepper and some basil leaves under the skin. It was even better with a pasta dish I created with lots of mushrooms and Parmigiana-Reggiano.

Note: Choose a younger Parmigiano-Reggiano for this recipe, since it will melt bettter, preferably 24 months or less.

2016-10-12_173936

Mushrooms & Parmigiano Pasta
by Cooking with Amy
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

4 ounces tagliatelle, spinach or plain
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces coarsely chopped oyster and cremini mushrooms, about 2 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup broth —chicken, vegetable or mushroom
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 tablespoons reserved
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped flat leaf parsley

Instructions

Boil a pot of water for pasta. Add a pinch of salt and cook the tagliatelle al dente, per package instructions. Drain and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook stirring frequently until mushrooms are beginning to brown, about 3 minutes then add the broth. Cook for a few more minutes or until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water. Cook and toss to coat with sauce and turn off the heat. Sprinkle with most of the cheese on the pasta, and quickly toss to combine. Season to taste with pepper and garnish with parsley and remaining cheese.

Enjoy!

Now take a look at other interesting post:

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Merlot Shows Its Versatility and Goes +1 With Cheese, Meat, and Chocolate”
David from Cooking Chat shares “Garlic Thyme Tuna Paired with a Merlot”
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “#MerlotMe Trifecta for #WinePW”
Michelle from Rockin Red Robin shares “Welcoming Fall with #MerlotMe & #WinePW”

Loaded Potato Wedges Recipe

If I’m being honest, I over-ate by a lot this holiday weekend. Sitting at home with a sick kiddo for a few days will have you asking questions like: Can I finish that tub of ice cream during one episode of Narcos? (Ice cream spoiler: YES. Narcos Spoiler: Cocaine is a helluva drug.)

In fact, I over-ate so much that I actually struggled editing this post. Don’t hold that against these loaded potato wedges though. It’s just that by the time I built up the strength to edit these photos, I was feeling more in the mood for a salad than potato wedges.

But this post isn’t for me. It’s for people that maybe have some level of restraint. It’s also for people who realize that yet another holiday weekend of celebrating is this weekend and maybe you are out of appetizer ideas.

And while you could eat these wedges as a meal or side dish, they are really an appetizer. Having a few is delicious, but having half a sheet pan of them is a bit gluttonous. If you’re hosting a party or a game day this weekend, put these delicious things on the menu!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds new potatoes, wedged
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Bacon, crispy and crumbled
  • Scallions or chives

You could use Russet potatoes for these, but I prefer the softer-skinned new potatoes. Get the larger ones though so you can still make decent wedges. These have less starch and I think they make for a better, crispier wedge.

You should be able to get 10-12 wedges per potato.

loaded-potato-wedges-1

10-12 wedges per tater.

Toss the potatoes with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper!

Basic seasonings.

Spread these out on a  baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I think the parchment paper is really important. It’ll keep the taters from sticking to the sheet while they bake and also keep the whole thing from sticking when you add cheese later.

Also, try to make sure the potatoes aren’t over-lapping too much so they can crisp up.

Spread ’em out!

Bake these things at 400 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes and give them a flip halfway through.

You could stop here and have really solid potato wedges.

Looking good.

The Shingle Method

Assuming you want to take these to the next level though, re-arrange the taters so they are slightly overlapping. This makes  it easier to top them.

I call it the shingle method for obvious reasons.

The single method.

At some point, you’ll also want to get the sauce ready. I just pulsed a ripe avocado with some sour cream, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. If you don’t have a small food processor, you could just mash everything together really well.

Yes please.

Add some grated cheese and crispy bacon to your shingled wedges!

Toppers.

Return these to the oven for 5-6 minutes until the cheese is bubbling. This is what you’re looking for!

loaded-potato-wedges-8

Oh yea…

Avocado sauce and some chives (or scallions) will finish off the wedges.

Serve them while they are nice and hot!

Okay… I lied about having trouble editing this post… now I’m hungry again!

A recipe shared from http://www.macheesmo.com/loaded-potato-wedges

Going to buy a new knife block set

My old knife set is not a block set. We are shifting to a new house. I have my kitchen done up the way I want, rather than adjust to what the rented accommodations are. I have always wanted my knives to be on kitchen counter top. In fact, I’d prefer it to be near the small table, which gives me a direct view to television programs. I could chop vegetables and meat while watching those programs. This obviously means a block set would be better and to be honest, it looks stylish.
kitchen knives
My requirements are all types of knives, paring is mandatory, so are carving knife and bread knife. If the set has a fork knife, a pair of shears, and a peeler it would complete my requirements, though I could forego a thing or two.

I liked the Wusthof Classic Deluxe set (8 pieces). Though it is expensive, it is one of the best knife block set around. I have used Wusthof knives so I should know. The set includes kitchen shears, cook’s knife with 8″ blade, paring knife with 3.5 inch blade, utility knife with 4.5 inch blade, bread knife with 8 inch blade, and sandwich knife with 6 inch blade. In addition to these, there is sharpening steel of 9 inches. The blades are made from steel but this steel is high carbon variety and includes an alloy that resists any stains. I am impressed with the shape of the blades and the shape of the wooden block. Chopping on board is so easy with knives of this this shape. Moreover, the block makes it easy for me to select the knife I want. Many knife block sets force people to stand up and select, which is not what I intend to do in my new home.

The second set that I liked was also Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme set, which has only 7 pieces. Unlike the Delexe set, which has oak block, the block in this set is made from walnut wood, and the handles are impressive in white color. The advantage of this set for me is that it has 17 slots, which means I could add new knives or other cutlery to it, later on. It is also expensive, but I think this one is worth it as well. I would personally opt for Wusthof knives anytime. Check out the reviews at Lavues.

3 Best Buys – Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

stainless steel pan

For starters, stainless steel is the best choice when choosing cookware. Reason? Because, just like the name suggests, it does not stain easily, compared to other materials like aluminium. I hope we are on the same page now, so we can move together.That said, you will still need to choose your cookware properly, because some companies tend to mold it better than others. You know, just like how one person happens to wear the same dress better than another. It could be where they source their steel or something, I don’t know exactly. I thus decided to do a little stainless steel cookware set review for you all, based in my ‘interaction’ with utensils from different companies. I do not own all these, no, but, I, well, go to people’s kitchens- a lot!

Gourmet chef

This is my personal favorite. With a great satisfaction of the non-stick quality, Gourmet Chef scores another plus with their light weight of utensils, yet not too light to wear out quickly. As a sucker for looks, I must admit that their attractive design always has me biased when buying.Downside: every time I have gone shopping, I only see 12-piece sets, irks me when I am looking for an eight or ten piece set. I recommend Gourmet chef for anyone who thinks of cookware as part of their interior decor.
Calphalon classic
My sister and I have a non-ending debate on this. I won’t delve into that, but i have no reason to advise her to change models, because Calphalon is just as nice. Non-stick too, and I must admit I envy it’s ease of cleaning, not to mention it’s availability in sets of almost all numbers.Downside: Calphalon is a bit heavy, and the handles have a feel that is not exactly natural to the hand. My sister thinks I’m biased, but I am saying this in utmost objectivity. If you cook meals that last long on the burner, then this is for you!
Tramontina
If none of us can agree to be moved, then I think we could both settle for Tramontina. Non-stick (that is not debatable) easy-to clean and light. Moreover, Tramontina has what i would call customized handles.Downside: You will have to do more than a surface search to land these. If you are just beginning your love affair with cookware, I say start here. Cookware goes a long way in affecting your mood in the kitchen, so you better have it right from the start. Any one of these is a good buy if you ask me; you can thank me later!!

Knowing the best Aroma rice cookers to buy

Who doesn’t love cooking? cooking is an art and for many people it stands as an healthy hobby.If you often stay at home and crave to cook some delicious recipes, then choosing the right cooker for your kitchen needs is a mandatory. So, here are some few models of the best rice cookers that I would personally recommend. Aroma rice cooker are well known for their best quality and affordable prices.

One among them is ‘The Aroma 12-Cup Sensor Logic rice cooker’. This is an electric cooker with some remarkable sensor technology that could make changes to the heating time based on room temperature.It has a capacity to hold 6 cups of uncooked rice which can yield up to 12 cups of cooked rice.The specialty of this cooker is its saute-then-simmer feature which creates more heat for browning food and turns automatically to simmer when liquid is added.It has a detachable power cable which is seldom found in other cookers.

Another cooker in this brand that I find fascinating is ‘The Aroma ARC-150SB 20-cup rice cooker’. This is the quality product from aroma that has the best value for given money.This cooker comes with an option of only steam.It slowly cooks food with consistent taste from top to bottom and this large cooker comes with digital controls for your ease.

If you are cooking for a small group, then ‘Aroma 6-cup pot-style ARC-743-1NG’ will be suitable.This is the right choice when you are in a budget.The electric cooker offers three different types of color choices;black,red or white which helps you match to the kitchen decor.Additionally, it has one-touch control which makes cooking as easy as touching a switch.This cooker comes with a stream tray which comes out of the main unit and gives greater capacity.Plus, a serving spatula and a rice measuring cup comes along with this cooker.

‘Aroma 8-cup(cooked) digital Rice Cooker and food steamer’ is one cooker that comes with 15-hour delay timer,which helps in easy cooking ahead of time.It has a user-friendly design and comes with recipes,rice measuring cup,serving spatula and steam tray.It is better to go for this if you need a rice cooker that cooks anywhere from 2 to 8 cups of rice.

How to Cook Basic Chicken Soup

It is one very versatile soup… You can add Raw biscuits or Spaghetti for noodles, or some kind of Pasta that you like.. All the other work is done.. I hope you give this a try.

chicken soup

Ingredients

2 Large Chicken Breast Bone in with Skin
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Large onion Chopped
2 Cups Chicken Broth or stock
1 Cup Frozen Corn
1 Cup Frozen Peas
4 Carrots chopped
A few sprigs of fresh Dill for soup (optional)

A recipe from OldManCooking