my favorite table knives

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I am obsessed with these knives! Why? These knives have history, they handle well and are beautiful with their unique shape and style.

The name, “Laguiole” (pronounced: layol) is not a knife company, but rather a location of where the knife was made. Laguiole knives were/are made in a small village called, Laguiole in the Aveyron region of France.

The village first began making pocket knives with a bee emblem used as a blade stop and to protect the edge of the knife when the knife was being closed. Legend says that Napoleon Bonaparte’s seal was a bee; he offered his seal to the village of Laguiole to thank the town’s men for their courage during battle. 20150216_105005-2

Today, table knives, flatware and cheese knives are also made.

The quality and workmanship of these knives are excellent. The handle is curved and feels great in the hand. These knives are stainless steel, are super sharp and are washed by hand. They are a unique gift to give to friends. You can’t go wrong with a Laguiole knife!

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thanksgiving kitchen gadget round-up #3

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You  slaved away for hours making a pie.

How do you transport your masterpiece to Thanksgiving dinner?

Without proper cushioning, you risk the pie: getting crushed, spilling over, breaking, or getting dropped.

This wooden PieBox™ is a solid, secure and stylish way of delivering or transporting your baked goods.

the specs:
unfinished natural wood with a sliding lid.
the lid fully slides off.
made of pine and birchwood.
made in the USA!

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dimensions:
12.31″Wx12.25″Dx4.31″H
Perfectly fits a 9 ½” pie pan with room for a pie cutter and other small accessories.

other uses:
After Thanksgiving, you can fill the PieBox™ with another pie and use it as a hostess gift or a housewarming gift!

how to clean:
Clean with a damp cloth. Do not soak.

where to buy this nifty contraption:
The main PieBox™ website here.

Photo taken from the  PieBox™ website: http://www.piebox.com/
Photo taken from the PieBox™ website: http://www.piebox.com/

 

thanksgiving kitchen gadget round-up #2

20141104_223006_HDR~2Who doesn’t like eating warm bread/rolls straight from the oven?

My frustration has always been that by the time the bread basket comes my way during a meal, the bread has gone cold.

This handy, terra cotta, ceramic tile bread warmer keeps breads/rolls warm and toasty for about 20 minutes.

How to use: You can heat the tile in different ways. You can put it in the oven, toaster or on the grill (only for a few minutes). DO NOT PUT THIS TILE IN THE MICROWAVE.

Once the tile gets hot, using oven-mits, you can set it in a cloth lined basket. Fill the basket with bread/rolls; you will have warm bread throughout your meal! This size is perfect for most bread baskets!

How to clean: scrub with mild soap and water. Dry thoroughly. Do not soak.

You can purchase a bread warmer tile here.

thanksgiving kitchen gadget round-up #1

20141104_223203_HDR~2~2What is it? It looks like a funnel, a chimney…a bird?

You guessed it! This is a pie bird!

What is a pie bird?
Have you ever baked a pie then spent time cleaning the spilled gooey filling on the bottom of your oven?

A pie bird solves this issue! It is made from glazed ceramic. It is hollow with a small opening at the top to let the steam from the pie escape. This reduces the bubbling and pie filling spillage.

How do you use it?
After placing your pie crust in your pie plate, put the pie bird in the middle of your pie crust; pour the filling over the crust and around the bird. Make sure you let the pie bird peek out on top of your pie-crust. Bake your pie as usual. Pat yourself on the back for a clean oven after baking a pie.

Where can I get one?
I bought mine from Crate and Barrel. You can also go online at their website here.

Useful links:
For more history on the pie bird, go here.
For a video demo by Martha Stewart on how to use the pie bird, go here.

silverware display

I have a ton of white porcelain items around our kitchen. I just love the look of white: it goes with everything, you can use it for any holiday, it can be dressed up or down, it’s versatile and timeless.

While in Paris, we bought a set of antique french silverware at the Rue Cler Sunday flea market. When I saw the display of old spoons and forks and their gorgeous patina of antique silver shimmering in the sun, I knew I wasn’t going to leave Paris until I brought them home with me.

Once I got home, I struggled on how to display them. We didn’t own a china cabinet; I also didn’t want to hide them in a drawer.

I realized that a small, white porcelain pitcher would be the perfect way to display them. Pairing the timelessness of white with the glint of silver worked out perfectly!

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a reliable guide for cooks

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Enter, Cook’s Illustrated.

This magazine is a staple for cooks.

This baby provides recipes, product/food recommendations and cooking techniques. The recipes in the magazines have been tested over and over in their test kitchen facility: America’s Test Kitchen.

 My favorite part about this magazine, is that it really IS all about food. There are zero product advertisements or blurbs about products you should buy.

The magazine shows you clear, detailed, step-by-step cooking instructions. Now that I write more about it, I’d call it a cooking manual more than a magazine.

 The NY Times reviewed it as:

If you are interested in recreating a Tuscan-style Passover feast or wonder what David Chang, the Momofuku Ko chef, thinks about contemporary art, Cook’s Illustrated may not be for you. You won’t find wine columns and lavish photography, travelogues about the street markets of Morocco or plugs for heritage microgreens and porcini-infused balsamics.

Click here for the full NY Times article.

1 year, of 6 issues is around $24.00. Individually, they are $6.95. You might as well get a subscription!

You can go to Amazon.com, here, to subscribe to this fantastic cooking manual; you will be creating simple, yummy tasting food in no time!