28 March 2011

I couldn't decide whether or not to post a recipe or a tip.  So I decided to do neither one and show you one of my favorite kitchen tools, the baker's blade.  I always figured a knife works as well, but boy was I wrong.  I made a batch of brownies the other day ------ hadn't been feeling well and thought perhaps it was because I hadn't had anything sweet and high calorie for a LONG time, so surely my ailments must be from lack of sugar and fat, right?   I whipped up the batter, lined my pan with foil (sprayed with an oil spray, of course) and then added LOTS of walnuts to the batter before I shoved it all in the oven.  I love lots of nuts in my brownies, but it makes them very hard to cut into nice even squares.  Not that that really bothers ME all that much; a brownie is a brownie and I'll eat 'em no matter what they look like, but they don't look very nice if you plan on giving any away.  When they came out of the oven I remembered the baker's blade I purchased from my local Avon lady (who just happens to be me) and had fallen in love with it the first time I used it, which was to cut scone dough.  Oh, it worked like a charm on that scone dough.  So I used it on my brownies and it sliced right through those walnut-rich brownies likety split!  Nice even, scrumptious little squares of chocolate delight that didn't crumble a bit when they were sliced with the baker's blade. Works wonders at scrapping dough off the cutting board, too. I can see myself using it to take cookies off a baking sheet.  It works pretty darn good at dicing, too, and it has that nice little area where you hold it so you can use the blade to scoop the diced whatever up and toss it right in your bowl. I challenge any knife to accomplish THAT!  I bet you would like to see a picture of it, wouldn't you?  All right, here it is...............................
Oh sorry about that, those are just the brownies.  Never mind the two missing on the end.  I was feeling faint.  What could I do?

Here it is.  The baker's blade. With a nice plate of brownies in the background.  Never mind the two different exposures on the pictures either.  I had my mind on chocolate and not much else.                

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  Have a lovely week.  Hugs, Shawna

14 March 2011

Foo-Foo drink anyone?

Mornin' All! Enjoying the extra sunlight at the end of the day?
Today's Two Dog's post involves saving money and who of us does not want to do that? I love lattes and cappuccinos. A lot. But let's face it, in today's economy it is hard to treat oneself (and they ARE a treat. Some of us might consider them a necessity, but.......) on too regular a basis. And I love saving money. A lot. So several years ago, even before the big downturn in available funds, I ran across this little machine in the nearest Walmart and for the price of 9 foo-foo coffee drinks I got my very own espresso maker. Now I know it's not the "real" thing (those cost HUNDREDS) and the drinks are not "exactly" the same, but it does a fair job and I save a lot of money that can go elsewhere ----- think scrapbooking and card stuff :-)
The long dohickey on the right side is the milk steamer and I don't use it. It works well enough, but is a real pain to clean and I am an instant gratification/let's not make it harder kinda gal so I choose to warm my milk in the microwave while the little wonder is making the espresso and then use one of those little handheld blender thingymabobs to whip some air into the warmed milk. They are battery operated and work really well. (I have actually whipped small, very small, batches of heavy cream with it.....). So what I have in about 3 minutes is my version of a foo-foo drink. Flavored with vanilla and a little cinnamon sprinkled on top if I am feeling especially 'stravgant. Just a thought. Remember Two Dog's philosophy: Save where you can so you can spend where you want. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Shawna