Showing posts with label Kitchen Gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchen Gadgets. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

guess what

do you ever read articles on

well, over here at beyond the stoop, we're effing obsessed .

and today is a special day, because we got a little mini-shout out by those fabulous folks at  it's reader request week, and they took my request and turned it into an article!!  wooo!!

i requested a review of different types of kitchen thermometers, a little write-up on the importance of different kinds, and the importance of using kitchen thermometers in general...

 ....and they did it!

read the article HERE .

(then throw your hands up in the air and go "woooo!" like i just did)


Monday, December 26, 2011

{merry christmas}

{merry christmas}

per the usual trip to ohio, we did lots of driving, saw lots of family and friends, and ate lots of great food!   

...but also per the usual trip to ohio, the weekend was too short, we didn't see enough family and friends, and we can ALWAYS eat more great food.

Mr P and his brother started off the weekend installing a new sink for their mom... good thing Mr P learned some plumbing skills during our renovations or else they would still be trying to figure out how to do it!!

Mr P's cuzzos asked us to help with a ugly sweater (because trying to find a REAL ugly sweater 2 days before Christmas is impossible!! so we improvised)

Saturday we spent the day on the road going from Cleveland (Mr P's fam) to Toledo (Mr P's friend who he hadn't seen in 3 years because he lives in Japan and was home for the holidays) to Greenville (Gramma's house) and finally to Van Wert (my fam).

Five Guys in Toledo (I vowed never to eat it again after how it made me feel, but as I look through these pictures, it makes me want another little cheeseburger!)

Gramma's house... the ornaments on her tree bring back many many memories :D

Christmas eve dinner in Van Wert... my mom makes the best pot roast!  ....another one of those meals that don't need herbs or fancy sauces...

How did my mom learn to make such fancy bows!?  She said she enjoyed seeing the pretty presents under the tree for the past few weeks, so I guess it's ok she spent so much time wrapping them :P

Forrest Gump on TV?  My hands don't know how to change the channel when I know it's playing!!

Because I insisted we open presents on Christmas Eve, we had a relaxing morning with delicious (and requested) peppered bacon from the butcher and monkey bread.

One of my favorite part of the holidays are meat and cheese dishes!!  Venison (my favorite meat) summer sausage with smoked gouda cheese, and sesame wheat crackers.

We finally got back to NJ in the afternoon on Monday, ate dinner before 8 (lemongrass chicken, thanks to the usual cooler full of food from Mr P's mom), and unpacked....  

....but we're definitely not ready to go back to work... we need another day to relax!!  At least have lots of new KitchenAid gadgets to look forward to playing with this week (thanks Mom)!  Mr P already has his mind set on making a sauce with the blender...

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Me want cookie!!

Some people have a cookie recipe they can always fall back on if they can't find something good to make, or maybe it's a recipe they just do a lot so they can pick up the things they need at the grocery store without looking at the recipe, or (gasp) do it without a recipe....

Then there's this recipe, the one that when I think of "making cookies", I think of these...   nothing else... ok I will make other cookies upon request, but if I am making cookies for fun or for an occasion without a particular request of which kind, I will make these.

I think I used to have this recipe on a handwritten card somewhere, but typical me definitely lost it in my many many moves throughout college.  So, mucho thanks to gmail, I have the email version that I can always look to that my mom sent to me in 2007!  Yes, an email from 2007!!! This is why I love you so much, google.  All I have to do is search "cookie" in my email and BAM!  It pops up!
If you like chocolate, butterscotch, walnuts, and oatmeal, you will love it.  Besides the oatmeal, you can put any add-ins you want.  Maybe one day I will try putting in coconut flakes (or even better... TOASTED coconut flakes!) or dried cranberries.

But today, it will be the classic semi-sweet choco chips, butterscotch chips, and walnuts (and the secret ingredient, almond extract!!)  

....with my new favorite Jessie J Pandora station cranking out some awesome rocker woman tunes :D

Get ready, your cookie world is about to change:

check out my huge bottle of pure vanilla extract... $7 at Costco... CRAZY, right!?!?

finally have liquid measuring cups!  thanks to our friends who got them for free and gave them to us :D 
they are NESTING ones too!!! the best kind for small spaces.

oatmeal before blitzing in the food processor


best... valentines day present... EVER!!!  we use these bowls for everything.  and they only take up as much space as 1 big bowl... did i ever say how much i LOVE things that are nesting??

mixing the dry ingredients

adding liquids to the already creamed sugar and butter

mixing :D

mixing in the dry ingredients

the rest of the dough prepped while i wait for the first tray of cookies to be done (a MUST for those of us with just 1 cookie sheet).

hello, my pretties.

hellllllooooo, my pretties :D :D
(nice crinkle action going on here while they are cooling... see tip 2)

virtually no clean-up, just have to clean the silpat (everything comes right off anyways)

Cookie Factory Chocolate Chip Cookies
 (copied and pasted directly from the email from my mom! own tips at the end)
Cream together:                                                             

2 C butter
2 C brown sugar
2 C sugar


4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla    (or... 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp almond extract... so good ...)
Mix together:

4 C flour
5 C oatmeal - measured before putting in blender, small amounts at a time,
                    until it turns to powder
1 tsp salt (I use less)     ( well , Mom, actually... I use more )
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients together. Add 24 oz chocolate chips (I use half butterscotch chips) and 3 C of nuts (walnuts or pecans). Make golf ball size cookies. Place 2" apart on sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes or less. Do not overbake.

Extra tips:
1. Use a silpat!  Nothing to throw away (as when using parchment paper) and stuck-on cookies (inevitable when using spray oil).
2. Don't pay attention to the cook time.  Just keep your eye on the cookies and watch for 1 or 2 cookies to have what looks like little wrinkles on them... or sort of split as if they are rising bigger and the "skin" on the outside ripped.  THEN they are done... they will not be brown, and they will "fall" when they are cooling, getting really crinkly (that means they are crispy/crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside!! the BEST!!)
3. This recipe makes A LOT!!!   I almost always cut it in half (except the salt... I accidentally put in twice the salt, and they actually turned out better!!)

Enjoy!!! I certainly did :D


Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas, Mr P... this calls for a date night!

Merry Christmas to Mr P!!  His Christmas present from me came in the mail today :D  Even though I really like wrapping presents and REALLY like watching people open the gifts I wrapped, I suppose it's a good thing that I got him something that he really wanted.

What is it, you might ask??

A deli slicer of course!  Everyone needs one, right?  ( right?? )  Well, in this house, we do.  We want to start slicing chicken breasts that we sear and bake instead of buying molded "chicken breast" deli meat that has preservatives and has been processed like crazy.  We want to start slicing our roasts and making amazing roast beef instead of either buying deli meat or trying to hand slice ourselves.

Still thinking of a place to store it, but in the meantime, we will also dream up new recipes to make!

....and in the meantime we will have date nights using up our deals at places like O'Hara's in Jersey City and eat delicious shepherd's pie (tangy, because we are convinced they made it with balsamic vinegar! yum!!!)

Best news of the day.... WE GOT OUR WATER BACK!!!

Worst news of the day.... we think our hot water heater is broken as a result of having no water :(

Does anyone know how to fix the temperature pressure relief valve or replace it??  It's dripping nonstop...

Anyways, company Christmas party festivities tomorrow will make for a fun weekend :D


Sunday, November 27, 2011


Driving, driving, driving, food, food, food, driving, food, driving, driving, driving.

That's how we spent our Thanksgiving weekend (or so it felt).  What makes the loooong drive to Ohio tolerable, however, is the fact that we get to spend time with our families that we don't get to see nearly as much as we would like to (and Mr P's Pandora Radio requests of Rihanna, Nelly Furtado, and JT... so glad we have such similar tastes in music).  We are both so grateful that we were able to spend time with Mr P's family (very LARGE family) and mine as well.  Even though we are both from Ohio, our parents still live a little over 3 hours apart, turning a long weekend into a crammed weekend pretty quickly.

Before we headed off for Ohio, however, Mr P and I decided to volunteer at Manhattan's Bowery Mission.  The Bowery Mission provides the needy with a hearty lunch and dinner everyday, all stemming from donations and many many volunteers.  After chatting with a worker, I found out that the Bowery Mission serves 100-150 people per meal, but on Thanksgiving, however, they serve around 5000 people.  Preparing for that many people requires lots of help, so Mr P and our friend Sarah gave 2 hours to the Bowery Mission cooking, peeling sweet potatoes, moving around boxes and furniture, and serving those who came in for Tuesday's 7pm meal.  It was such a good feeling to give our time to those who are less fortunate.  Mr P and I want to volunteer our time on Thanksgiving Day next year, most likely in Cleveland.  If you know of a place, give us the good word, and come with us and volunteer your time too!

We spent Thanksgiving Day first with Mr P's immediate family and closest friends.  Mr P's mother always cooks a lot when we come home, so this time she wanted us (i.e. the children) to cook.  Though it was a little hectic for a few hours (come on, it's Thanksgiving, it's a must that the kitchen is a madhouse), but we successfully whipped up a turkey, beef roast, Honey-Baked Ham, hot pot, and a bazillion sides.  Not too shabby considering the guest list included us coming from NJ and Mr P's brother and his girlfriend who came in from Chicago.

We lounged around all day, with full bellies, watching the Macy's parade (where we explained to Mr P's mom that Mr P walks past that exact Macy's everyday on his way to and from work!  ..I might be a little jealous, not that he gets to walk in over-crowded midtown Manhattan, but that he works in the city), napping, and prepping ourselves for round 2 at Mr P's cousin's house (Anh Gau) where it was a PACKED house with so many little kiddos running around (not that I'm complaining, I'm basically an intentional-child/baby-magnet).  It was so nice to see everyone, and makes us sad we don't get to go to get-togethers like that more often.

The rest of the weekend was spent in my hometown, where I got to see two friends from high school, and went to a wedding reception.  My mom asked that we bring our nonstick pan with a steel handle, because she wanted to make us a frittata for breakfast!!  Well, it was more like Mr P taught her how to make it, but it was such a perfect breakfast, and perfectly paired with peppered bacon from a local butcher (sooo much better than store-bought bacon!)  Now that she knows how to make it, we can expect to have this delicious breakfast every time we come home (maybe? please?)

We requested that my mom make beef and noodles and mashed potatoes (Mr P's favorite dish that my mom makes).  We promised to bring homemade noodles, but we failed.  So, Mr P, my mom, and I worked together to hand roll and hand cut homemade egg noodles (it CAN be done... they didn't have a pasta roller attachment for a Kitchenaid mixer 100 years ago did they? no.)  The only sad thing about making the dish was that we didn't bring any of it home with us!!  Once you have homemade noodles for this dish, you will NEVER go back to the egg noodles in the store.  There's not even a comparison.  They are just.. that.. good.  If you have never had beef and noodles, google it and try it (my mom hasn't given us the recipe yet... maybe it's a scheme to get us to come home more often!)  There are certain times when you don't need herbs, you don't need veggies, you don't need color to make it look appetizing.  You need beef and noodles.  It doesn't really LOOK pretty, but I assure you it TASTES sooo pretty :P

Mr P and I got up super early this morning and hit the road for NJ.  It felt so nice to get back at a decent time for once!  We're totally unpacked and ready for the work week, our fridge filled with 437289473289 banh mi sammiches from Mr P's mom so we have lunches for the week (yum!)

(we already ate 4 or 5)

Now, onto the new project... I snagged this gem from home:

Mr P and I have been perusing craigslist and home stores for an accent chair to go in the corner of the living room... home stores because we wanted something nice with a funky pattern, craigslist for the slim chance we would find a classic vintage style that we could get reupholstered.  It just so happened that my mom had this HIDING in her basement, with no plans to use it.  Thanks, Mom, for letting me steal it from you!  Now we just have to find a fun fabric and a good reupholstery place to give it a fresh, fun look, but keep the vintage-y style.  Considering everything in our living room is from a big box store (Ikea or CB2), we were in desperate need of a one-of-a-find.  Any suggestions on types of fabric? Colors? Patterns (or solid)?

It already makes our living room look much homier than before, so we're in no rush to get it done, so we are going to take our time in finding a quality re-upholsterer and in choosing a fabric.

Wish us luck!  ...and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!