Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Birthday Presents Worth Food-Blogging About!

Way back in October--a time frought with personal misfortunes--my age advanced by another year, adding insult to injury (tee hee). My lovely colleagues at work took me out to the Japanese steakhouse in town for dinner and showered me with many excellent gifts, including a beautiful handmade Wizard of Oz lap quilt (you can see from the picture of my desk that it was a theme of the day--along with better luck!)

Another one of my favorite presents was from my very kind and generous roomie--a cooking implement that I had wanted for years, but was too cheap to pony up the 35 bucks for, the Baker's Edge brownie pan. And even after receiving the pan, it took me a long time to give it a test drive. WHY OH WHY did I wait that long? What a waste of time and awesome brownies that could have been enjoyed!

I am now convinced that this is the greatest creation in human history, especially for us edge lovers. You see, the pan has these metal dividers or channels that cause every brownie or bar to have at least two chewy edges, if not THREE! And before you inside brownie lovers start to protest (sickos that you all are), this pan bakes so beautifully and evenly, that the middles of the brownies are tender and ethereally light and just DEE-licious!

I can't wait to try other cookie bars and coffee cakes and pound cakes and cornbread and such in this magical pan! If you have been considering buying one, DO NOT hesitate. The pan is heavy and well-made, and if you take care of it and hand wash only, you will have it forever. And you will need it to make a weekly batch of brownies...which may be a problem. ;-) Oh, and before you even ask, pictured above is a mix that I highly recommend called Betty Crocker Supreme Cookie Brownie Bars. All I changed to the given instructions was to add an extra handful of mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough, along with a half cup of chopped pecans. SO GOOD!

The other commercial product/birthday present that I must recommend to you is the gift that I got for my roommate for her birthday, the Keurig Special Edition coffee maker. Now, I tried to get this for her last year, but she wasn't convinced that she would like it, coffee snob that she is. But now that she has one, she is OBSESSED with the thing! She loves how fast it makes coffee, how it makes one cup at a time so the rest of the pot is never wasted, and most of all, she loves that it make coffee dark enough for her tastes. I also got her the little adapter to make your own k-cups, so she can use any of her favorite dark roast blends, or you can buy k-cups labelled "extra bold," which means they have extra coffee grounds in them for a bolder brew.

My main concern about the device, cheapskate that I am, was the cost per cup. But if you buy the k-cups in bulk via Amazon (highly recommend Coffee People's offerings--Black Tiger is a favorite), you can often get them for less than $0.50 a cup, and even if you use two to fill a commuter mug, that's still a fraction of the price of a daily Starbucks' run! Also, make Sam's Club (or Costco) your friend. They have a Keurig bundle for $120 that includes the special edition machine, 60 k-cups, AND the little adapter to make your own k-cups. That's a heckuva deal! Also, they have a separate box of 80 k-cups of Paul Newman's Organic Extra Bold for $33 (about $0.41 a cup), another excellent bargain. You're welcome. ;-)

1 comment:

Randi said...

I know a lot of ppl that love those Keurigs. For me, I make a pitcher of iced coffee that lasts for 4 days. I HATE HOT coffee, but love it iced after I had sugar free syrup and half and half.