Friday, December 21, 2018

Pamela's Products

Pamela's Products makes gluten-free mixes and ingredients and finished goods as well, and they sent me a big box of stuff to try.

I passed along the few items that had coconut in them (coconut just isn't my thing, but I have friends who are more than happy to take them off my hands), then moved quickly into tasting the cookies. Because, well, cookies.

I'm not gluten-free, but I'm always interested in trying what's out there. While the cookies weren't the absolute best I've ever eaten, they were tasty. I liked the shortbreads, the best, but the others (chocolate mint, chocolate chunk, and chocolate chunk with walnuts) were good, too. For folks who can't have wheat flour, these would be a good option.

Among the bags of ingredients, there was almond flour, which is something that I often use, and tiger nut flour, which I've never used before. That's the best of both worlds - the familiar and the new. I haven't open the tiger nut flour yet, but the almond flour made its way into cookies pretty quickly.

Overall, it was a fun box of stuff to try, and I was able to share goodies with a friend who avoids gluten, so that's always a plus.

Being totally honest, I don't think I'll be buying gluten free cookies for myself, but I appreciate that Pamela's Products makes them for folks who need them. Apparently their pancake mix is a best seller, if you're looking for that, and even if you don't avoid gluten, things like almond flour can come in handy if you bake a lot.

Meanwhile, I need to figure out what I'm going to do with that tiger nut flour. I'm sure it will be amusing.

Why yes, I did get this stuff for free.

Pereg Gourmet Zahtar

Pereg Gourmet sells a whole bunch of spices, and this time they sent me a free sample of their zahtar (sometimes spelled zatar or za'atar) which is a Middle Eastern spice blend. It can be used as an at-the-table seasoning, or for cooking.

Like many blends, the ingredients can vary, depending on who is making it, so if you've tried one zahtar, it's worth it to look around and see what others have to offer. This version include hyssop parsley, sesame seeds, chickpea flour, coriander, olive oil, salt, and citric acid.

The flavor is unique, and a little hard to describe, but somehow it reminds of of pizza. Interestingly, one of the suggested uses is to sprinkle it on pizza, but I think I'd be more likely to use it on hummus or pita bread.

The jar from Pereg Gourmet was larger than I expected (5.3 ounces), which isn't a bad thing, particularly for a spice that you will use on the table and in the kitchen.

Pereg Gourmet makes a lot of different spice mixes along with selling single spices, so if zahtar isn't on your must-have list, it's a sure bet you'll find something you have to have.

I got this spice for free, and I've gotten spices from them previously, as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

T-fal Sapphire-Infused Triangle Pan

I can still remember the first time I saw T-fal cookware. I was just a little kid, and someone was doing a demo in a store. I never saw a live cooking demo before, and I was enthralled. Someone was actually cooking right there in the store!

Mom didn't buy the magical cookware that made eggs slide around in the pan, much to my disappointment.

T-fal cookware isn't the same as it was back then. There are new materials, and, as you can see from this pan, new shapes. The pan I tested was infused with sapphire on the nonstick surface and it had pretty blue glints in it when it was in the light. It was from the T-fal Heatmaster Collection, and there are several different pans with similar features.

But I guess the pretty blue speckles aren't all that important. What is important is that it's nonstick and not terribly expensive. I tested the 10-inch triangle shaped pan, and I managed to fit 12 large pierogi in the pan all at once. I've also used it for sauces, steak, and other basic cooking needs.

Do you need a triangle-shaped pan?

I don't know. One good thing about it is that the shape makes it easier to pour things out of the pan. However, you won't have a lid sitting around that will fit it. But the few times I've wanted to cover what I was cooking, I used a round silicone cover and it did what I needed it to do.

By the way, if you don't already have a round silicone cover, you should go buy one. Or a few. It's nice to have them in several sizes, to fit your largest pots and pans, to fit the small ones, and maybe some small ones to put on top of your drink to keep the flying things from diving in. They're great for us in the microwave, too, to keep stuff from splattering.

But, I digress.

Overall, the pan I tested did everything I needed it to. The surface seems pretty durable - it's even metal-utensil safe. It's oven-safe to 500 degrees, which is great if you want to start cooking something on the stove and finish it in the oven. The stainless steel on the bottom helps distribute heat and it also means it can be used on induction cooktops. So you get a lot for your dollars.

If you're looking for a nonstick pan, consider the T-fal line. As far as the triangle shape, that's going to be a personal preference. I can see reasons why it might be useful, but on the other hand, it's not going to nest as well as round pans, if you're short on storage space.

Like many other products reviewed here, I received this at no cost to me.