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Trader Joe’s Donut Bites, reviewed

When it comes to donuts, they are usually better when they are fresher. I know a great shop that makes them fresh 24 hours a day and is only a short drive away, and I will head over to pick up a few if I’m having a craving. I was a bit skeptical when I noticed Trader Joe’s Donut Bites in the freezer section on a recent trip to TJ’s, but the brightly colored packaging – and the fact that I can almost always make room for a donut – reeled me in to give them a try.

The Donut Bites are small round donuts that are filled with a fruity raspberry filling. The yeasted donuts come frozen and need to be heated in the oven for a few minutes before serving.  They are a bit bigger than your average donut hole, yet smaller than a traditional donut, so I feel like they fall into their own category when it comes to donut-sizing. The donuts heated up evenly (the packaging recommended turning them halfway through the bake, but I found that did not make much of a difference) and were ready in less than 15 minutes. The exterior was crisp, while the filling was soft and warm.

The filling itself is not a jam, but a mixture of raspberries and apples, with carrot and black currant juice added for color. Sugar is also present in the filling, of course, but it is not overly sweet. It is thicker than a jam and has no seeds, so it is very smooth. It is not only very tasty, but it really holds up well inside of the donut without creating too much moisture to soak into the pastry. I would eat more fruit-filled donuts if the fillings tasted like this one!

Trader Joe's Donut Bites, reviewed

In the end, donuts baked up well and offered a nice balance of pastry and filling. I liked the fruitiness of the filling quite a bit, especially compared to the overly sweet fruit fillings you find on commercial donuts. The only downside to these is that they weren’t as fluffy as freshly fried donuts. The pastry felt a bit more like fried brioche – which is not a bad thing, mind you – than a cloud-like yeast donut. I almost like them better as a dessert – where they could be paired with whipped cream, ice cream and fresh berries – than with coffee as a breakfast snack. Considering these were frozen, I was very impressed with how they turned out and would eat them again.

The donuts pictured on the box appear to have been rolled in sugar before serving. While it doesn’t mention this step anywhere on the packaging, I found that the donuts were not very sweet on their own and really benefited from a quick roll in sugar when they were hot. They would also be good with a drizzle of glaze or cream cheese icing, to add a bit of extra sweetness.

The post Trader Joe’s Donut Bites, reviewed appeared first on Baking Bites.


Gourmia GST210 Stiriffic Adjustable Pot & Pan Hands Free Automatic Stirrer – Black, Free Recipe E-book Included

If you’re tired of going crazy watching and stirring and you are ready for a hands-free solution – you’ll go crazy for the Gourmia Stirrific!

If you have better things to do with your time and culinary skills then constantly steering your food, get ready to put the Stirrific, Hands-Free Auto Stirrer to work for you! Designed to easily mount on pots and saucepans, the Stirrific will automatically stirr anything from delicate sauces to thick cereals – and even stews, so there’s no worries about burning. More than convenience, the Stirrific is also smart. Its custom engineered, dishwasher-safe “StirPeller” blades are inspired by the propeller designs of naval ships and submarines and deliver maximum power and efficiency from the units ultra-quiet motor. The result? Velvety smooth sauces, remarkable risottos, super soups and stews – without burning through hours of your valuable time. Plus, the StirPeller’s nylon composite construction gives the perfect amount flexibility to ensure optimal contact with virtually the entire cooking interior.

Product Features

  • Automatically handles the stirring so you’re free to concentrate on the cooking
  • Handles anything from delicate risottos to thick heart gravies, stews, sauces, even hot cereals
  • Powerful and Rechargeable motor engineered for ultra-quiet operation
  • Easy clean nylon composite paddles eliminate edge residue from pots
  • Designed with you in mind, custom designed for easy use and easy cleaning and storage


Cooking Away by The Pioneer Woman


Remembering James Beard at the Stanford Court

Erica Peters, Marelene Sorosky Gray, Jacqueline Mallorca and John Phillip Carroll
In the 1970’s and 80’s James Beard, the “dean of American cookery” took up residence at the Stanford Court hotel. The hotel was his home for three months out of the year. The San Francisco Professional Food Society recently hosted a conversation with three of his friends and co-workers, John Phillip Carroll, Jacqueline Mallorca and Marlene Sorosky Gray who reminisced about his time at the Stanford Court. It was moderated by food historian Erica Peters.  
Here are just a few highlights from the event: 

On his time in San Francisco: 
This city and this hotel room were great refuge for him. It was chaos in New York. Julia Child once referred to his New York house as being full of loonies but here he was invited to everyone’s home for dinner and he was taken care of. He said, “the city just gets into my blood.” – John Phillip Carroll (JPC)
He loved the West Coast and he had a lot of friends here from years back that pampered him. Chuck Williams would have him for dinner at least once a week. He kept his private life private.  He enjoyed his life, he had a good time and he lived it up. – Jacqueline Mallorca (JM)
Even towards the end of his life he loved to party, he would tell me–“Jackie don’t get old.” –  (JM)
On his career:
He had a genuine interest and admiration for American cuisine and how special it was. In his hands it was new and fresh. – JPC
I think he knew he was doing something important but he was humble. – JC
During his entire career as a freelance writer he did not make a ton of money off his books and he was never good on television. He was a bit envious of Julia Child’s success but they were very good friends and spent time here together. – JPC 
Illustration of James Beard by Jacqueline Mallorca
I worked with Julia Child and James, Julia was a teacher, that was what she loved to do, she was curious Jacques is the best technical cook in the country, no one can touch him and James was like an encyclopedia when it came to food. If you wanted to know anything you could ask him and he would go into a dissertation on it. – Marlene Sorosky Gray (MG)
Kraft offered him a huge amount of money to promote squeeze Parkay. Marion Cunningham and I made toast and he wanted to like it but he hated it and said no.  – JPC
He told me, “I wouldn’t do Aunt Jemima. I don’t look good in a bandana.” –  JM
Some funny anecdotes:
Jim (James Beard) was a very jovial man. We had gone to New York for a book signing at Bloomingdales and Jim walked very slowly. We were making very stately progress and a drunk came up and said, “Aren’t you Winston Churchill?” Jim roared with laughter and said, “I wish I was!” he was always fun and very social, he loved to party. – JM
In a cookware shop a woman came up to him and said excitedly, “I can’t believe it, James Child, aren’t you the famous chef and he responded not unless there is a Julia Beard. He was never insulted; he just made light of the experience. – MG
In the holiday season in the mid 70’s in the corner suites, on the top floor was Julia and Paul Child, James Beard on the 7th floor, Marcella & Victor Hazan on the 6th floor and Craig Claiborne on the 5th. If the hotel had crumbled the food world would have changed. For me it was a golden age to be involved in any aspect of food, wine and hospitality. It was a much smaller world. We were all very good friends. We were lucky to all be there are the same time. – JPC

Pumpkin Spice Chess Pie

When you hear the name “chess pie,” you might think that it has something to do with a classic chess board. A chess pie is a classic – but it doesn’t have anything to do with the board game. Chess pie is a Southern custard pie made with sugar, eggs, milk and cornmeal. The cornmeal is a relatively unique addition to the pie and helps to create a slightly crispy top over a sweet, tender custard.

Chess pies can be made in a wide variety of flavors and this Pumpkin Spice Chess Pie is a great choice for fall baking. It is a twist on the basic recipe, but with a generous amount of pumpkin spice added. To bring in the spice element, I used a blend of the spices that normally make up a pumpkin pie spice mix: cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. I added all of these spices individually, but you can substitute 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for all of the other spices if you happen to have some on hand. Make sure that your spices are fresh for best results, as your pie won’t have as much flavor if that pumpkin pie spice has been sitting in the back of your pantry for the past few Halloweens!

I recommend using a homemade pastry crust for this recipe because store-bought crusts tend to be a little on the smaller side and you might not be able to fit all the filling into the crust. That said, I do like the flavor of a shortbread or graham cracker crust with this filling, so using a pre-made crust is not necessarily a bad idea. When filling your pie crust, fill it almost to the top of the pan and reserve whatever doesn’t fit. It’s not worth overflowing the pie shell (any pie shell) to try to squeeze in a bit of extra filling because it can throw off the bake on the whole pie. While you probably won’t have any extra with a slightly deeper pie pan, any leftover filling can be baked in individual ramekins until just set.

This pie should be chilled before serving to help it set up completely and make it easier to slice. It has a dense custard filling with a nice vanilla and buttermilk flavor. There is a visible layer of spice on the top of the pie, along with a crisp sugar and cornmeal topping over the whole thing. It tastes almost like a fall coffee cake – but feels much more indulgent. Serve it as-is or top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Pumpkin Spice Chess Pie
dough for 9-inch pie crust or baked crumb crust
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
5 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface and fit crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Chill rolled crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornmeal, salt and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, spices and vanilla, followed by the cooled, melted butter until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until pie is set.
Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until cold before slicing.

Serves 8-10.

The post Pumpkin Spice Chess Pie appeared first on Baking Bites.


Surpahs Over The Sink Multipurpose Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack (Warm Gray, Large)

This is a brilliant multifunction kitchen gadget tool perfectly for many kitchen task, you will be surprised and love it!

Convenient and ideal for air-drying any washed tableware, cookware, bakeware, stoneware, flatware, kitchenware and fragile glassware.

Sturdy over the sink drying rack for holding heavy pots, fry pans, China, ceramic, porcelain.

Simple over-the-sink cooking prep works platform that can hold a cutting board for cutting, filling liquid containers (coffee cup, babies milk, etc.) or powders, pancake or cake mix, etc. makes mess right into the sink.

It can also hold wet vegetable and fruits temporary like a salad colander or vegetable washing bowl.

More tasks such as putting frozen items on there to thaw, hanging wash cloths and sponges to dry much faster on it, holding bread, cake to dry like a cooling rack much quicker.

Product Features

  • [ALERT: Only the listing that is marked as “Sold by Surpahs and fulfilled by Amazon” is Authentic Surpahs® product] Excellent space-saver multi-purpose heavy-duty over the sink dish drainer, not only does it provide remarkably simple efficient solutions to air-dry washed bowls, pot, fry pans, tableware, cookware, cutlery and kitchen utensil gadgets, but also can be used as vegetable colander and prep works platform over the sink
  • High-end quality, ENTIRELY FDA food safe grade silicone-coated steel with integrated design, resistant to rust, non-slip, durable. More glassware friendly and sturdy than those non silicone-coated easy loosen rubber cap stainless steel racks. Oil-resistant, very easy to clean. Welcome to compare
  • Heat resistant up to 400°F (204°C), BPA-Free, Can be used as heat resistant trivet mat on countertop. Dishwasher Safe
  • Warm Gray color, perfectly matches most popular trendy kitchen painting color themes. Foldable rolls up for easy storage. Size: 20-1/2″L x 13-1/8″W x 1/4″H (52 cm x 33.3 cm x 0.6 cm)
  • Full LIFETIME WARRANTY from the Authentic Surpahs product. 100% satisfaction guarantee. 100% worry-free guarantee.


Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL770)

For ice crushing, blending, food processing and complete juicing. Total Crushing technology crushes ice and frozen fruit in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies. Use pitcher to create drinks, dips, sauces and more. Processor bowl evenly chop vegetables or make up to 2lbs of dough. BPA free. Dishwasher safe. 1500 Watts. Equipped with XL 72 oz Total Crushing blender, 8 cup food processor bowl and two 16 Nutri Ninja cups.

Product Features

  • 72 oz. Total Crushing Pitcher pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies.
  • 8-Cup Food Processor Bowl provides perfect, even chopping and makes up to 2 lbs. of dough in 30 seconds.
  • Two 16 oz. Nutri Ninja cups with To-Go lids are perfect for creating personalized, nutrient-rich drinks to take on the go.
  • Dishwasher-safe and BPA-free parts..Includes one 1500-watt base, a Food Processor Bowl, 72 oz. Total Crushing Pitcher, two 16 oz. Nutri Ninja Cups with To-Go Lids, and a 30-recipe inspiration guide.
  • For best results, try the Nutri Ninja cup or XL Pitcher for frozen drinks


All About White Peaches

Recently I received a flat of white peaches. I was planning to preserve them but I quickly realized that wasn’t such a good idea. White peaches are lower in fruit acid so they are extremely sweet. They have a lovely almost floral fragrance and a very soft juicy texture. All of this makes them great to eat out of hand, but not so great for canning or cooking. If you can them you need to add a lot of acid such as lemon juice and if you bake with them they lose their shape and can get very mushy. 
White peaches are the most popular kind of peaches in Asia, but in the West and in Europe we tend to prefer yellow peaches. White peaches ripen very quickly and require refrigeration once soft or they will spoil. Freezing them is also an option. Since using them raw is best, I had to figure out what to do with them as fast as I could. 
I decided to freeze most of the peaches. Frozen they can be added to smoothies. I also pureed some peaches and froze the puree to use to make the Bellini cocktail which is just prosecco and peach puree. But what else can you do with white peaches? 
Here are a few more ideas: 
Use them in simple syrup 
Make a shrub
Add them to kombucha 
Include them in fruit salad
Use a few slices to sweeten iced tea
Mix up a peach smash with bourbon or  whiskey
Disclaimer: My thanks to Washington State Stone Fruit Growers for the peaches. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post. 

The Whole30 Slow Cooker: 150 Totally Compliant Prep-and-Go Recipes for Your Whole30 ― with Instant Pot Recipes

Since 2009, millions of people have transformed their lives with the Whole30. Now, co-creator Melissa Hartwig is making it even easier to achieve Whole30 success with delicious slow cooker recipes that turn ingredients into delicious, hearty meals while you’re out and about. This follow-up to the best-selling The Whole30 Cookbook is packed with 150 recipes designed to get you out of the kitchen fast, so you can enjoy all the benefits of your Whole30-inspired lifestyle. The Whole30 Slow Cooker features delicious, no-fuss dinners that cook while you work; roasts that transform into tacos, salads, and soups, for easy meals throughout the week; and satisfying one-pot meals that make prep and cleanup a breeze. These creative meals use whole-food ingredients found in any supermarket, and as an added bonus, feature recipes and directions for making your meals Instant Pot-friendly!


Cuisinart DLC-2011CHBY Prep 11 Plus 11-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless

Perfecting the art of food preparation. With a brushed stainless finish that adds a touch of elegance to any modern kitchen, the Cuisinart Prep Plus Food Processor is the ideal prep tool for any task. It’s compact build allows it to fit comfortably on any countertop and the large work bowl makes it easy to create an entire meal from scratch. After all, it’s a Cuisinart!.

Set includes a stainless steel medium slicing disc (4mm), a stainless steel shredding disc and 1 blade that can be used for chopping/mixing/kneading.

Product Features

  • Set includes a stainless steel medium slicing disc (4mm), a stainless steel shredding disc and 1 blade that can be used for chopping/mixing/kneading.
  • Speed automatically adjusts to ensure proper dough consistency
  • Includes spatula, recipe/instruction book; dishwasher-safe parts
  • One-piece Supreme wide mouth feed tube holds whole fruits and vegetables
  • Product Built to North American Electrical Standards