Things She Tries: Ice Ball Mold (Review)

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I am obsessed with ice. I put ice in all of my beverages, even orange juice. I use a lot of ice to get and keep my drinks cold, so Instead of making ice at home, I usually buy bags of ice at the grocery store, but recently I got to try an ice ball mold to make ice at home.  The product is designed for making large perfectly round ice balls to make great looking drinks for parties. What I love about the ice ball is that it helps keep my beverage cold longer and I don’t get the rapid ice cube melting, which can water down drinks.

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I’m also impressed with the quality of the product. The ice ball mold is made of safe and flexible silicone, which means the ice ball is easy to release from the mold. The silicone molds come in a pack of 3 and include a silicone funnel in the pack.The funnel can be used to fill the molds without mess or spilling your choice of liquid, it is also useful for other applications in the kitchen. The molds have fill lines printed on them so that they can be easily filled with the correct amount of liquid.

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Ice balls make for an attractive addition to drinks if you are entertaining and they are also perfect for whisky drinkers. I’m not a drinker myself, but I’ve had a thing for drinking the non-alcoholic Roy Rodgers ever since my friend introduced me to it at a club.  I recently started making my own diet version of the drink at home.  I’m including a bonus recipe below.

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Diet Roy Rodgers (like diet cherry coke, but better)

2 tsp Grenadine syrup

1 can Diet Coke (you can use regular cola for a full calorie version)

2 Maraschino cherries

1 Ice ball

  1. Pour a dash of grenadine syrup into a cocktail glass over ice ball
  2. Pour in the cola and mix with a spoon or straw
  3. Garnish with two maraschino cherries to serve

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Verdict:  I’m a fan of this product. The ice ball mold is great for creating ice that will fancy up drinks for entertaining, and keep beverages cold. You can also use it to make ice for your dog’s water bowl, as dogs have fun playing with ice balls and an ice ball will help cool down the water temperature on a hot day.

To find out more, or purchase your own ice ball mold, visit http://www.ice-ball-mold.com

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Things She Tries: Pineapple Slicer

It’s officially summer and that means I’m craving fruit. Growing up in California meant I was fortunate enough to have delicious fruit year round, but living in NY, I’ve found that I really have to wait until summertime to get good fruit. This summer I am completely obsessed with fresh pineapple. I love everything about fresh pineapple except trying to cut it. I’ve seen Youtube vidoes and pictures on Pinterest about how to successfully cut a pineapple, but nothing seemed to work too well, so I decided to buy a pineapple slicer.

I ended up buying two pineapple slicers (yes, I’m that serious about my fresh pineapples). I bought the first one at T.J. Maxx because I had been eyeing pineapple slicers online and I was excited to find one for only $6. I got the second one from nomorerack.com.

The pineapple slicer from T.J. Maxx seemed surprisingly complicated at first.  Of course the package came with a couple of pictures indicating how the pineapple slicer should be used, but of course I didn’t look at them, so it took a few minutes before I figured out that I had to cut the top and bottom of the pineapple off then cut the pineapple in half before I could actually get to work cutting it.  Once I mastered the first step, I moved to the second one of pushing the slicer down through the pineapple. I quickly found a serious problem with this slicer – it just isn’t sharp enough to easily cut through a pineapple. I had to do a lot of work wiggling the slicer back and forth to get it to cut through the pineapple. And once I got to the bottom of the pineapple, it was hard to separate the pineapple from the slicer. All the pushing and wiggling created a juicy mess on my cutting board, but I was able to get a cored and peeled chunk of pineapple that was easy to cut.

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When my second pineapple slicer arrived from nomorerack, I thought it wasn’t going to be much better than the first one. Nomorerack sells discount products that are often off brand and it can be a hit or miss. I assumed this pineapple slicer was going to be a miss. It looked cheap and unfinished. But I was presently surprised when I tried using it for the first time. Unlike the other slicer that involved a bit of pineapple pre-cutting, I only had to cut off the top of the pineapple to use this slicer. After cutting off the top, I just pushed the slicer down on the pineapple and twisted. The slicer went right through the pineapple without much pressure or effort. Once the slicer got to the bottom of the pineapple all I had to go was gently pull up on the handle and the pineapple came right out of the shell. The handle of the slicer comes apart, so the pineapple can easily slide off the slicer.  This slicer was much more efficient than the first slicer and there was a lot less work and mess involved. It also leaves the shell in tact, which is great if you want to use it as a serving vessel at a party.

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I’m going to keep both pineapple slicers, but I’ll definitely be using the second one more often.

Food She Tries: Homemade Peach Ice Cream

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Ice cream has been my one guilty pleasure since I decided to become low gluten and thus ditch most process foods. I’ve been buying the small individual servings of Dreyer’s/Edy’s ice cream for the past few months, but I don’t like the idea of all the chemicals and preservatives that are found in store bought ice cream. I want to put good things in my body, even when I’m eating a sweet treat like ice cream, so I recently bought a Hamilton Beach ice cream maker on sale at Kohl’s. Today I making ice cream (peach flavor) for the first time with a recipe I found online.

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I will admit this take a little more time and planning than store bought ice cream, but the process was also really fun. The ice cream maker instructions suggest letting the freezer bowl of the ice cream maker sit in the freezer overnight, but I had mine in there for about 36 hours before I actually got around to making the ice cream.

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When I was ready I peeled/cut 4 fresh peaches and combined them in a blender with 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Once combined, I put the mixture in the freezer and let it chill for about 30 minutes. Then in a separate bowl, I whisked two eggs and combined them with 3/4 cups of sugar, 1 cup milk and 2 cups heavy cream. Instead of combining the peach mixture and the ice cream base together in a bowl, I just poured them both in the ice cream maker  and let the ice cream maker mix them together. After 20 minutes in the ice cream maker, I had soft serve peach ice cream, but because I like a firmer texture, I put the ice cream in the freezer for 2 hours before eating it.

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Verdict: Eat again, but add small chunks of peach for added flavor and crunch.

 

Peach Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peaches, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream or 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

  1. Combine the peaches, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.
  4. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.
  5. Pour both mixtures into the ice cream maker and follow ice cream maker directions.

 

Food She Tries: 3 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

Recipe: 3 Ingredient Pancakes

 

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Ingredients:

1 large ripe banana

2 eggs

cinnamon (to taste)

 

Directions:

Lightly oil and put your skillet or grill pan on medium heat. Mix the banana, eggs and cinnamon together in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the banana with a fork and whisk it together with the eggs an cinnamon. Pour the batter in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you start to see tiny bubbles in the batter. Flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Top with your favorite topics, or eat plain.

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Verdict:  Eat again (and again, and again) 

After seeing this recipe on Pinterest, I was a little skeptical that mixing a banana, eggs and cinnamon together could make anything that remotely resembled a pancake. Despite my skepticism, I decided to give the recipe a try because it was gluten free, high protein and low carb.  I was pleasantly surprised that these pancakes not only looked like pancakes, but they tasted really good, almost like banana bread. I topped my pancakes with fresh strawberries and a little whipped cream, but the banana does make them sweet enough to eat plain.  I liked them so much that I made these pancakes again, adding walnuts for an extra boost of protein. This will definitely be a go to favorite for a quick and delicious breakfast.

 

 

Facon Pita Sandwich

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Thanks to BzzAgent I was recently able to try MorningStar farms veggie products. I love the veggie burgers and chik patties, but my favorite recipe using MorningStar farms products is a veggie bacon sandwich on pita bread with cucumbers and tomatoes.

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I started my sandwich by microwaving four strips of MorningStar Farms veggie bacon. You can also cook the veggie bacon on the stove if you prefer.

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While the veggie bacon was cooking for 90 seconds, I cut up a cucumber and half a tomato and put them inside of a pita pocket. Then I put a little mayonnaise inside as well.

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By that time the veggie bacon was done cooking and had a little time to cool. I just slid it inside of the pita pocket and put a handful of baked potato chips on my plate for a delicious lunch!