Babycakes Cupcake Maker

My air isn’t working correctly. I think we may end up having to replace our almost 20 year old unit and buy a new one. However, here in Chicago, it has been super hot, and we are looking at ways to keep cool. Turning on the oven is not an option when I can’t get my house below 80 degrees. That being said, my new Babycakes Cupcake Maker has been quite the lifesaver. I am able to make a box of mini cupcakes and not heat up my kitchen. (Note:  Babycakes treat makers work best with moist mixes.)

Babycakes offers a line of electric cake makers that heat up in five minutes, require very little cleaning, and bake treats in eight minutes or less. Whether you have a craving for cupcakes, cake pops or donuts, Babycakes appliances help create quick family desserts or an easy treat for that last-minute party invite. The treat makers come with dozens of recipes to challenge you to go beyond the expected confections and try your hand at quiche, mini-pies, muffins, breakfast puffs or whatever else you can think up.

I am amazed with my Babycakes Cupcake Maker.  Not only does it not heat up my kitchen, it is super easy to use.

The kids and I made cupcakes on a Friday evening. It was super easy. The only thing is that the directions don’t tell you to spray the unit with cooking oil. If you don’t, they cupcakes stick (so my first round were a bit interesting getting out). However, once I sprayed my unit with Pam, it was easy to get everything out. This was so easy to use that my 7 year old could have done this herself! The next time I need to make cupcakes for Madison’s school, you can bet that I will be using my Babycakes Cupcake Maker!

I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Babycakes and received a product sample and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

What knives are needed for your kitchen?

This is a guest post.

In many discussions about cookware, the question about what cookware is really necessary for the kitchen comes up frequently.  Everyone likes to talk about their favorite sauce pan, skillet or even Dutch oven.  But with all of these different pots and pans, the one essential topic seldom comes into the discussion.  And that is knives.

Probably the single most important tools a chef or chefwannabee can have are good, sharp knives combined with a cutting board and a means of sharpening those knives.

Now the mixer, blenders and other appliances along with pots and pans are needed for the completion of most any recipe. But everything starts with cutting and preparing the ingredients.  So what knives do you need?

There are many to choose from and one approach is to select a good set of 6 to 8 pieces as this will provide most of what you will need.  But similar to buying sets of pots and pans, you may get some things that you either do not like or will not use much.

The thing to do is to think about the things  you like to do and how you like to work in the kitchen.  Then select the items  that match what you do.

With this in mind, I can offer a few suggestions however. Start with the three kitchen knives that cover most of our cutting tasks:

  • Chef’s knife
  • Paring knife
  • Serrated bread knife

The chef’s knife is the work horse in the kitchen and can be used for most every job.  They are available in lengths from 6 to 12 inches. But the 8 inch knife is the most popular and probably most versatile.   But get one that is comfortable and easy to manage when slicing and chopping.  The chef’s knife has a rounded edge so that it can be rocked back and forth to quickly chip things

The paring knife is shorter ranging from 3 to 6 inches.  The primary use is for peeling, slicing small items and other detailed work.  These come with either a curved or straight blade.  Select the one that fits your hand and eye bests.

The serrated bread knife has a tooth like edge that can saw through foods with a hard exterior and softer interior such as French b read but works will in slicing squash, fruits and cabbage also.  These knives usually range from 9 to 12 inches.

There are other useful knives as well such as a carving or slicing knife for meats, filet knife or the recently popular Santoku knife.  But the basic three will get you through most of the basic  activities in the kitchen.

Some useful things to remember with the use of your knives:

  • Always use a cutting board and avoid using them on hard surfaces such as glass, granite or marble.  The newer polyethylene plastic cutting boards are easier on the knives and easier to clean than even wooden options.
  • Keep you knives sharp by using a steel or stone with every use or at least once a week.  A sharp knife is safer to use than one that is dull.
  • Do not put knives in the dishwasher.  It is harsh on the surface of  the knives and there is increased danger of getting cut in getting the knives out.

Lastly, selecting good quality knives pays in the long run as they will last a lifetime with proper care.  As an example, Fissler has recently announced a great set of knives that combines German engineering with Japanese artistry.

William Sullivan is a personal chef and recommends stainless steel cookware or cast iron cookware.

Want to win a new GE appliance?

I know I do! Here’s how this contest that I am promoting with GE works. You may remember my post about how GE Appliances are as strong as steel, and you can use them to work out. Well, I am working with them again (with around 50 other bloggers).  Here’s how the contest works:

1.  You can either enter using widget in my sidebar or the one down below here:

2.  Click where is says sweepstakes on the widget, and fill in your name, date of birth, and email and your done!  You’ve been entered to win a GE Appliance!  And you can do this every day too!!!!!

There are around 50 blogs who are doing this giveaway.  The winner will be picked from all the entries on all the widgets  Here’s the really cool part of this contest though, if you win, I win an appliance too!  So keep entering every day, and help us both win a new GE appliance!

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