As Seen on TV

I have to admit, I’m an impulse shopper, especially if it is food or something to cook or serve the food.  Over the years, I’ve purchased an electric wok, a quesadilla maker, a pizzelle maker, assorted seasonal shaped cupcake and loaf pans, an espresso maker, and a juice machine  I have developed a little more self-restraint the last few years, though. Instead of buying something right away, I look over the product and price, and then tell myself that I mat buy it when it goes on sale. After-holiday sales are one way to do this; I’ve gotten some Wilton and Nordicware products at really good prices this way, as well a cupcake maker.

Most recently, a toy I’ve wanted – I say toy because it is not a necessity, simply something else to play with in the kitchen – are the tortilla bowl pans. Every time I saw them on TV, I thought, Hey those would be fun to play with.  I show self-restraint and do not make the purchase, thinking that I will wait until they become available in stores wh.ere I can buy them on sale or with a coupon.  Then, last month, there they are, the tortilla bowl pans at an outlet store. So, I bought the set of four pans .

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... and look, they tessellate - functional and fun!

… and look, they tessellate – functional and fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the next trip to the grocery store, I purchased white corn tortillas, lean ground beef, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and fat-free sour cream. For dinner, I made taco bowls with my new pans. I followed the box’s directions, baking the shells at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. They came out fine, although the next time I made taco bowls, I kept them in the oven a couple minutes longer, wanting the shells to be crispier. If I had to give a consumer review, I would say that these tortilla pans work as promised.

 

I added the beef and cheese to the tortilla bowls before baking.

I added the beef and cheese to the tortilla bowls before baking. Since I like cheese, I had two layers of cheese, under and on top of the beef.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

 

 

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Is Gluten-Free Meant to Be?

So, I am still willing to give gluten-free cooking a try.  With a renal-restricted diet – limit sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous – one more thing to monitor is making it even harder to find foods to prepare.  Many low-fat and low-sodium foods were not necessarily prepared without phosphorous.  (Check the ingredients – notice words like disodium phosphate or phosphoric acid?) There are many brands which offer gluten-free products, but what is the sodium content of these foods?  Believe me, I’ve gotten good at checking labels on foods (though there are still times when I feel lazy and make a purchase without checking the labels).

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I purchased King Arthurs’s gluten-free all-purpose flour and muffin mix, Cherrybrook Kitchen’s Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix, and Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Gluten Free. Now, we’ll just gloss over the fact that I shouldn’t have purchased the Bisquick due to the fact that two of the ingredients contain the word phosphate – but that was my error, not Betty Crocker’s.

It was morning, time for breakfast and I wanted pancakes.  I reach for the Bisquick Gluten Free and begin to read the directions on the box.  As with regular Bisquick, the back of the box contains directions for preparing pancakes, waffles, and biscuits.  When I saw the word “waffles,” I thought, “Mmm, waffles would be even better than pancakes.” I prepare the waffle batter exactly as the directions stated.  I pour some batter onto the waffle iron pan.  The heat level on the stove is medium, the temperature I use with this waffle iron.  I flip the pan after a couple of minutes.  A couple of minutes later, a lot of smoke is coming from the waffle iron – fortunately, the smoke detector did not go off.  I turn off the burner, remove the waffle iron, and open it up to find the waffle sticking to either side of the scallops.  This was a surprise, as less time has passed than usual when making waffles with this pan.

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