Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven & Giveaway

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.59.10 PM

Are you a pop-up toaster person or a toaster oven type of person? It’s actually often cause for debate in my house.  I grew up with toaster ovens. They were a constant fixture in my house at breakfast time. From toasting bagels to reheating pizza, it had its’ place. When I got engaged, my grandmother bought me a simple pop-up toaster. I was pretty skeptical about it. My husband on the other hand, was firmly in the pop-up toaster camp.  So we’ve lived with both kinds of toasters over the years.

So the fine folks at Hamilton Beach recently sent me this Easy Reach 4-Slice Toaster Oven to try out. I was definitely excited to check it out.

toaster-main

This unit has the traditional toaster oven features. You can time-cook it based on how well done you like your toast, you can set it on a timer set to temperature, or you can simply bake with it – set to a particular temperature. What’s different about this toaster is that it has a unique roll-top door to make it easier for you to take your food in and out of the oven without getting burned. The oven door really did open smoothly and it definitely allows better access to the food inside. It’s like a toaster garage!

When it came time to cook with it, I first surveyed my daughter as to what to cook and she suggested bagels. Well, I had to test it with something more than just bagels. The bagels did toast well – just how I like it, but I was curious as to how the baking feature worked.

I decided to bake some cookies in the oven. Sometimes I like to mix up some cookie dough ahead of time and then freeze it so I can bake as needed. I mean, who doesn’t love fresh baked cookies? Anyhow, I whipped up a batch of my favorite oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies. Don’t tell anyone my secret, but I have a special place in my heart for the oatmeal cookie recipe on the lid of the Quaker Oats can. Anyhow, I do a doctored up version of that recipe and it never fails.

I set the toaster oven to 350. It seemed to heat up very fast, which is great.

I scooped up the cookie dough on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet (which is included) and let it go.

cookie-balls

The cookies cooked up nicely. I like to take them out a little earlier, since I like a chewier cookie.

Cookies-Baking

Overall, I really like the way the toaster baked the cookies and toasted my daughter’s bagel. The only con I think of with this toaster is that I wish it had more space. Toaster ovens always seem to show what seems like big food items in their marketing photos. In this case, the box showed a pizza. Well, that must have been a personal sized pizza. But that’s ok. It’s a toaster oven. This is perfect for toasting your breakfast, heating up that leftover pizza and even the occasional small baking job.

baked-cookies

Definitely worth checking out.

For a chance to get in on the toaster action, enter the giveaway below!

*Full disclosure: Hamilton Beach provided me with this toaster. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dirty Chai Frappé & Hamilton Beach Blender Giveaway

frappe-hor2

I’ve been shopping around for a blender for a while. And I have to admit that I’ve been considering some of those super high-priced blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec. So when Hamilton Beach emailed me and let me know about their new Wave-Action blender, the timing was spot on.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I looked it up and it had some decent reviews. It’s a $50 blender though.

blender-box

I have a good track record with Hamilton Beach products. I’ve tried their food processor and coffee maker, so I know that they have some great budget-friendly products that perform well. But could this blender compete with some more expensive blenders? Could this blender work in my kitchen?

I typically use a blender for a morning smoothie and occasionally some soup or even a frozen cocktail. Each year I commit to using the blender more though.

One of my favorite drinks in the summer is iced coffee. Another favorite is an iced chai latte. I make iced coffee at home all the time, but I’m ashamed to admit that the majority of my iced chais tend to come from places like Starbucks. I always tell myself that I should be making it at home. I shouldn’t be paying five dollars for a drink.

When I do get an iced chai, I often ask for it with a shot of espresso  – which is often referred to as a dirty chai latte. So I decided to pull this blender out of the box and make myself a dirty chai frappé.

I boiled some water and seeped the tea bags in a cup of water to make a strong chai concentrate. I also frozen some cold brew coffee in some ice cube trays.

chai

When the tea and coffee were ready, I blended both with some maple syrup and almond milk. I had myself a vegan dirty chai frappé! And it took me all of two minutes!

ings

This blender worked wonders on my iced chai cravings. It’s Wave Action technology easily pulls everything in to the blades. The blender does include a stirring tamper piece, but I didn’t have to use it on my frappé. I imagine that it will come in helpful with soups or veggie purees. But I was very impressed with it.blender-out

And thanks to Hamilton Beach, you also have the opportunity to win your own blender! Awesome, right? So check it out and enter.

And try my dirty chai frappé.



Dirty Chai Frappé
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold brew coffee
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 chai tea bags
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Freeze the cold brew coffee in ice cube trays
  2. Boil the water and brew the tea in the water. Stir in some maple syrup and chill.
  3. When both the coffee is frozen and tea is chilled, place in blender and blend with some almond milk.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

frappeverta Rafflecopter giveaway

Hamilton Beach #FlexBrew Coffeemaker & Giveaway

flexbrew1

You may not already know this about me, but I have a bit a of a coffee habit. I’m totally addicted to coffee. With that coffee drinking habit comes a lot of coffee gear. I’ve tried every affordable and some not so affordable coffee brewing system out there. So you can only imagine what my coffee habit combined with my kitchen appliance habit does to my kitchen. I’m always looking for the perfect coffee brewing system. So when Hamilton Beach mentioned their new FlexBrew coffee maker, I was excited to checking it out.

For the record, I’m the only coffee drinker in this house. So unless I’m hosting a crowd, I typically brew only a few cups each day. I do supplement with some coffee pit stops near my office. On a typical morning though, I’ll brew my coffee using my Bodum french press or a pour-over Melitta coffee filter. They’re both very easy to use. In the summer, I will typically prep a huge batch of cold-brew coffee in my Toddy.

What’s great about the FlexBrew system from Hamilton Beach is that you have a few options. You can brew a 12-cup pot of coffee through a standard paper filter, you can brew a single cup of coffee through the drip system AND you can brew a single cup of coffee using a Keurig K-cup. That’s a lot of options to get your coffee fix on. In addition to these brew sizes, you can program it to brew at a set time and you can adjust your coffee strength. This is great for me since I have crazy mornings and I love my coffee bold. Win win, right?

So I tried all three brewing options:

  • I made about 8 cups of coffee in the pot. It was great. I selected bold. It came out just how I wanted it. This made me happy.
  • I tried brewing with ground coffee in the single-cup mode. It gave me a good cup of coffee. My only frustration is that I was hoping for quick and it took a few minutes. Still, it produced a good, even cup of coffee.
  • Last, I tried the K-cup option. I used a Starbucks brand K-cup. I used the Verona Roast. It took a couple minutes to brew that, but it produced a consistently good cup of coffee.

All in all, this machine produces good coffee. I just wish that the single cup method was faster, but that’s just me. I’m impatient for my coffee fix. I highly recommend this coffee maker for anyone.

Glad to have this addition to my home.

And the good news? You can enter to win this coffee maker! Enter now. Enjoy your coffee!

 

*Please note that this coffee maker was given to me by Hamilton Beach but all opinions are my own.



flewbrewgive   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Golden Beet Latkes + Hamilton Beach Giveaway

latkes main

So I woke up this week and realized that it’s already the middle of December. The snow clued me in a little, but the giant 8 ft. tall santa and reindeer on my neighbor’s lawn is probably what really did me in. Anyways, it’s December and the holidays are almost here and I’m over the moon about it. Can’t you tell?

With Chanukah almost here, I need to continue my tradition of coming up with some new latke recipes. On last year’s menu, there were some carrot ginger latkes and some wild mushroom & roasted garlic latkes. Both were amazing. How could I top that? I really wanted to go for something somewhat simple for my first latke of the season. You really have to ease into it. I decided to turn to one of my favorite root veggies. Golden beets. I definitely don’t show enough love for the humble golden beet often enough. So a latke it must be.

beets

Hamilton Beach recently sent me their Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor to check out and use in my holiday cooking. What better way to test out a food processor then to abuse using it during my latke making fest?! It really is the perfect way to check out what it’s made of.

hamilton beach

I loved the simplicity of the set up as I took it out of the box. Everything just stacked together. There was very little question as to what piece goes where. I also loved how the shredding disc is reversible. One side slices and one side shreds. Another thing I noted as I took hold of the new appliance was how light it is. It didn’t feel cumbersome in my arms or on my kitchen counter.

When it got down to making the machine work, I was also pleasantly surprised and impressed. Beets are much firmer than potatoes, so I figured that shredding the beets would be a pretty good test. When I placed the beets in the feeding tube and pushed down, the beets were shredded in seconds! The machine was really strong and worked really well!

shredded beets

Later in the day, I tested the machine with some dried fruit and nuts. I tested with that mixture because I knew it would be difficult to cut through. and it’s what I used for charoset at Pesach. If this machine can handle my Passover Charoset, then it definitely is a winner! And lo and behold, it worked! It attacked the dried apricots and figs with gusto!

I didn’t think that a budget-friendly machine would work for me, but so glad that this Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor works well! This food processor would be the perfect addition to my year-round kitchen gear AND for my pesach kitchen gear. I love how this machine processes the food so fast and is so easy to handle. I also love that it comes with the extra shredding and slicing disc.  I would definitely recommend this food processor to anyone! Good news for you, I’ve got one of these Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor to give away!

Anyways, back to these golden beet latkes.

Here’s what I did.

I washed and peeled the beets and onions and then I quartered them. I processed them in the food processor with the shredding disc.

I transferred the mixture to a bowl and then added the chopped garlic, chopped dill, salt and pepper, egg and the flour. I mixed everything together well.

I then heated up some oil in my fry pan, shaped the mixture in to latke patties and then fried them until browned and crispy on both sides. I drained the latkes on paper towels.

latkes frying

I served the latkes with sour cream, though next time, I think I will serve them with a nice lemon aioli.

These latkes are delicious.

Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to enter to win your own Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor!



vertical latkes

Golden Beet Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 golden beets
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tbsp. almond flour, (you can also use regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • - See more at: http://confident-cook.com/2014/12/golden-beet-latkes.html#sthash.8QM4ZrrJ.dpuf
Instructions
  1. Wash, peel and quarter the beets
  2. peel and quarter the onions
  3. Using the shredding disc on your food processor, shred the beets and onions.
  4. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients
  5. Mix everything together well
  6. Form beet mixture in to thin patties and fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Serve with some sour cream and dill or a lemon aioli.
  9. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Hamilton Beach provided me with this food processor to review, but all opinions and the recipe are my own.

1 2