I thought I'd share a few recent finds - things that I've tried and liked. They were all sent to me for review. (My policy on this, in short: I'll gladly try new things, but I may or may not write about them. If I do write, it'll be my honest opinion. I tend to write about things I like and recommend, obviously - it's not much fun to write about really horrible products, but sometimes, I'll do that, too.)
Chef'n Prepstation cutting board
This is a pretty smart cutting board! It's nice and sturdy, and it has little drawers underneath where you can collect whatever you've been cutting, to transfer it to the pot. (One is a colander, so you can rinse whatever it is you need to rinse.) It's handy - I keep mine on the kitchen counter and use it all the time. (However, I partly do that because it won't fit in my drawer. )
Do your pots boil over? Mine do, when I cook rice, or potatoes. Kochblume is the solution - it's a silicone lid / splatter guard that you use instead of a normal lid. It'll keep the pot from boiling over, and it works pretty well. However, starch tends to collect on the "petal" part of the lid, so you need to scrub it clean. I also wish it was a bit smaller, it's a little large for the pot I most often use.
Kallaras olive oil
I got this e-mail:
My name is Marinos Kallaras and I am actually a mechanical engineer. However, I have always been working on my parents olive groves in my free time and I dedicated a lot of time during harvest to personally undertake the procedure of harvest and olive extraction. I own a part of an olive press, so I am proud to say that I am personally responsible for the cultivation of my olive trees, the harvest and the extraction of the olive oil. I bottle my olive oil in my region’s co-operative.
High quality olive oil has so much been part of my family’s every day diet that I only recently realized that the olive oil sold in Northern Europe is either of bad quality (often adultered) or extremely costly. Our European friends who have tried our extra virgin olive oil talk about a memorable Greek taste that made them question the quality of olive oil they had been eating so far. So, I thought, why not export?
In a few words my extra virgin olive oil has low acidity, it is cold extracted, it is certified and has zero chemicals, additives and preservatives. Plus it is produced for centuries by my family with so much love that I can honestly say I am proud of my olive oil.
Being curious, I agreed to taste it - and Marinos is right, it's an awesome olive oil. Certainly much tastier than what I can find in my local grocery store. I've been using it for just about everything since I got it, and it just works so well. It's not a very strong flavor, which I personally like very much - I often find olive oils to be a little too intrusive in my cooking. So this one is just to my liking. Recommended! (Here's the website.)
I tend to bake my own gingerbread cookies, but if I buy any this year, they'll be from Arbrå Ångbageri. Really good cookies, and really gorgeous tins.