Cookina: Cooking sheet for BBQ & Oven!






Cookina:  Cooking Sheets for BBQ, Oven & Microwave!

Cookina Products 

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Kim Lybrand PR graciously supplied me with samples of Cookina barbeque, Cookina cuisine, and Cookina gard for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



Cooking creates a lot of messes.  Dirty baking sheets, spills in your oven, charred bits stuck to your grill…  but, does it have to?  Evidently not!


Cookina products make bbq cooking and baking a lot easier!  Since it is -7 Fahrenheit, my grilling days are few right now.  But, I am looking forward to the first warm day when I can fire up my grill and use my Cookina.  They are safe up to 500 degrees and can be placed directly on your grill.  No more stuck meat on your grates or veggies falling into the flame!  Best part?  The Cookina is thin enough that you still get grill lines!


For now, I am using my Cookina indoors.  I’ve used the BBQ sheet, which was easily trimmed to fit my half sheet baking pan, for buttered carrots.  These normally create a big mess.  Not this time!  Clean up was super easy.  Warm water + Soap + Soft rag = one clean Cookina.  All I had to do was roll it up and store it inside it’s storage ring.

  Cookina Aluminum Foil   Cookina Used Aluminum Foil

            I also tested the Cookina Cuisine sheet.  Again, it was super easy to trim to my baking sheet.   I decided that gooey cinnamon rolls would be a good test.  And, after I lifted the rolls from the Cookina, there was almost no residue left to clean!  I’m loving the addition of Cookina products in my kitchen.  And, my husband loves that I can spend less time cleaning up after dinner!
Cookina ParchmentCookina Used Parchment

Who would like this gift? 

I think the barbeque sheets would be an excellent stocking stuffer for the avid griller in your life.  The cuisine sheets would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone who enjoys baking or who cooks a lot in their oven.  The Cookina Gard oven proctectors would be ideal for novice cooks (who are likely to spill), home chefs (boil overs are not fun to clean), and the elderly who might not be able to clean their oven easily.


Or, you could pair a few Cookina sheets with other baking and/or grilling accessories as a combo gift for your friends and family!

 Where to Buy 

Cookina can be purchased at Walmart,  Costco and more Locations.

You can also purchase Cookina at Amazon!

Nielsen Massey “Tart It Up!” Event : Big Success!

I had the opportunity to attend  the “Tart It Up!” event which was hosted by Nielsen Massey Vanilla company in Waukegan, Il yesterday.  The famous UK pastry chef, Eric Lanlard demonstrated  two recipes from his latest book, Tart It Up!.

Tart It Up!  by Chef Eric Lanlard


I think I was as excited about meeting Craig Nielsen, Beth Nielsen and Matt Nielsen as I was about Chef Eric’s baking demonstration.  The Nielsen Massey story is quite remarkable and this third generation Nielsen team has continued the Vanilla legacy.


Craig Nielsen, Beth Nielsen, Matt Nielsen

As soon as I stepped into the front door of the Nielsen Massey plant, I was greeted by Craig Nielsen and given a warm welcome.  The Nielsens were such gracious hosts —I felt like I was attending a party in their home instead of a presentation at their plant.  Beth Nielsen also promptly welcomed me and later gave us all a tour of their new state-of-the art commercial kitchen.  As I listened to Beth talk about the kitchen – how every detail was carefully selected by her – I came to realize that this is more than vanilla to the Nielsens.  This is a family history over three decades strong.  Matt Nielsen hosted a tour of the plant at the end of the day.  The plant tour can be found under my post, ” Everything’s Coming Up ….Vanilla Beans at Nielsen Massey”.

Now back to Chef Eric….

Vickie Meets Chef Eric Lanlard


Chef Eric’s baking demonstration covered the basics of making a crust as well as a sweet pie ( Pecan)


And a savory tart,  Salmon with Mustard and Dill Tart


I learned a new technique for pastry making… what Chef Eric referred to as “rubbing the flour”.  He used his hands to mix the butter and flour together – instead of a pastry cutter as we have all learned to use in pie crust making.  He said that a good pastry chef has to learn how the dough “feels” and that can only be done with your hands.  He said that pastry making is not cooking — it’s chemistry.  And, because it is chemistry, a pastry recipe should be followed closely and not altered.  I loved his stories about being a pastry chef.  He said, “We bring smiles to people’s faces!  Pastry chefs create cakes for weddings…birthdays….special occasions…and people always smile when they see the cake!”.  

Chef Eric said that the home “pastry chef” can create every recipe in his book.  And, if your pastry turns out less than perfect — just tell everyone it has the new “rustic look”!  I think the whole point is to try new things and learn to be comfortable doing it.  The kitchen is a place to enjoy with your family and friends.

We all got to sample the Pecan Pie and Salmon Tart before the much anticipated tour of the Nielsen Massey plant.

 The Tart It Up! tastings were wonderful and so was the event!  

Many thanks to Nielsen Massey Vanilla for hosting “Tart It Up!” 





Vickie Meets Chef Eric Lanlard

Chef Eric Lanlard, famous UK bakery chef who is also known as “ Cake Boy“, has been on a whirlwind  U.S. book tour promoting his latest book, Tart It Up!.  I must admit, even the name of the cookbook intrigued me.  But,  when the chance to meet Chef Eric was coupled with the opportunity to tour the Nielsen Massey Vanilla plant in Waukegan, Il AND meet Beth, Matt and Craig Nielsen–this girl was in the car, headed to Waukegan!

Vickie with Chef Eric Lanlard

Chef Eric’s new book, Tart It Up!, is full of over 75 savory and sweet pie and tart recipes.  Chef Eric says, ”  In this book you will find not only great recipes and tips for making the best pastry but also the inspiration for delicious tarts and pies that I’ve collected over the years…..I hope you will like them as much as my friends do.”

 The Nielsen-Massey event was attended by media and food bloggers along with a bus load load of French pastry students from the Culinary Institute.  It was so exciting to watch Chef Eric create his baking masterpieces and listen as he shared his passion for pastry with us.    

The Tart It Up!  Event and the tour of the Nielsen Massey plant can be found under my other posts.

“Nielsen Massey Event:  Tart It Up! :  Big Success”

“Everything’s Coming up Vanilla Beans….At Nielsen Massey!”

Tart It Up!   by Eric Lanlard. ( Octopus Books:  July 2012)  $ 19.99 



Nielsen Massey Vanilla and Cookbook Giveaway

This contest is now closed

I LOVE to bake!  Here’s my Old Fashioned Pecan Pie —hot out of the oven.  I used the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure  Vanilla Extract in my pecan pie and you can really taste the difference!    I have learned that it is so important to use quality ingredients in your recipes because that one tip makes a big difference in the success of your finished product.  

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas are premium vanilla products that are known worldwide.  They have always been, and still are, a family-owned business and are now run by the third generation of the Nielsens.  The line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include:  Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste ( which my daughter, Nicole, absolutely loves) ; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans.  They also have an amazing line of pure flavors:  Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract,  Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water.  Whatever your baking needs — Nielsen – Massey has a flavoring or extract for you!

Nielsen-Massey also has a cookbook, A Century of Flavor Nielsen-Massey Vanillas.   I read cookbooks like some people read novels and this cookbook took me on a journey of exciting flavors and dishes.  It is packed with 50 delicious recipes and full-page color pictures of every dish!  Just reading the book made my mouth water  with recipes like Vanilla Apple Pudding, Savory Pork Tenderloin, Vanilla-Infused Balsamic Vinaigrette and Vanilla Caramel Corn Crunch!

One lucky Make Life Special reader will win a Nielsen-Massey Gift Set:

2 oz Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 oz Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract

2 oz Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract

2 oz Pure Almond Extract

2 oz Pure Chocolate Extract

A Century of Flavor cookbook

Win it!!!


To enter the giveaway, just answer the following question in the “Speak Your Mind” section at the bottom of this post:

” What is your favorite recipe you bake using vanilla?”

Maybe it’s your grandma’s recipe for sugar cookies or your favorite pie or cake recipe.  Whatever bakery creation that makes  your taste buds dance with delight, please share!


One entry per person, please.

Giveaway starts Tuesday October 16, 2012.

Giveaway ends Saturday October 27, 2012 at 8pm CST.

The winner will be chosen by and announced October 28, 2012.

Winner must email  with their name and mailing address.

Note:  Giveaway sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas.


Success Secret: How to Knead Dough

Kneading dough is a key step in making homemade bread.


Who doesn’t love the aroma of fresh baked bread…it’s heavenly!  

Here are my success secrets:

Start by combining your bread dough ingredients.  It’s best to use a glass or plastic bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface.  I like to use a silicon mat for kneading dough.  Start with about a 1/4 of a cup of extra flour on the mat.  You will use this on your hands as you knead the dough and to sprinkle on the dough as you work with it to make the dough less sticky.

If the dough is very sticky, sprinkle some flour on top.  You will also need to flour your hands as well.

Gather the dough together and then begin by pressing the heels of your hands firmly into the dough – pushing it forward slightly.  Fold the dough over and rotate it too.

Repeat this press -fold-turn process and you are kneading dough!  You may add additional flour as you work the dough until it is no longer sticky.  Most bread recipes require 10 minutes of kneading to develop the gluten.  This whole process is what gives bread it’s texture.  So set the timer and enjoy you new found experience of making homemade bread!

Here is what the dough should look like after 10 minutes of kneading.

Video: Success Secret: How to Knead Dough

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked bread? Kneading dough is a key step in making homemade bread. Learn how to knead dough here.

Cinnamon Doughnut Puffs

Who doesn’t love doughnuts?  These little cinnamon and sugar puffs are yummy!!!


Click the link to view the YouTube How-to Tutorial for this recipe :    Cinnamon Doughnut Puffs 


Cinnamon Doughnut Puffs
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 8 oz tube refrigerated biscuits ( not flaky kind)
  1. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a medium bowl. Place the melted butter in a separate bowl.
  2. Separate the biscuits. Dip each biscuit into butter, then into cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  3. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.
  5. Makes 10 Cinnamon Doughnut Puffs

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1   8 oz tube refrigerated biscuits  ( not the flaky kind)

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a medium bowl.  Place the melted butter in a separate bowl.

Separate the biscuits.  Dip biscuits into butter, then into cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.


Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.


Makes 10 Cinnamon Doughnut Puffs

To download printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Cinnamon Doughnut Puffs



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