ManPans Cookware Sets Review

Note:  I received a ManPans Wok to use for this ManPans Cookware Sets review.  No compensation was received.  The opinions in this review are my true and honest evaluation of this product.

ManPans Wok

ManPans Wok

Are you checking out cookware sets?  Are you trying to find the best cookware for your kitchen?

ManPans Cookware Sets offer lots of great features!  

I was recently asked to review ManPans and I am so glad I said yes!  I am in LOVE with this cookware!  As soon as I opened the box, I was impressed by the sleek design of the pan ( I selected the wok to review – see photo above).  But this is more than just a pretty pan.  This pan was designed by chefs and is used by chefs in commercial kitchens and restaurants around the world.  ManPans are built to stand up to lots of hard use and they just keep on turning out beautiful food!

Aside from how cookware looks, I also like pans that are a good weight but not too heavy.  Some pans are so heavy you can barely lift them but ManPans is a perfect weight.  The third thing I immediately noticed is the design of the handle.  It is ROUND!  

 

ManPans Handle

ManPans Handle

This design allows you to really get a good grip on the pan.  Notice the word HOT on the handle?  There are actually arrows pointing from the word hot toward the pan.  That means that only the part of the handle between the word hot and the pan heats up.  The rest of the handle stays cool to the touch!  No more searching for pot holders!    

I immediately checked out the ManPans Website to find out more about this pan before I started cooking with it.  I learned that this is no ordinary pan.  

  • ManPans are tough.  The Gem-X2 coating will not chip, flake or rub off AND it is METAL UTENSIL SAFE!  
  • ManPans are PTFE free, PFOA free and free from any Fluoropolymer coatings.  No Toxins!  I think this feature alone is reason enough to replace your old non stick cookware.  
  • Made in the USA
  • Oven and broiler safe to 700 degrees F
  • The hard coat anodize and Gem-X2 sealer will not react with your food so it will preserve the delicate flavors of your food.
  • Exclusive cool grip handle 
  • Do not put ManPans in the dishwasher. Hand wash only.

 Now for my tips on using this cookware:

First, this cookware is stick resistant, not non-stick.  It is important to use a small amount of oil or Pam when you cook with ManPans.

Use a small amount of oil in the bottom of the ManPan

Use a small amount of oil in the bottom of  ManPans

Second, ManPans are made from dark anodized aluminum which means they retain heat more efficiently than your regular non-stick pans.  Because of this, you will need to adjust your heat way down (about 40% lower than other pans) so the food will not stick.  This also means you will save energy  when cooking in ManPans.  The food will cook just as fast, but at a lower temperature.

I made Stir Fry Vegetables in the wok.  I lowered the temperature as advised and I used a metal utensil.

Stir Fry Vegetables Cooking in ManPans Wok

Stir Fry Vegetables Cooking in ManPans Wok

It is fine to use metal utensil in ManPans

It is fine to use a metal utensil in ManPans

Personally, I give this pan a perfect rating  5/5

I will be ordering additional ManPans and you will see me using them on future blog posts and on my YouTube cooking channel.  I love that these pans are tough and will stand up to years of use.

You can order ManPans from their website:  Shop  ManPans  They are currently offering free shipping on orders over $200.00.  You will see that in addition to stove top cookware, ManPans also makes pizza pans and bakeware.

You can also order ManPans from Amazon.com.

Stir Fry Vegetables in ManPan

I also had the pleasure of interviewing John Crow, president of ManPans.  Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the highlights of that interview including the answer everyone wants to know….”Why are they named ManPans????”

  

      

 

Savings on Patio Furniture and Grills

Wish you had new patio furniture or a new grill?

New patio furniture and great savings for Make Life Special readers.

Make Life Special readers can enjoy up to 40% savings on patio furniture and up to 20% off on grills.  This offer is valid July 8 thru July 14, 2013.  Click on the Summer Savings box offered by kmart to see all of the fantastic options they have available.  The right patio furniture can make all the difference in your outdoor enjoyment.  And consider adding a colorful umbrella to provide not only beauty but comfort as well.  


 

Now is the perfect time to order your new patio furniture or gas grill and save 20% to 40% off.  There is still plenty of time for summertime entertaining and your patio is the perfect place!  Check out all of the Make Life Special recipes that will make entertaining a breeze!  All of the Make Life Special recipes have very few ingredients, the ingredients are readily available at local grocery stores and they are delicious.  Don’t let lack of time be your excuse for not inviting friends over.  Plan a picnic…or a BBQ…or a cookout with your new grill!  

Remember….”Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”  

Fresh Basil Leaves

Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

Want to learn the simple technique for slicing fresh basil?

Fresh basil is my favorite herb from the garden!  Now that summer is in full swing,  many of us are enjoying the bounty of fresh herbs and vegetables  from our garden.   Homegrown basil is a delicious addition to recipes but slicing one leaf at a time is tedious.  However, it is a simple process when you know the success secret!  Another word for slicing is Chiffonade  and you may hear chefs use that term as well.  Here is the step by step guide for creating those ribbons of bright green basil:

All you need to remember is

  • Stack
  • Roll
  • Slice

It’s that easy!

Wash the basil and pat dry. Remove the stems and stack the leaves on top of each other.

Stack The Fresh Basil Leaves

Stack The Leaves

Gently roll the leaves up into a tight cylinder.

Rolling the Fresh Basil Leaves

Rolling the Leaves

Continue rolling until you have a tight cylinder.

Roll the Fresh Basil Leaves Into a Tight Cylinder

Roll the Fresh Basil Leaves Into a Tight Cylinder

Next, slice them into thin slices that will create those ribbons.

Slice the Fresh Basil

Slice the Fresh Basil

 

The Slices of Fresh Basil Will Create Thin Ribbons

The Slices Will Create Thin Ribbons

Fresh basil adds a wonderful flavor and aroma to your dishes.  It’s best to either add it at the very end of the cooking time or just sprinkle it over each plate just before serving.  

This technique also works well with fresh mint leaves or fresh spinach.  

More Success Secrets

Remember, let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Naked Brewer Book Review for Homebrew Beer

Note:  We were supplied with a copy of The Naked Brewer by The Penguin Group for our review.  No compensation was received.  The opinions expressed in this review are true and honest.

The Naked Brewer

The Naked Brewer

 

Would you like to learn how to Homebrew Beer?  

The Naked Brewer: Fearless Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Rule-Breaking Recipes

Reviewed by: Nicole 

Released October 2nd, 2012, The Naked Brewer is a fantastic addition to any homebrewer’s library and gives lots of information on how to homebrew beer.  In college, I had quite a few friends who were into homebrewing.  One of them even used my patio to fill his bottles.  The passion Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune have for the topic is so palpable that you easily get swept up into their world – however foreign to you it might be.

 

I am not a “grab a cold one from the fridge” beer drinker.  I am more of the “when in Ireland, do as the Irish” or the “what beer on tap would go great with this meal” type of beer drinker.  That being said, when my friends in college offered me some of their homebrew, I gladly had one (or two).  I learned that good homebrew is amazing.  And, upon perusing the recipes in this book, I think any homebrewer could use these recipes to create some great beer.  Although, be warned, there are no picture instructions.  But, the instructions are so well written, even a novice could work their way thru the book!

 

The Naked Brewer walks you thru the basics of beer, brewing and many recipes.  Perozzi and Beaune wrote the book in such a way as to include the average homebrewer.  No need for a lot of fancy equipment or a ton of funds.  Live in a city apartment?  No problem.  Most of the recipes in this book make 2.5 gallon batches (which is about twenty-four 12-ounce bottles).  I love that they also give a difficulty level for all of the brewing recipes.  What’s even better?  Most of the recipes advance as you go thru the book.  So, anyone wanting to learn the art of homebrewing can start out a Neophyte and end a Devout homebrewer (their terminology, not mine).

 

This book would be perfect for anyone who you know who likes to homebrew beer, anyone who is a devout beer drinker and would be interested in taking the homebrewing plunge, or anyone who is into science and loves beer.

 

 

Where to Buy

 

Priced at $16.95 , you can pick this book up at the usual big book stores in your town.

 

For those who love the convenience of Amazon (and the savings), you can purchase yours here!

Amazon

 

 

 

 

To Have And Have Another

 To Have  And  Have Another

                                                                         By Phillip Greene

Note:  Penguin Group provided a copy of  To Have And Have Another for our review.  No compensation was received.  This review contains our true and honest opinions.

Reviewed by:  Lucas

To Have And Have Another

To Have And Have Another

Are you a fan of Ernest Hemingway and great cocktails? Then To Have And Have Another is a must for you to read! 

To Have And  Have Another is probably one of the quirkiest books you will ever read–but you should read it and I will tell you why.  The author has two declared preoccupations:  Ernest Hemingway and cocktails.  He has blended both of these themes together with the same loving care that he no doubt stirs his martinis.

 The book is organized by cocktails.  They range from standard:  mojitos, cubra libres and the like—to the much more exotic:  such as the “Ojen Special” and the ominously titled, “Death in the Afternoon.”  The author provides not only an adequate recipe for each concoction, but also the biographical connection to Hemingway (often with a little historical background for good measure).  Interesting little vignettes are interspersed throughout To Have And Have Another.  In the end though, it all comes down to booze.

Greene says a lot in a little.  He gives new insights into one of America’s best-loved novelists.  Everyone who loves Hemingway knows that the man cannot be separated from the drink.  Greene’s book leaves me with the impression that, perhaps, our modern, American appreciation of alcohol cannot be divorced from the legacy of Ernest Hemingway.

 

About the Author

Philip Greene is one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.  A descendant of the Peychaud family of New Orleans, Greene counts among his ancestors the illustrious Antoine Amedee Peychaud, the nineteenth-century New Orleans pharmacist who created Peychaud’s Bitters (essential to a true Sazerac) and is credited with coining the term “cocktail.” By day, Philip serves as Trademark and Internet Counsel for the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed at the Pentagon. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and three daughters.

 

Rating for To Have And Have Another:  5/5

I rarely give anything a full rating but I really struggled to see where this book could have been improved upon.  Let’s be clear, this is no Silent Spring, the purpose of this book is not to change the world.  What it does do is bring the reader closer to one of the greatest literary giants of the 20th Century.  It’s a heck of a lot of fun in the process.  Although not for teetotalers, I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves Hemingway or who loves a good stiff drink.

Where to Buy:

Priced at $24.00, you can pick  up To Have And Have Another at the usual big book stores in your town.  For those who love the convenience of Amazon (and the savings), you can purchase yours  here!   Amazon        

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Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones

Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones make serving a dessert bar a snap!

Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones make serving a dessert bar a snap!

Dress these Sugar Ice Cream Cones up before the party starts and your dessert bar will be a snap to serve!

Set out a selection of ice cream flavors chilled in a tub of ice and dessert is done!

 Summer is in full swing and so is our summertime entertaining.  I love to serve an ice cream bar for dessert and my guests can help themselves.  Set out various flavors of ice cream chilled in a tub of ice along with a plate of brownies and these cute Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones.  Also offer various toppings for the ice cream such as

  • Chopped nuts
  • Shredded coconut
  • Additional decor sprinkles
  • Various flavors of syrup such as chocolate or butterscotch

These Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones are so quick and easy to make!  All you need is a package of sugar cones, some vanilla almond bark or white chocolate and sprinkles decor in whatever colors you choose.

  

Video: Sprinkled Sugar Ice Cream Cones





Kids of all ages love these cute Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones! Set out a selection of ice cream flavors chilled in a tub of ice and dessert is done!

 

 

 

Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones
 
Dressing up a dozen sugar cones before the party starts streamlines the dessert bar and kids of all ages love these!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 box of sugar ice cream cones
  • almond bark or white chocolate
  • sprinkles decor
Instructions
  1. Melt the almond bark in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir and microwave an additional 15 seconds. Stir.
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted almond bark around the top edge of the ice cream cones.
  3. Sprinkle on the decor.
  4. Set the cones on a piece of waxed paper to let the almond bark dry.

Only 3 ingredients make these Sprinkled Sugar Ice Cream Cones quick and easy!

Only 3 ingredients make these Sprinkled Sugar Ice Cream Cones quick and easy!

Melt the vanilla almond bark or white chocolate according to package directions.  I heated mine 90 seconds, strred it and heated another 15 seconds.

Melt the almond bark in a large bowl in the microwave.

Melt the almond bark in a large bowl in the microwave.

Brush the melted white chocolate onto the top edge of the ice cream cone

Brush the melted white chocolate onto the top edge of the ice cream cone

Sprinkle on the decor!

Sprinkle on the decor!

To really make the dessert bar festive, I served the Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones on a cake stand.

Serve the Sprinkled Sugar Cones on a cake stand

Serve the Sprinkled Sugar Cones on a cake stand

Remember, ” Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gobs of Chocolate

Gobs of Chocolate

Gobs of Chocolate is one of many great chocolate desserts you can make in the crock pot!

Wouldn’t you love to make chocolate desserts like grandma used to make….but in the crock pot?

Gobs of Chocolate is just one of the many yummy chocolate desserts you can make in the crock pot!  I remember all of the great chocolate desserts my grandma used to make…and the wonderful smells that came out of the kitchen when she was cooking.  This recipe takes me back to her kitchen when I smell this gooey chocolate dessert cooking in the crock pot.  And…the best part is the crock pot does all of the work!  It cooks in only 2 hours on High so it’s also a great recipe for entertaining.  I made this last week and there wasn’t even a bite leftover!  Serve it with vanilla ice cream and get set for some WOWS!

Watch my how-to video tutorial for this recipe!

Video: Gobs of Chocolate





This chocolate dessert recipe will take you back to your Grandma’s kitchen! But..you make this in the crock pot!


 

Gobs of Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Wouldn't you love to make desserts like Grandma used to make....but in the crock pot? Gobs of Chocolate is that oooey gooey chocolate dessert we all crave! So...grab you crock pot and get ready to make your chocolate dreams come true!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 box Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Instructions
  1. Spray a 4½ quart crock pot with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the brownie mix with ¼ cup melted butter and 2 of the eggs.
  3. In another large bowl, mix the chocolate chip cookie mix, remaining ¼ cup melted butter and remaining 2 eggs.
  4. Drop alternate spoonfuls of the brownie mix and chocolate chip cookie batters into the crock pot.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until cake is set in the center.
  6. To serve, spoon cake out of the crock pot and top with big scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients for Gobs of Chocolate

Gobs of Chocolate Ingredients

Mix the fudge brownie mix, 2 of the eggs and 1/4 cup butter, melted.

 

Mixing the Brownie Mix Batter

Mixing the Brownie Mix Batter

Mix the remaining 2 eggs, remaining 1/4 cup butter, melted and the chocolate chip cookie pouch.

Mixing the Chocolate Chip Cookie Batter

Mixing the Chocolate Chip Cookie Batter

Drop spoonfuls of both batters alternately into the crock pot.  

Drop spoonfuls of both batters alternately into the crock pot

Drop spoonfuls of both batters alternately into the crock pot

Cook on High for 2 hours.  Cake batter should just be set on top.  Serve by spooning the Gobs of Chocolate dessert out of the crock pot and top with big scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Remember, “Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make a Pineapple Boat

Cutting a Pineapple Boat

 

A Pineapple Boat is a creative and easy way to serve fruit salads , chicken salads or fruit dips!

Add some tropical flair to your next brunch, lunch or party by serving your salads or fruit dips in a cute pineapple boat!  It is quick and easy to make a pineapple boat and the fresh pineapple you remove will go right into your fruit salad!

  • Start with a fresh pineapple that has an attractive top.  The leaf top will be a part of the pineapple boat and you want to choose a pineapple that looks fresh.  Buy a pineapple that has a light pineapple scent with a firm skin.  An overpowering pineapple scent or a skin that indents easily indicates a pineapple that is overripe.
  • You will need two knives.  You will need a large knife to cut the pineapple in half and a smaller knife to remove the inside of the pineapple.

Pineapple for Pineapple Boat

Place the pineapple on a cutting mat and turn it to find the most attractive and stable way for it to sit.  Remember, you don’t want the pineapple boat to roll over once it if filled with a salad or fruit dip!

Cut the pineapple in half and remove the inside of the pineapple to create a “boat”.

Pineapple Half for Pineapple Boat

Remove Center from Pineapple

Pineapple Boat

Fill the Pineapple Boat with a fruit salad, chicken salad or a fruit dip.  I filled my Pineapple Boat with my yummy Pina Colada Dip and served it with a  Pineapple Palm Tree Fruit Tray.  These little added touches really created a “WOW” for my guests!  Be sure to watch my how-to video below on How to Make a Pineapple Boat.

Pinapple Boat and Pina Colada Dip Pineapple Boat and Fruit Display

Video: How to Make a Pineapple Boat


Add some tropical flair by serving a fruit dip, fruit salad or chicken salad in a cute Pineapple Boat!

Remember, “Let’s Make Life Special by sharing great food with our family and friends!   Enjoy!  

Heart Shaped Measuring Spoons

Love Beyond Measure Heart Shaped Measuring Spoon Set

Heart Shaped Measuring Spoon Set

If you LOVE to cook and bake then these heart shaped measuring spoons were created just for you!

You can measure the right amount of love into every dish with this four piece heart shaped measuring spoons set!  These sweet and functional heart shaped measuring spoons feature ” A Pinch of Patience” = 1/4 teaspoon, ” A Dash of Kindness” = 1/2 teaspoon, “A Spoonful of Laughter” = 1 teaspoon, and “A Heap of Love” = 1 tablespoon.

Everyone who follows my blog website or my YouTube videos knows that I always cook with my heart shaped measuring spoons and my heart shaped measuring cups.  I believe that cooking is like love…when you combine the right ingredients, the result is heavenly!  And what better way to share our love and friendship than with great food! My motto is “Let’s Make Life Special     by sharing great food with our family and friends!”

This cute heart shaped measuring spoons set is available for $ 10.99 plus shipping from the Make Life Special Kitchen Shop.   If you would like to order a set for yourself…or maybe a few sets for gifts, just fill out the CONTACT FORM on the Make Life Special Home page and give me your name, address and email address.  I’ll let you know how much the shipping is for your area and send you a PayPal invoice.  It’s that easy!

These heart shaped measuring spoons are crafted from stainless steel and come in a black velvet lined gift box.  Put your love of cooking into everything you make when you use this cute set!

Price $ 10.99 plus shipping

To Order  Just fill out the contact form on the homepage and send me your name, address and email address.  I’ll get right back to you with the total cost including shipping.  

This measuring spoon set will give you all you need to cook with love!  I know you will enjoy this heart shaped measuring spoon set as much as I do!   

 

Southern Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters With Southern Flair

Southern Corn Fritters

Get set for these Southern Corn Fritters drizzled with honey!

I just returned from Charlotte, North Carolina where I did a TV appearance and made my Pina Colada Dip and a Pineapple Palm Tree.  I also was able to squeeze in a short visit with some old friends of mine who live in Greenville South Carolina.  You all know I LOVE the South.  My Mom was from the South and I always enjoy sharing my Southern recipes!  I saw this when I was in South Carolina and I had to share it with you:

THE SOUTH

(TH EE SAU TH)  NOUN

THE PLACE WHERE….TEA IS SWEET AND ACCENTS ARE SWEETER

SUMMER STARTS IN APRIL…

MACARONI AND CHEESE IS A VEGETABLE….

PECAN PIE IS A STAPLE….

Y’ALL IS THE ONLY PROPER NOUN…..

CHICKEN IS FRIED AND BISCUITS COME WITH GRAVY…….

EVERYTHING IS DARLIN’………..

SOMEONE’S HEART IS ALWAYS BEING BLESSED…..

Hope you enjoy my recipe for Southern Corn Fritters! 

Whether you serve these as an appetizer or along with your meal, these old-time Southern Corn Fritters are sure to bring a smile to your face.  The batter has 7 ingredients including corn muffin mix which makes these quick and easy to whip up.  

 

Southern Corn Fritters Ingedients

Southern Corn Fritters Ingredients

Southern Corn Fritters
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Get set for these Southern Corn Fritters drizzled with honey! You can serve these as an appetizer or along with your meal.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 8.5 oz box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup corn
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Honey for serving
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the corn muffin mix and flour in a bowl.
  2. Whisk the ½ cup milk, 1 egg and ½ stick melted butter in another bowl. Stir this mixture into the corn muffin mix and flour.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of corn and ½ cup chopped green onions.
  4. Drop by tablespoonfuls into 2 inches of 365 degree vegetable oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  5. Serve drizzled with honey for a real Southern treat!

Southern Corn Fritters are so easy to mix up!  Just combine the corn muffin mix and the flour in one bowl.  Then combine the milk, egg and melted butter in another bowl.  Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir.  Stir in the corn and chopped green onions.

Adding onion to Southern Corn Fritters

Give it an easy stir to combine and you are ready to start frying these tasty morsels up!

Mixing up Southern Corn Fritters

Heat the oil to 365 degrees.  I use a candy/frying thermometer to make sure the oil stays at the right temperature.  

Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Drop by Tablespoonfuls into hot oil

Frying the Southern Corn Fritters

Frying the Southern Corn Fritters

Video: Southern Corn Fritters





Get set for these Southern Corn Fritters drizzled with honey! Great served as an appetizer or a side dish.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Life Special
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Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com