Review: Cave Tools Grill Light

Grilling season is just getting started here, but I’m already looking for ways to extend it. It always seems that by the time we get in a grove, daylight starts slipping away and grilling season is over. Because, let’s face it – grilling in the dark is a pain. How many times have you pulled out your cell phone flashlight to see if the food is done? I know I have.

Enter Cave Tool’s BBQ Grill Light. This handy little accessory attaches to the handle of any grill to make to light up your cooking surface. The light screws on, so you can attach it in less than two minutes, and you just tap it lightly on the logo to turn it on or off – making it easy to do with one hand (or an elbow, when your hands are full!)

Grill Light 1

And it really just floods the grill surface with light. I also love the light is bright white – it makes it easier to see color differences in the food as it’s cooking. This light is definitely going to get a heavy workout at our house!

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The Grill Light can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code BBQLIGHT15 to take 15% off. They can also be found on Amazon.

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Review: Cave Tools Blade Tenderizer

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Officially spring! But, we still have snow on the ground. Can we talk about how disappointing that is? I’ve been pinning grilling recipes like crazy – but, to be honest, I’ve been surprised how much the grill tools have gotten use inside this winter.

Cave Tools recently sent me this blade tenderizer to try out, and once again, I was super impressed – they really design these to be easy to use! First up – storage: it comes with a great lid/case, to store it in – so you can’t accidently bump it in the cabinet and end up poking yourself with the blades. The whole thing is also top-rack dishwasher safe, which is amazing – it makes clean up so, so easy!

Meat Tender 1

We gave this a test run with the night’s chicken – the punctures let the marinade soak in so nicely. It was the juiciest chicken I’ve made in a long time! The extra step of tenderizing was worth the (minimal effort) – I can’t wait to try it on steaks!

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The Blade Tenderizer can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code TENDER15 to take 15% off. They can also be found on Amazon.

Review: Cave Tools Metal Meat Claws

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It’s January and the weather has been struggling to get above freezing so you’d probably assume we haven’t been using grill tools much around here – but you’d be wrong.

Cave Tools sent these Metal Meat Claws for review, and I put them to use right away.

Cave Tools Meat Claws

These meat claws are sturdy, sharp and perfect for shredding meat – but that’s not their only use! I put them to the test on a big, 18 lb. ham.

The claws were sharp enough to easily pierce the ham so lifting it was a breeze. I could easily move it from the pan to the cutting board. It felt sturdy and I didn’t worry at all about dropping it. I usually shoo the kids out of the kitchen for this part – just in case – but you can tell from my photo bomber I didn’t have to do that with these claws.

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They’re also the perfect tool to hold the meat while you slice. Having the handle was so much more sturdy than just using a fork – and much more comfortable too. I had this carved up in no time!

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I was so impressed with how effective these are. They might not look overly special, but they really made things so much easier. I can’t wait to use them to shred up some pulled pork – it’s going to make such fast work of it!

The Metal Meat Claws can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code MEATCLAW15 to take 15% off. They can also be found on .

Review: Cave Tools Aluminum Burger Press

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Food blogger burger confession: unless I’m making some fancy burger, we typically buy frozen patties. (Gasp!) I know, I know. We’re under no illusions that the frozen burgers you get in the store are just as good as ones you make at home, but for me, burgers are usually a quick meal and trying to deal with getting uniform patties quickly is always a turn off.

And, I’ll fully admit, when I received this Aluminum Burger Press from Cave Tools to review, I thought this would go into my pile of cooking tools for special occasions. I was so, so wrong. I loved it so much that I immediately bought another to give as a Christmas gift!

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This burger press is awesome. It helps you make uniform patties super quickly – and they include 200 burger papers which help immensely with cleanup.

The idea is easy – put a burger paper down, place your ball of ground meat on top, add another burger paper, and press down.

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The burger paper largely keeps the raw meat from touching the burger press – which makes it easier to wash! – and then makes it super easy to transfer the patties to a plate to be cooked.

Quick tip to stretch your burger papers: Once you’ve transferred a finished patty to a plate, you can peel off the top paper and use it (raw-meat side up) as the bottom paper for the next burger.

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We all relished the fresh-made burgers on a weeknight.  My next project is to try freezing my own burgers – with the press and the burger papers, I think it will be a breeze!

And who doesn’t want a quick and easy way to whip up burgers? (I’m not drooling – you’re drooling!)

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The Aluminum Burger Press can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code BURGER15 to take 15% off. They can also be found on Amazon.

Review: Cave Tools Rib Roast Rack

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you’ve been thinking about packing away your grill for the winter – think again! I mean, I get it. It’s now dark at 5 pm and the days are getting chillier, but if you’re planning a holiday meal – especially for a crowd – you should at least consider utilizing the grill.

Cooking your main dish – like a ham or turkey – on the grill will free up your oven for so many other sides and desserts!

Cave Tools sent me their Rib Roast Rack to try out and it’s beautifully simply. This sturdy rack is the perfect way to roast a chicken, turkey or ham on your grill. It’s big enough for a large bird – the one shown below clocked in at 20 pounds! – but the bars are close enough together to easily hold a smaller piece of meat. I’ve never used something like this before, and in my head, I’d have to worry about the rack legs slipping through the grill grates – but that wasn’t the case at all. This was totally stable on our grill.

It’s also lightweight – which is a huge plus when you’re hauling an already-heavy chunk of meat out the grill. When flipped over, the it can also be used as a rib rack and will hold up to five racks of ribs!

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I’m still on the hunt for the perfect grilled turkey recipe (while the rack did not fail us, the recipe I attempted definitely did!) – but I can’t wait to use this for my favorite Grilled Ham with a Wine-Pineapple-Honey Glaze. I’m also imagining a nice, smoky pork loin or a chicken covered with olive oil and Herbs de Provence. Oh, the possibilities!

And, something that always seals the deal for me – cleanup was a breeze. Like many other Cave Tools products, this rack is dishwasher safe.

The Rib Roast Rack can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code RIBROAST15 to take 15% off. They can also be found on Amazon.

Review: Cave Tools Kabob Skewers Rack

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Are you grilling this weekend? We have plans to kick off summer with a barbecue. I’m super excited about more dinners on the grill being put into our weekly menu!

If you’ve been reading the blog for a bit now, you know that meat on sticks is a thing around here. I love kabobs and they’re frequently found on our summer menus so I was really excited to try out the Cave Tools Kabob Skewers Rack.

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This was really a dream in making kabobs so, so easy. The meat threaded on much easier than our normal bamboo skewers and I loved the food removal disks. (See those round things on the skewers? You push on them to get all the food off of a skewer – genius!)

The rack is very sturdy, which makes it really easy to transport things to and from the grill. You put the whole rack on the grill – everything cooks as normal but you don’t have to worry about anything sticking (or toddlers complaining about grill marks on their food). It also folds flat for easy storage.

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As an added bonus, it’s dishwasher safe. Because after you’ve survived making dinner with two little kids around, the last thing you want to be doing is scrubbing more.

We loved this and will be using it a ton this summer!

Looking for some inspiration? Some of our past kabob favorites include Chicken Satay Skewers, Chipotle Chicken Kabobs with Avocado Cream Sauce, and Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs.

If you want your own kabob skewers rack, they can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code KABOBSET15 to take 15% off. They can also be purchased via Amazon. Cave Tools also has a lot of other fun grilling accessories, I recommend checking them out while you’re browsing!

Review: Cave Tools Jalapeno Grill Rack & Pepper Corer

Disclosure: I received these products free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

We’re just getting into grilling season here, so when Cave Tools asked if I wanted to review their Jalapeno Grill Rack & Pepper Corer I jumped at the chance. We love making dinner on the grill now that the evenings are warmer (and it’s light out!) and I love products that make grilled dishes easy – this is one of them.

Because we have a toddler who insists on trying everything we’re eating, I decided to try the rack out by making stuffed mini peppers (check back for the recipe tomorrow!).

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The set comes with a corer tool to make prep easy. I sliced off the top of the peppers and then used the tool to clean them out and was impressed with how quickly and effectively it worked. My husband even commented on how fast it was!

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I stuck the peppers in the rack as I filled them. The one thing you do have to be mindful of is that you pick peppers that won’t fall through the holes – or tweak as you go. I added two smaller peppers together in some spots. A little foil would have worked, too.

The rack itself is super sturdy – the legs snap into place so it won’t collapse unless you want it to. This made it easy to transport the rack from the kitchen to the grill.

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I loved that the rack kept the peppers away from heat enough that they could cook without burning (brown spots = poison to a toddler) and we didn’t have to deal with any cheese spillage as the mixture got melty. Cleanup was also a breeze – the rack goes right in the dish washer.

I really loved this rack and can’t wait to try out some of the other things they suggest (like chicken legs!) this summer.

If you want your own jalapeno grill rack, they can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code ROASTPEPPER15 to take 15% off. They can also be purchased via Amazon. Cave Tools also has a lot of other fun grilling accessories, I recommend checking them out while you’re browsing!

UncommonGoods – Holiday Shopping For Good

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post but the opinions expressed are my own.

BeTheGood

This sign hangs in our house always. It’s a constant reminder of our family values and what we’re striving to be. We’ve always held this in our words and actions, but lately we’ve been working harder at doing this with our money, too, and trying to shop with companies that honor the same values. UncommonGoods is one of these companies.

I’ve been a fan of UncommonGoods for years – they’re stocked with quirky gifts for all kinds of people. Browsing their site is seriously like a rabbit hole for me – one I get started time just slips away. But, they’re so much more than off-beat gifts. They are a company that does good. Their lowest-paid workers start at 50% above the minimum wage. About a third of their products include recycled elements. With every purchase, they will donate $1 to the charity partner of your choice. On every front, they’re doing good. So good, in fact, that they are a certified B Corporation – meaning they’re using the power of their business to solve social and environmental problems. I’ll definitely be shopping with them this year, so I wanted to share a few gift ideas for the holidays.

To Stuff Your Stocking

FoodieDice

I feel like I’m always scrambling to find stocking stuffers at the last minute but UncommonGoods has so many fun ideas for things to stuff your stocking with. Trying to promote kindness in your home? They have an adorable, interactive kit for that. Want to get people to put down their phones and talk at the dinner table? They’ve got plenty of conversation starters to choose from. Constantly undecided about what to make for dinner? Toss the dice and get creative!

For the Hard-to-Buy-For Guy

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If you have a husband who has everything and wants nothing (like mine!) UncommonGoods will surely have something he didn’t realize he needed in his life. For the musically inclined, I’m obsessed with this punch that makes your own guitar picks. Travelers would love this organizer for trip mementos. Baseball fans would flip for cuff links made from their favorite stadium’s seats. They even have display boards that turn your beer bottle caps into art!

For the Foodie (aka, my wishlist!)

HerbKeeper

Of course, I’m always drawn to the kitchen items. The sentimental fool in my loves their take on the family cookbook. They also have the cutest measuring spoons I’ve ever seen. This table runner would be so much fun for dinner parties with kids. This produce keeper is beautiful and super functional. And I can’t help but covet the amazing wine glasses they have, especially the ones designed to play a musical scale.

See? Super fun stuff. I’m betting if you clicked on any of those links, you’ve found something you loved. And while there are so, so many things I love, what I love most is that when I buy them, I’m supporting a good company.

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip and Flax Cookies from Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour (+ Win a Copy!)

I always get excited when a food blogger I admire releases a cookbook. I love having that little piece of the internet on my bookshelf. Nicole Morrissey’s (aka, Prevention RD) first cookbook, Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking, is in frequent rotation around here so when her editor asked if I wanted to review her new cookbook, Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour, I jumped at the chance.

As the title suggests, this book is full of gluten-free recipes – but the recipes are also marked as sugar-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, high-fiber and dairy-free as appropriate, making it a super friendly resource for anyone trying to stick to a specific diet. Neither Mark or I have food allergies, but we have friends and family that do so we’re always looking for tasty things we can make them. We’re also, naturally, a little skeptical of recipes that stick to special diets – I mean, how do you trust chocolate chip cookies that have no butter or flour?

Luckily, Nicole has this thing nailed – these cookies were amazing. If you didn’t know they were gluten-free (and dairy-free, vegetarian and low-carb), you never would guess. They taste like regular chocolate chip cookies – not always an easy feat when you’re making something allergy-friendly. We passed off most of the batch to a friend of Mark’s who has recently gone gluten-free and they went over wonderfully.

And, there are so many equally delicious looking recipes in this book. I’m especially excited to work through the breakfast section and I’m loving that I’ll have a whole bunch of gluten-free cookie options for Christmas cookies for our Celiac family members this year.

Nicole’s editor was also kind enough to offer up a copy for a Kate’s Recipe Box reader. Want to win? Leave a comment below letting me know if you follow a gluten-free or other special diet and your favorite diet-friendly dish to make. I’ll pick one comment at random to receive a copy of Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour, compliments of Skyhorse Publishing. You have until midnight eastern time on September 7, 2014. Open to US residents only.

OoeyGooeyChocolateChipCookies

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip and Flax Cookies
(from Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour)
Makes 16 Cookies

1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (I used dairy-free chips)

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In a second bowl, lightly beat the egg. Slowly whisk in the coconut oil to the egg, whisking constantly.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

After chilling, preheat the oven to 375F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly, to about 3/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until dry-looking and slightly browned. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Review: Plated

A few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for the Very Vegetarian Recipe Challenge hosted by OXO and Plated. Afterwards, I got quite a few emails with questions about Plated – What was it? Have I tried it? Would I recommend it? I figured the best way to answer these was with a review.

If you’re interested in trying it yourself, you can sign up via my affiliate link and get two free plates with your order.

Plated is a service that delivers fresh ingredients so that you can easily make gourmet meals at home. The website offers a new menu of seven dinners each week. You order a minimum of 4 plates (4 servings of one meal or 2 servings of 2 meals) and all the ingredients and recipes are shipped to your door. All of the recipes feature fresh ingredients and are designed to be prepared in about 30-40 minutes.

We ordered for delivery last week and chose two meals: Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Parsnips and Carrots and Tampiqueno Steak with Rajas, Corn and Mexican Squash.

 

Everything is shipped in a box with a thermal lining with several ice packs to keep everything nice and cool. Mine didn’t come until after I was home for work and things were still very cold.

 

Inside the package, the ingredients were all well-labeled and packaged by recipe. It made it really easy to toss everything into the fridge and not have to dig for it when I wanted to cook.

 

The first dish up was the Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Parsnips and Carrots. I made this after work one day and it was nice to not have to really do any thinking or prep – everything was there, pre-measured and ready to go. The instructions were clear and were accompanied by pictures which made it extra easy-to-follow.

 

There were a few things that I took a little bit of an issue with once I started cooking. For one, the pictures of the dish showed a pretty equal number of carrots and parsnips, but ingredients-wise, there were twice as many parsnips. It’s not the biggest deal as it didn’t really change the dish any but I love carrots so I was a little bummed to not have more. I also felt that the cooking time they gave for the chicken was a little off. I followed their directions and when I pulled it out, the chicken was under-done and it had to go back in for about 10ish minutes (nearly double the 10-15 they recommended). The meal also included a salad of arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, which I just wasn’t crazy about – too bitter for my taste.

 

Overall, though, it was a fine weeknight meal. We liked it and there were no leftovers.

 

The Tampiqueno Steak with Rajas, Corn and Mexican Squash was more of a hit for us. My husband cooked this one up over the weekend and it came out well. There were a few hiccups. The directions specified to halve the chayote and discard the seed, and there was a picture of this step. Our chayote had no seed. We’ve never cooked with chayote before so it threw us a bit. Also, as a personal opinion, I thought the onion was too small but we went with it. Also as a personal preference, we cooked the steak a little longer as it was really rare when the directions said to pull it off the heat.

 

We liked the end result a lot more than the chicken. The veggies were absolutely delicious and something I’d try to recreate (not sure how easy it’ll be to get chayote!) at home.

The big pro with Plated is the convenience. Even though I enjoy menu planning and grocery shopping, it was really nice to click a few buttons and know everything would show up on Tuesday without me having to think about it at all. It was a time saver, for sure. If you’re the kind of person that has good intentions of making dinner and then gets takeout instead of hitting up the grocery store on the way home, I think Plated would be a perfect solution.

It is a little expensive for regular use, though – four plates (the minimum order) is $48. That’s significantly more than what we normally spend on two at-home dinners. You also have some basic cooking knowledge to be able to adjust as needed. For the purposes of reviewing, I tried not to adjust too much, but in the future I’d be more likely to tweak as I go.

Would we order again? Yes. This is something I’d love to rely on for busy weeks. I’ll likely order in a few weeks so when we get back from vacation, I’ll have a few meals to get me through the week without having to make time to shop. It won’t be an all-the-time thing for us, but it’s definitely something that will find a place in my kitchen.

Disclosure: We purchased this box on our own for review purposes. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.