I don’t usually do sponsored posts, because blogging is not my business. I write about my own expertise and experiences with subjects I believe might bring some new awareness, knowledge, or entertainment value to your life.  Having said that, I’m certainly not immune to a perk every once in a while, especially when it’s something that might be of interest to you too. So, when Nordic Ware contacted me asking if they could send a few of their products, it was such an imposition and hardship, that it took all of 2 seconds to say YES please!

Nordic Ware cookware and bakeware

Christmas in March!

A few weeks, and two huge boxes filled with exciting goodies later, it felt like Christmas had arrived in March! I set about taking as a many for a test run as time would allow, and here are the results I came up with so far.

Turkey Meatball Stroganoff made in nonstick pansGreat nonstick pans that clean up in a snap

I can not stop singing the praises of Procast and NordicWare Restaurant Cookware, The nonstick surface is a breeze to clean, the food cooked evenly, and I was definitely grooving on the 14″ size pans – perfect for doing the Personal Chef Approach™ and client cook dates, instead of having to work in batches.

Reversible griddle & grill pan

Fusion chicken and vegetables grilling on the reversible griddle & grill pan

The versatility of a lightweight reversible griddle and grill was a welcome change from my heavy cast iron one. The griddle practically wiped clean, but I have to admit, I prefer the grill side for vegetables (the fusion chicken was sticky and harder to clean). The pan is so much better than having veggies slip through the outside grill.

Fun happy face and animal pancakes

Fun animal and happy face pancake pans

Do you have little ones that sometimes wake up on the wrong side of the bed? These smiley face and animal pancake pans are guaranteed to put a smile on the grumpiest sleepy head’s face. My uncle Harlan gave me a useful tip when making my Auntie Vera’s buttermilk pancakes recipe, rather than waffles, he always thins the batter out with a touch more buttermilk than usual – it worked a treat with the surprisingly easy to use pans.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan

Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan

The ice cream cone cupcake pan is really simple to use. I’m hoping you can see how cute they come out on the packaging, because my photos did not do these fun treats justice. They make the perfect pool party treat.

Cream filled cupcakes

Creme filled cupcakes

These whimsical creme filled cupcakes were so yummy, I actually snitched one for breakfast when no one was looking. Next time I think I’ll try a S’more cupcake, and I’d recommend using a melon ball-er to scoop out a slightly deeper hole for the gram cracker, marshmallow and chocolate chunk filling.

Turkey Meatballs

Meatball recipes

I plan to give the stuffed burger maker a whirl later this week, and can’t wait for an excuse to make some cupcake pops, filled pancakes, and the meatball grill pan is screaming for some new recipes as well. What Nordic Ware specialty bakeware and cookware products would you like to try the most?

hONEY Kumquat Cake

Honey Kumquat Cake

Honey Kumquat Cake

I had a blast getting creative with this honeycomb pull-apart cake pan when a client sent me home with a bowl full of kumquats we picked fresh from his tree. You can find my adaptation of Nordic Wares’ recipe below. By the way, the cake lifter pictured in the first photo at the top is brilliant. It slides easily under, and gives you such a sturdy grip. I must have moved this cake at least four times from platter to platter without a hitch. To give the kumquats extra zing I added a teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder to the recipe.

SERVINGS:12

INGREDIENTS:

CAKE

3 cups (375 g) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons kumquats, rubbed (to soften), halved, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup sour cream

GLAZE

3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup (50g) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

1). Preheat oven to 325°F (175 C). Grease and flour pan; set aside.

2). In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and salt; set aside.

3). In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on low speed until blended. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

4). Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended.

5). Add flour mixture, sour cream and kumquats; blend on low speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

6). Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan.

7). Meanwhile, make the glaze: in a small saucepan, combine all the glaze ingredients and heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves and glaze is warm.

8). Invert cake onto a cooling rack set on top of a sheet pan (to catch any seeping spills) and brush with honey glaze.

SUGGESTIONS:

I admit, I had this for breakfast today (along with scrambled eggs), but it is perfect for afternoon tea too.

VARIATIONS:

If you can’t lay your hands on fresh kumquats, the original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, but orange or grapefruit zest would work well too.

« Previous PostNext Post »
  • April 24, 2012
    12:22 pm

    That meatball pan sounds intriguing, so I’m anxious for your review. Your turkey meatball recipe has been a massive hit so there will be a lot of PCA action on those in my future.

    • April 25, 2012
      9:21 am

      I go through stages – a few years ago it was creating fun burgers, but for some reason this year has been about creating unusual meatballs (wonder what Freud would have said about that), so I’ll get right on that for you!

      Nordic Ware have a whole new line of cookware for the grill, that is easier to clean than most other brands. I’ll let you know the verdict and a new recipe soon.

  • April 24, 2012
    4:47 pm

    All the pans and untensils look amazing! That cake lifter is something everyone could use in their kitchen. I’ve never seen one like that or in that size. The meatball pan sounds intriguing and I do like the looks of the angel food cake pan in the top photo. Haven’t had angel food cake in years, but that pan would inspire me to make one. Actually, the last angel food cake I had was for my 16th birthday and that was many years ago. I think it must be time for one by now or maybe I should wait for the next milestone birthday, only four years away. LOL

  • April 24, 2012
    6:49 pm

    We actually have that reversible grill/griddle – bought it just a month or so ago and LOVE it! It’s so convenient to use. What an amazing assortment of cookware! I wonder if those pancake pans would work for making crumpets (I devised a crumpet recipe a couple years ago because it’s so hard to find them in the stores). I currently use egg rings, but something like those pans would be great.

    • April 25, 2012
      9:27 am

      Send me the recipe (wink, I LOVE crumpets, and have never had a homemade one), and I’ll try it for you with the smiley face pan! Email it to customerservice at julieannerhodes dot com.

  • April 25, 2012
    9:16 am

    I seriously wouldn’t know where to start with these goodies! That cake lifter is absolute genius! It’s always nerve-wracking to see (or see doing it yourself) someone lift a cake to stack with a regular spatula. This is something that would be so much more reliable! When ever I’ve seen Nordic, it’s been amazing quality and the best ideas. Pull aparts are so cute too and that large frying pan would be a dream to use!

    • April 25, 2012
      9:29 am

      The cake lifter is a must for you Rachel – unbelievably sturdy, and not scary to transfer cakes with, but I know what you mean about the rest – it was hard to know where to start – everything is so creative and fun.

  • April 25, 2012
    9:18 am

    PS What is that Tiffany Blue ‘hat box’ in the background of the cupcakes photo? It’s adorable!

    • April 25, 2012
      9:31 am

      That is a cake box Molly found somewhere – I think at a flea market.

  • April 25, 2012
    9:17 am

    I LOVE Nordicware! I’ll have to check out some of the nonstick cookware and the griddle/grill.

    • April 25, 2012
      9:30 am

      I especially like how light it is for me to carry to clients’ houses, and so much more efficient when it comes to cooking burgers and vegetables that often crumble between the grates of a traditional grill. MUCH easier to clean than cast iron as well.

  • April 25, 2012
    7:57 pm

    I should’ve read this post in the morning, not at 11pm when I can’t eat!! This is such a great post, I love the burst of creativity you’ve got going on here!

    I wish I could bake, this is so inspiring.

    • April 26, 2012
      10:19 am

      I’m not the worlds best baker, and don’t like to practice too often since I have no “off” button once I start eating baked goods, but I usually have success just following the directions like you do with any recipe, Jodi. The main difference is to do exact measurements – baking is less forgiving than cooking can be.

  • April 26, 2012
    6:50 pm

    I think I will be buying the cake lifter. Have two bendy ones but one flick and the cake can fall! This looks like it will take away all that finger crossing. Had a look and their products are available in the UK; very interesting website.
    Re baking Eldwenne, Jewels is right about the exact measurements and also I find knowing my oven and if the recipe says cook at a certain temp. I turn mine down a fraction as invariably it cooks the cake too quickly at the suggested temp.

  • April 26, 2012
    6:55 pm

    You won’t regret it Rose – that cake lifter is the bomb! Best one I’ve ever tried.

    You are absolutely right, ovens, cooktops and microwaves can all vary in temp. That is precisely why I tell people that my heat to eat instructions are only a guideline, and that the internal temp of meats etc. should always be checked to ensure they have reached a safe food temperature. I never thought about it, but of course that goes for baking too! Oven thermometers are pretty inexpensive, and really worthwhile.

  • April 25, 2012
    9:24 am

    Ruthee – you must try my lemon-lavender and pink grapefruit & Rose scented angel food cupcakes. My clients and friends beg for them. I think I’ll try a huge one in that pan (thanks for the idea). http://personalchefapproach.com/recipe/jewels-lemon-lavender-angel-food-cupcakes

  • April 25, 2012
    9:25 am

    PS. They are the cupcakes featured on my mini eBook, Party Accomplished that new members will receive as a bonus gift for purchasing premium membership! http://personalchefapproach.com/shop/party-accomplished-hosting-the-ladies-that-lunch-while-being-one-too