Thursday, December 10, 2009

Awesome New Bread Book and... Stuff!

I recently bought Jim Lahey's first book, My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, after reading so many good things about his recipes. Jim owns Sullivan Street Bakery in New York, and people just rave about his breads. I do enjoy making traditional bread recipes that involve lots of dough manipulation (kneading until your arms ache), but how awesome would it be to make fantastic bread with almost NO kneading. I'm all for it!

So anyway, I have not made any of the bread yet because for his method to work you really need a heavy 4.5 to 5.5 quart dutch oven. I have a few Le Creuset pieces, but none of them are the exact size. And though I cherish my Le Creuset, for the most part I am a stainless steel girl and I don't use the cast iron pans often enough to justify buying another, very expensive piece.

So, what's a girl to do? Turn to QVC of course. QVC has some really nice knock-off brands cookware for great prices. So far I've been really happy with all the pans I've purchased from them. I found this Technique Enameled Cast Iron 5 1/2 Quart Oval Casserole for $67.50. It comes in a bunch of cute colors, and it is truly a very heavy, well made, gorgeous pan. I love it!

I've already made a big pot of spaghetti and veggie meatballs in the pan, and I'm really impressed with how well it distributes the heat--no hot spots or scorched sauce. (I tend to wander away from the stove when I'm cooking and so I need heavy pans or else everything I make would burn due to my neglect.) So, if you're interested in Jim Lahey's bread, or you just need a really lovely casserole, I highly recommend this pot.

I read about this T-fal fryer in a magazine, and so it's not something I've ever used. Here's what the blurb on amazon has to say:

With ActiFry you can enjoy cripsy, great tasting fries that are low in fat! By using just one tablespoon of oil you can make 2 pounds of fresh French fries, enough to feed a family of four. That one spoonful is over 200 times less than a traditional 3 liter deep fat fryer, which not only means that your food is substantially more healthy, but it is also more economical. The French fries have only 3% fat per serving.

One tablespoon of oil makes 2 lbs. of French fries? That would be a really neat feat if it works. It's listed at $299 so it's quite an investment; but if you do a lot of frying it may be worth it to you.

Here are the links:


  1. Thanks for the QVC tip! I never think of them when I'm looking for something. Cant' wait to see your bread.

    That fryer looks like it's going to take off for outer space!