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Tag Archives: recipe

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Product Review: PF Chang’s Home Menu Sesame Sauce & Bonus Recipe

Inside the PF Chang's Home Menu VoxBox, I had the Sesame Sauce and a coupon to use towards another product of choice.

I received the PF Changs at Home Menu VoxBox

The people at Influenster recently sent me the PF Chang’s Home Menu VoxBox. If you are wondering what a VoxBox is you can check out my first post about getting a VoxBox to find out more. To potentially get a VoxBox of your own, sign up on Influenster’s Website. You don’t have to be a blogger or YouTube personality to receive them, you just have to have social media and be willing to review products and share them on your various social media accounts.

Each VoxBox you receive from Influenster is different depending on the brand or theme they are centered around. Some VoxBoxes everyone gets the exact same thing, and other ones like this box there is a variety of things you could potentially get. Some boxes you are told up front exactly what you are receiving, and with others you don’t know until you open the box. With the PF Chang’s Home Menu VoxBox I knew I was receiving a sauce, but I didn’t know which one.

What I did know was that there were four options of what I could receive, and they are pictured on front of the box I received. The four sauces you might have received in this box is Kung Pao, Teriyaki, Mongolian, or Sesame.

Prior to receiving this VoxBox I was already a fan of PF Chang’s Restaurants. I had tried several of the PF Chang’s Home Menu frozen products. However I was not aware that these sauces were available to purchase.

Inside the PF Chang's Home Menu VoxBox, I had the Sesame Sauce and a coupon to use towards another product of choice.

When I opened my box I saw I had the Sesame Sauce as well as a coupon for $1 off a sauce of my choice and a card with a recipe suggestion on it.

The recipe they suggested for this sauce is a Sesame Stir Fry. But their recipe calls for chicken, and as most of you know I eat a Pescatarian Diet most ten months out of the year. Granted that is what most people think of in the US when they think Sesame Sauce, so I am not surprised PF Chang’s Home Menu’s recommended recipe included chicken. If you want to see the recipe they recommend, click here.

The great thing about PF Chang’s Home Menu Sesame Sauce is that it’s not really a super sweet sauce like you get at many Chinese takeout restaurants. Instead I think the vinegar tastes shine more, and it really lets the taste of the Sesame rise to the surface. This makes it so much easier to pair it with a much broader variety of meats.

So when I made time to cook with the sauce I decided to stick with making a stir fry, but I changed up the ingredients to suit my mine and my husbands dietary needs and tastes. I made a brief video of me cooking the stir-fry along with the directions to make it the way I did.

This was so simple and easy to make, and I love the way the Sesame Sauce tastes with the shrimp. I will definitely purchase the sauce on my own. And I am quite eager to give the other sauces a try. This is definitely one of my favorite VoxBoxes I have ever received.

If you are interested in seeing other people’s post and videos on various social media about these sauces you can search the hashtags #RecipesThatWok and #SauceThingsUp.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried these sauces before. And don’t forget to share any recipes or tips you have for using them.

 

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Product Review – Banneton Proofing Basket for Artisan Bread


Yali's Better Proofing Bowl

I have mentioned before that I often get the request to share recipes I try from Pinterest and more posts about cooking. So I recently had the opportunity to try and review this Banneton Proofing Basket for making Artisan Bread which also comes with a Danish dough wisk.

I thought bread making might be a fun thing to try, and it was a great way to spend some time with my niece on spring break. She is already a seasoned bread maker, so you I thought it would be great to give you the perspective of a newbie and that of a more experienced bread maker. As it turns out we both came to the same conclusions, but we will talk about that in a moment.

First let me tell you a little about the actual bowl (proofing basket). Its made of 100% all-natural hand-crafted cane, it’s food-safe, and it’s eco-friendly. It comes with a linen liner and with a 13” Danish dough whisk. It is used for making handmade artisan breads that need to rise. It is especially good for slow rising breads such as soda bread and sourdough bread.

We actually tried out two different recipes. First we made some Honey Buttermilk Bread that I found the recipe for on Pinterest. The original recipe comes from a blog called Restless Chipotle, make sure you check it out. We also tried out a pretzel recipe my niece had, but I am mainly going to focus on the bread recipe  because I don’t have a way to link you to the second recipe, and I didn’t get all the pictures I needed.

So we started by gathering everything we needed to make the Honey Buttermilk Bread, including the Banneton Proofing Basket.

Yalis Better Proofing Basket and ingrients for making the Honey Buttermilk BreadIn addition to what’s in the picture we also used a mixing bowl and two bread loaf pans.

Once everything was mixed up, the dough was transferred over to the Yali’s Better Banneton Proofing Basket to let it rise.

Dough rising in the Yalis Better Banneton Proofing Basket

This is where we started to run into some trouble. Perhaps trouble isn’t the right word, maybe I should say we might have misunderstood something. As I said at the beginning the bowl is supposed to be good for slow rising bread. That is direct from their sales page. To me, when I read that I just understood it to mean that it was especially good for that, not that it would make the dough rise slower. But that is exactly what seemed to happen with both of the recipes we tried. With the Honey Buttermilk Bread we checked it at the called for time…..

Checking on the dough at the called for time

…and as you can see the dough had not fully risen. It ended up doubling our time on this dough to rise, and for the pretzel dough it at least tripled it.

When it finally had risen enough we separated the dough into the two pans.

putting the dough into the pans for the Honey Buttermilk Bread

And we cooked it and brought it out of the oven.

Finished Honey Buttermilk Bread

Now if you took a look at the links for the recipe then you know our bread turned out nothing like what it looked like there. This was supposed to be a light fluffy white bread. Something I imagine to be good for sandwiches. Instead ours obviously turned out to be very dense and much more like a banana bread. We had a similar experience with the pretzels. They both were still very good and tasty, just not what was expected.

We aren’t really sure what happened. I mean I may not be experienced at bread making, but I am a decent baker and cook otherwise. And my niece makes bread all the time. I am not sure if the bowl changed something we weren’t prepared for or if there was another factor we just haven’t thought of.

So here is our overall thoughts and extra information about the Yali’s Better Banneton Proofing Basket. As I said early on, we both pretty much came to the same conclusions despite having different experience levels. There are both positives and negatives to the Proofing Basket.

Here are the positives:

  • We like the idea of having a dedicated bowl just for bread making
  • We love the linen cover that is fitted. It makes it so much easier than trying to use dish towels.
  • We love that it is eco friendly

Here are the negatives:

  • We didn’t like that it made the dough rise so much slower
  • What we didn’t know prior to receiving the bowl in the mail and reading the instructions is you can not wash this bowl. It also has a potential to grow mold which you have to use one of their methods to kill rather than wash. We both have a mold allergy, so we didn’t like this.

While there are both negatives and positives, at the end of the day, the negatives are just too big for us. Now this is not to say it’s not a good product or that you may have a different experience with it. I think we could have gotten past the dough rising slower, but the not being able to wash it, and the potential to grow mold is just too much for us.

If you are interested in trying the  Yali’s Better Banneton Proofing Basket for yourself you can find it here on Amazon.

Tell me in comments below if you have tried this item before of something similar, and what did you think if you have.

 

I did receive this item at a deeply discounted price for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

 

 

 

 

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