Entries tagged with “Baking”.
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Sat 31 Jul 2010
A bedtime tale: Once upon a time, there was a girl who published a lovely little food blog and had many delightful conversations with readers about incorporating good food into their busy lives. Then the girl’s job kicked into extreme overdrive, ratcheting from ridiculously busy up to holy-hyper-insanity-what-do-you-mean-it’s-already-June-July-August busy. It was so busy that the girl could barely manage to cook food every night, let alone photograph it and write about it. Then the girl’s grandma died. Then her job got even busier. One day, the girl decided she really missed blogging and decided to come back to it with a recipe for absolutely perfect chocolate chip cookies. The end.
Or something like that. Thank you for bearing with me during my unplanned hiatus. I missed you guys - I hope you missed me, too. The past few months have been absolutely breathless; as it turns out, there is a monumental amount of work involved in being debtors’ counsel in a large chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Who knew?
To atone for my absence, I present to you my very favorite cookie. As I have mentioned, I grew up making a scrumptious snuggle of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie known in my family as a Cowboy Cookie. For the better part of three decades, I considered Cowboy Cookies to be the Mary Poppins of chocolate chip cookies: practically perfect in every way.
And then, one day, I cheated on my Cowboy Cookies with another recipe involving brown butter. For the uninitiated, brown butter is the result of heating regular butter in a skillet until the water has boiled off and the milk solids brown. It is rich, nutty, and capable of becoming an absolute scene-stealer in otherwise predictable dishes. Jeffrey Steingarten wrote about brown butter in the June issue of Vogue last year. (Wherein he had the bizarre nerve to present an utterly pedestrian oatmeal shortbread recipe as the end-all, be-all oatmeal cookie whilst neglecting to include the baking temperature. Jeffrey, I expected better on both counts.) My quibbles with the recipe notwithstanding, the story reminded me how beautifully brown butter enhances certain cookies. Unsatisfied with my underlying recipe, I filed the brown butter idea away in a special section of my memory I reserve for Thoughts About Cookies. A few months later, I was intrigued by the idea of putting grey salt on chocolate chip cookies. A few months after that, I received The Grand Central Baking Book for Chanukah and the stars were suddenly aligned for cookie nirvana.
The six-year-old in me thought this departure from Cowboy Cookies was utter heresy, but the 30-year-old who occupies the majority of my me-real estate told the kid to simmer down and have a nap. And then promptly set about combining all of these recipes into one perfect cookie. A soft, chewy, perfect cookie that is both loaded with chocolate and tastes faintly of toffee. Robust with oatmeal and very grown up with a smattering of grey salt, it is a moment of baked perfection in even the most hectic life.
(Continue reading Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies…)
Fri 12 Feb 2010
Can we talk for a moment about the irresistible scent that apples and cinnamon drape across a kitchen as they cook together? It’s unbeatable. The sweet, tart brightness of a good apple and the nose-tingling cha-cha-cha of potent cinnamon cradle each other carefully, gently. I can understand why Glade and its ilk are constantly trying to make scents that go by the name apples and cinnamon, though we all know they are, in fact, kidding themselves.
I used to make myself the most ridiculously pared-down versions of an apple crisp as afternoon snacks in law school. No measuring, just a heap of apple slices, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in a little dish in the microwave. It’s especially silly for me to call them apple crisps, because there was nothing crisp about them. Just sweet, soggy oats and squishy apples. Apple soggies. But the smell, oh, the smell. Once, when my apartment was being shown to a prospective tenant for the following year, I managed to time one of these little bowls to come out of the microwave just as the landlord was knocking on the door. The prospective tenant ended up not taking the apartment, but I think she seriously contemplated asking if she could come back for a snack the next day.
My little apple soggies weren’t perfect, but they fit a special kind of dessert bill. They were quick, delicious, and brought a minimal assault against any ideas I might have had about eating healthfully. Since then, I have graduated to the glorious realm of the diminutive apple brown betty. I love their simplicity. Nothing too fancy or trussed up, just lightly seasoned apples in a crisp, buttery crust. You can take them from pantry to oven in less than 15 minutes (depending on your apple peeling skills). Best of all, they will fill your kitchen and any adjoining rooms with that tremendous apple cinnamon scent. Use your best cinnamon, a few good apples, and you’ll be in business.
(Keep reading Baby Brown Bettys…)
Fri 18 Dec 2009
Spend the better part of 27 years following an academic calendar and you’ll suffer a few years of being taken unaware by the holidays. That’s my excuse, anyway. It has been over two years since I graduated from law school, and I’m still a bit lost when it comes to taking note of the advent of Advent. Throw in the fact that I live in a land of two seasons (very nice and nice) and I’m perpetually surprised by the emails and phone calls from my family asking what I want for birthday/Chanukah/Christmas. Even though I loudly lamented the lack of time to shop, the end of fall semester was an easy way to mark the coming holidays. If you are one of those lucky folks with an internal calendar, I suspect you already have your shopping done and can totally disregard the rest of this post.
For those of you who suffer like me, here are a few gift ideas to round out your holiday shopping. Scrambling for night 8? Nothing says “I did NOT forget!” like presenting someone with an envelope containing a screen shot of the things you ordered. Looking more along the lines of kitchen equipment and gadgetry? See my Kitchen Equipment page for ideas. Full disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates program, and receive a small percentage of the purchase price for Amazon purchases made through this site. Wondering what the picture of creme-filled vols-au-vent has to do with gifts? Nothing. I just didn’t want it to go to waste. Now, on to the gifts!
Ratio - for everyone with an iPhone and a kitchen
As I have previously mentioned, Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio is an essential addition to any home cook’s library. By breaking recipes into 32 fundamental ratios, Ruhlman arms you with the tools to go beyond recipes and launch into your own universe of tinkering and experimenting with your cooking. As if the book were not enough, he has recently released an iPhone app by the same name that includes the 32 critical ratios, each complemented by a calculator that adjusts the ratio according to your inputs. It has a save feature, and allows you to add notes to your recipes for later recall. Out of all the recent attempts to marry classic concepts with new technology, this might be the very best union yet. At $4.99, it’s also a fantastic buy. I’ve included a link below for the book; consider giving them as a pair.
Zingerman’s - for everyone with a mouth
This isn’t so much a specific gift recommendation as it is an introduction to my very favorite gift source. For the uninitiated, Zingerman’s is a magical deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan that boasts a robust mail order business. If you find yourself in Ann Arbor, do not leave until you have stopped by the deli on Kingston. If you have more time and feel like serious restaurant indulgence, the Zingerman’s Roadhouse takes comfort food to another level. Let me put it this way: the Roadhouse introduced me to the donut sundae concept, and I have never looked back.
Gift-wise, zingermans.com is the end-all, be-all resource for the foodies on your list, or anyone who falls into that difficult has-everything-they-need category. They carry everything from cheeses to baked goods to cured meats to rare and wonderful vinegars. The customer service folks are kind and knowledgeable - if you find yourself unable to make a decision, give them a call and they’ll be glad to help. Here are a few of my favorites, but this is just the tip of the tasty Zingerman’s iceberg.
Peppered Bacon Farm Bread
Chocolate Sourdough Bread
10-year Aged Balsamic
Agrodolce White Balsamic Vinegar
French Roast Coffee
Scones and Tea for Two
Arkansas Peppered Bacon
Ice Milk Aprons - for the woman who loves simple, classic things
In a world of disposable everything, it is refreshing to find people who design products with future generations in mind. The lovely folks at Ice Milk Aprons are enchantingly enamored with the concept of heirlooms and have fashioned their beautiful aprons as such. Available in full or half lengths (mine is pictured below), these gorgeous aprons are meant to be loved in your kitchen, then passed along for new lives in generations to come. Each apron comes in an heirloom kit, complete with a tag to hold its owners’ embroidered initials and recipe cards for your most treasured creations (which come in handy even if you, ahem, happen to store your recipes in a decidedly unromantic, electronic form, like someone I know). One of these days, I’ll post a picture of myself actually wearing my beautiful apron. Such an occurrence will require a combination of foresight and daylight that has yet to manifest in the Salty Spoon kitchen. In the meantime, enjoy the way it looks on a vintage Madame Bust:
Photo courtesy of Ice Milk Aprons
OXO Mini Measuring Cup - for the usefulness quota inherent in every stocking
Some of the most profound workhorses in my kitchen happen to be the smallest. This 4 tablespoon liquid measuring cup by OXO is one of those little workers - I use it almost every time I cook, especially when I halve or quarter a recipe and need an eighth of a cup of liquid. Yes, you can always remind yourself that 4 tablespoons equals a quarter cup, but it’s nice to have the same measurement spelled out in several, easy-to-read units. This isn’t one of those gifts that will knock the recipient’s socks off right away; soon, though, they’ll find themselves stunned and barefoot.
If I were to write out a list of every good cookbook with which I’m acquainted, the post would be unmanageable. Instead, here are a few favorites and a few recent finds that I think are particularly delightful.
Sunday Suppers at Lucques - for anyone seeking a bit of simple elegance
The Craft of Baking - for your favorite baker
The Grand Central Baking Book - for your other favorite baker
Betty Crocker: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today - for the novice who doesn’t know where to begin
The Flavor Bible - for anyone looking to learn more about flavor profiles
Ratio - for the anyone looking to reach beyond mere recipes
Sun 13 Dec 2009
About a year ago, I blew out a candle on a piece of white cake with pink frosting, my standard birthday fare. I made a wish. I wished that I would have the inspiration, time, and wherewithal over the coming year to figure out a way to bring my writing and cooking together into a big, lovely project. I wished for a way to begin building an audience of readers with whom I could share my love of food, cooking, and a few stories along the way. In effect, I wished for all of you.
We have just finished off another white cake with pink frosting. Why so simple, you ask? Though I like to think of myself as a reasonably seasoned baker, I never go with anything fancy or new or complicated for my own birthday. The white and pink combination is something I fell in love with when I was very small - somewhere in that post-toddler epoch that finds so many little girls swaddling themselves in billows of pink everything. I think it also has something to do with having a December birthday. Once Thanksgiving comes and goes, the default thinking behind every decorated cake seems to begin and end with wintry/Christmas things until February comes along with its shower of red and pink clashiness. Somewhere along the way, I came to prefer a cake that didn’t have anything to do with the season. To me, a stripe of pink frosting between layers of fluffy white cake just screams BIRTHDAY and nothing else. Though I have been known to take my birthday cake in a chocolate direction (the recipe for which I must share with you soon, because it’s a real charmer), more often than not I find myself coming back to my favorite pink and white number.
The cake itself is just plain perfect. Not only does it turn out beautifully every time I make it, you cannot find an easier recipe to execute. Dump, mix, dump in the eggs, mix again. I can barely justify a rundown for this one because it’s so incredibly simple. Several years ago I looked and looked for a recipe that would give me a simple white cake with a tiny, moist crumb. A few mediocre misfires lead me back to the Betty Crocker Cookbook, one of my kitchen’s secret weapons. Straightforward, comprehensive, and full of helpful tables and asides, it is an invaluable resource for understanding cooking basics. Plus, it’s ring-bound, which allows it to lie flat on your counter. If you are ever looking for a cookbook that can act as a starting place for someone new to cooking, this is it. My mom gave me a copy when I moved into my first apartment, and I refer to it at least once a week. My copy is visibly well-loved and some of the pages have acquired dribs and drabs of their recipes, not the least of which is the page facing the recipe for this cake.
Back to that wish. Tonight, my lovelies, I want to take a moment to thank you for being a part of this little blog of mine. Over the past several months I have had the wonderful privilege of sharing my recipes, photos, and ramblings with you. It has been a pleasure to read your comments, your emails, and share this wonderful journey through our kitchens together - over 7,000 kitchens to-date. I can’t begin to tell you how honored I am to be part of your virtual food milieu. Your willingness to return week after week is one of the best, most exhilarating gifts I have ever received. Thank you.
(Keep reading White Birthday Cake…)
Tue 24 Nov 2009
I’m not sure why I decided cinnamon rolls would be my Everest during the three weeks between graduating from college and starting my first real job, but I did. It was one of several projects I took on when faced with twenty empty days (the others being unpacking, sleeping in, and adopting a kitten previously rejected by Satan as being “too evil”). I wanted to find a recipe for really excellent cinnamon rolls. It had to deliver reliable, wonderful rolls every time, the kind of baked treasure that stops people in their tracks, wide-eyed and momentarily overwhelmed, before they exclaim WOW.
The first three recipes were unremarkable. They were too tough, too sweet, too boring. Something was fatally wrong with each one, and I began to get discouraged. I came upon a fourth recipe. Despite my skepticism, I dove in, pausing to figure out what it meant to scald the milk. The dough was smooth and satiny. It filled my tiny kitchen with a sweet, yeasty penumbra that sent little jolts of hopeful electricity into my dwindling expectations. I briefly lamented my lack of a rolling pin as I coaxed the dough into a large rectangle with a wine bottle covered in plastic wrap. It scarcely mattered that I couldn’t get it very even. The dough welcomed its thick mat of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with aplomb. I rolled it into a drippy, burgeoning tube, slicing it into a dozen syrupy disks that made their way into a cake pan.
After the second rise, I was astounded to see that the rolls had truly doubled in size. What had once come close to loosely filling the pan was now threatening to rise up and leave altogether. Surely, this was a sign of good things to come.
At the risk of sounding hopelessly twee, I will admit that I cried when I took my first bite of one of the rolls. Piping hot, silky, and feather-soft, it was like biting into a cloud in the version of heaven where everything is made of pastry (don’t tell me I’m the only one who has had that awesome dream, right?). After regaining my composure, I loaded up a plate with a few more rolls and settled down on my futon to watch an old favorite, Green Card. It occurred to me, as Andie McDowell and Gerard Depardieu acted out the lighter side of immigration fraud to the sounds of Enya, that I had something truly wonderful in my possession. It remains among my very favorite recipes, both to make and to share.
I have made these rolls in good times and bad. I have made them for coworkers, for friends, for family, and for strangers. I have made them with the full arsenal of a commercial kitchen and, most humbly, with a wooden spoon and a large pot. Because they are a sure-fire crowd pleaser and require absolutely minimal equipment, I highly recommend taking the recipe with you when you travel. You will be the houseguest who always gets invited back.
(Keep reading Cinnamon Rolls…)
Tue 6 Oct 2009
I think we have talked about the way I pine for lazy weekend mornings to while away with plates of fresh muffins.
A recent foray into vegan, gluten-free cooking (long story) left me with a sizeable quantity of almond milk and gluten-free all-purpose flour (“GF AP”). I didn’t have specific designs on them at first, but figured the inventive mood would strike at some point. One morning, it did.
And here is where I confess something slightly embarrassing. I make biscuits with Bisquick. I know, I know. It’s rather antithetical to all of my feelings about baking. I’m wrapping myself in a little shower curtain of shame in order to explain this, but it’s relevant to the how and why I decided to try using almond milk in muffins, so stick with me. After months of enjoying the splendor of traditional baking powder biscuits made with butter, John and I decided to get back on Weight Watchers (a wagon from which we have long since fallen). After recommitting to the double-W, we couldn’t justify the eleventy vermillion points in a serving of those biscuits (vermillion is a number with so many zeroes it turns red). One day, I discovered that Bisquick’s Heart Healthy baking mix made decent, though not equivalent, biscuits. What can I say, they are incredibly fast and relatively low in calories and fat.
Have I lost all baking credibility with you? I hope not. Remember the marshmallows? The bread? The olive oil cake? Surely you can cut me a smidgen of slack for this one thing. Oh, and if John tries to tell you about a bag of frozen potstickers that allegedly appears in our freezer on occasion, HE IS LYING.
So. As I was saying, I had gobs of almond milk and GF AP and no plans for either. On a whim, I decided to see what would happen if I used almond milk in place of regular milk in my Bisquick biscuits. My reaction, upon opening the oven, summoned from my core an authentic, Utahn OH MY HECK that would have made Norm Bangerter proud. They were HUGE and had the most amazing texture – pillowy soft with the tiniest crumb.
Since the basic muffin recipe is quick and quite malleable when it comes to ingredient manipulation, I decided to take the almond milk for another spin and see what it could do. When combined with GF AP, the result is scrumptious and workable for the gluten-free and dairy-free crowds (so long as your dairy-free parameters concern Things That Come From a Cow; the recipe includes eggs).
Food allergy/intolerance struggles are near and dear to my little peanut-allergic heart. I’m pleased to offer this recipe for my gluten-free and dairy-free friends who yearn for baked things that don’t suffer in texture or taste. All too often, recipe adaptations for food allergies/intolerances are woeful approximations of the real thing. In tasting these muffins (and sharing them with my lovely, gluten-free neighbor), I was really heartened to see that they taste and feel like…muffins. They aren’t a weak knock-off, they’re just good. Give them a shot, whether or not you happen to have a hard time with gluten or milk proteins. You’ll have something wonderful to share with those who do.
The blueberries get a subtle but beautiful boost from the maple syrup (again, thank you Flavor Bible). If you want your berries to be further and fewer between, skip folding them into the batter and sink them, individually, with your fingers once you’ve portioned the batter into the wells.
Note that this recipe also works with spelt flour, if you happen to have some around. If you go with spelt flour, I recommend a food scale so you can measure out 8 oz – it’s a little more dense than GF AP, and you’ll want slightly less than the 1 ¾ cups called for here. Spelt, for the uninitiated, is not gluten-free; if you swap it in place of the GF AP flour, you can’t feed these to your Celiac friends. If gluten isn’t an issue, I highly recommend playing around with spelt flour – it’s high in protein and has a lovely nutty, sweet flavor.
(Keep reading Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins…)
Wed 30 Sep 2009
I lost my mind while studying for the bar. Sort of. For the uninitiated, bar study is a long, lonely process that readies you, in part, for the actual exam by making you so vomitously tired of the studying that you arrive on test day with a head so swimming with “let’s just do this thing” that you forget to be nervous.
One of the few unscripted days in our agenda that summer was July 4. Overwhelmed by the promise of an utterly free day, I decided to make things. Two things, to be exact. I made the chuppah for my wedding, and I made a fruit buckle. The former took about 14 hours that day, and another 20 hours the week before the wedding; the latter took about an hour and made for a lovely breakfast.
Even today, I can’t quite explain why I found it important, nay, necessary to make the canopy for our chuppah. Nor can I explain why I thought it would be a good way to learn to quilt. And, even when pressed, I come up completely empty-handed when it comes to explaining how my calculations that day resulted in a chuppah canopy that is substantially larger than a king-sized bed. Apparently, I wanted to make sure we had room to both get married and do the Highland Fling underneath its gentle, convex arc.
The ladies at the quilt shop were not particularly convinced that this project was going to be a success. I think I explained the whole venture about 8 times, though several of those iterations were spent describing How a Jewish Wedding Works to these septuagenarian Protestant women. In the end, we figured it out. They sent me on my way with a bag full of quilting tools, a bundle of gorgeous fabric, and good wishes underscored by a Germanic skepticism that’s undetectable to those who haven’t spent quality time in the Midwest. I still owe them a picture.
I think the fact that I stuck with the quilting until the end really illustrates the insanity that flourishes during bar study; when faced with a free day, I shunned the temptation of naps and television in order to work my fingers to the bone and give myself a neck cramp that lasted for the ensuing two months. Still, 14 episodes of Law & Order later (I studied for evidence by shouting out objections throughout the trial scenes), I had made enough progress in piecing together the quilt squares that turning back was impossible. It was a devil’s bargain, bound up in fat quarters of gold calico.
The buckle, on the other hand, was a no-brainer. As I have mentioned here before, my mom is an excellent cook. So when she calls me and says “I’m sending you a recipe; I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten,” I listen.
A buckle is characterized by a rich cake batter mixed with fruit, topped by more fruit and a crunchy streusel topping. Some variations involve spreading the cake batter over a layer of fruit at the bottom of the pan, but I prefer to fold the fruit into the cake. Blueberries are the classic buckle accompaniment, but wonderful things can come from using raspberries, huckleberries, blackberries - whatever suits you that happens to be fresh and in season. Somewhere, between the jammy layers of berries and the brown sugar splendor of the crumb topping, you’ll find a moment where you can’t help but furrow your brow and exclaim “Mmm! That is good.”
(Keep reading Berry Buckle…)
Thu 16 Apr 2009
Posted by Bria under Baking
Once upon a time, an enterprising member of a hunter-gatherer tribe grew restless at the idea of yet another bowl of the same mammoth stew and added a handful of peppery-smelling leaves to the batch. The first bite brought surprise and delight to all, and soon seasoning the meat was de riguer.
Or something like that. We don’t really need the specifics. Amidst the variety of reasons our most ancient ancestors began seasoning and varying their food is a reason so simple and obvious it generally goes without saying: because it tastes good.
And so it goes today – we continue to think, churn, generate, experiment, augment, and create, create, create beautiful, wonderful, delicious dishes. Cooking is both an art and a science, and is easily accessible at some level on both fronts. But the art side has a special, unique aspect to it. Everyone participates in it, somehow, every day. You don’t have to listen to music, view a play, examine a painting, or read a book every day, but you do have to eat. I think this is why I find cooking so appealing; it’s at the very core of our lives, waiting to be drawn out and caressed.
Yes, there are different strata of cooking and food. There are simple dishes and complicated ones. I can make a complicated sauce using fifteen ingredients, or a baguette using four. “Good” is so subjective, and doesn’t necessarily correlate to expense, difficulty, or complexity. Food: the great equalizer.
It is also very personal. Everyone’s palate is different, sensitive in varying ways. To prepare food for someone is, in a sense, to attempt to really know a very fundamental part of them. And this is one of the reasons I love to cook. It is powerful to fill an empty plate with the symphonic orchestrations of your kitchen’s contents and your own two hands. You begin with nothing, and end up with a serious something. When you cook with someone else in mind, when you reach out and access someone else’s palate and say “I think I know what you’ll like,” you share a part of yourself with them. I gave my bridesmaids a cookbook of my favorite recipes before my wedding. In the introduction, I told them “I consider the kitchen to be the heart of any home; in sharing these recipes with you, I hope to share a piece of my heart as well as my home.”
I continue to connect with the people around me through food (see, e.g., this website). Recently, upon realizing I had forgotten to wish a coworker happy birthday, I told him I would bring him the baked good of his choice the following Monday. He asked for Mandelhoernchen, a favorite cookie from his childhood in Germany. I happily agreed. He told me later, after leaving me what promises to become one of my all-time favorite voicemails, that he didn’t realize when I told him to specify a baked good that I would be making it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Tue 7 Apr 2009
Even in this modern world of non-stick everything (hell, I have non-stick pants, which is a story for another time), it is often helpful to have some sort of oil in a sprayable form to keep everything slipping and sliding in all the right ways. Yeah, I’m essentially talking about food lube, but let’s keep our eyes on the ball.
I am a former Pam devotee. It’s readily available at any grocery store, it’s inexpensive, and it requires exactly zero futzing in order to make it work. Pam is fine for many things, and if that’s what you happen to have on hand, it will totally suffice for much of your lubing needs when it comes to my recipes.
The problem with Pam and its ilk is a function of the delivery method. In order to make that nifty aerosol action work properly, the cooking oil we want is accompanied by propellants we don’t. Please understand, this is not a fussy I Don’t Eat That stance; my objection to propellants is purely from an equipment maintenance position. The propellants in cooking sprays aren’t separable from the spray output. While this does nothing to the taste and texture of your food, they get all the hell over whatever cookware you are trying to lubricate. Do you have a cookie sheet that has become increasingly coated with golden brown crud? Do your silicone baking pieces have inexplicable sticky, gunky bits all over the edges? That’s baked propellant, amigo, and there’s nothing you can do about it. That shit just loves to land on your bakeware and singe itself into molten, messy poop, and any amount of scrubbing that would remove it will also remove half of the host. Propellant crud is, for practical purposes, forever.
So what to do? I use a Misto*. Actually, I use two. It charms me to no end that John and I both came to this marriage with a Misto in hand. We use one for olive oil and one for vegetable oil. I believe they come with labels upon purchase, but those are long gone, so I tell them apart by smell; John tells them apart by lucky guessing, as his sense of smell is, um, retarded.
One benefit of Pam and the like is the absolutely even, whisper light spray of oil that it reliably delivers. Conversely, while you can learn to control the output of the Misto to be as light or heavy as you like, the uninitiated can also end up with a sloppy squirt of oil where you intended a light mist. I can live with the tradeoff, but I am also fastidious about my silicone bakeware and love olive oil, so the occasional unintended heavy squirt doesn’t bother me.
And I must now go quietly die in a corner, as the temptation to run amok with all the squirty imagery in this post is just about killing me.
*I swear up and down, six ways to Tuesday that this product used to be called Mr. Misto. However, upon a foiled attempt to find anything productive or useful when Googling “Mr. Misto”, I discovered that the official product’s name is, in fact, Misto. But the website also includes the prominent tagline “DISCOVER THE MAGIC!” so I think anything is possible here.