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The newest additions that make me love homemakin' even more

Last week, I witnessed something horrific that I hope I never have to go through again. I watched the top heating element in my oven burn and spark from one end to the other. I was devastated. I use my oven almost daily... sometimes even up to 3 times a day. What was I going to do? I have nagged expressed to my husband over the last 3-4 years how much I would love to upgrade my range and have a convection oven. We made plans to do this next year but I had to do something soon. I searched online and looked at dozen of ranges from different stores. I already knew that the option of convection would more than likely not be in my price range. I was so surprised when I found one that was affordable . I went with a Frigidaire Speed-Bake range from Lowe's. I would have loved the smooth top but since I cook in cast iron pots and pans a few times a week, I knew it wouldn't be a good choice. I had to stick with the old school electric coils. I am SO happy with my purchase and since Sunday, I have baked different things a total of 8 times. Hey, I need to get my practice with the convection feature!
I am loving the gorgeous color I have been getting on my sweet baked goods and the less baking time as well. I just roasted a whole chicken today and it was perfectly brown and crust on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.

Another item I got this week is the Silpain baking mat. I reviewed the Silpat late last year and was excited to see what the Silpain was like. Silpain is different from Silpat because the surface is like a fine mesh that is made specifically for baking doughs and breads. 

I made my Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Crescents on the Silpain and I could see the difference with how nice and crusty the crescents came out.
Of course, there was no sticking so I was very pleased with the results. I am already making a long list of things I want to bake in the very near future. I better make sure to incorporate some low-fat and healthy items with the desserts and pastry ideas I have in my head :)

I just had to share my newest kitchen toys. If you own a convection oven and have any tips you can share, I would greatly appreciate it!
Shelly, Mom Files

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

I discovered these wonderful potatoes that Publix carries called Potato Inspirations. I decided to try them out since they were on sale. They came in a few different varieties, but I decided to go with the Honey Gold. They are smaller than a golf balls. I remembered a recipe I saw Michael Symon make and thought I would try to replicate it. The only difference is he fried his potatoes in bacon fat instead of baking them. Yeah, I didn't have a half gallon of bacon fat laying around so I had to improvise!

1 bag of Honey Gold Potato Inspiration potatoes or 2 pounds of very small potatoes of your choice.
a few tablespoons of olive oil
dry seasonings of your choice. I used sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, Cajun seasoning and Badia Complete Seasoning which are my staples.

All you do is rinse and boil your potatoes (whole) in salted water until they are starting to get soft, but not cooked all the way, about 9-13 minutes. Drain potatoes and smash each one with just a little bit with the bottom of a cup or small plate. Toss smashed potatoes in olive oil and dry seasoning and roast in a 425 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes. They come out slightly crisp on the outside and super buttery and creamy on the inside. I baked mine on the Silpat mat so they did not stick or brown unevenly.

What a wonderful side dish this is! I am going to try it next time using two different types of potatoes. I might make them for Thanksgiving too. They are so easy and delicious!

This was NOT a sponsored post :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Silpat made my homemaker and baking dreams come true! {Review & Giveaway}

**Contest Closed** 
Winner is Sammi~ Congratulations!

For many years, I have watched the Food Network and Cooking Channels and have drooled over admired the professional chefs cooking gadgets. One particular item that always stuck out was the Silpat baking mat. When I got the offer to review one in my little old kitchen, I excitedly jumped at the chance! I really can't explain how giddy I got when I saw this little beauty for the first time.
I immediately started brainstorming ideas and recipes that I could make with my new Silpat Half size mat. After reading up and watching a video about Silpat, I was intrigued by so many things. Silpat is truly non-stick and never requires greasing. You get even baking every time and no burnt cookies on the bottom! You can use it up to 450 degrees baking temperature and it can be used up to 3000 times! That's good news for me since I bake all the time. I am amazed at all you can bake on a Silpat mat! 

I decided to bake up something savory; Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Crescents. I took one of my favorite dip recipes and paired it with crescent roll dough. I really wanted to see how well the crescent roll dough would do since I find that they always stick to the pan and also either over-brown or brown unevenly. I just had to find out what would happen! 

For my filling I used a half pack of cream cheese, 1/2 pack of frozen spinach (thawed and water squeezed out), 1/2 of a small jar of marinated artichokes finely chopped, 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and a dash or two of red pepper flakes. You could double this recipe if you are making it with two cans of crescent roll dough (I only used one). I just spooned about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the crescent roll dough triangles and spread it out a bit. I rolled them up, placed them on my Silpat baking mat and brushed them with a little egg wash. I baked them at 375 for 16 minutes and this is what they turned out like. I have to mention that I normally NEVER bake anything at the temperature a recipe calls for. I always go 10 degrees under. This is the first time in forever I actually went according to the package baking instructions. 

Now here was where the true test came in. Is it possible for a crescent roll to come off of the baking surface without sticking? Not only did it come off easily, I was able to shift the pan and all of them slid to one end! I was able to pluck each one off with my fingers. No spatula needed! 

The bottoms were perfectly and evenly brown. Even the one or two splashes of egg wash came off perfectly. There was nothing stuck to the Silpat and all it took was a rinse to clean it. 

The Silpat baking mat has exceeded my expectations and have made my homemaker and baking dreams come true! I can't wait to bake all kinds of pastries, cookies and even roasted veggies and fish on it! I anticipate it will become my most used kitchen gadget of all time. Be sure to check out Silpat on the web, Facebook,  Twitter and Pinterest. I think this is a great gift to give for a  housewarming, Christmas, birthday, wedding or any occasion for that matter! 

How would you like to experience this amazing item for yourself? One very lucky Momfiles reader will win their very own Half Size Silpat Baking Mat! Enter below: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on October 15, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I received a free product sample for review purposes. All opinions are completely my own, as always.
Shelly, Mom Files
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