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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Baker’s Mat {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

We’re moving on Saturday to a different apartment just a few minutes away.  Its really going to be a dream-home, right by the beach, and completely remodeled, HOWEVER, after we did a walk-through and signed the lease, we got home and realized…did you see a dishwasher?  I don’t remember seeing a dishwasher!  Panic!  With all the other great things going for it, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but I’m really revving myself up for this new lifestyle change!  Haha, it could be rough!

As I’m preparing for the extra number of hours of my life that will be spent scrubbing at the sink, I’ve been reassessing everything I own that is particularly difficult to clean.  Large pots and pans are up on that list, so I’ve been thinking about using more liners and mats in the future to save myself a good scrubbing in hopes of just more rinsing.  This Baker’s Mat is going to be a life saver.

81ivRSP+GvL__SL1500_I love love love any bake-ware that comes in silicone.  Its utter indestructibility makes it worth the cost, which isn’t outlandish in the first place.  Silicone is perfect to store, especially in odd places, as light as a thin notebook, and super easy to clean.

matOk, so what do I love about this mat that makes it different than others I’ve tried?  This mat feels and looks a little thicker than others.  I’m hoping that transfers to durability and longevity.  I also love the turned corners, which really helps in maneuvering it around the pan and lifting to reposition or clean.  It works like a champ!  It does everything it claims to.  No spray needed, and these sticky monkey bread bites (that should have been a huge sticky mess) came up with a spatula like a dream.

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I plan on cooking anything and everything on this mat.  Rolls, cookies, pigs-in-a-blanket, etc.  The extra layer between the food and the pan allows for very even cooking, which is great for cookies and candies.  Because it can withstand temperatures of -40°F to 480°F, this mat is ideal for the oven, microwave, and freezer.  What an excellent way to transfer foods between locations.

Unlike some temperament Silpat mats that have to be handwashed lightly and rarely with soap, this guy can go straight into the dishwasher.  I’m so excited to avoid excessive cooking sprays and the costs of parchment in my future cooking.

A+ in my book!  You can find this mat on Amazon HERE for less than $12.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Simply Essentials Baking Mat and Pan Set {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

With double the number of women in this house (my sister-in-law has been living with us for the last seven months), the amount of baking and cooking in this house has also doubled.  I feel like everything in the kitchen gets used and washed twice as frequently, so I’m really noticing what things are lasting and which things are not, as well as which things I hate cleaning by hand.  The baking pans are one of those things.  They’re big, they don’t fit well in the dishwasher, and they’re usually coated in something sticky and tough.  Ever since I received this duo from Simply Essentials, its been used for everything that goes into the oven.

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This is the Simply Essentials Baking Mat and Baking Pan Set.  The non-stick baking mat is fantastic.  My sister-in-law says that it is very similar, if not identical, to the Silpat that she owns, which was probably much more expensive.  This really extends the life if your baking pans and keeps you from having to buy/use oil, butter, cooking sprays, parchment, tin foil, etc.

IMG_9940 copyThis unique material consists of a glass weave and food grade silicone.  I love how the mat can roll, freeze, and go in the microwave.  I especially love how I can easily store it anywhere.  Right now, I have it resting inside the stored baking pans under the oven.  I’m hoping this lasts us years and years!

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We hadn’t noticed any problems with the mat retaining stains until we baked a pizza on top.  The red sauce left quite a bit of greasy residue leftover that wouldn’t rinse off even with soap and scrubbing, but after time, more usage, and more scrubbing, it is lightening up.  I don’t think it alters the effectiveness of the product; its only a cosmetic thing.

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Also wonderful was the included baking pan.  This cookie sheet measures 16 5/8 x 11 3/4 inches x .73 mm thick.  It is shiny, smooth, easy to stack and store, and the wide lip on the edges keeps spills at bay.

Included in this set was a packet of useful and tasty recipes!  Thanks, Simply Essentials!  Can’t wait to try out that cookie recipe.

Get ready to win your own mat and pan set!!

You can buy your own set HERE on Amazon for $34.99.  Save yourself the hassle of scrubbing, and pocket the money you’ve been spending on foil, parchment, and cooking sprays.

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of April 5th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

Shirley J {Giveaway} – CLOSED

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A few years ago, I spent a carefree day at a Women’s Expo, held at UVU in Orem, UT.  I so distinctly remember one of the booths and their phenomenal white sauce, that years later, I knew I wanted to try it again.  It was Shirley J, and their famous white sauce!
Shirley-J-logo4I could immediately think of so many ways to use this–on pasta, over rice, as a gravy, etc.  The fact that you only need to add water made it almost irresistible.  I could only think of how many dozens of cans of cream-of-whatever I wouldn’t have to haul.  Lucky me, to get to review the Whisk Bliss, Universal Cook Base, the Biscuit & Baking mix, and the Chicken Bouillon!
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The Whisk Bliss was just as fabulous as I remembered it years ago.  Just add water and whisk it together.  Couldn’t be easier.
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The biscuits were also just as easy, and turned out so tasty!  Very, very easy to make.  I used a Pampered Chef pastry cutter and embosser, but any round cutter would work fine.  I think I expected the biscuits to be a little bigger, or to rise a little more, but I did beat them pretty hard, and my husband still thought they were perfect.
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We made these for a Saturday morning breakfast, and both of us could only eat two biscuits w/gravy before we were stuffed.  Filling, to say the least.
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You probably remember Shirley J and the giveaway hosted last month (and you can read that review HERE) for their Mugging products.  Be sure to visit Shirley J and check out all their yummy mixes.  Oh what I’d do for a pantry full of this stuff!
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One winner will also win all three of these items!  Whisk Bliss, Chicken Bouillon, and the Biscuit & Baking Mix!  ($32.85)

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Jan 24th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

Mugging! from Shirley J {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My sister-in-laws and I have started collecting mugs together.  You know, those cute “You Are Here” mugs, found at Starbucks, and its sure been fun to pull them out almost every other night for warm treats and drinks!  There is something about cold weather that makes you want to eat nothing cooler than fresh-out-of-the-oven.  Or in this case, fresh out of the microwave.  Its true, I’m going to tell you about a most delicious treat, called Mugging!, from Shirley J, that involves mixing a few contents in a mug, microwaving for a couple minutes, and eating right out of the mug.
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These are PERFECT for the holidays!  Especially in these new and darling mugs from Shirley J:
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There are 8 different flavors, and we’ve been able to try five of them–all favorites.  They are really very simple to make.  Dump the contents in a mug, follow to directions to add water and usually one other ingredient, like canned pumpkin, chocolate chips, or an egg.
IMG_8896I first fell in love with the Pumpkin Spice Bread.
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The finished product has a good consistency–not fluffy and airy like cheap cake, but something thicker, more like a bread pudding.  And OH how filling!  Three of us had one to ourselves on an empty stomach, and not one of us could finish.  This is not just a snack, but really a full-size dessert or meal, so you could half it or go into it solo if you’re very hungry.  You could easily split this between two people and feel like you had a full dessert or meal.  I just tried the Quiche in a Cup for breakfast, and its almost 2pm and I’m still not hungry.
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These flavors are delicious!  What really makes these fun are the add-ins on the back of the packet.  There are usually three or four ideas of how to take this to the next level, like adding in particular ingredients such as tomatoes, more cheese, green peppers, or in regards to the desserts, add-ins like chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins, marshmallows, etc.  The Chocolate Brownie Cake is a real winner.
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We found that with each of these packets, we had to microwave for atleast an additional 1:30 beyond what the directions said, but the possibility of this happening is indicated on the back, and we do have a very weak microwave.  Even with interrupted cooking times, everything turned out scrumptious.
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And aren’t these the most darling mugs?!  Very large and solid.  We’ll be pulling these out all winter long!
I love that the baking dish is also the serving dish–cook and eat, one mug to clean.  In all, these are just the perfect cold-weather treat!  Visit Shirley J and see what other goodies are available.
One lucky winner will receive:
1- Snowflake Mug
1- Santa Mug
3 Mugging Mix Flavors (Chocolate Brownie Cake, Pumpkin Spice Bread, and Quiche in a Cup)
A $37.90 value!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Dec 29th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

HIC Brands that Cook {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Every time we have company over from out of town, which ends up being much more often than I imagined, I make our guests a Boston Cream Pie.  Its so nice having a go-to dessert, and I’ve been intent on making it better every time.  Ladies and gentlemen, after two and a half years of Boston Cream Pies, this was my best one yet!  I had family in town to run the Boston Marathon (and yes, they were all ok, just having crossed the finish line four minutes before the explosions), and I was more than happy to make their visit complete with one of my pies.
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I owe all of my success to my new baking supplies from HIC Brands That Cook.  I was sent a Mrs. Anderson’s Cake Cutter, a Mrs. Anderson’s 8″ Springform Pan, and The World’s Greatest Stretch n’ Twist Silicone Bag Ties!
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These tools make cake making a breeze, and whole lot more fun.  Just call me silicone’s greatest fan, again, because these silicone bag ties are great.  Now I don’t have to save all the twisties from empty bread bags since these are reusable.  They are sure strong, and the friendly face on the end makes my ingredient bags happy :)  These would also be great to use on cords or bundles of odds and ends.  The seal is rather tight, but easy to undo.
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First I got to work on the yellow.  Baking in a springform pan is great–you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to dump out your hard work in a single piece with out sticking.  After the cake bakes, just unlatch the spring on the side, and the cake stays put on the center round while you lift off the sides.  As far as springform pans go, this one is top-notch.  The parts glide together and apart, it has a tight seal, and it is smooth and durable.
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After the cake cooled and I let it sit in the freezer for a while to stiffen up, I pulled out this cake cutter.  I worked for a summer as a cake decorator, and to make filled cakes, we had to first saw them in half, and mine never turned out quite even, as in the filling would end up higher on one side of the cake and lower on the other.  I still can’t slice a cake down the middle, even after that whole summer of practicing.  This cake cutter is heaven sent.  The wires are intensely strong, and adjustable so that you can move where you’d like your filling, and with two wires, you could make two slices and have a 5 layer cake.  Its a piece of cake, haha.
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After I spread the filling, I put the springform rim back on and set the whole ensemble in the freezer.  Having the sides back on was so helpful so that the filling wouldn’t smoosh out while it settled.  Once the cake was slightly frozen and I didn’t worry about it falling anymore, off came the springform rim, and I served the cake directly on the base.  This set-up was great!  For every future Boston Cream Pie, I will do exactly this!
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You too can make a cake to impress!  I am always pleased with HIC’s products, and I’m sure you will be too!

One lucky winner will receive these same baking supplies!  One cake cutter, a springform pan, and a package of twisty ties!

Because I was sent the winner’s prize items along with my review items, the winner will be responsible for paying shipping from me to you, via paypal invoice.  This also means that this giveaway is open to WORLDWIDE entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The winner will be responsible for paying shipping from me to you, via paypal invoice.  *This giveaway is open to WORLDWIDE entries.  *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 9th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *This posting and giveaway were sponsored by HIC, but all opinions are strictly my own

Silpat® Entremet by HIC Brands that Cook {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I’m sure you’ve caught on to my love of silicone bakeware by now.  I’m pretty much a silicone salesman whenever guests are over and they comment on my collection.  There are just so many good things to say about it!  One piece of silicone bakeware I hadn’t yet tried was this Silpat® Entremet by HIC Brands that Cook, so of course, I jumped at the chance when HIC asked if I would review one.  First of all, an entremet is a French special cake, either sweet or savory, but you could cook all sorts of delicate treats in this.  Basically it is a silicone baking sheet reinforced with a special fiberglass mesh that allows for an even transfer of heat and even cooking throughout the dish.

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Silicone is naturally nonstick, so specialty items like ganache and jellies are easily removed.  I would next like to try drizzling baking chocolate in intricate designs onto the sheet.  I’m sure I could cool them on the pan and preserving the beautiful presentation after lifting out of a flexible nonstick baking sheet like this.

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The pan measures 10″ x 13 3/4″ x 1″ to fit inside an 13″ x 18″ cookie sheet, since placing it on a hard surface is recommended to transfer best in and out of the oven.  The Silpat® Entremet is microwave, oven and freezer safe, so you could even bake in the microwave on this!  I bet it would do a great job!

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I tried a favorite pumpkin roll recipe of mine, knowing that after cooking the pumpkin in a sheet pan, it would need to be rolled.  The Silpat® Entremet was perfect for the job.  I could flip over the cake and peel off the pan like wax paper.

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I made my recipe with fresh pumpkin that I pureed in October and had frozen for a few months, so it has a much lighter orange color than canned pumpkin.  And don’t tell the kids, but those are actually carrots and zucchini bits instead of funfetti sprinkles, haha!  I am not ashamed of smuggling a few veggies in where I can!  After it cooled, I filled the roll with a cream cheese filling, and it can be sliced like bread.  Oh mercy, I love this stuff!

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This pan would be great for layered baking, where you bake one hard layer at a time and remove from the pan in an entire piece to place on top of another.  When you’re done, you just rinse off the pan.  No scraping or dishwashing, but the nonstick surface doesn’t hold on to a lot of residue anyways.  I’m excited to try more recipes with this shiny guy!  See what else is new at Harold Import Co. and try your hand at some new recipes using your own Entremet, then come back and share with me your recipes!

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*This posting was sponsored by HIC Brands that Cook, but all opinions are strictly my own.

HIC Oven–to-Table Transitionals {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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If you have been on a cruise recently, you probably know what I mean when I say, “chocolate melting cake”.  If you’re like us, and have tried for months and years to recreate that recipe without any luck, listen in!  We’ve found the perfect imitation recipe!  And I think the key difference in our success was cooking them in our new beautiful porcelain ramekins from HIC – Brands that Cook!

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When my husband came home and I pulled these out of the box, he exclaimed, “molten lava cake?!”.  Haha, indeed, we have an ultimate favorite dessert around here, and HIC just made our dessert dreams come true.  Previously, we’ve made our lava cakes in giant muffin tins, but methinks it doesn’t create an even cooking medium like porcelain ramekins.  Previously, we’ve had to dump out our cakes unless we all want to huddle around the ugly muffin tin.  Not so cool when we have guests over for dessert.

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These ramekins are just the ticket–they are just so pretty!  They are called Oven-to-Table Transitionals because, just like they say, they can go straight from the oven, to the table.  Aka, the cooking dish IS the serving dish, and the beautiful red high-fired scratch-free glaze makes it as lovely and appealing as the food inside.

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These ramekins are top quality!  They are solid, sturdy, and have a good weight.  The glaze is excellently finished, and the textured sides are great for handling.  They washed up as nice as new, and didn’t leave any stains or residue.  There are no rough places or paint imperfections, and the paint is so deep and vibrant!

These work great in a broiler or oven, and are dishwasher safe!  You can purchase them on Amazon HERE.

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I am always so impressed with all of Harold Import Company‘s products!  I’ve done several reviews for them, and every time, I am pleased, impressed, surprised, and excited to share my opinion.   They carry a number of brands in addition to their own, and their collection of kitchen equipment, tools, and supplies is quite impressive!  Go take a look at their other exciting products, and pick up some ramekins of your own!

Click here to find out where to buy HIC Porcelain

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*This posting was sponsored by HIC – Brands That Cook but all opinions are strictly my own

Tropical Traditions {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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 Our big old oven in our little drafty Boston apartment creates a lot of heat and takes a million years to cool down, so I completely avoid cooking with the stove the entire summer.  As soon as the season changes, I’m a baking fool.  I think I’ve made banana bread every week since Labor day.  One of my favorite banana recipes of all time includes coconut oil, which I’ve never actually cooked with before until I received this beautifully enormous quart jar of coconut oil from Tropical Traditions!

Tropical Tradition’s Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website HERE.

 By the way, I’ve already made three different loafs of banana bread with this coconut oil, and every batch turns out better than the last.  Here’s my banana bread from last week.  Bananas + coconut oil = so richly tropical and practically sinfully tasty!

I’m also pretty excited about finding some facial scrub recipes that include coconut oil.  You can visit Tropical Tradition’s website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil and to read all about the advantages of buying coconut oil online.  Here is also a great website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Tropical Traditions also has several very popular recipe videos on their YouTube channel that are free to use.

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

 One lucky winner will win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the evening of Sunday, December 30th and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within a week, a new winner will be drawn.

Glove By HIC Brands That Cook® {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I was recently asked for ideas of what I’d like for Christmas, and silicone bakeware was practically the only thing I could think of!  I love everything about silicone kitchenware lately!  I love that it is lightweight, flexible, doesn’t rust, doesn’t morph, doesn’t stain, etc. etc. etc.

Imagine my delight when HIC Brands That Cook® asked if I would review a Fits Like A Glove Silicone Glove.  Perfect timing for all the holiday baking going on right now!

This Glove is obviously made of silicone so its completely flexible.  It is hygienic, durable, and heat resistant.  I can see myself using this same glove in twenty years.

My favorite features:

  • It can handle anything up to 500 degrees.  I sat here holding this pizza pan for more than a minute trying to get the settings right on my camera, and my hand felt as warm as it would being held out above a toaster.   In a regular mitt, I would surely have felt a burn by that point.
  • I love that if I thumb the casserole, I can run the glove under the sink and have it clean and dry instantly.  I could even throw it in the dishwasher if I wanted.  I don’t have to worry about scraping food off and waiting for wash day to get it back.
  • I love that it takes up practically zero space.  I have a drawer full of crusty oven mitts.  So full its hard to shut all the way.  I don’t at all like collecting oven mitts, I think I’ve just looking for the right one, and until now have been afraid to throw them out.

Welcome to my kitchen, Glove.  See ya later drawer of crusty quilted fabric mitts.  You are so last year.

You can buy yourself one on Amazon HERE for $12.99!

*This post was sponsored by HIC Brands That Cook®, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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