I’m part of a 50 blogger giveaway promotion sponsored by the the Cooking Planit menu and recipe “personal assistant” and T-fal cookware. My own giveaway begins this Friday. Check the chart at the bottom of this post for a complete listing of all the participating bloggers and their giveaway dates.
This weekend, I cooked dinner using Cooking Planit and my new T-Fal non-stick skillet. I enjoyed poring over the recipes on the Cooking Planit site so much that it took me longer to decide on my menu than to prepare and cook the dishes. Here is what I made:
I’ve been intrigued by Cooking Planit ever since they contacted me because the company and I have the same basic philosophy – cooking great tasting meals isn’t difficult if you choose recipes that fit your taste and skills, and stay organized when you shop and prepare the meal.
I also wanted to try the cookware because I have a well-loved T-fal crêpe pan, that my daughter and I have both enjoyed using. I have never owned a non-stick skillet or sauté pan and was curious as how well it works.
Although you can customize your meal (choosing 2 or more Cooking Planit individual recipes, or use a Cooking Planit recipe in combination with dishes from other sources), I decided to let Cooking Planit pair dishes for me.
After looking through the “meal ideas” section of the Cooking Planit site, I chose a 2-dish meal: cornmeal shrimp and potato hash. The flavors in the dishes went well together, both were quite simple to prepare, and we (my husband and I) thought they were delicious.
A few of my favorite aspects of the Cooking Planit site/app:
- Cooking Planit works on both laptops/desktop computers and smartphones (iPhones and Androids) and all the versions sync. I’m no tech whiz, so it all seems rather magical to me; you can search for a recipe or meal using a large screen version, then use the grocery list on your phone, and prepare the meal or dish using either, or an iPad if you have one. The phone version even has voice prompts, allowing you to say “move on,” rather than touch the phone with your greasy fingers, to advance to the next step. You do have to scroll down manually if a step includes more than one screen of text, but the voice prompt is still a help.
- The grocery list lets you cross off items you already have at home, so you can customize the shopping list for your meal or dish to include only the items you need to buy. If someone else is doing the shopping, you can email the list to him/her too. The list is detailed enough to be helpful. For example, instead of stating just the required amount of shrimp, it specifies that they must be peeled and deveined. If you don’t like to do that preparation yourself, you are on notice to look for raw shrimp already peeled and deveined.
- The instructions include a list of required cooking appliances and equipment. Although the list isn’t foolproof (cut these guys a break, the site is still new and they are appreciative of feedback), you’ll have a good sense for what you need to pull together for your equipment mise en place, as well as your ingredients. Other than my own blog, I rarely see a list of required equipment with a recipe. Kudos to Cooking Planit for emphasizing the importance of gathering equipment before starting to cook. If you’ve ever gotten part way through a recipe, only to realize that you lack a crucial piece of equipment or have to scurry around to find an item you’ve squirreled away, you know what I mean.
- You can choose the number of servings (2, 4 or 6) that you want to make. I chose 2, for hubby and me, and the generous, but reasonable, portions were just right.
- The preparation and cooking instructions are simple and clear, with steps cut up in manageable chunks. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that you’ll finish a Cooking Planit meal or recipe feeling accomplished, not harried.
Ease of shopping and preparation is all good, but it’s the final result that really put these recipes, and Cooking Planit, on my “keeper” list.
PS – The T-fal large skillet worked well for cooking the shrimp. I was surprised at how nicely they browned and the pan distributed the heat evenly so all the shrimp got done at the same time. Now I want to try more recipes for lightly fried or sautéed food using the pan; I’m thinking of Maryland-style crabcakes, fried green tomatoes, and my mom’s chicken cutlets – not all at the same time of course.
What do you like to make in a non-stick skillet?
The fine print: The giveaways are open to US citizens only. Limit one-winner per household/per family from the 50 blogs participating in the promotion. If an individual wins more than one giveaway, she/he will receive only one set of cookware and an alternate winner will be chosen for the other set(s). I received a set of the cookware from T-fal and have agreed to write posts on using it and the Cooking Planit app, but those companies have no control over the content of the posts I write or any ways in which I may choose to promote my posts or the giveaways.
on 2013-08-23 02:22 by motherwouldknow
The good folks at Cooking Planit let me know that I got a little ahead of them – the Android app for Cooking Planit is in the works, but is not yet live. Sorry about the confusion. (I’m an iPhone user, and I love using the app on my phone.)