I love preparing a really nice healthy gourmet meal when it is the holidays. However, if you have been following my blog for any period of time, you know that my motto, when it comes to cooking "the easier, the better". Sometimes preparing those elaborate meals can involve a lot of clean up and that is just not my forte. I was thrilled when I was chosen by Handi-Foil to review some of their wonderful 100% recycled aluminum products. Handi-Foil sent me:
- (2) 13x 9 Cake Pans and Lids
- (2) Roaster/Baker Pans and Lids
- Giant All Purpose Pan and Lid
- (3) Storage Containers with Board Lids
- (3) Muffin Pans with Baking Cups
- King Roaster
Some of these products are all decked out for Christmas. The cake pans that I received were Christmas trees and Santa Claus. Perfect for baking a cake, decorating it right in the pan, top off with the lid and all ready to go to a school party or luncheon you may be attending.
For my review of some of the pans, I used two of the roasters with lids and one of the cake pans. I did not bake a cake in it but it was perfect for the dish that made. Let me show you how it all turned out.
The meat that I chose to make was a Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, side dishes were a Green Bean Casserole, and Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes.
For the pork loin, I prepared it the day before so that it could marinate over night.
I started with a 4-5 lb. center cut pork loin roast. Seasoned it with 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and about 1 tsp. of fresh ground pepper. I used 8 slices of uncooked bacon and placed them crosswise all the way around the pork loin. Once the pork is wrapped with bacon slices, top it off with 2 tsp. of any type of all purpose seasoning. Pour in 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
I also prepared my Green Bean Casserole the day before just for the sake of saving time. For the casserole you will need 2 (10 oz) packages of frozen green beans, of course, if you would like to do fresh, please by all means. Cook beans per package directions or if they need to be cook on the stove top, just cook them for about 4 minutes. Set aside, green beans. For the sauce, you will need 2 tsp. of Olive Oil, 1/2 of a small onion, diced, 1 10 oz. package of mushrooms, sliced, 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth and 2 tbsp. flour. First, in a pan, combine the olive oil and onion, cook that until onions are soft, then add in mushrooms, allowing the mushrooms to also cook until browned, about 6 minutes. While that is cooking, take the chicken broth and flour and mix together, I used a glass mason jar to shake it up in. Once mushrooms are browned, add the chicken broth mixture to onions and mushrooms, simmer about 2 minutes. Stir in green beans and mix well. Transfer to a baking dish (a.k.a. Handi-Foil pan), top with 1/4 cup French fried onions and 1 slice multigrain bread that has been crumbled into fine crumbs. I left off the French fried onions and bread until the next day when I was ready to bake.
I topped the pork loin and green beans off with their lids and they were put into the fridge for the next day. Handi-Foil makes it so easy and the clean up is minimal. The next day all I had to do was take the lids off and pop the pork loin in first and then the green beans. While the pork and beans were in oven, I prepared my Sweet Potato dish.
I used 3 sweet potatoes and placed them in a large sauce pan, covered with water, brought them to a boil, reduce heat, covered, and let them simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Once they are nice and tender, remove from the water, let cool, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out one of your Handi-Foil bakers, peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into large chunks, place them in the baker. In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp. butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, and 2 tbsp. shredded coconut and cook about 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to stir constantly. Sprinkle that mixture over the sweet potatoes. Top with pecans, if desired. Bake for about 10 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
And the finished meal..................
I served directly from the Handi-Foil Bakers and the clean up was so easy, no washing of pans and putting them away, left overs went into containers and the bakers went straight to my recycle bin. Yes, that's right. The good news about Handi-Foil is not only are they made from 100% recycled materials but after use they are 100% recyclable, and that is every part of the baker, including the plastic lid, which reduces our carbon footprint. I love it!
As we all get busy during the holidays, I know that I am always looking for ways to make preparing good wholesome meals quicker and with less clean up time. Not only will I be using Handi-Foil during the holidays but I am going to implement them into my every day cooking throughout the year. Handi-Foil is earth friendly and affordable. I would like to thank Handi-Foil for supplying me with these wonderful bakers for preparing this meal. Not only did Handi -Foil provide me with some of their wonderful products, but they would like to give a Kathryn's Kloset reader a $30 Gift Pack of Christmas Pans and an Eco-Foil T-Shirt. Awesome! Thanks again, Handi-Foil. Be sure and follow Handi-Foil on Facebook and Twitter for more ideas on how to use their products.