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Friday’s Fotos: Swinging, Praying, and Cooking

The kids decided that all 3 of them would fit on this swing…

Sharing the Swing

…and it worked! (For a little while…)


When I pulled up to our town’s ATM, I noticed a little critter attached to the side of it.

Praying Mantis

(Good thing no one was behind me in line…)


I made a double batch of Shepherd’s Pie in my new Calphalon 5 QT Dutch Oven!! Yum. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shepherd's Pie

(It was awesome to brown the meat and then not have to transfer it to a casserole dish!)

Makes My Monday: Free Stuff!

This is actually a product review for the Calphalon Removable Plate Grill.

Because I’m a member of BigTent (for my mom’s of twins group), I received an email a few weeks ago asking me to join another BigTent group and I’d receive a free Calphalon product in exchange for an honest review put up on their site. Thinking “ya, right…I’ll see THAT product.” I joined anyway. What could it hurt? BigTent already has all of the information that this new group wanted. On Saturday, my Removable Plate Grill showed up at the door. Can you say Happy Dance? ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, come on – you have to admit receiving free stuff would Make your Monday as well ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheryl over at Twinfatuation hosts this one. Head on over to see what else makes peopleโ€™s Mondays (there are always some really good ones!)

Below is the review I put up on their site … with a few extra pictures, and a few extra links.


Removable Plate Grill

As a member of a family that grills outside year-round, I was skeptical about this product at first. Until I read the Panini tips in the user guide. Panini! Of course! The Removable Plate grill is *perfect* for creating delicious paninis.



Just to test it out, I grilled some chicken on it – marinated in Italian dressing – and those turned out nice and juicy. The burgers weren’t a great hit with my kids, but they’re used to the charcoal flavor, so that might have had something to do with it. The hot dogs were well received though.


The grill itself is wonderful! I have owned two George Foreman grills in the past, and this one far out-reaches either of those. The grill is HUGE – perfect for a family of 5.

I love that the grill plates are removable – and SUPER easy to clean off. It’s nice that they go in the dishwasher, but if you’re grilling anything messy, it’s just easier to wash them up in the sink.

It’s wonderful that there’s an up-end storage option … just remember to clean out the internal drip tray first! (Luckily, the folks at Calphalon put a permanent reminder on the bottom grill plate.) The drip tray is great for scraping scraps into before a second round of grilling as well.

My only complaints are that the arrows on the temperature and timer dials are VERY hard to see. If these arrows were black, or outlined in black, it’d be much easier to tell which end indicated the correct temp/time.

And it’s nice that there is a height selector (although, I didn’t actually use it since I like the squishy grill marks on my food), but it seems rather cheap. Every time I move it and close the lid, I’m afraid it’s going to break! (It hasn’t yet though, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.) …this is actually the reason for the 4 stars instead of 5…

The first time I used it there was a LOT of smoke. I was afraid that this would be the case every time, but it was simply a matter of getting all that “newness” out. There was little-to-no smoke the second time I used it.

Overall, a GREAT product. If we didn’t grill outside year-round, I’m sure we’d use this all winter for burgers and stuff. We’ll just have to use it year-round for paninis instead!

Disclaimer: Calphalon sent me this grill for free to review for *their* website. I’m just putting it up over here too.