It’s like it’s summer outside. In fact, we’ve had balmy weather since March. Yes, I am concerned about the extreme climate changes, but this year….after TWO horrendous winters…. this is fantastic!So we have already kicked off the party season hosting friends for a nice evening outside. The weather was perfect. The guests were friends who are always willing participants for games and promote good times and lots of laughter.
Giant Jenga can be a real ice breaker
Homemade Sangria can be refreshing in warm weather. Our secret …let the fruit soak in brandy overnight. If you soaked some cherries use them in your Black Forest cake.
After a tasty dinner of summer foods I brought out the Toas-Tite sandwich makers. Some of the guests weren’t quite sure about this. They knew I used them a lot, but they never had the opportunity to try one. Well, this was their lucky day! My friend, Tina has a ‘partner in crime’. His name is Bob. Bob is a pro with Toas-Tites. He grew up in Mt. Prospect, IL. Bob had his first Toas-Tite in the ’60′s. The first time I brought out a Toas-Tite in front of Bob, he immediately got that smile all do when they see a Toas-Tite after so many years.
The guests circled around the kitchen table. Bob coated the inside of each Toas-Tite with cooking spray and passed it on to a willing pie creator. I presented a variety of ingredients to make sumptuous Toas-Tite dessert pies. I also had white and cinnamon bread.
The mix of sweet stuffings for the Toas-Tite is unlimited. I tried to present a sample of the many options.
Hershey’s chocolate bars are practically legendary in Toas-Tite origins. They can be used with almost anything. It is chocolate.
I also like Entenmann’s Brownie Bits. They are fantastic for Black Forest cake. (A shout out to Joules, from Seattle, for the Black Forest pie recipe.)
(I have another great recipe for Entenmann’s Brownie Bits. IT IS the very, very most decadent Toas-Tite chocolate pie ever. Unbelievable!!! You’ll see that recipe soon.)
Besides chocolate, fresh fruit is in season now and that opens up so many new ideas. I sprinkled a little brown sugar on the bananas… just because. Nuts, marshmallow, Fluff, peanut butter, no/low sugar jams can round out the choices.
We all cooked our Toas-Tites in the BBQ. Just stick the Toas-Tite in there for a minute or so. Let it cool a few moments, open it up, pop it out and enjoy.
Don’t forget the ice cream or whipped cream topping.
Black Forest Cake
Entenmann’s Brownie Bits
Hershey’s chocolate bar
Cherry pie filling
Place 1/2 Hershey’s bar on bread. Add 2 tsp. cherries, 1-2 broken brownie bits and cream cheese. If you collected some of those Sangria cherries now is the time to use them.
Black Forest Cake — Toas-Tite Style
What a way to start the summer!
It’s morning again. I hate the alarm. I’m not naturally an early riser.
It doesn’t make much difference whether it’s Monday or any of the other “business daze”. It doesn’t matter that kids need help getting ready for their day. It’s just so hard to get up and go! seize the day! zzzzzzzzzz
A breakfast is what is needed. Get some fuel to activate the metabolism. A delicious, willing to get out of bed for, breakfast. But it’s got to be quick, with little cleanup. That’s important.
Once again, Toas-Tite to the rescue. Toas-Tite makes the most delicious, pancakes ever. There are so many choices of frozen pancakes in the market. Eggo makes some tasty pancakes in varieties like Nutragrain and buttermilk.
Fresh fruit is abundant this time of year and through the summer. Fruit preserves can be a substitute, especially if you try a sugar-free or lighter version.
Even your choice in syrup can be overwhelming. I’m using Agave Nectar. It’s very sweet so you only need a little. Remember, even though the label may show this nectar as a healthier alternative to other syrups, don’t be fooled. This is still syrup so use it sparingly.
2 Eggo pancakes, thawed
Fruit Preserves, sugar-free and lighter selections can be good choices.
Fresh Fruit, “Nature’s dessert“is even better.
Butter or margarine (optional)
Agave Nectar (If you don’t know about agave nectar yet, check this site out)
It’s a nice alternative to the usual breakfast syrups. But beware… it’s still sweet syrup.
After spraying the insides of the Toas-Tite with a cooking spray, place an Eggo pancake, french toast or waffle into each Toas-Tite.
Place some sliced fruit on top of one of the pancakes.
Add a tablespoon of fruit preserves if you really want to get decadent.
It’s optional if you wish to add a pad of butter inside before sealing.
Cook each side for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side at medium heat.
Drizzle a little agave nectar on your pancake Toas-Tite and have a delicious breakfast in less than 5 minutes from start to finish.
Try other combinations. The choices are unlimited.
This Toas-Tite pancake is the most decadent ever.
Inside is a blend of 2 tbsp. Karo light syrup, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, and pecans.
At this point what’s a little Nutella and whipped cream?
Important. Spread these mixtures thinly. If you overfill your pancake the Toas-Tite will not seal properly and a sticky mess will splatter all over your range. Then you will be right back saying Uggh!
Did you know April is Grilled Cheese month? I didn’t. Just found out.
What better way to celebrate grilled cheese month than to make grilled cheese Toas-Tites.
The New York Times recently had a column on ‘The Return of the Toas-Tite’. The best quote about the Toas-Tite sandwich maker was
“It demands cheese”.
That is so right.
The dilemma about cheese is a bazillion flavors and varieties exist. So why stop at one type of cheese when we can blend so many of them together? You can make your own signature Toas-Tite grilled cheese sandwich.
I really didn’t know what three cheeses to use. Since they all taste so good in their individual ways I thought it best to explore the refrigerator and see what kinds of cheese I had available. It turns out I have a lot of cheese. This made my first 3-cheese a difficult choice. I felt like I needed some help to decide. I needed a “wheel of cheese” to choose three random cheeses to create a new recipe.
(This really is the cheesyest wheel!)
And the winners are . . . . Pepper Jack, Colby/Cheddar Shreds and Laughing Cow’s Tomato and Basil. Wow, I never would have thought of this combo.
Because the Pepper Jack is spicy I decided to try a strong flavored bread like Bavarian Rye.
It’s difficult to see the Laughing Cow, but it’s under the pepper jack. It a good idea to spread the cheese on the bread.
Laughing Cow cheese is very soft. Keep the flame on your range low to adequately melt the cheeses together.
Grill one and a half to two minutes on each side.
Remember you can open your Toas-Tite at any time during the cooking process because all your cheesy goodness is sealed in. No drips, no muss, no fuss.
This “little experiment” is a success. Major yummy. I really like the blend of hot and cool cheeses and definitely try the rye bread.
Here’s a cheese combo of cream cheese, cheddar and Laughing Cow Tomato and Basil with a strip of bacon. Everything is better with bacon!
Chinese New Year: 2012, The Year of the Dragon,
is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar.
The Chinese year begins on Jan. 23rd. The year is 4710 .
In honor of the New Year’s Parties (and I LOVE parties!) all over China, let’s make a Toas-Tite on their behalf.
How about an egg roll? Even better, how a about a healthier, Toas-Tite egg roll?
It is not deep-fried in grease like traditional egg rolls.
It’s a delicious, lower carb, crunchy coated egg roll. The Toas-Tite egg roll comes out golden brown and ready to eat in minutes.
This is so easy…
Mandarin pancakes, doilies, aka Peking doilies, aka mu shu shells aka moo shu shells.
These very thin crèpes are used to make mu shu dishes. You can buy them in the frozen foods sections of Asian markets, but they’re easy to make at home. Substitute: flour tortilla
Or check out your favorite recipe website. There are literally thousands of recipes to make these little “Lotus Pads”.
Vegetable/Fish/Beef and/or Poultry
Any take-out leftovers?
Canola Oil (optional)
My egg roll is filled with last night’s Chinese takeout feast. Specifically, Mu Shu Pork in a Mandarin Pancake.
If you want to make the egg roll a little crisper, simple brush the outside of the Toas-Tite (the side touching the clamshell) with [very] little canola oil.
Whenever you are using food out of the refrigerator please remember to grill the Toas-Tite a little lower and a little slower. This will make sure your Toas-Tite is heated thoroughly.
The grilled Mandarin Pancake became a nice crusty shell. It held all the juices and sliced Mu Shu veggies with ease.
A drizzle of plum sauce gave this Toas-Tite egg roll another fabulous flavor.
I still had one more fortune cookie left from last night. You know what it said?
“Have a Toas-Tite great day!” (just kidding…)
What is a Doggie Bag Toas-Tite you ask? Well, it’s your leftover meal from a great dinner you had out last night.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend we went out for a fabulous dinner. I couldn’t finish the full slab of some meaty ribs so asked for a take home container for my leftovers. The next day I sliced the ribs from the bones and added the asparagus to my Toas-Tite sandwich. I used white bread, but many other kinds of bread would be delicious.
Last night’s spectacular dinner
Let’s start with something good and make it better.
This is the easiest Toas-Tite yet! Place your leftovers between slices of bread. Cook 2 minutes each side on medium to low heat.
Absolutely wonderful. Add a little BBQ sauce for dipping.
Wow! What a Thanksgiving! It actually was wonderful. Do I sound surprised? Well…..let’s just say we are just your typical, big family with many points of views.
I was able to gather a few pieces of turkey, some stuffing and a delicious homemade cranberry sauce.
Put that all together on slices of white bread and it’s Thanksgiving all over again.
2 slices of white bread
We started with these ingredients
Our Toas-Tite is put together. Close the Toas-Tite grill and heat 2 minutes each side on a medium to low flame.
Presto! A hot turkey Toas-Tite sandwich. Add a little hot turkey gravy for a dipping sauce.
It’s the night before Thanksgiving. I’m leaving tomorrow morning, 6 am, to spend the 4 day holiday visiting family.
So I didn’t go shopping this week. I didn’t bother to get anything at the grocery because I would be gone. Now here it is, the night before, I’m starving and I don’t want to start the “non-stop nibbling” (that I know I will do during my entire stay).
So I scrounge through my cabinets and find a can of veg-all and a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. I still had a few slices of bread and a piece of chicken. Perfect! I can make a Pot Pie in my Toas-Tite sandwich grill.
2 tsp. of condensed cream of mushroom soup
4 tsp. of veg-all
2 slices of white bread
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the soup and veg-all together. Spray the inside of the two, Toas-Tite clam shells with cooking spray. Place a slice of bread on the Toas-Tite grill and spoon the mixture on to a slice of bread.
Place the other piece of bread on top and close the Toas-Tite. Remove excess bread and cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Turn over for an extra 1-2 minutes.
Presto! A great little sandwich! Think about what else you can make with what you have.