Thursday, May 31, 2012

Peachy Keen Cobbler

I make this cobbler on days I'm feeling blue.  The bright, orangey-yellow sweetness of the peaches cheers me right up - reminding me that everything will be "peachy keen" again soon.  :)

  • 1 snack pack of diced peaches (4 oz. size)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Pan Insert to Use:  Divider Pan

Servings:  1

1.  Spray insert with non-stick cooking spray and preheat grill.
2.  Pour peaches into a colander and let sit to drain.
3.  Combine all remaining ingredients and mix:

4.  Line a large plate with paper towels; pour drained peaches onto plate in a single layer.
5.  Blot peaches with additional paper towels, removing all excess liquid.
6.  Pour batter into one of the divider wells and top with peaches:

7.  Close lid and cook for 12-17 minutes:

8.  Scoop cobbler into a small bowl and let cool before eating.  Mixture may appear somewhat moist, but will dry up a bit while cooling.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grilled Fluffernutter (or Fluffernutella)

Here's one for the kids - or just for the kid in you!  We gave our old fashioned fluffernutters a new spin when we decided to grill them up.  Heating up the sandwich on the grill allows the peanut butter and the marshmallow creme to mingle beautifully.  We've also made this delicious sandwich with Nutella, and appropriately christened it "Fluffernutella."

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (or Nutella)
  • 1-2 tablespoons marshmallow creme
  • butter or margarine, for frying

Pan Insert to Use:  Base Unit

Servings:  1 sandwich

1.  Preheat grill.
2.  Spread one slice of bread with the peanut butter and one slice of bread with the marshmallow creme:

3.  Assemble sandwich and spread a very thin layer of butter or margarine on the outer sides of bread:

4.  Place in grill, close lid, and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

5.  Flip sandwich and cook for 2-4 minutes on opposite side.  Let cool before eating, marshmallow creme will be very hot!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

With all the oatmeal recipes I have in my arsenal, you'd think that I actually love the stuff.  But if you know me at all (or have read earlier posts), you'd know that is simply not the case.  However, I know that oatmeal is good for you, so I'm constantly trying to find new ways to make it bearable - and dare I say... tasty.  These oatmeal cookies do just that.  I add a full 2 tablespoons of raisins to mine (though you probably don't really need that many).  These cookies are better warm, and sometimes I even have a couple for breakfast (Shhh! Don't tell!).

  • 2 tablespoons quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1-2 tablespoons raisins (depending on taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon dried egg white powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Pan Insert to Use:  Mini Food Pan

Servings:  About 6 cookies

1.  Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat grill.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together thoroughly:

3.  Divide batter among the cooking wells:

4.  Close lid and cook for 12-14 minutes.  Test doneness with a toothpick inserted in center of cookies:

5.  Let cool before eating.  Store in an airtight container.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

In this house, we go through lots of peanut butter and peanut butter flavored foods.  Peanut butter is excellent to cook with because it usually requires little else for flavor.  The peanut butter itself is a delicious flavor, and it can certainly stand alone.  That's one of the things I love about these cookies - they're just so simple!  The other great thing about them - you can measure and mix up the dry ingredients, store them in a bag, and keep them in your pantry for "peanut-butter-cookies-in-a-hurry."

Please note:  In my humble opinion, these cookies are far better the day after.

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried egg white powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons water

Pan Insert to Use:  Mini Food Pan

Servings:  About 8 cookies

1.  Spray pan with non-stick spray and preheat grill.
2.  Mix together first 5 dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, sugar, egg white powder, and baking soda:

3.  In a small bowl, melt the butter and the peanut butter chips in the microwave:

4.  Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients.  Add the water and mix thoroughly:

5.  Spoon batter into wells and close lid.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.  Check doneness with a toothpick inserted in center of cookies.

6.  Spoon remaining batter into wells and repeat cooking process until all batter is used.  Let cool before eating.  Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Full Round Pan vs. Base Unit

I just wanted to talk for a minute about the difference between using the base unit and the full round pan.  Both hold the same quantity of food, but there is one major difference that you need to account for when using either of them.  The base unit cooks faster.  If you make a grilled sandwich in the full round pan, it could take up to 15 minutes.  The same sandwich can be done in the base unit in under 4.  So, if you want something to cook a little slower, use the pan.  If you want it to cook a little faster, use the base unit.  Generally speaking, the base unit is ideal for grilling and frying; the full round pan is best for baking and simmering.  Use the following chart for reference:

Base Unit
French Toast
Base Unit
Large Cookies
Full Round Pan
Cakes & Brownies
Full Round Pan
Base Unit
Large Pancakes
Base Unit
Soups & Stews
Full Round Pan
Potatoes & Veggies
Base Unit
Full Round Pan
Base Unit

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Always use non-stick cooking spray on your pan inserts for easier food removal. Even if you use butter or margarine for frying, a light spritz of non-stick cooking spray will help. If you're afraid of the spray flavor mingling with your butter/margarine, use butter-flavored spray.  

Non-stick cooking spray comes in a variety of flavors: butter, olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil.  Some specialty flavors are best found online, but always check your local grocer first.  If they don't carry the flavor you want, you could always ask them to.  Sometimes all they need is a little nudge.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Grilled Pimiento Cheese on Sourdough

This is an adult take on the classic "grilled cheese."  Using pimiento cheese adds a bit of sweet spiciness, and the sourdough compliments it well.  The first time I ate this, my kid thought it was a traditional cheese sandwich and asked for a bite.  What kind of mother would I be if I said no?  She took one bite and quickly swallowed it.  When I asked if she wanted more, she replied by simply walking out of the kitchen.  :)

  • 2 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons of pimiento cheese spread
  • butter, for frying

Pan Insert to Use:  Base Unit

Servings: 1

1.  Preheat grill.
2.  Spread pimiento cheese on one slice of bread.  Top with other slice of bread.

3.  Spread butter on top and bottom of sandwich.

4.  Place in grill, close lid, and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until nicely browned on underside.
5.  Flip sandwich carefully and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes.

6.  Remove from grill.  Let cool enough to eat.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bacon Ranch Baked Potatoes

On days when I'm just too exhausted to prepare an entire meal, these potatoes make an excellent easy side dish.  They're so yummy, that I even make them for lunch sometimes.  Ranch dressing and bacon make a perfect pairing for atop these delicious "baked" potatoes.  With only four ingredients and about 20 minutes, you can make these, too!

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 4 tablespoons (heaping) pre-cooked, crumbled bacon
  • butter or margarine, for frying

Pan Insert to Use:  Base Unit

Servings: 2-4

1.  Preheat grill.
2.  Wash potatoes and slice lengthwise.
3.  Coat potatoes with butter or margarine - on all sides:

4.  Lay two potato halves skin-side-down in the grill.  Lay other 2 potato halves on top with skins facing up.  You may have to offset the potatoes slightly so that the unit will close:

5.  Close lid and cook for 12-15 minutes.  Test doneness by sticking a fork in center of potatoes.  Carefully remove from grill when done.

6.  Slice potatoes lengthwise (not through the skin) and mash up middles slightly with a fork.
7.  Top each of the potatoes with 1 tablespoon ranch dressing and 1 heaping tablespoon bacon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake

Sometimes it's hard to get my kid to eat a normal meal.  But it's never hard to get her to eat cake.  Who doesn't love cake?  That's why I decided to make a peanut butter and jelly cake.  The yumminess of cake, with the familiarity of good ole' PB&J.  Ok, so I might be trying to get her to associate peanut butter and jelly with cake... so what?!?  Don't judge me.  ;)  Seriously though, the best thing about making this cake is that it makes you want to sing the "Peanut Butter Jelly Song."  You know the one - with the dancing banana?

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons jelly
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla pudding mix (reserve remaining mix for a later use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Frosting and Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • jelly, for filling

Pan Insert to Use:  Full Round Pan

Servings: 6-8

1.  Spray full round pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat grill.
2.  Mix wet cake ingredients in a large bowl:  eggs, peanut butter, oil, jelly, and vanilla extract.
3.  Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth, removing all lumps:  brown sugar, flour, pudding mix, cinnamon, and baking powder.
4.  Pour half of the batter into the full round pan and close lid of grill.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.
5.  When cake is done (test center with a toothpick), remove carefully from pan by flipping upside-down onto a large plate.
6.  Quickly wipe pan with a paper towel, being careful not to burn yourself.  Coat pan with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray.  Return pan to grill.
7. Pour remaining half of batter into pan and close lid.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.
8.  When cake is done (test center with a toothpick), remove from pan by flipping upside down onto a second large plate.  Let both cakes cool completely.
9.  While cakes are cooling, mix together your frosting ingredients: peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar.  If frosting is a little too thick to spread, thin it out with milk or water (adding 1 teaspoon at a time).

10.  When cakes are cool, spread 1 cake top with jelly (filling):

11.  Top with other cake layer.  Spread peanut butter frosting all over top and sides:

12..  Keep cake covered and refrigerated.  When serving, cut a slice and let "warm up" to room temperature for about 15 minutes or so.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bacon Stuffed French Toast

We love French toast in this house because it's so versatile.  You can bake it, fry it, stuff it, serve it with flavored syrups or topped with fruit, et cetera.  No matter how I make it, it has to be served with bacon (the hubby loves bacon).  The only problem I have with bacon is the mess it makes.  Whether on the stove top, in the microwave, or in the oven, bacon grease will get splattered and will need to be cleaned.  Needless to say, I love it when I can find ways to use pre-cooked bacon in lieu of cooking my own bacon.  Not only does it save me a mess, it saves me cooking time as well.  So, here is one of my many recipes that uses pre-cooked, crumbled bacon (not to be confused with bacon bits or bacon flavored chips...blech).  This stuff is real bacon.

  • 2 slices Texas toast (or other thick bread)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Pan Insert to Use:  Base Unit

Servings: 1

1.  Spray grill with non-stick spray and preheat.
2.  Spread each piece of Texas toast with 1/2 tablespoon of the softened cream cheese.
3.  Place bacon on 1 slice of bread, and place other slice of bread cream-cheese-side-down on top (essentially making a cream cheese and bacon sandwich).

4.  Mix together egg, milk, syrup, and cinnamon in a bowl; dip "sandwich" into mixture and place on the grill.

5.  Close lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until beautifully browned.  If your bread is too thin, you may need to flip and add another 3-4 minutes of cooking time.
6.  Serve with additional syrup.

Instead of using bacon, try crumbled sausage or Canadian bacon.