Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Wonderful Wonderffle

Here's a quick step by step for using one of my favorite new kitchen toys for those of you who are interested in exactly how it works.  It's the Wonderffle Stuffed Waffle Maker.  It's available in cast iron or aluminum and I got the cast iron.  It's pretty heavy, heavier than my 10 inch cast iron skillet, but I really enjoy using it and I'm glad I didn't go with the aluminum one, which is a little less expensive.

The first thing you have to do before using it the first time is season it per the directions that come with it. Tip: Once is not enough! The waffles will stick.  Season it twice.

Once it's ready to use, here's how to do it:

Turn 2 burners on low and separate the top from the bottom and sit each one on a burner to preheat.

While it's preheating, prepare the batter, get a small container of water, get the filling ready, and have some non-stick spray available.

Test the temperature of both sides by dipping a finger into the water and slinging a few drops on them. When the water sizzles and disappears quickly, it's ready to use.

Leave the top piece on the burner to continue preheating while you remove the bottom with the removable lifter to hot pads or a trivet.  Spray with non-stick spray, being sure to coat it entirely all over, including the bottom side of the lifter ring. Return it to the burner and fill it with enough batter to cover the grids on the bottom. 

Add filling(s). Don't allow fillings to touch the metal. 

Top with more batter, bringing the volume up almost up to the top.

Remove the Top from the preheating burner to the hot pad/trivet and spray with non-stick spray, coating entire inner surface.  Hook onto the bottom piece that's holding the batter and close.

Immediately turn over once you close it and cook on low for 6 minutes.  Notice how low the flame is. I'm cooking with propane, and have the setting on as low as it will go.  Yours may be different, but it's important to cook over low heat.

Turn over and cook on low for another 6 minutes. You can partially open the top after flipping to see how the cooked side looks at this point if you want to.

Remove from heat after both sides have cooked for 6 minutes, unhook top and move it to your stovetop or a hotpad/trivet, you're done with it.  Using a silicone glove or hot pad, grasp lifter ring by the handles and place waffle onto a plate.


There you go, ready to enjoy.



This one was stuffed with crumbled Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage only. That's what my husband wanted.  He topped it with butter and syrup.

I've discovered that any liquid batter will work in this.  So far, I've used cornbread and cake batters. Next, I'm going to use a muffin batter.  

You can stuff these with anything you want as long as it's already fully cooked.  I always heat my fillings and keep them warm before adding them in, except in the case of the Devil's food cake batter, which I stuffed with 2 cut up Reese's Peanut Butter cups.  The chocolate melted beautifully and the peanut butter center was soft and gooey.  I sprinkled it with a little powdered sugar before serving. It was good!

The only drawback that's occurred to me is that it takes 12 minutes to cook 1 stuffed waffle, so if you want to make multiple ones, it's another 12 minutes before the next one will be ready.  I've considered getting a second one, and I may get the aluminum just to see what the differences are.  I don't know if it has a non-stick coating on the inside of it, I need to investigate that. I can't imagine it cooking as evenly and beautifully as the cast iron one!



Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Snickerdoodle Caramel Apple Cobbler

 



I found the original recipe for this at www.krusteaz.com and altered it to suit my tastes.

Ingredients:

1 box Krusteaz Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix

½ cup  melted butter, plus more softened butter to dot on top

1 egg

1 can apple pie filling, cut apples into smaller pieces

Caramel topping (Smucker's or Ghirardelli are both good, get one that’s a squirt bottle, not a jar with a lid that unscrews)

¼ cup cinnamon / sugar mixture (add however much cinnamon you want to ¼ cup sugar)

 

Directions:

Disregard directions on cookie mix box.  Combine the mix, ½ cup melted butter, and egg together and stir until dough forms.  Press half the dough into the bottom of a 8 by 8 inch deep baking dish that's been coated with butter flavored non-stick spray. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, remove from oven, leave oven turned on.

Combine the spice packet that comes with the cookie mix with the ¼ cup of cinnamon / sugar mixture in a bowl and stir to mix evenly.  Sprinkle a thin layer of it over the baked cookie layer.

Spoon the chopped pie filling into the baking dish next, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle with half of the remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Drizzle caramel topping all over the top, about 1/3 of the container’s worth. 

Using your fingers, pinch little pieces, about dime size, of the dough and drop onto the apple layer to cover the top.  There will be spaces in between the dough where the apples will show.  Don’t press the dough all together to completely hide the apples, just drop the bits of dough onto the surface as evenly as possible until it’s all gone.  Sprinkle the top with remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture. 

 Finally, drizzle more caramel over the top, generously.  Remember, this is a cobbler, and the caramel goo is what makes it so good.  Just put however much you want.  At least another 1/3 of what’s left in the container, minimum. 

Dot the surface with little bits of butter here and there. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cookie layer on top is nicely browned and the center is not sunken. 

You can use ANY flavor canned pie filling you want in this recipe!!!  Blackberry, blueberry, and peach, and strawberry would all be good combinations with the cinnamon and caramel goodness in this recipe.

It's so good!



 


 


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I came across this great recipe by Holly Lofthouse, at Life in the Lofthouse.  You can find lots of great recipes there, along with a video of how to make this ice cream, which requires no cooking, no churning, and no ice cream machine! Holly is a mother, wife, and friend that loves to create easy and delicious recipes, and I'm so glad she's willing to share them!

Here's her recipe for this awesome ice cream, and if you'd like to watch her video, here's the link to that: https://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/easy-strawberry-cheesecake-ice-cream-no-machine-required/?jwsource=cl

Photo Courtesy of Holly Lofthouse
Image courtesy of Holly Lofthouse


Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

A delicious strawberry cheesecake ice cream. So easy and no ice cream machine required!

 Prep Time 6 hours

 Total Time 6 hours

 Author Holly      https://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/   

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 ounce tub Cool Whip
  • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 Golden Oreo cookies about half the package
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 21 ounce can strawberry pie filling (I used Duncan Hines)

Instructions

1.         In a large bowl, add the sweetened condensed milk, cool whip, cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract. With a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Set aside.

2.         In a food processor (or you can use a large ziplock bag and rolling pin) add the Golden Oreos and 1/4 cup butter. Combine and crush together until crumbly.

3.         Dump the Oreo crumbs into the center of the batter, then pour the can of Strawberry pie filling over the Oreo crumbs. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the filling and crumbs into the ice cream batter. *Only fold 2 or 3 times. You want swirls in the ice cream, so don’t over mix. Pour mixture into a standard loaf pan and cover tightly with saran wrap.

4.         Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight. Then serve and enjoy! ♥

© Life In The Lofthouse

Printed with permission from Holly Lofthouse.

I've already got multiple variations floating around in my head!  I'm going to get creative and see what I can substitute the Oreo cookies and strawberry pie filling with.  Looks like it's a very versatile recipe!

I love how easy this is to do.  Thanks, Holly!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Energy Bars



 

Dry Ingredients

3         Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets, any flavor

1/3      cup Craisins, processed into smaller pieces

1/2      cup roasted, salted almonds, smashed into smaller pieces

1/2      cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1         cup Kashi Go Honey Almond Flax Crunch cereal, clumps broken up

1/4      cup granulated white sugar

1         tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed

1         tablespoon cinnamon

1/2      teaspoon salt


Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well.

 

Wet Ingredients

3              tablespoons Mrs. Butterworth’s or other syrup

1 ½          tablespoons honey

1              tablespoon vanilla

 

Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl, stir together and add to dry ingredients.

Stir together well until all dry ingredients are evenly moistened.

Spray the bottom of a spatula with butter flavored non-stick spray.

Spoon mixture into a 13 by 9 inch rimmed sheet pan coated with butter flavored non-stick spray and press surface tightly and evenly, smoothing surface.  Alternately, spoon mixture into the wells of a silicone bar making pan and press firmly to pack tightly.


Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

If using silicone bar maker, remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before placing bars on wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 bars.

If using sheet pan, use a sharp serrated knife to cut into desired shape/size while still warm from oven.

 







Notes:

  • Pampered Chef sells this silicone snack bar maker set which is perfect for making these bars.
  • Break up the cereal clumps by placing into a zip lock bag and smashing. 
  • You can break the almonds into smaller pieces using the same method.

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe





This is absolutely my favorite pie crust because it's so flaky and delicious!  Beyond that, it's not hard to make and it rolls out beautifully.

I've altered this recipe from Tara's at https://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/11/all-butter-really-flakey-pie-dough/ and she has a video you can watch if you want to visit her site. You can make it her way, or make it my way.... they're both great!

Here's how I do it...

You need the following ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed in container before measuring out
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks frozen butter, NOT unsalted
1/2 cup very cold water, plus more

I suggest, if you love to bake, keeping sticks of butter in your freezer at all times.  I'm often grabbing some of it out of mine, mostly for crusts and biscuits.  If you don't already do that, the night before you plan to bake a pie, freeze 2 sticks of butter.  This recipe makes 2 crusts.  If you only need one, you can keep one refrigerated for up to a week, or freeze it for up to 2 months.

Remove the frozen butter from the freezer and cut it into pats, then just pile all the pats up and cut them into chunks with a sharp knife.  Put them into a bowl and put them back into the freezer right away while you prep the other ingredients.



This is the size chunks I like to cut the frozen butter into.



Measure the flour out into a large mixing bowl and whisk the sugar and salt into it to evenly distribute.



Add the frozen butter and toss around with your hands to fully coat them all with the flour mixture.

The frozen butter, ready to mix into the flour



Once the butter is evenly distributed, add a half cup of the water to the mixture and use your hands to quickly distribute it into the flour/butter mixture.  There's no need to break the butter up into smaller chunks because you've already done it and that allows the butter to stay nice and cold. It should feel cold on your hands during the entire process. 

Work the dough with both hands to bring it together, adding more cold water as needed, a little at a time, just until the dough holds together.  

Held together!

Divide in half



Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate

See those lighter patches in there?  That's butter, and you want the butter to be visible like that all the way through the entire process because that's what makes it flaky.


Chill the dough for 2 hours, then remove it to a floured surface and coat your rolling pin with flour.



Roll out the dough right away while cold.  Transfer to a pie plate very lightly coated  with butter flavored non-stick spray. Rolling the dough onto the rolling pin and then unrolling it over the pie plate is a simple way of making the transfer.

This crust is about to be used for a new recipe I've just developed for a Peaches and Cream pie!


Trim away any excess, then fold the edges under and then crimp or decorate crust edge as desired.  It's now ready to add a pie filling to and bake.

If you're baking a double crust pie, roll the second one out and top pie as desired.

This crust is also really good to use with cobblers, using both discs.  Roll them into the shape you need for your baking dish.  Place one on the bottom and the other on the top.  I like to use the handle end of a wooden spoon to press the top crust down into the cobbler filling here and there, then brush it with a little milk or egg wash and sprinkle it with sanding sugar or sugar before baking.

Here's that Peaches and Cream Pie!



Monday, July 20, 2020

Cowpoke Casserole


This is a ramped up cowboy version of Shepherd's Pie! 
I found this recipe on Pinterest a good while back, and I don't remember who to give the credit to, but this version has been altered by me and is not exactly like the one I found.

Here's how I decided to make it:

Ingredients
One package Idahoan Smoky Cheddar and Bacon mashed potatoes, prepared per package directions
8 strips bacon, cooked, use strips OR crumbled (cook it in the microwave for good crispiness)
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped onions (or a drained can of fire roasted corn) (or both!)
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 15 oz. can fire roasted Rotel tomatoes, drained
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 cup salsa of your choice
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese


Directions
Prepare potatoes per package directions. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onions. 
Caramelize the onions, then add beef to skillet and cook until browned. 
Drain off fat. 
If using corn instead of onions, cook beef, drain, return to pan, add corn and mix well.
Add tomatoes, chili powder, salsa, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well.

     
Spread potatoes evenly over the surface of the meat mixture.



Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and lattice the bacon strips   
on top, or sprinkle crumbled bacon. 


        
Return to oven for additional  10 to 15 minutes, until thoroughly hot.

Dig in!!





Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sweet Summer Squash Quick Bread


Since I have an abundance of summer squash right now, I decided it was the perfect time to make a quick bread with it.  Zucchini and summer squash are interchangeable in quick bread recipes, so if you have a great zucchini bread recipe you like, try it with summer squash, or give this version a try next time you have some extra summer squash on hand.  This recipe makes 2 standard sized loaves.

Ingredients

Pan Coat:
Butter flavored non-stick spray
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
*Pour leftover sugar/cinnamon mixture into a small container, you will use it later*

Dry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Wet:
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup water or orange juice

Also:
2 cups grated yellow squash (peel and remove seeds before grating)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Directions

Peel the squash and scrape the seeds out of the center.  Grate squash, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.





Spray 2 loaf pans generously with non-stick spray.  Combine the pan coat sugar and cinnamon amounts together, stir to mix well, coat sprayed pans and set aside.


Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk together well.


Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, mix together, pour into dry ingredients.
Mix with a spoon, no electric mixer necessary. 
Add grated squash and nuts if using, stir in.



Place half of batter into each prepared loaf pan. 
Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of each loaf if using and run the tines of a dinner fork lightly across the surface to "plant" the seeds into the batter.



Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour.  Use a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center to check for doneness. It should come out clean. 
Remove from oven and run a thin bladed knife all the way around the edge to loosen from pans. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 
While still warm, brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle the left over pan coat mixture over the top of each loaf. 



This quick bread is even better with a little (or more than a little... that's up to you 😉) butter spread on top and warmed in the microwave.  Every single time I do that, it conspires with my coffee and makes me happier somehow.  They get along very well together!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Chocolate Kahlua and Toffee Cheesecake

Where's my fork when I need it most?  My brain hatched a brand spankin' new cheesecake recipe today!


Here's how to make it:

Ingredients

Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 ginger snaps, crushed to crumbs
½ cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
* crust mixture has divided use*

Cheesecake batter
3 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ tablespoons Kahlua
3 large eggs
½ cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits

Topping
Reserved ½ cup crust crumbs
Caramel sauce (Ghirardelli brand is really good)
¼ cup toffee bits

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Generously spray a 10 inch springform pan with butter flavored non-stick spray.

Combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl, mix together well with a fork until all crumbs are moistened.  Pour crust mixture into center of pan, spreading into an even layer to cover the bottom completely, not pressing down.  Use a flat-bottomed measuring cup or small drinking glass to press the crust, starting in the center and working outward and up the side about an inch all the way around.  Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes only, remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing batter.



In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar.  Beat on high speed with electric mixer until smooth.


 In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, Kahlua, and cocoa powder and mix well.  Add sour cream mixture to cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated and smooth. 




Add 3 beaten eggs, beat on medium speed until well incorporated. 
Add toffee bits and stir into batter until evenly distributed. 

 

Pour batter into crust, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon so that batter touches the sides of the pan all the way around.  Swivel pan gently back and forth on countertop to allow air bubbles to rise to the top.  Pop them with a toothpick. 



Place in water bath as shown below. I find this the easiest way to keep moisture away from the bottom of the springform pan. No need to mess with wrapping it in foil!  

To make a water bath, first place springform pan into a larger round baking dish.


Then sit it into an even larger rimmed pan and add about 3/4 of an inch of hot water to the outer pan after you put it in the oven.
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the center jiggles slightly.

Turn oven off and crack door open slightly, allow to cool in oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and gently run thin knife blade all the way around edge to release from side of pan.  Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Remove ring from pan.

Drizzle caramel sauce over top.  Combine reserved crust crumbs and toffee bits in a small bowl.  Sprinkle around outer edge all the way around and place some in center. 

Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.