Comfort Food Toaster Oven Recipes

DCF 1.0Now one small kitchen appliance that you may not expect to find in a high end restaurant kitchen are toaster ovens. There are however quite a few occasions when one of these machines can come in quite handy in a fast paced food prep area. If you do not own one of these then you may be missing out on an opportunity to make quick and delicious meals in half the time and with a fraction of the energy costs of a full sized cooking oven. Before buying one of these small appliances for your kitchen you can check out current toaster oven reviews to see which models are the best on the market.  Here are just a few examples of some of the things that you could be doing with one of these countertop ovens. They certainly can do a lot more than just make toast.

Fast and Simple Toaster Oven Recipes

My personal favorite toaster oven recipe is the good ol’ tortilla chip sandwiches. Many toaster ovens have a little pan that can be placed right onto one of the racks. Pull this out and spray it down with some cooking oil. Place a tortilla chip on the pan and load it up with your favorite taco toppings. I like to plop some refried beans and spicy tomato salsa on top. Then, just as a finishing touch, I carefully add a few jalapeno peppers. Once you’re satisfied with your filling, squash another tortilla chip over top of everything. Make as many of these sandwiches as you can fit on the pan and then throw it in your toaster oven. Set the temperature to about 350 and only keep them in long enough to heat everything up.

S’mores

While we’re on the subject of sandwiches, let’s talk about s’mores! That’s right, you can even make a few s’mores in your toaster oven as a delicious dessert. Or, in my case, a reward for a nice, long run. Assemble your s’mores just as you would as you stand over a campfire. Just make sure you leave the top graham cracker off for now. Toast those puppies up until the marshmallows develop a brilliant golden brown color. Then top it off with your final cracker and chow down!

Say Cheese

S’mores are just one example of toaster oven twist on a classic. Did you know you can even make grilled cheese sandwiches in your little oven-toaster hybrid? Just pretend you’re cooking up some of that cheesy goodness on the oven top, just throw it in your mini version instead. Make sure you pay close attention to where the heat is concentrated, however, or else you may get some strange toasting.

Let’s Go Nuts

Let’s get off this sandwich trip and delve into something more creative. For those of you who love toasted nuts, a toaster oven has you handled in a quarter of the time it takes to make these healthy treats in a normal oven. Experimentation is key here but I do suggest you try out a recipe with a special chocolate twist. Lay a baking liner on your pan and spread some unsalted, raw cashews on the pan in a single layer. Let that toast up for about eight minutes at a temperature of 350. Meanwhile, mix up cocoa powder, powdered sugar and just a touch of salt in a large bowl. While the nuts are still nice and warm, dump them in your mixture and toss them about. These will keep for about a week.

Something Smells Fishy

Who says you can’t go a little gourmet with a toaster oven? This next recipe will prove those nay-sayers wrong! How does some glazed salmon sound? Get your salmon marinated in a mixture of miso, sake (which is a type of Japanese wine), soy sauce, oil and sugar for a minimum of a half hour. Once the salmon is nice and flavored, crank up your toaster oven’s broiler to high. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, rub the extra marinade off the salmon and place that fish right on the foil. Broil for about five minutes are until the top is beautifully charred.

Let’s Do A Little Italian Food

I’ve got one more recipe for you. This is sure to be a hit for you and the whole family. I know this because I lived off this particular recipe when I was a kid. Grab some bagels and rip them apart. Spray down your toaster oven pan and plop the bagel halves on top, flat side up. Grab some tomato sauce and spread it evenly over the bread. Then sprinkle a bit (or a lot) of cheese on the sauce. You can even throw parmesan cheese on there for some added flavor. Finish it off with your favorite pizza toppings: pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers or (in my case) some jalapeno peppers. Plop your creation in the toaster oven until the cheese is melted and everything is nice and cozy warm.

There you have it! Once you’ve finished making all these recipes in your nifty toaster oven, you and that strange mini oven will have developed a special bond. One of the models that we recommend is the Breville BOV800XL, it is a full powered smart oven that can handle a whole host of cooking chores.  For another great recipe that you can use to cook a delicious meal in your toaster oven, check out this fantastic video below.

Ice Cream Maker Magic

ice-cream-maker-reviewsWhether it is just a special occasion or a family meal, a smooth, creamy, luscious homemade ice cream is a great way to indulge. There are so many  ice cream recipes to choose from, that not having your very own ice cream maker is a missed opportunity to enjoy one of life’s great treats. Not only is it convenient, but it is a terrific way to bring the family together to work on something fun and delicious.

Today’s best ice cream makers are relatively inexpensive, and if you often eat a lot of ice cream, the machine is certain to pay for itself in no time with the money you save by no longer buying brand name ice cream. They also can make more than just ice cream and can make gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbert and other frozen delights. Discover what you have been missing and look into getting a machine for your kitchen.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Below are a few more examples of what you can do with one of these appliances in the comfort of your own home. When you have control of the entire process, you can let your imagination go free and you can experiment with an endless amount of flavor combinations.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup of heavy cream
• 1 1/2 cups of cream
• 2 beaten eggs
• 1 cup of brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon of butter
• 1/3 cup of chopped pecans

Directions

1. Add butter together with pecans to a small skillet and cook over medium heat until the pecans become lightly brown and fragrant. As you cook, stir pecans constantly for about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the provided eggs and set them aside. Combine the cream together with the brown sugar in a saucepan and mix well. Bring the saucepan to a boil in a medium heat and remove from heat. Pour the hot cream-sugar mixture into the eggs and whisk constantly. Return the egg mixture to a saucepan and cook. Keep on stirring until the mixture coats the stirring spoon. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and vanilla.

3. Pour the mixture into ice cream maker machine and freeze as directed by the manufacturer.

Easy Chocolate

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

• 2 cups of heavy cream
• 2/3 cup of chocolate syrup
• 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk

Directions

1. Line a loaf pan with an aluminium foil.

2. Stir together the chocolate syrup and condensed milk in a large bowl until the color is even.

3. Whip cream in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Pour the prepared cream into the chocolate mixture.

4. In a cream maker, pour the cream-chocolate mixture and freeze for 6 hours.

Cake Butter Ice Cream

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Ready in: 4 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

• 3/4 cup of white cake mix, sifted
• 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 beaten egg yolks
• 1/2 cup of white sugar
• 1 cup of milk

Directions

1. In a saucepan, whisk together the provided cake mix, cream, vanilla, egg yolks, sugar and milk until well blended. Put the mixture over medium heat and cook until the mixture reaches a temperature of 70 degree C while stirring frequently. Remove the mixture from heat and freeze until liquid cold.

2. Remove the chilled mixture from the refrigerator and pour into the home ice cream maker machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer instructions until soft. Remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and transfer to a refrigerator. Allow the ice cream to ripen for 2 hours or overnight.

Vanilla Ice Cream IV

Preparation time: 50 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes

Ingredients

• 4 cups of milk
• 3 ounces of instant vanilla pudding mix
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
• 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
• 1/2 pint of heavy cream
• 12 ounces of evaporated milk
• 5 eggs

Directions

1. Beat together using an electric mixer the provided eggs, vanilla, sugar, condensed milk, cream and evaporated milk in a large bowl. Add pudding mix and beat until smooth.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker machine and add enough milk.

3. Freeze the ice cream according to the manufacturer directions.

Simple Juicing Recipes For Your New Juicer

recipes for your brand new juicerFruit or vegetable juice provides the body with the fuels needed for keeping a person active, energetic and cheerful. Furthermore, it only takes about 20-30 minutes to make any variety and as such everyone is encouraged to prepare their own fruit or vegetable juice at home rather than buying from the store.   If you have read through all the juicer reviews looking for the top juice extractors and have finally decided to get one, then you should be ready to give it a good work out with the juicing recipes below.

Home-made juice is much healthier than processed as the latter normally comes with extra additives and fillers that can have some harmful effects to the body. Therefore, if you want to stay safe and healthy, sticking to home-made juice is the key. Here are some new and simple juicing recipes you can follow;

Carrot, Golden Beet and Orange Juice Recipe

Vegetable juice recipes are increasingly growing popular due to the fact that they have cleansing effects. Carrot, Golden Beet and Orange juice can be enjoyed as a healthy drink. It cleanses the digestive system since it is rich in dietary fiber. The other benefit of taking the juice is, it makes one feel full for the better part of the day hence helpful for those that wish to control their eating habits for weight loss.

Ingredients

1)1/2 inch fresh ginger.
2)2 golden beets.
3)5carrots.
4)4 cara cara navels.
5)1/2 cup water.
6)3 tablespoons sugar.

Instructions

1) Thoroughly wash all the ingredients.
2) Peel ginger, carrots, beets and cara cara navels then place in juicer.
3) Turn the control knobs to set the juicer and blend for about 30 seconds before stopping to add water.
4) Repeat the same procedure until the ingredients are fully blended to fair thickness.
5) Transfer to a sizable jug and put in the refrigerator until cold.
6) Serve in cups.

Carrot Lemonade Juice

Carrot lemonade juice tastes refreshingly good and it only requires a few ingredients to make. It also makes a good base to experiment with especially for beginners. Each ingredient in this recipe blends well with almost any other ingredient so the chances of messing up are almost nil.

Ingredients

1)1 lemon (peeled).
2)1 carrot.
3)1 apple with seeds and core removed.

Instructions

1) Wash the lemon, carrot and apple thoroughly.
2) After thoroughly washing them, place in a juicer.
3) Turn the control knobs to set the juicer and juice for about 30 seconds before stopping to dilute with water.
4) Repeat the same procedure until the mixture is blended well and to fair thickness.
5) Transfer into a sizable jug and store in the refrigerator until cold.
6) Serve in cups.

Strawberry Banana Juice

This refreshingly tasty juice is made of a yummy blend of fresh strawberries, lime, ripe bananas and honey. This juice is easy to make and the ingredients readily available.

Ingredients

1)2 chopped bananas.
2)1/3 teaspoon lime juice.
3)1 cup chopped ripe strawberries.
4)2 whole strawberries with leafs. These will be used for garnishing.
5)1-1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey (honey preferable).
6)2 cups cold water.

Instructions

1) Place banana chunks and adequate strawberry pieces in blender. Leave a few pieces of strawberry for garnishing.
2) Add 1 cup water, lime juice and honey then blend until perfectly smooth.
3) Add the remainder of the water and blend again for half a minute.
4) Transfer to a jug and store in the refrigerator until cold.
5) Pour in cups.
6) Arrange the remaining strawberries on every glass rim and serve.

NB: If you want a thick strawberry banana juice, use only a cup of water whereas if you need a light one, three cups water are necessary but thick is preferable.

Spinach Apple Juice

This juice tastes good and is loaded with calcium for healthy bones, vitamin A and C which act as antioxidants to reduce aging. Spinach apple juice is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients to prepare.

Ingredients

1)2 large stalks celery.
2)1 piece fresh ginger (peeled).
3) Ice.
4)1/2 piece grapefruit (peeled with white core removed).
5)1/2 cups spinach.
6)2 green apples (sliced).

Instructions

1) Place all the ingredients in the juicer and blend until perfectly smooth.
2) Fill 2 cups with ice and pour juice in the cups then serve immediately.

Just Juice It

Juicing is a great way to treat yourself to something cool and healthy, the best of both worlds.  If you don’t have a juicer yet for your kitchen, then what are you waiting for.  Any of the recipes above will come out great with either a centrifugal or a masticating type juicer.  We prefer Omega juicing machines as they have performed well for us over the years, but that is more of a personal preference.  There are a number of quality juicers that you could use in a wide range of features and price points.  The bottom line is that there is no better time to start juicing than right now.

Want yet another recipe? Here is a quick and simple way to make a green juice.

Cool Off With These Cocktails

cocktailsThe best alcoholic mixed drinks for hot summer days or outdoor parties are full of flavor. They can be fruity, subtle, rich or just plain refreshing. Jazz up some creative twists and fiery look to your drinks. Here are some party starter alcoholic mixed drink recipes to sip this summer! There is something for everyone- sweet, bitter, salty, shaken, stirred, up and even fruit induced. So spice up your party and make your beverage a smashing success!

Ginger Shandies

This is a light, subtle and refreshing drink made with Lemonade and real Ginger. It imparts an exotic ginger bite and citrusy-lemon aroma. It is beer flavored and promises to excite the taste buds. Ginger Shandies are aimed at the “young at heart”, who wish to be cool and trendy. This pleasant and refreshing recipe serves 6. Here is the secret recipe.

In a large pitcher, pour 1 bottle chilled ginger beer.

Add 3 bottles chilled Hoegaarden beer. Mix them well.

Next, stir in 1 thinly sliced lemon.

Fill 6 big glasses with ice.

Add a few lemon slices to glasses and pour in shandy. Lemon gives your drink a bit of pop.

For garnishing, add some mint sprig in each drink. Serve chilled.

This treat is bubbling with savory flavor. It is perfect for relaxation and social situations- lounges and night clubs, beach events, social gathering and family days. The drink’s blend has a perfect crisp taste that is balanced with a sweet note.

White Wine Sangria With Summer Peaches, Lemons, Oranges And Strawberries

The version uses seltzer, white wine, peaches and strawberries. The drink isn’t just for wine lovers. This sunset colored drink is perfect for an outdoor summer party. The fruits flavors and vibrant colors will be at their best. For the recipe

Take 1 cup strawberries, halved and hulled.

Next slice 2 large oranges into 1/4 thick rings.

Slice 2 big lemons into 1/4 thick rings.

Cut 3 peaches into 8 wedges.

Place all these fruits in a large pitcher or bowl.

Add 3 bottles white wine.

Mix all the ingredients properly. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature 5 to 20 hours.

Squeeze some lemon juice in the end. When ready to serve, add some ice and 1 litre sparkling water. Serve in a glass with a ladle.

You can also tuck some mint sprigs into top of glass. Make sure that there is enough fruit in every serving. Insert a tall straw and serve ice cold. If you wish to make your ice decorative, you can add dried cherries, cranberries etc to your ice cube tray.

Sipping a frosting drink like this one can be incredibly refreshing. It just cannot get better than that!

Pink Grapefruit Margarita Drink

A must serve drink! Try this beverage to quench your summer thirst! It is a blast in a glass. The refreshing and cool alcoholic drink has just enough gusto to keep your taste buds happy. For the recipe

Pour 2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice in a blender.

Add 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and some ice.

Now blend this mixture into a puree until smooth. Pour the puree in a large pitcher.

Add 2 cups orange liqueur and 2 cups silver tequila. Stir in well.

In the end add 2 lemons cut in wedges.

If you and your guests like a salt rim on the rock glasses, then rub some lime around the glass edges. Dip the rim of each rock glass gently in a plate of kosher salt. Next, set aside the glasses to dry. Pour the mixture into them and garnish with a small slice of grapefruit. Serve chilled.

This recipe is sure to please everyone. It is an excellent drink for any outdoor party in the heat of the summer.

Be Smart

Adding a few mixed drinks into any social gathering can make for a enjoyable and relaxed occasion.  Of course you want to drink these responsibly.  We want the party to be memorable, not something we can’t recall because of blackout.  Indulge don’t overindulge is a good rule of thumb.

For a few more summer cocktail recipes, this time with gin, check out the video posted below.

Stay Cool With These Ice Cream Recipes

icecreamThere is probably no better treat on a hot day than a nice bowl of ice cream. It’s tasty, chilled, and it is a great way to just sit back and treat yourself to simple goodness. Kick back and enjoy life a little bit with some of our favorite ice cream recipes.

Making your own ice cream is not only easy, but it can be quite a creative and fun experience. Gone are the days when you need lots of rock salt and crushed ice. Now all you do is mix up your ingredients and pour into the freezer can of your ice cream maker. Then press the button and wait until the timer goes off. Fresh ingredients and no preservatives make for delicious creamy ice cream.

You can enjoy making ice cream at home and make it just like you prefer. It costs much less to do this than you would think. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Banana Ice Cream With Chocolate Chips

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup of sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( more if you prefer)
1 box banana flavored pudding mix

Preparation

Mix 1 cup of the milk with the sugar and egg yolks. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly. Cook this mixture for 9 minutes or until it thickens. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Combine the rest of the milk, pudding mix, and vanilla together. Then stir this into the custard, banana and chocolate chips. Pour this into the ice cream maker can. Turn on and set according to the makers instructions. When its done spoon your fresh ice cream into a plastic freezer container and freeze until firm.

Peppermint Ice Cream With Mint Chips

Ingredients

3 cups whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup finely crushed peppermint candies
1 cup peppermint chocolate chips

Preparation

Mix 1 and 1/2 cups milk and the egg yolks. Heat in a saucepan over medium heat for about nine minutes. Stir this mixture constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Mix this egg mixture and extract and the rest of the milk in a bowl. Cover this and chill it an hour. Then stir in the mint chocolate chips and the crushed candy bits. Pour into an ice cream maker at this point. When its done remove and spoon into a plastic freezer container and let freeze until firm.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries

Directions

Blend all of these ingredients until smooth. Use a blender or a food processor for this. Chill the ingredients for about an hour. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. Set the timer according to your ice cream makers directions but approximately thirty minutes.

If you have allergies to lactose or dairy products then try making this recipe instead. It is a light refreshing sorbet made with tropical fruits.

Pineapple, Mango and Peach Sorbet

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups peach pieces, diced
1 1/2 cups mango, diced
1/3 cup lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:

Mix together two cups of the diced peaches, the mango also diced, the lime juice, and the sugar in a food processor or blender. Blend until its smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the remainder of the diced peaches and the crushed pineapple. Then pour this mixture into the ice cream maker. Set it for thirty minutes and check to see if its thickened. Spoon into plastic containers for the freezer to firm up.

Making ice cream at home can be a fun family activity. Most ice cream makers have removable freezer bowls so that each person can choose a different flavor if they like. When you make your own ice cream it is pure and fresh without added preservatives. Some combinations that you make are not even found in the stores.

Another good reason to use an ice cream maker at home is if you are diabetic. If this is the case and you cannot consume artificial sweeteners either, then this is the answer for you. There is a lot of natural sweetness in fresh fruit. So even if you eliminate the sugar from the mixture it will still be edible. Also, you can substitute dry milk in place of the pudding mixes. Also, tapioca can be added as a thickener if needed. Making ice cream is an experience that your family will enjoy.

Here is yet another ice cream recipe that you can enjoy.