6 Waffle Iron Hacks

Break out the waffle iron! Here are six awesome ways you can get more use out of a kitchen appliance you haven’t paid enough attention to!

1. The Waffle Iron Baconator

What if I told you there’s an easier way to make bacon? What if I said you already have everything you need to make tasty, perfectly cooked bacon without getting grease on your clothes and countertops?

Yes, that’s right. You can make bacon in your waffle iron. Say goodbye to grease splatters and sloppy stovetops. Just slap on a few strips of your preferred bacon variety and press. (Thick cut bacon works heaps better than the see-through stringy stuff, though.) Now you can enjoy your two favorite breakfast treats with one gadget. If you really want to be clever, and you have one of those twin waffle makers, cook the bacon on one side of the iron and and the waffle on the other side, at the same time. Now you’re cookin’!

2. Waffled Panini

You really love paninis. If you only had a panini maker, you would start bringing your lunch to work everyday, and that would save huge bucks, right? You could probably save enough money to actually go on a real vacation next year, and not just dog sit in your brother’s condo for the weekend. Well, start packing, because you are about to find out how to make paninis in your waffle iron!

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How to Get the Ball Rolling on Eating Healthier

You may want to start eating healthier, but getting the ball rolling can be an uphill endeavor. These little ideas will help get you motivated to start eating healthier.

MAKE A LIST

When you get hungry, the last thing you feel like doing is running down a mental list of available healthy foods to eat. That’s why you probably end up grabbing whatever is closest to you and chowing down, vowing to start eating healthy tomorrow.

Instead, sit down and make a list of foods that you determine to be healthiest for you and your goals. Don’t just write a shopping list. Make a list of actual meals that you can prepare and eat. Include what day you’re going to have them, and what time. The more prepared you are when hunger strikes, the more likely you will be to have something ready without having to think too hard about it.

BUY A COOKBOOK

Flipping through a cookbook with enticing photographs of healthy food will get you inspired to start eating healthy. Buy a cookbook or two that has nothing but healthy food recipes. Make sure it has a photo for every recipe, so you can visualize yourself dining on the healthy options. Put bookmarks on pages that really make you want to get up and start cooking. These are the dishes that will offer you the best motivation to start your new healthy eating plan.

BUY SOME NEW CLOTHES

Wearing the same clothes everyday when you already feel unattractive can keep you in a negative rut that’s hard to get out of. Put on your best outfit and go shopping for some new clothes. Buy a few that fit you now, and something special that you can work toward fitting into after you’ve achieved your weight goal. The change will help you to see yourself as someone new and fresh who is capable of switching eating habits for the better.

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Recipes That Put Us In The Mood For Spring

When warmer weather arrives, most of us get the urge to eat light. Our cravings move away from mashed potatoes and hot soup, and go toward light salads and cool dishes. These are recipes that will make you feel fresh a
nd breezy, just like springtime itself.

Mixed Berry Compote

Just the name of this recipe is enough to make your mouth water for juicy berries marinated in citrus and sugar. Serve by itself or over a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups berries, fresh or thawed frozen (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries will do nicely)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar and citrus. Stir until smooth. Toss the berries in and cook on low for about 3 minutes. Best served warm.

Artichoke – Parmesan Bruschetta

As artichokes begin appearing on your grocer’s shelves, you may long for new ways to enjoy this exotic vegetable. This recipe doesn’t have to include fresh artichokes, however, the commercial, jarred variety will do just as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of Italian bread
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts (or fresh artichoke hearts)
  • Olive oil

Slice the Italian bread into 1-inch thick slices, and toast them. Drizzle the slices with olive oil. Place one artichoke heart on each slice and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

 

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15 Nutty Factoids About Peanuts

Peanuts are the misunderstood cousin of the legume family. Did you know that its official name is “groundnut”? That’s because they grow underground. And did you know that the favorite way to enjoy peanuts in the south is by boiling them? That’s right. Head down any southern highway and you’ll pass at least one truckstand selling boiled peanuts by the bag. You can get them Cajun style, salted or unsalted, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. Here are some more facts about this nutritious and tasty treat.

  1. Peanuts aren’t, in fact, nuts. Despite being part of its name, peanuts are actually members of the legume family (think peas, lentils and beans).
  1. An average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, by the time they graduate from high school. New slogan: “Peanut Butter: Powering the Minds of Tomorrow”.
  1. 20% of all the world’s peanuts are used by chocolatiers. You can’t argue that chocolate and peanuts are a match made in heaven.
  1. Peanut farmers have become president—twice! Both Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter were peanut farmers before becoming president. “In Peanuts, We Trust.”
  1. A peanut has been to the moon – Astronaut Alan B. Sheppard brought exactly one peanut with him on the Apollo mission, proving to many fans that peanuts are out of this world.
  1. One acre of a peanut crop produces enough peanuts to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches. Bet you’ll never look at land the same way again.
  1. George Washington Carver is considered the father of the peanut industry. This champion of civil rights was also an inventor and botanist who developed more than 300 uses for peanuts.

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Slow Cooker Recipes That Will Save Weeknight Dinner Time

Are restaurant bills wrecking your budget? Is the allure of fast takeout too good to resist? It’s possible that a slow cooker is the answer to your mealtime trouble. Get dinner on the table fast without denying your family the flavors of takeout.There is a solution: slow cooker recipes worth dying over.

Somewhere in your house, there’s a slow cooker. I don’t even know you, but I know that you have a slow cooker hiding in there somewhere. Everyone does. Maybe it was a wedding gift, or something your mother handed off to you.

Now is the day to find it. Look inside that tiny cabinet on top of your refrigerator. The one you need a stepladder to reach. If it isn’t there, look on the floor of the pantry. If you still can’t find it, it’s probably in the garage, either on a dusty shelf, or in a box marked “garage sale.” When you finally locate your slow cooker, wash it off and never lose it again.

Instead Of Pizza Delivery, Try This Recipe For Pizza Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 16-ounces cooked macaroni pasta
  • 1 small can pizza sauce
  • 1 16-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese

Spray the bottom of your slow cooker with non-stick spray. Layer in the ground beef, onion, garlic and tomatoes. Mix the can of mushroom soup with one can of water. In a large bowl, combine the pizza sauce with the mushroom soup mixture. Stir in the cooked pasta. Pour this mixture on top of the ground beef and seasoning in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Turn on low and cook for 4-5 hours.

 

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4 Cities With the Hottest Food Trends Right Now

If you’re a foodie, you might be willing to travel to the four corners of the nation to find the hottest food scenes right now. But even if you’re an armchair culinary aficionado, now you can vicariously savor the delights of these restaurants and their innovative chefs.

Manhattan

Manhattan can actually be difficult to navigate with a growling tummy. If you’re not careful, you could wind up noshing on a soggy pretzel and a greasy hotdog while you wait for your train.

Thankfully, you can plan ahead by booking seats with Opentable at Combina in Soho. Dine in a bright modern atmosphere on dishes you’ve never heard of. Chef Einat Admony is clearly having a blast creating from his right brain in the kitchen. Here on the menu you’ll find salt cod donuts, peanut piccata, and eggplant escabeche. Combina is best described as Spanish infused with Israel and mingled with North African cuisine. As if that helps. Really, you just have to go there.

 

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Guilt-Free Paleo Chocolate Recipes Just In Time For Valentine’s Day

Chocolate lovers the world over look forward to Valentine’s Day. It’s a perfect excuse to indulge in crave-worthy candies and decadent desserts. If you’re living a paleo lifestyle however, Valentine’s Day can get a bit tricky. Here are two simple recipes adapted from the paleo food world that will put your heart aflutter.

ESPRESSO CHOCOLATE HEARTS

 

These paleo-friendly espresso chocolate candies will melt your Valentine’s Day lover’s heart. If you appreciate the taste of coffee, you’ll adore these Espresso Chocolate Hearts. (You can usually find heart-shaped candy molds at most craft or cooking stores for under $2.)

 

 

  • ½ cup Coconut butter (or organic, grass fed butter)
  • 3 Tbsp. Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp. Espresso beans, ground
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg

Put all the ingredients into a double boiler on the stove. (If you don’t have a double boiler, just use a metal mixing bowl on top of a saucepan with about two inches of water.) Warm up the ingredients, stirring constantly. Don’t expect this mixture to melt completely or to turn into a pourable liquid. Just warm and stir until it’s thoroughly blended into a uniform consistency.

Grease your mold with additional coconut butter. Spoon in the mixture to the rim and pat down with the back of your spoon. Place in the freezer and allow to set for at least two hours.

CRUNCHY COCO BROWNIES

These gluten free and paleo friendly brownies get their name from two ingredients; coconut and cocoa. If you love the taste of coconut with the taste of chocolate (Almond Joy, anyone?), you’ll fall head over heels when you taste these brownies.

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Breakfast Recipes That Are Quicker Than Drive-Thru

You woke up late for work, and now you doubt you’ll have time for breakfast. What’s a healthy-minded girl to do? Try one of these speedy breakfast recipes, that’s what. Even when you’re in a mad rush to get out the door in the morning, you’ll have time to make these.

Baked Eggocado

repare this before you hop in the shower and it will be ready by the time you’re done. It takes about 10 minutes to bake but only seconds to eat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 half avocado, pit removed
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees. Use a spoon to slightly widen and deepen the space in the avocado half where the pit was. Place the avocado half into a ramekin, skin side down. Break the egg so it fills the hollow in the avocado. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese or salt and pepper. Cover the ramekin with tinfoil. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the egg has set.

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3 Delicious Drinks to Warm You This Winter

Wintertime is the right time to snuggle in with some comfort beverages. These three warm drink recipes take just minutes to prepare, and will fill your home with aromatic scents as they steep. So cozy up with a good book and one of these delicious drinks – and be sure to let us know which one is your favorite!

Chai Tea

Chai tea was handed down to us from India and Thailand. It was originally commissioned by a king over 5000 years ago, who requested that his courtiers make a healing beverage for him to savor. Modern Ayurveda practitioners still use chai tea as part of their healing medicine.

You can make a version of this popular beverage in less than 10 minutes using:

  • 2 tsp. black tea
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom, ground
  • ¼ tsp. cloves, ground
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper, ground

Pour 2 cups of water into a saucepot. Add all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain into a tea cup. Serves 2-3.

 

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Most Popular Party Foods

Nothing says party like a table filled with party foods, and every type of gathering seems to have its own kind of foods associated with it. The tradition of serving foods at parties and gatherings probably dates back to the first meals that were prepared and enjoyed around campfires. With such a cornucopia of foods available to modern day diners, it’s fun to serve the various dishes that best complement the party occasion.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

The Buffalo chicken wing was purportedly invented by the owner of the Anchor Bar in New York. The story goes that the owner’s son was coming into town from college, bringing along several of his buddies. The owner needed a quick snack to serve hungry college students, and placed an order for chicken from her restaurant supplier. The order got messed up, and she only received the small wing and drum sections of the chicken. Faced with a food emergency, she used her chicken sense and deep fried the wings. She then concocted the famous Buffalo sauce for coating, and a favorite party food was born. Today, off-the-shelf Buffalo sauce is available nationwide, including the original version from the Anchor bar in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo chicken wings are a staple at Super Bowl parties. Buffalo wings are traditionally spicy, so it’s important to serve a refreshing beverage such as soda, ice water or beer along with the chicken wings.

Potato Salad

It seems like every family has an aunt or grandmother with a delicious secret potato salad recipe. Potato salad flavors run the gamut from sour to sweet. The ingredients used in this All-American dish are as varied as the cooks who whip it up. One ingredient that is non-negotiable, however, is potatoes. Different recipes call for either Russet, Golden, Red or New potato varieties, and each imparts a subtle variation in the taste. Potato salad can almost always be found at cookouts and barbeques. The danger in serving this particular dish in the hot sun is that mayonnaise—another chief ingredient–can’t be left out in the heat for too long. This has prompted cooks to substitute egg mayonnaise with vegetable based mayonnaise alternatives, to rave reviews. The best way to protect potato salad when outside is by serving it in a covered dish and placing it in a shady area.

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