Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Impromptu Toastie - Mjskit’s Thanksgiving Leftover Toastie

I would like to take the time to thank MJ for her lovely comments and suggestions. I really do appreciate them. When she suggested a toastie for me to try, I could not resist trying it. Her suggestion was to make a “Thanksgiving leftover toastie of dijon, turkey, cheese and cranberry sauce.”

I must admit, I was hesitant about mixing Dijon mustard and cranberry sauce. Turkey and cranberry goes together like two peas in a pod as does Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese. To my surprise, putting these two sets of peas in the same pod was magic.

For those who have spent time on MJ’s blog, my hesitations were completely unfounded and a little bit silly. She is a domestic goddess. Who am I to question a goddess? If you have not been to MJ’s blog, do stop past and take a look. It is well worth it. She provides a scrummy array of recipes for every meal, each of which are accompanied by a wealth of additional and background information.

MJ’s photography puts mine to shame. It is beautiful, cookbook quality. One of my favourites is the photograph for her Triple Cranberry Sauce recipe; I could almost pick the berries from the screen!

Food photography is the bane of my existence. How do you make a toastie look appetising when it is sitting in front of one of my coloured chopping boards (used to screen the view of the living area) The joys of apartment living, not enough room to swing a tripod.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Leftovers - Fruit Mince

Whenever I think of Christmas, one of the first things that pop into my head is fruit mince tarts. I absolutely adore the combination of unsweetened short pastry with super sweet fruit served with a little dollop of cream.

I must admit, as I am getting older, the fruit mince that we purchase from the supermarket (Robertson’s) tastes more sickly sweet than super sweet. This year we mixed in equal amounts of Sunbeam mixed fruit.

This meant that we had more fruit mince than pastry! What a shame, into the toastie maker it went! I will not claim that a fruit mince toastie comes close to the taste of a fruit mince tart. It is different, but when served with ice cream it is a nice alternative. Perhaps this is a good alternative (sans ice cream) for those in a diet (assuming you do not butter your bread).

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Leftovers - Turkey, Cranberry & Brie

Sometimes I wonder why my family continues the tradition of a roasted Christmas dinner when it is the middle of summer, when some of my friends opt for a barbeque and cold salads. I must admit Christmas is the only time of the year that I eat turkey, so I do look forward to it.

To make life easier and the house a little cooler, mum roasts her turkey the night before and serves it cold with roasted vegetables. The thinly cut turkey is quickly warmed by boiling hot gravy, so we hardly notice that the bird was cooked long before the vegetables.

Cranberries are something that I discovered later in life. When I was growing up, cranberry sauce the traditional accompaniment to turkey was gravy, not cranberry sauce. I discovered cranberries when I was studying at university. One of the rolls served at the café was turkey, brie and cranberry. This roll was always a good backup when I arrived late for lunch and all of the BLTs had sold out.

I could not think of a better way to start the Christmas season, then with a turkey, brie & cranberry toastie. To be honest, I think I prefer the unheated roll version of this mix to the toasted sandwich version. I think the brie tastes better when it is firm (i.e room temperature), rather than when it is boiling hot and dripping everywhere.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Theme: Christmas Leftovers

Each year, I like to create an edible
centerpiece for my boyfriend’s family
Christmas get together.
So long November, welcome December! December is my favourite month of the year, not only is it a break from tuna toasties, but there is plenty of occasions to celebrate: Christmas, New Year and my birthday! This is going to be a very busy month. The period leading up to Christmas is always the busiest.

This is the time of the year when I become most active in the kitchen. Christmas time is all about cookies and chocolates, both of which I enjoy making (especially centerpieces for my boyfriends family Christmas gathering). Unfortunately, every day cooking falls by the wayside and I must admit we end up eating more than a few toasties. Thankfully, Christmas time provides a large and varied array of potential toasted sandwich fillings.

What a tasty toastie month this will be! Bring on the Christmas inspired toasties!

I wish you all safe and happy holidays!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Tuna - Curried Tuna

Here we are at the end of the month. I am really starting to scrape the bottom of the tuna recipe barrel. Today, we have the tuna version of a curried egg sandwich. Taste wise, I would rather have had a curried egg sandwich.

This toastie is not terrible, whilst my pallet considers it bland, it sure beats plain tuna, or tuna mixed with mayo, sweet chilli sauce, etc.

If you have come across any tuna recipes that would taste great in a toastie, please let me know!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Tuna - Tuna & Lemon Mayo

mmmmmm mmmmm. When eating flavoured tuna from a can, I generally avoid the lemon varieties. To me, they tasted bland and boring. To be honest, I do not particularly like the taste of lemon juice squirted over any kind of cooked  fish.

Despite these reservations, I still made this toastie. I am sure glad I did. It is very fresh and full of flavour. Perhaps it has something to do with using lemon rind as opposed to lemon juice.

To jazz things up, I added more garlic than the below recipe states. I love my garlic, especially red garlic, which I think brings a nice amount of heat to the mayonnaise.

If you are a lover of lemon and seafood, you must definitely try this.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Tuna - Crunchy Sweet Chilli Tuna

I was at a loss on how to describe today’s toastie. Crunchy, Sweet Chilli Tuna was the name I could think of. When I first heard of this recipe, I thought that adding water chestnuts was a weird thing to do. Once again, I am glad I decided to suspend my disbelief and went ahead with this obscure addition.

Despite not having a great amount of flavour, water chestnuts add an amazing amount of texture to a meal. Their addition really helps this toastie to avoid being ‘sloppy’.

This is a delightful little toastie, you can never go wrong when combining cream cheese and sweet chilli sauce. I have added some mayonnaise to this mixture to add a little bit of a tang. I would probably leave this out if I were using a hot chilli sauce, as opposed to a sweet chilli sauce.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Tuna - Tuna Melt

What today’s toastie lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. It is very easy going, a perfect toastie for a dull day, where you want comforting to eat. It is the perfect wet weather toastie. The first time I made this, it was bucketing down with rain and I was huddled at my desk with my toastie, a cup of tea with my portable heater on full.

What is your favourite cold, wet, and dreary day food?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Tuna - Gourmet Tuna Toastie

This toastie makes an open can to tuna worthwhile. It is surprisingly good. The Tabasco sauce makes it sing and the chopped baby tomatoes and spring onion give it a café feel.

When I made this toastie for lunch today, it raised a few eyebrows amongst my colleagues. The most common response was “that is a lot of things to put into a toastie.” I am slowly educating them toasties are far from the boring three ingredient recipes coved previously.

Now all I need is a cappuccino.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Theme: What To Do With Leftover Tuna

Ham, Tomato & Mustard
Whilst it took some time to get into the swing of simple flavour combinations, some of toasted sandwiches created for "No Cooking Required" were absolute winners. My favourite recipes were Avocado, Cheese & Ham and Ham, Tomato & Mustard.

The last created for October's challenge was Tuna & Creamed Corn. Unfortunately, in order to create this toastie I opened a 425g tin of tuna. Now I have a lot of left over left over tuna. The question is, what to do with it all?

I could use all of my excess tuna in one fail swoop and make a tuna bake, but where is the fun in that? Instead, the theme for this month shall be entitled: "What to do with leftover tuna."

Stay tuned



Monday, October 31, 2011

No Cooking Required - Tuna & Creamed Corn

There are some mornings, where I am an absolute sook and will not get out of bed without hitting the snooze button three times. These mornings often correspond to times where I have been too lazy to organise my lunch the night before. Doh!

On these mornings, the fist thing I grab is a can of flavoured tuna. Its quick, easy, and does not taste too bad (especially with cheese). Thankfully, I only hit snooze twice this morning. Plenty of time for a bachelor-style toastie recipe!

Monday, October 24, 2011

No Cooking Required - Chicken, Tomato & Cheese

My toastie making has become quite the office novelty. Instead of placing their frozen lunches in the microwave queue and wandering back to their desks, workmates have started to hang around to see what marvellous toastie creation I am making.

This week’s toastie was devised during one such toastie making session. A colleague and I debated whether or not cheese should have been added to my ham, tomato and mustard toastie.

We eventually came to the conclusion that cheese and heavy mustard was not a great paring, and a meat toastie like this should have one or the other. My colleague went on to say that ham, cheese and tomato makes a great toasted sandwich. He paused for a minute and said that he preferred chicken to ham. Thus today’s toastie was born.

Which luncheon meat do you prefer? Ham or chicken?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Cooking Required - Ham, Tomato & Mustard

I must admit I am struggling to fine toasted sandwich recipes for this month's challenge. Who would have though that it would be so hard to think of simple flavour combinations? Finally, inspiration came from a tasty looking blog post by TFP.

I must admit that I was a bit hesitant about not adding cheese to this recipe. I am really glad that I stuck with TFP's recipe. This combination is fantastic. To be honest, I am not sure how well cheese would go with the strong taste of mustard.

If you are not a fan of mustard, I would leave out the mustard and add some cheese.


P.S. Love your work TFP.

Monday, October 10, 2011

No Cooking Required - Chicken & Gravy

Let us kick this month off with a toasted sandwich version of my favourite “I do not feel like cooking dinner tonight” recipe – Chicken Pie.

I learned this recipe from my mum. Basically, you strip all of the meat from a store brought pre-cooked chicken, mix it with chicken gravy and encase in pre-made puff pastry. Twenty minutes in the oven and it is ready! Cooking does not come any easier than this.

I must admit the toasted sandwich version of my chicken pie does not taste as nice as the real thing. Comparing the two directly is a little unfair, after all puff pastry does taste much better than bread.

According to my toastie monster, chicken pie must be covered in tomato sauce. Personally, the addition of tomato sauce drives me up the wall. How do you like your chicken pie/toastie, covered in sauce, or sauce free?


Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Cooking Required - Avocado, Ham & Cheese

Today we reveal my toastie monsters dirty little secret. Even though he vehemently denies it, baked bean and cheese is not the only toastie recipe in existence. On rare occasions, he will eat avocado, ham and cheese toasties.

I think this toastie ticks all of the boxes. No pre-cooking of ingredients, only three ingredients used and it looks like a typical toasted sandwich. I hope that the resident bachelor approves of this toasted sandwich recipe and makes one for himself!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Theme: No Cooking Required

BBQ Meat Lover Pizza
Wow, what a busy month, September has flown buy. Too much time spent chasing around after the house we are building and not enough time spent making toasties.

What can I say about September’s theme besides “om nom nom, nom nom?” I really enjoyed this month’s pizza themed toasted sandwiches. My favourite recipes would have to be the BBQ Meat Lover, closely followed by the BBQ Chicken & Bacon. Third place goes to Hot & Spicy.

According to our resident bachelor, these toasties were “too much like cooking.” I find this a bit confusing. Did I use too many ingredients? Was it the pre cooking of the bacon?

Whatever it was, we will take a small step back this month and create toastie recipes that do not require any pre-cooking of ingredients or uses too many ingredients. We shall call this month’s theme “No Cooking Required,” however in reality it is "really simple bachelor toasties that do not require any cooking techniques other than mixing and chopping."

Let the noms begin,

Darkbyte xx

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pizza - Satay Chicken

September is a funny month we can have days of clear skies and sunshine followed by bucket loads of rain and hail. Rainy days are my favourite day for toasted sandwiches. The warm gooey fillings washed down with a nice cup of tea are a sure way to warm and fill a cold empty tummy.

On days like this, I also enjoy the look of envy on my workmate’s faces as they stand by the front door waiting for a break in the rain, so that they may run down to the deli for some lunch.

Today was a great day to unleash my satay chicken pizza toastie. Apparently, the smell of the satay sauce wafting down the corridor was “wicked cruel.” Ahh dear bachelor, if you had thought ahead you too would be kicking back with a warm and tasty treat watching people play Russian Roulette with the skies.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pizza - BBQ Chicken & Bacon

If you enjoyed the BBQ Meat Lover pizza, odds are you will be a fan of today’s toasted pizza sandwich: BBQ Chicken & Bacon. I had thought about leaving the bacon out of this recipe, but as a friend of mine says, “everything tastes better with bacon.” Never was a truer word spoken. Bacon does enhance the flavour of this toastie.

While we are on the subject of flavour, I feel it is worth mentioning that the chicken used in this recipe came from a pre-cooked BBQ chicken that I brought from my local supermarket. I love these chickens: they are convenient (perfect for bachelor cooking), there is enough meat for a couple of meals, and the meat tastes delicious.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pizza - Margarita

This is an excellent toastie for teasing colleagues. As soon as you open the lid of the toasted sandwich maker, the aroma of cheese and mixed herbs escapes. This has to be one of the most fragrant toasties I have made so far.

I am enjoying pizza toastie month, especially when the smell of my lunch drives one of my colleagues to order pizza for lunch!

Mission accomplished!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Impromptu Toastie - Garlic Cheesy Bready

With all this talk of pizza, one cannot help but notice a serious lack of garlic bread!

To overcome my need for garlic, today’s impromptu toastis is my experimental garlic cheesy bread! Why add cheese, you ask? There had to be something to the middle, otherwise it would not be a toastie!

The important thing to remember when making this is not to smother the outside of the bread with too much buttery garlic goodness. If you add too much, the bread will become soggy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pizza - BBQ Meat Lover

Today is my colleague's birthday. To celebrate, we will make meat lover toasties. Meat, meat and more meat. Happy Birthday!

Whilst I adore Hot & Spicy, I do appreciate a good BBQ Meat Lover. The smell and taste of this toastie takes me back to a trip to Sydney I made with my sister. We arrived tired and hungry in the early hours of the morning. My first meal in Sydney was a slice of BBQ Meat Lover pizza that I purchased from a dodgy corner shop.

My second meal, was also BBQ Meat Lover pizza. I thought ahead to breakfast and brought two slices :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pizza - Hot & Spicy

Hot & Spicy is my favourite pizza. It was my late night/early morning pizza of choice whilst I was studying: hot pizza and Coke for dinner, cold pizza and flat Coke for breakfast. Just the smell of this pizza cooking in the toastie maker brings back memories.

Today, I have decided to deviate from the norm and use a jaffle maker instead of my standard toasted sandwich maker. I must admit the single pocket of the jaffle maker did make it feel like I was eating a slice of pizza.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pizza - Veggie

Another day, another lunchtime toastie. People often remark how they love the smell of a cooking toastie. It does not matter what is inside, there is something about the smell of toasted bread, which makes people drool.

When it comes to weekday lunchtime drool-ability, microwaved pizza, must be in the top 10. Today, I am going to take it one-step further.

Meet the ultimate tease... pizza toasties!

My workmates are going to hate me!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Theme: Pizza Fillings

Om nom nom baked bean
(and cheese) toasties
The tinned filling challenge was easy, too easy. We learned that we could eat tinned toasty fillings for a couple of months without having to repeat a flavour. If one were to become tired of eating tinned tuna, chicken, spaghetti, or filling your toastie full of tinned stew-like meals, what else would your typical bachelor eat?

To continue our bachelor theme, we will be looking at another typical food, pizza. Where would we be without pizza?

I would have gone hungry many a late university evening, and early morning, if it were not for the grumpy delivery boy who wandered aimlessly across campus trying to figure out where the computing block was.

This month, I will be trying to replicate take-away pizza recipes in toastie form. I will be drawing inspiration from my local take-away pizza chains: Dominos, Eagle Boys, Pizza Hut. The ultimate test for these toasties will be whether they are still edible in the morning.

I wonder what would happen if you took two slices of pizza and put them in a toastie maker…..

Toastie Monsters, please note, I did not mention baked bean toasties in the list of meals we could become tired of eating. Whilst I appreciate that it is a universally known fact that no one could ever tire of eating baked bean toasies, it would not be in our best nutritional interests it was our only source of food.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tinned Fillings - Canned Microwave Meals

The final toastie filling for this month is canned microwave meals. I have never been a fan of canned microwave meals. To me, they are like aeroplane food, they look ok, smell ok, but there is something about them that is not quite right.

There are fast and easy meals and when served with a few pieces of buttered bread or toast make a good fall back when you are sick, injured or just cannot be bothered.

The flavours on offer from Campbell’s and Heinz are quite appealing. Every so often, I find myself tempted. A quick walk down the appropriate supermarket isle will reveal a long list of potential toastie filling candidates including beef stroganoff, lamb hot pot, peppered steak and gravy, chilli con cane, butter chicken curry, and lamb rogan josh.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tinned Fillings - Baked Beans

Whenever people say toasties, the first filling that pops into my mind is baked beans. According to my resident toastie monster, baked bean and cheddar cheese is the ONLY toastie recipe. Not only that, it has to be Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce, apparently there are no other brands or sauce flavours in existence!

In reality, baked beans come in a number of different sauces including BBQ, ham, mild curry, cheesy tomato, and sweet chilli. One can even start branching out into Mexican chilli and refried beans. There are plenty of varieties of beany goodness for broad-minded toastie monsters.

Which is your favourite?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tinned Fillings - Spaghetti

When one is asked to name ten different toastie fillings, tinned spaghetti is generally within the first five answers. Tinned spaghetti, like baked beans, comes in a number of different flavours. Other than standard tomato, the most common flavours are extra cheesy and extra tomato.

What I like most about tinned spaghetti toasties, is that they are a great excuse to let my inner child loose! Who wants to eat standard spaghetti when you can eat dinosaurs (Spag-a-saurus by SPC)! When I am not eating dinosaurs, I like to indulge in Oops Spaghetti O’s or Alphagetti by Heinz.

If you have young relations, which you look after from time to time, Heinz, also produces Dora the Explorer, Ben 10 and Wiggles Pasta shapes. Who would be the coolest uncle/aunt in the entire world if they served Dora Toasties?

If you want something other than standard flavoured spaghetti, Watties comes to the party with spaghetti with sausages and spaghetti with meatballs. You will need to cut the sausages and meatballs before putting them in your toastie maker.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tinned Fillings - Flavoured Chicken

Fortunately/Unfortunately, I live with a bodybuilder. Not only is my pantry filled with cans of flavoured tuna, it is also full of cans of flavoured chicken. Unlike flavoured tuna, flavoured chicken varieties are somewhat limited, to plain/smoked, chilli, mayonnaise and red curry. The two most popular brands stocked at my local supermarket are Chop Chop and Heinz.

Surprisingly canned chicken is not as bad as you would think. It does look like real chicken. Taste wise, it tastes like chicken, albeit a bit salty. Then again, tinned tuna, does not taste as good as fresh tuna.

The important thing is that it tastes good in a toastie and is therefore worthy of a spot in this month’s recipes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Heston's Feasts - Better The Breville You Know

Egg toastie with tomato sauce
There I was, innocently making my favourite childhood toastie, when a head pops over my shoulder and says “ooooh toasties!” You could have scraped me off the ceiling. This is the beauty of toasties, young or old, how can you not be excited by the sounds and smells of a fresh toastie?

We started talking toasties. I work with a big bunch of nerds, so the conversation quickly swings towards Heston’s Feast’s and his giant Breville sandwich toaster. I was asked whether I had made the curried banana toastie from the show. Truth be told, I have not. I had not tried any of the three toasties from the show.

When I got back to my desk, toasted sandwich in hand, I started searching for the recipes. I found them on the Channel 4 website. I am not 100% sure that I am going to attempt the curried banana toastie, but here are the links in case you are more game than I am:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tinned Fillings - Flavoured Tuna

Let us kick off “Bachelor toastie fillings from a can” month, with the first thing that falls out of my pantry - Thai Green Curry Tuna by Safcol. Tinned tuna makes for a great toastie filling. I am particularly fond of the flavoured tunas.

A quick walk down the canned food section of my local supermarket reveals offerings from at least three different companies (Safcol, Green Seas and John West), who combined, produce at least 30 different varieties of flavoured tuna.

The flavours offered are not that bad, they range from plain and smoked flavours, through to spicy chilly, mayonnaise, and tomato and basil, all the way to fancy flavours such as red/green and Penang curries. For the health conscious, there are even 98% fat free varieties.

I could eat tuna toasties for over a month without doubling up on flavours! However, I may find myself being followed by a long line of hungry puddy-tats!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Introducing Monthly Themes

A couple of obvious suggestions
for tinned toastie fillings.
To make things a bit more interesting, I will be posting toastie recipes based upon a monthly theme. These themes will range from broad categories such as breakfast and desert fillings, to holiday themes, or restricting the ingredients used.

Like many children of my generation, toasties were one of the first things I learned how to “cook” successfully and unsupervised. The idea for this blog originally came from conversations with a bachelor friend of mine. He never learned how to cook despite all of the encouragement, gifts of cookbooks, and friendly heckling we gave him. Surprisingly, he said he made himself a toastie for lunch on the weekend.

In honour of my friends ‘cooking’, we will begin our monthly themes with bachelor fillings. Seeing, as this is such a broad theme, we will narrow it down to “bachelor toastie fillings from a can.”

I am hoping this blog will encourage him to expand his cooking skills and begin to explore new ingredients and flavour combinations.

If you have any ideas for monthly themes, please leave a comment. Feel free to make them as hard as possible.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Heston's Feasts - The Ultimate 80s Toastie

Continuing from yesterday’s post, here is the rest of the toastie segment from “Heston’s 1980s feast.” It is a shame that the giant Breville did not make an appearance :(

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Like many children of the early 80s, I grew up with toasted sandwiches. When the cupboard was bare, or mum was having a hectic day, out came the toastie maker. Egg toasties, smothered in tomato sauce. Om nom nom… Ouch! If you did not burn your mouth, you were not doing it right.

To this day, I have friends whom I would describe as “Toastie Monsters.” Some 30 odd years later and they are still enjoying the same flavoured toasties they ate as kids. When these monsters left home, they took their childhood toastie makers with them, frayed power cords and all.

When I eventually left home, one of the first appliances I brought was a toasted sandwich maker. Unlike my “toastie monster” friends, my childhood toastie maker went out with a bang and puff of smoke when my mum trapped the power chord between the grill plates *sob*

I am sure there are monsters out there who are wondering why I would bother to create an entire blog, when there is only ONE true toastie recipe. In the name of all things curious, my aim is to seek out, document and digest as many different toastie recipes as possible.

I encourage you all to make and rate the recipes in this blog. Feel free to leave a comment, but please do refrain from starting a religious war between the “ham & cheese” and the “baked bean & cheese” factions.

I hope that this blog will inspire people who have lost their way to dust off their toasted sandwich/jaffle makers, or encourage newcomers to educate themselves in the way of the toastie.

With crumbs,



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