Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween - Caramello Grave

Inspiration for today’s recipe comes from a relative of the modern toastie, the Toas-Tite (also known as a pudgy pie, mountain pie, flying saucer, etc). Toas-Tites are a branded camping (i.e. non-electrical) version of a toasted sandwich/jaffle maker.

Late last year, I read a post about a mud Toas-Tite on toastiterecipes.com – a recipe/tribute website dedicated to the Toas-Tite maker. This post was about a mud/dirt Toas-Tite that contained Oreos, hot fudge and caramel sauce. The odds of me finding decent hot fudge and caramel sauce at my local supermarket were slim. I decided to improvise and use Caramello Koalas.

It is up to you whether you dice your Caramello Koalas. I decided to leave mine whole, so as I am eating it I get a mouthful of dirt, then a mouthful of dead koala. This recipe is suited to using a jaffle maker rather than a toasted sandwich maker because the jaffle maker does not chop the Caramello Koala in half.

You can have all sorts of fun making grave toasties, by adding different fillings (e.g. raspberry) or ‘burying’ other types of confectionary, for example, gummy worms, snakes and frogs. Personally, I like the Caramello Koala’s – chocolate biscuits with chocolate and a little caramel, yummy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Theme: Halloween

We will take a short break from our bachelor foods, for a seasonal challenge. I love Halloween, even though it is not widely celebrated in our area. To be honest, while I was growing up Halloween was known more for throwing eggs and covering trees in toilet paper than dressing up and knocking on doors asking for candy.

Now that I have grown up, Halloween is more of an excuse to be creative in the kitchen and have friends over for a spooky dinner. Creating disgusting looking food is relatively easy. Creating disgusting looking toasties on the other hand, will be a whole other kettle of fish.

Wish me luck as I attempt to create something that looks like a harmless toastie on the outside, with a tasty Halloween twist on the inside.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toastie Party - Creamed Corn With Jalapeños Relish

This toastie is just magical. To be honest I am at a loss for words to describe it. The lovely, yet occasionally bland combination of egg and creamed corn is brought to life by the tartness of the jalapeños relish. Or is it the other way around? Either way, I definitely recommend that you try this.

Inspiration for this toastie came from a Gourmet Traveller recipe – Poached eggs with creamed corn and green chilli relish. It did not take much to adapt this recipe for a toasted sandwich. It is exactly the kind of thing that I am looking to put on a toastie party menu. The addition of the relish makes me think of this as more as a cocktail party appetiser than a toastie. Brilliant!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Theme: A Toastie Party

Bacon, creamed corn and cheese
White chocolate, raspberry and
ricotta cheese
BBQ Meat Lovers Pizza
We were dining with our foodie friends Jo and Markus one night. Jo and I were talking in the kitchen, when I mentioned this blog. I was amazed to hear that Jo is a lover of toasties. Perhaps it was the wine or one of those wacky things you think of when it is late at night, but how unique would it be to host a toastie party.

I can see it now, a stack of old 80s movies, and a toastie maker sizzling away in the background.

Flipping back through the toastie recipes posted so far, there are some standout favourites suitable for such an occasion:
  • Gourmet tuna toastie with baby tomatoes and Tabasco sauce;
  • Tuna with lemon mayonnaise;
  • BBQ meal lover pizza;
  • Bacon, creamed corn and cheese; and, 
  • White chocolate, raspberry, and ricotta 

In order to be successful, we need a few more recipes. This month is dedicated to fabulous looking toasties, which taste great too! If you were to host a toastie party, what would you serve?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Desert - Strawberry Cheesecake

Who in their right mind would have through of making a cheesecake in a toasted sandwich maker? I would not have even considered it, if not for finding a recipe in my toasted sandwich maker user manual.

I can imagine you sitting there, reading this and trying to fathom what in the world this toastie would taste like. It tastes like warm cheesecake mix. It is warm and gooey.

This is a good toastie, a very good toastie.  Definitely number two in my list of all time good desert toasteis. Whilst is not as good as white chocolate, ricotta and raspberry, it is a close contender.

Which desert toastie recipe do you prefer?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Desert - Peach Surprise

MMMM desert toasties are fast becoming my favourite toasties. The crispness of the bread and the sweetness of the filling is just magical. The combination of mixed spice and sour cream complements the peaches beautifully.

I will definitely be making this again.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Desert - Apple Pie

Apple pies are a wonderful, as are toasties. Today we combine the two. I must admit, I was surprised how good apple "pie" toasties taste, especially when served with ice cream.

Toastie apple pies remind me of McDonald’s apple pies. They are sweet, crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and most importantly, if you are not patient enough to let it cool down, you could easily loose a few layers of skin from the inside of your mouth!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolate - Cherry Ripe & Ricotta

I must hand it to Cadbury’s marketing team. It has been years since we have had a family gathering where someone brought something other than a box of Cadbury favourites. For some reason, the last chocolates eaten are the Cherry Ripe. As I sat there looking at the small foil packet, I found myself wondering, “will it toast?”

Out came the toasted sandwich maker, loaf of white bread, butter and tub of ricotta cheese. I was still on a high from making White Chocolate, Raspberry & Ricotta toasties the week before. Whilst this does toast, its nowhere near as good as last week’s toastie *drools.*

Perhaps it is just a case of me not being a great fan of Cherry Ripe. I will leave it for you to decide.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chocolate - White Chocolate, Raspberry & Ricotta

Oh my nom, this is awesome. I did not expect this one to turn out so well. This is the best desert style toastie ever! The crispness of the bread really compliments the softness of the filling. I was tempted to use puff pastry instead of bread. I am glad that I did not because the pastry would have taken something away from the simplicity of this toastie.

The ratios between the raspberries, white chocolate, and ricotta are perfect. Whilst it is a desert toastie, it is not as sweet as you would expect. A slight dusting of icing sugar would make this dish look stunning, but to be honest, I do not think it needs the extra sugar.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chocolate - Caramello Banana

Once upon a time, the toastie monster was known as the Caramello King. He earned this name by demolishing an entire fundraising box of Giant Caramello Koalas within one month.

Every now and then, Caramello Koalas dare to enter our household. Today, I managed to kidnap one.

Surprisingly, we also had a banana in the house. Caramello Koala and banana toasties had to be done. It was good, very good. I have seen people raving over banana and Nutella toasted sandwiches before, but I think the caramel makes it. Om nom nom. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bacon - Bacon, Avocado, Tomato & Cheese

The start of this month was a bit hit or miss. The bacon, avocado & lime toasted sandwich was a bit ordinary. I wanted to re-visit bacon and avocado to do it properly.

Today’s toasted sandwich was the welcome return to awesome that I was hoping for. It was nom-sational. Cheese and avocado are a brilliant combination as is the tried and tested pairing of bacon and tomato. When you make this toastie (and I highly recommend that you do so) do not forget to add a little bit of salt and pepper. Personally, I find that avocado needs a little bit of seasoning to make it sing.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Bacon - Bacon, Creamed Corn & Cheese

Are you a fan of creamed corn? I must admit I have not had a lot of experience with it. It never entered my mind to try a can until I decided to make a simple chicken and sweet corn soup. For some reason I expected it to be gluggy and taste artificial. To my surprise, it tasted like smooshed sweet corn, not gluggy or ‘creamy’ at all.

Unfortunately, my soup did not happen and I am sitting here with a tin of creamed corn, wondering what to do with it. I started to search for creamed corn recipes. Apart from the obvious soup recipes, I spotted a couple of search results relating to toasted sandwiches. The majority of these were creamed corn and ham.

Seeing as ham and bacon come from the same animal, today’s toasted sandwich is creamed corn and bacon. I do not want to repeat the disappointment of last week, so I have added some cheddar cheese and spring onions. I must admit, cheese and creamed corn is a wonderful combination and bacon is always fabulous. I was quite pleased with how this toastie came out.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bacon - Bacon, Avocado & Lime

I had such high hopes for this toastie, but alas it let me down. I do not remember where the inspiration came from, perhaps I dreamed it up whilst browsing through guacamole recipes. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad toastie by any means, it is just missing something. On reflection, I feel I should have added some tomato or spring onions to give it a bit more texture and add to the flavour.

I am very pleased with the combination of avocado and lime. It is definitely refreshing and would be tasty as a base for a mousse served with prawns. If you decide to make this toastie please let me know what you added to make it taste more complete.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Theme: Bacon

Since making the Elvis sandwich, I have come to realise that cooking bacon in the microwave is a great way to tease your colleague’s noses. I received more than a few comments regarding the kitchen smelling like bacon and the effect that it had on their appetites!

What is it about bacon that makes it so special? Is it the taste, the texture, or its versatility? While I was growing up, I do not ever remember ever meeting someone who was obsessed with bacon. These days, bacon is an internet phenomenon. You can buy bacon t-shirts, bacon flavoured candy, bacon novelties, bacon soap. The list goes on and on, whatever you can think of, I am sure someone has ‘baconized’ it.

To honour bacon, and tease my colleagues further, every recipe posted this month contain bacon and preferably lots of it!

As a friend of mine once said, ‘hail bacon, the definitive meat condiment, the candy of meat, the ultimate in sensory stimulation!’

Tell me, what do you love about bacon?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana - Banana, Blueberry & Ricotta

Today, I decided to have toasted sandwiches for breakfast. I must admit I tend to consider bananas as more of a breakfast/morning food than an afternoon food. Lately, I have been trying to eat a little more healthily, so ricotta cheese has been featuring heavily in my breakfast routine, usually with tomato on wholemeal toast.

This toastie features my morning ricotta cheese, the last of my bananas and a few left over blueberries. The combination of these three ingredients was pleasant. The blueberries gave a little sweetness, and the ricotta brought everything together. The taste may be a bit bland, so you may want to add a little bit of honey to sweeten things up, especially if your blueberries are on the sour side.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Banana - Banana With Cinnamon Coconut

Today’s toastie was a return to basic flavours. I love banana and coconut. These two flavours find themselves in a myriad of recipes ranging from baked banana and coconut loaves, to simply placing chunks of banana on a skewer and rolling them in coconut.

I must be honest; my tastebuds are still in holiday mode, the first thing they though of when pairing banana and coconut was adding a little bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. Yum!

This is one tasty toasted sandwich. It is sweet, warm and gooey. It is definitely one of the better banana toasties featured this month.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Impromptu Toastie – Strawberry & Nutella

Bringing Nutella into my house is dangerous. I can quite literally stand in the kitchen with a spoon and eat the entire jar straight from the jar. In an attempt to reduce the likelihood of an epic Nutella binge, I have decided to make at least one more toastie using this heavenly gooey substance.

I did not have to go far in order to find inspiration for a Nutella toastie. The Nuttella website itself offers a few ideas for eating Nutella, one of which is ‘Nutella Strawberry Wraps.’ This is a simple recipe, spread Nutella on bread, cover with strawberries and make into cute looking wraps. How could I not take this idea and stick it in a toastie maker? It is easy to guess what this toastie tasted like, warm Nutella and strawberries. For those who have not tried Nutella, think of warm strawberries dipped into a chocolate fondue.

Like many sweet toasties, you do not really notice the bread. It provides a little bit of crunch but no real flavour. This is a pleasant toastie and is well worth making, however, I still prefer to eat my Nutella straight from the jar.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Banana - Banana, Nutella & Marshmallow

Despite my naivety regarding the combination of peanut butter and banana, I have heard of combining Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread) and banana. Today I am going to take the old banana and Nutella sandwich one-step further and add marshmallows.

To be honest, this toastie was a bit of a let down. I could not taste the marshmallow at all. They had melted into sugar syrup and made their way to the outside of the toastie and all over the grill plates. What a mess! For those reading along in countries where marshmallow spread is readily available, I would be curious to know if it works better than adding real marshmallows.

As many, a foodie would know chocolate and banana is a classic combination, whether it is in cakes, muffins or ice cream. This combination goes equally in a toastie. Banana and Nutella is a winner.

If you find yourself in need a carbohydrate hit, you cannot go past Nutella and banana toasted sandwiched made with white bread.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Banana - Bacon, Banana & Peanut Butter (Elvis Sandwich)

According to Wikipedia, the bacon, banana and peanut butter sandwich was a favourite of the late Elvis Presley. This grilled sandwich is not to be confused with a Fool’s Gold Loaf, which is a combination of bacon, peanut butter and jam packed into a warm hollowed-out loaf of bread.

I must admit my tastebuds were not looking forward to this experiment. The concept of combining peanut butter and banana is foreign to my pallet and not easy to imagine. In an attempt to subdue my reservations about this combination, I performed a web search for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It appears that this combination is quite common and well regarded amongst banana sandwich eaters. Is it weird that I have never heard of this before?

Anyway, back to the Elvis Sandwich. I received some seriously weird looks from my colleagues for this one. For some reason no one wanted to try some. To be honest, this toasted sandwich did not taste like much at all. All of the flavours mingled together. If I had to choose a flavour to say what it tasted like, it would be peanut butter.

Overall, it was a curious experiment. It was well worth doing just to see the look on people’s faces, but not worth repeating because of taste.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Banana - Banana & Honey

Banana and honey, is such a simple combination. To be honest, if the honey hand not fallen out of the pantry this morning, today’s toastie would have been a bit more complicated. Perhaps the pantry elves were trying to tell me something.

Like many things in life, it is good to go back and revisit the basics. This year, I am going to take some time to re-educate myself on simple flavour combinations that appear time and time again.

When you google banana recipes you are guaranteed to find at least one that uses honey. I can see why, it is yummy and perfect for a day when you do not what to eat or make something complicated.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Theme: Bananas

When I was a wee lass, bananas were a cheap snack food. These days, they are an expensive luxury. Thanks to changing weather patterns, the Australian banana plantations have taken a battering over the last couple of years. Bananas went from $2 per kilo to well over $12 per kilo. This spelled the end for home made banana cake, banana muffins and my personal favourite the banana sandwich.

The price of bananas has started to drop. A good banana will set you back around $6-7 per kilo, however the majority of bananas you see available are second grade. Despite being a couple of dollars per kilo cheaper, people are just not interested in a bruised banana. They are still too expensive for a banana cake!

On the weekend, I spotted some unripe bananas with only a few bruises for $2 per kilo. I jumped at the chance to for a banana sandwich and a breakfast of mashed banana on toast. To my surprise, these bananas have ripened beautifully. I though I celebrate my good banana luck, by dedicating this month to banana inspired toasted sandwiches!


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