Thursday, July 25, 2013

Waffle Fail to Waffle Perfection (with some adjustment!)

I am totally not ashamed to admit and share my cooking/baking failures complete with photos!!  I think they are worth a giggle and if they help someone else, well then my kitchen flubs are useful! :)  So as my family ventures into a healthier lifestyle and I attempt to do more of the making and baking, I hope to share some more ROTFLMBO (rolling on the floor laughing my but off!) moments.

This morning's adventure begins a week ago, in which I wander into a hair brained idea!  I've been scouring the web for ideas for lunches that we can use, either to pack and store in the fridge or on the counter - so when the lunch crunch comes, I have something ready made that is healthy and I just need to put on the table, or on days that are crazed with adventure - we can pack up and picnic wherever!!

A couple days ago I saw a site where someone had some strawberry shortcake waffles made from a homemade waffle iron!  Lightbulbs flash in my brain... OMGosh! I have one of those!  I bought one nearly 9 years ago, and after a few visual successes and flavours to my liking, FrogGirl (my oldest then 3) announced she preferred the store bought ones ... she told me a couple days ago that the issue was not taste or flavour - but the mere fact that they were square and not what she was used to!!  

My hope was restored! The waffle iron was collecting dust in my house somewhere and I knew just where too!  So I dug it out.  I then found a recipe for Gluten Free (because I'm trying go 'less' gluten) and top 8 allergen free waffle batter.  Easy Breezy right!  HA!  This is me we are talking about!  Pictured left here is the very first waffle hot off the iron after 9+ years of no use! *GRIN*
My girls now 12, 7, and 3, looked on and laughed when I wanted to cry.  My 7 yr old clamoured... "But mum they smell awesome and I want to eat it anyway!"  So I rolled it off and handed it to her! Not before snapping a picture and facebooking it first... which was met with the very first response: "I would never, with a million guesses, guess that was a waffle."  This made me laugh

The 12 yr old came next and said "I want some!" - she then proceeded to try and make a sugar glaze dipping sauce for hers!

Attempt #2 was then demanded by the 3 yr old, who ate it with lots of mmmms and nnnmmms.  By now I'm questioning the recipe which told me not to spray, it simply would not stick!  (um I begged to differ!)  So I figured I'd use some margarine - which I had hoped to avoid!  I'm also starting to suspect that there is something missing from my iron - namely a little clip which didn't seem important - and had broken off sometime in the last 9 years!
Multiple questions are running through my head now.  Is the recipe a dud?  Is the clip really necessary.  I ate the other half of GiraffeGirl's waffle, and while tasty it seems a little on the soft/undercooked side.  Since there are no eggs in it, I'm not worried, but made a mental note to try it longer next time!  So this time I decide to hold the iron closed which I believe the clip would do.  I did not add more margarine, but did let it cook a little longer.

Attempt #3 was scoffed by the 12 and 7 yr old.   And it is starting to look like it should!  YAY Me!
So Attempt #4.  I broke out the Olive oil cooking spray and doused that baby with all it's chemical laden badness, all hopes of today's success blowing out the window in a fit of "THIS THING WILL NOT BEAT ME!"  (yes I flickered a Jekyll and Hyde image!)  I then took a towel and squeezed that sucker shut -growling the whole time! Until BirdGirl (7) yelled "It's oozing out the sides mum!" and her two sisters came to inspect a mid a flurry of "eeewwwws" and "gross-es!" Like a killed it!  The light flickered off, and on a couple times, and the girls asked if I was gonna take it out.  I said "Not yet!"  I think they were scared at that moment! LOL! (kidding)  I gave it long and then slowly popped that sucker open and YES!  After 4 attempts and in a fit of total Lunacy - I won!  Bird Girl and I split the last waffle - for now I can call it a waffle!

I learned a few things!

1. Despite what the recipe says - you will need a spray!  (so I will find a non chemical spray to use!)
2. The clippy-thing, just might actually be important!  (but not so much that I'll buy a new iron until I master this!)
3.  The auto-timer on the waffle iron isn't really a timer, it's just a heat indicator that tells when the element is on, so I'll need to figure out how long to cook those beasts for real! :)
4.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Taste doesn't give a fig if it looks good!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Nature Box

So the Nature Box finally arrived a few days after my last post, but all that is my life has been up-ended by this silly move.  Chaos, takes over at every opportunity!  We aren't actually moving til the middle of August but there is so very much to do... and my house looks like someone detonated a mess making machine in it... oh wait, that's what three kids can do!

So anyway back to the nature box.  Remember this is the family box, which means two of each package.

So this is what the box looked like on first open. Though the info card was buried a little deeper in the box.  Once I took the extras out, there were 5 packages with about 4 small portion servings in them, basically enough for a taste and you'd need to beef it up with something else maybe a piece of fruit or some veggies or, well you get the idea.

So inside the box was the

  1. Tuscan Summer Mix.  I can't say this one is a favourite.  I tend to like my nuts and sees with a tiny bit of salt and not much more, but theses have a hint of herbs and Romano cheese, which means the littlest didn't even get a taste of them.  The two older girls weren't too keen on them either, I guess the flavour was all wrong for all of us! :)
  2. Cherry Crumble Granola.  A favourite.  I put some on my regular cereal a few times before sharing with the girls.  I don't recall seeing what happened to the 2nd package or the rest of the first for that matter.  This was gone in pretty short order!  So ya, that was a hit!
  3. Mango Almond Bites.  Another favourite.  These were like little Rice Crispy Square (and i mean little) with bits of almond and Mango in them.  Same thing happened with these as the Cherry Crumble, though I gave the girls first dibs on them.  They had a couple as a small snack and came back for more.  The package of these quickly disappeared too!
  4. Tart & Tangy Fruit Medley.  An interesting mix of dried cranberries and apples.  Only one of my kids like dried fruit a whole lot, so she dug into these and would have eating the whole bag but for the new braces she got!  She liked them, I thought they were okay, but the two littles weren't thrilled.
  5. South Pacific Plantains.  Okay these were very different.  All of us have been having cravings for potato chips lately, and these were a neat variation.  They were all wrong on first bite, but then I realized just how much I liked them... and had to steal t hem from my husband before he ate the rest.  as it turned out he had half and I had half a package and we split the last package with the girls who weren't terribly thrilled with them, but then they don't like Baked Chips either.
All in all!  I think it was a pretty good introductory to what Naturebox is about.  We only really didn't like one item, but that is more a personal flavours thing than a problem with the package.  I'm not sure it is worth the money I've paid for it, but I will continue getting more.  I'm more interested in the variety and ideas in the package at the moment because our snacking and lunching repertoire is kind of limited and needs a face lift!

So there you have it...