Scoop Sponge: The Sponge for Germaphobes

The curvaceous design of Full Circle’s Scoop Sponge minimizes contact with the sink or counter while it’s not being used, increasing the speed at which it will dry out, thereby limiting opportunities for bacteria to fester in moist places.

$4.50 at amazon.com

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Brita Water Filters

Last week we moved to a new house, actually a different house, not a “new” house. The kitchen is very nice with great appliances. The one major adjustment is that there is no water on the door of the refrigerator. Yes, I know, I am spoiled, but it’s something that I am used to having. I bought a Brita water filter pitcher to keep in the fridge and yes, it’s orange! I am now a complete convert. It’s not as convenient, but the water is delicious. It is very “clean” tasting, with no funny after taste. It even has an Electronic filter change indicator.

Brita water filters are the best way to insure that your drinking water is as pure as possible. Using activated carbon and other technologies, Brita filters filter out impurities such as chlorine, lead, copper, mercury, giardia, and much more. The Brita Products Company, based in Oakland, California, is the leading maker of point-of-use water filtration products to improve the quality and taste of tap water.

Artichoke Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Grill Me Up Some Jalapeños!

My best foodie friend, Chris, introduced me to the chile grill.  Probably one of the coolest low tech culinary pieces of equipment I own.  You can use it on the grill or in the oven.  It is made by a company called Iron Desert.  The come in all shapes and sizes, like the shape of the state of Texas, pig or an even an armadillo!  I bought the 24 hole classic retangle.  I always use half jalapeños and half of the small sweet, red, yellow and orange peppers.  That way, if you have some friends that are total wimps, they can eat the sweet ones.

The wonderful thing about this grill is that the stuffing possibilities are endless. I have come up with my version, which is marinated artichokes, cream cheese and parmesan cheese all whized up together and topped off this a piece of bacon.  The chile grill website has loads of interesting recipes, even one stuffed with peanut butter (I think you would have to have a few beers to go there).  There is one I want to try, that you stuffed with corn bread mix.

If you do not want to order a chile grill, just take a metal, retangular roasting pan; cover it with foil, then make small Xs in the foil to stick the pepper in.  This keeps the peppers upright so that the filling doesn’t all ooze out – that would be a true tragedy!

Artichoke Cheese Stuffed Peppers

jalapeños
small sweet peppers
½ cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6-oz jar) marinated artichokes, drained
Bacon

Put the cheeses and artichokes into a food processor.  Process until smooth.

Poke a small hole in the bottom of each jalapeño. Pipe the cheese mixture into peppers.

Place 1/3 strip of bacon on top, secure with a toothpick and grill!   Cook peppers until cheese is browned and bubbly and bacon is crisp.

Waning Waffles

There is a very serious Eggo Waffle shortage people! My daughter will starve!  The Eggo factory in Atlanta had a flood due to heavy rain.  The Atlanta facility was closed during much of September and October to sanitize the plant after inspectors found Listeria monocytogenes — bacteria that can cause serious infection — in a sample of Eggos, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.  Yikes! 

Here is the scarey thing, my waffle maker broke!  Oh no!!!!!!  Of course, I secretly love when I have to buy new appliances.  So I made a big leap and bought the Food Network™ 4-in-1 Grill & Griddle.  It happened to be on sale and I also had a coupon for an extra $10 off.  I am a sucker for sales and coupons, even though nothing is really on sale, it’s just psychological ploy to make you feel like you are getting a deal! 

The plates are removable so that you can put them in the dishwasher.  The plates function as an open grill, panini press, griddle and waffle maker for versatile use.

Don’t you hate washing a waffle iron hanging off the counter trying not to immerse the cordage in water?  I do!  I also have had a George Foreman Grill for years.  It’s a wonderful grill, except I bought it before the removable plates were an option.

Toas-Tite Sandwiches

toas-tite-sandwich-moldAll of my life, my family has had a Toas-Tite sandwich maker. It is completely blackened with years of use. I happen to have inherited it when my mother moved to New York. What I grew up on was Velveeta “cheeze” on Wonder Bread. Delicious! The edges come out wonderfully crispy. They were originally made in 1945.

I have been experimenting with it lately and now make it with fresh mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes on sourdough bread. My daughter, Zoe and I are completely addicted. The possibilities are endless – thin slices of apple with cheddar or brie, pear and bacon (well, anything with bacon…) you get the idea.

My friend Cara just recently purchased on on ebay! And I gave one to my brother David, though he uses American cheese and white bread!

Check out the history and recipe ideas on http://toastiterecipes.com/