Sunday, October 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Fast forward 3 years to this past May. As some of you know, I have a neighbor who graciously offered to share her large garden area with me this summer and teach me the art of gardening. There was no question that zucchini would one of the adventures I'd undertake. With great excitement...and visions of bread, muffins, and cakes...I planted 2 mounds of zucchini with 6 seeds in each mound. I told the seeds that if they'd grow nice and big, I promised to turn their hard work in to lots of yummy things.
Fast forward, again, to about a two months ago. The seeds did their part in producing nice big plants...thank you peat moss! However, because the garden is not right outside my back door, I don't check it as often as I should. What happens, you may ask, to nice large zucchini plants that do not get checked on a regular basis? I give you exhibit A:
Yes, yes, I know. Someone needs to pick the zucchini more often! Most of those zucchinis are close to 2 feet long and between 5 and 6 inches in diameter.
I realize that for most people who grow zucchini consider those baseball bat size squashes to be complete failures. NOT ME! When I see those monsters, I know it's time to pull out my food processor and freezer bags. WOO HOO! I spent a couple hours a couple months ago shredding up all the giant squashes I had and ended up with 40...YES 40!...cups of shredded zucchini.
And you know where most of it went?
Even though most of the shredded goodness ended up in my freezer, I did take advantage of my abundant supply by trying a recipe I've had kicking around in my "try this" recipe pile for about two years. Instead of a basic zucchini bread, this recipe is made with a box of butterscotch pudding. I'm not sure where the recipe came from (or I'd reference it for you), but whoever created it deserves two thumbs up!
Butterscotch Zucchini Bread
1 c oil
2 t vanilla
2 c sugar
2 c grated zucchini
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 rolled oats
1 sm pkg butterscotch pudding
1 c nuts, raisins, or dates (optional)
Mix bread ingredients. Pour in 2 large greased, floured, wax paper lined loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
As far as the pudding goes, I've used regular once or twice, but I typically have sugar-free on hand and use it most often. The sugar-free does not seem to impact the bread in any way, so I say use it if that's what you have. I find that butterscotch can often be an overwhelming flavor. However, you don't have to worry about that here. The pudding simply adds a great deal of moisture to the bread without overpowering it with butterscotch flavor. Also, the first time or two I made the recipe I included the nuts. I've stopped doing that. I'm convinced that 99% of the time when a recipe says "nuts optional" they should be used, but not in this instance. The bread is so moist, the nuts get lost in it. With pecans nearing $5.50 a pound these days, they are wasted here.
I've made this recipe as a treat for my neighbors (hence the small plates of slices) and as a refreshment for a class I went to. It's been a huge hit each and every time! If you are fortunate to have a bounty of zucchini from your own garden, if you have to buy some at your local grocery store, or if you need to come raid my freezer, try this recipe. You won't be disappointed!
SIDE NOTE: I gave this recipe out at a class I went to. If you picked up the recipe at that class, I sadly forgot the cinnamon when wrote it down. The recipe really needs the cinnamon, so please add it to the recipe you have!
SIDE NOTE #2: I took 3 huge zucchinis to my family in California last week. My sister, and blog partner, now has 26 cups of shredded zucchini in her freezer! How hilarious is that!
SIDE NOTE #3: With the rest of the 40 cups that I did not freeze, I made mini loaves of pumpkin zucchini bread for Mr. C to take as Christmas gifts to families in the neighborhood he visits. My freezer currently runneth over!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Several years ago a friend of mine shared some cookies with me that I had never enjoyed the likes of before. I loved them, but couldn't pinpoint the flavor. I finally had to ask, "What is in this cookie?" When she told me the special ingredient, I recognized it right away and kicked myself for not realizing it sooner. Since that day, I've made this cookie recipe countless times. (It was one of the first things I taught in a cooking class!) When I wanted to take a couple containers of treats to a church meeting a couple weeks ago, this cookies seemed a perfect choice. As I watched those at the meeting munch and smile and munch and smile, I was a happy gal. But, as it always happens with this recipe, I didn't leave that night without someone saying to me, "What's in this cookie?"
This recipe came from my friend Cheryl who got it directly from the cafeteria at the Jordan River Temple. She and her husband always enjoyed the cookie there, so she asked for the recipe. What is the secret ingredient in this ever-popular goodie you may be asking? The secret, my friends, is ROOT BEER!
No...no...no...we're not talking a can of soda here. We are talking extract or concentrate. You know, the stuff that's on sale at your local grocery store during the summer because everyone is making homemade root beer!
It wasn't...on either account. The flavor level was exactly the same. Want my advice? Don't pay the extra for the extract. Just stock up on the concentrate during the summer when it's on sale and you'll be fine. (As a side note, contrary to popular belief there is no cocoa in this recipe. The color comes from the concentrate.)
Let's take a look at the recipe and we'll chat about it on the flip side.
Root Beer Cookies (makes 6 dozen)
1 c butter
2 c brown sugar
1 c buttermilk (I always use powdered)
2 1/2 (3) t root beer extract or concentrate
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
4 c flour (you may need more)
1/3-1/2 c butter
3 c powdered sugar
3 T water
2 1/2 (4) t root beer extract or concentrate
Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the buttermilk, extract, and eggs. Mix. Add the salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix well. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. Drop by rounded tablespoons on to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. For frosting, mix all ingredients together until you get the consistency you want. Frost cookies when they are cool.
OK, now that you know what's in the recipe, let's talk about a few things.
First, the flour. You will, most likely, have to add extra. I've added up to 3/4 c. extra before. The dough should not be overly sticky. If you find your in the sticky zone, add extra bit by bit until you get a texture that is a lot like what you'd get with a basic drop/chocolate chip type dough.
The cookies should bake up puffy and soft. Try baking one or two alone. If they don't puff up, consider adding a bit more flour.
Second, the buttermilk. Basically, DO NOT leave it out and DO NOT try to substitute regular milk. I have accidentally done the former and the cookies were flat as pancakes. My sister tried the latter and the cookies were a miserable failure. I always cook with powdered buttermilk simply from a money-saving consumer aspect. It works great in this recipe. Whether you use fresh or powdered, it doesn't matter. Just use it!
Third, the concentrate. I've given you the amount called for in the original recipe and my own personal preference in parenthesis. I find that the lesser amounts of concentrate are just not enough. I want to be able to taste the root beer. I don't need to feel like I'm guzzling a cold frosty mug of it, but I want to taste the flavor of it. I suggest tasting the frosting before you top the cookies and making sure you're comfortable with the flavor level. Start small so you can add more if you're not happy. But, I'd be surprised if you didn't end up at the higher amount. I don't ever taste the dough. I'd just add the extra to the batter.
Speaking of batter, that leads us to number four. The actual cookie in and of itself is surprisingly low on flavor. (This is why I do not hesitate to add the extra concentrate to the batter.) The frosting really makes this cookie so DO NOT LEAVE IT OFF. My sister tried that too and won't do it again.
How about one more glance at this tasty treat!Isn't it pretty! This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so it's great for sharing at work, church, or just brightening the day of your friends and neighbors. Make a batch. Eat some and then pass some around. And don't worry, it won't be long until you'll be hearing that ever popular inquiry, "What's in this cookie?"!
P.S. Is it just me or did you also not reazlize "root beer" is two words not one? Thank you spell check!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Imagine my joy back in May when some homemade caramels were given to me as a favor at a Mother's Day tea party I went to. It had been a while since I had nibbled on some homemade goodness, so I dove in and had a piece. HELP ME RHONDA, my caramel world stopped. These caramels were, far and away, THE BEST homemade caramels I'd ever had. They were so soft, chewy, and bursting with that unmistakable caramel flavor. PLUS, they had a layer of nuts on the bottom. In all my years of caramel munching, I'd never had homemade caramels with nuts. Having tried this new version of my old classic, I knew I'd never go back to where I'd been. There was one good/bad thing about my gifted treasures. They had been made with walnuts. This was bad for Mr. C who is deathly allergic to walnuts. But, this was good for me because it meant I got to eat them all myself! (I did tell Mr. C I was sorry he couldn't have any as I repeatedly stuffed them in my mouth!)
After arriving home from the tea party, I immediately emailed the hostess BEGGING for the recipe. She kindly obliged. (Thanks Kristi!) When I needed a treats to put with a church message this week, these caramels seemed the perfect option. Plus, the recipe gave me a chance to finally use the new digital thermometer my dad's wife had given me for Christmas. (I've been on a year long hunt for a reliable digital candy thermometer and Donna surprised me with one from Williams-Sonoma!)
Homemade Caramels with Nuts
1 c butter
1 16-oz pkg. brown sugar (2 1/4 c)
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 c light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped nuts (I use pecans)
Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with foil extending edges over the pan. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle prepared pan with nuts. In a heavy 3 qt. saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup. Mix well. Cook and stir over med-high heat to boiling. Cook and stir over med heat to 238 degrees. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla. Immediately pour caramel mixture in to the prepared pan. Let cool. When caramel is firm, use foil to lift it out of the pan and lift the caramel piece off the foil. (I cut mine directly on my countertop.) Use a buttered knife to cut in to 1" squares. Wrap squares in wax paper squares. Makes 2 lbs.
This recipe was very similar to the version I had been using with a couple of exceptions (besides the nuts). My old recipe calls for 1 1/2 c of light corn syrup. This one only uses 1 c. And, my old recipe called for 2 c of white sugar while this one uses 2 1/4 c of brown. (I'm convinced the brown sugar is one of they keys to this version being as fabulous as it is.) If you don't like nuts, you can easily not use them. If you like nuts, USE THEM. It takes your candy to a whole new level!
Oh yeah, and the digital thermometer worked like a dream. I'll never go back to the dial kind.
Two quick side notes. First, make sure you have your caramel off the heat when you pour in your vanilla (or other extract you are using to flavor your candy). Even off the heat, the extract will react a bit with your hot caramel. On the heat, it's just plain dangerous. I always stand back just a bit when pouring my extract in so I'm free of splatters and the inevitable vapors that result. Second, the recipe says you can use 2 c of light cream in place of the condensed milk if you want, but it will double the time it takes to get to 238 degrees. You'll be stirring for 45+ minutes rather than 15-20.
Mr. C was so kind to wrap all my little beauties as I tried to cut them. (The recipe isn't kidding when it suggests a buttered knife. I had to spray my knife with Pam after cutting each row.) He ran in to a bit of trouble when some of the wax paper squares I'd cut were too small for square caramels so he started rolling and wrapping them in an oblong shape. I will confess a couple got gobbled up before being wrapped. I still had quite a few left after what I needed for my church stuff and also filling a container for Mr. C to hand out at work. After having 2 of them for breakfast the next morning, I started farming them out to friends. They're a great way to add a little to happiness to some one's day. Plus, I knew I was doomed to eat them all if they continued to live in my kitchen. Double bonus!
Go make a batch of these...right now...go make them. And just so you won't get too sick from eating them all, share them with your friends and neighbors. I will confess to still having a couple here in the house. Just thinking about them is making my mouth water. OK, that's it. I'm going to find one.
P.S. If you want licorice flavored caramels, or any other flavor for that matter, add a dram or two (depending on how strong you want your flavor) to the caramel mixture when you add the vanilla. But, stand back. The oil will react like the vanilla and cause some vapors for a few seconds. It's nothing major, but I thought you should know. Consider yourself warned!
P.P.S. on 10/6/11...So, I've done a little revamping of this post. After making my caramels again, I'm back to my original 238 degree stopping point. I have updated that in this post. Also, the bigger your pan, the thinner your caramels will be, so choose your pan size accordingly. (I typically use a 7 X 11 pan because I like my pieces about the size of a caramel square you'd get at a candy shop.) I've also found an easier way to cut my pieces, rather than getting my knife all gummed up, is to roll a pizza cutter back and forth really quickly. The thicker the caramels the gummier your cutter will get, but it can be better than a knife at times.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
I'd seen a recipe on a blog for a peanut butter crispy treat that looked intriguing and thought it would make a great addition to my "basket o'treats." Sadly, when I went looking for it, I couldn't find it. I did some searching around online and found a lot of recipes that seemed similar. I combined a little of this one and a little of that one and came up with my own version of this tasty, easy treat.
The great things about this treat are numerous: you can make the recipe in a matter of minutes, it utilizes ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, it's very inexpensive, and the flavors really compliment one another. It's a great blend of crunchy and creamy, salty and sweet. Want to know how to make it? OK, I'll tell you!
Peanut Butter Cereal Treats
1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter
6 c. corn chex cereal
1 c. salted peanuts
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the corn syrup and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter. Combine cereal and peanuts in a large bowl. Pour syrup mixture over cereal and peanuts; stir to combine. Press cereal mixture in to the pan. When cooled and firm, cut in to bars.
The peanut buttery sauce that glues the cereal and nuts together is heavenly. It's almost like a peanut butter caramel. It takes some gently stirring to get the mixture to go from this...
...but it's well worth the effort. I've found that if I stir slowly with a rubber spatula, the cereal stays relatively whole and the peanuts distribute nicely. Also, if you don't have chex cereal, use crispy rice cereal. It will work just as well.
Please pardon, once again, the blueish tint of my fluorescent kitchen lighting.)
Back to my confession. I still maintain my treat basket idea was a brilliant one. The planning was a blast. Even the baking of several different goodies went off without a hitch. The problem I must confess is that the treats never made it out of my kitchen. (If you are my neighbor, I sincerely apologize.) Distractions kept me from ever putting together my baskets. Pathetic! I must sadly report that several (and by that I mean WAY more than should have) treats ended up in my own tummy. I eventually farmed the weekend's bounty out to Mr. C's co-workers. However, the good news is that conference comes twice a year, so I can start planning now to surprise my neighbors in October.
Note to self: follow through with your plan next time.
In the meantime, I think I'll go make a batch of these:
I bet my neighbors would be just as happy with a plate of them today as they would have been 2 months ago.
P.S. Welcome to any new friends visiting after hearing about this blog at my cooking class today! I'm so happy that you're here!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
These little beauties have a lot of names in our family. My aunt calls them Abracadabras. Some people call them wraps or pinwheels. But, in my immediate family, we call them "Little Burrito Things." We love these things. It's rare for any family event to go by without little burrito things being there.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking there are 1,000,001 roll up type recipes out there. You're right. There are. I've found this one to be different than others I've tried because it's more of an appetizer type roll up than a meat and cheese sandwich type roll. Whether I've made them for a casual craft day with friends, or a formal open house, the recipe has been a hit. In fact, on year I made about 500 for a church Christmas party and not one came back home. (Good thing since I was sick of them by that point!)
The ingredients are few, simple, and cheap. Let me show you!
Little Burrito Things
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cans chopped olives
2 can green chilies (undrained)
1/2-1 t. Bon Appetit seasoning (or seasoned salt)
4 packages of pressed ham lunch meat
10 8" flour tortillas
Mix the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add seasoning to taste. Layer 4 pieces of ham on each tortilla. Divide the cream cheese mixture among the tortillas and spread leaving a 1" border on one side. Roll up beginning from the edge opposite the 1" edge. Cover the wraps and chill. Slice before serving.
Could it be more simple than that? I think not! Let's review a couple things. First of all, the Bon Appetit. If you don't have this incredible seasoning in your home, RUN--don't walk--to the store to get some. It's a lovely combination of celery seed, onion, and salt. The not so lovely part? It can be difficult to find. And, when you find it, it can be 5.00-6.00 a the small spice bottle. I think it's worth the investment though. It will last you for a very long time, it can be used in other things, and I think it makes this dish. But, you can substitute basic seasoned salt if you prefer. Second, the ham. Buy the cheapest pressed stuff a the store. You know, the super thin stuff that is about 60 or so cents a package. Each package has 10 slices in it and 4 packages will divide perfectly among the 10 tortillas. Third, the chilies. Don't worry about them being spicy. They are mixed in enough cream cheese that they add flavor without spice.
Just a couple side notes. I ususally cut my rolls about 3/4" wide, but you can cut them as wide or thin as you like. Cutting them at 3/4" will give you about 70 or so little rolls. Also, this recipe is super easy to half or multiply (remember the 500 Christmas rolls), so it's great for small or large gatherings.
Want to know one of the best parts of making little burrito things? These:
The ends! The ends of each roll up never stay closed, so they get tossed aside. In our family, it's always a race to see who gets to them first! I suggest slicing the rolls when nobody else is around. That way you don't have to fight over the ends. They'll be all yours!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I've heard of chilaquiles before on Food Network, but I'd never considered making the dish. Chilaquiles is a Mexican dish that was created to help people use up leftovers. It's traditionally made using meat, cheese, corn tortillas, and chiles. I recently checked out the Everyday Food "Great Food Fast" cookbook from my library and found a recipe for chicken chilaquiles inside. (I am still on a "no cookbook" buying restriction for another month so I check out A LOT of them from the library.) I decided to give the recipe a try. Oh happy eating, am I ever glad I did! Look at this gorgeous dish:
I worried the recipe might be too complicated or time consuming, but it was surprisingly quick and easy. (I guess that's why it's in a cookbook called "Great Food Fast.") It came together in under 30 minutes. I had to buy a couple ingredients I don't usually have on hand. The recipe calls for chiles in adobo and queso fresco or queso anejo cheese. Both were easy to find at Walmart. And, happy for me, they were not expensive. There was one ingredient I couldn't find, but I was able to make do without it.
Here's the recipe. We'll chat more about it on the flip side:
Chicken Chilaquiles from Everyday Food
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped (I always used minced garlic that I buy in bulk at Costco)
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
2 chipotle chiles in adobo (from a small can), finely chopped
1 T adobo sauce (from the same can as the chiles)
1 c water
4 c shredded chicken
1/2 c lightly packed cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/4 c crumbled queso fresco or queso anejo cheese (can substitute feta)
4 c tortilla chips
1/4 c sour cream
Combine the oil and garlic in a large (3-4 quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and sizzling (about 1-2 minutes). Add the tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles, adobo sauce, and water. Bring to a boil, season with salt. Reduce the heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened (6-8 minutes). Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until hot (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in the chopped cilantro. Divide tortilla chips among 4 shallow bowls; top with the chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, and cheese.
Remember when I said there was an ingredient I couldn't find? Believe it or not it was the tomatoes in puree. Search as I might, I couldn't find any. I ended up just using regular diced tomatoes and they worked fine. The sauce may have been a little thinner than it should have been, but neither Mr. C nor I cared. It was delicious. Also, there is something to keep in mind about the spice level. Adobo sauce and chipotle chiles carry some heat. If you don't like a lot of spice, ease off on the tablespoon of sauce and the chiles. Mr. C always sweats when he eats spicy food. He was dripping with this one. Next time I think I may half the chipotle chiles and the adobo sauce. I like spice, but it was a tiny bit overwhelming. (Ironically, the leftovers the next day didn't seem as spicy.)
Now, the cheese. Ahhhhhh, the cheese. Just look at that gorgeous cheese!
The recipe actually calls for feta, but the top of the recipe page says, "For an authentic touch, use fresh Mexican cheese...in place of feta." Do it. DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! The recipe recommends queso fresco which is a fresh soft cheese or queso anejo which is an aged cheese. I used the fresco and, like my experience with the salad at the Mexican restaurant, I was enthralled with it. It's a crumbly cheese so I broke off pieces like I would with feta. I had plenty left over after making our 2 plates. The extra is happily hibernating in my freezer awaiting it's next lovely appearance.
I cannot say enough about the cheese.
We loved the tortilla chips on the bottom of the dish. For the first few bites, the chips were still crispy and the texture of the dish was fabulous. The longer the sauce sits on top of the chips, the softer they get. The tortillas become almost a soft corn meal, yet they stay just as tasty. We opted not to put the sour cream on top.
This dish is so easy and so tasty. Go make it, right now! Unless you don't have any Mexican cheese. Go get some and THEN make it. It's the one ingredient that takes this recipe from delicious to out of this world. But beware! Once you try the fabulousness that is Mexican cheese, you'll be hooked.
(I'm finally posting the recipe because it's time for the cookbook to go back to the library and I need the recipe for my binder of recipes!)
Monday, May 24, 2010
today i saw a blog claiming they had a recipe for 25 calorie chocolate chip cookies. then i read that the cookies were only 2 t. of cookie dough. BLAH. not ENOUGH! but last night i wanted a treat to watch celebrity apprentice. so i lucked out when i pulled a hungry girl recipe for brownies on saturday.
our mom doesn't cook. can you believe it? she just doesn't. she hates it. our parents eat out nearly every night and when they eat in it is mainly prepared foods. one of the things my Mom would heat up when I was in high school a lot was ziti from costco. oh my deliciousness. it's heavenly. and sometimes when i would come home from college on breaks, this managed to find itself into the oven. even still, going home as a new mommy myself, this finds its way into the cart.
- 1/2 ziti
- 1/2 sauce mixture
- provolone cheese (oh delicious)
- ricotta mix
- remaning ziti
- remaining sauce
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Don't you just love the giant flashlight!
I am happy to report the rescue mission was an eventual success.
I ended up making 2 changes to the recipe...one on accident and one on purpose. (I am the queen of screwing up a recipe and not realizing it until it's too late to fix.) More on that later! For now, here's the recipe:
Chocolate Waffle Cookies (slightly adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies)
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 c butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c + 2 T cocoa powder
1 1/2 c flour
powdered sugar for dusting
Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over med-high heat, stirring constantly. Let cool slightly. Put eggs, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until pale, 4-5 min. Mix in chocolate mixture (I only let mine cool the 4-5 min), salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder and flour. Heat a waffle iron until hot; lightly coat with cooking spray. Spoon about 1 T of batter onto the center of each waffle iron square. Close cover; cook 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, bottom sides up. Let cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter, coating grids after each batch. Dust with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 dozen. (I got about 4 1/2.)
So, what were my changes?
The unintentional change/mistake was to put 1/2 c PLUS the 2 T of cocoa in the cookie batter. I missed the word "divided" when reading the original recipe. I didn't realize the 1/2 c was for the batter and the 2 T was for a glaze to dip the baked cookies in. However, I won't leave out the extra cocoa next time. If you prefer, use the original 1/2 c, but I highly recommend the extra tablespoons.
What was my intentional change? Eliminating the glaze I just mentioned. The recipe says to make the glaze and then dip the raised part of the cookie in it. I actually made the glaze. I even dipped a few cookies in it. But, a few was all it took to realize I didn't like it at all. It was too bitter and, in my opinion, added nothing to the cookie. I liked them with just the dusting of powdered sugar on top.
I'm not sure if the lady I took a plate of cookies to liked them (I can only hope), but they were a big hit at my church event that night. Everyone kept saying, "Cookies from a waffle iron? I've never seen that before."
While my cookies were a success, I'm afraid I won't be making them again anytime soon. Sadly, about 2 weeks later, my waffle iron did a swan dive off the kitchen counter and fell to its death. I wanted to try and keep using it. Mr. C was opposed citing possible electrocution from the now exposed cords and plates. Oh well. Maybe now I can talk him in to getting me one of those cool flippy irons like you see in hotels!