SINGLE SERVING WHOLE WHEAT OAT PANCAKES

Hi, friends!

Being here in Boston, yesterday was a snow day for me. We got so much snow! It was nice to have the day off, although I was a little lonely since my husband is on a business trip this week.

As soon as I knew it was going to be a snow day, I decided that also meant it needed to be a pancake breakfast kind of day. Am I right?

I usually opt for these buttermilk pancakes or my banana bread pancakes, but both of those recipes make about 10-12 pancakes. I definitely didn’t need 10 pancakes just for myself, so it was time to come up with a single serving variety.

Single Serving Whole Wheat Oat Pancakes

SINGLE SERVING WHOLE WHEAT OAT PANCAKES

Makes 3 medium-sized pancakes 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt (I used plain Greek)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. of any add-in of your choice (optional)
    • chocolate (or any kind of) chips
    • blueberries
    • strawberries
    • bananas
    • nuts

Note: if using a fruit add-in, you could use a fruit yogurt of the same flavor to make it extra fruity.

Directions 

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Then add egg, vanilla, yogurt, and water. Blend well.

2. If using an add-in, mix that in last, folding gently if using a fresh fruit.

3. Heat a large griddle over the stove. Spray griddle pan with cooking spray or butter. Drop batter onto pan into 3 medium-sized pancakes.

4. Heat for about 2 minutes and flip. Cook another 2 minutes until done.

5. Serve with butter, syrup, jam, peanut butter, or whatever your heart desires.

I opted for mini chocolate chips as my add in & served with lots of butter & syrup.

Single Serving Whole Wheat Oat Pancakes

I’m thinking this single serving size will really come in handy when I have a craving for a “real” breakfast once baby arrives, but it’s much less work than a full recipe of pancakes. I also see this as a convenient way to make pancakes for my daughter once she starts eating solid foods – how fun!

I thought the oats might give it a gritty texture, but I hardly noticed. I love sneaking oats and whole wheat into recipes that traditionally call for white flour. It’s almost always worth the swap, in my opinion.

Single Serving Whole Wheat Oat Pancakes

This recipe made what I consider three medium size pancakes. This was definitely enough to leave me totally satisfied but not completely stuffed.

Serve with a glass or orange juice & some fruit salad and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

Questions for You: 

  • Do you love single serving recipes or what?!
  • What do you add in to your pancakes, if anything?

SPICY JALAPENO COINS

One of my current addictions is a simple recipe my husband made that we call jalapeno coins. I originally tried making these for my Just Eat July challenge a couple of weeks back, but I never posted the recipe.

The hubby has now perfected the batter, so I thought I’d share. If you like spicy, this is definitely for you. But – even if you’re not huge into spicy but can deal with a little bit of spice, there are a couple of ways you can modify this to your liking.

Before making these, I actually never liked eating jalapenos. I always thought they were too spicy. But once cooked and with a little creamy sauce to dip in, the flavor is definitely worth the bite of the spice.

So crispy & full of flavor!

Ingredients: 
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced into 1/8 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder*
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8-1/4 cup cold beer of your choice*
  • Safflower or grape seed oil

Directions: 

1. Heat oil over medium heat to thoroughly coat entire bottom of frying pan. Make sure to use one of the two oils listed, as these are the best frying oils and good for high heat.

If you use something like olive oil, the oil actually breaks down and releases carcinogens, smokes, and burns your food.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, except baking powder. Slowly stir in beer until you get the consistency of thin pancake batter. Add baking powder to thicken and stir well.

3. Dip the sliced jalepenos into the batter, coating both sides well.

4. Using a fork, gently place the coins into the frying pan, working in batches of about 8 coins at a time (so you have time to flip them all). Flip over after bottoms have browned.

5. Remove after both sides have been browned. Transfer to a plate with a paper towel or two on it to absorb the oils.

6. After all the coins are done, lightly salt and enjoy with ranch, thousand island, or a sauce of your choice. Enjoy!

* Note: If you want this to be less spicy, don’t include the chili powder in the batter. Also, when selecting jalepenos, get ones that do not have lines or cracks going down the sides. Those are the extra spicy ones!

If you don’t have beer or just don’t want to use it, you can use cold water instead.

If you want to double this recipe, there should actually be plenty of batter leftover. Just add two more jalapenos.

This is definitely one of my favorite side dishes or quick appetizers. It’s one of the simplest things to make and requires very few ingredients. Something I want to try with these in the future: putting them on top of a burger! Mmm!

Questions for You: 

  • What level of spicy are you okay with? Or do you & spicy not mix altogether?
  • What’s one food you used to really hate but now enjoy so much?

DCS 36-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill Review

A high-powered grill with innovative features – this is one of the best ways to describe the DCS 36-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill. If you search for gas grill reviews online, you will see that it isn’t one of the popular choices unlike those that are from well-known brands. Nonetheless, it is still worth looking at its features and performance.

If you want to know more, read this short DCS 36-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill review and we’ll look at its notable features.

Main Product Features

Even if this grill is not from one of those brands that many people will easily recognize, it does not fail to offer a set of exceptional features.

Double-Sided Stainless Steel Cooking Grates

It is one of the features that make this grill excellent in terms of versatility. One side has a grooved shape, which is great for having seared lines on your meats. Meanwhile, the other side is large and curved, which is great for more delicate items, such as vegetables and fish.

871 Square Inches Cooking Space

This makes the cooking surface large enough even when you are grilling for a large group. Aside from the main grilling area, there is a dedicated rotisserie burner, as well as a warming rack.

25,000 BTU Main Burner

The grill comes with three burners, which can deliver a high-power output of 25,000 BTU. This means that there is no need for you to wait for a long time before the grill heats up.

Grease Management System

This is a feature that has been developed by the manufacturer to catch grease effectively. This simplifies the cleaning of the grill while also being effective in the prevention of flare-ups.

The Good

If you still find it hard to be convinced that this grill will make a great pick, below are the benefits that might make you change your mind.

Easy to Use

One of the things that we love about this grill is the fact that it is user-friendly. Right out of the box, the assembly will not take too much time. The knobs are in strategic positions, making it easy to control the grill. Cleaning and maintenance of the grill will also be a snap.

Comes with a Rotisserie

This also makes a great choice in terms of versatility. More than grilling, you will also be able to use it as a rotisserie.

Solid Construction

At its price range, this is one thing that we already expect. The body is made of 304 welded and high-grade stainless steel, so you can be confident that it will be able to withstand the test of time. Even the burners are made of solid stainless steel.

The Bad

As with other grills, the DCS 36-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill is far from perfect. It has a couple of drawbacks that might make you hesitant in having it chosen.

Expensive

If you are looking for a budget-friendly grill, this one isn’t for you. The steep price might easily set off most people. Nonetheless, if you consider its features and performance, it will be easier to understand why the grill comes at a cost.

Ceramic Rods

The construction of the radiant rods is another issue that is worth noting. This is made of ceramic, which can be easily susceptible to breaking. There are many higher-end alternatives that are made of longer-lasting materials while delivering efficient performance.

Conclusion

Even if the DCS 36-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill is not from a popular brand, it is one product that is worth your attention. It has a solid construction, guaranteeing extended lifespan. It is versatile as you can use it as a rotisserie and the cooking grid comes with a reversible design. Plus, you will also love how user-friendly the grill is, even if you are a novice.

Best Electric Smoker for the Money: 2019 Top Picks and Buying Guide

Gone were the days when using a smoker is a dreaded task. With an electric smoker, it is now quicker and easier. There are coils that will produce heat to carry out the smoking process while still guaranteeing natural and smoky flavor. This is unlike traditional smokers that use flames. Most of the functions are also automated, allowing it to deliver a set-and-forget functionality.

Looking for the best electric smoker for the money? If you have no idea which one to buy, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from some of our recommendations.

Old Smokey Electric Smoker

The shape and overall design of this model will remind you of a traditional drum smoker. The main material that is used is aluminized steel, which is lightweight. If there is one problem with this material, however, it would be that it can easily get hot, so observe caution in its use!

In terms of design, one thing that you will love in this electric smoker is the flat roof. The latter is beneficial in allowing the juices to condense directly and above the meat, which will make it more flavorful.

There is a dial that will allow you to choose the temperature based on what is needed by your recipe. Some people might not like how there is no numeric display, which means that you cannot be more precise in setting the level of heat. A meat thermometer is recommended to easily monitor the process.

Lastly, it is also worth mentioning that it comes with a heating element that delivers 1,250 watts. This is far from being the most powerful, but at its price point, this will be more than enough. With its heating mechanism, it can reach a maximum temperature of 300 degrees. Although, when smoking meat, it is advisable that you keep the temperature at 225 to 250 degrees.

Pros:

  • Space-efficient body
  • Requires minimal supervision
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Exterior can get extremely hot
  • Can be difficult to load

Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker

The brand name itself can already provide you a good reason to have it considered over many of its competitors. Technically speaking, it can also prove to be impressive. It has a heating capacity of 1,500 watts with the ability to reach a maximum temperature of 400 degrees.

When it comes to its design, the interior has three chrome racks. The racks are removable, making it easy to have a bigger space if you will smoke larger items. In total, you will get 548 square inches of a cooking surface while the body remains lightweight and portable. With handles on both sides, it will be easy to move it around even if it is not equipped with wheels.

In the front door, you can see a thermometer with analog design. It is easy to read despite not having a digital display. This will help to keep track of the internal temperature in the absence of having to open the door every now and then.

Lastly, this is a favorite of many beginners because of its intuitive design. Even if it is your first time to use an electric smoker, you will not encounter serious problems. You can operate the smoker without complications!

Pros:

  • Designed with an ergonomic handle
  • Durable construction
  • High wattage and temperature capacity

Cons:

  • No electronic temperature control
  • Smoke can be prone to leaking

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

This vertical smoker has a 544 square inches of cooking area, which is generous enough for most people. The cooking grates are chrome-plated. The exterior, on the other hand, has double-wall insulation. The latter is the one that is responsible for its ability to maintain consistent temperature throughout its use.

The smoker comes with front-access wood chip, grease cup, and water tray, making it easy to use. For monitoring the temperature, on the other hand, an analog gauge is located in front at the top center part of the door. You can see the temperature inside without the need to open the door, which means that heat and smoke will be trapped. There are also dual door latches to prevent smoke leaks.

With the 1,200-watt cooking element, you can expect it to be powerful enough for most small to mid-scale tasks. On the other hand, for commercial and large-scale use, the wattage can be underwhelming for some users, as well as the overall capacity of this electric smoker.

The analog temperature control, however, can be a problem for a lot of people. This is quite tricky to adjust compared to digital control. With long-term use, meanwhile, you will get used to it.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Compact design
  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Short power cord
  • Fine tuning temperature can be tricky

Best Pellet Smoker for the Money: 2019 Top Picks and Buying Guide

Want to enjoy smoky meat that is oozing with flavor? Then, you will need the best pellet smoker for the money, including the brands and models listed on this post.

It should be noted that not all pellet smokers are created equal. Aside from price, they are also different in terms of durability, ease of use, versatility, size, and features, among other things. As a responsible buyer, you need to go beyond cost when deciding which one is best to purchase.

Our Top Picks for the Best Pellet Smoker

Unsure which one to choose? Below are three of the models that should be on your list.

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Wood Pellet Grill Smoker

At its price, this product is impressive because of its generous smoking surface. The upper rack of the pellet smoker has a surface area of 141 square inches while the lower rack is 429 square inches. In total, the surface area is 429 square inches, providing you with plenty of space.

The hopper capacity is also impressive since it can hold up to 18 pounds of pellet. This eliminates the need to have it frequently refilled throughout the process of smoking.

It has the innovative Smart Smoke Technology, which will help in maximizing the results. You do not need to be left guessing as most of the work will be done by the machine on its own without the need for manual configuration.

For the temperature range, you can set it from 160 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which will allow you to use it not only for smoking but also for other tasks, such as for grilling.

Lastly, for your peace of mind, it is good to know that the manufacturer is offering a warranty for three years.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and assemble
  • Durable construction
  • Generous size

Cons:

  • Temperature sensor can have issues
  • Ash can easily accumulate

Z-Grills ZPG-7002ENC Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

This product delivers flexible convection cooking, which is one of the reasons why it can provide the best bang for the buck. Aside from being a smoker, you can also use it for grilling, baking, roasting, and braising, among other things.

As an improved version of the previous model from the manufacturer, one of the new features that you can find in this product is the temperature and pellet feed control system.  It auto-ignites the grill and makes it easy to set the desired temperature anywhere from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

It also comes with a huge cooking area, which will allow you to smoke more within a short span of time. The total rack surface is 700 square inches. Even the pellets will not need to be frequently replaced as the hopper can hold up to 20 pounds.

The LED temperature read-out is also a plus, making it easy to monitor the functionality of this pellet smoker.

In terms of ease of use, you will also love this product. It is free of complications.  It has an electronic auto ignition, which is possible with digital control. It also comes with automatic temperature control depending on the external conditions.

Lastly, it also comes with a three-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • Comes with free pellets
  • Durable construction

Cons:

  • No ash cleaning feature
  • Can have temperature spikes

Pit Boss Grill 71820FB PB820FB Pellet Grill and Smoker

A lot of its users are comparing this model to the Trager pellet grill and smoker, except that this model is cheaper. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the functionality and performance are compromised.

In total, there is an 820-square-inch cooking area, which makes it generous in terms of its capacity. Despite this, moving it around does not need to be difficult. This can be attributed to the fact that there are two wheels on the side.

Ease of use is one more thing that you will love in this product. There is no need to be an expert in making the most out of this pellet smoker. It has a dial-in temperature control, which will make it a snap to set the temperature from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a LED readout that will be easy for you to see any time of the day.

The flame broiler is also a good feature of this model, especially when it comes to its versatility. It has a slide plate that will be useful when grilling burgers and steaks, allowing you to use it beyond a smoker.

Lastly, the innovative convection system is one more thing that makes this an exceptional product. With fan-forced air, it is more efficient compared to traditional systems.

Pros:

  • Gives great smoky flavor
  • Set-up is easy
  • Large cooking area

Cons:

  • Conveyor can be prone to jamming
  • Some parts are flimsy

Best Thermometer for Big Green Egg: 2019 Top Picks and Buying Guide

Big Green Egg, also known as a Kamado grill, it’s a popular choice for grilling enthusiasts. It has an intelligent design and state-of-the-art materials, providing unmatched efficiency and performance. To make the most out of it, make sure to invest in a top-notch thermometer.

With the use of the best thermometer for Big Green Egg, it will be easy to monitor the heat inside, eliminating the need to frequently open the lid. This ensures grilling consistency while also making sure of convenience on your end.

Clueless about which product will make the best choice? Keep on reading and learn from some of our recommendations.

Our Top Picks for the Best Thermometer for Big Green Egg

Below are three of the top products that should be on your list, as well as some of the reasons why they are exceptional choices.

ThermoPro TP-07 Wireless Remote Digital Thermometer

Monitoring temperature when grilling meat in your Big Green Egg will be a lot easier with the use of this thermometer. It comes with a backlit LCD display, which will be easy to see whether it is day or night.

One thing that we love in this product is the wireless function, making it easy to monitor the temperature of the meat you are cooking.

The versatility of this product is one more reason to have it chosen over many others. It can be programmed in eight different meat modes and five taste modes. There is also a feature that will allow you to program your own temperature based on what a specific recipe requires.

The probe is long and accurate, although, there are some people who noted that the durability could be better, it is made of 6.5-inch food grade stainless steel and 40-inch stainless steel mesh cable.

The standard warranty offered by the manufacturer is one year. However, when you register online, the warranty is extended to three years.

As a bonus, you will get a free recipe book with easy to understand instructions that will come in handy even for beginners.

Pros:

  • Rugged construction
  • Receiver has an excellent range
  • Excellent warranty coverage

Cons:

  • Temperature readings can be prone to inaccuracy
  • Probe quality can be better

Maverick Redi-Check ET732 BBQ Thermometer Set

This is another wireless thermometer that promises to deliver exceptional performance when it comes to monitoring temperature in your Big Green Egg. The maximum range is 300 feet, so you do not need to be near your grill all the time.

With the programmable alerts, you will enjoy the versatility of this product. It provides alerts depending on the programs that you have set.

The backlit screen is another good feature. The thermometer and the transmitter both have small screens that will make it easy to monitor the functions of the thermometer. Even in dark environments, you will not have a hard time seeing the display.

Ease of use is another reason why this product is well-loved by its users. All that you have to do is to stick the probe on the meat, place the BBQ display on the side of the grill, and carry on your pocket the receiver.

There is a built-in stand and a belt clip included as part of the package.

Pros:

  • Backlit LCD
  • High level of accuracy
  • Easy to configure

Cons:

  • The probe seems flimsy
  • Battery door is tricky to open

Tenergy Solis Digital Meat Thermometer

The next generation of cooking – that is how the company markets this thermometer, which you can use even for Big Green Egg. It can give readings at a range of 32 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit. The accuracy is at +/-1%.

Like the two products that have been mentioned above, it also comes with an LCD display that is bright and easy to read.

It is capable of providing smart and real-time notifications. You can free yourself and do other important things. You will be instantly alerted once the required temperature has been reached. Gone were the days when you have to manually check the grill every now and then.

This comes with an intuitive app. It has a simple interface wherein you can choose from eleven settings. There is also an option to have the program customized based on the desired outcomes or the meat that is in your Big Green Egg.

The unit comes with a 6-channel probe, which many people loved because of the free lifetime replacement. Plus, to give you peace of mind, it is also good to know that the manufacturer offers an extended two-year warranty. All that you have to do is to register the product online.

Pros:

  • Comes with an app that is user-friendly
  • Delivers consistent and accurate readings
  • Provides a great level of customization

Cons:

  • Connection can be intermittent
  • Silicone part can easily melt