Pros: Great for grilled cheese, omelets, pizza, burger melts and more!
Cons: Kids get sick of triangular shaped foods ...
Years and years ago I got sucked into something called the Snackmaster - essentially the same thing as this but about thirty dollars more. Oh the hours I spent making cute sandwiches, working on new recipes and of course making breakfasts that could clog arteries in minutes flat. It was a glorious time - the kids loved it because almost every meal revolved around the Snackmaster. Breakfast was the best meal of the day - everything from pancakes to omelets were prepared. Then things took a nosedive; the kids wanted to know when they would be getting a meal that didnt involve something in a triangular shape. Could it be that they were getting sick of these creative and unique meals? No. It just couldnt be. Someone left a note on top of the Snackmaster. It was blunt and I knew who ever left it meant business. It read something to the effective of, Either start making some normal food or the Snackmaster goes to sleep with the fish.
Toastmaster TSM4SAN Sandwich Maker
I still miss my Snackmaster. It was shiny silver with a non-stick liner and I could cook pretty much anything it. Of course, everything that came out of it was in the shape of a triangle but hey, at least it was hot, the cheese was melted and you could eat it with your fingers. When I started to get nostalgic about the Snackmaster I started to look at some of the sandwich makers that were on the market. I wanted something that was easy to use, had the same non stick liner and didnt require me to set a temperature or pick out some heat selection. The less buttons and gadgets that are on things like this - the better. I didnt want something that was huge but at the same time I didnt want something that was small - something that made four items at a time would be the perfect pick. After looking around at what was available I went with this one from Toastmaster. It was about twenty dollars and I figured that was a decent price and I knew that after a few weeks everyone would be sick of eating pizza pockets and chocolate chip pancake triangles so it wouldnt be a huge waste of money.
If you are thinking about investing in one of these you might want to read my preface again; this is something that is sort of like a fad item. You use it almost non-stop for a while then it gets boring and you move on to something else. I will admit, I still use this on a regular basis when I want to get rid of left overs or I am sick of eating grilled chicken and hot dogs off the grill. The thing that makes this so awesome is that you can take a little bit of everything, mix it together, add some cheese and toss it inside the machine and out comes this little slightly crunchy snack. It only take a couple of minutes to heat up and the light lets you know when it is ready to go. The outside stays pretty cool so you dont have to get worried about getting burned if you bump it or need to slide it down the counter
This is sort of a no brainer type thing for people who hate to have to pick a setting or temperature. Just plug it in and wait for the ready light to let you know when it is hot enough to start cooking. When you close the lid it starts an internal timer and lights up when the food is cooked of course if it isnt done the way you like it you can close the lid again. You dont have to go by the timer light, thats just there as a guide to let you know when most foods will be done cooking. There is a handy little booklet that comes with this to give you some ideas of what you can do with it but personally, if you experiment and play around with foods that you have on hand chances are you will be able to come up with some incredible stuff on your own. Let the kids get in on the fun too; let them pick out stuff they want to make but make sure they know that only an adult should be using something like this because the inside of it does get extremely hot.
Care & Cleaning
The inside of the cavities are coated with a non stick material and even baked on burnt cheese is no match for this. Usually the first few months that you have a product like this you expect it to work flawlessly then things sort of start to stick - so far this has been extremely easy to clean. Most of the time all I have to do is wait for it to cool off then wipe out the cavities with a wet rag. Common sense should tell you that this cant be submerged in water or tossed in the dishwasher but you never know when someone is going to try it. It would be nice if the non stick grids would pop out so you could give them a good cleaning every once in a while but so far this thing has been a complete breeze to clean and keep clean. As far as the outside is concerned, wipe it off with a wet soapy rag to remove any grease or surface dirt and it looks as good as new. Toastmaster says that this can be stored on its side to save space but any time I tried this it ended up falling over, maybe there is some stand that is supposed to come with it or I am just a complete moron but mine always falls over.
I got this for about twenty dollars and its honestly been worth every penny that I paid for it. I use it a lot and even when the kids turn their noses up at a snack that I suggest making in this, eventually they come around and ask Whats snackin mum?. You can find these at most of the usual retail places like Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart for about the same price; they do put these on sale at the beginning of the summer and tout it as something that you can cook in without heating up the entire kitchen like and over or stove. I look at it this way, even if it only lasts a year its still worth it to have around if you want to whip up something fast and dont want to drag out pots and pans or heat up the oven. For the price this was the best one to suit my needs - it cook just enough for snacks, heats up quickly and is extremely easy to clean.
This comes with a one year warranty against manufacturer defects and workmanship. This is nice in case one of the non-stick cavities starts to chip or peel or the case cracks. Toastmaster is pretty good about honoring their warranties and I honestly believe that they really want happy customers and do bend over backwards to make people happy once theyd purchased something. You do have to remember to fill out and mail in the warranty card and it also helps to have your receipt in case they need to have a copy of it. Usually they dont ask for that unless youve sent back a lot of things or are someone that is on file - meaning someone who has made a lot of complaints with other companies. Thats pretty rare but its better to be safe than sorry.
My Favorite Snacks
Regardless of what you have in the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet - chances are you have something that you can toss into this and make a quick snack. Since I stick to a low carb diet most of the stuff that I toss in here gets mixed with eggs. You can take some bacon, veggies, cheese, diced meat and eggs, mix them together then pour it into the bottom sections of the griddle. Give it about two minutes to cook and pop them out. You have hand held mini omelets that taste just as good as they look. Another great thing is to take hamburger meat [cooked] and break it up, add some taco seasoning and cheese, toss it in and let it cook. Putt it out and put it over some tortilla chips and top with diced tomatoes. If you want something really awesome get some refrigerated dough, roll it out and diced pepperoni to it. Work it together then roll it out again; break it off into one inch balls and press them into the molds. Two and a half minutes later you have hot pepperoni rolls!
The Bottom Line
There are so many things that you can do with this that once you get started people might start to think you are a bit obsessed with it. It saves a lot of time when you want to make a snack and you can toss pretty much anything into it without worrying that it is going to stick. Kids do tend to get bored with this after a few weeks but I think its one of the best kitchen inventions since the bagel slicer. Since this does get hot it isnt something that Id let kids work with but they can still get in on the fun making up their own recipes or picking out what they want to go into a mix. I still have to laugh when we were playing around with this and we were all in a silly mood and someone said Get the macaroni and cheese! - at this point in time we were all just plain goofy and mixing things that usually only appeal to pregnant women. Lets just say unless you like really crunchy mac and cheese - dont go scooping it into this!
As always, thanks for the read!
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2005 Freak369
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