I’d consider myself more a kid of the ‘90s than the ‘80s, but there is no denying that we all faced the manic Mondays. Whether you were heading off to another day of school or pounding the pavement on your way to work. So, when the Bangles came out with their hit song, “Manic Monday” in 1986 at least you had something to listen to on the radio or pop into your Walkman.
But, did you know that it was actually the pop-star Prince who write the song and it was never intended for the Bangles? It’s true! Prince wrote the song in 1984 for the group Apollonia 6 to sing with him as a duet, but later pulled the song from the album. Two years later, impressed with the Bangles first album, Prince offered the song to them.
So, with respect for Prince, The Bangles and of course those Manic Mondays we offer you a little Manic Monday twist on breakfast.
Manic Monday Toastilla
Leaving the relaxation of Sunday can be difficult. But, with a little coffee and a sweet breakfast, you can liven your mood on the way to work or school. Were going to lay it all out there and let you know that your personal trainer is not going to advocate this breakfast. But, when you need to get up and get moving, this is the kind of breakfast you need.
This Manic Monday Toastilla is sweet and will help awaken your senses to prepare you for the upcoming day. And while we call them blueberries, everyone knows blueberries are purple—and obvious tribute to the everlasting Prince. R.I.P.
Yes, you are in the right place, and no, we haven’t gotten into the bookselling business—at least not yet. Rudy and I have been talking for awhile now about introducing a few series to our blog that might be an interesting way to explore the world.
I can’t recall how exactly, but the Jules Verne classic, Around the World in 80 Days popped into the conversation. Sadly, neither of us had read the book, but as anyone interested in knowledge, we began reading about the book. But, just because we hadn’t read the book didn’t mean we didn’t have an idea what it was about. In fact, ask most people in Europe or the United States and they can give you a pretty good idea of the story.
So, how does this 1873 French novel fit into our plans at Toastilla? Well, glad you asked! We plan on following Phileas Fogg from London and across the rest of the world, as if Phileas Fogg had with him a Toastilla. While we may not be offering a 20,000 pound wager for the adventure, we will offer you some tasty meals to try out in your Toastilla.
First stop, London.
Who doesn’t love fish and chips? Well, today we are going to look at a modern way to look at fish and chips, as well as introduce you to an interesting way to use your Toastilla.
One thing that many people don’t realize is how well your Toastilla can cook frozen foods such as fish sticks, tater tots, and pizza rolls. The trick to cooking frozen foods is to run the food through two toaster cycles.
With this recipe you can use either potato chips or tater tots for the “chips.” We recommend that you make a side of mayo and vinegar mixed to your tangy liking and chill before adding to the Toastilla.
It’s a simple recipe, and if you want to authenticate it a bit you can grab a sheet of newspaper instead of a napkin and do it up all fancy like.
Follow us in a few days to see if Phileas Fogg makes it to his next destination—Egypt.
Last week we featured a blog post on flour tortillas. While we were looking into the history of tortillas we never thought about how interesting it is that unique civilizations throughout the world seemed to have all discovered their own version of a flat bread. In fact, while flat breads are all similar, they also have unique attributes that lend their selves to a specific cuisine.
So, Rudy, the kids and I decided we would make a little game out of it by seeing who could name the most flat-breads and accurately guess where those flat breads are from. The winner gets to choose their favorite Toastilla for dinner. Sound fun? We thought so.
What was interesting about our game is the number and variety of flatbreads. In fact, each of us had several that the others didn’t. And parents, just so you know, your kids are way worldlier than you were at their age. But, you probably already knew that.
Below is our ultimate family night list of world flatbreads. What you do with this list is up to you, but we recommend a little research and having some fun in the kitchen, because this list will cause your tummy to grumble.
Can I see a show of virtual hands for anyone out there who doesn’t love meatballs? Okay, so vegetarians get a free-pass on this. Or, do they? Today, March 9th, we celebrate meat—and meat-less balls. You need to thank the Italians for a lot of culinary ventures over the centuries. Parmesan cheese, Chianti, pizza, gelato, spaghetti and of course meatballs.
One of the great things we find about meatballs is how well they can be sliced, doused in marinara, and layered with a strong cheese to make delicious calzone-inspired Toastillas. “But, Kristen, where do we get the meatballs,” you ask? I think you know the answer to that question—you make them!
Today we will give you a great meatball recipe as well as a meat-less recipe made from spinach. Both are amazing and to be completely transparent, I think I lean a little to the spinach, while Rudy sits across the table from me popping another meatball Toastilla into the toaster. With our house divided on the issue, and without further ado here are today's meatball and meatless ball recipes!
Rao’s Meatball Recipe
Great restaurants are renowned for signature dishes and while we investigated great meatball recipes, one restaurant continually popped up in our research. Rao’s in East Harlem. It may be hard to find a seat at the New York joint, so if you’re in town you can also try Vegas and L.A. where they’ve recently opened satellite restaurants.
While grandmothers across the states have been rolling ground beef for decades, what separates a good meatball from a great meatball is the use of three ground meats: beef, pork and veal. Don’t believe us, you have to give it a try, although you might have to find a local butcher for the ground veal it is well worth it!
Our favorite way to serve these meatballs is to slice and layer the meatballs and sauce on a tomato puree tortilla, and then cut thin slices of Romano or Parmesan cheese before folding and toasting.
The meatballs can be sealed in the refrigerator for the next couple days or even frozen for future use. But, in our house, they rarely make it that long.
Hearty Boys Spinach Balls
While there are a lot of great spinach ball recipes out there, it did take us a little longer to find one befitting of the tortilla wrap we would eventually put it in. Lucky for us, The Food Network has “Party Line with the Hearty Boys.” These spinach balls pack a little punch but are evened out with the saltiness of Parmesan and flavor of garlic. Unlike meatballs which are often fried, spinach balls are baked in the oven, but are equally as flavorful as our carnivorous recipe.
With spinach balls you can either stir into a marinara sauce for a few minutes or add the sauce over them as you lay the spinach balls into the Toastilla. From the Parmesan and garlic to the herbed-bread crumbs this recipe will become a staple for your parties and Italian night dinners.
We bet that you didn’t know March is the designated month to celebrate flour. But, it’s true! Aaand, what is made of flour? Just a little hint: you love it and we use it every single day! That’s right, it’s tortillas!
Over time, corn tortillas evolved into a wheat tortilla made with unleavened, water-based dough that was pressed and cooked like corn tortillas.
Today, tortillas are the staple of many cultures and can be found worldwide. In America, tortillas are so popular that they rank only behind sliced bread for the most sold packaged bread. And that doesn’t count the chips. Mmmm, tortilla chips. I can hear Rudy cracking open a bag now.
From the manual tortilla maker to equipment which can produce over 60,000 tortillas an hour, anyone can make their own tortillas. And you guessed it, we have a recipe for you!
Flour Tortilla Recipe
These tortillas are soft, chewy and delicious. Try them in any of your favorite wrapped meals, but we of course like to flatten them thin enough, so they make great Toastillas! For us, the thinner the better, but it’s hard to pass up a tortilla as chewy as these. In fact, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and were afraid these little cakes won’t even make it to your toaster.
It’s funny how quickly life can get away with you. From a trade show in Minneapolis (In February, yes, that happened), to the kids, and getting Toastilla out to the masses, it’s been a busy month. One thing we hadn’t realized is how many food-inspired days of celebration hit the end of February. I don’t know if it’s because people are craving the fresh produce and picnics that are a baseball’s toss away, or if people are just tired of hiding the effects of winter hibernation under sweaters and coats.
So, today, we end with the last food celebration of the month – National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day – and is there a better one to celebrate? From PB&J to a spoonful of Jiff before bed, peanut butter is truly an American favorite. In fact, one of the first Toastillas we came up with was the Peanut Butter and Jelly Toastilla Pocket and it continues to be a favorite with everyone in our family.
Even though peanut butter is a beloved food around the world, believe it or not, there are people out there who fear peanut butter. Of course, nut allergies can be severe, so we’ll give that to about 1.5% of the country who suffer from this tragedy as having significant fear. But, have you ever heard of Archibutyrophobia? It’s the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth. Yep, that’s a real thing!
Still, for those of us who don’t have to worry about the effect of peanut butter on our lives we have a lot to be grateful for – Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reece’s Pieces, PB&J, and of course using our index finger to slide out the remainder of deliciousness in the jar of Skippy.
So, while we can’t get enough of the taste of peanut butter, around the Gallego house we also like to stretch our trivia. Here are a few fun facts about peanut butter.
Strawberries are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. They are jammed with antioxidants, are heart healthy, helps to increase good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and can also help prevent against cancer. So, to say they are healthy is a bit of an understatement. And for such a small plant, strawberries are oddly durable and can be found nearly anywhere that you will find people.
So, naturally, with all the health benefits of this amazing berry, there is a day of celebration. And while we love the health benefits, what we love more is the versatility of this fruit. Strawberries pack a combination of sweet and tart which enable it to be used as a succulent dessert, an addition to a refreshing salad, and can even accompany warm dishes. That doesn’t even include, jellies, jams, sauces and everything else they are used for.
So, while you’re waiting for your toaster to pop out our Fresh Berry Toastilla Pocket, we thought we’d give you a few facts about this delicious berry.
February 24 is National Tortilla Chip Day and you can bet this is a big day in our home! As you can probably guess, tortillas play an integral part of our everyday life, considering our business depends on them! And while the tortilla is the base for our Toastilla, we would be lying if we didn’t admit our affinity for tortilla’s little cousin – the tortilla chip.
Tortilla chips are traditionally made of corn, usually yellow, but you can also find white, red and blue corn tortilla chips. While now chips come in all shapes from triangular and circular to scoops – a personal favorite, this wasn’t always the case. And, like many of the great foods of today, it took a creative entrepreneur to realize that either a waste of something or a mistake in processing could lend the world greater purpose. So, in the 1940s a woman named Rebecca Webb Carranza took the rejected tortillas from her automated tortilla maker, cut them into triangle and fried these delicious little chips.
By the 1970s, tortilla chips made their way from California to the other side of the country and the rest is history. In 1994 Rebecca Carranza received the first Golden Tortilla award for her contribution to the Mexican food industry and we can’t imagine a better recipient.
In celebration of National Tortilla Chip Day here is one of our favorite tortilla chip Toastillas. It’s like a bowl of nachos in your mouth!
Everyone loves their nachos a bit different, so we won’t bore you with amounts with this recipe. What we will say is that these Toastilla Nachos seem to work best if you start with salsa laid first onto the tortilla, layer the other ingredients and then top with cheese before folding and toasting.
The great thing about Toastilla Nachos is that they are as versatile as regular nachos. Additional ingredients such as jalapenos, nacho cheese, refried beans and even sauces like barbecue and ranch will only add to the flavor.
While these are great any day of the week, they are especially welcome as appetizers when you’re throwing a party – especially one on February 24 – National Tortilla Chip Day!
You’ve heard this before, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Unfortunately, studies show that nearly 10% of Americans skip breakfast entirely – that’s 31-million people. Surprisingly, the biggest culprits are those food vacuums us parents refer to as teenagers. In fact, that can be expanded even further, and with a larger percentage to men between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to skip breakfast – nearly 28%!
While we all know that that particular age group will make up those calories later in the day with burgers, hot dogs and anything else that crosses their paths, it’s also known that this is the problem with skipping breakfast. You see, skipping breakfast does several things for your body such as breaking the nightly fast, replenishing glucose and supplying your body with essential energy-rich nutrients to keep you going through the day. Oh, and one more vital importance to eating breakfast – weight management. This is the reason why, even though men between the ages of 18 and 34, despite grabbing their calories through the day, are likely to find a nice flotation device hitting their mid-section as they near their thirties.
Breakfast is a time to break fast with healthy nutrients such as protein and fiber that both fill you up and help your metabolism and digestive system get rollin’. Without this morning process people are more likely to start snacking and overindulging at lunch because they are hungry and can’t gauge how much they should eat.
So, today, I’d like to talk about how a few morning minutes with Toastilla can help start you off to a fantastically healthy day.
Putting together a power-breakfast is all about choosing the right ingredients with a powerful mix of nutrients. What we look at are ingredients dense in calcium, iron, B-vitamins, and the two biggies, protein and fiber.
A little guide we like to look at is mixing and matching the big five. Of course, we are looking at meals that can be served warm, so we might not include a protein-intense Greek yogurt, but when you’re on the run, digging through a yogurt cup or cereal bowl isn’t as easy as munching on a Toastilla while you run out the door. We want to give you 25 different options to mix, so some foods such as cheese, bacon and eggs which could fit into multiple categories will only be placed under one.
By mixing the ingredients in the chart below you should be able to put together a simple, quick and delicious meal that tastes even better when you’re running late for work or school.
This mix and match list can be used to find a perfect match or create dozens of favorites if you are the type of person who enjoys diversity in your life. A little rule of thumb when assembling your Toastilla is add something that will bind your ingredients. For example, if you are craving apples, you might want to add peanut butter and molasses. Or, if you want to go traditional, cheese is a great way to keep ham eggs and avocado together.
Click on any of the pictures below to be taken to our video where we'll show you just how we made these recipes.
Comment below and let us know what some of your favorite Toastilla favorites are.
Almonds are the peanuts of the 21st century and as you try to work out the kinks of your grocery cart wheels you may be amazed at how many of the products you pass down the grocery aisle are made with this fragrantly delicious nut. Just think about this for a moment; Almond milk, flour, pasta, butter, oil and meal (flour ground with the almond skins). So, what’s behind the fascination with almonds aside from their deliciousness?
Well, it’s also about the health. Nutrition experts love the heart health of this nut which contains calcium, vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium and fiber—five vitamins and minerals that will keep you young and full of energy.
So, with all the hoopla about almonds, you better believe that this little jewel of flavor has a few interesting facts bouncing around the web for us to relay to you. Here are eight of our favorites.
More fun facts about almonds...
Now this recipe is inspired by an Italian friend whose grandmother would make halved figs topped with goat cheese, an almond and then drizzled with honey. Sounds delish! But, we here at Toastilla, couldn’t help by try to put our own touch on this seemingly “old country” recipe. We exchanged the goat cheese with cream cheese for personal preference and since figs are usually a seasonal fruit—June to October—there are a couple fruity alternatives.
This is a great recipe if you are looking for a quick appetizer, or a little energy boost in the middle of the day. But, of course, it can be eaten anytime you want, you know…because it’s a Toastilla family recipe!