Category Archives: Food

Tony Tries It: Tator Tot Waffles

With this post I’m introducing a new feature on my blog called “Tony Tries It”.  I’ll try something I’ve seen on the internet and share the results with you.

It could be a recipe, new app or game, tech tip, cooking technique… the possibilities are endless.  I’m starting with this:

Tator Tot Waffles

I’ve seen this cooking idea online a few times but can’t remember where I first saw it.  It could’ve been an infographic or one of those quick cooking videos that have been popping up in my Facebook feed on pretty much a daily basis.

The idea is this.  Instead of making tator tots in the oven you make them in a waffle iron.  I wondered how well it would work so I thought it would make a good first installment of Tony Tries It.

I started by pre-heating our waffle iron.  While it was heating up I thawed out some tator tots in the microwave.  They don’t need to be 100% thawed and you want to make sure they don’t start to cook in the microwave.  This will make them fall apart as you’re putting them onto the waffle iron.

About 25 tator tots work best with our waffle iron.  If you use too few tots you won’t get a full “waffle”.  It will still work but there may be a few holes in it.

Once the iron is hot and your tots are thawed spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and add the tator tots.  As you close the top use the handles to gently push it down to smash the tots.  You can do this a time or two while its cooking.

It doesn’t take too long to cook.  About 3-5 minutes.  I like my tator tots extra crispy so I tend to go toward the full 5 minutes.

Tator tot waffle

Use a fork and spatula to remove your tator tot waffle.  Be careful because it’ll be hot.  Really hot.  It’s best to let it cool for a minute or two.

That’s it! If you have a waffle iron and love tator tots I’d recommend giving this a try.  It comes out crispy and it takes a lot less time than making them in the oven.

I can see us especially doing this in the Summer months.  That way we can enjoy tator tots without heating up the oven.

Do you have any ideas for a future installment of Tony Tries It? Let me know what you’d like me to try.

Tator tots are quick & easy to make on a waffle iron. Click To Tweet
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Saving Time By Freezing Cooked Rice

I recently shared 10 Ways My Family Saves Money.  Number 6 was: We create our own convenience items.  In this post I thought I’d share my oldest daughter’s favorite homemade convenience item.

Be sure and read all the way through because I’ll share a bonus homemade convenience item that  she’s also a fan of at the end.

Saving Time By Freezing Cooked Rice

My oldest is a big fan of rice… all rice, but her favorite is brown rice. Particularly because of the taste and because it’s healthier than white rice.

Unfortunately, although more convenient, instant brown rice isn’t as healthy or tastes as good as regular brown rice.  The good thing is we’ve figured out that cooked rice freezes and reheats well.  It’s perfect for making ahead of time and freezing into individual servings.

It’s really easy to do too.  You just cook the rice according to the package instructions.  We always cook it without the optional butter, oil, or seasonings.

When the rice is  done let it cool completely and then put it into single serving containers to freeze.  We save and use the containers that Hillshire Farms lunch meat comes in.  These are perfect for holding a cup to a cup and a half of rice

Individual rice servings to freeze

You could also put in freezer bags and flatten if you’re short on freezer space.  We’ve got a deep freeze with plenty of room so we go with the plastic containers.  That way my daughter can defrost, heat, and eat right from the container.

By not seasoning the rice when cooking, it allows you to get creative later when you use it.  You could add sugar and cinnamon for a sweet treat or add veggies, meat, and soy sauce for a quick microwave stir-fry.

One 2 pound bag of rice made us 13 individual servings.  The 12 shown here and 1 that got eaten when we made it!

Prepared brown rice to freeze

Here’s the bonus homemade convenience item: Hand-Cut Cheese sticks. 

Sure, you could buy prepackaged cheese sticks or you could buy a big block of cheese and cut your own.  We bought this 2 pound block of co-jack cheese at Costco for $4.69.  It cuts into 30 sticks making each one cost only 15.6¢.

Cutting cheese sticks

What are some homemade convenience items your family makes?


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