Food TPiB: Waffle It Edition
As I mentioned yesterday, right now my life is all about waffles!
And in my waffle obsessed state, I finally figured out a way that I – the person who hates to cook – can host an Unconventional Cooking Club with teens. Today, I will share with you the Waffle It! Edition.
It turns out, you can use a waffle iron to make a lot of stuff besides traditional waffles. The Teen, The Bestie, Thing 2 and I spent all of Thanksgiving week exploring – scientific method in action! – what does and doesn’t work in a waffle iron.
The Week of Waffling Dangerously
We began with cinnamon rolls.
Let’s not kid ourselves, I did not make a mix from scratch. Nope. I popped open a tube of ready made dough and we had amazing tasting cinnamon rolls in less than 5 minutes.
We moved on to cake . . .
We bought a $1.00 cake batter and a tub of icing. Mix it according to the directions. You can make a chocolate waffle cake in about 1 minute. And they taste like heaven. Seriously, we did this 3 times last week because it was gloriously good and better than traditional cake.
Then I thought we should try some real food. Thankfully, we had Thanksgiving leftovers. I made stuffing waffles, mostly because Robin dared me to and who can resist a dare. I topped than we reheated turkey and gravy and it was pretty good. The Mr. took it one step further and smothered his in mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy and this was almost better than Thanksgiving dinner.
Then I thought, I need something that is snacky to teens, so pizza obviously. We made pizza using bagels, spaghetti sauce, shredded cheese and pepperoni. The teens were skeptical but impressed. The pizzas themselves were a little thick for the waffle iron and we had to hold it close because it wouldn’t latch, but this was a good moment of problem solving and creative thinking.
We made omelets, which worked. We tried cookies, which failed. Although we did end up with a type of cookie crumble that we thought would taste really good on ice cream.
And along the way, we had a lot of fun.
As I mentioned yesterday, one of my most popular programs was a play on Iron Chef. So my plan is to redo this program with a Waffle It twist. We will supply waffle irons (I have seen new ones for as low as $15.00) and a variety of possible foods. Then we’ll let the teens see what they can come up with.
Some food bases I recommend include:
- Various doughs, such as pop can biscuits and crescent rolls (note: corn bread came out really dry)
- Things to make pizzas
- Things to make sandwiches
- Things to make deserts, including cake mix and various toppings
- Buy a lot of Pam – and I mean a lot – and remind teens to spray their waffle iron in between each use to make it easy to clean
How to Set Up Your Program
Take a page out of the Chopped book and have three courses: an appetizer, an entree and dessert. For someone who hates to cook, I watch a lot of Chopped. The rounds are also fairly quick, 20 minutes and then 30 and 30 minutes, so you can do a program in around 2 hours.
Here are some resources you may find helpful:
- Teens get ‘Chopped’ at Arlington Library – Arlington Times
- Teens sharpen cooking skills in library’s own version of Chopped
- 17 Unexpected Foods You Can Cook In A Waffle Iron
Other Tips to Keep in Mind
Because there is a chance that teens will over spray their Pam and it will drip – not that I know this from experience or anything – be sure and use table cloths. Preferably use table cloths AND some type of surface like a thin plastic cutting mat or vinyl place mat.
There were only four of us experimenting in my home this past week, but when I have done programs like this in the past I start out with teens and then do eliminations until there are just a few teens competing against one another. Feel out the room and see how seriously they want to compete or if they just want to play and taste things, which is also perfectly fun as well.
Keep in mind there are a variety of waffle cookbooks out there that would make great tie-ins. You could also have your teens put together their own when they find out what works and what doesn’t and share it on your social media.
And finally, share this fun YouTube video with your Teens before you begin or on your social media to promote your program:
Tomorrow, the Mug It Edition!
Food Based TPiBs
- Food Fight (based on The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski, food activities)
- Marshmallow Madness
- Tiny Food Party
- On a Stick
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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