Tuesday, March 16, 2010
As you know, I deal with an extremely picky toddler. He is the ultimate food critic. What he gobbles up one day is rejected the next. His unpredictability leaves me with quite the kitchen quandary. I am constantly looking for new ways to get creative with food, in the hope that he'll indulge with excitement and eagerness. When I came across Pop Art Toaster, I knew I had found a way to make mealtime fun.
Pop Art Toaster turns ordinary food into edible pieces of art. Their retro style toasters and coordinating stencil plates allow you to express your unique personality by branding images or words right onto your toast, bagels, english muffins, hamburger buns or flat frozen pastries. It's a fun way to spice up breakfast and entertain kids or guests during a party, play date or other occasion. As if that isn't enough, they offer a creativity kit with 5 FDA-approved, flavored edible markers that color the toasted images! It's like a coloring book you can eat! Who says you can't play with your food?! With a Pop Art Toaster, you can make breakfast time learning time by helping your child match pictures and concepts.
Think about it. What could be more fun than serving your Valentine breakfast in bed with the Love Struck toaster set (shown, above right) or inviting Hannah Montana over for lunch with their sandwich/panini maker? You can even have Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell and the rest of the Disney gang join in on the fun! The possibilities are virtually endless.
Pop Art Toaster has expanded their adorably crafty toaster line to include the 5-in-1 Tasty Baker. The 5-in-1 Tasty Baker (ARV $29.99) puts the "fun" in multifunctional. This compact, table top appliance can bake 5 different products: pancakes/waffles, muffins, breads, cakes, brownies - even eggs! Kids will love the 7 whimsical molds, including a dog, cat, train, blocks, heart, smiley face and birthday cake. Mom will love that it is nonstick and takes 1/3 of the time of traditional oven baking! This innovative machine has received numerous accolades including a 2009 Seal of Excellence Award from Creative Child Magazine and an iParenting Media Award.
Pop Art Toaster generously sent me their Original 5-in-1 Tasty Baker to review. (There are also Mickey Mouse and Disney Princess versions!)
The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box was how small the appliance was. It really didn't take up much room on my counter at all. Since I have trouble getting Nate to eat fruit, I thought I'd make blueberry muffins for our first experiment.
The directions were pretty concise and straightforward. First, you plug it in, spray the molds lightly with nonstick spray and adjust the heat setting. Easy enough, except I wasn't sure which of the 5 heat settings to use. I took an educated guess and went for the middle with 3. As you wait for your Tasty Baker to heat up, you prepare your batter and use their handy scoop (included) to pour the mixture over the molds. The lip on the scoop was perfect for spreading the batter and getting in those little crevices.
Since oven-baked muffins typically take about 15 minutes, I closed the lid and set my timer for 5 minutes. Turns out that was PERFECT! The muffins were cooked thoroughly and, true to its word, they didn't stick. Well, we had a bit of a casualty with our choo-choo train but I think it's because I was a bit stingy with the spray in that area. For the most part, I could easily remove the muffins from the molds with a plastic fork. As you can see, they really turned out well! We even had enough batter left over to make a few more for Mommy to taste. I loved that the molds were a kid-friendly size so that I didn't have to spend more time cutting them up into bite-sized pieces. I could just serve them as is.
So, I think we can all agree that the muffins were cute. But did they get two thumbs up from Mr. Snooty Booty himself? After inspecting the shapes intently and even doing some stacking to test firmness, he took a bite. And another. And then another. He kept returning for more! He wound up eating an impressive three muffins. Considering he wouldn't touch muffins before, I'd say the Tasty Baker definitely is a keeper!
Cleanup was also a breeze. The included 2-sided brush made it easy to remove any leftover debris from the molds. With just a bit of dishwashing liquid and some water, the plates were sparkling and ready for the next use.
We've already done muffins and pancakes so next time, I think we'll try some biscuit and egg sandwiches or some layer cakes for a small after-dinner dessert. YUM! And the birthday cake mold will be perfect to make a special birthday breakfast for my little man come July.
The only improvement I would like to see with the Tasty Baker is a recipe booklet with heat setting recommendations. This information can be found on the website but I would love to have it right at my fingertips.
Bottom line: I would highly recommend the 5-in-1 Tasty Baker if you want to make mealtime fun for your picky eater. It's incredibly simple to use, ultra-fast and convenient. Considering its capabilities, I think it is reasonably priced too.
BUY IT: You can purchase the 5-in-1 Tasty Baker or other Pop Art Toaster products online at www.poparttoasterstore.com, as well as Target, Amazon and other select e-tailers nationwide.
DELICIOUS DISCOUNT: For a limited time, Pop Art Toaster is generously offering my readers a $5 off coupon code for any minimum purchase of $25 in their store! Just use code "LTD5809". Enjoy!
Disclaimer: As noted above, I received a 5-in-1 Tasty Baker from Dana at Pop Art Toaster to facilitate my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this review and my honest opinions were given. Your experience may differ.