What to do when your thermometer probe stops working

Here is my thermometer one morning on yogurt making day; this is a day during which I desperately needed my thermometer to work. See this? img01634 That is my thermometer registering 103 degrees. Please to notice the probe is sitting on the counter. This. Is. Not. Good. After a lot of quality time with Google, I came to the conclusion that the likely problem was water in the probe; completely immersing the probe in water to wash it gets water in places it’s not meant to be. The solutions suggested were either boiling the probe in peanut oil for half an hour, or baking it in the oven at 300 degrees for half an hour, either of which should theoretically evaporate any water in the probe and render it useful again. The oven appearing to be the safest, least smoky option, I baked it. Slapped it right on the rack in the toaster oven at 300 degrees and let it cook for about half an hour. Voila, problem solved!

Update: a month later this is still working great. This is definitely a fix.

Epic muffin fail: a lesson in bakeware

I had some frozen bananas to use, so I pulled up the recipe for Aunt Mickey’s Famous Banana Bread from Rumble in the Kitchen. This recipe is brilliant! So quick and easy.  My crap bakeware and I take full responsibility for the partial failure of these muffins.

I wanted to make mini muffins with the batter because The Kiddo loves all things mini, and is more likely to eat a muffin than a slice of bread. I’m all about sneaking in fruits and veggies anywhere I can, so that was my game plan. I have a lovely 24-muffin mini pan by Wilton, and a 12-muffin size, a cheapo one I picked up at Home Goods sometime last year. Since I had plenty of batter I used both. And then some.

First, my bananas were frozen. I cut the ends off, then sliced it in quarters; from there I could pretty easily get the peel off. I dropped them, still pretty frozen, into the work bowl of Barbie’s Dream Mixer. Within just a few minutes they were on their way to lovely mush. I added in the sugar and remaining wet ingredients and mixed, and had a gorgeous light yellow batter in no time.

Then into the pans, as mentioned. I had a little batter left over even after filling those two pans, so I poured the rest into a ramekin. Maybe I’d end up with a little personal bowl of something like banana cake?

Baking time went by fast with two 2 year olds running around the kitchen. Verdict: USE A GOOD PAN. Here are the muffins in the cheapo mini pan:

ACK! What IS that? What happened? Two of them wouldn’t even come out of the pan, despite a generous greasing with butter before baking.

A study in contrast — the Wilton pan muffins on the left, the cheapo pan muffins on the right:

The ramekin was an utter failure. It looked lovely, but was still batter inside. I think if it had cooked more the top would have burned, so I pulled the plug on that part of the experiment.

After a purely professional taste test (I was hungry), I can tell you the ones on the left are divine! I’ll definitely make these again. When these cool I’ll freeze about 3/4 of the batch and pull them out for breakfast as needed. I think for the next batch I’ll throw some chocolate chips in, too. Breakfast of champions!