Welcome to The Gadget Chef

Ok so I'm not really a chef, but I do like to play one in the kitchen. I'm your everyday average guy, who is really into 2 things, food and gadgets! And I love combining the two and experimenting with that.

I've tried many gadgets out there, some with success and some with miserable failures. But my biggest goal is to limit what space I take up with what gadgets. As a person with a less than sizable kitchen, counter top real estate is so important I can't be the type that has several gadgets out all the time, and I'm also the type that if it's not out and handy, I'm likely not to use it.

So through the course of this blog I will give out some info on those items I've gotten over the years and how I use them, and some recipes, and be sure to share yours too, or comment if you've tried them

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cheescake Puffs

This past weekend I decided to play around in the kitchen.  Got an idea and decided to give it a try.  I ended up creating what I have decided to call Cheesecake Puffs.

Cheesecake Puff
Here's the kicker aside from maybe the blueberries (and potentially cream cheese), you probably already have everything you need to make this little beauty, because the main ingredient...Pancake mix.  Thats right I started with nothing more than "just add water" pancake mix.


  • Pancake batter
  • Butter
  • 1 8oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla

  • Blueberries
  • Sugar to taste (I tend to error on the more for a sweeter product)
Before we begin, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First let's mix up our cheesecake filling, if you planned ahead and your cream cheese is at about room temp good for you, if you are like me and decided to do this and are impatient you can soften the cream cheese up in the microwave for a short time(doesn't take long, you don't want to cook it....and PLEASE  don't do it in the aluminum wrapper, just put it in a microwave safe bowl).  In your mixing bowl add the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla, and mix it up real well.  Till you have a nice creamy consistency.  Now with that ready, you can set it aside and mix up your pancake batter.

I know I didn't put amounts on the batter, well a lot depends on the mix, and your own preferences, but you don't want to make it too thin.

With all this ready, I buttered my muffin pan up real well,  I suppose you could use oil, or shortening, but I am one who thinks a little butter makes everything better.  I'm not advocating a lifestyle of butter, but as with everything, it's all about moderation, and food should be enjoyed, not just eaten.  I did use a large muffin pan, so these are decent size, I was going for fork food, not finger foods( although a small version in a mini muffin pan, would be delectable, but dangerously easy to eat).  My pan was still pretty new and nonstick, so that was all I used.  Removing the finished product was pretty easy.

Fill each section about 1/3 of the way, although you could add more just adjust cooking time, this is all about playing, not perfecting.   In the middle of each add a scoop of the cheesecake mixture, you can add as much or as little as you'd like, I didn't use all of mine in one batch, but these were experimental, maybe someday I will perfect the recipe and put something a bit more precise.

Now let's add these to the oven and watch the magic.  It will take about 15-20 minutes, and the tops won't brown much, so keep a watchful eye on the edges.

While they cook you can make the fruit topping, anything you'd like would work, but I have an abundance of frozen blueberries from my in-laws, so they won in our household.  All I did was simply put some in a pan on medium heat, and added some sugar and cook them down.  This is where the fun of taste testing comes in as well, as you always have to taste to see if you need to add more sugar or not.

You will start to notice the middles rising on your puffs, with any luck they are pulling away from the edges of your pan as well, and you can get a good idea of how done they are by how brown the edges get, at least that is what I did.  The cheesecake centers should also be pretty well set at this point too.

Using a rubber spatula you should be able to scoop them right out.  This is where you test your nonstick pan and your butter job, both of which hopefully worked well.  Once you take them out, you can put a little of your fruit topping on the top, and there you go, instant sweet bliss.

Serving to a crowd, a beautiful display of them on a serving platter each individually topped would look marvelous.

Good luck, hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cheater Peanut Butter Pie

If you are like my family, you can go through some peanut butter, whether it's peanut butter toast, peanut butter sandwiches, or peanut butter on pancakes.  Oh and if you haven't tried peanut butter on your pancakes, give it a try before you knock it, my wife thought I was a little off the first time she saw me do it, now she won't hardly eat pancakes without it.  I am also going to throw out my little endorsement for my favorite PB, if you haven't tried it, give Jiff Natural a try.   We thought we would give it a chance, and have never looked back, in fact it's the only kind we use now.

Now on to my goodie experiment., Here was the final product.  A simple peanut butter pie, perfect for anyone, even those that aren't big into cooking, but love peanut butter pie, especially since this is a no bake option.

This is the version I made, and although I think next time I am going to double the peanut butter, like I said my family is crazy about peanut butter, and I am also going to use just a standard graham cracker crust, as I think it has more flavor than the chocolate crust I used.

Here goes with what I did this time.

1 Crust (I used a chocolate crust, but I think a graham cracker crust will taste better)

1 cup Heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup  peanut butter
1 box vanilla instant pudding

Put all the ingredients in your mixer, using the whisk attachment mix everything together good till it somewhat sets, it doesn't set quite as well as pudding alone.  IN about 5 minutes though it will be all mixed together well.  Then pour into the crust, cover, and place in the fridge.  The next day you have a wonderful peanut butter pie.  It probably would be ready in a couple hours, but it was late when I made it, so I didn't get to try it till the next day.

Top with some Cool Whip and you are ready to server.