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Make A Banana Split On French Toast Made From A Hot Dog Roll

Banana Split On French Toast Recipe
[1] A banana split constructed atop French Toast made from a hot dog roll. Clever! (photo © Tillamook County Creamery Association.

Hot Dog Rolls - Rolls Only, No Hot Dogs
[2] Any hot dog roll will do, but the better the roll (see if you can find brioche hot dog rolls!), the better the French Toast (photo © Company Hjdgvdfdshjdgvdfds).

Fresh Raspberries For White Chocolate Icebox Cake Recipe
[3] Strawberries are conventional on banana splits, but raspberries will fit onto this format more easily (photo © Good Eggs).


August 25th is National Banana Split Day, and here’s some food fun: Turn leftover hot dog buns into French Toast for a French Toast Banana Split.

Thanks to Tillamook County Creamery Association for the idea!

> The history of the Banana Split.

> The history of French Toast.

> The difference between buns and rolls.

This recipe works best with day-old or older buns.

The ingredients make 8 servings, but you can cut them down.
Ingredients For The French Toast

  • 1 package (8 pieces) hot dog buns
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cups milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Cooking spray or butter
    Ingredients For The Banana Split

  • 1 pint each vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, or flavors of choice
  • Caramel or chocolate sauce
  • Bananas, halved*
  • Raspberries or strawberries, washed, trimmed, and quartered
  • Optional garnishes: whipped cream, nuts, chocolate chips

    If you are preparing more than two rolls, consider scooping the ice cream into balls and keeping them in the freezer for quick assembly.

    1. WHISK together in a large bowl the eggs, milk, and salt. Pour the mixture into a large pie plate for dipping. Set aside.

    2. OPEN the hot dog buns and place them face down, spread flat—but do not break the halves apart.

    3. SPRAY a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray (or coat the pan with butter, which will be hot enough when it foams). Place the pan over medium heat. Working with one roll at a time, dip both sides into the egg mixture to coat (the less fresh the roll, the slower it will absorb the mixture).

    4. PLACE the roll into the pan, cut side down. Add as many rolls as your pan can hold. Cook until golden brown, then flip to cook the outside of the roll. Remove to a large plate, platter, or tray and repeat the process for the remainder of the rolls.

    5. PLACE the open jar of sauce in the microwave and heat for 30-45 seconds.

    6. ASSEMBLE: Place the hot dog roll on a plate or in a bowl. Add the ice cream and drizzle with sauce. Garnish as desired.

    7. SERVE with a spoon (for the ice cream), fork, and knife (for the French Toast).





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    A Savory Waffles Recipe For Brunch, Lunch, Or Dinner

    Most of us think of waffles as sweet: with maple syrup and berries for breakfast, or perhaps with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. But for National Waffle Day, August 24th, we’ve decided that this savory waffles recipe hits the spot.

    This recipe, from Gelson’s Markets, tops waffles with ricotta and grilled onions. They’re delicious for brunch, lunch, or dinner.

    The waffles are topped with smoky, lightly charred onions and mushrooms plus tangy pickled mushrooms. The garnishes are lemony ricotta and microgreens.

    Pair them with a crisp white wine or a rosé.

    > The different types of waffles. How many have you had?

    > The different types of onions. Ditto.

    > The history of waffles.

    > The history of onions.

    > The history of mushrooms.

    This recipe celebrates onions in three ways: grilled scallions, pearl onions, and pickled red onions. You can purchase the pickled onions, or use this one-hour pickling technique.

    No time to make waffles from scratch? Frozen waffles work!
    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 cooked waffles
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onions), ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 portabello mushrooms, stemmed and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 4 ounces pearl onions, peeled and sliced in half
  • ¼ cup pickled onions
  • 1 cup microgreens
  • Garnish: lemon zest

    1. MAKE the lemon ricotta: In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    2. GRILL the vegetables: Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Toss the green onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

    3. GRILL the scallions, turning periodically, until tender and slightly charred with visible grill marks, around 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

    4. MIX the mushrooms and pearl onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    5. GRILL the mushrooms and pearl onions until tender and slightly charred with visible grill marks, around 10 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the scallions. While the mushrooms and onions grill…

    6. COOK the waffles. Divide the ricotta, grilled vegetables, pickled onions, and microgreens among the four waffles. Garnish with lemon zest and serve warm.z

  • Chicken & Waffles
  • Ham & Cheese Waffles
  • Ham & Cheese Wafflewich
  • How To Make The Best Waffles
  • Mashed Potato Waffles With Scallions & Sour Cream
  • Pizza Waffles
  • Pumpkin Waffles
  • Sausage Stuffing Waffles
  • Savory Waffle Recipe Ideas
  • Savory Waffle Sandwiches
  • Savory Waffles Breakfast Bar Or Party Bar
  • Scrambled Egg Waffle Sandwich With Garlic-Infused Honey
  • Steak & Waffles
  • Waffle Sandwich Cones

    A Recipe For Savory Waffles With Scallions & Mushrooms
    [1] Savory waffles for brunch, lunch, or dinner (photo © Gelson’s Markets).

    Scallions, Sliced
    [2] Scallions, also known as green onions (pho6o © Kyocera Cutlery | Facebook).

    Portobella Mushrooms, Whole & Sliced
    [3] Meaty portabello mushrooms, also spelled portobello and portabella (photo © Mushroom Council | Facebook).

    Bowl Of Ricotta Cheese
    [4] Fresh ricotta cheese (photo © Murray’s Cheese).





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    How About A Countertop Water Filter For National Water Quality Month?

    Aquasana Water Filtration Machine
    [1] Press a button, fill your glass (all photos © Aquasana).

    Aquasana Countertop Water Filtering Machine
    [2] A small footprint on your kitchen counter.

    Aquasana Water Filtration Machine
    [3] Press once, and the water flows.

    Aquasana Countertop Water Filtering Machine
    [4] Fill a carafe or a pitcher.

    Aquasana Water Filtration Machine
    [5] No hands required.

    Aquasana Water Filtration Machine
    [6] Pour.

    Pouring A Glass Of Water From A Pitcher
    [7] Enjoy.


    In honor of National Water Quality Month each August, Aquasana, makers of water filtration systems—for the whole house, under a particular sink, shower, and countertop—surveys Americans about their drinking water concerns.

    Their goal is to spread awareness about water quality issues and help people find solutions.

    The 2022 survey conducted in March 2022 among 2,246 U.S. adults, found that 77% of Americans filter their drinking water at home, a figure that’s steadily grown over each of the past three years.

    An interesting finding: Trust in bottled water has declined by 24%, from 41% in 2020 to 31% in 2022. (Check out some reasons why.)

    > You can read the full Aquasana survey here.

    > The history of water filtration is below.

  • The driving factors for water filtration are health, concern for the environment, and a lack of trust in their water quality—all fueled by growing knowledge of the subject.
  • The primary contaminant concern, lead, has remained a key concern in recent years, although the survey sees heightened concern about chlorine and chloramines.
    See the chart below for more reasons Americans filter their water.

    Since we personally drink a lot of water and cook a lot of food, we purchased the first countertop water filtration device available in the U.S., the Brita pitcher, when it first arrived in 1988.

    We’ve also tried Pur, another gravity-based pitcher filter device.

    But when electric countertop machines appeared, we tried them—and remained a loyal fan of the electric appliance. which deliver, in our experience, faster filtration and better-tasting water.

    You can install an Aquasana home filtration system and have purified water flowing from every tap in your house, and we envy you!

    For our New York City apartment, we need a countertop unit.

    Yes, from the beginning of National Water Quality Month, we’ve been enjoying water from our Aquasana Clean Water Machine, which plugs into the wall and filters 77 contaminants including asbestos, lead, mercury, pesticides, PFAs, and pharmaceuticals.

    It gets rid of the contaminants while leaving any naturally occurring beneficial minerals—including calcium, magnesium, and potassium—in the filtered water.
    Beyond Contaminants: Improved Taste

    We drink lots of water every day, and while New York City’s tap water is world-renowned for its high quality, it doesn’t have that totally pure taste that we enjoy in Fiji Water (which we know has its fans and its nonfans and disclosure—no home filtration system we know of produces the pure taste of Fiji Water).

    To be as eco-friendly as we can be, we’ve long abandoned buying water in plastic bottles. Instead, we filter water on our countertop and carry refillable bottles outside.

    And we feel good because one single Aquasana Clean Water Machine replaceable filter replaces more than 2,200 single-use plastic bottles.

    Makes a difference, doesn’t it?

    Here’s a video of Aquasana in action.

    Head to or Amazon to purchase a machine. And while you’re there, look at the showerhead filtration system.

    Some quick bullets on whom to thank for modern water filtration systems. Here’s a more detailed discussion.

  • 1st Century B.C.E., Greece. Hippocrates invented a primitive water filter using a cloth bag/ Known as the “Hippocratic sleeve,” it was used to filter out solids and other impurities from drinking water.
  • Early 1600s, England. Sir Robert Bacon experimented with a sand filtration technique, but it didn’t work. It did, however, encourage other scientists to work on improving his idea.
  • 1685, Italy. Physicist Lucas Antonius Portius developed a multiple sand filtration method that was much closer to what we use today.
  • 1804, Scotland. Scientist John Gibb, picked up on Bacon’s work and created the first effective slow sand water filter.
  • 1827, England. John Doulton used silica and fired clay to create a porous ceramic filter, which led to the first modern water filter. It removed impurities like cholera and other disease-causing agents from the Thames River, saving many lives. His company still makes ceramic filters today! (He was the father of Henry Doulton, who created the Royal Doulton line of fine porcelain dishware.)
  • 1860s, France. Chemist Louis Pasteur’s discoveries that many diseases are caused by bacteria led him to the process of pasteurization, which still uses high heat to kill bacteria in food and drink.
  • 1890s, U.S. Water purification and treatment advances developed quickly and municipal water treatment plants were upgraded to rapid sand-based filtration.
  • 1903, England. King’s Royal Commission on Water Supplies recommended that the first modern water treatment facilities be built in the U.K.
  • 1974, U.S. The Safe Drinking Water Act set standards for the quality of drinking water and required water utilities to treat water to meet new safety standards.
  • 1966, Germany. A company developed a water filtration pitcher named Haushaltswasserfilter I (“Home Water Filter 1). This led to the Brita and Pur cartridge-based pitcher filter systems. It also led to today’s wide variety of pitchers, electric countertop systems, faucet-mounted and under-skink filters, and whole-house filters.
  • What’s next? As water supplies become increasingly scarce, the need for more efficient water filtration technology becomes greater. Researchers are now exploring using thin membranes to remove impurities from water, as well as nanotechnology, the use of tiny particles to filter water more effectively.
    Chart: Why People Filter Their Water
    [8] Why consumers filter their water.


    *PFAs are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. They have been used to make nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. Research indicates that they can have harmful health effects. Here’s more about them.




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    Oat Milk “Frappuccino” Recipe For World Plant Milk Day

    Oat Milk Frappuccino-Type Drink Recipe
    [1] An oat milk “Frappuccino” recipe for World Plant Day (photo © Gelson’a Markets).

    Califia Unsweetened Almond Milk
    [2] Almond milk, delicious in coffee and with cereal (photo © Califia Farms).

    Oatly Oat Milk Half Gallon
    [3] The “Frappuccino” is made with oat milk (photo © Oatly).

    So Delicious Coconut Milk Half Gallon
    [4] Coconut milk is an opaque, milky-white liquid extracted from the grated pulp of mature coconuts (photo © So Delicious).

    Soy Dream Soy Milk Half Gallon
    [5] Soy milk was the dairy alternative most found on shelves for many years (photo © Soy Dream).


    August 22nd is World Plant Milk Day. It’s terrific that America has embraced plant milk. In our neck of the woods, they’re ubiquitous and have booted some SKUs‡ of cow’s milk off the shelves.

    There’s a delicious recipe below for a Cold Brew Oatmilk Frappuccino.

    Over the last five years, the consumption of regular cow’s milk has dropped 13% [source].

    It’s not just the growing cadre of vegans and environmentalists who eschew animal-based milk (cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s)—or Americans young and old who choose soft drinks or other alternatives to a glass of milk.

    Plant milks are also welcomed by lactose-intolerant people, kosher observers, and those with allergies to cow’s milk.

    (A pal of ours from our grade school was allergic to it and her mother substituted goat’s milk, which was only available in a can. It was very exotic back in those days. [If you like goat cheese, you’ll enjoy a glass of goat’s milk, now available in a carton at specialty stores.])

    Any grain, nut, or seed can be transformed into plant milk.

    Commercially, plant milk is made by grinding the ingredient to an extremely fine paste and then mixing it with water.

    This dissolves the plant’s sugars and proteins into the water and disperses their fat content as tiny globules that are fine enough to remain in suspension. Vitamins and minerals are added later.

    (Secret Tip: You can make simple almond milk without nuts by putting almond butter and water in a blender [source].)

    While soy milk and almond milk have been around the longest, recent years have seen a waterfall of plant-based milks. We counted more than 17!

    In alphabetical order: almond milk, banana milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, flax milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, macadamia milk, oat milk, peanut milk, pistachio milk, rice milk, sesame milk, soy milk, spelt milk, pea milk, quinoa milk, and walnut milk.

    You can make them at home with this machine.

    And you can bet there will be more coming around the corner. (Head here for a discussion of this list of milks.)

    > The history of different plant milks.

    First a word from our legal department: Frappuccino® is a trademarked line of blended iced coffee drinks sold by Starbucks beginning in 1995.

    To make a Frappuccino, coffee and milk are blended with ice and flavored syrup, other flavors like vanilla bean powder (there are currently nine different flavors of Frappuccino), and topped with whipped cream and other garnishes. It’s a cross between iced coffee, a milkshake, and cold cappuccino*.

    So legally, we and Gelson’s Markets, who created the recipe†, can’t call this a Frappuccino.

    (See how Frappuccino got its name in the footnote* below.)

    What else could you call it to evade the trademark lawyers? One of our team members suggested “Coffee Smoothie.”

    Regarding this recipe: This drink is much better for you than any Frappuccino, because it uses dates for sweetness instead of sugar.
    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 cups oat milk
  • 15 dates, pitted
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cups unsweetened cold brew coffee
  • Optional garnish: nondairy whipped cream, shake of cinnamon or nutmeg

    1. MAKE oat milk ice cubes: Pour the oat milk into a standard ice cube tray and freeze overnight. You should have about 16 ice cubes.

    2. MAKE the date caramel: In a food processor, pulse the dates, until finely chopped. With the food processor running, add the hot water in a slow, steady stream, to create a paste.

    3. SCRAPE down the sides periodically. Add more water if needed, 1 teaspoon at a time so the paste doesn’t get too thin. It should be the consistency of smooth peanut butter. Set it aside.

    NOTE: You will have leftover date caramel. It can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

    4. MAKE the “Frappuccino”: Combine the oat milk ice cubes and cold brew coffee in a blender, and cand purée on high until smooth. Add 3 to 5 tablespoons of the date caramel, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending well between each addition.

    5. TASTE and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more date caramel to sweeten.

    6. POUR the drink into two pint glasses and garnish as desired.


    *Frappuccino is a portmanteau of “frappe”, the New England name from the French lait frappé, a milkshake with ice cream, and cappuccino, an espresso coffee with frothed milk.

    †The recipe was adapted by Gelson’s from Minimalist Baker.

    ‡A SKU (pronounced “skew”) stands for Stock Keeping Unit. A retailer typically uses SKUs to identify their business’s inventory. For example, a quart of Horizon whole milk and a half gallon of it are two different SKUs. Similarly, the 2% and 1% milk versions and their different sizes are different SKUs.




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    Fancy Snacking With Garnished Fresh Goat Cheese & Crackers

    August is National Goat Cheese Month, so this past weekend, we grabbed a log of goat cheese and crackers for our guests. Although a log of fresh goat cheese is spreadable, it’s also crumbly. For the sake of neatness, we decided to pre-spread the crackers.

    Then we had a tray full of boring-looking, white-topped crackers. We decided to get to work decorating them with whatever we had at hand.

    We thus turned “goat cheese and crackers” into “hors d’oeuvre” to accompany cocktails, wine, and beer.

    Whether you decorate the cheese-spread crackers in advance, or create a DIY, garnish-your-own option with ramekins of different toppings, it’s a tasty and fun snack.

    Here’s what we had in our kitchen. We went overboard; you can choose just a few of these:

  • Blueberries, other berries, or a mix
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved, plain or marinated
  • Dates, pitted and sliced
  • Fresh chiles, sliced (or a shaker of crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Fresh figs, sliced
  • Fresh julienned basil or thyme leaves
  • Grapes, halved
  • Honey Bear for drizzling
  • Jam: apricot, blueberry, mango, peach, or whatever you have
  • Nuts
  • Olives, sliced
  • Peppadews
  • Prosciutto or other cured meat
  • Roasted red peppers (pimentos), sliced

  • Your favorite crackers
    > The history of cheese.

    Crackers are made of flour, water, and salt. Some have other seasonings, but unlike bread, there is no leavening. There are different shapes of crackers—ovals, rings, rounds, squares, and triangles.

    And there are many styles, including cheese crackers and rice crackers for snacking; oyster crackers and saltines for soup; biscuits, cream crackers, crispbreads, and others to serve with cheeses and spreads; taralli and other cocktail nibbles; sweeter types like graham crackers; and so on.

    In American English, the term “cracker” typically refers to flat biscuits with a savory, salty flavor, as opposed to a cookie, which may be similar in appearance but is made with sugar.

    In the U.K., cookies are called biscuits and crackers are either crackers or savory biscuits.
    The First Crackers

    Long before crackers, the first flatbreads were made from ground grains mixed with water and cooked on hot rocks or griddles over fires. How soft or hard they were cooked, we do not know.

    Before “crackers” appeared, there were larger, crispy flatbreads like matzoh, lavash, and other soft flatbreads that were baked to a crispy texture.

    Matzoh dates to at least the 13th century B.C.E., when the Israelites fled Egypt with their unleavened bread. We don’t know how crisp it was or was not.

    Today’s hard, crisp, thin matzoh seems to have developed sometime in the 17th century, largely because the soft variety, like all fresh bread, would get moldy quickly, and the hard-baked form had a long shelf life [source].

    In Medieval times (1100–1200 C.E.) in central and southern Sweden, rye flour was baked into crispbread (knäckebröd, “bread which can be broken”)—also for a long shelf life. The rounds were baked with a hole in the middle so that they could be threaded over a beam and stored suspended from the ceiling. These flatbreads and crispbreads were baked only once or twice a year and kept dry in a storage chamber [source].

    For similar reasons, the modern cracker was invented close to the turn of the 19th century, in New England.

    A small, crisp bread alternative, the first cracker-like product was made in 1792 by John Pearson of Newburyport, Massachusetts, who mixed flour and water into “pilot bread” [source].

    The long shelf life was popular with sailors, who called it hardtack or sea biscuits.

    Years later, Pearson sold his business to the company that became Nabisco. Crown Pilot Crackers from Pearson’s recipe were made and sold in New England up until early 2008 (photo #2), and served with traditional chowder recipes.

    A big moment in the life of the cracker came in 1801 when another Massachusetts baker, Josiah Bent, burned a batch of biscuits in his brick oven. The crackling noise that emanated from the singed biscuits inspired the name “crackers.”

    Bent was a cracker visionary. Beyond selling the dry biscuits to sailors and other travelers, he saw the product’s snack food potential. By 1810, his Boston-area business was booming, and, in later years, Bent sold his enterprise to the National Biscuit Company, which now does business under the Nabisco name.

    Soda crackers, later known as Saltines, were described in The Young Housekeeper by William A. Alcott in 1838.

    In 1876, F. L. Sommer & Company of St. Joseph, Missouri began to use baking soda (a.k.a. bicarbonate of soda) to leaven its wafer-thin cracker, initially called the Premium Soda Cracker. They were later renamed Saltines because of the baking salt* component.

    The formulation quickly became popular and Sommer’s business quadrupled within four years [source].

    Cracker trivia: Certain types of crackers contain tiny holes, known in the trade as docking holes (photos #2, #3, and #4). They are punched into the flat dough to stop large air pockets from forming in the cracker while baking.

    The Somer company merged with other companies to form American Biscuit Company in 1890. In 1898, after further mergers, American Biscuit Company became part of the National Biscuit Company, which changed its name to Nabisco in 1971.

    Nabisco lost its trademark for “Saltine” in 1907 after the term began to be used generically to refer to similar crackers. The word “saltine” appeared in the 1907 Merriam Webster Dictionary defined as “a thin crisp cracker usually sprinkled with salt” [source].

    Then, the brand began to call itself Premium crackers. Following a recent redesign, the current boxes are now labeled “The Original Premium Saltine Crackers.”

    Over the decades, cracker manufacturers have brought out creativity along with the crunch. Some of America’s favorite crackers (in alphabetical order): Carr’s Table Water Crackers, Cheez-It, Goldfish, Keebler Club Crackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Ritz, Toasteds, Town House, and brands we’ve never heard of, like Chicken in a Biskit [source].

    *Baking soda, a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃, is a salt composed of a sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion.


    [1] Fancy snacking: a box of crackers, a log of goat cheese, and assorted toppings (photo © Roth Cheese | Facebook).

    Crown Pilot Crackers, descendants of the original cracker.
    [2] Crown Pilot Crackers (discontinued since 2008), descendants of the original cracker (photo © Doc’s Apple Market).

    Nabisco Saltines Crackers
    [3] Nabisco saltines, an American favorite. The term “saltine cracker” appeared in 1876 after F.L. Sommer & Company renamed its Premium Soda Cracker (photo Sternb23 | Wikipedia).

    Water Crackers Or Water Biscuits
    [4] Water biscuits have long been a favorite to serve with cheese, although these days there are fancier crisps (photo © Pantry Packer [permanently closed]).

    Raincoast Crisps Dried Fruit & Nut Crackers For Cheese
    [5] Artisanal crackers like these Raincoast Crisps, with different combinations of dried fruits and nuts, are now fashionable to serve with cheese (photo © Standard Market).

    Lavash Crispbread
    [6] Today lavash is made in rectangular strips, but originally the large flatbread was broken by hand (photo © Hot Bread Kitchen).

    Knackbrod Swedish Flatbread
    [7] Knäckebröd, Swedish crispbread. Here’s an easy recipe (photo © True North Kitchen).





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