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Batter up! Basic waffle maker cooks tasty waffles

This waffle maker from Cuisinart does just what it's supposed to.

If you've read anything I've ever posted, you know that I have four children who seem to believe they are entitled to several meals daily, and I am cheap. A favorite breakfast in my house is waffles. Think two per child, per day. Plus sometimes I eat one--or two. So figure that we eat about 50 waffles per week.

Sometimes, basic is all you need. Cuisinart

I've tried store brands, national brands purchased on sale with coupons, and bulk-size boxes. However, the lowest price I can find is about $1 for 10 waffles, so I'm paying at least $5 per week--often quite a bit more. And it makes me nuts.

I started researching waffle makers, but I quickly determined that I wanted a regular waffle maker, not a Belgian waffle iron. As cute as it is, I also did not want this Texas-shaped waffle maker.

I settled on the Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker, currently priced at $27 at Amazon.

It has ready indicator lights, a five-setting control so that you can meet waffle browning preferences for picky children, an accurate thermostat, an easy-to-clean nonstick surface that doesn't flake off, an easy-to-clean stainless steel exterior, a small footprint, a cool touch exterior, so your children won't burn themselves when they inevitably stick their hands on the thing. And it has a three-year warranty.

However, it doesn't have removable plates you can pop in the dishwasher, an audible ready indicator chime, and someone who will actually stand in your kitchen and make the waffles according to the directions. Most of the negative reviews at Amazon seem to be written by people who didn't bother to read the instruction manual or think the laws of physics work differently in their kitchens, so instructions don't apply to them. You know, people like my husband, who is not allowed to use the waffle maker.

Overall, this machine is standing up to the heavy use we expect from it. I mix up batter and make about 100 waffles, the majority of which are frozen and toasted for breakfast over the next two weeks. I'd estimate my batter costs at less than $3 a batch, so I'm saving a pretty penny. And that's even more delicious than fresh waffles.