The Best Belgium Waffles

People! The holidays are just on the horizon and that means we can indulge a bit on the sweets and decadent breakfasts. Who am I kidding? We make these monthly.

These waffles are a family favorite. They freeze really well and can be popped in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast. You can serve it with fried chicken or cheesy toppings to make it savory.

The trick to making the best waffles is the waffle maker and mix. You can get both at Williams Sonoma. The waffle maker is an investment. Well, shoot so is the mix but it’s sooooo worth it. The waffle maker is the All Clad 2 waffle maker. It’s great and consistent. The mod is the gluten free or regular Willams Sonoma Bellgem Waffle Mix.

Go out and splurge on this set for yourself, your kids or someone who has those little humans running around their house. It’s a great gift.

Notes: I heat the waffle maker to 4. I add an extra tablespoon of butter to the mix (and always let it sit 15mins before cooking). I use a 1/3cup mix for each waffle. I freeze them flat in the freezer and then bag them (otherwise they bend in funny shapes and won’t fit In the toaster).

Happy Waffle Wiggles!!

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Honey Cakes

These are typically eaten for the Jewish New Year to insure a sweet new year. I’m a bit late posting because I wanted to see how well they froze. The answer: perfectly! These would be wonderful holiday gifts too especially in the little loaf pans.

Honey Cake

Exact recipe from Smitten Kitchen

    3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
    1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    4 teaspoons (about 8 grams) ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil
    1 cup (340 grams) honey
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (95 grams) brown sugar
    3 large eggs at room temperature
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
    1 cup warm (235 ml) coffee or strong tea
    1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh orange juice

Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. I made mine in one full-size loaf pan plus four miniature ones.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

Freeze once cooled and store for up to 3 months.

Peach Crisp

I’ve made tons of crisps over the years. I’ve done all the berry combinations and have always loved how easy they are to throw together. Then, I had this one. You guys, it is mind blowing good. The peaches with the pecans, not to mention the stick of butter. It is perfectly crispy with warm oooey peaches. You should make this today.

Peach Crisp

Adapted from a recipe found on Pinterest.

Filing

  • 5 cups peeled and sliced peaches (the recipe says thinly but I coined them to be too soft so I fattened up the slices a little)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Crisp

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the filing ingredients together in one bowl. Add to a 9″ round pie pan.

Mix the crisp ingredients together in a separate bowl. Sprinkle on top of the peach mixture. It’s going to sit really high like a mountain.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 40-45 mins. Let it cool for 20 mins before trying to take a bite. It’s like molten lava underneath.

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Eggs in a Spinach Nest

Make this! Make it just for yourself or make it for a family gathering. It is so delicious and comforting and simple and lovely. It says “spring time” on your plate and delivers sunshine to your belly. 

  
Eggs in a Spinach Nest (adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)

• 12 eggs

• 2 lbs fresh spinach

• 1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced

• 8 roasted garlic cloves in oil

• 1 shallot, sliced thin

• 4 TBSP unsalted butter

• 1 cup heavy cream

• a pinch of salt

• 1/4 cup grated parmesean 

Add a bit of olive oil to a large frying pan. Heat and add half of your spinach and wilt, about 30 seconds. Add the rest of your spinach and wilt again.  Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Then chop.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in frying pan and cook shallots and mushrooms until soft. Stir in cream, salt, and chopped spinach. Remove from heat and place in 9×13 baking dish. Stir in parmesean.  (You can cover and put this in the fridge to cook the next morning or go ahead to the next step if you’re eating it today.)

Make 12 wells in the spinach/mushroom mixture. You’ll crack each egg into each well. 

Straight from SmittenKitchen: When you’re ready to bake the dish, or about 30 minutes before serving, put oven rack in upper third of oven and heat oven to 450°F. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until whites are firm and yolks are still runny. Takes anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. The range is long due to different ovens and baking vessels. It’s better to have to check more often than to let them overcook.

[Cooking note: It is nearly impossible to get all 12 eggs to cook evenly. The ones in the center will be more runny; at the edges, they’ll be more firm. But don’t fret. I’ve found that almost all people have an egg preference (more runny vs. more firm) and each egg manages to find the right home. Just ask people their preference as you serve them.]

Remove dish from oven, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, plus grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Everyone loved this one!!

Gluten-free Breakfast

I think the worst thing about trying to be gluten-free is breakfast options. I was a pastry every day girl. Now? Well, now it takes a bit more effort. But in truth, it’s delicious. Like cold cuts, pickles and hard boiled eggs. Or yogurt with granola and chocolate sprinkles. But this has to be my favorite concoction. It’s a little like chiliquiles and huevos rancheros. It’s super satisfying both in taste and texture and is so darn delicious even my gluten-full family members love it!   

 Gluten-free Cal-Mex Breakfast

  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 egg, fried
  • 1 slice of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pinto beans, heated
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced and cooked with a bit of cumin and olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • A dollop of salsa
  • Chopped cilantro

Tear apart the corn tortilla and put on the bottom of a plate. Add beans then bacon then zucchini. Top with your fried egg then salsa and avocado and cilantro. 

Enjoy!!

 

Sunday Browns

One of my absolute favorite one pan breakfasts – this is Sunday Browns. Not only is it delicious and filling, its a great way to clean out the fridge of leftovers or those last 5 cherry tomatoes. 

All you need are potatoes, onions and eggs as your base. Then get creative. I like to sauté my onions, add some peppers, potatoes and ham (or bacon or chicken or steak). After its all a bit brown, add greens, tomatoes, herbs. 

Plop it in a bowl with a dallop of sauce (pesto, tomato, cheese) and then a fried egg. 

Yummmmm!! 

   

Oh soooo addictive: granola bars

Well, she’s here! Our second baby girl was born in late March and our amazing Mom’s Club helped feed my family the first month!! I remembered from our first how much help the homemade dinners were. But this time around, with a four year old to feed too, the dinners were a life saver. Just when my first would start to get grumpy, I’d look at the clock and realize it was dinner time! Like superheroes, a mommy would knock on my door with dinner for all of us. Saving the day!

One of the mommies, a woman with wings, not only made us an amazing meal but also made us these. I have to admit that I ate the majority of them (perfect snacks for the nursing mommy) and my guilt brought me to make my family another batch (2 months later). 

This time around, my family knows I’ll devour them in no time. So, they’re keeping pace with my addiction. We have at least two a day each. 

   
    Granola Bars

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnut or almond meal
  • 1 1/2 cup seeds and  raw nuts (pecan pieces, cashew pieces, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, Pepitas)
  • 1 cup raw shredded coconut
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup 
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed hearts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup dried fruit (cherries, blueberries, raisins)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first five ingredients in a large rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 10 mins or until slightly golden and fragrant.  Be sure to stir every few mins. Once done, remove and turn the oven down to 300 degrees. 

Heat the butter, sugar, honey, syrup, vanilla and salt in a pan over medium heat until the sugar is melted. 

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and fold together until everything is wet. 

Line you large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly (I used a rubber spatula to press it and spread it evenly).  

Cook at 300 for 25-30 mins or until golden brown. I cooked mine for 25 but it could’ve used another 2-3 mins to stay more in bar form. Mine were a bit crumbly. 

Let them set for at least 3 hours. Then cut them with a serrated knife. And store in sealed containers. 

Makes about 16 bars. 

Enjoy!