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!!

Advertisements

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.

Kinda Chinese Tofu and Eggplant

It’s a bit healthy and a bit savory but really good and great with fried rice or just steamed rice. It has some of the flavors of a Chinese dish (soy, ginger and garlic) but it’s not as oily as most Chinese veggies dishes I’ve had. Give it a try. Even the hubby liked it!

Tofu and Eggplant

* Firm tofu, cut into 1″ x 1″ cubes
* 1 eggplant, cut into 1″ x 3″ wedges
* 1-2 TBSP veggie oil for roasting eggplant
* 1 TBSP for frying spices and veggies
* 1 TBSP tomato paste
* 2 garlic cloves minced
* 1″ piece of ginger minced
* 3- 4 TBSP soy sauce
* 3 – 4 TBSP water
* 1/2 red bell pepper sliced
* chili flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle eggplant with oil. Roast the eggplant on a cookie sheet for 8-10 mins.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add garlic, ginger and chili if using. Cook for 2 mins over medium heat. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 min. Add roasted eggplant, tofu, red bell pepper, soy and water. Cook covered for 3-5 mins. Taste and adjust for more soy or more water.

Enjoy.

20150315-194648.jpg

Vegetarian Lasagna

Today’s the day I’m going to post all my recipes that I’ve been meaning to archive here since THANKSGIVING! It’s been cray, don’t ask. But I’m ready to finally mark this one off my to do list and I’m starting with my most favorite lasagna recipe.

I bought an Ann’s frozen veggie lasagna for lunch something like ten years ago. Ever since then, I made my own because it’s so easy and feels so healthy. I know. Can you believe I just said healthy and lasagna in the same sentence?

It’s a great Summer lasagna especially if you finish it off it the BBQ instead of the oven. But it was so delicious last week that … Well, I made another batch this week.

20150209-070440.jpg

Veggie Lasagna

* lasagna noodles
* 1/2 cup ricotta
* handful of frozen cut spinach
* 2 zucchinis – cut into 1/2″ x 1/2″ cubes
* firm tofu – same amount as zucchini cut to the same size
* 1 medium yellow onion diced
* 4 cloves of garlic minced
* 1 jar of your favorite marinara
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* shaving of nutmeg
* salt and pepper
* shredded Mozerella
* shredded Parmesan

20150209-070348.jpg

Preheat your oven to 350.

Boil water in a large pot. Add a bunch of salt so that it’s as salty as the sea. Add enough lasagna noodles to loosely fill the bottom of your 9×12 baking pan. Then multiply times three. (remember that the noodles expand so account for that by loosely filling the pan).

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over med heat. Add the onions, garlic, oregano and a pinch of salt. Cook for three minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until tender. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is incorporated. Turn off the heat. Add the ricotta and nutmeg and mix. Add 2 tablespoons of sauce to the mix. Finally add the tofu and gently fold it in (you don’t want to break up the pieces). Taste for salt and pepper.

Spread 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of your baking pan.

Spread one layer of lasagna noodles. Then layer half your veggie mix on top of the noodles. Sprinkle lightly with cheeses. Add another layer of noodles and repeat with the last of the veggie mix. Add another layer of noodles. Pour about two cups of your sauce on top and spread it around to cover the noodles. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover the pan and pop into the oven for 25-30 mins. Let it sit for 10 mins before cutting into it.

Enjoy!!!!

Scrumptious Breakfast Bars

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. Like she says, it’s a recipe that is really flexible. Whatever your little breakfast heart desires, you can add to these bars (well, maybe not sausage or chicken fried steak breakfast desires but any dried fruit, nuts, seeds, flours…ya’ know, California type breakfast stuffs 🙂

These are perfect for the kiddos heading off to school for a quick and hearty breakfast to go. Truthfully, I liked them at all times of the day.

Yummy Breakfast Bars

Thick and Chewy Breakfast Bars (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 2/3 cup quick rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (just blitz the oats in a blender to get flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups dried fruits and nuts chopped (I used cherries, raisins, apricots, pecans, flax seeds, chia seeds, and macadamia nuts)
  • 1/3 cup peanut or other nut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP water

Directions pulled directly from SmittenKitchen: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. This can speed the process up.)

Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge for 30 minutes which will fully set the “glue”, then cut them cold. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

Making Room In the Fridge For Thanksgiving

We often have remnants of veggie odds and ends in our crisper. I’ll usually make a quick soup with the veggies, broth and some thyme and oregano. It’s a family staple. But I thought I’d try something new since I also had a bunch of eggs from the girls (our chickens).

This is also a quick meal you can prepare in the “week before Thanksgiving” calm.

Cleaning the kitchen frittata

Egg and Veggie Frittata (kinda)

  • 4-5 eggs, beaten
  • Any veggies cut into bite sized pieces (I used broccolini, cabbage, leeks, peas and zucchini) Leeks are really good in this.
  • 3 TBSP goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in a large non-stick pan. Add all your veggies and cook until just tender. Reduce the temperature to medium/low. Add the eggs and goat cheese. Move the bottom of the eggs around so they begin to cook through (but don’t stir). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Flip the egg mixture and cook until fluffy.

Enjoy with a nice salad or toasted bread!