Waffles

I already told you all about how I used to make waffles every Saturday morning for years. Remember? It was here (along with a wonderful blueberry muffin recipe). As mentioned in that post, tradition ran its course and the Saturday morning breakfasts stopped. But not before I actually wore out a waffle iron.

easy homemade waffles

However, in the last week, I have had two sets of friends say how much they loved my waffles. One friend threatened to drive an hour any Saturday morning I promised to make them. The second set of friends was lucky enough to convince me to make them.

Well, it really took no convincing, because they were spending the night and I promised them whatever they wanted for breakfast. She replied “waffles” with no hesitation. So out came the waffle iron, whipping cream, homemade strawberry jam, and syrup. We all ate too much but it felt like old times again. One of those moments where years have passed but you could swear they haven’t.

easy homemade waffles

Want to know the awesome part about this recipe? I lost the actual recipe years ago. Thankfully I had made it so many times  I had it completely memorized. I have doubled and tripled this recipe with great results. Over the years I have made modifications (and the recipe below reflects those) to make them absolutely perfect.  I do rely on feel quite a bit so I hope these are as consistent in your kitchen as they are in mine.

If not let me know.

easy homemade waffles

Waffles (makes four in my Belgian waffle maker)

2 cups flour (can be white or whole wheat or any combination)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted and cooled butter
2 eggs
1 tbs sugar

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks, milk, and cooled butter to the flour mixture mixing till just combined.  In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the sugar till stiff peaks. Carefully fold in the egg whites into the batter. Spoon in to a preheated waffle iron. Cook till golden brown. Serve with jam, peaches, blueberries, whipping cream, syrup, eggs… The possibilities are endless.

easy homemade waffles

Fruit Crumble Bars – Revisited

Last week I posted this wonderful cherry crumble bar recipe. These bars got better by the day but overall seemed to be missing something. Everyone who tasted them gave them rave reviews so I figured we were just too picky, spoiled, or sophisticated.

Again, I found myself with fruit in fridge looking a little worse for the wear. I saved some raspberries after making jam this week and there were some blueberries lurking in the back of the fridge from the last time I visited my mom’s house (she has a huge blueberry patch in her backyard). I wanted to remake the bars as a “real food.” Real food to me means omitting all refined ingredients. I substitute whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour and sucanat for the sugar. What is sucanat? You can check the wikipedia entry but basically it is an unrefined, whole cane sugar. It is still sugar and, contrary to what this blog may suggest, I do try to limit how much sugar we have in our diets but when I cook for just us,I use sucanat.

fruit crumble bars

These bars are infinitely better. I have considered deleting the original cherry bars but figured they have their place. I just much prefer these amendments. Here is the updated recipe:

Fruit Crumble Bars

1 cup sucanat
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh fruit (I used 2 cups of blueberries and 2 cups of raspberries)
1/2 cup sucanat
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Fruit crumble bars

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch (or two 8×8) pan and line with parchment.  In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sucanat, 3 cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan (if using two pans put 1/4 of the dough in each pan).  In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch . Gently mix in the fruit. If doing two pans mix fruit with 2 tsp cornstarch and 1/4 cup sucanat each. Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust (or crusts). Crumble remaining dough over the fruit layer. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.

Fruit crumble bars- easy and use whatever fruit you have on hand!

Lemon Blueberry Scones

There are only 18 recipes (counting this one) on this little blog.

Four of those feature blueberries.

Ingredients for lemon blueberry scones

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I liked blueberries I would have said no. Yesterday I found myself waist deep in my mom’s blueberry patch stuffing my face. They have won me over.

One of the reasons I gravitate towards blueberry recipes is that every summer for the past I-don’t-know-how-many I go out to a local blueberry farm and pick till I am suffering from heat exhaustion. The minute the berries make it in to the house I immediately put them, single layer, on cookie sheets and in to the freezer. Blueberry recipes are always calling my name because the blueberries I stashed away in my freezer are always begging to be used up.

Do you put fruit and veggies up in the summer? So far this summer I have made strawberry jam and frozen some strawberry puree. Raspberry jam, frozen cherries, canned peaches, canned beans, frozen corn, and tomatoes will all find their way in to my pantry and freezer before fall sets in. Take advantage of it! Then in the dead of winter you can make these scones, close your eyes, and imagine it is July again.

Lemon blueberry scones

Lemon Blueberry Scones (makes 8)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, chilled
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into 6-8 chunks and add to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until mixture is sandy and butter is well distributed, with no pieces larger than a big pea.

Add in milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir until dough comes together. If dough is too wet, add an additional tablespoon of flour to the dough.

 

Either keeping the dough in your mixing bowl, or turning it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 1 minute. Flatten dough and add blueberries. Knead gently for 30-60 seconds to distribute them. Divide dough into two balls and press each into a disc about 3/4-inch thick. Use a knife to divide each disc into quarters and place scones on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 17-22 minutes, until scones are golden brown.

Lemon blueberry scones

Lemon Glaze (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Whisk glaze ingredients together until smooth, then drizzle over still-warm scones before serving.

Ps. Whatever you do DO NOT use bottled lemon juice for the scones or the glaze. Please trust me on this one. Only fresh squeezed juice will do. Anything else will only disappoint you.

Lemon blueberry scones

Cherry crumble bars

Confessions:

I drink too much coffee.

Often clothes will sit in my dryer for three to four days before being folded and sitting in the basket for another week. Thankfully Little has too many clothes.

I am addicted to my iPhone (not good).

Cake is my kryptonite. I cannot resist it.

Yard work and vacuuming are my least favorite chores. Hence why my yard is a mess.

There are clothes in my closet that still have the tags on them and have never been worn (anyone else do this!?!). In my defense they are work type clothes and a button down dress shirt isn’t really appropriate for a day at home with a messy baby.

Unitaskers have no place in my kitchen. Unless it is a cherry pitter. Which somehow I decided I needed and bought this week.

Sometimes fruit and veggies wallow in my fridge till they go bad. This makes me sad.

pitted cherries

I had way too many cherries,  had already eaten more than one person should, and I had my brand new super cool cherry pitter to use. So in an effort to avoid feeling sad I came up with this recipe.

Cutting in the butter

I actually knew what I wanted to make but couldn’t find a recipe to save my life. I found lots of cookie bar type recipes that called for cherry pie filling (YUCK!) and the ones I found that called for fresh cherries just weren’t right. So I pieced this together and it was perfect.

Cherry Crumble Bars (makes 24 or more depending on how you slice them)

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Cherry crumble bars
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.  In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch . Gently mix in the cherries. Sprinkle the cherry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the fruit layer. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.

Cherry crumble bars

Ps. Substitute strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and lemon zest, cranberries and orange zest, or peaches for the cherries. This recipe is very flexible. Also, these cookies taste best after a night in the fridge. If you can resist them that long.

Cherry crumble bars

PPS. Remember how I mentioned I was officially (sorta) in business. Check these out- wrapped and tagged! Pro looking right? So much fun to deliver these little yummy samples to people yesterday!

Cherry crumble bars samples

Blueberry Muffins

When Nathan and I got married nearly seven years ago (that long already!?!) we had just arrived home from our honeymoon and woke up that first Saturday morning hungry. Wanting to be the perfect new little wife I asked him what he would like for breakfast. He surveyed the pile of gifts still in our living room and eyed our new waffle iron.

“Are you going to make waffles?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“Are WE going to make waffles?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“Am I going to make waffles?” I asked.

He nodded enthusiastically. (He can talk by the way…)

Waffles  take work. I was not going to make waffles for just the two of us. So I called my sister and her boyfriend (now her husband!) to see if they wanted to come over. And they did! So then started the tradition of Saturday morning breakfasts. For nearly four years. Every Saturday morning we would tidy the house, whip up waffles, and serve them hot at 10 am (9 am if there was a noon kickoff football game. Priorities people.).

We had as few as just Nathan and I and one other person for breakfast and as many as 14. I used to live in a tiny apartment and then a tiny house. We ate in shifts. It was wonderful. I loved it.

Over time the tradition ran its course and we have all gotten busy, some have moved away. I miss a house full of family and friends. I can’t wait till Little has sleepovers and I get to make breakfast for a flock of sleepy boys.

After years of cooking every Saturday morning I still feel the need to DO something when I get up. Saturday mornings at my house still mean family time. It used to be a broad definition of family will all kinds of family and friends swooping in to devour plate after plate of waffles. These days, with Little, Saturdays start early. Much earlier than any human being should be up on a Saturday. Instead of waffles I make other things- muffins, pancakes, french toast. Mercifully, these muffins come together in a flash and, thanks to picking and freezing blueberries every summer, we always have the ingredients on hand.

I hope these blueberry muffins bring love and joy to your weekend mornings like they do to mine.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or you can use 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and omit the all-purpose)
3/4 cup white sugar (or you can use 3/4 sucanat- an unprocessed sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup melted and cooled butter
1 egg
1/3 cup milk (approximately)
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (ok to add frozen)
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Pour the butter in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add the egg then add the milk to fill to the cup. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ones. Stir till combined (10 stirs). Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups (greased if you aren’t using liners) about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes till light brown and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes about 12 regular size muffins.

Oh and they won the blue ribbon at the local county fair. Not that I am bragging or anything.

(Note- if you use whole wheat flour and sucanat the muffins will come out quite dark although just as tasty. I would recommend using frozen berries as they add a tid bit more moisture and the “real” food version can be a bit drier. Still just as good though!)

Real Food Banana Muffins (vegan)

There will be lots of butter on this blog. I guarantee it. You will get your fill of sugar- white, brown, unprocessed or otherwise. Bacon will no doubt make an appearance.

But today, for our first day, I want to offer you the first recipe I have ever written. Vegan, real food, whole wheat and amazing.

Sure I have thrown things together in a pot and called it dinner (and boy does that normally end in delicious!) but this is my first honest to God wrote it down recipe. And it is baking. Booyah.

I am ridiculously proud.

First a bit of backstory. We are trying to transition to eating “real” food. This means eliminating white sugars and flours and processed foods. I have loved it. We eat lots of veggies, whole grains, and happy meat as we call it (humanely and locally raised). I have found an incredible local whole wheat flour I put in everything.

I had purchased two bananas for Little, my 8 month old son, and never got around to feeding them to him. They were screaming to be made into banana muffins! My favorite recipe seemed easy enough to adapt to real food I decided to challenge myself and -gasp!- make it vegan too! What ensued was some googling egg replacements then deciding who needs eggs anyways! I scribbled it all down on a piece of scrap paper, put Little down for a nap, then off to the kitchen I went.

This recipe makes 6 muffins. Feel free to double it. They are moist, delish, and you can’t even tell they are vegan.

Real Food Banana Muffins (vegan)

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Real food banana muffins that happen to be vegan. This recipe makes 6 muffins.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin pans with nonstick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.Combine bananas, honey, and coconut oil in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.Bake in preheated oven. Bake muffins for 19 to 22 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.
  2. Options: You can replace the coconut oil with melted butter if you prefer or if you don’t have it on hand. Also you can add nuts- 1/3 cup of walnuts should do.