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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Have you ever “Googled” Homemade Waffles?

Everything you ever wanted to know about homemade waffles, and at least a million, homemade waffle recipes can be found there.

Between healthy-homemade, scratch, Belgian, buttermilk, buttery, delicious, blueberry, Grandma’s, Dad’s and Aunt Mae’s, it is entirely possible, that this may not be, the best homemade waffle recipe E-V-E-R.

The only thing I know for sure, is that it’s my recipe.  I took it from my 1979 Pillsbury Kitchen’s Family Cookbook, and I’ve used it ever since my boys were little and they would pitter, patter their way to the table in their bare little feet and pajamas. They rubbed their sleepy little eyes and we ate waffles until we were contentedly happy and full. And they were always good.

I can’t help but think homemade waffles are nostalgic.  I associate them with special occasions and late, lazy breakfasts.

Making waffles from scratch, means I’m filling the air with flour, cracking open eggs and messing up my baking bowls.

It means, I’m heating up my waffle iron, chopping fruit and getting my fingers sticky with maple syrup.

Waffles from scratch, mean I want you to grow up healthy, and strong and happy and able to go wherever your heart takes you.

Waffles from scratch, mean I love you.

Very, very much.

Homemade Waffles

Adapted from The Pillsbury Kitchen’s Family Cookbook

Serves 5

Ingredients

2 eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

Method

1. Heat up the waffle iron.

2.  Place egg yolks in a large bowl, and whites in a separate bowl.

3.  Add buttermilk to the egg yolks and beat well.

4.  Add flour, baking powder, soda and salt, beat until smooth.

5. Stir in the melted butter.

6. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into the batter.

7. Bake in hot waffle iron until steaming stops and waffle is a golden brown.

Notes:

I always spray my waffle iron with Pam or brush it with melted butter before adding the batter.

Be careful not to over-fill your waffle iron or the batter will spill over the edges.

It’s a good idea not to stray to far from the waffle iron to avoid scorching.

I always serve waffles with cut up fresh fruits like berries or banana’s for good nutrition.

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If you buy bananas, you’ll know that every once in awhile, some will start to start to grow spots and the next thing you know, you need to whip up a batch of something with banana in it.

A while back Jenn, from My Kitchen Addiction, posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Toffee Banana Muffins. They looked delicious and I loved the idea of making them mini-snack-sized. They baked up fluffy and delicious, and just like she said, they made a lot. I stored most of them in a container in the freezer and took some out every so often as I needed them. It was perfect for those busy days when there wasn’t any time to bake, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you here.

I have to warn you though, they are addictive and pop ever-so easily into your mouth as you walk by.

I hope you enjoy them!

Chocolate Chip Toffee Banana Muffins

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen muffins

Adapted ever so slightly from My Kitchen Addiction

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed banana
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits, (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with paper cups (or lightly grease), and set aside.

2. Combine the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Beat on medium speed to cream the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Gradually add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated.  Stir in the mashed banana.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the hot water, starting and ending with the dry mixture.  Stir just enough to moisten all of the dry ingredients.

4. Add the mini chocolate chips and toffee bits, and fold them into the batter.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans (approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each muffin).  Bake the muffins for approximately 20 – 22 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes:

If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, you can make it, by using regular whole wheat flour, removing 2 tablespoons per cup and replacing it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and whisking thoroughly.

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Last we spoke, I told you I was making Rhubarb Honey Yogurt Scones and I told you I’d let you know how they turned out. 

They turned out heavenly.

I wasn’t really trying to keep all of this goodness to myself.  Really, I wasn’t.

I just happened to get busy baking cakes for a few friends and neighbours celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and such.

Oh, and maybe a wedding. Or two.

So I haven’t been able to share these with you until now. But truth be told, they’re worth every minute you’ve waited.

These scones are magically light and fluffy with a zesty sweetness of jammed rhubarb and candied lemons balanced out with a little drizzled honey and a sprinkle of rosemary. 

They bake up tender and biscuit-like, but have the texture of a typical scone and I just love how rustic they look, once baked. 

They’re best served slightly warm and taste just as good without butter or preserves as they do with them.

This is the yogurt and honey dough with the jammed rhubarb folded in.

Gorgeous.

The dough is gathered into a ball on a floured surface, cut into 8 wedges and sprinkled with candied lemon zest and chopped rosemary.

I adapted these scones from a recipe by Joy the Baker for Grapefruit Honey Yogurt Scones, which you can find here

I used Joy’s idea for grapefruit and switched it out with the rhubarb, lemon, and rosemary,which may sound strange, but it really, really, works so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

Besides, my middle name is Joy, so you never know, we just may be kindred spirits when it comes to scone flavour combinations.

Rhubarb Honey Yogurt Scones with Lemon and Rosemary

Makes: 8 Scones

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons honey plus more for drizzling

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

1 cup rhubarb, chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup plain yogurt

few sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped fine

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium pot, simmer rhubarb with brown sugar until it thickens into a jam. Set aside.

3. Zest the lemon and rub together with the tablespoon of sugar and set aside.

4. Dice cold butter into small chunks and add to the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry mixer or your fingers and working quickly, break the butter down into the flour mixture until the butter chunks are the size of small peas.  Add the honey, plain yogurt.  Toss together lightly with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the yogurt and honey.

5. Next add the jammed rhubarb and fold gently.

6. Turn the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Form into an 8 inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Use a knife or a bench scraper to cut the dough into eight scone triangles.  Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheet.  Generously sprinkle the tops of the scones with the candied lemon zest and chopped rosemary.

7.  Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly gold brown on top and firm but soft in the center.  Drizzle each scone with honey and allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with butter or jam.  These scones are best served the day they’re made.

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June, Sweet June

It seems there’s no surer way to make it rain than to pull out the swather and start cutting hay. Today it only took 20 minutes.

It was just a shower really but it was enough to shut things down for a while.  It won’t be long though since the winds are up and it’ll be time to try again.

Once spring seeding is over and done there’s usually never a moment to spare before the hay needs cutting and baling.  This year has been different though.  With such an early start due to the drier than normal spring weather, it hasn’t been the breakneck pace that it usually is.

 

But the beginning of hay season is just hours away and that means that things are about to get busy around here.

As the pace picks up, there’s always a temptation to skip meals but that never ends up being a good thing because hungry workers can quickly turn into tired and cranky workers who don’t realize that they need to take a moment to stop and eat. Things run a lot better when there’s fuel in the tank and I learned a long time ago, that having good food readily available on a busy farm is as important as oil is to a humming engine.

 

Some days can be long, dirty and hot, especially if equipment breaks down and the guys are trying to beat impending rains or bad weather. Though they never stop for long, when they do, I like to make sure I’ve got something that will keep them thinking and alert so they can focus on the task at hand.

 

At times like these, homemade muffins are a regular staple at our house and I love incorporating the goodness of fruits and vegetables into them every chance I get. These pineapple carrot muffins are a favourite and I love them because it allows me to indulge in both the fruit (the crushed pineapple) and the veggie (the shredded carrots).  A touch of cinnamon really compliments the sweetness and blends the satisfying flavours for a delicious snack.  I have these on the counter in the morning and pack them in lunch bags destined for distant fields in the afternoon.

The good thing is, you don’t have to drive a tractor or work in a field to love them, I love them too!

Carrot Pineapple Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup salad oil

2 eggs

1 cup finely grated raw carrot

1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice

1 tsp vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Blend on low-speed until  just moist.  Half fill greased muffin tins or paper liners and bake at 350 degrees F  for 20-25 minutes.

Delicious, satisfying goodness the whole family will love!

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Happy May days!  Don’t you just love May. With all my chatter about cookbooks, (see this post), I wanted to share with you another priceless volume that I have in my rather extensive collection. Yes, it’s true, I cannot deny that I am somewhat of a cookbook, lets say, “collector”. I browse them like magazines and read them like, well … novels.  They make up a great deal of my reading pleasure and a large percentage of my limited weight allotment when travelling. Truth be told, I have a cookbook bag in my bedroom and at the first sign of a road trip, I excitedly carry it out to the car. With my shelves burgeoning from the weight and at the risk of giving in to this small obsession of mine, these days it takes the will of a lion to steer myself clear of cookbook displays, as I vow to cook and bake my way through the ones I already have before purchasing any new editions. Fingers crossed.

In December of 1999, my husband’s youngest sister, Lynda rolled up her sleeves and took on the monumental task of assembling a family cookbook to usher in the new millennium. For Christmas, she presented each of us with a bright yellow spiral bound collection of our family’s favourite recipes, some of which have been passed down through the last century and some which are new additions, donated by some of the newer members of the family (Hmm, hmm, yours truly being one of them). There may be others, but I know for sure, that this book is a family treasure and a kitchen fixture in our home as well as the homes of my 3 sister-in-laws and my husband’s mom.

Because my mother-in-law is one of those magical bakers (not to mention cook) where everything she serves tastes like a slice of heaven, and many of the recipes she uses came from her mother, you can imagine how exciting it was to receive it;  all of our favourite recipes bound up in a single spiral.  Many of the recipes I use on a daily basis, (including this particular recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins), come from the pages of this book.

Around here, muffins are always in demand because they’re so versatile; they taste great, pack well and don’t take long to bake.  For a family always on-the-go, a batch of muffins first thing in the morning never goes astray, as they thankfully satisfy the seemingly endless appetites of working men, boys who play sports and friends who drop by.

Scratch muffins are the kind I like to make as they are often chock full of good things like fruits and vegetables. The great thing about muffins is that you can take a recipe and change it up, swap out the flour or the fruit to suit your individual tastes and make it your own. In the same way, this recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, may taste great as Orange Poppy Seed Muffins by switching the lemon juice and lemon zest for orange juice and orange zest. I personally like to experiment with the flavours but haven’t yet tried this combination yet. If you happen to give it a try, I’d love to hear about it.

This recipe comes from my husband’s mom, baker extraordinaire. It’s light and delightful and the poppy seeds provide a surprising layer of crunchy texture.  Though they do have quite a bit of sugar to balance the tartness of the lemons, they do not have a lot of fat, just a mere 1/4 cup of melted butter, balanced with the goodness of two freshly squeezed lemons and 1 and 1/4 cups of dairy fresh milk, so I feel good about serving them up, even for breakfast.

These muffins would make a great addition to a Mother’s Day brunch. They’re also a quick way to start the day if you happen to be travelling; pack a few for a great snack if you’ll be on the road for a while. You may want to whip them up to brighten someone’s day or show mom just how much you love her.

 Adapted from Our Family Recipes

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients:

2 lemons

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup melted butter

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper cups.  Finely grate peel from lemons.  Mix half of the peel with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and set aside to sprinkle over the muffins before baking.  Squeeze juice from lemons. Measure out 1/3 cup juice and stir in remaining peel.

2. Using a fork, stir flour with remaining sugar, and the rest of the dry ingredients.  Whisk egg in a small bowl.  Then whisk in the milk, lemon juice and butter.  Milk may curdle when mixed with lemon juice.  Immediately stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until combined.  Spoon into muffin cups.  Sprinkle tops with lemon-sugar mixture.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Notes:

For a light lemony crumb, I baked mine for 20 minutes.

You can omit the lemon zest/sugar topping if serving to young kids.

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One potato, two potato.

My dear friends, please forgive me, but this is my second potato recipe  in 

just over a week and I’m not done yet.  The thing is, I’m making a lot of  them

these days and they’re so yummy, that I just have to share them here with

you.  It’s all white and winter-y here in Ontario, so I’m fixated on warm, stick-

to-your ribs, comfort foods and potatoes keep making the menu.

When you think of all the ways that you can prepare potatoes, it makes

you realize what a versatile vegetable they are.  Whether in soups, stews,

casseroles, bread, rolls, pancakes (yum, LOVE potato pancakes), baked,

boiled, or roasted  ~ you’ve gotta admit, potatoes are pretty awesome. 

What I like about THESE potatoes is they’re crispy outside followed by a soft

and yummy inside. Par-boiling makes all the difference. It releases the starch

before you bake them in the oven, jump-starting the crisping process.  By

tossing them vigorously with garlic, salt and olive oil, for one to two minutes,

the water evaporates quickly and you get a nice starchy coating all over,

which gets all nice and crispy in the oven. Just look at all that yummy garlic,

olive oil and starchy coating.

Yukon Gold potatoes offer the best results for this recipe.  They ensure an

even crispiness outside and a silky-smooth inside – everytime. It’s also

important to get the pan good and hot before you put them in the oven in

order to achieve that crispness and golden colour. Chopped garlic is optional,

but if you like garlic, be sure to mix it in, as it adds another flavour dimension. 

 

Placing the sliced potatoes in a single layer, flat on the baking sheet, achieves

a warm, golden color and a nice, even crispness. Take them out of the oven

after 15 – 20 minutes, when you’ve got a nice crispy brown all around the

edges, and give them a good flip.

 

Back in the oven for 10 more minutes and voila, gorgeous crispy, baked

potatoes. Sprinkle them with a little salt and some ground pepper and you will

eat well, my friend.

These potatoes are great.

for breakfast.

for lunch.

for dinner.

They’re really quick and they fill people up.

They’re delicious! 

They BAKE in the oven, while you’re busy with other things. (Like taking

pictures of things baking in the oven).

They’re self-sufficient – which is awesome.You only need to flip them ONCE,

not a gazillion times like the fry pan method. I love self-sufficient food.  

Things, or people.

They free up your stove top. You can never have enough stove top.

They’re versatile. 

Here are just a few flavour combinations you can try.

Serve them with eggs, for a hearty, country-style breakfast.

 

Dip them in sour cream, apple sauce and then sprinkle them with a wee bit of

chili powder.

 Mmmm … can you say delicious?

  

For those who recently accepted my invitation to follow this blog, and for all

of your encouragement and fantastic advice,  thank you from the bottom of

my heart. I look forward to sharing more posts about our life here in the

country, the foods we love and the everyday adventures we encounter while

raising a family on a working farm in Ontario. From my table to yours, I hope

you’re having an awesome, super delicious day. 

Love, Jackie

This Sweet Wife

Here’s the recipe:

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Adapted from: The Best of America’s Test Kitchen

2 1/2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium)

rinsed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds.  For the photos, my

potatoes were peeled; you can do either peeled or unpeeled.

5 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Method

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on

the rack, and heat the oven to 400°F (200° C).  Place the potatoes and 1

tablespoon salt in a Dutch oven and add cold water to cover the potatoes by 1-

inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and gently simmer

until the exteriors of the potatoes have softened but the centers offer

resistance when pierced with a paring knife, about 5 minutes.  Drain the

potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Drizzle the potatoes with 2 tablespoons

of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Using a rubber spatula, toss

to combine.  Drizzle the potatoes with 2 tablespoons more oil and 1/2

teaspoon salt and continue to toss vigorously until the exteriors of the potato

slices are coated with a starchy paste, 1 to 2 minutes.

 

2. Working quickly, remove the baking sheet from the oven and drizzle the

remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over the surface. Carefully transfer the potatoes

to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer (skin side up if an end

piece).  Bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 15

to 20 minutes.

 

3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, using a metal spatula and

tongs, loosen the potatoes from the baking sheet andcarefully flip each slice. 

Continue to roast potatoes until the second side is golden and crisp, 10 to 15

minutes longer, rotating the baking sheet as needed to ensure the potatoes

brown evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

 

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With the holidays fast approaching, Christmas morning recipe ideas are at the top of my to-do list.  Lots of folks will be busy opening gifts and sharing time with their families and no one wants to be stored away in the kitchen and miss out on all the fun.  So, while many a strata will be made on December 24th, here’s another idea that will bring a festive dimension to your holiday breakfast that can be made ahead.  Orange, Cranberry, Carrot Cake Muffins.

When it comes to muffins, I’m pretty fussy.  I like them moist, with nutritious ingredients, full of flavour and not too sweet.  A muffin should not be a cupcake.  I don’t think muffins need a lot of sweet, sticky toppings; I think the muffin should be good enough that it can stand alone. I like muffins that work for breakfast, can be packed with a lunch, are great  grab n’ go’s, and fill the void between after school and supper. This muffin really fits the bill.  But it also brings a dimension of satisfying holiday flavours in the orange, the cranberries, the carrots, the nuts, coconut and spices that your family and guests will really love. 

These muffins do not have an oily taste, they’re light and very moist from  the use of the whole orange.  The fruit and nuts add texture, flavour and good nutrition. Whip up a batch of these muffins over the holidays; prepared ahead,they’ll keep you out of the kitchen and free to enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

 

Cranberry Orange Carrot Cake Muffins

Ingredients

1 seedless navel orange, quartered, rind included

2/3 cup (150 ml) orange juice (approx.)

2 eggs

3/4 cup (175 ml) packed brown sugar

1/3 cup ( 75 ml) canola oil

2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla

1 3/4 cups (425 ml) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon

1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder

1 tsp. (5 ml) baking solda

1/2 tsp (2 ml) each ground nutmeg and salt

2 cups (500 ml) grated carrots

1/2 cup (125 ml) each dried cranberries and chopped toasted pecans

1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded coconut

Method

1. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or grease and set aside. 2. In food processor, finely chop the orange.  My food processor didn’t chop the orange fine enough for me so I ended up using my hand-held blender.  I really ground up the orange to a fine pulp until it was foamy and resembled jam. How much you grind up the orange is really a personal preference.  You may like to leave little fine pieces of orange or you can grind it to a foaming pulp like I did.  The skin of the orange can be quite strong so if you like a milder orange taste, grind it up well.

2. Scrape the orange into a liquid measuring cup; add enough orange juice to make 1 1/3 cups (325 ml).  Scrape into a bowl and whisk in eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until well mixed.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt; scrape orange mixture over the top. Add carrots, cranberries, chopped pecans and 1/2 cup (125 ml)  of the coconut; stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Spoon into prepared muffin cups,  approximately 3/4 full and evenly distributed (I personally have trouble with this part; too much in some, not enough in another — whatever; don’t fuss, it always works out in the end).

4. Bake in the centre of a 350 °F (180 °C) oven until tops are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.  Let cool on the rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool on the rack. (If you decide to make these ahead; store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours or wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.)

Adapted from Canadian Living Holiday Baking, Fall 2004

Happy Baking ~ I hope you stop by again real soon! 

Love,

This Sweet Wife

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