Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Whole Wheat Waffles

Thursday mornings around our house tend to be a little less rushed because it's my no running day (I look forward to Thursdays).  Most mornings, I feel like I'm rushing around taking bites of toast or spoonful’s of cereal in between spreading peanut butter and jam on pieces of bread for my boys lunches or telling Preston again and again (and again) to hurry and get ready for school.  Some mornings I wait until my boys have walked out the door to sit down at the table and eat my waffle while Stella watches Super Why.  Every once in awhile, it's nice to be able to enjoy every bite of a meal with few interruptions(A waffle my way is topped with bananas, toasted unsweetened coconut and pure maple syrup.  Mmmmmmmm!  It's perfectly delicious!)

Whole Wheat Waffles

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder (see note)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup lukewarm buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat waffle iron on high heat.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar; set aside.  In another bowl, combine melted butter, milk, egg, orange juice and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredient and stir until just combined.  Be careful not to over mix.  Add batter to preheated waffle iron and cook until golden brown (or until your waffle iron beeps to tell you that your waffle is done).  Remove cooked waffles from waffle iron and serve immediately.  (You can also keep the waffles warm in a preheated 250 degree oven.)

*The first time I made these waffles, I didn't have aluminum-free baking powder, but I quickly found out (thanks to Google) that you can make your own.  For one teaspoon of aluminum-free baking powder, combine 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch.  I actually like these waffles better, when I make my own aluminum-free baking powder.

*I also like these waffles better when I use a Belgian waffle iron.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Faux Martha

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Roasted Tomato Caprese with Avocados

Butter toasted bread, creamy avocado and fresh mozzarella, all topped with sweet, tangy roasted tomatoes, torn basil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.  All of its parts add up to one very delicious sandwich! 

Roasted Tomato Caprese with Avocado

1 large tomato or 1 pint cherry tomatoes (I used some of both)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh basil
1 tablespoon butter
3 thick slices of country bread
1 garlic clove
1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced thin
Fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cut the large tomato into 1/4-inch slices.  Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with the salt.  If using the cherry tomatoes, toss them with the olive oil and salt and lay them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until wilted, wrinkly and caramelized in parts.  When the tomatoes have roasted, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. 

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter to melt.  Place the pieces of bread in the pan and cook unitl crisp and golden.  about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove the bread from the pan and let cool.

Once cool assemble the open faced sandwiches.  Avocado slices line the bottom, next the fresh mozzarella.  Add a small pile of roasted tomatoes on top and finish with torn basil leaves, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of flaky salt.

Recipe from Not Without Salt

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Banana Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

We like bananas around this house of mine, but we each have our own personal preference on the degree of ripeness that one should eat a banana.  I like a banana that still has a little green at the top.  Todd likes them like me, but doesn't mind eating a banana that is nearing the speckle stage.  Noah on the other hand, thinks that a banana that has a little green on it is gross and prefers a speckled banana because it's sweeter (I think it's just more mushy).  Preston only likes a banana in the actual banana form.  Sadly, he doesn't enjoy them in baked goods and Stella likes a banana one day and the next she doesn't.   One thing I know for sure about all of us (with the exception of Preston), once the banana is dotted with brown spots; we all can enjoy them in the form of a smoothie or a baked good of some sort.  On Saturday morning, I was browsing Instagram when I came across a picture of a muffin tin filled with banana buckwheat muffins that looked lovely and very tasty.  I glanced at my counter and there sat three brown speckled bananas calling out to be made into muffins.  I don't know if the deliciousness of these muffins was due to the fact that they gave me an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast (they are filled with chocolate chips) or simply because they really are that dang good, but for whatever reason, I thought these muffins were amazing. 

Banana Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
Dark brown sugar
Toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with liners (I made 18 muffins); set aside.  Mash the bananas in a large bowl, add butter and stir to combine.  Mix in brown sugar, egg, milk and spices.  Next, add the baking soda, salt and flour and beat until just incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Distribute batter evenly into muffin liners (I use a spring loaded ice cream scoop).  Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a teaspoon or two of dark brown sugar, toasted walnuts and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Eat warm with butter.  Heaven!

Recipe slightly adapted from Reclaiming Provincial

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing

I love when I don't know what I'm going to make for dinner and I don't want to go to the store, but somehow (once in a blue moon) a meal magically comes together from what I have floating around in my fridge and ends up being delicious.  This was the case the other night and these grilled cabbage wedges may have been the highlight of the meal (my 5 year old may beg to differ).

Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 head of cabbage (I used half of head of green and half a head of purple)
Canola oil

Preheat grill.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine the lime juice, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne and sugar and pulse or blend until the sauce is pale orange color in color.  Set aside.

Remove the loosest, toughest outer leaves from the cabbage; cut into 8 evenly sized wedges.  Do not remove the stalk or inner core.  Lightly brush the wedges with canola oil.

Place the wedges on the grill and cover.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften.  Flip each wedge over, cover the grill, and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on the other side.  Remove the cabbage when it is beginning to wilt, but is still firm in the middle.  If necessary, turn the heat down or move the wedges to a cooler part of the grill so they don't burn.  Don't be afraid of the blackened edges; you want a lot of grill and char marks on the cabbage.
Take the cabbage off the grill and place on a serving plate.  Pour the dressing over the top of the cabbage and serve immediately with wedges of lime.

Recipe from The Kitchn