Belgian Waffles

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Happy Wednesday, everyone!

How’s your week going?

 

Things have finally settled down around here after a big weekend of celebrating E’s birthday… I think she had a nice time having a celebration in her new place with her new friends and a celebration at home with her family. Best of both worlds!

Being the birthday girl meant that she got to choose all the foods for each meal on Monday – our favorite burger joint for lunch and our favorite Mexican place for dinner. What was left was breakfast… and what E asked for surprised me. E loves eggs and I assumed that she would want baked eggs and scones for breakfast.

She threw me for a loop when she requested Belgian waffles… but the birthday girl gets what she wants (plus, who does not love a good waffle?).

Belgian waffles are super easy to make but do require some steps.

They start with two eggs that are separated, with the whites going into a small bowl and the yolks in a large one.

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Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer (or by hand if you want to work out your muscles!) until soft peaks form. Set aside.

To the yolks…

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Add in some milk and vegetable oil. Whisk to combine thoroughly.

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Then add in some flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

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Stir gently to combine, but don’t worry if there is a lump or two.

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Then add in the beaten egg whites.

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And gently fold them into the batter – if you mix too vigorously, the egg whites will deflate and your waffles will lose their light texture (and you will be very, very sad… trust me).

Portion out the batter into your pre-heated waffle iron and cook using the appliance directions.

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For my waffle iron, I portion out 1 cup of batter in the center of the iron and allow the weight of the lid to push out the batter evenly. The amount you need for each waffle can vary depending on the size and shape of your iron – I have a large waffle iron that makes 4-4” inch Belgian waffles.

To keep the waffles warm, I keep them on a wire cooling rack in a 185 degree oven.

Then just serve them up with your favorite toppings – we went with a selection of fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar but the options are endless.

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PB&J, chocolate hazelnut spread, chocolate chips, Greek yogurt and honey, fresh strawberry sauce, chicken tenders (chicken and waffles… food nirvana), plain ole maple syrup, etc etc etc.

 

A sweet birthday breakfast for an even sweeter sister!

Have a great week, kiddos!

Your waffle makin’ friend,

C

Belgian Waffles

  • Servings: 5 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 eggs, separated

1¾ cup + 1 tablespoon skim milk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacture’s instructions.
  2. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a small bowl and the egg yolks into a large bowl. Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks, about 1-2 minutes. Set them aside.
  3. In the large bowl with the egg whites, add in the milk and oil. Beat until thoroughly combined. Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gently stir to combine – don’t over mix (a few small lumps are okay!).
  4. Add the beaten egg whites to the batter and gently fold to combine, leaving some patches of egg white.
  5. Grease your preheated waffle iron with some cooking spray. Portion out the batter into your waffle iron according to the manufacture’s directions – make sure you cook until golden brown and crisp!

Serve with your favorite toppings (the possibilities are endless!).

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, The Cat!

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Happy Easter and Passover to all who celebrate! Wishing you all the best today as you relax and enjoy your family and friends.

My Easter is officially next week, but today we are celebrating two big events – Palm Sunday and The Cat’s 11th birthday!!

And you cannot have a birthday without cake… it’s an ancient rule written somewhere. Promise.

I decided to whip up Williams-Sonoma Devil’s Food Layer Cake (in cupcake form) for The Cat’s big day. It is a super simple cake that is full of chocolate flavor!

It has four different components.

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A chocolate mixture, which is a combination of unsweetened natural cocoa powder and boiling water.

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A dry mixture, which is a combination of flour, baking soda, and salt.

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A milk element – it is supposed to be buttermilk, but I never ever have buttermilk in the house. My easy substitute? I put one tablespoon of white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and fill the measuring cup with milk until it reaches one cup. I let stand for 5 minutes and tada, a good buttermilk replacement.

Finally, you need a bowl with room temperature butter and some sugar.

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The WS recipe calls for the batter to be made with a hand mixer, which works fine… but if you have a stand mixer, break that baby out of the cabinet. Using my hand mixer, I got butter and sugar (and then chocolate cake batter) all over my cabinets, walls, counters, and floor… so please, if you have one, use your stand mixer.

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When the butter and sugar are all combined, add in the eggs one at a time. Splash in some vanilla too!

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Then slowly drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture. When it’s all combined, alternate adding in the flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. (forget to take pictures of said steps…)

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All that’s left is to dish them up into cupcake tins lined with cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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The best birthday treat ever!

You can frost the cupcakes with the recipe’s frosting but I was impatient and used a little bit of leftover canned frosting I had in the fridge. You can decorate with sprinkles, chocolate-covered candies, or just leave them unadorned… you have total creative license! Just make sure you have room for the birthday candle.

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Happy Birthday, The Cat! I’m so glad that you’re mine. Now make a wish!

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, kiddos.

Your chocolate cake- and cat-obsessed friend,

C

This recipe can be found at Williams-Sonoma’s blog, Taste. I substituted the buttermilk with 1¼ skim milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Quarter of A Century

I know that I’ve been a little MIA this past week, but I have a good reason (seriously, I do!)

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This weekend I was a little busy turning a quarter of a century… With spectacular family and friends and an equally spectacular cake!

 

Don’t worry, I’ve returned from birthday land and will have a post later this week about life, food, and the pursuit of RD-ness.

Love,

Your older, wiser, quarter-of-a-century old friend,

C

It’s My BIRTHDAY!

      **Happy Thanksgiving, kiddos! Hope you guys are enjoying your day – take photos and notes… I want to hear all about it tomorrow!**

Actually, my birthday was a couple weeks ago. But, I didn’t get to write about my adventures because of my recent bout with strep throat. So I shall write about it today!

As much as I say that I feel like I am getting old and that I don’t like celebrating my birthday, I’m lying. I really love celebrating my birthday because I love two things – a good party with family and friends and cake (especially the cake).

And I got a lot of cake this year.

Like these fabulous chocolate hazelnut cupcakes made by my good friend L. We ate them “elementary school” style – AKA we stopped class in the middle to have the sweet treat. It was the perfect break during six-hour class block.

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My friend L should be a baker – look how beautiful this cupcake is with the chopped hazelnuts sprinkled over the chocolate ganache frosting.

Then there was the cake my family gave me for our impromptu Halloween weekend at home.

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Then my sister made me a fabulous birthday cake (double chocolate fudge with rainbow sprinkles) that we, along with my good friends, ate before a night of drinking and dancing.

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It’s beautiful… And I am glad that she didn’t put 25 candles on it – that would have made me feel really old.

But the best thing about my birthday is that I can eat everything that I want with no apologies (not very different from any other day though!). My sister surprised me with a breakfast out to a fabulous hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint that had the cutest sign out front.

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But there was no way for me to finish everything on my plate… and you’ll see why.

When I walked inside, I knew it was a place that served good food and had great atmosphere. The tables were small, it was a little rundown, and the staff hurried around, but the food was amazing (and portions were huge).

We got to sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and I took the opportunity to snap some photos. How insane is that griddle!

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The back part was covered in breakfast potatoes and the front was covered in foot-wide pancakes. Yes, foot-wide pancakes.

I wanted it all.

So many fabulous choices and so little stomach space. I decided on a variety of foods to try. I needed to try a huge pancake because E said that they were a specialty here, so I order a chocolate chip pancake. But I also wanted sausage gravy, so I got that too!

Here’s my pancake – it’s fluffy, warm, and studded with chocolate chips and slightly drowned in real maple syrup. It was heavenly.

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But it is also a foot in diameter – here’s my sister’s hand showing how huge this pancake is.

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It was perfection.

I also got sausage gravy. Let me tell you a little about sausage gravy. According to my two food television loves/obessions, Mr. Alton Brown (from Good Eats) and Mrs. Ree Drummond (AKA The Pioneer Woman), there are two schools of sausage gravy-ness. One school states that you fry up sausage and then make the gravy with the sausage drippings. The other school states that you cook crumbled sausage and make the gravy with the sausage still in the pan. The sausage gravy I had for my birthday was from the second school and it is definitely the way to go. The salty sausage cuts through the grease and adds a great texture to the gravy.

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And when it is served over crunchy breakfast potatoes, there is nothing better.

Served with a tall glass of chocolate milk, it was the best birthday breakfast I ever had.

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(Sorry, Mom!)

I had a fabulous birthday, filled with food, fun, and friends and family. I am a very lucky Grad School Foodie.

Love your one year old (and hopefully one year wiser) friend,

C

A Tale of Two Ice Creams

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… actually it was summertime, which means it is ice cream season! Yay! There is nothing better than a cool, creamy treat on a hot summer day. I have also discovered that it can give a little relief to overheated emotions as well. To illustrate my points, I have transformed my normal blog post into short stories… I hope you enjoy.

 

Tale #1:

Once upon a time, my little sister, E, had requested ice cream sandwiches for her birthday treat instead of cake (don’t worry – we had cake the night before). My mom and I split up the task of making chipwiches – she made the ice cream, while I procured cookies/sprinkles/chocolate chips and assembled everything.

 

This is what teamwork (and a non-traditional birthday treat) looks like.

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My mom made mint chip and vanilla bean ice creams, both of which complemented the chocolate chunk cookies perfectly. To differentiate between the two ice creams, the vanilla chipwiches were adorned with sprinkles or chocolate chips and the mint chip chipwiches had green sanding sugar (my mom also added chocolate chips post-creation… something I highly recommend).

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My mom wrapped them in parchment and stuck them in the freezer to set.

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All we had to do was unwrap and eat. Yum!

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The End.

 

Tale 2:

 

Once upon a time, E and I were going through a slight emotional funk. She was stressing about school timing and I was stressing about school funding. It was hot outside, everyone was tired/overworked/stressed, and nothing seemed to be soothing the overheated emotions swirling around our house. So my parents did what they do best – made us laugh and handed us ice cream cones.

 

This is how they cheered us up – they made us paper hats. Yes, paper hats. We looked silly and like we were at a four-year old’s birthday party, but it did cheer us up.

 

Here is E wearing her hat… it matches her pj’s perfectly.

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Here is our cat wearing her hat… it was a little bit too big.

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While wearing our hats, we indulged in ice cream cones with different toppings – a family throwback to afterschool snacks in elementary school. A little trip down memory lane is always good for the soul.

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This is my creation. I modeled it off of an ice cream offered at an ice cream restaurant that makes clown faces with the ice cream cone. I have discovered that I would not succeed as a chef at that restaurant – my clown looked more like an ice cream cone melting on the sidewalk. So I just covered my mistake with hot fudge and sprinkles. It was delicious.

 

After the ice cream was eaten and the hats were worn, my sister and I were in much better moods. And (emotional) order was restored.

 

The End.

 

I hope you enjoyed these short stories!

Happy Monday, everyone.

C