Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Fun #140 - Autumn is here!

The seasons have changed. No more is it a millionty degrees outside, in my house, or, most importantly for this blog, in my kitchen. I can imagine cooking something again! Something beyond throwing some brats on the grill, frying up bacon for a BLT (of which I did not have nearly enough this past summer!), or mixing up a salad.

How about you? What's this fall weather got you cooking? Turned on the oven yet? I have! While I would have loved some of that do-nothing artisan bread this summer for tomato bruschetta, I couldn't stand the thought of turning on the oven for that long. That has changed! Hooray!

So let's hear it? What are you now willing to cook, thanks to the change into the cooler weather of autumn?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple Waffles

We went to the apple orchard yesterday, so I've got a million apples (ok, "just" 32 pounds...), so for Sunday brunch I was looking for something delicious & different & that preferably used apples! We hadn't done waffles for a while, so I flipped through our copy of Waffles from Morning to Midnight by Dorie Greenspan & found "Apple Waffles!" Perfect! It was yum & so very seasonal that I thought I'd better share. Also, my kids LOVED them. To make them even more apple-y, I'd recommend adding an extra half-an-apple, cut into tiny chunks*.

Dorie Greenspan's Apple Waffles

Makes about 5 waffles

3 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
pinch of grated nutmeg
1/4 c. granulated sugar [You know that's 4 Tbl., right?]
1/4 c. firmly packed, but lump-free light brown sugar [...and again, you've got the measuring spoons out anyway, don't you?]
1 1/2 c. milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 medium-sized apple, peeled & grated
[I'd recommend peeling & cutting up another half an apple into tiny chunks and adding that, too.*]

  1. Preheat your waffle iron. If you want to hold the finished waffles until serving time, preheat your oven to 200F. [Mine heats so fast, I have to wait until I'm about to mix the dry & wet ingredients, so consider your own waffle iron.]
  2. Melt the butter; reserve. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and sugars. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until very well blended. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with the whisk until just combined. Fold in the grated apple and the melted butter.
  3. Whether or not your iron's grids are well seasoned or made of a nonstick material, it's best to light butter or spray the grids of your waffle iron since this batter is very soft and can stick. Brush or spray the grids again only if subsequent waffles stick.
  4. Spoon out 1/2 c. of batter (or amount recommended by your waffler's manufacturer) onto the [hot] iron. Spread the batter evenly over the grids & close the lid. When the underside of the waffle is lightly browned, carefully turn over the waffle and brown the other side. [If necessary for your iron. Mine was fine.]
  5. Serve the waffles immediately or keep them, in a single layer, on a rack in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the batch.

*That's because when I ran into tiny chunks of too-small-to-grate apple, I really liked the extra texture & apple-i-ness.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Fun: The Return is Foretold!

Hello, all! I hope you had a great summer. I was nearly buried under the weight of tomatoes from our garden, but managed to pull through. :) Thanks for bearing with me during the summer hiatus. Life just got too busy & hot to think about cooking much, but now that it's cooling down again, I'm raring to go.

Let me tell you my thoughts...

I like themes. They make it easier for me to come up with ideas instead of sitting down with a blank page every week. So, October's theme is going to be "Pumpkins & Other Hard/Winter Squash." NOT THAT THE THEME SHOULD LIMIT YOU!!! Got a good recipe or link or question? Post away!

The first Wednesday of each month, I'll start with the theme & links to prior recipes, like I've done in the past when we begin a monthly theme. I like seeing and highlighting what treasures we've already got here. Other weeks might have tidbits/trivia about the theme, a recipe related to it, or maybe some links or pictures or something.

Polls, especially theme-related ones, will likely run two weeks long to give folks more of a chance to weigh in their opinions. I might throw in an extra one here and there for fun and curiosity.

Looking forward, November's theme will be "The Other Red Meat(s)." (Yes, it may have something to do with us soon to be getting some lamb for our freezer, as you might have read over at House of 42 Doors. Feel free to start coming up with some good lamb/mutton recipes for me now, ok?) I'm thinking "Traditional Holiday Favorites" for December, but do speak up in the comments if you've got ideas/suggestions for themes, please. For a list of a lot of the previous themes, go here.

Ok, looking forward to seeing you all back here on Wednesdays! Hooray!