Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Waffles & Blueberry Compote

I suppose you could have a non-cozy morning with waffles. Like if your dryer ate one of your slippers while you were toasting a frozen waffle, OR if your robe was in the hamper and you ran out of syrup.
Speaking of cozy, have you seen this free Fireplace app for your Mac? It crackles and pops, de-techno-fying things right from your desktop. Want more of the cozy morning feel? The Squirrel looked cozy this morning.
It's been a while since I made a big "weekend" style, homemade breakfast, so here goes!
Following the directions. Mixing the dry ingredients. 
Ready to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
The waffle maker's hot (see the light?)
Fresh cooked whole wheat waffle.
Blueberries from the Pacific Northwest.
Let's talk about the compote a.k.a. blueberry sauce. The corn starch is important, it will turn the syrup into a sauce. Don't put the juice from the lemon in, the sauce won't thicken. (I was tempted and looked it up.)
Lovely compote, not compost... my husband's humor.

Whole Wheat Waffles
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
2 T sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 C lukewarm milk
1/3 C vegetable oil

To prepare the batter mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl combine egg, milk and vegetable oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients, don't over mix. Cook waffles as per the instructions that came with your waffle iron. I used cooking spray on the waffle iron before starting and applied it again midway through cooking to keep the waffles from sticking to the waffle iron. Keep waffles warm in the oven while cooking.

Blueberry Compote
2 C blueberries
1/4 C water
1/2 C sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T cornstarch
1 T water

Combine the blueberries, water, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon and allow to simmer to consistency of syrup. In a separate bowl combine cornstarch and water then mix into the blueberries and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. It should start to thicken pretty quickly. Serve over whole wheat waffles and top with light whipped cream.

Waffle Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour: Whole Wheat Waffles
Blueberry Compote Recipe Source: Yankee, New England: Blueberry Compote

Health Note: Why whole wheat? My husband has Type 1-Juvenile Diabetes and has found that regular white flour drives his blood sugar up super fast. Whole wheat has proven to affect his blood sugar in a more steady and manageable way! He also chose to go with light syrup rather than the blueberry compote for less carbs.

These waffles were hearty and filling. I doubled the batch to make-ahead waffles for breakfast next week. I cut the waffles into quarters (to fit the toaster) and put them in the freezer. The next time I make these I'm going to try replacing some or all of the oil with applesauce and maybe adding a little vanilla.

How do you like to cook waffles? Do you add any special ingredients or top them with anything in particular? Hope you'll comment, it makes things so much friendlier!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guittard Chocolate Chip Pan Cookies

Cookbook Bites: Guittard Chocolate Chip Pan Cookies
Earlier this month I bought some Guittard milk chocolate chips to make chocolates for Valentine's Day, but then I caught a cold and it didn't work out. Since I had the chocolate chips...

Update (2015) This recipe for Guittard Chocolate Chip Pan Cookies have become a family favorite! Another recipe for chocolate chip cookies, that became an instant hit, is the Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies which are healthier, but they still pass for mainstream goodness.
Guittard Chocolate Chip Pan Cookies
2 1/4 C flour (I used unbleached flour and added a couple of extra spoonfuls of flour--I'm not sure if it's the elevation, but generally any chocolate chip cookies I make need a little extra flour to set up, or we just get puddles of chocolate chip wanna-be-cookies)
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 C butter (room temperature)
3/4 C white sugar
3/4 C brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 C Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips (Look for this brand. Yes, really!) 
1 C chopped walnuts (optional) (I opted out.)

Cream butter and both sugars until light, then add the eggs and vanilla and combine. I added the dry ingredients all at once and combined and it worked fine (the original recipe said mix the dry ingredients separately and then add - which does make sense). Last of all, add the chocolate chips and combine. Spread onto a cookie sheet (I used a large jelly roll pan, un-greased, and they came out wonderfully!) Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and then cut into bars.

Recipe Source: Guittard Chocolate Company, The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie

These were just right, seriously. Just the right amount of buttery-brown sugar flavor, not overwhelmed by the chocolate. The ingredients simply compliment each other. Get some Guittard milk chocolate chips and try this one out. Please.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Macaroni & Cheese

There was a full moon hanging low over the mountains tonight. I couldn't get a clear picture of it, but I still wanted to share. Tonight dinner needed to be something fairly easy (a busy day ending with my daughter and I heading over to help at the Food Bank with my sister). I've been on this forever-quest looking for the perfect Mac & Cheese and now that I seem to have found it I need to seriously lighten it up. I'm glad that I have a starting point to work from.
Macaroni? Check. All the way from Italy. Aren't the bubbles pretty?
Key ingredients, yellow mustard (not the dry kind - that's too bland), ground pepper, and Lawry's.
Okay you've already guessed it. It's a roux, with 2 cheeses... (Yes, this is the reason why I've got to lighten the recipe up!)
I love how the light catches in the baking dish--all green and glowy.
This recipe is the result of me running the other direction from the usual "custard" mac and cheese made with eggs. Jumping over tall buildings in a single bound to choose homemade over boxed. What about cottage cheese mac? Not so much either. So, calories? Yes. I need to work on chilling out the fat in this recipe. I'm sure it can be done.

Macaroni & Cheese
4 C cooked macaroni (about 1/2 small bag cooked)
2 T butter
2 T light sour cream
3-4 T flour (unbleached)
1/2-1 C milk
1 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 C cheddar cheese grated
Black pepper (to taste)
1 Pinch Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1-2 T yellow mustard

Cook 1/2 bag (small bag) of macaroni to al dente while preparing the sauce. In a sauce pan melt the butter, crack some pepper over it and brown the butter. Remove the butter from the heat. Add the flour to the butter to make a paste. Put the pan back on low-med heat. Add milk and water (from the pasta) to thin this into a sauce. Add cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mustard (to your taste), sour cream, Lawry's salt and combine. Drain pasta and put back into the pan you cooked it in. Pour sauce over noodles and combine. Pour into a casserole dish and top with grated cheddar. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm from the oven.

Take care,


Saturday, February 12, 2011


Orange smoothies
Orange smoothies are bursting with bright orange deliciousness. Like a summer day in a glass.


Bring the charm of coffee houses home and save a boatload of money. Sipping drinks that aren't on the menu puts you in control of the ingredients. Smoothies bursting with orange goodness and hinting of vanilla, sweet and sour frozen lemonade, fairy tale sips and creamy Nutella cocoa are sure to wake your taste-buds up.


Apple, Carrot, Orange Juice  (Yum!)
...really good, so I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Banana Cupcake Smoothie
Yogurt goodness...

Frozen Fruit Smoothies
I poured the pretty-purple-goodness into a reusable travel mug and breakfast was ready "to-go!"

Orange Smoothie (Yum!)
Have you ever had an "Orange Julius" at the mall? These are not quite the frothy goodness, but they taste "fresh squeezed."

Peanut Butter & Blueberry Smoothie (Yum!)
Long ago and across town, there used to be a crêperie that made crepes to order. One option was peanut butter and blueberries...


Cranberry Sprite (Yum!) a two-tone rose petal.

Frozen Lemonade
This drink can make hot weather doable. Lemony iced-goodness!

Snow White Light
...I learned about soda fountain drinks I'd never heard of like Black Cows and Snow White.


Hot Cocoa Mix (Yum!)
The grocery store has been out of the cocoa mix that I like, so instead of buying brands I don't like I thought I'd try making my own mix.

Hot Cocoa Mix (Dairy Free)
This version gives you the choice of what milk you want to use in your hot cocoa. I'm pretty sure you could use soy, almond, hemp, coconut, etc.

Iced Tea (To Go) (Yum!)
Homemade iced tea is kind of a grass-roots thing we can do to make a smaller footprint AND drink more water. Win-win! Go you! Go us!

Nutella Hot Chocolate (Yum!)
Keep this recipe in mind for a snow day!

Thyme Tea (Hot Lemonade)
Added lemon to thyme tea and sweetened to taste.

White Hot Chocolate (To Go)
On a winter morning putting milk to heat on the stove, combining fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon  with Guittard white chocolate chips is comforting and worth the few minutes it takes.

Cranberry Sprite

While we were out running errands today we stopped by a home improvement store where I saw a paint sample that looked like a two-tone rose petal, which coincidentally enough this drink looked like too. Valentine's Day is apparently on the brain. 
When I got home I made a cranberry sprite. I didn't intend to blog about it, but it turned out kind of Valentine-y...
...and pretty.

Cranberry Sprite
2 C ice cubes
Sprite (or Sprite Zero)
Diet Cranberry Juice

Fill the glass with ice cubes. Then fill the glass half full with Sprite. Fill the rest of the glass with cranberry juice. This can be a diet drink or not, to suit your tastes. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Club: Tassajara Cookbook

A couple of weeks ago I was at the city library looking for the The Tassajara Bread Book a cookbook by the head cook, Edward Espe Brown, at the Tassajara San Francisco Zen Center, published back in the 70's. The librarian sent me into the maze of books on the 3rd floor and I found the Tassajara Cookbook by Karla Oliveira. The bread book was checked out so I put it on hold and checked out the Tassajara Cookbook instead.

The Tassajara Cookbook is a beautiful book. I've made the Orange-Pecan (walnut in my case) Cream Cheese (pg. 19) which was a little too close to orange-mayonaise for my taste (how I got that from cream cheese and "1" orange--no clue), but the Sesame Marinade on pages 120-121 looks really good!
So, yeah, I have a confession: I actually bought some tofu. I'm not a big tofu fan, but like the button on my blog says "eat less meat." I'll make something and share what happens with you.

If you've got a minute to spare on
cooking meditation check out the trailer for "How to Cook Your Life." (It's on Netflix.) The movie's about cooking, making bread, awareness and being human

"When you wash the rice, wash the rice; when you cut the carrots, cut the carrots; when you stir the soup, stir the soup."- Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

If you check out the cookbook(s), watch the movie, or have a comment about tofu, it's always good to hear from you!

Take care,



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