The Annunciation and Waffles

Not that we’re all in a rush, but today is exactly nine months from Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior. Today is the day Gabriel appeared to a young Mary and proclaimed  “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” This is the Feast of the Annunciation.

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Good Morning Sunday

Good Morning everyone. Well, it’s official, Hubby is walking away from the NFL. So Super Bowl Sunday is no longer a valid excuse for elevating his blood pressure. If you could see the stress he puts himself through with every game, you’d understand my relief that he’s had enough. I’ve never understood how veins bulging out of your head can be pleasant.

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It’s National Waffle Iron Day

Waffle lovers rejoice for today is your day. Today we celebrate the Waffle Iron. And let’s face it, without a waffle iron, all you’ve got are pancakes. It’s only fitting that a kitchen tool that has been around since the 14th Century get it’s own day of recognition.

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What Say You to Dessert for Breakfast?

Wake up – rise and shine! It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. Soon the golden rays of sunlight will break the darkness of predawn. The world will stretch and stumble from their beds. Birds will be singing. Isn’t this a great day to be alive?

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Annunciation Waffles with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

Today it is exactly nine months until Christmas. Christmas, really? Yes, Christmas. But not because I’m rushing the holiday. There’s plenty of time for that. Today, as tradition has it, is the day when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Mother, Mary. In the Catholic Church, this day is known as The Annunciation. So what does that mean?

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Weekends and Buttermilk Blueberry Waffles

Recently, I had a craving for some good, from-scratch waffles. (As Hubby sums up cooking from scratch – always tastes delicious but makes a huge mess. That’s only because he’s the one that cleans up after me.) My craving made for a good excuse to try a recipe from Add-A-Pinch. It’s funny, when I’m working with a new recipe for just about anything, I’ll play around a bit and come up with my own take on things. Pancakes, waffles and all things baked (muffins, cakes . . . you get the idea) I stick to the original recipe the first time around. Guess I don’t trust my own instincts when it comes to baked-goods. Baking is a science all its own. It means being precise rather than a pinch here, a dab there. Cooking can be forgiving. Baking not so much.

The original recipe will make a lot of waffles. I cut her recipe in half for my little band of three, and there was still way more waffle batter than we could eat. Next time I’ll cut the recipe again. The waffles come up so buttery-delicious, you might not want to add more butter. Be sure to cook until dark golden for the waffle to reach a crisp exterior.

Don’t forget to cook up some delicious maple sausage links. (Check out my Perfect Link Sausage Every Time) To round out breakfast, serve with a few pints of fresh orange juice.

Oh, and one more little tip. If you want to keep waffles warm until you’ve cooked up enough for everyone, place a baking rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place cooked waffles on the rack and hold in a warm oven. The rack will allow the air to circulate around the waffles, preventing them from getting too soft.

Buttermilk Blueberry Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup blueberries, plus more for garnish
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients –  flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Rinse blueberries and allow them to drain for a few minutes, then toss the blueberries into the flour mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries until nicely mixed and coated.

In another bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mix and stir together just until combined. Make sure everything is moist, no pockets of dry flour remaining.

Warm waffle iron, and cook to your iron’s instructions. Be careful not to over-fill iron, the batter will rise and spread out as it cooks.

Serve immediately with warm syrup and soft butter as desired. These waffles can also be garnished with a few extra blueberries.

Malted Waffles – Almost from Scratch

My gang loves my Golden Malted Waffles from Scratch but sometimes I just don’t feel like whipping up waffles from scratch. We all have our lazy Sundays, when breakfast beckons, the heart is willing but the old bag of bones just isn’t in the mood. When I asked Hubby what he would like for breakfast, he looked at me with an eager smile and said “Waffles.” Hum, let’s see what I could do to satisfy his urge for waffles and my need to remain “lazy.”

At Christmas Time a few years ago, I gave my son a waffle maker. In keeping with the whole waffle theme, his Christmas package also contained a bag of Carbon Malted Waffle Mix, some top-shelf maple syrup and a cute “waffle” tongs from World Market.  The more I thought about those tongs, the more I realized a “gadget” crazy gal like myself could not live without a waffle tong. (Hey, I have a long-handled knife that’s sole purpose in life is to get mayonnaise from the jar, down to the last little bit without ending up with mayonnaise all over your knuckles using an ordinary knife. I’ll admit, sometimes I use that Mayonnaise Knife with Miracle Whip. What can I say – I’m the wild and reckless sort). All joking aside, I could not rest until I had gone back to World Market to get these cute little tongs for myself. In keeping with most of my gadget buys, the tongs haven’t been used since. As for the Carbon Mix, that’s a whole other story. When it comes to Malted Waffle Mixes, Carbon is used in more restaurants than any other brand. Good as it is, the mix needed a little help.

I’ve made waffles using just the mix. I’ve made waffles from scratch – and from scratch is better. With a little “doctoring” Carbon batter waffles turned out a close second the waffles from scratch with very little effort.

Malted Waffles – Almost from Scratch
2 Cups Carbon Malted Waffle Mix
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 1/2 Cup Water
2 Eggs
1/2 Tablespoon Malt Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Mix Waffle Mix according to package directions until just blended. Add Malted Powder and Vanilla Extract. Whip until incorporated.

Prepare waffle iron according to manufacture’s directions. Fill iron, cook until golden. Serve with butter and syrup as desired.

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As long as we’re cooking almost from scratch, how ’bout some syrup to go with those waffles?

Golden Malted Waffles from Scratch

What seems like a million years ago, way back in a prior life, Hubby, Kiddo and I were once globe-trotters. Road trips, air planes and hotel stays were part of the norm. One thing about life on the road, you get to eat lots of different things – especially breakfast. One of the more popular breakfast selections are those do-it-yourself waffles.

irondispensersmlstIf you have ever made a waffle at Days Inn, Best Western or a number of other such establishments that provide their overnight guests with do-it-yourself waffles, chances are it was a malted waffle batter. When we have stayed at these types of places, I immediately noticed the distinct malty-taste of their golden waffles  – which I love. Since Bisquick has been around since 1933, there was bound to be a mix out there somewhere that you simply add an egg, milk or water to the package and presto – you’ve got these strangely delicious malted waffles. As it turns out, most of these family friendly inns, including Mickey’s Breakfast at Walt Disney World, use Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Flour, which has been around since 1937. (World Market carries this brand – along all sorts of goodies – truffle oils, avocado oil, special pans and spices from around the world. World Market is one of my favorite “go to” places when I’m looking for something in particular – like Jamaican Blue Coffee.) Having a mix on hand is great when you’re in a hurry or when you’re preparing a large brunch (when shortcuts are precious) or when don’t feel like whipping up Malted Waffles from scratch. But on those less than hectic mornings when cooking from scratch shouts “I Love You” to your family, this Malted Waffle Recipe will certainly do the trick.

Laguna CreekWild BlackberriesUp until recently, our cozy little home was an easy walk or bike ride from a beautiful creek. The valley that we once called home was a crisscross maze of rivers and streams. In late summer, we liked to serve our Golden Malted Waffles with wild blackberries that grew in abundance along the creeks and rivers nearby. It was a nice family outing to get up early, take a hike and pick berries. We always had to pick more than what we need for breakfast since half of the berries never make it home. I liked to mix the wild blackberries with fresh peaches picked from Dad’s orchard – so juicy and flavorful. If you have access to a non-commercial orchard, the fruits are so much better. For the most part, commercial orchards, organic or otherwise, grow fruits designed to be packaged and transported. These fruits do not bruise or damage easily – but it’s also a trade-off in flavor intensity, sweetness and juiciness. Hand-picked fruits from small farms is always better.

Golden Malted Waffles
1 ¾ cups flour (All-Purpose)
¾ Cup Malted Milk Powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar

Old Time Waffle Maker

Whisk flour, malted-milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg yolk, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk into dry ingredients until just moistened.

Beat egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until glossy but not dry. Whisk one-quarter of the beaten whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes while iron heats.

Lightly coat waffle iron with cooking spray. Spoon in batter and cook until waffle is crisp and golden. Repeat with remaining batter, lightly coating iron with cooking spray each time, if necessary. Dust waffles with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Fresh summer fruits are always a nice touch.