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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Wafflemania

My standard process with recipes looks something like this: see fun recipe online or in magazine/book/back of package. Look up other similar recipes and compare ingredients/technique. Make recipe with minor modifications. Continue to modify recipe(s) 1-5 times until perfection is established.

Another process involves taking two recipes, making them both exactly as written, and comparing the features of both. This usually creates an overflow of finished product that we cannot devour before a)we get sick of whatever it is we’re eating, or b)it goes bad.  This leads us to the waffle situation: last time we tried using our wafflemaker we had waffles coming out our ears and after three days of eating waffles we put the thing away for a good long time.

Well, since I want to reduce carbs a bit next month, I figured this weekend would be a good time to get the waffle iron out and have a little last hurrah before I buckle down. I had collected a couple of awesome recipes over the past few weeks from my blog perusing, and thought we could try one out. But which to choose? And what would we do with all those waffles? This is where Jer came in with the stroke of genious: call the Pedersons.

The Pedersons are a couple of extreme genius and generosity who regularly host brunch at their home. We have been the partakers of many a plate of eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes thanks to their hopitality. Who better to come investigate the waffle recipes than the masters of the brunch invitation?

The call was made, the invite accepted, and this morning they arrived. I had started both batters the night before and was ready to whip up some deliciousness. And boy was it delicious. An hour later the batters were polished off, two couples and a baby in the womb (Pederson, not Anderson) were full of waffly goodness, and both recipes were declared tasty and worthy of future consumption. Success!

You can always count on those Pedersons.

A Tale of Two Waffles

The first waffle was a whole wheat sourdough version. Having a sourdough starter already active made this the simplest recipe ever: feed starter the night before so you will have 2 cups to work with in the morning. Add all the other ingredients except for the baking soda. Right before you are ready to start cooking, mix in the baking soda and watch the chemical reaction commence. The resulting waffle is hearty yet light, with a complex flavor that marries beautifully with either syrup or nutella (our waffle topping of choice).

The second came from Molly at Orangette: she hosted her own waffle-tasting a few weeks back and I chose the yeasted waffle recipe she made, originally written by Marion Cunningham. It involves beating together most of the ingredients and allowing the batter to proof overnight, before mixing eggs and baking soda in just before cooking. I briefly considered the second recipe from Molly, but it called for cornstarch and vegetable oil, two ingredients not common to my kitchen. This recipe was one of white flour and commercial yeast, unlike the whole wheat waffle with its unrefined sugar and naturally developed leavening. It had a crispy exterior with an as-promised custardy interior, and tasted amazing when topped with a little butter and some of my mother-in-law’s homemade blackberry jelly. A wildly different experience from the sourdough waffle, and yet just as excellent in its own right.

The verdict? Both were incredible. Each delivered the delicious result promised by the bloggers who posted them. They were so dissimilar that it was impossible to choose which we would prefer, although the first definitely would work better in a savory application, whereas if you are looking for something to put berries on, I would go for the second. But hey, if you want to decide for yourself, go fetch your wafflemaker and call up some friends and host a tasting. Your friends will not be upset, I am sure.

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Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Things Edible, Things Legible

 

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Kitchen in Transition

I have been having a lot of fun lately reading and expanding my knowledge of traditional food preparation and healthy eating. Slowly but surely I am making the switch to a kitchen based on good fats, a plethora of veggies, and a lot less sugar. New additions to my cupboards include unrefined natural sugars, coconut oil for cooking and baking, full fat dairy and cultures for making my own yogurt and buttermilk, and even grass-fed meats.

Last night we had an incredible meal that put into practice what I have been learning. We bought some grass-fed steak from a local farmer, marinated it, and threw it on the grill. The marinade of red wine, raw apple cider vinegar, a smidge of honey and crushed garlic caramelized beautifully and was delicious. We had a huge salad with homemade ranch dressing, using buttermilk I had made and none of the additives found in commercial dressings. I also used the broccoli we had from our organic produce box. This was no ordinary broccoli though. I took some ideas from a couple of blogs and made a cheesy concoction. I sauteed bacon and onions, added the broccoli, then stirred in butter, cream, and cheddar cheese, along with some spices. It was soooo good. Simple, with lots of good fats and fresh ingredients.

The only grain involved was a couple of slices of my sourdough bread, which was prepared traditionally (soaked flours, natural yeast). I do want to reduce our grain consumption a bit, mostly through limiting our pasta/rice intake, and only eating baked goods that have been soaked, like my bread and bran muffins. I am looking forward to trying soaked oatmeal this weekend, as a treat before I go seriously low-carb for June.

Yes, low-carb for June, just to reset my system a bit and jump-start some weight loss. I’ve been feeling healthier and managing my allergies a lot better the past month but I really need to make some progress in the weight department. I’m too close to unhealthy, and I don’t like how I feel in my clothes. I stopped weighing myself a long time ago, to stave off obsession with my weight, but I know that I will feel better if I slim down a bit.

Jer is enjoying the changes and the meal plans I have come up with as well.  It is so encouraging to have a husband who is supported and engaged in the process, and will go with me to farmer’s markets and butcher shops, help plant and tend our new veggie garden, and eat whatever experiment I put on the table. Love that man.

Here’s to good changes, and a healthy life!

 This post is part of Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2010 in Things Edible

 

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Tasty Muffins-With a New Healthy Prep Tip

I wrote a post on my personal blog today about how Jer and I are trying to eat more unprocessed real food. One of the things I have been trying after reading several blogs is soaking my flour overnight. Soaking breaks down the antinutrients present in grains, making them more digestable and allowing the vitamins and minerals to be absorbed. I find that it makes my baked goods more tender and I need less sugar and butter in the recipe. I actually adapted this from three different recipes I found online-I think it is a pretty good basic recipe that you can add anything to-nuts, fruit, even chocolate (but try to make it some good fair-trade dark chocolate!)

Soaked Flour Banana-Applesauce Muffins

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c each rolled oats, oat bran, and wheat bran (you could also substitute flaxseed meal)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each nutmeg and allspice
1/2 c melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c yogurt, buttermilk, or plain kefir

Mix together and let sit 12-24 hrs at room temp

2 eggs
1/2 c unrefined sugar, such as rapadura, sucanat, or muscovado
1 tsp vanilla
1 c ripe bananas, mashed

Beat together and mix into soaked flour. Mix well until all the soaked flour is broken down and batter is smooth (it helps if you break the flour mixture up a bit before adding the liquids).

1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Sprinkle over batter and mix well. If you want to add in chopped apples, nuts, or chocolate chips, fold in gently here. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake @ 375 20-25 mins until toothpick inserted in center muffin comes out clean.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2010 in Things Edible

 

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