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3191 Miles Apart | 2012 | January

13 January 12 • MAV

Let’s start the year off right, shall we?

One of my most favorite things in the world is a nice crispy, yet soft, waffle. Waffles sort of give me the same feeling as kittens or puppies. They are just so darn cute!! Aw, waffle. Look at you. With your ditches for syrup and adorable floppy architecture. Hi, waffle! Hi there.

A-hem. Sorry. Got off track with my waffle talk. Back to the serious nature of this serious post about waffles.

On my birthday a few weeks back I found the perfect waffle recipe. Or at least it’s the perfect one for me. I tweaked a few little things right off the bat and loved the results so much.

First, a few waffle tips …
~ Make sure you put enough batter on the waffle-maker. Better to have it spilling off the sides. There’s nothing worse than a skimpy little waffle. Poor soul.
~ Don’t take them off too early. Let those babies get crispy!
~ Dapple on cold butter and warm real maple syrup once the waffle is plated. This combo helps you enjoy the crispness of the waffle (cold butter doesn’t make the waffle go soggy) while savoring the warmth and goodness coming right off the iron.
~ Use cute plates. What is better than looking at a sweet little waffle on an adorable plate? Come on now.
~ My favorite “side” for a waffle is greek yogurt with a bit of good cinnamon sprinkled on top. Why not get a little protein alongside your little waffle? I also like the way the cold yogurt tastes next to the warm waffle.

How many times can I say waffle in this post??!?

Now, the recipe …

Blueberry Bran Waffles
adapted slightly from New Natural Foods Cookbook, Jean Hewitt, 1982

2/3 C unbleached flour
2/3 C whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt)
3/4 C unprocessed coarse wheat bran
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, separated
2 T brown sugar
1-1/2 C milk
1/3 C canola oil
1/2 C blueberries

Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside. Beat egg yolks with brown sugar in a large bowl. Add milk and oil and mix well. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just moist. Do not over-mix; you should see some clumps. Fold in egg whites very gently. Again, do not over-mix; you should see some egg white streaks. Stir in blueberries. Drop 2/3–3/4 C of batter (use however much will work for your waffle iron, actually) onto a preheated and well-oiled waffle iron. Bake until browned and serve as I have suggested above or however you like!

Happy 2012 to you out there! And to you too you cute little waffle you.

13 January 12 • SCB

I’ll admit, I have not been doing so well with my new year’s resolutions (including cleaning out my drawers). But it’s not too late to renew my commitments, so when I had a free hour this week, I headed straight for a drawer that I use daily and has been driving me nuts—the spice drawer.

Here is the embarrassing before photo. I buy most of my spices in small amounts in bulk (I re-use the little plastic baggies when possible). After a busy holiday season of cooking, the drawer was full of aromatic baggies (many spilling their contents) along with all the random kitchen tools (apple slicer, pastry cutter, citrus reamer) that didn’t have an obvious home elsewhere in the kitchen.

First thing I did was to remove all the excess stuff, the odds and ends that needed a new home. This little bottle of Tabasco (from room service on my travels last year) will go in our camping spice kit.

All the bulk spices found their way into a labeled jar. I use small canning jars with plastic lids. They are easy to see and their wide mouths allow me to grab a pinch easily or to dip in a measuring spoon with less mess.  A china marker is great for labels that can be rubbed off when I replace it with a new spice.

A quick vacuum and wipe out and much better! On to the next drawer.