Whole-Grain Freezer Waffles

I recently started a full-time job. With an hour of commute time each day, I knew my meal prep time was going to be disappearing. So, the week before work began I spent time making some muffins, granola bars, pita breads, and waffles for the freezer. I intended to get a lot more frozen than that, but it was a start.

The waffles are delicious and work from freezer to toaster. And this week when I didn’t know what I was going to fix for supper, we enjoyed breakfast for dinner. These are gluten-free, whole-grain, and egg-free!

For the waffles, I used a recipe from my go-to cookbook, Nourishing Meals. First make a batch of dry mix (which keeps in the pantry for up to 4 months, so make as many batches you want!). Then make the waffles. I made a triple batch, which made 26 waffles in my rather small waffle maker.

Gluten-free Waffles

WHOLE-GRAIN FREEZER WAFFLES
(from Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten)
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DRY MIX
1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1 c. teff flour
1 c. millet flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1/2 c. quinoa flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (opt.)
1 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix well. Place into an airtight container. Makes 5 cups or 5 batches of waffles.

WAFFLES
2 Tbsp waffles
2 Tbsp very hot water
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 c. milk (I used almond milk)
1 c. Waffle mix

Place the ground flax seeds and hot water into a medium-sized mixing bowl; quickly whisk together until the flax forms a thick gel. Sometimes this doesn’t happen right away so keep whisking until the gel forms. Add the applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, and milk and whisk together well. Then add the waffle mix. Whisk together until the batter is smooth.

Heat waffle maker and cook according to waffle make directions.

If you plan to freeze them, cool completely and then layer between pieces of waxed paper and place in freezer bags.

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Molasses Syrup

Our family LOVES pancakes and it’s my husband’s specialty! Last week I made some (mostly forgettable) banana nut pancakes and was searching for a quick syrup to make to serve with them. We try to make our own most of the time since I’m not crazy about all the additives in store bought syrup. We do use pure maple syrup (but sometimes at an alarming and therefore expensive rate), however, we usually top pancakes with yogurt, fruit syrups, and/or homemade syrups. So, while I can’t take credit for coming up with this yummy syrup recipe, I was very excited to find it! I doubled Simple Bites Recipe because if I’m going to the trouble I want some leftover for other meals.

In short, this was DELICIOUS! We love molasses cookies and the flavor was very reminiscent of the warm, spicy flavors of a fresh cookie. A few notes – 1) a little goes a long way, 2) this was amazing on hot cereal like oatmeal and cream of wheat, and 3) it stores well and would probably be quite good on vanilla ice cream or gingerbread.

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MOLASSES SYRUP
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1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
3/4 c. water
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tb. salted butter

In a small pot, whisk together sugar, molasses, water, and cinnamon over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil and continue stirring until ingredients are fully incorporated and syrup thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Cool slightly. Transfer to a pitcher for serving or a glass jar for storing.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups syrup

**Of note, Simple Bites has 4 other great-looking syrups in this post!

Cherry Vanilla Scones

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and one taste of these and I knew they would make a perfect addition to a romantic breakfast in bed. We loved them! I made them with a couple of other dishes for Sunday brunch and the meal was proclaimed a big success by all four of my critics. I’m planning to post two additional recipes to add to your Valentine’s breakfast. Hope you enjoy!

These are best the first day but you can definitely enjoy them the next morning.

CHERRY VANILLA SCONES
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3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. cold butter
1 c. vanilla yogurt or plain yogurt with 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 Tb. of agave nectar
1/4 c. milk
1 c. tart dried cherries, roughly chopped
2/3 c. vanilla chips or white chocolate chips

milk for brushing the top
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Combine yogurt and milk. Stir into the flour mixture until moistened. Gently knead in the cherries and vanilla chips.

Pat the dough about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. Cut into desired shaped and place on a baking sheet. Brush tops with additional milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm!

 

Cranberry-Apple Pancakes

We are big fans of pancakes around here (in fact my gluten-free husband only really starting loving pancakes once he switched to eating gluten-free, so that is a testament to a healing body and a really good recipe). Lazy mornings often find me whipping up a batch for breakfast. I’ve made the recipe so frequently, that I have it memorized. And while we love the simple taste of lightly cinnamon-spiced pancakes with a dollop of plain yogurt and a drizzle of real maple syrup, lately I’ve been experimenting with add-ins to fancy up our pancake fare. One day it was mashed banana and a handful of chocolate chips. Another day frozen blueberries. And most recently, chopped fresh cranberries and apples.

You can of course make this recipe with regular wheat flour, but for those of you that are gluten-free this is a great recipe. Perhaps your Christmas breakfast might include pancakes this year?

CRANBERRY-APPLE PANCAKES
(adapted from The Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking)
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1 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour (if your favorite does not include xanthan gum, add 1/4 tsp to the dry ingredients)
2 to 4 Tbsp ground flax-seed (opt.)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp salted butter, melted
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/3 c. rough chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Add in the melted butter and mix. Add in the chopped fruit and stir once more to combine.

Heat a skillet over medium-high. Grease with cooking spray. Spoon batter into rounds in the skillet. Cook until bubbles have formed on the surface of each pancake. Flip and cook until the other sides are golden.

Makes about 12 pancakes.

Weekend Fare: Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

You know what’s better than a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast? A piece of baked oatmeal! The inspiration for this recipe came from Tasty Kitchen. I “healthy-fied” the recipe and it’s become a breakfast favorite. Most weeks I make a batch and we eat it for 3 or 4 breakfasts. This dish comes with high recommendations from both Jeremy and I!

BAKED BLUEBERRY OATMEAL
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1 Tablespoon + 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or butter
2 Tablespoons coconut sugar, sucanat, or turbinado, divided
1 1/2-2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups old fashioned oats (for gluten-free, make sure to be certified gluten-free oats such as Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8×8 pan. Melt coconut oil or butter and pour 1 Tablespoon in bottom of the pan. Pour fruit into the pan and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a bowl mix together the milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and remaining melted coconut oil.

In another bowl, whisk together the oats, flax seed, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Pour mixture over the fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with almonds and remaining 1 Tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned on the top and blueberries are bubbly. Cool slightly. Serve with milk.

Weekend Fare: Brunch & A Giveaway!

This Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

I’m late getting this post put together. My husband was home working on some paperwork today and the boys were busily cleaning their rooms. As the hours passed and we still really hadn’t eaten breakfast, I decided it was the perfect morning to make brunch. And thus this morning became a lovely morning of cooking for the men I love!

We enjoyed breakfast egg sandwiches and a fruited spinach salad. It was wonderful to spend time preparing for the day and feasting on the delicious, seasonal food.

The sandwich began with an inspiring loaf of rosemary olive oil bread. I decided to use parmesan as the cheese because I felt it would compliment the bread and not detract from it. The combination of flavors and textures proved fabulous.

BREAKFAST SANDWICH
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1 egg
fresh grated parmesan cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
pepper to taste
2 slices bread (I used rosemary olive oil bread)
butter
1 slice cooked bacon
a few leaves of baby spinach
2-3 slices of tomato

Fry the egg in a litte butter – breaking the yoke. When it is almost finished, sprinkle parmsan cheese and allow to melt. Sprinkle with a little pepper.

Toast the bread – I put it under the broiler to crisp one side, leaving the other side soft. Butter one side of each piece.

To Build:
Top first slice of bread with baby spinach, then bacon, then the egg, then the tomato and top with remaining slice of bread. Serve immediately.

The salad was a delightful combination of fresh. The granola was perhaps the most interesting and most surprising addition. It took the salad right over the top and solidified it as a brunch salad. Simple and delicious.

BRUNCH SPINACH SALAD

Baby spinach or mixed greens
Creamy Balsamic Dressing (or dressing of your choice – a sweet poppy seed would also be lovely)
Fresh berries (I used raspberries and sliced strawberries)
Granola

Toss the greens with the dressing and place on plate. Top with berries and granola. Serve.

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It’s been a very  LONG time since we’ve had a giveaway! Things have been busy and quite frankly, I just haven’t gotten around to it! However, a very thoughtful and generous reader and friend offered us this delightul book to giveaway. Thank you!

Do you like to entertain and set a beautiful table? Do you wonder how to pull together things you may already have to create ambience? Do you just enjoy creativity and love looking at beautiful inspiring photos? Then this is the book for you! The gorgeous photos of table ideas for all occasions will definitely inspire you. You can keep it simple or dress a table the would make Martha Stewart proud. Table Inspirations by Emily Chalmers is a lovely addition to any home. You won’t be disappointed!

Here’s the all important information on HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post telling us 1 of your favorite summer dishes or a favorite summer recipe.
– Make sure we have a way to contact you!

For additional entries (just leave us a comment telling us which ones you have done!):
Subscribe via the link to the right or with google reader.
– Add us to your blog roll.
– Join our facebook group – The Cooks Next Door.
Facebook about this giveaway.
Tweet about this giveaway.
Blog about this giveaway.

There you go! You could earn as many as 7 entries. And if you already are in our group, subscribe etc, let us know and we will add in the extra entries!

This giveaway will be closed on Tuesday, June 7 and the winner announced on Wednesday, June 8!

Gluten-Free Goodness: Apple Carrot Breakfast Cake

I made this breakfast “cake” this weekend. With fruit, veggies, and flax seed, it’s quite healthful and ideal for breakfast, brunch, snack, or even dessert. For a gluten-free recipe it’s quite easy and by using palm sugar (also called coconut sugar) the recipe will be easy on the blood sugar. I think you’ll find kids and adults will both enjoy this treat.

APPLE CARROT BREAKFAST CAKE
(from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free)
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2 cups sorghum flour
1/2 cup palm/coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
3 eggs
2 apples, unpeeled, cut in wedges
1 cup peeled and chopped carrots (about 3 medium)
Optional toppings: Whipped Cream, Cream Cheese Frosting, Yogurt, Maple or fruit Syrup

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan.

Mix the 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed with 2 Tablespoons of boiling water to make a slurry. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, palm sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Combine the eggs, vanilla, apples, carrots, and flax seed slurry in a blender or food processor. If using the blender, start on a low speed and quickly increase to high until thoroughly mixed. If using a food processor, pulse many times until combined and then process until smooth. Batter will be thick.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold them in with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan. Top with freshly whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, yogurt, or syrup.

Cooks Note: Sorghum flour and palm sugar can both be found at health food stores, as well as online.

Off the Shelf: April Magazine Reviews

Bon Appetit (Stephanie): The advent of spring is celebrated throughout the pages of Bon Appetit with recipes highlighting ingredients like asparagus, radishes, peas, strawberries, leeks. After the long winter months, it’s such a pleasure to cook with fresh seasonal produce again. So many recipes sounded tempting: Garganelli with Asparagus, Artichokes, Favas, and Peas; Soba Noodle Salad with Salmon and Asparagus Radish, Arugula, and Red Onion Salad with Tangerines; Orange-Flower Pavlovas with Strawberries; Bacon and Leek Risotto with Poached Egg; Ginger-Pecan Scones. Doesn’t all of that sound springy and delicious?!

My pantry ingredients enticed me to make the Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Fresh Herbs. I didn’t have the fresh parsley or basil on hand, so I did substitute 1/2 tsp of the dried herbs, though I’m certain fresh would have been better. Still, this made a nutritious, delicious, inexpensive lunch. I served it on a bed of shredded romaine. This will definitely become a standby recipe.

CHICKPEA SALAD WITH LEMON, PARMESAN, AND FRESH HERBS
Bon Appetit, April 2011
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1 15- to 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1/3 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Combine rinsed and drained chickpeas, chopped fresh basil, chopped Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and pressed garlic clove in medium bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Season chickpea salad to taste with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

DO AHEAD Chickpea salad can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature.


Everyday Food (Stephanie): Every couple of months I get my hands on an issue of Everyday Food, and while I’m not wowed by every page, there are always several recipes that pique my interest. In this issue I did find recipes I hope to try sometime: Sauteed Collards with Bacon; Raspberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars; Shredded Chicken with Kale and Lentils; Mushroom Risotto with Spring Herbs. Overall though, I felt like a Celebration of Spring theme seemed rather absent (other than the Easter Dinner menu: Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze; Salt and Pepper Rolls; Asparagus and Green Beans with Chili-Orange Oil; Balsamic Red Onions; Simple Lemon Cake). I would have enjoyed more lightened-up, spring produce featuring recipes.
We don’t eat much cereal in our house, but I love a bowl of granola now and then. So, I decided to try two variations of granola recipes: Pistachio-Apricot Granola and Cherry-Lime Granola. Both were quite tasty! (Though I didn’t have enough of the lime zest, so the lime flavor didn’t come through as strong as I would have liked.) I make my granola with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats, so my husband can enjoy the bounty as well. These recipes are a little on the pricey-side as the nuts and dried fruits can be expensive, but it’s fun to experiment with different flavors. The basic quantities are endlessly adaptable to your pocketbook and palate.
PISTACHIO-APRICOT GRANOLA
Everyday Food, April 2011
3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 3/4 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup dried apricots, diced medium
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, combine oats and pistachios. In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, cardamom, and salt over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes. (Or, place ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes; stir until combined.)
Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer.
Bake until oats are lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool completely; stir in apricots. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 weeks.)
CHERRY-LIME GRANOLA
Everyday Food, April 2011
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
1 packed Tablespoon fresh lime zest, finely grated
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup dried tart cherries
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, combine oats and pistachios. In a small saucepan, combine butter, agave, lime zest, lime juice, and salt over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes. (Or, place ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes; stir until combined.)
Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer.
Bake until oats are lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool completely; stir in apricots. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 weeks.)
Saveur (Alaina): This is consistently a great magazine full of information and great recipes. They nearly always include international recipes which I really like.
Sandwiches was the tantalizing theme of this month’s issue. You may recall, that I am crazy about sandwiches. So, of course, I had to feature this magazine in the review. I made two of the over 40 sandwich recipes. It was a little hard to narrow it down! They were quite different but both were popular with my crew.
The first was the Elena Cruz – yes, I partly chose it because it shares my name and also because it sounded delicious – it was. The second was the California. Yum. I made it as written and then after I tried it that way and loved it, I added some bacon and loved it even more. Sigh. Sandwich Nirvana. There are so many more to try…
CALIFORNIA SANDWICH
Saveur, April 2011
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¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices multigrain sandwich bread
2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup alfalfa sprouts
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 ripe tomato, cored and thinly sliced
Whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, parsley, and garlic and onion powders in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and spread on all bread slices. Place 1 slice cheese each on 2 slices of bread and top with sprouts, avocado, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper, and cover with remaining 2 slices of bread.
Makes 2 sandwiches (You will have extra sauce, which would be delicious as a salad dressing.)

ELENA RUZ (Cuban Turkey Tea Sandwich)
Saveur, April 2011
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1 Cuban roll or brioche bun
2 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. strawberry jam
3 oz. sliced turkey breast
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Split roll, spread cream cheese on bottom half, and top with turkey. Spread jam on top half of roll and close sandwich. Heat butter in a 10″ skillet over medium heat; cook sandwich, weighing down with a cast-iron skillet and turning once, until golden brown and heated through, 3–4 minutes. Cut in half, and serve hot.

Weekend Fare: Granola

I’m pretty excited to bring you this post! It isn’t the first time I’ve made granola but it had definitely been a few years since it had made my make-from-scratch list. I combined ideas from a couple of recipes and made a great big batch. Cereal is a staple at our house and we go through it entirely too quickly, so I am looking forward to adding granola to our breakfast menu! This is seriously good and makes a lot (you can halve the recipe). Go and make it!

GRANOLA
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9 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 c. coconut
1 1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds
3 1/2 c. dried fruit (I used 2 c. cranberries, 1 1/2 c. golden raisins)
1  1/2 c. raw nuts (I used a combo of almonds, pecans, and a few walnuts)
1 Tb. cinnamon
2 tsp. salt
1 Tb. vanilla extract
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
3/4 c. honey
3/4 c. canola oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and nuts in a big bowl. Add cinnamon and mix. In a measuring cup or another bowl, mix together the salt vanilla, maple syrup, honey, and oil. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients. Thoroughly combine. Divide between two large bake sheets. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Rotate trays about half way through baking.  

Cool completely and store in an air tight container. Enjoy as cereal, as a topping for yogurt or ice cream, with fruit, or as a snack.

Weekend Fare: Waffles & Syrup

These delicious waffles and warm, buttery, rich, homemade syrup make for a wonderful Christmas breakfast or brunch or even just a lazy winter morning treat. We picked up our Belgian waffle maker on a black Friday sale for $10 and it’s awesome! This recipe made not quite enough for my hungry crew. 🙂 I would probably make half again more.

BELGIAN WAFFLES – adapted from allrecipes.com
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4 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tb. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 egg whites

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and butter until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon; stir into the buttermilk mixture. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Fold into the batter.

Spoon batter onto the hot waffle iron, close, and cook until golden brown. Waffles are usually done when the steam subsides.

BUTTERMILK SYRUP – allrecipes.com

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1 Tb. vanilla extract
1 Tb. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Bring butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and cinnamon to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once simmering, whisk in baking soda, and cook for 10 seconds before removing from heat. Serve warm.