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Quick & Easy Whole-Wheat Waffles

16 Jun

Pineapple Waffles-02

“I’m making waffles.” – Donkey from Shrek

I love to make waffles. They satisfy the hankering for something sweet in the morning. They’re great for dinner. And, you can make all sorts of variations with one basic recipe.

This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s cookbook How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food. This cookbook literally lives up to its title and is a must-have for any decent cook.

Oh, and they aren’t entirely whole-wheat, so it’s a great waffle recipe for those who dare to try a healthier flour. We have served these waffles to many a guest and not one guessed that it was made with whole-wheat flour. I think that even my brother-in-law (who has a very particular taste preference) wouldn’t even know unless I told him.

Quick and Easy Waffles

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. If the mixture seems too thick to pour, add a little more milk.
  4. Spread a ladleful (about 1/4 cup) or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3-5 minutes, depending on your iron.

Here’s where it gets fun. All the variations! Here are some of my faves:

  • Blueberries and grated orange peel (lemon peel is actually the standard, but we prefer orange)
  • Diced (or grated if you don’t like chunks) apple and up to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • Pecans and dried cranberries
  • Pineapple (drain this well) and shredded coconut
  • Chocolate chips and raspberries

Other variations that we haven’t tried but that sound good:

  • Substitute one cup of cornmeal for one cup of flour
  • Chopped bacon and shredded cheddar cheese
  • Substitute 1/2 cup of molasses for 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly minced or ground ginger
  • Serve with ice cream (SOLD!!!! gotta try this)

You could add any chopped nut or fresh fruit that is cut into 1/4 to 1/2-dice. I will often use what is on hand. This past week I had fresh blueberries but no lemons or oranges, so I used that.

Also, if you add a tart fruit you might want to increase the amount of sugar. I don’t bother because the maple syrup I pour on top makes it sweet enough to me. Furthermore, when I first made this recipe it didn’t seem sweet enough. But I was a sugar-a-holic when I first made it. I’ve been working on decreasing sugar in my diet, so I don’t have as much of a sweet tooth. Now it seems just right, and sometimes (if I add chocolate) it is a little too sweet. I would recommend playing around with the recipe and adjusting the amount of sweetness to your own preference.

I want to try this recipe using honey instead of sugar. I’d also like to try out some healthier flours so I can get rid of all the refined products. I’ll post the recipe again when I’ve found something that works.

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Mushroom Sauce

26 Nov

Last night Jason grilled some boneless pork chops and sausage. I made a really yummy mushroom sauce to pour over the pork chops. It was also great spooned over a baked potato. I got it from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals, but I altered it slightly. So, since I changed it I feel okay posting the recipe.

Mushroom-Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. package of fresh mushrooms (I used what I could find, which was button mushrooms. If you live in a more "cultured" area, you could probably use some type of wild mushroom. And, no, Mom, you cannot use the canned mushrooms for this. Must be fresh!)
  • Garlic (If you are using actual cloves, use around 2 – or more if your daring – but I don't bother with the stuff. I keep a jar of already minced garlic in the fridge. So I used about 1 tbsp. Actually I might have used 2 because I really like garlic. Makes my breath stinky. Pedro likes it too. Jason, not so much.) 
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (I, like Rachel Ray, just eyeball in the palm of my hand.) 
  • 2 1/2 cups of low-sodium beef broth (You could use any type of broth you want, but I find it much better with beef broth.) 
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch 
  • OH, and DUH, olive oil. Use however much you're comfortable with. 

Directions:

  • Slice the mushrooms. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes, until browned, juicy, and less in volume. (Sorry, don't know the technical lingo here. Nikki, what would be a better way to word that?)
  • Add the garlic. Saute for about one more minute. (Or like five more in my kitchen because I'm never prepared enough. Need a sous chef.)  
  • Add 2 cups of broth. Note: This is not the full amount of broth I mentioned earlier. You will save the 1/2 cup for later.  
  • Let simmer for 10 minutes. Partially cover the pan. 
  • Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup broth and 2 tbsp. cornstarch. **See, I like my sauces to have a gravy-like consistency. And, while this sauce is amazing, it's a little too thin for me. If you like your sauce thin you could omit this step. But I find it's worth it. Also, you could just add the cornstarch to the the simmering sauce, but then you get lumps. It takes only a few seconds to whisk this together, and it's worth it in the end. Saves you a lot of time.  
  • After 10 minutes of simmering, add the cornstarch mixture to the mushroom mixture. Turn off the heat and let stand for a minute. Goodness is about to happen. See it thickening? Hmmm….yummmm….Must devour. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste. I found that it didn't need any salt because the meat and potatoes that I spooned this over were already seasoned.

 This was so good over grilled pork chops and baked potatoes. You could also spoon this over, well, pretty much any type of meat.

Jamaican Jerk Drumsticks

1 Jul

Yesterday I made some yummy WW¬†jamaican jerk drumsticks in the crockpot…using jalapenos. If you haven’t cooked with jalapenos take my advice. They secrete a small amount of oil that can burn you. Not third degree burns, just a burning sensation. The last time I used them I swore I washed my hands really well yet to find that I burned my lip ever so slightly when I rubbed it. Well, yesterday about 30 minutes after chopped up the jalapenos, my thumb started hurting. A burning hurting. I couldn’t figure it out exactly but I knew that it had to be from the jalapenos. I just couldn’t understand why it hurt my thumb and not my other fingers. Plus I majorly washed my hands this time.

Then I remembered the prick. The teeny tiny prick that I had forgotten. The jalapeno’s oils had gotten into my teeny tiny prick and caused it to slightly swell and majorly hurt. If I pressed on it, it hurt. I could suck my thumb and taste the burn. I soaked it in milk and it slightly eased the pain. Today it is much better of course.

Note to self: Next time wear some plastic gloves or something ’cause you obviously can’t cut a jalapeno without burning yourself.

So, to get back at that little jalapeno, I’m sharing the recipe.

Jamaican Jerk Drumsticks (Serves 4) – 6 pt

Ingredients:

  • 6 scallions, chopped (I just buy the Zatarans dried scallions and throw a couple of handfuls in)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (The original recipe calls for serrano peppers, but i prefer it with jalapenos. Less spice. Amelia, you will need to use 1 bell pepper instead – much milder!), seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or bottled if you are lazy like me)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 1/12 pounds), skinned (again i’m lazy and I just pull the skin back to the bottom; it’ll fall off when you get ready to eat)

Directions:

  1. Put the scallions, peppers, lemon juice, honey, oil, jerk seasoning, and salt in a blender; Process until a smooth paste forms (or in my case, a chunky paste because I use my hand-held blender and it takes forever); 1-2 minutes *
  2. Combine the drumsticks and jerk paste in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook until the drumsticks are fork tender, 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

* By the way, I don’t bother measuring anything. I just guestimate. So sometimes when I make this its a little more liquid than paste and that’s totally fine because it still comes out great. Plus having a little more liquid makes sort of a gravy that you can spoon over your rice.

We serve this with some brown rice and beans. Yummy!

1 pt. Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 Jun

Weight watchers friends will appreciate this. The other day I had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookies. But I wanted them to be low in fat. So, I did a search on the Internet and found the most amazing 1 point chocolate chip cookies. Here's the recipe, courtesy of Low Fat Cooking on About.com:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars togeter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg white and vanilla and mix well until blended.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flou, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Gradually add flour mixture to egg and sugar. Don't worry if the dough seems a little crumbly at first. Add a tsp of water if needed to get the right consistency. Stir in choclate chips.
  4. Drop cookie dough by the teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes (I found that in my crazy oven 8 minutes was perfect). Cook on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

The recipe says it makes 30 cookies, but I only got about 20. Also, we were a little impatient when they came out of the oven, so Jason and I ate a cookie within the first minute! They were wonderful; a little crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. My idea of a perfect cookie. And for only 1 point!

Chili Scrambled Eggs…Yum!

10 Nov

This post a day gets tough. Not because I run out of things to say, but because I’m lazy sometimes and I don’t want to take the time to write out my thoughts. Trust me…there are plenty of thoughts to choose from.

Today I wanted to share a recipe for Chili Scrambled Eggs that I made last night. They were so yummy. The original recipe came from Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade, but I tweaked it. I’m not the greatest at making omelets, so I switched to scrambled eggs. Here’s my version:

Christy’s Chili Eggs (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • (2) Jimmy Dean’s Already Cook Turkey Sausage Patties – These can be found in the regular sausage section; they are boxed and packaged in twos. I just pull out what I need from the freezer, thaw it, and reheat it. Doesn’t take long since it’s already cooked. For those of you scared of turkey sausage, it is really YUMMY! We’ve made the switch and now I can eat sausage without feeling so guilty.
  • (1) can of Hormel chili – If you like the sausage that comes in canned chili then get it. I don’t. You will only need 1/4 cup for two people. Even better, use leftover chili if you have any. To me, this meal is better with vegetarian chili.
  • Handful of Mexican Cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Brown the sausage patties in med-high heat, breaking them up as you go. Drain and set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a prep bowl and add to pan. Scramble as normal (I’m not going to explain how to scramble eggs…hopefully you know how). When the eggs are almost done, add the chili, sausage, and cheese. Continue to mix.
  3. Serve on plate and ta da! A great scrambled egg in minutes!

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