Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Sometimes, you just feel like waffles.  Real waffles.  I think those boxes of circular cardboard that you get in the freezer section are revolting.  They should have some warning on them stating they don't actually taste like waffles, but that's just me.

I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook that my mother gave me hundreds of years ago and I cook from it still.  There is a really basic, delicious, waffle recipe in there that I use as a base.  I add vanilla and cut the sugar a little bit, I also tweaked the procedure but it's still simple, basic, delicious and something you should make. 

I "found" my waffle maker a couple of months ago during a massive "what the hell is at the bottom of this closet anyway?!?!" purge and was delighted!  It heats really evenly and gives a nice range of done-ness.  I like my waffles crispy on the outside and soft on the inside so I bake them at 4.5.  I turn it on before all else so it waits for me until it holds my waffles hostage and makes me wait for the green bling announcing my joy is forthcoming!

If you need to go off and make some immediately, here's the recipe.  For the rest, take the photo tour below...it's so worth it ;)


2 eggs
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter (you can half with oil)
2 cups a/p flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Whip the eggs and sugar until VERY thick and fluffy. Add dry ingredients, milk and vanilla, mix until just blended.  Add the melted butter in a stream while you whip on high, quickly, until very thick without any lumps of flour.

Cook in waffle iron.  Eat, repeat.

Here's the rest of the tour:

Put the eggs and sugar in the mixer and beat like crazy.  We want very very pale and very very thick here. I also was feeling chef-y this morning so I properly measured out my flour, baking powder and salt; the milk and the melted butter.

This is the color of the eggs and sugar, it's just shy of being able to ribbon on itself.  Add the milk, and flour alternatively rather quickly, add a splash of vanilla and drizzle and melted butter in.  Look how thick this batter is, it's exactly what you want!

My waffle iron is pretty well used but I still spray the first time when it's hot.  Put a thick ladleful on each square and shut the lid.  Wait, wait, wait.  Mine takes about 3 minutes but really, it's an eternity.

Red light...wait wait wait.....GREEN LIGHT...EAT EAT EAT!
Oh look at these babies.  This recipe makes 10 decent waffles.  They are crispy on the outside and tender and yummy on the inside.  I keep them on a rack on a sheet pan in the oven to keep them warm and crispy while you make them all.  Connor tends to steal them as they come off the iron.  I have them laid out on a rack now cooling.  These things freeze beautifully.  I freeze them individually so Connor can grab as many as he wants, throw them in the toaster oven and have a real toasted waffle for breakfast or lunch or a snack.

Ok, that's the waffle story. This is the P.S.

My mother and I were skyping this morning. Sometimes we talk about food.  Oh wait, we ALWAYS talk about food.  It's our thing.  I think I judge the happiness of us and of our relationship based on what the food topic d'jour may be.  Crispy loaves of french bread spread with soft cold butter, soft savory meat pies with mashed potatoes, 1857 Mrs. Beeton sausages, egg and chips from her youth; it speaks volumes and I think it's our food that keeps us grounded.  Anyway, I digress, we are here to talk about waffles and that's precisely what we were chatting about.  We talked about mixing flavor and ingredients into a base batter and wondered if the iron would be too hot for a "sprinkled" add in.  Well, never one to sky away from a science experiment, I ventured bravely into waffle battle sprinkle land.

I have bananas and I have pecans.  Yeah, this is the way to go, sprinkle on the batter, cook, top with fresh bananas and pecans and some Canadian maple syrup.  You don't even want to know how delicious this is.

I sprinkled the batter with a generous helping of chopped banana and some pecans, closed the lid and waited.  The bananas cooked into the batter and the pecans got lightly toasted.  All good.  Nothing burned, nothing scorched and they were perfect for my waiting addition of a couple more slices and a few more nuts.
Sure, it's beautiful but we need syrup!

Sometimes...I shouldn't be allowed in a kitchen.  This ranks with one of the best things I've ever made.  Hot, crispy, tender, sweet, savory, ab-so-lutely perfection.

I'm going to need a moment alone here.  Make these, let me know how delicious you think they are too.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Apple Cobbler

One of my favorite ways to spend time is sitting with grand ladies of Texas and listening intently while they tell me about the food their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers cooked, 'back in the day'.  I had just such an opportunity last week.  Ms. MaryJo sat under a large Live Oak tree with an enormous straw hat that she'd embellished with hundreds of brightly colored ribbon twists and told me stories.  She talked about killing snakes by shooting their heads off, by chopping 'vermin' up with a hoe and she talked about the food.

One of the things she told me to make was a "real cobbler".  I can't imagine arguing with Ms. MaryJo so I didn't, I dutifully typed out (on my iphone) the directions as given and this is the result.  Yes, it's ridiculously good, easy and I'm going to make it all the time.  This is apple but the same day I made a peach and my mother made a raspberry/blackberry.  It turns out perfect each time and it's old fashioned, pure and ab-so-lutely delicious!!! 

The "recipe" is below the beauty shots.

Heat oven and take a stick of butter or margarine or both (this is half and half) and put it in your pyrex dish.  Shove it in the oven to melt it.

Meantime, heat about 2 cups of some sort of fruit.  If it's fresh, cook it down in a saucepan a little bit with some water and flour.  If it's in a can, just heat it up.  I heated up a can of unsweetened pie filling to which I added a little cinnamon, a squirt of lemon to freshen it, some water and a little flour.  I nuked it. In another bowl, mix the batter.

When the butter is melted, pour in the fruit and sort of flatten it out a bit but don't mess with it too much.

Pour the batter into the middle of the hot fruit, hot butter/margarine.  Do not mix!  "You can run your knife through to do a figure 8 once or twice but don't mess it around"

Bake it 30 minutes then sprinkle it with some cinnamon and sugar then let it cook another 15 or so, until it's bubbly and beautiful.  *I think this is pretty beautiful.

She said let it sit a bit then eat it.  So I let it sit, then we ate it.

I added a little cream. See how it's thick like a super moist cake with the fruit in layers through it.  Oh my goodness it was so crazy crazy good.  The sprinkle of sugar cinnamon added a really lovely crunch.

Connor added cream out of a can.

Apple (fruit) Cobbler ala Ms. MaryJo

Heat oven to 375

1 stick butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups hot fruit for filling with a little (4 Tbsp) flour mixed in
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle

1 stick of butter or margarine (1/2 cup) melted in 9" round or square pan

Add hot fruit to melted butter and spread out gently, don't mix in! 

Mix flour, sugar and milk in separate bowl and pour into the middle of the hot fruit.  Gently run knife through in figure "8" pattern to distribute if you'd like, you can do it without doing the cutting in.

Bake in 375 oven for 30 minutes, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake another 15-20 minutes until it's bubbly and brown and you just can't stand it anymore. 

Let rest a few minutes before you devour it.