Thursday, November 21, 2013

Linen Bread Bags, Sunset Magazine and other cool stuff.....

HEY there! 

A little more blatant self promotion for a moment... then I'll show you how I made these rolls.  I saw a picture of something similar and wondered if my easy, one rise, roll recipe would work to make just 6 and, well, it sure did!  Look at these lovelies!  

I'll write out the recipe when I'm back later, I have a million errands to run.  It's hard organizing to get away for a few days without any help whatsoever.  

BUT IN THE MEAN TIME, this news:

My linen bread bags are in the December issue of SUNSET Magazine.   Sunset Magazine is available in the 14 Western States, if you're west of me, go get it!  It's a great magazine with great ideas and articles and this month, there's me too! 
*I haven't seen it yet but I'm hoping someone west of me will sent me a picture until I receive one in the mail

You can email me at : to get more information if you want to buy privately, I take paypal.


You can find (and buy) them here:

the linen bread bags

or the proofing cloth

or the napkins

December 2013

Your ultimate holiday gift guide, ideas for an eco-friendly home remodel, and more

Your holiday gift guide

Our favorite baked goods, gift plants, DIY gift baskets, wrapping, and more

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Voyages with my Waffle Maker OR What ELSE can I cook in my Waffle maker besides waffles OR Reasons I'm the best house on the block to visit

Seriously.  I don't think I actually cook as many waffles in my Waring Pro as I do other things. A girlfriend and her daughter came over tonight for chicken lessons.  No, we have actual chickens and they are babysitting them when we go out of town so they had to have chicken lessons.

After the lesson, we were standing round in my kitchen, like we do (there's not much to chicken lessons)  I pulled out the waffle iron and yeah, we played.

No big recipes, kitchen alchemy moments or epiphanies here, it's just more of what I do with what I have.  I just throw stuff against the wall (metaphor) and see what sticks. :)

Hello MUFFLE! *yeah, Connor named these too.  I've made these since he was little but they're WAY better in this sort of waffle maker...

Grasp one boxed, bagged, sacked, muffin mix, the one that you only have to add water or milk to.  We don't want high brow here!

Well, I don't need to tell you the rest, just look:

One pack of Blueberry muffin mix, just add milk.  The bag said 1/2 cup, I added slightly less.  Mix it up in a big plastic bowl and put a blob on each quad of the waffle iron, close the lid, flip and wait.
OK, 2 mins and you're eating muffins.  OK, it's not muffins but you're eating Muffles!  Delicious and easy and quick and you can add butter in the nooks and craters and, well, c'mon there's nothing bad about this, nothing at all!  I didn't take many pictures because, well, we ate them as fast as they came out of the waffle iron which was FAST, 2 minutes each batch.

Another bag, they were on sale for .30/each, I couldn't NOT buy them.  Same deal, dump into bowl, add milk.  These were considerably runnier so they ran together more like a, well, waffle.  Drop into waffle maker, close the lid, flip, wait for the dulcet tone signalling muffin joy and ... well ...  here you go.

Eggs, you know I did!  You know I HAD to.  2 eggs in a bowl with a tablespoon of water, some salt some pepper, whip like mad with a fork. Pour it into the preheated, greased, waffle iron.  How COOL does this look?  It almost filled it.  I tipped it back a bit to try to fill in the holes.  I waited a second before I closed and flipped and when I did...
OH it was not happy with me.  My girlfriend and I squealed with delight as it spit and sputtered and spewed forth eggy goodness from the sides.  I had faith though.  I merely scraped the eggs away and waited... You could see it trying to expand, look at the growth on the side!
I didn't wait for the ding... LOOK!!  Holee cow!  It worked!  I picked it out and we ate it fast.  Fabulous and I think a fun way to get kids to eat eggs!  Sprinkle cheese or throw it in a sandwich.  I cheered that we'd invented a gluten free waffle! HAHA

Well, OK, that's tonight's little play date with the Waring Pro.  I love this thing and am continuously on the look out for stuff we can make in it. 

So, besides the Stuffle 

the cornbreadwaffle thingy

the sweet rolls

the cinnamon rolls

and actual waffles

I am having quite the relationship with this little appliance!  I'm secretly hoping I get to play with the counter top roaster because I can only imagine what I could do in THAT. 

Go get one of these things, they're crazy fun.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

TWO ideas here, First, Gravy. Then another waffle maker experiment... the STUFFLE! (coined by the teenager), Stuffing, cooked in the waffle maker... you won't believe this

*shhhh, quick addendum:  cornbread muffin mix in the waffle maker, serve it, covered in taco beef, served with sour cream, cheese and avocado with salad, seriously, yeah, I did it.

Back to your regularly scheduled post: 

First, I make good gravy.  I make it from scratch whenever I want gravy.  I keep three jars of fat in my freezer, beef, chicken and goose.  I can make gravy from any of those at any moment in time.  That's why so many of my recipes tell you to cook the fat, strain the fat, gather the fat and keep it!

I have been asked more than a few times about gravy, since I had a brilliant kitchen epiphany and was going to be needing gravy, I decided to do the pics and run a quick instruction for those who have asked for it.

Today, I had a wacky idea this morning about what other use I could find for my Waring Pro Waffle Maker and I was hit with an idea.  If I can cook batter and dough then why can't I cook stuffing??

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away and I was thinking about the menu and when I thought about the stuffing it hit me... toss it in the waffle maker and make stuffing waffles!!  **Connor coined the phrase, "it's a STUFFLE!".  SO, when I decided I was going to make the stuffle, I knew I was going to need gravy.  So, first the gravy.

There are NO amounts, this isn't a recipe, it's a method.  It's not necessarily the only method, it's my mother's method and now it's my method.  I don't ever make gravy any other way.  There's no need to.  Do this a couple of times and you'll be a gravy making wonder of the world!

Ok, on to it...


You will need
salt and pepper
herbs if you like, thyme or sage or whatever you like
(purely options: other flavors, you'll see what I mean)

IN a saucepan, put some fat and an equal amount of flour.  This is probably 2 Tbsp but don't worry about measuring, just do equal amounts.  

Fry it around, stirring, until it's almost the color of peanut butter.  You can take it further, I don't. So, if you're claiming it's my method then stop when it's peanut butter.   When it's the color you like, pour a couple of cups of stock/water/vegetable liquid into the pot, all at once.  I watch TV shows where they describe in painful detail how you MUST add hot liquid or you MUST add a drop at a time to avoid lumps.  GOOD GRIEF, no.  Just dump it in and whisk, trust me, I have never had a lump in my life and neither will you, I promise.
Stand back, it boils up like hell.  Whisk it until it's gorgeous and comes back to the boil.  THERE, how easy was THAT?  Now then, gravy needs a little time to go from gravy to amazing gravy.  

Add some salt, some pepper, whatever else it needs, a little sugar? some thyme?  Adjust at will.  THE one and only trick to gravy is TASTE IT!  Adjust as you go, it'll condense, thicken, the flavors will intensify and will mellow.  Taste and futz, that's the way to good gravy.  

I have a little trick that I do at this point, I add a carrot, cut up and a green onion.  They add flavor and can be removed and then EATEN while I do other things.  Cooks treat.  Do it.
Here is my carrot and one green onion into the gravy.  Leave it to simmer, on low, until the veggies are cooked and the gravy is done.  Feel free to add stock/water as needed to keep it the consistency you like.
oh, here's the bread I made this morning.  It just got transferred into the array so I kept it here.  It's my skinny baguette dough, made the night before but instead of making baguettes, I made a boule and cooked it in a covered cast iron dutch oven.  Yummy.  But, as usual, I digress

The gravy is done and you can turn it off, eat the carrots right away or put it in the fridge for another time.  I put mine on the back burner, off, to wait for me to deal with the weird kitchen alchemy of the stuffing waffle. 

TRACY'S STUFFLE *yeah, it's stuffing cooked in a waffle maker

I bought a box stuffing mix for the experiment.  I have never tried a box stuffing.  I think they are awful and you shouldn't use them.  However, some people LIKE them, in which case this is a killer method for making stuffing for one, or two, or a bunch of people.  I think it is the absolute perfect leftover turkey vehicle.  Cook stuffing in the waffle maker, serve it up with sliced turkey and gravy all over it.  Like an open face, hot turkey sandwich but on a Stuffle HAHAHA  ok, look at this: 

Make the stuffing according to box directions.  Boil water with butter/margarine, add the seasoning mix (which tastes like ramen!) and boil, then cover and simmer for 5.
After 5 minutes, put in the bread crumbs, cover and leave for 5
Fluff with a fork and that's it.  I left mine on the counter, uncovered, to cool for about half an hour.
The stuffing cooled down so I added an egg and beat it around a bit.  I thought it was a bit wet so I added a handful of fresh breadcrumbs.
OK, here's the test!  I preheated the Waring Pro Professional Belgian Waffle Maker and dumped almost half the mixture onto the grids.  Closed it, spun it and waited.

I love this waffle maker.  I love that it doesn't lose temperature, that you can just close and spin it again and it'll keep cooking, that you can check, yeah, there's nothing here that isn't pretty sweet.  I've had other waffle makers, my last one, the Cuisinart, never liked being messed with.  The Waring, it plays nicely with others, like me, who want to do OTHER things besides waffles and who actually cook with this appliance.  Yeah, I like it.
I cannot WAIT to open this thing..... 

NO WAY!!!  HAHAHAHAHA  It's a STUFFLE!  A stuffing waffle!  What a riot!  I closed the lid and cooked it another minute or so to darken it up and crisp it more...  HAHAHAH  This is cracking me up!
OH and back to the gravy.  Oh MAN, you can fill channels and nooks and crannies with gravy! There isn't anything about this I don't love.
I'll be honest, that's not entirely true.  I don't love the stuffing.  I FULLY intend on making this with my own, homemade stuffing.  The method is sound, the stuffing cooks crisp on the outside and still soft and totally like stuffing on the inside and there's waffle crevices of gravy.  I mean, really.
I piled the rest of the stuffing in the waffle maker and ran it through two cycles.  I pulled it out and it's cooling to see how it reheats. 
**it reheats beautifully!  I threw it into the toaster oven and it crisped up again absolutely fabulous.   

I think the Stuffle is the perfect stuffing.  It's compact, easy, freezable, re-heatable.  It's perfectly shaped and perfectly balanced to hold the perfect amount of gravy.  If I lived alone, I would ABSOLUTELY do this for holidays or any time.  

I am going to do this as my leftover thanksgiving meal.  A stuffle with sliced turkey, maybe a little leftover veggie and smother the whole thing in gravy.  It's the same but different. 

Go and make yourself a Stuffle (thanks Connor for the name, it's a keeper!  We may start a whole new trend here!!  STUFFLES FOR EVERYONE!)