Earlier this week, I set out to make delicious, healthy waffles. I compared all of my favorite recipes and figured out what it was that I liked about each one, made a few extra tweaks, then tested several batches. This is what I ended up with, and they’re not just delicious for healthy waffles – they’re flat-out delicious. I love when things work out like that!
I’ve made French toast approximately a billion times in the last 7 years, and I don’t know why it took me so long to add some granola to it. It’s such an easy way to add a fun spin to a classic dish, and I really loved the extra texture that it gives the custardy bread. It adds the perfect amount of crunch and a subtle nutty/toasty flavor that really makes this dish something special.
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m really not big on breakfast. I mean, I love it… but I love sleep more. I’d rather spend an extra 10 minutes in bed and grab a yogurt or a muffin to eat at my desk than make myself some toast or an egg.
I wasn’t planning on posting a breakfast – or a baked good – again so soon, but I made these mini apple cinnamon french toast casseroles on Sunday and I couldn’t wait to share them. I’ve been eating them for breakfast all week – all they need are 30 seconds in the microwave! The maple syrup is baked right in, so you don’t need to top them with anything extra. (Although a little cream poured over top? Heaven.)
Has anyone else noticed that peaches have been fantastic this summer? Their sweet smell has completely overtaken the produce section of my local grocery store, and I find myself filling my basket with them every week — they’re soft and juicy and perfect. I’d almost go as far as to say that the great peach season makes up for the less than stellar showing that strawberries had earlier this year.
Needless to say, when General Mills asked me to develop a recipe that would “make something good, better” using Land O’Lakes’ new Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread, it didn’t take me long to decide on a creation that featured fresh peaches. At first I considered making a peach cobbler, a staple of summertime cookouts and a dish that’s perfect for sharing with friends, but then I thought that if there’s anything better than peach cobbler, it’s peach cobbler that you can eat for breakfast. These fluffy whole wheat pancakes layered with stewed cinnamon sugar peaches capture all the flavor of the favorite summertime dessert and repackage it as perfect breakfast treat.
Yesterday, Shawn and I met up with someofourlocalbloggerfriends for brunch and apple picking at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont. It was a beautiful day and we had a ton of fun, but I didn’t really like the way the farm was set up. Unlike other pick-your-own places I’ve been to where you weigh your apples and pay as you exit, Indian Ladder charges you for a bag as you go in — you can fill it as much or as little as you want, but either way it costs $14. I had only planned on buying 4-5 pounds of apples, but since I had to pay for them anyway I filled my bag almost to the top (I was really more interested in taking pictures than picking apples).
Despite leaving some room in my bag, I ended up bringing home 17 pounds of apples! Since I knew I would never be able to eat that many apples before they went bad, I immediately made a big batch of apple butter, which is one of my favorite fall foods. If you’ve never had it, apple butter is a thick spread that’s made almost entirely of apples — it’s essentially applesauce that’s reduced down until it becomes spreadable (there’s no actual butter involved). The sugars in the apples caramelize and, when it’s seasoned with warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, it’s one of the most delicious things ever! Enjoy it on toast or biscuits, mixed into yogurt or oatmeal, or as a compliment to a cheese plate (it pairs especially well with sharp cheddar).
I use a lot less sugar in my recipe than others that I’ve seen (some of which use over twice the sugar I do!) because I don’t like it to be super sweet. Because of the reduced sugar, the apple butter shouldn’t be canned — it will keep for a while in the fridge though and it also freezes very well.
Buying Shawn a waffle iron for Christmas may have been one of the best things that I’ve ever done. We’ve wanted one for a while, but were hesitant because people kept telling us that we would never use it and it would ust take up precious cabinet space. Well, guess what? They were all wrong. We’ve been making waffles just about every weekend since we got it.
There’s something about a homemade waffle that just doesn’t compare to the frozen version. If you’ve ever ordered one at a diner you know what I’m talking about – they have that beautiful crispy exterior that gives way to a fluffy, light interior. These buttermilk waffles are perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast, or for a weeknight dinner. I like to make extras, which I reheat in the toaster for weekday breakfasts.
There are so many waffle recipes out there that it can be a little overwhelming. Cornmeal waffles, yeast waffles, chocolate waffles…the options are limitless. But my favorite are these buttermilk waffles, which call for whipped egg whites. They’re the closest that I’ve found to the diner waffles that I love so much. I think the whipped eggs result in an extra light and fluffy center.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk toppings. Syrup is a classic, but I don’t like to use too much since it can be so sweet. For these, I used just a drizzle of real maple syrup and some bananas that I sauteed with a little bit of grand marnier. The creaminess of the bananas was a really nice contrast to the tender-crisp texture of the waffle itself. As another alternative, I really like these waffles topped with a little bit of raspberry preserves. [….]