Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kiwianna Challenge- Pikelets

For Christmas I received many nice things.......I am very fortunate. My good friend, (that abandoned me and moved to NZ) sent me this lovely compilation on Kiwianna Cooking. Thank you Alison, you know I love cookbooks. I had thought I should make an effort to actually try some of the recipes on a regular schedule. I am an avid collector of cookbooks and magazines........and I read through them like a kid reads comic books......and now and again I'll try an new recipe. In the interest of breaking that habit.....I'm going to try to make at least one recipe per month from this here is my start.

This morning I've decided to try the Pikelets. I've heard of these for years.......always known that they were some type of small pancake......and now (I think) I understand what they are. According to Wikipedia they are a member of the pancake..also called a drop scone. They are (according to my attempt) quite a stiff pancake batter making for a thick moist pancake gem. My batter dropped by the tablespoon (actually pushed off the spoon) made 2 1/2 inch pancakes that were 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. The batter was slightly thinner than dumpling batter and I left it a little bit lumpy as you would a muffin batter since the recipe cautions not to over mix and make them tough. I know I probably made them a little on the smallish side since my recipe made more than that suggested by the recipe......but I cannot tell you exactly how many due to the repeated taste tests taking place in the kitchen at the time. They are really nice warm! I have no idea about how they taste cold:( I am told they are to be served with a bit of jam or butter but Ike chose this morning to have them dipped in a bit of Saskatoon berry syrup.

Well.....I really like them! And will definitely make them again. Maybe next time I'll get to try them when they are cold. As I was making them my mom called and I told her what I was making and she went off to have a try at them too.

From the Edmonds 100 Year Anniversary Cookery Book.....

Pikelets Makes 8-10

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk, approximately

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl beat egg and sugar until thick. Add with milk to the sifted ingredients. Mix until just combined. Drop tablespoonsful of the mixture from the point of spoon onto a hot, lightly greased griddle (actually the book says girdle....but I'm pretty sure they mean griddle.....but what do I know?) Turn Pikelets over when bubbles start to burst on the top surface. Cook second side until golden. I think my batter was a tiny bit too thick as I did not see bubbles breaking the surface on every one as you would on a pancake.

Extra foot note: Overmixing pikelet batter produces tough pikelets. If pikelets brown unevenly, wipe the cooking surface with a paper towel to remove excess butter.

All in all a very successful recipe! I will make them again....maybe even smaller to put into Ikes bento box for lunch one day. If you'd like to try the recipe and forward me a photo to add to this entry just leave a comment below and we'll set it up.

Hmmm learn something new every day! Ok ,I did a google search on Girdle vs. Griddle it appears they are the same....girdle being the Scottish terminology. Well I'm going to stick with griddle because cooking up a batch of pancakes on my grandmothers hot girdle doesn't sound very appetizing to me. So...girdle or griddle...use what you'd like.
Hope your having a great weekend:)

Feb 2/09 Note: I've already made the recipe two more times and have found that the thickness of the batter is a matter of personal preference. However, the thicker batter makes something more like crumpet and less like a for me I am liking them thicker and turning them when they are golden rather than waiting to see bubbles rising through the batter. Ike has taken them to school now with a little container of jam in his bento box. Yeah! a new bento snack....and he liked them too:)

And the Bracelet and Earrings Winner is....

Congratulations to comments # 110 chosen by Random.Org

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:110
Timestamp: 2009-01-31 16:33:19 UTC

That is Jenn from Creating, Enabling, and a Bit of Life.
Thanks to all who participated, and maybe we'll see you again next quarter:)

Friday, January 30, 2009

More Amigurumi Cuteness....I think:)

BTW today is the last day to enter the giveaway I'm running and about a thousand more at Bloggy Giveaways. Click HERE to go to the giveaway page.
These little guys are well on their way to their new to Spain.....and the others to the US. In all cases...pretty sure they are off to see better weather than me;( These three are for replacements for the few people who received nothing from their partners in the Mushroom Stuffie swap I ran at Swap-Bot at the end of last year. I actually purchased a pattern to make these but could not get it to work out at all for me......I ended up with a bottom that was too wide for it's top, and a top that was ridiculously tall. After 3 attempts with the pattern...I gave up with no idea why my attempts looked nothing at all like the picture on the pattern.....which sadly was ridiculously adorable. One of these days, when I know more I'll go back to the proper pattern and give it a go again and see if I can figure out where I went wrong. But for now...... I came up with my own pattern.....and here it is. At the end of each round I finished off with a slip stitch into the first stitch of that row and did one single chain before starting into the next. I don't crochet so this was a bit of an epiphany for me as previously I had been crocheting in the spiral....not in the round...if you know what I mean. I was a little perturbed to notice that this 'finishing the round' seems to be implied but not stated in patterns. But as I say....I really don't crochet, so I'm finding these things out as I go. It makes sense that you's need to......but I'm still having a bit of trouble seeing the spot to finish into especially at times when I lose count on a row.
I will apologise in advance if my notation is not as it should be.........and it quite likely is improperly written since I don't really crochet:( here goes nothing. I used worsted weight wool yarn and a 4mm hook.

Cute Little Mushroom Guys


R1 ch2, 6sc in first chain
R2 *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next * rpt (9)
R3 & R4 sc in each st
R5 2 sc in first st, 1sc in next 2 sc* rpt (12)
R6 sc in each st
R7 *2sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 3 sc* rpt (15)
R8 & R9 sc in each st
R10 *2sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 4 sc* rpt (18)
R11 & R12 sc in each st
R13 *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 5 sc* rpt (21)
R14 *2sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 6 sc* rpt (24)
R15 *2sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 7 sc* rpt (27)
R16 *2sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 8 sc* rpt (30)
R17 *2sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 4 sc* rpt (36)
R18 -R21 sc in each st (36)
R22 * sc2tog, 1sc in next 4 sc* rpt (30)
R23 *sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 sc* rpt (24)
R24 *sc2tog, 1sc in next 6 sc* rpt (21)
Finish Off


R1 ch2, 6sc in first chain
R2 2 sc in each sc (12)
R3 *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next * rpt (18)
R4 *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 2 sc* rpt (24)
R5 *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next 3 sc* rpt (30)
R6-R 13 sc in each st
R 14 * sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 st* rpt (24)
R15 &R16 sc in each st 24
finish off

little decorative dots are made of R1 alone from bottom instructions and larger ones are made of R1 and R2 of the bottom instructions....You get the picture>

Stuff top and bottom pieces with polyester stuffing or wool batting. Stitch top and bottom together with tails from yarn ends. Stitch on embellishments.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers Tuiles!

I'm back at the Daring Bakers Challenge after taking the last month off. Last month there was just too much chaos here and the challenge for me was crossing the line into just an added frustration that I didn't need or want. So here we go, all caught up now............. for January....

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

As a happy coincidence there was an added option to make a savoury version which I opted to go for and paired it with a whipped spinach dip. I will at some point have to try the sweet version as well. Hopefully I will enjoy it more. I found this savoury recipe much too greasy for my liking. Don't get me wrong, they tasted OK....but I much preferred the lavash recipe from a few months far as a cracker or crisp type recipe goes. I did find it took a few tries to figure out just how thick a layer of batter you would need, and didn't have great success shaping them more than a little bit. I very much doubt that I would make this recipe again, but I am interested to try the sweet version. Below is the recipe I tried as was supplied by this months hosts.

Savory tuile/cornet recipe
From Thomas Keller "the French Laundry Cookbook"

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (= 2/3 teaspoon table salt)**
8 tablespoons (114 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
2 large egg whites, cold
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the softened butter until it is completely smooth and mayonnaise-like in texture. Using a stiff spatula or spoon, beat the egg whites into the dry ingredients until completely incorporated and smooth. Whisk in the softened butter by thirds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary and whisking until the batter is creamy and without any lumps. Transfer the batter to a smaller container, as it will be easier to work with.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make a 4-inch hollow circular stencil. Place Silpat on the counter (it is easier to work on the Silpat before it is put on the sheet pan). Place the stencil in one corner of the sheet and, holding the stencil flat against the Silpat, scoop some of the batter onto the back of an offset spatula and spread it in an even layer over the stencil. Then run the spatula over the entire stencil to remove any excess batter. After baking the first batch of cornets, you will be able to judge the correct thickness. You may need a little more or less batter to adjust the thickness of the cornets.

There should not be any holes in the batter. Lift the stencil and repeat the process to make as many rounds as you have molds or to fill the Silpat, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cornets. Sprinkle each cornet with a pinch of black sesame seeds.

Place the Silpat on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the batter is set and you see it rippling from the heat. The cornets may have browned in some areas, but they will not be evenly browned at this point.

Open the oven door and place the baking sheet on the door.*** This will help keep the cornets warm as you roll them and prevent them from becoming too stiff to roll. Flip a cornet over on the sheet pan, sesame seed side down and place 4-1/2 inch cornet mold at the bottom of the round. If you are right-handed, you will want the pointed end on your left and the open end on your right. The tip of the mold should touch the lower left edge (at about 7 o'clock on a clock face) of the cornet.

Fold the bottom of the cornet and around the mold; it should remain on the sheet pan as you roll. Leave the cornet wrapped around the mold and continue to roll the cornets around molds; as you proceed, arrange the rolled cornets, seams side down, on the sheet pan so they lean against each other, to prevent from rolling.

When all the cornets are rolled, return them to the oven shelf, close the door, and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes to set the seams and color the cornets a golden brown. If the color is uneven, stand the cornets on end for a minute or so more, until the color is even. Remove the cornets from the oven and allow to cool just slightly, 30 seconds or so.
Gently remove the cornets from the molds and cool for several minutes on paper towels. Remove the Silpat from the baking sheet, wipe the excess butter from it, and allow it to cool down before spreading the next batch. Store the cornets for up to 2 days (for maximum flavor) in an airtight container.

My notes:
** I’ve used 1 teaspoon fine table salt in my test-batch, and depending on what you plan to fill them with I would use less; start with ½ teaspoon. In the Netherlands I’ve never seen kosher salt but I understand it’s a coarser grind hence the substitute difference.

*** My oven door opens a door! So I placed the baking sheet on a counter that sits above the radiator (central heating thing) and that worked fine. You really need that extra heat because these babies need it to get a good shape. You could maybe slide out yr oven rack and work on that too.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bloggy Giveaway #3

This contest is now closed! Thank you to all who stopped in:)

I'm giving away this bracelet and earrings set!

Wow, it's Bloggy Giveaway's quarterly Carnival time already. Well, this is number 3 for me, and the other 2 were a fun time so I didn't want to miss out..... even thought things are still a little topsy turvy here. So here we go again. This time, my giveaway is for a matching beaded bracelet and earrings set. It's in neutral tones so it's good for every day wear and the materials used are pottery, glass, crystal, stone, metal and shell. There are no plastic bits in either piece. The hooks on the earrings are sterling silver.

Have a look back at the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival for hundreds of other giveaways.

So here are the rules:

  1. The contest is open to everyone whether or not you run a doesn't matter.
  2. The contest is to anyone....anywhere.
  3. To enter you must leave a comment on this post.
  4. You must leave an email address or link where I can contact you if you should win. When leaving an email address it is advisable to provide it in the form jane(dot)doe(at)hotmail(dot)com in order to prevent spammers from getting your address easily.
  5. After being contacted as a winner you must supply a mailing address within 6 days of being contacted or a new winner will be selected.
  6. Winning comment will be selected by a random number generator on Saturday January 31, at 8am. Entries can be left until that time.
  7. You can enter the contest once.
  8. Items will be sent to the winner within a week of contest closing.
Good luck!

A Quick lunch for Ike

While down in Vancouver picking up my new to me car, I was lucky enough to get to stop in at Daiso....which you may or may not know is my favourite Japanese dollar store. Well actually it's a two dollar store...but that's besides the point. I absolutely love their bento section. We have no availability of this type of thing where I live so I do tend to stock up when I go to Vancouver. Many thanks to Sandra for taking the time to direct me there....not certain if I'd have found it on my own or not? I find that I probably pack a bento box for Ike about once a week just to break things up a bit. It's all finger food in small sizes which is just right for Ike. Anyway, this was his lunch earlier last week. The little yellow container, also from Daiso, contains dip for his hard boiled egg.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back in the Thrift Shops

I had not been back out in the thrift shops for quite some I was due. This time I was not looking for anything in particular, but managed to find a few things anyway. I found the colourful tatted doily and was intrigued by it as I understand that tatting is very slow work. I thought it might look good on some antique furniture so I picked it up. I also managed to find some sock knitting needles.......and I've been thinking about knitting some socks next. I've never tried it....but how hard could it be?? Right??? I actually picked up some sock yarn in Vancouver so I now I just need to settle on a pattern! I have a bad addiction....but at least it's a cheap one.... to vintage pattern I had to pick up the knitting and crochet books....but as I said...only 25 cents each...that's almost free right?? And the teapot was my best score. I just love little personal sized teapots.....and yes I probably have more than enough.....but this one is just so cute.... and it's lovely Polish Pottery. Who could resist it......well apparently not me:( Do you love it too?? You could buy one new right here if you'd like......but mine was only $4.99. Don't you just love a deal......well I sure do!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Quick Trip

Last Saturday was a quick trip down to Vancouver for me. I needed to pick up my new car and get it back to Prince George while the road conditions were good. So finally.......for those of you who have been a photo of my new car. It is just the best little car and I am loving it so far:) It's a standard, so it's fun to drive and it's got the super charged engine, so's fun to drive. Ike loves the car and wants me to drive it to school all the time now. It's so cute and little it's not surprising that kids would like it.
While in Vancouver, I stopped in to Daiso and got a little bento fix, and Sandra talked me into going to 3 Bags Full, a wool shop on Main Street. This little wool shop was worth the stop, and I came home with this great ball of Malabrigo Terracota to try my hand at sock knitting. They rolled the skein into a ball for me in the shop before I left. If you like to knit and you have some time to spend in Vancouver....check it out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Braised Short Ribs with Polenta

This is one of my very favourite recipes to make for company. It comes from an old Fine Cooking Magazine and I actually could not find the magazine today so I had to wing it..........But I've made it so many times....I don't think I forgot anything. You can serve it with polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, or gnocchi.....all very good choices!
Braised Beef Short Ribs
2 lbs beef short ribs
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, quartered
2 sticks of celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 cup red wine vinegar
4-5 cup chicken soup stock
5-6 large dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes

Season all sides of the ribs with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a dutch oven (I use a 5.5 qt oval le creuset) over medium heat and brown all sides of the beef short ribs. You should get the cut that looks like a block with a long (5 inch) bone running through each piece, not the thin strip cut kind. The browning takes place slowly and should take about 15 minutes. Remove ribs to a dish and remove any excess oil from the pan, leaving 2 tbsp behind. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and slowly brown. this step should also take 15 minutes, and it is important to take your time and actually brown the vegetables rather than burning them. Once the veggies have some nice golden brown spots on them, add the thyme rosemary and smashed garlic cloves. Stir and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove all veggies from pot and add the vinegar. Turn up the heat a bit and reduce the vinegar down to 1/2 it's volume by letting it boil. Once there is about 1/2 cup remaining in the pot, put veggies back into the pot and place the ribs on top. Fill the pot with chicken stock until the ribs are almost all covered. Bits of them should be still poking out. Add the shitake mushrooms to the pot.

You can add the soaking water as well, just be careful not to pour in any sediment that may have settled to the bottom. Heat all of this on the stove (still on medium high) until it all starts to bubble. Then put into the oven and cook uncovered at 325 F for 2- 2 1/2 hours, turning the ribs every 20 minutes. Remove ribs to a plate and cover with foil. Discard veggies, and defat the broth. Personally I like the carrots and the mushrooms so I keep those rather than discarding them and serve them with the ribs. Keep in mind that you must remove the stems from the mushrooms as they will be too tough, but the mushroom tops are very yummy. Reduce the broth down until it thickens and starts to coat the back of a spoon. It will not get very thick, but you can see when it starts to be able to coat the back of the spoon. Serve over polenta, gnocchi or mashed potatoes.

This is an oven baked method for cooking polenta which also comes from an old Fine Cooking Magazine #31. I ended up making this to accompany the ribs one night when our guest could not eat potatoes......
Oven Cooked Polenta
1 cup cornmeal
5 cups water (or half water, half milk)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350F. Grease a 3 quart oven proof baking dish, pour in cornmeal, water, milk (if you are using it), butter and salt and stir with a fork until blended. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir again with a fork and taste for salt, adding more if needed, and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Pour into a buttered bowl.
You can vary the consistency of the polenta by adjusting the ratio of cornmeal and water.

6 parts water to 1 part cornmeal= very soft
5 parts water to 1 part cornmeal= soft
4 parts water to 1 part cornmeal= firm
3- 3 1/2 parts water to 1 part cornmeal= very firm

If you are planning to grill or fry the polenta to reheat it you are better of with firm or very firm whereas the soft is better to be a bed for serving stew etc.

Justify Full

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Everything Aways Happens at Once:)

I'm sure it just seems that way.........But right now it sure feels like everything needs to be dealt with at once:( I've been sorting through all kinds of arrangement due to being laid off at work. I was...and am....actually looking forward to a little time off. The lay off was not unexpected as the industry as whole is under curtailment and it will take some time for things to settle out and return to normal. So I was well prepared and not at all upset at this turn of events. I do feel badly for the over one hundred others affected by this layoff who may not be able to financially absorb this event:( I am hoping to enjoy the extra time at home and with my family and friends as much as possible before it's time to get back to work. The list of things I'd like to do probably far exceeds the time I will have available. I've thought of renewing my membership to the potters guild at least for a few months....there are many household projects that I've had on my mind but never had the time to complete.....tons of crafting I'd like to do.....and now I'll have more time to make a proper supper. It's all good:)
One of the pressing things on my to do list has been to get a car to replace the Trailblazer that work had provided for the past four years. Well it looks like this'll be a done deal. After a lot of thought I decided that this was my best opportunity to get a Mini Cooper. Some of you will know that this has been my dream car for quite a few years now, and after hearing good reviews from a friend who bought one a few months back...I was convinced that I needed one too. After test driving a very cute one up in Fort St. John, I was fortunate enough to find one newly up for sale in Vancouver and in fantastic condition too. The biological parents of this car are amazing (in a good way) and the whole process has really felt like more of an adoption than a car sale. I'm hoping that they can find comfort in the fact that the car will be going to a good home. If all goes well......I'll be driving it home this weekend. I don't want to get too excited about it until I'm actually driving it home. Never count your chickens until they are hatched. I think I can post a picture from a friends computer later on today, so you can appreciate the cuteness of the car....which by the way well surpassed by the fact that it's just an awesome car.
But back to my original comment. It all happens at once..... I am a huge list maker and generally am OK with piling it on every now and again. Don't get me wrong...I don't thrive on stress....but I can usually get it done. But I almost had a moment of despair as I dropped my DH of at the airport so he could go fly to Calgary to pick up his new car and I listed to him all the things that had gone wrong that he was leaving in my lap as he started his little 'fun' trip back home to pick up his car.....for 5 days!
Thanks for leaving me to:
  • Drive you to the airport 30 seconds after I got Ike ready and dropped him off at school
  • fill my empty gas tank after the 1/2 hour drive to the airport and the trip to the vet
  • take kitty to vet appointment 15 minutes after dropping DH off
  • look after kitty with unknown tummy troubles
  • clean the 20 spots on the carpet from above mentioned troubles
  • deal with the crashed computer and no way to generate an agenda for that evenings PAC meeting
  • look after Ike and his croupy cough
  • line up winter tires for my new to me car
  • figure out how to use your GPS
  • arrange child care while I pick up the car

Yep....I was feeling a little sorry for myself.........but then it passed. I think it'll be OK now:)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gramma K's Quick Spaghetti Dinner

This is a recipe that gets made at least 8 times a year. My gramma used to make this for lunch for my mom and my aunts and uncles when they walked home from school, and my mom made it for me, and I make it for Ike. I think gramma got the recipe from the news paper back in the late 1940's. I always have a tub of cold packed cheddar in the freezer already scored into quarters. You can also use a block of cheddar cheese which is what the original recipe called for but you do need to add it after removing the pan from the heat to prevent it from curdling. I find it's just easier with the cold packed cheddar and the flavour is more intense.


Grammas Spaghetti( At least that's what it's called at my mom's house)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tin condensed tomato soup
1/2 can water
1/4 tub of cold packed cheddar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3-4 drops hot sauce
spaghetti noodles (serving for 3)

Cook the spaghetti as the package directions specify. I usually use the spaghetti measure and take enough for 3 servings. While the pasta boils, you can make the sauce. In a frying pan, fry the chopped onion. You may want to chop it up fine if your kids are picky about onions like my Ike is. Cook over medium high heat until translucent. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and cook 1 minute more while stirring. Add in tomato soup and 1/2 can water and stir till smooth. Add in 1/4 of a package of cold packed cheddar and stir to melt in the cheese. Add in hot sauce and Worcestershire Sauce. Mix in drained pasta and serve while hot.

If you don't have cold packed cheddar, use about 200g of cheddar which you can shred and sprinkle on the top of the sauce after removing it from the heat. It should melt quite quickly with a little stirring.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More Beading and...... More Snow

We have got a lot of interesting play out of this cute set of balancing Kiwis that we received at Christmas Time. Ike has tried his hand at coming up with many new balancing possibilities and this is just one of his original 'sculptures' as he calls them. Many thanks to our friends in New Zealand for sending them. It's nice to have toys with no noise:)

I tried my hand at some more beading, this time in a little more neutral colour scheme. I really liked the white round shell beads since you can see I've used them again. Yeah....another department in Michael's to get stuck in. That reminds me...they have some beads and findings on sale this week. It's been a busy time here as I need to buy a new car fairly soon and trying to catch up with lots of other little things. It's amazing how fast the day gets sucked away if you don't keep on track. I should scoot outside and take a photo before it gets dark so you can see the insane amount of snow we've been dealing with here. I actually got the 4 wheel drive stuck yesterday while picking Ike up from school. I had imagined that the snow was fluffier than it actually was and as I pulled into the unplowed shoulder leaving the cleared spot for other cars......I realized too late that I was stuck. It was a nice little 1/2 hour shovel to get out. Too bad I'd already had my run for the day. I was pooped after that, and did not make the supper I had planned. I opted for a quicker option.

This photo was taken just outside the front door. It's beautiful weather for skiing:) And while surrounded by all this snow I am beginning to question my need to own a Mini Cooper:(

Sunday, January 4, 2009

OMG! It's 2009 Already:)

Wow....another year all gone. Did I accomplish all that I had hoped for in 2008?? Well that knowledge would assume much more organizational skill than I think I actually possess:( I am actually uncertain of how my organizational abilities would pan out in fact. I am a huge list maker.....that much is certain....but it would likely be helpful if my lists were all contained in one handy little notebook rather than on last weeks grocery slip....or last months Visa statement....or the envelope it came in. There really would be a market for such a book.....I should look into it!

With all the holiday time and late morning breakfasts that the Christmas season brings.....I have had good opportunity to use one of my very favourite kitchen things. Any idea what it is? Well I won't keep you wondering......It's my Waring Pro Flip Belgian Waffle Maker. I can honestly say that it is probably to date the funnest Kitchen gadget I purchased EVER! (Not the most practical or even the most often used!) I actually got it with the points program at my local grocery store so it sort of feels like it was free....even though I know it wasn't. Well, I spend a lot of time tying to locate the recipe booklet that came with it more often than not.....So here I am posting the two basic recipes that I use to make Belgian Waffles with it. Now I won't have to look for that pesky booklet any more. I'll just have to hope my Internet server is running when I need it. As a testimonial to anyone thinking of buying one.....we just love it. Now I wouldn't recommend you eat them every day, but once in a while they are great and they really kick ass on regular waffles any day of the week. On the down side of it does take up quite a bit of space and unless you plan to use it everyday, you probably don't want to devote permanent counter space to it.........Unless you just want to make the neighbours jealous......and that's just harmless fun now isn't it?? Could you live without one?? Certainly! But if you feel like a treat and you have an appreciation for breakfast foods.....(I could it it for every meal...but that's just me) sure is nice to have especially for that special breakfast when company is visiting.

Classic Belgian Waffles
(batter needs to sit for about and hour before using this one)
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
3 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated (for 3 yolks and 1 egg white)
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Heat half of the water to lukewarm, 105°-110°F. Dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar; let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.
Put the flour and salt into the large bowl; stir to blend and reserve. Add the egg yolks, one of the egg whites, and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture; stir to blend. Add the remaining water, milk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla; stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when removing the mixer. Fold the egg whites gently into the Belgian waffle batter. Let the batter stand for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Helpful Hint
Setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker achieves a golden brown baked Belgian waffle. You can adjust the browning control if you prefer lighter or darker waffles.
Preheat your waffle maker on your preferred setting (use setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker); the ready indicator light will turn on when preheated (the green indicator light for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker).
For best results, do not open the waffle maker during cooking of the Belgian waffle recipe. Doing so will offset the timing mechanism.

Good Night Waffles
(Most of the minimal preparation is done the night before)

1/2 cup lukewarm (105°F) water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 yeast packet)
2 cups whole milk, warmed (about 105°F)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

The night before, or at least 8 hours before baking, combine the warm water, granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the warm milk, melted butter, and salt. Beat in the flour until smooth (this may be done using a hand mixer on low speed).
Wrap bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight (or for 8 hours) on the countertop - do not refrigerate.
Baking the Belgian waffle.
Helpful Hint
Setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker achieves a golden brown baked Belgian waffle. You can adjust the browning control if you prefer lighter or darker waffles.
When ready to bake, preheat your waffle maker on your preferred setting (use setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker); the ready indicator light will turn on when preheated (the green indicator light for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker).
For best results, do not open the waffle maker during cooking of the Belgian waffle recipe. Doing so will offset the timing mechanism.
While the waffle maker is heating, stir the eggs, vanilla extract, and baking soda into the batter.

I always use instant rise yeast mixed in with the dry ingredients for this and have never had any trouble.