Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Hosting #2

As you read below, my Thanksgiving meal was truly a blessing and a success.  However, true to form, I did experience my own little Thanksgiving day cooking disaster.

Awhile back, I found a fabulous recipe for an apple pie.  It is fabulous because it is simple, but everyone who tries it insists it is the most delicious apple pie they've ever eaten.  :)  So, I decided to make this pie as one of my Thanksgiving desserts.  My husband LOVES his pie warm, so I waited to bake it until everything else was done.  I placed the pie on the rack in the oven and baked it as directed, not realizing that sugar drippings were oozing from the pie to the oven floor below.  I also did not realize that my dear husband, trying to be resourceful, had placed tin foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any renegade food particles that would potentially fall to the bottom of the oven.  Well, the tin foil was successful in catching the pie drippings, but...

...after we had consumed our delicious pie and everyone was in the living room watching "Elf", I decided I was going to bake the rest of my homemade rolls so that we would have them ready for turkey sandwich leftovers.  I turned the oven to 350 degrees and put the rolls in the oven while my hubby set to work on the dishes.  Five minutes later I heard him yelling from the kitchen - "HEATHER!  COME QUICK!"  I rushed into the kitchen to see the oven-bottom tin foil, engulfed in flames.  Oh dear.  Instantly in my head, I saw images I'd seen on the news of holiday house fires caused by improper use of ovens and stovetops.  Fortunately, it only took a moment for the fire to completely consume the tin foil, and the fire was out in a matter of minutes.  

I did learn from this experience, however, that maybe leaving dirty tin foil on the bottom of an oven isn't a great idea.  And also, I figured out why my mom always put a small cookie sheet on the rack underneath her apple pies when she cooked them.  Then, when the pie is done, you can take the cookie sheet and wash away any flammable sugar drippings.  :)

Ah yes, and the fabulous apple pie recipe?  Here ya go!  Just please don't burn down your house!  I would feel horrible!

1 store-bought pie crust (top and bottom crust)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon corn starch
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 bag Granny Smith Apples - peeled, cored, and sliced (a good husband job!)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Stir in the flour to form a paste.
2. Add water & sugars, bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer.
3.  Place bottom crust in pan.  Fill with the apples, allowing them to mound in the pie crust. 
4.  Cover with a lattice work crust (great directions here!)  
5.  Slowly pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust, making sure much falls into the lattice holes.
6.  Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes, or until apples are soft and pie crust is browned.

My pie, before it was baked and caused the fire.  :)

Again, this recipe is GREAT because it is soooooooo simple!  And a lattice work crust makes your pie look professional and BEAUTIFUL, but it's really quite simple!!

So please learn from my mistakes and your pie will be a huge success!!

Till next time,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Hosting #1...

Sorry it's been so long since I've written... it's actually been so long since I've written that I have so much I could write about.  But, staying with the spirit of the season, I'm going to devote my next two week's entries to holiday happenings!

First, I should tell you about my Thanksgiving hosting experience - the triumphs and disasters.  :)  This will set the stage for the rest of my holiday entries.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year - I volunteered to make everything except the Turkey.  Ambitious?  Yes.  But surprisingly, everything turned out pretty well and came out at the SAME TIME.

How did this incredibly inexperienced non-domestic first-time Thanksgiving hostess do it?  With some careful planning and creative utilization of my space, I would probably call my first Thanksgiving cooking experience a success!

First things first, hosting a successful holiday meal requires careful planning.  As much as I am a person who usually walks into situations blind, I forced myself to take some time a couple of days before Thanksgiving to get myself organized.  I printed up all the recipes I was planning on making and laid them all out on the table in front of me.  I made a shopping list from my recipes, physically checking the items off of the ingredients lists as I went through the recipes (otherwise I KNOW I would've missed something!). I looked at cooking temperatures and times, and I wrote out a timeline for myself of what would need to get done when.  I also determined which recipes could be made the day before or early on Thanksgiving morning, and once I had numbered my recipes in order of when they would be started, I three-hole punched them and placed them in a binder.  I sent my husband to the grocery store to take that stress off of my plate (bless him!) and pulled out my pans and pots and made sure I had enough cooking & serving dishes to cover each recipe.  All in all, I spent about an hour planning - in the end, it was WELL worth it.

I also purposely looked for recipes that could be cooked a variety of ways, rather than everything having to be in the oven at one time (a virtual impossibility, even with my fabulous double-oven).  In addition to the oven, I used my stovetop, vegetable steamer (I really need to write an "ode to my vegetable steamer" one of these days), and crockpot (both the big one and the little dipper).  This made "sharing space" incredibly easy, and everything could easily cook at once.  :)

One of my favorite discoveries this season (and a true hit at our holiday table) was a stuffing recipe that could be made in the crockpot!!  Stuffing is a MUST HAVE at our Thanksgiving AND Christmas meal, and although I was skeptical about this recipe (it was risky to try something like this on such an important holiday) I don't think I will ever go back to oven or bird-cooked stuffing!  I highly recommend using your crockpot friend to save time and space with this incredible recipe!!

Slow Cooker Stuffing
(as adapted from

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parskey
12 cups dry bread cubes (I bought the pre-bagged bread cubes in the grocery store - go cheap!)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten

1.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion, celery, carrots, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
2.  Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in crock pot.  Season with sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper.  (And savor that SMELL!!)  Pour enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs.
3.  Cook on high for 45 minutes, then reduce to low and cook for 4 to 8 hours (mine was beautiful in 6 1/2 hours!)

No matter how domestic or non-domestic you may be, I really believe that with careful planning and creativity, you can host a successful holiday meal!!

Look out next time for my Thanksgiving disaster - on the same day as the fabulous meal!!!  :)  Don't worry, it has a happy ending, and you will learn from my mistakes!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Remembering a Classic Kitchen Disaster...

Every new cook has stories which will stick with them forever.  They aren't exactly things they're "proud" of, but they are stories that were either so noteworthy or so traumatic that they live on in their memories and teach them valuable lessons that carry on FAR into their cooking experiences.

For example, the first time I attempted to cook stir-fry for my husband, I tried to go exactly by the book.  I heated the oil until it was nice and hot, then added the chicken.  One mistake.  I heated the oil a little TOO nice and hot, and I dropped the chicken from too far up while my husband stood a little too close, eagerly awaiting his dinner.  The result?  Nearly 3rd degree burns on my overly-trusting husband's arm.  He bragged for weeks to his buddies about how his wife "scalded" him in the kitchen.  Oops.

Beyond all of my kitchen disasters, however, one distinct memory takes first place in my mind.  I even wrote a blog about it, back in the day.  That blog entry was the first inspiration for this entire blog.

So, just because I'm in a funny mood, I am going to copy and paste that blog entry below, purely for education purposes.

Without further ado, I bring you:

"Why You Should Never Put Pyrex on a Hot Stovetop: The Case of the Exploding Brownies"

Once upon a time, my roomate Kati, friend Kristen, and I decided we really had a hankerin' for some brownies.  So I decided to bake some.  I whipped up some batter, put it into my pyrax baking pan, threw them in the oven, and sat down to read my systematic theology.  While the brownies were baking, Kati (who hadn't eaten yet) made herself some dinner on the stove top.  She ate her dinner and sat down in the living room.  After awhile, we could smell that the brownies were probably near done, so I went into the kitchen and took them out of the oven, setting them on the stove top to let them cool.  However, I was unaware that my dear, sweet roomie had forgotten to turn off the stove when she was done making her broccoli, and after a few minutes, Kati remarked, "Hon, did you take the brownies out of the oven yet?  It smells like something's burning." 

"Yes," I replied, "I put them on the stove top to cool."

Suddenly, Kati jumped up.  "Oh NO!  The Brownies!!"  She ran into the kitchen and suddenly there was a scream and a crash.  I ran in to see this sight:

Oh no!!!

The stove...

And the floor!!!  Poor brownies!!  :(

Kati had picked up the glass pan of brownies off of the burning stove top just in time for the cool air to cause some sort of reaction that made the the glass pan (and the brownies) explode and fly all over the kitchen.  The brownies were literally sizzling on the floor, countertop, and stovetop.  We found glass everywhere!  We could not stop laughing as we cleaned up the mess, and needless to say, not much studying got done last night... after all, there was a second batch of brownies to make!  Oh well... that's what happens when you live in Jenkins 2T.

The moral of the story:  Well, I think you can figure it out.  :)


Now, recently, someone told me that my story could not possibly be true, after all, pyrex was indestructable.  So I set out on a mission and found this website:

May my cooking mayhem serve as a lesson to all non-domestic housewives everywhere.  Beware of exploding pyrex!!  :D

(The best part of the story is perhaps that my roommates later would gift me with a set of pyrex bakeware and a box of brownie mix as a bridal shower gift!)

Keeping the Kitchen Safe,
Heather  :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Be Our Guest!!

Exciting news....  We have houseguests this weekend!!!

Many of you know that my husband and I recently moved across the country, leaving our beloved hometown, family, and friends behind.  Although this has been a really difficult transition for us, we are so blessed that many of our family and friends have promised to visit!!  (And, we have an open invitation - family and friends, VISIT US!!!)

Luckily, our new home has a GUEST ROOM!!  :D

I was really excited about the prospect of a guest room initially, and as a people-person, was thrilled at the prospect of having friends come to visit.  But then one day I realized that having guests meant...

I have to play HOSTESS!!  :/

Now, let me tell you about my best friend Becky.  Becky was born to parents who own a bed and breakfast.  Becky can cook and clean and do woodworking and sewing AND play the guitar - Becky is AMAZING.  Growing up, her friends called her Becky-home-eckie, and it's not hard to see why.

Becky has the gift of hospitality.

I do not.

You see, it doesn't come easily for me to have people in my home.  I love to cook and have a clean house, and I love inviting people into my life, but I don't think of the things like offering them a cup of tea or making sure they have matching towels and a huge breakfast waiting when they wake up in the morning.  I am NOT one of those people whom, after leaving my home, you feel like you've been treated like a queen.  I'm more of the "Make yourself at home - here's the fridge, here's the bathroom, and let's go have fun" type.  So, while I LOVE having people visit me, the idea of having HOUSE-GUESTS kind of stressed me out a little bit.

On the other hand, I love the idea of making people feel really important and welcome and comfortable in my home.  I guess what I'm trying to say (with way too many words) is, it doesn't come easily to me.  I'm a work in progress.

However, about a year or so ago, I was visiting a friend of mine and discovered a very small thing that made me feel EXTREMELY welcome in her home without the full bed and breakfast treatment.  It was a small basket sitting on the nightstand with a few toiletries in it and a note that said, "if you need it, take it.  be our guest."  And guess what?  I had forgotten toothpaste.  But I didn't have to have grungy teeth or ask my friend to borrow hers.  I could simply and quietly take the toothpaste in the guest basket.  BRILLIANT!

So, the first thing I did when we started putting together our little guest room was... you got it!  Buy a little basket!!  Then I raided the toiletries section at Walmart and... TAH-DAH!!!

Isn't it SO CUTE!?!?  And it was such a SIMPLE thing to throw together, but it's definitely a practical way to welcome people into our home!!  (I LIVE for practicality!!)

All you need to do this yourself is a small basket, and then a bunch of travel-sized toiletries. I used toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, hairspray, feminine products, shampoo, conditioner, downy wrinkle release, razors, and deodorant!   Finish it off with a guest book and some wash cloths and you have a guest basket for your own guest room!! 

All that to say, I may not have the "gift" of hospitality like my best friend Becky, but I have a comfy, welcoming guest room and a kitchen with enough cereal and milk to go around.  You're welcome to be our guest!!

Have a great weekend,

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Shannon Cookie

No matter how domestic (or NON-domestic) the wife may be, I think just about every wife has found that one cookie recipe that will make her husband smile... something to whip up for him after a long day at work or to pack in his lunch just to say "I was thinking about you."

My husband, Shannon, grew up LOVING his mom's chocolate chip cookies, and so I honestly thought I was out of luck in finding a cookie that my husband would love quite as much as he loves mom's.  But, it wasn't long before I discovered that a bit of personalization goes a long way.

I made up this recipe by combining a chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal cookie, and throwing in my husband's favorite candy - peanut butter mnm's!  They are gooey and chewy and chocolatey and good... enjoy!

The Shannon Cookie


1 cup butter, softened  (NOT melted!!  If you keep your butter in the fridge, soften it by microwaving for 15-20 seconds, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't melt!!  Melted butter = flat, yucky cookies!!)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 large bag peanut butter mnm's (you know, as many as you wanna throw in there).  :)
1 cup chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth (use your hand mixer or KitchenAid!).  Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed sugar mixture until just blended.
3.  Mix in the oatmeal using a large spoon or spatula.  Then add the chocolate chips and peanut butter mnm's!
4.  Refrigerate cookie dough (covered) until cool and firm; about 15 minutes.***
5.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool ON baking sheet.
6.  Serve warm with a glass of milk for best reaction.  :)

***Step #4 is an especially important tip!!  I struggled for awhile with my cookies coming out flat and hard.... making sure the dough is firm and cool really helps with this - and it works with any cookie recipe!!

Do you have any killer husband cookie recipes???  :)  I'd love to try them out!!  :D

I'm making these cookies today and taking them to the cast of "Jekyll & Hyde" to say thanks for welcoming me to our little theater family!!  :)  Good luck tonight, guys!!

Till next time,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cornbread... the way it SHOULD be!

Since moving to the south, I have discovered something that I find to be quite disturbing...

Southerners like their cornbread... savory?

I have had several conversations with my new southern friends and have discovered that most in this area prefer cornbread to be salty rather than sweet... they prefer things like cheese or jalepenos to season their bread.  My response... What???

I'm sorry for all you southerners out there, but midwesterners know how to do cornbread right.  I grew up in a home where a staple food (for my father, at least) was a dish of cornbread, beans, and maple syrup.  While I've never quite been able to stomach the beans aspect of that, I would much prefer to add a bit of sugar to my cornbread or top it with a slab of butter and a touch of honey... oh yum.

My one issue with cornbread overall, though, is that it is often so dry.  That's why I LOVE this next recipe I discovered on  It is a slightly sweet cornbread, but is also delightfully moist and spongey - almost cake-like!  All in all, whether you're from Wisconsin or you're from Mississippi, you're bound to love this cornbread recipe...  :)

1 (8 ounce) package corn bread muffin mix (just get the cheap stuff!  it doesn't matter!)
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (8 ounce) can cream corn
1/2 cup white sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 inch pan (I often use my cast iron skillet, though!)
2.  Mix all of the ingredients and pour into pan.
3.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.

This recipe is SOOOOOOOO easy, but a real crowd-pleaser!  Eat your heart out, salty cornbread!!

Y'all come back now!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gone Bananas!! :D

I love baking with bananas!

No really, I love it - things made with bananas are often more moist, naturally sweet, and offer texture to baked goods.  BUT - baking with bananas requires patience - you have to WAIT for your bananas to ripen before you bake with them.  They need a nice little brown color in order to mash and bake JUST right.  

Well, unfortunately for me, my husband likes EATING bananas as much if not more than I like baking with bananas!  Bananas don't last more than three or four days in my house (no matter how many I buy!) without being rapidly consumed.  Thus, I rarely get to bake with my bananas!

However, yesterday while at Ingles, I discovered the "Ripe Banana Bag"... I'm sure it's always been there, but it was a paper sack with over 10 bananas in it - already ripened to baking perfection - and for $1.49!!!

Luckily, I had a party to go to for inspiration, so I decided to make one of my favorite "back pocket" recipes - chocolate chip banana bread!

I use a banana bread recipe from, but changed a few things based on past experience (increased the cooking temperature and length of baking, replaced butter with applesauce, and added chocolate chips for my own variation (because what's better than chocolate chip banana bread?).  What I love about this recipe is the secret ingredient - SOUR CREAM.  It really adds moisture and makes this the BEST banana bread ever!!  ENJOY!!  :D

(As you're looking at the ingredient list and thinking, "HOLY COW THAT'S A LOT OF SUGAR!" realize that it makes 4 loaves of bread...)

1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter (although last night, I used applesauce instead, and it worked well!!)
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
6 ripe bananas, smashed (fun job!)
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream (I used light sour cream to cut back on fat)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half white/half wheat flour)
1 bag mini chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate - whatever you prefer)

1.  Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease four loaf pans (I only own 1 loaf pan, so I made 1 loaf of bread and LOTS of muffins, and a heart-shaped cake pan for my hubby).
2.  In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon - dust pans lightly with cinnamon sugar mixture.
3.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Mix in salt, baking soda, and flour.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Divide into prepared pans.
4.  If baking in a loaf pan, bake for 1 hour 10 minutes (approximately) or until a toothpick comes out clean.  If using muffin tins or other small baking pans, you will have to adjust the baking time accordingly (I think my muffins took about 35 minutes or so.)

Now, an important tip - use MINI chocolate chips - regular sized chocolate chips are too heavy and will sink to the bottom of the batter, creating a chocolate candy crust rather than delicious chocolately goodness throughout.  :)

Happy Baking - GO BANANAS!!  :D

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blueberry Mania Continues!!

Okay, now I haven't actually made these for a few weeks, but I thought I should continue with my blueberry theme...

By popular demand (by several facebook friends...)

HEATHER'S (Moody Bible Institute-Famous) BLUEBERRY MUFFINS!

This is yet another adaptation from an recipe... but I have heard nothing but "OHMYGOSH THESE ARE SOOOOOO GOOD" from those who have tried them...

For The Muffins:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cut white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen is fine)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or line with muffin wrappers.
2.  Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Place applesauce in a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup.
3.  Mix these liquids with the flour mixture.  Add vanilla.  Fold in blueberries.  Fill muffin tin right to the top.  Top with crumb mixture (see below).
4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make crumb mixture, combine 2 tablespoons flour, 5 tablespoons sugar (I prefer to use brown sugar, but either work fine), and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut 2 tablespoons butter with a fork or pastry blender until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Now, the KEY to the crumb mixture for the top of muffins (and coffee cakes, ect) is the BUTTER.  Ugh.  I have had more fights with butter than I know what to do with.  Recipes like this one call for butter that is soft enough to easily chop into little pieces, but hard enough that your topping won't just glop all over the place.  The problem is, when I cook, it's usually not very well planned out.  What I mean by that is, I'm spontaneous enough that when I decide I want to make muffins or cookies or whatever, my butter is usually still sitting in the fridge, hard as a rock.  So, I attempt to soften it by microwaving it.  BAD IDEA.  I usually end up with a pool of liquid butter which simply will not work for the reasons stated above.  And putting the melted butter in the freezer to fix THAT problem doesn't work, either.  There's something about the chemistry of the butter that's been tampered with that makes a bad situation even worse.

So what's the solution?  Well, I have invested in a butter keeper.

What, you may ask, is a butter crock?  Well, according to the product website (and my dear friend, Amy Gatschenberger), a butter crock is a bell shaped lid into which softened butter is firmly packed.  Cold water is poured into the base of the crock, and then the lid is placed upside down back into the base of the crock.  This apparently keeps the butter soft, fresh, and perfect for recipes like the one above.  Apparently, the water seals out the air keeping butter much fresher than it would be simply in a butter dish.  I haven't gotten my crock, yet, but I hope it will save my muffins!!!   

Happy Crumb-Mixture Making!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Woman vs. Waffle Iron: Another Kitchen Victory

While munching on my whole wheat banana blueberry pancakes on Tuesday morning, my loving husband asked me, "Why don't you ever make waffles?"  I smiled and responded, "I don't know - I guess I just don't really think about it."

The truth is, however, I have a love-hate relationship with my waffle iron.  Why?  Well, when Shannon and I got married, we received a waffle iron as a gift.  Naturally, I was excited about this.  After all, who doesn't LOVE waffles, and when done well, they look very impressive on the breakfast table.

However, I soon discovered that the waffle iron was not just another kitchen tool to use and enjoy - the waffle iron had to be mastered.  My first experiences with my waffle iron left me cleaning up gobs of goo where the batter had seeped out and goobered onto the kitchen counter, not to mention in every crevice and crack the waffle iron had.  Apparently, I was using too much batter.  So the next time, I was extra careful, but my waffles turned out puny and burnt.  This time, I wasn't using enough batter.  Then, there was the sticking factor.  The instructions that came with my waffle iron said that I didn't have to grease the iron between waffles.  BIG mistake.  There is nothing worse than opening your waffle iron and finding half of the waffle on the top of the iron and the other top on the bottom, and it's stuck, everywhere.  Finally, there is the ADD factor.  I'm an easily distracted individual.  Thus, I have found myself getting carried away washing dishes, mopping the floor, or even taking a shower - completely forgetting that the waffle iron doesn't turn itself off when the waffle is done.  Yeah, there's not much that's tasty about burnt waffles.

In recent days, however, I have slowly, step by step, conquered my waffle iron.  I've discovered that 1 heaping cup of batter is generally perfect to make the perfect waffle.  I used a measuring cup for awhile, but then got frustrated that more of the batter was ending up on me than in the waffle iron.  Finally, I discovered my medium-sized soup ladle - PERFECT for measuring and pouring waffle batter.  :)  Next, regardless of what the directions say, SPRAY that waffle iron GOOD every time you are about to pour batter into it.  Don't be stingy - just SPRAY.  There's nothing quite like a waffle sliding gently out of your waffle iron onto your plate.  Your food was made to be eaten, not chiseled from the cooking utensil.  Finally, and there's no easy way to do this, but stand close by your waffle iron and keep an eye on that little light.  If you're in the market for a waffle iron, I highly recommend spending a few extra dollars and buying the waffle iron with the built in beeper.  But, in my case, I discovered that it was about a minute and a half for my waffles to be done, so I set the kitchen timer for one minute and fifteen seconds.  When the timer goes off, I stand guard over my little waffle iron and am armed and ready with my spatula for the waffle do be done.  A little extreme?  Maybe, but hey - it works for me.  :)

If you can conquer your waffle iron, it will do all of the work for you.  You'll have delicious waffles with little mess, and you'll make it look so easy.  :)

And so, this morning, I took my husband's little "hint" in stride and searched my favorite website,, for the perfect waffle recipe.  I found their recipe, "Blueberry Oat Waffles" and decided to make a few modifications of my own.

Today was my first day making these waffles.  They tasted great - crunchy on the outside and really warm and soft on the inside.  The oatmeal adds a nice texture and health-factor - plus oatmeal helps you feel full all day.  The blueberries add the perfect hint of sweetness.    It was really easy - the ingredients are basic and it only took a few minutes to throw them together and pour them in the waffle iron.

Enough babbling - here's the recipe!  Enjoy!  :)

1-1/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup quick oats (you can use traditional oatmeal, too, but I would recommend putting it in your magic bullet or food processor to chop it up a bit, just like the pancakes!)
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups Milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (Imitation is fine)
1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries - (but don't thaw the berries if they're frozen - that will make them gooey!)

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2.  Combine the liquid ingredients in a small bowl, then add to the dry ingredients.
3.  Fold in the blueberries.
4.  Pour into that pesky waffle iron (show it who's boss) and wait for them to be done!!

Til next time, folks.  :)


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Banana - Blueberry - Whole Wheat - Oatmeal Pancakes!!!

Sounds like a mouthful, right?  Well, it is, but in a very good way.

I've made these pancakes a number of times now, but I think I may have finally perfected them today.  So, I wanted to share the recipe with you.  :)  They are healthy, wholesome, easy filling, and incredibly tasty.  AND they are both husband and guest approved and acclaimed.  Enjoy!!

1 cup uncooked oatmeal (I use the quick-oats 'cause it's what's in my house!)
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon imitation (or real) vanilla extract
1-2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups blueberries (frozen and thawed or fresh)

1.  Place the uncooked oatmeal in a food processor (I use my Magic Bullet!) and chop 'em up a bit.  I like to have a little bit of texture, so I don't make it into powder, but I do grind it finely.
2.  Combine the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
3.  In another bowl, beat together the egg, milk, applesauce, and vanilla.  I use my Magic Bullet again to mash the banana - it works perfectly and is SO much better than using your fingers, which yes, I have done.  Add the banana to the liquid mix and blend well.  Then add to the powdered mix.
4.  Cook pancakes over medium heat, dropping blueberries into the batter as the first side cooks.  Serve with Maple, Strawberry, or Blueberry syrup!!

These pancakes are great - and you can make them, no problem!!  If you try them, leave me a note and let me know what you think!!

Heather  :)