Thursday, February 17, 2011

Test Kitchen Thursday - Waffles

Recently I decided that purchasing frozen toaster waffles (even in bulk from Sam's) was getting to be a bit on the costly side.  Plus, there had to be better waffle recipes around.  Our family purchased a waffle maker and I sat down to the computer one Saturday to look up recipes.  Unfortunately our internet was out - fortunately I have a wonderful library of cookbooks to turn too!

From The Colorado Cookbook (1981)
- I love this cookbook!  I'm sure it was gifted to my grandma from my Aunt Sara - grandma in turn gifted it to me when Alan and I were first married.  We have found some amazing recipes in this cookbook!

Crispy Waffles

2 eggs, separated
1 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 C milk
3 T butter, melted

Beat egg whites stiff but not dry.  Set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, egg yolks, and milk.  Blend well.
Stir in butter then fold in egg whites.
Bake in pre-heated waffle iron until golden brown.

The recipe says it makes two 9" waffles but I have made more than that out of the one recipe.  Granted my waffle iron only makes two 4" square waffles but I still yield more than the recipe says.  Be careful not to overdue how much batter you put in the waffle iron - too much and it pops it open.  True story.

I like to double the recipe on mornings I have plenty of time and then freeze the rest for later.  Simply cool the waffles, wrap them well (I use wax paper to separate them and then store in freezer bags).  Freeze.  Toast frozen waffles lightly.

You can also put add-ins like chips or nuts in very easily.  Simply add before folding in the egg whites.

At out house we like them plain but layered with strawberries and blueberries.  Really the more berries the better.  These are frozen berries from the Berry Patch Farm that I put up last year.  Can't wait for berry season (freezer is getting low).  Top it off with a little homemade strawberry syrup (also running low) and yum, yum!

On a side note I just had to add that we grilled out tonight!  February 17th and we lit the grill.  When it hits 60 degrees outside the grill just begs to be used regardless of what month it is.  So tonight we had t-bone steaks (hamburgers for the boys), grilled corn on the cob (frozen from last summer), fresh asparagus, and a baked potato.  I'm surprised I could move from table to computer desk tonight - but it was so worth it!

Clark and Grant weren't too happy about having to come in from outside to eat (Clark wanted a picnic) - until we showed them what was in the aluminum foil.  Our boys ate every last kernel off their corn cobs tonight!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Belated Happy Valentine's Day!  

Our Valentine's Day started early Saturday morning when Clark and Grant opened their Valentine package from Aunt Em.  Loads of chocolate awaited them (which they wanted for breakfast - that will teach me to open packages before breakfast).

On Sunday, Clark's Preschool sang during the church service for a special Preschool Sunday.  We were so happy to have Grandma and Grandpa Clark drive down to go to church with us and spend a lovely day together. 

On Valentine's Day we actually spent a lot of time outside!  The weather is so wonderful.  I'll take upper 30's and 40's anytime (this time of year)!  Heat wave.  Clark loves climbing the snow hills and Grant is just trying to figure out how to walk proficiently on the snow. 

As always we had our beautiful guard cat watching over our activities.

Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Playing Dress-Up

During nap time today I realized Clark wasn't taking a nap; but, he was being quiet.  Since I had a lot of work to do I figured quiet time in his room was OK with me.  Somehow his little body knows when 3:30 pm hits because he came sauntering out his bedroom door like normal.  He was so proud to show me his accomplishment.

During nap time he had decided to try out different outfits until he landed on this combination that he just loved!  When I tucked him in bed all he had on was a t-shirt and underwear.  Now he was supporting layered shirts and dress pants (and I was informed you can only wear black socks with the dress pants).

Now the t-shirt was on backwards but he liked the look of the dinosaur on the back.

He decided to model for me in his room.  I rather forgot about the old mirror behind his door.  He thought the mirror was perfect for seeing his clothing creations.  And no, this was not the only outfit he tried.  I was informed of shirts that no longer fit him and should be taken out of the drawers.

Mommy just loves the cuteness of it all.  This age is so much fun!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Strikes Again!

So sorry for my lack of blogging lately -- between baby number 3 sapping all my energy and preparing for the State Science Fair (my real job) it's been a busy time!

When we did have a day stuck in the house our internet was also out - so, no posts.  However, we did take lots of pictures (this was on blizzard day last Wednesday):

 Clark on his way out to the backyard (notice the drift over his head).

Drift from the other side.

Braced against the wind.

Making his way to daddy.

The slide dug out to go tend the animals.


Warming up with the goats.  As bad as the doorway to the barn was the rest of the barn was pretty much snow free and toasty warm.  The snow that surrounds the barn is now acting as an insulator.

Even the kitties braved the weather to get a snack!  Three little calico girls and their all-black brother.  They are just so healthy for being fall born kittens.  They're kind of snow kitties - they love playing in the snow and love the fact that the drifts allow them to jump directly into tree branches!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Test Kitchen Thursday - Red Velvet Cupcakes

These Red Velvet Cupcakes are my favorite!  Plus, they are especially fun for Valentine's Day.
The recipe is from the February 2008 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

3 eggs
3/4 cup butter (although I accidentally used 1 Cup of butter this time around and they still turned out fine).
3 C all-purpose flour
2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 t salt
2 1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 - 1oz bottle red food coloring (2 T)
1 1/2 C buttermilk
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t vinegar

1 1/2 C whole milk
1/3 C flour
dash salt
1 1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 t vanilla

Let eggs and butter stand 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 24 muffin cups; set aside.
In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. 
In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high 30 seconds.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined.  One at a time add eggs; beat on medium after each.  Beat in food coloring on low.
Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low-medium after each just until combines.  Stir together baking soda and vinegar.  Add to batter; beat just until combined.
Scoop into muffin cups (I use a 1/4 C measure to fill my cups with)
Bake 15 - 17 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean.  The cakes may appear marbled.
Remove from pans quickly (to stop the baking process) and allow to cool on wire racks.

In medium saucepan whisk together milk, flour and salt.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Transfer to small bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until cooled (do not stir).  

In large bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla on medium for 5 minutes until light and fluffy and sugar is almost dissolved.  Add cooled milk mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; beat on low after each until smooth.

These go over well at our house but I always make them when I can give them away.  Alan took a bunch to work to help reduce the amount left here!

The boys love to help whenever I bake but this recipe is especially fun.  I make sure the boys are watching when the soda and vinegar are added together.  Fun fizzing and bubbling!  Grant helped me measure and lay everything out and really enjoyed when the batter turned red.  Clark did all the sprinkling!