Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gingerbread Waffles

This Christmas  morning I decided to try a festive breakfast - gingerbread waffles.  The husband loves gingerbread, so I figured he wouldn't mind a deviation from a cold bowl of cereal for breakfast.

The kitchen smelled amazing while these were cooking!  The original recipe makes 16 waffles, which is far too many for us, so I halved the recipe.  But if you're cooking for a crowd, definitely make a full batch.

These are the perfect way to start Christmas (although I'm sure they're just as good any old day.)  Now, do you think it's too early for mulled wine...?

Happy holidays everyone!

Gingerbread Waffles
(from Food Network)
Makes 8 waffles

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron (if necessary)

Preheat waffle iron.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, molasses and melted butter. Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not overstir the waffle batter.  If necessary (it's not on my iron), brush the iron with a little melted butter.  Pour a heaping 1/3 cup into hot, greased waffle maker and cook by your wafflemaker's instructions.  Keep warm and crispy on a cooling rack-cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven until ready to eat.
Serve with toppings of choice (butter and maple syrup were perfect for us.)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Overnight Crockpot Carrot Cake Porridge

Imagine a chilly and frosty morning, and you don't want to get out of bed.  But then you catch the warm scent of cinnamon and spices wafting from your kitchen.  So you get up, and there is a crockpot full of warm and cozy porridge, ready to be eaten.  Sounds amazing, right?

I've been making overnight crockpot oatmeal for months now, and it's been fantastic.  A healthy, warm, and cheap breakfast ready for you when you wake up - what more could you want?  Mostly it's been an apple-cinnamon variety, but we've also tried peach-blueberry, strawberry-banana, and pumpkin pie.  I'll have to share the other versions as well because they are all delightful.

This flavor was inspired from a favorite blog of mine, Oh She Glows.  Sneaking vegetables into breakfast, but it tastes like a dessert?  Win-win.  You may be asking what makes this a "porridge."  Well, porridge is defined as "a dish consisting of oatmeal or another meal or cereal boiled in water or milk."  So, we'll go with that.

The perfect winter breakfast!

Overnight Crockpot Carrot Cake Porridge
(inspired by Oh She Glows)
Makes 4-6 servings

1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
1/4 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup whole oat groats (I get these in a bulk bin at Whole Foods, but if you can't find them, just add more steel-cut oats)
3 cups shredded carrot
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 cups water

To top off:
Milk of choice (I used coconut, but regular/soy/almond would work too)
Chopped walnuts or pecans
Brown sugar/maple syrup to taste

Before going to bed, prepare your porridge.  Place a Slow Cooker Liner in your crockpot (Reynolds makes them, by the Ziploc bags).  If you don't want to spend an eternity scrubbing your crockpot - use one of these!  Trust me.  They're amazing.

In your lined crockpot, pour in your steel-cut oats, brown rice, barley, groats, carrot, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, brown sugar and water.  Stir.  Cover and set your crockpot to low and cook overnight.

In the morning, stir the porridge, and add in at least 1/2 cup raisins.  Top off your bowl with milk of choice, chopped nuts and sweetener.  Enjoy!