Buttermilk Waffles

These waffles are my go-to waffle recipe for many reasons – they are better than store bought by far, they are light and fluffy,  and they can be dressed up in a variety of ways.  In years past, before being a mom, I made them for Christmas morning breakfast a few times.  Now we save these waffles for weekends with family or friends.  If there are ever any leftovers I freeze them for weekday mornings.

The secret to these waffles is in the eggs.  The eggs are separated during the mixing stages – the yolks are mixed in with liquid ingredients.  The whites, however, are beaten until stiff, but not dry and then folded into the batter just before cooking.  This makes them light and fluffy beyond belief.  No one can resist just one of these waffles!  I like to serve them with fresh fruit and maple syrup or Nutella.

I use almost a 1/2 cup of batter in my waffle iron.  I keep mine set on the lower side to prevent waffles that come out too brown.  This is also helpful if you are planning on freezing and toasting them later – lighter waffles will not toast as dark.

Buttermilk Waffles – makes 6 – 8 waffles, from The Joy of Cooking, 1975

1. Sift: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt.

2. Beat in a separate bowl until light: 2 egg yolks.  Add and beat 1-3/4 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk replacement), 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine.

3. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients with a few swift strokes.  Allow to sit while preparing egg whites.  Beat until stiff peaks form, but not dry: 2 egg whites.  Fold egg whites into batter.  Cook according to waffle iron and preferences.

Asparagus & Gruyere Quiche

Quiche is easily one of the most satisfying and tasty any time of the day meals, if you ask me.  Everyone in my family loves it – well except my sister.  Poor thing hates eggs and my parents have raised chickens specifically for eggs since we were middle school students. 
 Anyway, I adapted this recipe slightly from a Martha Stewart recipe I had torn out of Everyday Food from 2009.  I am absolutely terrible about magazine pages, images, and clippings.  Eric hates finding my little magazine nests.  I attribute this to my love of making collage art.  
I started with my vodka and ice water crust, using a half and half ratio of water and vodka.  I finally ran out of the Ciroc vodka and have moved on to Belvedere.  

4 ingredients only for this quiche!

Prepare the crust using recipe below.  Then, add a double layer of foil and dried beans.  This will protect the crust from over baking and prevent it from puffing up. 
Chop 1 bunch of asparagus into sections.  Discard lower, white ends.  These will be woody, you should be able to feel the difference in texture with your knife.  Saute over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until asparagus is tender. 

The baked pie crust, golden and ready for the quiche filling.
Instead of cream, I opted for coconut creamer.  It is an excellent creamy alternative for dairy and does not have the coconut flavor!

Whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup coconut creamer, chopped asparagus, and 4 oz of grated Gruyere cheese.

Pour filling into prepared and baked crust.  Use a spatula to spread out asparagus evenly.

Bake quiche at 325 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  The top should be a nice golden color.  Allow to cool on rack for 10 minutes. 

Slice and serve.  I actually prefer to make quiche and allow it to cool and then reheat it – I feel that it sets up better this way.
This quiche won’t last long!

Single Pie Crust Recipe – from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

1. Cut 1/3 cup butter into 1-1/4 cups flour with a pastry cutter.  Pieces should be pea-sized.
2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold vodka over part of flour and butter mixture.  Toss gently with fork.  Push moistened dough to one side of bowl.  Repeat using 1 tablespoon at a time (4-5 tablespoons vodka/ice water total) until all flour is moistened.  Form into 1 disk.  
3.  On a lightly floured surface, use hands to slightly flatten dough.  Roll into a circle approximately a 12 inches in diameter. 
4.  Wrap pastry dough around rolling pin and carefully transfer to pie pan.  Do not stretch the dough, this will cause shrinking during baking.  Trim excess dough off, if needed.  Line with double lining of aluminum foil and fill with baking beans.  Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes.  Remove pie crust, remove foil set aside. 
Asparagus & Gruyere Quiche Filling – adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food
1. Chop 1 bunch of asparagus into sections. Discard lower, white ends. These will be woody, you should be able to feel the difference in texture with your knife. Saute over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until asparagus is tender. 
2. Whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup coconut creamer, 1 bunch chopped &sauteed  asparagus, and 4 oz of grated Gruyere cheese.  Pour filling into prepared and baked crust. Use a spatula to spread out asparagus evenly.

3. Bake quiche at 325 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on rack for 10 minutes.

Egg Nog French Toast Casserole

I have the perfect holiday or Sunday brunch item for you – Egg Nog French Toast Casserole.  This is what my family was eating Thanksgiving morning with out ginormous newspaper stuffed full of ads.  Normally I would not touch egg nog with a 10 foot stick, I hate the stuff, but for some reason this recipe was fine by me.  I used Silk nog and almond milk, so it was dairy free for our family, but you could easily swap in the real stuff. 
First, slice one loaf of Italian bread into about 18 – 20 equally sized slices.  Stale bread always works best. Otherwise, you can slice your bread and let it sit in a warm oven for 10 minutes.  

Arrange them into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish greased with margarine.  
Next for the nog. 
Put 2 cups egg nog in a bowl, 
whisk together with 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or 2 tablespoons sugar), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 8 eggs. 
Pour the egg mixture over the arranged bread.  Sprinkle 1 cup raisins over the top.  Use a spatula to press bread slices and spread around egg mixture, ensuring that all bread is coated in egg mixture. 
Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  
Serve with warm with maple syrup.  This may become the only way you prepare French Toast – it’s just too easy!
Mommy’s Medley Egg Nog French Toast
1. Slice one loaf of Italian bread into about 18 – 20 equally sized slices.  Arrange them into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish greased with margarine.  
2. Put 2 cups egg nog in a bowl, whisk together with 1 cup milk1 tablespoon agave syrup (or 2 tablespoons sugar), 1 teaspoon vanilla1/2 teaspoon cinnamon1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 8 eggs. 
3. Pour the egg mixture over the arranged bread.  Sprinkle 1 cup raisins over the top.  Use a spatula to press bread slices and spread around egg mixture, ensuring that all bread is coated in egg mixture. 
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Serve with warm with maple syrup.