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French Toast Waffles

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Can’t decide between French Toast or Waffles for breakfast?  Let me make it easier and tell you that you don’t have to: cook French Toast, using your waffle iron *mind blown*

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This is by far my favourite French Toast recipe.  Including a little bit of cinnamon/vanilla and sugar to the mix just brings it to a whole new level of awesome.  Taking out the egg whites help to alleviate some of the sogginess associated with your usual unspectacular French Toast.  To even further help this problem if you’re just making plain French Toast on a griddle or in a frying pan, I highly recommend toasting the bread before you dip it in the egg bath– this really helps the texture!  When cooking on the waffle iron, however, I didn’t find this step was as necessary.

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PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 25 min    YIELD: 2 servings
Ingredients:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (could be omitted, if you’re just planning to smother in syrup anyway)
  • White bread, sliced 1″ thick
 Directions:
  1. Pre-heat waffle iron.
  2. Combine egg yolks, 3/4 cup milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and whip until well mixed.
  3. Dip sliced bread in egg mixture and briefly soak, only 5 seconds or so.  Let excess drip off and place immediately on the waffle iron to cook.
  4. Serve with your favourite topping.  Some of our favourites are plain (real Canadian) maple syrup, strawberry sauce and whipped cream (below), or blueberry sauce.

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Strawberry Sauce

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Making your own breakfast fruit toppings may seem intimidating, but it’s actually really easy.  I typically prefer to make my own rather than buying the stuff in a bottle, namely because then I’m able to control how much sugar goes into it.  It’s also a good way to use up berries that are looking a tad over-ripe or have been sitting in the fridge a bit too long.

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PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 20 min    YIELD: 1 cup
Ingredients:
  • 2 heaping cups of strawberries, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
 Directions:
  1. Thoroughly wash, then hull and slice up strawberries.
  2. Add strawberry slices, orange juice, vanilla, and sugar to sauce pan.
  3. Over medium heat, bring to boil then reduce to low-medium and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens slightly and strawberries soften.
  4. Remove from heat, and using a hand-immersion blender (carefully, because the mixture is HOT) purée until smooth, or if you prefer your sauce to have a chunky texture, just purée slightly or avoid this step all together.
  5. Allow the sauce to sit for 5 minutes or so, then serve warm with pancakes, waffles, oven pancakes, or french toast.
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Old-Fashioned Waffles

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My waffle iron was the first appliance I ever owned and while it may be a bit beat up today, it managed to survive many moves and it still produces delightful waffles.

The first time I ever made waffles I used this recipe from a (now very tattered) cook book of my mom’s.  I’ve since tried a number of waffle recipes, but none have ever really compared to these.  This recipe comes from the Women of Unifarm Cook Book, Alberta Section circa 1978-79 (the index page is actually missing, so I’m not sure the year).

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I believe what makes these waffles perfect is their crispy outside, and soft/light insides, courtesy of the beaten egg whites.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 25 min    YIELD: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil (such as canola)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
 Directions:
  1. Pre-heat waffle iron.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients.
  3. Combine egg yolks milk and cooking oil, and stir into dry ingredients.
  4. Gently fold in egg whites, leaving a few little fluffs and don’t overmix!
  5. Bake in a pre-heated waffle iron

(Though be careful not to overfill the iron, or you may end up with a mess all over the iron and counter top to clean up like this:)

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ovenpancakes

Oven Pancakes

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I can’t quite remember how we had gotten on the subject of pancakes, but I’m glad it happened none the less– a co-worker passed this recipe along to me as being a favourite in their house.  Other recipes might call these “Dutch Babies” or “German Pancakes”.

I was pretty skeptical to start with.  Pancakes in the oven?  That seems too easy, I quite liked that idea.  But that they expand rapidly while baking, then sink back down?  I really wasn’t sure what to think about that.  It is fun though!  I enjoy the crispy outside and soft custardy texture.

These really are a different kind of pancake, oh and delicious!  If you’re looking for Christmas morning breakfast or brunch ideas (or really any other day of the year)– this would do the trick.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 25 min    YIELD: 
Ingredients:
  • 6 tbsp margarine or butter, melted
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
 Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Measure and combine dry ingredients.
  3. In separate bowl, beat eggs well and add to dry ingredients.
  4. Combine melted (cooled) margarine with milk and vanilla, and add to the egg/flour mixture.  Beat mixture well.
  5. Grease 9 x 12 rimmed pan, and pour mixture into pan.  (I used a smaller pan for the pancakes in the photo, because that’s all that was clean)
  6. Bake 15 minutes at 450 F, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 5 minutes.
  7. (It may be tempting) but don’t open the door while it’s baking.
  8. Remove from oven, cut into individual portions and serve with good ol’ maple syrup or your favourite pancake toppings (we really enjoy our blueberry syrup around this house!)
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Fluffy Pancakes

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Perfect Sunday morning breakfast: Pancakes with scrambled eggs and bacon!  This recipe for pancakes has yielded consistent and satisfying results.  It’s also versatile, in that if you’re looking for a change just add blueberries, or try adding cinnamon and raisins, apples, banana, chocolate chips or anything else you can think of

 

PREP TIME: 10 min   COOK TIME: 20 min   TOTAL TIME: 30 min   YIELD: 8-9
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp margarine or butter (melted)
Directions:
  1. Combine the milk and the vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Mix egg and melted margarine together with the milk, then combine with the dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth and any lumps are gone.
  4. Lightly coat large skillet with cooking oil, then place over medium-low heat.  Spoon batter into pan (in desired pancake size, I used ~1/4 cup at a time).  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the batter, then flip and cook until browned on the other side.
bcnchedmuffins

Bacon Cheddar Muffins

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Otherwise known as “Breakfast Muffins”.

Tonight I felt like baking muffins, so I made these Bacon Cheddar muffins, as well as these Banana Muffins, and these Blueberry Bran Muffins, though substituting 1 cup of the blueberries for 1 cup of fresh cranberries (it’s that time of the year!).  Actually all 3 of these kinds of muffins make for a nice breakfast.

Why would anyone need that many muffins…?  There was a number of reasons: it was a convenient time for me to use up some bananas and blueberries, I also intend on freezing some of them for later, and who doesn’t appreciate a little variety.

PREP TIME: 20 min    COOK TIME: 25 min    TOTAL TIME: 45 min   YIELD: 7
Ingredients:
  • 7 to 8 strips of bacon (about 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chopped)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion or chives
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
Directions:
  1. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Drain excess grease from bacon using paper towels, let cool and crumble.
  2. In small bowl, reserve 1 tbsp of bacon and 2 tbsp of the shredded cheese.  Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven 375 degrees.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, salt, and cayenne.  Stir in remaining bacon and Cheddar.
  5. Whisk together milk, oil, onion, sour cream and eggs.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir together only until just moistened.
  6. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups then sprinkle reserved bacon and Cheddar mixture on top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 min in 375 degree oven, until tops are firm to the touch and muffins are golden.
blueberrymuffins

Blueberry Bran Muffins

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It’s getting to be that time of year.  The time when fresh blueberries are plentiful and stinkin’ cheap in the grocery stores (compared to the rest of the year anyway).

And also, sadly, the time of year when it starts to cool off enough in the evenings that the idea of baking and using the oven isn’t completely unbearable.  I found this recipe  for Bran Muffins at the Joy of Baking blog and made some small adjustments, including adding some berries.  Definitely a keeper.

PREP TIME: 15 min   COOK TIME: 20 min   TOTAL TIME: 35 min   YIELD: 16
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cooking molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup butter milk (or just add 1 tbsp vinegar to regular milk)
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh! or if frozen, don’t thaw them)
Directions:
  1. Measure wheat bran and stir in the boiling water. Set aside.
  2. Combine the margarine with the brown sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the vanilla and molasses and beat until well blended. Add the wheat bran and beat until combined.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  4. Mix milk and buttermilk together.  Add dry ingredients and milks gradually to the bran mixture by alternating between the two, combining well after each addition.  Cover, and refrigerate batter for a few hours (or overnight).  {I, personally, skipped this step because I was impatient and thankfully my muffins didn’t explode… however I can see the value in waiting to allow the texture of the bran and oats to soften.}
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tin or tin lined with paper liners.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
banana muffin

Banana (Bread) Muffins

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I do love lazy Sundays… unfortunately today was not one of them, but I did at least find some time to do some baking.  It was also a good opportunity to use up some ripe bananas.

This recipe has been adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks: The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook.  I think the reason I appreciate this cookbook so much is (being the nerd that I am), I love the commentary they include on some of the science of cooking.  That, and because pretty much every recipe I’ve tried so far from the book has been perfect.

So why ‘adapt’ it if it was already perfect?  Because I’m always looking for ways to make things a little bit healthier.  In this case, I replaced white all-purpose flour with whole wheat, which I think adds a nice texture.  I also decreased the sugar in the recipe.

PREP TIME: 15 min    COOK TIME: 30 min    TOTAL TIME: 45 min   YIELD: 8
Ingredients:
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (melted and cooled)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin (I used a large-sized muffin pan, which made 8) OR 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, margarine, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add in sugar and honey and mix.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Lightly fold this into the banana mixture until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Pour into muffin pans (OR loaf pan).
  4. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For large muffins, this took 30 minutes. For a loaf, this should take 55 minutes. Cool and serve warm or at room temperature.