Yeasted Waffles

Yeasted wafflesI recognize that this recipe doesn’t quite fit into my tiny kitchen definition, because you need a waffle iron, but it only uses one bowl and it tastes amazing! They are light and crisp with a slight yeasty flavor. Another fantastic thing about this recipe is that you make the batter the night before; I love that I don’t have to measure, mix and read right when I get into the kitchen. With my waffle iron I can get 14 8in waffles out of this recipe so I usually have leftovers that I freeze, and when I want to eat them I just pop them in the toaster.

The recipe is from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham. The only modification I made to the recipe was to add a little extra salt.

1 Package yeast
1/2 Cup warm water

2 Cups warm milk
1/2 Cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Cups flour

2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour. Cover and let it sit on the counter overnight, at least 8 hours.

Just before making the waffles whisk in the eggs, baking soda and salt. Depending on the size of your waffle iron, pour 1/2-3/4 cup of the batter into a hot waffle iron.

Caramelized Onion and White Bean Spread

Every time I make this recipe people always ask for the recipe. I usually serve it with a toasted baguette, but it’s also good on crackers or vegetables. The hardest thing about this recipe is not stirring the onions to frequently. The more you stir the longer it will take for the onions to caramelize, and the longer you will have to wait for a yummy snack!

3 White onions, thinly sliced
3-4 Sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 Cans white beans (cannelini or navy beans) rinsed and drained
1 Lemon zested
1 Tablespoons lemon juice

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add the oil, onions, thyme and salt. Gently stir and spread into an even layer in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are golden brown-about 15-20 minutes. Stir about every 5 minutes. Place the onions and all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning; depending on the beans you may need to add a little more oil.

You can also make this in a blender: pour 1/4C water in the blender and then add all of the ingredients. Puree until smooth. You may need to add a little more water or oil to keep the mixture moving.

Fresh Prince

Fresh princeI threw a birthday BBQ for Austin last year. One of the things I served was cubed watermelon, and because it wasn’t quite sweet enough I added a little lime juice to make the fruit taste better. Towards the end of the party most of the watermelon had been eaten but in the bottom of the bowl was a cupful of watermelon juice. We didn’t want to waste it, so we poured it into a glass with a little gin and ice-so yummy and refreshing! Since we were living in west Philadelphia at the time we dubbed it the fresh prince.

I’ve changed the original a bit. Instead of the watermelon juice and ice, I’ve combined the two by freezing the melon and using that as the ice cubes. If you don’t like gin, tequila or vodka would be a fantastic substitution.

4 Cubes of frozen watermelon
1 Shot of gin
1/2 Lime, juiced

Place the watermelon in a small glass and pour the gin and lime juice on top. Wait about 2 minutes to let some of the watermelon thaw and flavor the drink. Enjoy!
This could also be pureed in a blender.

Serves 1

Gougeres

One of the best things about this recipe, beside the taste, is that it uses ingredients that I almost always have in the fridge. If you have ever made pate a choux dough (the dough used to make eclairs and profiteroles) you will recognize this technique. If you haven’t please don’t be intimidated! It may sound strange and it may look a little strange at times, but once you are actually in the process of making the dough it’s really easy.
Gougere

Usually I serve this with a large salad for dinner for 2. I make this into a ring because it’s easy, but you could also make the dough into small individual bite size pieces for a great appetizer.

1/2 C Water
1/4 C Unsalted butter
1 tsp Salt
1/2 C Flour
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Cheese*, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a cookie sheet or oven safe pan. Bring the water, butter and salt to a boil in a small sauce pan. When the mixture is boiling dump in all of the flour. Quickly begin to stir with a wooden spoon until the dough cleans the sides of the pan. Turn the heat off and continue to stir for 1 minute. Let this mixture cool for 4-5 minutes. Add 1 egg and stir until it is fully incorporated into the dough (it will look a little strange at first). Add the second egg in the same way. Stir in the cheese. Use the wooden spoon to drop small spoon-fulls onto the greased pan in the shape of a 6 inch wreath. Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

* I normally use cheddar cheese, but blue cheese works well. I bet feta or Parmesan would be great too.
Dinner

(I feel like I should apologize to all the Frenchies out there, I can’t remember how to add accents onto letters-sorry for the misspelling of the French words!)

Space Saver

We all know how important it is to wash fruit and vegetables before you eat it. In most cases I can use the container the fruit comes in to wash and drain the fruit, but that doesn’t work for everything. So I was so happy when I found a mini collapsible colander, check it out here.

Small Kitchen Tip

When you are baking in a small kitchen it’s usually means that you have very little counter space for arranging all of the ingredients-bag of flour, bag of white sugar and brown sugar etc. Something that I have found helpful is to measure everything out before you start. I know that this sounds like a lot of extra work, but it really does save time. This way you can focus more on the methods of the recipe then on the amounts of the ingredients.

If you can, put all of the dry ingredients in one bowl; if the recipe says to add them separately you can always stack the bowls to save space. When you have everything measured out ahead of time, you don’t need to worry about trying to measure out flour while balancing a bowl on your knee, or the floor.

Watermelon Gazpacho

This recipe may be a little out of season, but it’s something I’ve been experimenting with. The watermelon in the soup adds an interesting sweetness and a beautiful color.

Many grocery stores sell pre-cut watermelon, which makes this recipe super easy, and you don’t need to worry about what to do with a whole watermelon. But if you do buy a whole watermelon and you have leftover pieces that you just can’t finish, put them in the freezer. I’ll post a recipe for a drink called the Fresh Prince that uses watermelon and gin once I get the amounts figured out.

4C Watermelon pieces
1 1/4 C* Fresh salsa (I like using a roasted tomato salsa)
1/2 Lime, juiced
1/4 C Cilantro
1/2 C Croutons

Place watermelon, 3/4C of the salsa, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree. Taste and see if you want more salsa-add more if needed and puree. Season to taste with salt. Chill before serving. Garnish with croutons.

Serves 4

* the amount of salsa is variable depending on the flavor of the salsa, and how spicy or sweet you like your gazpacho. Some people like a more tomatoey soup and other really like the sweetness of the watermelon to be the focus. So be creative and play around a bit with amount of salsa.