Waffles usually disappoint me. The perfect waffle should be crisp–almost crunchy–on the outside but light, fluffy and moist on the inside. Most waffles, even at restaurants, tend to be too heavy and lack much distinction between outside and inside.

Waffle with New Creations pepper bacon

The secret to perfect waffles is yeast, which results in highly risen, flavorful and crisp waffles. Unfortunately, yeast batter recipes (called “overnight waffles”) do not generally allow for a quick waffle fix. However, using inspiration from Alton Brown’s English Muffin recipe, I realized that I could speed the process to a little over 30 minutes. The ingredient list is from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. His overnight recipe can be found here.

We had these for dinner, but they could easily be made quickly enough for a weekend breakfast or brunch.

Quick Yeast Waffles (serves four hungry adults)

2 cups whole … continue reading

Typically late November isn’t considered a great time to eat local produce. We’ve really been enjoying the vegetables, though.

For Thanksgiving we brought Rachel Ray’s Brussels Sprouts with Bacon with the addition of walnuts. These were the best Brussels Sprouts I’d ever had. The bacon and braising seemed to cover up any bitterness, and they were pretty popular.

Our cranberry apple relish was also good, but we were left with quite a bit. We used all of it in muffins, though, which turned out really well, hearty from the whole grains and sweet / sour from the cranberries.

Roasted acorn and buttercup squash (from City Fresh) was another story. Sarah and I really liked it, but pretty much no one else touched it, leaving us with a lot of leftovers. However, I used it as a substitute for the carrots in Smoove B’s carrot chocolate chip muffins (adapted … continue reading

I am a huge fan of thin, chewy pizza crust. Pan pizza has its place, but I’ll almost always choose Bar Cento style pizza with a crispy outer layer, yeasty flavor and toothsome bite.

Making this at home has generally been a challenge. Pizza stones and peels are great for medium thick crusts, but a thin crust will usually fall apart in transfer. The solution we’ve found is a pizza screen along with a crust that clearly passes the windowpane test so it can be stretched without breaking.

I used Alton Brown’s grilled pizza dough recipe (with half whole wheat flour and a little extra water), which took about 20 minutes of kneading on the stand mixer to pass the windowpane test.

Here’s the rest of the recipe, which is enough for 3 pizzas:

(1) Make dough (see above) and let rest for at least one hour (it can be … continue reading

I’ve always loved popcorn. But I don’t love the chemicals and fat that come with movie theater and microwave popcorn. Up until recently we have been popping our corn with oil in a pot on the stove. In a recent Sur-la-table catalog I saw an advertisement for a glass microwave popper and thought it sounded interesting. I looked up reviews on Amazon, and they weren’t favorable so I started searching the Googles for an alternative.

We’ve tried the paper bag method where you place the kernels in a paper lunch bag but found this messy and we don’t usually have paper lunch bags at home. I found an alternate to the glass container or paper bag — a microwave safe bowl with a plate on top. We’ve had pretty good results with this method; however I think the bowls we’re using are not microwave safe because they’re really hot … continue reading

It’s been stupidly hot lately, and fresh tangy sorbet is the perfect antidote:

(or at least it helps)

We’re also in the midst of sweet cherry season, and I had to figure out how to use up the $1.99/lb cherries I got from Whole Foods.

Cherry Lime Sorbet

1 lb. pitted sweet cherries 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes) 1/3 cup agave nectar 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup water pinch of salt 1/2 — 1 t. kirsch (optional)

Purée everything but kirsch with with a blender, stick blender or food processor. Heat until boiling, then simmer for 5 minutes or so until cherry flavor comes through (cooking greatly intensifies it). Cool, add kirsch, and freeze in your ice cream maker.

Feel free to add a less sugar (e.g. 1/4 — 1/3 c.) if you’d like. This is a bit on the sweet side, but then again the sugar … continue reading

Only the herbs are doing well in our garden this year, and we have plenty of sage. I also happened to have some leftover heavy cream around and an orange, so I came up with this. It ended up being really good.

Orange, Sage and Honey Ice Cream Makes 1 pint

¾ cup cream 1 cup milk 3–4 large strips orange peel 3–4 TB. coarsely chopped fresh sage pinch salt 1/3 cup honey 1 TB. Sugar 3 egg yolks

(1) Heat the milk, cream, orange peel, sage and salt together in a small saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes.

(2) Beat together egg yolks and sugar until thickened slightly, about 2–3 minutes. Gradually whisk in about half the cream mixture, then the honey, then the rest of the cream mixture.

(3) Return mixture to saucepan and heat on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is … continue reading

I was just looking for something to throw together for dinner, and this turned out a lot better than I thought it. What really made this were the fresh herbs from our garden–parsely, chocolate mint, and chives–and aged balsamic vinegar from <a href=“http://www.zingermans.com target=” onclick=“__gaTracker(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘outbound-article’, ‘http://www.zingermans.com target=’, ‘Zingerman\‘s’);” _blank”>Zingerman’sin the dressing.

All I did was sauté a frozen chicken breast (w/salt and pepper), chopped up some Romaine and tossed on goat cheese and roasted red peppers with the chicken. The dressing was good olive oil, the aged balsamic, fresh herbs and salt and pepper. The only thing I would have done differently is adding even more herbs.… continue reading