Basic Waffles


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JR isn't much of a breakfast eater, but once and awhile on the weekends he'll request pancakes. I, on the other hand, wake up hungry. Who's with me here?! 

A few weeks ago JR mentioned pancakes and I suggested waffles since I just pulled the waffle iron out of the abyss (a.k.a. the hallway closet). He happily agreed and this batch was gone within 24 hours. JR ate his with syrup, and then later as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I topped mine with Cranberry Orange Sauce, yum!

If you're new to waffles, this is a great, no fuss recipe to test out your waffle iron. These also freeze beautifully, and can go from freezer to toaster to your belly in minutes. Enjoy!

Here is what you'll need:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (I used fat free)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla 
Preheat waffle iron. Spray waffle iron with non-stick spray, or carefully rub vegetable oil over waffle iron.

Whisk together eggs and milk. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Pour 1 cup of batter into preheated waffle iron and cook according to your appliances directions. For crisper waffles, I toast mine in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Makes 4 waffles.

Source: Adapted from Rosemary Brown's Big Kitchen Instruction Book

Canning: Cranberry Orange Sauce


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Fresh cranberry sauce is somthing I look forward to every year. I love it with our big holiday meals, as well as for breakfast in Greek yogurt and on a English muffin with cream cheese. I've experimented with several cranberry sauces over the years, but this has become my favorite and the one I turn to time and time again. So much so, I decided to make it twice this year in order to give as Christmas gifts and to enjoy throughout the year.

Here is what you'll need:
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To Can:

Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a sterile knife around the inside jar. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and tighten until just tight (do not force).

Process jars in a boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool. After 24 hours, remove bands and check lids for seal. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed and lids should stay intact when lifting jar by the lid.

Makes ~ 3 half-pints.

Source: Recipe adapted from Ocean Spray; Canning method from Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving

Turkey and Peas Macaroni and Cheese


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There is nothing like a classic baked macaroni and cheese, except maybe a jazzed up version. This recipe came to be out of the need to use up leftover: smoked gruyere, turkey, peas and an excess of shredded cheddar to be exact. This is definitely an example of how to take leftovers from boring to exciting in no time!

Here is what you'll need:
  • 8 oz. small to medium pasta
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cup milk 
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. shredded smoked gruyere cheese
  • ~1 1/2 cup cubed cooked turkey
  • ~handful of frozen peas
  • ~8 Ritz crackers crumbled
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add salt and pasta. Cook pasta partially through, removing from boiling water 2 minutes before instructions tell you to (you want the pasta undercooked since it will cook more in the oven). Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, stir and allow to cook 3-5 minutes until it becomes golden brown. The mixture will bubble and foam, stir to be sure it doesn't burn.

Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add Worcestershire, mustard and pepper, combine well. Add cheddar and American cheeses and stir until melted and smooth. Add cooked pasta, turkey and peas to cheese sauce and combine well.

Pour pasta into greased baking dish. Sprinkle top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serves 6.

Source: Adapted from my Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe