Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chocolate Chip Waffles

For so long, I'd been looking for a waffle iron. Finally, my wish came true when I saw the waffle iron I wanted, went on sale. I didn't wait for a bit. Same day, I went to that store and picked one up for my self and the following weekend, my family woke up to the sweet and delish aroma of crunchy and golden waffles being baked for them.  I was so happy at finally being able to give my family the perfectly baked fresh waffles for breakfast. That was an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. I made these waffles in smaller batches and froze them for later use. And I, a big fan of waffle as a dessert, ended up with one big waffle, with lots of fresh berries and a big dollop of whipped cream.

Chocolate Chip Waffles
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
6 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup mini chocolate chips

How To:
Heat the oven to 200°F and heat the waffle iron.
Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Measure the buttermilk, milk, and vegetable oil in a measuring cup; mix in the egg and set aside.
Beat in the vanilla and sugar.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just mixed.
Stir 1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips) into the batter.
Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron (mine takes about 2/3 cup) and cook until the waffle is crisp and nutty brown (follow the manufacturer's instructions for timing at first and then adjust to your liking).
Set the waffle directly on the oven rack to keep it warm and crisp.
Repeat with the remaining batter, holding the waffles in the oven (don't stack them).
When all the waffles are cooked, serve immediately.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jalapeños in a blanket!

Keeping up with the theme of hearty fall dishes, this is the appetizer that can warm us up from inside out. It is sweet, cheesy and spicy. Exactly what you need in the cold weather. This is very easy and simple to put to gather and is greatly loved in my family. I had whined a bit in my last post so not this time! I’ve just got on with life. Even though it is very difficult to wake up early in the morning, depressing to look outside of the window, life still goes on. Regardless of it’s hibernation. Cooler days inspire us to make warm, cosy foods that is adored by our families and that is the most comforting way to accept winter.

Wait a minute. What did I just do? I said no whining and I still did some whining! Any ways, here is the recipe. Enjoy.

Wrapped jalapeños OR jalapeños in a blanket(call it however you want!)

1 can Pillsbury Cresents
12 jalapeño, seeded and cored
1 cup cream cheese,softened
2-3 garlic cloves, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Pre heat the oven to 400°F.

Unroll the crescent dough.
Pinch the perforations to seal
Cut into 12 equal squares.
Mix cream cheese, salt, pepper and garlic.
Fill the jalapeños with cheese mixture.
Arrange the wrappers in a baking tray and bake till nicely golden brown.
Serve with your choice of hot or sweet sauce.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Everything But Kitchen Sink Salad!

And this salad is really what I call: everything but Kitchen sink. The great way to use up all the leftover veggies lying in the fridge. All those small heads of broccoli, cauliflower, a couple of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce. Spinach, mushrooms—whatever you have on hand. Throw in the bowl, toss together with your favorite dressing or lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper and done. Don’t you think this is one of the healthiest way to eat your veggies?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

3 Cheese Manicotti

Stuffed pasta. Another comfort food. I make stuffed shells and manicotti pastas all the time. Sometimes I remember to take pictures and sometimes, we just get to eating. I don’t mind as I know I will be making it again so there is always another time for me. Mostly I use sauteed spinach and garlic in stuffed pastas. This time around, for some reason, I wanted to make it a pure joy(if you can call it minus the veggies) for my family! They are very picky when it comes to veggies and that’s why I have no choice but to sneak in veggies in pastas, sauces and soups. I thought why not make them eat the veggies on its own this time? Just serve the cheesy pasta with the vegetable side dish, nothing fancy. Steamed or roasted vegetable side. That’s it. And to my surprise, they devoured the steamed broccoli gladly before they even hit the manicotti. I still added some chopped parsley to the cheese mixture. And yes, I am proud of my family because they do eat steamed broccoli and green beans if they know more good things are coming.

3-Cheese Manicotti

8 Manicotti pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of parsley, chopped, optional
1 jar marinara sauce

How to:

Cook pasta for about 5 minutes in boiling water, or until just tender. Don’t cook it per package directions.
Drain the pasta, spread on a baking tray, coated with oil.
Mix all the cheeses(less ½ cup mozzarella), egg, salt and pepper and parsley if using.
Pour half the bottle of marinara sauce in 13X9 baking tray.
Heat oven to 400° F.
Fill the manicotti with cheese mixture.
Arrange on the baking tray, pour remaining sauce over them.
Sprinkle leftover mozzarella on the top, bake covered for about 30 minutes, uncovered for 10 more minutes or until the cheese melts and golden brown top forms.
Enjoy with garlic loaf.