Monday, October 11, 2010

Make it Monday...Farmhouse Cooking for Fall

Doesn't that look tasty?

   Sometimes fall activities are special foods sending soothing aromas that stir the nostalgic side of your heart. Here on the farm we enjoy a lot of good cooking year round, yet when the temps turn cooler the oven gets hotter. Today's activity is a whole grain waffle lightly dazzled with miniature chocolate chips. To top this already delightful dish, we dress it up with a lightly sweetened cream laced with cinnamon. Grab you family and join me in the kitchen for "Make it Monday's" Fabulous Fall Waffles.

Fabulous Fall Waffles

1 stick of butter, softened (yes, real butter)
4 eggs, separated
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup whole grain hot cereal (I use Bob's Red Mill)
2 cups white flour
1/8 cup flax meal
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 cup miniature chocolate chips or grated dark chocolate

   Preheat your waffle maker and beat your egg white to stiff peaks. In a large mixing bowl, stir your wet ingredients well before adding the dry. Stir in your chocolate with the dry ingredients before gently folding in the beaten egg whites.
   Lightly butter your waffle iron (if it is not non-stick) and pour 1/2 cup mixture per waffle section - my waffles are 4"x4" and Belgian style. Cook following your waffle maker's directions. ***If you eat gluten free or low carb- use your favorite baking mix and simply add cacao nibs or dark chocolate shavings for your chips. The recipe can be adjusted to your diet.

Cinnamon Cream

1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon

   Beat all ingredients with a mixer until you have a sturdy cream for your topping. You may substitute crushed mints, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or citrus zest for a delicious variation. This cream tastes wonderful on a cup of coffee or black tea, as well as dolloped over crepes or pies.***For us sugar free gals, use stevia powder- one teaspoon (or packet) in place of the sugar.

   To serve your waffles, place a dollop of cream over a waffle, sprinkle with a few chocolate chips, and dig in. Crunchy and sweet with a hint of cinnamon- just right for fall. Add a cup of hot cider and a porch swing- make a memory!

   Let me just say, you can do this with children of any age. I have been cooking with my kids since they were born and - yes- it takes longer- yes- it can be messier, but it is well worth it. In the early years they may just be sitting in the bouncer seat watching and listening as you chat with them- husbands love waffles too, you know. As they start to hold things, give them measuring cups to play with- let them pour measured ingredients in- help you stir. In time they will be able to measure and make. The point is the process- not so much the outcome. Their first waffles may look a little off, but they will never forget the fact you let them do it with you and you ate it!
   Don't neglect the fact that teens love to help as well. Whether they show it or not, they are starving for time with you. Sometimes the best conversations are had over measuring spoons and mixers. Cooking together with your teen allows them to relax, let down some defenses and share things from the heart. Consider doing this as family or as a parent-teen moment. This is a great sleep over food for teens- they love them!

   The purpose of our Make it Monday is to encourage you to spend time with your family- whatever the size or the ages. Wives, our men love special treats. If it is just the two of you, make it for him; set out candles and cushions- have them on a blanket under the leaves. Memory making is not just for families with children. So dust off your waffle iron and make some Fabulous Fall Waffles this Monday.


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