Belgian Waffles with oil (not butter) I made these today because I didn't want to mess with melted butter. They were decent! I was also out of milk so I used half and half (thinned with a little water.) I did not grease my waffle iron and they came out of the iron just fine - not sure if it's something about my waffle iron or if people who say you need to grease the pan are just always lying.

    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 3/4 cups milk
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
  • (I also added a splash of almond extract.) 1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. 2. Whisk the milk, vegetable oil, and eggs together well. 3. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until almost blended. There will be a few lumps. 4. Pour the batter into your waffle maker (about 1/3 cup)and cook according to instructions - approximately 4-6 minutes on medium high or until the waffle maker stops steaming. Optional: To make Blueberry Waffles, pour the batter onto the waffle maker, sprinkle fresh blueberries on top, and close the lid. Cook as usual according to the waffle maker instructions.

    peach cornmeal upside down cake

    I neeeeeed to make this when it's peach season:

    Chocolate Chia Pudding

    1 can of reduced fat coconut milk (Trader Joe's brand, about 2 cups even though the can says it's about 6 1/4-cup servings)
    1/2 cup chia seeds
    ~3 TBS granulated sugar
    splash vanilla extract
    dash of salt
    1/4 cup cocoa powder (plus a little more?)

    I used an immersion blender to blend everything well before adding the chia seeds, and I'm letting it sit at room temperature for a bit to set before refrigerating because coconut milk solidifies in the fridge and I imagine that chia seeds can't absorb solid coconut milk.

    Verdict: tasty, but didn't taste like what I wanted, which was...honestly probably chocolate soy milk. Which is an unfair expectation of coconut chia pudding. 

    Dutch Babies II

    I made a dutch baby pancake using (basically) the NYTimes recipe this morning:

    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup flour
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • splash vanilla extract
    • dash of cinnamon 
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    •  1 apple, unpeeled
    Preheat oven to 425, mix ingredients (except butter and apples) in bowl. I blended them with an immersion blender til a bit beyond "solidly blended." Slice apples about 1/4" thick. Butter went into my old 10" cast iron, into the oven *once the oven was almost to temperature*. As soon as the butter was melted, pulled the skillet out of the oven, fanned out the apple slices in the pan on top of the butter, poured the batter on top, and stuck it back in the oven for ~20 minutes, then lowered to 300 and kept it in for only 3 more minutes because it was starting to burn.

    Verdict: good recipe, overall, and came out of my cast iron skillet easily enough even though the skillet needs to be re-seasoned quite badly. But the apples didn't really cook enough. Some recipes for dutch babies with apples suggest you cook the apples a bit first but I figured I'd try it without doing that because less work is nice if the finished product doesn't suffer. But I bet this would have been better with more thoroughly cooked apples. Such is life.

    kale salad!

    I never thought I would come around to this! But I did! I was resistant to putting sweetened stuff in it but the driedcranberries make it especially fun.

    1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, cut into ribbons
    dressing: 1 lemon worth of juice, neutral oil like canola, salt, pepper, garlic powder, *toasted sesame oil*
    pine nuts
    grape tomatoes, sliced in half
    dried sweetened cranberries

    grated Parmesan (add just before eating)

    Mix well, let it sit with the dressing on it for half an hour at least to sort of "cook" the kale, i.e. break it down a bit with the acid from the lemon. Don't put too much salt in the dressing. Also be sparing with the canola oil.

    Brussels sprouts

    About 5 years after vowing to conquer my last remaining food vegetable fears (brussels sprouts and beets*), I finally cooked brussels sprouts yesterday (I'd eaten them at other people's tables in the interim, but not cooked them myself.)

    NB: measure the oil and cut them in half and place cut side down for best results. Sometimes I eyeball the oil and I think I end up using too little and they're subpar, especially the ones that were face-up. I trimmed the ends a bit, then did the classic "coat a pound of them in ~1.5 TBS olive oil, scant 1/2 tsp sea salt,and ground pepper" and baked at 400 on an (ungreased) baking sheet for 20-30 minutes" deal.

    I cut some of them in half and left others whole. Most recipes didn't say to cut them in half,
    which seemed odd.

    1) cutting them in half is better, generally speaking.
    2) they are in some ways just a  vehicle for salt and oil (and pepper), and I am just fine with that. Honestly - if you eat a lot of vegetables, if they make up a good portion of your diet, it can be hard to get enough fat to keep you full. Or not quite HARD, really, so much as it can sometimes be easy (at least for me) to be so enthusiastic about the soup or vegetable chili or whatever you made that you eat a bunch of bowls of it for a meal or two meals - and, while filling and nutritious and tasty, that stuff doesn't have much fat in it. And then you get hungry an hour later.So I am making a point of not shying away from vegetable recipes that incorporate more oils and fats.
    3) yes, they are sort of just cuter, more expensive mini-cabbages, but the fun of roasted cabbages that make convenient finger food is worth it sometimes.

    *I have given myself permission to give up on beets. I don't like really like sweet vegetables. (I am also OK with never learning to like fennel bulb and asparagus. Brussels sprouts and some other green vegetables just have a bad rap, and it made sense to work through my prejudices about them, but fennel and asparagus have strong unique flavors that I can't get into.)

    Collard greens (vegetarian)

    This is only to remind myself what I've done and liked, not because I think it's some amazing recipe..

    1 lb precut collard greens (stems included)
    3/4 of a medium onion
    ~3 cloves of garlic, minced
    red pepper flakes (several good shakes, maybe half a teaspoon? more than I'd use for a head of bok choy)
    pinch of salt

    Saute the garlic for  maybe half a minute in the oil on medium heat,then add the red pepper flakes and the onion. Saute for a bit.I did not let the onion brown, mostly because my heat level was off and it was looking like it was going to burn. Add the collard greens, stir to coat with some of the oil. You may have to wait a second for some of it to wilt/compress before adding more,but you should be able to fit a whole pound in a 4.5 quart pot. Keep stirring a bit to coat all leaves with the oil.  Sprinkle a little salt.  Add a few splashes of water so that you can braise rather than continuing to saute.

    Turn the heat down to pretty low and cover the pot.  Stir every so often and let it cook for maybe..half an hour? Til the stems are soft enough and mild enough to be pleasant.