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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin or Zucchini Waffles

Chocolate makes everything better. I laughed when I saw this photo on a friend's blog recently, about interesting product placement in our local grocery store.

I was looking for freezer meal recipes when I bumped into the recipe for these waffles. With two kinds of chocolate of course they're tasty, but they're healthy-ish, too, with whole wheat and a vegetable. I think they're sweet enough just on their own, with a little butter, but the original recipe recommended serving them with syrup. These waffles freeze well. Simply defrost for a minute or two, then pop in the toaster, and you end up with a crisp waffle with melty chocolate chips: a perfect breakfast or snack. My little guys loved them.

Mom made them for me recently. And when I pulled them out of the freezer after she left, they were all the more comforting because she had made them.

Couldn't keep little hands away!

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin or Zucchini Waffles


Source: Thriving Home

1 1/2 c whole wheat or spelt flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
1 1/2 teas cinnamon
1/4 teas salt
1/2 c cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c coconut oil, melted (butter would work)
2 eggs
1 3/4 c milk (rice or almond milk would work)
1 teas vanilla
1 c pureed pumpkin or shredded zucchini
1 c chocolate chips 

Mix dry ingredients (flour through cocoa) in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar and melted coconut oil. Whisk in beaten eggs, milk and pureed pumpkin.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (do not over mix). Stir in chocolate chips. Cook using waffle iron, until done. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Brown Paper Bag Microwave Popcorn

We find ourselves in need of comfort food these days.

Once during a class I was asked to imagine my most comforting meal as it cooked in a kitchen. Many of my classmates imagined things like a pot roast, with potatoes and carrots. My meal was chicken noodle soup and sweet sourdough bread.

Popcorn is another ultimate comfort food for me. Unusual, I know, but I think it must be tied to my memories of watching movies with my family every Friday night growing up. We would pop big bowls of air-popped popcorn, then add butter and salt. And we'd gather in front of the TV to watch something new or an old favorite.

When I left home for college, my mom gave me a hot-air popper, and I still use it. In fact, one of the first things I made in my new apartment as a freshman was popcorn, and I didn't have a microwave yet so I had to melt the butter on the stove. My inexperience with American stoves after living in Europe led to a kitchen fire and a big mess. Luckily there was no permanent damage. All in pursuit of a little comfort by a lonely and homesick freshman!

There are many ways to prepare popcorn, but let me share this tip from Alton Brown as an easy way to get air-popped popcorn without a popper.

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Brown Paper Bag Microwave Popcorn


Source: Alton Brown's Good Eats TV show

Place 1/3 c popcorn kernels in a regular brown paper bag, like what you'd use for a child's lunch. Fold the top over a couple of times, and staple it on both sides. Cook in the microwave for several minutes, or until the popcorn slows to a pop every couple of seconds. Enjoy as is, or pour into a bowl and add 1 T butter and salt to taste.