Saturday, February 20, 2016

Lost Waffles

We woke up this morning to beautiful Spring weather, so we had  to eat breakfast on the balcony.  After a long winter of hibernation, it seemed only right to make something new and fresh.  Scrounging through the fridge, we had a couple eggs, some bacon and a few frozen waffles. This combination led to a kitchen experiment - that's my favorite kind of experiment, you know.  

From the deep dark winter of the freezer emerged Lost Waffles, a play on Lost Bread, a.k.a. French Toast.  These Lost Waffles are soft and pillowy, with the hint of a crispy crust.  With a side of sweet and spicy bacon, eggs done your favorite way, and topped with whipped cream, I invite you to enjoy Lost Waffles, part of this complete breakfast.  

Lost Waffles

4 Frozen Waffles
2 Eggs
1/4 C. Milk (I used almond)
1/2 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Vanilla
Spoonful of Sugar (helps the Lost Waffles go down...)

Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place frozen waffles on a baking sheet and bake until extra crispy.  

In a shallow bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar until well combined.  

Add a pad of butter to a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  You want this pan to be HOT when the waffles jump in.  Quickly douse a waffle in the egg mixture, making sure the egg gets into all the nooks and crannies.  Add it to the skillet and let it sizzle away until golden brown and crispy.  (Don't dip the waffles in the egg until just before you put them in the skillet, or they'll become soggy).  Repeat with the remaining waffles.  

To serve, top the waffles with whipped cream and a side of your favorite breakfast accompaniments.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Donut Holes with Jam & Creme

A few weekends ago, we went to the apple orchard with some friends. After filling a sac with juicy Winesaps (and taking more photos than we could count), we stopped at the orchard shop and picked up a few extra goodies.  Per our tradition, we chose a couple jams from the monumental display.  This year, we settled on strawberry rhubarb, among others.  For the last few weeks, the jar of SR jam had been staring me down from the kitchen counter, so I finally opened it up.  Instead of smearing it on a slice of trust toast, I wanted something different, something satiating and sweet.  I landed on donuts.

Reminiscent of jelly-stuffed donuts, these simple donut holes are light as air and when swooped through a trail of strawberry rhubarb jam and vanilla creme, they're to-die-for.

Donut Holes with Jam & Creme

1 Tube Unbaked Biscuits
2 C. Vegetable Oil
1/4 C. Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Vanilla Creme (recipe follows)
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium low heat.

Open the tube of unbaked biscuits and using scissors, cut each biscuit into quarters.  Roll the dough quarters into balls and set aside.  When your  vegetable oil reaches 350 degrees, lower the heat and carefully drop a couple dough balls into the oil.  They will cook very quickly, so be prepared to scoop them out as soon as they turn a golden brown.

Place each golden ball onto a baking sheet.  Once you've fried all the balls, place them in the oven for 4-5 minutes.  Remove the balls when they have cooked all the way through.  (You can test this by cutting one of them open.  You want the dough to be fully cooked).

Dust the balls with powdered sugar.

Squeeze some lemon juice into the jam and stir to thin it out.  This makes dipping easier.  Arrange your plate with smears of jam and vanilla creme.   Place donuts on top of the sauces.  Enjoy.

Vanilla Creme

1 Packet of Vanilla Pudding
2 C. Milk
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1 T. Bourbon

Add the vanilla pudding packet to the milk and whisk for 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract and the bourbon and whisk until fully combined.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap so that it touches the surface of the pudding* and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until thick.  Thin with milk as needed.

*This prevents a skin from forming on your pudding.

Christian and me at the orchard.  Does anyone send out Fall cards?  We may have to now...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Corn Salad

This weekend, I ventured to a wondrous farmer's market in Clintonville.  Carts upon stalls upon tents of plump, fresh produce glistened in the morning sun.  Large slabs of local meats and bratwurst contrasted against colorful, country bouquets of wildflowers, sunflowers and poppies, all of which were proudly presented by friendly farmers, eager to share their wares.  I sampled my way through in the true O'Gara way, trying cheeses and dips and even a raspberry dragonfruit soda (a must at my next dinner party).  Christian and I allotted ourselves a whopping $20 and filled our sack with all kinds of goodies, including cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, blackberries and whiskey peppercorn sausages.  With our last $1.50, we even bought a few flowers that are sitting happily on our bar.  We've already decided we're going back again on Saturday.

With our finds at the market, a few stragglers in the fridge and some herbs from our balcony, I made a simple summer salad of corn, tomato, onion, mint & feta.  This summer salad is fresh and bright, healthy and local.  Make this your side dish the next time your grill this season for a delicious, seasonal treat.

Summer Corn Salad

2 Ears of Corn, shucked
1/2 Pint of Cherry Tomatoes, preferably the multicolored kind
1/4 of a Red Onion
1/3 C. Feta Cheese, crumbled
10 Mint Leaves
Olive Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar

Turn on the grill to medium high heat.  

Generously drizzle the corn with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Grill over medium high heat until many of the kernels have turned golden.  Carefully slice the kernels off the cob and into a large bowl, making sure to collect any milk from the cob.  *SEE TIP BELOW.

Halve your cherry tomatoes and toss them in with the corn.  Thinly slice the red onion and add to the tomatoes and corn.  

Add the feta, a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny splash of vinegar.  Quickly toss the veggies and feta in the oil and vinegar, so they are evenly coated.  

Holding the mint leaves in the palm of your hand, clap your other hand on top, smashing the mint leaves between your palms.  This will release their oils and add fragrance to your salad.  Sprinkle the leaves on top of the salad.  


To slice the kernels off the corn cob, place a small bowl upside down in a large bowl.  Stand the corn vertically on the base of the small bowl.  Carefully, slice down the side of the cob, letting the kernels cascade into the bowl.  Then, take the back of your knife and scrape the cob in a downward motion, to collect all of the milk left in the cob.  Remove the small bowl and voila!  You've got a bunch of fresh corn in your bowl and a clean station.