Waffle Heaven in a State Park

Camping is fun for me; I love to cook over an open fire or on the camp stove. Summer is a great time for fresh produce. If you can combine cooking and being in nature that is the best deal for me!

Now this is car camping, you know… where you drive there with a trunk full of sleeping bags, tent, tarps, comfy clothes, cook stove, lanterns, and coolers of food… So I had lots food and I also brought my cast iron waffle maker; an antique from the 1920s that was my sister Margie’s and before that my parents.  It was kinda messed up when she gave it to me but Joe and I worked hard to bake off the crud and now it works fantastically… and corn on the cob, shrimp and swordfish (frozen), half frozen chicken thighs, lamb loin chops and a zillion other food items.   Nothing like traveling light!

So we enjoyed some good food. For breakfast I made waffles, then  pancakes, and then more waffles the third morning.  The pancakes are lovely; for a year or two I just couldn’t find any pancakes that measured up to what I felt they should taste like.  These are from Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s cookbook. Sometimes I add extra milk if they are too thick. I pour the batter right out of a mixing bowl with a pour spout onto the griddle.

And, again, I forgot to take pix of the waffle iron in action; have one shot of a waffle quarter from last summer; before I snarfed it down so here is that recipe (my version; based on a pancake recipe in Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. This recipe is great for camping because buttermilk travels better than regular milk and it also uses oil not butter in the waffle; easier to deal with than melting butter on the camp stove…. The other week I was out of buttermilk and used kefir, a fermented milk; worked fantastically.

waffle

Cinnamon Waffles (for 2; double for 4 people)

1 cup brown rice flour mix

1 tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 ¾ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 large egg, well beaten

2 tbsp. canola oil or melted butter plus extra for greasing griddle.

2/3 cup buttermilk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

cooking spray (kind with no flour in it)

Directions:  To make it portable; measure the dry ingredients into a zip-lock baggie. I like to write the other ingredients on with a black Sharpie marker and label it waffles…so you don’t use the pancake mix by mistake!  Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl, add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla (optional when camping but I did bring it this summer and they were so yummy). Pour the dry mix into the bowl and whisk briefly until fairly well mixed.

While you are doing that mixing step the waffle iron should be heating.  I use a round cast iron waffle iron; please do spray it with cooking spray before heating and then I melt about 1-2 tsp. of butter into the 4 quarters; I blop the chunk around with a fork so some melts into each part of the iron.  Flip the iron over just before putting in the batter. I use a big spoon to glop it into the waffle iron.  One big glop in each half.  Close the iron and let it bake about 2 minutes. Flip it and bake 1-2 more minutes, or however long your waffle iron takes.  I serve it with real maple syrup; something this good deserves the best.  Before I serve the first waffle I break off a section and eat it hot and plain; you can really taste the cinnamon that way.  Make sure your waffles are crisp not soft. The crisp is Everything!

We had scrambled eggs and breakfast maple flavored sausage links; both go fantastically well with waffles.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (it is the same as King Arthur’s gf flour mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally posted in July 2015 and again in 2016 with minor text revisions. Recipe the same.

Butter Poached Eggs and Beet Greens

I know it is the Fourth of July weekend and everyone is eating potato salad and burgers and guzzling booze.  Got that in my plans but this healthy and simple lunch is just the ticket to balance against all those less than healthy meals I plan on consuming. Bonus: it is naturally gluten free and tasty.

Beet greens are underutilized; most people buy beets in a can or if fresh, the beet tops are cut off.  But, if you grow your own maybe you have tried them.  They are full of vitamins and minerals and are crazy healthy (lots of protein, fiber, iron, folate, magnesium and calcium!) – some consider beet greens to be in the top ten of healthy greens:  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=151.  I steam them a few minutes; depends on how much I put in the pan; maybe 5 minutes.  As shown above I love them with butter, salt and pepper: tasty with a subtle beet flavor.  And I still have the beets for use in another meal.  I do love raw beets in a salad; I suggest you try that sometime! I have a new recipe for that; trying this weekend.

To butter poach eggs melt a tbsp. butter in an egg frying pan at medium heat.  This is the Teflon pan I use only for making eggs.  They don’t stick when you don’t share the pan with other cooking.  I slide in each egg.  Then I add 1-2 tbsp. water and sprinkle the eggs with green Tabasco sauce.  It is far milder than the red and I love the way it goes with fried eggs.  Cover the pan with a lid and steam on low for 2 minutes.  Turn off heat and if you are like me; I want my eggs barely runny; so I let them stand a minute. If you want runny take them out after the two minutes.  Butter poaching with a tablespoon or so of water gives you a soft egg, no hard edges and the flavor almost of a poached egg but shaped like a fried egg. Bonus is you have total control because you can see the yolk, even touch it to test for doneness and you can flavor it as soon as the eggs go in the pan or as the eggs cook.  My green hot sauce is my go to topper but there are a host of sauce choices out there like sriracha sauce, Tabasco hot sauce, gf soy sauce, etc. For this posting I tried my eggs with a big sprinkle of fresh feta cheese or minus the feta cheese. I loved them either way. Feta cheese lovers rejoice!

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One of these eggs is a farm egg and one is from the grocery store.  Love farm eggs!

Sprinkle with good quality salt and freshly ground pepper and you have an inexpensive, tasty and healthy protein.  Eggs were out of favor for a long while but I never gave up on them. My dad always said they were good for you and that the lecithin in them counteracted the rich yolks.  Now experts say they are okay to eat within moderation. Go figure!  Regardless, I do love them for a quick satisfying meal at a low cost and they match perfectly with the earthy flavor of beet greens.  Don’t forget a touch of butter and the salt/pepper; this dish really needs it to brighten the greens.  Enjoy!

Buttermilk Waffles…Camping Breakfast Delish!

Camping is a lot of fun for me; I love to cook over an open fire or on the camp stove. Summer is a great time for fresh produce. If you can combine cooking and being in nature that is the best vacation for me!

Now this was car camping, you know…where you drive there with a trunk full of sleeping bags, a big tent, comfy clothes, cook stove, lanterns, tarps and lots of food… So I had a big plastic tub crammed full of food that didn’t need chilling, my huge cooler, Joe’s little cooler which was full of ground coffee, half and half, earthworms and other fishing lures!  I also brought my cast iron waffle maker; an antique from the 1920’s that was my sister Margie’s and before that my parents.  It was kinda messed up but Joe and I worked hard to bake off the crud and now it works fantastically… and a bag of marshmallows, corn on the cob, frozen chicken thighs and a zillion other food items.   Nothing like traveling light!

waffle iron 004              waffle iron 001

So we enjoyed some good food. For breakfast I made blueberry pancakes one morning and then my cinnamon waffles the next.  The pancakes are my new love; until recently I just couldn’t find any pancakes that measured up to what I felt they should taste like.  These were from Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s cookbook. Sometimes I add extra milk if they are too thick. I pour the batter off a big serving spoon onto the griddle.  I forgot to take any pictures. Boo hoo.

But I did take one shot of a waffle quarter before I snarfed it down so here is that recipe (my version; based on a pancake recipe in Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. This recipe is great for camping because buttermilk travels better than regular milk and it also uses oil not butter in the waffle; easier to deal with than melting butter on the camp stove….

camping 015

Cinnamon Waffles (for 2; double for 4 people)

1 cup brown rice flour mix

1 tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 ¾ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 large egg, well beaten

2 tbsp. canola oil

2/3 cup buttermilk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:  To make it portable; measure the dry ingredients into a zip-lock baggie. I like to write the other ingredients on with a black Sharpie marker.  Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl, add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla (optional in my book when camping). Pour the dry mix into the bowl and whisk briefly until fairly well mixed.

While you are doing that mixing step the waffle iron should be heating.  I have a fantastic round cast iron waffle iron; please do spray it with cooking spray before heating and then I melt about 1-2 tsp. of butter into the 4 quarters; I blop the chunk around with a fork so some melts into each part of the iron.  Flip the iron over just before putting in the batter. I use a big spoon to glop it into the waffle iron.  One big glop in each half (roughly 2/3 cup batter) but I never measure.  Gently close the iron and let it bake about 2 minutes. Flip it and bake 1-2 more minutes, or however long your waffle iron takes.  I peek and lift it with a fork to check for crispness.  I serve it with real maple syrup; something this good deserves the best.  Before I serve the first waffle I always break off a section and eat it hot and plain; you can really taste the cinnamon that way. Yumm! Make sure your waffles are crisp not soft or pale. Everyone really wants a crisp well tanned waffle; be patient and wait for it!

camping 015

We had fried eggs with it.  Bacon or breakfast sausage goes fantastically with waffles.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (it is the same as King Arthur’s gf flour mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Blueberry Pancakes, GF AND Yet Fat and Sassy!

Who know it would be so difficult to find a really tasty gf pancake recipe?  Tried a few and found some too dry and some too bland.  It took me just about 2.5 years to find ones I really liked.  Fat, tender and flavorful.  I don’t miss my old wheat based pancakes anymore.  Plus these are super easy to make; dump and stir.  Sorry, no ready made box mix used here but I am considering making a dry mix version of this recipe so I can blend them together in a hurry.  Soon, when I can find the time to figure out the way to do it best, then I will be ready to make almost instant pancakes from scratch!They are from Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s cookbook.  I am generally not a fan of celebrity cookbooks but this recipe is worth sharing.

shrimp bisque 001shrimp bisque 002

So try these and you will find them to be fat and utterly yummy.  I put blueberries in mine but they are good plain and would taste fantastic with chocolate chips added on top! My three year old grandson loved them the other week.  We sprinkled a little cinnamon in our batter too.

shrimp bisque 003

I think someone already took a bite out of one of these beauties!

Elizabeth’s GF Pancakes

1 cup sweet sorgum flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

2 tbsp. sugar

2 ½ tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. guar gum

¼ tsp. salt

———

1 2/3 cup 2% milk

2 eggs

½ tsp. vanilla

4 tbsp. butter; melted plus more for griddle frying

Topping: ¼ cup fresh blueberries, sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions: Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix the next three ingredients in a small bowl, whisk well, mix in the melted butter, whisk.  Pour into the dry ingredients, mix with whisk just until no dry shows.  If the batter looks too thick add 1-2 more tablespoons milk and stir up. I heat the griddle while I do the mixing so it is all ready when the batter is mixed; it doesn’t keep well; to get the fattest puffiest pancakes the secret is mix briefly and you have to bake them right away.

Heat griddle until hot, add some butter, I like to use a big kitchen spoon to measure and I do 3 or 4 pancakes on my cast iron griddle at a time. Sprinkle 3-5 berries on top of each pancake and add a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Let them cook until the edges look set; about 2-3 minutes.  Turn with flat spatula turner.  Let cook 1-2 more minutes.  Do not flip again.  Serve with maple or blueberry syrup.

GF Breakfast Is Doable and Delish!

Breakfast, well…that can be sometimes kinda problematic for us celiacs. No more raisin bran, no more cheerios, no more Great Grains cereal.  What to do??  Well, there are a number of options, the Chex Family comes to mind for me: Rice Chex, Cinnamon Chex (my personal fav) and Chocolate Chex which is surprisingly good.   Not many other mainstream GF cold cereals.  I do hear that Special K is coming out in a GF version in a few months; can barely stand the wait; loved that cereal.  Maybe they will even make a version with freeze-dried strawberry slices.  I would be in GF cereal heaven!

cinnamon chex

Anyway, back to reality; there is one gf flaked cereal I have found that floats my boat, Nature’s Path Organic Mesa Sunrise.  It contains corn, flax, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth.  The flakes are crunchy and hold their own in milk for a few minutes, less sog than any other flakes I have tested. I buy them at Frey’s Better Foods, $9 for a big 26.4 oz bag, yes, that is a lot of moola but it is basically a double sized box making it $4.50 a box which is about what most gf organic cereals cost.  I like it with hemp hearts sprinkled on top and some one percent milk poured in.  The hemp hearts are nutty and crunchy, kinda like a less hard sesame seed.  I keep them in the freezer so they stay fresh.

natures pathhemp hearts

I also prefer my homemade granola with pecans to any I have purchased since going gluten free.  I love it sprinkled over applesauce and over organic yogurt.  It is much more flavorful and it is not hard like pebbles as most GF granola seems to be.  Not sure why they can’t make a decent gf granola to sell but I just make my own every few months and freeze most of it to eat later, stays fresh in my freezer.  I made some today actually, do try it; you will not be disappointed.  The recipe is in my archives.

Hot choices: a few weeks ago I posted my new recipe for quick oats made out of GF rolled oats.  I like it even better than the commercial Ancient Grains Oatmeal by purely elizabeth.  Don’t get me wrong, I like their cereal but I think my own oats are toastier and fresher and I like the pure oat flavor as opposed to their blend of oats, quinoa, amaranth and chia.  I also make old fashioned oatmeal the same way I have for years: boiled in lots of salted water which is drained off before topping with walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup: a superb combination of flavors.

Last weekend I made some buckwheat pancakes.  GF, yes; buckwheat is not wheat.  It is not related at all.  Actually in the same family as rhubarb, but you don’t eat the stems like rhubarb, the seeds are what manufacturers grind into buckwheat flour. The cakes were hearty and flavorful with maple syrup and a glass of milk. I also have a great recipe for cinnamon GF waffles which I often make for company, pretty much as good as wheat ones.

I make a bunch of different muffins, apple walnut, banana nut, carrot and raspberry coconut. They are all great for breakfast and can be frozen for a few weeks; just heat them in the microwave: instant breakfast.

2024-11-05 apple muffins 008

Of course, you can go for eggs. I like them soft boiled, scrambled, over easy and in an omelet.  Last Sunday I made an omelet and stuffed it with two jumbo shrimp leftover from the night before, chopped them in chunks, draped them with a slice of provolone cheese which melted over it all.  Wicked yummy that was!  No toast needed either.

Sometimes I make grits and stir in a handful of cheddar cheese when they are cooked and top it with a couple of over easy eggs sprinkled with green hot sauce.  To kick it up even further; top it all with some sauteed peppers slices and a couple of slices of crisp bacon. Now that is some tasty meal, even grit haters might go for that combination!

grits and bacon 2

So don’t skip breakfast; there are some great gluten free options out there.

Awesome Instant Oatmeal….GF of Course

Chilly nights are here….snow may be on the way. Yes, that sounds awful but it is the sad truth about fall…it means wintery cold is not far off. The freezing weather we are about to be hit with got me thinking about making more warm breakfasts. Last week I bought a bag of quick GF oatmeal at the health food store.  It was pretty tasty and only took a few minutes to cook up. It got me thinking that maybe I could make my own version which could be cheaper and easily varied from batch to batch.  I looked around on some sites and cookbooks. I found a recipe by the queen of entertaining, she who spent a few weeks in the big house.  No names here! All I had to do was use gluten free oats which are available at Frey’s Better Foods, at Giant and at Wegman’s grocery store.   I added a bit more cinnamon to my version.

rolled oats

There was a bit of prep work; the oats need to be toasted for 15 minutes which gives them a lot more flavor than the ancient grains version I had purchased.  A sheet pan is perfect for this toasting.  Just keep an eye on it for the last few minutes to make sure nothing gets too brown.

2014 november oatmeal 009

I put some dried cranberries and golden raisins in my version.  Other options could be chopped dried fruits like apricots or apples, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, or any sort of nut you like. I think a combo of two items is really a great idea.  Like some fruit and some nuts.  I also topped mine, once it was cooked, with some hemp seeds which are nutty and kinda like sesame seeds.

The oats were coarsely ground in my small food processor in two batches. If you use a big one you could probably do it in one batch.

2014 november oatmeal 010 I poured the chopped oats into a storage jar with a tight lid and added the sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Then I poured in the toppings.  Easy and it only takes a few minutes to make it in the morning.

Instant GF Cinnamon Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS

2 cups old-fashioned gluten free rolled oats

2 tbsp.  light brown sugar

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Pulse oats in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Mix sugar, salt, and cinnamon, or more to your taste into the oats as well as half to 2/3 cup of a combination of add-ins (see suggestions below), before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.  Or freeze it to keep even longer.

Additions: dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, walnut chunks, pecan bits, raisins, dried apricots cut into small bits, cut up medool dates, currants, dried blueberries or cherries, flax seeds, hemp seed hearts: any small seed or dried fruit would be awesome!

2014 november oatmeal 011

To make: heat 2/3 cup of water, lightly salted, to the boil.  Stir in a heaping 1/3 cup of the oatmeal mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple times. Cover and let stand 2-3 more minutes before scooping the hot cereal into a bowl.  It is already sweet enough for my taste but you can add more brown sugar or some honey to the dish. A fresh topping would be a great addition of nutrients and even more flavor.  Sliced banana, some blueberries or sliced ripe pear and you are about to enjoy a fairly inexpensive yet healthy gluten free hot breakfast that only took 2 minutes to cook.

Note: I like this better than the GF Ancient Grains version; tastes fresher and toastier and has a great oaty flavor.  About to make a new batch; I have been enjoying it a lot on cold mornings.  I love how fast I can make it; my regular oatmeal takes 8 minutes plus the time to get the pot of water to a boil.  Two minutes is an oatmeal revolution!