Anyone Want Waffles?

“YES!!!”  was the answer I received to this question, from all three boys, almost in unison.

We had some milder temps here yesterday, accompanied by some freezing rain.  The result?  Our schools were on a two-hour delay.  That means the bus doesn’t pick the kids up until 9!  Just enough time to prepare them a tastier breakfast than the normal cereal, yogurt or oatmeal.

I don’t know about you but I love cooking with buttermilk.  Pancakes, bread, biscuits, and even cake, all taste amazing with buttermilk as an ingredient! 

One thing that I think everyone should have in their recipe stash, is a tasty take on buttermilk waffles.  So to help you with that, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to share my recipe with you.

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick of butter, melted (or 1/2 oil, in a pinch)
  • 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon of packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • optional ingredients – 3/4 tsp vanilla or maple extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Beat eggs, then add the remainder of the ingredients.  Stir until it’s just smooth.  Don’t over do it! 

Pour prepared batter onto a preheated waffle iron.  If you would like to (and who wouldn’t) sprinkle some mini chocolate chips onto the batter before closing the iron, or even some chopped nuts.  Or blueberries….

Blueberry Waffles

Yum!

I have a 6 inch Belgian waffle iron.  A single batch of this recipe makes approximately four for us.  I normally make a double or triple batch.  Then the kids reheat the leftovers in the toaster to have for breakfast throughout the week!

Buttermilk Waffle

If you’ve never make a recipe with buttermilk, I think you should give it a try.  It definitely adds to the flavor and texture of whatever you make.  A great benefit of buttermilk is even after it is opened, it still keeps for a good while.  Just close that lid up tight! 

Are you looking for more tasty sweet breakfast treats?  Check out these past posts:

Bananas for Breakfast

Fancy Banana Bread

Do you have a post you made about a great breakfast treat?  Post a link in the comments!

If you don’t already, follow me by email by entering your email address on the side of the page.  If you’d rather, jump on over and like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Thanks for stopping by ~Kim~

 

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How ’bout Them Buns?

Hamburger buns of course 😉

Wow!  I like snow, but it feels like I moved in with Santa or something.  I think we’ve had snow on the ground since before Thanksgiving.  My kids may have had a full week of school since then also, but then again, I don’t really think so.  They were off school yesterday and today.  It’s nice having extra hands to complete the chores, but at this rate I don’t know if they will get a summer break!

Today was busy and fun.  They of course played outside.  We also had our weekly bible study today.  It’s normally on Wednesday, but I wasn’t feeling all that well, and the benefit of teaching them myself, is I can postpone it.  Rarely do I, but it is always an option if necessary!

A slight glitch in my day occurred when i checked the scheduled meal for tonight’s supper.  Hamburger and french fries.  Ground beef:  check.  Potatoes: check.  Buns: buns???  how do I put hamburgers on the menu and forget buns? ~sigh~

How to solve the dilemma?  Pinterest.  How else?  It’s a one stop shop for absolutely everything.  Search:  hamburger buns.  I found a super easy recipe that claims to be the best.  We’ll just see about that.  So I assembled the ingredients and went to work.

The result?  AAAAHHH- Mazing.  Look if you don’t believe me……

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They smell and taste just as good people.  Seriously……when will they invent smell-ivision?

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The buns were just slightly big, so when I make them again, I might make 10 to 12 of them instead of 8.  I guess it depends on how big you make your burgers!

If you want to give them a try, and I highly recommend that you do, head over to Parsley, Sage and Sweet for the recipe.

Need a burger recipe to go with it?  I have one you just might enjoy, here!

Stay warm, and thanks for stopping by,

~Kim~

P.S. I am making progress on the office, here is a peek,

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always messy while in process, right?  I can’t wait for it to be finished so I can share the before and after shots!

 

 

THE Best Christmas Cookies

Christmas is just over a week away. Eight days, if you’re counting. My kids are. I am too! This time of year is so full of traditions. I think that’s why I love it so much!

Making Christmas cookies has been a tradition I have participated in ever since I was little.  I can remember helping my Mom and Granny making them, and now I make them with my own kids!

I’m guessing if you’d type in “Christmas cookie” for an internet search, it would probably get millions of hits! That could be overwhelming!!  So to help you out a little, I thought I’d share with you my favorite cookie recipes of all time.

<< The following links take you to a printable copy of the recipe or the web page the recipe originates from.  I do not claim any of these to be my own creation, but they were passed to me as a handwritten recipe from my Mom.  The origin is unknown>>

 

Pecan Tassies

Peanut Butter Cookies – I have tried many, but this is still the best.  I guess Jiff might know a think or two about peanut butter after all 😉

Walnut Frosties

Sugar Cookies – These are the best to make with the kids, they LOVE to cut them out and of course decorate them!

Fudge – This isn’t “real” fudge but it tastes pretty darn close, plus it’s super easy!  It is a great versatile recipe.  You can omit the nuts, or you can change it up by using different flavored chips.  I’ve already tried it with peanut butter chips, and a mix of semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter!  I bet it would be amazing with some mint and chocolate mixed!

Chocolate Chip Cookies – the use of pudding in this recipe makes it unique.  They stay thick even after they cool.  If you still have trouble keeping the cookies from flattening out, use 1/2 cup solid shortening and 1/2 cup butter, in place of a whole cup of butter!

IMG_0304Walnut Frosties - Christmas Cookies

I wish I had more cookie pictures to share with you, but my kids and I are planning on baking Sunday and Monday.  They are so much looking forward to it, maybe more than I am!

 

Whether you’re leaving cookies out for Santa or giving them as a gift, there’s just something special about homemade Christmas cookies.  I hope one of these recipes catches your eye, maybe even inspires you to start a new baking tradition in your family.  If you try any, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe?  Would you share?

I Need Marshmallows in My Hot Chocolate

Brrr!  It’s still “fall” here in the midwest, but you couldn’t tell it by looking outside.

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Old Man Winter has decided to make an early appearance.  Which, quite frankly, happens pretty much every year.  The only people who seem surprised by it are the meteorologists.

Having snow for us, often leads to the start of the school day being delayed, or in the case of both Friday and today, canceled.  A snow day can only mean:  snow ball fights, building snow forts, sledding….and getting cold!  And what better to remedy the cold of wintry weather, than a steaming cup of hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows!

But, what do you do when you don’t have marshmallows?  I don’t know about you but I need marshmallows in my hot chocolate!!

Well, it is something I’ve always wanted to make.

But, I don’t have corn syrup.  Most recipes call for corn syrup. 😦

So I turned to the web for a recipe using only sugar.  Yay for me, I found one!!

The recipe I used is on food.com, you can find it here.

I followed the instructions word for word (almost!).  It was easy….and I took pictures to further illustrate the steps.

I buttered the pan so the powder sugar would stick (the butter part I added because I wasn't sure the sugar would stick otherwise!)

I buttered the pan so the powder sugar would stick (the butter part I added because I wasn’t sure the sugar would stick otherwise!)

After transfering the mixture from the pot to the bowl, it should look like this.

After transferring the mixture from the pot to the bowl, it should look like this.

After mixing for approximately 10 minutes, it looked like this.  I decided it was ready to pour into the pan!

After mixing for approximately 10 minutes, it looked like this. I decided it was ready to pour into the pan!

After it was poured in the pan.  Now just wait until it sets up. (It will, I promise!)

After it was poured in the pan. Now just wait until it sets up. (It will, I promise!)

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I’ve decided after today, that hot chocolate is waaaay better with homemade marshmallows!  It was unbelievably easy to make these, I really hope you give it a try!

Maybe next time I’ll try mint extract instead of vanilla….or maybe strawberry….or….

What do you do to warm up from the winter’s cold?

P.S. Here is a recipe for AAAA-mazing hot chocolate!

Nuts for Zucchini Bread

Zucchini again?  Well, yes.  In my area the weather has provided us with a bumper crop of zucchini.  So far, I have shredded and froze 24 pints to use for making bread through the winter.  I have also made 9 pints of zucchini relish!

So as promised, I am here to share with you a recipe for zucchini nut bread.  This is my family’s favorite version of this recipe.  It is moist and has just the right amount of flavor!

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Moist Zucchini Nut Bread

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil (or canola)

2 cups shredded raw zucchini, well-drained (seeds removed)

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Hint:  I shred my zucchini in the food processor.  It stays dry and doesn’t need to be drained this way!

Mix the eggs, sugar & oil thoroughly.  Add the zucchini.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add flour to sugar mixture, reserving about a 1/2 of a cup in the bowl.  Mix.  Then stir in the vanilla.  Add the chopped nuts into the reserved flour mixture.  Toss to coat, then add to batter and mix until blended.  Don’t over-mix, as it will cause your bread to fall.

Pour into two greased loaf pans.  Bake at 325° for about 50 to 60 minutes.  A toothpick inserted will come out clean when it is done!  Let it cool before slicing.  It can be left plain or topped with your favorite glaze or cream cheese icing!

If you like this recipe and would like to try another similar one, try my Fancy Banana Bread.  If you’re like me and have a plethora of zucchini to deal with, then you might also be interested in my take on Fried Zucchini!

How is your garden harvest looking this year?

Keep up with all my latest recipes and tips.  All you need to do is follow Creating My Niche on FacebookTwitter, or by email (just click “Enter Email” to your left)!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fried Zucchini – Making the Summer-time Treat Easier

Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables you can grow. It can be baked, fried, grilled, used in breads, cookies and muffins, it can be pickled, or eaten raw.  All of these uses plus it being so easy to grow, means it’s a must-have in our garden every year!

At my house we enjoy fried zucchini and bread above the rest.  For fried zucchini I used to slice it thin, dip in egg, and breading, then fry until crisp. This was so incredibly time-consuming! Plus, since I’m the one preparing it, I was the last to sit down, which meant I ate cold, soggy, fried zucchini. Good, but not as good as hot and crispy!  I didn’t want to give up my seasonal favorite, so I had to think of something!

My solution produces fried zucchini, all finished cooking at the same time. Crisp, hot, and best of all tasty!!  Here is what I came up with….

Easier Fried Zucchini

1 medium-sized zucchini
2 small eggs
Flour
Corn meal
Salt and pepper
Oil

Cut the zucchini into 1/2 slices, then cut each slice into 4 pie-shaped pieces. Put in a large bowl.

Beat the two eggs with a splash of water and stir into the zucchini, until well coated.

Mix equal parts flour and cornmeal, then add to zucchini and toss to coat. (Start with about 1/4 cup each, as you can always mix up more.)

Fry zucchini (including any bits if breading that accumulated in the bottom of the bowl) in canola (or vegetable oil), seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp and well browned. Enjoy!

What is your favorite way to enjoy zucchini?

Watch for my upcoming post featuring zucchini bread!

Nothing Beats Home Grown

Well we finally, FINALLY, had enough green beans from my garden to make it worth getting the ol’ canner out this year!  After two or three summers of drought, we were pretty darn excited!

The weather forecast was calling for rain on Saturday, but the beans needed to be picked.  So my three boys and I headed to the garden, with rain clouds looming in the distance.  I gave strict instructions, “Pick beans.  If it starts to rain, we will keep picking.  No whining!”  That last part drew groans from the mini men.

We started picking, and luckily my husband happened home from work, a little earlier than usual, and joined in our effort.  We harvested what we could, luckily minus raindrops, and headed toward the house.

We picked about 3/4 of a bushel of green beans!!

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Also some “pop beans” (name given to snap peas by my little W), a few zucchini, and a handful of cucumber; just enough to make cucumber salad.  Oh and don’t forget the onions, a couple of those too!

Once we were in the house and eating lunch, the rain cut loose.  But I had sooo much to do!!  Trying to look on the bright side, I remind myself that rain equals firework shows, which we haven’t seen for a while!  It also gives us time to can some beans!

So my boys and I got to work breaking the beans. After a little hard work, a slight bit of complaining, and a few attempts to quit, this is what we ended up with….

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After processing them in a pressure canner, we had 13 quarts (and a couple handfuls for a supper side one night!).

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I believe home-grown and canned food tastes better than anything you could buy in a store.  Please don’t think you can do this to save money.  Although that actual monetary cost is less, it takes quite a bit of time.  But I love to do it.  For me it is a hobby that my entire family can benefit from.  I don’t add any salt to my beans, no preservatives, only fresh beans and some clean water!

If you are interested in trying to preserve your garden harvest there are many amazing resources:

A simple book, with great instructions and recipes:  The Blue Book Guide to Preserving

The Ball Jar website is also a good resource, you can find that here.

I also found this link to many guidelines published by the USDA, including this one that includes green beans.

I do hope I have peaked your interest and maybe even inspired you to give home canning a try!  If you do, please make sure what instructions you use are from a reputable source, both so you preserve the food safely and to make it easier to learn.  I basically taught myself using books I inherited from my Grandma and asking my mother-in-law some questions here and there. Good luck!

P.S.  I have noticed a great increase in traffic to my blog and would like to welcome everyone!  Remember you can follow me by e-mail, by clicking the button to your left and entering your address.  I am also on Facebook and Twitter; stop over and say hi!