How to make your own waffle mix

 easy homemade waffle mix on simplebites.net

Written by Danny.

Last month, during my winter vacation, Aimee and the kids came up with the sweetest idea: Daddy’s Day.  It was a day that I could use on my vacation to sleep in, read a book, get extra backrubs and the kids were careful to be extra polite and obedient – all with no strings attached.  Basically, the best day of the year.

It has become somewhat of a necessity in our house (due to the kids’ joy in doing so) to have breakfast in bed on any special occasion. On Daddy’s Day, I got to have waffles, eggs and bacon while still in my jammies.  I shared a bit with the boys (they didn’t ask, but those eyes just begged!) and then read a book in silence while lazily polishing off my delicious breakfast.

easy homemade waffle mix on simplebites.net

Last weekend, we served up waffles to Aimee. Thankfully, she is really smart and had prepared some of this Ready Waffle Mix for us to use. It’s pretty handy to keep around, so I thought I’d share the recipe for your next ‘Daddy (or Mommy) Day’.
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How to make Roasted Brown Chicken Stock (and young love in the summer)

dark stock

The first summer we were married, our situation wasn’t exactly ideal for two starry-eyed newlyweds doing life together. I finished late at night at a popular fine dining establishment where I worked the line and Danny rose early to meander through the Plateau to morning class at McGill. One of us was always tired when we greeted each other at the end of a day, and one of us frequently smelled of soup, but I’m not telling who.

Fed up of only seeing my husband from midnight to 6 AM, I petitioned my boss for day position as a prep cook. I may have stammered, blushing, through my reasoning, but he only twinkled his eyes at me and agreed, that just for the summer, I could work days, and he would find someone to cook the fish and the foie in my place at night.

Stepping down the ladder rung of the competitive kitchen hierarchy was not a move that gained me respect among my co-workers, but I always have (and continue to do so) put family first over ambition. There were stares and a few snickers when the new work schedule came out, but I was elated. A ‘normal’ 9-5 job in fine dining is almost unheard of and these new hours suited me to a T.

Eight blocks north of the kitchen, in our tiny apartment on St. Denis street, I went to sleep and woke up in Danny’s arms. We went out for coffee and fresh croissants in the mornings before parting ways, with lingering kisses, at the corner of Duluth and St. Denis.

Making stock was always the first order of the day, for it required long hours of simmering at an unhurried pace. I cranked the ovens to 400 degrees down the entire line and set to roasting bones for duck stock, veal stock, venison stock, and roasted guinea fowl stock, the essence of which I’m sharing today. I attacked a tray of carrots, onions and celery for my mirepoix, those flavoring vegetables essential for every stock, and gathered fresh parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns. By 10 AM, the massive sturdy pots would be set over burners with bones, mirepoix and cold water, and I would assess my prep list, left for me by the cooks the night before, and organize my day. [Read more…]

Swedish Tea Ring

Written by Megan of Stetted.

When I was a girl, I never really noticed how the small moments of our ancestry touched our family celebrations. I only knew that my taste buds had not evolved to the point of being able to enjoy the spiced breads my grandfather would share, and that I could eat a lot of the fried fattigmund cookies that appeared at Christmastime.

Now that I have a child of my own, I’m wishing I had spent more time getting to know the foods of our family, from the Germans on my mother’s side to the English and Swedish on my father’s side. The Swedish part of me I find most intriguing – perhaps because it is a country I know little about to begin with. Wisconsin and Minnesota are full of people with Swedish heritage, but sadly it seems several of the Scandinavian traditions are going away as the last immigrants are leaving us.

This Christmas, I’ve decided we need to add back some of the “Old World” to our lives. Our morning will be spent opening presents, of course, but we’ll also sit down to a breakfast of Swedish Tea Ring, a sweet cardamom-flavored bread that appears on numerous Swedish tables all year long.

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Why a manly man made dainty hand pies and why you should too

Written by Danny.

The quick and easy answer is: You want to make these to have beer.  The more complete and correct answer is below.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting up with an old friend, Zaak, for supper and a beer tasting with 8 of his future housemates from Dragonfly Cohousing. 8 people and 13 beer over 2.5-3  hours (no one was keeping time) made for an enjoyable time of meeting new friends and tasting new beers.

As it happens, the only other time I had participated in a beer tasting was about 10 years earlier with my brother and Zaak.  3 people tasting 8 high-alcohol content beers made for a bit of a disaster.  Okay, a lot of a disaster.  We were genuinely interested in tasting the beers, but didn’t want to waste any. And one of us had to leave early (me) for a reason I can’t remember.

I’m planning to host a beer tasting of my own over the holidays, and want to ensure that it is not a disaster, and that everyone makes it home safely.  Part of my secret arsenal to do so is to serve lots of food, and these will include some hand pies.

Read on to see how easy it is to make mini Tourtière hand pies, and get the recipe for these savory holiday bites. [Read more…]

Maple Sweetened Pumpkin Butter

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

This time of year, it is only natural that a home cook’s fancy turns to pumpkin. Between the jack-o-lanterns standing sentinel near your front door and the knobby whole pumpkins you picked up at the farmers’ market over the weekend, your world is probably filled with all things orange and squashy right now.

Thing is, pumpkins are good for so much more than decoration. They can be steamed and pureed into pie filling. For a seasonal meatless main dish, there’s nothing better than roasted pumpkin cubes stirred into sage-spiced risotto, or pumpkin mac & cheese for the little ones.

And then there’s pumpkin butter. It’s delicious on toast, tasty stirred into oatmeal and even good simply eaten by the spoonful out of the jar. [Read more…]