Buttermilk Waffles

The girls ate these with syrup. The cyclist and I topped them with raspberry yogurt and fruit.

2 eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar

Preheat a waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and vanilla until blended. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth.

 In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/2 cup of the egg whites into the batter, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. 

Cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes eight 4-inch waffles.

Ruby Red Pound Cake

I am on a bit of a grapefruit kick right now. Why just eat one halved and sprinkled with Splenda, when you can bake it into a cake?

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 tsp grated grapefruit zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 T sugar

1 cup powdered sugar
3 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

(I was able to get all my zest and juice from one large grapefruit)

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a standard size loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray again.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, combine yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and 1 T sugar in small saucepan. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, let it cool in pan on wire rack for ten minutes. Remove from pan and carefully place on wire rack over a rimmed cookie sheet. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit and sugar mixture over cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For glaze, combine powdered sugar and grapefruit juice and pour over cake.

Black Bean Salad

This is a fresh, colorful side dish to serve with Mexican food.

12 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of two limes
2/3 cups olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 avocados, diced
4 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 head Romaine lettuce, cut into strips

Combine all ingredients in order. Mix well.

Over-Night Sticky Buns

I knew we would have a busy morning this Sunday, so this recipe was perfect. All the prep work is done the night before. Sunday morning, all we did was bake and eat.

16 frozen white roll dough (still frozen)
1 (3.4 oz) package non-instant butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

Arrange rolls in the bottom of a greased Bundt pan. Mix pudding, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over rolls. Pour melted butter over rolls.
Cover pan with sprayed plastic wrap. Place pan in cold oven overnight (8-10 hours).
The next morning, remove rolls from oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes. Immediately invert pan onto a serving platter. Cool slightly and serve.

Chocolate Decadence

These are perfect for a romantic dessert for two (or in our case, a noisy dessert for two plus three rambunctious daughters, one sister and a brother-in-law).

While not as healthy as broccoli, I did find this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine a few years ago, so don't feel too guilty.

If you don't have ramekins, use a standard size muffin tin.

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar 

1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk 

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa 

1 1/2 tablespoons butter 

1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped 

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/8 teaspoon salt 

1 large egg white 

8 teaspoons semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly coat 4 (2-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray, and sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon sugar into each of the ramekins, shaking and turning to coat. Set prepared ramekins aside.
Combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, milk, and cocoa in a small saucepan, stirring well with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add the butter and 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool chocolate mixture 10 minutes.
Add flour, vanilla, salt, and egg white to chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk just until blended. Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate mixture into each prepared ramekin, and top each with 2 teaspoons chocolate chips. Divide the remaining chocolate mixture evenly among ramekins, spreading to cover the chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until barely set. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto dessert plates. Serve warm.
4 servings

Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter

18 to 20 ounces store-bought ravioli (cheese, mushroom, or squash)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (350 degrees for about 8 minutes)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain ravioli onto a large serving platter.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Let cool for about 1 minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar (careful, this will start to bubble), salt, and pepper.

Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter. Sprinkle walnuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

I got this recipe from the Food Network (Giada). The brown butter and balsamic vinegar combined for a great flavor!

Blueberry-Filled Aebelskiver

To make these, you will need an Aebelskiver pan. You can find these at most cooking supply stores. We got an antique one as a wedding present.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1⁄2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp. salt
Zest of 1⁄2 lemon
3 egg yolks plus 5 egg whites
1 1⁄3 cups buttermilk
3⁄4 cup ricotta cheese
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 pint blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In a batter pitcher or bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Whisk in the buttermilk and ricotta. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the mixture will be lumpy. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the whites into the batter in two additions.

Put 1/2 tsp. butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Place over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well, place 4 blueberries in the center of the batter and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using 2 wooden skewers, turn the pancakes over and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and blueberries.

Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar, topped with syrup or jam.

Makes about 30.