DIY Whole Grain Waffle Mix (and Pumpkin Waffles)

A waffle is everything breakfast should be. Crisp on the outside, fluffy…

A waffle is everything breakfast should be. Crisp on the outside, fluffy in the center, and with oh-so-many square valleys in which butter or syrup (or both) can pool. They are delicious sweet or savory, and can even be made ahead and toasted for a quick on-the-go breakfast. Needless to say they are one of my favorite breakfast foods. This is not the case, however, for my husband. Waffles just don’t do it for him, he claims. Which left me often on a Saturday morning with a dilemma: to waffle (and make enough to feed  a small army) or not to waffle? I liked the idea of making them from scratch because I could control the ingredients; I didn’t want to go the store-bought frozen route. Then I thought, why not make my own mix? Then I could make the exact amount of waffles I want. This is my recipe for a dry mix that you can store in the cupboard in a sealed container for a few months (labeled with fun chalkboard  labels), then portion out as you need it and add the wet ingredients.

So you bought a pumpkin…

As November begins (and with it the count down to Thanksgiving), pumpkin…

As November begins (and with it the count down to Thanksgiving), pumpkin season is in full swing. When I got a beautiful sugar (or pie) pumpkin from my farm share this week, I actually hopped up and down a little, because I. Love. Pumpkins. So much! Surprisingly I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but I especially love using pumpkins in savory recipes. “What to do with The Pumpkin” became a topic of discussion amongst my fellow farm share holders, so I thought I would share my favorite ways to enjoy that oh-so-orange squash.

Tahini Beet Salad

Folks, I have to be honest – I came late to the…

beet salad with pitaFolks, I have to be honest – I came late to the beet party. I know, I know, they’re supposed to be amazing, but I never really got them, you know? I always thought they were a little slimy and, of course, suspiciously fuchsia, a color I think vegetables ought not to be. Through my farm share I learned to tolerate them as long as they were well-roasted, or crisped into chips, but I was still sort of hanging out on the porch of the beet party, not really sure I wanted to join in on the supposed fun inside. But now I am dancing on the table with my hands in the air, because I am drunk on the bliss that is Tahini Beet Salad.

Pasta a la Pisticci, and a dinner party

I love hosting dinner parties for the same reason I love blogging…

I love hosting dinner parties for the same reason I love blogging about recipes: it allows me to share wonderful food with wonderful people! Dinner parties also afford me the opportunity to try out multiple new recipes at once with captive taste-testers, who never seem to mind.

pasta a la pisticciI recently hosted four dear friends in my Manhattan apartment, two other New Yorkers and two new friends visiting from Paris. As they hailed from the culinary capital of the world, I was determined to show them just how delicious good ol’ American cooking could be – God forbid they return to France and tell people we only eat hamburgers and pizza, confirming the suspicions. I carefully selected the recipes for seasonality, ease of preparation, and, of course, general awesomeness, and included another one of my favorite restaurant copy-cat recipes, Pasta a la Pisticci. This is the complete menu I served that evening, in case you too would like to host a dinner party this fall!

Peach or Pear Upside-Down Ginger Cake

Sometimes a dish looks like a piece of art and tastes like…

pear cake peach cake

Sometimes a dish looks like a piece of art and tastes like packing peanuts. Other times it looks like a blob of mush and makes your tastebuds want to cry for joy. And sometimes there is a dish that tastes as good as it looks, elicits ooh and aahs from the people you serve it to, AND tastes just as yummy the next day. I give you one of these dishes – a peach (or pear) upside-down ginger cake!

I drew from this original recipe, which I followed to the letter. The 2nd and 3rd time I baked the cake I took a few liberties, especially where the butter was concerned. I love butter, I really do (who doesn’t?), but with all the other strong flavors going on in this cake, it wasn’t adding a lot, so why bother with the calories? I leave it in where it matters (with the sugar and the fruit, on the bottom of the pan), and take it out where it doesn’t (replaced with Greek yogurt in the cake batter). I imagine this would be delicious as well with apples. All in all a perfect late summer or fall recipe, easily adaptable to whatever fruit you have on hand!