Monday, July 27, 2009

Sour Cream-Hazelnut Waffles with Warm Berry Coulis

I saw these in this month's Bon Appetit and just had to find an occasion to make them. I am not much of a pancake person, but when it comes to waffles, I love their crunchy outer layer, delicate fluffy inside AND the infinite flavor/topping possibilities!

The random twin ESP hit again as Melanie and I happened to make the same recipe on the same day. She will probably add her notes to this post later as we both used different modifications.

Waffle Ingredients (adapted from Bon Appetit, AUG 2009) -makes about 20
1 stick butter, unsalted
1/4 cup honey
3 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream (I actually used nonfat organic Greek yogurt)
2/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (reserve some for topping)

Pure organic maple syrup
warm berry coulis (see recipe below)

Melt the butter with honey in a small saucepan over low heat. In a large bowl, whisk together flour through baking soda. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs through sour cream. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well blended. Add the honey butter mixture and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Heat oven to 250 degrees. This is to keep the waffles warm while you take the time to make them all one-by-one in your waffle iron. Heat your waffle iron and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Depending on the size of your iron, add about a ladle full of waffle batter to the iron and cook for 5 minutes or until the steaming stops and the outside of the waffle is crispy. Place in oven until remaining waffles are finished.

Serve waffles warm and drizzle with maple syrup, a spoonful of berry coulis and sprinkled hazelnuts.

Warm Berry Coulis Ingredients- makes 3.5 cups
2 cups fresh strawberries, divided
2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1 cup fresh blueberries, divided
1 cup fresh blackberries, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 T fresh lemon juice

Place half of every berry in a medium saucepan. Add sugar and lemon juice to the berries and let stand for 30 minutes or until the natural juices are released. Bring the berry mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until berries are soft- about 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to release as much juice as possible. Discard the solids in the strainer.

Return the berry puree to the saucepan. Add remaining reserved berries to the saucepan over medium heat and stir until warm- about five minutes. Spoon over waffles.

  • The actual recipe calls for full-fat versions of everything. I did not do this and I don't think the recipe was missing anything.
  • This recipe was originated at Balthazar restaurant in New York
  • I love fresh berries and I didn't see the need to spoil beautiful, expensive, edible berries in a sauce. I used this handy frozen mix from Trader Joe's that has all these berries in it already and probably saved myself ten bucks.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two Tasty Blog Recipes I Tried This Weekend

We had guests for the weekend so I decided to whip up some recipes that I saw on the web this week.

The first was a recipe from 101 Cook Books which was a Red Pesto Ravioli made with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts and spinach. I followed this recipe almost exactly except that I doubled the pesto recipe to ensure I'd have more for later. This was a hit with our guests and was also a healthy and balanced vegetarian meal. I paired it with a Greek Salad. Check out the recipe below.

Red Pesto Ravioli

For dessert, I made a peach and creme fraiche pie that I found on Smitten Kitchen. This recipe was originally from Martha Stewart. It was delicious and I thought that the creme fraiche really took the peaches to another level of flavor complexity. It was also the first time that I've been successful with making a perfect crumble topping! I learned that the trick is to keep everything really cold before putting it into the oven. I sliced almost frozen butter and mixed it in with the dry crumble ingredients and it turned out really crumbly and crispy. I'm not sure if it was chef error or just juicy California peaches, but I couldn't get the pie to set and be sliceable. It ended up pretty ugly on the plate and was in essence a pie crust with a peach/creme fraiche/crumble soup on top. I think if i were to create this again I would skip the pie crust and just make it in a 8x8 pan as a peach cobbler.

Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie

Both of the blogs have much better pictures than I take so check out their photos- they are beautiful.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I took a whirlwind trip to San Francisco this weekend and found that Kelsey has a fabulous little cupcake place in her neighborhood (Cow Hollow) called Kara's Cupcakes. They are made from locally sourced (organic when possible) ingredients and made from scratch daily. I couldn't decide on just one, so I took a little sampler pack back to SLO with me!

The flavors are Java, Smores, Fleur de sel (chocolate filled with salted caramel) and Kara's Karrot. See more at

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Caprese Salad on Flatbread

I love juicy red tomatoes that just plain taste like summer. I picked up some fresh tomatoes and arugula from Farmer's Market and got to work on a new caprese dish. This makes for a nice light dinner on a hot day or could be made more miniature and served as appetizers.

Ingredients (serves 2 if made this way)
6 - 8 ounces fresh pizza dough
1 handful fresh basil leaves (or other similar greens)
1 T pine nuts or walnuts
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T Parmesan or other hard cheese
1 large hot house or heirloom tomato, cut into thick slices
4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind that is packed in water)
1 cup fresh arugula or other similar greens
1 T capers
a drizzle of good quality olive oil
fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste

Roll out the pizza dough into thin 6" circles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, prick the surface a few times with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy.

In the meantime, make the pesto sauce by placing basil through Parmesan in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and saucy. It should be a drizzling consistency, so you may need to add more liquid as necessary.

When flat breads are finished baking, top with arugula, cheese and tomato slices. Drizzle with pesto mixture and sprinkle with capers, salt and pepper.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vegan Blueberry Banana Smoothie

This cold refreshing beverage makes a nice breakfast or post work out pick-me-up on hot summer days. I have been on quite the smoothie kick lately and this is one of my favorite combinations, which packs a lot of vitamins and nutrients. Most of this fruit is in season right now which is convenient for making your own frozen fruit. (Much more economical than buying it already frozen in many cases!) Simply wash, slice and set the fruit on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Let it freeze solid like this in the freezer and then transfer it to a plastic bag or freezer safe container. It should last a few weeks.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1 ripe banana
1/8 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup soy, nut or rice based milk (I enjoy hazelnut milk)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Spicy Chickpea Green Salad

I got this recipe from my mom (Kristie!) and then added a little bit of extra goodies to it. She's been making it on hot Sacramento summer nights to pair with a crisp glass of white wine and grilled salmon. It can be made to be an entree or side salad depending on serving size. Not only is it vegan, but it is really delicious and healthy! It's also not as spicy as spicy as the title may lead you to think- so if you want it really spicy, you might skimp on deseeding the serrano chiles.

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side salad)
adapted from Food Network's Guy Fieri's recipe
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded, ribs removed and finely diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, sliced, skin on
1/2 bunch mint, leaves roughly chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
1 head red leaf lettuce, shredded
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Combine the garlic, pepper, red onion, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl.

Add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss in the lettuce and arugula. Plate and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.