Jun
26

I’ve always wondered why I am in love with everything that’s breakfast related…or you know, just obsessed with food in general.

I think I finally found the answer after visiting my Grandmother and spending time in the kitchen cooking with her. I’m now quite convinced that a love for food has been passed down to me. I know that it’s something that will be apart of me forever. In fact, cooking for others is absolutely my favorite thing in the world.

My future husband is one lucky man.

Kidding.

Wait… no I’m not.

My grandmother is Puerto Rican, so much of the food she cooks tends to be Spanish inspired; my Nana (Great Grandmother) taught her how to cook everything from scratch when she was a young girl. Ever since then, it’s been one of her favorite things to do. When my Grandma isn’t making homemade pozole, empanadas, and arroz con pollo, she is usually baking muffins the size of my face or throwing together a ridiculous continental breakfast for my Grandfather. Seriously give her a half hour and she’ll make you an incredible meal, but provide her with a couple of hours and you’ll have a masterpiece to eat.

She treats every meal she makes with affection, putting the utmost love into her creations — it’s an extraordinary quality. She pours her soul into stews and she throws her spice for life into spanish rice. Cooking is like an expression to her, and everything is always made with love.

My Grandma and I are two peas in a pod. I admire her in every way. I love her best though when she’s making me brunch, which often includes her famous buttermilk waffles. Crispy on the outside, warm and perfect on the inside.

When she made these incredible buttermilk waffles my Grandpa and I joked that this was probably the healthiest thing she made for us during my stay. I even specifically remember that she once asked me if I wanted waffles and ice cream for dinner. Another day she tried to feed me this pile of pastries for breakfast.

So wrong, but soooo good.

I think I’m still trying to burn off those calories, but hey, you only live once, right? I just have to teach my Grandma about the term ‘everything in moderation’. I mean, at least for my Grandfather’s sake.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might remember when I mentioned that he’s had a couple of heart attacks. He’s still going strong though!

Did I mention they love each other like crazy? I mean, they are the ultimate romantics. Here’s a picture of my Grandpa attempting to fix my Grandma’s watch after it suddenly broke while we were out. He made it his mission to repair it immediately himself, walking to every shop nearby to see if they had a special pin for the band. Sure enough, he found one!

They both love and take care of each other. I think that’s pretty incredible to be going strong for nearly 60 years.

Cuties.

As I’m writing this, I’m fondly remembering the morning my Grandmother made these waffles for us, partly because they are the best waffles I’ve ever had. It was Mother’s Day and we all enjoyed a breakfast full of eggs with green chile, pastries (ugh, SO MANY PASTRIES), waffles and of course, coffee. As I was spreading peanut butter on my waffles and drenching them with syrup (best combination ever), I looked around the table and thanked God for my amazing family. They’ve taught me so much: to cook, to be determined, to laugh, to love, and to absolutely never give up! 

Now I’m the one pouring my heart and soul into the food I cook: whipping up pancakes with such care, crafting a skillet chicken (with pepperoni sauce) that only kids could adore, and browning lots of butter for the best chocolate chip cookies (the way to win anyone’s heart).

Cooking is my romance and I’m bringing it to you. I hope you’ll stay awhile and eat some ridiculously good waffles with me.

With butter, syrup, and whatever else your heart desires.

Grandma’s Buttermilk Waffles

Cooking Spray

1 3/4 all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat waffle maker. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk in the buttermilk, eggs, butter, vanilla, and brown sugar (if desired) until blended. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients; mix well.
  3. Pour batter into a preheated prepared waffle iron; cook according to manufacturer’s directions or when steam stops.  Top with maple syrup, peanut butter, honey, or fresh fruit preserves

Notes

  • You can add in additional ingredients such as: 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, dash of cinnamon, or whatever you’d like
  • I always spray my waffle iron with cooking spray before cooking each batch, I recommend doing the same
  • Makes 4 cups of batter or 5 waffles

Apr
29

Mmmm banana pancakes. With quinoa.

Oh yes I did.

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I mean what’s not to love? It’s versatile, gluten-free, protein packed, and the nutty flavor delivers every single time. Remember my lemon blueberry quinoa pancakes?  They’re my absolute favorite. I devour them in 5.6 seconds everytime I make them. Can you tell I’m a fan? I could be the quinoa spokeswoman.

Quinoa queen?

Nevermind.

I wish I would have had these pancakes today before I did three hours worth of yoga this morning. I was aching for these through every downward dog and warrior two.

Then guess what happened? I got pulled over (for the first time ever) after leaving class. Apparently I went through a red light. Seems I was distracted with the thought of delicious quinoa pancakes in my belly. Thankfully the police officer didn’t give me a ticket. He was surprisingly nice – I’m guessing because I looked like a hot sweaty mess who was about to eat her own arm.

Once I got home and I devored these like I was a contestant on the biggest loser who hadn’t eaten in weeks. A little absurd. I even paired each pancake with different flavor toppings because who doesn’t love a little variety? One had maple syrup and bananas (classic), another had raspberry jam and toasted coconut (so so so goooood), and finally my favorite: mini chocolate chips with peanut butter (love the banana, chocolate, and peanut butter combo). I recommend trying out some different toppings.

But SERIOUSLY, these pancakes are actually good for you. If you’re trying to eat more whole grains, or if you are looking for a healthier breakfast, then I think you should give these a try. I love making pancakes and then throwing them in the freezer. They’re incredibly easy to heat up in the microwave and take to go. Just spread with a little healthy topping and devour!

Okay… one last bit of news! I’ve decided to restructure my blog a little bit. I will now be focusing on healthy, creative recipes. Of course you’ll see the occasional cupcake and brownie, but generally less sweets and more good eats. In my own life, I try to eat healthy and balanced and love sharing my passion for health with others.

Now let’s eat!

Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Pancakes, Breakfast, Brunch, Healthy, Whole Grain
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 large egg whites or 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of milk of your choice (skim, soy, almond, coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (you could also use honey or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, pureed
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add pureed bananas and mix until just combined.
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter.
  3. Makes about 10 pancakes. Top with peanut butter, maple syrup, fruit, or chocolate chips.
Notes
Adapted from Martha Stewart's quinoa pancakes
If pancakes are too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk to the batter. If pancakes are too thin, add 1 tablespoon of flour to the batter
Sub gluten free flour for whole wheat if you'd like
Adding 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to batter would make great chocolate banana pancakes

Apr
07

You are who you choose to be.

I know this to be true.

I’m the girl who gets up early Saturday mornings to bake and cook. I could spend an entire day doing it. There is no doubt that waking up every day to do something with food would make me happy. It’s becoming evident that it’s so much more than a hobby.

Which is why I am choosing to leave my current job.

Yeah, this just got serious.

Read more.

 
 
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