February 10, 2014

An oldy but a goody

Woot Woot! I'm sharing a recipe :) Bout time? Yeah I thought so too. I absolutely ADORE baking...cooking is a whole other story. I am getting better with cooking but it's kind of hit or miss still. So I am going to share a recipe that is actually a huge hit in our home! Drumroll please.......WAFFLES! Not just any waffles though. Belgian waffles. (Yes this is more baking than cooking but humor me)

This recipe comes from my family cookbook and is the hit to any Brunch or Breakfast event. I use it for dinner all the time since it's so easy to make and it tastes heavenly even after being frozen (I currently have a big bag in my freezer).

1 tsp dry yeast
2 c lukewarm milk
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c melted butter

Sprinkle yeast over warm milk; stir to dissolve. Beat egg yolks and add to yeast mixture with vanilla. Sift flour, salt and sugar together; add to liquid ingredients. Stir in melted butter and combine thoroughly. Beat the egg whites until stiff; carefully fold into batter. *Let mixture stand in warm place about 45 min or until double in bulk*. Use 3/4 to 1 cup of mixture per waffle.

*While waffles are doubling in size, let's get started on your homemade syrup!

You have 3 choices here. I will start with the recipe we use as our "Waffle syrup". It is thicker so the waffles can uphold the weight a bit better than pancakes can (it still tastes excellent over pancakes though!). I store it in the fridge and use it for apple slices, ice cream and just about everything!

Caramel Syrup:
3 c sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp baking soda

Combine sugar and milk in 3 qt saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Be careful not to let it burn! It will and it will fast if you don't watch it. Bring syrup to a boil and quickly remove from heat, as it will boil over quickly (No joke guys). Hold pot over sink and add baking soda. Stir with whisk. Store extra in fridge.
*Last week I was out of evaporated milk and decided to substitute it with sweetened condensed milk (I omitted the sugar too since it's already sweetened :). It turned out fine but twice as heavy as the caramel syrup.
*Try adding cinnnamon to the syrup to give it an extra kick!

This next syrup is one I use if I'm out of my caramel ingredients. Still delicious though!

Vanilla Syrup:
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c water
1/2 c butter

Bring sugars and water to a boil. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Add butter and vanilla.

And lastly we have the famous Butter Syrup. My mom is known for this syrup and will use it on any and all desserts she makes!

Butter Syrup:
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix above ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cool slightly. Add 1/2 tsp soda (It foams just like the Caramel syrup!)
This can also be used on ice cream, brownies, etc. Store in fridge :)

And there you go! I will post pictures next time I make each of these recipes so you can get a better idea of how they should look.

December 08, 2013

"Good mother lizard"

    Out of the many dinosaurs that my lovely 4 year old knows, one of her favorites is the Maiasaura. It's name means "good-mother lizard". Why? Because majority of the Maiasaura fossils have been found near their nests full of eggs along with older Maiasaura babies. Which means that it took care of it's young until they were old enough to fend for themselves. They were an herbivorous dinosaur that was about the size of a camping trailer (average size for a dinosaur).
  It constantly amazes me how much information we have about these incredible reptiles! And that we still know hardly anything at the same time. I think I have become as fascinated as my daughter has now...well maybe not.
   Anyway back to the Maiasaura. Out of all the dinosaurs, this is one they have been fortunate enough to discover many fossils of. They even found a whole herd of Maiasaur fossils that consisted of 10,000 individuals! Wow.
    I sincerely hope my daughter grows up and uses this knowledge and love of dinosaurs! We will do whatever it takes for her to accomplish her dream of becoming a paleontologist (If she still wants to in 15 years :)

December 03, 2013

Mini Paleontologist

My 4 year old daughter knows many kinds of dinosaurs and can tell you a few facts about each. The most amazing thing about this kid is how MUCH she knows about them! She can look at a picture of what some may think is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and analyze how it is NOT a T-Rex.
We went to Albuquerque last month and came across a dinosaur statue. She initially yelled out, "Look a Tyrannosaurus!" then stopped and examined it for a minute. "No this has to be an Albertosaurus. It has short arms and two fingers like a T-Rex but it is much shorter and skinnier than one. So it must be an Albertosaurus."

After we took a picture next to it I looked at the description of the dinosaur that was next to the statue. Sure enough, it was an Albertosaurus. She never ceases to amaze me how intelligent this kid is.

It's an odd feeling when your child outsmarts you on something. It's ESPECIALLY odd when they are only 4...