I’m itching for longer days, warm balmy weather, barbeque lunches, and lazy summer days! I’m in Summer mode already despite the fact that Spring is not even upon us! Um, actually… we are in the dead of winter. But a girl can hope! I’ve been cooking up all sorts of recipes that are conducive to the warm weather and what better recipe than this!
Whether you call them Paletas (a Latin American ice pop made from fresh fruit) or good old-fashioned popsicles, these frozen little treats are fresh and bright and completely free of artificial dyes or flavours. So do your kiddies and yourself a favour and stop serving popsicles with artificial dyes and high-fructose corn syrup when you can serve up these delicious and healthy treats that are so easy to make!
My childhood is fraught with memories of waking up on weekend mornings to the unmistakable aroma of waffles wafting up to my bedroom. The smell was incredible, managing to permeate the entire house before wandering up to my room and lingering there long enough for me to rub the sleep from my tired eyes and coax me out of my deep slumber. Inevitably, there would be a delicious treat to be found in the kitchen, along with a motley assortment of other breakfast items. Life is good when you can wake up to a plate of freshly made waffles. My mum would make her waffles on a traditional four-square waffle iron which was perfect for the little mouths she had to feed when we were growing up. I prefer a round Belgian rotary waffle iron which produces large, decadent waffles that bake up puffy and golden and beautiful. Whether you have a smaller traditional waffle iron or a large one such as mine, this recipe will always taste the same — buttery, gently sweetened and oh, so delicious!
I’ve used this round waffle iron for about 9 years now. My brother-in-law and sister gifted my first one to me years ago when they came to visit me from Michigan. They have a knack for giving the perfect gifts and, well, I suppose it didn’t hurt that I dropped the ‘hint’ that I wanted this by circling it on a store flyer and highlighting it in bright yellow marker with the words “I need this…now” 😉 The iron they gave me held me in good stead for about 6 years after which time the motor seemed to have burnt out, presumably after a marathon of waffle-making one morning for my husband’s huge (enormous, really) family right after our wedding where I made over 3 dozen waffles in one morning. I made the sad discovery a few weeks after that when my brother asked me to prepare buttermilk waffles and the iron would barely heat up to above body temperature, forcing me to use my batter to produce pancakes rather than the requested waffles. My handy husband attempted to take it apart and repair the motor, but, alas, it would have cost more time and money to repair it (with no guarantee of success) than to just purchase a new one. I snagged the one I’m using now on a trip to the Tangier Shopping Outlets in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at a steal of a price at $40. I managed to cajole my sister into getting one and, after some resistance, she too picked one up and, I’m happy to report that she has used it most every weekend since, to make waffles for her lovely family.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m gadget pusher of sorts. I will always try to cajole those around me to get themselves kitchen tools that not only lend efficiency to their kitchens, but also, enhance the experience of trying new foods in different mediums. Much like my plight to convert the masses to use pizza stones, I am employing the same rational persuasion to encourage you all to go out and get yourselves this waffle maker. It retails for around $60-$80 and is worth every penny. I’ve managed to convert a few friends and some of my sisters and my mission continues!
When you do get yourself one, for the love of God and all things sacred, resist the urge to give into passivity and use a boxed waffle mix. These irons were meant to be produce fresh home-made waffles using ingredients that don’t have an indeterminable shelf-life and leave an unsavoury after-taste. Get out the eggs, the buttermilk, and the flour and try these. You won’t be disappointed! If your arm still needs twisting, let me add that the dry ingredients can be mixed the night before and set aside. All you have to do the next morning is whip up the rest of the ingredients. In fact, I often mix the dry ingredients and put them in resealable zipper bags marked “Dry Waffle Mix” leaving me to just mix the rest of the ingredients when I’m ready to satisfy my craving for these fluffy and delicious waffles!
The greatest thing about these professional-grade waffle irons is the 180° rotary feature. Once the batter is poured onto the iron, you immediately swivel the iron on its head using the attached handle, allowing the batter to evenly coat both sides of the inside of the iron. The result is a perfectly round waffle with extra deep pockets. The rotary feature also ensures consistent baking and even browning.