If I still have any readers out there following me, you might be wondering: where in the world has Tiffany been? I haven’t logged into WordPress since…March?! Is that right? I checked my last post, and sure enough, it’s been about three months. I think that’s a record. I’ll confess that I simply have not been baking very much at all. It’s not that I didn’t want to. I really did. For a short stint, I went…paleo. (Gasp!) Looking back, I don’t know how I survived. But before you cast judgment, I felt I had good reason. I will spare you gory details but sometimes your body tells you that something isn’t quite right, and I thought I should make some dietary changes to “reset” and “detox” and all that crunchy stuff. For a month and a half, I went processed sugar-free and grain-free. Let me tell you, it was awful. I know some people swear by this paleo thing, but I don’t believe that that is how we were meant to live. I would agree that there is probably something strange going on with how our food is grown and made–what with GMOs and everything. And maybe there are individuals who really can’t have grains because their body rejects it for some reason. But is it true that’s how our ancestors lived–and therefore that’s the lifestyle we need to adopt? I’m not so certain. While taking processed sugars out of my diet was a good move, removing grains in their entirety made me feel like something was missing in my life, leaving me dissatisfied and unfulfilled. I could only eat so many nuts and vegetables, and I craved variety desperately. What was helpful in the process, though, was figuring out certain types of foods that I was sensitive to, as I began to reintroduce them into my diet. My two main culprits: dairy and corn. That was a bummer because I love both. While I don’t exclude them entirely, I now keep my intake limited and will have them on occasion. But boy, a slice of pizza is so hard to resist sometimes.
Fortunately, I got over my short paleo stint in time to go on a trip to Brussels and Amsterdam. If there is a place to indulge in gluten, Europe is it. Perhaps they grow their wheat differently or their ingredients are fresher, but their food (especially their breads and pastries) is quite simply better. Things I would not normally enjoy in the States, I love in Europe. Sandwiches in the States are just okay, but in Europe, they are in its own class. Waffles are a treat if I get to have brunch on a weekend, but with waffle vendors every 100 meters in Brussels, there is no escape. To no avail, I have been on the search for that perfect whole grain baguette I had in Amsterdam and the crispy-and-caramelly (not a word, I know)-on-the-outside, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside Liege waffle I had in Brussels.
I bought a Croquade Belgian waffle maker from Sur La Table before my trip, and I was inspired to give it a go this morning. I knew I couldn’t replicate what I had in Brussels, and I still wanted to keep it healthy, so I adapted a Dorie Greenspan recipe from the New York Times and made myself buckwheat waffles for breakfast this morning. I will not claim that these are nearly close to a real Liege waffle (to begin with, my waffles look terrible). I wouldn’t even necessarily suggest you use my adapted version of this recipe (though maybe try the original version from Dorie Greenspan). I can tolerate my own healthy cooking, but would not necessarily serve it to others. Nonetheless, it’s in a waffle shape, and for this morning, that was good enough. I’m providing the recipe below, but really, if you’re looking for a good healthy waffle recipe, don’t bother. I just wanted to post SOMETHING finally. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to hone my waffle making skills and then I’ll be able to post something worth making.
By the way, I hope to do a little write-up of the places I loved in Brussels and Amsterdam soon. It’s taking me forever to go through my photos, editing them and all that, though, so next time for sure! (And I will try to take less than three months until my next post)
- 9 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 T. turbinado sugar
- 1/4 t. sea salt
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites from large eggs
- Stir melted butter and milk together. And sifted flours and whisk until smooth.
- Stir into mixture sugar, salt, and vanilla.
- Heat waffle iron.
- Beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the batter into the egg whites using a whisk.
- Pour batter onto the waffle iron and close the waffle iron. Cook on one side for about two minutes, then flip the waffle iron to cook on the other side until crisp and lightly browned.
- Serve with powdered sugar, ice cream or whipped cream. (I like mine plain sometimes)
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Belgian waffles in the New York Times
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