Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

"We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
-Julia Ward Howe, Mother’s Day, 1819

Being a mother is by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I have such respect for my mother and my grandmothers because it is also by far the most challenging. I have never worked so hard and juggled so much. (As I write this my daughter is laying on the couch with a fever and tippy tummy, totally shifting my day!) No matter what is going on and how sorry I can feel for myself, when Emma Rose giggles nothing else matters. I look in my little girl’s eyes and understand unconditional love. The journey to becoming a better mother has also taught me to be a better daughter, sister and friend. It has made me more aware of everything from pesticides to air pollution to how sensitive children can be to some of the harsher sides of this world. It has taught me a level of compassion that I did not know existed.
As Mother’s Day quickly approaches I sit and ponder what I want on this special day. Well aside from anything chocolate or in that” little blue box,” I can’t think of a thing. Nothing could make me happier than hanging out with my family and celebrating all of the amazing mothers that have so touched my life. I always say the more the merrier and I love a big family brunch. And like any mother hanging with our kids and watching them create and grow is so special. I have created a mothers day brunch for a crowd that with a little supervision children of all ages can participate in. (That would be dad or a friend hint…hint…so mom can sleep in a bit!) A waffle bar is so much fun. A great way to do waffles is right at the table. If you have or can borrow, several waffle irons running together work well. While all the kids can help with the batter, an adult or older child should man the waffle irons. If you want to make them earlier in the day you can re warm them in a 400-degree oven for 6 minutes or until crispy and warm. Have the butter, syrups and sauces on the table and let everyone make their own. My friend Wendy has been making cream cheese eggs for her mom JoJo since she was a kid. They are really simple and can be served as part of the waffle buffet or on their own with bagels, slices of tomatoes, onions and smoked salmon. Have the little ones pick out fresh fruit and make a festive fruit salad. Mostly have fun and be creative and celebrate the most amazing women in your life.

2 egg yokes
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1-tablespoon baking powder
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/3-cup oil
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Preheat waffle maker. Spray with bakers Joy or brush oil evenly. This will help the waffles not stick. Put all ingredients except egg whites in a large mixer bowl. Beat on low until moistened. Increase to medium, mix until smooth. In a clean medium-mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff peak form. By hand, gently fold in beaten egg whites. Pour 1/2-cup batter over griddle. Close waffle maker; bake until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite topping.

Blueberry Waffles
Follow above recipe then fold 2 cups fresh blueberry into batter. . Pour 1/2-cup batter over griddle. Close waffle maker; bake until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite topping.
Chocolate Chip Waffles
Follow the above recipe then fold 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips (or one-cup regular) into batter. . Pour 1/2-cup batter over griddle. Close waffle maker; bake until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite topping.

Sourdough Waffles
These are a little more time consuming, but kind of like a science project for the kids! I have been making sourdough breads, biscuits, pancakes and waffles since I was a kid. It is really a blast!
1 1/2 cups Sourdough Starter
1/2-cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1-cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1-teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, salt, baking powder and flour. In a large bowl whisk together egg, butter, milk and starter. Add to the flour mixture and stir until well mixed. Let stand covered for 1 hour. Spray the waffle iron with bakers joy. Using a four-ounce ice cream scoop pour the batter into the waffle iron and cook until golden. Repeat until all the batter is gone and serve with butter and maple syrup.

Sourdough Starter

1 Package dry yeast
1-cup warm water
1 cup warn nonfat milk
2 cups flour
In a medium bowl mix yeast over water. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes. Mix in warm milk. Add flour; mix to blend then beat until smooth. Transfer to a large container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then with a towel and let stand at room temperature 24-48 hours… until mixture smells sour….
Stir down upon occasion. It will be quite active for several hours after it is prepared. Use starter or refrigerate in a tightly covered container until ready to use. Between uses, refrigerate and bring it to room temp between uses. Replenish by using equal parts of flour and nonfat milk. (For example, if you use one cup of starter, mix one cup each of warm milk and flour and let stand until bubbly and refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to use again. Or until you clean out your fridge…then when you are in the mood…start again!!

Chocolate Waffles with Raspberry Sauce

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
1-cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2-teaspoon baking soda
1/4-teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar baking powder, baking soda. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks and buttermilk. Meanwhile in the small bowl of an electric mixer beat egg whites until stiff. Mix the yolks and buttermilk with the flour mixture. Fold in the whites. Spray the waffle iron with bakers joy and place 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup in the center of the iron. Close the lid and cook about 5 minutes until waffle is cooked through and dark golden. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve at once with powder sugar and raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce
3 cups fresh raspberries
2-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-cup sugar

Puree the raspberries and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Transfer the berry mixture into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and whisk together until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Wendy’s Cream cheese eggs for a crowd
My dear friend and designer Wendy Lorenz c can make anything look amazingly beautiful, but can only cook about three things! What she does…. she does so well! These are no exception!

3 tablespoons butter
1 dozen eggs
1/2-cup milk
1/2-cup cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet melt butter over medium/high. In a large bowl whisk together eggs milk, salt and pepper. Pour into skillet and scramble until soft. Add the cream cheese and continue to scramble until eggs are firm and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

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