Liège Waffles

Breakfast can be a hurried affair hastily thrown together, but when you can, taking just a little more time and attention sets the day on a great path.  These Liège Waffles take breakfast to that next level and make it a treat your breakfast table won’t forget. The pearl sugar really makes each bite pop with sweetness without being overpowering!

You’ll see in the second photo one of my new favorite kitchen gadgets for dusting with powdered sugar, the OXO Dusting Wand.  This was in my gift bag from the Food Blog Forum Orlando in February, though it’s almost been more of a curse than a gift, because I can’t stop myself from dusting everything with powdered sugar and other spices. It’s compact, inexpensive, and you can get a tighter more accurate dusting than the big powdered sugar shakers I’ve always had.

Liège Waffles

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  2. 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  8. 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (about 1 cup), plus more for brushing
  9. 1 cup Belgian pearl sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the brown sugar and yeast into the lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour with the salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix at medium speed about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each. Whisk the vanilla with the 1 cup of melted butter. With the mixer at medium-low, gradually mix in the butter until smooth; the batter will be thick and very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  2.  Stir the pearl sugar into the risen batter. Cover again and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3.  Preheat the oven to 250°F. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron and brush it with melted butter. Gently stir the batter to deflate. Using about 2 tablespoons of batter for each, cook the waffles according to the manufacture’s directions until they are golden and crisp; brush the waffle iron with melted butter as needed. Transfer the waffles to plates or keep them warm in the oven, then serve.

Liège WafflesLiège WafflesLiège Waffles

 

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Despite the Washington area’s recent seeming indecisiveness on the issue (and the 53 degree weather), the calendar and I boldly declare it is officially springtime.  So here’s one of my favorite springtime salads to start off the season.  The watermelon, mint and cucumbers are so fresh, they really brighten the feta, red onion and olives.  It’s a light, greek inspired salad that has become one of our staples.

INGREDIENTS:

  • organic cucumber, julienned or spiralized
  • chopped watermelon
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • chopped fresh dill
  • chopped fresh mint
  • pitted kalamata olives
  • feta cheese, crumbles
  • lemon, olive oil, salt & paper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the ingredients together. Serve right away or refrigerate for later. Enjoy!

I served mine under a delicious oven-baked macadamia & pistachio crusted Mahi-mahi with mango salsa.

Serve right away or refrigerate for later.Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are delicious, but I always felt there was something lacking in the appearance department in the traditional deviled egg, all that bland white and yellow…  Well, enough of that, it’s springtime in the BeWhatWeLove house, and we’re celebrating with pops of color everywhere, including in our deviled eggs.  Since I’m a huge fan of beets, using natural beet coloring makes this recipe even better.

Beet Pickled Deviled Egg

INGREDIENTS:

Brine

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 small beet, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Peppercorns

Devil Egg’s Filling

  • 6-8  hard-boiled large egg yolks, peeled
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Bring water, vinegar, beet, shallot, sugar, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then simmer, covered, until beet is tender, about 20 minutes.  Cool completely, uncovered.  Put beet mixture and a few peppercorns in a container with eggs and marinate, chilled,  at least 2 hours.

Remove eggs from beet mixture and pat dry (discard beet mixture). Cut in half lengthwise and remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then divide among egg whites.  Sprinkle with smoked Spanish  paprika.

Beet-Pickled Deviled Egg

 

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

Potatoes, bacon, cheese, need I say more?  Actually in this case, I think so.  These aren’t your standard cheddar loaded potatoes you’d get at happy hour in some family restaurant, they’re a deliciously sophisticated and yes, slightly decadent dish that is now definitely on my go-to side dish list.

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

iNgredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb hickory smoked, thick sliced bacon
3 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesan (preferably freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano)
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
fresh parsley, chopped

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Peel the potatoes and place in a large pot with water covering them.  Bring water to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Cut bacon in small pieces (freeze the bacon slices for about 10 min, it will make easier to cut)
  3. Cook bacon in a skillet until golden, but still flexible. You don’t want it crunchy. Remove cooked bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. While potatoes are cooling, preheat the oven to 425° and mince the garlic and parsley. Also, grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  5. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt,pepper and rosemary. Place in 425° oven for 35-40 minutes. Rotate potatoes halfway through the baking time to ensure an even color.
  6. Reduce temperature to 375°, turn potatoes over and sprinkle with the bacon, garlic, and parmesan and cook for additional 15 minutes or until browned and cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. And voila, enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked BaconRoasted Potatoes with Hickory Smoked Bacon