Crisp Waffles

This summer, I have been making lots of waffles. There’s something about a freshly cooked waffle that gets my day going on the right foot. I originally started eating these waffles at my in-laws house. Bob’s mom, Patty, always makes us big, delicious breakfasts before work, travel, etc. One summer, I lived at their house while teaching sailing camp, and she made me breakfast every day. Now, I am learning how to make some of her breakfasts, such as these crisp waffles and her oatmeal pancakes!

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These waffles can be improved by soaking the flour overnight. More information about soaking flour in water and an acidic liquid medium can be read at: http://lifeonpurposemama.blogspot.com/2011/01/soaking-flour-whys-and-hows.html . This process breaks down the flour and makes the product more digestible and nutritious.

The recipe comes from a Betty Crocker cookbook and you can see it has been used for years!

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The night before:

Soak the 2 cups of flour in the 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk. Simply combine the flour, water, and buttermilk, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it out on the counter overnight. (This replaces the milk in the recipe.)

In the morning, proceed with the recipe:

  • Add the dry ingredients to the flour mixture: 4 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt
  • Melt 1 stick of unsalted butter in a small saucepan.
  • Once melted, allow the butter to cool slightly, then add two beaten eggs and 1 tbsp of sugar. Stir to combine.
  • Lastly, add the egg, butter, and sugar to the flour mixture!
  • When your waffle iron is heated, pour 1/4 cup- 1/3 cup batter in the center of each square. This recipe yields about 12 Belgian waffles.
    • You will need to adjust the waffle iron temperature to your preferred crispiness. I usually cook on 3-4  (Medium) heat for a nice golden brown crisp.

Topping ideas: 

  • Maple Syrup with bananas and walnuts
  • Whipped cream with frozen sugared strawberries or any fresh fruit
  • And… fresh off the iron, these waffles stand alone well!

Don’t have buttermilk at home?

Bob and I do not keep buttermilk readily available at our house. In order to soak in an acidic medium, you can make buttermilk by mixing lemon juice with milk. The conversion is 1 tbsp of lemon juice in one cup of milk. You can make one cup of buttermilk and save the extra, or I often just put 1 tsp of lemon juice in 1/4 cup of milk. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes before adding the water and flour. Here is a link to more buttermilk substitute recipes: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-quick-easy-buttermilk-substitute-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-185757

Extra Batter?

If you have

extra batter, you can save it in a tupperware container in the fridge and use within 2-3 days. I like to make enough for the day and then make fresh waffles for a few days. If you do not plan to eat waffles as often or do not have the time to heat up the griddle the next day, you can cook up all the waffles and freeze them! They are great re-heated in a toaster oven for about 10 minutes on 350F or until warm and toasty.

Don’t wanna soak your flour?

This recipe for crisp waffles tastes good even if you do not soak over night and use all 2% milk rather than a water/buttermilk combination, but I recommend soaking your flour to see what you think. It tastes great, and it’s healthier!

Have a big crowd? 

This recipe can be easily doubled! I made a double batch for a Sunday morning breakfast for 8 people. Waffles were everywhere. We kept the cooked ones warm in the oven while I finished cooking the rest.

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Time to heat up your waffle irons! Enjoy!

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Boston Vacation

To top off summer, Bob and I left the humid, blistering heat of Texas for a week trip in Boston. I had just completed an engaging semester of maternity and newborn nursing, which I absolutely loved, but I was ready for a vacation!  Thanks to Patty and Dave, Bob’s parents, we were able to spend time with family and tour an awesome city! Before leaving the Houston airport, I made sure to drink some Dunkin’ donuts coffee in preparation for our voyage East.
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Flying into Logan international airport, we soared across Boston harbor. The window view was spectacular. Bob’s parents had told us their experience with planes landing above their sailboats… almost as if they were about to touch the sailboat’s mast. What a cool location for an airport!

When we arrived, we drove to Charlestown first. Here, we saw the Bunker Hill Memorial. Then, we went to dinner at Warren Tavern, which was built in 1730 and visited by both George Washington and Paul Revere. Dr. Warren was the man who sent Paul Revere and William Dawes to alert the Colonials about the British soldiers. It was the Minute Men National Park that sparked my memory about all the history in Boston because they had a detailed visitors’ center with a multimedia presentation. Each year, Boston schools’ spring break falls on the week of April 19, in honor of the battles of Lexington and Concord.

On our first full day in Boston, we had to go for a sail. We headed into Boston from the apartment, and first, we toured the USS Constitution. I was the only one who had not seen “Old Ironsides”. At the USS Constitution museum, I learned the history of this honored Naval ship.

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Next, we were off to sail! Bob’s parents are members at Courageous Sailing Center off the Boston inner harbor. We took out a J22, and enjoyed a windy afternoon on the water. Sadly, the wind was coming from the wrong direction for us to have planes landing over our heads, but we had several planes take off above us!

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After sailing, we headed to Fenway Park for a Red Sox vs. Astros game! We had standing room tickets on the Green Monster, but we found four open seats and no one ever came and claimed them. This location had a great view of the field, and the pictures don’t do it justice.

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The following day, we went to Minute Men National Park, followed by kayaking from the south bridge to the north bridge on the Concord river. We rented the kayaks from Southbridge Boat House. It was so much fun to see the North bridge from the water and to spend some time rowing with Bob!

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Kayak selfie! Thank goodness for Lifeproof cases, as long as you don’t drop the phone and lose in the water!

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 Patty and Dave on their kayak!

After kayaking, we went to New Hampshire for some outlet mall shopping! NH does not have sales tax, so that was an added bonus. Bob and I got great deals on new Sperry’s. You gotta love it when the receipt says you saved $140. We also got Bob some new wayfarer RayBans…this Lenscrafters did 30% off with AAA membership! Whoop!

The following day, it was back into Boston for a duck tour and an Italian dinner in the North End. The duck tour was so much fun! Our ConDucktor was Professor Quackenstein and we rode in Back Bay Bertha.

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Back Bay Bertha was parked in front of the loading zone at the end of the night, so we were able to take a photo with her. Photobombed by another ConDucktor!

614The Boston Duck Tour was an entertaining way to see the city. This was the second tour for Patty and Dave, and each trip, they learned something new and saw different sites. I learned that within a 50 mile radius there is more than 1,000 Dunkin’ Donuts…then, I saw about five in the next five minutes. We saw the grave yard where Sam Adams is buried. Pointing to a bar across the street, he said, “This the only place you can drink a cold Sam Adams while staring at a cold Sam Adams!” It was really cool that the duck could be driven directly into the water! We went into the Charles river for the water portion of the tour!

Before dinner, we went to the Old North Church, which played its part in history on the night of April 18th, 1775 by raising lanterns to inform the Charlestown patriots of the British troops planned route to Lexington,  “one if by land, and two if by sea!”

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We had dinner at Panza Ristorante. The most memorable dish was the bruschetta appetizer… it was the best I have ever had: Crunchy warm bread with fresh tomatoes, red onion, balsamic drizzle, and small pieces of creamy goat cheese tied the whole dish together. Bob ordered the Chicken Panza, which was also a table favorite.

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Since we were right around the corner from Mike’s Pastry, we had to stop in to get some famous cannolis. I did not think I really like cannolis, so I had Bob order me two giant chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were so delicious… I would go back just for that! Then, I tried an espresso cannoli, and I liked it, too!

Our final day on the East coast, we drove to Gloucester, MA part of Cape Ann. This area was founded in 1623 by men from Dorchester, and it became one of the earliest English settlements, predating Salem (1626) and Boston (1630). We went to the park, and we walked the shoreline, visiting the Fisherman’s memorial. It was surprising to see the number of Fishermen deaths at sea, which are caused by a number of things such as large storms, sinking, small dorys gone astray, and being run down by steamers.

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Bob and I had such an amazing time on the East Coast. It was fun to visit our family in a new area before they move back to Texas sometime in the future. Thank you so much Patty and Dave for this fun adventure! We learned a lot about Boston history, baseball, and East Coast living.

Happy 50th birthday, Dad!

50 years ago today, my dad entered this world. Nanni and Papa-Pete were moving to St. Louis from Corpus Christi, but even then, my dad knew he wanted to be born in Texas. He arrived before they could fly to STL, and his first days were spent in a tiny motel, using a dresser drawer as a crib. When he arrived in STL, he must have felt like royalty sleeping in the Culver family crib. These fifty years have been full of adventure, wonder, trials, and triumphs.  In my 23 years in his life, I have learned many things from him. Dad, you have been a great role model and inspiration to me, and I wanted to share some fond memories I have with you!

1- You always know how to laugh and how to make others laugh.

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2- You took reading very seriously as a child, and read stories to us when we were little!

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3- You instilled faith and morals into our lives from the start.

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4- You gave Matt and I some good looking genes.

5-You taught me to be brave. This family photo was taken right after I wiped out on my bike when I tried to ride no handed like you were.

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6- You demonstrated that when you find a jacket you like, you should never get rid of it…

1980-84 CCP-CPK0016About 25 years later…..

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7- You were always willing to go the extra mile for us, especially by driving us to sport events all across Texas and Illinois and driving to watch games when we were older.

8- You had tea parties with me and my stuffed animals.

9- You taught us how to play tennis!

10- You taught us how to drive… and demonstrated how not to drive 😉

11- You gave us the Pelton sarcasm!

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12- You reminded me that I am beautiful, smart, and funny when I needed to hear it.

13-I remember the time you made me a frame for the mirror full of adjectives that describe me.

14- You showed me that hard work and dedication pay off.

15- You gave us the opportunity to travel and see the world from other perspectives.

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16- And… you taught us a plethora of choice words while trying to drive on the opposite side of the car and road. Thankfully, you raised us to know not to say those words!

17- I remember swimming in the Irish hotel with swim caps and eating duck and rabbit for the first time in a fancy restaurant.

18- You taught us how to play cards, Oh hell at reunions, Gin Rummy, etc.

19- You always cooked extravagant breakfasts and desserts. I remember the time you made bananas fosters, and I thought the house was going to burn down.

20- You always threw big celebrations for birthdays and accomplishments.

21- You taught us to be loyal sports fans.

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22- You passed on the gene for doing the dishes. I remember waking up early to empty the dishwasher for you and mom, and now, I am still the dishwashing queen.

23- We built the coolest igloo one Christmas in Bloomington.

24- When we went fishing, you would always unhook the fish for me because I thought they were so gross.

25- You took us skiing and camping many times.

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26- You and Joe set the example of food photography….now, I can barely eat without taking a picture of a delicious meal!

27- You gave us the opportunity to attend Culver and experience family tradition.

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28- I am so thankful for all the family reunions we went on together!

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29- You are the king of shaped pancakes!

30- Every Halloween, you carved pumpkins for us!

31- You have your unique sayings, like “As you wish my dish,” which I catch myself saying now and then.

32- I remember one night in high school you came home to “make coffee” because I was alone with a boy.

33- You allowed me to become an Aggie, after raising me as a Longhorn.

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34- You dropped me off at Fish Camp my freshman year, and I was so sad to see you leave.

35- You gave me the gift of education and encouraged me to follow my dreams!

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36- Thanks to Alex, you are never to old to wear wolf onesie footed pajamas…

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37- You are patient.

38- You are a great uncle.

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39- You introduced Bob and I to the St. Louis City Museum… it was so much fun!

40-  You accepted Bob’s request to marry me and gave me a wonderful wedding to mark the beginning of my future with Bob.

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41- You taught me to be myself and to love unconditionally.

42- You encouraged me to go to nursing school, and I am so glad I did!

43- You passed on your love for spicy foods.

44- We helped Matt organize and pack up for his move to Africa in St. Louis.

45– We celebrated Bob and I’s first married thanksgiving with you, Ann, and Nanni in College Station!

46- You cherish moments spent with our family.

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This year, we celebrated your birthday early… a Colorado vacation in July when Matt, Bob and I were free from school and work. We went to Crested Butte, courtesy of Ann, who won a condo for a week’s stay during a raffle!  I’m so glad we had the chance to celebrate this big occasion together in a beautiful city.

47- We went rafting!

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49- Our most extreme activity was mountain biking!

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50- Dad, I hope you have the best birthday ever. May these memories live on as we create more. Cheers to a happy and healthy future! Just remember, you are fifty years young. 🙂

Love, Kerry ❤