Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

Ahh, fall.

Just kidding, it’s still in the 60’s here. But I can pretend right? Mid-October is definitely time for pumpkin so I whipped up these pumpkin Belgian waffles last weekend despite summer still hanging on. These waffles don’t need much up-selling so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I was actually originally planning on sharing a different recipe, but I’ll save that one for next week so you can get right to these amazing waffles.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles {{Baking Bytes}}

Not overwhelmingly pumpkin flavored with all the fluffy texture of your favorite Belgian waffle recipe, these are a delightful addition to your breakfast repertoire. The spice of pumpkin pie is subtle enough to blend with maple syrup but strong enough to enjoy them plain. Feel free to up the spices if you want them to be more prominent. I added a few mini chocolate chips to some of mine (as you can see in the pictures) but they are equally delicious without.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles {{Baking Bytes}}

Note: Because pumpkin is so moist, these waffles will likely need to cook slightly longer than your usual recipe so I recommend turning your waffle maker about a half step higher. However, if you use leftover batter on subsequent days it will not need to cook quite as long as the batter gets less fluffy. On about day three I found I was going back to my usual setting of 5 instead of the 5.5 I used on the first day.

Also, if you don’t want to make the leftovers on demand, it works pretty well to make them all at once and freeze them. Under cook them by a half step or so and let them cool on a wire rack. Then break them into halves or quarters (whichever will fit in your toaster) and pop them in the freezer. You may have to test a couple to see which toaster setting is best for you, but on mine roughly the middle of the dial was perfect. (You can also try defrosting them slightly in the microwave first if you’re concerned about them getting too crunchy before they’re warm all the way through.) If you have a toaster oven, I imagine that would work even better.

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles {{Baking Bytes}}

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; it’s an easy recipe despite quite a bit of measuring involved. Now, stop reading this and go make some waffles!

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles

Adapted from Cooking Classy
Makes about 8 waffles

Ingredients

2 ½ cups flour1
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg

4 eggs, separated
1 pinch cream of tartar

1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until completely combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, buttermilk, oil, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla until completely combined.
  4. Gently whisk the milk mixture into the dry mixture until everything is moistened but still lumpy. Carefully fold in the egg whites (there should still be small puffs of egg white visible).
  5. Heat your waffle iron and spray with cooking spray if necessary. Add about 3/4 cup of batter and cook to desired doneness.
  6. Serve immediately with toppings of choice. (Maple syrup or butter and cinnamon & sugar are both excellent.)

Notes

1 I also think they’d be great if you substituted ½ cup of the flour with whole wheat flour.

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Energizing Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

What? Two healthy recipes in a row? The end is near! Just kidding. I’ve had this one in the backlog awhile but never got around to writing the post. I promise to bring you a proper amount of sugar next week. (Possibly too much, but that’s up to you.)

Energizing Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins {{Baking Bytes}}

These muffins make an amazing breakfast or snack, and are awesome for pre- or post-run energy. Nice and filling but very flavorful, these are a slightly  healthier alternative to a prepackaged granola bar. They are dense, packed with blueberries, and stick with you. A subtle oatmeal flavor steps them up a notch from your usual blueberry muffin recipe and Greek yogurt adds a little extra protein.

Energizing Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins {{Baking Bytes}}

My new go-to recipe for blueberry muffins has been changed to this one for their amazing flavor, texture, and fillingness. (That’s a technical term.) Warmed and spread with butter, these are delicious all week long (if you haven’t eaten them all before then) any time of the day. Round them out with some scrambled eggs and a cup of coffee and you have an easy breakfast for any day of the week.

Energizing Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins {{Baking Bytes}}

Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from Finger Prickin’ Good
Makes about 15 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose (can substitute up to 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour)
1 cup oats
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups honey nonfat Greek yogurt (I like Greek Gods)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, run under hot water to thaw)
1 Tbsp flour

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. If desired, use a blender or food processor to reduce the size of the oats.
  3. Whisk together flour(s), oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until completely combined.
  4. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla.
  5. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Toss blueberries with remaining flour, then gently fold into the muffin batter.
  7. Fill each muffin well with 4-5 Tbsp batter, and bake 20-25 minutes. Tops should be lightly browned and a toothpick should come out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (or serve them still warm!)

Stuffed Peppers

[First things first...I am so sorry for the ridiculous semi-accidental hiatus. September was M's last month in town before he headed back to Antarctica (yes, you read that right) for three months, so I let the blog fall by the wayside. My apologies. But there's good news! I'm going to post something every Monday in October to make up for it.]

In other news, Montana refuses to legitimately enter autumn and insists on holding onto summer as long as possible. It is in the high 60s as I write this, which personally I think is just ridiculous for October. Maybe it’s just me but I am definitely ready for cooler temperatures. Mainly because I want to run in like 40 degrees rather than almost 70 and then come home to a steaming bowl of soup, but until I get that weather machine working I’ll just be staring forlornly at the weather forecast. Shorts and tank top weather will be over soon enough (I hope) just in time for everyone to complain it’s too cold. In preparation for that glorious time of year, here is a fabulous and easy dinner recipe that’s great for a chilly fall day and conveniently includes almost all of the food groups.

Stuffed Peppers {{Baking Bytes}}

As a kid I was not big on the bell peppers thing. I still don’t really care for them raw, but I love them cooked in things. Stir fry, tacos, pizza, soup, stew, etc are all improved by the addition of a bell pepper or three. Bonus: veggies are healthy. I saw a picture of stuffed peppers on Pinterest a few months ago and thought to myself “that looks like something I could maybe handle” and then promptly never made it because it was 85 degrees outside and I didn’t want to turn on the oven.

Stuffed Peppers {{Baking Bytes}}

Fortunately it has cooled down a bit since then and my hypothesis was correct: they are delicious. Wild rice, Italian sausage, cheese, and a smattering of other flavors come together in a delightfully simple recipe. Although it’s not super quick, particularly if (like me) you’re not practiced at cutting things, it’s incredibly easy and hard to mess up. You could cut down on the time by preparing them the night before and popping them in the oven when you get home from work. They may need a bit longer in the oven to warm through so make sure you check that the center isn’t cold.

I did not add a lot of spices to mine because I was using hot Italian sausage and that was enough for me, but the addition of some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, curry powder, or whatever you’re feeling that day would work beautifully. Conveniently you can taste the filling before you finish them up in the oven, so it’s easy to play around with the flavors before you stuff the peppers. Try adding zucchini or spinach for an extra veggie boost.

Stuffed Peppers {{Baking Bytes}}

Bake these up, serve with homemade applesauce and a glass of milk and you’ve got all the food groups covered in a healthy and delicious meal.

Note: They reheat pretty well in the microwave but I find it works better if you cut them in half beforehand.

Stuffed Peppers

Inspired by Kalyn’s Kitchen
Makes 4 peppers

Ingredients

4 large green bell peppers

1 cup (uncooked) wild rice

 

12 oz Italian sausage (or ground meat of choice)
olive oil (for sauteing)

1 bell pepper (any color, I used orange)
1 small-medium onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated mozzarella

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease an 8″x8″ glass baking dish (or any glass baking dish that your peppers will all fit into.)
  2. Cook rice according to directions and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tops off the peppers, hollow out the inside, and slice a bit off the bottom so they sit flat (if necessary).
  4. Dice the tops of the peppers (minus the stem of course), onion, garlic, and remaining pepper into small pieces.
  5. Saute meat and a little olive oil in a large pan over medium heat for a few minutes.
  6. When meat is about halfway done, add the diced veggies and continue sauteing until meat is cooked through and veggies are heated.
  7. In a large bowl, combine rice, cooked sausage mixture, and Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine thoroughly. (I found it easiest to use my hands.)
  8. Add spices to taste and stir to combine.
  9. Firmly stuff mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, filling them full and using a spoon to aid in packing it tightly. (You may have a little extra filling, I saved it and used it like a taco filling.)
  10. Bake about 30 minutes, then sprinkle (or pile) mozzarella onto the tops of the peppers and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
  11. Serve hot and refrigerate leftovers for up to one week.

Fresh Peach Crisp & Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream

As the days start to get shorter, my thoughts turn to those of fall and how I’m probably not quite ready for that. Fortunately the produce section at Costco is still full of summer flavors. I had a flat of peaches to use up and not enough energy for a pie, so a peach crisp seemed in order.

Peach Crisp & Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Peaches and cinnamon are one of my favorite flavor combinations and this crisp is no exception. Fresh peaches complimented by ground cinnamon is difficult to beat and nixing the pie crust makes it easier than pie. With the crispy topping it’s great on its own but being as I’m an a la mode kind of girl, I made a batch of ice cream to go with.

Obviously vanilla is the traditional choice, but on a whim I kicked it up a notch with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Best idea ever! It’s pairs beautifully with the crisp, and I’m sure it would go great with peach pie, rhubarb pie, or any number of other fruit desserts. It’s also delicious by itself for us cinnamon fanatics. I suggest you make a batch to go with your peach crisp – you’ll be glad you did!

Peach Crisp & Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Full disclosure: I thought this crisp turned out a little runny, so if I make it again I’ll probably add another 1/2-1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the peaches before baking. If you try it that way, let me know what you think.

PS – If you’re cringing at the idea of peeling 6 peaches, check out my peach pie post for an easy and fast way to get it done!

Peach Crisp

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 8″x8″ dish

Ingredients

6 peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced)
1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 salt

1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Place peaches in a large bowl and gently fold in the sugar. Let stand for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, make the topping: in a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt until well mixed. Add the butter and mix until completely combined and crumbly. You may want to use your hands. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Whisk together lemon juice, corn starch, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Drain peaches (for at least ten minutes), return to bowl, and stir in lemon juice mixture.
  6. Pour peaches into 8″x8″ glass baking dish, crumble topping over the peaches (pressing lightly to make sure it sticks) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until juices are bubbling and topping is crisp.
  7. Let cool for 15 minutes, or until ready to eat. Serve warm with a scoop of cinnamon vanilla ice cream (below).

Peach Crisp & Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half (or milk)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 tsp ground cinnamon1

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until completely combined.
  2. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an extra three hours, or overnight.

Notes

1 I love cinnamon so I used the full teaspoon. If you’re not as big of a fan, you’d probably prefer a half teaspoon (or somewhere in between).

Lo Mein

After last month’s ice cream bonanza, I thought I might make something a bit more savory. I came across this lo mein recipe on Pinterest and liked how easy it looked. I also liked that it doesn’t really require side dishes since it already includes veggies, grains, and meat. Timing different things to all finish at the same time is my least favorite part of cooking, and the main reason I prefer making desserts over dinner. Okay, that might be a stretch, but it is a pretty big reason nonetheless.

Lo Mein {{Baking Bytes}}

I prepped ahead of time by cutting all the veggies and the meat, and this saved a lot of time when I made it the following night. Putting it together took less than thirty minutes which makes it a great weeknight dinner if you have a little bit of time the night before to cut some veggies. It is still a pretty quick meal even without the prepping, especially if you’re better at cutting things than I am.

Lo Mein {{Baking Bytes}}

I used broccoli and carrots, but it would also be great with peas (frozen or snap), bell peppers, jalapeños, mushrooms (if you’re into that sort of thing), or whatever else you’d like to throw in there. Could also leave out the meat for a vegetarian option. It makes a bunch, so it’s great for a family dinner or as leftovers. It’s delicious, filling, covers several food groups, and reheats nicely. I’m a big fan of meals I can eat for several days, whether for lunch or dinner or occasionally both. (I told you I’m not a big fan of cooking.)

Lo Mein {{Baking Bytes}}

If you’re looking for an easy recipe to dip your toes into the waters of Asian entrées, this is a great one to start with.

Lo Mein

Adapted from Mom’s Dish
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

3 large carrots
3 cups broccoli
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic

8 oz noodles (spaghetti, angel hair, rice noodles)

1/2 cups boiling water
2 beef bouillon cubes

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
2 tsp sesame oil

1 pound beef steak (I used elk)
oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Mince the garlic, and cut the meat and remaining veggies into bite-sized pieces. Slicing them thinner than I did will help everything to cook more evenly. Pro tip: meat is easier to slice when it is still slightly frozen. If prepping ahead of time, store in the fridge until ready to cook.
  2. Bring water to boiling (scoop out 1/4 cup for your sauce) and cook pasta as directed. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add bouillon cube to boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan or wok, sauté oil, garlic, and onion for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add meat and fry until it’s lightly browned.
  6. Add remaining veggies and fry for another few minutes until veggies are cooked but still crisp.
  7. Add sauce and noodles, mix thoroughly, and cook briefly to ensure all ingredients are warmed through.
  8. Serve immediately.