Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cream Waffles with Cinnamon Cream Syrup

Not only is today Saturday, but it's also Halloween. And the really amazing thing is that no one had anything going on or anywhere they needed to be.  This put me in the mood to celebrate, and I jumped at the chance. I decided to make breakfast for the family. I decked the table with our black tablecloth with spiderweb pattern and went to work making these yummy waffles. This recipe has been a family favorite for many years and was a favorite of our guests at the bed-and-breakfast. These waffles are fantastic, but it's the syrup that adds the WOW factor.

Wow your family and friends and make up a batch. Great for breakfast, dinner, or a waffle party!

The waffles freeze well, so I made lots of extras. 
The kids can now enjoy them throughout the 
week for a quick meal or snack. They just pop
them in the toaster. Much better than an Eggo.

I forgot to take a picture of the waffles with syrup
until we were halfway through the meal and the table was
a mess. This is probably the best shot I could get.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of baking in the next little while.

First of all, the holidays are coming–gifts to bake, potluck parties, treats for the office, and that sort of thing. I'm in the mood to bring back a bunch of recipes I haven't made in a long time.

Secondly, I've promised the students I work with that I would make something special for each of their birthdays. After I committed myself, I found out a good chunk of them have birthdays within the next thirty days beginning today.

So Steven, this is for you. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum! I think it's the perfect cake for a brisk fall day, and this is one of the best carrot cake recipes I know. And it's amazingly healthy, too, with three whole cups of carrots. Well, maybe not so much. But it's gotta help, right?

Give this recipe a try, and enjoy!

The finished cake. I know I'm not a food photographer, but you get the idea.

The birthday boy, Steven, with his cake. And 
the reviews are in: everyone agrees this is an
incredible carrot cake. It disappeared in no
time flat.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ultimate Rice Krispies Treats

During the summer of 2006, we took a vacation to Nauvoo, IL. We drove out there and met up with my parents and a good family friend who traveled there by train. We stayed in our friend's Victorian mansion across the river in Keokuk, IA and  had a fabulous two weeks exploring everything the area has to offer.

Before we left Utah, a coworker told me we had to try out a café in Fort Madison, a town just north of Nauvoo. It's called the Ivy Bake Shoppe and Café, and as the story goes, President Hinckley ate there and loved it. Now, it might be complete rumor, but I don't mind spreading this little bit of possible urban legend because I think it can only help the café. And, I wish the Ivy Café much continued success because we fell in love the place.

I purchased one of their cookbooks as a souvenir, and it we have put it to good use. I've made several of the desserts from the cookbook to bring into work for birthdays and such. This Rice Krispies treat recipe is always a hit. The Ivy Café calls them Caramel Rice Krispies Bars. Uh...kind of boring, don't you think. And, the name just doesn't do them justice. These are not your everyday-run-of-the-mill Rice Krispies treats. They have caramel and sweetened condensed milk!  So, you can see I've renamed them because really, they are the ultimate.

Nauvoo Trip memories--The bottom middle picture is, unfortunately, 
the only picturewe got of the Ivy Café. It's a horrible shot of me, 
but you can see from the wall in the back of the room, 
that the Ivy has character.

I just made a batch to take around to some of our terrific neighbors. I'm sure you know someone who could use a thank you or some cheering up. They're so easy to make, and I guarantee they'll be a hit.

 If this picture looks better, it's because I borrowed a nice camera. 
But if I ever do get a fancy camera, I think I'll need to take a class 
on how to use it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cranberry and White Chocolate English Scones

About twelve years ago, Katie and I ran a bed-and-breakfast inn. A friend of ours shared this recipe, and it was an instant hit with our guests. We served these scones at least twice a week. It got so that I could whip up enough to feed 20 guests in no time at all with my eyes shut. And I literally mean with my eyes shut. Things got going pretty early in the morning at the B and B.

We called them English scones because the bed-and-breakfast was in a castle (or at least a building built to resemble a Scottish castle). All the rooms were castle-themed. I have no idea if these scones are anything like what you get in Great Britain, but they are good. Maybe some day Katie and I can make it across the pond to find out how they compare.

By the way, if anyone reading this is thinking how fun it must have been to run a B and B. Well, here are three pieces of advice:
  1. Have more money than you know what to do with.
  2. Hire someone else to live on site.
  3. Serve these scones.

My camera's batteries are dead, so this was 
taken with the cell phone. Not bad for a cell phone, 
but I think I need to start the New Camera for Curtis Fund.
Donations gladly taken. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sour Cream Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

It took me a while, but I finally did it. I decided which recipe to publish first. And I can't believe it doesn't have any chocolate in it. What's up with that? Well, these cookies totally deserve the honor of being my first recipe blog post.

Katie got this recipe from her mother, and it comes from an early 1900's dairy farmer's cookbook. It just may be my favorite cookie of all time. I love the soft, almost spongy cookie. And the browned butter gives the frosting an amazing flavor.

I did make one tiny alteration to the recipe. The recipe as we received it calls for shortening. I have serious doubts whether a dairy farmer's wife would have used shortening in the early 1900's, so I changed it to butter. I don't notice a difference.

I find it extremely difficult to control myself and not snarf down a whole dozen of these tasty cookies in one sitting. I say, try these out and see if you can resist. 

After trying to take a nice shot of the cookies with my old 
Canon Power Shot, I have now added a new camera to my 
Christmas wish list. So until that wish comes true, I apologize .

Update (6-22-10): Since I finally have a decent camera, I decided tp add a new photo the next time we made these cookies. Much improved, don't you think?