Sunday, March 24, 2013

Waffle Week

 After realizing a doubled-batch of waffles for my son's birthday sleep over was too many, I quickly turned to Twitter crowd sourcing for ideas on what to do with all my left overs. One of my friends said,

While I plan to curate the week through Storify when it's over, I thought I'd document the beginning of #WaffleWeek with a summary of plans.


Once upon a time, I stacked the waffles on a plate, hot off the iron. While the waffles were light and fluffy with a thin crispy toasted texture due to the extra butter in the batter... the weight of them crushed the ones on the bottom of the plate. I saw this serving piece on an episode of Downton Abbey; a toast rack. I thought I could use this to cool the waffles so they'd maintain their crispy outer layer and not get soggy from the steam. Not that I'm going to get a percentage of any sales of this item through; but here's a link if you decide this is a simply must have thing for your kitchen. Oh, and if you order this, make sure you get the very wise banana slicer. Oh, the products that get green lighted sometimes make you wonder. At least the comments on the product are worth the time to read. But I digress.

This is my waffle rack. It's actually more helpful to me when making large batches of waffles than a regular cooling rack. The only bother about this piece is it's a real bugger for storage. Now if some enterprising young inventor wanted to design a collapsible version - I'm sure we'd get the best of both vintage serving and modern storage needs.

You know, when I was poking about the internets for a link to show a picture of a Downton Abbey episode featuring said toast server - I was slightly distracted by all the foodie sites related to Downton Abbey. Cocktails, proper teas, and even vintage recipes and service are abundant. My favorite blog is Downton Abbey Cooks; a great combo blog of episode recaps and full out recipes. In another life I'd be a culinary historian. But I digress.

I have 15 left-over waffles. In order to get the best of the waffles for the week, I divided them into separate piles; three four-packs for lunches or dinners, and three individually wrapped for my own experiments. I can take my family on this journey for only so long. I'm channeling as much of my mother's genius about left-overs as I can this week. Not sure my kids will appreciate the efforts. Herein is the cycle of life.

For the stacked packaging, I put a little square of parchment in between each waffle to make sure they stay separated.

Into the freezer they go, laying vertically again to try to keep them from flattening. I'm not going to bother about cleaning my freezer before taking pictures of its contents for this post. Same attitude applied to the pictures of the waffles or any manipulations of them. I'm not a food stylist. Nor am I a decent photographer. Every once in a while I surprise myself with a well grabbed image on the iPhone. I do wish I could indulge more time and money into better cameras. But I digress.

Menu Planning
Thanks to suggestions from the morning crowd sourcing exercise, I've come up with these ideas:

Suggested by @hillarykwiatek and @TheJennC
Chicken and Waffles for Monday dinner.
Found a great recipe on I actually have all the ingredients in my kitchen already. This either means I cook a variety of foods, or I never throw anything away. I'll have to check the expiration date on a few items. I'll post a review of the recipe after I've given it a go. This meal will use 4 waffles.

Pulled Pork over Waffles for Wednesday dinner
This idea inspired by a NYC Food truck - Wafles and Dinges. I'm not making another batch of waffles just for the cornbread flavor. Instead, I'll top the waffle with some of the BBQ pulled pork in the freezer (made last month - I'm so awesome at this left-over business!), add buttery corn niblets on top and a bit of shredded cheddar. I'll pop those puppies under the broiler for a touch. This meal will use another 4 waffles.

Suggested by @DrTimony 
Waffle Monte Cristo sandwiches for Thursday lunch with the kids.
They love Monte Cristo sandwiches. I'm sure if I put enough powered sugar on them, they won't complain. I'll even throw in a scoop of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel sauce (another left over from the brownies I made last week), with a slightly toasted waffle quarter on the side (another suggestion by @TheJennC). This Thursday, the kids are off school for Easter break. This meal will need to be eaten at my office before I teach class. The ice cream dessert will be their reward for good behavior. I don't like rewarding them with food. This will actually come after we take the dog on a 2 mile walk, then enjoy some treats before the "Not waffles again, Mom" dinner.

I'll eat the other three waffles for breakfast this week with the following modifications:
1. topped with low-fat vanilla yogurt, fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of Granola Factory "Bethlehem Inn" mix
2. spread peanut butter and sliced banana - that I will suffer by cutting said banana with a knife
3. topped with scrambled egg and slice of ham

Feeling pretty good about this plan. Not sure how much more obsession I can make about waffles. This has been a delightful distraction. I'm supposed to go for a run with the dog and finish the girl scout cookie paperwork. The run I'm actually looking forward to doing. It's been a week since the 5K and I miss it. I also downloaded the new Justin Timberlake album as a birthday present. Behold, the mid-life crisis begins. Buddy could also use a good sniffing. I'll admit to being completely passive-aggressive about the Girl Scout Cookie paperwork. That's been a huge lesson in what I'm not good at, no matter how much I want to be.

.... but I digress.

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