Cake (and Brownie) Mix Waffles

For cake mix: Whisk together a box of your favorite flavor of cake mix with 1 cup of water or milk, 1/3 cup safflower oil, and 3 eggs. Heat up a waffle iron and spritz with cooking spray. Ladle in a spoonful or two of the batter and cook until the waffle is crisp. Stash the waffle in a 300 degree oven to stay warm while you make more.

For brownie mix: Dump the brownie mix (ghirardelli 20 ounce dark chocolate is recommended) into a large mixing bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Crack 3 eggs into the bowl, then pour in 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Mix until well combined, then add a big splash of very fizzy seltzer.

At this point, you can heat the waffle iron and get down to business. Alternatively, you can jazz up the brownie waffle batter with some mix-ins. Classic brownie lovers may want to go with finely chopped walnuts, while chocoholics may opt for chopped chocolate. Peanut butter, butterscotch, and white chocolate chips also won’t disappoint. Whatever you choose, fold in about 1/2 cup of the mix-in into the batter.

Heat your waffle iron and grease it with cooking spray or melted butter. Cook waffles in whatever manner the waffle iron’s directions recommend.

Another (simpler) variation: eggs, water and oil as directed on the box
1 additional egg
1 box Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix
Desired toppings

Whisk together eggs, water, and oil until combined. Add brownie mix and mix until just combined.
Pour into preheated waffle maker and bake for 3 minutes or as directed on your waffle maker.
Remove and enjoy topped with fruit, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel sauce, or ice cream.

Simpler yet:
1 box (1 lb 3.8 oz) Betty Crocker Supreme walnut brownie mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Heat waffle maker. (Waffle makers without a nonstick coating may need to be brushed with vegetable oil or sprayed with cooking spray before batter for each waffle is added.) In large bowl, stir brownie mix, eggs and oil with whisk just until smooth.

Pour slightly less than 3/4 cup batter onto center of hot waffle maker. (Check manufacturer’s directions for recommended amount of batter.) Close lid of waffle maker. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter.

Eleven Madison Park Granola

2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dried sour cherries

Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkinseeds and salt.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

Super Fluffy Pancakes

2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 225 degrees F and place a large baking sheet inside.

Melt butter halfway in the bottom of a large bowl then whisk in sugar. This should leave the mixture lukewarm, not piping hot, but if it still is, let it cool slightly before adding the egg.

Whisk in egg and vanilla, then 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk.

Whisk in salt and baking soda until fully combined, scrape down bowl, then stir in flour until it just disappears. You’re looking for a thick mixture, more like a very soft cookie dough than a pourable batter, but if it’s very stiff, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of the remaining buttermilk and stir until combined.

Heat griddle or frying pan over medium. Once hot, add a good pat of butter (please don’t skimp; butter makes crispy edges) and dollop in small mounds of pancake batter — Use a #40 or 1.5 tablespoon scoop to make this even easier and neater. Try to resist the urge to press the mounds into flat puddles; a little nudge is okay but keep the height here.

Once bubbles form on top, lift a corner of each pancake and check for it to be lightly browned before flipping it.

Reducd the heat to medium-low for the remainder of the cooking time.
Once pancakes are golden brown on the second side, and do not worry if the tall sides look raw, this is completely expected, just transfer them to heated oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Tall, thick pancakes like this almost always hide pockets of uncooked batter; 5 minutes in the oven will fix this. You can leave them in the oven for much longer.

Per Smitten Kitchen: This recipe makes 14 quite-tiny (2 to 3-inch) pancakes. You should absolutely double it.

These are thick enough to accommodate blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.

If you only have yogurt, for a thick, plain one, use 1/2 cup and thin it with 3 tablespoons of milk.

Look for a batter thick enough that you have to push it off the spoon with your finger, or that doesn’t puddle out much when it hits the pan.

Crumpets

1 1/2 cups (355ml) milk, regular or lowfat, at slightly above room temperature (about 110ºF, 43ºC)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 3/4 cup (390g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon (195ml) tepid water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the tepid milk with the sugar and yeast. Let proof for 10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to bubble.

Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and gradually mix in the flour and salt. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. (You can also make this by hand in a large bowl, and beat the mixture vigorously.)

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 1 hour.

Mix the water and baking soda together and beat them into the dough.

Heat a wide skillet over medium heat. Pour some neutral-flavored oil into a small bowl and use a paper towel to wipe the bottom of the pan with oil, and the inside of the crumpet rings or molds.

Place the rings in the pan and fill the molds with batter so they’re halfway full. Let the crumpets cook; bubbles will appear on the top while the bottom browns. Cook them long enough so bubbles can form, checking the bottom (and perhaps adjusting the heat) to make sure the undersides of the crumpets aren’t getting too dark.

When there are bubbles on top and the bottoms are browned, about 4 to 5 minutes, use tongs to remove the rings and flip the crumpets over. (Tip: You can actually remove the rings once the crumpets appear set, so they have a few minutes to cool down before you reuse for the next batch.) Cook the crumpets on the other side until golden brown. If you’re like me, you’ll probably toast them so they don’t need to be very dark. When done, place the crumpets on a cooling rack.

Wipe the inside of the crumpet rings clean of any stuck-on bits, wipe the bottom of the pan with a bit of additional oil, and repeat the process, making more crumpets with the remaining batter.

Serving & storage: Crumpets are best served warm, or toasted, with lots of butter and your favorite jam or marmalade. They can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days, or frozen for up to two months.

Cilbir (Turkish Poached Eggs with Yogurt)

1 garlic clove
1 3/4 cups whole-milk yogurt
4 poached eggs
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mint leaves (optional)
Pide or pita bread, for serving

Crush and pound the garlic to a paste in a mortar and pestle; mix it in with the yogurt. They must be properly mixed. These two ingredients are good company— leave them alone.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, chili flakes, and paprika in a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat to melt and froth a little, about 2 minutes.

To assemble, spread the garlic yogurt on a plate and place the poached eggs on top, so you can see the beauty of the eggs.

Drizzle with chili butter, and season generously with salt and pepper. If you like, tear some mint leaves over the top for some extra color and texture. Serve with bread.

Eggs Kejriwal (Grilled Egg and Cheese Toast)

1 tablespoon softened butter
2 thick slices Pullman bread
2 teaspoons mustard
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
1 serrano chile, finely sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
1 tablespoon minced red onion
2 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Ketchup, optional

Butter the bread on both sides, and lightly brown in a frying pan (use the pan you like most for frying eggs). Smear one side of the toasts with mustard, and transfer to a sheet pan, mustard-side up. Turn on the broiler.

Mix together the cheese, chile, cilantro and onion, then split the mixture evenly between the toasts. Place under the broiler just until the cheese is melted.

While the cheese is melting, fry the eggs in the same pan you used to make the toast, until the white edges are crisp, but the yolks are still soft. Gently loosen the eggs from the pan, and slide one on top of each toast. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with ketchup on the side, if you like.

Ande ki Kari (Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

8 large eggs, at room temperature
3 to 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes, halved through their equators
3 tablespoons ghee, butter, safflower oil or grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 to 2 teaspoons garam masala, to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
Cooked basmati rice or flatbread, for serving (optional)

Hard-boil the eggs: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then carefully lower eggs into water. Cook for 9 to 10 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath. Let cool, then crack and peel. Reserve.
Set a box grater over a bowl. Starting with their cut sides, grate the tomatoes through the large holes so tomato pulp falls into bowl. Discard skins. Measure out 2 cups tomato purée. (Save the rest for another purpose, such as adding to a vinaigrette.)
Heat ghee (or butter or oil) and coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onions and cook until deeply golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly to encourage even browning.
Stir in garlic, ginger and cumin seeds; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and cardamom and cook another 1 minute. Stir in coriander, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes and black pepper, then add tomato purée. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thick and fat begins to separate, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and boiling water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until sauce is thick and has a satin sheen, 7 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for another 20 minutes to let flavors meld.
When ready to serve, cut eggs in half lengthwise. Bring sauce back to a simmer over low heat, stir in garam masala, and gently add eggs to sauce. Simmer just long enough to heat eggs through. Top with cilantro and serve with yogurt and rice or flatbread if desired.

Sheet Pan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Hash

Oil or cooking spray
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen, canned, or roasted corn kernels
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet or coat with cooking spray.

Place the sweet potatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, black beans, and corn in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Add the olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss to combine.

Bake, stirring halfway through, until the sweet potatoes are tender, 15 to 18 minutes total. Remove the pan from the oven and create 6 wells in the vegetables. Gently crack an egg into each well, keeping the yolk intact; season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Return the pan to the oven and bake until the egg whites are set, 7 to 9 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Southern Sausage Gravy

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Hot biscuits for serving

Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and break into chunks with a spatula. Cook until the meat is crumbled and browned all the way through. Add the flour and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the milk. Cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is very thick and bubbly (you can add more milk later if you need to thin). Season generously with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with hot biscuits.

Avocado Lassi

2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup plain or Greek-style yogurt
1 cup whole milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
4 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1 tablespoon rosewater or gingery syrup (optional)

Slice the avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove the pit, peel and roughly chop.

Add the yogurt, milk, sugar, crushed cardamom seeds, and rosewater to the blender and process to a creamy consistency. Taste and sweeten more, if required.

This lassi can be made ahead and kept refrigerated. Serve chilled.

Recipe Notes
You can replace the yogurt and milk with soy or almond milk for a dairy free and vegan version.You may have to rub the avocados with a little lime juice, if making this version.

Honey can be used in place of sugar.

The rosewater adds a delicate floral note to the lassi (highly recommended)

Alternatively, ginger syrup is a delicious, spicy addition. (you can use syrup from jars of preserved ginger.

Cacao Muesli with Coconut Milk

1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 plump vanilla bean pod, sliced lengthwise
1 3/4 cups raw rolled oats (not instant oats)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup pepitas, toasted
2 tablespoons shaved piloncillo, plus more to taste

to serve: chopped dates, sliced fresh figs

In a small pot over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, salt, and cinnamon. Run a knife along the vanilla bean segment, to separate the paste – include the paste and pod in the pot as well. Bring just to simmer, turn off the heat, and allow the mixture to steep for at least ten minutes. In a separate medium size bowl, combine the oats, cocoa nibs, pepitas, and the grated piloncillo. Pour the warm coconut nut milk over the oat mixture, then stir to combine. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes. Serve with more grated or shaved piloncillo if you like, and fresh figs, and dates.

Serves 4.

Coconut Pancakes

1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
1 /4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose or regular pastry flour)
3 cups unsweetened (not dessicated) dried shredded coconut
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs. whisked in a medium bowl
1/4 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar

In a small saucepan heat the coconut milk and honey, bring barely to a simmer.

In a separate large bowl combine the flour, coconut, salt and baking powder. Stir the coconut milk into the flour mixture.

Whisk about 1/3 cup of the coconut mixture into the eggs. Now quickly mix the eggs back into the large bowl of coconut batter. Stir until well combined. You can do this the night before if you like.

Heat your favorite non-stick (or very well-seasoned) skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Drop a heaping tablespoon into the skillet, sprinkle the top with a bit of brown sugar. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Makes dozens of silver dollar sized pancakes, or a dozen or so larger ones.

Yogurt, Berry, and Avocado Bowl

Yogurt
Avocado
Blackberries
Maple syrup
Rolled oats
Sea salt

Spoon one cup of whole milk yogurt into each bowl. Top the yogurt with a bit of thinly sliced, ripe avocado, 1/3 cup lightly smashed boysenberries (or blackberries), 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and scant 1/4 cup raw rolled oats. Season lightly with salt.

Each bowl serves one.

Chocolate Dutch Baby

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
6 tablespoons (50 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, any variety, sifted if lumpy
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk (I use whole)
4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
Shaved dark chocolate and powdered sugar (to finish)
Fresh berries and syrup (to serve, if desired)

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk eggs, sugar and salt in the bottom of a medium bowl. Add flour and cocoa, whisking until mostly smooth (some tiny lumps are okay, but whisk out what you can). Drizzle in milk, whisking the whole time.

Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove over high heat. Add butter and melt, tipping the pan around so it butters the sides too. Turn heat off and scrape batter into pan. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until pancake is billowy.

Remove from oven and grate chocolate over, to taste. Dust generously with powdered sugar. Cut in halves or quarters and eat with berries and syrup, if desired.

Self-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup cold butter (cut into pats), or shortening
2/3 to 3/4 cup cold milk or buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Place the flour in a bowl. Work in the butter or shortening just until crumbs are the size of large peas.

Add 2/3 cup of the milk or buttermilk, and stir until the mixture holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more milk or buttermilk if needed.

Scoop the dough onto a well-floured surface, and fold it over on itself several times, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll or pat the dough into a 5″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.

Cut biscuits with a sharp, round 2″ cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to reduce sticking. Or cut the rectangle into 12 small rectangular biscuits, which will allow you to skip the step of re-rolling and cutting scraps.

If you’ve used a round cutter, pat the scraps together, and cut additional biscuits.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1″ between them for crisp biscuits. Arrange biscuits so they’re barely touching for soft-side biscuits. For higher-rising soft-side biscuits, place biscuits in an 8″ round pan.

Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, and serve hot.

Cool leftovers completely, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

To refresh room-temperature biscuits, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 13 minutes, until heated through.

Yield: about 1 dozen 2″ biscuits.

To make a sweeter, shortcake-type biscuit, add 3 tablespoons sugar to the flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the milk.

For cheese biscuits, mix 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper with the flour; work in the butter or shortening, then toss in 1 cup shredded cheese before adding the milk.

2-Ingredient Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits

6 ounces /170 grams (1 1/2 cups) self-rising flour
1/4 to 1/8 teaspoons salt (optional; for a saltier biscuit)
6 ounces /170 grams (3/4 cup) heavy or whipping cream

Heat the oven to 450° F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Mix the flour and salt together (if using), then add the cream until smooth and batter-like. If it’s not coming together, you can use your hands to lightly knead and press it together in the bowl.

Scoop 1-ounce balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches between them. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Alternately, pat the dough 3/4 inch thick and cut biscuits with a cutter, if desired. (At this point the biscuits can be frozen and baked straight from the freezer.)

Brush the tops of the biscuits with cream, milk, or water. Bake the biscuits 10 minutes or so, or until they are light golden brown on top and baked all the way through. Break one open to make sure they’re done!

Serve warm or at room temperature; to store, wrap well in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.

To keep them longer, store in the freezer.

Haitian Black-Bean Sauce (Sos Pwa Nwa)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 chicken bouillon cube
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and scallions until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the beans and 5 cups of water. Bring the water and beans to a boil over medium-high heat, covered, then boil until the beans are soft, about 1 1/2 hours. (This may take longer depending on your beans.) Add water occasionally to keep the beans submerged, if necessary; keep an eye on them, as you may need to add a fair amount of water, depending on your beans and how tight your pot lid is.

In a blender, purée the beans and any water left in the pot with an additional 1 3/4 cups water until very smooth. Force the purée through a fine strainer.

Return the bean purée to the pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the coconut milk, butter, parsley, bouillon cube, salt to taste and black pepper. Cook the bean purée, stirring occasionally, until it’s the consistency of a rich gravy. (Adjust with water if necessary.)

Haitian Cornmeal Porridge (Mayi Moulen)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 avocados, sliced, for serving

Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until barely golden, about 6 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil.

Pour in the cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring constantly, and add the parsley, thyme, salt and black pepper. Stir for a few minutes to avoid lumps.

Lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cornmeal is tender, with a soft but not runny consistency, 20 to 25 minutes. Adjust with more water or salt if necessary. Serve with sos pwa nwa and sliced avocados.

Masa Cakes

Makes 12 to 14 cakes

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 ounces chopped green chile (1/2 a small can) or 1 roasted, peeled, and chopped poblano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Whisk together dry ingredients. Put eggs, 1 cup of milk, sour cream, oil and 3 tablespoons of the corn kernels in a blender and blend on high until liquified. Combine with dry ingredients and add enough of remaining 1 cup of milk until batter is coming together but still fairly thick. Stir in grated cheese, chopped green chile, cumin, scallions and cilantro. Spoon onto heated griddle and sprinkle 1tablespoon of corn kernels on each cake before turning.

Lime Crema

1 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and stir until combined. Serve with the finished corn cakes.