vanilla spice waffles with honey butter

vanilla waffles with honey butter

vanilla waffles with honey butter

Sunday morning meant my dad was making  waffles. Bigger-than-your-plate, square waffles. For 6 year old me, it was no more than a vehicle to transport as much syrup as possible into my mouth.

Get a good sugar buzz going, then go to Sunday school. I tried to find a picture of waffle day in the Martin house, but I couldn’t find one, so here’s a picture of my cat.



Anyway, what brought waffles and these memories to mind was my boyfriend and I made waffles this past Monday for breakfast. He had received a brand new waffle maker for free with his patio furniture.

(It was a Craigslist purchase. That should be enough to explain the odd combination of patio furniture and waffles.)

Nothing like a new waffle maker to make you want waffles.

My first attempt was blueberry waffles, but they didn’t brown like I wanted. I went with flavors that won’t produce as much steam, vanilla spice. Fall is just around the corner might as well start with warm, round flavors like vanilla and honey. Plus, my former roommate left a ton of imitation vanilla flavoring behind and I’m not one to waste things.

Vanilla Spice Wafflesphoto (14)

2 cups Flour

4 tsp Baking powder

1 tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ginger

1/4 tsp Clove

1/2 tsp Salt

3 Eggs

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 cup melted butter

1 tbsp of vanilla

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt together.

Mix eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla and add to flour mixture

Stir until flour mixture is moistened (there will be lumps)

photo (12)Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto a preheated waffle iron (I found that it was better to help the batter disperse along the bottom plate. It cooks more evenly, and as an added bonus, makes a pretty waffle.)

Cook until golden brown (actual time depends on your waffle iron, mine took about 5-7 mins on a medium setting)

Serve immediately or let them cool then store them in the freezer for later

photo (15)Honey Butter

1/4 cup Butter; softened

1 Tbsp Honey

Mix until combined

vacation kitchen

This past week has been nuts.

I had a final exam  last Monday, and then I went on vacation for a week.

There was no internet and very limited cell phone service on vacation.

It was awesome.

I caught crabs.

Blue crabs. In a net. (I know what you thought. You should be ashamed.)

Currently, i have a very empty kitchen. Vacation kitchen, if you will.

No one wants to come home and have a bunch of stuff that should have been thrown out last Tuesday still in the refrigerator.


Anyway, I will be back shortly with new stuff on here soon.

Books are food too

I like reading.

I’ve had this book for awhile. photo (11)

It’s one I pick up, read a bit, then put it down again.

I never really remember where I left off because I don’t mark my place. I just start at the beginning of  a chapter and read. I realize this would drive some people nuts, but I like just jumping into random chapters of her life.

Eventually, I’ll read the whole thing.

I think more people should know aboutMFK Fisher. She was a very interesting lady

Here’s a microscopic list of things I think are pretty neat about Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher:

  • She lived in France
  • She founded the Napa Valley Wine Library
  • She thought potatoes should be a course in themselves (I liked this fact in particular because I love potatoes)

I think if we had lived at the same time we would have been friends, at least I like to think so.

She writes about life in relation to food. It didn’t even have to be good food. She writes about her mediocre meals as well as the extraordinary. The lives and relationships that happened around that food are what made it memorable.

Everyone can relate to that in some way.

I used to go to my grandma’s house every Monday night for dinner, and her mashed potatoes will forever be my favorite food.

Now, I go to pint night at least once a week with my friends. There is good conversation to be had over beer. It’s not a meal, but the idea is the same.

What are you guys reading and/or what are some of your favorite food memories?






chicken stock

chicken stock

The first thing you learn in culinary school is how to make stock. It’s basic, but it adds depth and richness of flavor to dishes.

What I learned when making chicken stock was if it can add flavor, put it in. There is no waste when you’re making stock. Use all parts. chicken stock

I’ve been feeling a little sentimental since a few people I know are heading off into the world to do great things, and we have to say goodbye for now. I’m going to miss them. Last night was a kind of “last hurrah” before they leave, and we played two truths and a lie.

I can’t help but feel that chicken stock and what goes in it are related in the same way as our life and experiences.

All parts, good and bad, add richness and depth. Those weird, horrible life experiences that we would rather not have happened change us and sometimes make us more interesting. They give us a story to tell, and some really good “two truths and a lie” material.

Chicken Stock

chicken carcass/bones

2 parts onion: 1 part carrot: 1 part celery

Herbs: Thyme, Bay leaf, Parsley

Don’t use anything strongly flavored and don’t add salt

Cover with water.

Heat until steaming or if you’re going to be away, use a crock pot set on low.

Cook for 8 hours

Strain out all the ingredients

Chill for a few hours, or until fat has risen to the surface.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve to take out the fat.

banana muffins

Banana muffins

Banana muffins

My birthday was this past Friday, and my best friend got me a Starbucks gift card.

Google knows what's up!

Google knows what’s up!

I love Starbucks. I don’t care what anybody says, I like to go to there and drink coffee whether I’m by myself or with friends. I normally get a plain coffee or tea (depending on how much caffeine I need at that particular moment), but when I have a gift card, I buy a venti caramel, chocolate, double-shot, diabetes-inducing, awake-for-days, extra-whip monstrosity and a banana bread slice.  I love banana bread. It’s tasty.

This week, I had some  bananas about to reach “baby food” on the ripeness scale.  I tried to make banana cupcakes, but they turned into banana muffins. Really ripe bananas just want to be banana bread no matter what. Oh well. It was a happy accident.

Like when Post-its were invented!

Or some children!

Come on, we all know some of us are here simply because it was Dad’s birthday.


So, these muffins are good with coffee.054

If you want to put walnuts in them, go for it. I would have if  I had thought they were going to be muffins.

Banana Muffins

mis en place

mis en place

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

3 ripe bananas

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups of flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tbsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Optional:1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar together

4. Add one egg at a time, mixing one in before adding the second.

5. Mix in bananas, vanilla and sour cream

6. Add flour mixture in three parts. Mixing the batter between each addition. Either do this by hand or on a very low mixer setting to prevent the muffins from becoming chewy.

7. Bake at 375 F for 18-20 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean 008

infused oil and vinegar

Infused oil and vinegar

Infused oil and vinegar

I kill plants. I tried to grow petunias once.


I’ve also tried to grow my own herbs. You know, be an economical cook. Clip only what I need, and leave the rest to grow forever. I was going to have an everlasting supply of rosemary, basil, cilantro, and thyme.

But I killed them too…even the rosemary.

So, I’m stuck buying my herbs from the grocery store.

There’s so much in a bunch, I always wind up throwing a third of it away. That’s not all. It’s like 2 days in the refrigerator turns fresh herbs into wilted piles of sadness. I can’t afford to throw out $0.32 worth of herbs because I didn’t use them fast enough.

You can use the leftovers to make flavored oil or vinegar. They don’t last forever, so making a small amount with the herbs that weren’t good enough to make it into that fancy meal you made last night is good.

Infused vinegar and oil are nice ways to add flavor to dishes. Knowing how to make them yourself will also save you from buying them at the grocery store. They’re not worth $5 for a 10 fl. oz bottle.

There are two ways to infuse oil: Hot infusion and cold infusion

Cold infusion requires more time than hot infusion, but hot infusion is not good for the more delicate herbs.

Cold Infusion:

Bruise your herbs a little bit so the flavor will release easier

Put herbs/spices/what-have-you in a non-reactive container and pour warmed oil over them.


Wait two weeks or until your oil is flavored as much as you want

Hot Infusion:

Heat the oil and herbs over medium heat until there’s some bubbling and popping.

Cook for about 5 minutes and then strain our herbs.

If you’re using garlic, keep the oil in the fridge to prevent botulism.

Also, be sure to use an oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor on its own. However, extra-virgin olive oil does do well even though it has a more intense flavor

I made a cold infusion of grape seed oil and cilantro. I’ll let you know how it turns out

Yeah, I bought that cilantro yesterday...

Yeah, I bought that cilantro yesterday…

To infuse vinegar, heat it in a sauce pan and pour it over fruit/herb/whatever in a non-reactive container

Let it stand over night (in the fridge or not, use good judgement)

I used what I had, limes and white vinegar. It pretty much just taste like limes. White balsamic vinegar would have been nice, but oh well.


No fancy glass bottle to put it in


blueberry lemon mini cheesecakes

blueberry lemon mini cheesecakes

Fourth of July was really rainy this year in Alabama. My friends and I just sat inside drinking beer, watching movies, and eating.

Best. Fourth. Ever.

I made these cheesecakes in an attempt to use some blueberries I had picked with Boyfriend the weekend before. It was going to be blueberry tarts, but in a drunken stroke of genius the night before, I changed it to cheesecake. I don’t know why you need to know that, but there you go.

If you’ve totally skipped this whole reading part and gone directly to the recipes, you’ve probably noticed there is no recipe for the crust. That’s because I used store bought sugar cookie dough.

ready-bake  cookies make crusts for these mini cheesecakes easy.

ready-bake cookies make crusts for these mini cheesecakes easy.

Sure, I could have made them, but it was the Fourth of July, dammit. I was even lazier and used the ones that are pre-shaped, so you literally open the package and put them on a pan. Feel free to do what you want. If you want to make a graham cracker crust or whatever, knock yourself out. I was too busy enjoying my beer and friends to bother with that noise.

The 2 tricks to cheesecake are not incorporating too much air and cooking it evenly.  Both of these slow down the process, but hey, it’s summer. Slow is good.

For the water bath, you  put your pan in a bigger pan and fill the bigger pan with water until it’s about 2/3 of the way up the side of the smaller pan. That’s the right way to do it…

I, on the other hand, just stick a pan of water on the lower rack in my oven, and let it sit in there throughout the cooking process. I would still let my cakes cool inside the water bath though. It helps the cheesecake to not do crazy things like collapse.

Mis En Place

Mis En Place- French for get your s#$% together

 Lemon Cheesecake Filling:

Preheat oven to 350 with a water bath inside

16 oz cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp of vanilla

1. Cream cream cheese and sugar together.

2. gradually add the beaten eggs into the mixture with your mixture on a low setting.
Also, make sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl to incorporate all of your ingredients

3. add lemon zest, juice, and vanilla

4. Portion out into a lined cupcake pan

5. Bake at 350 with water bath for 10-15 mins or until the edges are set and the center is still a little jiggly.

6. Let the cheesecakes cool in the water bath

719I know this egg isn't beaten. Do as I say, not as I do725700

Blueberry Topping

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Sugar, enough to generously coat the berries

1 tsp cornstarch

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat berries and sugar

2. Add cornstarch to thicken the mixture.

It will look like this

It will look like this


Place cookie on top of the cheesecake still in a muffin liner.

Flip over and remove liner

Top with warm blueberry topping


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