Will it waffle?
That was the question Dan Shumski set out to answer when he launched a blog in 2010 called Waffleizer (waffleizer.com).
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Dan Shumski says that waffled French toast is probably the safest waffle project for Mother’s Day because most of us already have a version that we make in a pan that is just as easy to press in a hot waffle maker.
But he was surprised to learn that waffled French toast isn’t as newfangled an idea as he thought when he first stumbled upon the dish on a food blog several years ago.
After he started his own blog, one of his readers emailed a waffled French toast recipe in an early edition of “Joy of Cooking.” Undeterred, Shumski published his own version of waffled French toast, a variation of which will appear in his forthcoming book from Workman Publishing in 2014. Shumski says the key is using slices of bread that are not too thick, otherwise they won’t cook all the way through. “This recipe should make it onto a lot of weekend breakfast tables,” he writes. “Assuming you can wait that long.”
Waffled French Toast
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash of salt
6 slices of bread (sandwich, challah or brioche work best)
In a shallow container such as a pie plate, whisk together all ingredients except bread.
Soak a slice of bread in the mixture, flipping the slice to make sure the bread absorbs the liquid thoroughly.
Waffle until golden brown. This should take about five minutes, though waffling time will vary depending on your waffle iron and heat setting. Serve with a pat of butter and maple syrup. Serves 3.
— From Dan Shumski, Waffleizer.com blogger
Break out the bubbles
Austinite Alissa Leenher knows what she wants for Mother’s Day:
“I’d love not to have to do dishes,” she says. “And a few minutes of peace and quiet would be nice.”
Leenher, a stay-at-home mother of two and a self-described wannabe sommelier, combined her two passions — kids and wine — in 2011 when she started her blog, SAHMmelier (sahmmelier.com).
In her blog, whose title plays off the acronym for stay-at-home mom, Leenher writes not about the highest-rated or most buzzed-about wines but the ones that suit her palate and inspire her to learn more about the industry. Leenher also goes beyond simply describing the wines themselves and often gets to tell the stories behind the winemakers, too.
Pink sparkling wines are always a good bet for a Mother’s Day wine pairing because they are often floral, light and a little (or a lot) sweet, plus they pair well with a traditional or nontraditional brunch.
Leenher recommends Segura Vidas’s Brut Rosé ($10 or less per bottle), as well as another brut rose from Brazil’s Miolo, which retails around $13. In the mid-price range, consider the sparkling wines from Gloria Ferrer, such as its Blanc de Noirs, but if you’re ready to splurge, try Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé, which runs about $50 a bottle.
Looking for a fruity alternative to wine? You’ll find lots of bubbles inside a lambic beer, such as those from Lindemans, whose beers are widely available in grocery stores and come in a variety of flavors, including apple, raspberry and blackcurrant.
Unlike hash browns, omelets cook very fast in a waffle maker, so if you’re planning to make both, first cook the hash browns, which, if using frozen, will take about 20 to 25 minutes. (If you’re using fresh potatoes, squeeze as much of the moisture out of the shredded potatoes first.) You can put anything you’d like in the eggs; I just happened to use green onions and cheese this time. Three to four eggs will work for a small waffle maker, and don’t be surprised when the lid lifts up a little as the eggs puff up.
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. shredded cheese, such as cheddar
Pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the waffle maker. Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl and pour onto one of the waffle irons. Close the lid and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Serves 1 to 2.
— Addie Broyles