Well, we're finally beginning to settle into the new apartment. And as we slowly unpack, we're realizing something. It's a fact that we've been somewhat aware of for a while now, but in trying to find a place for everything and put everything in its place, it's becoming crystal clear. And all things considered, it's not particularly surprising.
So what is this unrevealing revelation? We're kitchen freaks! Even with enormous new pantry space, there is nowhere but nowhere to put all of the cooking gadgetry that we've acquired over the past two years. We're actually considering purchasing new pieces of furniture to accommodate it all. I really should have known it all along... The biggest warning sign? The numerous weekends we've spent hanging out at Sur la Table and the Broadway Panhandler - not because we needed anything. Just for fun.
In our semi-unpacked kitchen, shoved between the Cuisinart ice cream maker and the Kitchen Aid mixer, you'll find an odd and awkward piece, a bit worse for wear but no less loved for its myopic life goal: Jonathan's waffle maker, with its sole purpose of baking honeycombed breakfast treats. It's actually been semi-broken for a while, but we haven't had the heart to toss it out - because after all, it still makes waffles! With some difficulty, but it does happen. And Jon is a master; it's one of those areas where his perfectionism really pays off.
A few weeks ago, my office celebrated administrative professionals' day with a (very un-vegan) waffle lunch. Of course, where I sat in the office at the time I was practically next to the conference room where they were being prepared. The damn things smelled simply divine, all vanilla and sugar, and I watched the other fifty or so office employees parade around with perfectly golden squares of ill-begotten-happiness. I decided then and there that I deserved some awesome vegan waffles. Don't we all? And anyway, what better way to break in a new kitchen, really, than by cooking a fabulous brunch?
So it was that the morning before I went to Delaware to start a trial, my baby made me some wafflebrunch. Making vegan waffles is really quite simple - it involves following the recipe on the side of the Bisquick box, and then merely substituting for the egg - and usually throwing in a dash of extract or spice because we're just like that. In the vast majority of my baking recipes, I use ground flax seed, yogurt, or banana to serve as a binder - the function that egg normally serves in a recipe. But this is one rare instance where Ener-g Egg Replacer does the trick perfectly. It's weird, processed, powdery stuff - exactly the kind of stuff that I tend to stay away from. Not that bad, I guess, considering that it is mostly potato starch and tapioca. But waffles are a treat, and you weren't going to trick yourself into thinking that they were going to be healthy waffles, were you? Nah, didn't think so.
The recipe goes as follows. I can't take any credit for this one - it's for serious just the Bisquick recipe, and Jonathan had worked out the kinks long before we met, bless him. As with most baked goods, you don't want to mix it all up until you're ready to make your waffles - remember, cooking is chemistry!
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-2 cups Bisquick mix*
-1 and 1/3 cup "milk" - we like almond; you can also use soy, rice, or whatever you prefer in your household
-1/8 cup (2 tbsp) oil
-1 "egg": 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer, packed mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
-mix up your "egg".
-stir all ingredients together in a large bowl; feel free to add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a shake of cinnamon or nutmeg - whatever suits ya.
-I can't tell you how to use your waffle iron; they're finicky little beasts. But the next step would be to pour the well-mixed batter into it and bake you a waffle!
-top your waffle with deliciousness - maple syrup, agave nectar, fresh fruit, some of that crazy vegan whipped cream in a can, some homemade chocolate syrup - sky's the limit people!
*p.s. - If you're not really interested in purchasing Bisquick, a General Mills product, you can use this recipe to make your own flour base and then proceed with the recipe above from there. I'm not in love with General Mills, but seeing as we purchase about one box per year of the stuff I can let it slide.
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So the first one maybe didn't come out too spectacular - this is one of the kinks in the old waffle maker. It likes to eat the first waffle of a batch itself! Still though, waffle shrapnel is still pretty damn tasty.
Waffle number two, though, that one came out picture perfect. Now, everyone likes to top their waffles differently. Me, I'm a maple syrup - Grade B! - and fresh fruit girl. On this particular morning the new neighborhood bodega (Wandy's, how I love you) had perfectly ripe organic bananas, and they looked like just the ticket. And believe me, it tasted just as good as it looks - maybe better.
Will we get a new wafflemaker? Yeah, maybe. Does it matter? Nah, not really - I got my waffle fix, and I'm good to go for a minute. Do vegans have the best at-home brunches? The proof, my dear friends, is in the waffles.
Until next Monday,