As a kid I loved writing short stories, but as I got older that passion fell by the wayside, so this new blog will, in hopes to get me back to writing while combining my passion for food and cooking.
As my first post, I have to take it back, all the way back to where my food journey first began, back to Saturday morning breakfasts of Pancakes and Waffles. I grew up in a home my parent’s built on an old farm next door to my grandparent’s house in a little suburban town on the shoreline of Connecticut. I lived there with my parents, my two older sisters and my grandma. I was most like my Grandma Elsie, it was a perfect fit Elsie and Chelsey, we were both very shy and quiet and appreciated the quiet solitude of the early mornings. One of my most embedded memories of my childhood was coming down from my cold bedroom in my nightgown and rushing to the corner on the kitchen floor to heat my toes by a small heating vent under the cupboards. As I would sit there, I would watch my Grandma Elsie make her morning cup of Folgers Coffee in her plastic filter cone, she would always hum or whistle like she was in such a pleasant mood all cozy and warm while wearing her pink slippers and long zip up bathrobe that covered every part of her body. I was always envious of her morning outerwear, because our house was cold! Only the first floor of our house had baseboard heaters, but the 2nd floor where all the bedrooms were (except my Grandma’s) they had wool blankets and the hope that the heat from the wood burning fireplace in the basement would eventually reach us.
I loved listening to my Grandma hum or whistle, she was such a source of calmness in my life.
My mom would normally be the next to wake up and if it was Saturday there would be no rush to get ready for church in the morning so we could make breakfast. I loved helping in the kitchen and my mom was eager to teach us girls. The other memory I have embedded into my brain is Pages 304 and 305 in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Pages 304 and 305 were for the Pancakes and Waffles recipe, those pages were thicker than all the other pages in the book, covered in years of flour dust and pancake dripping stains. We had an old antique waffle maker that made these soft and fluffy waffles, not the crispy Belgian Waffle style that are everywhere today. By the age 3 my mom had me cracking eggs and assisting her, I loved being up on that chair, right there in the middle of it all helping make breakfast for my family.
Making breakfast was something that brought me great joy as a kid, food was a sense of showing your love to your family and then smothering it in butter and syrup. I loved being in the kitchen baking, scones for tea parties, chocolate chip cookies for dessert or cranberry tea breads for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s no wonder I eventually went to school for Baking and Pastry.
But it was Pages 304 and 305, that’s what did it for me, that’s where it all began. So fast forward to today. I’m choosing to be gluten free, no allergy to it but it increases my inflammation and causes my endometriosis pain to flare up so I try my hardest to resist the urge to eat what for so long defined me. I was a pastry chef for over 10 years, I was constantly covered in flour! So now I have to find new ways to get those satisfying treats by baking gluten free. Its a new and fun challenge, not only dealing with the altitude in Colorado, but now also gluten free and sometimes grain free too. One thing I hate is gluten free foods that taste grainy, don’t even get me started on the overwhelming flavor of garbanzo bean flour... But this recipes below, is on point!
So this morning after waking up to a pile of fluffy blankets with my cat cuddled beside me on this cool fall day, I snuck out of bed trying not to wake my sleeping husband and all I could think about was today is the day to make waffles. Not pre-packaged gluten free waffle mix, but from a recipe. It may not have come from pages 304 and 305 but the recipe was similar and they were equally delicious! With all recipes I struggle with sticking to the specifics and doctor it to my desires and hope they come out good, today’s experiment was a success worthy of sharing.
Chelsey’s Gluten Free Waffle Recipe:
Makes 3-4 waffles
In a medium sized bowl add:
1 cup Gluten Free Flour Mix (I used Lillibee GF AP Flour Mix made in Boulder, CO, a rice flour blend)
3/4 cup Ground Blanched Almond Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbl Organic Cane Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
In a separate bowl add:
4 Tbl Organic Unsalted Butter melted (reduce salt to 1/2 tsp if salted butter)
2 Organic Pasture Raised Eggs
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon in it)
1 tsp of Vanilla Bean Extract
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then whisk the wet into the dry until just combined, trying not to over mix it. Let your batter stand for 15 minutes while making yourself a cup of coffee (or chai in my case) and heat up your waffle iron. The batter by now should have gotten thick and fluffy, you can add an extra splash of buttermilk if you feel like it needs to be a little thinner just to be able to get it off your ladle. Ladle the waffle mix into the center of your waffle iron and cook until steam no longer escapes and is a dark golden color. Use a fork to prick the waffle out and lay on a cooling sheet with a sheet pan underneath and pop in a warm oven 250-300 degrees until the rest are finished cooking to eat together.
My husband started making this pancake and waffle syrup years ago and now it is a staple to our pancakes and waffles.
Pancake Sizzurp :
1/4 cup butter, melt until it starts to brown on the bottom and foams up
Pinch of good flakey sea salt (I use Maldon Sea Salt)
3/4 cup Real Maple Syrup
1-2 Tbl of good quality Whiskey (I use Maker’s Mark, I know not technically GF, but I’ll survive.)
1-2 tsp Vanilla Bean Extract
Whisk together and simmer until the alcohol has burned off, drizzle over pancakes or waffles.
Adding chopped peaches or berries to the the syrup and letting simmer until softened is a great addition!
So remember to use your weekends to slow down, get in your cozy slippers and bathrobe, warm up to a cup of coffee and make pancakes or waffles for your family and while your at it hum or whistle to start your morning off right.