Monday, August 23, 2010

Orange Oat Waffles!

I'm officially one week into Junior year! Wahoo!! Overall, it has been really good. It's great getting to see some people I hadn't seen in a while. I'm a little worried though because all the teachers say junior year is the most difficult academically. The teachers encourage us to be in extracurricular activities and sports and all these different things but when are we supposed to do these things and complete all the homework/studying necessary to be a good student? There are so many things I want to be involved in, but it's just hard to find the time and still maintain good grades! That's my rant for the day.

On to some food. A few weeks ago I decided I wanted waffles. Yes, it was dinner time, but so what? I googled a few waffle recipes, even went so far as to print one out. However, recipe following and I just don't get along. For me, cooking is a creative outlet and how creative can you be when following a set of instructions? I'd heard many other bloggers talk about  oat flour but had never tried it myself; I decided this needed to change. Into my trustee little Magic Bullet went a bunch of oats and some flax seed. The base of my waffles was formed.

Upon opening my fridge, I realized I was all out of almond milk which I was planning to use as the liquid in my waffle batter. Orange juice caught my eye, so I decided what the heck, why not  use OJ as my liquid?

Cinnamon and a few other ingredients were added and it was show time.

I poured the batter into my waffle iron, closed the lid and anxiously awaited the completion of my waffle cooking. And then I realized....I had not greased/sprayed/buttered the waffle iron. Oh no! Needless to say, this was a bit of a disaster and took a while to clean.

Yet, even after I was finished washing the waffle iron, one thing was still on my mind: I wanted to eat some waffles. I had a little batter left, enough for a mini waffle, so I sprayed the pan and poured it in. The results were very good so I mixed up some more batter and cooked up some more waffles. I made several waffles, but was waiting to eat the last one I made so it would be nice and fresh. I had just enough batter left for one more waffle so I poured it in. A few minutes later I opened the waffle iron and realized I had forgotten to grease the pan, again! Luckily, this time wasn't nearly as bad as the pan had already been sprayed when I was cooking previous waffles. In fact, I was able to salvage most of the waffle. But still, you'd think I'd learn from my first mistake!

Mistakes aside, these waffle were delicious and I couldn't stop thinking about them. So a few days later, I decided to make them again. I remembered to spray the pan this time and even made enough that I was able to freeze some and now can just pop them in the toaster for an easy weekday breakfast...or dinner, whichever.

Spread with cashew butter and a little orange agave dipping sauce (I've never been a fan of syrup).

These waffles are so good! I wish I had an exact recipe to share, I may try to come up with one to post in the future. I can tell you that the following things went into the mix

  • oats (blended to a flour consistency)

  • flax (also blended)

  • orange juice

  • eggs

  • cinnamon

  • vanilla

  • baking soda
I encourage you try your favorite waffle recipe, but substituting oat flour and using orange juice and part of the liquid. It adds a really nice flavor and a little sweetness without being too sweet.
When I make them in the future, I plan to add some orange zest as I think it'll boost these waffles to an even higher level of flavorfulness.
When you don't have all the ingredients for a recipe you want to make do you improvise or wait until you can get the ingredients called for?

Whats the biggest mishap you've ever encountered while cooking/baking?

I hope you are having a magnificent Monday.
-Ann Claire

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

School Fuel

Most likely I am currently getting ready for my first real day of school. Gotta love prescheduled post. I was a little misleading in this post when I said  I would be starting school Monday. While technically yesterday was my first day of school, we didn't actually go to class or anything. On the first day we pretty much just get our locker assignments and books, take pictures and go. Seriously, I would have been out of there by 10 am if it wasn't for student council duties. So today I is my first day that we actually go to class and what not.

What will be my mid-day fuel this first day of school?

An Ezekiel pita spread with a mix of mashed avocado and lime juice and stuffed with chicken, spinach and lots of tomato. Carrots and a pear to be spread with homemade walnut/cashew butter round out the first day of school meal.

A great start to completing goal #3 of incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies into school lunches.

What is your favorite portable meal?

Wonderful waffle adventures coming soon :)

Have a beautiful day.

-Ann Claire

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So Long Summer

Well hello there. I am officially awful at posting regularly. To all those bloggers who post daily, you amaze me. It's odd because even the days I don't post I still spend time reading all the amazing blogs out there, yet never take the time to post myself. Today is officially my last day of summer. That's right, I start school tomorrow. I'm honestly really looking forward to having a somewhat regular routine as this summer my schedule has been quite erratic.

I started this blog at the beginning of the summer as I journeyed to eat and be healthier in this lovely summer of 2010. Have I eaten perfectly this summer? No way. But, I have learned a ton about nutritious eating and realized how much better I feel when I eat healthfully.

A few goals for this school year:

1. To actually eat a good breakfast. Last year I never woke up early enough to sit down and eat breakfast so usually I either skipped breakfast or just ate whatever I could grab and eat in the car. This year I plan to wake up in time to prepare and eat a nutritious breakfast that will fuel me throughout the day.

2. To exercise regularly. In past years I've done cross country, swimming and tennis so I pretty much always was in some type of organized sport and exercising regularly. This year I am only playing tennis so I will certainly have to make more of an effort in order to be sure I get plenty of exercise. Whether it’s taking my dog for a walk, going running, going to the gym, playing tennis, or whatever other activities I discover, I will certainly be exercising frequently.

3. To incorporate more fresh vegetables and fruits into my lunches I take to school.

4. To get to bed early enough that I am able to get plenty of sleep. Of course this means not procrastinating on homework and studying....easier said than done, but definitely something I'll be working on this year.

5. To listen to my body, not to worry excessively about following a specific eating plan or eating the way others do, but to eat what makes me feel good and what is best for me. (For more about eating for your body check out Heathers wonderful post about it.)

6. To have an enjoyable and fun year!

These aren't resolutions that I expect to do instantly, but things that I will be working on continually. I don't expect myself to do these things perfectly but just to do the best I can. I believe being healthy is a continuous process, a wonderful adventure that lasts a lifetime. While I must now bid the summer farewell I am excited to say hello to what will surely be a wonderful school year.

More food post coming soon!

Thanks for reading,

Ann Claire

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dr.Kracker Review Part I

My recent lack of posting has had nothing to do with a lack of cooking. I have made many dishes recently that I can't wait to tell you all about. Unfortunately, do to camera/uploading issues I currently cannot tell you about the recipes using pictures. And a post without pictures is like a post without fun, so I've decided to wait until the issue is resolved to tell you about my recent culinary creations. I considered resorting to extremely low-quality cell phone pictures, but you guys deserve better!

Anyway, I realized I have a product review that is long overdue. I was excited when I discovered I already had some pictures uploaded of this particular product. What product am I referring to?

Dr.Kracker of course!

George Ekrich, one of the company founders, was kind enough to send me an array of their products to review.
So what kind of products does Doctor Kracker make?

"Our Flatbreads and Snacker Krackers are 100% percent natural, and USDA certified organic. We bake with whole grains and seeds, and none of our crackers contain trans fats. From Pumpkin Cheddar to Seedlander, there's a seriously delicious Dr. Kracker for everyone in your family."
They sent me 3 of there snacker crackers and 3 of there flat breads.
For this post I am just going to review of the snacker cracks, but check back soon for my review of the flat breads.
I received the Fire Roasted Crisps, the Apple Crisps, and the Cherry Semolina Crisps.

First up. Apple Crisps

My first impression was that I really liked these little guys. They have a fantastic texture, very crunchy and the oats and seeds on top to keep things interesting.

My mom and I both enjoyed these. However we both had one major problem with these crackers. We couldn't taste the apple flavor at all. If you're going to call yourself apple flavor, I expect you to be able to deliver. They were also a bit sweet for me. I was disappointed to find out the ingredient list included cane sugar, butter and brown sugar. All in all, still a really good cracker. Especially good topped with a little almond butter, yummy :)

Onto the Cherry Semolina
(I actually forgot to take a picture of these but found this one here)

I honestly have no complaints about the cherry crackers. The flavor was great; you could taste the cherry but yet it wasn't over powering. The cherries also added a nice chewiness to the texture which was a great contrast to the crunchiness of the cracker itself. My favorite of the culinary crisps.

Fire Roasted Crisps

The package boasts "Tart sun dried tomatoes and rich sweet potatoes, blended with black sesame seeds, chili peppers and organic cheddar cheese. "
The texture of this cracker was my favorite of the three culinary crisps I have tried. The black sesame seeds just really added something to the overall texture of these crackers which put them over the top. These crackers also I had a nice bold spiciness to them. Overall, I really enjoyed the flavor and texture of these crackers. Unfortunately, they seemed to make my stomach feel a bit weird. I think it might have something to do with the spiciness. Still a very good crackers.

Bottom Line: Doctor Kracker is a wonderful company which is makes fantastic Culinary Crisps (more on the flat breads later). I highly recommend them to anyone (and no I am not required to say nice things about them).  Another bonus is that they are widely available. They even sell them at some Costco's! For a list of locations near you where they are sold go here

What are you waiting for? Go buy yourself some Dr.Krackers. Now