So, Nintendo posted this recipe a while ago on Twitter for Twilight Princess’ HD rerelease, and I decided to give this a try. Besides being a recipe from a video game, this combines two of my favorite flavors – pumpkin and goat cheese. The resulting soup is pretty damn awesome, and definitely a thing I would recommend making. (This version leaves out the fish, but tbh, I’m pretty okay with that, as I’m really not sure what that would’ve done to this.) (I also held back the celery in my version, as I’m not that big of a fan of it.)

Yeto’s Pumpkin and Cheese Soup
Makes a lot. That’s two containers’ worth of soup up there.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt vegetable stock
  • 29 oz pumpkin puree
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • .25 c milk plus .25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (I used closer to 5, last of the TJ’s chevre I mentioned in the previous post)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • dash sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot (dutch oven, or just a bigass covered pot), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrots, and saute for about five minutes, and then add your minced garlic, and saute another five minutes, until fragrant and the vegetables are soft.

Pour in your quart of vegetable stock, and bring it to a boil, stirring the soup here and there. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and keep simmering for another ten minutes, still stirring here and there. Add in the pumpkin and cinnamon, stir well to combine, and bring back to a simmer, simmering another fifteen minutes.

If you have an immersion blender (seriously, those things are a godsends for recipes like this), just stick it in the pot and blend until you’ve got a nice smooth soup. If you don’t, stick it in a blender or food processor in batches, and do the same.  Keep the heat of the soup on low.

Stir in the milk/whipping cream combo, evaporated milk, goat cheese, and brown sugar, slowly, until the goat cheese and brown sugar has melted into the soup. Season with a bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper, taste it, and then sit down for a long ass gaming marathon with your nice hearty bowl of soup.

 

Potatoes. Goat cheese. Smashed together. Really, there’s not too many other ways that this recipe can get better, full stop.

Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
Makes enough for several meals’ worth of sides

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • sea salt
  • .5 c milk plus .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz soft goat cheese (used silver medal chevre from Trader Joe’s)
  • 8 T (aka 1 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into 1 T pieces and chilled
  • fresh ground black pepper

Put your potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, add .25 c sea salt. Bring the potatoes to a simmer over medium high, and then reduce the heat to medium low and cook the potatoes for between 20 to 30 minutes depending on size (I aimed for 25, went a bit longer because I was playing Overwatch and it finished in the middle of a match), until fork tender. Try to avoid the water boiling if at all possible. In the last minutes of the potatoes cooking, take your milk/whipping cream combo and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.

As soon as your potatoes are done, drain them and put them in a large bowl. Smash them gently with a wooden spoon (without completely breaking them apart – see pic 1 for what this looks like) (this is also a great way to deal with stress, just saying). Then, pour the hot milk/whipping cream combo over the potatoes, crumble in the goat cheese, add the butter, and fold it all together (see pic 2), just enough to leave pockets of goat cheese. Season with sea salt and black pepper as your taste prefers. My potatoes were probably a bit more tender than they should’ve been, so they didn’t hold together as well, but the end result was still fantastic, and highly recommended.

Tried this on a whim last weekend, as I’ve been on a creme brulee kick lately, or at least the idea of it, and the idea of that plus french toast sounded grade A amazing. I think this needs another go around to get it perfect, especially with the topping. Maybe caramelizing the sugar will work better under a broiler, or with a blowtorch? Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

Seriously, though, be sure to flip the toasts to get the perfect goldenness to it, and and have some fresh berries to make it even more amazing (these are Tay barries, a cross between raspberries and blackberries). I also used a loaf of shokupan (a type of Japanese milk bread) instead of brioche, and I still think it tastes amazing. Plus, odds are you’ll have some left over, for some lovely breakfasts during the week. 

Creme Brulee French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf rich bread of choice (again, Deb recommends brioche, I used shokupan, sliced to about an inch or so thick)
  • 1 1/3 c whole milk
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 T alcohol of choice (original recommended Grand Marnier, I went Kahlua)
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Topping

  • 2/3 c white sugar

If your bread isn’t already sliced, slice it into generous, thick slices – Deb recommends 1.5 in thick slices, my loaf was cut into 1 in slices, about 9 slices total. Whisk together the milk, heavy whipping cream, eggs, white sugar, sea salt, booze, and vanilla extract. If you want to use a vanilla bean, you can do so – just follow Deb’s recommended steps for whisking in the vanilla bean scraping in the linked recipe. 

Preheat your oven to 325. Take a rimmed tray or pan that will fit as much of your bread as possible (I ended up going with two separate glass pans, and even those weren’t the greatest fits, as you can see), lay out the bread, and pour the custard over it. Let the slices absorb the custard for a half hour, flipping over about halfway through to ensure every side is soaking up the custard evenly. (You can also toss this in the fridge overnight to soak if you’re so inclined, and you won’t need to flip them if that’s the case.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it (I do because the people before me in this apartment left a lot of stuff, hallelujah), and space out the french toasts so that there’s juuust enough space that they can breathe a bit. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through so that each side gets a lovely golden sear to it (I didn’t flip them, and I think they look better with both sides seared). You’ll know they’re ready when you lightly slice into the center of the bread and twist, and no wet custard comes out. 

About five minutes out from the toast being done, take a small, heavy, completely dry pot and melt 2/3 c white sugar over medium heat, stirring with a fork, and until it’s fully melted and the color of honey (see pic five). Time this so that this happens as soon as the toasts are done. Remove the bread from the oven, and then drizzle about 1 T of the caramel over the toasts, attempting to do so evenly (I just ended up doing a fancy drizzle). 

Add berries, and voila – a lovely, decadent weekend breakfast. 

(If anyone’s tried the broiler method for caramelization that Deb mentions, please let me know if it worked for you – I want to try that next time. Or maybe the hot spoon method would also work.)

This is definitely a weekend recipe. Why? Because it takes a minimum of overnight prep, and a lot of watching of the waffle iron (because these waffles are LOADED with sugar, and a special type you might have to pick up from Amazon at that). 

Are they worth it? They were pretty sweet, and I’m not entirely sure they turned out properly, but the result was pretty damn neat. (I am sure there is someone here who has more experience with these waffles who can tell me if I fucked up.)

Liege Waffles

Ingredients

  • .5 c whole milk
  • .25 c water
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 2/3 c flour
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 14 T butter, softened to room temperature, and separated into quarters
  • 1 1/3 c pearl sugar (you can find this on Amazon easy)

Take your milk and water, heat until lukewarm, and then add your brown sugar and active dry yeast, letting sit about five minutes, until foamy. Whisk together your eggs and vanilla, add the milk in, and then slowly add all but one cup of flour, and mix until well combined. Add the salt in, and mix until combined again

If you have a stand mixer, this is the part where I hate you, as you have things significantly easier – all you have to do is use a dough hook here. The rest of us, in adding in the 14 T of butter, will have to knead it in by hand. It’s going to take a long ass time, but the stretchy dough that results is worth it. Then, work in your last cup of flour. 

I used the fridge first method for making the dough rise – check the linked recipe for the other method. Take your dough, cover it with plastic wrap, and then put in the fridge for a minimum of overnight. The day you want to make the waffles, bring to room temperature for an hour, stir the dough to deflate it, and then let it rise for another two hours (see the difference between pics five and six). 

Once you’re ready to cook the waffles, knead in the pearl sugar. It’s gonna seem like a fuck of a lot, and it is. Trust me. You can do it, and it’ll be worth it. Heat your waffle iron while you’re doing this. Once the iron’s ready, break off a small piece of dough, stretch it out a bit, and cook until golden brown (usually about the same time as instructed by your waffle iron instructions). 

Keep any waffles you make warm (ideally in a 200 degree oven), and then enjoy the molten sugar caramelized amazingnes.

We are finally moving to the properly hot part of summer, so, as such, it’s time to break out the ice cream and popsicle recipes! And hopefully, this will be the start of a series of recipes like the waffles have been. 

I’ve been super into key lime pie lately, so I went hell yes to the opportunity to make it in popsicle form. And plus, popsicle molds are something like $5 on Amazon, so I might actually need to get a few spare molds before the summer is out so I can have even more in rotation, or bigger batches. 

Key Lime Pie Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles, with a little extra leftover if you only have a set of 6 molds

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c milk
  • zest of 2 limes (about 2 t)
  • .75 c fresh lime juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • several vanilla wafers, crushed

Zest your limes till you have about 2 t lime zest (this should take about 2 limes), and then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the vanilla wafers, and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Then, pour into your molds, and let sit in the freezer for a mimimum of five hours, or until you’re ready to eat them. 

When you’re ready to eat them, crush some vanilla wafers in a bag with a hammer until you have good, even crushed crumbs. (Mine didn’t quite turn out quite perfect.) Take your popsicle, run it under warmish water to ease the mold off, and then dip each side in cookie crumbs, and enjoy your sweet, tart treat!

Looking for a springy, citrusy waffle that you can have ready to go pretty quick (and still have leftovers for breakfast for the week)? If so, I’d suggest these lovely key lime waffles. The most you’ll have to do is grate a lime to get the necessary zest (I have a separate thing of fresh lime juice, so); the rest should be lying around and ready to go in your pantry. Might mellow this out with a bit of vanilla next time, but otherwise, these are perfect and lovely.

Key Lime Waffles
Makes ~7 waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .75 c sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.75 c milk
  • .25 c fresh key lime juice
  • 1 T key lime zest
  • 1 stick butter (.5 c), melted

Take your dry ingredients, and whisk them together in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs and milk, followed by the key lime juice and zest, and finally your melted butter. Then, slowly add your wet ingredients to your dry ones, until just barely combined. 

Then, make according to your waffle iron’s instructions, and enjoy!

So, our DM was down in Florida the last two weeks, and they accidentally bought too many strawberries back on the way home. TLDR we had a session on Friday night, and I am now the proud owner of 2 lbs of super ripe Florida strawberries. Have some ideas for the rest (strawberry lemon cake here I come), but the boy and I haven’t done waffles in a bit, and this was lurking in my to-make pile, so I decided to push this up and make these Sunday night.

Good life choice, that. Browned butter plus roasted strawberries = holy yes. This was originally a pancake recipe, and I think they may have been a bit thicker than I was expecting when I cooked them – any tips for thinning out the batter?

Roasted Strawberry Browned Butter Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c sliced strawberries
  • (original recipe recommended roasting with olive oil, I think I’ll just let them roast in their own juices next time)
  • half a stick (.25 c) unsalted butter
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .5 t cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1.25 c milk

Preheat your oven to 375. Take your sliced strawberries, spread them in an even layer in a baking dish, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until juicy and caramelly. 

While the strawberries finish, heat a small pot to medium high heat and brown your butter, melting it and whisking it until small brown bits start to form in the bottom (see pic 2 and 3 for what that looks like). Remove the butter from heat and set aside for later.

Meanwhile, mix together all your dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, egg, and milk, before pouring it into the dry ingredients and mixing until just barely combined. Then, pour in your browned butter, and a quarter of the strawberries and their juices. (The recipe recommends thinning with additional milk, but I tried that, and I think I may have thickened it somehow??)

Preheat your waffle iron, cook according to directions, and then top with the remaining roasted strawberries.