Spring gardening is well-underway here in the Upper Midwest. The rhubarb and asparagus are mere DAYS away from first harvest, I have some tomato and pepper seedling starting in the basement, and out in the garden we’ve put in potatoes, onion sets, leeks, and a salad garden with carrots, kale, and lettuces. I plan to plant extra rows of the salad stuff every few weeks so that we can have an ongoing supply.
After a big morning of gardening, it’s nice to come inside and relax with a lovely brunch. Ideally, one that someone else has prepared for you while you’ve been slaving away outside in the dirt. I recommend these Strawberry Cream waffles: the strawberry preserves add a hint of sweet fruitiness, and the surprise encounter of warm pockets of cream cheese is heavenly. The base waffle recipe is Deborah Madison’s Basic Waffles from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which I love because it doesn’t call for separating the eggs.
Strawberry Cream Waffle
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz cold cream cheese, cut or torn into small cubes
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1) Whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
2) In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix with a fork until just combined. You want the batter to be on the thin side (easily pourable). If it isn’t, add a little more milk.
3) Fold in the cream cheese, and then swirl in the preserves. Don’t mix the preserves in completely, you want to see the lovely strawberry streaks.
4) Prepare batter in waffle iron, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that every ladle of batter you pour on the waffle iron has several cream cheese chunks in it (they start to sink to the bottom after several minutes.)
5) Top warm waffles with additional preserves, whipped cream or Greek yogurt, and if you have good fresh strawberries, toss those on top too!