Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cornmeal and Ricotta Waffles with Candied Bacon

It's the last day of 2013, and it's the second week of my paid vacation. That, alone, is a lot to be thankful for. For 20 years, I was self-employed and while I loved the idea of being my own boss, being able to take a vacation was as scarce as snow falling on the Central Coast of California (where we live).  I count my blessings that I took a leap of faith, and applied for a job at a school district, in 2006-- and got it!

Not only do I love working with high school students, and a great staff of teachers-- I also have the benefit of paid vacations (and health benefits and a pension). Craig and I feel very thankful that we take at least one vacation, per year, that involves checking into an airport and flying to places like Yellowstone, Maui and parts of Canada. Still, I cherish the time times when school is closed for Fall, Winter, Spring and a month-long (unpaid) Summer Break. I'm more than happy to be at home-- I call it "practicing for retirement".

This Winter Break, my husband is also spending time at home, and I am loving it. My son, who rents a room from us, works nights-- so we really don't see him very often.  Both of "my men" have been loving that I'm around to make them breakfast, and they are always thankful and appreciative.  I had leftover ricotta cheese, that I wanted to use before it went bad. Then,  I remembered a recipe for Cornmeal & Ricotta Waffles that I made a year ago. I found the photos on my hard drive, and I realized I never posted it, because I didn't like the shots I took of the plated waffles ( Perfectionists Bloggers, isn't that such a disappointment when that happens?)

I haven't bought pancake/waffle mix in years.  Honestly, homemade waffles take about 10 extra minutes to measure and whisk together.  I think they taste so much better-- and, please, don't get me started on those frozen waffles that take up valuable real estate in your freezer!  

The dry ingredients you will need are cake flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt...

 This morning, I also wanted to make my boy's beloved "Candied Bacon" to go with these waffles.

I remembered that the first time I made these, the recipe amounts made enough waffles to feed 6-8people.  Way too much!  This morning, I cut the ingredients in half, and I got eight waffles.   For the wet ingredients, you need ricotta cheese and egg yolks (save the whites)... (I decided to add pure vanilla extra, because I love vanilla).

You will also need milk and melted, unsalted butter.  The egg whites are whipped until stiff peaks form.
NOTE: I used to resist taking the time and hassle of whipping up egg whites and folding them into waffle batter. Know what? It's worth it, because they turn out fluffy and tender! I actually love using my OXO Good Grips Egg Beater, which whips up egg whites almost as fast as a stand or hand mixer.

The wet ingredients are quickly whisked with the dry ingredients, and then the egg whites are folded in until there are no more white streaks.  This is a lot of batter! (I will provide a printable recipe card, at the end of this post, with measurements that are reduced for about 8 waffles.)

You can see how light and airy this batter is...

When the waffles are golden brown, remove them and plate into a preheated oven-- ideally on a baking rack over a rimmed baking sheet.  They are very soft, but you can try and cook them longer if you like really crispy waffles.

I find that photographing waffles or pancakes is a real challenge for me. Waiting for the butter to melt into a mouth-watering pool of deliciousness, and getting the perfect "drip shot" of pure maple syrup sometimes means that the waffles will get cold. Personally, I love them fresh and hot!

This is one of the shots that I took, last year, served with blueberry syrup.  Meh. Hopefully, you get the idea at how tender these are.

TASTING NOTES:  Adding ricotta to your pancakes, or waffles, gives a whole new texture to them. These are super moist, and the corn meal adds a subtle crunch to each bite. As for the candied bacon-- my "men" eat every single slice, with relish.  I stick to eating one or two, and let them go to town. 
Men + Bacon = Happy Guys

My vacation ends, this Friday. I've been spending much of it, doing some housework on my food blog and organizing photographs.  This makes me realize how much I really do enjoy this creative hobby of mine, but I know that time it takes to do this will be short-lived by next Monday morning-- when I'm back at work.  I have to say, that I doubt I will be bored on the day of my retirement.  My house looks tidier, I've read three books, cuddled with my "Mr. Wonderful" while watching a Netflix movie, at night, and created some new recipes-- some that I've already shared, and others still to come.

2013 has been very good to me and my family.  Thank you for being a part of it!

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of InternetExplorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.  If you still can't figure out how to view the printable recipe card, please email me at foodiewife@gmail.com and I am happy to help.


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Cathleen said...

You can`t go wrong with bacon ;) This looks like the perfect breakfast!

Roz Corieri Paige said...

We need to use the waffle maker that I bought for my husband one year for Christmas . . . I think it has been used twice! Nothing like home-made, always a winner when made with love! I understand about living where you want to retire and 'practicing to retire'..... a great feeling!

Wishing you and Craig a most blessed, healthy, and happy 2014! PS: Congrats on making the top Pinterest posts of the year! That's really BIG!


Joanne said...

I need to make more fun breakfasts like this. The cornmeal and ricotta must make these extra delicious!! Two of my favorite things.

We Are Not Martha said...

Ricotta in waffles is suchhh a good idea! LOVE that you made candied bacon, too!