Mini Blackberry Waffles

A few years ago, I received a donut pan for my birthday. Last year, my friend and former neighbor @allisonkimchi passed along another donut pan to me…and let’s not forget the two mini-donut pans I inherited, as well!

As this pandemic took hold, time spent at home turned into time spent in the kitchen. Though I’m not a huge sweets person, making homemade baked donuts satisfied any dessert craving I had. They’re so simple to whip up!

Well…I made too many donuts in the span of a month. I’m not sure if I ever want to see another donut again.

So now I’m hopping on the mini-waffle bandwagon!

Mini Blackberry Waffles, with a few ol’ fashioned regular mini-waffles in the mix.

Let us see how long it takes until I get sick of making multiple iterations of this. 😆

I received this Dash Mini Waffle Maker a few years ago at work during a very cutthroaty Cutthroat Santa years ago. I’ve gotta say, I’m quite impressed with its output! The waffles come out incredibly light and fluffy with the slightest crisp on the exterior.

Mini Blackberry Waffles

Mini Blackberry Waffles

(Makes 8 waffles)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup blackberries, roughly chopped

Directions:

1.) Turn on waffle iron to heat.

2.) In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

3.) If using butter, melt. Add milk, butter (or oil), milk, egg, and vanilla to dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Fold in blackberries until thoroughly incorporated.

4.) Lightly spray waffle iron with non-stick spray. Spoon 1/4 cup of waffle batter into waffle iron and close; cook waffle for approximately 1 minute or until it starts to turn a light golden brown. (Batter may be a slight blue color due to the blackberry juices!)

5.) Transfer waffles to a cooling rack; leaving them on a plate will cause condensation beneath, resulting in a soggy bottom!

6.) Freshly-made waffles can be quickly reheated in a toaster for two minutes or microwave for 10 seconds. If you have leftovers, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container in your freezer. To reheat, turn oven to 350 degrees, unwrap and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and heat up for 10 minutes.

Quick Pork Fried Rice with Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Nothing is normal during this pandemic, and that certainly includes my cooking routines.

A meal prepper during the best of times, I have fallen into the following routine during my weekdays:

  • Wake up around 8:30 a.m. and stare at my work desk across the bedroom until about 8:50, thinking, “No.”
  • Get out to bed, stumble over to said work desk, log into my VPN and e-mail, then suddenly wake up when I see everything I have to do (or might have to do) for the day.
  • Get up from my desk around 9:30, get dressed, drink a glass of water, brush my teeth, wash my face, and sit down at my desk again. “Oh, I’ll get something to eat around 10.”
  • Look at my work laptop’s clock around 2:30 and think, “I’m really cranky. Is it because I haven’t had anything to eat since 10:30 last night?”
  • Raid the kitchen for any semblance of a meal. Usually end up making a cheese quesadilla and justifying two tablespoons of salsa as a full serving of vegetables.

tl;dr: I’ve become a non-meal-prepping unintentional intermittent faster since March 18th.

That being said, I’ve also found moments of genius between raiding my pantry and utilizing leftovers, which usually consist of previous nights’ dinners. The cold sad half a pork chop in a Ziploc bag in the fridge would have been a hot sad half a pork chop if I had just decided to simply zap it in the mircowave for a minute. A quick rummage through my fridge for vegetables led me to think about what might be in the freezer; lo and behold, May 2020 Allison was very happy that December 2019 Allison had bulk-bought a brunch of frozen items from Trader Joe’s, including a favorite: their Multigrain Blend with Vegetables!

Ahhhh, I love when inspiration strikes!

I had this meal ready in ten minutes, and I feel I gave that leftover pork chop a little bit of justice on its way out.

Bless a good semi-homemade meal during these trying times.

Quick Pork Fried Rice with Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Quick Pork Fried Rice with Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables,
  • 3 ounces pork chop, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Before We Get Started…

  • Feel free to substitute your favorite grains, vegetables, and protein if you do not have the Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables, but it DOES make a quick shortcut!

Directions:

1.) In a large skillet, add one tablespoon olive oil. Turn up heat to medium-low.

2.) Place Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Remove, stir, and add to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes.

3.) Add pork to skillet and turn up heat to medium-high. Mix multigrain blend and pork and cook for 3 minutes or until heated through. Remove mixture from skillet.

4.) Turn heat back down to low, add one tablespoon olive oil, and slowly add beaten egg. Allow to sit in skillet untouched for 30 seconds, then slowly stir until curds form. Scramble fully, then add pork mixture back into the skillet. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and toss to combine. Remove from heat.

5.) Enjoy!

Kimchi Congee with Leftover Rice

Kimchi Congee with Leftover Rice

Well, here we are, in the midst of COVID World, a new normal which involves a lot of home-cooking, a lot of take-out, and a lot of ways to stretch out what we have.

As I work a 9 – 5 (or, occasionally, an 8 – 6) from my home office set-up, I’ll admit: This meal prep lover has been royally SUCKING at meal prepping. My last day at my office in Midtown Manhattan was on March 17th. I think the last time I ate breakfast on any given morning was March 20th. My lunches, usually rushed and around 2 p.m., consist of a cheese quesadilla or half a box of Frosted Flakes.

I just don’t have the brain to deal with any of this. We’re all trying out best.

HOWEVER! Boy, was I luckily when I had a work day last week that had limited meetings and I had four cups of leftover rice in my fridge. Some of it was kimchi rice left over from a dish I got from my local Korean spot – Mokja – and the rest was leftover white rice from a homemade dinner the other night. I used the few brain cells I had still firing and made a delightful velvety congee that I got three meals out of! Better than reheating dried out leftover rice for lunch days later, eh?

Congee from scratch is great to make, but this is a quicker and wonderful substitute if you don’t have as much time on your hands!

Kimchi Congee with Leftover Rice
Kimchi Congee with Leftover Rice

Kimchi Congee with Leftover Rice

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups leftover rice
  • 1/2 cup kimchi (you pick your spice preference!)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth can be subbed)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water

Directions:

1.) Add all ingredients to a large pot and mix. Turn heat to medium-high until liquid starts to bubble. Turn down heat to medium-low and stir constantly until a porridge-like consistency is reached, approximately 25 – 30 minutes; if the congee gets too thick and dry, add in 2 additional tablespoons of water at a time until it reaches a thick yet stir-able consistency.

2.) Remove from heat, and add congee to a bowl with toppings of choice. Allow remaining congee to cool slightly before adding to a container for refrigeration; will last up to five days in the fridge.