Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Recipe: Potato Zucchini Waffles

In a fit breastfeeding hunger I had a craving from the depths of my soul for potato pancakes (breastfeeding me wants ALL THE CARBS). I'd read on the Twitters that they can be made in a waffle iron and felt that now was the perfect time to try out that method as my pan fried ones were a sloppy mess. I knew I had some new potatoes from our CSA looking to be used so I was pretty jazzed to get started. I am nothing if not an improviser in the kitchen, so what started out as potato pancakes quickly became a savoury meal for 6 (poor Dad is at work and missed it. Based on the kids reception we'll be adding this to our menu regularly). So here's the recipe:

Makes 6-8 waffles depending on how thin you ladle themaw

6-8 shredded medium potatoes
1-2 shredded medium peeled zucchini
4 minced garlic scapes (I used my magic bullet)
6 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Start off by turning your waffle iron on to the highest heat. It'll take a while to warm up. Next shred up the potatoes and zucchini. Rinse them and either pat them thoroughly or, if you have one, spin them out in a salad spinner. Next mince the garlic scapes up as small as you can. They're going to add a burst of savoury flavour and make your breath pretty stinky. Whatever. Worth it! Add them to the zucchini and potatoes and add salt and pepper. Lastly stir in the eggs and make sure everything is evenly coated. As it sits the eggs will fall to the bottom so stir before you ladle it out each time. By now your waffle iron should be ready. Mine has a great non-stick coating so I didn't need any oil. If you use oil or butter try as small an amount as you can. Ladle it on and spread it out nice and thin. The eggs will fluff around the potatoes giving a more even exterior so if you lay it on too heavily there may be some egg run off at first. Let it sit for 12-15 minutes. The outside (especially the bottom) should brown up nicely and the inside will be tender.

The kids had theirs with ketchup because they're... well... kids. Baby and I ate them unadorned. They were delicious and flavorful. The babe ate a half of a huge waffle without throwing any on the ground, which is something of a miracle for our tiny food critic!


TV Detox

When we have a new baby or are sick, I find we really lean on television to make those hard days go more smoothly. In the moment I am so grateful for Netflix, but after even a few days of reckless bingeing on super hero shows (our latest favourite), I can already feel the consequences. For me, TV encourages me to be sedentary. I don't have to entertain anyone and, honestly, I get drawn in by the flashing lights and drama of their shows. For the kids, it becomes their sole focus. "What can we watch today? Just one more? I didn't get to pick MY favourite!" It gets exhausting and honestly tempting to just give in and watch all our waking hours just to keep the whining down. The thing is, TV loses its value as a treat when it's being watched all the time. So, we're left with a bad habit we need to break.

In my experience the best option is to go cold turkey. I try not to make a big deal out of it. When they ask I just say "not right now" and offer another activity instead. They need to be eased back into self directed play. With that in mind, I get involved as much as possible. Besides just turning them outside (an obvious choice in the warm weather), I make sure I have an arsenal of activities ready. Sometimes I find a project they can look forward to over a whole week is a great distraction. For example, this week we're making a papier maché volcano. We've already made the structure, so now we're waiting for it to dry (may take a while as preschoolers are of the more is more school of thought when it comes to paste use). Once it's dry we'll paint it and once that dries we'll do the baking soda and vinegar eruption. In between I've stocked them up with lots to colour, some easy science projects and things like modeling clay. I'm also adding more reading chapter books out loud for restful moments.
It takes a lot of patience, but all of that is worth it to see the fog lifted off their brains. I love TV as much as the next person but there is such a thing as too much.