Oatmeal Nut Bacon Waffles

>> Saturday, November 19, 2011

Has anyone else already seen Twilight yet? I promise.... I'm really not a Twilight junkie or obsessed - REALLY... but I did go see the movie last night. :)

I read the books over the summer, and after you read the books - it gives you a totally different perspective on the movies. And I have to say - they did a really good job keeping with the books. It's not like some movies where it's "loosely related".
So, how about some waffles for your Saturday morning! These aren't just any waffles - they're Toasted Oatmeal Browned Nut Sugared Bacon Waffles!!!! Is that a mouthful or what? So I took out all the adjectives for you and just renamed them Oatmeal Nut Bacon Waffles - but that just doesn't sound as good!
They have crunchy pieces of toasted oatmeal and nuts hiding inside. And the best part is you bake some bacon with brown sugar on it (My friend Kelly's idea that is to DIE for! We all swoon for her bacon), cut it up into little pieces, and put it inside the waffles. So every now and then you get a secret little gem of sugared bacon in your bite of waffle. YUM!
Sometimes I wonder how my husband puts up with me and doesn't just say, "can't we just have some waffles out of the box today?!"

Oatmeal Nut Bacon Waffles (Adapted from: Taste of Home)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
10 pieces bacon

1. Prepare Bacon- Lay a piece of parchment paper over a baking tray and place bacon on top.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar evenly over bacon. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until crispy.

2. While bacon is cooking, combine by whisking dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, baking powder, salt and additional 1/4 cup brown sugar.

3. On the stove top in a small pan, place nuts on medium heat and warm until golden brown and you can smell the nuts - that means they are done. Remember to keep moving the pan around in order to cook evenly.

4. Do the same thing with the oats.
5. Then mix the wet ingredients - eggs, milk, butter.

6. Then mix in the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold in the nuts, oats.

7. Once the bacon is finished cooking, drain quickly on paper towels and then move over to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to waffle mix.

8. Place approximately 1/4 - 1/3 cup of batter onto waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!


Italy Day 11 - 14

>> Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm sorry this has been so long in between posts, but I really wanted to finish up our trip to Italy. I know that the recap isn't the most interesting for everyone, but I thought even if it helps someone who's been to Italy relive the memories for a moment it might be worth it. And I definitely did it also as a way for me to have a journal of types to be able to look back on.

Continuing on...

The next day we did an hour and a half hike through the Cinque Terre trail from Vernazza to Monterosso. It was quite the strenuous hike, but it was a lot of fun. The views were amazing! Once we got to Monterosso, we headed down to the VERY European style beach... wink wink, and went down to the water. We just kept our bodies towards the water to avoid the other views. But the water and the rocks were gorgeous.
I'm not sure if you have heard on the news or read online, but just last week a terrible storm went through Cinque Terra and totally devastated the towns. In fact, the mayor of Monterosso, where the above picture was taken has stated that the town is nonexistent. The mud and rocks have washed down into the town and destroyed them. The pictures are horrifying, and I even read that the locals and tourists had to evacuate the city by boat! We consider ourselves so lucky to have seen the cities, and can't wait to go back and support the people as they rebuild.

That night we went to dinner back in Vernazza at a restaurant called the Pirate Bar. It was okay food - really rich food. But the owners were two hilarious characters. They were from Sicily - and they had the idea that there food was the best.

We then took a walk down to the waterfront in Vernazza, and the view is amazing.

The next morning, we took the train to Venice. When we woke up, it was rainy and windy - but still warm. We took the train all day and ended up in Venice where it was 20 degrees colder than it was in Cinque Terre. It was quite the difference. We checked in to our bed and breakfast, which was super cute. The guy who owned the B&B was Ricardo. He was the biggest character. We had such a great time with him and can't wait to go back and stay with him. He required a picture before we left.

After we checked in, we just walked around a bit in Venice and enjoyed some of the amazing views. It really is such a romantic city. It's hard to explain exactly what it's like! We also went in to see the Dojee's palace, but I don't have any pictures since you weren't allowed to take any inside.

The next day was full of sight seeing. I went for a run along the water. It was so beautiful. One of the best runs of the trip. The sun was coming up, and I was pretty much alone. Every other time in the city felt so busy, so it was great. Except for the 18 bridges that I had to run over. :)
We then started out with the Rialto bridge and market - one of the biggest areas in Venice (aside from St. Mark's Square).

View from Rialto Bridge and the Rialto bridge itself

Such a cute picture

Obviously we were looking at the wrong camera - ha - oh well, it's still such a pretty view.

Some gondoliers

The piazza near the Rialto Market. The fountains where you can fill up your water are always so pretty - nothing like the fountains in the states.

We then took the boat over to Murano and literally met the Italian mafia. They were quite interesting. We did get to see a 2 minute glass blowing demonstration, and then walked into about fifty shops with tchotchke that looked the same in every shop. Sorry, no pictures.

We did take a gondola ride though - even if it was only for 3 minutes. They call it three minutes of heaven, and for half a euro (about 75 cents per person) you can ride in the gondola across the Grand Canal. It was totally worth it. You got to see it, take a picture, and get out. Otherwise, it cost 100 euros to take the extended ride.

We went to dinner at a great place in Venice recommended by Ricardo - they had the best chocolate soufflé there! We ordered two.... and a tiramisu!

After dinner we went for a walk back down to St. Mark's square.
They have mini orchestra's set up in the outdoor cafe's. They play a song, and then across the way in another cafe another orchestra will play. They take turns this way going back and forth - and the music itself is really show-worthy. They are excellent musicians.
The bellower

St. Mark's Square, Basilica, and Dogee's Palace.

The view across the water.

Typical views of the Grand Canal at night. I love the way the light comes off and seeing the boats in the water.

While we were out in St. Mark's square, we saw all of these people lined up around these telescopes. Come to find out, they have a club of people who donate their telescopes, come down one time a year and donate them as a way to educate and let people enjoy the beautiful views. We were able to see the moon and jupiter (and it's rings). It was beautiful and seriously... what were the chances we would be there on the ONE night of the year they do it.

The next day was our LAST day in Italy together - and the last day in Venice. We just decided to take it slow and walk around, finish up some shopping, and get a few more last minute pictures and of course - food!

At the end of the day we took the boat back over to the other side of Venice - the much more industrialized Venice. But we stayed at a very nice hotel overnight and enjoyed the pool for one last time. It was so bittersweet to leave our friends in Venice (they went on to Greece for a few days - lucky ducks).

So that is it! The full Italy recap! Hope you enjoyed it! Until our next trip - Bonjourno!