Belgian Waffles

Waffles for breakfast! Chicken and waffles for dinner! Invest a few bucks in a waffle iron and you are ready!


2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Sugar, Granulated
2 tbsp Baking Powder
1.50 tsp Kosher Salt (1 tsp regular salt)
2 Eggs, Beaten
1.50 cups Milk, Warmed
6 tbsp Butter, Melted
1 tsp Vanilla


Mix dry ingredients together.

Add milk and eggs and stir in.

Add Melted Butter and Vanilla

Stir together and let it sit for 5 minutes. The consistency should be like of a thick batter, but still thin enough to pour without clumping. It should slowly ooze to fill in the bottom of the waffle iron. If you need a spoon to spread it, it’s too thick. If it quickly fills, it’s too thin. Add milk as needed.

Follow your waffle iron’s directions. Use as little batter as you can while still filling the bottom. When it comes out, if the batter is right, it will be crispy on the outside and a little airy in the inside.

There’s so much butter, I don’t add more, but I get if if you want it. Add syrup, pecans, fruit or whatever floats your waffle!

Dawson’s Favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s a great day for all of us when Jill makes these amazing muffins for Dawson. There are two uses for old bananas in our house. Most of them get peeled and put in the freezer to use in a smoothie. But some of them, the lucky ones, live to a ripe old age, and get privilege, nay, the honor, of being the start of Dawson’s favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Old bananas, we salute you!


3 Ripe Bananas
cup Butter, Melted
1 tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup White Granulated Sugar
1 Egg, Beaten
1.50 cups All Purpose Flour
½ cup Chocolate Chips (More does’t hurt – make it a rounded 1/2 cup!)


Preheat oven to 350 (I prefer 325 convection), and spray muffin pan with oil.

Melt butter in Microwave. Let it cool for a minute or two.

Add bananas to the buttery goodness.

Mash until smooth.

Mix in baking powder, vanilla, beaten egg, and salt.

Stir in sugar and flour.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a spoon, get enough batter to make them 2/3 to 3/4 full (12 muffin cups sort of evenly), and scrape into muffin pan with small spatula.

They are ready to go into the oven!

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 (or 325 Convection), take out when it looks perfect and a butter knife comes out clean!

Biscuits with Black Pepper and Cheddar Cheese (or without!)

The Arkansas kid in me still loves biscuits. I have tried a variety of recipes, but now I have the one I’m sticking with.  Yes, it has an obscene amount of butter in it. But maybe you just shouldn’t worry about it for this one thing? I adapted it from Joanna Gaines Magnolia Table cookbook, and I just love it. The black pepper and cheddar cheese make them savory additions to breakfast, brunch, or dinner. You can make the dough ahead and cut the biscuits up to 3 days ahead, then pop them in the oven when you absolutely need to have them. I think you’ll love them!


4 cups All Purpose Flour
4 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1.50 tsp Kosher Salt (or 1 tsp regular salt)
2.50 Sticks Cold Salted Butter, each stick sliced into 8 pieces then quartered
2 Eggs, beaten
1.50 cups Buttermilk
1.50 cups Cheddar Cheese (or mix of Cheddar and Parmesan)
2 tbsp Black Pepper, Course Ground


Mix together all dry ingredients.

Add cold butter pieces.

Using a pastry blender (or a couple of forks if you don’t have that), blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.

Add in shredded cheese and black pepper and stir in.

Add beaten eggs and stir in.

Add buttermilk and stir in, then mix with hands. It should be sticky, but not wet. Add flour or buttermilk to dry out or moisten. Refrigerate from 1 to 24 hours.

Spread some flour on a clean surface. Take dough out of the fridge and flatten with hands until you have a circle/square/rectangle/odd shape that is a little more than 1/2 inch thick.

Cut with biscuit cutter/glass/measuring cup/knife.

Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

Take out and serve immediately! We you see how much butter goes into these, you know you don’t need to addd butter. But just a little bit won’t hurt, will it?

Jilly’s Chocolate Chip Scones

One of our favorite days happens when Jill makes scones (she pronounces them with a short O sound from her year in Australia. She’s not alone in that pronunciation.) She uses this recipe from an old Williams Sonoma Chocolate cookbook, and it is a crowd pleaser!


2 All purpose white flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
0.50 tsp Salt
0.25 cup Sugar (White Granulated)
3 tbsp Sugar (White Granulated) (For topping)
0.75 cup Chocolate Chips (Your favorite type – Hard to beat Nestle’s Semi-Sweet, though the Ghiradelli chips are pretty awesome.))
1.25 Heavy Cream
3 tbsp Butter (I prefer salted, but I think salt is underrated in recipes)


Preheat oven to 425. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 sugar in a large bowl.

Add chocolate chips.

Pour in cream and mix with a fork until it all holds together. It will be sticky. That’s OK!

Place dough on cutting board dusted with flour. Sprinkle with flour and knead 10 times.

Gently shape into a 9-inch circle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with extra 2-3 Tbsp sugar. (Optional – I like adding a few sprinkles of course Kosher salt (or other excellent substantive salt), but that’s not for everybody. But it should be!)

Cut into 12 wedges. (If 12 wedges just seems like too much to eat, reduce to 8!)

Place separated wedges onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving at least 1″ between wedges.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until tops are perfectly golden brown. Serve them warm if you can!

Quiche – So Hot Right Now – Quiche

Why don’t I make quiche more often? That’s what I always say after I make this quiche! There was a funny book published in 1982, Real Mean Don’t Eat Quiche, by Bruce Feirstein, that nearly destroyed the American Quiche industry. The whole point of his humor was that such thinking is male lunacy! Dudes! It’s OK! A slice of quiche and a side salad is a spectacular lunch or dinner. The problem is, two slices make it even better.


1 Pie Crusts, Refrigerated, or use Martha Stewart’s awesome recipe .
5 Eggs, beaten
¼ cup Milk (Whatever you’ve got – we are whole milk people) – The creamier the better.
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tbsp Italian Seasonings (or your favorite – herbes de Provence, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
2 tbsp White Flour
Egg Mixture
Pick Your Cheese!
¾ cup Cheese mixture. Cheddar with a little parmesan is nice. Swiss or Gruyere works. Shredded Mexican blend is excellent. Whatever is in your fridge!)
One Cup of Any of the Following Fillings . . .
1 cup Sausage and Grilled Onions
1 cup Sautéed Broccoli
1 cup Sautéed Spinach and Mushroom
1 cup Sautéed Asparagus
1 cup Bacon and Anything


Prepare the Crust

Preheat the oven to 350.

Roll out the crust into a pie dish – not too deep of a pie dish, this is not a deep dish apple pie! (Although, that would be really good too!) Try to have the crust go over the edge of the dish. This helps.

Bake the crusts for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Prepare the Egg Mixture

Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk. Set aside.

Prepare the fillings

You get to decide! Either go with what you want, or what’s in your fridge.

I like to sauté veggies until they are almost done. They can finish in the oven.

Putting it all together – It’s so easy

Take the crusts out of the oven.

Add your chosen filling, sprinkle the cheese over that, then pour the egg mixture over everything.

Smooth it all out so that no filling is sticking out of the mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Take it out when a knife comes out clean. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s not often that a dad gets to be a hero. But every time I get two sticks of salted butter out of the refrigerator and ceremoniously lay (or for more effect, slap) them out to soften, there is an audible cheer in the house. They’re that good. And it’s just the old (not the updated!) version of the Quaker Oats recipe, with a few ever so slight changes.

So here’s the thing. If you buy a cardboard cannister of Quaker Oats, you still find the recipe for their “Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies” on the underside of the lid. But don’t be fooled. It’s the updated version, with way less butter. As the drive-in movie review columnist Joe Bob Briggs says, “Communist Alert!” As any chef, more butter is better. So let’s stick with the old recipe, get rid of those pesky raisins, and add some chocolate chips. Here’s my recipe.


3 cups Quaker Oats (Old Fashioned are the best)
1.50 cups White Flour
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Butter (Two Sticks), Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ cup White Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Chocolate Chips, Semisweet


Mix Dry Ingredients (First Five) in a bowl.

In a mixer, mix butter and sugar. Beat until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

Mix wet and dry ingredients in one bowl.

Add chocolate chips and mix in.

Bake for 10 minutes in 325 degree convection oven, or 350 degrees regular oven. Removed when browned.

Cool on rack, then serve while they are still warm.

If you want to save dough, wrap in wax paper, then place in plastic bag. Thaw for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Jilly’s Mini Pumpkin Pies

Once the Halloween Tree goes up, it’s time for Jilly’s Mini Pumpkin Pies! My wife Jill is an inventor. She has invented so many things over her life, the smartphone for example. She was way ahead of Steve Jobs. In 2003, long before the first iPhone in 2007, when she was holding her Treo 300 Palm Pilot in one hand, and her cell phone in the other, she knew they should be merged as one. We don’t make a lot of money off of her inventions, but we enjoy it when someone else finally figures it out.

These mini-pumpkin pies may be one of her greatest inventions. A friend of ours published the recipe in a cookbook, but did not give Jill credit. She’s OK with that, but come on! I bet we make five or six batches of this every fall. They’re a great dessert, breakfast, snack, or whatever you want them to be.

And here’s how I eat them. I peel away the muffin liner, hold the mini-pie in my hand, put whipped cream on top of that, and eat it in three bites. Let us know what style works best for you!

Oh! And that picture below? That’s Jill getting the honor of putting the witch on top of the old Halloween Tree! Wait. You don’t all do that? Our holiday tree comes out in October and becomes a Halloween Tree, then a Thanksgiving Tree, then a Christmas Tree. And if I had it my way, it would stay up the whole year long, arborally celebrating the different holidays. Alas, like many things in my home, I don’t get it my way, and I live with nine, sad, holiday treeless months. But I can’t wait for October!


1 14.5 oz Can Pumpkin – We Like Libby’s
1 Can, Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie SpiceWe think McCormick's is the best brand for this
2 Eggs
28 Ginger SnapsThe Nabisco Ginger Snaps are perfect.
Whipped CreamI usually like homemade, but the spray can works so well here.


Mix pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, and eggs in a mixer or with a spoon.

(Note: If you want to make a big pie, just pour this into a pie crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until a knife/toothpick comes out cleanly.)

Put a Gingersnap in the bottom of 28 foil cupcake cups arranged on 8.5 x 13 casserole dishes. Put 1/4 cup mix in each cupcake cup.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 20 minutes.

Let cool. Then serve with whipped cream!

Gramma Sue’s Rice Pudding

Every time my son Ryan (born in 1990!) goes to Gramma Sue’s house, or whenever she visits us, the first order of business for her is to make Rice Pudding for Ryan. Now Dawson is in on it too. It’s a great tradition, and a fantastic dessert. Also, it’s a superb breakfast reheated. Serve it whipped cream and you’ll be pretty darn happy.


1.75 cups Water
2 cups Whole Milk
½ cup Converted RiceI am going to try this recipe with some jasmine rice, as I don't have converted rice around the house.
2 Eggs, beaten
½ tsp Salt
cup Sugar
¼ cup Raisins (more or less, to taste)
1 tsp Vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On the stove, bring water to boil; stir in rice and salt. Cover and simmer 30 minutes until water is absorbed.

Add milk and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Gradually stir into rice mixture; mix well.

Pour into a greased 1-1/2 qt. (3 qt., if doubled) casserole. Stir in raisins and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife – if it comes out clean, you are done!