Waffles for Dinner

The other night, everyone arrived home from their various activities around 5:30 and plopped down in the living room exhausted. My sister, the ballerina, was sprawled across the couch. “Mom, I’m hungry!” she moaned. My mom did not look in the mood to cook at all, so I suggested that we have waffles. The three of us headed out to the kitchen while my dad went for a short workout. From the pantry, my mom pulled our staple Buttermilk Pancake Mix from none other than Trader Joe’s. I grabbed leftover whipping cream out of the fridge and made some fresh cream to put on top, and Olivia washed raspberries and blueberries. The waffle iron was hot and ready to go a few minutes later, and the first batch of batter went in. Fast forward two minutes, and out came perfectly shaped, fluffy, delicious waffles.

Here is our go to recipe for a quick breakfast (in this case dinner) fix:

3.5 cups Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Pancake Mix

2 cups of water

2 eggs*

1/2 cup canola oil

For the whipped cream, I mixed up about 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup for sweetener.

*Out of eggs? Need a substitute? A great switch I have used in the past is flaxseed. Combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg. Make sure the mixture thickens up before pouring it into the rest of the batter. It adds healthy omega-3s to your waffles! And unlike other substitutes like mashed banana or applesauce, it doesn’t interfere with flavor. It passed the taste inspection of Miss Olivia, who can detect the slightest bit of added healthiness to any of her favorite treats. (Ahem…whole wheat flour, less sugar…you get the picture).

Not only were these a great dinner, but popped in the toaster the next morning they make a perfect breakfast. They keep up to several weeks in the freezer, so when we make these we usually double the batch to make a quick and easy breakfast option for busy mornings to come. They taste great topped with greek yogurt, honey, syrup, fresh fruit, granola…the list goes on. My personal favorite is greek yogurt, honey, and chopped almonds.

Olivia: Don’t listen to the healthy wacko. Yogurt and waffles do NOT go together and you forgot to mention the way Dad and I eat them…..lots of Vermont Maple Syrup preceded by a dab of butter.

Susie:  My favorite waffle for dinner memory was one where we had been strawberry picking 2 nights before Christmas with friends-yes this is California weather.  We were up to our ankles in mud with 5 children all under the age of 9 in the local field behind our neighborhood.  We came home with pounds of bright red strawberries and decided we best make jam with the mother lode.  It was a fun but long day indeed, and we pulled out the waffle iron and our favorite Trader Joe Buttermilk mix and topped them with the fresh picked strawberries.  But, truly Emma, how could you forget my favorite topping of  lemon curd and greek yoghurt combined; and of course the steaming hot cup of coffee on the side?

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Perspectives on a Beautiful Wedding

Susie: We just got back from my niece Abby’s wedding.  The wedding week was filled with activities and culminated with a ceremony glorifying our beautiful Savior.  The first grandchild to marry.  The end of an era, and the beginning of one.  There are others close by in the wings, ready to take the leap also.

The trip back to Colorado from California was a breath of fresh air for our family.  As we drove into the town of Boulder, I became nostalgic.  This was where so much started for me, a husband, and family.  Not just my little family, but the merging into the Huebner Family.
So, I must admit that I was so excited to take this trip back to the mountains, to the beauty of the landscape, the sound of the thunder in the afternoon, and the wash of the rain.
And yet more than the physical beauty which surrounded us, was the bountiful presence of John’s family, my family. They are like glue, no matter how far away we are, or our differences, when we meet the only time that has really passed is time itself.  I married into an amazing family, three sons and a daughter, raised by a strong and beautifully resilient woman, now known as Nana, all now married with grandchildren totaling eleven.
Abby and Ryan, thanks for bringing us all together to witness your wedding day. It was a beautiful event and I pray that your marriage would be full of the grace that only He can give.  Oh, and, Ryan, you are one lucky guy.

Emma: Last weekend’s wedding was the first of many to come in this next generation of Huebners. My beloved cousin Abby Huebner married Lieutenant Ryan Carey. The week long celebration was not only a wedding, but also a family reunion. Being the lone SoCal Huebners, it was a treat for us to get an extra visit with our Colorado and Nebraska fam.
After a trip to the KnitWit, a longtime favorite boutique of my mom’s in Boulder, we had lunch at the Walnut Creek Brewery, got a latte from the Brewing Market and stopped at McGuckin Hardware for a packet of prismacolor pencils for my sister (art supplies are a must during long car rides for creative 10-year-olds; the backseat of our minivan rental became my sister’s temporary art studio). We spent a night in Centennial, CO with Aunt Sue and Uncle Dick on Berry Lane and drove to Fort Collins, center of festivities, the next day.
One of my favorite activities that week was my cousin’s bachelorette party. Being the Nebraska girl at heart that she is, our group went to the shooting range after getting pedicures at She She nails. Never have I experienced something like shooting a gun. The powerful sensation that runs through your arms when you pull that trigger is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. It was one of those experiences that everyone has to have, although I think once was enough for me. Afterward we had a delicious dinner at Taverna Greek Grill to celebrate Abby. The balaclava was most outstanding, and Abby got to break a plate in honor of the occasion.
The following day, while most of our family was at the wedding rehearsal, my dad and I decided to venture out for a little exercise. After failing to find the trail leading to the foothills of the mountains, we found ourselves and ZuZu, our cousins’ poor golden-doodle, running on the skinny shoulder of a very busy highway. ZuZu had decided a few miles back that the run was much more than she had bargained for and kept escaping from her choke chain. Let me tell you, it is not a good situation when a dog repeatedly runs into oncoming, highspeed traffic. Although much discouraged after passing a sign that said “Fort Collins city limits” (where the heck were we five seconds ago?), all three of us arrived safely back at Aunt Robyne and Uncle Jim’s house.
After our short thirty minute turned into hour-and-a-half long drag, we blundered into the backyard. In a sudden second wind, ZuZu bolted for the water bowl while my father and I dove into the pool.
Two days later, after much celebration, food, and dancing, all members of the family (except the bride and groom of course) enjoyed a last brunch togher. After several doses too many of Aunt Robyne’s Swedish Coffee Cake, my parents, sister, and I and Nana headed to Estes Park for a day before heading home.
Of course, my dad and I had to get lost one more time that trip (it just would have been unnatural if we hadn’t). We had a lovely 20 minute turned hour long hike in the woods behind our cabin. (Who can resist climbing over that next large rock a few miles ahead? we couldn’t turn around just yet…) After coming out a few campsites over, we sauntered back to a less than joyful Nana, Mom, and Olivia waiting in the minivan well after checkout time. After spending time in the local Taffy shop and spending way too much money for handblown pieces of glass at the Glass shop, we drove back to Denver in a magnificent thunder storm.
Well, I think I have written quite too much for my share and will stop boring you. Now I must hand it over to the VIP flowergirl, who will give a true insider’s look into the wedding.

Olivia: VIP flower girl here. I’m the one in the middle, next to my cousin Ingrid (left) and Greta (right). Abby’s Wedding…..hhmmm.  These are a few of my favorite things……
Thursday before the Wedding, Abby took the girls of the bridal party to the She She Nail Salon in Fort Collins, to get our feet pampered and our toenails polished!!. After eating lots of jelly beans and m and m’s and watching several episodes of the office my turn for a pedicure came.  It was totally worth the wait as I gazed at my yellow and pink toenails.
The next day, Friday was the rehearsal.   My cousins Ingrid and Greta (the other beautiful flower girls) and I stood in the hot sun practicing long and hard for that perfect walk down the aisle. Afterward we were rewarded as we jumped into Aunt Robyne and Uncle Jim’s cold pool. Sadly, later that night, I got about 10 mosquito bites!!
When the day of the wedding finally arrived, the wedding party gathered together early for pictures.  I got to see Abby in her dress-she looked like a snow princess. Standing during the ceremony was a little tiring and Ingrid,  Greta and I were getting hungry.  But, when it was over the reception was a blast.  We ate pasta, drank lemonade with blueberries on top and danced till our feet ached.
At the end of the night we sent Abby and Ryan off in sea of bubbles.
Oh, and did I mention that we ended our trip in Estes Park?  And that rock shop in the village was fantastic.