Waffles are not just for breakfast

What I love about waffles: they can be made ahead and frozen for later, and eaten at any meal. Besides their obvious appeal with sticky syrups and fruit compotes for breakfast, they’re fun to cut into 2-inch squares, sandwich bites of breaded chicken between them, and serve skewered as chicken-and-waffle appetizers. Leftover waffles, dipped in chocolate and various other flavors of sauce, taste pretty good as a quick dessert, with or without whipped cream. Why all this waffle talk? We must plan for National Waffle Day on Aug. 24 of course! So, pull out your old waffle iron or buy/borrow one, and plug in to these groove-y treats.

Spray the waffle iron with vegetable spray or rub with oil before using. When finished making waffles, unplug the waffle iron and leave the lid open to cool. And remember: the second waffle is always better than the first!

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Cornmeal and Blackberry Waffles

Serve these substantial waffles for breakfast or brunch, with plenty of syrup or powdered sugar and jam. Recipe from “Bradley Ogden’s Breakfast, Lunch &Dinner”; makes 4 to 6 servings.

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal (OK to use white cornmeal instead)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 pint blackberries, rinsed and drained

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, milk and melted butter. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the berries. Bake waffles in preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Banana-Nut Sour Cream Waffles

No buttermilk? Only one egg? No problem! For breakfast or dessert, top these fragrant waffles with a little yogurt, whipped cream, or ice cream. Recipe from “The Big Book of Breakfast” by Maryana Vollstedt; makes 4 waffles.

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat waffle iron; spray or wipe lightly with oil. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, milk, and melted butter; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in mashed banana and nuts. Pour 3/4 cup batter onto hot waffle iron. Close lid and bake until steaming has stopped and waffle is lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove waffle; repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot, with toppings of your choice.

Herbed Waffles

Not a big breakfast eater? Here’s a savory waffle to serve at lunch with chicken salad or other salad of choice. Or cut into cracker size and stack on a cheese platter as an appetizer. They can be made ahead and reheated for 10 mins. in a 350 degree oven. Recipe from “The Best of Waffles &Pancakes” by Jane Stacey; makes about 9 waffles.

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 scallions, (white &tender green parts) chopped

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/3 cups milk

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3 tablespoons butter, melted

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2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Preheat waffle iron. In a medium bowl, combine flour, parsley, cheese, scallions, herbs, sugar if desired, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, butter and mustard; pour this mixture into dry ingredients, stirring to form a smooth batter. Lightly grease waffle iron. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter (amount varies with size of iron) onto hot iron and spread almost to the corners of grid. Close lid; bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until waffle is golden brown with dry edges. Transfer waffle to oven, placing directly on rack to stay crisp. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.