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I'm thinking to haul out a wedding-present-waffle-iron, never opened never used in this century, but can hardly remember anything about waffle-making. What to do? Are there tricks, tips, better and worse recipes, issues, factions, schools of thought?

(Related topic: waffle irons)

Ellen Shapiro


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To make great waffles, there really is no short cut: you must separate the eggs, beat the whites, and fold them into the rest of the batter. I also use a bit of malt syrup to the mix to add some depth of flavor.

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Dean McCord


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I agree with Varmint about separating the egg and whipping the whites before folding them into the batter.

Also, for crisp waffles, substitute rice flour for one-fourth of the wheat flour.

Sugar adds crispnness, too. Shirley Corriher says to add corn syrup for crispness. I add two tablespoons per recipe.

Buttermilk is my liquid of choice, for a delicious flavor.

I use the highest setting on my Cuisinart Belgian waffle-maker, for crispness. A little lower setting and less browning if I am planning to freeze extras in ziploc bags for toasting later, which works great.

Also, crispness requires a lot of butter. A whole stick of butter per recipe is what I use, and it seems a horrifying amount until you calculate that it's only a tablespoon or less per waffle. Vegetable oil will give you crispness, too, but with much less flavor.

For a while I was a big fan of Marion Cunningham's feather-light yeasted waffles (recipe in Rose Levy Beranbaum's _The Cake Bible_ as well as in Cunningham's own book of a title I cannot recall -- is it _How to Cook_?), but after I tried a recipe for unyeasted, much more substantial waffles, my family voted for the latter. They found the feather-light waffles too airy by comparison. I guess one could say that Cunningham's recipe makes the Wonder Bread or Krispy Kreme of waffles.

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I second what others have said about separating the eggs and whipping the whites. My experience has also been that yeast raised waffles are significaltly lighter and crisper than baking powder raised waffles. I use a modification of Shirley Corriher's recipe in CookWise, where the sponge is actually fermented overnight. My modification is that I still separate the eggs and beat the whites (the eggs are added to the sponge in the morning). Recipes for Marion Cunningham's yeast waffle batter and Shirley Corriher's overnight yeast waffle batter may be found here.

Of course, the waffle iron makes a very big difference as well. Most wafflophiles I know -- and this includes myself -- think that the 1960s era Sunbeam Waffle Baker and Sandwich Grill is the best of all time. As it so happens, there are a few up for auction on eBay right now (click and click and click some more).


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Agree about yeast based and fermenting overnight. It produces a very light, very crisp waffle.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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Count me in for the yeasted waffle gang. I prefer the recipe in "How to Cook Everything" - it is almost exactly the same as Marion Cunningham's, but uses less butter and I think works better. You do need to start them the night before, but the prep time is nothing and they have a much richer flavor than other waffles.

If you can't plan that far ahead, there was an exellent recipe for light and crispy buttermilk waffles in Fine Cooking magazine a couple years ago. Let me know if you would like it and I'll PM it to you.

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I haven't made waffles for some 35 years. But back then, as I remember, we used Bisquick (? Spelling) and did not separate the eggs. Seemed to make a fine waffle. Are those recommending folding egg whites into the batter preparing Belgian syle waffles, per chance?

What to do with the finished waffle the morning after Thanksgiving: Mix leftover turkey with leftover giblet dressing and ladel generously ontop of cooked waffles. At other times, chicken with chicken gravy and even S.O.S. work quite well. All these are better on a savory waffle as opposed to a sweetened waffle.

My father used to make great grilled cheese sandwiches on our waffle iron. Sharp cheddar cheese, baked ham and Jersey tomatoes on white or whole wheat bread. Especially good was the cheese that melted out the sides of the sandwich and crisped on the waffle irons.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."



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What to do with the finished waffle the morning after Thanksgiving:  Mix leftover turkey with leftover giblet dressing and ladel generously ontop of cooked waffles.  At other times, chicken with chicken gravy and even S.O.S. work quite well.  All these are better on a savory waffle as opposed to a sweetened waffle.

YUM. Sounds like a gravy sammige to me! Sauce is my favorite food.

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I haven't made waffles for some 35 years.  But back then, as I remember, we used Bisquick (? Spelling) and did not separate the eggs.  Seemed to make a fine waffle.  Are those recommending folding egg whites into the batter preparing Belgian syle waffles, per chance?

I suspect not. We haven't made waffles in years either. As I recall our breakfast waffle and breakfast pancake batter recipes were almost identical. For both, the eggs were separated and the whites beaten and folded in.

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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This thread is the answer to my prayers. I purchased a waffle iron two days ago. I tried a recipe where I folded the beaten egg whites in. The next morning I wake up to the boyfriend making waffles. In typical style, he just threw all the wet stuff together. To me they tasted pretty similar. Am I an idiot? Don't answer that one.

I am very interested in these yeasted waffles... do they pack a bigger taste than the soda raised ones or is the texture the only difference? Is there any way possible to make the waffles with fruit in them or is the only sensible solution to use fruit as a topping? I would like to be able to make some blueberry ones to freeze for quick breakfasts.

9 out of 10 dentists recommend wild Alaska salmon.

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According to my friends i am waffle queen but it's my mom's recipe and it's no-frills really. No yeast, just separated eggs, beaten like crazy until you can stand a fork up in 'em! :raz:

And i have a Cuisanart waffle iron that i like for its size and because it's worlds faster than my old crappy, generic waffle iron i threw out the window.

This is my recipe:

Mom's Waffles

2 c. flour

1 Tbl Baking Powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Baking Soda

a little cinnamon

a little nutmeg

2 c. Buttermilk

4 eggs, separated

1/2 c. melted butter

2 Tbl. syrup

a little vanilla

Stir dry ingredients together. Combine egg yolks and buttermilk. Add egg yolk mixture to dry ingredients. Stir in slightly cooled butter. Add syrup and vanilla. Fold in eggwhites, leaving little fluffs of them showing in the batter.

Bake in waffle iron. (duh!)

The also make yummy pancakes...especially if you forget to bring the waffle iron to the weekend getaway...d'oh! :shock:

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Foam Pants: IMO yeast raised waffles are significantly crisper and significantly lighter than the regular kind. The batter is much thinner than regular waffle batter and so once the liquids have cooked off there is more air in a yeast waffle. One of the great things about this is that you can eat more of them! However, on the downside, due to their more etherial nature I am not sure they would freeze very well.

As for making waffles with friut... I don't think fresh fruit would work very well, but small pieces of dried friuit might. Maybe dried blueberry or dried cranberry waffles? Driet currant waffles? I make pecan waffles all the time.


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Foam Pants,

Don't know that yeasted waffles pack a bigger taste wallop than non yeasted. In fact, the taste is more delicate. Very good with maple syrup.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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My current favorite is fairly crisp, lightly spiced pumpkin waffles* -- no need even for syrup** -- but my game plan is to try cornmeal waffles if fresh local blackberries appear at the farmers' market....

I've eaten waffles for a gazillion years and have never knowingly eaten one made without separating the eggs (and beating the egg whites).

*Bradley Ogden's “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” (1991)

** Be sure to use the real thing -- some huge percentage of Americans have never even tasted maple syrup, I was shocked to learn recently. No point to waffles, or pancakes, without it! (But then I grew up in New England...)

Edited by Aquitaine (log)

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Could someone please PM me a recipe for yeasted waffles soonest? We leave for cabin tomorrow morning, and I'd like to give them a try.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Thanks, everyone, for some great advice. This has gotten me so fired up about waffles that I think I am going to go to the used bookstore and purchase this book I saw there the other day that's all about waffles. Just what I need, another cookbook. I think I will try some yeast waffles and some with pecans. I think maybe mashed banana might also work, sort of along the line of the pumpkin waffles.

9 out of 10 dentists recommend wild Alaska salmon.

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Could someone please PM me a recipe for yeasted waffles soonest?  We leave for cabin tomorrow morning, and I'd like to give them a try.

Snowangel, I linked to two recipes in my post of 09:52 AM above.


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I'm mostly a lurker but I love this forum and the opportunity to learn new things from all the talented cooks - both the professionals and those who just share the passion. I checked through the recipe archive and didn't find a similar recipe to this one, so I thought I'd share it with you.

More years ago than I care to count, I was the proud new owner of a VillaWare Belgian Waffler Pro. While I loved the waffle maker, I was very disappointed with the recipe that came with it, and my recipe for regular waffles (mostly just following directions from store-bought waffle mix) was no better. I don't mean to say that the waffles were bad, they were just not what I wanted: light, yet crispy.

Several months and various cookbooks later (I'm just a weekend waffler), I still hadn't managed to find what I wanted, so I began experimenting. I finally came up with one that I liked.

Not one to let good enough stand in the way of better, though, I read this thread with interest. Several of the tips were new to me, but when I saw the recipe that Chantrelle posted, it was different enough from what I normally do that I decided to try it out. The waffles were good, but were a bit heavier and not as crispy as I like. I do believe, however, that I've found a new recipe for pancakes. :smile:

This morning, I tried some of the tips I found here and decided to incorporate it into the recipe below.

Crisp & Light Belgian Waffles

3 cups Bisquick

1 cup milk (or substitute 1-1/4 cups buttermilk)

2/3 cup espresso or strong coffee (or substitute 2/3 cup milk)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

2 eggs, separated.

1 teaspoon vanilla

In large mixing bowl, combine Bisquick , milk, coffee, sour cream and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter and let stand for 20 minutes. While waffle maker is heating, beat egg whites until firm and fold into batter. Bake.

Serves 4 adults or 2 teenagers.

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Count me in for the yeasted waffle gang. I prefer the recipe in "How to Cook Everything" - it is almost exactly the same as Marion Cunningham's, but uses less butter and I think works better. You do need to start them the night before, but the prep time is nothing and they have a much richer flavor than other waffles.

If you can't plan that far ahead, there was an exellent recipe for light and crispy buttermilk waffles in Fine Cooking magazine a couple years ago. Let me know if you would like it and I'll PM it to you.

This is the recipe I use the most too!

I love to make buttermilk waffles, but alas there is no buttermilk in Japan, so I make the yeasted ones.

I have a Belgian waffle maker and often toss fresh blueberries in with no problem.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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gallery_47954_3474_88447.jpgI’ve been trying to plough through Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading for three days, since it’s on the list of required readings for the Masters program I’m looking at. No matter how hard I concentrate on the text, I get distracted. This evening, I decided mid-page that waffles sounded good for dinner. There was half a quart of buttermilk in the fridge so I googled the following: waffles, buttermilk, cornmeal.

I’d like to think I know a lot about waffles. My father has used the same waffle machine since 1986. It’s a commercial machine with cast-iron plates and adjustable time and temperature settings. He’s used it so often that the non-stick coating stopped functioning and he shipped the machine to Canada for a refurbishment.

Through him, I’ve tried over three dozen commercial waffle mixes (our favorite is Classique Fare Belgian Waffle Mix.) When I came to college, I found an abandoned heart-shaped waffle maker in my basement and started trying to make mixes from scratch. I’ve tried recipes for pumpkin waffles, lemon-cornmeal waffles, chocolate waffles, buckwheat waffles, and vegan waffles, to name a few. None of them has yielded a waffle like my father’s: well browned and extremely crisp with a delicate, almost undercooked interior.

Still, sometimes I get hungry for a different waffle. Tonight, the first recipe to catch my eye on Google was Cook’s Illustrated’s “Best Buttermilk Waffles.” Intrigued, I printed the recipe and set to work. I’m a fan of Christopher Kimball’s writings, and I like Cook’s Illustrated’s tried and true approach to recipes, so I had high expectations when the recipe promised a waffle with “a crisp, well-browned exterior with a moist, fluffy interior.”

Unfortunately, the waffle I forked out of my waffle maker didn’t quite match the promised description. It was possibly the puffiest waffle I’ve ever made. The outside was well browned, but after ten seconds or so it went rather limp. Furthermore, the recipe doesn’t include sugar, so the slightly salty waffle begged for a sweet accompaniment I didn’t have.

I didn't give up immediately. In my experience, the first waffle never cooks as well as the rest (squashing a piece of bread in the waffle-iron first can help with this.) I tried to make another. I spread the batter across the bottom heating plate with a spatula to try and combat its thickness. I tried popping a finished waffle segment into the toaster to crisp the exterior a little more. Nothing I did made the waffle more to my taste.

Cook’s Illustrated is a great resource, but sometimes it frustrates me. I don’t think everyone can agree on “The Best Buttermilk Waffles.” Cook’s Illustrated has a whole series of cookbooks called “The Best Recipe.” It’s not hard to search Google or Amazon and find hundreds of titles that promise the best results.

In A History of Reading, Manguel says “reading is cumulative and proceeds by geometrical progression: each new reading builds upon whatever the reader has read before.” The same idea applies to taste. “The Best Buttermilk Waffles” might taste amazing to someone who’s never had a decent waffle. Maybe there exists a fantastic waffle that I’ll never get to try. There exist more waffle irons and waffle recipes than anyone can use in a lifetime.

I may never be a true waffle expert, but at least I know not to believe everything I read. I encourage you to figure out what you like in a waffle, and then refuse to accept anything less.

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I must admit that this baking mix produces the best waffles I ever made. There's nothing trick about my waffle iron, and the recipe is simple:

Ingredients for 8 Waffles

2 cups Bakery Mix

1 cup water or milk

1 egg

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. melted shortening or oil


Beat ingredients by hand with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended. Pour 1/2 cupfuls onto hot waffle iron. Cook according to waffle iron operating instructions.

I've made them using Dried Egg Mix and Dried Milk too, and the waffles turn out crisp and golden-brown on the outside while staying light, fluffy and just barely moist inside.

SB (I don't know why the first waffle in a batch, (or pancake/crepe), usually turns out bad, but my dogs appreciate the free sample.) :raz:

PS: They freeze real well too! :smile:

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The book I use most often for making waffles is Dorie Greenspan's Waffles from Morning till night. None of the recipes in it have ever failed me.

Edited by Marlene (log)



Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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      The recipe we post on the station’s website is usually written to serve 6-8 people. But, when you cook on local television, there is a very, very important consideration that you must factor into your shopping list-enough food to feed the crew.

      That means a recipe written for the public to serve precisely one "Shrimp Stuffed with Crab" to each of 8 guests, is a much different, and much larger recipe, behind the scenes. It’s more than just a matter of prepping 8 stuffed shrimp. It’s a matter of stuffing 30, maybe even 40 shrimp.

      I triple or quadruple the quantities called for in a recipe so that I can feed the cameramen, the floor director, the producer, the hosts, the sports guy, the weather lady, the DJ’s in the adjacent AM radio station booth-every person working in the studio on Sunday morning will have at least one of these delectable stuffed shrimp. (It’s vital to send the crew home sated; they are the ultimate taste-test panel. If they like your food, the viewers will like it too.)

      After the recipe for the dish I put together an "Invoice," a shopping list of ingredients that lists the cost of the products I’ll be buying for the recipe. This serves as my contract, if you will, for KXLY.

      The final piece of the written paperwork for each show is the "script" that I write for myself.

      This isn’t the same type of "script" that might be rehearsed by the actors on "The Bold and The Beautiful." The only person that reads this script is me. (And maybe the co-host who glances at the script tucked under the plate displayed on the set). When you cook on local television you don’t rehearse with other actors. If you choose to rehearse you do it at home ahead of time.

      Remember, this is live TV. We don’t have room for errors. We don’t do re-takes or re-shoot scenes. We’re LIVE! For my own piece of mind, I need a script as a sort of crutch to lean on. (Hey, Martha always has a cheat sheet on the counter).

      The script is my guide to all the points of the dish that I want to convey. This Sunday, I want to mention Williams Seafood and the array of products that Mike offers. I’ll talk about using wild American shrimp because they have a sweeter taste than farm-raised, and I’ll demonstrate how the prosciutto serves as a natural wrapper to hold the crab stuffing in the shrimp.

      The script helps me with my timing when I’m on-camera -- and timing is critical when you cook on television. I rehearse the script over and over and over in my living room, while a little white kitchen timer ticks away.

      I can’t tell you how many professional chefs and amateur cooks I’ve seen on television who didn’t rehearse their bit-and the results on live television were disastrous.

      (Like the chef who -- at the moment of presenting his dessert -- realized that he left the ice cream in his car. In the sun. He literally ran out of the studio, on live TV, to go get the ice cream.)

      The only small measure of direction I get from the Floor Director on the set is when I’m told to "look into the camera" seconds before the red light comes on.

      + + +

      I’ll need two of Mike’s best crabs for Sunday’s show -- one for the meat in the crab stuffing, and another one for the display of ingredients on the set.

      This morning Mike takes literally 20 minutes to scrub and wash the shell of the prized "display crab." As he toils away, I vow to honor his crab by insuring that the shell will be kept wet and shiny during its appearance -- or I won’t be able to show my face in Mike’s shop again.

      I’ll be making a crab cake mixture to stuff the shrimp. I’m wondering if Mike can top himself after the wondrous crabs he’s already given me, but he doesn’t disappoint today -- his fresh Wild American Shrimp fished out of the Gulf of Florida are just the right size to hold my savory crab cake stuffing.

      In the case of Sunday’s dish of Stuffed Shrimp, the recipe calls for grilling the shrimp on the outdoor barbecue. But we won’t be barbecuing the shrimp on camera this Sunday. I’ll grill the shrimp at home and then we’ll go through the motions of the cooking process during our live segment.

      I try to have all of my prep work done by late Saturday afternoon so I all I have to do on Sunday morning is pack the coolers and drive to the studio. There won’t be a Hummer limousine at my doorstep on Sunday morning waiting to whisk me in comfort to KXLY. I’ll be driving myself to the studio in a Dodge pickup.

      My home office serves as the "staging" area for packing the coolers. Make note of the supplies on the floor next to the cooler-dishes, toothpicks, silverware, tongs, spatulas and kitchen towels.

      And yes, I am following the direct instructions of Mike the fish guy -- I bought a spray bottle at the "Dollar Store" so that I can keep our precious "display crab" wet on camera.

      + + +

      I’ve never cooked on the "Today Show" on NBC in New York. I’ve heard that cooks who appear on "Today" are escorted into what is called a "Green Room," catered with lush displays of fresh fruit, vegetable and cheese trays, pastries and a never-ending assortment of beverages to await their few moments of fame. We don’t have a "Green Room" at KXLY. What we have is a room used by the weekday news staff to script out the flow of the news programs.

      Not having a Green Room is a blessing in disguise. The atmosphere in the studio is very casual and I don’t have to sit in a cold, lonely room waiting for a perky intern to escort me to the studio. I wait in the studio.

      You learn to be patient and immodest around the crew -- these are the people who watch you unzip your pants in the studio. You pull out your shirt so they can thread a small microphone from your waist, underneath your shirt, up to your neck and then clip the little mouthpiece to your collar.

      The only style advice I ever got was from my co-host, Teresa Lukens, who cautioned me not to wear a striped or checked shirt on-camera-something about the pattern of my shirt being a distraction to the viewers. (And I thought the girth of my waist was more of a distraction to the viewers than the pattern of my shirt).

      I don’t wear a Chef’s coat, because I don’t consider myself a Chef. I’m a cook and I want the viewers to relate to my story and my personality with ease and comfort. I want them to feel comfortable going into their kitchens at home and creating the types of dishes they might have at a restaurant. I don’t want to scare them by thinking only a guy in a chef’s coat can cook good food.

      Our kitchen at KXLY comprises an electric, flat-top stove inserted into a formica cabinet on wheels, held in place with sandbags. We don’t have an oven, refrigerator, freezer or running water. We make do with what we have-and that’s why I bring my own spatulas, spoons and water bottle to spray the crab.

      After the "Pet for Adoption" segment, I’m allowed on the set to get ready. I usually have about 15 minutes to unpack the coolers, put the ingredients on display and get the stove-top heated.

      We begin our cooking segment with a 30-second lead-in, usually after the local sports report. Teresa introduces the dish we’ll be doing and then we break to another commercial. I don’t have a lot of time to grill shrimp when we go live on KLXY -- only four minutes total for cooking time and discussion of the dish with my co-host. I’m lucky to have Teresa as my host. She knows food and cooking. She knows that prosciutto is cured Italian ham and she knows it’s thin and slightly salty. She knows to ask if smaller prawns will work for the recipe. And without prompting, she’ll ask why I’m using fresh Dungeness crab instead of canned lump crab meat. At the end of the segment we cut to one last commercial.

      As we come back live, Rick and Teresa are their normally gracious selves, tasting the stuffed shrimp and declaring it delicious. The show is a wrap.

      One more taste-test lies ahead before we can bring this journey to an end. What will the crew say about my "Shrimp Stuffed with Crab?"

      They tell me the stuffed shrimp were delicious. But you know what they really liked? What impressed them the most? The radishes.

      About a week after Sunday’s show, I went back to Williams Seafood to get some photos of the shop for this story.

      I find Mike behind the counter cutting fresh tuna steaks.

      "At least it looked fresh this time," he says.

      + + +


      Shortly after I finished this piece, I began working with KXLY on our next cooking segment, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 16.

      The plan was to cook some unique side dishes that the home cook could easily do to accompany the holiday turkey or prime rib. At least that was the plan until I picked up the local newspaper on November 2.

      When I turned to the business section, I saw the ominous news: "KXLY cancels weekend news program." I immediately contacted the producer.

      I had been cancelled -- a victim of the horrible state of the economy. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. Cancelled after seven years and dozens of live cooking segments. Cancelled.

      Because "Sunday Morning Northwest" wasn’t the lead-in program to "Good Morning America," on the weekdays, it relied heavily on local advertising for its survival. ABC wouldn’t (and KXLY couldn’t) carry the burden of producing a local show that didn’t feed into network programming.

      With so many local businesses filing for bankruptcy and others literally closing the doors, one of the first budget items to go was television advertising -- advertising revenue that paid to produce "Sunday Morning Northwest."

      I wasn’t the only on-air "personality" to get the pink slip. The weekend weather "person" also got her walking papers. Rick and Teresa Lukens returned to the security of the KXLY-AM 920 radio booth and continue with their weekday morning drive-time show.

      And I have taken an unwanted leave of absence from local television. At least for a few months.

      Loyalty is not a word that is highly regarded in the television business. If ABC cancels you, you talk to NBC and so I’ve shifted my ambitions to KHQ -- the local NBC affiliate.

      KHQ airs a local morning program seven days a week. So if the culinary Gods are praying for me, someday soon I’ll begin doing a live cooking segment on the "KHQ Morning News."

      * * *

      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food, reviews restaurants and -- obviously -- does food presentation. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team for the Culinary Culture and Kitchen forums.
    • By Smokeydoke
      After a delightful brunch at Koslow's Sqirl restaurant in Los Angeles, I've decided to attempt to cook through her cookbook. I'll post my results here.
      Please follow along and join in, if you're so inclined. Her food is wonderful, but I will surmise that her true deliciousness comes from using the best and freshest ingredients. I'll do my best to recreate the magic I felt at Sqirl.
      Here's the link to her book at Eat Your Books.
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