Welcome y’all! Pull up a seat.

One of my favorite things to do is cook. I love being in the kitchen most of the time. It’s not always and not every day that I want to make a mess and then have to clean it up, but for the most part, I’m in love with cooking and baking and all things kitchen. Because of that, it makes sense for me to have characters in my books who cook.

Today’s character is Vinter. In Simple Need, the morning after with Elise, he made her breakfast…waffles and bacon. Now, of course, Vinter being Vinter, he couldn’t help but be a little naughty with the syrup. Luckily, Elise was all too happy to oblige him. He wanted to make her feel that she was welcome, that he wanted her company for more than the hot sex they were almost constantly having. And well, there was also that need for sustenance 😉 . After all, they did work up a bit of an appetite.

I have a love affair with breakfast foods, especially sweet breakfast foods. Waffles, pancakes, sweet breads, muffins, doughnuts, etc… I don’t have these things often, but when I do, it’s like a party. I love going out for pancakes or pastries, but more than that, I love making them. Nothing better sometimes than the smell of cooking waffles and bacon and warm maple syrup. It has to be real maple syrup, too. Not the flavored syrup, but the real thing, usually in the glass bottles and more expensive than the stuff at eye level. Real syrup can be used sparingly too since it’s sweeter.

Since I cook so much, I try to do it in a healthy way. I love food blogs and am always perusing them, spending hours reading through them for new and interesting takes on recipes. I use a lot of natural sweeteners instead of white sugar. Whole wheat and whole grain flours instead of white unless necessary, like for cakes and such.

So, because our bad boy hero, Vinter, made Elise waffles, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite waffle recipes from one of my most favorite food sites, Deliciously Organic.

Whole Wheat Waffles
Adapted from Christopher Kimball’s The Cook’s Bible
Serves 6

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat waffle iron.Whisk flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg yolks with buttermilk and melted butter. Beat egg whites until they hold a stiff peak. Add egg yolk mixture slowly to dry ingredients while stirring with a spatula until just mixed together (there will still be lumps and maybe a few patches of flour). Gently fold in the egg whites until just mixed together. (It’s important not to over mix).

Using a ladle, spoon batter onto waffle iron and cook until deep brown. Serve immediately.

If you are cooking for a crowd, simply preheat the oven to 200°F and place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. When the waffles are cooked place them on the cooling rack/baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Now, this following bacon recipe is an indulgent recipe and I make it once in a blue moon and not to serve with waffles or pancakes since it’s so sweet already. It’s taken from the blog, Mommy’s Kitchen.

Brown Sugar Bacon

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, 8 slices

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add bacon and toss. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and lay bacon on the rack. Pat any remanding spice mixture on the bacon. Put the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving dish and let cool slightly before serving.

*Note: If using thick cut peppered bacon, omit the pepper in this recipe.

When I was looking for a waffle iron, I had the hardest time finding one that wasn’t for Belgian waffles. I wanted a regular thickness for waffles and I finally found one by Cuisinart for about $30. I love it.

Have you read about Vinter? If not, here’s the cover and blurb:

Vinter is not your typical businessman. Tattoos, piercings and not a suit and tie in sight. One-third owner of a bar and a tattoo parlor along with being a bassist in a band, Vinter comes and goes as he pleases. He likes his beer cold, his music hard and his women scorching hot. Until he’s knocked off his game by a suburban doll he can’t stop wanting.

Elise needs a change. In men. The buttoned-up businessmen she’s been dating leave a lot to be desired—in romance, in respect and most definitely in sex. A recent text message from her now ex-lover drives Elise into a popular bar on the outside of town, where she meets one of its owners. He’s just the kind of man she’s never had and definitely the kind she’s always fantasized about. Big, bad and oh so naughty.

Unexpected tenderness. Unimaginable lust. Being dumped has never felt so damn good.

Available as an ebook from: Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Powell’s

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first installment of In the kitchen with… and that you’ll come back each Thursday to find out what and who is cooking…

~lissa