If life gives you Lemons, Make Meyer Lemon Confit

I love trying new things.  My new love outside of poaching white fish in butter, is this making confits.  What does confit mean: Confit (/kɒnfi/, French pronunciation: [kɔ̃fi]) comes from the French word confire which means literally “to preserve,” a confit being any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation. Usually you hear this word in fine dining  restaurants, duck confit or goose confit, meaning the bird has been cooked in it’s own fat. Yes! Actually. I prefer making confits with citrus. A lemon confit is the same idea, but I am using olive oil to slowing cook the meyer lemon rinds in. It makes an excellent condiment to any dish. You can use it on toasted breads, drizzle on salads, vegetables and as I did today on a piece of broiled pacific cod. This is a very simple and easy recipe, that I adapted from Naomi Pomeroy Taste and Technique Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking. 

Meyer Lemon Confit
Meyer Lemon Confit

Ingredients:

Lemon Confit

Rinds of 3 lemons

1/4 teaspoons dried fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes

2 teaspoons organic cane sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Directions:

Cut away most of the spongy white pit of the rinds, leaving only the yellow peel. Cut the trimmed rind pieces into strips 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch long.

Place the strips in a 2 quart saucepan and add the fennels seeds, red chili pepper flakes, sugar, salt, olive oil and garlic cloves. Place over very low heat and slowly simmer. You want it simmer to point you see tiny little bubbles. You will need to stir this often, to make sure the sugar and salt dissolves. You do not want the mixture to fry the lemon rinds, so keep a close eye on it. I had to take mine off the heat at least 3 times and put it back on the low heat, so it would not fry. Naomi suggest using a diffuser, but I did have one of those. If you keep it on a low heat and just keep a good eye, it will be fine.  It takes about 20 minutes for the rinds to simmer and cook until they are soft. Take a fork and remove one out from the oil to check the consistency. Once they are soft, remove from heat and set aside, covered, at room temperature to allow the flavors to come together overnight. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

I poured my meyer lemon confit over this beautiful piece of pacific cod.

Broiled Pacific Cod with Meyer Lemon Confit, Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
Broiled Pacific Cod with Meyer Lemon Confit, Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

 

Mediterranean Kale, Chard and White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Gluten Free Toast with Olive Tapenade

There is nothing like a beautifully delicious salad, but sometimes it’s really hard to eat salad during the winter. So I opt out to making warm salads. Yes, salads can be warm, you still get your greens and veggies but sautéed a bit. Here is one of my favorite salads. I love mediterranean ingredients, like artichokes and kalamata olives. This salad includes them both, but with a little twist. The great thing about salad, you can throw in all your favorite ingredients. Instead of just putting the olives in this salad I made an olive tapenade and spreader it on gluten free toast is a great alternative. In a later post, I will show you how to pump up your olive tapenade with plant based protein. But, until then enjoy this recipe. Always remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Mediterranean Kale, Chard and White Bean Salad with Artichokes and Gluten Free Toast with Olive Tapenade

Ingredients:

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup red onions, diced and extra tablespoon for garnish

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil, in a sauce pan, to sauté veggies

1 tablespoons garlic herb seasonings

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 bunches of kale, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped

1 bunch of chard, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, marinated

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a sauté pan, on medium heat and then add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté until soft. Add diced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add beans and stir. Add the spices and stir gently, to keep the beans in tack. Cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside once cooked. Add the remaining oil into the pan on medium heat. Add the kale and chard, sauté for 2 minutes, you are just welting the leaves. Remove for heat and set aside

Olive Tapenade Ingredients:

1 cup pitted black olives

6 small capers

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Mince the garlic clove. Place olives, minced garlic, capers and olive oil in blender. Blend until you reach a smooth spread. Add to the gluten free toast. To Assemble: Add the kale, chard, in a salad bowl, top with beans and gently toss, place artichoke hearts sparingly throughout the salad. Garnish with diced red peppers, season with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Beautiful Energy Food ~ Roasted Beets with Zucchini and Kale

I love food.  I also love feeling and looking great. Eating healthy for me is essential. I am kidney transplant survivor, so how I eat makes a difference in my health.  This Roasted Beet dish, is full of flavor, textures and nutrition. Here’s a few reasons you may want to try this simple recipe for yourself:

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Roasted Beets, Kale and Zucchini

Beets
Fight wrinkles and conditions the naturally with folate!
Prevents age-related macular degeneration with vitamin A and carotenoids!
Is also known to improve blood flow.

Kale
Boosts the health of your skin, because of it’s vitamin C content. Your skin contains collagen fibers, which are long strands of protein that form a network that holds your skin cells together. Vitamin C helps you make the collagen needed for skin strength.

Radishes
Keeps you hydrated.
With a high water content and lots of vitamin C as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes are an excellent food for the tissues and can help keep your skin looking fresh and vibrant. Eat your thirst.

 

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Roasted Beets, Kale and Zucchini

Preheat oven 400.
Wash beets well. Peel the beets, slice them thinly into circles. Lay them on parchment paper,  salt to taste and drizzle with olive oil.

Clean the zucchini, slice them into circles as well. Place on parchment paper and salt to taste with a little olive oil.
Place in the oven cook for 25 – 30 minutes, until tender.  The zucchini will cook faster,  remove when done.

Sauté the kale. Add olive oil to a sauté pan. Add 1 cup of chopped kale, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Sauté  for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Clean and slice radishes, also into circles. Zest some lemon. Set everything to the side. Goat cheese optional.

Now, once the beets and zucchini is ready you can assemble on a beautiful white plate as you desire. I used a good store bought balsamic glaze to drizzle over the whole dish, but you can make your own.

TIPS ON PLATING
The key to pretty plating, as I learned from my mentor Alex Guranaschelli, on Food Network’s All Star Academy is know what your making, figure out what plate best fits your dish. How and where will you place each component of the dish on the plate?   Sketch it out, if you have to.

Enjoy Beautiful Energy Food and being creative.

Greens with Garlic Herb Sauteed Chick peas, Green Apples, and Vegan Cheese ( homemade)

This weekend was amazing! I renewed my vows to the love of my life, 20 years and counting. The house was bursting with cheer, family and friends all weekend. It was a blast! Honestly, we both felt this wedding was more exciting and very powerful than our first one. I guess that has to do with 20 years, of experiences, struggles, victories and so much wonderful growth in us both. Well, everyone is gone home. The cajun food, themed reception we had, with Mardi gras mask and all, are all put away and everything is eaten, accept a little jambalaya my husband and son has devoured.  Now back to my food and sharing Set the Table with Love recipes with you guys.  I love this salad, I made today,  because it is made with one of my favorite food brands, Go RAW foods. I used their watermelon seeds, that are loaded with 11 grams of vegan protein, to make my vegan cheese. I added some garlic herb seasonings to it and you have vegan cheese. The watermelon seeds made the cheese very buttery and nutty. It’s a winner, plus loaded with protein and only 4 grams of carbohydrates. YES!!!!

This recipe has 22 carbs and 20 grams vegan protein.  I ate the whole big bowl. Off to my walk.

Well here’s the recipes.

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Ingredients:

SALAD

2 cups chopped kale

1 cup romain, bibb, or any other leafy green, you prefer. I used Bibb lettuce.

Few leaves of your favorite herbs. I used cilantro, from the garden

1 large green apple, chopped

1/2 cup chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp McCormick No Salt Garlic Herb Seasoning

VEGAN CHEESE:

2 tbsp Go Raw watermelon seeds

1 tbsp McCormick No Salt Garlic Herb Seasoning

1 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of sea salt

TIP: I added a few of my sautéed chick peas to the food processor to give it more flavor and depth. That will also increase the protein factor.

Directions: 

Wash, gently pat dry and mix the greens, apples and herbs in a large bowl. Set aside. In a sauté pan on medium heat, add enough olive oil to cover the pan, add in the chick peas and the seasoning. Stir. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the seasonings have browned just a little. Remove from heat. Allow the chick peas to cool, so they do not wilt the greens.

Add the watermelon seeds into a food processor. Process, until you get a small, fine crumbles. Add in the seasons, and gently pulse again, until the seasonings are incorporate into the seeds.

Assemble.  Add the cool chick peas ( with the sautéed spices) and vegan cheese mixture into the salad and gently toss.

Drizzle with a little lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

Protein Packed ~ Vegan Red Quinoa Kale Carrot Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Last night I was on a conference call talking about how you can transition over to a more plant based vegan protein diet. I am a kidney transplant survivor . I was born with damaged kidneys and I know how animal protein can be very harsh on the kidneys, not to mention on our environment and our over all well being.  First, let me put it out there my eating habits is about nutrition and well being. I eat for my health and my survival as a kidney transplant recipient. I eat out of respect for my husband risking is life and donating his kidney to me. If you have ever donated your kidney to anyone you know this is a big risk of your own well being and life, so Thank you very much for your BIG HEARTS!

My journey is to continue to incorporate healthy choices into my diet and to inspire others to do the same. I am not a label. I am a woman eating as consciously as possible. Now, with that being said, here is some information that may encourage you to eat a more plant based diet.

~ Too much protein is linked to high cholesterol, fluid imbalances in the body, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers such as renal cancer. 

The truth is we eat too much protein. The average adult woman only needs about 46 grams of protein and the average adult man needs about 56 grams. But the great news is that you can get your intake of protein through a vegan or vegetarian diet, but just substituting your regular meals with more vegan based meals. Try it out one meal at at time. You will not regret it.

This salad I made today is loaded with vegan based protein and lots good stuff for your body. VEGAN BASED PROTEIN FOODS CAN BE DELICIOUS!

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

I going to break down the protein for you in this salad

Kale ~ 1 cup 2.9 g

Red Quinoa cooked ~ 8.1 g

Sprouted watermelon seeds by Go Raw Foods  1 oz, ~ 11 g

So a big bowl of this salad with 1 oz of Sprouted watermelon seeds = 22 g vegan protein

YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE Ladies! 🙂

Well here is the recipe:

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Ingredients :

4 cups of Kale chopped

1 cup cranberries

1 cup of cooked red quinoa ( follow the directions on the box)

1/2 cup of grated carrots

1/2 cup of lime juice

2 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1- 2 oz. sprouted watermelon seeds as a garnish

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the directions and add the grated carrots in at the end of the cooking process and set a side.

Add the kale and all the other remaining ingredients in a large bowl, EXCEPT THE WATERMELON SEEDS.  Massage the kale until it covered well with the olive oil. I like to massage mines until withers just a little. Add the quinoa, carrots and toss gently until everything is mixed together. Top the salad with 1- 2 oz of the watermelon seeds or as many as you like. Serve and Enjoy your VEGAN energy for the day.

Spicy Garlic Kale Chips

This weekend I enjoyed my grandson, but he came over with a cold. He is too irresistible to not hold, kiss and just eat up. I woke up this morning with a sore throat, achy body and a headache like a truck run me over a few times. I decided today I was going to rest and eat food that will help nurse my cold and make me feel comforted.

I love my friend Felicia who called me to see if I needed anything, but I have all the holistic medicine I need in my pantry and fridge. But God knows I appreciate her heart to want to take care of me.  Last night I made for my boys homemade Lasagna. They loved it. I took the leftover homemade pasta  and made this Vegan Fettuccine in Garlic oil with fennel, peppers, tomatoes and onions. You can find my pasta recipe in my cookbook, Set the Table with Love.  I also made my Spicy Garlic and Onion Soup, this time I added some porcini mushrooms. Well my last garlic treat is these yummy Spicy Garlic Kale Chips. Super easy to make.

Spicy Garlic Kale Chip

Pulled kale leaves from bushel of dark kale ( I pull the leaves off and break them into chip size bites, without the stem)
1 tbsp garlic flavored olive oil, or regular olive oil ( enough to cover the kale lightly)
Garlic Powder, to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 170. Place kale on a cookie sheet & drizzle the olive oil over top. Toss well to make sure the kale is evenly coated, then spread it out evenly in the pan. Sprinkle a little of the garlic powder and cayenne pepper or your a pinch of red pepper flakes. Bake for 1 hour.

Place in your favorite chip bowl and enjoy.

Spicy Garlic Kale Chips

Trottole Pasta with Sautéed Kale, Chick peas and Red Bell Pepper

I love this dish, because it is so flavorful and filling. The pasta is so huge so you do not need to eat a lot of it. If I had a spa I would serve this to my customers. Yes I would serve them Pasta, baby. This pasta is amazing and you only use 1/2 cup per serving and you can share it with someone else.  The pasta dish is also load with kale and 1/4 cup of chickpeas, onions, garlic and red bell peppers. Delish.

It’s the New Year and with this dish, you can still eat pasta. If the pasta thing is a big deal, use less and add more kale instead. This will be hopefully a nice go to for lunch or dinner. I suggest lunch you can burn it off throughout the rest of the day. Bon A petit AND Set the Table with Love.

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Trottole Pasta with Kale Chick Peas and Red Bell Pepper

Trottole Pasta with Kale, Chick peas and Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

1 cup Trottole Pasta.( I found this at Kroger’s the Private Selection brand, super cheap like $1.79)

Follow pasta instruction on the back of the packaging.

Ingredients for the sauté :

2 cups chopped green kale

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Italian herbs

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp dried garlic

sea salt ( to taste)

dash of red pepper flakes ( to taste)

Instructions for the pasta:

Cook the pasta based on the products directions. Drain, rinse and set the pasta aside in a bowl.

TIP: Add a little olive oil over the pasta while it is still hot to help it not stick together.

Now the good yummy flavorful stuff.

Directions:

Add the oil to the pan over a medium heat and sauté the onions until they are transparent, add the red bell peppers and sauté for 1 minute or two, add the garlic and cook until the onions have a nice light golden brown color. Add the kale and all the seasonings and sauté until the kale is soft not withered, about 2 minutes. Toss everything together in your sauté pan. Add everything to the bowl of pasta and toss to incorporate all the ingredients with the pasta.  I love olive oil, so I drizzle just a bit more at the end. You can also add a little more salt or red pepper flakes if you like.

Enjoy!

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup and Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

I know. I know. I do a million things, but one of the things I love the most is teaching people how to look and feel great, through nutrition, exercise and a healthy mind.  Today was a busy work day. I got up and taught my yoga class, the class mantra today was, ” I release what doesn’t serve my greater good.”  Very powerful class. We hold onto to so much in our lives that doesn’t serve us, God or the ones we love. Why not just let it go with lovingkindness. When we clear up space within in ourselves the right stuff comes in naturally.

Here is where my personal chef bliss comes into play. I love my clients, because they want to know how to Set their Tables with Love by eating and feeding their loves ones with natural, organic whole foods.  Today I took one of my clients to Sprouts to shop for quick, easy whole food meals for two. We bought food for snacks, breakfast and lunch/dinner. I created meals for her that are all natural, organic and whole and they will last her family for over a week for a little over a hundred bucks.

You can do this.  You can shop local and buy what is in season and it eat homemade gourmet meals on a budget.  The reality of it is this, foods that are in season and local are cheaper and much healthier for you.  The best part you are supporting our local farmers and community.

Today we made several meals she can freeze and prep easily since she has a three month old gorgeous son.

I made and prepped her dinner for tonight and for tomorrow.

Here’s her menu for the week:

Turkey Tuscan meatballs,  Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup, Organic skinless chicken thighs ( grill these for salad or just keep them whole), Fish two ways, Lemon Pepper and Parmesan Crusted and she loves to snack we made Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars from scratch.  We used freezer bags to separate the meals.

The soup and granola bars were so good I made some for myself.

Recipe Below:

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Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup with Campanelle Pasta

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Spicy White  Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola
Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola

Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

2 cups  gluten free oats

1 cup  dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup cranberries

1/3 cup dehydrated coconut flakes

1/3 cup brown rice flour

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt ( to taste)

2 organic eggs

1/4 cup organic honey

3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Preheat oven to 350.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together.  In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, eggs, honey, coconut oil

( make sure oil has cooled before adding eggs).  Add the dry to the wet and stir until the mixture is easily crumbly. If it is too sticky add a little more brown rice flour. If it is too dry add a little water.

Once you have the mixture well incorporated.  Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press the mixture into the  baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars.  Cool on wire rack then finish cutting into bars. If you need more sweetness drizzle them with honey after they have cooled.

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup of red bell pepper

1 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups of chopped kale

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth ( low sodium)

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, (cannelloni beans)

1/4 cup Campanelle pasta ( or any hearty pasta you prefer)

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp of dried basil

1/2 tsp of oregano

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Preparation:
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper
Sauté, stirring, until onion is tender and transparent. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add kale and garlic; cover and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; cover and cook for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

This recipe and many more like it can be found in my cookbook, SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE on Amazon.com

Click on the link below

Set the Table with Love

Cancer Prevention Juices

Cancer. That word can be very scary. I have many family members that have battled cancer. I get many questions about how to prevent cancer. I am not a MD, but I did go to school and study Holistic Nutrition and Medicine. I suffered with kidney disease and other illness for over 35 years. I went back to school to heal my body and help my family stay well.

I had a kidney transplant in 2008, my husband was my donor. I love this man!!  Healing is a total mind, body and spirit collaboration.

I wanted to share with my readers a few juices that are great for Cancer Prevention. Let me make this very clear: This information  is intended to provide information about the preparation of uses of  juices containing whole foods. It is not intended as  a substitute for professional medical care. Consult with your healthcare provider before trying in any diet or exercise regimen. 

Now since that is out-of-the-way, let me give you a list of foods that are known for their anti cancer benefits and a few juice recipes I juice often to keep my body healthy and vibrant. This is list is not complete there are plenty others but this will help you start.  I hope this will inspire you to eat Live Well. Live Beautifully.

Fruit

  • Acai
  • Apricots
  • Black Currants
  • Cherries
  • Citrus Fruits~ oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangerines
  • Cranberrries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi fruits
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelons

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Leafy Greens
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Swiss Chard
  • Watercress

Juice recipes I enjoy !

Three Detoxing Immune Boosting Juices.
Three Detoxing Immune Boosting Juices.

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Three Detoxifying Juices from the cookbook

SET the TABLE with LOVE

 

Apple Ginger Pear
Benefits ~ cleansing, lowers blood sugar, protect the colon, purifies blood

2 apples
2 pears
1/2 inch ginger root
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Using a juicer, process the apples, pears, ginger and celery stalk. Whisk together with a cinnamon and pour into glasses.

Carrot Apple Sweet Potato
Benefits~ antioxidant, boost immunity, lower blood cholesterol, helps produce collagen

2 apples
1 large sweet potato
3 peeled carrots
1. Using a juicer, process the apples, sweet potato and carrots. Whisk together and pour into glasses.

Super Green Juice
anti aging, blood cleansing, immune boosting, aid in digestion

2 cups chopped pineapples
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 inch ginger root
1. Using a juicer, process the pineapples, romaine lettuce, chopped kale and ginger root. Whisk together and pour into glasses.

 

 

 

Super Green Christmas Waffles

This is how I unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holidays ~ I love baking and cooking so made Super Green Christmas Waffles with my granddaughter. I colored the waffles with the greens I juiced this morning.  She loved them  and had no idea she was eating kale, chard, spinach and mizuna (  japanese mustard greens).

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Recipe

Super Green Christmas Waffles (eggless) 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup of green juice ( juices kale, spinach, chard and mizuna ( japanese mustard greens). It does matter as longs as the juice is very green to color the waffles.
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together the milk and green juice, oil, water, vanilla and butter.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix together gently. As with all pancake batters, it should be slightly lumpy.
  4. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to give it time to puff up.
  5. Once your waffle maker is heated properly, add the batter.  I use a 1/4 cup for batter for my waffle maker.
  6. Once done, separate the waffles into triangles layer each one on top of the other tip to bottom. We added organic blueberries for ornaments. You can use raspberries or any fruit you would like. We cut out a star with a star cookie cutter and added powder sugar.

It was so much fun. I like to eat these waffles for breakfast with my green smoothie. You can also make these gluten-free using a gluten-free flour blend.