Recipe Redux: A Memorable Vacation Meal + Belgium Waffles and Fresh Fruit with Balsamic Vinegar

Do playful memories of  a past vacation ever enter your mind by simply reminiscing about a  special meal you enjoyed?  Can food  prompt your memory about an entire vacation you once experienced? On more than one occasion, my kids and I have tried unsuccessfully  to recollect the  specifics of a trip until we recall (would you believe) where we ate! Food is tied to so many memories. It’s almost silly how we can forget the  details of a journey even though the memories of where we ate, what we ate,  and who we ate it with can be wonderfully vivid.  A memorable vacation meal is priceless and is this month’s Recipe Redux theme! At the bottom of this post I will try to recreate a healthier version of  a portion of this scrumptious meal I am about to describe. Make sure to check out the other links at the bottom of this post for more unforgettable meals!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Would you believe me if I told you it’s also my most memorable vacation meal? It’s true. But if you have ever eaten the breakfast buffet at the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst, North Carolina you can certainly understand why. Fresh food, outstanding variety, superb service and background piano music in a relaxing atmosphere all make this meal an indelible memory. Adding  to it’s memorability is the size; bigger than my usual a.m. fare to  fuel a day on the golf course.

Although I vary what I eat day to day for breakfast, there are two things I count on desperately desire every morning: a good cup of java and fresh fruit. The Carolina exceeded my expectations on both necessities.  They serve a bottomless cup of hot, brewed gourmet coffee and the widest selection of fresh fruit I have ever seen in one place. Fruit selections  included:  fresh bananas, apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew,  mango, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  I love the kind of decisions I have to make on vacation!

To be honest, it’s tempting to fill up on just fruit. But I know better. I always include some protein with my breakfast. The great thing about a buffet is you don’t have to chose between two items, you can have a little of both. That’s what I did. I had some of the smoked salmon and a made to order egg white omelet stuffed with sauteed vegetables and grated cheese.  Just tell the chef what you want and they’ll serve it your way.

Vacation is a time to indulge a little bit.  What was so enticing I wanted to indulge already at breakfast?  It makes me salivate just thinking about the made to order Belgium waffles.  As if the waffles weren’t good enough by themselves,  there were an abundance of toppings to make this fare lip smacking good! Below is my recipe for a healthier version of this irresistible breakfast food.

I hated that the meal had to end. I looked around and my kids were gone. I stayed. The opportunity to sit and sip hot coffee, while a musician played piano music, in a quiet atmosphere is not familiar territory for a mom; but I certainly could get used to it!

What’s your most memorable vacation meal?

 

 

 

Classic Belgian Waffles topped with Fresh Fruit and Balsamic Vinegar 

 

by Diane Boyd (Emeril Lagasse’s Classic Belgium waffles, modified, reduced fat)

Prep Time: 13 minutes

Cook Time: varies with waffle iron

Ingredients (8-10 (4inch waffles))

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 16 -24 walnut halves

Instructions

Preheat waffle iron. In medium bowl sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. In second bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar is dissolved and eggs are pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter,and skim milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until blended. DO NOT OVER MIX. In third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. DO NOT OVER MIX! Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray and pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grill. Close and cook until golden brown. Time will vary with waffle irons. About 2 to 3 minutes.

Slice peaches and add blueberries. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on fruit. Add  balsamic vinegar to fruit mixture. Spoon on top of waffles and top with walnut halves.

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