Well, we did it! My teammates and I biked 100 miles this past weekend for our final super long ALC training ride. Technically, it was 112 because a couple of us got lost and accidentally rode to Sheryl Sandberg’s neighborhood, but in my spent, mushy, brainwashed mind an extra twelve miles for ~literally~ no reason only increases the badassery of it all so bloop and bloop.
Having spent almost every Saturday of the past 3 months on, about to be on, or generally in the vicinity of my bike for the entire day, I am pretty pretty prettttty amped to be winding down with training, to say the least. But even more so, the idea of finally getting to do this thing I’ve been fundraising and training for and tweaking out over the entire year sounds positively magical. I’m all about finish lines and this one will certainly be well earned by everyone who crosses it. That said, I’m sure once it’s over I’ll wish I were back in this moment, feeling calm and accomplished and full of happy anticipation. Being part of something so much bigger than myself has been exactly what I needed to stay focused during this absurd political season. Becoming friends with my teammates has been a dream, and makes me feel kind of squishy because I didn't expect it at all. (Whatever it’s my damn blog and I’ll get mushy if I want to. Thank gawd none of them read this.)
I guess you could say I’m in the sweet spot right now, where all the boxes have been checked and all that’s left to do is wait (im)patientily for the big week. Since it’s clearly still all I can talk about, I thought it’d be nice to share a few of the recipes I’ve had on repeat during the training buildup.
The first one that comes to mind is roasted yams and chickpeas, which I shared in the super early days of this blog when we still lived in a tiny apartment with basement lighting. I’ve made it enough times that I was able to update the photos, yay! The recipe even comes from a restaurant in Los Angeles, where we’ll be ending the ALC ride, perf. Another is a roasted cabbage pilaf recipe from my girl crush and fav cookbook author, Turshen, that I've been eating nonstop. Recipe comin’ up, stay tuned! Then, because I’m really just a Leslie Knope at heart, I have eaten more than my fair share of waffles, these coffee-flavored waffles in particular.
Waffles and coffee and coffee-flavored everything* are already the loves of my life, so I didn’t have to be talked into loving coffee waffles. The heart wants what it wants. But in case you need some nudging, please follow me right this way to where I explain that there is simply no wrong way to eat these coffee waffles.
They have an almost liege-like depth of sweetness, from the use of both brown and white sugar, that makes them sweet enough to be eaten without syrup (me), but still not so sweet that you’ll ever regret drenching them in it. Topped with crème fraiche or whipped cream, they are everything you want them to be, though they are equally orgasmic eaten plain and handheld, which also makes them ideal if you’re looking for something portable. I’ve eaten them fresh out of the waffle iron, reheated from frozen, and cold, ripped into pieces at 4:30am before a training ride, and they have never not once done me wrong. TLDR: Cup’a joe, side’a dough all rolled into one with a perfect track record for tasting like heaven. Get into it.
*Be back next time with a coffee-flavored cake for a certain someone (it’s Cos! Hi Cos!) who has a birthday in two days! Happy early birthday to my bald boo thang!
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons whole-milk ricotta, room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, plus more for serving
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing the iron (nonstick spray works too)
Any combination of pure maple syrup, whipped cream, or creme fraiche for serving
Whisk flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl to combine. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and ricotta just to incorporate, then add buttermilk and 2 Tbsp. espresso powder; whisk until smooth. Whisk in 5 Tbsp. melted butter, then fold in dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, taking care not to overmix (a few lumps are okay). Let batter sit uncovered at room temperature 30 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.
Preheat oven to 200°. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Heat waffle iron and brush with butter or coat with nonstick spray. Pour about 1/3 cup batter onto iron and cook until waffle is golden brown and cooked through, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to wire rack in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, coating iron with more butter or spray as needed. Waffles will be limp at first but will crisp up as they sit.
Serve waffles topped with creme fraiche, drizzled with maple syrup, and sprinkled with more espresso powder and maybe a pinch of flakey salt. Or perhaps nothing at all.
Freezing and reheating: Cook waffles in the iron as directed, no need to put them in the oven (but it's also okay if you do and decide later to freeze them). Allow to cool completely and store in a ziplock bag. Reheat in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes.