Look Who’s Cooking At Home

Janice Kaffer Whips Up Breakfast For Her Shorties

Story by Karen Paton-Evans
Photography by John Liviero, Sooters Photography

Janice is all smiles after preparing her special breakfast with her “shorties”, Allie, Nate and Courtney.

Readily admitting “I love to eat but I’m not someone who was gifted with the joy of cooking or really even any skill with it,” Janice Kaffer, Chief Executive Officer and President of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, says, “if you come to my home for dinner, you’re likely to get a decent glass of wine and a piece of frozen pizza. “What I do enjoy and have become relatively good at is putting together a family friendly breakfast – often with the help of the loves of my life, my shorties, grandkids Allie, Nate and Courtney Prentice. Our fave is a waffle brunch with delish fresh fruit, hot berry compote and Belgian waffles (with some bacon or sausage on the side for the hungry folks).”

Belgian Waffles

2 eggs
½ cup of vegetable oil
• 2 cups of milk
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 cups of flour
• 4 teaspoons of baking powder
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• ¼ cup of sugar

• Butter
• Maple syrup
• Whipped cream

On the Side:
• Sausage and/or bacon

Set out three mixing bowls. Bowl 1 should be the largest. In bowl 1, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix together. In bowl 2, separate the egg whites (placing egg yolks in bowl 3). Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until you get stiff peaks. (Janice tests readiness by turning the bowl upside down and checking that nothing falls out). In bowl 3, mix the egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla and stir “a wee bit.” Return to bowl 1. Pour in wet ingredients from bowl 3 (egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla) and mix well with the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar). Then fold in the egg whites. Let the waffle mixture stand for a minute or two. Then pour the mixture onto a waffle iron and cook till the waffles are light brown. (Janice sets her iron to level 4).

This recipe serves 4 to 6 people, one waffle each. If making a large quantity of waffles for breakfast, keep them warm in an oven set to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with compote, butter, maple syrup and whipped cream.

Fresh Fruit Salad

• Fresh fruit, enough to fill a large serving bowl
• ¼ cup of orange juice

Chop into bitesize pieces your favourite and seasonal fruits, such as the melons, strawberries, mandarins, grapes and blueberries Janice used here. Mix together in a serving bowl. Pour orange juice over the fruit and toss together. Keep it cool in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, slice bananas or apple chunks, if you wish. “Don’t add ahead as they get brown and mushy; I learned this the hard way,” Janice says.

Berry Compote

• 3 cups of fresh or frozen fruit
• ¼ cup of water
• ¼ cup of orange juice
• Maple syrup, a little for sweetness

Into a saucepan, add the fruit, water, orange juice and maple syrup. Heat ingredients over medium heat till they bubble. Then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture thickens. “It usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes, so start the compote when you’re putting on your coffee in the morning,” Janice suggests. Once cooked, either leave the fruit in big chunks or mash it up. Serve the warm compote in small ramekins or mason jars.

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