Saffron Waffles with Orange Cream and Cookbook Giveaway



When I think childhood, I think homemade sugar candy made by my abuelita, fried starchy plantains and a thin crepe-like pancake called fritas popular in my Mom’s homeland. Basically, carbs! Thank goodness, Maria offers new wholesome food memories in her new book. Denise tests out Maria’s book and we’re giving away a copy! -Maggie

Sure, I’m familiar with Maria Speck’s writing for Saveur magazine. But, after cozying up to her cookbook, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, I knew from the first glimpse of a gorgeous rye berry and haloumi cheese side dish that my connection with this cookbook author runs deep. Normally, I flip through a new cookbook, reading a little here and there, before settling in on a new recipe. This time, I poured a glass of wine, quieted the house and indulged.  Her words immediately drew me in: “Whole grains have cast a spell on me – from the first sweetened wheat berries I chewed on during my grandfather’s funeral to the comforting corn polenta my Greek mother makes to this day.” I wanted more. I guess you could say she was casting a spell on me.

The warm, personal stories continue throughout the book as Maria shares memories of her meals at home, full of Mediterranean and German roots. Aromatic flavors of Greece stirred with pots of rustic grains filled their bellies. Page after page, I was beginning to feel as if I had shared similar experiences with food.

The book starts with fond memories of enjoying grains and soon dives deep into learning about the different grains that Maria enjoys, from seeds such as buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth, to staples, such as barley, couscous and millet. She gives a brief, but informative run down on each grain as well as flour, if it has been made into one, and guides you on how to shop for each grain.

The first recipe I decided to try was for saffron waffles with orange cream. I was enticed by the Greek flavors of thick yogurt, citrus and honey, as well as the warmth of Middle Eastern cuisine by using saffron. I normally do not cook with whole wheat flour because I find it too dense, but, this recipe calls for white whole wheat flour which actually had an amazingly light texture.

The orange cream recipe calls for Greek yogurt (which I adore) as well as heavy cream. I opted not to use the heavy cream, and added a bit more yogurt. I also used a dark chestnut honey, which was a dreamy compliment to the citrus.

The pages of Maria’s texture rich cookbook and her personal anecdotes completely drew me in.  Lucky for those of you in Boston she’ll be signing copies of Ancient Grains at the Eat Boutique Holiday Market on Sunday, December 9.  For everyone else, I hope you enjoy the waffle recipe and cookbook giveaway below!

There are FOUR ways to enter to win. Try all FOUR!

1) Enter once by leaving a comment on this post answering this question: What is your favorite food memory from childhood?

2) Enter again (two times could be your charm!) by following @eatboutique on Twitter and tweeting: I entered to win @MariaSpeck cookbook. Maria will sign her book at @eatboutique Holiday Market on 12/9! More here:

3) Enter a third time by “liking” Eat Boutique on Facebook and leaving a comment on the post that showcases this blog post.

4) Enter a fourth time by subscribing to the Eat Boutique email list at the very end of this post or in the right hand column and leave a message here to say that you did!

All entries must be made by Wednesday, December 12 at 11:59pm, and a winner will be chosen and notified by Saturday, December 15, 2012. We can only ship to US residents. There’s not much time so leave your comment now!

Saffron Waffles with Orange Cream

*adapted loosely from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals


  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 large orange
  • 3 tablespoons chestnut honey
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • maple syrup


  1. Using a wooden spoon beat the yogurt in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Finely grate the orange until you have 1 tablespoon zest. Set the zest aside.
  2. Peel the fruit, cut the segments into 1/2” pieces, removing as much of the pith as you like. Gently stir into the yogurt. Drizzle in the honey and sprinkle in the zest. Stir. Chill, covered, until ready to use.
  3. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and transfer the sheet to the center shelf of the oven. The wire rack will keep the waffles from getting soggy. Preheat the oven to 200F.
  4. To make the waffles, place 1/4 cup of the milk and the saffron in a small heavy- bottomed saucepan and heat over medium high heat until steaming. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, saffron milk, and the oil until blended.
  6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and whisk together with a few swift strokes. Do not over mix; the batter should have a pebbled look, with many lumps. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes while preheating the waffle iron (or chill the batter for up to 1 hour).
  7. Lightly grease the waffle iron with oil or coat it with cooking spray. When a drop of water sizzles and briskly evaporates on the surface, add 1 scant cup batter to the center and level with a spatula to distribute (or as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions).
  8. Close the lid and cook until the waffles are golden and can be removed easily using tongs, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.
  9. Transfer the waffles to the baking sheet until ready to serve. Do not stack them, as the waffles will become soggy.
  10. Continue until all the batter is used, lightly greasing the waffle iron in between as necessary.
  11. Serve with a dollop of orange cream, and pass the maple syrup.
All photos styled and taken by Denise Woodward.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique​–​a food​-​retail concept space ​with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.

Follow Eat Boutique’s founder Maggie here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Follow Eat Boutique here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.


  • beth

    favorite food memory….. very seasonal, but it has to be making cookies!

  • My favorite food memory as a kid was Christmas Eve. Growing up in a Norwegian household, that meant oyster stew, lutefisk, herring, lefse, krumkake, the works — as well as a table full of brown bread, meats, and cheeses for snacking on during the day while neighbors would come by for a visit, cup of coffee, and to share some of their cookies, cakes, and what not.

    This was always my favorite time of the year because my grandpa would let me take charge of planning all the menus and finding new recipes to try from the time I was very little until he passed away. A tradition that I would love to pass on to my own family someday 🙂

  • Every December, my family would drive down to Miami (from DC) to visit my grandmother for a few weeks. She used to bribe me with chocolate covered graham crackers to get me to drink milk.


  • Susan Maynard

    one of my favorite food memories from childhood is my mom making me the simplest soft boiled egg with butter and s&p on toast when i was sick. eating it on a tv tray while watching the brady bunch made it even better!

  • Rachel

    My grandmother and aunt would make noodles with turkey broth on thanksgiving and Christmas. Still my favorite holiday dish!

  • Julia

    My grandmother had a stash of jelly beans hidden in her car and had me convinced that turning on the overhead light would magically make one appear!

  • When I was six, I was helping my great-aunt make ciambelle cookies at my grandmother’s house. You dipped the dough into an anisette-sugar mix before baking. I’d never heard of anisette before, but I knew it came from my grandfather’s special cupboard with all the bottles I wasn’t allowed to touch. I stuck my finger in the bowl when my aunt’s back was turned. It was sweet and good. I did it again. Soon I was taking little sips from the bowl when she wasn’t looking. And then the room started getting crooked…..

  • MaryB

    My favorite food memory is baking cinnamon rolls and cookies with my grandmother. (Plus she ALWAYS had gum and soda pop for us when we visited!)

  • MaryB

    I am an email subscriber.

  • Wow this sounds like such a wonderful book! My favorite childhood food memory is probably making gingersnaps and rolling out pie dough with my grandmother. Who doesn’t love baking with grandma? Especially when you get to lick the bowl. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • R. E. Maley

    My favorite food memory is probably our decidedly international feasts: tacos, enchiladas, pancit, hamonado, teriyaki — the food of both our ancestry and the traditions that we simply enjoyed.

  • Julia W

    I am already a happy e-mail subscriber.

  • Julia W

    My favorite childhood food memory is probably all the great feasts we had during the holiday celebrations.

  • favorite childhood food memory has to visiting my yaya … she always made us freshly cut fried fries… weird, right? my yaya who spoke little english… also remember her harvesting dandelion greens (that was way before it was a food trend)

  • Amy L

    I am an email subscriber & would love to win this cookbook!

  • Amy L

    My fave childhood food memory is the first time my mom let me bake by myself & I made popovers – so good even my brothers couldn’t tease me about them!

  • Elizabeth R.

    My favorite childhood memory is making Christmas cookies with my dad – or really, making a mess making Christmas cookies with my dad!

  • Elizabeth R.

    Also, I am an email subscriber.

  • yeah just subscribed to emails! and my favorite childhood memory is when all of my cousins and I would spend the day at yiaya’s house (grandma) and she would cook fresh avgolemeno soup (lemon chicken rice) and we’d sit around a big table to enjoy for hours (yes even as kids) and then back to playing while the adults had more time together

  • sticksnscones

    My mom’s german apple cake

  • My favorite food memory from childhood is my mom’s baked macaroni and cheese — it wasn’t anything extravagant but gosh it is delicious!

  • Quilting Babcia

    My favorite childhood food memory is helping my mom make homemade pierogi which she learned from her mom, my Babcia, who made them from memory and we never did have a written recipe until one day I copied down everything my mom threw in, along with ‘approximate’ amounts. Now my sister and I get together once a year and make a mammoth batch for ourselves for the holidays and to share with our grown up kids and grandkids – none of whom have learned to make them … yet.

  • Quilting Babcia

    And I’m an email follower – this recipe sounds absolutely outstanding and the book is right up my alley, being a whole grain lover.

  • Lara Burns

    Homemade bread and muffins!

  • Flynn

    Eating a spoonful of brown sugar every time we baked was a rule in my childhood.

  • My favorite memory is definitely watching my great uncle make Italian sausages from scratch — so fascinating to a little 3 year old!

  • Babs

    My grandmother’s homemade cinnamon rolls and also her dinner rolls, light as a feather and melt in your mouth.

  • Babs

    I subscribe through email.

  • Erin

    Picking tiny wild blueberries in the northwoods of Minnesota.

  • LostInCheeseland

    Has to be making scrambled eggs and pancakes with my parents on the weekend – nothing takes me back to childhood like breakfast food!

  • LostInCheeseland

    Already a subscriber 🙂

  • Meg

    My favorite childhood memory is definitely my dad’s bagel breakfast sandwiches when he was in town. It always felt like a special occasion, and they definitely topped Einstein’s 🙂 That with a big glass of Tropicana OJ!

  • Meg

    Subscribed to the e-mailing list 🙂

  • Kaylee L.

    My favorite childhood food memory is learning to make pizzelle cookies with my mother. It is they very first thing she taught me how to make and the very first thing I ever made completely on my own! To this day they taste just a little bit more delicious than all other cookies!

  • Lauren

    Ooh, french toast!

  • Lauren

    I also subscribe via email!

  • Carrie

    We would spend Christmas with my grandparents on the northern California Coast , I could not wait to go see them and get fresh crab for a Christmas Crab salad

  • Kaylee L.

    Subscribed to the email list 🙂

  • Cheryl W.

    My favorite childhood food memory is when I moved to Oklahoma with my grandparents. Our first meal, in our new home, was my grandma’s famous goulash and my grandpa’s buttermilk biscuits. Never had either before that day.

  • Cheryl W.

    Follow you on Twitter @HeartnSoulmom. Tweeted:

  • Cheryl W.

    I like your Facebook page (Cheryl HeartnSoulmom). I commented on the post for this article.

  • Cheryl W.

    I am an email subscriber.

  • Michele

    I loved my Nana’s special almond crescent cookies. They were from her mother and very simple and delicious. Just flour, sugar, butter, and ground almonds.

  • Michele

    I am on the e-mail list and would like another entry for the cookbook contest.

  • Michele

    I wrote of my Nana’s almond cookies as my favorite childhood food memory. It did not come up though, so I’m trying again. Not trying to cheat!

  • We had the choice of food for our Birthday dinner each year – my brother and I would ALWAYS choose our Mom’s homemade macaroni & cheese with sliced up hotdogs mixed in to the cheesiness. I’ve tried to make it as she did, just doesn’t taste the same. A very good memory.

  • I remember my Mom making fried chicken every Sunday (or so it seemed). It was pretty good.

  • I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.

  • Joan O

    Learning how to make cornbread standing in a chair.