Cornmeal, Cheddar, and Ham Waffles

Crispy cornmeal waffles with cheddar cheese and ham. Yum.

Now that I have been living in my own apartment, not campus housing, for over a year, I feel like there are a few things that someone should have warned me about before I got out here and had to venture into being more responsible. Sure, I was fully aware that paying bills on time and occasionally mopping the floors would be required, but what no one prepares you for are the little things like the dreaded wal-mart toilet paper aisle.
Is there anything more intimidating than an entire row with nothing but toilet paper, each brand boasting of its own softness, high-count of sheets, or low price? Who really needs this amount of choice and how on earth is there room for that much competition in the toilet paper market?
This past academic year has been a year of experiments, finding balance, and figuring out my own preferences, including my quest for a good quality, well-priced roll of TP. I could compare my quest (and the empowerment that has come from actually knowing which brand I prefer) to one of those cheesy, teenager coming-of-age movies, but I will spare you.
Seriously though, I feel like the toilet paper aisle of Wal-Mart is a great analogy, even if it is slightly crude. This year I have tried the cheap scratchy, the way-too-soft, and everything in between to find my preferred brand of TP. In the same way, I have been trying to find balance between investing in relationships and running myself ragged, taking care of myself and just being selfish. That has led to some small regrets, but some big rewards too. Even this month, with the basketball championship, I was faced with a choice: my regular 5am swim, or go out to celebrate the win -I know that sounds minor, but it really was a difficult choice for me to choose what I wanted to do (celebrate) instead of what I felt I should do (work out). Another challenge has been to try to find that sweet spot between work and play; practicing “efficient procrastination” so that I still do good work, but do not needlessly miss activities, has also been a learning experience.
I hope you are also finding the Wal-Mart TP aisle a little less intimidating these days. As I try more things and find what works and what doesn’t work for me, I am reminded of that saying that is supposedly from Thomas Edison, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Just because I tried something and didn’t like the results, does not mean it was a mistake.
While you’re experimenting, feel free to experiment with these savory, ham and cheese waffles.

Gather your ingredients

Grate the cheese, chop the ham, mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and then fold in the ham and cheese.

Ladle batter onto a preheated waffle iron and bake.

Enjoy warm, or freeze so that you can reheat and eat later.

Cornmeal, Cheddar, and Ham Waffles
Adapted from Southern Living. Makes 4-5 servings.
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 oz ham, diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  1. Sift together dry (first 6) ingredients in a large bowl. Combine eggs, yogurt, milk, soda, and oil in separate bowl; gently stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in cheese and ham.
  2. Spoon about 1 cup of batter evenly onto a preheated, lightly greased waffle iron (the large circular waffle kind). Cook about 5 minutes or until crisp and done. Repeat with remaining batter.
  3. Transfer waffles to a baking sheet, and keep warm, uncovered, in the oven at 200° until ready to serve, or serve immediately. Waffles can be frozen in zip-loc freezer bags and reheated in oven or toaster oven.
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