Late Sweet Melissa Sunday - Raised Waffles with Warm Brown Sugar Bananas plus Entertaining Crostini Caponata

Sweet Melissa Sunday was a decadent, sweet, and filling breakfast selection. Sauteed bananas dripping with a golden caramel sauce, served over Belgian waffles with a crispy exterior and light inner perfection. Lauren of Fried Pickles and Ice Cream chose Raised Waffles with Warm Brown Sugar Bananas (found on Lauren's blog or purchase the SMS baking book) and I could not be happier.
Banana pancakes are a favorite personal treat and yet rarely made. The pancake generally lacks in flavor and character. The SMS recipe using a heavy fruit, oily by nature (usually causing a heavy and oily end product) were nothing but perfection for an abundance of banana flavor, texture, and lightness. Making the batter the night before created a morning of ease and the kitchen promptly filled with the aroma of waffles baking and fresh coffee brewing. What a great Sunday breakfast!
Grating nutmeg could not be easier, adding wonderful flavor unmatched with store purchased, grated nutmeg.
I was curious if the yeast dough prepared and set out overnight would taste anything like sourdough. The end flavor did not hold a strong yeast taste nor were the waffles dense. Light and fluffy with a mild flavor (great as a base for any topping) is the best description I can give at this moment.
Caramel sauces are generally a breeze to make but adding rum can give any cook a "start" in the kitchen. Nothing like a lot of action and flames to replace the need of caffeine in the morning.
The caramel sauce clung nicely to banana slices, creating a decadent and mouth-watering topping.
While the sauce cooled, waffle batter was completed. The Belgian waffle baker will bake a waffle golden brown in about 2 minutes.
Thank you Lauren and Melissa ~ a perfect breakfast treat. I felt spoiled sitting down with a warm cup of coffee flavored with a little hazelnut cream and these delicious waffles with the perfect banana topping my taste buds have been looking for.

Added to this recipe is another recipe for entertaining or a light dinner treat: Crostini Caponata. I have been in the process of making 2 Thanksgiving dinners. The first is an all Italian Thanksgiving, prepared and served yesterday. I will list the whole meal in the blog because every aspect of the Italian meal was a first. The dinner consisted of courses served individually before sitting down to a full turkey with side dishes. Wines were selected for each course and the extra preparation added to an excitement of anticipation well worth the effort.
One of the best Thanksgiving dinners I have ever been part of ~ offering an air of competition and comparison for a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner to be served on Thanksgiving.
The recipe is quite simple. You will need:
2 Medium zucchini cut into 1/4" slices.
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon dried Oregano (or more to taste)
To taste: Salt and Freshly ground black Pepper
1 Loaf of Italian Bread, 3/4" thick slices
1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (I use fresh Mozzi but the cheese is harder to grate)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. or 220 degrees C.
In a skillet, brown zucchini in oil. Add garlic, stir, and cook 15 seconds. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat, or until juice from tomatoes has evaporated. Cool caponata before using.
Brush bread with a little olive oil on both sides. Place on middle oven rack, turning once to toast both sides.
Spread with caponata and top with grated Mozzarella. Return to oven until cheese is melted and a light golden brown. Serve immediately.


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