Crispy Waffled Hash Browns & Ice Cream Sandwiches

I don’t have recipes for you today as much as I have ideas – but they’re good ones, I think.

The boys and I spent a glorious Friday afternoon out in Dalemead, 20 minutes south of Calgary, at the home/farm of Darrel and Corrine of Winter’s Turkeys. I was working on a story and wanted to chat and check out their Thanksgiving flock, and planned it for a Friday afternoon to coincide with what we call “Fun Fridays” – a secret trip to a surprise destination that the boys look forward to on their Friday afternoons off school. (And so do I.)

The car thermostat read 29 degrees, with not a cloud in the sky. Corinne made peach iced tea and lemonade, and ice cream sandwiches made out of thick slices of chocolate zucchini loaf and honey ice cream from Chinook Honey. She spread softened ice cream on one slice, chocolate ganache on the other, then sandwiched them together. Brilliant, no? Although I love ice cream sandwiches made with cookies, I also love the concept of them made with slices of cake – and W suggested ice cream sandwiches made with banana bread might be a good idea – with chocolate ice cream, maybe.

Chocolate zucchini cake + ganache + ice cream. Got it?

Afterward, when they were thoroughly covered with ice cream and chocolate, she took them out to the garden and let them dig potatoes and carrots and golden beets. Rarely have I seen such happy boys.

While we’re on the subject, let me clear up a common misconception about who’s who around here: W is my son, B is my nephew. He lives across the street, so he’s kind of a nephew-son to us, and brother-cousin to W. They go to school together, and he hangs out here before and after, and we take him on outings and sometimes trips, just as W goes out with my sister. It’s a pretty fab arrangement, really, and great for W to have a sort-of-sibling since we’re 1 for 4 in the kid department.

One of the most common questions I’m asked when I meet someone in person is, “how many kids to you have anyway?” A friend recently told me how someone had said to him how badly she felt for “Julie’s other kid – she so obviously favours W.” Yes, he comes up more, but that’s because he lives here and we made him. So when I refer to “the boys”, it’s most often B and W, sometimes with Mike thrown in. And the dog. Or any combination of the above. I’m outnumbered here.

On the way home, they begged for potatoes and carrots for dinner. I relented. Remember when I was lamenting the fact that people don’t leave armloads of zucchini on their neighbours’ steps anymore?

On Friday night we scrubbed the dirt from a handful of potatoes and simmered them in their skins, two hours old, and mashed them with butter and salt. On Saturday I came across a tweet about hash browns done in the waffle iron courtesy of Tea and Cookies, and considered it a sign that I had just pulled out the waffle iron to make waffles and it was still out on the counter. And warm. I returned to the kitchen. (Literally and metaphorically.)

Grated raw potato + salt + oil + a hot waffle iron = a ginormous, crispy-edged potato pattie of sortsTea turned me on to it, and now I want to use the same procedure to make Rösti, studded with strips of salty ham and finely chopped green onion. To top with a poached egg, of course.

Fortunately we have plenty of potatoes to experiment with.


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21 comments on “Crispy Waffled Hash Browns & Ice Cream Sandwiches

  1. Manon from Ontario
    September 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Love the waffle hash browns!

  2. Rebecca
    September 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Nice post Julie! I like the little updates about all the things that you’ve been up to. I know that you’ve hinted at fertility struggles in the past – a common theme for many women in my life. While I’m sorry for your challenges, it warms my heart to see how close W is to his cousin (and how supportive you are of your sister).

    p.s. Looking forward to trying the hashbrown idea!

  3. Cathy
    September 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

    You obviously favour one boy over the other – LOL! It never occurred to me that people might think B was yours too, but of course, I know you guys 🙂

    I always think it’s just so great the way you and your sister support each other – I wish I had a sister across the street and a quasi sib for A!

    Yum, hashsbrowns!

  4. Lori E
    September 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I never use the shredded hash browns because I can’t them to crisp up nicely. There is no stopping me now. This will be a big hit at my house for sure. Plus I never make waffles anymore. New use for an old appliance.

  5. Lana
    September 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

    That first photo just made my mouth water! I can’t wait to try this. We have a waffle-iron that makes two individual, square waffles so we will have our own hashbrown “nest” for the rest of our breakfast. YUM! Thank you for this!

  6. Nicole Boyhouse
    September 24, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Ha! That made me laugh, how you are always favouring your son.

    And mother of god, those ice cream sandwiches. Must go now and make some chocolate zucchini bread.

  7. sara
    September 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Those ice cream sandwiches look awesome – what a great idea! YUM!

  8. Carolyn
    September 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    In an earlier post, I feared by what you said/didn’t say that you and Mike had split. I am so relieved to hear you refer to him. I can’t imagine how it must feel to want another child and not have it happening, but my heart and thoughts reach out to you.

  9. Debra.
    September 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    We are 2 for 5 in the kid department. Maybe fifth is your charm too !

  10. Lesli C-K
    September 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I loved seeing some pics of your trip to the farm. And I am going to try the ‘waffle hashbrowns’ – that`s something I haven`t seen. Thanks, Julie.

  11. Carol S-B
    September 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Julie, your brilliance never ceases to amaze. So one of your next cookbooks needs to be, “Original uses for ordinary appliances”. The waffle iron that was languishing, unloved, in the dusty reaches of the cupboard has a new life, turning out brownies (Oh, yeah, we remember that one), croques monsieur, gourmet grilled cheese, and hash browns. That sad little coffee pot in the hotel room perks right up when it’s pressed into service to heat soup. And the panini press? just a trendy flash in the pan? not when you grill mini doughnuts in it and serve them with Julie’s amazing caramel sauce for dipping.
    I can’t wait to hear what happens with the fondue pot…

  12. Teri
    September 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Sounds like you haven’t been getting the record breaking lows that are showing up in Manitoba, or there abouts. We’ve had frost in Ontario and temps around 16.

    Love the idea of the waffle hashbrowns. I low carb so we’ll try it sometime using a shredded sweet potato for mine. Thanks for the idea!

  13. Laurie from Burnaby
    September 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    It’s a great idea to use an old waffle iron to make hash browns. I have an old coffee percolator that I use to cook asparagus – it stands up on the thick end which protects the tender tips while it’s cooking

    • JulieVR
      September 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Has anyone ever told you you’re a genius??

  14. RMB
    September 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    My daughter loves Rachael Ray and watches her show every day, occasionally requesting that we make recipes from the show. Anyway, RR has done Waffle weeks, where she uses her Waffle Iron for things other than waffles. And this week is Mini Muffin week. If you’re looking for recipes for rarely used kitchen items, you could check out her website.

    On another note, I’ve always thought it was clear that you only had one son and any other children were rellies or friends.

    I walk past Gruman’s deli on my way to work and always wonder about it (it’s 6:30 am, so it’s not open). Loved the Gullet photo — will have to go there for lunch.

  15. Bev
    September 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    These look so amazing, I am so excited! I love my waffle iron, so it will be VERY fun to make crispy potatoes in there!!

  16. Laura
    September 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Can we blame it on the late hour (12:40 am) that I was certain this post was about layering ice cream inbetween hash browns cooked in the waffle iron? Or the fact that I am about to lick my screen looking and said hash browns?


  17. Stephanie
    September 28, 2012 at 11:35 am

    yum!!!! I recently received a waffle maker and hadn’t thought of grating potatoes on it. That looks amazing.

  18. Audrey
    October 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

    The zucchini cake sounds delicious! It almost looks like a brownie, yum!

  19. Marianne Stancin
    October 9, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Tried the hashbrown waffles, and they were delish! Got a brand new waffle iron and haven’t even made waffles yet only these scruptions hasbrowns. Thanks for all the ideas, keep them coming my family thinks I’m brilliant.

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