When I first moved to Washington, I had no expectations — coming from the other side of the country, I really couldn’t. Honestly, I had been flown to the district one weekend over summer to interview for a job in Tampa. I purchased my one-way ticket to Washington two weeks after I returned home to Los Angeles.
My parents thought I had gone nuts and my friends were shocked at my abrupt escape. But honestly, sometimes you just know — where to go, what to do, when to leave. After three months of a hellish job and living at home, Washington had summoned me. I slept on a gracious friend’s couch for just over two weeks and spent some quality time perusing Craigslist. The house that I now live in invited me to an open house to meet the roommates and look around. To my surprise, the open house was packed with girls around my age, clawing at each other’s throats, vying for attention. I, however, was haggard in my UCLA t-shirt and running shorts. So I laid low and chatted with each of the roommates to introduce myself, and I got a fortunate invitation to live there the next day. Phew!
What I learned later, was that by laying low, I gave the impression that I would lay low as house mate. I didn’t reveal to the house mates that I had a number of friends, itching to visit and anxiously awaiting my couch. To my knowledge, having a friend crash on our couch every now and then hasn’t offended or annoyed my house mates; rather, they usually end up hanging out with my visitors, because my friends are (naturally) awesome. But it wasn’t what they expected.
Anyway, if anyone gets irritated at any point, I am generally capable of making up for any hard feelings with some spectacular food — like these chocolate waffles (adopted from Ghirardelli). A friend from my hellish Xerox job in Los Angeles came to visit for the weekend… having now spent her first weekend in Washington, it seems as though she has become smitten with this city in the same way that I did, just six months ago.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk (as always, I used skim)
WHAT TO DO:
Preheat your waffle iron according to directions. Sift the dry ingredients together, and add the egg yolks and milk. Whisk together until smooth. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then, carefully fold the chocolate batter into the meringue. Finally, fold the batter with chocolate chips.
Ladle the batter into the waffle iron, and use a high-temperature resistant tool to make sure the batter spreads evenly. Close the iron, and allow for cooking time indicated by the iron manufacturer. Serve with fresh fruit and chocolate syrup.