When I was little, one thing that I loved about traveling was staying in a hotel. I am sure this was the case for most kids, the excitement about getting to be far from home and staying in a different place; was kind of like a slumber party for the whole family!
Since I have had the opportunity to travel a lot, I have stayed in a lot of hotels. From fun and magical hotels (with Mickey Mouse shaped furniture) at Disney World, to hotels with bunk beds for all the kids, to super modern hotels in Europe, and small beach side B&B’s; each of them special and unique in their own way.
In addition to taking in all the scenery, fighting over the complementary mini bottles of shampoo and lotion (you know, because my sisters and I thought they were soooo cute!), and being in awe of the hotels with indoor swimming pools (seriously… this little Texas girl could not believe her eyes the first time she saw an indoor pool at a hotel up north); getting to eat at the complementary breakfast buffet was top on our favorite things list!
Maybe it was the self serve waffle bar, or assortment of “mini” boxes of cereal or maybe it was just the fact that we had so many choices right at our fingertips, but we loved breakfast time!
Today when I travel, I often think back to those fun family vacations. Now when I check out the hotel breakfast buffets, I often chuckle to myself. I see families with small children running around trying to make choices from too many options. I see people all lined up at the Texas sized (and often shaped) waffle iron, since often this is the only ‘hot’ item found at many of these buffets. I then grab some lukewarm coffee and I sit. I take it all in and I remember back to those crazy days spending time with family.
While I try and relive these special memories as often as possible, enjoying breakfast at home or brunch at a popular local restaurant when traveling; eating a big, hot breakfast is a rarity. But every so often, we have a lazy Saturday morning at home, or I crave breakfast for dinner, and whip up a big batch of pancakes or waffles, crisp up some bacon and make some fluffy, cheesy eggs.
Nothing beats a hot, chewy waffle with every nook and cranny filled with syrup! Mostly, for at least the past few years, we usually have pure maple syrup on hand to use for our waffle cravings. But when we run out, this recipe for Homemade Maple Syrup is fantastic! It is hands down my number one go to for waffle or pancake syrup (we haven’t had the store bought stuff in our house in years!). With the exception of maple extract, every single ingredient in this five ingredient recipe can be found in your kitchen right now!
In case you were wondering, yes, some of these photos may look familiar! I whipped up this syrup when I made these Light and Fluffy Waffles a few months ago and even shared it a while back with this recipe for Pancake Mix. However, I decided it was finally time for this family favorite recipe to have a blog post all on it’s own!
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1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon pure maple extract
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in both sugars, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and maple extract. Serve warm.
Note: Leftover room temperature syrup can be stored in the refrigerator, in a plastic storage container or glass jar, for about 1-2 months. If desired, heat in microwave for 15-30 seconds.