Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Morning French Toast

Fall on Martha's Vineyard has really grown on us.

Our indoor farmer's market is partially to blame. 

There's a crackling fire, live music, hot soup and these fresh baguettes . . . 

Perfect timing. O had just decided he wanted to mix things up by blogging French Toast. Here's a recipe that would be great on any holiday morning. We found these sweet, juicy local apples on the way home so we tossed them in, too.

Christmas Morning French Toast
serves 6
adapted from The Pioneer Woman (she has great step-by-step photos but ours is healthier & better portioned)

1/2 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
4 eggs
1 1/4 c milk
1/3 c honey/sugar/maple syrup
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 T flaxseeds (optional)
we added 1 1/2 chunked, unpeeled apples

1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
pinch sea salt
pinch nutmeg (optional)
1/2 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan. (Great job for a child!)

In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, sugar, flaxseeds, vanilla & apples (if using). Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebble- cover and refrigerate.

The next morning . . .  roll out of bed and preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture. You choose whether to go back to bed or brew coffee.

Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.

Big hit! It's on the Make-Again list!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Green Light! Gingerbread Pancakes with Ginger Molasses Maple Syrup

Phew! Now that Thanksgiving is over we closet holiday lovers can burst out- singing carols, jingling bells and making gifts. (We've been keeping all this business in the privacy of our own home since Halloween.)

Here's a recipe for a slow-paced holiday morning. We healthied it up a little but you could never tell- thse pancakes are fluffy and spiced just right.

Tis the Season for sweaters, scarves and spices

Green Light! Gingerbread Pancakes with Ginger Molasses Maple Syrup
adapted from Averie Cooks
serves 6

3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour (you could also use 1 1/2 c all-purpose)
2 T brown sugar, packed
2 T sugar of choice (we used date sugar)
2 T wheat germ (can omit)
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 t allspice
1 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
pinch salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 T light, medium, or dark molasses (not blackstrap; it's too pungent)
1 T olive oil
1 t vanilla extract

Totally worth making & sooooo simple  . . .
Ginger Molasses Maple Syrup (double or triple the ratios as necessary)
1/2 c maple syrup
1-2 T light, medium, or dark molasses
1/2 to 1 t ground ginger, or to taste

Pancakes - In a large mixing bowl, add first 11 ingredients, and whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl, add remaining 5 ingredients and whisk to combine.
Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Batter will be fairly thick and some lumps will be present; don't try to stir them smooth.
Pre-heat a greased skillet over medium heat.
Using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop batter onto warm skillet. Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Take a peek at the underside with a spatula, and when golden, flip.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until done. Repeat process with the remaining batter, adding more oil/butter to the skillet as needed, and wiping any black residue with a paper towel as needed. Serve immediately. 

Ginger Molasses Maple Syrup
- Combine all syrup ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
These  were soft, fluffy and gingerbready. 

Excuse us while we string some red and green lights . . .

Duck-Duck Egg Pancakes

Our gourmet-farmer-friend says her ducks only lay a half dozen eggs a week. Eggs are scooped up so fast she barely has a chance to try them! While visiting her farmstand, O marched off to the car with these before I could even pay for the precious 6-pack of giant eggs.

Duck eggs have a high protein content, making baked goods rise, so our pancakes this week were little caki-er than usual. Their fat content yields a rich taste. When we fried the rest of our duck eggs, we noticed them being a little tougher than usual. Lesson learned: over-easy duck eggs need less time to cook.

Duck-Duck Egg Pancakes
serves 4

3/4 c your choice flour (we used spelt)
3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T sugar (we used Rapadura)
1 t sea salt
2 t double acting baking powder
1 1/4 c milk (we used Hemp milk today- the ultimate in non-dairy baking, according to a professional chef we know)
1 duck egg (they are large!)
1 t vanilla
3 T melted butter

Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Combine and gently stir. On a preheated, greased griddle, drop 1/4 c batter and cook until you see bubbles forming throughout. Flip and cook for another minute or 2. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Delish, as usual. O was so proud to try something new. I think my kids may be starting to out-weird me in the kitchen . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Slow Down Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter Syrup

Brakes! Did somebody say "sweet potatoes"? 

Last week, our morning commute to preschool had us 
braking for the first time at this sweet farmstand. 

Funny how a little thing like a pancake blog can change the way you see everything!

For our first-ever Island sweet potatoes, we used a recipe from a fave Island magazine.
We're liking how a frosty off-season November morning gives us the chance to slow down, tinker in the kitchen and linger at the table, (Hope we are still feeling this way in March!)

Slow Down Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Brown Butter Syrup
adapted from Edible Vineyard
serves 4

1 medium-sized sweet potato (approximately 3/4 pound)
1 1/2 c flour (we subbed 1/2 spelt- you can never tell!)
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk
3 T butter
2 eggs

Poke a few holes in your potato and bake at 400 until tender- about 40 minutes. Slice into chunks & puree until smooth. You may want to add a splash of milk or water. Skins will add extra fiber and you probably won't notice them. Notes: If you're without a food processor, simply fork mash the flesh inside. This can be done up to 2 days before- just store potato puree in an air tight container in the fridge.

For the batter, combine dry ingredients. In a different bowl, melt butter and beat eggs. Add milk & sweet potato. Whisk wet ingredients into dry mixture. Whisk until only a few lumps remain.

Cook in a greased pan over medium heat. Flip when bubbles appear. The pancake will cook a little slower than usual: it will be ready when lightly browned.

Cinnamon Brown Butter Syrup
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 T butter
1 c water
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon

Combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. As mixture begins to melt, stir in water, vanilla and cinnamon. Once mixture comes to a rapid boil, reduce heat if needed. Boil for 6 minutes without covering. Keep mixture heated until ready to serve.Yield: 1 cup

Mmmmmm . . . A hearty fall taste. With a few eggshells!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

At last our cranberries have come along Cran-Oatmeal Pancakes

Since we moved in more than 4 years ago, we've been driving by this scenic cranberry bog every day. We've been longing for someone to restore the dilapidated barn, and for the chance to pick luscious, anti-oxidant-rich cranberries, one of only three fruits native to the Northeast.  

 Last week, it finally happened! In front of the newly restored barn, a sign read: 
"Organic Cranberries for Sale!"

Before we knew it, the lovely Annette was teaching us about the sorting process,featuring original equipment from over 100 years ago. We then followed her into the picturesque bog, now cared for by the Vineyard Open Land Foundation.

 Like O's ancestors (he is a 13th-generation Islander) had done over 100 years ago, we crouched in the bog, brushing soft vines aside and grasping firm, ripe red cranberries!

At last our cranberries have come along Cran-Oatmeal Pancakes
inspired by Vitamix (but you won't need a Vitamix- our cheap-o blender worked just fine!)
serves 4
1 1/2 c milk
1 large egg
2 T olive oil
3/4 c uncooked, rolled oats
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c flax seed meal
1/2 c fresh cranberries (see method below)
2 T unsalted sunflower seeds

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Do not overmix.
Allow mixture to set for 10 minutes before cooking.

Cranberry prep: Combine cranberries with a squirt of honey and splash of water in a saucepan. Heat until berries soften. Add to batter mix in blender.

For being such a nutritious recipe, these flapjacks are easy to love.

I have sometimes whined that our neighborhood has barely any kids, zero coffee shops and too few people who wave, but how many neighborhoods have their own cranberry bog?
Feeling thankful our cranberries have come along . . .

Sunday, November 2, 2014

High Five's for O! Birthday Cake Pancakes

Here's O, ringing in his fifth year with his cousins at the zoo.

As O celebrated his birthday last week, my friends kept asking me, "Can you believe he's 5 already?"

"Yes, I can!" was my answer.

I have been so lucky to spend every day with him. One of the best things about being with O is that he can make anything fun. Like giant cardboard boxes and empty TP rolls, trips to the post office and yes, even the dentist. I hope he keeps this quality.

Now for the pancakes . . .
We're sorry, but if you're hoping for a healthy twist on birthday cake pancakes, this just ain't the one. For once, we relaxed on the whole living local/healthy thing and basically mixed up birthday cake for breakfast. It's good to be 5 . . .

High Five's for O! Birthday Cake Pancakes
adapted from Good Ole Betty Crocker
serves 4
1 c your favorite pancake mix
1 c yellow cake mix
3 T rainbow sprinkles
1 c milk
1 t vanilla
2 eggs

Glaze and Garnish (we used this leftover homemade frosting instead)
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
3 T plus 2 t milk
1 t vanilla
additional sprinkles

In a medium bowl, stir together pancake ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot, greased griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until pancakes are golden brown. Stack on serving plates.

In a small bowl, beat powdered sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with whisk until smooth.

To serve, top each serving with glaze and additional candy sprinkles. Kiss your birthday king!

I'll be honest- I couldn't take the sweetness- I just ate one and then had a bowl of yogurt & granola. But some people were memorably happy. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Vermont to the Core" Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

A few weeks ago, we visited Vermont in the height of apple season. It rained for most of  our trip, so no apple picking. But, before we left on Sunday, we collected crispy-crunchy-colorful leaves during this mini-hike and

bought a load of  fresh Vermont macs for just 25 cents each at the famed Cold Hollow Cider Mill.

cider making!

"Vermont to the Core" Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 eggs, well beaten
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c milk
 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 c sugar
3 medium apples, peeled and coarsely grated (We used "Vermont to the Core" Macs from Cold Hollow. You might like a little less apple in your batter.)
butter or oil, for frying

1. Mix the eggs with the milk or yogurt in a large bowl.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.
3. Combine the wet and the dry ingredients and stir in the apples and whatever other flavorings you see fit.
4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over low to medium heat. Drop large spoonful of batter into the pan and flatten it out a little (otherwise, you might have trouble getting them to cook in the center) and cook until golden brown underneath. Flip the pancakes and cook them for an additional two or three minutes.
5. Serve immediately, or keep on a tray in a warmed oven until you are ready to serve them.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Love Your Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Whipped Cream

It was Love at First Sight in Morning Glory's Pumpkin Patch. Still, we ran, rested and picnicked our way through their breezy fields, drawing out our visit. 

Later, we roasted pumpkins, adding the sweet, fresh puree to everything. Is there anything romantic than pumpkin? We will be smitten all fall, making pumpkin bread (bonus family recipes below!),  pumpkin smoothies and pumpkin soups and more. 

Now, for the pancakes that you're really going to loooove . . .
Pumpkin-Pancakes 2

Love Your Pumpkin Pancakes 
from Say Yes  (stellar photo above also courtesy of Say Yes)
 sserves 6

2 1/2 c flour (we subbed 1 1/4 c. oat flour)
4 T sugar (we used Rapadura)
4 t baking powder
1 t sea salt
1 t ginger
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
2 pinches of clove
2 c milk
3/4 c pumpkin puree
4 T melted butter
2 farm fresh eggs
for garnish- chopped pecans (or better yet, we used freshly roasted pumpkin seeds)

1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin, melted butter and eggs.
3. Fold mixture into dry ingredients. Add extra milk if your batter is too thick.
4. Grease skillet and bring to a medium heat; pour 1/4 c. batter for ea. pancake.
5. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes each side.
6. Serve with maple cinnamon whipped cream, maple syrup, and garnish with pecans/seeds.

Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
maple syrup
dash of cinnamon

1. In a chilled bowl pour heavy whipping cream. Drizzle as much maple syrup to your tasting and add a dash of cinnamon. Beat on high until peaks form and is light and fluffy.


My Mom's Awesome Pumpkin Bread Recipe is a keeper. Here are the good & evil versions. Up to you which is which . . .

My Mom's Awesome Pumpkin Bread Recipe
1 ¾ c of flour
1 ½ c of sugar
1 t of baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
¼ t salt
1 c of canned pumpkin
½ c cold water
½ t of each: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
2 eggs
½ c of oil
½ c raisins
½ c of chopped walnuts
1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together in a large bowl.
2. Add the pumpkin, oil, water and eggs. Beat until the batter is smooth.
3. Add the chopped nuts and raisins to the batter.
4. Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
To Serve: You can serve this bread hot or cold – plain, with butter or cream cheese. Enjoy!

Her Hippy Dippy Daughter's Pumpkin Bread Recipe
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ c spelt flour
1 ½ c date sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
¼ t sea salt
1 c fresh pumpkin puree 
½ c cold water
½ t of each: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
2 farm eggs
½ c of melted organic coconut oil (or olive oil)
½ c raisins
½ c of chopped pumpkin seeds
2 T ground flaxseeds

1. Sift the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices & flaxseeds together in a large bowl.
2. Add the pumpkin, oil, water and eggs. Beat until the batter is smooth.
3. Add the chopped seeds and raisins to the batter.
4. Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
To Serve: You can serve this bread hot or cold – plain, with butter or cream cheese. Enjoy!

Here's my mom, who O calls "Graham Cracker" making pumpkin bread with him.