Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools!

Happy April Fools!
I am walking into the Lion's Den today- lunch with O's preschool class. What was I thinking?!

Anyhow, here are some behind-the-scene bloopers from our pancake blogging . . .

Ooops, hold onto your orange as you zest away into your blueberry syrup! 
(O thought this was hilarious!)

These super healthy pancakes never made our blog as O refused to eat them!

Floor was just mopped. Pancake batter EvErYwHeRe!

Nothing delights O more than our kitchen/life follies!
I so want to adopt his approach to life!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Wake & Make" Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Rolling out of bed and seeing every ingredient we need in our pantry feels good. Sometimes the next best thing to 'eating local' is enjoying what we already haveThese "Wake and Make" pancakes let us start our day by alleviating guilt from bummer facts like, "Americans waste about "40% of all edible food."

Wake & Make Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
adapted slightly from Whole Foods for the Whole Family Cookbook
serves 4
2 C. milk (preferably grass-fed, organic whole milk)
3 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 C. whole wheat flour
3/4 C. wheat germ
1 1/2 T. brown sugar
1 1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. lemon juice
3/4 C. chopped bananas (about 1 1/2 bananas)
3/4 C. chopped pecans (we omitted due to O's nut allergy)
cinnamon to taste- about a 1 t. ground cinnamon max

1. Beat milk, eggs, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. May process in blender (let your kiddo press start!). Kinda looks like a breakfast smoothie, eh?

3. Pour a small amount of batter onto greased preheated griddle- blender comes in handy for this.

Then, the moment we've all been waiting for . . .

We'll admit- it's a tree-hugger of a pancake with a subtly gritty taste. If want something more traditional, you may want to try our buttermilk pancakes. Or, you could add 2 TBSP. melted butter and sub 1 cup white flour.

All hail the local egg! These free-range eggs are full of vitamins A & E,
omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin, beta carotene.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Berry-Citrus Syrup

It's syrup season! Maple syrup-makers have been out the frosty woods for weeks, collecting sap and boiling it down. What a lot of effort they put forth so we can enjoy our baked goods, salad dressings and oatmeal, all naturally sweetened by their touch.

Our neighbor loves pure maple syrup more than we do! 
Here he attempts to harvest sap from his swamp maples.

His syrup shack in upstate New York is under construction, but it will 
eventually house this syrup drum circa 1884.

This morning, we are lucky to be boiling our own syrup in our cozy 70 degree kitchen, only gazing out the 31 degrees outdoors. Preparation-wise, syrup recipes are way easier than pie and as flexible as soup. So, go on and take the plunge. Feel free add extra fruit, etc.

Here's a general outline of what we made today, adapted slightly from My Baking Addiction.

Berry-Citrus Syrup
YIELD: about 8 servings
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (could use raspberries or chopped strawberries)
1/2 cup water
zest of a lemon or orange
1/2 cup maple sugar* (any sugar will do)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or orange juice (lemon will make it more tart)
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, sugar and lemon juice. Stir frequently, and bring to a low boil.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water.

3. Slowly stir the corn starch into the blueberries, taking care not to crush the blueberries. Simmer until the homemade blueberry sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla and lemon zest.

5. Enjoy the delicious satisfaction of homemade syrup (even if your pancakes are from a box!).

O says, "It tastes awesome!" We couldn't agree more- this special sauce IS the icing on the cake and could easily top cheesecake, ice cream or plain yogurt. A great special occasion syrup, it can be made days in advance-- just be sure to warm it before serving for the full effect. For a taste of heaven, try drizzling both a little pure maple syrup and berry syrup over your pancakes. 

*Maple sugar has a unique sweetness, allowing cooks to use less sugar than a recipe calls for. It also contains naturally occurring minerals like potassium and calcium.We use maple sugar for baking with lots of success- you may want to grind it finely in a food processor or clean coffee grinder for some recipes. Your local health food store probably carries it. Our brand of choice is by Coombs Family Farms.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Elle's Easy Street Sausage Cheddar Pancakes

I've been pouring through Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, stopping often to read passages aloud to Reid. It has us all the more inspired to eat local. Even O, who was recently munching on crispy, salty bacon at his grandparent's home, paused to ask them, "So, where was this pig from?"

Since we are only starting to see small, shy shoots of daffodils, there aren't many local veggies or fruits to spice up our Sunday morning pancakes yet.

Still, in the spirit of living local (& yummy pork!), we bring you . . . Elle's Easy Street Sausage Cheddar Pancakes* by way of our dear friend & talented cook. Since Elle has served tables at the Island's iconic Artcliff Dinner for years, Elle knows her pancakes. All food really-- I've begged recipes for every dish she has made, from her savory baked Thanksgiving squash to her refreshing gingersnap key lime ice cream sandwiches.

Elle's Easy Street Sausage** Cheddar Pancakes
This recipe couldn't be simpler. First, find local pork (we fed "our" pigs our compost all last summer). Then, buy your favorite box of pancake mix.

Add cheddar and sausage as pancakes cook on griddle. "Quite good with apple butter," says Elle.

These sausage cheddar pancakes remind Reid of a slow-cooker tamale pie that we make. They're a hearty pancake with a touch of sweetness. Hard to go wrong with sausage, cheese and syrup.

We get to know our animals very well. O is feeding Oprah here
at our neighborhood farm with our favorite farmer, Debby. 

Bonus: Elle's Lentil Stew Recipe
Chop 2 shallots and 8 dried apricots finely and saute with olive oil and a tbsp of cumin; salt & pepper to taste.

Deglaze pan with a cup of chicken stock add one cup of chopped carrot, one cup of chopped potatoes or sweet potato, one cup of chopped apple.

Transfer to a stew pot or crockpot add three cups of red lentils and five cups cold water, two cups of chicken or veggie stock, one cup of apple juice.

Simmer til lentils are soft add more cumin, salt pepper to taste.
Serve with a dollop of goat milk yogurt or a tbsp of goat cheese and chopped chives or parsley.

This also makes a great baby food. If you're not cooking for babies, you might also add white wine. No need to peel the potato or apple- skins add extra fiber and soften during cooking.

* This recipe was inspired by and adapted from Gina Stanley's Artcliff Diner special sausage cheddar pancakes with maple butter.

**Didn't we say our blog would feature healthy recipes? If you're skeptical of how in the world pork could be considered healthy, you can learn more at Weston A. Price Foundation.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Florida Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberries

I know I am growing up when I prefer a trip to a Farmer's Market over the mall.

Sarasota Farmer's Market is one of my favorites. Last week, my mom, O and I spent the morning tasting orange juice, cheeses, pickles and strudels. We ogled fresh produce and sipped ice coffees. O and I danced to a live band. It was heaven.

Here's O and I. He is such a good sport-even tasting the kale chips!

We couldn't help feeling so alive amidst the produce, crowd and creations surrounding us! All under the glorious,warm Florida sun!

The only souvenirs we brought home to chilly Massachusetts were from our special morning at the Market.
Today, we try keeping the yummy-happy feeling of the Sarasota Farmer's Market alive by using a precious
Florida lemon (the snap peas we ate on the plane; the kale we put into this yummy baked kale/egg/feta recipe).

Florida Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
serves 3-4 people

Adapted slightly from The Green Market Baking Book
2 cups ricotta (we were a little short and just added extra whole milk)
4 large eggs, separated
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
dash of pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1 c. all-purpose flour
7 TBSP unsalted butter, melted, plus additional butter to cook pancakes
1.5 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Heat oven to 200. Have tin foil & a cookie sheet handy.

Beat ricotta and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl with lemon zest, salt, vanilla extract and honey. Stir in the flour and 7 TBSP melted butter, working with batter until just combined.

lemon zest
Wait, that's my baby's fuzzy, blond hair!

Here's O's lemon zest.

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gingerly fold half of the whites into the batter, then fold in remaining half.  Don't worry if the resulting batter is lightly striped with whipped whites---they'll make the pancakes light and airy.


Use remaining butter to grease your heated skillet/griddle. As pancakes cook, add a few blueberries to each

Wrap cooked pancakes in foil and keep in warm oven until ready to eat. If you want to get really fancy, you could warm your plates in the oven, too.

We hope you can catch the upbeat Farmer's Market spirit with every bite of your luscious, lemon pancakes. Actually . . . these are really more like decadent little cakes than pancakes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy National Pancake Day!

Did you know there was such a thing? It really deserves more attention, if you ask me. A national holiday. Or at least a morning off, so everyone can start the day with a steaming stack of pancakes. 

In our house, we observed the holiday by savoring perfect, leftover coconut flour pancakes before the preschool/work rush. If you are going to celebrate a day or two late, you may want to check out these recipes in USA Today
Apple Pie Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Syrup - Easy Recipe at
The apple pie pancakes caught my eye. We may need to make these soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Easy Coconut Flour Flapjacks

adapted from Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife, N.D.
2 eggs
2 T warm organic coconut oil or butter
2 T milk (coconut or goat milk also work well)
2 t sugar (honey also works)
2 T coconut flour
1/8 t salt
1/8 t baking soda

Note: A family of 4 should probably triple this recipe.

It's as simple as 1, 2, 3 . . .

1. Combine dry ingredients.

2. Then, add eggs, oil/butter and milk.

3. Ta da! (whoops-- be careful when pouring syrup!)

We paired these flapjacks with a green "Southern Hemipshere" smoothie for a wholesome start to our day. 

Feeling shy about investing in a bag of high-fiber coconut flour? Check your supermarket's bulk flour bins. Or ask a friend who eats gluten-free or paleo if they have a teeny bit to spare. If you decide to buy a bag, check out this healthy cooking blog for more delicious recipes featuring coconut flour (we can't get enough of her coconut flour banana bread).

Luckily, we had all the ingredients on hand and whipped these up after walking in the door from vacation. Since date sugar is a natural, raw food-- just finely chopped dried dates, it's a go-to for us over refined white sugar.

We like how rich and moist these pancakes are. They keep us feeling full for hours.

    Powered up! Now off to play!

These are my sister, Karyn's favorite pancakes. I can just imagine, her and her tiny towhead kiddos smiling, all the way in New Zealand, as they munch through stacks of these healthful flapjacks. Here we are at our neighborhood farm where our incredible eggs come from.