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.