Tag Archives: pancakes

That’s Totally Okay

Looking back through today’s pictures, I still don’t know how I was as productive as I was.

I guess that explains how it’s already 6 pm, though. Last I checked it was 10am!

There was lots of learning to be done, though. Both of the educational sense as well as the personal sense.

Like how it’s totally okay to completely mess up your pancakes, only to discover they’re the best you’ve had all week. Even if they look like they’ve already been digested once or twice.

…and it’s also totally okay to realize that maybe the only reason you make mini loaves of bread is not because you like it better fresh – but because it’s so much fun to make and smell.

Sarena’s bread has yet to disappoint. I don’t think it’s possible for it to. It is so quick, so simple and so delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic hummus from Appetite for Reduction

Realize you’re home alone for 25 minutes? Well – it’s perfectly reasonable to go on an insane food-processor rampage, right?

For some reason, I can’t get the rest of my family to welcome with open arms the amount of noise required for making hummus and nut butters. On a Sunday morning, no less.

When people should be waking up to the smell of bacon, not the sound of hummus.

And yes, it’s totally okay to combine hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts in your quest to make the perfect unsweetened peanut butter. Just don’t forget the pinch of salt!

But hey – why not try a flavored cashew butter for once? I’ve never had anything other than “normal” cashew butter, so I decided to give it a try. Verdict? totally okay.

  • 2 c. roasted & salted cashews
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 t. date syrup
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins

Method: Process the cashews until they form a ball. Break it up and add in the oil, syrup, extract and cinnamon. Process again until smooth. Add more oil depending on how runny you like it. Add in raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

And by the way…if you just so happened to have made peanut butter before this…and didn’t feel like washing and trying your processor…it’s totally okay to just use the processor with the peanut butter residue still in it.

Not that I would have ever ofund myself in this situation or anything.

Haven’t done laundry in two weeks? Totally okay – it just makes you find all those old clothes you don’t know why you still have…but then realize why when you have nothing else to wear.

Again, not that I would know anything about that.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to consider your workout for the day simply walking up a hill.

…but it’s probably easier to buy when the snow is up to your waist, and your dog might hate you for it.

Sorry for the butt shot…but this just had to be done. Kaia found that it worked best if she just tried dragging herself along on her belly.

We have so much snow right now. And we had a thundersnow storm last night!

It was kind of creepy and I was ready for the apocalypse.


I also realize that lately I’ve been hardly creative in the kitchen on my own, but rather have been making recipes out of books like it’s my job.

Well, I do wish it were my job…

But hey, that’s totally okay. I’m calling it “fine-tuning my technique.”

Because really, I don’t actually know anything about cooking or baking.

It’s totally okay to instantly think of your childhood when creaming “butter” and sugar.

Isn’t it a requirement of growing up to eat the butter and sugar when making cookies?

Not quite enough dried figs for your homemade “Fig Not-Ins” after you absent-mindedly munched on a few?

Using some golden raisins as filler is perfectly okay.

Adding anise extract, on the other hand? Totally not okay. Sambuca has ruined anise extract for me for the rest of my life, I think. I can’t have peppermints anymore because of peppermint schnapps, either.

Luckily, the anise was just an accentuating flavor, not a main player. I followed Vegan with a Vengeance‘s recipe because I wanted to have a more dough-like newton. The recipes I found online were more like a date bar – but with figs. I wanted more of a distinct fig newton! But, adding the anise idea came from this recipe.

Ironically, rolling the dough out for this was very time consuming and difficult and it will probably be many moons before I do it again. That and the directions confused me. I don’t think they were confusing, I think I was just having a “moment.” A “what the kale?” moment.

And if you lose patience with it, it’s totally okay to end up just making two giant tarts with the last of your dough.

And by the way – taste-testing your fig filling? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s required. Mainly if you have some fresh bread and cashew butter to accompany it. D’oh.

Having paprika that’s older than you are? Well, that’s probably not okay, but I use it anyway. It probably doesn’t taste like…well…anything…to be perfectly honest with you.

I kid you not, I remember having this paprika when I was, like, three.

Because I was definitely using paprika as a wee little three year old. I distinctly remember burping “mo’ papriikay!” a time or two.

But until I finally remember to buy new paprika, this old stuff had to do for the mushroom and cannellini paprikas in Appetite for Reduction.

And in case you were wondering – it’s also totally okay to have sweet potato fries with every meal…and still not know whether you prefer them with barbeque sauce or hummus.

And lastly – it’s perfectly fine if you just watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I’m not a football fan…I prefer real sports.

Other things that are totally okay:

  • Realizing you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day. Which probably means they’re really gross considering the fact that I was definitely sweating walking up that hill.
  • Not putting away your laundry even if it’s all done.
  • Realizing you sort of enjoy the reading for your recent classes.

What was your “totally okay” moment of the day?

And I’ve gotta ask…Superbowl – yay or nay?

24 Comments

Filed under baking, bread, breakfast, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, musings, nut butter, pancakes, photography, recipe, snow, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

A Conglomeration

With my new (er, not so new anymore) blogging style, there’s a lot more useless blabber that ends up “on the cutting room floor,” as they say. With me, it’s more like on the bedroom floor and then covered with dirty clothes.
This leaves me feeling relatively out of touch with you lovely people, and I don’t like that! So…here’s some relatively mindless rambling that I deemed relatively useless at one point, and is probably still relatively useless, but I have nothing else to share. So there.
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I still eat pancakes like they’re going out of style. Because I work in phases, I’ve been loving sauteed apple as the topping of choice…though bananas still have my heart.
And are way cheaper.
And I’m welcoming applicants to start up a peanut flour business. I mean, I would think us bloggers alone are reason enough for TJ’s to keep it stocked, but apparently not.
Should we place bets on what the next hot food item will be? I don’t even know where to begin.
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In a traumatic event involving me trying to use Teddie’s right ear as something to hold onto whilst flying over his neck,he is now right earl-less. See?
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I have been loving on salads lately. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my mom bought me two huge tubs of lettuce and baby spinach, but we’ll just say that ever since the eggplant bacon caesar salad I’ve been getting cozy with a big bowl of greens pretty frequently.
My favorite salad add-in (save for buffalo tempeh) is red onion. I like to breathe stinky.
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L is the sweetest girl ever, after hearing my grumblings of whole wheat breadcrumbs being nonexistant in these parts. I had no idea what the strangely shaped package my mom brought me contained…
But I don’t think I’ve ever been so giddy about breadcrumbs before. If I was just a little bit crazier I’d had run right out and bought a sweet onion so I could make onion rings, but those football fans that are stocking up on Superbowl foods scare me. That and the Bruins game was starting in ten minutes.
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Speaking of Bruins, Thursday night’s game = four fights and a goal within the first minute. Four fights and two goals within…two minutes, I think? That is all. I love hockey. We won’t talk about today’s game, though.
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iHerb.com has the fastest and most reasonably priced shipping I’ve ever seen. And reasonably priced goods! And if you want to save $5 off your first order, you can if you enter in code WEZ004. Oh, and they always include fun samples! Well, everytime I’ve ordered anyway.
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I received a bunch of fun-sounding salt samples in my last Foodzie box, but I’m really disappointed to report that I don’t think my tastebuds are so delicate to pick up on any differences.
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It occurred to me the other morning, as I was driving to work at 7:00 am, wide awake and so ready for the day, that if I were as optimistic, outgoing and energetic at night as I am in the morning, I wouldn’t even be a real person.
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The other day I was chopping celery with my really sharp knife, and I somehow slid a finger over the top of the blade by the point. I thought I cut myself, and deep enough to warrant stitches or at least a lot of blood, so I dropped the knife and started freaking out, clutching my hand and waiting for blood to start spurting everywhere. It turns out I didn’t even break skin. I can be a little be dramatic. I guess.
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My mom is convinced she wants to take part in Meatless Mondays since she watched Oprah, but wants it to change to Meatless Tuesday so that I can be home to cook for it. Yes, I watched the Oprah episode. If you haven’t seen it, Nicole wrote a good post about it, and I left my thoughts there, too. But, hey, if my mom wants to have a meatless Tuesday, awesome.
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Sometimes, I get asked why I won’t post a recipe from a book.

My answer is simple: I am morally opposed to it.

Cooking is an art-form. Creating recipes is an art-form. Even if a list of ingredients can’t technically be copyrighted (how weird is it that it’s copyrighted and not copywritten?) I know how it feels to have work that you’ve created show up elsewhere without credit. I am talking about my photography, but I view it as the same concept. I know how ripped I get when I see people taking my photos, and I can only imagine how ripped published authors must get when they see recipes they’ve poured their heart and soul into to be published in a book appear on websites where people can go and get them without paying a single penny.

I’m all about supporting the author, not ripping them off. I have too much respect for them than to post their recipes will-nill on the internet. In case you’re wondering, yes, I also buy my music rather than downloading it for free. Again, respect and appreciation.

As for posting recipes from other blogs? Well – I understand that basically everything has been done before. If I see a recipe that is similar to one another but there’s hardly any mention of another recipe, I tend to give the author the benefit of the doubt that there was a similar thinking process. But using a recipe from another blog, saying so, and then posting the exact same recipe on your own blog? Well, I think link-backs are sufficient so that traffic can be directed their way as a sign of appreciation…but I think that’s just one of my little quirks.

And lastly, re: adaptations and inspirations. I link-back or don’t post the recipe if from a book if I keep mostly the same. C’mon…changing the flour or a couple spices doesn’t make it a unique adaptation. I don’t even think veganizing something with a flax-egg and earth balance makes it an adaptation. When I do that, I say it and link-back to direct people to the basic recipe and instructions. Only when I change a good number of things – say, at least 5 things that aren’t basic flour swaps, etc – will I just re-post the recipe. And even 5 things is a close-call to me. Take, for example, the chickpea recipe I posted the other day. I was tempted to just write out my swaps again instead of re-typing the recipe – but then sort of realized that by the time I wrote out the swaps it was just plain confusing. Had it been a blogger or book, I might have passed on reposting. But it being a free source I decided to just go for it. Am I guilty of the “I swapped the flour, so I adapted it!” label? Well, I can’t say for certain – but I bet if I looked through my baking tabs I’d find one or two back from my beginnings that aren’t quite as unique as I now require. Not hypocritical – I’ve just learned what respect is.

This was not directed at anybody or any certain event!! Just something I’ve been meaning to mention lately, since I’ve been cooking out of books so much lately. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, though. Am I just picky because, being a photographer, I know how it feels and can relate too much to the authors? Maybe. I mean, I feel bad when I give full disclaimer that something wasn’t my idea and someone comments saying “oh my god! you’re so creative! marry me!”

I just want to say “no no no!! I’m a terrible person, I’m not the cool one!”

26 Comments

Filed under baking, musings, random, review, salad, Uncategorized, vegan

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?

Eggplant!

But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”

26 Comments

Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Being Thrifty

Before we get started: I added the super simple and thrifty recipe for the stuffed peppers at the end of yesterday’s post.

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Today, I practiced being cheap. Thrifty, if you will.

I learned a few things.

Like the fact that some of the best pancakes in the world do not actually require the use of milk.

In fact, I can get by just fine – better, maybe – with the use of orange juice and yogurt.

Yogurt-Spice Pancakes for One

  • 1/4 c. + 1 T. flour (I used graham flour)
  • 1 1/2 T. wheat germ
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 2 t. chia seeds mixed with 2 T. warm water, and allowed to gel
  • juice of one large orange
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 T. yogurt (I used SoDelicious vanilla. aka crack in a cup)
  • butter/earth balance/non-stick spray, for greasing pan

Mix dry ingredients together. Add in chia egg, orange juice, extract and yogurt. Whisk until a thick batter forms. Divide into two pancakes on a pre-heated, greased non-stick skillet. Cook until golden on both sides.

The xtra ground nutmeg gives them that extra oomph of spice that the otherwise plain pancake batter lacks. And the yogurt gives them fluffy texture yet still moist.

But it’s what’s on top that makes them complete: cashew cream, maple cream and cashews. For the “cashew cream,” just mix ~1 T. cashew butter with 1-2 T. yogurt.

For the maple cream, buy it here and prepare to become an addict. I wanted to swim in it this morning.

It prepared me for a day of being cheap while shopping.

See, I spend too much money at the grocery store. I used to be pretty diligent about printing coupons and buying stuff on sale, but recently I’ve slipped. In case you couldn’t tell, because it’s not like I use twenty different flours at a time. hardee-har-har.

I’m not going to be too cheap with myself, but I realized last night how couponing can be such an addiction.

But maybe I’m just belligerent, and chose to see it as a challenge. Yes, I think that’s what it was. So maybe I only saved $8 this time. I’ll try harder next time.

But can I just be a little bit proud of myself for a second? Can I tell you why?

Because I only paid 9 cents (yes, cents) for this bag of sticks and twigs. Now sure, I don’t even know if I like them, but I’ve heard wonderful things about this company, but have always been too cheap to try them for myself. I’ll just make crackers myself! But 9 cents? I can’t make pretzels for 9 cents, people.

Oh, and just to share with you my relatively ridiculous obsession with cashews at the moment, I purchased 2 pounds of cashews today. (At $10, that means it was only $5/lb! oh, no – I really am becoming a bargain freak, aren’t I?!)

And I even decided to make my own hummus instead of paying $4 for my favorite brand.

Recipe a la Appetite for Reduction. I love how it’s basically pure chickpeas. No call for tahini or even very much oil, just pure chickpea bliss. Which is pretty thrifty, too.

I’m sure glad I decided to be thrifty a while back when I had a bitt too much bread on hand, and needed breadcrumbs – but I definitely should have ground them finer.

…so that they would stick to my onion rings!! Okay, when I first saw the O.M.G. Oven Baked Onion Rings in appetite for reduction, I sort of said “oh yeah! onion rings!”

Truth be told, I think I sort of forgot they existed.

I mean, the last time I was introduced to one was when I still thought vegetables would give me cooties.

As such, the recipe seemed fun, but maybe not one I’d go through the hoops of making.

But then fate happened.

(website being my photo website, i don't refer to my blog as "my website" baha)

Every time I’d pick up the cookbook, it’d open to onion rings.

And then I saw sweet onions on sale at the grocery store.

And then I realized I was thinking about them so much, they worked their way into a conversation. I was debating between making onion rings and getting work done on my photo website.

I chose onion rings.

My method needs help. It will come with time. I blame the breadcrumbs.

And by breadcrumbs, I mean mix of course homemade breadcrumbs and pretzel crumbs.

Don’t ask. It worked. These were damn fine onion rings. I ate them and ate them until my belly could take them no more. And I think I need to go finish the leftovers now. And go back to the store and get more onions to make them all week.

I need a condiment plate/bowl. Do those exist? Like, a single person-sized condiment/dip tray? Because that’d be perfect for my needs.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this plate pretty much defines my life right now. Dates a la Gabriela (stuffed with almond butter and dark chocolate chips) and homemade pumpernickel with almond butter and/or maple cream.

Even if you, like myself, claim not to be a chocolate fan – you will love these dates. I promise.

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Filed under almond butter, baking, breakfast, cooking, dates, dessert, dinner, food, food blog, healthy living, hummus, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, review, shopping, snack, sweet potato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Maybe I am a Little Rude…

Weellll…I guess now I know who I can count on to share a banana with me, and who I can count on to hide the last one. Unfortunately for me, if I were to ever live with any of you, you’d all be hiding your bananas so if I was in a banana crisis myself, there would be none around.

Fine. I see how it is.

I jest, I jest. What matters is that we share when it counts. Moral of the story, though, is to never take the produce. Everything else is fair game. As my boss says, “sharing is for kids.”

At least I share with him. Even if I am a little rude about it.

So there I was, having an intelligent conversation with my boss, when my pretzels and apricots caught the corner of my eye. Ooh. I started munching. First it was pretzels, and then apricots. Together but separate, y’know?

And then it was “oooh, it’s kinda fun to split the apricots apart! they’re so gooey!”

Gosh, I’m so polite.

He was still talking.

I was still sort of listening.

My thoughts moved along to “hey, lets make a pretzel-apricot sandwich!”

He was still talking.

I was eating.

My input to the conversation? “Look! I just made a pretzel sandwich! It’s really good! Wanna try it?!”

Luckily, we weren’t talking about anything critical. Not that I recall, anyway…

Luckily, he’s as “into” food as I am. The pretzel sandwich was a hit, but he mentioned it would only be better with some cream cheese and cayenne pepper. I instantly vetoed that idea.

Though when I had a little remake of my pretzel-apricot sandwich earlier, I threw in some cashew butter.

Mreh, no denying the yum-factor…but I’m sticking to my guns and saying the pretzels and apricots have got a good thing goin’ and don’t need anything else.

But maybe it could be transferred to pumpernickel.

It was okay.

But we all know – okay, well at least Tat and I know – that the real way to eat pumpernickel is like so:

With almond butter and date syrup.

Oh, yes.

Dense. Chewy. Pumpernickel-y.

And oh-so-hideous.

Seriously. The only thing my homemade pumpernickel is missing?

The canoodling couple on the package.

I even slept with it at night for it to sour. This bread relies on being given 18-24 hours to just sit and, well, be dough. And then it requires a sloooooowwww baking time.

Oh, and did I mention it needed a warm place to sleep for the 18-24 hours? Well, being that I made this when it wasn’t even 0* out, I took that as a damn good reason to turn my space heater in my room on for just a little bit longer than usual 😉

When it first went in the oven (for hour one of five) I was alittle worried. It wasn’t a deep, dark pumpernickel color like I thought it would be. I was disgruntled. I didn’t know that the low and slow baking process is what gives it that color.

It emerged deep, dark and pumpernickel-y. Crisis averted.

And hey, it’s not even gross like I thought it might be when smeared with hummus and a roasted red pepper! Phew.

Of course, just because I can make pumpernickel bread doesn’t mean I can make pancakes anymore. Seriously – my groove was stomped on and thrown out the window this morning or something.

As much as I hate to admit this, there were two takes on pancakes this morning.

Take one fed the trash. And you know I hate to do that. But they were inedible. I don’t know why. The  middle would not cook. Oh, yeah – probably because I accidentally dumped in flat seltzer water because I’m all out of milk and am too belligerent to go shopping before this weekend. Oh, and I don’t get my day started by forcing down an inferior breakfast, thank you.

Take two, above, I burnt. Not a bad thing necessarily as I don’t mind burnt bread/toast/pancakes/cookies/whatever – and I actually really enjoyed the taste. I accidentally dumped in nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but that ended up being an error that worked out for the better. They were perfectly spiced.

However, the cranberries were…hear me out here…fizzy on my tongue. WTH? Maybe someone who knows anything about food science can tell me if maybe the acidity of cranberries react with baking soda? Because that’s all I could think of. I never use baking soda in pancakes but decided to throw it in there for the hell of it, and while the pancake itself was fine, the cranberries in the pancake were just…weird.

Yes the cranberries themselves are good. I had them just the other day.

It’s a mystery. Or maybe not. Maybe I should just get a clue in the kitchen?

OH and while we’re on the topic of ugly food, look at last night’s dinner.

Polenta stuffed pepper with mashed yuca.

Wow, don’t you just want to gobble that up?! You’re all probably shocked to learn this was actually the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever had. I’d share the (really easy) recipe but I’m 99% sure anyone who sees this picture would just as quickly decide it’s something they wouldn’t eat in a million years.

Hey, don’t judge a book by its’ cover!

Edit: Since a couple people were curious, here’s the recipe for the peppers. As you can see, I was out of a lot of…well, out of almost everything…so it’s been kept pretty simple. Simple is good!

Polenta Stuffed Peppers

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side. For a more complete meal, maybe throw in some chickpeas, or have some marinated tofu on the side! I had a side of mashed yuca, which complemented perfectly.

  • 1 medium-large red pepper, sliced in half and de-seeded
  • 1/4 c. fine- or medium-ground cornmeal/polenta
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c. stewed diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T. hummus
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375*. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once boiling, lower heat and slowly add the cornmeal, 1 T. at a time, stirring or whisking all the while. Once all combined, add in the tomatoes and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir/whisk over medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the mushrooms and hummus, and divide the mixture between the two peppers. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch and the peppers are cooked through.

I loved having mashed yuca with this – its likeness to mashed potato really complemented the pepper. I followed a recipe out of Appetite for Reduction for mashed yuca with cilantro and lime. Even though I had no cilantro…

Anyways.

It’s All Star weekend. Don’t you wish you were my neighbor so you could come over for some of this pumpkin crumb cake?

AND YES, All plans are being made around the all star festivities.

Alright, everyone’s gotta have a really simple, maybe random combination of foods that they love together. Like apricots and pretzels. What’s yours?

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Filed under almond butter, baking, bread, breakfast, cooking, cornmeal, dinner, food, food blog, health, healthy living, lunch, pancakes, polenta, vegan, vegetarian

Rye Peanut Butter & Banana Pancake Sandwich

I don’t think I’ve ever before finished a meal and thought “oh-my-gaw that was so good I need to go blog about it STAT.”

In fact, I feel a little geeky admitting to this, but that is what just happened. And hence, what I’m doing.

Maybe it’s just an unusual day. I mean, I also don’t usually have breakfast for lunch as often as I admit it to be a good idea, and I also don’t usually have not a veggie in sight by now.

I also don’t usually have a beverage other than water with meals, but apparently since I was already having something sweet for lunch, I decided a sweet beverage was necessary, too. Hey, it’s all or nothing, right?

Another oddity? I usually have some idea as to what I want for lunch. Today I had none. Zero, zilch, nada. I have no bread, my oven is in use rendering me sweet potato-less, and not many vegetables. I didn’t feel like a grain.

And gosh darn it, the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted some pancakes again.

So I compromised.

I’d make pancakes. But! It wouldn’t be such a bad thing because, I’d just be using it as my bread.

Yes, I do realize that this is essentially the same thing as what I would eat every morning, but I’m telling myself it’s different because it was eaten in more of a sandwich-form.

Yes, I do realize my logic is flawed.

Due to an ongoing project with rye flour which you will soon see, my plan hatched rye “bread” with peanut butter and banana. If I had caraway I would be in heaven – how cool would that be?

Alas, I don’t. I made do.

My peanut butter was Jenny’s peanut butter and jelly sauce, a sauce I’ve been having a pretty steady love affair with but have neglected to blog about. I’ve actually been gathering pictures for a full on devotion to it, but I guess this came first. Such is life.

Rye Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Pancake Sandwich

for one

For the Pancake “Bread”:

  • 1/4 c. rye flour
  • 2 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. milled flaxseed mixed with 2 T. warm water
  • 1/4  c. almond milk
  • earth balance/butter/cooking spray, for greasing the pan

For the Bananas:

  • 1/2 a banana, sliced in half lengthwise
  • earth balance/butter/spray for greasing pan

For the Peanut Butter & Honey sauce, adapted very slightly from Jenny’s Peanut Butter Jelly Sauce

  • 2 T. (heaping) peanut flour
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 – 1 t. honey, depending on your tastes
  • pinch of salt** (see note)

Preheat a large nonstick pan and a small nonstick pan over low-medium heat.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, bran and baking powder. Add in the flax egg and almond milk. Grease your preheated non-stick pan lightly and bump up to medium heat, and divide the batter into two pancakes. Spread out a touch, and cook until the sides are starting to firm up. Spray the tops lightly with spray and flip. Cook another 4-5 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the pancakes are cooking, grill your bananas: place in the smaller non-stick pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.

For the peanut butter and honey sauce, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Note: I didn’t add salt when I mixed my sauce, but as I was eating, found myself looking for that pinch of salt that classic peanut butter has. I ended up sprinkling salt on my sandwich (try that for feeling weird) and found that salt was juuuust the ticket to what I was looking for.

To assemble, place one pancake on your plate and spread the peanut butter sauce. Place the grilled bananas on top of that, followed by the other pancake. If desired, spread a dab of fig jam on the top pancake.

As you know, I desired. When don’t I desire fig jam?

Caraway, here I come.

A sneak peak at some things in progress:

hmmmmm!!!

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Filed under almond milk, banana, breakfast, brunch, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, vegan

Shredded Wheat Pancakes

Confession: I didn’t set a single limb outside today.

Call me lame, I call it warm.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is supposed to be the worst of the days, and I have to go outside tomorrow. Work, schmerk.

What did I do to pass my time?  Well, before going on a cleaning rampage and getting stuff printed out and organized for my classes that start this week, I made pancakes.

You’re all really shocked right now, huh?

At least they were a little different than usual. You see – after a bedtime snack of Kashi Autumn Wheat, I discovered I had a whole lot of shredded…crumbs.

I wasn’t about to throw them out, but the texture weirds me out to just have them all in a bowl with milk.

And so it found its way into pancakes. Truthfully, I struggle to call them pancakes as they’re really not like a normal pancake at all. They’re very moist and almost oatmeal-like in the middle. This could have something to do with the fact that I kept wanting to add more liquid, but unfortunately the next time I can try them won’t be until my next box of shredded wheat is finished.

This doesn’t mean they were bad – not at all! Just a disclaimer for those who are thinking it’s a light, fluffy pancake. And honestly – I don’t think there’s a better way to use up the last of that cereal at the bottom of the bag!

Shredded Wheat Pancakes

  • 1/4 c. shredded wheat crumbles (I used Kashi)
  • 2 t. chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. freshly brewed coffee (still hot) (see note)
  • 3 T. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 1/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • maple syrup and almond butter, for topping
  • earth balance or butter, for greasing pan

Combine the shredded wheat and chia seeds in a bowl and then stir in the hot coffee. Set aside for 2 minutes or so – sip some coffee, preheat your pan, that sorta thing.

Once it’s thickened a bit, add in the dry ingredients and stir. Add in the milk and stir to combine. Fold in the blueberries. The batter will be thick – don’t add more! You’ll wind up with pansoup, not pancakes. …not that I would know or anything…

Grease the pan and spoon the batter onto the preheated pan. Fry about 4-5 m. on each side, or until golden. The insides will still be moist and dense – that’s as cooked as you’re going to get, though!

Serve drizzle with maple syrup and almond butter “sauce,” and a grilled banana, of course 😉

Note: You could probably also use hot water or almond milk if you don’t happen to have a hot pot of coffee. The coffee flavor isn’t that noticeable, having something hot is more the point.

All the more incentive to accidentally smush your shredded wheat cereal boxes on the drive home. Or not hate on the bag-boys that decide to throw ten pounds of sweet potatoes and bananas on top of them.

I couldn’t make up my mind re: flash vs. natural light. I was finding the natural light to be a bit too harsh. But was happy to have it – I hate waking up and being in the dark all morning on days I have to work!

Mmm…the best part of a sweet potato. It’s like a burnt marshmallow. For some reason, my mom doesn’t embrace the smell of the sap burning at the bottom of the oven as much as I do…

I mentioned cleaning rampage, yes? Well, I took care of the kitchen. You guys are right. I have a flour problem. And a grain problem. It’s a good thing I bake a lot…and I think there will be lots of bread-baking in my future! I need something that will use at least 3+ cups of flour, after all.

That or I can just think up some pranks. My sister does use her hair dryer often…

Anyways. As a flour and grain addict, I have too many grains that get neglected. Well, actually I don’t – I just have barley that gets neglected. So I might as well use it, right? I was surprised to find out I actually like barley, while I was under the impression that I didn’t care for it.

Beets, however? Well, I don’t think I’m their biggest fan after all. I mentioned last time that I warmed up to them…but I think it’s “baked until crispy” or nothing when it comes to me and beets. I wasn’t too fond of these. I followed a recipe for roasting them (and some carrots) in a balsamic and thyme sort of…glaze? But it was nothing really to write home about, I guess.

…at least the barley was good. The veg was just “mreh.”

So – cereal! What’s your favorite kind? Ever used it for something other than, well, a bowl of cereal?!

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