Sunday, February 26, 2012

Strawberry Pancakes

With 2 lbs of strawberries you need to make something to use them up.  Luckily, they are super light and incredibly healthy, full of vitamin C, so you don't have to feel guilty about eating a lot at one time.  Keeping that in mind is what prompted me to make yet another variation of the common pancake.  My breakfast meals tend to fluctuate between porridge and pancakes.  Oh, I made Freedom Toast recently, recipe coming soon!

I just really like pancakes.  I like waffles more but I got rid of my waffle maker when I moved into the "treehouse", a tiny 250sq ft standalone room/home.  It was great, but the fear of burning the place down caused me to get rid of many electrical appliances and candles.

These pancakes aren't overly sweet, which is nice.  I didn't want them to taste like candy.  But a great tip is to set aside some sliced or chopped strawberries in a small bowl or container with a sprinkle of sugar.  It brings out the juices and they become a great topping.  I didn't feel like making a quick jam (follow the basic instructions used here and here with any fruit and it should work).  I also sprinkled a little powdered sugar for presentation.  My next mission is to learn how to paint with chocolate syrup.  Training the syrup bottles will be the challenge... like the rowing guinea pigs.... such a simple word....

Ok, enough of that.  Onto the pancakes!

2 servings

1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp oil (you'll probably need 1 tsp or less each time you cook up a batch)
2 cups strawberries, chopped and divided
1 TBS sugar ("white" works better for the topping berries)

1. Sprinkle 1 cup of the chopped strawberries with the TBS of sugar.  Set it aside to do it's thang.

2. In another bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Start heating up a pan with 1 tsp oil.
 3. Add the milk and strawberries.  Stir it up, little darling!

4.  Measure out about 1/4 cup of batter onto the heated pan and cook about 4 minutes, till bubbly and drying out on top.

5. Flip and repeat!

6. By now your strawberries should be juicier... wait as long as you want...

...basically, serve a pancake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar...

...then top with strawberries!  Repeat with another pancake if you got 'em!

Super simple, and super delicious.  I can't wait until summer comes back and we can pick our own berries and make all sorts of goodies.  These with blueberries or blackberries or raspberries or all berries would be so goooooooooood...


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pumpkin Chilli

Pumpkin Chilli!  Believe it, what a fantastic base for all stews and their relatives... I was impressed and will be stocking up on canned pumpkin year-round.  Boy, was this GOOD. 

The basic recipe can be altered depending on what you have in the fridge or freezer.  I had onions, Gardein Beefless Tips, frozen mixed carrots/broc/cauliflower... nothing crazy.  But, together, success.

A great addition to most chillies is liquid smoke ;-)  Is that how you pluralize chilli? Hm...

4 servings

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 package gardein beefless tips
1 medium onion, sliced roughly
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup or so of water or milk (I used milk)
1 TBS cumin powder
1/2 TBS chilli powder
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp liquid smoke
salt to taste

1. Heat some oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic about 3 minutes til they are starting to get translucent.

2. Add the canned pumpkin and spices.  Mix well.

3. Add in the milk or water.  Mix well again.

4.  Add the secret ingredient!

5. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Serve over anything appropriate.