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Beet Greens with olive oil, garlic and lemon

November 17, 2017

Beets are one of the veggies that come with a free gift.  You know when your at the store and for some reason two hand soaps are wrapped together for almost the same price as one? You have no idea why this is happening but it is, and so you come home with two soaps feeling like you found some kind of treasure. It’s pretty much just like that.

I call these bonus veggies. They are vegetables that have edible greens shooting out from their tops. Turnip, carrot, beet and radish greens are the main ones that are easily found and just waiting to be added to soup, pasta, pesto or enjoyed on their own.

Beet greens are full of vitamins and minerals making them even more nutrient dense than the beets. They are an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, K and C along with a long list of others. Bottom line, beet greens are a pretty rad bonus veggie gift.

Beet greens are so lovely and tender. They can be eaten raw or cooked. This little recipe for beet greens gently sauteed in olive oil, garlic and lemon is so easy it shouldn’t be possible the outcome is so delicious, but lucky for us, it totally is. AND this side is so fast, you could probably ring the dinner bell before the greens even hit the pan and be done before everyone is seated.

Ingredients
2 T. olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 big bunch of beet greens, washed well and dried with a clean towel, torn or cut into pieces
1 lemon, zested and juiced
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1.) Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2.) Add garlic. Let cook about a minute.
3.) Add beet greens. Stir and cook a couple minutes until they start to wilt but still are bright green.
4.) Add lemon zest, juice, red pepper flake, salt and pepper to taste.
5.) Serve immediately.

Component in action
-Shave a bit of Parmesan over the top for a true Italian treat.
-toss in a splash of white wine and a nub of butter along with some just cooked pasta. BOOM.
-Spoon on top of toasted garlic bread with a shaving of Parmesan for snack or appetizer.
-Want to switch it up? Add sliced red grapes and chopped raw almonds for a standout side.
-Top of BBQ sandwiches or burgers.

Sweet Corn Polenta

September 7, 2017

It all started with a much needed cleaning out of the pantry. I found a partial bag of yellow cornmeal which I usually use more in the fall and winter. But I also had some sweet corn in the fridge and we had some hot Italians to grill and before you knew it I had formed a plan and then couldn’t get over the fact that I have been mistakenly dismissing polenta during the summer months. Never Again!

In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t stop pairing this creamy version with all kinds of summer delectable’s: brats, anything bbq’d and smothered in sauce, chicken, salmon, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, I could go on.

The point is, this quick (and I mean quick) sweet corn polenta can be used as a side, a smear, a dip, even a sauce. Enjoy!

You can also easily make this a vegan dish by using water instead of milk, using olive oil instead of butter and leaving out the parm.

Ingredients
2 T. butter
1 c. sweet corn kernals (fresh in summer, frozen in the off season)
1 c. whole milk
1.5 c. water
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. fresh chopped herbs like chives, parsley, basil, thyme (optional)

Method
1.) Melt 1 T. butter over medium heat.
2.) Add corn (and left over cob if using fresh). Cook for a minute.
3.) Add milk and water and bring to a boil.
4.) Remove left over cob (if using) and discard. (this just added a bunch of extra flavor!)
5.) Whisk in corn meal and stir until thick and creamy (about 5 minutes).
6.) Season with salt and pepper until it tastes amazing.
7.) Remove polenta from the heat add stir in remaining 1 T. butter, Parmesan cheese and optional fresh herbs.
8.) Serve

Component in Action
-serve with toasted bread
-serve alongside roasted or grilled chicken, salmon, steak, veggies
-a perfect pair for anything bbq’d
-use less liquid to make thicker polenta and more liquid to make thinner.

Ratatouille

August 24, 2017

There is a window of time each year where the stars align, the warm winds blow during the day (and maybe could do a better job of cooling at night) but hey it’s worth it, because the queen of all summer dishes has arrived…ratatouille.

The summer staple is smooth and elegant, has a complex texture, bright and bold flavors, and can be enjoyed in oh so many ways. Ratatouille originated in Nice, France where poor farmers cooked this simple vegetable stew to put to use vegetables available to them in the summer months.

This is also where the dried herb blend, herbs de Provence comes in. There are many variations to this regionally inspired spice blend, but the key ingredients are:
summer savory
thyme
basil
marjoram
lavender
parsley
oregano
tarragon
fennel seed and
mint.

This is optional, but adds a third dimension to the dish. I kind of think of it as without herbs de Provence you are sitting in a beautiful restaurant enjoying a simple and delicious summer lunch. When you add herbs de Provence to ratatouille, it’s like the window next to your table is pushed open and a balmy summer breeze enters the room. All of a sudden you notice the garden outside, you can smell the fresh herbs and onions growing just a stones throw away, the stalks of purple lavender sway back and forth and you relax back into your chair and reach for your wine, THAT’S the (totally optional of course) magic of this herb combination.

This recipe calls for the vegetables to be cut into a 1/2 inch dice. You can easily change this to 1 or even 2 inch. This is a rustic dish so it is not as important how big or small the pieces are, but rather that all the pieces are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

Ingredients
4 T. Olive oil
1 T. Herbs de Provence
Pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
1 large red onion, 1/2 in. dice
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 T. Tomato paste
1 medium eggplant, 1/2 in. dice
2 red bell peppers, 1/2 in. dice
2 medium zucchini, 1/2 in. dice
3 ripe medium tomatoes, 1/2 in. dice (or can of whole tomatoes, crushed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. Fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn

Method
1.) preheat oven to 400.
2.) heat oil in a Dutch oven style heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
3.) add herbs de Provence, dried chili flake and cook for a minute or two.
4.) add onion and garlic and cook for about five minutes stirring frequently.
5.) add tomato paste and cook another minute.
6.) add eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini and tomatoes to pot and stir everything together.
7.) transfer pot to oven and cook for about one hour.
8.) add fresh basil before serving.
9.) enjoy hot or cold!

Components
-serve over pasta or quinoa
-enjoy warm on its own
-serve over squash or sweet potatoes
-serve cold on sandwiches
-serve on toasted bread
-serve over polenta/grits

Hummus

June 16, 2017

If summer was a team in the basketball finals, I’d name hummus MVP. You can dip, drizzle, spread and smear on burgers, raw veggies, in dressings, on pretty much anything grilled.

There are two ways to make hummus. You can used dried chickpeas which take a bit more time to soak and cook, but result in a richer, more flavorful puree. Or you can used canned chickpeas and will be done from start to finish in less than ten minutes. I make both versions, depending on what I have the time for. Don’t waste a second feeling bad if you use canned chickpeas, just know there are two options to choose from depending on what’s working for you at any given time.  This week I’m going right to the source, sharing a recipe adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks that came out on Ten Speed Press by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi entitled Jerusalem (2013).

You can make it thicker to dip and thinner to drizzle (less water/more water).  You can add other ingredients like jalapenos, cooked beets, extra garlic or fresh herbs like basil or chives to spice things up.

After a few times making it, you’ll probably have the recipe memorized which is pretty sweet when you need to whip up something fast. It not only plays well with others, but when you take hummus off the bench it’s consistently a slam dunk. It doesn’t get much better than this when your putting together your summer line up of essential recipes. Cheers all around for summer and hummus<3.

Ingredients
1 c. dried chickpeas or 1 can (15 oz.) cooked chickpeas
1 t. baking soda (only if you are using dried chickpeas)
1 c. tahini (sesame paste)
4 T. fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
6 T. cold water
salt, to taste
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on top (optional)

Method
1.) The night before: If you are using canned chickpeas, put your feet up with a glass of wine and see you tomorrow. If you are using dried chickpeas, put them in a large bowl and cover them with enough water to double in volume. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Ok, now put your feet up with a glass of wine:) Easy peasy.
2.) If you soaked dried chickpeas over night, drain them and put them in a big pot with the baking soda. Stir and cook them for about three minutes.
3.) Add about six cups of cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off foam and skins as they come to the surface. The chickpeas will take anywhere from 40 minutes to a couple hours to fully cook depending on how fresh they are and how long they soaked. You want them to be break easily when pressed between your fingers. Drain. If you used canned chickpeas, drain and rinse.*
4.) Put them in a food processor or high powered blender (I use my nutri-bullet for hummus and it works beautifully. Blend for a few seconds until they break apart.
5.) Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt.
6.) Process, blend or pulse until smooth, adding water a Tablespoon at a time until the hummus is silky smooth. Check seasoning and add more salt as needed.
7.) Cover and refrigerate for a half hour or so before serving. Drizzle with high quality olive oil before serving.

*Its important to mention that at this point you could peel the chickpeas. It will make your hummus extra smooth and velvety. It will also take you about ten minutes to gently squeeze the chickpeas between your fingers and the skins will pop right off. Totally optional.

Component in Action
-use as a dip for raw or cooked veggies, toasted pita or even apples
-drizzle over salads, grilled steak or chicken, even fish
-add a spoonful to lemon vinaigrette for creamy salad dressing
-spread on crackers, cucumber slices, toasted bread or even sandwiches

Rhubarb Coulis – The sauce of early summer

June 2, 2017

There is no question, rhubarb is my favorite fruit of early summer.  It begins raw and inedible, streaky red and green stalks that are usually in need of a good scrub when I lug them home, sticking this way and that out of the bag, already tart and sassy before I even get them home. All that’s needed is care and a bit of time, to coax out their bright flavor and luscious texture. With a bit of sugar to balance out their natural acidity, this humble fruit transcends to its full potential and is always the highlight of the season.

A few weeks ago my husband was making his famous Swedish pancakes for brunch. At the store I was looking for a jar of lingonberry jam (if only we lived near Ikea!) and couldn’t find any, so instead I picked up a few stalks of rhubarb. I ended up making this coulis and to everyone’s surprise, even the Swede in the group, it was a perfect match for the light and airy pancakes. The next day I served the left over coulis with some soft cheese and that awesome. The next morning, we drizzled it on plain greek yogurt for a delightful breakfast treat. I’m only sad we used it all up before I could spoon it on ice cream, but hey, I still have a little time before the rhubarb harvest is over.

A coulis is a French sauce, thick and velvety smooth, made with vegetables or fruit. I could have just cooked the rhubarb and not blended the mixture. This would have been called a compote. Enough cooking vocab, let’s get to the sauce of the season<3.

Ingredients
1.5# rhubarb (washed, trimmed and sliced)
1 c. sugar (granulated or raw)
2-4″ strip of orange peel (or lemon..or both<3)
1 c. water

Method
1.) Bring everything to a boil.
2.) Simmer for 20 minutes.
3.) Turn off the heat and let the fruit steep (just sit around like you’re making a cup of tea) for 30 minutes.
4.) Blend until smooth.
5.) Taste. If is tastes too sweet, add some fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Component in Action
-drizzle over pancakes, french toast, crepes
-spoon over ice cream
-serve with goat and soft cheeses
-use to flavor your own yogurt
-use as a jam substitute (think toast & biscuits)
-make with other fruits too! blueberries, strawberries, cherries, plums, peaches…

How to Build a One Pot Wonder

May 8, 2017

Tonight I needed to make dinner fast for many reasons. Fox is four months and teething and River is four years and wanted to put together every puzzle in the house…together. This is what life is made of. This is what I’ll think of longingly 20 years from now I’m sure, yet I always feel like I am trying to do stuff so I can go do other stuff. For some reason the other stuff seems more pressing, like dishes and laundry and even making meals. But today we made all the puzzles, I nursed the baby so many times I lost count and Hans was able to come home for a quick dinner before heading back out again. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, i was feeling stressed by the time five rolled around. After all, I had been trying to make a cup of tea since 1pm. All of this is to say that we have to make choices everyday and sometimes those choices need to include more time with family and less time in the kitchen.

There are a few things I try to keep on hand in the pantry and fridge: fresh garlic, fresh ginger, lemons, coconut cream or milk, fresh dark greens like spinach or kale and turmeric. It just so happens that these ingredients saved the day. But just because these specific ingredients saved my day, doesn’t help you much if your fridge and pantry tell a different story. This is why learning how to build a one pot wonder is so much more important than just following a recipe. You are the pot stirrer. You are the flavor expert for you and your people. Once you know what blocks to use, then you can start to riff in the kitchen and feel more confident.

You build a one pot wonder from the pot up. A hearty glug of olive oil over medium heat and then you begin building, stirring as you go.

Ingredients
1 onion
a couple T. of fresh ginger and garlic (chopped)
a heaping t. of curry powder
a t. of ground tumeric (or if you have fresh add it chopped with the ginger and garlic)
salt (to taste)
big splash of white wine (optional)
juice from half a juicy lemon
1 can of coconut milk or coconut cream (unsweetened)
1 head of chopped cauliflower (or riced cauliflower)
around 10 dates (chopped)
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 c. frozen peas
a bunch of fresh spinach (washed well)

Method
1.) Add onion (chopped or sliced)
2.) Add some aromatics, in this case I added finely chopped fresh ginger and garlic.
3.) Add dried spices. Tonight I added curry powder, ground turmeric and a sprinkle of salt.
4.) Deglaze. This means add a bit of liquid to release everything from the bottom of the pot. I had an open bottle of white wine in the fridge so I added a big splash of wine, a half a lemon juice and a can of coconut milk.
5.) Add in hard vegetables and anything you want to cook. I added a bag of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s and some chopped dates. Let it cook for fifteen minutes.
6.) Now add anything that doesn’t take long to cook. I added a rinsed can of black beans and a cup of frozen peas.
7.) A few minutes before you sit down to eat, throw in a bag of fresh spinach (or other cooking greens) and put a lid on for five minutes. Boom!

Component in Action
-In addition to adding the onion at the beginning, you could also add carrot, celeriac, celery or tomatoes, bell peppers or even bacon.
-some other options for aromatics? try lemongrass, fresh tumeric, rosemary (finely chopped or whole sprigs so you can pull out later, fresh thyme finely chopped)
-Instead of curry, you could add herbs de provance, or even dried chilis or chili powder. You could also skip this step and wait until the end and add lots of fresh herbs like basil or cilantro or parsley or chives.
-for deglazing you could also use stock or even a few big splashes of cream.
-Instead of cauliflower you could add butternut squash, sweet potatoes, soaked dried beans…
-Instead of canned beans and frozen peas you could throw in towards the end other green vegetables like broccoli
-Instead of a bunch of spinach at the end you could also throw in other greens like swiss chard, rapini or kale.

Butternut Squash Soup

January 29, 2017

It’s been one of those weeks where on Thursday I was sure it was Tuesday, and small tasks like going through a stack of paperwork on the desk was the big project of the week. Such is life with a six week old baby and we are soaking in every moment of getting to know our sweet Fox. This week we learned that he likes to have his arms raised above his head and he rewards us with the biggest smile each time, which is pretty much the best thing ever. When River was born (who is almost four now), I was always looking ahead, eagerly anticipating the next phase or shift in development. I have thrown that anticipation to the wind with Fox, because now I know how freakishly fast it all goes. So it’s been blissful and exhausting all jumbled together.  All of this is to say, it took me three days to find a window of time to throw this soup together and it took less than an hour!

This week, when planning out our meals, I knew a soup would be easy and would last for a few lunches and dinners. I had a butternut squash and a big yellow onion that needed to be used. I checked the cupboard and saw a box of chicken stock hiding behind a box of ziti. I opened the fridge and saw there were a couple apples with bruises, and Oh! I found a can of coconut milk too… This is how soups can be a great way to save food from going to waste. This is also a perfect playground to let yourself wander away from a rigid recipe, enabling you to practice trusting your instincts and taste buds.

Ingredients
1 butternut Squash (halved and seeds scooped out)
2-3 T. olive oil (or butter)
1 large yellow onion (cut roughly into 1 inch pieces)
1-2 Apples (peeled and cut roughly into 1 inch pieces)
1 t. ground turmeric (or 1 T. fresh peeled and sliced)
1 t. Ground cinnamon
2 T. brown sugar (optional)
1 can, unsweetened coconut milk or cream
Vegetable or chicken stock to cover by one inch

Method

1.) Rub both inside halves of squash with olive oil and season with salt.
2.) Roast in the oven at 400 f. Until tender when pierced with a knife.
3.) While the squash is roasting, heat 1-2 T, of olive oil or butter in a heavy bottomed soup pot.
4.) Saute onions and apples over medium high heat, stirring frequently until they turn a golden brown.
5.) Add brown sugar if you want, turmeric and cinnamon. Stir and cook for another minute.
6.) Pour in the can of coconut milk to deglaze, and with a wooden spoon scrape all the caramelized goodness from the bottom of the pot.
7.) Once the squash is roasted, scoop the squash into the simmering pot.
8.) Cover by one inch with stock.
9.) Bring soup to a simmer and season with salt to taste.
10.) Working in batches, blend the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Enjoy!

Component in Action

-substitute the butternut other kinds of squash or pumpkin
-use a little less stock to make a thicker version and use as a base under grains like quinoa or brown rice
-use as a sauce under fish or scallops
-spread on toasted garlic bread
-use as a warm dip for pita chips and apple slices (great for kids)

Christmas Kale

January 6, 2017

Happy New Year! I know, a perfectly belated time of year to share the recipe that I’ve affectionately named Christmas Kale, but as I considered renaming, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. And then I thought, much like the days where I “accidentally” add the Carpenters Christmas Album to my playlist shuffle, this might be just the dish to add a bit of Christmas to meals throughout the year.

Chestnuts are such a seasonal ingredient, they are of course optional. You also can find them in many grocery stores cooked and peeled throughout the year in the bakery or canned section. In the fall you can find them fresh and in the shell, and roasting them yourself is an easier adventure than you might expect. Some heat, patience and a sprinkle of salt is pretty much all you need to enjoy one of fall’s most delicious, satisfying, and hand warming treats.

So why Christmas Kale? Because, and it’s really as simple as this…why not? In fact, the entire dish could be a reincarnation of your favorite Christmas song, only you can eat it. Bacon adds a smoky depth so maybe think of this as the candle studded wine bar with a baby grand tucked in a corner. The onion and garlic play their part as a stand up bass. They are a whisper in comparison to the bold sweetness of the dates and chestnuts. but are actually an invaluable savory anchor, grounding the entire dish. The coconut? Well, let’s just think of this as the melody and texture…here is a music equivalent of it’s perfection.

Ingredients
1/2 c. thick cut bacon (diced)
1 medium red onion (sliced or diced)
3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
1 c. chestnuts (roasted, peeled and rough chopped)
1 c. dates (seeded and rough chopped)
1 can coconut milk or cream (unsweetened)
8 c. kale (washed and roughly cut into bite size pieces)
salt (to taste)
red pepper flakes (optional/to taste)

Method

1.) In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, cook bacon over low heat until caramelized and the fat has rendered. I love using a thick cut applewood smoked bacon.

2.) Increase heat to medium. Add red onion and cook until onions wilt and start to caramelize.

3.) Add garlic and cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly and making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

4.) Add the chestnuts and dates. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.) Deglaze the pan by pouring in the coconut milk (or cream) and scraping (releasing) all the caramelized bits of bacon, onion and garlic goodness off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. This ensures that all of this flavor makes it into the final dish and doesn’t get left behind for whoever is on dish duty.

6.) Bring coconut milk to a simmer. This is a great time to taste the sauce and season with salt and red pepper.

7.) Add the kale. Stir. Cover pot and cook until kale wilts and is tender (about five minutes).

8.) Give it a taste to check salt and pepper seasoning. Make any additions if needed. Enjoy!

Component in Action

  • replace kale with any other green veggie you want! (brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
  • use as a saucy side dish with spicy sausage or chicken or even pork chops
  • serve over a bed of quinoia or brown rice
  • leave out the bacon to make vegetarian and vegan friendly

Everyday Pesto

March 5, 2016

Pesto in itself is a simple beauty from northern Italy, lending a vibrant and luscious punch to everything from a piece of bread to a bowl of pasta. As I was playing around with the recipe this week, it almost became a game as to all the different ways I could use it with what I already had in the house–a perfect sauce with some linguine I found in the cupboard, a delightful spread on some thick slices of toasted bread, an out of the ordinary dip for carrots, celery & cucumber, and with a splash of lemon juice, it made a bright and decadent dressing for a salad of greens and fresh mozzarella.

Traditionally, pesto is made of basil, pine nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and a hard grated cheese like Parmesan. And this in itself is amazing, especially in the summer months when basil is abundant and has the chance to get together with good friends like tomatoes.

For the rest of the year, there is a lot of room to play around with the recipe and make it work in your kitchen for what’s happening in real life, like a half bag of spinach or a bunch of kale hanging out in the fridge without a hope of being used up before it’s too late.

Recently Hans and I had a super rare opportunity for a date night and we spent the evening at one of our favorite spots in San Diego, Ironside Fish & Oyster for one of Chef Jason McLeod’s  incredible Chef’s Catch dinners. This particular dinner featured Sara Gasbarra, the special guest of the evening, who also happens to be a friend from Chicago:) Sara owns and operates Verdura, where she cultivates (from concept to harvest) culinary gardens for restaurants and hotels.

This delightful dinner was all about celebrating the lesser-known or ugly parts of vegetables (and animals) that in fact are full of flavor and culinary possibility. Aside from the novelty in creating a gremolata sauce from citrus pulp leftover from juicing, or a pesto made from vegetable tops, or using the forgotten flowers from rapini plants, a deeper chord ran through all the fun and adventure that could not escape me. There is real, nourishing food that never makes it to the bins at the grocery store. And not only that, but there is real, amazing opportunities in my fridge right now even though it may look like “there’s nothing to eat”.

I could not stop thinking about it as I walked through the grocery store later that week, and I continued to think about it as I wandered through the farmers market on Saturday. Actually, I found myself feeling a lot of emotions about these forgotten foods, like I wanted to stick up for them being bullied by the cool veggies like breakfast radishes, or heirloom tomatoes, or the stunning romanesco.

And honestly, I think it’s a combination of the current political shenanigans and things like the anticipation of EO Wilson’s new book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life where he proposes a plan to save the planet by devoting half of the surface of the earth to nature, but I can’t stop thinking about the unknown future and my part in it. I know I probably shouldn’t be writing about politics in a food blog, but oh well. When I heard Drumpf was running for President, I didn’t give it a second thought. I took it as a bit of fun for the media and hardly credible. But look where we are now. This planet has been so good to us for so long, it feels hard to believe that anything really apocalyptic could ever happen, and yet look at what’s happening to the ice caps and weather patterns. So the thought that has been spinning around in my head is this; when we pluck something from the earth, do we have a responsibility to use every bit that we can? There is also money savings when we buy a bunch of carrots with the tops and use the carrots for snacking and soups and salads, and then use the green tops for something as delicious as pesto. The point is, it’s your kitchen, it’s your grocery store run, it’s your trip to the farmers market, it’s your budget. Make it count, make it fill your table with fun, adventure, and make it yours. <3<3

Ingredients

2 large garlic cloves
1 ½ c. kale leaves
(or other greens like carrot, beet or radish tops, spinach, arugula, ramps, broccoli florets, rapini,etc.)
1 ½ basil leaves
¼ c. raw almonds (or pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Wash greens and basil well and dry thoroughly.
  2. Blend everything together until smooth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Component in Action

  • sauce for pasta
  • spread for croustinis
  • on sandwiches
  • scrambled with eggs
  • as a dip by itself, or folded into some greek yogurt for a creamy dip
  • leave out the cheese and use as a marinade
  • as a vinaigrette for salads

Gingerbread Pancakes

December 9, 2015

This is our second holiday season in San Diego and while the weather is vacation worthy year round, I still miss the beautiful snowfalls of the Midwest. Lately I’ve been trying to make these December evenings as cozy as possible. As soon as the sun sets, or as my two year old likes to say, “look mama the night time is coming!”, I turn on some holiday music (my favorite is The Carpenters Christmas album), light the pinon scented incense and candles, and plug in the twinkle lights. I must say it’s working. By the time Saturday rolls around, we are so happy it’s the weekend. Hans is a loyal fan of Swedish pancakes (as any Swedish boy from Minnesota should be), but I couldn’t resist bringing a bit of gingerbread fluffyness to our weekend.

This recipe is from a little book called Cinnamon Mornings that I picked up one summer at the Printers Row Bookfair in Chicago. The book is a collection of breakfast & brunch recipes from B&B’s and Inns from around the country. This recipe is courtesy of the Hersey House in Ashland, Oregon. It also must be said, that Hans and I met just a mountain drive away from Ashland, Oregon, so for many reasons, this is now a breakfast keeper in our house.

Ingredients

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
5 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 T. butter, melted

Method

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices.
  2. Combine molasses, milk and eggs in a bowl.
  3. Stir in melted butter to the egg mixture.
  4. Add molasses mixture to dry ingredients.
  5. Stir only until everything is combined.
  6. Cook on a hot griddle, using 1/4 c. batter for each pancake.

Component in Action

  • whipped cream
  • greek yogurt
  • pecans, walnut, almonds
  • real maple syrup
  • raisins
  • warm maple syrup with orange zest and/or vanilla bean
  • apple butter
  • spiced apples
  • granola