Tag Archives: fruit

Honey cornmeal pancakes

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Three places you can guarantee I will be on a Saturday morning in Atlanta: 1) Walking to Ponce City Market to get coffee from Spiller Park, 2) laying on my couch watching an episode of the Pioneer Woman or 3) in my kitchen making the best food of all time, pancakes.

I’ve been making the most out of the box of cornmeal I bought recently as we are in the thick of chili and cornbread season. A few weeks ago I made this cornbread which was the perfect mix of not-too-sweet and extremely moist for a chili dinner, and I also made these cornmeal waffles to top off another chili dinner! I highly recommend both recipes if you like corn! (sorry Arianna)

This Saturday morning, we had a good girl-talk group at my St. Charles casa – my roommate Kelley, my sister, and I sat and chatted whilst the sweet cakes sizzled 2 inches away in my shoebox kitchen. Winter 2015/2016 has been a fun time for communal eating at my house and I’m learning more and more about how to entertain without a) pulling my hair out and b) burning my house down.

From entertaining thus far, I’ve learned that to get my sister to come over asap, I should keep a bag of bagels on hand in the freezer (which happens to always be the case), and that apparently a paper bag can entertain up to 20 people in my living room for at least 4 hours.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I ran the Will to Live 5k (find our stud teammate William at 2:17 in the video) in memory of our friend Harry and later that night decided to all re-convene at the house where I live along with three of my high school friends. Clearly the first thing I thought was “what will we eat?” while I think others had the cocktails covered. Besides playing “the bag game,” where you try to pick up a paper bag with your teeth while balancing on one foot, we ate these carnitas accompanied by the necessary guac and salsa.

For breakfast entertainment, I try and have the coffee going before people get here and to have a sweet and savory option. My sister doesn’t like sweets as much (still not sure how we are related), so I usually provide the bagels, and some people don’t even really want breakfast which makes the stocked coffee jar that much more important!

Another thing that’s key here is getting the music selection right. To start off the new year, we matched the mood of a yoga class taught in my living room with the “Acoustic Soul” Spotify playlist. When Julia and I cook together, we play country often. With my sister and roommate Kelley, we listen to Mat Kearney’s Air I Breathe on repeat along with Needtobreathe, I Am They, Chris Tomlin, and Casting Crowns.

Pancakes are my comfort food – both in the fact that they’re a warm, sweet dish and that they remind me of so many good memories.They’re comfortable.

Though I’ve been bad about posting some of my recipes lately, I’ll share with you a few here in addition to the pancakes that I made lately.

Melissa Clark’s Sweet and Spicy Chicken – so so great, had it again the next week

Spiced jam cake with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache

Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout slaw and Curried Chicken Salad for a bridal shower

 

On to pancakes!

Honey Cornmeal Pancakes, adapted just slightly from Brooklyn Supper

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal – I used the regular yellow kind from Kroger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or a mix of buttermilk, yogurt, and regular milk
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Heat your oven to 150-200 degrees, this will be for the pancakes that are ready but need to stay warm before you’re ready to eat.
  2. Start by measuring the butter, coconut oil, and honey into a small bowl. Pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds at a time to melt all together. Let these cool for a few minutes – you don’t want to add to the pancake mix when it’s too hot because it will curdle the eggs.
  3. Whisk togetherĀ  both flours, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until evenly mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl or in a glass measuring cup, whisk together milk and eggs.
  5. Mix the buttermilk/egg mixture into your dry ingredients until JUST mixed evenly (try not to overmix).
  6. Then, pour in the honey butter mixture and fold into the batter.

IMG_00237. Heat a wide skillet to medium heat (my burner tends to get really hot so I put it at around medium) and melt about a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.

8. Here’s where you have some room for creativity. I like to pour a ladle-ful at a time per pancake, but if you like minis you could do just a few tablespoons. If you like your cakes really big, you could do ones that fill up half the pan that are closer to 3/4 cup. I went with around a 1/3 scoop mix of batter at a time into the pan.

9. Let your pancakes cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, until bubbles form across the entire surface.

IMG_002410. Flip with a spatula, and cook on the other side for about a minute.

IMG_002511. Put the ready pancakes on a baking sheet in your low-temp oven until ready to eat so that they stay warm. Meanwhile, for each additional round of pancakes, add a little more coconut oil to just coat the pan each time so as not to burn the cakes

IMG_002612. Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit!

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White Chocolate Shortcake with Strawberries, Blueberries and Whipped Cream Frosting

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I’ve been perusing Etsy lately for new cannisters for my flour and sugar and then I started judging the cannisters based on how much rust they had on them. And then I got really self conscious thinking about the fact that I am searching the interweb for a vintage-y kitschy looking tin can and still considering purchasing it from those South Dakotans (yea that’s how you refer to them) who collect these things even though the can has RUST all over the inside of it. And then I took a deep breath and realized I had too much caffeine.

You know, when did the Container Store fall out of fashion and rusty South Dakota cans make a come-back?

Did you guys also love the Container Store circa 2006? It was absolutely the coolest thing to go and get rando trinkets and your day planner from there during summer break. Instead of buying those sleek Oxo bug-proof jars, I’m trying to find a jar with a print not as creepy as a gnome garden yet not as sleek as an Ikea esque white box. The things I do to procrastinate….

Speaking of flour and sugar….THIS CAKKEEEEE. If I had to describe a cake that would connect a wide variety of people’s sweet palettes, it would be this one. I am one to enjoy the most decadent of sweets, with cake layers full of butter and buttermilk topped with headache inducing frostings (and if you’re really lucky, two types of frosting and some kind of caramel brittley thing in the middle). On the other hand, there are those people born without a soul who like the “lighter” side of desserts.

Yes I am speaking to you, tart frozen yogurt lovers, sorbet-orderers, MERINGUE fans, and the worst – those who JUST SAY NO to dessert. This cake will woo even you!!

It’s a cake that is light enough to be dubbed a shortcake, yet dense and moist enough to satisfy the decadent sweets lovers like (hand-raised) me! There’s even some white chocolate chips snuck in there. The white chocolate gives the cake just enough sweetness that you don’t even notice that this frosting isn’t even really frosting at all. It’s whipped cream!

I made this for my office May cookout a few weeks ago with the help of my baking aficionado friend Tim. While I insisted it probably wasn’t the best idea to break into this cake before bringing it to the office, we made a mini version with the overflowing bowl of batter and made sure the recipe was legit. Here are my tips for assembling cakes after my cake-toppling incident a few years back:

Bake your cake layers the night before if you are gonna make this. Then wrap each one in plastic wrap and cover overnight. In the morning, transport the layers and frosting separately if you’re gonna have limited fridge space because this frosting isn’t the greatest for sitting out. Assemble the cake with the frosting and fruit right before eating!

For all of you who want the recipe – buy JoytheBaker’s Homemade Decadence book!!!

Creaming some butter and sugar (view the sweet potato blondies I also made below)

2015-04-30 19.45.272015-04-30 19.45.582015-04-30 21.19.02sawiinngg batta batta

2015-04-30 21.19.06Here are my tips on getting cake out of the pan. Take your spatula and point it straight down around the edge of the cake. Do this a few times until you know the cake is free from the edges. Then start to go down then under the cake and gently pull up slightly on the cake, but don’t actually try to take the whole thing out. Once you’ve primed the cake, place a plate over the cake and count your self down to a flip (I had Tim help with this). 1-2-3 flip!!! Then tap the bottom of the cake pan which is now facing up as you place the plate down on the counter. This will get any last bit of the cake out. Gently pull the pan up – and there ya go.

If you can feel that the cake didn’t in fact come out of the pan (gasp), just flip it over, look both ways to make sure no one saw you, and give it a few more minutes šŸ™‚

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2015-04-30 20.32.03You know, just use a big pot to make your whipped cream when all your mixing bowls are taken….

2015-04-30 20.32.262015-04-30 20.32.47Watching this progression above, this is what happens when you don’t let your mini cake cool and just drop dollops of whipped cream on top :/

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I buckled it in shortly after. This is my recommended safety position for your cake.
2015-05-01 12.06.22Oh just assembling my cake at the office

2015-05-01 12.22.55Shoutout to my coworker Michael who helped put this together!!!

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ohhhhh yeaaaaaa

Two gals and one large stack of Banana Oat Walnut Pancakes – Galentine’s Brunch

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I agree with the lovely Deb Perelman in her recent Valentine’s postĀ about what one should cook for Valentine’s day. DebĀ makes a lovely slow cooked beef (someone tell my future husband anything involving the words “slow cook” is a straight path to my heart) and says that although the words pot roast don’t exactly sound romantically, cozy, cold-weather, home-cooked foods are the perfect way to celebrate in a way that both you and your loved one can enjoy.

When I was pinterest-ing to find the ultimate Valentine’s dishes, I was surprised to see fancy lamb chop dishes and wayyy too many chocolate-covered strawberry posts. If you come to my house, I will make you my “warm and fuzzy” dishes – pancakes with maple syrup drizzle and my signature slab of peanut butter as a side “dip”. For those of you just joining us, pancakes = love, at least in my book.

As our lovebird neighbors left Atlanta for the weekend, my friend Jules and I had quite the baking/cooking adventure. First, we attempted red wine brownies and then couldn’t stay away from each other and had a delicious Galentine’s brunch the next morning.

As all pancake recipes start, this one started from a chocolate chip pancake base and evolved into an oat-y, banana, walnut cinnamon pancake recipe. Following this brunch, I also celebrated Galentine’s with an Indian brunch with my mom, Grandma, and sister, hung out with my main man (Dad), and sang my heart out with a dose of late night karaoke. A solid weekend to say the least.

Banana Oat Walnut Pancakes

3/4 cup oat flour (grind oats in food processor until they are the consistency of coarse flour)

3/4 cup white wheat or all-purpose flour

2 TBS brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup almond milk/low fat milk

1 TBS cider vinegar

1 egg

2 TBS melted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 brown-spotted bananas, mashed up

a handful of walnuts, chopped coarsely

1.Ā In a small bowl, whisk milk and vinegar together and let sit aside for 5 minutes. This will make your regular milk the consistency of buttermilk which seems weird but adds richness.

2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl.

3. In another bowl, whisk melted butter (or coconut oil or veg oil), mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla together. Once milk is ready, whisk into this bowl as well.

4. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add in your walnut pieces.

5. Let the batter sit 5-10 minutes to let the oat flour absorb the liquids. Heat griddle or large skillet to medium/medium high heat and coat the pan in a thin layer of butter/oil.

6. Dollop a ladle-full scoop of batter onto your skillet once the oil starts to sizzle. This should be around 1/3 cup of batter, but if you want them smaller or larger take some liberties. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

7. While you are still making pancakes but have some ready, keep them warming in the oven set around 200 degrees.

8. Serve on a perfectly set kitchen table with the “lazy weekend” or “indie brunch” (if you’re feelin cool) Spotify playlist in the background. Top pancakes with banana slices and an uncomfortably large mound of maple syrup. Light a candle. Feel romantic.

xoxo,

the gals of Galentine’s brunch

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Peach Avocado Corn Salsa

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Delicious for a side salad or as a good chips ‘n’ dip! YUMMO inspired by cookie+kate’s Avocado Peach Salsa, I decided to try the sweet salsa road. I’m a total sucker for that Peach Mango salsa from the grocery store, but I’ve never tried to make a sweet and salty salsa. Having all that leftover chimichurri sauce, I needed to use it on something good. Even though the chimichurri has ginger in it, the cilantro lime cumin part of it is great for a salsa sauce.

I added 1 chopped peach, about 2 tbs of my chimichurri, half a can of drained corn, an avocado chopped up, some red onion, extra limejuice, fresh cracked sea salt (this is key), a tiny dash of sugar (the peaches were a bit tart) and yum, fresh salsa!