Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eat: Blueberry Pancakes with a healthy twist!

I am not a morning person. If you do not believe me, just ask my husband. However, my dislike for the morning has never swayed me from my love of breakfast food. This recipe for blueberry "bran-cakes" was appealing because 1. It sounded healthy and 2. It did not require a trip to the grocery store. Considering how busy the weekend was, the latter of these two held a lot of weight. I had hoped that my first recipe post would feature something really exotic or challenging, but my hectic schedule just did not allow for such indulgence...

Truthfully, it felt like it took forever to make these pancakes but that is likely because I am a Bisquick mix kind of girl. That being said, they were so fluffy and delicious that it is definitely worth the extra time. Also, do not be afraid of the bran element in this dish, I promise that you cannot taste it at all!

TIME: 20-30 minutes (including preparation and cooking)
YIELDS: approximately 15 pancakes
MY SOUNDTRACK: Baby Dayliner, Andrew Bird

1 cup bran flakes
1 egg, beaten
1 + 1/4 cups milk (we use skim)
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups blueberries (if using frozen, thaw ahead of time)

After you gather all of the ingredients, crush the bran cereal. For some reason, I started out crushing each flake individually with my fingers. After two flakes it became very apparent that this was a horribly inefficient idea, so I put all of the cereal in a ziplock bag and channeled any pent-up frustration I might have had into smashing.

Next, stir together the cereal, egg, milk, and oil. Set the mixture aside for approximately five minutes to let the batter soften. You can spend these five minutes reflecting on how wonderfully domestic you are. You can also turn on your griddle or cook top to medium heat.

Add the remaining ingredients (except the blueberries!) and stir until well blended. If the batter is too thick, add just a bit more milk.

Lastly, stir the blueberries into the batter.

Pour ¼ cup of batter onto heated griddle. Once you notice little bubbles appearing, flip the pancake. You may need to flip it a few more times until it is golden brown on both sides.

Side note: If you have a griddle like mine, it adjusts by specific temperatures instead of settings. I did a little research and found that anywhere between 250°F to 350°F is considered “medium”.

This week’s recipe came from Zorba’s Paster’s website .

Sneak peak for next week: tofu!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Backstory...

Prior to six months ago, I never cooked. This is hyperbole, but barely so. The word “scared” is a fairly accurate adjective to describe my previous relationship with cooking (though not baking, oddly enough). Exploration of this fear would require plumbing depths so deep and unnecessary that we should simply accept my former state without any qualification. Then a few things happened that changed everything.

First, I grew up. Entrance into adulthood also means an exit from the ever-ready supply of meals found in dorms and homesteads. Suddenly every evening presented meal-preparation like a complex math problem when I could barely manage addition on my cell phone calculator. However, I am a smart little girl who married a man who is not only a willing cook, but a wonderful one. Although I felt pangs of guilt at my utter lack of domesticity, I would have probably been content to let my husband make delicious stir fry and pasta for the rest of my life. But our circumstances changed yet again...

Before I knew it, I was done with grad school, underemployed, and overly bored. It just didn't seem fair for Matt (that’s my husband, by the way) to work all day and come home to a hungry companion waiting for dinner. Not that he ever complained--he's quite the trooper. So with his loving encouragement (remember I was scared!) I began to cook. I don’t mean warming up a sodium-laden bag of frozen food. No, I began looking at cookbooks (all of which were wedding presents), going to the grocery store, and really making meals. Most of these early adventures were riddled with frustration and countless Google searches of culinary terms. Then in a turn of events that were oh so similar to that of a romantic comedy, I gradually found myself falling in love. With cooking.

But alas! Shortly after discovering this new realm of enjoyment, I started a full time job with normal business hours. Gone were the mornings spent browsing recipes, followed by leisurely trips to the store with all the time in the world. Although I am becoming the queen of slow cookers, I miss my elaborate culinary adventures. So I am devoting every Sunday to such an endeavor.

What should you expect from this blog? A collection of unique recipes* peppered with photography and commentary. What do I expect from this blog? Not grandeur or even wide readership. I think this will be a fun way to stay motivated and share tasty meals. So if you care to, please join me every Sunday for the dish!

*Note: As I am still quite a novice, all of the recipes found here are borrowed from a wide variety of resources (always properly cited!).