Pancakes with a Twist

Hello, everyone! The weather’s been brutal lately. And as if things can’t get uglier, our heating system decided to act up. Anyways, here I am to bring you guys something to get giddy and excited about. At least I hope it does as it did me. For a while, I haven’t really been in the mood to make or try anything for a number of reasons which I choose not to bore you with. But here I am with a brand new recipe and I can’t be excited to share it with you. I am really happy about this number because first, I finally learned how to make pancakes from scratch. The first time I tried? It was a huge flop! Yes, there is a difference between baking soda and powder. I won’t delve into that. The pro-bakers can probably enlighten you on that matter better than I do. But, I hope you would take my word for it for those who are still wondering what really is that fine line between baking soda and powder.  And secondly, I finally reached that point where I’m comfortable to tweak some details here and there and make it my own.

I got the basic pancake recipe from marthastewart.com. I remained consistent with hers because I don’t want to mess up our breakfast. I only added a few drops of vanilla extract. That’s it.  It was fluffy and light but a little too spongy for my liking. The following week I decided to add 1 yolk plus about 1/8 cup of milk to make it a little more dense but not to sacrifice its cloudy fluffiness. It was a success. And tired of my usual vanilla, I added some lemon flavor and here I am.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/4 c. All purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 & 1/8 c. Milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 & 1/2 tbsp. Unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter to grease the pan
  • Honey or maple syrup

Here’s How:

  1. Place non-stick pan or griddle on low heat. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, pour in milk, eggs, lemon juice, zest and melted butter. Whisk together until homogenous. Then add in dry ingredients. Whisk until well mixed. It’s tempting to overmix but a few lumps is ok.
  4. Smear extra butter in the pan and pour pancake batter. Adjust heat accordingly.
  5. Enjoy!

It tasted so good. The lemon flavor bursts in your mouth. The amount of lemon you put in depends on the tartness you desire. I don’t think it will affect the fluffiness of the pancake unless you decide to throw a whole lemon in there. I used honey because what else goes perfectly with something citrussy and bright as lemon? You can be as creative with the toppings as you wish.

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ImagePancakes are L.O.V.E. Don’t you agree?Image

This stick of butter reminds me of this movie I saw last night, “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” It was a film adaptation of the play Neil Simon wrote. And there was this one part where Eugene’s mother, Kate asked him to get a 1/4 lb. of butter. And Eugene argued that he just went for a 1/4 lb. the same morning, why didn’t she just ask him to buy a 1/2 lb. butter. To that she replied, “Suppose this house sets on fire, what am I to do with a 1/4 lb. butter!” Lol. I’m such a weirdo.

Oh, and I asked Wonder girl to help me with the honey. It wasn’t much of a success, her tiny arms got easily tired holding up the spoon. And she couldn’t wait to lick the honey off of it.

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So there you go. I hope you guys try this recipe and let me know what you think. How about you, do you have a favorite pancake recipe you would like to share?

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Food: Scallops & Citrus Salad

 

Around this time last year, I was already busy planning Thanksgiving dinner. But it’s a little different here in New Jersey. I don’t think it’s ready for fall. I went to the local farmer’s market to grab me a bag of brown rice. But you know how it is. My eyes started wandering around and I saw nice and plump cherry tomatoes and on the opposite side were the freshest baby arugulas. I immediately grabbed both and got the most summer-y menu in my head cooking up. As soon as I saw those crisp arugula babies, I immediately knew what I was going to make. So I grabbed the nicest grapefruit there was and stepped to the fish market next door and grabbed me a pound of scallops. I was a happy girl. I got all I need and I headed home.

Inspired by one of my favorite chefs, Anne Burrell, here’s a party served in a plate. I must say that this recipe didn’t disappoint. I don’t know how anyone could possibly not like this. Unless you are legitimately allergic to shellfish and if you are, I already feel bad for you.

This dish is super easy. I was surprised by how quick I finished “Supreme-ing” the citrus. I used to be so intimidated by how tedious it seemed. A sharp knife should do the trick. The only problem I had was browning the scallops. It wasn’t the best sear. As a matter of fact, I think I am the first to ever steam scallops in oil. I blame on the stove. hehe… Anyway, it all still worked out. I hope everyone tries this. Chef Anne was right. You don’t have to be a professional chef to cook like one.

Scallops with Citrus Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 LB. Sea Scallops
  • 2 C. Baby Arugula
  • 1 Grapefruit, supremed
  • 2 Medium-size Oranges, supremed
  • 1 Small Red Onion (or about 1/4 Large Red Onion), julienned
  • 1/4-1/2 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP. Honey
  • S&P to taste
  • Pepper flakes to taste

Here’s how:

  1. Season scallops with salt and pepper on either side and brown on both sides.
  2. Meanwhile, supreme your fruits and place in a bowl.
  3. Squeeze out juice from the pith into a separate bowl. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream. Add honey and salt and pepper flakes. This is your dressing.
  4. Place arugula in a huge bowl and drizzle with dressing. Gently hand toss. Add onions and fruits.
  5. Plate salad and top with scallops. Drizzle more olive oil.
  6. ENJOY!

Look at all those colors. Doesn’t it remind you of summer? I love fall but I’ll find every excuse to make this salad. Now I know why Chef Anne’s such “a happy girl.” Isn’t that here line? I really love her- spikey hair and all her quirky abbreviations.

Anyway, I hope you guys try this. If it’s not too fall-y yet. Try it. I know this is an appetizer but this could be a meal in itself. Yummy!!! The bottle and stemware were props. I had to go to church. But after the service, I enjoyed it with reckless abandon. 😉 What? Oh it’s Monday tomorrow. Oh well.

 

A Birthday & a Breakfast Pizza

Today is a friend’s birthday and since she’s staying here with us, Aurora bean and I decided to let her in on a longstanding birthday tradition of being woken up with a really bad “Happy Birthday” song and a candle-lit breakfast cupcake. It was well received. Better than all two of Unakin’s birthdays I have done it  where I have been slapped in the face and I had to practically prop her up just so she could blow her candles. Anyway, we made someone really happy today. And I love it.

 

Lovely (birthdayer) asked what she can bring for breakfast to share with coworkers. She originally thought of pancakes. Pancakes don’t really travel well so I suggested why not a breakfast pizza? “breakfast Pizza?” So she apparently never have heard of it so she decided to go for it. A little wary about the eggs on top but it was “ahhhhhmazing” according to her. I think I left out an “h” somewhere but you get the point. And the truth is, I haven’t actually tried a breakfast pizza yet. I tried to play it cool and hoped that it turns out ok. I wasn’t even able to taste the pizza because I didn’t want to ruin it.

The Birthday Breakfast Pizza (or Breakfast Birthday Pizza…whatevs)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
  • 3 tbs. traditional spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2  cup red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup italian sausage
  • 3 large eggs or 4-6 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup chives, chopped
  • S&P to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Here’s how:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Prepare pizza dough according to package instructions.
  3. Spread tomato sauce evenly. Layer about half of the required amount of shredded mozzarella evenly.
  4. Evenly distribute bell pepper and onions leaving some for final topping, same with the sausage.
  5. Carefully place eggs on top. S&P to taste but this is optional.
  6. Add remaining mozzarella cheese except on eggs. Add remaining bell peppers, onions and sausage.
  7. Sprinkle parmesan evenly and drizzle pizza with olive oil. Place in the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes. (You can start lowering the heat when the crust begins to brown and the eggs aren’t cooked yet)

So there, easy peasy. You can go crazy with the toppings and choice of cheese. You can use spinach and asiago cheese. Bacon and mushrooms. Your options are endless. I just had to try to stay mainstream because I wasn’t sure how they would take it. You know, a pizza with an egg on top. But it was a hit and everyone loved it.

Anyway, I’m happy to help make someone’s day special in my own little way. Happy birthday, Lovely!

 

Strawberry Tart and Mother’s Day

To my mother, who worked so hard to give me and my siblings everything the world can offer (and then some), thank you! To Mamang who raised me and my sister after taking care of 7 of her own children, I don’t know how you did it. You are superwoman. To my Lola, thank you for bringing a fine gentleman and an officer into this world. I can only imagine the pain you went through watching your first born depart us. But you have always been strong and I am sure Daddy is smiling down upon you. I love all of you and my sincerest thanks go out to you.

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Recipe from Amy of She Wears Many Hats

I saw this recipe last week and stored it in my “recipes to tr” board on Pinterest. i never really planned on making it yet but As soon as I walked in the grocery yesterday, they had a sale on strawberries for $3.49 for 2 pounds. They usually cost $5.99 when out of season. So I grabbed a box right away and headed straight to the freezer aisle to grab me a box of puff pastry. The frozen puff pastry sheet can ba a little pricey. $4.49 for a 2-sheet pack. But for a baking novice like I am, I’d rather spend and extra couple of bucks than an entire afternoon making the perfect pastry dough. And of course, this also circumvents mountainous amount of dishes, which always is such a doozy.

This recipe is super easy. (Even though I still managed to mess it up even after cheating.) I suggest that you thaw this in the fridge so the dough doesn’t stick together. try to unfold the sheet before it gets doughy then put it back in the fridge if you’re not ready to use it yet. Top it with whipped cream or greek yogurt.