Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Breakfast: Oatmeal Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup

I start my day everyday with a cup of coffee.  It is important ritually and physically.  I love a dark roast with nutty flavors and a good amount of milk.  Perfection.  Sometimes I actually think about the morning cup of Joe the night before and look forward to it.  Is that going too far?  Maybe.  We all have our routines that keep life right!  This one is particularly important for me because I am not a morning person without it.  I am not really sure I am a morning person with it.  Coffee and the morning paper.  Yes, I actually hold a newspaper in my hands and read it.  No e-reader yet but I know it is coming.  Then there is breakfast!
Everyday breakfast is usually a light affair for me.  Something whole grain and nutritious such as yogurt topped with granola and/or fruit or whole grain toast with a smear of jam are among my favorites.  There are couple of breakfasts that I have made for years when the family is around or we have guests and this recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes tops the list.  They are packed with delicious rolled oats and are simple to make.  I like to serve them with maple syrup or golden syrup. For an extra special touch, I make buttermilk syrup which can easily be found in various recipe sites on the net.  I wonder who really is responsible for this buttermilk syrup recipe because it is really, really good.  I have never seen it in a cookbook.  I would love to know who came up with this incredible sweet concoction because I would have never thought of putting this combination of ingredients together.  I do know, it is delicious and complements these pancakes nicely.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blood Orange Curd

I love the intense flavor of a fruit curd.  Lemon and lime tops the list because they are the tangiest and I love me some tang!  I had a bag of blood oranges and since they can be tart, I thought they would be a shoe in for a delicious tart curd.  The result was delicious and delicate not the tangy curd I had expected.  It had more of a creamy orange flavor.  I was not completely happy with this curd, although it was quite good.  The second time I made it, I added the juice of a lemon.  This brightened the blood orange flavor and gave it the citrusy tangy edge that I craved.  It was creamier and smoother than a lemon or lime curd but it had the balance of flavor I was looking for.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Bread

Several years ago, on a day when I was shopping at the original Central Market (still a new store) in Austin, TX,  I came across chocolate bread in their bakery.  At the time, chocolate bread seemed so unique and I wasn't sure what to expect.  Was it going to be rich and decadent?  How is chocolate in the  simplicity of a bread?  I was intrigued so I bought a loaf.  It was delicious.  It was a simple, slightly sweet, intensely chocolate bread studded with chocolate pieces.  A plain slice was as good as one toasted with a smear of butter and strawberry or raspberry jam was a treat.  I have been on a mission ever since! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving is almost here!

Oh my, what a lovely holiday.  This is one day that is all about the food.  No gifts to buy, just the company of family and friends.  In my family, there are expectations for this day.  They expect the same bird recipe with stuffing or dressing and mushroom gravy and the meal has to end with chocolate pecan pie and classic pecan pie.  The sides are important but not as critical as the turkey, so I can get a little creative. This concept was tested one year when we spent T-Day at the Outer Banks.  The beach was awesome, but the turkey was just OK.  We ordered a turkey and my immediate family let me know that is not what they look forward to.  I guess this is where tradition steps in and takes hold. I am good with that.  This way the main dish has been tested and approved, so be it. 

Thanksgiving food is for Thanksgiving day and it is worth the wait.  We fix a large meal and eat till we are ready to pop, have leftovers for several days afterward and and then we are done until next year.  We have whole roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pecan pie once a year.  So we are in agreement that Thanksgiving is for being thankful and copious amounts of our favorite delicious food.  Oh yeah, and family and friends, they are the icing on the cake!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chunky Apple Coconut Cake

Apple season has begun.  I love fresh, crisp apples.  At my farmer's market, the same orchard farmer who has the most delicious, juicy peaches every summer starts apple season with fabulous ginger gold apples in late summer.  This year he had lots of second apples because of hurricane Irene.  Did you know that the east coast had an earthquake (unheard of) and a hurricane in one week.  The area was already saturated with water and flooding was guaranteed.  There was more concern about trees falling over because of ground saturation than high winds and I am sure both happened, but luckily not in my backyard.  During both of these events I was in Houston where there was no rain, no wind, the ground was stable and the fires has not started yet.  It was a good time to be out of town but I was a little sad I missed the earthquake because it was such and unusual event for my area.  The hurricane I can do without.  I like electricity and hot water and I have had enough rain.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chunky Honeycrisp Applesauce

 I got a bucket of hurricane Irene apple seconds.  They were all Honeycrisps. I felt like I hit a home run!

Needless to say I pounced on these jewels.  They had dings and a couple of bumps but no bruises.  Even if they had bruises I still would have bought them to make applesauce.  Homemade applesauce is one of my favorite fall treats.  It is great for breakfast, a side dish for dinner, snacks and a fabulous ingredient for applesauce cake.  I really haven't found the perfect applesauce cake, maybe you guys know of one?!

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