Cardamom Date Scones (Vegan)

Cardamom Date Scones

Cardamom Date Scones

As long-time followers of this blog know, I love doing variations on scones. Inspiration has struck again, and with Thanksgiving coming up, I thought now would be a good time to talk about “breakfast breads”. Pastries of various kinds figure into many breakfast menus, and though muffins aren’t a pastry, they’re usually included, but scones often don’t make the list. This is shame because you can do almost anything flavor-wise with a scone, and they’re easier faster and easier to make from scratch than any kind of pastry or muffin (with the possible exception of Every Day Muffins which are a make-ahead thing). So put aside your ideas of scones only for elevenses or late afternoon tea and think about fast easy scones for Thanksgiving morning when you’re up, in the kitchen, and looking for a delicious breakfast that doesn’t require the kind of extensive prep that the holiday meal does. You can browse the scone tag (which includes contributions from all the blog’s authors) or just go with these Cardamom Date Scones I’m making for breakfast on Thanksgiving this year. Flavored with cardamom, orange peel, and dates, these scones need very little added sugar, and the flavor is out of this world!

  • 2 1/2 cups organic flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbls sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp dried orange peel (just the usual from grocery store spice aisle)
  • 8 Tbls margarine (1/2 cup)
  • ⅓ cup pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
  • ½ cup organic soy milk (maybe a little more)

Preheat oven 425.

I used pitted Medjool dates for this. Dried date pieces would probably work too, but they’ll contribute less moisture to the recipe so a bit more liquid may be required.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices, then cut in margarine with a pastry cutter or fork. Work margarine in with your hands until evenly distributed and the mixture doesn’t have any conspicuous lumps. Then add the dates. If you used Medjool dates that you chopped yourself instead of dried pieces, you’ll need to break up the sticky clumps with your hands and work them into the mixture until it’s more or less homogeneous. Add the soy milk. The dough should come together with a little kneading and not be too dry. If it doesn’t feel right, you can add a tiny splash more milk.

Divide the dough into two balls, then flatten them into rounds (about an inch or so thick) on an ungreased baking sheet. Cut each round into six wedges. Separate the wedges so they aren’t touching.

Bake in preheated oven 12 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a mug of strong black tea. I’ve noticed that the flavor of the spices (the cardamom in particular) seem stronger when the scones are fresh and hot, right out of the oven. But they’re still quite good the next day (assuming you have any left)!

Julember: ‘Tis the Season to Sit by the Fire and Eat Comfort Food

While most of the world is experiencing the summer fun of July, here in my part of the world we are experiencing Julember – the calendar may indicate it is July, but the weather is indicating it is November.  With temps hovering around 9C, I have spent the past week thinking of soup instead of salad, socks instead of sandals, and Santa instead of summer.  The normally ignored fireplace has been lit every day this week and I have been knitting – not one of my regular summer activities.

So, when a recipe for strawberry muffins popped up in my Facebook feed I jumped at the chance to mix a traditional comfort food with a summery delight.  I gathered the ingredients and immediately called my visiting sister and her family to drop over for a sit by the fire, coffee, and muffins.

With help from my adorable nine-year-old niece, and changes to the recipe to veganise it, the dual season muffin-making began.

As always, prepare your flax egg first:  1 tbsp of flaxseed and 3 tbsp of water.  Mix in a small ramekin and let gel.

This is also a good time to hull, clean, and chop the strawberries.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, softened (each Earth Balance butter stick is 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 flax egg
  • 2 cups flour  (Your choice; I used all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy, but almond or rice milk will work just as well)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped organic strawberries

TOPPING:

  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • I usually make a small bottle of sugar and cinnamon to have on hand so I don’t have to prepare this much-used topping every time a recipe calls for it.  

With your nine-year-old niece having a tight grip on the mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the flax egg and mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and let the wee child stir it about. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately to the butter mixture (much more fun when two people are doing this!). Add vanilla. Stir in strawberries.

Spoon batter into muffin pans and sprinkle the topping on the batter.  Of course, only small children are allowed to sprinkle the topping on the muffins. 

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

This recipe makes one dozen regular-sized muffins.

Now announce to all and sundry that the beaters, bowls, spoons, and spatulas are ready to be licked!  Go sit by the Julember fire and enjoy!!

BEFORE:

strawberry muffins raw

AFTER:

strawberry muffins cooked

Buckwheat Sourdough Spice Cake

Buckwheat Sourdough Spice Cake. Still warm from the oven!

This batter is a variation on the Buckwheat Sourdough Muffins last week. It’s sweeter, has more dates, and also a complex mixture of spices which complement both the buckwheat and the dates nicely. It’s baked in an 8″ x 8″ pan.

1 cup sourdough starter (See Buckwheat Sourdough Starter post)
1 cup flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped dried dates
1 tsp cinnamon (I use a strong Saigon cinnamon, aka Vietnamese cinnamon.)
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamon

Preheat oven 350. Grease and flour an 8 x 8″ pan.

Put the 1 cup sourdough starter into a bowl. (The rest of the starter you will replenish and put back in the refrigerator See Sourdough Starter post.) Add all the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the 1 cup of starter. There may be a better way of doing this, like mixing this and that, then adding…but I just dump all the ingredients into the bowl on top of the 1 cup of starter and stir it all together vigorously. No need to get out your mixer. It whips up into a batter very quickly. I stir until the flour is completely incorporated.

Pour batter into the 8″x8″ greased and floured pan. Bake 20-25 mins. (My oven it’s 23 mins. Yours may vary.)

Let cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares and serve warm with strong black tea or coffee.

If you like the flavor of buckwheat, check out the Buckwheat tag for more posts!

Buckwheat Sourdough Starter (recap)

Some of you may recall my Buckwheat Sourdough Pancakes from a couple of years back. I didn’t keep up with the starter after a while (I’m the only one who likes buckwheat cakes around here), but recently made the starter again, this time with the idea of using it for other things. So, I’m reposting a more concise version of the instructions for making the starter — just the starter — today. In the next two weeks I’ll post some other yummy things you can make with it, besides the  Buckwheat Sourdough Pancakes.

Organic buckwheat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
2 cups of lukewarm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups slightly warm water
1 Tbls buckwheat honey (or other honey)

20150528_102458You will need 4 cups of buckwheat flour total for the first week, just to create and feed the starter, more if you make buckwheat cakes with it at the end of the first week. I usually buy two packages Bob’s Red Mill organic buckwheat flour at a time when I’m shopping.

I began the starter on a Monday and “fed it” as follows Tues-Friday, so that it’s ready to use by the weekend. Choose whatever timing works best for your household.

Day 1: In a glass bowl or other non-reactive container (not metal!), dissolve 1 pkg of active dry yeast in 2 cups of warm water. Stir in 1 Tbls honey, then 1 cup buckwheat flour. Leave the starter in the glass bowl, lightly covered, either with plastic wrap or a lid not fastened down, in a dim room.

Day 2: (The day after you mixed up the starter.) Stir well, then remove and discard 1/2 cup of the starter. Add 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup water. Stir well.

Day 3: Same as day 2

Day 4: Same as day 2

Day 5: Same as day 2

Day 6: Remove 1 cup of the starter and set aside to make buckwheat cakes or to use in baking. Add 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1 cup warm water to the remaining starter mixture. Cover the remaining starter mixture (a lid works better than plastic wrap) and refrigerate.

20150528_102622You will not touch the starter again for another week when you will once again remove 1 cup of the mixture for buckwheat cakes or baking and add 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1 cup water. Do this every week.

The starter must be tended weekly, removing some and feeding with more flour and water. If you don’t want to make up something using part of the buckwheat starter ever week, just discard what you remove and feed as directed. (If you neglect the starter it will get nasty. Throw it out and make a fresh batch. It only takes five days until a new batch is ready to use, so don’t fret if your starter dies. It happens.)

A well-tended starter will develop a wonderful spongy, almost mousse-like texture over time. Don’t worry if feeding and making/baking doesn’t work out to exactly one one week: it won’t hurt anything to wait an extra day to feed the starter and use what you remove. Because I have more time for cooking and baking on the weekend, I set my starter up to be ready to go on a Saturday…and if Saturday is too busy, I use it and feed it on Sunday. You can let it slip a day here and there. The main thing is that you need to tend it weekly. Work out when to make the starter according to the rhythm of your daily life and when you’d be most likely to use it.

Next week: Buckwheat Sourdough Muffins!

Yummy (and not-so-yummy) Post Revisions

This is a Good News-Bad News post. The good news is that I’ve been continually revising one of my popular recipes with variations, and the bad news is that I have tried (and tried!) a different no-cook lasagna noodle which has not worked out well. We’ll start with that.

Here’s my lasagna recipe. It’s good —and can be made with an assortment of traditional and flavored lasagna noodles — but after acknowledging the controversy associated with the Barilla company, I have been trying to find a lasagna noodle that, like Barilla’s oven-ready instant noodle, doesn’t have to be pre-boiled before assembling the lasagna. I stumbled onto Delverde Instant Lasagna Noodles. Unlike the oven ready Barilla noodles, these lasagna noodles need to be soaked in warm water before being used. But that, in itself, isn’t an objection. My objection is that try as I might (and I’ve lost count of how many batches I’ve made using Delverde Instant Lasagna) I cannot get my lasagna to come out right. It’s always too wet. I have tried increasing both the oven temperature and the baking time, but the whole thing is still too wet for me. I know some people make very wet soggy lasagna and don’t have a problem with that. You like what you know best. But the water absorbed by pre-soaking, even briefly, is, apparently, too much. I’ve been tempted to try not presoaking it, but haven’t because if it fails, there goes supper! 😉 Your lasagna assembly and cooking technique may be sufficiently different from mine (see Lasagna post) to make the Delverde Instant Lasagna work, or your preferences may be different, but I honestly can’t recommend it based on all the times I’ve used it in the past several months. (Oh, I’m so sick of soggy lasagna now…I’ve eaten more disappointing lasagna recently than I typically eat good lasagna in a year. Test Kitchen Burnout.)

Now on to happier news. A lot of you liked my post this winter on Luscious Oatmeal. (I don’t just mean liked here, but also elsewhere.) If you liked it then, you’ll love it now! I’ve been quietly updating and experimenting with flavors and spices…and updating the post as I go! So, if you haven’t looked at the post since I first posted it, you’re in for a treat because it’s been extensively revised. The original focused on the addition of nutmeg, but since then I’ve tried more fruit flavors and more spices. You would not believe the fun I’ve been having with this! (Oh, wait, you’re reading this blog, you probably would believe it.) 😉 As winter segues into Spring (!!) I’m still wolfing down this creamy delicious “winter” meal. I don’t think I’m going to be able to give up my hot breakfast for summer. 😀 Bookmark  Luscious Oatmeal and check it periodically. I will continue to revise it and add flavor combinations as I discover them. Recently added: pomegranate and cardamon, apricot and ginger, allspice and black cherry. Make breakfast not only fast, and easy, but natural, nutritious, and delicious! 😀

Luscious Oatmeal

Luscious Oatmeal with Chobani raspberry yogurt, topped with pecans and nutmeg!

Luscious Oatmeal with Chobani raspberry yogurt, topped with pecans and nutmeg!

I’m not a breakfast person, but this past year I’ve made an effort to eat something every morning for breakfast instead having tea then taking a mid-morning break to eat. My breakfast usually consists of yogurt (I love Chobani. They have so many flavors which taste great!) or a protein shake, either homemade or one of the Bolthouse Farms drinks. But cold weather has me craving warmth, so I started experimenting with oatmeal. Oatmeal became something I loved after eating it on cold mornings when camping in winter. It tastes like happiness, beautiful scenery and friendship. 🙂 So, my mind naturally turned to it for a warm breakfast. I married it to my recent yogurt habit with astonishing results. Though I haven’t tried it with all the flavors of Chobani yogurt it works good with a lot of them. The tricky part is cooking the oatmeal in the microwave. I have had adventures with this over the years. It’s not uncommon for me to end up with an oatmeal volcano overflowing in the microwave, so watch carefully with your finger hovering over the Stop button if you cook it in the microwave.  Microwaving seems to work better in shallow soup bowls with sloping sides than in something like the grab-it bowl pictured above. (What does this say about technology — or me — that I’ve had less mishaps cooking oatmeal on a camp stove than a microwave?) 😆

I use regular Quaker Oats cooked in water. The recipe below is for a single serving. Make adjustments as necessary for feeding a famished family.

  • 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Quaker Oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 handful pecan pieces
  • 1  5.3oz cup Chobani yogurt (apricot, peach, mango, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, black cherry, passionfruit, pomegranate)
  • sprinkle of nutmeg (or other spice, see below)

Note that the amount of oats is half what one serving would be. Cook the oatmeal according to directions on package. I use water for this and do it in the microwave. It takes 2-3 minutes. You can heat the pecans along with the oats and water, or sprinkle on top after adding the yogurt.

After the oatmeal is cooked, stir up the yogurt (fruit on the bottom) and stir it into the oatmeal. Stir in pecans if you haven’t already added them. Sprinkle a small amount of nutmeg on top (not as much as you would cinnamon, maybe not more than a pinch or two. I kind of overdid it in the picture above). Ahhhhh…..I really think the nutmeg is what puts this recipe over the top!

The yogurt will bring the temperature of the oatmeal from scalding hot to warm. If it’s not warm enough, zap it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until your preferred temperature is reached.

Options:

I have tried the flavors of Chobani yogurt listed above with oatmeal. These fruits all work well with the nutmeg. Some might also be good with cinnamon, but I’m partial to nutmeg in fruit dishes, so that’s what I tried first. Adding cinnamon to oatmeal (or fruit) is the more common choice, so this will give you alternative option. (Or go wild and add a pinch of both!)

Ginger is also a possibility: I’ve added a bit of ground ginger instead of nutmeg with the following Chobani yogurts: mango, peach, apricot, pineapple and passion fruit.

I’ve also discovered that cardamom is excellent with Chobani pomegranate and black cherry in oatmeal. Do NOT sprinkle the cardamom! I sprinkled waaaay too much when I first tried this. Next time I measured: 1/4 tsp ground cardamom is about right to my taste. You may prefer slightly less, but I’d hesitate to use more (unless you’re just a fiend for cardamom). 😉

Allspice is good with black cherry and strawberry, and raspberry but, as with the cardamon above, I only use a small amount.

Chinese five spice powder is good with black cherry. This mixture of spices may vary slightly depending on the brand. (I get mine from Penzys.)

This is a wonderful warm creamy breakfast. There are lots of options: fruit choices, spice choices, and you could probably swap out some other kind of nut (walnut? almond?) as well, so you can have something different every day. It’s all natural (Chobani yogurt has no preservatives), fast and easy, and it tastes positively decadent. 😀

Hair Of The Dog Brunch

I sometimes have friends over for brunch on New Year’s Day. I call it a “hair of the dog” brunch because in addition to having hot tea or coffee on offer I also make mimosas in champagne flutes with orange juice and leftover champagne. It’s a great way to finish off any open bottles from the night before or any bottles liberated from parties the night before. 😉

My current favorite sparkling wine for Mimosas is Barefoot’s Moscato Spumante. It’s sweet citrusy flavor make it the best OJ enhancer I’ve found so far.

The idea behind the brunch is to make it fast and easy, and invite just a few people who live close. Nobody wants to get up and drive across town just for breakfast if they’ve only had a few hours sleep. Likewise the cook may not be particularly sharp on New Year’s morning so what little prep there is should be done the day (or night) before.

The menu options from my past Hair of the Dog brunches go something like this:

Muffins or scones, baked the day before (or Every Day Muffins which can be popped into the oven at any time). Hot tea, cinnamon stick coffee, orange juice and sparkling wine for mimosas, Dog Party Eggs which are used for DIY taquitos with cheese and salsa. Friends often show up bearing baked goods, so between my various baked things and their various baked things, the only staple from year to year are the Dog Party Eggs and beverages.

On New Year’s Eve grate the cheese for the taquitos, saute the pepper, and bake any baked goods you want. (Or alternately, hit a bakery, keeping in mind that businesses close early on New Year’s Eve.)

Dog Party Eggs

6 eggs
1 chili pepper (poblano or Anaheim, depending on your preference and what’s available)
Chili oil (optional), otherwise cooking oil of your choice
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
Cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas
Your favorite salsa or hot sauce

These taquitos are sort of a Mexican-Indian fusion. I didn’t set out to create a fusion food; I just wanted something that didn’t look nasty after I converted it to be a vegetarian dish. The original recipe came in the cookbook which came with my first microwave, back in the late ’70s. I made it a few times on the weekend. It was not vegetarian. It had bacon and cream of chicken soup in it. Leaving out the bacon was no problem, but the obvious (to me) choice of cream of mushroom soup as a substitute for chicken was a bit problematic. It tasted fine, but it turned the eggs gray. 😦 (I’ve often thought of trying cream of potato soup, but without fail whenever I go to the store — any store– they’re out of cream of potato soup! There’s always a slot for it, but it’s never there!) Then one day I had an ephiphany; tumeric would restore the yellow to the eggs! Granted, it’s a mustard-yellow, but it looks good amd tastes great with the other spicy ingredients.

Saute the chile in cooking oil. For extra flavor try a flavored cooking oil, such as chili oil. Cool somewhat. Mix 1/2 can cream of mushroom soup, 6 eggs, and 1/2 tsp tumeric in a 1 1/2 qt casserole. Beat well with a fork until homogenous and well blended. Fold in the sauted chili pepper. Microwave 2.5 minutes. Stir, then microwave 2.5 minutes more. Stir. If the mixture isn’t done microwave for a bit longer, but be careful not to overcook the eggs! Your microwave may vary from mine so adjust cooking times accordingly. If you would like to double the recipe I’d recommend you mix up two batches and put the second one in after you’ve heated the tortillas. (I tried doubling the recipe and cooking in a bigger dish longer and wasn’t happy with the result.)

While the eggs are cooking, grate the cheese — if you didn’t do it the day before —and put a stack of flour tortillas between 2 plates (one upside down over the other). Pop these into the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them up.

Muffins, scones, coffee, hot tea, orange juice and mimosas can be on the table and distributed while the eggs cook. The taquitos are best with the egg dish hot and fresh from the microwave.

Shashuka

Shashuka (3 eggs)

Shashuka (3 eggs)

You can make this for breakfast, but I prefer it as an easy supper dish. Although known as a popular Middle Eastern dish, some sources indicate that it may have traveled from Turkey or around that area. You can vary the seasonings to give it the flavor of any part of the world you wish, however. This dish is a very, very simple concept. In its most basic form it’s essentially eggs + tomato sauce + spicy seasoning. At its most complicated it’s also got onions, garlic, and some type of pepper (bell, chili, etc.) and a complex blend of spices. Every recipe I’ve seen is different. Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever made it exactly the same way twice. It tends to be a last minute hasty supper when nothing else is planned and the cupboard is, if not bare, lacking ingredients for other things.

If you’ve got tomatoes or a couple of cans of tomato products, any spices on the shelf as long as there something hot and spicy among them, and eggs you can whip up some version of this. I may be taking some liberties calling this “Shashuka” considering some of the seasoning suggestions I’m going to make. I’ve also seen this called shirred or poached eggs in tomato sauce or spicy tomato sauce. If you use chili powder instead of other seasonings and serve with tortillas instead another flatbread such as pita, you can call it “Huevos Rancheros”. 😉

Here’s the way I made it most recently. 😀

5 eggs
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Turkish seasoning (I use a blend from Pendery’s)
1/2 tsp Hungarian hot paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbls dried minced onion
A dash of black pepper (optional)

Add a 14 oz can each of tomato sauce and of diced tomatoes to a large skillet. Stir in a small amount of cayenne, Hungarian hot paprika, or red pepper flakes, (I use Hungarian hot paprika), garlic powder, dried minced onion, and a bit of black pepper if you wish.

Simmer for a few minutes on medium heat then add the eggs, breaking them carefully on top of the sauce. Simmer, covered, on low heat. After eggs look to be fairly “set”, splash a bit of the sauce over the top, but otherwise do not stir. Cook until eggs are done.

As I said before…there are many ways to make this. For a more elaborate dish, saute onions, peppers & garlic in olive oil before adding the tomato products. Throw in a few other seasonings, if you want to give it a regional flavor, such as Middle Eastern, Turkish, Indian etc. If using any kind of pre-mixed store-bought seasoning, check to see if it has salt in it before even considering throwing in a bit of salt. Many seasoning mixes have salt added. (The Turkish seasoning I recently used does.)

Toad In A Hole

Toad In A Hole

Toad In A Hole

I started not to post this recipe, because everyone knows how to make it, right? Uh, well, no, I didn’t even know how to make it until several years ago! It’s fast and super simple. I usually make it as a fast breakfast or lunch for one. (Though, of course, you can make two; just use a much bigger pan.) If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you may know it by a different name: there are dozens of names for it. “Iggy in a blanket”, “Moses in a boat” and the list is seeming endless. The language podcast, A Way With Words, even did a segment on the myriad names, which got so many responses they did a follow-up segment. (Both links are short excerpts.) I like amphibians, so Toad In A Hole, is what it is to me. 🙂 I’d read mentions of it in books, but until several years ago when I was browsing a cookbook, none of the (fiction) books said how to make it.

I don’t do it quite like the cookbook said and there are probably many minute variations on how to do this, but the recipe is, essentially, egg and toast, so really, there’s a limit on how fussy you can be about technique and instructions. Here’s how I do it.

I put a generous amount of margarine in a non-stick pan. Turn the burner on medium-medium high. Then I cut, or tear, a hole in a slice of bread, approximately 2.5 inches in diameter. (I’ve got a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter, which I use to make rounds of anything I want round. LOL) What most people say to do is to spread both sides of the bread with margarine or butter, either before or after you cut the hole in it. I just lay the bread in the margarine and rub it in a bit and when the side is “buttered” I flip the bread over. (If it’s soaked up too much margarine you can always add more before the egg goes in.)

The egg has set.

The egg has set.

Then I crack an egg (I use Eggland’s Best) and gently drop it into the hole in the bread. The yolk may end up off center. (I’m not sure if this is a tendency of eggs or if my stove isn’t quite level.) If this bothers you, and you are really fast and patient, you can immediately (but gently) push the yolk toward the center with a finger and hold it there until the white has set just enough to hold it in place. I did this in order to get a good-looking picture for the post, but this is the only time my Toad In A Hole has ever not been lop-sided. 😉

Flipped it once.

Flipped it once.

Cook on one side until the egg is about half-cooked, according to how you like your eggs, then gently turn it over and cook the other side until it’s as done as you want. I can’t give you a time for this because there are too many variables: how hot your burner is, how firm or runny you want your eggs. It doesn’t take too long to cook. Traditionally, I think, the eggs are supposed to be runny. When you cut up the egg and toast into bites you can then sop up the yolk with the toasted bread. If you like your eggs cooked all the way through, no problem. Just cook them longer. You may have to turn them more than once and cook them longer on a slightly lower setting. It may take a few times before you get the timing down for your stove and heat. The main thing is that the bread should be toasted, but not burned. Salt and pepper as desired.

Toad In A Hole

Toad In A Hole

This is a very simple plain dish and rapidly became one of my go-to comfort foods. I usually cook the egg to the point where it isn’t runny. If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can sprinkle (or grate) parmesan or cheddar cheese over it. When I’m not using a my smallest skillet I also butter the little round of bread I’ve cut out, and toast it beside the egg, then put a small dollop of jam on it for a sweet finish to the light meal. And I typically have a pot of hot tea, too. 😀 I can’t explain why I find Toad In The Hole such a satisfying meal. Perhaps it’s the simplicity. Perhaps because it’s something that I do for myself, a small, single pleasure, rather than cooking for family or friends which is a different sort of pleasure. I only know that I wish someone had told me how to make it years before I finally stumbled onto a recipe. That’s why I wrote this post. Enjoy. 🙂

Boyfriend Pancakes

boyfriend pancakes

Just in time for Pancake Day (aka Shrove Tuesday), here’s my boyfriend’s recipe for pancakes.  I use the word recipe loosely here because, although I’m sure some of the ingredients are consistent with each making, I have never seen a measuring cup or spoon appear whilst these pancakes are being prepared.  Try the basic recipe once, and I’m sure you’ll find lots of ways to play around with this recipe and adjust it to your own taste.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour (stone ground buckwheat, whole wheat, or brown rice flour have all been used and I can attest to their suitability)

1-2 cups quick-cooking oats

5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda

5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder

Pinch of Herbamare (a sea salt, vegetable, herb, and spice blend)

Squirt of olive oil

Squirt of agave syrup

Juice of one lime

As much fresh or frozen berries and/or dried fruit as you like

One mashed banana (as egg replacement)

Almond, soy, or rice milk.

Sift the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and other dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add the mashed banana, lime juice, fruit, and milk, stirring to the consistency of a typical pancake batter.  Make sure your pan is hot before adding the batter.  The pancakes can be cooked in coconut oil or Earth Balance buttery spread.  Cook until brown on top and bottom.

NOTE:  If using frozen fruit, you may find the middle of the pancake takes longer to cook through even though the top and bottom has browned sufficiently.

Top with topping of your choice:  Earth Balance buttery spread, agave syrup, maple syrup, molasses, etc.

You can pretty much add what you like to this recipe.  Boyfriend has used the lime juice (or not), the olive oil (or not), and the coconut oil (or not).  All were terrific.  He’s also been known to add dry vanilla rooibos tea for extra flavour.  Anything goes.