Pancake Secrets

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I like making pancakes from scratch. Like popcorn, they remind me of blank food canvases. A few years ago I was gifted the cookbook, “CakeLove In the Morning” by Warren Brown. Everytime I open it up I add a little something different to the batter to make it more interesting.

This morning we added vanilla and cinnamon, along with chocolate chips and bananas.

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Ingredients:
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Lemon juice
1 Egg
1 C. All purpose flour
3 Tbs. Sugar
21/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1tsp. Vanilla extract
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 banana sliced
1/8 C. Chocolate chips

Directions
1. Mix lemon juice and milk in a glass measuring cup, let sit for 5 min. After 5 min add egg and vanilla. Mix together, breaking yoke.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix remaining ingredients together.
3. Add liquid to liquid ingredients to dry, mix together – but don’t over mix. Allow to sit for 5 minutes while griddle warms up.
4. Make pancakes as you normally would, on a griddle.

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Chai Spiced Panna Cotta

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Easter has come and gone. There was no Easter Bunny, there was no basket packed to the brim with sugar. There was simply a day of relaxation. We hid eggs a few times, went for a sunny stroll and watched a, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, marathon on Netflix. I sort of questioned whether I had cheated my way out of doing some sort of parental holiday duty by not making a big deal out of the Easter Bunny, but something inside me just didn’t push it. Instead there was excitement over dying copious amounts of eggs (4 dozen, not kidding) and hiding them. That seemed like all she really wanted, and that was ok with me. I’ll let her decide what/who really exists. At the moment, Santa does and that’s it. And Santa…well he didn’t come because there wasn’t a note made in advance…

Sheesh. Enough of that, make some Chai Spiced Panna Cotta and enjoy the moments.

Ingredients:
1 packet gelatin
3 Tbs. Cold water
2 C. Heavy Cream (or 1 Cup whole milk, 1 Cup cream)
1/4 C. Sugar
A pinch of salt
1/4tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground Clove
1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/8 tsp. Ground Cardamom

In a bowl, whisk gelatin and water. Let sit 5-10 minutes, to bloom the gelatin.

In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients, whisk until mixture begins to simmer but not boil. Turn off heat, add gelatin to pan, whisk together to incorporate for a few minutes and then divide into bowls. This mixture fills 5 ramekins with about 1/2 C. of custard. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Gem Lake

Last weekend we went off in search of adventure. We found ourselves on the Gem Lake Trail. It was a great hike, that had families exploring as well. I am looking forward to taking my cupkeiki there once the weather higher up gets a little warmer.

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Gem Lake was still frozen most the way through, but the trail heading up was pretty much dry (save for a few shaded areas).

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We saw this dirt drawing, but not the person, or people who drew it.

Saturday

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My favorite local spot to treat myself is, The Little Bird Bakeshop in Old Town Fort Collins. From their addictive homemade Oreo cookies to my personal favorite dish, the Croque Monsieur, everything brings about comfort and savor.

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Almost Woodstock Dressing.

There are a lot of great dressings out there like Goddess, Papaya Seed………Woodstock. Annie’s Woodstock. A delectable blend of Tahini, Sun-dried Tomato, Soy Sauce, Lemon, Vinegar…. You get it, there’s a lot happening in the bottle.

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I scoured the internet looking for a recipe for Woodstock-esqueness, and while I came across a few posts that got exciting reviews and shares, I decided to venture out on my own. This doesn’t taste¬†exactly¬†like the bottle, but I’m ok with that, because I heard the comment “maybe even better than…” at the dinner table and that was all I needed for it to be a success!

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Ingredients:
1 clove garlic
2 tsp. Green onion
1/8 C. Sun Dried Tomato (I used oil packed because…well, it was what Costco had)
1/2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast
1Tbs Lemon juice
2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 C. Canola Oil
1/4 C. Tahini (sesame butter)
1Tbs. +1tsp. Soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tsp. Sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C. Water

I placed everything in a large glass measuring cup, and blended with an immersion blender until creamy. You may have to adjust water (if it’s too thick) or seasoning based on personal preference. I used a balloon whisk before serving, just for good creaminess measure. Store in a jar or squeeze bottle in the fridge. My immulsion broke, as you can maybe see in the photo, but it still tastes *almost* like the real thing.

Spring is for Salads

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Winter is a strange food season. If you’re like me, you want to cook light dishes, but the coldness makes comforting, savory foods more desirable. Then spring comes, and the flood gates open and all those light summery dishes come back into rotation. Yes, I love spring (but summer more).

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Last night I wanted a salad that complemented burritos. I love making salads, they are like blank canvases just waiting to be created upon. I decided to try for a more “mexican” style dressing to start. Sometimes the dressing comes first, then the rest. I made up a Cilantro, Lime and Mango dressing that took less than 10 minutes to prepare. It turned out tasty, and exciting (I’d never made it so I had no idea what to expect). I added the dressing to a salad of mixed spring greens, strawberries and cashews. It was then served next to chicken burritos (having a white enchilada sauce, avocado, cheese and cilatro) and black beans with chicos on top. *For the record, I LOVE chicos, so now I have to plan another trip to Santa Fe so I can buy all the bags of chicos I come across. For real.*

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My ingredients for this dressing are:
1/4 C. Fresh Lime Juice
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/2 C. Fresh or Frozen Mango
1/4 C. Chopped Cilantro
1 Tbs. Sugar
A pinch, or two, of salt
*adjust ingredients to your taste*

I placed everything in a glass measuring up, and using an immersion blender, blended to a smooth consistency. Stores in the fridge for a week or so…if it lasts that long.

I think this dressing could accompany a great many other dishes using fish, chicken or even steak!!
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chicken burrito (with fixin’s) and black beans and Chicos on the side!!

Oh, and one last thing…
I really love these uncooked flour tortillas from Costco…they are so good!!
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