Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kale Salad

You know its a good day when this is your lunch!
A few months back, I met a lady named Princess.  I like this lady's mama; she had no qualms letting the world know that her daughter would be a complete diva!  To be fair, Princess is not a diva in the Kim Kardashian sense of the word, but she is confident and very funny, and we share a mutual love of food.

Our first conversation was about kale.  She and I had both recently converted to kale, and I mentioned that my favorite method to consume kale was in a kale salad, and she said, "Uh uh... kale is just too chewy for a salad."

I worked her through my recipe for delicious kale, but she seemed unconvinced.  However, last Sunday in church (the service had already started), I felt a tug on my arm. "I had kale salad," she whispered, "it was good." Double thumbs up.

Unlike most people who grew up attending church, I never mastered the just loud enough whisper, so I gave an awkward smile and returned the double thumbs up.

Apparently my attempt to communicate my happiness was not sufficient because after the service, Princess sought me out, and said again, "Did you know that now I really love Kale salad.  I've eaten it every day this week.  I used your recipe!"

"Yeah, you told me about thirty minutes ago.  That's awesome! I'm glad to have a kale salad buddy."

"Okay, I thought you might be mad because your face looked all scrunchy when I told you."

...Awkward pause...

"So, frisbee tonight?"

Now, while I tell you about this kale salad, I want you to not picture my face.  Because I think if you do that, you will be more likely to try it, and you will not regret the decision to eat more kale.

The kale is crisp and cool, and covered in a tangy, sweet coleslaw dressing.  Then the salad is piled high with sweet crunchy goodies like cucumbers and apples, and little tart but chewy bits of craisins and raisins.  Finally the whole thing is topped with zingy red onions and a generous crumble of feta cheese. And since I made it a meal, I threw on a little bit of shredded chicken which launched the whole thing past the outer atmosphere of healthy delicious and into zero gravity delicious.

How can you resist it?  You cannot, and you should not because you will feel great eating this.  I can feel my skin getting clearer already.

What's that stop talking and just give me the recipe? Okay, but first, a picture of Littlest who preferred playing with the garden hose to eating even a single element of this salad.

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Kale Salad
A delicious and healthy entree salad that is loaded with all kinds of salad goodies.
  • 1/4 cup Mayo
  • 2 Teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 cups Kale- washed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Apple- Diced
  • 1/2 Cucumber- Thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion- Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Raisins
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Craisins
  • 4 Tablespoons Feta Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded Chicken
1. Whisk together mayo, vinegar and sugar2. Toss dressing and kale3. Add the other ingredients and eat immediately
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Servings
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mexican Cucumber Salad

A refreshing salad with a hint of heat.
Do you know what was trendy when I was in college? Water bottles (#WatBot). We were all trying to save the Earth one refill at a time.  And the fact that I lost about fifteen water bottles over the course of four years? A small price to pay for a more sustainable future... I guess.

These days, I just drink my water straight from a glass (or if I'm in the mood for snazzy water I add cucumber, lemon, and basil to a pitcher that I keep in the fridge), and every time I take a sip of water, I feel downright self righteous about the whole thing.  I'm improving my health, I'm not causing the Earth any harm, my skin is glowing, and everything is right with the world.

Now, what if you could take that water drinking feeling and apply it to food?  Enter this cucumber salad.  Of course, eating salad is a great way to serve penance for your food sins, but that's not what this salad is about.  Nor is about shoving as many antioxidants into your mouth as possible (that's what a chia-acai-blueberry-coffee smoothie is for).  Moreover, its not even about paleo one-upmanship.  This is just a refreshing, feel good salad.

The salad is nothing more than thinly sliced cucumbers that are lightly pickled in lemon juice and salt, tossed with a little olive oil, some cilantro, a touch of sugar for sweetness, and jalapenos and red pepper flakes for spice.  It's simple, and its delicious, the perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy for a late spring day.

The inspiration for this salad came from the Food Charlatan, and I loved her version. However, I felt that the salad needed just a little bit of sweetness, and I actually preferred the lemon over the lime (I discovered the lemon on accident because the Limes at the grocery store felt like little golf balls, so I purchased luscious, ripe, aromatic lemons instead).

This salad keeps for at least three days in the fridge (it might keep for longer since its basically pickles, but I wouldn't know since we eat it pretty quickly after making it), and for maximum deliciousness I do recommend letting it do its marinating thing in the fridge for a few hours.

With cucumbers selling for about a nickel a piece, I've been making a ton of this salad and eating it as an after run snack.  It sort of feels like edible hydration, and I love it.  Make it today! It's so easy and all the ingredients are normal, so you won't even have to run to the store (unless you have no cucumbers, then you have to wait to make it.)

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Mexican Cucumber Salad
A refreshing salad with a hint of spice.
  • 2 Cucumbers- Very Thinly sliced (these should be bendable)
  • 1 Lemon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 Jalapenos- Finely Diced
  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro
1. Whisk lemon juice, salt, olive oil and sugar. Add finely minced garlic if desired.2. Coat cucumbers, jalapenos and cilantro in the dressing then cover bowl3. Allow salad to marinate at least three hours before serving
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 Servings
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

The Greek economy is still in the tank, but their food (and ancient philosophers) are still as delicious as ever!
It's salad week here on Crowdsource My Dinner! Yes, that's right, a whole week devoted to that summertime classic, the salad.

Of course, some people have really nailed that healthy eating thing, and they eat salads year round (complete with pomegranate seeds in the winter).  For me, salads are a summertime/ when I am visiting my mom kind of thing, and here in North Carolina we cracked 80 degrees on the thermometer so summer has officially started!  In the summer, produce is not only abundant, it tastes much better than it does at other times in the year, so its a perfect time to shove antioxidants into your belly.

The inaugural salad for salad week is this refreshing yet substantial Mediterranean pasta salad. I love Greek food (evidenced by the Pita bread, Tabouli, and Gyros recipes), but its not a flavor profile that I have a ton of experience creating.  This pasta salad was an easy way for me to experiment with the elements of Greek food that I love without worrying that my technique wasn't exactly perfect.  And I loaded the salad with meat because that's really the only way to make a pasta dish filling.

When I was a kid, my dad would eat my mom's chicken pasta salad with a large serving spoon because he felt it was the only way it would fill him up.  Being my father's daughter, I am always skeptical when someone mentions a "filling salad."  As a result, I will make no such claims here, but I will mention that after eating this, I did not eat again for six hours, and I did not even cry about it one time.

I will, however, claim that this salad is delicious.  The chicken is bursting with flavor, and the flavors of the Mediterranean are vibrant enough to wake up any tired palate.  I loved incorporating the different and alliterative vegetables into this meal: crisp Kale, crunchy cucumbers, robust roasted red (peppers), oily olives, odiferous onions, aromatic artichokes and perfect pasta.

In all seriousness, pasta salad is a great way to enjoy the vibrant flavors of Greece.  I made sure to use a wide variety of vegetables to be sure that the salad had sweet, briny, crunchy and potent elements.  The result was flavorful juicy roasted chicken paired with al dente farfalle tossed in a citrus vinagrette and then married with the medley of vegetable flavors.  What could be better on a summer afternoon?

Maybe it's not quite summer where you live.  Well, you can feel free to enjoy this anyhow, because this little guy will bring you a little bit of sunshine.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad
The vibrant flavors of Greece in a pasta salad. Adding feta cheese would be a wonderful addition.
  • 1 Pound Farfalle Pasta- Cooked Al Dente
  • 1.5 Cups Shredded Chicken Breast
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion- Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper- Sliced
  • 6 Ounces Black Olives- Sliced
  • 2 Ounces Marinated Artichokes- Sliced
  • 1/2 Cucumber- Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 Cup Kale
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lemon Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cloves Pressed Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
1. Cook and cool pasta. Add a bit of olive oil to prevent it from becoming sticky.2. In a small frying pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add chicken and spices. Cook until chicken is heated through.3. Whisk together Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sugar to create a dressing.4. Toss pasta, chicken and dressing in a large salad bowl5. Add all vegetables to the top of the salad and gently stir them in. Try really hard to keep all the olives from not dropping to the bottom of the bowl.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bahn Mi- Take One

Bahn Mi- The most delicious sandwich of all time.
When the Mad Scientist and I were first married we lived just three blocks away from a part of Minneapolis known as Eat Street.  As the name suggests, the street is filled with restaurants for every ethnicity and every budget, and with the fierce competition only the best survive.

Prior to our marriage, the Mad Scientist lived off of Eat Street for nearly four years and never eaten at even one of the restaurants (such is the addictive nature of Jack's Frozen Pizza). Being a good wife, I sought to change this truly detrimental behavior by suggesting insisting that he take me out to dinner on eat street.

Of course, to make it seem like I wasn't actually trying to change him (since all the books and our premarital counselor said don't try to change him), the first time he finally capitulated to my incessant requests, I told him, "You can pick the restaurant, but a friend from work said that Quang's is really delcious."

At first he hesitated, not knowing Vietnamese food very well, but the low price points and ample parking (by ample, I mean we walked) got him in the door the first time, and the Bahn mi and Spring Rolls converted him.

After that first trip to Quang's, whenever I failed to have a dinner plan, the Mad Scientist was quick to suggest Quang's, and who was I too disagree.  My plan to eat at every restaurant on Eat Street was foiled but it was soon replaced by a desire to eat every item on the menu at Quang's (I failed at that too, since there are hundreds of items on the menu and I could not get enough of that Bahn Mi).

Now that we live in Raleigh, I'm not really sure where all the Vietnamese people live, ergo, I'm unsure where I am to get good Bahn Mi.  This picture is one of my attempts to recreate it, but the flavors are not good enough to be released yet.

The key components to a delicious Bahn Mi include a baguette, meat (or pate) that is absolutely exploding with flavor, mayo (bonus for homemade or flavored), cilantro, and pickled veggies.

So far, I've got the pickled veggies, cilantro, and mayo figured out.  I've been pretty dissatisfied with my meat attempts so far (my sweet lemon ginger chicken is a little too sweet for this, and backing off on the sugar throws the flavors out of balance), and my baguettes (using this recipe) are still hit or miss (as you can tell from the picture above, they were a big miss on the day I made these, so I resorted to hot dog buns).

Yes, I've got a ways to go, but my hope is that more food blog surfing will yield just the right recipes for a killer Bahn Mi.  Stay tuned for a great recipe at some point in the future.

And as a reward for reading this, here's a picture of Littlest and I at a nearby lake on Easter Sunday.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Semi-homemade Ramen Soup

When you make the broth yourself, Ramen is still delicious, and it won't kill you!
Do you ever have a crystal clear partial memory?  Where you remember a certain detail vividly and you remember exactly 0% of the context?  That happens to me a lot.  I have no idea why my brain latches on to certain minutia, but it does, and today you will get learn about a detail that I remember from seven years ago.

I was in my Freshman Residence Hall, but in the basement.  I smelled something funny (this is not unusual since it was a male hall with no natural ventilation) and I followed my nose to an athlete whose name/sport I never knew, and I told him "Your room smells atrocious." 

He looked at me and said, "I made ramen with Gatorade for the carbs and electrolytes, but it was gross, so I poured it down the sink."

I glanced into his sink from across the room, saw a pile of ramen noodles and some yellowish residue (probably the gatorade powder).

That's the end of my memory, but this incident had such a profound effect on me that I did not eat ramen for my entire college career. Why would you put Gatorade powder in your Ramen, are you really that desperate for electrolytes, or just dumb?

After college, I didn't eat Ramen either because I became independently wealthy and can afford to spend more than $.12 per meal.

However, a few weeks back I saw this blog post from Buttered Side Up, and I was inspired to give Homemade Ramen a try. The soup has to be called Semi-homemade because I didn't make the noodles, I don't think I would ever attempt that sort of thing.  I was hoping to be fancy and use soba noodles, but Food Lion and Aldi don't carry those things, so plain ramen it was.

Now, you can eat Ramen any way you please, but if you don't want to kill yourself, repeat this mantra, "I will throw away the seasoning packet."

The reason that this Ramen Soup is so flavorful and delicious is that I substitute high quality homemade chicken broth for MSG.  The components of this soup are extremely easy, chicken broth (spiked with fish sauce), vegetables, chicken (in Penzey's Sate Seasoning) and boiled eggs, but the flavor will blow you away. Combining both chicken broth and fish sauce makes this almost a mock pho (not quite that deep of a flavor, but close), and I wish I would have had jalapenos, thai basil, and bean sprouts to throw in.  Almost any broth would work, and I hope to make this again soon with a pork based broth.

Typically when I eat broth based soups, I think, "Good appetizer, where's dinner?" But this soup is so full of goodies (and protein) that it actually filled me up. Going forward, I won't think of this a soup but as warm hug for my belly. It's the perfect antidote to spring rain, and almost delicious enough to make me forget about Gatorade Ramen... almost.

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Semi-homemade Ramen Soup
This ramen soup is a delicious way to get your noodle fix, and as a bonus, it won't kill you :)
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 White onion thinly sliced
  • 3 Stalks Celery julienned
  • 2 Carrot juilenned
  • Chicken Thighs diced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Penzey's Sate Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Kale sliced into bite size pieces, stalks removed
  • 2 Packages Ramen Noodles
  • 3 (or 6) Boiled Eggs
  • 1/8 bunch Cilantro
1.Add chicken broth, fish sauce, sriracha, celery, carrots and onion to a pot with plenty of extra room. Bring pot to a slow boil. If you haven't boiled your eggs yet, you can actually do it in this pot if you want.2. Cover chicken in seasoning then heat olive oil in a large frying pan and cook chicken over high heat until chicken is completely cooked (5-7 minutes)3. When the chicken is done cooking, add ramen noodles and kale to your broth and allow broth to continue to boil for 3 minutes.4. Serve ramen in a bowl and top with chicken, boiled eggs and cilantro.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 Servings
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Coconut Fish Curry

A fish curry, loaded with deliciously crisp vegetables, flavored with a coconut green curry broth
Sweet, aromatic and delicate: three words I never associated with fish. Then I made fish curry.
Are you ready for green curry in a hurry? 

About 90% of the time when I am rushing to get dinner on the table, I make some sort of  stir fry. It's delicious, healthy, filling and has endless variations.  I used to think of stir fry as a soy sauce only deal until I read Well Fed, A Paleo Cookbook for People who Love to Eat (link to the author's blog here).  In this book, Melissa Joulwan pretty much blows the lid off of traditional stir fries and quick dinners and creates delicious recipes that made me look at the pictures and say "Get in my Mouf."

Melissa is a hard core paleo eater (no grains, legumes or dairy), and I'm not; however, I still love learning from her.  One of her favorite flavor tricks are coconut milk and fish sauce. This coconut fish curry sauce is a delicious paleo approved version of Thai Green Curry.

Before I started working on this recipe, I was a little worried that fish would not work with coconut milk, but I was so wrong.  The brininess of the fish actually enhances the sweet decadence of the coconut milk and the two primary components have a truly addictive flavor that you can whip up in just 15 minutes.  Nothing will make you feel more virtuous about your healthy eating than consuming a bowl of veggies swimming in omega three fatty acids (double win on the fish and coconut milk).  You might even get inspired to start that cross-fit workout you've been meaning to try (or not).

Like the Thai Red Curry, this curry sauce uses curry paste (Green this time), coconut milk and fish sauce, but you can change up the vegetables to suit what you have on hand.  I've actually done a similar curry using acorn squash so even if you have your doubts about a certain veggie, give it a try. The big technique when it comes to curry or stir fry is to start with the hearty vegetables (Squash, root veggies, cruciferous vegetables) and leave delicate vegetables (leafy greens, snap peas, etc.) to the end.

I promise that you will love this recipe.  At least this guy did!

Littlest playing with a paint rolling stick.  It's one of his top activities these days.

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Coconut Fish Curry
This green coconut curry is the perfect meal to make when you are in a hurry. Its especially quick if you can prep the veggies ahead of time.
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Green Curry Paste
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Pressed or Minced
  • 1/2 White Onion diced
  • 3 Whole Carrots Carrots thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Crowns Broccoli diced
  • 2-3 Vegetables Zucchini thinly sliced
  • 4 Tilapia Filets cut into chunks
  • 1 Can Coconut milk
  • Small Handful Cilantro
1. In a large skillet heat olive oil then add garlic, onion, green curry paste and fish sauce. Heat for 1-2 minutes2. Add all vegetables (unless you are using delicate vegetables then reserve those for the end) and heat for 5-7 minutes.3. Add Tilapia and heat for 3-4 minutes (until mostly cooked)4. Add coconut milk and delicate vegetables and keep on heat until coconut milk is quite warm and addictive.5. Serve with cilantro and lime.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pork and Black Bean Empanadas

Empanadas: fried pockets of love!
I think empanada is a fun word, and I recently found myself whispering empanada as I was creating analysis for my day job.  I don't know why, perhaps its that these empanadas are so crave-worthy that I was willing them into existance, but more likely it was reflexive.  The same way that Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf says, "Francisco, that's a fun name! Fran-cis-co... Francisco!"

Empanadas are a fun word and fun food.  I associate empanadas with fair food because my abuela does not make Mexican food (cheesy potatoes, yes: Tex-Mex, no), but it turns out that even this gringa can make a pretty mean empanada.

I was inspired to make empanadas from the recipe on the bag of corn flour that I got from Aldi (I am linking to Aldi so that you can go to their website and become inspired to become Aldi lovers like me and my Sister in Law).

You may be able to tell from picture that I didn't have the best luck shaping these decadent bundles of joy.  I will again blame that on not having an abuela to to teach me how to handle corn dough.  Even with the odd shape, I managed to get the proportion of dough to filling right, and I strongly recommend giving these a try, and once the fried aroma hits your nostrils there's little chance that you will be able to resist.

The dough is flaky like a corn flavored pie crust and it encases a juicy, succulent filling of pulled pork, fried potatoes and black beans.  As the crust crumbles in your mouth, the heavenly flavor of fatty, briny, porky goodness bursts onto the scene, accented by the subdued spiciness of the black beans and the crisp yet creamy combination that only fried potatoes can bring.

Is it too late for me to whip up a batch right now? My head says yes, but heart says I can't handle a heart attack, so also yes.

Frying food is not exactly the healthiest life choice, nor is it the cleanest one, so I don't do a lot of it.  I will suggest that keeping the oil hot enough to fry the food, but cool enough to keep it from scorching is key.  Unfortunately, the only number I can give you for that temperature is between 3 and 5 on my stove.

I served these with cilantro, sour cream, salsa and peas.  Peas sound out of place, but they are common in Indian cuisine and Indian and Mexican food share a lot of common ingredients so it works.

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Pork and Black Bean Empanadas
These empanadas are perfect for increasing the fun (and delicious) factor in your kitchen.
  • 2 Cups Corn Flour
  • 1.25 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Unseasoned Black Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Pulled Pork
  • 1 Potato Cubed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Seasoning Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1. Mix corn flour, water and salt to form a dough2. Roll out about 1/3 of dough to somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.3. Using a shape tracer (I used the lid from a mayo jar), cut out 5-6 dough circles and set aside4. Repeat with the rest of dough.5. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil (about 2 Tablespoons) in a large skillet and add potato and all spices. Fry potatoes on medium-high heat for about ten minutes.6. Add black beans and pork to potatoes and heat thoroughly.7. Place one very large spoonful of filling in the center of a dough cutout then add a second dough cutout on top.8. Use your fingers to create a seal around the filling.9. Repeat for all 8 empanadas.10. Heat remaining vegetable oil in a skillet with a lid.11. Fry empanadas about three at a time for two minutes on each side.12. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 Empanadas (3-4 servings)
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Letter To Littlest: 9 Months

Dear Kenny,

It's such a joy to be your mama.  I don't think I will ever be able to explain how my heart fills to overflowing when I think about who you are as a person and how you have forever changed mine and Daddy's lives.

This month (9 Months old) was a big one for you. You started eating with a ferocious appetite and will no longer drink milk from a bottle.  I guess you think you are a little man.  You also started crawling which was wildly unpredictable (I thought you would never crawl and would go straight to walking).

Due to your new found mobility, you have a whole new range of hobbies.  Your favorite things include crawling into the curtains to play Peek A Boo, picking up the bamboo rods that we never put away after painting our house, touching electrical outlets, and pulling books off the bookshelf.  You still love to play Peek A Boo from under a blanket, and you don't stop giggling when daddy spins you around or throws you in the air.

You love the sound of your own voice, and you are constantly yelling although its pretty clear that you don't know any words (well you might know "Mama" and "Dada".  When you get upset you tend to gravitate towards saying "Mamamamama" instead of "Dadadadada" which is what you say when you are happy).  

Your smile absolutely melts my heart.

Every day, when you come home from daycare, you whimper until I take you out of your car seat so you can nurse and then cuddle with me.  You are not a very cuddly baby; you are far too wiggly for that, but that does not stop me from trying.  At least when I ask you for kisses, you oblige (and by oblige I mean that you lick my cheek or bite my chin).

Your great grampa Burt died this month, so we went to Minnesota for the memorial service. You never got the chance to meet Great Grandpa Burt, but you did get to meet his wife, your great Grandma Ruth.  You also got to spend time with your yet to be born cousin Bean Sprout, Auntie Em, Uncle Caleb, Grandma Barb and Grandpa Charlie.  Grandpa Charlie thinks you are so smart, but he is a little bit biased.

On my side of the family, you spent time with Uncle Sam and his new girlfriend (you liked her more than Sam), Uncle Spencer, Nana and Grandpa Tim.

Everyone, loved playing games with you, holding you, and trying to get you to cuddle, and you had smiles and laughs for everyone.  Your smiles were especially great for the Flight Attendants who gladly allowed us to sit in the seat with extra leg room because you are so dang cute.

Daddy and I pray for you every day.  We pray that you will treasure God above everything else, and that you will grow up to be a man who is filled with integrity, love, and wisdom.  Even though this is our aim as parents, I am always a little sad to know that you are going to stop being my Littlest one day.

Daddy and I love you so much in all the world!


PS I almost forgot, you sleep with your butt in the air now.  Its precious.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Corn Flour Pancakes

Corn Flour Pancakes covered in a ridiculously delicious sour cream glaze!
When it comes to breakfast fare, I tend to skew towards proteins.  And by proteins, I only mean eggs.  I love egg bake, egg quesadillas, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, really any eggs are right in my wheelhouse.  

But really, sometimes a girl needs to eat cake for breakfast. Enter pancakes.

Pancakes have absolutely no nutritional value, but they are good for the soul (and your relationship if your husband craves carbs in the morning).

The Mad Scientist (and Littlest) loves pancakes, and an interesting relational tidbit is this: The Mad Scientist nearly proposed to me on the same night that he first tasted my homemade pancakes (please remember, correlation does not prove causation).

A few weeks back pancakes were ruling the day on my news feed. I eagerly hopped on the fancy pancake wagon only to find out later that the abundance of pancakes were remnants of Fat Tuesday and I was supposed to be off of pancakes for Lent.

Well, Lent is almost over, and to be honest I was not fasting but when you do break your fast, put these bad boys on the menu.  

The corn flour adds a heartier texture while maintaining the light and fluffy characteristics that I demand in a pancake.  While the flavor hints of corn tortillas, the added sweetness from the sugar (and importantly that sour cream glaze) puts these hot cakes more in the realm of sweetened corn bread than tortillas.

Now let's talk for a minute about this sour cream glaze.  Amazing! Sweet, Tangy, Savory and absolutely perfect with these pancakes.  Maple Syrup might be good on these pancakes but I don't like maple syrup, so I don't actually know. This glaze though, is the crowning jewel on the pancakes proverbial head.

The inspiration for the glaze came from the fact that the pancake batter reminded me of corn tortillas, and I was inspired to make pancake tacos.  This glaze was my riff on sour cream, but when it was complete, I realized we had no bacon, and I really wasn't in the mood for making a sweet salsa after all (although cranberry salsa was briefly considered).  If you do happen to roll some bacon into these pancakes, I don't think you will be dissappointed; you know what they say. Bacon is delicious.


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Corn Flour Pancakes
The perfect heartier pancake. A delicious spin on a favorite breakfast classic.
  • 1.5 Cups Corn Flour
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1-2 Cups depending on batter consistency (I used 2 cups) Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Vanilla
1. Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add egg, vanilla and one cup of milk3. Mix ingredients and continue to add milk until batter is thin enough to pour but thick enough to cling to a spoon.4. Pour pancake batter onto a hot griddle. Flip pancakes when the bubbles that form on the surface of the pancake are popped.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings

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Sour Cream Glaze
This is the perfect topping for the best ever Corn Flour Pancakes.
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  • approx 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1. Combine all ingredients, but don't add all the sugar. 2. After thoroughly mixing, taste and add more sugar to suit your tastes. I really liked the 3 to 1 ratio of Sour Cream to sugar, but many people prefer more or less.3. Serve on top of warm pancakes (keeps for a week in the fridge)
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Generous Servings
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