Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gingerbread Pancakes...for the love of spice!

Today is Saint Nicholas Day!!! As long as I can remember my family has always celebrated this feast day. Traditionally you are to leave your left shoe outside your door so when Saint Nicholas stops by he will fill your shoe with either treats or coal. I come from a very large extended family, and my mom has always sent decorated treat bags full of something to all our relatives and friends. Quite a task, and I am impressed that she has continued to do it even though the family has grown so large...not as in gaining weight, but as in many bodies. Although Saint Nicholas is from Myra, also known as modern day Turkey, many other countries celebrate his Feast day. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of Sailors, merchants...ironically, archers, children, and students.

Traditionally "Speculaas" cookies are served on Saint Nicholas day. These are Dutch spice cookies very similar to a ginger snap. I have made these cookies and they are very good, but I didn't have the time to make them this year. Instead I opted to make a different spice filled item...Gingerbread pancakes. I liked them so much that I had them for dinner and dessert one day, and then used the rest of the batter to make some more in the morning. I was surprised to find that I much preferred the taste of the pancakes that I made for breakfast after the batter had been in the fridge overnight. The flavors and spices had a chance to really meld together and the result was a rich spicy pancake. I looked at a few recipes for inspiration and then added and changed some things. I really like deep, rich, molasses filled things when it comes to anything spice in cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc...
Gingerbread Pancakes

SIFT together in small bowl:

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves

Whisk together in medium bowl:
4 TBS molasses
3 TBS agave,honey, or brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, or sour cream
2 TBS melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry into wet ingredients until combined. Pour onto hot buttered griddle. Wait until bubbles form on surface before flipping. Serve with warm maple syrup...or with warm maple pecan syrup...which is just maple syrup heated up with some butter and then add chopped pecans to good.

*If you like a spicier pancake add 1 tsp fresh ginger chopped really small.
*You can make the batter the night before and store it in the fridge...easy breakfast!
*I added chocolate chips to some of the batter...also tres awesome!
*This recipe should make enough pancakes for 3-4 all depends on what size the pancakes are and what size the people are : )
*Contrary to popular belief pancakes are not just a breakfast food...If I have my own family one day I plan on having pancake Wednesdays...we will have pancakes every Wednesday for cool am I? : )

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to find a recipe...

It is snowing here in Texas. I must not be a true Texan because I am not freaking out over a few snowflakes. I am however craving tomato soup. I used to hate tomato soup, but then I had Panera's tomato soup and it was love at first bite. That will be my food project for the weekend - finding and making a yummy tomato soup. Usually when I decide I want to make something I search online for a recipe. Here are the websites I use and pull recipes from...

And of course check the food blogs that I follow...Smitten Kitchen, Eat Make Read, etc...

I used to check the food network website regularly, but wasn't having too much luck with those recipes. I do like the Barefoot Contessa recipes, Michael Charillo, and Alton Brown.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maple Pecan Pie

One holiday down...three to go. I usually gage how good my Thanksgiving was by how tight my jeans are the next day. I was able to zip them up the day after, but then after we spent the next day eating the leftovers I opted for my sweat pants instead. When we travel for Thanksgiving I usually don't contribute too much to the meal. This year I made a bunch of pies, but nothing else. My favorite out of the 6 pies we made was the maple syrup pecan pie. Most pecan pies call for corn syrup, but I really wanted to avoid that if at all possible. The result was nice...sweet...and delicious. This pie will be making more appearances at our house. I recently quit my office job and am now working full time at a bakery, so...this will hopefully free up some of my time and I can test more recipes. My next venture is sweet potato bread pudding which should be served as a breakfast item with maple syrup...can't wait to make it!!

Here is the link for the maple pecan pie, thank you Williams and Sonoma!

My winter bird cake...isn't it cute? : )