Friday, December 11, 2009

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

So something I've never been very good at is pancakes...maybe because pancakes didn't exist when I was growing up in the Ukraine. There were crepes and then there were pancake like things called "oladie" that are a whole lot like a pancake but smaller and less doughy. So now this recipe, while a traditional pancake recipe is made like a cross between "oladie" and pancakes...

(adapted from Joy of Cooking, All About Breakfast & Brunch)
preheat oven to 200-250 degrees (to warm completed cakes) and preheat your griddle

whisk together in a large bowl:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground... now here is where I deviate, last time I made these, the cornmeal left little lumpy bits in the batter...yucky, so this time I just used 1 1/2 cups of flour and had to adjust the buttermilk accordingly, but we'll get to that
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

whisk together in another bowl:
1 1/4 cups buttermilk...okay so probably due to the extra flour my recipe needed more buttermilk, I guesstimated but I would say probably about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups alltogether
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest...and again
I deviate, I was saving my lemon zest for the Cranberry Scones (coming soon) so I instead used orange zest and probably a bit more than the recipe called for

pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk together gently, mixing until just combined

whisk in yet another bowl
2 large egg whites, beat until peaks are stiff but not dry...this is crucial to the fluffiness of the pancakes, whip it, whip it good! and then gently fold into the batter

last but not least fold in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

spoon 1/3 cup batter (again I like to use less, like maybe a 1/4 cup) onto a griddle or a good ole fashioned pan, cook until top of each pancake has some popping bubbles, then flip and cook until underside is lightly browned

keep warm in a 200/250 degree oven while you finish whipping up the rest


Friday, December 4, 2009

baby bump week by week

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leftover Pumpkin

And if you've made some black bean pumpkin soup you might be wondering what to do with your leftover back to Smitten Kitchen you will go to find another pumpkin recipe!

Here is my revision of this recipe:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon-
1 teaspoon ground ginger- I'm pretty sure I doubled this by accident, and it was still tasty!
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves- I had to omit this because I don't care for the taste of cloves
4 large eggs seperated
2 cups shaken buttermilk- well sadly I only had blackberry kefir at home (purple kefir + orange pumpkin= slightly greenish tint waffles, but still tasty!)
1 cup canned solid packed pumpkin- I used my leftover fresh puree
6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 250 (to warm the ready waffles while you wait) and turn on waffle iron.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a separate large(r) bowl whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, pumpkin and butter until it ain't lumpy no more, then whisk in dry ingredients until just combined.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites until they hold soft peaks. If you are truly crazy you can do this by hand, I have learned my lesson and will use a mixer next time.
Fold these in gently into the batter.
Pour batter onto your waffle iron, I find that the amount you use really depends on your personal waffle iron. Cook and then transfer ready waffle to the oven to keep toasty!
Make more oe save the rest of the batter for the next morning or lunch that day.

Topping- blackberry sauce I whipped up (blackberries, sugar and water melted together)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

My new favorite food blog is Smitten Kitchen...these days I just go there, drool, fantasize about making the dishes and sometimes actually make them! This is her black bean pumpkin soup, which I didn't alter one little bit. Because it is yummy just the way it is! Try it, you'll like it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Southern Cornbread

I found the recipe for this delicious dish on While there are several cornbread recipes to choose from I wanted to try something that I could cook in my cast iron pan...

So here is the recipe for Real Southern Cornbread...
My only change is (you guessed it) adding corn! You can't make cornbread without it... well you could but what would be the point?

A word of warning, do not wait too long to put it in the oven or you will burn it! When the recipe says to "cook on high heat until bubbles start to form in the center" interpret that to mean a bubble or two. I like to eat this with honey butter, for which I melt butter and add honey until you reach the right blend of sweetness, for me that's mostly honey with a dash of butter.

I served this with butternut squash soup, for which sadly I have lost the recipe! But don't be alarmed a quick search on all recipes reveals many many options!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Deconstructed California Roll

I found this recipe in Woman's Day magazine, which keeps arriving in my mailbox despite the fact that I never subscribed to it...
They call this the deconstructed California roll, I call it what to do if you have an hour or more to spend!
Check out the recipe from Woman's Day, I strayed pretty far from their suggestions...
I used the following ingredients assembled atop an endive leaf: rice, crab (as you know California rolls use imitation crab, I used real so it was a completely different taste), shredded carrot, avocado, soy sauce, wasabi, and toasted sesame seeds.
Several of us assembled a whole lot of these...don't know if I will do this again, a lot of work for such a small dish!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mmm...Mushroom Risotto

Recipe (8 servings)
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb mushrooms, chopped
  • oil (you will need at least 1/4 cup)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup (or less!) butter

Directions & Revisions
  • warm the broth on low heat
  • heat 2 tblsp. olive oil and add in mushrooms, cook for about 3 minutes, remove from heat and set it aside
  • in a seperate pan, heat 1 tblsp of oil, add shallots and cook for 2 minutes
  • add rice and cook about 2 minutes
  • pour in the wine and absorb
  • add 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly
  • continue until all of the broth has been added and rice is cooked (about 15-20)
  • stir the mushrooms (and whatever else you want, for this risotto I added spinach, peas and prosciutto)
  • add butter and Parmesan

Hubby and I give two thumbs friend N. had two servings, the best compliment a "chef" could hope for.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Karlovy Vary

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

last day in Vienna and travel to Prague

Day 4 Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

For your reading pleasure, Stan wrote this entry:

MAK- the Museum of Applied Art
Museum a mix of textiles, paintings, woodwork, furniture and books from early medieval to modern and from Europe as well as Asia. Favorite exhibits were Architecture, Frankfurt kitchen, Seating Furniture.
Judenplatz- is a nice little square separated from the louder streets by taller buildings and accessible by windy alleys. Open air restaurants are an interesting backdrop to the mausoleum-like memorial to the Jews that perished in the nearby concentration camps.
Belevedere- The gardens are very impressive. Lawns are decorated with a mosaic of little plants that look like miniature trees so it looks like a small version of tree-lined alleys. Fountains, flowers, palace in the distance, tourists (us included) everywhere.
Dinner at a little Thai restaurant. Tom Yum – good. Green curry was different from US-Thai but very good.

Day 5 Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Travel day- today we took the big bad OBB to Prague! It was 45 minutes late but a good time was still had by all…check out Stan and his happy juice below.
Having spent the train ride learning about Prague through Rick Steve’s and Frommer’s the take away message for us was that Prague is full of con artist, thieves, and mafia style cab drivers that cheat you and charge exorbitant rates…but still a lovely place to visit! So naturally I got a major case of “I’m a big strong woman and don’t need no stinkin’ no-neck cabbie to stiff me so I’ll just walk to my hotel from the train station thank you very much” and almost an hour later having dragged a 50 lb suitcase and backpack (each) plus purse (just me) we arrived collapsed at our hotel, the Eurostar Thalia.
We then strolled around our new neighborhood (much easier now without the luggage) and scoped out where and what was up.

Belvedere Palace, Belvedere fountains, bumblebee, travel with all our luggage, Stan’s happy juice

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eurotrippin continued...

Day 3 Monday, September 7th, 2009
We learned our lesson the hard way yesterday and wisely had breakfast at the hotel before heading out to MUMOK- Museum Moderner Kunst. What can I say about modern art*? It's a natural outgrowth of the complexity of modern life and the meaninglessness that results from it? It's hit or miss? It's silly (to paint a canvas one color and tell people it's "artistic")? It's even sillier to literally scribble (think- any two year old can do this) on a piece of paper, tape that to another piece of paper, have two floors(!) in a museum devoted to this, without it making sense to anyone and call THAT art? Yeah I guess it's safe to say that we liked the modern art in Chicago and LA better.
*Disclaimer- I am not a trained art critic. Nor am I a professionally trained artist. I’ve never taken an art history or an art appreciation class. To be frank I don’t even think I can doodle very well. So everything I have to say can just be ignored, thank you very much.

Naschmarkt- is where we headed to next. It's an open air market where you can buy fruits and veggies and any kind of cuisine imaginable! (we found Russians selling vodka and caviar!) We snacked on some Vietnamese soup and strawberries.
Across the street is the Secession Building- this is a building. Really there's some artsy explanation for why it's important but to us it's just a building. Please see photos for proof. Then onto the Jewish Museum- another rather disappointing place, maybe we're bad Jews or something but we didn't find the experience particularly moving or informative. When we first got there, there was a woman in the elevator with us who asked "Where are you from?" I thought I detected an accent from her so I answered "oh from America."She then says (all bitchy and exasperated with me) "Well I know that, where in America?" I thought about it for a second, I never know quite how much information to give here (well my husband and I are originally from the Ukraine, and we both immigrated to San Francisco, and went to school in Davis and then he moved to Reno and I stayed behind, blah blah blah, you see the problem) so I said "Umm Reno?" to which Miss Bitchy says "I didn't realize people from Reno actually went anywhere"...awkward pause from me, mental plea from Slavik "please don't bother she's not worth it" UGH!!! Some people.
The one exhibit we both enjoyed was "Tipisch" a look at pervasive Jewish and other ethnic stereotypes. There was a multimedia component (with clips ranging from "Dave Chapelle's Black White Supremacist, a rap song about "The Protocols of Zion", and other clips of existing stereotypes in the media) which was designed to show us that stereotypes are alive and well and be (we think) serious in tone...well we find it hilarious and sat and laughed at everything. I guess it's hard to edumacte us backward, hillbilly, Reno-ites that never travel anywhere.
After this a quick break at Buffet Trzesniewski- a place serving 21 different cheap open faced sandwiches, essentially Russian salads on black bread.
From here we hobbled around the City Center looking for Cantina La Norma, an Italian restaurant mentioned in the Rick Steve’s travel guide. By the time we found it I could no longer walk… yet somehow miraculously found the strength to continue to get gelato at Zanoni Zanoni, yummy yummy! Another memorable moment of the evening for us was when I remarked to Stan on all of the lovely horse drawn carriages taking tourists around, “Ooh horsies!” To which Stan says “Run from the four legged pooping machines.” Lovely imagery thank you Stan.

It’s modern, but is it art? No I think it’s a cardboard rock suspended from the ceiling. Stan underneath another fine “art” exhibit. Several selections from Naschmarkt. The Secession building. Sandwiches from Trzesniweski.