Spinach Artichoke Frittata with a Potato Crust

It has been far too long. I’d like to thank my pal Tinian for messaging me today and saying she was looking at my old blog, and didn’t find anything new, so she messaged me. I guess people have different ways of staying in touch, and it’s not always active. I’m usually the one who reaches out to people to say “hey, I miss you” or “wow it’s been so long, let’s hang out.” Maybe other people like to stay in the background but follow along on the internet. It’s not that weird. Anyway, thanks Tin Tin. I miss you too.

Every Sunday I make dinner for Sunday night, which becomes lunch for the week at work. And pretty much every Monday, the work lunch buddies ask, “what’s this week’s lunch, Eleanor?” It’s a little bit in a teasing tone, even though I’m not the only one who brings lunch every day, I’m the only one who brings the same thing for a week. Lately, it has been a lot of soup.

spinachchoke

I’ll be honest, this is a fair use photo because I don’t have good picture skills.

In August, I was looking in the fridge and on the pantry shelves and trying to figure out what to make– I realized I had everything for a frittata, though I had never made one before. I took to Pinterest (but now can’t find the original recipe) My mom usually makes it with artichoke, tomato sauce and rosemary (at least that’s what I remember), but I took a bit of a different route.

Spinach Artichoke Frittata:

2-3 red potatoes (you could probably use another kind, but I like red for some reason, and they work well here)
5 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 onion
3-5 cloves garlic
1/2 bag of frozen artichokes (or jarred if you like, press the oil out first)
1/3 bag frozen chopped spinach (or fresh equivalent)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
thyme
rosemary
salt
pepper
paprika
cumin
basil

*This recipe is awesome because you can swap out ingredients. You might be in a tomato/asparagus/fresh mozzarella mood, you might be in a mushroom/kale/feta mood. Or maybe you wanna do sweet potatoes (in that case peel before boiling). In any case, writing this is making me very hungry.

Preheat oven to 375.

Scrub/wash potatoes and cut out any sketchy parts. slice into 1/4 inch slices, or as thin as you prefer. Use a slotted or spaghetti spoon to put them into salted boiling water. Set a timer for five minutes

Dice your onions and begin to sauté on a hot pan. Dice garlic and add to the pan.

That probably took 5 minutes. Check on a slice of potato. It it’s soft in the middle of the slice, drain in a colander or strainer. I also rinse mine under cold water but I think it might just be hooey dogma.

When onions are soft, add spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper. Cook until the artichokes and spinach are thawed (durr) and stir them a bit so they can hopefully not be so wet anymore.

With a fork, scramble five eggs and half a cup of milk in a large bowl. Add spices. Honestly, I just open up each container, sniff it, and if it smells like it would work in what I’m making I add a few shakes. If you don’t like the ones I listed here, no worrayz. Just do something else. Unless you super like the taste of scrambled eggs plain though I would add a few things.

Reminder: check those taters. Probably done by now.

Oil the bottom of a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, get one! But in the meantime use a glass casserole or an oven-safe pan. I’m thinking about experimenting with pre-heating the pan and making the bottom of the frittata crispy but I haven’t done it yet so I won’t recommend here.

Lay out potato slices on the b0ttom of the pan. Break some medallions apart and fill in the gaps. Make potato salad with the rest. Or have snacks.

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Sssalt and peppa’s here

Arrange the spinach, onions, and artichokes evenly over the potatoes. Pour over the scrambled egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. I’m not sure 1/2 cup is really what I use. Use your judgement.

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Here is my chance to admit my phone’s camera isn’t as hi-tech has it could be

Bake for 25 minutes or until the egg is firm and not runny. Slice and serve right away or slice and store in tupperware and reheat for work lunch. Works well with ketchup.

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couldn’t wait to take a pic the first time I made it– the one at the top is from the second time.

 

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(Kinda) Spicy Creamy Carrot Peanut Butter Soup

The other day I had two priorities: 1) make something nice for dinner 2) not leave my house for groceries. That made things a little tricky. But then I found this recipe, and a bag of carrots that were really ready to be eaten, half a jar of peanut butter, and a can of broth. Plus, this recipe said if you like spicy peanut sauce, you’ll love eating it out of a bowl in an actually very healthy soup. Turns out, TRUE.

So good I made it again after I finished the pot. And I even went out to buy more carrots. That good. Oh, and it’s also vegan. That’s fun– because obviously I don’t have a carton of cream lying around. The second time I made it without the recipe, because also easy. This soup is such a winner.

Kinda Spicy Creamy Peanut Butter Soup

1 Medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch fresh ginger (or powdered, to taste)
1 pound of carrots (about 8?)
1 medium red potato
1 can broth, or 1 bouillon cube of your liking (I go veg)
Spices: basil, paprika, garam masala, cayenne, pepper
1/3 cup of peanut butter

Mince the onion and the garlic, soften in a soup-sized pot (this is a one pot dish– the perks just keep coming). Wash the carrots well with a scrubbie, chop them as thick or fine as you want, toss them in. Or peel them if you have one of those and you want to.

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Carrots. So tasty. Can also add potatoes, turnip, other veggies that will cook soft and blend smooth and creamy.

Add spices– in my first round I used powdered ginger and the second I used fresh, by peeling it roughly with a knife, and chopping it and putting it in. Since it all gets blended, the chopping doesn’t have to be great. But it does at a somewhat weird texture to some bites of soup so keep that in mind.

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LOOK! SOUP!

Add a can of broth and to cups of water, or one bouillon cube and three cups of water. Simmer for about 15 minutes– then check the carrots and potatoes and make sure they’re soft. Turn off the heat.

Transfer part of the soup to a blender– add spice with cayenne, crushed red pepper, or red chili paste. Add half of your peanut butter and blend until smooth.

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From pot to blender and back again

 

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Ok so not super photogenic, but this is what smooth in a blender looks like

Continue in batches until the soup is fully blended and smooth. The reason I recommend adding only half peanut butter at a time is that it’s a pretty strong flavor and you can’t take it out once it’s in. But I probably ended up using more than 1/3 cup when I made it– but I really like peanut butter.

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Enjoy! Recommended with garlic bread or dumplings to dip in it.

Homemade Applesauce

Ok– so remember the first time you baked brownies not from a box? Or made cranberry sauce instead of slicing it up out of the can? (If you haven’t done those things, do. Now.) Well this recipe, for applesauce, is something that everyone who sees it (bf, roommates) get so confused about. Like, you made applesauce? Does it taste good? How does it work?

Yes. YES. It’s incredibly easy and tastes so much better than anything from a jar unless you’re spending a lot of money per jar. Also, it makes your house smell like fall and you get to do whatever you want with flavors. Here’s how:

Applesauce

*Yields about 2-3 cups

5 apples, any kind
squirt of lemon juice *or don’t
spices, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar (granulated, brown, honey, maple syrup) *optional

First, peel and chop your apples. I like some skin in my applesauce, so I usually just peel half the apple, so it looks like I did a terrible job of peeling, then start cutting it up. Adjust whether you love or hate skin.

This is an apple

This is an apple. Use this fruit or you did it wrong.

After I’ve cut up the first apple, put it in a small saucepan with about an inch of water at the bottom and turn it on medium heat. I add the apples as I cut them up which makes room on the cutting board and then makes the ones on the bottom soften up faster.

Once the apples are all in the saucepan, add sweetener and spices. Sweetener is entirely optional, but will make the apples get juicier faster I think. Don’t use much and definitely not anything fake. I’ve used white sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup so far. I think the flavor it leaves at the end is very subtle, and I’ve only used about a tablespoon of whatever I’m using per 5 apples.

Add spices. I add 3 shakes of cinnamon, 2 shakes of ginger and one shake of nutmeg, but some of you might be more scientific than I. I’m curious about what garam masala might taste like, or go crazy with cayenne? I don’t know.

Let the apples simmer for maybe a half hour, checking them every ten minutes. If the pan seems dry or the apples are browning, add up to an inch of water on the bottom. The apples should be softening and also absorbing the water. Check them with a fork. When they’re soft like a banana, you can shut off the burner and let the water steam away.

Trying to describe texture is hard. Best I could come up with is "soft like a banana" -_-

Trying to describe texture is hard. Best I could come up with is “soft like a banana” -_-

Mash the apples with a fork, or if you’re fancy something fancier like a potato masher. I wouldn’t use an immersion blender or anything like that because I like it to be relatively chunky. A major point of making it yourself is that it won’t have that super uniform texture.

Wow applesauce is not photogenic inside on my stove at sunset.

Wow applesauce is not photogenic inside on my stove at sunset.

Chill and nibble for two days, then make more. Sorry I didn’t take more pictures. Also maybe use a pear if you want? That could be cool.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Ok. Yeah, it has been like 10 months. But inspiration works in mysterious ways (and sometimes not at all, apparently.)

I moved back in January, and lost a lot of inspiration to take photos while cooking, because my kitchen is small and mostly dark. Here, see? I opened the fridge to show the width of the room, if it could be called that.

My tiny kitchen

So as usual, I’ll be cooking in a small kitchen with not many cooking tools, including no mixer, so I don’t use that stuff. I’m also cheap and got these poppyseeds on sale at Giant. Otherwise these would have probably been zucchini muffins. Or non-existent muffins.

muffins

But today, as I prepare for a weekend trip to Shenandoah National Park for Labor day, I’m making some muffins as trail snacks. I loosely adapted this recipe from Everyday Reading for cinnamon strawberry muffins that are worth a try. Here goes.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
zest of two lemons
juice of two lemons (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup yogurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Oil or line a muffin tin. This recipe makes 12 or 13 muffins, sorry… It works really well if you just eat a lot of batter– then you’ll have an even 12 and won’t need to make a second batch.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients (reminder, sugar is technically a wet ingredient, so don’t add that in). Also, I felt like I should put in a spice so I added a dash of cinnamon, but let me know if you another spice that would have worked better.
  4. Zest 2 lemons, mix in with dry ingredients. Juice the lemons into a bowl. If you don’t have a juicer or one of those things to squeeze a lemon onto, just use your hands and pick out the seeds. Tools are overrated.
  5. Add eggs to the lemon juice, scramble with a fork. Add yogurt, oil sugar.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet, and try not to stir too much. Apparently they become “tough.” To me a “tough muffin” sounds like an angry toddler, so I say go for it, because adorable.
  7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full, put in the oven for 30-ish minutes. When you check on them, if they’re golden-brown and a toothpick comes out clean, they’re done. I don’t have toothpicks, so basically I’m living on the edge.

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If you’re storing your muffins, you want to cool them ALL THE WAY first so it doesn’t get all humid in your tupperware. If you have a cooling rack AND enough space to use it, good for you! For the rest of us, I pop out the muffins and turn them on the side, so the bottom can cool as well. More surface area in the air makes sense to me.

I had never made these guys before, they’re a little crunchy on the outside (maybe from the oil I sprayed in the nonstick pan?), and soft and lemony inside.

bite

Well hopefully I’ll be back sooner than last time. If I’m not, the next post will be July 2016. Wow that’s far away.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

It’s not too late to cook something! In fact, this could be the perfect brunch item to treat your family to this Thanksgiving weekend. In fact, you could whip it up Thanksgiving morning to eat during the parade. You do need a little something to hold you until dinner. Plus, your family deserves it. Really they do. And you probably have all the ingredients onhand. Let’s hear it for convenience. Or you could just make it randomly and invite your friends over at the last minute for coffee cake and tea. From experience, I’ll say they really like that. Especially when they roll out of bed to warm coffee cake.

with tea

Disclaimer, I definitely made this from Pinterest, but don’t remember who the original baker was. Whoops. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s Crazy for Crust whose recipe I used.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

(makes 16 slices)

  • 2 ¼ cups flour (divided: 2 cups for cake, ¼ cup for topping)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1 teaspoon each of dried ground ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup milk

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 325° and oil/butter a 9×9 pan. Or like an 8×8 pan. I don’t worry about pan dimensions too much.

Mix the dry cake ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, salt (or pot if you have no large bowl. I am one of those people, as you can see from my pictures). Stir in wet ingredients, milk, pumpkin puree, oil, vanilla, and milk. Now it tastes perfect. Go ahead, taste it.

Batter one

From this

batter 2

To this

In a small bowl (I do have one of those), mix the topping ingredients, except the butter. Heat butter in a pan on low heat until it browns. This doesn’t take too long. I had never done it before so I wasn’t sure if I would know when it was browning, but I did. Just watch it, yo. Don’t want to burn your butter.

brown butter

See how all the little solids are dark? That means it’s time to stop.

Pour the butter into the topping ingredients and stir. Oh my god. It will be glorious. This is where I say don’t taste it. Don’t waste it by tasting it.

topping

Pour the cake part into the pan, distributing evenly. Then sprinkle the topping on, sprinkling evenly (after you wash your hands, obvz)

Bake for 30 minutes, and test with a toothpick or knife. Cool as long as you can possibly wait before the smell wafts fully around your space, then cut and serve.

sliced

OH YEAH. Your grandma deserves to eat this. And you do too.

The Only Chocolate Chip Cookies You’ll Ever Need

Whoops, it’s been forever. Story of my (blogging) life. It’s a Friday night when I thought I had plans and they just fell through -_- Not amused. What I am amused by, and hopefully you are too, is baking. Mmm, sweet sweet baking.

cookies

I’ve made these cookies three times in the past month. I didn’t think that would ever be necessary, especially for an overnight recipe (meaning they need to be refrigerated before baking). The thing is it takes about a half hour to make the dough (then that night you get to eat the dough) and the next day it takes about a half hour for baking, so then that night you get perfect PERFECT (did I say perfect), sweet, soft, chewy, classic chocolate chip cookies. They are from Sally’s Baking Addiction, a blog that I pin from a lot but don’t bake from a lot because she uses a LOT of sugar, sprinkles, ehh. I don’t love it. But I do LOVE these cookies. And you will too.

Also you don’t need a mixer so that’s a plus (because I don’t have one). You might not have cornstarch but it is worth the trip to get it. These cookies are perfect. They have pleased myself, countless friends, the staff of AWOL, and soon the DC contingent of F&W Camps. On to the recipe.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

So first mix those dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt. Set aside.

Melt your butter. I like to do this by cutting up the sticks and putting them in a Pyrex cup in the microwave (a 2 cup measure will do). Just do like 20-30 seconds at a time, and then stir between. Its ok if it has some white butter stuff in it, and not all yellow when you’re done.

While that’s microwaving, measure out the sugars, add the eggs (I know it’s weird to set aside that 1 white but you can have healthy eggs or something in the morning).Mix up that, then add the butter and vanilla. Pour in the flour mixture and stir to mix. It’s going to be kind of greasier than normal cookies at this point because all of that butter is melted vs. creamed. This makes a difference. I don’t question it. You shouldn’t either.

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Ok, now you have the perfect cookie dough. PERFECT. Oh my gosh don’t taste it or you will eat it and never stop. Maybe you want to do that. That’s ok too. Mix in those chocolate chips and put that stuff in the fridge. Let sit overnight. All the butter will harden and it will become a hard mass of dough.

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The next time you get to it, you’ll have to turn that rock solid lump of dough into a cookie form, so make use a spoon to make them into like 2-tablespoon sized clumps in the shape of giant tater tots (or cylinders? is that what that’s called?). The shape is important when they bake. You can refrigerate them again now or bake them now. I like to do this step when I have like 15 free minutes, and then later I can has cookies in like 10 minutes.

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Because the next step is just to put them on the baking sheet and bake at 325 for 10 minutes. They should be a little golden-brown on top but don’t do the conventional “press down on the top and if it bounces back it’s done.” Spoiler alert, just because they’re done, doesn’t mean they’re “done.”A little under-baked means they settle into themselves a bit and have that nice wrinkly texture.

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Eat them warm, eat them cool. Eat them before someone else does (because they really will)

Who Needs Take Out? Easy Lo Mein

Sorry I didn’t post last week. Midterms? Procrastination? Excuses? Yes, I have all of those things.

 

Lo Mein.

 

So, I started having cravings for takeout Chinese food. And like any person with such a craving, I suppressed my desires to call Satay Club and instead and took to Pinterest, where I found a recipe for Lo Mein that was actually perfect. Full of veggies, tasty sweet and spicy sauce, and a million options for variation. I have a couple eggs in there for protein, but cubing tofu or adding meat would work too (I admit I really have no clue how to cook meat, so you’re on your own with that.)

Vegetable Lo Mein:
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves 3 (ish)

Ingredients:
1 onion, sliced (not diced)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 handfuls baby spinach, kale, or other green
½ bag of egg noodles
1 or 2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil (canola, olive, or sesame) for frying
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
1 ½ tablespoons sugar (brown or white)
½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Plus soy sauce and/or sriracha to taste

Start off by putting on the water for pasta. When it reaches a boil, add the pasta and cook until soft (8-10 minutes depending on shape)

Like with everything, I recommend to prep all your vegetables first. Don’t fall into the trap of doing it as you go because your onions or garlic might burn as you try to get the carrots into pleasing shapes. (That may have happened to me).

veggies

Using up those leftover veggies

Kale

Kale is beautiful. I just started cooking with it, and it’s a whole new world.

 

 

 

 

 

In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrots, and cook until onions are becoming translucent. Stir to distribute oil and heat.

While that’s cooking, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, water, sugar, pepper, and ginger in a measuring cup or small bowl.

Add the rest of the vegetables, stirring until the greens wilt down, but not until they shrivel. No one wants that.

Push the veggies to one side of the pot and crack the eggs in. Scramble with a fork and mix in with the vegetables before they cook through fully. Use a rubber scraper to get whatever’s stuck to the bottom.

My vegetables are mysterious (or steamy)

My vegetables are mysterious

The pasta will probably be done by now. When it is done, drain it and rinse with cold water. Let it sit if the vegetables aren’t ready yet. When the veggies are ready, pour the noodles into the veggies, and add the sauces, stirring to distribute.

Let the mixture cook, thickening the sauce as the water boils of (because there’s not much and the pan is pretty hot). When there’s no liquid at the bottom as you stir, turn off the heat.

Put some in your bowl and bust out the chopsticks. Or fork. I’m not here to judge.

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Also, I found that putting leftovers in a box and eating them cold the next day just like you would with takeout really elevates the experience.

It’s not that I haven’t been cooking– I have. A lot. It’s just been busy so posting doesn’t always happen. See you next week!

Newspaper Food: Maghreb Bean Stew

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So this week I decided to banish Pinterest (if only for a moment) and refer to the high quality recipes I get to read on Wednesdays when the Washington Post Food Section comes out and I pick it up at the residence hall where I have my Food, Media and Culture Class. Perfect, right?

Anyway, I found this recipe for vegetarian harira, which I looked up, and it’s a kind of stew usually eaten as an appetizer in the Maghreb region of Africa. I also looked that up, and it’s Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Mauritania. So I looked that up, just kidding. I stopped.

I’m always looking for vegetarian recipes that can last more than one meal (Grilled cheese and omelets do get old). It can be served on pasta or couscous or rice, but I ate mine plain, on pasta, and once with a side of garlic bread. yum.

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Maghreb Bean Stew (adapted from “Vegetarian Harira” The Washington Post)

Makes 4-6 Servings

Oil, for the pan, use your judgement
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato or several small tomatoes (I used 3), diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup dried lentils, whatever color your grocery store sells is fine, rinsed
2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4-5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste (around 1/2 teaspoon)
pepper to taste

Sometime after you start and before you finish chopping the garlic and onions, heat the oil in the pan. I learned to cut onions first in half from top to bottom, then towards the bottom in lines (the bottom is the grosser side with the little hairs usually), and then horizontal. I hope that made sense. If it didn’t, just chop them. Add the garlic and onions to a medium-sized pot, and cook on medium heat until the onions turn translucent. Add the chopped tomato.

It might be helpful to chop and prep everything beforehand, because now you add the tomato sauce, chickpeas, lentils, parsley, cilantro. Yep, it’s a lot. So I forgot the parsley and cilantro, naturally, so now was when I rushed to chop it, and of course, lacerated my thumb in the process.

That’s tomato sauce that conveniently happened post-laceration, I promise

So don’t do that. It’s really hard to compress, elevate, and rest while you pour in the water and spices, but that’s what you should do next, instead of calling your mom to see if you should be going to the ER and using Siri to text your dear-friend-who-thank-god-lives-in-the-same-building that if you die, you’re in the apartment. Now is not the time for drama.

Stir it a bit, and let it come to a boil, then turn the heat way down, put the lid on, and cook for 45 minutes. During that time you could do the dishes or talk to the on-call doctor about tetanus shots. Whichever.

When you taste it, the lentils should be soft (the Post said silky, that seems a little flowery language). Like I said, you can serve it with on a grain-type thing, though I enjoyed it for several meals by itself.

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This recipe has basic stuff you might already have in your pantry, even a student pantry, but buying parsley and cilantro and lentils aren’t exactly going to break the bank– and they’ll force you like they’re going to force me, to use those darned lentils.

It’s a hearty meal that doesn’t cost too much as long as you don’t lose a lot of blood in the process.

Better Brunching: No Bisquik or Buttermilk

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So last year (around this time) I made some buttermilk pancakes in Denmark. I was learning the ways of cooking outside my backward American measuring system, so it was tricky. Though they were a little gummy, I was happy to have anything American in Denmark.

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But they weren’t pretty. Not pretty at all. (Although the lighting was fantastic)

So I tried again this weekend, and the results were much prettier. My camp friend Lauren was visiting and stayed overnight, so I made pancakes. It’s enough for two hungry people or two somewhat not hungry people and one of those people’s roommate. These are all ingredients I always have around, so it’s really nice to be able to whip these up, say, while you’re on your 10am phone call with your dad (wait is that not a thing for everyone?)

Perfectly Fluffy (Not Buttermilk) Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plus 3 tbsp flour (I use unbleached ever since I discovered it, because who needs bleach?)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is fine too)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
    Additions as you like: chocolate chips, banana, blueberries, I’ve been known to use sprinkles…

First I melted my butter in the microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup (double duty, you’ll soon see), while I mixed dry ingredients in a bowl. Once I poured in the melted butter, I measured out the milk and added the vinegar to it. I let it sit for a minute while I cracked and scrambled the egg.

The milk with vinegar thing is because I never have buttermilk and that was called for in the Martha Stewart/Buzzfeed recipe I was adapting from. It’s really cool when you let the milk sit with the vinegar for a minute, and then when you pour it into the batter it’s chunky like buttermilk. How? The world/I may never know.

Anywho, so now you’ve got all your ingredients together and hopefully you’re whisking but not for too long because you don’t want it to get too clumpy or gummy.

Then you’re ready to put the pan in pancakes! You can put the pan on the stove now or earlier. I like my pancakes relatively small so in my pan I can fit two. It’s a small pan. And here’s the key to pretty pancakes– DON’T OVER OIL THE PAN– that is truly it. Simple. I buttered the pan only once in this batch and they turned out really pretty. Then there’s also the thing where you keep the heat not too high on your stove.

Don’t flip them until they look like this, but then flip them as soon as they look like this.

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And then flip them as soon as they look like this.

Then Lauren and I enjoyed a lovely stack of pancakes. It’s really such a nice way to start a Sunday morning. And no reason to waste your money on Bisquik or buttermilk.

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Happy eating!

New Year, New Blog, New Food

pickles, quiche, irish soda bread

Hi all. Welcome back. Or just welcome.

You may have noticed some changes around these parts. That’s because I’m going to be starting some new things up in here. Food is the name of the game. I realized that all the good blogging I’ve done (mostly on my other blog, Wanderlust) has the theme of food in common. And that’s what I like doing and writing about. And also traveling, but unfortunately (also fortunately) food is cheaper than travel, so I can consume much more of it, and at a steadier rate. So my travel blog must be put on hold as I unveil my food blog.

You may have also noticed that this post has a reference to it being a new year. And you may be looking at your watch and thinking, “Someone should tell her it’s September.” I got that. But also today I went to the farmer’s market at my school and bought the world’s best challah and they told me it was in a circle instead of braided today because of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which happens to be today (the circle represents the circle of life). And who am I to snub coincidence? So happy year 5775 to everyone, and let me use that as the new beginning that I need.

My goal is to — this year– have more recipes, more tutorials, more reviews… Just more. A post once a week about what has been happening in my life, and what I’ve been eating about it. I’m hoping it will challenge me to write, to cook, to travel, and most importantly, to eat.

So far this semester I’ve made pickles, Irish soda bread, broccoli cheddar quiche, banana bread muffins, some delicious eggplant stir fry, lots of spicy peanut sauce, a peppers and onions omelet, eggless cookie dough, and some seriously good french toast. You guys, I’ve even tried poaching an egg (hint: it didn’t go super great).

There’s going to be some big things happening. I hope you stick around.