Pancake Sunday

About a month ago I woke up early on a Sunday morning and decided to surprise Ryan with some pancakes, which led to a lovely routine we are in now called Pancake Sunday.  I started out with just traditional flapjacks, which lead to chocolate chip, and then when researching this vegan thing I found these on my favorite gal’s blog. Seriously this has become a Minimalist Baker’s fan page.  I just LOVE the 10 ingredient thing she does….but back to pancakes.

So to be honest I used all non-vegan products on these vegan pancakes, and it turned out fine.  Grocery shopping happens on Sundays over here so when I sat down to make these I went with what I had.  Also I am learning that vegan is a pretty expensive life choice, and one I am not sure I can commit to.

To start, the crumble (I believe she calls it a strudel, but my mid-western self will refer to it as a crumble)  is delicious and so easy to make!  I will be adding this to my blueberry muffins for sure.  I have always failed at the cutting in of butter and mixing part of recipes, but with the veggie spread I used instead of Earth Balance, it worked out well.  It melted as you stirred causing the clumps you need.


I baked mine a little longer than the 5-7 minutes, but that was due more to not waiting for the oven to preheat all the way before staring.  I can not say enough about what a game changer this crumble is! IMG_20160724_091812

Now onto the actual batter.  It was real straightforward and simple.  I used more than a 1/4 cup of blueberries because they were going bad, and I would definitely use more again.  I have no idea how she got hers to have the blueberry color filling.  I smashed a couple before putting it into the batter, but that definitely is not the trick.   Maybe that’s the difference between amateur baking and professional baking….   Another game changer (involving the crumble obviously) is adding it to the batter when it is on the skillet,  that way it cooks into the pancakes as well.


So let’s talk about the iron skillet.  Heart emojis forever.  I finally have a good balance of temperature control so that I don’t burn all the things, and I think it just gives a really good flavor to the pancakes.  I definitely do not use the skillet enough and in my attempt to make this more than a Minimalist Baker blog I will be looking into some more skillet ideas as well.

IMG_20160717_114309Okay so not only are these the best pancakes I’ve ever made, but this is the best food picture I have ever taken. WIN, WIN.  Another great thing about this recipe is the portion size.  I made 5 pancakes with this recipe and it was perfect for the two of us.  In the past there have been way too many pancakes and they never reheat well.  I was worried that 5 might not be enough but the flapjacks are so filling that anymore would have been too much.

Long story short, try these!


Hummus Finally!

So here’s the deal, I have always wanted to make my own hummus.  Yet, it intimidated me.  Tahini? Blending?  Why do that when it’s less than $3 to grab one at the store.  However, Ryan and I are on a health kick (hello post 1/2 marathon sloth life) and so I started googling Vegan recipes and stumbled across Dana at The Minimalist Baker.  I’m in love with the 10 ingredient philosophy!

While I am not going Vegan, because I love meat too much, I am going to for the next month eat vegan with lean protein and budget exceptions (vegan cheese haha bye-bye money).  Which should be interesting, but back to hummus!

While pursuing Minimalist Baker I came across her Microwave Hummus Recipe.  When I read it I thought it can’t be this easy.  There has to be a catch….but NO, it was that easy.


I picked up a can of chickpeas at Trader Joes, and had a head of garlic at home.  I was a little hesitant when I poured it all together because it just looked weird.  I went with 3 heads of garlic, but would go with 4 next time.  I was worried it would be too garlicky, which is silly because it never can be too garlicky!  I microwaved it for 4.5 minutes which was plenty of time.

The next step was combing the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.  That’s it!  I used a hand blender in a bowl and it worked great…although I am having dreams of a Kitchen Aide mixer under my Christmas tree.  Especially if I keep this cooking thing up.

Blending it was super easy.  I was worried it would be too chunky, but it wasn’t.  Also I didn’t measure the olive oil that I added, but just did it based of consistency and it turned out well!


I also didn’t have paprika which it calls for, but used chili powder instead and it gave a good kick.   It also makes a ton!  I still had a full Tupperware of it after this plate.   It was delicious with pita chips and bell peppers.  With garlic hummus under my belt, I am looking forward to exploring other options of hummus.

The real test will be this weekend when I bring it to share at a outdoor concert we are going to!  Fingers crossed ya’all.



Old Loves

This summer I am teaching in a resource style classroom.  As a part of this experiment we have talked about the things that we love and why it is important to explore what makes us happy (regardless of others opinions of it).  One kiddo asked what is something I really like, and I heard myself say cooking.  Which is true, but I haven’t cooked a true meal in months.  I have thrown together things with pre-made/cut ingredients, but it has been too long since I cooked everything from scratch.

I learned how to cook in Nepal, a place where pre-packaged meals were too expensive for a JV budget, and it quickly went from stressful, to fun.  I had grand plans of meals I would cook when I got home, but ended up picking it up and then stopping many times over (even attempted a blog about a different Joy of Cooking recipe).

But now that I am no longer in school, want  need to be healthy, and have the ability, I think it is time to return to an old love of mine.

So last week on a nice summer night (read not aggressively hot), I rolled up my sleeves and cooked dinner for Ryan and myself.  I knew I wanted something that wouldn’t require the oven too much and would be fresh.  So I updated a go-to in my weekly rotation: Burrito Bowls.  It’s a super simple recipe and the best part is, you can add whatever you want!


Mine always includes the same things:

  • Red Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • A Veggie of some sort (this time leftover cabbage and red peppers)
  • Morningstar Spicy Black Bean burger (usually 2)
  • Guacamole (which I finally made from scratch again: avocado, red onion, tomato, dried red pepper, lemon juice, and salt, all mashed together)
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Quinoa


Voila! It is a tasty, easy delicious dinner.  Best part is, the only cooking necessary is the quinoa so it doesn’t heat up a hot apartment… AC, no bueno.


I also went back to my second love, baking!  I am much more comfortable exploring in the baking realm, and made a this delicious crumble.  Top with some vanilla frozen yogurt, some b-day candles, and you’ve got a wonderful birthday dessert.


Plus getting to enjoy this all with this guy isn’t too bad either.