03 March, 2014

Silver Dollar Pancakes (Grain-free)

These edibles are very cute and offer a comforting meal on Sunday morning (with leftovers).  

Tip - they need to be made this small because they will fall apart when you try to flip them.  And they brown quickly so don't walk away.  

Serve them with a strong flavoured jam such as blackcurrant (my mom's is best but you probably don't have any), or try a nut butter or poached egg on top.  

Nick and I agree they are delicious.  

Silver Dollar Pancakes (Grain-free)
from Wheat Belly 30 Minutes or Less, William Davis

Dry ingredients:
1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
Sweetener equivalent to 1 Tbsp of sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
5 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted

Whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Add to the dry mixture until combined.  

Turn the oven up to 200 and place a platter inside for the pancakes to stay warm.  Using a greased pan over medium-low heat, pour 1 tablespoon of batter to make each pancake. Cook for about two minutes first side and then another couple of minutes second side.  

02 February, 2014

New Recipe: Spinach & Pear Green Smoothie

I tried a green smoothie at the Halifax Seaport market yesterday but its flavours failed me. There was not enough depth or sweetness.  So here's my reply.  (And with the remaining half pear you should try another recipe from an earlier SJ post ... Walnut, Apricot, Pear & Feta Salad)

Green Smoothie with Spinach & Pear
(makes one large glass)

half of a ripe pear, peeled and cored
three handfuls of spinach
a few dollops of plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup of almond milk
one frozen banana (could be reduced to half if you like things less sweet)

Blend until smooth.

01 February, 2014

Joy of Baking

The adventurous recipes tempt me: Tartine's croissants or Montreal bagels. But today I needed a simple one that could be done in the background while I worked on a, well, work project.

Banana bread.  I tarted them up with a nut and some dark chocolate.  I have a mini loaf pan that just won't quit. It makes these ador-a-ble little breads.

The joy of baking is certain.

Fluffy, sweet, tender, doughy, crusty, tangy, tart - a blizzard of taste and emotion.  I'll take any of it and all of it.  I'll swim or walk or run. 

Childhood baking memories include honey, zucchini (my first adult words) and crunchy cornbreads baked in cast iron trays - oh, and fried doughnuts...  I remember the big oven and the swirling smells and the baker's movements.

There once was a special birthday cake with a rainbow on top.  Remember my recent dark chocolate birthday cake? I used the trimmings to make a trifle.  It was incredible.

And then I baked whole wheat bread with my mother.  There were many many loaves coming out of the oven.  Nick drove me around the neighbourhood to deliver to our friends.  I was a bread fairy.

08 January, 2014

Dark Chocolate Birthday Cake

This week I made a double layer chocolate cake filled with homemade blackcurrant preserves, thickly frosted with chocolate ganache.

There is much improvising in my kitchen.  Baking experiences come fast and furious these days and there are usually mistakes.  This time it was one broken cake layer (three large pieces that were easily saved) preceded by discovery of only one round cake pan for a double layer cake.  As it was already 9pm I didn't want to be baking extra hours so I switched to ordinary aluminum square cake pans found crinkled/stuffed at the back of my stove drawer.

I should mention this cake was a family project.  My mom's blackcurrant jam provided a tartness against the sweetness I craved; Rebecca guided me to the Smitten Kitchen recipes; Ann shared a birthday week with me, helping focus my chocolate cake decision making; Nick suggested the cake needed more texture and contrast (hence the almond design); and Jessy held the cake on her lap in the car on the way to dinner, mostly to protect it from little Twiggy who might have eaten the entire cake had we let her. (I understand the temptation little dog...)


I was born in a blizzard in Cape Breton 38 years ago.  Mom was caught in the January storms this week but mercifully found her way to uncle Jim's wake in Syracuse, New York.  In 1978 Jim trooped up and across the northeast to see his younger sister (my mom) and her family on a beautiful hippie farm in 1978 ... check out our lovely family picnic:

Uncle Mike's photos started a sentimentality in me because this year I was compelled to write Jim a birthday card - my first handwritten note to him in my life.  Jim was turning 70 years old.  I chose a funny card I had been keeping for the perfect occasion (for at least five years): a colour photo of lots of naked people standing with their backs to the camera in a gilded opera house...  "Wishing you the best seat in the house on your birthday."  I imagined it made him chuckle.  I felt so good for having sent him that card. Jim was a happy organic farmer, philosophy professor and he was always smiling a lot. He made my mom and her sisters smile a lot too.  

My successful baking experience of this cake is significant because it helped me celebrate life and all that tastes good in it.  Here's to birthday cakes made for me and my family - and of course here's to all the leftover frosting...