Sunday, March 21, 2010

Banana Pancakes with Brown Sugar Caramel Pecan Syrup

I think breakfast is my favorite comfort meal. Particularly on a lazy sunny morning, everyone gathered on the porch, with a 'well, what should we do today' attitude. Of course, I work Saturdays. And I live alone. But a girl can dream. So these were eaten, Sophie at my feet with her eyes watching for any teeny tiny morsel that may fall her way. Nothing fell, I ate every bite.
To keep her from gaining weight mind you. I am thoughtful like that.

The pancakes are from here with the pecans added to the syrup adapted from here. That took a hell of a lot of typing to link up so if I screwed it up just go to food network okay?
These were very good and a bit filling. Like I said, I ate all three of them.

Does anyone know the song 'Apples and Bananas'? I think it is from Raffi. Anyways, I used to play kids music all the time in the car when my children were young. I figured if they were happy, then I could drive in peace. I have also worn diapers on my head while I drove to keep them entertained. Yeah, I lost all dignity giving birth. But I do know lot's of kids songs now. None of that crap that they sell on TV and such. Real kids music, Raffi, Sharon Lois and Bram, Taj Mahal, Sleep Sound in Jesus, Reggae, etc.. I used to buy from a company called 'Music for Little People' and a few natural parenting shops. Okay, so I am singing 'I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas', which you use the long form of the vowel going through a e i o u after the first round of singing it normal. Yes this is what I do at 52 in a house with just me and a dog. I know one day the white coats are going to show up. But then as my daughter would say, you probably don't care. I start conversations with cashiers too and they just stare at me and I finally just say 'never mind' and walk away.

Now, where were we? Pancakes. The reason I decided to make these is I had 2 over ripe bananas on my counter. Phew. Hence the banana song.


1 1/2 c buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 t vanilla
6 T melted butter
2 T sugar
2 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 - 1/2 c water to thin if desired
2 very ripe bananas, cut into 1/2" pieces

In a blender add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and blend.
Add melted butter and sugar, blend again.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add flour mixture to liquid mixture, blend again.
Pour into a medium bowl and fold in bananas.

Heat a griddle over moderate heat until hot enough to make a drop of water scatter over surface and brush with butter or oil.
Working in batches, drop 1/4 cup measures of batter onto griddle to form pancakes and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute.
Flip pancakes with a spatula and cook until undersides are golden brown and pancakes are cooked through, about 1 minute.

1 c brown sugar
1/4 c water
1 c heavy cream
2/3 c pecans

In a medium saucepan, dissolve brown sugar and butter over medium-med-low heat about 5 minutes.
Add cream, sugar mixture may seize up but continue to stir until blended and thickened. about 10-15 minutes.
Add pecans, stir.
Cool a bit and serve.
Be careful, any hot sugar mixture can burn.

t = teaspoon
T = Tablespoon
c = cup
and for all you unsalted butter snobs out there, I never bother with unsalted butter, most often I just don't add salt or just half, but this time I used salted butter and added salt. So there! Ha!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go Down In History

I love this quote.

I haven't been cooking or working or basically anything because my shoulder blade feels like it got hit with a baseball bat.
Welcome to the world of old grocery checkers.
No wonder they make jokes of us on commercials.
Instead there has been....
heating pads (mmm)
ice packs (aack)
reading (inspiring)
lots of boredom (yawn)
5 more pounds on my ass (ick)

So I present you with my finely tuned artistic skills.
Spray paint and stick on letters.
Obviously I don't sign my work.

I did this a couple weeks ago, it is a day and a half (dry time) project, and lettering can be spaced or sized in any form. My 2" letters were not all the same height so I had to work with that, and I mostly wanted them to touch each other but an i next to an h just didn't work, and some letters have so much more width that it took a little rearranging to get the look close to even. Believe it or not, that spacing is pretty good. Perfection? Nope. Do I care? Nope. I also like the look of gloss and flat on this, it makes the words have more importance. I have a feeling my daughters will take this the next time they are here. I think this would be a great nagging tool. Put chores on canvas. The kids will love you.

This is a 20"x16" canvas that I got on sale, spray paint I had in the cupboard and 2" vinyl letters.
*I sprayed the canvas gloss pink all across the top, and let dry overnight.
*Marked the vertical and horizontal edges of the canvas at the middle points with a black marker (it would be covered later).
*Applied lettering according to the spacing I had decided on. Since there were 6 lines of words, then 3 words above and 3 words below the middle. I began with the second 'r' in 'rarely', placing the bottom edge of it 2" below the center point and even with the center point horizontally. Then outwards with each letter. Then on to the next word at 2" below the bottom of 'rarely' being the bottom edge of 'make', continuing until done. If you have an even amount of letters in a word they will split half to the right of the center point and half to the left. If the amount of letters in a word are odd, then the middle letter will straddle the center point.
*Sprayed the canvas top and sides with flat black.
*Dried about 1-2 hours, until dry to touch (the letters seem to pull less paint if you don't wait too long).
*Removed the letters using an exacto knife to help lift the edges.
*Ta daa.
Here is the full version.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pesto Asparagus with Chevre

Spring has begun.
Primroses are at the store for sale.
Asparagus is 87 cents a pound.
And birds are back.
I love to listen to the birds singing as dusk begins.
They have so much to chatter about when they come home to nest for the night.
I often wonder if they talk about their day and who had the closest encounter with my cat, who has the best feathers or if one tree of birds is the bad neighborhood that little birds are told to stay away from.
They settle me with their singing and I am in awe of creation.
There is so much in nature we are out of touch with anymore.
We have covered everything with concrete and the only thing left in the neighborhood seems to be ants, flies and mosquitos.
And birds thank goodness.

So, 87 cents a pound for asparagus.
And does anyone know where the cents key is on a Mac?
I could make a meal out of just asparagus, steamed corn or a baked potato.
Or ice cream.
Or some days Tequila.

Back to asparagus.
First, I hate the tips.
I know, I am the only one.
Send me a stamped envelope and I will send the tips to you.

This is quick, fresh and garlicky.
Probably good for keeping vampires away.
Although after the Twilight movie I am not so sure I would send some of them away.

serves 4

24 spears asparagus, washed and ends snapped off
Kosher salt
1/2 c pesto, lightly warmed
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2-4 oz chevre goats cheese, crumbled
12 large basil leaves, chiffonade
1-2 oz pine nuts, whole or smashed

Steam asparagus for 3-4 minutes until just tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Drain well and pat dry with a few paper towels, then plate.
Toss a good pinch of salt over asparagus.
Drizzle pesto over asparagus.
Sprinkle garlic on top.
Then crumbled chevre.
Then basil chiffonade. To chiffonade, place leaves on top of each other and tightly roll them. Using a very sharp small knife, slice into fine strips.
Then pine nuts. Smashing them is very easy using the flat side of a large knife and pounding with your hand or fist.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

If you have this platter, don't put hot asparagus on it. It took about 3 minutes, then I heard a snap and had to toss the whole thing. I loved this platter, loved it. Luckily I had two. And there was more asparagus to eat in the kitchen. Yum.