Monthly Archives: August 2011

Basic(ally Amazing) Buttermilk Pancakes

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You know what time it is? It’s the best time of the week: Pancake Time. You heard me right! Pancakes for all! Go rejoice in the streets!

This morning, my blogger-in-crime (that doesn’t make sense, does it) and I decided to get funky with a wonderful pancake recipe from The Best Recipe, an awesome cookbook which I think I may have referenced before. I have made these pancakes time and again with my family, and they are everything they promise to be: light, fluffy, tangy, and mysteriously addictive. Caty and I were still stuffing ourselves long after we were full. Then we exploded. (I kid.)

Anyway, we tried to make them interesting by adding swirls of Nutella in some, and mixing the batter with a cocoa powder/cinnamon/sugar concoction for a couple others, and yes, they were very tasty. However, after much experimentation, we must conclude that the original recipe just cannot be beat. If you want, you can add Nutella, chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, whatever. But really, why mess with perfection?

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes, AKA Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Note: If you are not a chipmunk, one batch of these pancakes may not be enough to sustain you and a friend. We’d consider doubling the recipe.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk (more may be used to thin batter)
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for brushing griddle

  1. Whisk  dry ingredients in medium bowl. Pour buttermilk and milk into 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk egg white into milk mixture. Mix yolk with melted butter, then stir into milk mixture. Dump wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once; whisk until just mixed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush griddle generously with oil. When water splashed on surface sizzles, pour batter, about 1/4 cup at time, onto griddle, making sure not to overcrowd. When pancake bottoms are brown and top surface starts to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes, flip cakes and cook until remaining side has browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Re-oil the skillet, and repeat for the next batch of pancakes.

I love this mug. It’s from Iceland. This is not directly relevant to the post.

Breakfast of Champions

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Grilled Peach Salad

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If made with fresh fruits and vegetables, there is nothing more satisfying than a good salad. In the summertime, when many salad-worthy ingredients are at their prime, one can assemble a restaurant-worthy mix of veggies and such in a matter of minutes. Since we haven’t done anything savory in a while, Caty and I knew a salad would be just the thing. In a stroke of genius (Caty’s, not mine) we ended up grilling peaches, and then served them on top of mixed greens with crumbled goat cheese, sweetened dried cranberries, and caramelized pecans with a light Balsamic vinaigrette.

It was delicious. We decided to post and eat at the same time, but I soon became too preoccupied with shoveling in as much salad as I could to type at a computer. It was a great combination of flavors and textures. Smoky. Peachy. Crunchy. Tangy. Sweet. Juicy. I could go on, but I will spare you. Adjectives only get you so far–the best way to experience the salad is make it. Eat it for lunch, dinner, late-afternoon snack, or breakfast. We don’t judge. Get going.

Grilled Peach Salad

1 package spring salad mix
1 ripe peach, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup shelled and halved pecans
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

  1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush peach slices with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and place on grill. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side
  2. Heat butter in a skillet on low heat. Add pecan slices and brown sugar and toss until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool
  3. To assemble salad, layer cranberries, pecans and cheese over spring mix. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette dressing and top with grilled peach slices.

Since salads tend to differ based on individual taste, feel free to play around with proportions based on what ingredients you like best. Enjoy!

Better than grilling steak... Really.

Yummy caramelized pecans!

Chocolate Pie: Inspired by The Help

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Last month, Food & Wine (yes, another Food & Wine recipe.. I can’t help it!) featured a section on food inspired by The Help. Originally, we had a fantastic idea of throwing a mini-party and making all the recipes. That didn’t happen, because everybody’s so busy lately. I know, it’s summer, isn’t that crazy?

We decided on a chocolate pie (sans Minny’s special ingredient. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the book. Then see the movie!), for two reasons: 1, we both love chocolate and 2, I’m not sure if either of us would be able to stomach Crisco-fried chicken. No, that recipe’s for another day, when brothers and fathers are able to take part in food-blog sampling.

The pie was absolutely delicious, as one would expect a recipe combining pie and chocolate to be. We used the pie crust recipe from Food & Wine (featured in a previous post)–the really easy one, with only 3 ingredients (if you use salted butter). Remember that one? Yeah? Of course you do! And of course, no pie is complete without a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Georgia whipped that one up.. just some heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. A tip when making whipped cream: I find it helpful to use a stainless steel bowl, and to stick that and the beaters in the freezer before whipping.

Chocolate Pie
From Food & Wine, August 2011

1 packaged pie dough crust, such as Pillsbury
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Ease the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the crust lightly with a fork. Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.
  3. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.
We had some leftover evaporated milk after we finished. Not wanting to waste it, we consulted the internet for recipes using the small amount we had left over. (Question: what is evaporated milk anyway? Such a strange ingredient.) So we made lattes. At 8:30. To see The Help at 9:30. Guess which two girls were awake all night? If you ever have evaporated milk leftover, which you will after making this pie, just mix it with some chocolate syrup and microwave for about a minute. Then, put the mixture in the blender and blend for about another minute to get it frothy. Finally, pour over some instant coffee and stir. All of the measurements depend on how much milk you have left–and your taste buds.

Because every food blogger needs a whisk keychain

Breakfast

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Yesterday we attempted to impress you all with s’mores cookies. Apparently, adding graham cracker crumbs, cut-up marshmallow, and chocolate chips to a chocolate cookie will not look pretty nor will it taste exactly like s’mores. Disappointing, but we really enjoyed eating the batter and snacking on marshmallows. Oh well, hopefully we’ll perfect a s’mores-inspired dessert sometime soon!

Instead of a dessert recipe, I’ll share something a lot healthier, and, arguably, just as delicious.

It’s called whole-grain toast with almond butter and nectarine, and I’ve been eating it for breakfast for a couple days now.

Wait–more like two weeks. But that’s only because it’s super good.

The recipe (if you could even call it a recipe) is easy: toast good whole-grain bread, spread some almond butter on it (the raw almond butter is best), top with ripe nectarine (or peach) slices, and drizzle with honey.

More Wright & Schnack food creations coming soon, I promise!

Photoshoots for breakfast