Review: Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

CIMG_0818ook’s notes: There’s a reason this recipe on allrecipes has more than 8,300 positive reviews. Follow the recipe as written, but reduce the sugar to 1 Tablespoon.

Then, following advice from King Arthur Flour, add 1 Tablespoon frozen blueberries to each pancake after you pour the batter on the hot skillet. Flip gently.

Updated 31-Jul-2016: We had a pancake emergency this morning. I woke up with a craving for these pancakes, but the allrecipes site was under maintenance, and we didn’t have any eggs in the house. I got a backup version of the recipe from a cache on allrecipes, and then found a lovely vegan pancake recipe on cookie and kate  that used the same amount of flour. Revised and combined recipe below.

Makes about 8 pancakes – no egg required!

1 cup milk (almond milk or 2%) and 
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
cooking spray
Frozen or fresh blueberries

  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk oil and vanilla into vinegared milk. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined, so only a few lumps remain (don’t over-mix or your pancakes will be tough).
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat generously with cooking spray.
  5. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, add blueberries to each one, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Review: Easy Rice Pudding

IMG_0744Cook’s notes: An article on epicurious gives directions for making rice pudding with leftover rice. The instructions were easy to follow and the results were delicious. I like that it only used a small amount of sweetener. I also appreciate that it doesn’t call for a lot of extra ingredients, such as egg, sweetened condensed milk, bourbon, or cream. It’s simple and delicious.

This pudding was a great way to use up leftover rice from Thai takeout. I used a can of light coconut milk and added a touch of cinnamon. It would be vegan if you used maple syrup instead of honey.

In case you can’t read my handwriting on the index card in the photo, the ingredients were:

  • Leftover rice (about 2 cups)
  • 15 oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Vegan Black Lager Cupcakes

IMG_0424Cook’s notes: I made some amazing Guinness chocolate stout cupcakes, but you know I hate to leave anyone out when we’re sharing food. This version is perfect for your vegan friends. New Belgium 1554 Black Lager is approved for vegans by barnivore.com. You can also reduce the sugar to just 2/3 cup. These terrific cupcakes do not need frosting.

Much like the “Wacky Cake,” which is made without eggs, milk, or butter, these are one-bowl cupcakes. Use a whisk to combine the batter; no mixer is needed.

I adapted the recipe to use espresso powder and black cocoa, which is super-dark cocoa. Use the ratio of 1/3 black cocoa with 2/3 Dutch processed cocoa powder in baking.

Dry:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup [or just 2/3 cup] organic sugar
2 Tablespoons black cocoa plus enough Dutch processed cocoa powder to make 1/2 cup cocoa total
1 Tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder, aluminum-free
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup vegan black lager or stout (such as New Belgium 1554 Black Lager)

 

Heat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with parchment cups.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the bowl.

Have the liquid ingredients measured and ready to go before you start to pour. Pour the melted oil, vinegar, and beer into the well. Stir well – batter thickens quickly.

Pour batter into the prepared cups, filling each only about 3/4 full.

Bake on center rack of the oven for approximately 25 minutes.

When cupcakes are done (toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake will come out clean), remove the pan to a wire rack. Let cool for ten minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan, and let them cool completely on wire rack.

 

Adapted from One Green Planet.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

IMG_0425Cook’s notes: These are a wonderful variation on the Chocolate Guinness Bundt Cake, with no frosting required. (For a vegan version of the cupcakes, see the post on Vegan Black Lager Cupcakes).

Adapted from Pinch My Salt, which notes that you can use any stout or porter instead of Guinness. I adapted the recipe to use a stand mixer and black cocoa, which is super-dark cocoa. Use the ratio of 1/3 black cocoa with 2/3 Dutch processed cocoa powder in baking. I reduced the amount of sugar and added espresso powder.

Have eggs, yogurt, and stout at room temperature before starting. Yield: 18 cupcakes.

6 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain, thick yogurt, at room temperature
6 oz. dark stout (I used Guinness), at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons black cocoa plus enough Dutch processed cocoa powder to make 1/2 cup cocoa total
1 Tablespoon espresso powder
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake papers; spray the whole thing, cupcake papers and all, with nonstick spray. Set aside. (Note: I had enough batter for an additional 6 cupcakes).

Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop, then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Add stout; beat until well combined.

Whisk all the dry ingredients together (cocoa powder, espresso powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon) in a separate bowl.

Add the cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients in thirds, beating until well mixed after each addition. When all ingredients are blended, add the melted butter, then continue mixing until very well combined.

Pour batter into the prepared cups, filling each only about 3/4 full.

Bake on center rack of the oven for approximately 25 minutes.

When cupcakes are done (toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake will come out clean), remove the pan to a wire rack. Let cool for ten minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan, and let them cool completely on wire rack.

Happiness Muffins (Lemon-Blueberry)

Cook’s notes: These muffins are just amazing, hence their nickname “Happiness Muffins.” I had extra buttermilk in the house, and this recipe was the perfect way to use it up. Many buttermilk muffin recipes call for 2:1 ratio of flour to sugar (such as 4 cups flour and 2 cups sugar), too sweet for me. This recipe uses just 1/2 cup sugar, which is plenty sweet, and the muffins are bursting with berries. I adapted the recipe to use a stand mixer, omitted the glaze, and increased the amount of blueberries.

Stir your flour with a whisk before scooping and leveling it.

Makes 16 muffins (8 servings)

Dry:
2.5 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet:
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 cups frozen blueberries

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pans with silicone liners.

Put dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to blend lightly.

Put the buttermilk and oil in a measuring cup. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk together to beat the eggs lightly and blend the wet mixture.

Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in wet ingredients, mixing quickly with a few strokes of the paddle.

Fold in blueberries. Do not mix too long — batter should be lumpy.

Use an ice-cream scoop to portion batter into lined muffin cups, almost to the top of each cup. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool.

Source: Adapted slightly from The Comfort of Cooking

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

Cook’s notes: She originally called for 1 Tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce. The little bit of Tabasco was more than hot enough for me. I added red bell pepper and sweet potato and reduced the added sweetener. The roasted sweet potato was left over from another meal and was a nice addition. You could also steam a fresh sweet potato in the microwave if you don’t have leftovers.

  • Easy and delicious, ready in about 20 minutes. Leftover curry heats up well for lunches.
  • Likely gluten-free, definitely vegetarian/vegan
  • Makes 6 servings

1 package frozen brown rice

2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Curry powder, any variety (we like the Penzeys brand)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
1 can (13.5 ounce) coconut milk
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (more to taste)
1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced cooked sweet potato

Cook the rice according to the package instructions.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and bell pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until the onions are soft and starting to turn golden. Sprinkle in the curry powder and garlic and stir, cooking for another minute or so.

Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan. Add the coconut milk, sugar, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, add the chickpeas and sweet potato. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, sugar, or hot sauce.

Serve the curry over the rice.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s blog

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

IMG_2199Cook’s notes: I posted a version of this recipe several years ago that used two kinds of syrup (Peppermint Hot Cocoa, Syrup Version). This version includes two kinds of chocolate. The maple syrup seems to intensify the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have maple syrup, use either 1 Tablespoon honey or 4 teaspoons white sugar (you need to use 1/3 more sugar than maple syrup). Guittard does not add milk to their chips, but if you need certified vegan chips, I recommend the Enjoy Life brand.

1 cup almond milk
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Droste Dutch Processed Cocoa)
1.5 Tablespoons extra dark chocolate chips (such as Guittard)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

Microwave the almond milk in a glass measuring cup for 2 minutes on High.

Place the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and salt in a mug. Add a splash of  hot almond milk; stir until chocolate chips are melted and the chocolate mixture is thick and smooth.

Add the remaining hot milk, maple syrup, and peppermint extract. Stir to combine.

Top with whipped cream and serve hot.

 

 

Iced Tea with Peach Puree

Cook’s notes: I wanted to make peach iced tea from scratch with less sugar. The typical instant peach iced tea has too much for my taste. You don’t need to peel the peach slices.

Makes 2 quarts.

2 ripe peaches, sliced and pitted
1 cup water
1/4 cup mint syrup
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon (about 1.5 tablespoons juice (0.75 oz; 22 ml)
5 cups of strong black tea (I used 4 PG Tips tea bags steeped in 1 cup water; plus 4 cups water).

Boil the peach slices in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Make the tea; stir in the lemon juice and mint syrup. Let cool.

Puree the sweetened tea and peach slices until blended. Serve over ice.

Family secret: For “special tea”, add Jim Beam Honey Bourbon to taste.

Mixed Berry Sorbet

Berry sorbet with reduced sugar

Berry sorbet with reduced sugar

Cook’s notes: About a minute to make your own dairy-free sorbet.

Yield: About 3.5 cups

1 cup water
1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
16 oz. bag frozen mixed berries without added sugar

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
  4. In about 30-60 seconds, the sound of the motor will change. Four mounds should form.
  5. Stop machine. Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

Adapted from the Vitamix Getting Started Plus guide.


NOTE: This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different machine, you may need to make adjustments to the speed or processing time. Know your blender and don’t overload the machine.

DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I paid for any products listed here and liked using them. This is my personal blog, and I am not compensated to create posts.

Hot Cinnamon Quinoa Cereal

Quinoa cereal with cinnamon: more protein than oatmeal

Quinoa cereal with cinnamon: more protein than oatmeal

Cook’s notes: A delicious and filling way to eat leftover quinoa. Adapted from a recipe in Yum Universe.

SERVES 2.

1/4 cup pecan pieces
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon Chai Spice Mix
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Almond milk, about 1 cup
2 to 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries

Heat a saucepan over warm heat, and dry toast the pecan pieces for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut oil. When it melts, stir in the flaxseed and Chai Spices until well-mixed.

Stir in the quinoa, maple syrup, and salt. Stir in enough almond milk to give it the consistency of loose oatmeal. Stir in the dried cranberries. Stir the entire mixture together until heated through.

Serve warm quinoa in a bowl.