Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes Redux

fullsizeoutput_18ebCook’s notes: I keep reworking my recipe for small batch pancakes. This simple recipe makes 8 pancakes. If you don’t eat eggs, it should work just fine without the egg (or try one of these substitutes).

Dry ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons Pie Spice (Penzeys brand)

Wet ingredients
1 beaten egg
1 cup almond milk
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

Frozen blueberries without added sugar (1 Tablespoon per pancake)

Combine the dry ingredients (flour to spice) in large bowl. Whisk together to blend well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add beaten egg mix. Whisk the batter together with as few strokes as possible (There will be a few lumps in the batter.)

Lightly oil the surface of a large skillet, and heat over medium heat. Make two pancakes at a time: Pour 1/4-cup batter onto griddle for each pancake, spacing them out so they have room to spread without touching. Add 1 Tablespoon frozen blueberries to each pancake after you pour the batter on the hot skillet.

Cook until bubbles form on the surface, about 3 minutes; then flip gently and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Continue cooking batches with remaining batter.

Serve with maple syrup and your choice of toppings.

Adapted from http://www.oprah.com/food/Pancake-Mix-Recipe#ixzz3siBKxkto and Review: Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes


Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing

IMG_0864Makes about 2.5 oz (5.2 Tablespoons; about 3 servings). Serving size is 1 to 2 Tablespoons.

Favorite Italian Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb blend without salt (such as Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which blends basil, oregano, thyme and minced garlic)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to a week. Stir again before serving if needed.


Dinner party size

Serving size is 1 to 2 Tablespoons.

  • 6 oz extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz red wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend without salt (such as Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which blends basil, oregano, thyme and minced garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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Turkey Chili for Two

IMG_0677Cook’s notes: This hearty chili is very satisfying. I was happy to find a great chili recipe that makes only a small batch. It’s perfect for lunch. In addition to using turkey instead of beef, I added a little cinnamon. Serve 1 cup turkey chili with shredded cheese.


1/2 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 roasted garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried shallot
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 oz.) chili beans in sauce, undrained [mix of kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans]
1.5 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

In a large saucepan, cook turkey and onion over medium heat until meat no longer pink. Add garlic; cook one minute longer. Drain.

Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home (link).


Turkey Meatloaves for Two

4 servings of meatloaf

4 servings of meatloaf

Cook’s notes: The Kraft website has a simple recipe to make free-form turkey meatloaves with roasted root vegetables. This recipe worked out well, and I made the following modifications:

Roasted vegetables:
1 sweet potato instead of 10 oz. red potato
12 baby carrots instead of 2 regular carrots

Use cooking spray to coat the vegetables, instead of oil.

Meatloaves: Use 1.25 lb/20 oz. package of ground turkey, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, and 2 egg whites. Divide the mixture into four loaves. I topped these with a seasonal pumpkin-molasses barbecue sauce. Makes 4 meatloaves.

Leftovers are terrific the next day.

Kraft says, “This little turkey meatloaf for two is big on flavor and texture, with tangy BBQ sauce.”

1 small sweet onion
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
12 baby carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices

1.25 lb. (20 oz.) 93%-fat-free ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 egg whites
4 Tbsp. barbecue sauce without high-fructose corn syrup

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Line a 15x10x1-inch pan with a Silpat mat.

Mince enough onion to measure 1/4 cup; set aside. Cut remaining onion into wedges. Spread potatoes, carrots, and onion wedges onto bottom of 15x10x1-inch pan. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.

Mix minced onions, turkey, bread crumbs, and egg whites in a bowl. (I put on food-handling gloves and kneaded the mixture by hand until well-combined.)

Remove vegetables from oven; stir, then push to edges of pan.

Divide turkey mixture into 4 portions; shape each portion into 6×3-inch oval loaf; place loaves in center of pan. Top each loaf with 1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce.

Bake 15 to 20 min. or until meatloaf is done (165ºF) and vegetables are tender.


Small Batch Russian Dressing Dip

Russian dressing dip is excellent with baby carrots

Russian dressing dip is excellent with baby carrots

Cook’s notes: This healthier version of a popular salad dressing doesn’t have any added mayo or sugar. I had a leftover turkey Reuben with some baby carrots, and thought having Russian dressing would be a great dip for the carrots. This recipe is less sweet than commercial dressings.

Makes about 1/2 cup. No added mayo!

1/4 cup red pepper and basil hummus
1/4 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pickle relish
Ketchup to taste (one squirt, up to 1 Tablespoon)

Combine all ingredients in a small container. Stir together until well-mixed.


Best recipe: Small Batch Balsamic-Rosemary Vinaigrette

Best small batch vinaigrette

Best small batch vinaigrette

Cook’s notes: The original version was broadcast on the Splendid Table program (link). Designer Isaac Mizrahi gave an entertaining interview, but his recipe just calls for herbs. As host Lynne Rossetto Kasper pointed out, you could use any combination of herbs and vinegar. The suggestion to combine balsamic with rosemary comes from several sources.

More importantly, this is an amazing balsamic vinaigrette that you can make fresh right before dinner. It’s so good, we were tempted to sip it. The 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar was terrific (a lot of dressings call for 3 parts of oil). This recipe is going to be in heavy rotation at our house.

Makes 2 servings (about 4 Tablespoons total).

1 clove garlic
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/8 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
3/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
Optional: 1/16 teaspoon sugar

Prepare garlic with the “press and rest” method: run the garlic clove through a garlic press and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients in a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well-mixed. Taste and add sugar for balance if needed.


Best Recipe: Cinnamon Skillet Pecans

2 cups raw pecans

2 cups raw pecans

Cook’s notes: You can use pecans, almonds, cashews (or a mix of nuts) in this recipe. I’d also like to try these with the Chai Spice Mix. I like that this small-batch recipe only makes 2 cups of nuts, which is just enough to enjoy without being too tempting.

I made these pecans for a friend’s birthday, and this was her reaction: “Deliciously addictive. I love ‘em! Lots of flavors going on with slightly sweet at the beginning, then salty, and a little heat kick at the end…. I am enjoying these nuts tremendously. Thank you so much!”

Spice mix:
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups pecan halves
1 teaspoon sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling

Make the spice mix: Combine salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a small bowl.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat; stir in the the spice mixture. Stir in the pecans, and cook for 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the pecans with the sugar. Continue to toast the nuts, stirring often, until the color of the nuts deepens slightly, for a few more minutes (6 to 8 minutes total). Transfer the nuts to a bowl and sprinkle with a little more sugar. Spread the coated nuts on a plate to cool.

Adapted from The Frugal Girl (reduced sugar; reordered ingredients) http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/05/how-to-make-spiced-pecans-or-cashews-or-almonds/