Monthly Archives: January 2011

Brown Sugar Blueberry Pancakes

What do you make for breakfast when Scott’s fridge looks like this?

It’s the ultimate game of “what-do-I-have-in-the-cupboards-so-I-don’t-have-to-go-to-the-store.”

 But I could whip up a batch of these.

Brown sugar blueberry pancakes.

Super easy.

Super delicious.

And doesn’t involve that many ingredients. That being said – I still had to substitute half and half for milk…

Brown sugar blueberry pancakes

makes 6 large pancakes

**********
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon butter, melted
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
**********

Whisk together egg, milk (or half and half in my case), brown sugar and melted butter.

Set aside. In a larger bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Add egg and milk mixture to flour mixture.

And whisk together, until just mixed.

Fold in blueberries.

Cook in a frying pan, over medium-low heat, flipping after 3-4 minutes (or bubbles start to form). Cook for an addition 1-2 minutes.

Top with maple syrup.

Weekend breakfast may be one of my absolute favorite things in life.

Hello Florida!

At this moment, I am sitting outside at my computer, drinking my coffee.

It’s 10:30 in the morning.

On the 29th of January.

Did I mention I was wearing a bathrobe?

Clearly, I am not in Minneapolis.

Hello Florida!

It’s lovely here.

Wednesday night, instead of packing, I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to make a skirt.

I dug out my mother’s old sewing machine. (I think it might be older than I am)

 

I then searched through my pattern and notion archives.

 

And assessed my stock of fabric.

I couldn’t find a pattern that I liked and/or had enough fabric for.

So I improvised, Project Runway-style.

Now, this is something that I am not confident doing.  When I sew (and it has been several months since I dusted off my sewing machine) I need a pattern to get through the project.  My mother, on the other hand, can totally make something up on the fly.  I admire that and decided it was time to take the training wheels off (after 15 years or so of sewing projects).

I went to my closet for inspiration.

 

I chose my favorite, purple, A-line skirt to help guide me in making a new, purple, A-line skirt.

You can see I had some help from Puck.

And then Kudzu decided he needed to get in on the action.

(and while this was annoying to work around, I find the cats to be extremely cute)

I mean, come on, this is way cute…

 

I had a slight mis-step in cutting my fabric, so I decided to incorporate blue side panels into the skirt.  I actually think it improved the overall design.  However, I am still far from being ready to go on Project Runway.

I got to work.

I love making skirts because you mostly are just sewing straight lines.  No complicated armholes or necklines.  I even managed to line it and add the zipper without too much hassle.

I think it turned out pretty well, given I wasn’t sure of what I was doing.

And the best part is …

I get to show off my whiter-than-white legs.

Since such things are possible in January, when in Florida.

And I get to work outside on the coffeeshop patio.

With Scott.

In the sun.

Not in snowy, cold Minneapolis.

Which makes me more than happy.

 

Crazy about coffee

I love coffee.

I mean really really really love coffee.

Partly for the caffeine.

(although, if necessary, I can make it through the day without it)

But mostly because it smells so damn good.

And tastes even better.

It makes me outrageously happy.

And maybe a little bit crazy (but that might be genetic).

I drink it during brunch…

And while I work…

And when I visit friends.

I am amused by gigantic cups of coffee art.

Even Scott likes coffee.  And that’s (one reason) why I love him.

I just needed to put that out there in the world.

But I am not obsessed about coffee.

Or addicted.

Clearly.

Creamy chocolate-covered mints

I really had no reason to make these cute little creamy chocolate-covered mints.  But, I am still in the honeymoon period with my beautiful green KitchenAid stand mixer.  And it was Sunday.  And I had all of the ingredients in my cupboards.  And they were ridiculously easy to make.  And fun to photograph.

I got the recipe from the little instruction and recipe book that came with my mixer.  And then decided to punch them up with the chocolate.  Oh, and some vanilla.  And I used creme de menthe syrup instead of mint extract.  So I guess you could say I was inspired by the recipe in the KitchenAid book.

Creamy chocolate-covered mints

Start with ~4 oz of cream cheese (1/2 a package) in a mixing bowl.

Add some creme de menthe syrup (I am not exactly sure how much I added – I did it mostly to taste.  The recipe calls for a 1/4 tsp of mint extract)  The recipe also calls for some green food coloring, but as the syrup was already green, I didn’t want to over-do it.

Add some vanilla.  Maybe 1/2 tsp?  As you can see I wasn’t using a measuring spoon…

Now beat on low until smooth.

Beat in a total of 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar a little at a time.

Now form little balls, maybe 3/4 to an inch big and cover in superfine sugar.

Now I didn’t have superfine sugar.  But I did have regular old granulated sugar and a little food processor.

Just a few pulses and I had my superfine sugar.

Continue rolling out the mints. I love how they look like marshmallow here!

And then squash them down with the back of a spoon.

Now for the chocolate.

Melt some chocolate chips, a pinch of salt and a pat of butter in a double broiler. I’ve just realized you can spy me photographing in the reflection of the double broiler – totally unintentional, but I kind of like it.

Whisk until completely melted and smooth. I had to add a touch of cream to get it to the desired consistancy.

Now, in a more well-equipped kitchen, I would put this in a piping bag.  But this isn’t really a well-equipped kitchen.  So I used an all-purpose ziploc bag instead and cut a tiny hole in the corner to pipe my chocolate across my mints.

I am rather pleased with how pretty they have turned out.

I am not quite sure what to do with all of these goodies I’ve been obsessed with making.  My very small freezer is quickly becoming jam-packed.  Perhaps I should find some friends in this town to unload them on.

Call me old-fashioned …

Actually, don’t call me old-fashioned.  I mean, I have purple hair and went to hippie college.  Not what you would call old-fashioned.  What I meant is that you can call a me the type of person who likes to drink an old-fashioned.  It may have gotten started when I started watching Mad Men a few years back, which incidentally corresponded to the opening of a whiskey bar in back in Durham, Whiskey (a less than original name, I know, but they have lots of personality).  Either way, it is slowly becoming one of my drinks of choice (don’t worry gin and tonic – you will always have a place in my heart).

I find it also helps immensely in dealing with the Midwestern winter (in addition to all of that comfort food I just talked about).

Old-fashioned

Start with a sugar cube (~1 tsp), ideally in the proper glassware.  Alas, all I had was this stemless wine glass.

Add a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

Add 1 tsp water and muddle together.

Add some ice to the glass.

And fill with 3 oz of bourbon (2 shot glasses worth).

Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Cheers!

Don’t be surprised if I emerge from this winter a 250-pound alcoholic…