Bring on the Bubbly!

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! Do you ever have leftover Champagne from New Year’s?…probably not…but if you do, you should give these sparkling wine pancakes a try!

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These are sparkling wine pancakes that I served with some fresh blood orange slices, raspberries, and some sparkling wine jelly. Oh, a quick disclaimer, I meant to make these with Champagne, but then I got cheap and just got the cheapest bottle of sparkling whatever and ended up with a Prosecco which was still delicious.  And, in case you’re wondering, both Champagne and Prosecco are sparkling wines, but only sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France can actually be called “Champagne.”  You can also get other sparkling wines made in a Champagne-style, or just other types of sparkling wines like Prosecco (from Italy) or Cava (from Spain).

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Okay, onto the pancakes.  I thought these were good, but not great, but my roommate, C, really liked them.  The Prosecco taste stays pretty strong in the pancakes and gives the pancakes an almost yeasty flavor.  The pancakes are lightly sweet, but I still added some powdered sugar and Prosecco jelly (more on this later!) to sweeten them up even more. (Here’s my recipe.)

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Oh, and a cooking tip – I actually had a bit of trouble with these pancakes…I burned 3 out of 7 (probably my worst turnout ever).  These pancakes are really fluffy and light (not only because of the Prosecco, but also because I upped the baking soda in the recipe) but because of their extreme lightness, they are a little fussy to make.  Basically the pancakes need to cook longer than regular pancakes (because the batter is runnier than regular batter), but because they’re so light, they burn really easily.  Anywhoo, make sure your pan is really hot, but that once you start cooking the pancakes, turn the heat way down.  On to the accompaniment!

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This is my Prosecco Blood Orange Raspberry jelly recipe! I worked off this basic Champagne Jelly recipe, but I flavored it with blood orange juice and zest and some fresh raspberries thrown in right at the end of the cooking process.  Blood oranges sort of taste like regular oranges but with a hint of raspberry-ness, so these fruits worked really well together.

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This was my first time using pectin to make jelly (I guess the recipes I usually follow just use the natural pectin from whatever fruit I’m jelly-ing/jam-ing).  I wasn’t sure really what to expect, but it’s just a thick clear white gel that tastes super sour.  The actually jelly itself is fairly tart and mildly sweet.  The blood orange flavor comes through nicely and the pops of raspberry are a nice surprise.  The jelly needs to sit overnight to really set up properly.  I hadn’t thought about this and ended up using the “syrup” version of the jelly since I couldn’t wait to try it!  I think the jelly was really the star of this sparkling wine ‘speriment, but the entire combo was pretty pretty good.

3.75 out of 5 stackies: imageimageimageimage

Who Wants Pancakes???

So in my infinite generosity I’ve given IHOPapotamus the month off for the holidays and instead, I’ll be mixing it up this month.  By the way, Merry Christmas Eve Eve! 

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(Pic from Make and Takes – I actually have issues with eating things that are a face (or have faces on them)…I don’t know, it’s my morbid streak, but I feel like I would be cutting into Santa’s face – anyway, this is still a cute Santa-cake)

So I’m a big fan of homemade presents and this year I decided to spread some holiday pancaking cheer by giving homemade pancake batter mixes as gifts.

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These are super easy to make and pretty cute (if I say so myself). All you need are:

  1. Clean glass/plastic containers – I got mine from the dollar store 
  2. A solid pancake recipe (you can browse my recipe box here)
  3. Some gift tags – I made these out of construction paper
  4. Decorations! – I used green tissue paper and red yarn to make little wreath toppers for the jar lids.

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First, pick out what recipe you want to use.  I made two of these for my friends.  For my one friend who likes to partay, I made a “Wasted Batter” mix (beer pancakes) and included a bottle of berry-flavored beer. And for my other friend I made a “Me So Corny” mix (cornmeal pancakes)…because she likes corn.  Then, I wrote out the directions for the pancakes (including what extra ingredients they would need, eggs, milk, etc.).  Finally, all you have to do is close up the jars, make ‘em look pretty and you’re set! You could also fancy these up with a little jug of syrup or a mini honey bear – what the heck, maybe even BOTH (it is Christmas after all).

My favorite part in making these was picking out which recipes I wanted give to each person – basically a pancake personality test.  

Alright, it’s time for me to go get my merry on – see you next week and Happy Holidays!

Edd Nog’s Eggnog Blog Log

It’s a mouthful (and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch this.)

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1 Week and 1 Day till Christmas!! Now, I’m not the world’s biggest eggnog fan, but eggnog is super christmas-y so in the spirit of the holidays, I decided to whip up a batch of eggnog…and then I made some pancakes (it’s kind of how a lot of my days go).

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I’ve never made eggnog before, but I followed Alton Brown‘s recipe (which is the first result in a google search and my brother-in-law mentioned seeing it before).  It was pretty straightforward and mostly just involves a lot of whipping – everything needs to be super fluffy.  Oh, also, we didn’t have any bourbon in the house, so I made an executive decision to use scotch…they’re similar, right? I do think bourbon would’ve made the ‘nog a little sweeter, but my version was fine.   (Get the recipe for my half-batch!) Oh yeah, I still don’t like eggnog, I don’t know, liquory-sweet-cream just isn’t my thing, but that’s just me.  On to pancakes!

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So in my recipe I added a little extra nutmeg (to make sure you would get that eggnog flavor) and some orange zest (just ‘cause I wanted to zest it up!). You can definitely taste both the eggnog and the zest in the pancakes, which also have a really creamy flavor to them and are mildly sweet.

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The batter for these pancakes was super thick, and if I had stopped to think about it, I should have realized that I needed to add more eggnog.  Freshly-made eggnog is super creamy (from all the whipping, remember?) so when I measured out how much to use, I didn’t take into account that 1/2 of it was foam and not actual liquid.  My pancakes were a little dry and bready (I’ve fixed the recipe so when you try it, it should work out just right!).  Oh, and the sprinkle of powdered sugar and cinnamon on top of the pancakes is glorious – sweetens things up and brings out some nice holiday spice profiles.

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I also tried the pancakes with just a dab of the eggnog cream on top which helped with the texture, but made the liquor taste much stronger – regular whipped cream would’ve been a better choice, hmm, or whipped cream with cinnamon? and one one of those little pirouette crackers in it…gah, now I have to go make more!

3 out of 5 stackies: imageimageimage

Latke Larry Comes to You…

Or in other words, Happy Chanukah!  (If you don’t know who Latke Larry is, you’ll want to watch this video – yes that’s Jerry Stiller, and yes, he’s real, I know because I gave one to my roommate).  What’s more Chanukah than latkes? 

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I’ve eaten these latkes many-a-year at my roommate’s home.  They are SO GOOD and when people say that their mama’s latkes are the best in the world, they’re really talking about these (gauntlet thrown).  

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These latkes are thin and crispy, lightly salted, and basically just glorious.  They get their amazing texture from having (almost) all the potato juices squeezed out of them and you really want to try to get your potatoes as dry as possible. 

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Really, the unsung hero of the latkes is the fork.  whaaat? Yes, as my roommate kindly informed me, the fork is key to the mixing/forming/cooking of these latkes.  First, you want to “whisk” the batter together with a fork so that the potatoes stay separated and they all get coated with the egg mixture.  Then, you measure out the latkes with a fork, and lightly fluff them out in the pan – again, fork.  Lastly, as you’re cooking the latkes, you can gently lift them up to peak at the underside …with a fork!

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Okay, last tip. If you somehow don’t eat all of these latkes immediately, you can freeze them (they’ll last about a month) or just keep them in the fridge for the next day!  Make sure you reheat them in an oven or a toaster oven – if reheated in a microwave, you will be haunted by all the latkes of Chanukahs-past.

Whew, if you think you’re ready for these latkes, then click here. But I warn you, with great latke-power, comes great latke-sponsibility. (Oh, and yeah, you may remember Myrna from an earlier post on Matzo Meal Pancakes.)

And with that, I’ll bid you a fond Chanukah Sameach! 

4.5 out of 5 stackies: image

Brought to You by the Letter C

My friend Megan makes a damn-fine carrot cake. These Carrot Cottage Cheese pancakes are sort of my ode to her and her carrot cake…and also a chance for me to experiment with a cottage cheese pancake base.

 

(Get the original recipe from Taste of Beirut and my version here.)

It should come as no surprise that these pancakes are carrot-y, but they’re super carrot-y, carrot-ier, perhaps, than an actual carrot.  In fact, these are so carrot-y that I’m going to go ahead and say that they’re “healthy” because: 

  1. these have carrots and carrots are good for you, in general, that’s like a law or science or something
  2. carrots have vitamin A which is good for your eyes
  3. it’s easier to absorb carrot vitamins when they’re cooked…which these are
  4. CARROTS.
So, yeah, my definition of healthy = “contains some vegetables.”  I should totally be a carrot publicist.*
(lots of good-looking carrots)

These pancakes are good just the way they are, so you don’t need to add any syrup or powdered sugar, although drizzling some honey on top might make them extra delicious.  The original recipe says that these can be served as a savory or a sweet sidedish, but I definitely think they err on the side of sweet.

(mmm, mmm, looking golden and delicious)

The only downfall to these pancakes was that they were slightly on the wet side, I think because of the cottage cheese.  Speaking of which, I’m not a huge cottage cheese fan (it looks slimy and gross), but you couldn’t really taste the cheese in the batter, so I’m not sure that the cottage cheese was really necessary at all.  If I were to make these cuppies (carrot-puppies) again, I might use ricotta cheese since it’s slightly drier.  I might also try to make these more carrot cake-ier by adding raisins and nuts and maybe a cream cheese glaze, but then that would probably take away the integrity of the carrots, themselves.  Ah, the eternal dilemma…

3.5 out of 5 stackies: 

*This is a wholly unrelated story except for the fact that carrots are involved.  Anyway, apparently my bf was talking to a girl who had been offered a job as a Cost Accountant for a Carrot Company (cost accountants figure out what costs drive your business, so I imagine the main crux of this job would be to figure how much of the profits were being stolen by rabbits)…I know, not much of a story, but come on, I’d take that job!