Lemon Raspberry Granola Pancakes

In the interest of saying SOMETHING about food this year…

I give you RASPBERRY GRANOLA PANCAKES!!!

See recipe for Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes…

Don’t fold the raspberries into the batter, however, as they have a tendency to be a bit mushy softer.

Ladle out the pancake onto the pan or griddle, then drop the raspberries artfully onto the top, and sprinkle with a bit of granola.

I also added a bit of lemon zest to the batter.

Try not to go overboard with the granola.  Just trust me here.  And try to find an unflavored granola.

When you flip them, you’ll have to smash them a bit, like a burger, but not too hard.

They are delightful! 😛

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

We really do live on a bizarre schedule around here.  After 2 weeks of vacation in the middle of September, we are switching from having Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday as Hubby’s days off, back to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off.  It’s really no wonder that I have trouble remembering what day of the week it is sometimes.

I suppose it’s a good thing that Rat Boy likes homeschooling, because I’d probably send him to school on Thursday through Sunday some weeks, and Monday through Thursday on others.

I actually tried to take him on Saturday one time when he was younger.  He wouldn’t get out of the car.

But I digress.  And probably will again, possibly in the near future.

Quinoa.  Apparently that’s where it’s at for the pot-smokin’ hippie  healthy foods-oriented crowd.  I’ve tested fed it to Hubby and Rat Boy on several occasions.  I usually throw some frozen veggies in with it, as a half-ass, fast attempt at a pilaf.  They were not impressed.

Quinoa, pronounced “Keen-wah”, is a grain that is not a grain.  I totally understand if it has identity issues.  It is referred to as a pseudocereal, because it is not a member of the grass family like wheat, but instead has relatives like beets and spinach.  And it’s amazingly healthy.  And grainy.  Great substitute for rice (and we are a rice-loving family).

And it’s OLD.  Like older than the Roman Empire, or the Greek, or even the Egyptians!  Quinoa originated in the Andean region, where it was domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption.  There is even evidence that shows an association with pastoral herding 5200 to 7000 years ago.  So much for the world civ lesson.

I recently discovered there are red and black varieties, as well as the white.  Mum, over the weekend, asked me to make a couscous salad for her retired teachers meeting, and because I was feeling persnickity a bit avante guarde, I decided to instead do quinoa.

1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups water cooks just like rice.  Bring to a boil, then simmer on low 20 minutes.  Cooking times are longer for the red and black varieties, as are the cooking times for more whole hulled rices.

Cool…overnight if possible, then add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.  Amounts of course will vary, depending on how much you’d like to make.  I started with 4 cups of red quinoa to 8 cups of water.  I made a LOT of quinoa.  WAY more than I’d intended.  But no worries.  It even freezes well!

Isn’t it pretty?

Toss everything together with a drizzle of olive oil…I used a roasted garlic infused variety that I put on everything I possibly can.  Did I mention that I really like garlic? Oh yeah, and juice from about 2/3 of a lemon.  I used Meyer, but can’t always get them, so I’m sure a ‘normal’ lemon would be fine too.

I added some chopped fresh oregano to the first batch, then basil…yes, it’s still going strong out on the porch…to the second.  And some mint.  Because Mediterranean dishes use mint.  Just believe it.

It really is pretty.  Colorful.  Tastes fabulous.  Healthy.  Can you possibly ask for more?

Oh yeah, easy to make also.

Kitchen Kat expressed his approval by nomming on my leg while I was doing the washing up.

I can’t believe how huge his claws look.  😛  And how bad my kitchen rug looks.  I should be totally embarrassed now.  But it’s been a long day.  I’ll work on that tomorrow.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

I’m starting a new policy.  When descending upon friends with my family swarm, I propose to bring baked goods to increase our desirability as couch-surfing guests!  😛

And…I got goodies to bake other nomable stuff with!  My very first Pampered Chef stoneware… a bar pan.  Now I can make even better bar-type baked yummies!  Thanks again Aggie!  🙂  (Especially since Mum wants me to bake her 3 batches of brownies for a party!)

I was hoping that the blueberry bread would be a hit last weekend, and it was.  Go me!!!  Even the kids who won’t eat anything (I am not naming names) ate this and loved it.  It is quick and easy to create, and it looks pretty too. 😀

Could you ask for more???  No cut pics though, since this loaf was a gift.  Yumtastic blueberries throughout the bread, with a lovely hint of lemon.  😛

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray with oil, or butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.

Use an electric mixer to beat 6 tbsp butter until softened, then add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.  Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating in well.  Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp lemon zest.  Turn the mixer to low to add the flour mixture and  1/2 cup milk, alternating additions to begin and end with the flour.  Mix only until combined, then gently fold in about 2/3 of the blueberries.  I used a pint of blueberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle the remaining blueberries evenly across the top of the batter.  Then bake 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.  Cool in the pan about 10-15 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack so that the sides and bottom don’t become soggy.

 

Lemon Raspberry Breakfast Rolls

It’s 2 in the afternoon.  I realize 2 pm is a bit past breakfast for most of the world, but we run on our own schedule around here.  Rat Boy is doing a Photoshop tutorial (a.k.a. school) and Hubby is napping.

I just polished off the most awesome breakfast pastry I have evah produced on my own.  By that, I mean it didn’t come out of a can with a little guy in a baker’s hat on the outside.

Behold the beauty of the Lemon Raspberry Roll!

Come to Mama!  🙂

I found the recipe at Joy the Baker.  She has many yummy things, but this one jumped out at me.  The recipe for these scrumptious breakfast rolls is here.

They’re a bit messy in the construction process.  I had a bit of trouble getting the filling to stay inside the dough as I was rolling it up.

And it’s a BIG piece of dough!  But I just scraped up all of the wayward filling and poured it over the rolls I managed to get into the pan.  The ends didn’t roll too well.  They’re more like knots.  😛

Somehow, magically, they cam out looking like this on my first try!

They look pretty, smell great, and taste fantastic.  The icing is sweet enough to balance out the lemon and raspberry tangy-ness without being too sweet.  Total awesomeness!  😛

Rat Boy and Hubby also gave 2 thumbs up.  Sometimes I wonder if they are just being nice so I’ll keep feeding them.  Not today.  I ate 2 already, and would probably have another, except we’re going for sushi in a couple of hours!

Plus, my diet plan is screaming in agony…as are my jeans.