Pancake Fate

Hello All,

I apologize for my lack of posting lately; part of it due to busyness and part due to lack of inspiration. But, I made some pancakes yesterday that were wonderful, and I just couldn’t wait to tell you about them. You see, I really wanted some pancakes (actually I wanted waffles, but didn’t feel like bothering with the waffle iron) so I quickly went to Google in hopes of finding a good healthy pancake recipe. No luck. “Hmm. maybe HEAB will have something on her recipe page,” I thought. As fate would have it, just minutes before I went to her page Heather had put up a new post about pancakes! I guess destiny wanted me to make these pancakes! It is actually a recipe from Alex at Spoonful of Sugar Free.

I follow the recipe almost exactly, except I used white whole wheat flour instead of brown rice flour and a little bit of coconut oil because I didn’t have applesauce. The first few I made, I poured the batter down then sprinkled on some frozen blueberries. When about half the batter was remaining, I mixed a handful of blueberries and probably about 1 tsp of apricot jam into the batter then proceeded to cook the rest. They were so, so, so delicious. I loved them!

Topped with plenty of butter (What can I say, I was inspired by HEAB)because butter makes everything better. Though I avoid most dairy, butter is one of those foods I will never be able to give up. It’s just so good and there is nothing else like it! (Attention makers of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, I can believe it’s not butter!)

Close up of one of the pancakes from the first half of the batch

Is there any food you continue to eat regularly because you love it even though it may not necessarily be the healthiest thing for you? (although I really don’t consider butter unhealthy)

Also, just fyi, I haven’t forgotten about this giveaway that I mentioned. The reason I have not done anything more with it is because I’m waiting until I find out how much shipping costs. It seems silly to me to pay$5-6 to send a few  Lara Bars that aren’t worth much more than that. Hopefully I’ll find out soon and let y’all know on that.

Have a marvelous week!

~Ann Claire

Ode to Mushrooms

Happy Wednesday My Friends!

How is the week treating you? My week is going by fast; not having school Monday sure sped the week along!

A while back I saw a list of the foods most commonly disliked by adults. Guess what was #1 on the list? Mushrooms! Heartbreaking, no? I really love mushrooms. They are so tasty and versatile and have a certain heartiness uncommonly found in non-meat foods. It just so happens that it has been a mushroom-y week in my household.

Monday night’s dinner was this….

Overflowing Portobellos

Recipe from Clean Eating Magazine

4 large Portobello mushrooms

1 tsp olive oil

1 zucchini, chopped

1/2 Spanish onion, chopped

1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 roasted red peppers, chopped

Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese*

Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove stems from mushrooms and set aside. Clean mushroom tops and set upside down on work surface.
  • Heat oil in a medium skilled. Chop mushrooms stems and add to skillet with zucchini, onion, garlic, and vinegar. Saute for about 5 to 7 minutes, until onion and zucchini start to soften. Add tomato and roasted peppers and heat through, about 2 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir in basil, bread crumbs, and cheese (if using). Season with salt and pepper
  • Fill mushrooms tops with vegetable mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until mushrooms look tender and cheese is slightly melted. Enjoy!

*I used a sprinkle of Daiya in place of the cheese; however, it was totally unnecessary as these would be great with the cheese omitted, and totally vegan too!

And Tonight’s dinner…

    On one of my favorite platters!

 

Wild Mushroom, Flank Steak, and Poblano Tacos. Recipe via Cooking Light Magazine.

Served up on a white corn tortilla and topped with salsa. Yum! Served alongside salad with my standard dressing which is olive oil, honey, lemon juice, and beau monde, but this time I added Chipotle Tabasco and dried cilantro to give it a little Spanish flare.

I actually have another recipe involving mushrooms that I can’t wait to share with you, but it’s something I developed myself so I don’t yet have exact measurements. After I make it again, I’ll totally share it with you guys!

Do you like mushrooms?

Where is your favorite sources to find recipes?

I love finding recipes via other food bloggers, whether ones that bloggers came up with themeselves or have just tried. That way I know at least someone recommends it! Of course, these two awesome recipes came from magazines. My sister actually suggested we make both of these. (Thanks Sara!)

Have a great rest of the week!

~Ann Claire

My Favorite Things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

I have an ardent love for kitchen things (fortunately so does Mommy Dearest), so I thought I’d do a little post highlighting some of my favorite things. Not necessarily the most practical things or what I use the most, just stuff that I like and that  makes me happy!

My Microplane. Rachel Ray had one, Emeril Lagasse had one,anyone who was anyone on the Food Network had one. Clearly I needed one too. So by golly, 10-year-old me got a microplane. This little guy does a marvelous  job of zesting citrus shaving chocolate and hard cheese, and grating fresh garlic and ginger, and, most importantly, it makes me feel cool when I use it :) I saw one at a store the other day with a bright green handle and, well, let’s just say, I turned a little green myself, with envy!

Good Sharp Knives. A chopping knife, a bread knife, and a paring knife, the 3 absolute necessities and the key to cooking in my opinion.

Pepper Grinder. If I were to write a list of culinary 10 commandments, Though Shalt Not use any pepper other than freshly cracked pepper would totally be one of them. Nah, you can use whatever kind of pepper you like…..just don’t invite me to your house for dinner. Kidding, totally absolutely kidding!

The Setup

container with fresh garlic, dish with kosher salt, pepper grinder, and olive oil. All my essentials.

Emerson Blender.

Great for soups, sauces, mashed cauliflower, pretty much anything a blender can do this can do, too! But in an easier to clean up manner. I’ve never tried making a smoothie with this, but I’m confident it would work well.

My Teapot

Swiss Peelers, Set of 5

Vegetable peeler. I don’t peel things that often, but when I do this little gadget is a stellar performer. Much better than fancier more expensive peelers. By the way, I don’t actually have all those colors, I just forgot to take a picture of my actual peeler. Works great to make chocolate curls too!

And last but not least….

3 of my favorite servings platter because foods taste better when it looks prettier!

What are your favorite non-appliance kitchen things? What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

I love my mixer and ice cream maker, oh and food processor (indecisive much?)

To all you vegetarians that I warned Saturday about my beef jerky making. No worries, I will not be posting about my jerky adventures. The jerky is fine, I mean I’ll eat it but I’m not that happy with it so I won’t be posting about it. Yay for you, boo for me.

Have a lovely week!

-Ann Claire

Weekend Eats and Random Facts About Me

Happy Weekend!

Thanks for your comments on my potential giveaway. Sounds like many of you like the Cashew Cookie Lara Bars which is great because I certainly want someone to enjoy them! Isn’t it funny how people’s taste buds are so different? I’ll be sure and let you know more about the giveaway soon.

I had tons of recipes I wanted to try last weekend like I mentioned I would be doing in this post. However, with a last-minute trip out-of-town it just didn’t happen. Never fear, this weekend is here!

I already made some of Averie’s High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls earlier today.

Yum! I almost follow her recipe to a “t”, I just did it in my food processor and used regulur salted cashews. Next time I’ll use the raw cashews and maybe a bit less sweetener and just a splash of water to keep the texture the same because my taste buds are wacky and I don’t like things as sweet as most people do. For “normal people” the sweetness level is probably perfect!

Paola at Sol de Luna tagged me with the Stylish Blogger Award and since most of you really don’t know anything about me, I figure what the heck I”ll share a few random things about myself.

Stylish Blogger Award

Here are the rules!

There are 4 duties to perform to accept this award:

1.  Make a post + Link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Award recently discovered great bloggers
4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

1. I was homeschooled through 8th grade. I’m often asked if I prefer being homeschooled or going to school. Honestly, that’s a tough question. I”m glad I was homeschooled when I was, but I am glad I’m in school now. There are certainly pro’s and con’s to both.

2. On Wednesday I ate a bowl of popcorn with a spoon. Yeah, I know, I’m a weirdo. I just really hate how popcorn makes my hands all greasy.

3. I have 2 older sisters and an older brother.

4. When I was younger, whenever I cooked I explained everything that I was doing out loud, pretending there were cameras filming me on my very own cooking show….what can I say I was (and still am) a total Food Network junkie.

5. I try to avoid eating at chain restaurants. I think dining out is all about finding special and unique places. In my opinion, anything that can be mass-produced across the country can’t really be that special. I also like to support local chefs and entrepreneurs.

6. I will be spending the majority of my summer in Colorado

7. I love traveling. I have already visited quite a number of countries and there are so many more I want to go to. On the top of my list are Spain,  South Africa, and New Zealand. In college, I really, really want to study abroad. I just love the idea of experiencing a totally different culture.

I tag you! All of you bloggers out there are so stylish and unique in your own, so please consider yourself tagged!

Also, I have some meat marinating in the fridge which I will be making beef jerky out of tomorrow. This is totally new to me so we’ll see how it turns out. Vegans/vegetarians/non red meat eaters, you might want to bypass my blog tomorrow!

What are you planning to make this weekend? Trying anything new? Do you like quick and  easy recipes or do  you like spending lots of time cooking?

While, during the week I’m into quick n’ easy out of simple necessity, I like spending lots of time in the kitchen. If I have the time, I really don’t mind long complicated recipes. Cooking is relaxing and fun to me!

Enjoy your weekend.

-Ann Claire

Give Away??

Hey! I hope everyone’s week is going well.

I just have a quick question for you guys today: does anyone like Cashew Cookie Lara Bars? For a while, I was eating Lara bars regularly so my mom would buy the giant Lara variety pack at Sam’s. Unfortunately, a third of the bars in that pack are Cashew Cookie and I really don’t like that flavor. But, I have built up quite the collection of them

I’m considering doing a giveaway, but I don’t want to do a giveaway of a product no one likes and I’m unsure if the cashew cookie flavor is universally disliked or it’s just me. Have you tried Cashew Cookie Lara Bars? Would you be interested in winning a few of them?