Squash-Powered Cat

butternuttttt

So I really wasn’t planning on blogging about these pancakes. I mean, laziness and whatnot took over, and I was going to blow it off. BUT THEN. Semi-epic things happened, and I changed my mind.

As in, I have discovered that my cat is squash-powered. He prefers butternut.

There I was, casually opening the can of butternut squash, when Nosh (my Maine Coon goofball) comes sauntering over, looking decidedly interested in what I was doing. I looked down at him. He looked wide-eyed and cutely up at me. I said, “Surely you can’t be interested in eating this…”. He continued looking up at me, with a totally clear agenda. Whatever, I said. I let him sniff the can… and then went on with what I was doing. He kept watching. At which point I spasmodically dropped a spoon on the floor (the spoon covered in squash puree). I picked up the spoon and pointed out the squash on the floor to Nosh… who quickly trotted over and ATE. IT. ALL.

What?!

Since when do cats like squash?! But wait. It gets better.

Nosh is on the right. Jessie apparently wasn't interested in the squash...

Mom had gotten involved… and kept feeding him little bits of puree out of the bowl. (Which he ate. All of it) By this point, I’d finished at least a few pancakes, and since one was a total flip-fail (as in, it semi-splattered all over the pan…), we decided to feed it to him and see if he liked it (Keep in mind, my cats don’t normally get people food… excepting the odd bit of fish, they don’t eat much of what we do, which makes this SUPER WEIRD) (They did have a weird incident with refried beans, ages ago—perhaps they just like things in cans?!). Nosh proceeded to eat a pancake… and a half. Probably. I lost track, but what?! He’s obviously my cat, if he likes pancakes that much, hehehhe :]

Squash powered cat?!

Anyway, these pancakes were deeeelicious. They were originally supposed to be pumpkin, but the pumpkin we had wasn’t good anymore, so butternut happened. Much to the delight of Nosh, apparently. Who then proceeded to take a massive catnap (and by massive, I’m refering to the fact that when he sleeps, Nosh acts like one of those inflating sponges that you soak in water. Get up for two seconds, and good luck getting your spot back from the amazing expanding wonder!), and sleep off all he ate. And dream, too, with lots of chewing. I bet he was eating squash in his sleep! heeehe.

Pancake Cairn!

Butternut Squash Pancakes

Adapted from the Betty’s Diner Pumpkin Pancake recipe

  • 1.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 c butternut squash puree
  • 1 c 1% milk or your fave nondairy
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine flour, spices, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, squash puree, sugar and egg yolks. Add liquid to dry all at once and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy or until your arm falls off. Fold into the batter. Do the pancake dance. Eat. Feed to your cat and watch him dream about them later :]

butternuts are rather awkward squash

Pancake Thursday :)

Pfankuchen!!

I put something green in my pancakes again, teeheehee!

And no, this time it was NOT spinach, and I didn’t get to use my baby food processor. Any guesses? Anyone? Anyone? …Bueller?

I’ll give you a hint.

My pet donated it.

And by pet, I mean Watson.

And yes. He IS my pet. I put him outside every day and water him…. and talk to him. He’s cute! But. Since you probably can’t guess…

BASIL! mmmm… fresh basil… there’s nothing quite like it.

Meet Watson. Watson, you're famous!

I really don’t think Watson objected to donating basil for our pancakes…at least, he didn’t seem to, and we didn’t ask him (rude, I know), since we’d been grocery shopping and came home ridiculously hungry. Not my fault that WinCo is basically a workout in of itself, and we stopped at a bunch of other stores (mega YAYY for Salem finally having a Trader Joe’s!). So suffice it to say that we probably would have eaten Watson for dinner (I covered his ears, don’t worry, he didn’t hear that), except he didn’t seem very filling. Luckily, we had an alternate plan, namely… Pancakes! What else would we make on Thursdays? Besides, when we double fist the skillets, we can have pancakes in no time, which satisfies two mega hungry college-types (ok, one soon-to-be-not-college type and once recent college type).

These pancakes were fantastic! They were unlike any pancakes I’d ever had (and Kira gave them thumbs up too)—sort of almost savory, but with a distinctive basil flavor. They are made with ricotta, and the flavor of that really comes out as well. They go really well with pear (and we may or may not have had some Nutella lurking in the cupboard, muahah), and also with almond butter (of course!). I was eating them plain, they were that good. I’d definitely make these again (and I’m sure we will, provided Watson continues to flourish).

Besides… I really like having green bits in my pancakes. Or entirely green pancakes, either way.

Ricotta, Basil and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Serves 2. Adapted from here!

Whatcha need:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta
  • 3/4 cup milk (we subbed in coconut milk beverage, which was deeeelicious. and because we could, says Kira!)
  • 3 tablespoons ish Earth Balance, melted and cooled. I say ish because it was a few spoonfuls, a very ‘ish’ amount.
  • 1 egg
  • choc chippies, for chucking into the pancakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (FRESH, pleeease), finely chopped with your lovely chef’s knife.

Whatcha do!

Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, and baking powder. Sifting is probably a good idea… but obviously not crucial as I *ahem* didn’t. In a separate, cute small bowl, mix ricotta, egg, and milk type thing, along with melted buttahh. Mix wet into dry, and toss in basil from your trusty Watson pet.

Heat your skillet(s), preferably more than one in the interest of expediency, and make pfankuchen! Ideally speaking German whilst making them, because German is WAAAY more fun than English… wouldn’t you rather say Loffel for spoon? I know I would. And apparently moose is Amerikanisher Elk. Who knew?

Make pfankuchen. Add choc chippies according to your desired ratio… I like about 4 or 5 per pancake, carefully placed onto the top of the cooking pancake. So I’m particular… don’t judge!

Eat! Yayyy, this is the best part :)

Professional-looking Pancakes!

Pancakes.

I know, I know. Again, you say? YES. Again. For a number of reasons: a) I make them about once a week, but never the same kind two weeks in a row (so it keeps it interesting), b) they make a FAB dinner, c) Ian was coming over and I thought he might like them (which he did, YAY!), and d) I had a half a can (here we go again…) of coconut milk in the fridge (what a terrible problem, NOT. I LOVE having leftover coconut milk). Oh. and e) I LOVE THEM. Why NOT make them once a week, I ask you? You should try it… designate a day, like “Pancake Tuesday”, and make a new kind every week. Ask Harriet… or Ashley… they know I’m a big proponent of pancake day. Thursday oddly seems to be the day of choice at this point in time…

Wow. I just reread that paragraph and realized how many parenthetical comments I made… I must be a very parenthetical person. Or maybe I think in parentheses. Hmm. Something to think about (parenthetically) (hahah).

ANYway.

These coconut pancakes are perfect. Fluffy, symmetrical, and beeeeautiful. And delicious. Of course, I’m sure their fluffy, symmetrical beauty is largely due to my superior pancake pro abilities… but it also might have a teensy bit to do with the recipe… maybe. Or not… it’s all in the wrist flick. Become one with the spatula!

I love the pancakes because I get a nice coconutty flavor, without it being like BAM, in your FACE coconut! Which is good, in some situations, but I find that pancakes are not one of them (think along the lines of coconut cream pie, if you want BAM). These are light, fluffy, and perfect with bananas (and chocolate, I might add…AND almond butter, of course!). There’s just enough coconut flavor without being overwhelming. They made a lovely Thursday night din din :)

So! Here’s the recipe. It’s really simple… like most of my pancake recipes, I find the simpler, the better.

beeeautiful!

Coconut Pancakes

You know the drill…. mix dry, mix wet, mixy mix mix. Cook! Eat. Here are the particulars.

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil (or canola)
  • 1 c light coconut milk (I was a bit short this time—you can make up the difference with soymilk or milk, whatever you have)

These are really good with sliced bananas and chocolate chips thrown in :)

up close and personal, hehehe

It’s not easy being green…

that's right. GREEN PANCAKES.

Ok.

I just have to say, in my defense… I don’t normally make green food.

I mean… I EAT green food. You know, like that color produced by chlorophyll. Like plants. Mmmmm, plants. I do love them. Especially the green ones! Like broccoli, bok choy, celery, lettuces. Um. I could go on, but in the interest of holding your attention.. *ahem* Let’s move ahead!

So.

Since I’m currently roomie-less (but NOT FOR LONG, YAYYYY!!!), I’m purchasing and consuming for one stomach (and its resident gremlins). I’m discovering this to be an exceptionally fun challenge, not only to eat all the stuff in the fridge before it goes traveling southward, but also to eat a varied, balanced, and nutritionally sound diet. BUT. This diet also has to be interesting. Why would I EVER eat boring food? Boring food is, well…BORING. Life is too short and my stomach is too small (sadly I’m not a cow with five stomachs, why weren’t humans invented like that, I ask you?!) to eat lame food.

Right. Sorry, that was rather tangential. ANYway. As I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself about boring food… In my travels through the recesses of my fridge, I happened upon some spinach. I knew it was in there, of course, but I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to use it. I also have three lonely mushrooms, just in case anyone cares. And NO, they are NOT going into pancakes, ewwy ew ew.

As I was staring down the spinach, I had¬† a BRILLIANT PLAN! (Because anything involving your adorable and tiny *PURPLE* food processor is a brilliant idea) I decided to make spinach puree and… wait… ADD IT TO PANCAKES! Can you say nutritional value, all in one tidy little yummy package? Because I can. And there’s more, ooohhhh yes. They were DELICIOUS! Spinach is so totally going into my pancakes from now on (except with a certain Pancake Friday buddy–you know who you are!)

So. Without any further babble, here is the recipe! You’ve seen it before in other forms, although the base for this is the most basic.

down at pancake level

Spinach-Oat-Buttermilk Pancakes (Serves one with a cow stomach, or one normal human plus leftover breakfast!)

Hugely adapted from Marion Cunningham’s Breakfast Book

Do the pancake shtick! Mix dry:

  • 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • very scant 1/2 tsp salt

*Tasty add-in: I chucked in about 1/4-1/3 c rolled oats. I highly recommend this! It gives them a bit more body and lovely chewiness.

Mix wet in a separate bowl:

  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • some melted something (I used Earth Balance… the original recipe calls for 3 tbsp, I usually put in a spoonful or so… or not. Sometimes I leave it out. Butter or olive oil are fine too)

*To the wet ingredient bowl: ADD YOUR SPINACH! I’m not sure how much I actually used, probably about 2 c? I had about 2/3 or so of a bag left, and I used mostly all of it. It’s not very exact, but however much you want is probably fine.

You see? Healthy and delicious.
BABY PURPLE FOOD PROCESSOR!!

Mix wet into dry! I threw in a finely chopped banana, as per usual, which I also highly recommend. I may have even added a few frozen huckleberries and choc chippies to one or two but shhhhh don’t tell!

Pour. Cook. Drool. Photograph. Discover, whilst on the phone with a bestie, that you have GREEN SPRINKLES that match your pancakes. Freak out just a little bit and pour them on a wee bit over enthusiastically… then find out that the sprinkles have soaked into the pancakes while photographing, and that you now have sprinkles on your dinner. Secretly do a happy dance for sprinkles.

Watch Voyager. Eat and LOVE your green food. And NO, it did NOT come out of a replicator (though I wish it had!).

“At ease, Ensign Kim, before you sprain something” -Kathryn Janeway.

Do it.

oh. and ps: I just wanted to share this too!! I tested out my personal cake pans (size 6.5″) by making a half batch of Crazy Chocolate cake! It was EXCELLENT. I just made a few changes to the posted recipe, namely brown sugar instead of white or turbinado. Yummy! And sooo cute.

Perfect thirds!

Pancakes for my new apartment!

 

Woah.

Let’s hope I’m not really this much of a blogging slacker… I’ve been busy! I promise. No more long hiatuses (or would that be hiati-i?) between posts. That means you, thesis. No interrupting when I’m doing something fun!

So.

I have a new apartment! Which means… I HAVE MY OWN KITCHEN that is NOT in a sorority, wheee!! (Of course I do love sharing a kitchen with my Mutti back at home, that’s the best!) This also means I have NO EXCUSE not to blog. Because I have to feed myself, and preferably tastily. Also. Cooking is WAAY more fun than doing theoretical art history readings… (No offense, Ricardo, if you’re reading this: I love your class!!) and thesising. Not that I procrastinate… at all. Psh.

Anyway.

Even though this isn’t my first meal in my own apartment (and I am NOT counting the few days of PB&J that happened whilst moving in), I think it’s the most important. This is MY place now, now that I’ve made and eaten pancakes here, hehe. I do miss my pancake eating buddies though (you know who you are, and you know I LOVE YOU!)…pancakes aren’t quite as good without gossiping whilst eating them. But whatever. I had a lovely night with my instant netflix and my pfankuchen.

This is a recipe adapted-ish from The Breakfast Book (again, psh what else??), and it makes the BEST buttermilk pancakes ever. I wanted something a little different though, so I added cornmeal. It’s up to you, whatever your heart (or tastebuds, I suppose)¬†desires!

Pancakes for the win!

Cornmeal-Buttermilk Pancakes

Serves 2 (or one, with leftovers for breakfast, yessss!)

1/2 c whole wheat pastry or whole wheat flour (either works, I’ve used both)

1/4 c cornmeal

very scant 1/2 tsp of salt (I’ve reduced it to 1/4 tsp and it’s been fine)

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 c buttermilk, well shaken

3 tbsp butter or earth balance, melted (I’ve left this out on occasion or put in less and been fine—I usually use whatever happens to be on hand. This time it was a spoonful of Earth Balance)

MY STOVE! (it's electric, psh. but whatever, I can have a gas one later in life)

These also had fresh blueberry and banana additions… I like fruit in my pancakes! They’re good with chocolate chips, too, if you MUST have chocolate disguised as dinner (and trust me, I’ve been there).

And look at this. I am PRO, clearly because I have a moose on my microwave. Do YOU have a moose? Yeah. I didn't think so!

Do your usual pancake shtick! Mix dry. Mix wet, without getting egg everywhere. Combine. Stir. Grease (coconut oil!). Pour. Dollop. Cook. EAT!