Friday, June 15, 2018

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Two different restaurants I have checked out recently had lemon ricotta pancakes on their breakfast menu.  What do you mean you don't check out menus before you go to a new restaurant?  Those pancakes sounded good, but something I could make myself.  So I ate a different breakfast and decided to make those delicious pancakes at home.

Only the tastiest recipes get on my blog, so you can assure yourself these are worth making.  I made them with a blueberry sauce.  But we also ate these pancakes with regular pancake syrup.  The addition of some crispy bacon made for a delightful meal.  I made them for dinner, because it is fun to have breakfast for dinner!

  

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

4 eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided use
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a bit more for the egg whites
1 cup ricotta
1 large lemon
1/2 cup milk

oil for cooking

  

Blueberry Sauce, optional

4 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water, divided use
1 Tablespoon corn starch

  

It takes awhile for the blueberry sauce to cook, so start that first.  Put the berries, sugar, and 1 Tablespoon water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer until the berries have burst and the juice has started to thicken.  If it isn't as thick as you'd like and you're ready to serve the pancakes, mix the remaining Tablespoon of water with the corn starch in a small bowl and add to the berries.  Stir until thickened, then remove from heat.

  

Whisk the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

  

Separate the eggs.  Place the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and the yolks in a large bowl.

  

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt.  As it is mixing, add the 1 Tablespoon sugar. Continue mixing until the egg whites form stiff peaks.  Set aside.

  

Whisk the yolks with 1/3 cup of sugar.  When the sugar is dissolved, zest the whole lemon, making sure you only get the yellow part.  Squeeze the lemon to get the juice.  You'll need about 3 Tablespoons, which is roughly what I was able to get from one large lemon.  Add the zest, juice and the ricotta to the yolk mixture.  After blended, add the milk and whisk that in.

  

Add the flour mixture and gently mix it in.  Fold in half of the egg whites.

  

Then fold in the other half of the egg whites.

  

Be very gentle with them.  You don't want to mix out all the air you so carefully beat in.  Don't worry if there are lumps.

  

Heat the griddle, put a bit of oil on it and spread it all over with a spatula.  My griddle is electric and I set it at 350º.  I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour batter onto the hot griddle.

  

Cook until bubbles form on top and turn gently. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.

   

Serve with butter and syrup or the blueberry sauce, if you chose to make it.

  

We tried the pancakes with syrup and with the blueberries. They were really good both ways!  But if you have the blueberries, You should totally make the blueberry sauce.  It is seriously good.

  

The pancakes were light and fluffy and the lemony flavor really came through.  You could even taste the lemon with the blueberries and the combination was soooo good.  I highly recommend this dish.

  

Just note.  You will have blue teeth.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Royal Wedding Tea

I discovered Harney and Sons teas while staying in a fabulous B&B in Charleston.  My new favorite tea is their Hot Cinnamon Spice.  Lee found their website and surprised me by buying a large package of their sachets.  I need my coffee in the morning, but I drink tea all afternoon.

  

I finished the first bag of tea and Lee ordered me some more.  On their site he noticed they were carrying Royal Wedding Tea to join the celebration of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel.

This is a white tea, which is the least processed of all teas. It is loaded with antioxidants and provides many health benefits.  You can read about white tea here.

  

Royal Wedding Tea is a blend of white tea, with rose petals, blue cornflower, and marigold petals.  It has natural almond, coconut and vanillas flavors.  The tea has a wonderful scent, almost a chocolate flavor and smell.  It is quite nice and I really enjoy it.

It has been quite warm recently and I thought I would try making iced tea out of the wedding tea.  After all, we live in the South and we are all about the iced tea.

  

I put water that was almost boiling in a large heat proof container.   I used a one quart Pyrex measuring cup because of the pouring lip.  I placed six sachets in the hot water for about 5 minutes.  You don't want to leave them in longer than that. Tea can get bitter if it is left in the water for a long time.

While the water is still hot, add any sweetener you may like.  It isn't necessary, but the flavors really pop with some sugar.  I used Splenda.  Don't make it super sweet, unless you are one of those sweet tea types, but too much will overpower the delicate flavors of this tea.

When the sugar (or your favorite sweetener) has dissolved and the tea has cooled a bit, pour it over a 2 quart pitcher mostly full of ice.

  

This tea is a delicate and refreshing tea and strangely perfect for iced tea!  East meets South!!

  

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Giant Bird House

The last couple of mornings, we have gone out the garage to get the paper and found a bird trapped inside the garage.  We open the doors and EVENTUALLY it will fly out.

  

But first it has to leave a lovely parting gift on my car.

  

We started wondering why a bird would keep flying in after such a traumatic experience.

  

We searched all the higher spots in the garage and look what we found.

  

I hope the eggs are still viable after we the times we have locked the garage when we leave on various excursions.

  

We recently replaced a rotting bird house with this one.

  

I guess we didn't get it up in time for this particular bird tenant.

  

For the next week or two we will have to leave the garage open.  And hope the bird is grateful enough to quit leaving her questionable gifts.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Feeling Entitled

So...What's for breakfast?

  

Nothing???

  

Well, that's disappointing.

Friday, June 1, 2018

"T" is for Organization

I have a bin on a shelf in my pantry for tea and coffee.  The problem is I don't like just one brand or flavor. I also like to keep a selection for guests.  This makes for a messy bin that I paw through to find the tea I want at any given time.

  
 
I saw a random post about organizing tea and decided that was a great idea.  It was super easy and quick and I love the way it looks, now.

You'll need a small storage bin and some Ziploc bags.

  

Cut the front off a tea box so that you can see the type and flavor of the tea.  Place the label and the tea bags in a Ziplock bag.  Arrange the bags so they are straight and in two even rows.

  

Fold down the top of the Ziploc bag and place it in the storage bin

Repeat with all the boxes of tea.

  

Now I can find the tea I want or pull out the bin and offer it to guests.

So neat!  So tidy! So satisfying!


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Indian Chicken with Coconut Lime Rice

I was looking for a recipe that was a bit different from my usual thing.  This one looked pretty good, not too difficult and so I made a few changes and really liked it. My husband said he really liked it and he rarely does that unless it is a fab recipe.

  

Indian Chicken with Coconut Lime Rice

1 cup jasmine rice
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, plus a bit more for garnish
2 limes
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided use
4 chicken cutlets or 2 split chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons curry, or to taste
1/2 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups baby spinach, optional

  

I chopped and toasted everything first.  The rice and chicken both cook pretty quickly, so I wanted everything in place before I started.

  

The shredded coconut goes from not quite toasty to burnt within a minute, so watch it closely.  I toasted them in a toaster oven at 300º for 3 to 5 minutes.  The first batch burned.  Coarsely chop the peanuts.  Coarsely chop the cilantro.

  

Zest one lime and the squeeze out the juice.  Slice the other lime into wedges.

  

If you have a rice cooker, place the rice, coconut milk and cilantro and cook until it beeps.  I don't have one, so I put the rice, coconut milk and cilantro in a sauce pan and heated it until it just started to bubble on the sides, stirring frequently.

  

Lower the heat, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs all the milk, but it is still moist.

  

Remove from heat and add the lime juice and zest and fluff with a fork.

  

While the rice is cooking, sprinkle salt and pepper and the curry on the cutlets.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large fry pan.  Add the cutlets and sear on both sides.  It will take about 3 minutes on each side.

  

Remove the chicken and set aside.  If you choose to have the spinach, heat the second Tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan and then add the spinach.    Saute the  spinach until wilted.  It will only take a few minutes.

  

You can chop the cooked spinach and add it to the rice. I chose to serve it on the side.

  

Serve the cutlets on or next the rice with the spinach.  Sprinkle the toasted coconut and chopped peanuts on top. Sprinkle the reserved cilantro over it all.

This meal looks exotic and difficult, but it really isn't.  It was delicious and not the usual thing, so I was thrilled.

  


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Smothered Chicken With Bacon

I like a recipe that cooks up in a Crock-Pot.  I like to use one even when I am home and could actually cook over a hot stove.  Actually this recipe starts with a hot stove and then switches to a Crock-Pot, so you get the best of both worlds.

  

Smothered Chicken with Bacon

8 slices center cut bacon
2 onions
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1.5-2 pounds chicken breasts
1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice

  

Cut the bacon into 1 inch slices.

  

Cook and stir the bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove and drain on a paper towel.  Remove all the bacon drippings except 2 Tablespoons.

  

Dice the two onions and cook them in reserved drippings.

  

When the onions are golden brown, add the flour and pepper.  Stir for about a minute to cook the flour, then add the broth and half of the bacon pieces.

  

Keep stirring the onion mixture until thickened.

  

Cut the chicken breasts into about 1 inch cubes.  Place them in the Crock-Pot.

  

Pour the onion mixture over the chicken and cook on LOW for 4 1/2 hours.

After 4 1/2 hours, start cooking the rice according to the directions.

  

Remove the chunks of chicken from the slow cooker.  Add the cream cheese, milk and garlic powder to the onion mixture, cover and cook 5 more minutes.  Stir until blended.  Return the chicken and allow it to re-heat while the rice finishes cooking.

  

Serve the chicken mixture over the rice.  Sprinkle with the reserved bacon.

  

Serve with a salad or a vegetable.  I sautéed zucchini and onions as a side dish.

This dish was truly delicious.  It was creamy and the chicken was so tender.  I highly recommend.