Pancakes on a Tuesday

So Tuesday is a bit of an odd day of the week for eating in our house. It sits neatly between ‘I’m only eating carb free stuff Monday’ and ‘I’ve given into the bag of office Haribo Wednesday’. However, once a year good old pancake Tuesday rolls into town with its offerings of guilt free fluffy pancakes.

It’s not a greatly planned event in our home, but more blind panic when we realise we have an excuse for pancakes. Anna normally goes ice cream and banana, but I prefer a little lemon, sugar and cinnamon….erm, with some ice cream on the side. However, this year we wanted to make more of a meal of it. Forget those flimsy thin pancakes. We want thick old American ones dripping in maple syrup. Banoffee Pancakes seemed like a good shout, but hot toffee sauce just seems like we’re pushing the boat out a little for a Tuesday. So we’re going back to a recipe we found ages ago.

What you’ll need
240g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda and another teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 large egg with a pinch of salt
500ml buttermilk or 500ml milk with two teaspoons of lemon juice if you can’t find any
2 tablespoons of melted butter
150g jumbo porridge oats
Rashers of streaky bacon. Personally I think if it’s not smoked it can’t be bacon
Fresh fruit and maple syrup to finish

Mix all you dry ingredients together in a bowl and separately whisk the egg and buttermilk. Then stir and combine the mixture together.  Allegra McEvady recommends making the batter the night before and keeping it in the fridge…it seems to make the pancakes a little bit more magic.

When you’re ready to get breakfast going, fold in the oats and melted butter. The trick is to do this with as little stirring as possible, it doesn’t matter if you have streaks of the melted butter left. Grease up a thick based frying pan or griddle if you want it to look fancy. A medium heat should do as you don’t want to burn them, but make sure the pan is hot.

Now each pancake should be about 4 tablespoons worth if you’re looking to be accurate. I found a soup ladle worked just as well. They’re ready to flip over when big bubbles start to appear on the top and around the edges, should be around 2-3 minutes. Then time for the flip, they’re fairly thick so be careful if you’re showboating and not using a spatula. Same amount of time for the other side or when they’re lovely and golden-brown. Serve straight away, with grilled crispy bacon, fresh fruit and a generous amount of maple syrup. Now that’s what I call a Tuesday night dinner!

Pom Pom Wreath

For the first time ever, Chris and I are hosting the family for Christmas. Excited is not the word…I am ecstatic . Apart from obviously spending what is one of the most special times of the year with family, it also means that after years of reigning it in due to the fact that a minimal amount of people were going to see our efforts, I am finally going to be able to go full force on the decorating front!

So I thought I would start early this year and in order to get as much Christmas cheer (I’d like to think) into the house as possible, I have already made a few decorations in preparation for the fastly approaching Christmas day. Yippppeeeee.

The theme for this week’s post is all about making a Pom Pom Christmas Wreath and as you probably saw in my last post ‘Shake Your Pom Pom’ I am still obsessed with my new-found Pom Pom makers and all the lovely sizes of fluffy wonders I can make.

With a love of all things colourful I wanted to make a Christmas Wreath with a slight difference this year. After picking up the essentials from Hobby Craft – a Polystyrene Wreath and Glue Gun, I started the nightly duty of making many, many Pom Pom’s (you will need quite a few, I needed about 40 on a 200mm sized wreath – using varying sizes of Pom Pom’s). Some of you may think that is quite a lot of Pom Pom’s to make for one decoration, but fear not… it’s surprising how many you can churn out sitting in front of I’m A Celebrity each night. Just persevere.

POM POM INGREDIENTS

POM POM GLUE 2

POM POM HALF WAY

Once you have all the Pom Pom’s made, you are onto the easy and fun bit…getting sticky with the glue gun. Enjoy the process, make a pattern, colour co-ordinate or stick at random. All I would say is that you should try to cover all of the Polystyrene itself on the front and sides. Pin a ribbon onto the reverse of the wreath and you have a great alternative to your traditional Christmas decoration.

2014-12-03 08.16.42

Learning to swim…oh, and eating banana bread

Look I know I’m supposed the be the parent here, but in all likelihood, I’m really just seven years old on the inside. Give me a pool and I want to do nothing more than to dive-bomb in and create a splash large enough the engulf all the sun loungers. Not this time though. This time I’m the responsible parent taking Ellis for his first swim. Yep that’s right. Just ten short weeks after (very slowly) entering the world he’s ready for his first swim.

Now swimming with a 10-week old is a new experience on me. Plus judging by the look of the five other nervous blokes in the pool it wasn’t their first time. It all started well enough with a few small splashes, followed by a few gentle bounces. Easy right? Our confidence was brimming and there were even a few ‘we’ve got this handled’ nods across the pool between the Dads…but then, they moved the lesson up a level and introduced dunking the infants.

Now dunking your most prized procession under the watchful eye of his mother, is pretty much up there when it comes to high pressure moments. It goes like this…You quietly say his name, followed by ‘ready!’ and under the water he goes for a very brief second. Easy right? I’m father #3 and have to watch two other Dads pull it off, whilst I nervously bob up and down wondering how much baby wee is actually in this pool.

We’re up. I can see Dad #6 bobbing around nervously in the corner of my eye giving me new found confidence. “Ellis…..ready” and under he goes popping out of the water like a frog that’s been picked up by his back. This is simultaneously followed by whoops and cheers around the pool. We did it and he’s loving the water. We should celebrate right? Maybe some back slapping? A bit more whooping? Nope. The instructor likes to celebrate by getting all six Dads to sing twinkle twinkle little star. So off we bounce whilst murmuring the nursery rhyme out the corner of our mouths.

Around this time I simultaneously start to crave banana bread whilst singing along, feeling vaguely annoyed we don’t have any (mostly because I haven’t made it before) and pressingly, given the context of this blog, why I don’t have a go to banana bread recipe.  So here it is. My go to banana bread recipe.

Chocolate & Banana Loaf Recipe 
125g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tsp baking powder
4 very ripe mashed bananas
100g dark chocolate
50g walnut pieces

Mashed Banana

Banana Bread Mixture

Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking paper and pre-heat your oven to 180°C. With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar, Add the vanilla extract and eggs until combined. Sift the flour and baking powder into mixture and continue to mix. Once combined, add the mashed bananas. Once it’s all combined break up the chocolate and stir in with the walnut pieces.

Pour into the lined loaf tin and level out with a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin to cool. Best eaten with a mug of tea after a long swim.

Banana Bread Recipe

Coconut Rice Pudding Popsicles 

Throughout this summer I’ve had a few things on my agenda: A new baby (check), finish the house (check…sort of) and finally use the ice cream paleta mould that’s been kicking around the back of the cupboard. The arrival of the new baby has put any cooking ambitions on the back foot. Unless we can eat it cold or warm it up by the power of a microwave, we’ve not been interested. But whisper it quietly………he’s sleeping a bit longer. Yay! So I could either; Get some much-needed sleep or finally make some coconut paletas. I foolishly chose paletas.
Grated Ginger

Apricot & Coconut Rice Pudding Paleta
250ml full fat milk
200ml coconut milk
80ml double cream
1 finely chopped lemongrass stalk. Bark removed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 tablespoons paella rice
200g sugar
6 chopped dried apricots
Lemon grass

Ice Cream Mix

Chopped Apricots

I found this recipe on bon appétit and thought re-working a classic rice pudding into an ice cream sounded pretty good. Plus, I don’t have an ice cream maker kicking about and this recipe doesn’t need one. I’ve tweaked the recipe a tiny bit to make it a little more creamy with a bigger hit of vanilla.

Combine the milk, coconut milk, cream, lemongrass, ginger, and 1/2 vanilla paste in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the rice with water in a small bowl. Let it stand for 10 minutes to soften. Drain.

Strain ice cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan. Add rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer  until rice is very tender. About 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before combining the chopped apricots and sugar to the mix. Pour into the ice-cream moulds and freeze.

Coconut Rice Pudding Paleta

Make Stuff. Be Happy | Food & Lifestyle Blog

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