Monthly Archives: November 2009

Mmmm pancakes!

I love pancakes. Really my favorites are the ones you get at a greasy spoon restaurant. You know the restaurant. The one that leaves the smell of breakfast in your hair and clothes for the rest of the day. Anyway, since it’s not healthy to eat at places like that all the time, but I still like to eat pancakes, we usually eat Whole Wheat Pancakes at home on the weekend.

I’ve recently gotten my favorite recipe back. When we moved to this house over four years ago, everything that didn’t fit here in the Garage Mahal went into storage in the Big House. This included my two book cases full of cookbooks which David recently unearthed for me.

The first book I grabbed was Jane Brody’s Nutrition Book. I got the book back in 1981 when it was first published and it contains my pancake recipe. It’s healthy but more importantly it tastes good. The kids have been eating and enjoying the pancakes since they were babies and you know how picky kids can be. They even passed the Dinner Roll Rottmayer (early name for Geoff) test.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt (I never add salt to anything but feel free)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/3 cup milk
1 tbs (packed) brown sugar
1 tbs oil (we use olive)

Grease the griddle if not well seasoned or nonstick. Heat the griddle while mixing the batter (water sprinkled on it should bounce when it’s ready to use.) Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg, milk, sugar and oil together. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, stirring only to moisten the dry ingredients (batter should be slightly lumpy). For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until pancake is covered with bubbles and its edges slightly dry. Turn and brown on other side.

These are terrific with syrup and an over easy egg on top. 🙂

What I have in common with Malia Obama

I was in first grade when I learned that there wasn’t really a Santa Claus. Seven is an awfully young age to have all of the excitement of Santa let out of your life like a balloon whirly gigging around the sky until it’s empty, lying spent on the ground.

At first I was horrified. What do you MEAN there is no Santa Claus?? “It’s true,” my best, very sage and only child, friend assured me.

I didn’t believe her. Not at all. I mean, every Christmas for as long as I could remember, we had written letters to Santa and then put them in the lit fireplace so they could wend their way to the North Pole for Santa to see. We left cookies and milk out before we went to sleep on Christmas eve and there were crumbs on the plate and a film of milk left on the glass when we got up. But the cookies and milk were gone. EVIDENCE: there IS a Santa Claus. Also, we also usually got the toys that we had asked Santa for. More evidence.

Pondering all of this, I thought I would catch her up and expose her lies. “Okay, well if there is no Santa, where do all of those toys come from?,” I asked her. “Your parents buy them for you,” she said. Now I knew she was just pulling my leg because I knew there was no way that my parents would EVER buy all of those toys for us.

The remembering and retelling of this story is funny so I was chuckling again this a.m. when I read the article about how the Obamas leave the gift giving to Santa at Christmastime.

“Malia says, ‘I know there is a Santa because there’s no way you’d buy me all that stuff.’ ”

Could that have been any closer to what I said 40+ years ago to my friend, Lisa and then my parents?

Santa is magic. Our boys believed in Santa a little bit longer than I was allowed to believe and it was not only magical for them but also for us to witness their excitement during the days leading up to and the exciting morning of Christmas.

And so, I am eagerly looking forward to our future grandchildren so we can perpetuate the magic that is Santa Claus.

Thanksgiving “tradition”

This is a story that makes me laugh every time I think about it or tell it. When the boys went away to college, they only came home on holidays and sometimes, due to their sports schedules, not every holiday.

Our oldest, Brandon, made it home for Thanksgiving one year from Tulane University. We were getting ready to watch the football games and he said, “where’s the tradition?”

The tradition? I had no idea what he was talking about and asked him.

He said, “You know, the peanuts and M&Ms that we eat while we watch the football game”.

So now, every Thanksgiving, we make sure and have “tradition” for him.

Tradition Recipe

1 jar salted peanuts
1 bag plain M&M’s

Mix together in a large bowl and enjoy!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! 🙂

Carrot and Cilantro Soup

A month or so ago, I entered a contest at to win the Great Taste, No Pain series by Sherry Brescia. I won!

I am always on the lookout for tasty recipes and ideas to contribute to our healthy eating and I was excited to learn that I won these books.

Today, I made the Carrot and Cilantro Soup. The list of ingredients held two that I adore: cilantro and coriander. I LOVED it! David was less enthusiastic but he’s really a meat and potatoes kind of guy and the potatoes are blended (therefore hidden!) and there is no meat. The soup was so good I wanted to suck it through a straw. 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Carrot and Cilantro Soup

2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter or Earth Balance
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium potatoes, chopped
2 pounds carrots, cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
6 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
3 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tbs dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil and butter in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Saute’ onion for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add celery and potatoes to the onion in the pan, cook for a few minutes and then add the carrots. Saute’ for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat to low and “sweat” vegetables for 10 minutes. Gently shake the pan or stir occaisionally so the vegetables do not stick to the bottom.

Add the broth, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots and ptoatoes are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Process the soup in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return soup to pan, stir in coriander, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat over low heat and serve immediately.

YUM! This was terrific. I will definitely make it again and hopefully David is out of town so I can have it all for myself. 😉

Pumpkin Pie Bread

It’s fall even though it doesn’t feel like it in Oklahoma. Fall requires pumpkins. Since Brandon is currently living at home, I decided to make some pumpkin pie bread which I am sure he will love and I won’t have to eat alone! 🙂
When I was staying out in Oregon with my mom last month, I was going to make pumpkin bread for her. I was looking for a recipe that called for pumpkin pie spice to limit the number of spices that I would have to buy. After much searching, I found this recipe at Yum! 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Bread

“This very moist pumpkin bread, simply seasoned with pumpkin pie spice, really needs no other adornment.”


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture alternately with water. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. For best flavor, store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for a full day before serving.