Why, hello again! I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with lots of delicious food, family, and friends. This is the first year that I’m not going home for Thanksgiving, because with the silly quarter system schedule with Northwestern, I would have only had to come back here for one week between winter break and Thanksgiving, and figured I would save the money on airfare and try to get a bit of work done in my apartment.
It’s been quite awhile since I last posted, as you probably realized. Life has been a bit crazy the past months, with me starting my junior (?!?!) year at Northwestern, taking lots and lots of classes, and going to a plethora of music festivals over the summer. I was traveling a lot, going from Ottawa to Bowdoin to northern Quebec, and it was so, so wonderful. I had the opportunity to work with wonderful teachers from the US and Canada, and the musicians I met were all so inspirational, and I really grew as both a musician and a person.
I have to admit, I’m slightly embarrassed by how little I cook now that I have my own place at school. When I get home, I’m usually famished and am looking for something that I can eat without having to cook for more than 5 minutes. I’ve been eating lots of the marinated tofu and pre-cooked frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s, although there have been a few nights where I ~splurge~ and make some fish. In addition, I don’t have the luxury of my mom‘s pantry, so my cooking and baking time has been limited. Thankfully, I’ve had some time to leisurely make some treats using one of my all time favorite ingredients- fresh cranberries. These biscuits are light and flaky, and an easy start to a day that is filled with lots of food.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, and the salt. Using your hands (or fork or pastry blender), add the cold butter and mix until it looks like coarse crumbles. Add the buttermilk and stir until just mixed. Fold in the cranberries.
Scoop six even spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, about 1/4 cup each. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Obviously, these aren’t the only things I’ve eaten today…. (shh).
Well hello there again! These past few weeks have been so busy with music programs that not only did I not even have time to make anything, but no time to post either! I hope you haven’t missed me too much :). I just finished up the Summer Strings program at NYU, which was fun. Living in the city for 3 weeks was certainly an awesome experience, although I’m glad to be home and able to relax for a few days before the rest of my summer begins.
The last thing that I’m sure anyone wanted to do these past few days was turn on their oven. It was hot enough outside that any additional heat would have been just unbearable, which is why I’m giving you a recipe that does not require you use it! Besides, pancakes in an oven would be just strange. I’ve made some pancakes in the past, but that was a long time ago, so it was time for a new recipe on RTTC.
I haven’t had a big breakfast in quite awhile. During the school year, I am typically rushing out the door with my mug of tea and a bar in my hand, and during the summer, especially since gymnastics starts at 8:30, I’m eating some toast with peanut butter, yogurt with granola, and not so much sit-down breakfasts, which is really a shame. So, I’m making it my goal this summer to start making myself some actual breakfasts, because there is only so much granola I can eat, and with pancakes this pretty, I can’t resist!
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.
Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly across the pancake. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more.
Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.
An easy, delicious way to brighten any summer morning!
Right around this time of year is when things start to become super-stressful. The state championships for gymnastics are here in a mere three weeks, conveniently the day after my chamber group performance, while state-mandated standardized testing comes to a close (it’s about time!). On top of all of that, I’m playing in the pit orchestra for the school musical, Into the Woods, everyday this week and weekends for the next 2. Let’s just say that April break can’t come soon enough.
Since my daily life leaves no time free to do what I please, I have to find ways to make time to satisfy my culinary cravings. Meet my Sunday mornings. It starts with me leisurely making my way to the kitchen in my fuzzy pale blue frog-studded robe and mallard duck slippers and plopping myself in front of the television, where Spongebob is playing. After waking up desperately early on Saturdays to get to the city every weekend, I generally want something that’s low-key and easy to make for breakfast on Sunday. So, why, you ask, would I make pancakes when I could just as easily stick some bread in a toaster or make a bowl of cereal? Well…I wanted them.
I didn’t just want any old comes-from-a-box-mix pancake. I wanted to make one myself. Using this recipe from Food Network, I was able to create golden-brown pancakes right from my own kitchen. My weekend mornings just got a whoooole lot better. 🙂
Makes 4-6 Servings
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (optional)
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
Whisk together the eggs, melted butter, and the buttermilk. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until you get a lumpy batter- don’t overmix!
Heat a skillet to medium heat and spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. Add the blueberries on top. Let each side cook for 2-3 minutes.