Pancakes!!

I have to admit, pancakes have become the highlight of my weekend. I love making these as an indulgent (yet relatively healthy) Sunday morning breakfast treat. Mr W finds it slightly amusing on how excited I can get knowing that these are going to be my breakfast.

It all started the week before Shrove Tuesday. It fell on Mr Ws fortnightly quiz night and I didn’t want to miss out on not having pancakes. But I didn’t want to have to make a full batch of batter and throw it away or buy pre-made ones (if I’m having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, I want to be making them). I ended up doing a bit of googling on pancake recipes and came across this single serve recipe. Now, I followed this recipe to the letter (using wholemeal flour and half a mashed up banana instead of an egg as I didn’t have any in). I made them as a pancake dessert and served with fresh fruit and ice cream. Delicious!! I even gave the recipe to my sister to try and she enjoyed them as well (using plain flour and an egg). Our only issue was that they stuck slightly to the pan (not sure if that was an issue with our pans though. Still using a cheap favourite one from our uni days. Non-stick might not be so great now :S).

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Now, after the success of these ones and the easiness of the recipe, I decided to try them for breakfast. I also thought I’d be brave and adapt the recipe slightly. With the dry ingredients I added a dash of cinnamon. I also stirred some fresh blueberries into the complete batter. Now, these did not cook as well. They turned in to mush. Not sure if it was the addition of the blueberries or that I needed to cook them for longer, but they didn’t look like pancakes. Still tasted great though. My next variation was the addition of chia seeds to the dry mix. Chia seeds have all those additional health benefits and you don’t really notice them in the cooked pancake. These didn’t cause any issues when I cooked the pancakes. Bonus.20160327_093515.jpgThis morning I decided to combine both of these variations together to create some tasty blueberry pancakes. Instead of combining the blueberries into the batter, I added them to the top of the pancake as the first side was cooking. Success!! I keep the pancakes warm in the oven whilst I cook the rest. I normally get around four pancakes out of this batter. For me, I like to substitute the egg with half a mashed banana as it’s secretly adding some fruit into the pancake. I then slice the other half and use as a topping. I also find that the wholemeal flour adds a subtle nutty taste to the pancake. I have found that the pancakes are cooked to perfection when cooked for two minutes on each side. I also spray the pan with spray oil before cooking each pancake (this has resolved the sticking issue). For toppings I use sliced banana, berries (fresh or frozen defrosted), mixed seeds, flaked almonds and a drizzle of honey. Healthy indulgence! Below is the recipe I now follow.

  • ¼ cup plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp flavourless oil (I used rapeseed)
  • ¼ cup milk (almond milk is tasty)
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Place dry ingredients into a jug and mix.
  2. In a separate bowl (I just use a mug), whisk together the mashed banana, milk and oil until combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well combined.
  4. Lightly grease a non-stick fry pan with spray oil and heat to a medium temperature.
  5. Making this mixture in a jug will make it easier to portion out the batter – make this to your preferred size. I made 4 pancakes.
  6. Cook until bubbles form on surface. If you want to include any berries, scatter them on top of the pancake at this stage. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. I have found it takes 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Keep warm in an oven whilst you cook the rest.
  8. Serve with your choice of toppings.

 

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Prague (and maybe some baking)

The other week, Mr W and I were lucky enough to have a week off work and spent a few days in Prague. It was nice to have a break from work (we hadn’t had more than a few days off since our wedding in May) and it had been on my list for cities to visit for a while. We spent our days walking round the city and taking in the sights. On our first full day we spent the morning walking along the river and taking a stroll through some of the parks before heading to Prague Castle and tackling Petrin hill. We were lucky we chose a clear day to do this as the views were amazing (the weather turned after this).

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The view from Petrin Hill

The next day, as it was raining, we decided to tackle some of the museums. We had three in mind, a couple were mentioned in our guide and the other Mr W had found on the internet. Our first museum was Muzeum Karla Zemana, a film special effects museum. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to make of this when Mr W told me he wanted to go but I actually quite enjoyed it when I started wandering round the building. It was interesting seeing how he was able to achieve what he did before computers. Next on our list was a Gastronomy museum that Mr W had seen mentioned on Trip Advisor. Turned out, this no longer exists and is currently a building full of rubble. I was slightly disappointed by this as a museum about food sounded like my idea of heaven (well, to an extent). The final museum on our list was a beer museum. Considering beer is so cheap and plentiful in Prague, we felt like it was a tourist thing we needed to do. We went to the address and stepped into the pub (we had read there was a pub as well). We decided to sample some beers before we ventured into the museum. I chose two fruit beers and Mr W chose some more ‘traditional’ beers. It transpired that Mr W preferred my fruit beers, which is a first.

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After drinking up, we ventured next door to what we thought was the museum. Turned out there was no museum, just the pub. Let’s just say, we weren’t feeling inspired to try and find any other museums with our current success rate. But that didn’t put a dampener on our city break. We visited a number of cafes/restaurants and pubs where we tried food , beer and home-made lemonade. I have come back with dishes that I want to try and re-create (potato soup and carlsbad dumplings). We got the chance to visit one of our friends from University who took us to his favourite cafe and suggested a brewery near his work that made the ‘best beer in Prague’. Now, I’m not a big beer drinker but even I managed to have two glasses. One thing we didn’t manage was learning any of the language (no matter how hard we tried).

Over the last couple of days, I have managed to fit in a little baking. On Wednesday I made some Peanut Butter Oreo Brownies to take into work. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while after buying some oreos that had a peanut butter filling but wanted a reason to make them. One of our managers was leaving on Thursday so that seemed a good reason to get them made. If I was to make them again, I would consider making actual peanut butter brownies and adding the oreos to that. In this instance, I followed a Cookies and Cream Brownie recipe from one of my Lorraine Pascale cookbooks. Here’s a link to the recipe online.

I also made another batch of the stem ginger flapjacks as I still had some stem ginger in the fridge (I also gave the pearl barley recipe another go. I love the heat and flavours. It’s becoming a go to recipe when Mr W is out and it’s tea for one). I omitted the dark chocolate topping as I wanted to give some to my mum and dad to try. I cut the flapjack into 12 pieces this time which meant the size was a lot more manageable. I was also able to get a picture of them before Mr W got his hands on them (considering he doesn’t really like them….)

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