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In our effort to eat cleaner and improve our athletic performance, my husband has become a disciple of Dr. Allen Lim, one of the authors of The Feed Zone Cookbook. Our copy of The Feed Zone Cookbook arrived last week and I was itching to prepare a recipe from it. It just so happened that we had an abundance of fresh picked blueberries from our weekend visit to Oak Hill Farms so I couldn’t resist giving this buttermilk pancake recipe a try.

This recipe is a bit different from my go to pancake recipe mainly due to the addition of 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar. All I had on hand was dark brown sugar which was a bit overpowering (i.e. a gingerbread like flavor). Even so, they were a welcome deviation from our typical morning oatmeal. I look forward to making these again with light brown sugar. While I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, I did have powdered buttermilk which I combined with water to “make” buttermilk (4 Tbsp buttermilk powder + 1 cup water = 1 cup buttermilk). While the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, I found 1 cup of reconstituted buttermilk to be quite adequate.

If you’re sitting the fence on whether or not to give this cookbook a try, check out this blog which chronicles a family’s endeavor to eat their way through The Feed Zone Cookbook. Even if you do not consider yourself an athlete per se, this is still a healthy way of eating as the cookbook offers scads of gluten-free recipes. Let’s get healthy!

On a side note, does anyone have a masticating juicer they would recommend? We’re looking to purchase one in the near future (primarily to make beet juice) and want to make sure we get a durable one…preferably without breaking the bank.

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This week’s Tuesday With Dorie recipe, Sweet Cream Biscuits, was chosen by Melissa of Love At First Bite. Since my last attempt at made from scratch biscuits was such a huge success (not!), I was apprehensive about making these biscuits. While I gave it the good ol’ college try, I wouldn’t count this as one of my baking successes.

The recipe calls for 2 cups of all-purpose flour or you can do as Dorie does and use 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup of cake flour. I used a combo of all-purpose and cake flours because when Dorie makes a recommendation, it pays to follow it.

As you can see, my biscuits didn’t rise all that much. I even used Alton Brown’s method of having the biscuits just touching which should allow just enough air between the biscuits for even heating, but not enough space for the biscuits spread out when they rise. Also, my biscuits were a tad on the dry side, but a little honey butter was just what the doctor baker ordered. As soon as I can muster some more courage, I’m going to try my hand at biscuit-making again using a tried and true recipe from my husband’s Aunt Shirley. Let’s hope her recipe is foolproof! 😉 Be sure to check out the rest of the awesome TWD baking gang to see their takes on this week’s recipe.

pan-seared oatmeal

In an effort to jazz up our weekday breakfast routine, I made Pan-Seared Oatmeal with Warm Fruit Compote and Cider Syrup. I originally found this recipe in an issue of Cooking Light, but I’d completely forgotten about it, that is, until I rediscovered it on one of my favorite food blogs, Meet Me in the Kitchen.

Pan-Seared Oatmeal with Warm Fruit Compote and Cider Syrup

 

Cooking Light  Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Syrup:
  • 2  cups  apple cider
  • Compote:
  • 2  cups  water
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  (7-ounce) package dried mixed fruit bits (I used dried apple slices and some dried cranberries I already had)
  • Oatmeal:
  • 3  cups  water
  • 1  cup  fat-free milk
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  cups  steel-cut (Irish) oats
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  cup  butter, divided

 

Preparation

To prepare syrup, bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 20 minutes); set aside.

To prepare compote, combine 2 cups water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and dried fruit in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick.

To prepare oatmeal, combine 3 cups water, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in oats. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon oatmeal into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or until set. (I let mine chill overnight)

Using a sharp knife, cut oatmeal into 8 equal rectangles; cut each rectangle in half diagonally to form 16 triangles.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 8 oatmeal triangles; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and oatmeal triangles. Place 2 oatmeal triangles on each of 8 plates, and top each serving with 3 1/2 tablespoons fruit compote and about 2 teaspoons syrup.

I doubt I will make this recipe again. It wasn’t bad, I just didn’t get the warm, fuzzy feeling from it I had anticipated. Also, despite my best efforts, the cider syrup was too runny for my taste. But, hey, it was an experience. If you decide to make this, I would recommend serving it with eggs, bacon, etc. It’s not satisfying enough to stand alone.

blog-wheat-germ-pancakes-002

As you may recall, Kevin and I enjoyed wheat germ pancakes at First Watch during our visit to Naples, Florida for Thanksgiving. I made this recipe for wheat germ pancakes from Cooking Light on Christmas morning.

Overall, the pancakes were good. However, they were not as fluffy as I would have liked. I think the toasted wheat germ I used was ground finer than that at First Watch. Their pancakes had a nice, grainy texture and nutty flavor while still maintaining their fluffiness. Also, this recipe calls for buttermilk, which I do not keep on hand. Instead, I used a buttermilk substitute recipe I found online. We’ve speculated this may have had something to do with the less than impressive pancake results.

Possibly in an effort to buoy my spirits, Kevin prepared a hazlenut latte and unwrapped a few banana-nut muffins that Jill made us (Jill is the muffin queen!) which quickly distracted me from my flop in the kitchen.

blog-wheat-germ-pancakes-003

 

I’m off in search of more wheat germ pancake recipes. I will not be defeated! And if you have a favorite pancake recipe, I’d love for you to share with me. 😉

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

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