Monday, January 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

So yesterday I was thinking about breakfast and I thought, why not try to make whole wheat pancakes! Super healthy breakfast. I found a good looking recipe online and thought lets make this super healthy (ish)! I substituted the flour for whole wheat and then substituted the sugar for honey. How did they taste? They were okay. I feel like they would have tasted better with fruit on top or applesauce. The pancakes probably aren't my favorite, or... maybe I just have to get used to whole wheat pancakes. ha ha. These definitely feel hardy though. I had three little mini pancakes and was totally full! If you do the whole wheat this would probably feed like 6 or 8! 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker (
Serves: 6 to 8

2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (plus about 1/2 cup add slowly till right consistency at the end) 
4 tbsp butter (melted then cooled)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c chocolate chips (about)
cooking oil or butter for cooking
  1. In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla and mix well. 
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth.
  3. Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, if or when the drops start to dance its hot enough.
  4. Pour 2 tbsp of batter onto the griddle. Place about 3-5 chocolate chips in each pancake. Cook on the first side until starts to look brown (I didn't get the bubbles as I normally do with pancakes-may have been the whole wheat). You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve
Note: If you don't have buttermilk. One way to make it is to put a little vinegar in the milk and let it sit for a minute. Then add it into your recipe.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicken Jerk Chili with Cornbread

First recipe! So I am a member of a dinner group, which is probably where a lot of my cooking will come from, and last Tuesday I made Chicken Jerk Chili. It was not quite what I expected but it was still good. I found the recipe on a blog - "Smells like Home" ( I read through it and was just so interested by the fact that it had chocolate and cinnamon in it AND the comments were all so positive, I had to try it. I was scared that it would be too spicy since this was one of my first attempts at chili so I made a few changes. However, I think that mine ended up a little bland and I would put in a little more spice next time. The chili had a cinnamon and allspice aroma that was very pleasant and it lingered more in the aftertaste I would say. I put a little fresh cilantro on top and it added a nice touch to the flavors as well. Overall this had a nice "chicken noodle soup" feel about it. Nothing too overpowering , settles well in the stomach and tastes good. 

I also served this with one of my favorite cornbread recipes. I did have a little of a mishap with it. but it still turned out good! I doubled the recipe and then realized I didn't have enough cornmeal. I had already done a ton of the recipe by this point and I had no time to run to the store. So.. I just substituted white flour. Then in addition somehow I miscalculated and didn't double the flour! So it ended up being a little dense, but still tasty. :) I love this particular recipe because it is sweet (I thought it went really well with this particular chili) but you can use whole wheat flour and its still moist and delicious. Personally I love using whole wheat flour because then you feel full in a more satisfying way and I usually don't have to go back for 5ths. I probably will still go back for 2nds or 3rds though. :)

Chicken Jerk Chili (my changes are in italics)

source: Tara, Smells Like Home
Serves: 8 (This is with the changes I made and its an estimation)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 large rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (about 6 cups)
4 cups chicken broth (3 cups)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, undrained or partially drained (2 cans)
1 can (15 oz) small white beans, undrained or partially drained
2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapenos (I used regular jalapenos, seeded them and probably 1 tbsp)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp cornmeal or 3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (optional for thickening)
        (I used the left over chicken broth in the can for the liquid here)
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapenos, bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic, cilantro, chocolate, and either cornmeal or cornstarch/water slurry if desired.  If you add the cornstarch slurry, bring the heat up to medium-high and allow the chili to thicken.  Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

Makes: 9x9 pan

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup (whole wheat) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nutritional Information: (Amount Per Serving)  Calories: 284 | Total Fat: 12.2g | Cholesterol: 67mg

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hello World!

So I am entering the world of blogging. Hello world. I am Stephanie. I think that coming up with the name for this blog was the hardest part! But finally I think I have something that is me. Yes, purple is my favorite color. I feel that it is such a peaceful color. And yes, frogs are wonderful. I believe I have loved them since the time in my life when it poured raining in Germany and frogs were outside everywhere, like the plague. I remember all over the towns they would have signs saying, "Watch out for Frogs!" (but it was in German).  I grew up in Washington and love trees.  I am a math teacher and find that helping those around me brings me the greatest joy.  Last but not least I am a cookbook addict. I hope that this blog will help inspire me to cook more of those delicious recipes I read about.