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Happy (gluten-free) Pancake Day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Pancake Day yesterday!

Gluten-free crepesWe took a slightly different route this year – still flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants to make crepes on a school night, but this year, we threw in the added challenge of making a gluten-free version.

We followed our tried-and-tested recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini, with a couple of tweaks. We replaced the flour with Cup4Cup, Thomas Keller’s stellar gluten-free flour, and added more milk to thin out the batter. The end result was a crepe that was so pitch perfect, you would never in a million years guess that it was gluten-free, which is really the goal, right?

Kids topped it with lemon and sugar, and then on round two, spread it with Nocciolata, an organic hazelnut spread with cocoa and milk, and were in dessert heaven.

As for me, I went au natural, scoffing it straight sans spread and it was delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Gluten-free Crepes

250 g (2 C) flour (gluten-free like Cup4Cup or all-purpose)
3 eggs
1/4 L (1 C) milk
100 g (1/3 C) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 L (1 C) still water
butter for cooking, and an assortment of toppings

In a large mixing-bowl, roughly combine the flour and eggs. Whisk in the milk, adding it slowly to avoid lumps. Add in the sugar, vanilla, oil and rum (if using), and whisk to combine thoroughly. Whisk in the water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Take the bowl of batter out of the fridge, and give it a whisk to “revive” it. Put a thick-bottomed, low-rimmed frying pan over high heat. Wait until it gets very hot (hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle). Melt a dab of butter in it, and spread the butter evenly in the pan with a wadded paper towel (watch your fingers).

Ladle a little batter in the pan (just enough to cover the pan thinly, we are not making pancakes here), and move the pan around so the batter forms an even disk. Wait until the edges of the crêpe start to pull slightly away from the sides of the pan, peek underneath, and flip the crêpe with a spatula when it is nice and golden. Cook for a few more seconds (the second side cooks much faster) and serve immediately, topped/stuffed/rolled/spread with the sweet condiment of your choice.

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Happy Pancake Day!

Dr. Who pancake

Photo courtesy of Griddle Me This

Happy Pancake Day! Are you having pancakes c’est soir?

I just wanted to share this amazing “Dr. Who” TARDIS pancake that I found on Griddle Me This, a Tumblr site of pancake art!

It’s enough to inspire me to put aside that Trader Joe’s pancake mix and go rogue with some pancake designs (but I suspect the execution will be shoddy …). Happy pancake making!

Infographic: A look at British brekkie

Sorry for my lack of posts! This has been a ridiculously busy week!!

I wanted to share this great infographic about breakfast in the U.K., created by Thistle Hotels! It makes me hungry for breakfast right now!

Full English breakfast

Thanks to Lillie for sending!

Why do Brits love American food?

Cheeseburger“Juicy burgers, stacks of fluffy pancakes, Cobb salads festooned with crispy bacon, and cherry pie topped with whipped cream: American food is glorious. Especially in America. But why is it becoming Britain’s go-to cuisine?”

The Guardian newspaper has posted an interesting piece about Brits’ love affair with American food. It’s actually a concept that I’ve clearly missed – the novelty of American burgers and American breakfast in particular, perhaps because it’s not a novelty for us, it’s dime-a-dozen. Personally, I’m much more of a Mexican food or sushi fan – or at least that’s what I miss most when I’m out of the U.S.

What do you think? What’s your favorite American food?

Breakfast of champions

Ever wonder what Michael Phelps eats for breakfast? Read on!

You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Well, BBC Breakfast recently asked the important question – what does Michael Phelps eat for breakfast? The answer was pretty fascinating.

  • Three fried egg sandwiches, with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, fried onions and mayonnaise
  • Three chocolate chip pancakes
  • A five-egg omelette
  • Three sugar-coated slices of French toast
  • A bowl of grits
  • Two cups of coffee

There you go, folks. The makings of an Olympian may be hidden somewhere in that combination (along with a lot of swimming, of course!).  If you’re curious, you can read what he eats for lunch and dinner, too.

On weekdays, I generally go with two cups of coffee, and that’s it until a mid-morning snack of trail mix. (Yes, there is a reason I’m not an Olympian). But on weekends, I enjoy making pancakes, scones or cinnamon rolls for the family. In fact, a couple weekends ago, we indulged in this amazing biscuits and gravy recipe from Portland’s Mother’s Bistro & Bar, which is easily the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had.

So what do you eat for breakfast? The full English? Something more continental? Cereal? A cup of joe?

The full English (or Scottish, Welsh or Irish) infographic

I love this infographic by Tokketok that illustrates what a full English breakfast (or Scottish, Welsh or Irish breakfast) actually entails, in case there was ever any question. Actually there might be some items up for debate – for example, I was surprised to see that baked beans were not included in the full English. I’ve had breakfast at plenty of B&Bs and restaurants in Britain where the full English has included the beans. What do you think?

Breakfast for dinner

Breakfast for dinner should always be an option.

Last night, we went out for dinner at one of our neighborhood greasy spoons and ordered breakfast.

Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, pancakes. The whole nine yards.

Before the aforementioned vittles arrived, my husband reviewed the menu, which was an amalgamation of breakfast, lunch and dinner items and then asked, “Wait, are they still serving breakfast?”

Are they still serving breakfast?! Where exactly do you think we are? Welcome to America, my dear.

It’s one of those minor perks that are easily taken for granted, until you no longer have the option.

When I was living in Scotland, I remember how much I idealized the notion of going out for dessert. Just dessert. Not dinner. Not the full meal. Just a slice of pie or cake or ice cream or whatever at a regular restaurant, which was not well-received and I’m still not sure why. I guess restaurants didn’t want to take up space feeding someone dessert when they could be serving a main meal plus starter, drinks and dessert afterward.

Speaking of dessert, I should add that we did have dessert with breakfast. Something that should be illegal called a pie milkshake, which is precisely what it sounds like. They take a piece of pie of your choice (we went with a caramel pecan pie) and blend it into your standard vanilla ice cream-based milkshake. Who knew something so wrong could taste so right? God bless America.