As the main ingredient in ice cream, all of the very best desserts, and most perfumes, vanilla has become one of the most popular spices in the world.
A part of the beautiful orchid flower, vanilla was once so rare that it was flaunted as a sign of true wealth. Now days it comes in many shapes and forms, but nothing beats the flavor and mouthwatering aroma of vanilla straight from the bean. Mix it into buttermilk batter
to bring that delicious signature flavor to your morning pancakes.
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 vanilla bean cut in half and scraped (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
2 tsp olive oil
If you do not have buttermilk you can make a substitute by adding 1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice to the milk. Vanilla beans are super flavorful in this recipe. Slice bean in half the long way and use the knife blade to scrape out the soft vanilla to add to the batter. In a non metallic bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil. Whisk together just to combine. Don’t over mix! Lumps help to make a light and fluffy pancake! Pour one ladle full at a time onto a hot griddle or into a nonstick pan. Once the pancakes are bubbling they are ready to turn over. Stack on plate. To serve top with Maple Syrup.
Note: This recipe doubles easily if you need to feed a crowd.
When I was in grade school my Mom used to pack the greatest lunches. They were made like Mary Meals-with whatever she had on hand. Needless to say they were not your standard pb&j’s. Classmates used to give me such a hard time for my fried egg sandwiches and homemade noodles with cabbage. I glowed as red as my strawberry shortcake lunch box when it was time for the big reveal. It never occurred to me that they might have just been jealous… Here’s to my mom who never gave me a “normal” lunch even when I begged.
Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwiches with Feta and Basil
thick sliced bread
olive oil(butter would work here if you insist)
chopped basil (2 leaves)
Brush oil onto each side of the bread slices and place under the broiler. Turn to toast up each side. After toast reaches a golden color add slices of tomatoes and let broil until very hot. While the tomatoes are working start frying up your eggs any style that you like. Remember to season eggs with S&P. TO PLATE: arrange toast on plate, place your cooked eggs on toast, and top with crumbled feta and chopped basil.
Fresh berries. Mascarpone cheese sweetened with a touch of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and citrus peel. Rolled up in one thin and crispy french style crepe. Are you hungry yet?! I know that crepes seem very intimidating but they are super easy to make and require very little ingredients. Many of which I am sure you have lurking in your pantry. Crepes originate from the Brittany region of France, but are found in many different countries who each have a traditional name for theses thin little pancakes. No matter what you want to call them, I call them delicious, and they have become one of my favorite breakfast dishes. Here they are served with berries and a sweetened creme filling, but crepes are so versatile you can feel free to add any of your favorite fillings.
Mascarpone Crepes with Raspberries and Blueberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
fresh berries(frozen would work as well)
8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
zest of half a lime and half an orange
1 TBS of powdered sugar(more if you have a sweet tooth) but taste first!
1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the Crepes: whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Non stick pan works best here. (I don’t normally cook with non stick) Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side.
For the Filling:
combine cheese with powdered sugar, zest and vanilla.
lay crepe on plate, spoon on filling mixture and place berries on top. fold crepe in half once and then fold that half in half again. top with a dollop of cheese and a handful of berries