One of my favorite summahtime memories was in college. I got a job on a film set in Maryland for a few days and instead of flying, which they offered, I took it as an opportunity to go on a solo road-trip through the south.
It wasn’t too far, actually, maybe six or seven hours. And instead of opting for highway only, I went for the route that took me on a lot of one lane roads, running straight through a bunch of small towns in North Carolina and Virginia.
I packed a large sweet tea, made a super long mix-CD and filled up my Jetta.
Nothing crazy happened. I stopped off at a diner, had hoecakes and ate Western North Carolina BBQ. At dusk, fireflies helped light up the roads. I listened to music my parents did. But mostly I remember thinking that everyone seemed so happy and normal and maybe this whole idea of moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry, which is inherently sort of abnormal, was maybe flawed. Maybe they had it right and I had it all wrong.
My favorite holiday activity growing up was with my papa. We’d go to a restaurants — usually when we were doing some crazy last-minute holiday shopping — and we’d always grab lunch somewhere. My dad would ask me if I thought the server was nice (he or she usually was), I’d nod excitedly and my dad would jot down a tip that equated to double the amount of the bill. And then we’d leave immediately because imagining what her reaction was when she or he opened the bill fold was much more fun than getting a big ol’ thank you. I always hoped she or he would buy something nice for themselves. Or maybe if they were having a bad day from waiting on impatient people, that it’d reaffirm that not all people are bad. Til’ this day it might be one of my favorite memories with my dad.
Besides tipping generously just ‘cuz, another thing I have to have during the holiday season is gingerbread anything. I’d like to just put it out there that I’m super picky about gingerbread baked goods. It can’t be too spicy or else my nose itches and I get a brattitude. The amount of spices needs to be just right. These pancakes are one of my favorite recipes from PANCAKES (da cookbook!).
I’d be a bad blogger if I didn’t say that, “PANCAKES (da cookbook) IS A GREAT COOKBOOK TO GIVE AS A GIFT.” (Gotta pimp out your work sometimes, you know?)
I’ve been in New York this week on a trip that’s been mostly vacation, with a few meetings sprinkled throughout, and it’s been crazy amazing. While roaming around the city and eating all sorts of awesome things have been great, sleeping in has been the highlight. I never sleep in, and it’s not because I’m a super responsible, productive person, it’s because I have an animal that wakes me up way too early. It’s been a glorious week.
While I was writing PANCAKES, there were a lot of recipes that hit the cutting room floor. This was one of them. Not because it wasn’t worthy of being in print (it was!), it simply had to do with redundant. The Apple Pie Pancakes had already won its place within the book and there simply wasn’t room for a second apple pancake recipe. But I haven’t forgot about these apple ring pancakes. I’ve just been waiting for the right time to share ’em.
Look at this fine specimen! Last week I had a weird pancake craving. I don’t think it should be much of a surprise to anyone, but I have no interest in eating pancakes. I still love them. I adore them, actually. If you come to my house bearing a cappucino in your hand and you ask me to make you a stack, I’ll gladly do it. I actually love making them. I don’t know a gazillion recipes by heart, but I can make pancakes from memory. But, I’ve had my fill with them…or so I thought. Last week all I wanted was a stack of pancakes. Like a big fluffy stack. With warm syrup and lots of butter. But, I’ve been baking a lot and ran out of baking powder and baking soda, so I made a dutch baby instead. No leavening! Just eggs.
A little almond extract and slivered almonds made for a fun breakfast that I ate all by myself. Amelia stared at me the entire time. It was dog torture, but for her own good.
Fun fact about Dutch babies: they’re incredible fickle. If you add anything heavy to the batter like nuts or bacon or jam, the Dutch baby won’t rise. I found this out when writing the book. You must add any sort of topping right before you pull it out of the oven. They’re moody, delicious little things. They have an attitude.
There is no almond Dutch baby in the book, but there’s one on PBS Food today! I hope you bookmark this for Saturday morning. It’s a winner, for sure.
This is the last time I mention pancakes. Promise. (JK I would never promise such a thing.)
Today I’m bringing you Coconut Pancakes. For this pancake situation, I teamed up with my friends Geri and Erin of LEAFtv. If you’re unfamiliar, LEAFtv is a how-to concept (and soon-to-be shoppable video site) that’s fresh, fun and beautifully shot. And! Their music is always really awesome. You’ll start by watching one video and then find yourself having watched 10. They’re addicting!
We shot about six recipes/videos in one day and this is the first one to be released. These pancakes are some of my favorites–the flavors remind me of being on a tropical island with a pina colada and a book in my hand. I need this in my life soon. If you’re currently reading this from your iPad sitting on the beach, then I’m jealous. If you’re not, then, well, we have these pancakes.
I wrote a cookbook. It happened. I haven’t spoken about it much because sometimes I’m shy. But today is the day when I scream it from the rooftops, text you to tell you about it, using lots of emojis and exclamations points, nudge you to maybe, only if you want to, pre-order it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
My lil’ ol’ humble cookbook is being published by St. Martin’s Press and the release date is coming soon (eeeek!), May 28th!
This cookbook, like all cookbooks, was a labor of love with the help of my awesome literary agent, Danielle and super smart and fellow food-lover of an editor, BJ. The pretty pictures and styling was done by my friends, Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park. The cookbook is about my favorite breakfast food ever invented: pancakes. There are 72 recipes of breakfast pancakes, dinner pancakes, nerdy pancake information and even some savory and sweet toppings.
Before I show you a bunch of pictures of the cookbook, I feel like we should talk about these Banana Bourbon Pancakes because they’re pretty major. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites in the book but I do. I just do. These are one of them.
The bananas are caramelized in a bit of bourbon, butter, brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. They’re cooked until golden brown and then added to a bourbon-spiked pancake batter. Holy moly. They’re fluffy and boozy and slightly sweet and oh so very delicious. I love. Just love.
This is the story of me turning a pancake into pretzel…and then putting sweet yogurt on top so it tastes more like a yogurt covered pretzel. Do you love me? I love me…today, or actually yesterday. I made this yesterday. And ate it yesterday.
So, here’s the thing about me and pretzels. I kind of don’t like pretzels all by themselves. And I’m talking specifically about the crunchy ones. The soft ones can be eaten plain, with mustard, without, ice cold, warm, whatever—I just love them. But, the crunchy ones? I dunno man, they’re kind of whatevs to me.
Trader Joe’s (and I know this grocery store might be unavailable to some you and I think that’s sad) is the king of having a ridiculous variety of pretzel-covered options without having any plain pretzels. That place understands me well…
When I was eight years old, I was gifted a child’s magician kit and thought that I had found my life’s calling. Included in the kit were three cups and a disappearing fuzzy ball, two very white gloves, a stuffed animal bunny that folded into the side of a hat, and playing cards that were sneaky.
For the next two months I wore terrible magician-like outfits and forced anyone, and I mean anyone who came over to our house to allow me to show them my act. It was very serious. I’m pretty sure I was inspired by David Copperfield making a huge gigantic plane disappear under a big tarp on 60 Minutes or something. It was pretty impressive.
I’m now very retired from my magic days but I kind of like watching magic shows. One of the most fun things in the world is to have one too many drinks and go watch magic. Literally, like, literally everything will make you go “Oooooo!” and “WHOA!” You will understand nothing.
These pancakes are like magic. They have crazy secrets inside! They appear to look like pretty normal, standard chocolate chip pancakes, but they’re so not. Oh no. (And yes, I basically just compared making a plane disappear to pancakes.)
The thing I’m afraid of more than my usuals: failure, not having kids “on time,” my life not working out in general, is a scary murderer. I go through great lengths to avoid murderers.
I post Instagram photos of places I’m at only after I leave. I know all of you are super lovely BUT what about that one psycho, nut-job that wants to grind me up and put me in a hamburger, huh? That guy is scary. I don’t want him finding me at my favorite neighborhood coffee shop.
I also have a nightly ritual of checking every window (I live on the 2nd floor) and door in my apartment to make no one can get in. And, though, I kind of hate light in my face as I sleep, I’m always sure to have a few lights on throughout my apartment. I figure the scary murderer will think I’m up reading rather than sleeping and he’ll stay away.
You have to get in the head of a murderer, you know?! Some may think (read: my dad) that these kind of precautions are ridiculous, and maybe they are. They’re probably just a sign of my current single status and a result of living alone, which I actually enjoy, but WHATEVER MURDERERS ARE SCARY!
Do you ever lay in bed and crave a warm cinnamon roll topped with gooey icing? Of course you do. That’s a silly question. If you’re experiencing such a craving, and know good and well there’s no time and energy for such an involved baking project, look to a stack of these.
They’re fluffy, light, laden with cinnamon and have the perfect amount of tang thanks to the buttermilk. The entire stack is topped with a few spoonfuls of sweet glaze. These pancakes ‘ll make you forget all about cinnamon rolls, I think