Thursday, January 31, 2013

Welcoming 2013, finally. Pancakes, anyone?

Pizza, coconut water, zucchini muffins, pancakes
Happy belated New Year! In typical fashion, I am  late. And, I haven't posted since mid November. My excuse? Well I have many but honestly the real reason is blogging is a passion of mine, certainly not a business, only a hobby and frankly my passions and hobbies seem to hang out at the bottom of the priority list. With two kiddos, a kindergartner and a preschooler (a preschool dropout actually, lol), it goes with the territory. So bear with me if you would, please? I have been in the kitchen whipping up some new foods and will be sharing as often as possible. See over there in the picture - Those are some recent "gems" and I will be sharing.

The start of a new year inspires us to make changes, do new things, etc. And although I'm not a "resolution" maker, I do feel a sense of renewal and motivation when a new year arrives. This year January brought me some sorrow though so it hasn't felt so inspiring thus far. One of my dear friends died suddenly. For the past nine months or so, I had been assisting my friend with getting healthier. She needed to lose weight, she needed to eat better. Her doctor told her it was imperative. I am not privy to the exact cause of death but I do know she was found unresponsive early on a Sunday morning. By the time the paramedics arrived, they said there was nothing they could do. I talked to her a few times the day before. And texted her the next morning, Sunday morning. We usually share weight loss info on Sunday mornings as we both were doing Weight Watchers. She never replied. In my heart, I feel this was a situation of too little too late. My friend needed to make some major changes. It was terribly hard for her. She would start and stop and start and stop and start again and stop again. She was finally being fairly consistent with walking on the treadmill with me two to four times a week. The food part was not consistent and was the toughest part for her. I look back on our text messages and see that she wasn't feeling well. She postponed our walk because she was feeling weak. She said it was because she hadn't been eating protein (because of her new braces making her teeth hurt). She also complained of a headache. At her service her sister-in-law told me she complained of a headache to her too as well as neck pain. Three days later, she died. I will likely never know if it was a stroke, a heart attack, or something else. I only know that my friend was unhealthy and was trying to change that. She tried but did not get a chance to get there.

With my friend passing, my mission to eat/make/share more real food and less processed food has become that much more important. Although my inspiration and motivation has been slowed, I am inspired to experiment more in the kitchen, challenge myself more (as a mom, a woman, a wife, an artist), to be organized enough to send birthday cards to my friends and family and to think positively. I'm going to turn my loss into more love for myself and others; more good food for my family and friends; and more recipes for you. And that's the short list. To kick off my 2013 recipes, let's eat pancakes! The base is the same as my whole wheat flax pancakes but this version has added spices. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. Oh, and if topping with maple syrup, be good to yourself and use the real stuff!

Whole Wheat Cardamon, Nutmeg and Flax Pancakes

2 C whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1/2 tsp cardamon*
1/4 tsp nutmeg*
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 C buttermilk
2 eggs
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flax meal, cardamon, nutmeg, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
3. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir JUST until combined (do not over mix).
4. Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
5. Proceed with your usual method for making waffles or pancakes.

I used a large cookie dough/ice cream scoop for my pancakes and the recipe made 18 pancakes.
*I doubled the spices but I love cardamon and nutmeg! I also added sliced bananas to my pancakes during cooking - it was awesome!