This Tuesday is Pancake Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday is the last day before Lent. Traditionally people would prepare for 40 days of fasting before Easter by eating all the fatty foods they possibly could. Unfortunately, I don’t have time on weekday mornings to make myself a pancake breakfast, so I decided to celebrate a few days early.
Generally I prefer crepes to pancakes, but these apple pancakes are the exception to that rule. My mom used to make them for me and my brother pretty often when we were kids. My memories might be a little exaggerated, but I remember being to eat tons of them in one sitting. The apples stay a little crisp, and have a bit a tart flavour. The tartness is balanced by maple syrup in this case. My mom usually sprinkles cinnamon and sugar on them, I think that might be my favourite way to eat them.
These are really easy to make. Apple slices are dipped into a standard pancake batter then fried in butter. You could use oil, but the flavour just isn’t the same. Top them with any syrup or sweetener you have.
Polish Apple Pancakes
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rounds
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups milk
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- butter for frying
- maple syrup for serving
- In a large bowl, whisk the milk and eggs together. Add the flour, baking powder, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together. If the batter is very lumpy set it aside for a few minutes to rest then stir again.
- Pour the apple slices into the batter and coat them.
- In a large frying pan melt about 1 tbsp of butter. When the pan is hot, place 2 or 3 apple slices in the oil. When the bottom is golden and the pancakes can easily be moved, flip and fry the other side.
- Repeat with remaining apple slices. (any left over batter can be used for regular pancakes)
What did people do with over ripe bananas before banana bread was invented? I always used to make mine with walnuts and chocolate chips. Classic. Delicious. Then a little over a year ago I developed an allergy to walnuts, which means my classic banana bread recipe will make my face swell up into something that looks like this:
I haven’t made banana bread since.
So I need a new banana bread recipe. I could put just chocolate chips, but that seemed too easy. After a quick consultation with Janice, I decided peanuts was the way to go. Unfortunately I forgot to buy the peanuts. Instead I used peanut butter, sort of like a pre-made peanut butter and banana sandwich.
My results were mixed. The flavour was great but the overall experience was lacking. I wanted the peanut butter to swirl through the batter, but the two ended up almost completely combined. I think because of the that the cake was a little dry, sort of like having peanut butter without a glass of milk. I also missed the texture of the nuts in the banana bread. Next time I’ll remember to buy the peanuts.
I’m posting the recipe as I made it, but I’d suggest increasing the amount of mashed banana or yogurt, or maybe even butter. Some experimenting may be required. Or just a large glass of milk.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine the bananas, butter, eggs and yogurt.
- Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into it. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into a greased 8 by 8 inch pan. Dollop the peanut butter randomly over the batter and swirl into the batter using a knife.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
- Let cool before serving.
PS: If anyone has a fail proof swirling method, I’d love to know what it is!
Earlier today we celebrated Sasha’s second birthday. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of fun I had at a child’s party. Turns out toys are fun for grown ups too. I have to tell you I am incredibly proud of myself for not breaking my sugar-free/gluten-free fast. Turning down the birthday cake was a lot easier with a gluten-free buddy, and I discovered that another party goer was in the process of eliminating gluten to test for intolerance. We both agreed that snacks and breakfast are the toughest meals of the day. She’s tackling the situation the way I did the first time I eliminated gluten, by replacing her usual foods with gluten-free versions. Although that works it is very expensive; a small loaf of bread is anywhere from 5 to 7 dollars in Montreal.
(I love the spots on organic eggs)
This time I decided to tackle the situation by actually changing the way I eat. Gluten free bread is a poor substitute for the real thing, so I see no point in eating it. The question then becomes, what to eat for breakfast? This meal is one of my solutions. I was inspired by Janice’s Bistro Style Egg Sandwich, but replaced the English muffin with oven baked home fries. This breakfast is great for a Saturday morning. It’s filling and delicious and pretty easy to make if you have a little time. I used a poach pod to poach my egg as none of the traditional methods ever work for me.
Poached Eggs With sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms and Home Fries.
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1-2 mushrooms per person
- A large handful of baby spinach per person
For the Potatoes:
- Slice the potatoes in half and peel them.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be slightly less than cooked through.
- Cube the potatoes and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you are planning ahead (this step is important, it leads to crispy fries)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Toss the chilled potatoes with olive oil to coat and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 20- 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes at least twice so that the are properly browned.
For the Spinach and Mushrooms
- Heat some olive oil in a skillet. Cook the sliced mushrooms until browned.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
For the Eggs
- Crack an egg into a lightly greased poach pod.
- Fill a medium pot with about 2 inches of water. Heat until simmering. Gently place the poach pod in the simmering water. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cover.
- Cook the eggs for 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the desired doneness (that might not be a word).
Place the spinach and potatoes on a plate, and top the spinach with the poached egg. Season with salt and pepper.