Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blueberry Pancakes

I don't know what it is about weekend mornings but I always wake up craving pancakes. Usually, though, I hardly ever actually follow through and make anything more time consuming than toast. This weekend though I was determined to enjoy some made from scratch blueberry pancakes to start the weekend off right. The recipe below is one that I have been using for years, unfortunately I can't remember where I found it. This recipe results golden brown, fluffy pancakes that no one can resist and the recipe is so simple that anytime can be pancake time.  Here's to a great weekend!

Basic Pancake Recipe
recipe by an unknown source (my changes in italics)

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 stick melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries (or your favorite berry)

Combine flower, sugar, baking power, and salt in a bowl. Combine the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until the large lumps have disappeared. Gently fold in the blueberries. Preheat a griddle pan or large skillet to medium heat. Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and cook until the sides are set. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Top with your favorite syrup and enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pesto Grilled Cheese

The crazy heat this week in Texas has caused my Basil plants to look rather wilted no matter how often I water them. In an effort to save my poor Basil from the relentless Texas Heat, I picked as many of the fragrant leaves as I could and decided to make a batch of Basis Pesto. Pesto is so versatile, you can use it in a sandwich to add extra flavor, toss it with some chicken and pasta for an easy to pull together pasta dish, or even use it in place of pizza sauce.

Pesto Grilled Cheese

2 slices sourdough bread
2 tbsp. Pesto (recipe below)
4 slices of tomato
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat a small skillet on medium heat. Spread half of the Pesto on one slice of bread. Top with tomato and mozzarella, finishing with the remaining pesto. Top with the remaining slice of the bread. Spread half of the butter on the outside of the sandwich and place butter side down on the skillet. Spread the remaining butter on the top of the sandwich and turn when the bottom has become golden brown. Let the other side become golden brown. Slice on the diagonal and serve warm.

Basil Pesto
recipe courtesy of All (my changes in italics)

3 cups chopped fresh basil (I had about three handfuls of Basil that I equated to about 3 cups)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (this is just an approximate, add enough to get the consistency you like)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/8 cup Brazil nuts (I omitted this because I didn't have any)
2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced garlic (I just tossed in 3 medium size garlic cloves)
1/2 tsp. chili powder (I didn't add any chili to my pesto)
Salt to taste

Place the basil in a blender (I used a food processor). Pour about 1 table spoon of the oil and blend the basil into a paste. Gradually add pine nuts, Brazil Nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili powder, and remaning oil. Continue to blend until smooth.