January 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
After my somewhat slumpy start to 2013, the week picked up and I finally feel the rush of new activity, new beginnings, and possibilities. As I said in my last post, I really wanted to start the year with some vegan inspiration for y’all. Well, today I’ve got it: vegan, dairy-free, egg-free pancakes!
I still remember the first vegan pancake I ever made. I was getting a little frustrated with my vegan diet – having one of those moments where I was thinking, maybe this wasn’t for me. It was a weekend and I wanted my comfort food: brunch food to be exact. All it took was a good pancake to turn me around. I find this to be true time and time again. Just when I think the going gets tough and I may want to call the quits, it’s something quite small and unexpected that turns me around. Those pancakes are still my go-to as they are loaded with healthy ingredients. But while delicious, they aren’t the fluffy, airy, buttery bites that a pancake is known for.
Enter Candle 79’s Homestyle Pancake recipe. I’m truly ashamed to admit I’ve had this cookbook for a year – a year! – and this is the first recipe I’ve made from it. Oh I’ve spent hours reading it and gazing at the photos like a love-sick teenager, but why I never just broke out the ingredients in the kitchen and made something is beyond me. Sometimes for all my good intentions I can really be quite lazy.
This recipe was the one that immediately caught my attention when I first got this cookbook. What stopped me for so long from making it was the Ener-G Egg replacer. This is an easy pick-up from Whole Foods and there is no excuse for me not buying this ingredient sooner. Shame on me! But alas, I finally had it in my pantry as I needed it for a few Thanksgiving recipes so there were no more excuses. I finally cracked open this cookbook to get it dirty with specks of flour and vegan butter stains.
Boy was it worth it! These pancakes do not disappoint. They crisp up perfectly just as a good pancake should, resulting in a nice crusty outside and fluffy cakey inside. I’ve made them both with white flour and whole wheat flour and both ways are great – the white flour does give them just a bit more fluffiness. The cinnamon in the recipe is a bit strong which is fine by me as I love cinnamon, but if you aren’t a big fan you may go light on it.
These cakes are delicious with just a hint of maple syrup but I like to serve with warm berries. I always have frozen berries in my freezer for my smoothies so I just pop some in a glass container in the microwave for a minute or so to heat them up. If I have time I’ll let them cook on the stove a while to become like a compote. While it is visually lovely to serve the berries over the pancakes – they quickly absorb all the liquid – so if you’re like me and your favorite part of a pancake is that buttery crust, serve the berries on the side. Another lovely, albeit less healthy, option is to top these with some chocolate chips and sliced bananas if you’re really feeling decadent.
Last but not least, if you’re making these just for you – although I’ll forewarn you that whoever smells them cooking will want them, diet resolutions and all – go ahead and make the full batch. The batter keeps well in the fridge and then you can have pancakes day or night in a jiffy. The only downside: you can have pancakes day or night! You’ll find yourself whipping up a cake or two for no other reason other than you can!
So whether your New Year’s resolution is to do a vegan challenge for health or ethical reasons, or you’re just trying to cut back on dairy and eggs in general – I hope you’ll give these pancakes a try!
Get the Candle 79 Homestyle Pancake Recipe here.
January 2, 2013 § 5 Comments
Hello friends! I meant to write on New Years Eve and then again on New Years Day – I was hoping to write some encouraging words to inspire you to start a vegan challenge if you haven’t already done so. But with the emotions I was feeling, I couldn’t focus on a vegan challenge and neither day could I find the words to express what I wanted to say. So I hope you’ll bear with me here. The words are still hard to come by as I have a whole mixture of emotions saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013. Mostly I guess I am relived…
It seems like both yesterday and forever ago that we were in that cold, too-bright waiting room at the hospital. Waiting to learn my Dad’s fate. I remember leaving and barely being able to make it through that first night. I laid in bed at my parent’s home wondering how on earth we’d manage – literally reminding myself to breathe in and out and just make it through the night. Minutes turned to hours which turned to days and before I knew it, Daddy was buried – and gone forever.
As the weeks wore on I counted the days endlessly. Day 25…Day 78…Day 123… I remember wondering how long the counting would go on for – at what point would I stop? And then, out of nowhere, I did stop.
Just as I had counted those days – I remember wondering how we’d possibly make it through our “Year of Firsts”. We had many…
My first birthday without him – and then my Mom’s and sister’s and husband’s.
Our first fourth of July BBQ without him – where he would have been manning the grill and playing host.
My parent’s wedding anniversary – what would have been their 32nd.
Mother’s Day… Father’s Day… Halloween – his favorite holiday of all… Thanksgiving.
Then there were the real tough ones. His birthday on 12/21. He would have been 62. And then of course there was Christmas.
So needless to say with all these firsts, and hard ones at that, I didn’t expect to be totally knocked out by New Years. In fact I’d been looking forward to it. I even ordered New Years cards! Something I’ve never done. I was ready for 2013. Ready to give 2012 a big kick and watch it tumble away.
But when push came to shove, saying goodbye to 2012 wasn’t so easy. Welcoming 2013 – welcoming a year in which my Dad will have never lived – never smiled, never laughed, never sat on his back patio reading his iPad – welcoming this year meant he was gone and he wasn’t coming back. I so wanted to welcome 2013 with open arms – but I just couldn’t. I really truly wanted to make resolutions and goals and be excited – to watch the ball drop with anticipation and joy. But I couldn’t. And that was alright.
I didn’t jump up and down at New Years. I reflected. I peacefully said goodbye to 2012 with a light wave and looked toward the New Year. And as if nature knew I was going to be needing a little help – today marks 28 weeks of our pregnancy. Magically it seems the 12 week countdown begins and I need to get into “game-mode” and focus on finalizing all the details to welcome my precious little girl. Knowing I’ll be a mother soon has literally lit up my world. I’m awaiting my baby girl with open arms – ready to receive her and give her my entire life. Life is funny like that. It’s totally messy, but thank goodness for the mess. It’s what keeps us going.
Thanks for bearing with me as I’ve likely shared too much over the past 8 months and possibly today. But sharing here whether anyone is reading or not has been very helpful.
I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013. And I will be back to hopefully inspire some of you to understake that 30 day vegan challenge! We will be starting the inspiration with…drumroll please…pancakes! Yes, pancakes so light and fluffy you may never make them with dairy or eggs again!