I am reposting this ... originally posted on my first blog that is now private and never used !!
I have NEVER been able to make good pancakes from scratch. NEVER. Until now ! Lauren at Vegan Yum Yum posted THIS recipe. Have you all been to check out her site ? Come on now, don't let the vegan part scare you off. She's got some great great great recipes ! She was also recently on the Martha Stewart show doing the cutest thing. See that clip on her blog HERE.
I must mention how EASY this is ! You do it all in the blender ! And you can do it the night before ! I made a batch for me and the kids last night and then when Rory got home later, I made him a batch too. Kept the leftovers in the blender in the fridge and the kids had pancakes again for breakfast this morning !!
I am cutting and pasting the recipe from HERE.

Easy Weekend Pancakes
Makes about 25 Silver Dollar Pancakes, enough for two people

1 1/2 Cup Soymilk (I have used normal milk too)
1 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Oil
1 Cup Spelt (or all-purpose*) Flour
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Extract (any flavor, I used orange, but vanilla is a no-brainer)
1-2 Tbs water, to thin batter if needed

*If using only all-purpose flour for this recipe, you may need to add more liquid. Regular flour absorbs more moisture than spelt.

Add soymilk to your blender. Add remaining ingredients except the water and blend for a few seconds until combined. Scrape down any dry flour stuck to the side of the jar and blend again. Place the top on the blender and refrigerate overnight. You can also use the batter immediately.

In the morning, place the blender back on the base and add 1-2 Tbs of water, blend to mix. This re-thins the batter that had thickened overnight.

Pouring BatterPreheat oven to 200ยบ F, or the lowest setting, and put an oven-safe plate on the middle rack. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Pour the batter directly into the center of the UNgreased heated pan. I like silver dollar sized pancakes, 2 1/2 to 3″ in diameter, but you can make any size you want. This batter should create fairly thin pancakes.

After a few minutes of cooking, you’ll see the bubbles form and set on the uncooked side of the pancake. The batter will start to set, and it will change color from white to dull yellow. This is when you should flip. If your pancake isn’t brown by this time, turn your heat up. If it is overly brown, your heat is too high.While cooking the pancakes, place the finished ones directly into the oven on the plate. Stack the pancakes as you go. This will keep the whole stack warm while you’re cooking them.


Now, isn't that a good lookin' pancake ?!

With some blueberries for the photo ...

And how I really eat pancakes. Sickly sweet ... not usually my forte. I'm more of a savory/salty girl but when it comes to pancakes and french toast, I want butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup ! The combination is divine. Add bacon to the mix and I might just jump for joy ! ( not very high though if it's AFTER I eat !! )

Banana Muffins


1 cup softened but not melted butter
1.5 cups of sugar
7 ripe bananas ... you know, the black ones that have been in the freezer for months !
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven ... 200C ( 375F)

Mix butter and sugar ... til light and fluffy. Add bananas, egg. Mix some more. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Add. Mix. Dump the mixture into your muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes.

Easy and delicious !!


Here is my sister's recipe for tortillas. I've had these quite a few times at her house over the years and I don't know why I've never tried to make them. They are wonderful!

Recipe is from a family friend and my sister has adapted it over the years.

3 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. white flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C. nonfat dry milk powder (optional--I don't usually use this much)

1 1/4 C. (warm) water
6 Tbs cooking oil

Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Measure the water into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Add oil. Stir quickly and pour into flour mixture.

Stir with a fork until mostly mixed. Dump onto countertop and knead a few times. (Slighty moist dough is way easier to roll out than dry, tough dough.) Divide into 16 balls. Place the balls close together on the countertop and cover with the inverted bowl (put the fork in the way to make it easier to open and shut the bowl) to prevent drying out while you roll them.

Roll each ball into a 9" circle, with a consistently thin layer of flour (to prevent sticking and "folding") on the countertop. Cook in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for thirty seconds on each side. (When bubbles form, it's time to flip.) I use a double-wide pancake skillet turned to 350 degrees so I can keep a continuous supply going. It takes about 30 seconds for me to roll the next one. Patting the dough balls into a flat starting pancake is a good job for a little kid, and can speed the process up. These are labor-intensive, but it's what I'm used to now. Don't expect your first ones to be perfect! (i.e. don't get discouraged and never make them again)

Number Of Servings:16 9-inch tortillas

Preparation Time:longer than I'd like (about 25+ minutes)

What's for Lunch ?


My kiddos love Equadorian Quinoa Vegetable Soup !!

I top it with a bit of cheese, add some corn chips and a spoon. Easy, yummy, healthy lunch !

I think next winter I will get them thermoses that can go in their lunch boxes so they can have their soups warm !

Beef and Guinness Pie


2 tbsp olive oil
one onion
1.5 cups mushrooms, halved
600g beef ( I used rump steak ), chopped into one inch cubes
2 tbls wholemeal flour
3 tbls sunflower oil
1.25 cups Guinness Beer
1.25 cups nice beef stock
two sheets of puff pastry
beaten egg, to glaze
Salt and Pepper

Saute onion and mushrooms in heavy bottom pan.

Season the flour ( I used garlic salt and pepper ) and toss the meat in it.

Remove onion and mushrooms from pan. Brown the steak on high heat to seal in the juices.

Add the onion and mushrooms back to the pan. Pour in the beer and stock.

Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, one hour or until meat is tender.

Pour into pie dish. Cover and let it cool.

If you have planned far enough in advance, leave this over night as the flavour only gets better !

When ready to bake ... Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Cut pasty in the shape of the dish. Also cut a strip (about 1 inch thick ) from around the pastry.

Put that on the rim of the pie dish and press it on.

Brush with beaten egg then put the round piece on top of it !


I then cut the remaining piece of pastry into four long strips. I folded each one lengthwise ... twice.

I used that those strips to go around the outside of the pastry to make a pretty pie crust border !

Brush the whole thing with beaten egg.

Stab the middle of the pie with a knife so the steam can escape while it cooks.

Chill 15 minutes in fridge. Gotta rest the pastry !

Bake 30-40 minutes ... until the pasty is a nice golden brown.

I served with mashed potatoes/turnips, and sauteed greens.


Whole Wheat Bread Maker Bread


I found this recipe at ... a fantastic site full of bread maker recipes.
I plan to try a bunch of them !! If you have a bread maker, I'd recommend checking the site out !

This one was really really nice !! I'm cutting and pasting the recipe ...

Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients for a 2-lb (1kg) loaf:
1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
4 teaspoons margarine or butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 active dry yeast

Add ingredients according to manufacturer's instructions. Select Basic cycle. When baking cycle has ended, let cool to room temperature before slicing.

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 29

- home made pizza.

Saturday - beer battered fish ... recipe to follow in the week.

We also had homemade chips, onion rings and calamari. We figured we might as well go the whole hog while we had the deep fryer out. HOG is the right word too ... we felt disgusting afterwards. If we ever make this fish again, it will be accompanied by a large green salad !!

Sunday - I didn't eat. I had a sore throat and just drank a soothing coke ! Nearly stayed up all night as a result !! I think Rory made himself an egg.

Monday - tonight. We're having Beef and Guinness Pie. It's a new recipe for us. I cooked the insides yesterday and just have to top with pastry and bake for dinner tonight. I'll be making potato and turnip patties to go with it ... unless I become very lazy, then it will be potato and turnip mash !!

- we will be trying Beth's Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos ! I will also be trying to make my own flour tortillas. Has anyone reading this made them before ? I'd love to have a link to a good recipe ... I'm just picking one at random to try !!

Wednesday - Inspired by the Denver contingent's Belgian Waffles, I am going to make Pancakes. I love pancakes for dinner. I will be posting this recipe during the week too. In my search for the link, I discovered that I hadn't posted this to the beans blog but actually to my other blog that is private and I don't post to anymore ! A lot of good it's doing there !!

Come back later in the week ... this recipe is one you don't want to miss !!

A few more recipes that I've tried out this week and will post soon ...

Whole Wheat Bread in my breadmaker. Easy and yummy.

Soft Pretzels.
We all loved them !!

Made these today.


Stop by for more Menu Plan Monday !!

And don't forget November starts our month of Spanish cooking !!!

Foods of The World - Potluck

This is a savory dish, wonderfully complemented by sweet amarillos, the recipe for which also follows. It may seem a little strange--rice and potatoes?!--so let me just say, a Puerto Rican diet is not for the faint of heart, or for those watching their carbs! But trust me, once you get a whiff of this while it's cooking, you won't care how many calories or carbs are in it. If you feel the need to assuage any guilt, though, serve it with a salad.

Pollo Guisado con Papas
Stewed Chicken with Potatoes

6 chicken pieces (I use boneless, skinless thighs, but it's your preference)
2 or 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet onion, cubed
6 - 12 cloves garlic, minced (depends how much you like garlic!); can substitute minced garlic you buy in a jar
12 green olives (you can always pick them out if you don't like them, but cook with them for flavor)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 Cup white cooking wine
1 Cup olive oil (if you're concerned about the amount, you can reduce it, but I wouldn't go less than 1/2 a Cup)
1/4 Cup white vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Combine everything in a large pot, stirring to coat the chicken and vegetables with the sauce mixture. Push the chicken down, covering it with the vegetables, to keep it tender and ensure it cooks through.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high. Keep at a steady boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir, ensuring the chicken is covered again. Cook 30 more minutes. Check potatoes for tenderness; if necessary, cook an additional 15 minutes. If you don't serve it immediately, reduce heat to low and cover.

Serve over white rice with amarillos on the side.

Fried Plantains

These sweet, fried plantains (platanos) are called amarillos in Puerto Rico, and maduros in Cuba. Amarillo means yellow in Spanish, and maduro means mature or ripe, so they're both apt names for the ripe, yellow plantains used to make them!

Ripe plantains (also known as green bananas), 1 plantain per 2 people should be enough
Olive oil (or vegetable oil, if you prefer)

Allow plantains to ripen at room temperature until yellow with black spotting, to the point where they almost look spoiled. Depending on how green they are when you buy them, this could take a week or more, so plan accordingly. You can speed the ripening process by storing the plantains in a brown paper bag with a small apple. Just be sure to keep a close watch on them to prevent spoiling! This is what they should look like.

Using a very sharp knife, cut off the ends of the plantain and split the skin down the length of it. The fruit inside should be pinkish-yellow. Carefully peel. A plantain's skin is thinner than a banana's, and it adheres a bit more to the fruit when it's ripe, so it's not as easily peeled as a banana. Cut off any bruised spots.

Pour oil into a shallow frying pan, about 3/4 inch deep. Heat oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating up, slice plantains into wedges, about 1/4 inch thick.

Place plantain wedges in oil but do not overlap them.

Fry, turning once, until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Serve and eat together. The two flavors mixing and melting in your mouth...heaven!

You can reheat leftover pollo guisado in the microwave or on the stove top, but I recommend reheating amarillos on a lightly greased or foil-covered baking sheet in the oven or toaster oven at about 300 degrees for just a few minutes.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do. ¡Buen provecho!

What to do with that big ole cabbage ?


This is an easy-peasy-throw-a-meal-together-without-thinking dish that is always a hit here.
It also came in handy last week when I needed to use an entire cabbage !

All you need is:
Polish Sausage
Soy Sauce

All you do is:
Cook your rice ... in your rice cooker, if you have one !
Brown the chopped up sausage, add the onion and cabbage.
Add a bit of soy sauce.
Cook ' til the veggies are the softness you like.

Serve the veg/sausage mixture on top of the rice.

World Foods - Potluck

Belgian Waffles:
Aunt Kathy got a new toy...a WONDERFUL flippy Belgian waffle maker. We decided that it must be tried out immediately! When we tried to find a recipe, we discovered that there are a wide range of recipes for this particular food. We were a bit overwhelmed at first, but our need for waffles helped us overcome our confusion! We thought we'd share the recipe we it was SOO YUMMY!!
2 cups flour (we used un-enriched flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs (separated)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk (we used whole cause that's what we keep in the house)
1/2 cup sparkling water (we ended up using sparkling water that had a hint of lemon flavor and it turned out fine...gave the milk a slight buttermilky flavor)
non-sick cooking spray
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions (we found that halfway between medium and high produced the done-ness that we liked).
In a medium bowl, mix together (I think I used a fork) flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a second bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat together egg yolks and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter, milk and sparkling water. Whisk to combine. Combine the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over mix.
In a third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (about 1 minute). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. Do not overmix!!!
On to the cooking!!
Here's Pam coating the waffle iron with pam. :-) Pour enough batter to just cover the waffle grid. Close and cook.

Our nifty new toy is the flippy kind...

Look at that YUMMY waffle!!

We topped our waffles with our homemade plumb preserves and plenty of whipped cream. It was a huge success!

More on Tapas

The beautiful hosts of the Tapas party. And a good view of the yummy table of food!

Just so that your mouth is definitely's another view of the table! :-)

Our Latest Tapas Night

Mom and I thought we might kick off your November Foods of the World a little early with some pictures of our most recent tapas night. All of the local family loves Spanish food, and
most of us have lived there. No recipes this time around (maybe later).
In the picture above, you can see (top to bottom), Berenjenas Fritas con Ajo y Huevo Picado (Eggplant garnished with Garlic and Hardboiled Egg), Guisantes con Jamon (Peas with Ham), Pimientos Fritos (Fried Peppers), Ensaladilla Rusa (a wonderful Spanish potato salad), Tortilla Espanol (Spanish Omelet with potatoes), and Ali Oli (Garlic Mayonnaise).

Chorizo a la Llama (Flaming Chorizo) is a staple at our Tapa Nights. It happens to be the first tapa Mom and I shared in the first restaurant we visited in Rota, on Avenida de la Marina. A nice variety of aceitunas (olives) is also a must at our Tapa Nights.

Foods of The World - November 2008

Let's go to Spain ! Oh how I wish I really could ... but for now, I'll have to make do with just going there in my kitchen !! And on the beans blog ... in your kitchens !!

To get you started, I'm going to give you the link for a wonderful website that has amazing recipes. The people who run this site are friends of our family from way back !!

If you live in the States or Canada you can even order food from them ... but I'm really just directing you to the recipe section ! There's some yummy stuff in there !!

So ... get your research hats on. Find your recipe. Get cooking and photographing and posting ... I can't wait to see what you all do !!

(click on the La Tienda "photo" to go to the website ...)

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 28


Almost forgot to post this ...

Friday ... the kids had Dominoes pizza. Jono won a free large pizza from indoor soccer so we redeemed that voucher for their dinner. Rory and I had carbonara and the pastry pictured above. I'll post the recipe for it soon ... I made it up and it was yummy !

Saturday ... home made sushi ... always a favorite !

Sunday ... dinner is always hard on sunday night because we eat lunch late after morning church and then don't eat again until after night church. This week we had fried eggs and corn on the cob. Odd combo, I know ... but it's what we felt like !

Monday ... Rory cooked a stir fry.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday ... I know I keep doing this but I'm not sure what we will have. I've got all these veggies from our local organic farmer so we'll probably be doing something with them on rice !

Don't forget our Foods of The World series that is happening ... only a few more days left this month and then we will start with a new country !! I've chosen the next country and will let you all know what it is on Friday the 24th of October !!


For more Menu Plan Monday, be sure to stop by "I'm an Organizing Junkie" and check out the other posts !!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins


I got this recipe out of "Good Housekeeping ~ Baking" ... a cookbook I got from the library.

2 cups flour
1/2 cups plus one tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
8 ounces plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven. 400F/200C. Line your muffin pans.

In a bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, with a whisk or a form, mix egg whites, yoghurt, veg oil, lemon peel and vanilla. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture, until flour is moistened. Batter will be lumpy.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into muffin pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 tbls sugar onto top of muffins.

Bake 20/25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

Immediately remove muffins from pan. Serve warm. Or cool on wire rack to serve later.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Cherry Almond Muffins


I got this recipe HERE ...
  • 150g caster sugar , plus a little more to sprinkle on top
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 125g butter , melted
  • 175ml Greek yogurt
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 250g cherries, pitted and halved (I used frozen)
  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases (not cupcake ones as these are too small). Mix the sugar, vanilla, egg, butter and yoghurt together. Sift the flour, baking powder and almonds into a bowl (use a wide mesh sieve), add the liquid ingredients and mix quickly (don't worry if the mix is lumpy), add the cherries and mix.
  2. Divide between the muffin cases, sprinkle a little extra sugar onto each and bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.

A new series ...

Does anyone else get tired of putting the same old things in their kid's lunch boxes ?? I'm so on the lookout for new things to give the kids ... homemade things that travel/keep well !!

I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to post a series of lunch box ideas ... would you like to join me ?? Go ahead, grab the "what's for lunch...?" above, post to your blog and then link back here, or post right here if you are an author ! I'd love to see what you put in your kid's lunch boxes ! Or your husband's lunch box .... or your own lunch box ... or your neighbor's lunch box ... I'm not really picky about who the lunch box is for ... I just want to see what is in it !!


Here's a different sandwich idea that my kids love. I don't often keep cream cheese in the house, but when I do have it, they love this simple, refreshing sandwich. Cream cheese and sliced cucumber. Try it, you'll like it !!

Ps ... how do you like the lunch box drawing ?? Yep ... it was me ! Hidden talents, I tell ya !!

October is almost finished ...

... only 13 days left to get your POT LUCK recipes posted and then we'll be starting on a new country ! I'll be revealing next months country soon !! Which one will it be ..... ??

Our pot luck recipes so far have been ....

Vietnamese Vermicelli
Equadorian Quinoa And Vegetable Soup
Chicken Cous Cous
Korean Spicy Pork Ribs

Is This For Real ??

I discovered this in my google reader today ...

Would anyone really eat this ?!?!


Menu Plan Monday - Khrista - Edition 28

I will post the Sweet Corn & Potato Chowder recipe soon!
More menus *HERE*

Kiddos Kooking

Alia saw a recipe for making a strawberry milkshake on playschool this week and asked if she could make it for us. We got some strawberry's at the shop and when we got home she made us shakes.

We made a video of her doing the shake ... and then I made a video of the kids watching the video. I thought it was funny how funny they thought it was.

As for the taste ... well, let's just say I wouldn't buy this in a cafe, but if my five year old makes it for me ... I'll drink it every time !!

Alia loved it !!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 28


I will post Saturday and Sunday's recipes through the week.
Friday's Sloppy Joe's were great.
I made Beth's recipe.
I didn't use ketchup though because I didn't have enough.
I used half a can of tomato puree and added extra brown sugar.

Monday - tonight - we will be eating up the leftovers and having corn on the cob !
The rest of the week I'll be trying new recipes.
Tuesday - Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa and Naan
Wednesday - Whole Slow Cooked Chicken with Rice and greens
Thursday - not entirely sure but something with udon noodles and the rest of the greens.

And for the baking ... I'm going to try these Quinoa Muffins !!

For more ideas on what to cook this week ... and into the coming weeks ... click on the button above.