Over the past few weeks, this has been anything but a food blog and my diet has been anything but healthy. During the weeks I was away, my Mom and I ate a lot of restaurant/fast food and hospital food. The stress made us too tired to take care of ourselves properly and there was really no time to take care of the day-to-day chores like grocery shopping and cooking. My Dad is back at home now and getting stronger every day. I called him a couple of days ago and asked him how he was. He boisterously replied “TERRIFIC!!!” Which is his standard answer to that standard question. I instantly knew things were now normal. Things will be o.k.
I have been cooking a few things since I have gotten back but we have gotten into a bad restaurant habit again. Work has been stressful since I have been back so I have been easing my personal life slowly back to that place called normal.
Today was the first day I really felt home. It was the first day that I really got excited about getting back into the kitchen. I woke up and wanted to make pancakes. If you have been browsing around this blog, you know that Saturday mornings mean breakfast at my home. Saturdays are all about sleeping in late and then settling into a yummy plate of something sweet or savory and very filling, a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and a mug of something hot, bitter and steamy.
I wanted pancakes and after brushing off the remnants of a strange dream where I was traveling somewhere on a Greyhound bus and my Mother was loading an unending supply of plastic bags of groceries onto the bus for me, my mind was ready to use the energy from that dream state and come up with something beautiful in the real world. For some reason, I began to think of carrot cake and how wonderful pancakes would be if they were carrot cake instead. I found a small bunch of thin, sweet carrots in the vegetable drawer of our fridge. They were too small to peel, so I scrubbed them well and shredded them. Using a favorite recipe for sweet potato pancakes as a general roadmap, I came up with some fragrant dried fruit and vegetable pancakes that take getting your first serving of vegetables for the day to another plain of experience altogether.
Carrot Cake Pancakes
2 cups of shredded carrots
2 tsp. finely grated orange peel
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 cup currants
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dark honey
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp allspice
Butter for frying
Maple-cinnamon yogurt (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, combine shredded carrots, orange peel, eggs, milk, currants, olive oil and honey. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Let the batter stand for at least ten minutes. (This will result in a fluffier pancake with softer currants). If using an electric griddle, preheat the griddle to 350 degrees F. Melt butter onto griddle surface. Ladle batter onto griddle. Cook pancakes until bubbles form and the edges begin to dry out about 3-4 minutes. Turn pancakes. Cook second side until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes more.
This recipe makes a lot of pancakes, even with a large electric griddle you will need to make two batches. Keep the first batch warm in a covered dish or a preheated 200 degree F. oven Serve these with Maple Cinnamon Yogurt, Maple Syrup and toasted walnuts to get the full effect of carrot cake for breakfast.
1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup
Combine yogurt, cinnamon and maple syrup with a whisk until smooth.