Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

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Audrey’s double spatula technique

We all stayed up until well after the Auld Lang Syne was sung, and the girls got their first taste of Moscato & Mango.  We were going to sleep in until ten, but Peter and I got woken up at around 7:30am by the commotion outside our window.  Groggily Peter opened the drapery and peered out.  “Oh, two police cars and a big truck across from our driveway,” now he was up. “Oh, three, four, five police cars!” Now he was really awake.  Peter went out to find out what was going on.

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Apparently two thieves were burglarizing the home construction site across the street from us, and they triggered the silent alarm.  The project manager saw them from his home on the surveillance camera and called the police.  They were still loading tools and copper pipes into their stolen truck when the police arrived and caught them red handed.

That was too much excitement too early in the morning.  And I hoped that this was not in anyway a harbinger of things to come in 2015.  New Year’s resolution: buy a set of surveillance cameras.

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There we were, awaken unexpectedly by a burglary on a beautiful sunny New Year morning.  Audrey whipped up some buttermilk pancakes for us to restore our spirit.  They were not the kind I used to make with alternative flour or other substitutes.  They were made of real wheat flour. A rare treat in this household.  And they were delicious beyond words.  Well, the maple syrup was a sugar-free substitute but honestly no one could’ve known the difference.  Our favorite maple flavored syrup is Joseph’s All Natural Flavor Sugar Free Syrup.

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Buttermilk Pancake Ingredients:

2 cups 100% whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons xylitol or sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for pan

1 cup fresh blueberries

Preparation:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil; whisk to combine.

Pour 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake in a greased pan on medium heat. Sprinkle blueberries on the pancake before flipping.

Serve warm.

This recipe was adapted from marthastewart.com

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Happy Sunday!

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Maira Kalman’s painting of a pair of American slippers from the 1830s is a love letter to walking, something Kalman sees as an existential activity and a creative device.

The first thing that I do every Sunday morning when I open my eyes is to find the weekly email from brainpickings.org, which is one of my favorite literary sites.  It is the brain child of Maria Popova, with whom I share the love for letters, diaries and  Illustrated books.  It was from her website that I discovered works by Maira Kalman who wrote about the power of walking as a generative force of intellect, awareness, and creativity: “Walking is the antidote to a lot of misery and boredom. Whatever you do, you should always try to walk somewhere before you do it.”

So, after I read the brainpickings posting, I left the house for a walk before I did anything else.  I walked around Crissy Field before ending up at Safeway, where I bought some grocery for today.

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When I first came to the US and learned in my history class the Declaration of Independence, I was surprised, perplexed and impressed that the pursuit of happiness is emphasized as one of the unalienable rights.  When and where I grew up, happiness was not mentioned much at all.  The only thing that we openly pursued was the realization of Communism.  Privately, we pursued food — exchanging cloth coupons for meat coupons, or bartering things from the house for eggs with the farmers who occasionally appeared in our neighborhood.  One good thing that came out of my upbringing is that I don’t feel so alarmed or ashamed when I’m not happy. 

What is happiness?  How exactly do we pursue it?  These are hard questions I don’t have the answers to, but when I was walking along the bay and when I came home with the grocery and began making breakfast, I felt happy. 

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Roast Kabocha squash pancakes:

1 cup of roast kabocha

1/2 oat bran

1/2 almond flour

3/4 cup milk

1/4 guar gum

1/4 salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 egg white

I never made a Kabocha pancake before, but I needed to use up the last cup of the roast Kabocha squash in the refrigerator.  If I make it again I will not use almond flour.  I will use half oat bran and half oat flour or whole wheat flour.  But we enjoyed them as they were.

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I decided to make some caramelized onion and bell pepper to go with everything on today’s menu. With the caramelized onion and pepper I made our lunch and dinner in a matter of minutes, and they were delicious.

Caramelized onion and pepper:

1 1/2 onion

1 1/2 red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes before putting in the salt, vinegar and sugar.

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I used Sabra Mediterranean Eggplant in the hot dogs.

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The vegetarian dogs were perfect for lunch. And we had whole grain pasta and the steamed broccolini for dinner.  Peter protested because there was no meat and we ordered a take-out beef with tomato from Green Island for him.

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