There’s no need to wait until Thanksgiving to start enjoying chestnuts. The tree in my backyard is already shedding its little sea urchin-like shells. If I can beat the deer and squirrels to enough of them, I’ll be making my homemade chestnut spread to use for these crisps. Ready, set, go!
Crazy as it may seem, I found my cupboards sans baking powder this past weekend. Not willing to give up my plan to make pancakes, I took a moment to think my regular recipe through. Baking powder acts as the leavening agent to make pancakes rise nice and fluffy. I figured I could mimic that effect if I just separated the eggs, beat my egg white until it formed stiff peaks, and gently folded it into the batter. It worked like a charm! So, if you find yourself short on baking powder, or just forgot to add it to your shopping list, all is not lost if you’re craving some fluffy, hot pancakes for breakfast.
The other morning I woke up fully intending to just have some baguette with butter and jam for breakfast. Then I spied the apricots I bought at a farmstand sitting on the counter. My intention was to make preserves with them the night before, only to realize I was running low on sugar. I know, that sounds hard to believe, but all my summer vacationing has left my home pantry in need of restocking.
As I set out to make some brown butter fig waffles for breakfast this past weekend, it occurred to me that some of you might not realize just how easy it is to make browned butter at home. It’s a very simple trick to coax a nutty, toffee-like flavor from a plain ol’ stick of butter. In it’s basic form, you can toss it with pasta for a humble, and quite incredible tasting, meal. Taken a little further, say in a muffin, pie or those waffles I made, and you’ve got a new twist on an old favorite (see the links below!).
After an indulgent summer, and a few rounds of fried food between the OC Fair and the fish shacks along Route 6 in Cape Cod, this smoothie is the perfect energy booster. I can’t think of an easier, or tastier way, to get two cups of kale into my body in record time. Frozen blueberries are the trick to keeping this smoothie icy cold without watering it down, which is what plain old ice cubes would do. It does need a little liquid to help puree everything. I used some fresh squeezed OJ in an effort to keep it dairy-free, but you can use yogurt or milk if you want to add a protein punch to it. A spoonful of flaxseeds would be great too; I just didn’t have any in my vacation pantry.
If you want to make a vegan version, just swap in agave nectar for the honey. I’m thinking maple syrup might be nice too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I do recommend using some sort of sweetener, though, to temper the tartness of the berries and earthy taste of the kale. As-is, this blueberry kale smoothie was a homerun with my five-year old.
One last note—you don’t need a fancy high-powered blender to whip up this smoothie (though that’ll make the job faster, no doubt). I made this using a 350 watt Black & Decker blender I found in the vacation cottage we rented. No crazy motors, or bells and whistles. I did have to stop every minute or so, and push the ingredients down with a wooden spoon, but that didn’t discourage me in the least.
Generally, I prefer pastries and baked goods the day they’re made, but decided to bake these muffins the night before, so we could wake up to a homemade breakfast. They held up perfectly, wrapped in parchment paper. All I had to do was get coffee brewing the next morning. This will no doubt be a go-to breakfast for us once school starts up again in a couple of weeks.