Archive | March 9, 2012

Blackberry Fields Forever

When it comes to fruit, it is really hard to find one that I don’t like. And when it comes to Sunday mornings, more often than not, pancakes made from scratch and fresh fruit is the menu choice of the day! Growing up, my dad and mom used to make pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast every now and then. Boy, were they delicious! I never dreamed I would one day own a home that would have blackberry bushes! It took a year, but the harvest was unbelievable! And I never had to plant them! These berries came from my bachelorette pad which we now refer to lovingly as our “other house.” To preserve them, I froze a batch of them and now have them whenever I feel like having one!

Years ago, I quit using box mixes and started learning to make my pancakes from scratch. That way, I can control what goes in and more importantly, what doesn’t go into my dishes! Let’s get cooking!

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I don’t measure much once I have mastered a recipe. So to make things easier, I have taken a recipe that I started with that is very good. If you’ve never done this, it’s a great start and as you get this recipe mastered, you can play with it and change it.

The original recipe is as follows:

4 tbsp SACO Buttermilk Blend

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 c. water

2 tbsp. oil

Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Add beaten egg, water and oil. Beat just until batter is smooth. Don’t overbeat! A few lumps in the batter will be fine. Set aside your batter for just a few minutes. Using a non-stick spray, drop by small ladle-full or by tablespoonful onto a heated skillet, turning once lightly browned. Stack and butter.

Now here is what I’ve done with the recipe:

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Cyn’s Pancakes (except for the flour, please keep in mind my measurements are approximate)

3 tbsp. SACO Buttermilk Blend

1 tbsp. raw wheat germ

1/2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 c. soy flour

1/4 tsp. stevia extract powder

1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 egg

1 c. organic soy milk

2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (I love vanilla!)

Sift together all the dry ingredients and add beaten egg, milk and vanilla. Beat just until batter is smooth. Do not overbeat! This recipe makes about 10 pancakes. Just double or adjust for servings needed.

While watching a cooking show which featured homemade syrup, I decided to try it. The first couple of tries, it wasn’t the correct consistency. I’m still working on perfecting the syrup, but here is the recipe:008

1 c. sugar (I used dark brown sugar)

1 c. water

bring to a boil, let cool, serve while warm

You can add your favorite fruits, extract flavorings, like vanilla, and/or a dash of cream to vary the flavors.

By the time our breakfast was ready, the blackberries had thawed and were ready to eat.

I use real, un-salted, sweet cream butter or a vegetarian variety, Earth Balance Spread atop the pancakes. Add a few of the thawed blackberries and finish with the homemade syrup. Mmmmm! So good!

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Bon Appetite! Until next time….

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Smile, You’re On Jeffery Camera – It’s Friday, March 9th, 2012!

 

Jeff and I recently decided to take a weekend trip over the state line into North Carolina and spend a couple of days in Lake Lure. This is the lovely area where they filmed the famous water scene where Baby practices her dance lifts with Johnny. From the day the movie first opened, I was a big fan of Patrick Swayze and his movie, Dirty Dancing. I was a young teenager, totally mesmerized by the beat of the music and the story of young love. It was the 80s and what a decade it was!

If you’ve never taken a drive from East Tennessee into western North Carolina, this is a must-do on your Bucket List. Summer or Fall, this is a gorgeous drive worth taking. There are many wonderful stops along the way to take breath-taking photos, so bring the camera and extra batteries! Because you will need it!

Lake Lure is just a short drive from Asheville and is right next to Chimney Rock. It’s very easy to find and a wonderful day trip if you don’t want to stay over-night. But once you are there, you’ll want to slowly take it all in. It is simply one of the most peaceful, cute little towns I’ve been in!

On the way, we decided to take a short detour and drive through Asheville. This wonderful city has beautiful architecture on every block. There are wonderful restaurants to enjoy and of course, not too far away is the infamous Biltmore Estate and Winery.

Ashville Church B&W

We found this quaint church on a quiet little street coming into town. It was such a beautiful day, that we had to stop and catch the shadows. After spending a few hours just taking in the views of the city, we headed on to our intended destination: Lake Lure.

Lake Lure Marina

The Town of Lake Lure was established by Dr. Lucius Morse. Poor health brought Dr. Morse to the area and from that the idea of a resort community with a lake was born. Dr. Morse’s wife, Elizabeth was given the honor of naming the lake.  But it wasn’t until September 1926 that the dam was completed and the creation of the Lake could begin. I am sure they never imagined that this picturesque area would be made famous by a movie nearly 60 years later!Lake Lure Walkway

This nice boardwalk is around the Lake’s edge. This is one boardwalk that I am sure gets a lot of traffic! It is wide enough for 2 to walk side-by-side and there will still be room for those coming from the opposite direction. There is a playground near the beach area of the Lake as well. Not only can you enjoy summer activities, but now, during the Fall, there is now the Dirty Dancing Festival! We arrived a week too early to take in any of the festival last year.  This year the festival will be held August 17-19, 2012.

Esmeralda Inn

While we didn’t stay at the Historic Lake Lure Inn (which I would like to do sometime) we found a wonderful place just down the road in Chimney Rock. We chose to stay at the delightfully rustic Esmeralda Inn. During my conversation with the helpful person at the front desk, we learned that the floor in the lobby of this Inn is the actual floor that Baby and Johnny danced on in the scenes where he taught her to dance!

Needless to say, we had a wonderful mini-vacation and recommend this little corner of heaven if you’re looking for a place to unwind and relax! HAPPY WEEKEND!!!