The Common Creative

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Stinkin' Big Pancake.

 I had never been the biggest fan of breakfast. It actually used to be difficult for me to eat so early in the morning, so I rarely ate much at all. Until I got a full time job and I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat until lunch time. So I forced myself to put something down in the early hours every single day. Slowly, but surely, I found myself starting to enjoy it. And then I discovered coffee and everything changed. Suddenly, breakfast tasted so much better! Seriously, coffee with any breakfast makes me so happy. I don't think I'll ever tire of drinking it. 

Once I discovered this jentacular love (I've always wanted to use that word. Now seemed like the perfect moment), I now make breakfast at all times of the day. I also have found myself enjoying a wide range of breakfast related foods. Yesterday just so happened to feel like a Dutch Baby day. And, looking at the 10 lb. box of blueberries in our fridge, I realized I had no choice but to make a blueberry syrup to go with. It turned out to be magical. Heaven, really. In pancake form. 

Dutch Baby Pancake with Blueberry Syrup
adapted from Naturally Ella

2 eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
zest from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine eggs, maple syrup, milk, flour, salt and lemon zest and blend or beat with a whisk. Try to remove any lumps of flour

3. On the stovetop, melt butter in a 10" cast iron pan (I did not use cast iron, but have a stainless steel pan that can be used under hot temperatures). Swirl the butter around to cover all areas inside the pan. Remove from heat and pour in batter. Bake in oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, combine blueberries and maple syrup on the stovetop and simmer at a medium temperature until berries burst.

5. Remove dutch baby from oven and serve!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sister Love

2 weeks since our last post? How did that happen! Jenni and I have been busy spending time together (yay!) and with family. It's been lovely having her here in Saskatchewan.

Just wanted to write a little post about Jenni, since it's her birthday today! And I really couldn't let her outdo me. (She did the same for me about a month ago!)

Jenni is a true artist. If you haven't seen her art on her own personal blog or Etsy shop, you are missing out. Take a look, she paints with a whimsical, nostalgic feel (self described!) and I love that. Jenni reminds me to take things slower and enjoy life as it comes. I know I often jump into my days full speed, doing as much as I can with the time I have awake. Jenni's artistic, thoughtful mind is a wonderful thing, and I love having her as a sister! As middle sisters in a family of 4 girls, we have to stick together! Writing a blog with her has been such a fun project!

(A sunny snapshot from our visit in White Rock a few weeks ago)

Happy Birthday Jenni! Love you lots, and glad I get to see you lots this summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Meals

I'm longing for summer weather. There have been too many rainy days and chilly mornings for it to really be June! To make things a little easier, we've been getting into Summer meals. We can't eat them all on the patio yet, unfortunately. But we are barbecuing, farmers market shopping, and plant watering in order to make the summer come eventually!

I tried making a recipe based on these Rainbow Spring Roll recipe I found. Full of colourful veggies, fresh herbs, wrapped in rice paper wrappers, and dipped in a sweet and sour sauce, they are so light, summery and delicious!

I think the first time I saw rice paper wrappers in all their beautiful glory (other than a restaurant setting) was the summer me and Jenni lived together. I had just recently started cooking for myself, and Jenni made something similar to this recipe and stored them in our shared fridge. I was a bit impressed by her culinary skills, I'll admit. The rice papers looked so delicate and thin! Little did I know they would be so easy to use...and really quite durable. Oh well. Jenni, you impressed me!

I adapted the recipe a tad. Here's my version.

3/4 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
shredded cabbage
spinach cut into strips
1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
6 rice paper wrappers

Place about 3-4 Tbsp of this mixture in each rice wrapper, soaking the rice wrapper 15 seconds in warm water before filling.

I absolutely loved the sauce for these bundles of goodness. The base for it was originally oolong tea. I used a ginger jasmine tea, and it was fantastic. Here's my version:

1/3 cup of orange juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup strongly steeped ginger tea
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp gluten free soy sauce
few drops sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp corn starch

Bring everything but 1/4 cup of tea and cornstarch to a boil. Add cornstarch to reserved tea and make a slurry, add to boiling mixture and reduce heat until it becomes a thick glaze. 

We added a little prosciutto wrapped asparagus on the side, cause it's just so good!

What are some ideas for light summer meals that you have in your repertoire?