Posts tagged walnuts


I have been attempting to do buttermilk pancakes from scratch for a while now and experimenting is the key, I must say. The basic foundation is pretty much the same as any recipe. It’s just a matter of little bit of this and a little less of that, to find that perfect balance. But it’s all a personal preference, really. After many tries, I think I have found what works for me. Light and fluffy and bursting with flavor. Definitely beats the boxed stuff any day.

Of course, regular milk works but I really prefer the subtle flavors of buttermilk and have gotten used to doing it this way, everytime.

It takes a little bit more work and care, though, to make the “perfect” pancake. For one, you must not over mix the batter, which I know I have done one too many times. And be vigilant about cooking it in perfect timing without any burning or under cooking. Time really depends on individual circumstances (i.e. type of stove, etc.) that’s why I don’t like to say to cook it for so many minutes before flipping over. You must learn to feel things yourself. Takes a little practice, for sure.

And so with this recipe, I want to give a final word to a couple of old ladies: Aunt Jemima… the family is now officially disowning you. Oh, and Mrs. Butterworth… it’s been nice knowing you, too.

Ingredients (2-3 Servings):
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tbs Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
2 tbs Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

In one mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a second bowl, add butter and microwave for a few seconds to melt completely. Then add buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract and whisk together. Add the liquid ingredients into the dry bowl and mix for about half a minute or so, or just when everything is combined but still lumpy. Do not over mix. Set aside.

Now, heat a griddle in medium heat. When fully heated (a few minutes), lightly grease the surface with butter, oil or cooking spray. Pour batter and cook in batches. When bubbling appears, it’s time to flip. Cook the other side for less than the time you cooked the first side. Peek underneath every now and then to make sure you don’t overcook. Serve with maple syrup, butter, berries, walnuts and what have you.

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Blueberry Walnut Crumble

So, I got me a big thing of blueberries. Heck, two of them! Why not? It’s on sale for like two bucks each, right? But almost a week has gone by and I still haven’t figured out what to use them for. Yep, I did add a couple pieces to my cereal yesterday but I really do not like them as much as I do raspberries on my cereal. But… that’s just me!

However, time is of the essence now and I gotta get rid of these before they go bad on me. Now let’s see… what do I have around to cook with? Flour? Check. Sugar? Check. Butter? Check. Hey, I’ve done this before! Sorta. Okay, let’s go…

About an hour later…

Mmmm! Let me tell ya… do you like chewy cookies? Then you’ll love what I’ve concocted here. Super simple, too! The texture is just like those Toll House cookies. Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Combine that with sloppy blueberry goodness? Mmm, mmm, mmm! Who cares how it looks like? It’s rustic! Wink, wink!

Ingredients (8 servings):
24oz Blueberries, washed
1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
1 Lemon
4 tbs. Unsalted Butter, softened
4 tbs. EVOO
1/2 tsp. Natural Sea Salt
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Raw Cane Sugar
1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a non-stick 9″ square gratin dish, toss to combine blueberries, salt, vanilla and lemon juice.

In a mixing bowl, make streusel by combining flour, sugar, walnuts, EVOO and butter. Use your hand or a hand mixer to mix until crumbly. Make sure the flour is completely wet and no powdery area is exposed. Pinch any visible powdery area.

Evenly cover the berries with the streusel topping.

Pop in the oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes. Enjoy with ice cream or milk.

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Blackberry Walnut Slump

Ten packs of blackberries for ten buck? What a deal, right? After all, they’re usually four bucks a pop. Yeah, that is until I was eating blackberries for breakfast and dessert for over a week straight! Finally, I was like… Is there any other way I can use the rest of them? Really? Because frankly, I’d like to have something else for breakfast now. Well, I stumbled on a basic slump recipe on Epicurious and thought I’d use that to get rid of blackberry traces in my fridge, once and for all! Oh, and I discovered one more package of walnuts left in the pantry, as well. Hmmm. Everything else, I still have in good quantity… so, off I went to preheat the oven and prep.

Since I’m not that well versed in baking (yet), I opted to stay as close as possible to the original formula lest I end up with burnt rubber. The only thing I did differently was that I added walnuts and replaced the butter with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Oh, and I also added a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. That’s more than pushing it, I thought. But, oh well…

Hmmm… not too shabby for a neophyte baker, I tell ya! Though, I thought it would’ve been really fabulous with ice cream. But I don’t have any at the moment. Maybe I’ll stop by the store tomorrow and grab a quart. I said… maybe!

3 6oz packs of Blackberries
1/2 cup Walnuts
1 cup Unbleached Flour
1 cup Organic Raw Cane Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Low-Fat Milk
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 tbs. Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Rinse blackberries in tap water, pat dry with paper towel and spread around a 6-cup gratin dish. Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar evenly and reserve the rest for the batter mixture. In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and whisk until evenly distributed. Pour mixture on top of the blackberries and bake in oven for about 40 minutes or until top is golden. Allow to rest and cool for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Spinach Fettuccine with Grapes and Walnuts

I’ve come to love adding grapes, specifically, to a lot of my food now. The flavor compliments well with almost anything I’ve tried them with, so far.

This particular one is pure vegan fare that is refreshing and simple to make. As I’ve always said, I’m not, by any means, a vegetarian, let alone a vegan but hey… a good dish is a good dish, right?

And as usual, most of my ingredients here are organic. But… that’s just me!

Ingredients: Spinach Pasta, Grapes (Halved), Chopped Walnuts, Minced Garlic, Olive Oil, Chopped Parsley, Salt & Pepper

Directions: Cook pasta to al dente. In a medium-low heated pan, sweat minced garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Add the halved grapes, season with salt & pepper and stir for a few more minutes until grapes are a little wilted. Then add the walnuts and cooked pasta and toss to combine. Serve on a plate and garnish with parsley and if you want, more walnuts and uncooked halved grapes.

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Mâche Rosette Salad

Ever since I found out about mâche, I’ve been using it a lot. Seriously, I like this better than spinach. And mind you, I love love love spinach! But the mache’s flavor is so versatile and mild you can use it in pretty much everything from salads to soups to plain munching it by itself. Heck, it’s even pretty enough to use for garnish!

Here’s a salad I made for lunch today with simple ingredients like grapes, black walnuts and leftover sausage pieces. It’s very good with a fruit based dressing. I ran out of mango dressing so I used raspberry vinaigrette on this one.

Also, as you notice in the photo, I added some blackberries but found it to be unnecessary since it was hopelessly competing  with the grapes whose flavor is overpowering. It looks pretty but I would omit the berries next time and simply let the grapes shine (and compliment the mache) on their own.

Ingredients: Mâche Rosettes (or baby spinach, if you can’t find any), Grapes, Black Walnuts, Diced Leftover Meat (optional), Fruit-Based Dressing, Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions: In a salad bowl, coat mache rosettes with dressing and a little ground pepper. Transfer to a serving plate and top with everything else.

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Berry Berry Good Pancakes

Good morning, ya’ll! Well, I had some batter left in the box and a few berries (blue, black & rasp) in the fridge, so I decide to go for a big breakfast today. Nothing like fresh fruits in your pancakes, I tell ya. A big breakfast once a week is not bad at all. Especially when it’s prepared the healthy way.

By the way, I sliced the berries so the juice would bleed when cooked. It’s a good thing, trust me!

Ahhh!! Now, I can say…. CARPE DIEM!

Ingredients: Pancake Batter, Berries (your choice), Walnuts, Pure Maple Syrup, Margarine with no Hydrogenated Oils, Mint Leaves

Directions: Slice berries in half and fold in with prepared batter along with some walnut pieces. Cook in non-stick griddle. Be careful not to overcook or it’ll dry out. Serve with butter and syrup. Garnish with mint leaves and more walnuts, if you want.

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