Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Best Pancakes Ever!

Sorry, no pictures (I'll add some next time I make them) but I had to share this recipe. I combined what I love about pancake recipes -- I've tried quite a few -- and came up with a winner. 

Very simple to make. Enjoy!

The Best Pancakes Ever

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 heaping Tbl. low fat sour cream

Mix flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour milk, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream into the well. Mix gently until just combined.

Coat a nonstick griddle with butter (preheated to medium-high, 375 degrees on an electric skillet). I just lightly rub a stick of butter over the surface of the pan.

Spoon a skant 1/4 cup of batter on to prepared pan. When the bubbles pop, flip the pancakes over. Cook just a minute or two more. Makes about 8-12 pancakes.

Serve with a drizzle of real maple syrup.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cooking Dried Beans

Why have I never done this before? It might be food science, but it certainly isn't rocket science.

I did some research online and ended up using a combination of cooking methods. It worked for me and I was very happy with the outcome. One pound of dried beans makes approximately the equivalent of three cans of beans. 

My motivation: reducing the sodium in our diets, cutting down on the use of prepared foods in my cooking, and saving money.

I didn't get photos of the process, but it was simple. 

After rinsing and sorting a pound of dried beans, place them in a large oven-safe pot with 6-8 cups water. Don't measure, just run water in until it is a good inch or more over the beans. Soak overnight.

The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Cover with fresh water, again a good inch or more over the top of the beans. No salt, no seasonings. 

Cover the pot and place it in a 325 degree oven. Bake for about 90 minutes. Start checking at about 1.25 hours. To check, take a bean out with a spoon, let it cool, and taste it to see if it is tender. 

When the beans are done to your liking, drain again and package into freezer containers. I simply used a slotted spoon to transfer them from the pot into plastic containers.

No more canned beans for us!

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