The way to a man’s heart and a smidgen of mine – Love, tradition, and blueberry pancakes

IMG00430So recently I had a couple of experiences regarding love and romance that have inspired introspection and lead me to decide to do a feature called ‘the way to a man’s heart, and a smidgen of mine’. It is much more personal than my other blogging, but I think the road of exploration will reveal some comfort foods you’ll enjoy and unearth some of my food exploration how my comfort foods broadened from basic chicken and dumplings to include international food treats. All of my relationships with men haven’t been perfect, in truth the first relationship I had with a man (my father) was tough to say the least. And of course they say that is one of the most important relationships for a young girl. But despite the challenges in that relationship, I have some positive food memories with him and I’d like to share with you. As to the other relationships with men I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some really loving and wonderful men in my life (some family, some partners, some friends). But whether it be a challenging relationships or just a splendid one they all make for interesting stories, and because I love food so much, I’d like to share those relationships with you through the lens of food memory. In some cases I think I’ve got a couple creative recipe ideas to highlight some interesting parts of my relationship experience as well.

So to kick off the feature I’d like to share with you a recent story. In the last couple of years I have shared a growing relationship with one of my uncles. He has been helping our family immensely by taking care of my dad, who is not well. I respect my uncle endlessly and despite his own challenges he has really been present in our lives and helping us out over the last several years. He plays a significant role in my life, and my best memories are from our breakfast tradition. We’ve been doing it for a couple years now – each time I come to town to visit he takes me out one morning for breakfast (without fail, every time). Those moments we have together talking, chatting, me pushing the boundary on how much girl talk he can handle, him sharing advice with me on everything from real estate, to golf, to romance. These are my most treasured moments. What we always struggle with in those breakfasts is the world’s biggest breakfast quandry – eggs or pancakes (or savory sweet)? And we’ve now mastered a plan whereby we get our eggs…but we also share one or two blueberry pancakes. So in honour of our blueberry pancake tradition I’d like to share with you a recipe from Martha Stewart Living that is perfect for blueberry season and includes some of my favorite ingredients cornmeal and buttermilk. Cornmeal – Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes (click link below for recipe). I’ve included a few Gayle modifications in the notes. I made these pancakes today and shared them with a friend…they were pretty yummy. A bit of room for improvement in my pancake cooking style, and I need a much better pan…but when the fresh local blueberries pop open in your mouth it is delightful!

Click here for the recipe for Martha’s Blueberry Cornmeal-Buttermilk Pancakes.

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2 ways Rachel Ray is bakin’ her eggs

That Rachel Ray sure does like to nestle her eggs into cups of various kinds and here are two recipes to prove it. The first is a savory brunch or breakfast for dinner meal called “Nestled Eggs” and the second is a great breakfast, brunch item called “Croissants Egg Boats”.

Nestled Eggs are a pretty good treat with rice, eggs, and red peppers. Rachel Ray says it is a 10$ meal, I say no way in Canada, but it is reasonably price meal and it was baked up by my favorite Malaysian cook. Now as an Anthony Bourdain fan I think I’m supposed to hate Rachel Ray on principal. And while she does tend to drive me a little crazy sometimes, she cooks up some good recipes that work in the kitchen in a reasonable amount of time, and usually for a reasonable price. No real modifications here, but do make sure to buy the biggest roundest peppers you can. The red is great for color, but I’m sure orange and yellow would work well too. I’d like to try these eggs with a bit of a spicier rice mix. The rice isn’t in proportion to the eggs and peppers, but it both parts warmed up well as leftovers, some might say the flavours were even a bit better the second time around, but you lose the benefit of the runny yoke.

Croissant Egg Boats were also made for me. A real treat from my cousin Kristine (she is such a great cook!) on stampede weekend. I tried to track down the recipe, and I think I have, the only thing is that these instructions say to lay the croissants on a baking dish, and Kristine lined muffin tins with the croissants, which is the only way I can reasonably see them turning into ‘boats’. Kristine sprayed the muffin tins with PAM before lining with the croissants, and noted that if she had jumbo muffin tins she might have used those. I skipped the meat in mine, but I imagine there are countless things you could do to modify. Various types of meat, add fried onions, top with fresh made salsa or other toppings. Anyway these little egg boats are yummy, will make you look like a hosting rock star, and pretty easy to make, so dish ‘em up!

 

Click here for the Croissant Egg Boats recipe
Click here for the Nestled Egg recipe

 

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Breakfast for Dinner

How could something as good as Huevos Rancheros be bad for you? Well it must be, because this recipe claims to be ‘Good for You’ Huevos Rancheros. I’m guessing that is because it calls for low fat sour cream, doesn’t have any meat products in it, and no part of it is fried. Despite the lack of calories it is yummy and was dished up by the only hope Calgary has for Tex Mex, the ever so fine, Valerie. This is a Rachel Ray magazine find, created by The Liz Pearson. I’m going to look up more of her recipes and try them, because this one was so great. Inexpensive, easy to make, healthy, and delicious this dish gets a Dish it again! And again…

Valerie’s tip: Instead of plain old sour cream dish it up with some of the chipotle lime sour cream (brilliant!).

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