Friday, June 6, 2014

Strawberry-Shortcake Pancakes

Spring has only just begun, and it’s still pretty chilly, but I’m already seeing signs of life in my garden. My strawberry plants are back and they're about 3 inches tall! Looking at them the other day got me thinking about strawberries; ripe and red and sweet and warm from the sun.

Strawberry shortcake is my favourite strawberry dessert. I could eat it for every meal, all summer long. Alas, I feel this would set a bad example for my kids…. and my pants would get smaller. So I’ve decided to settle for a yummy breakfast substitute. I made a fresh strawberry purée and incorporated it into a batch of fluffy Bisquick pancakes and then topped them with a healthy dollop of cheesecake whipped cream with diced strawberries.

While this is delicious warm for breakfast, I discovered that it’s equally as yummy cold for dessert! A fresh, decadent dessert you can prepare in minutes when unexpected company pops over? Perfect!

Strawberry-Shortcake Pancakes
(makes 9 pancakes)

for the pancakes:

2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
2 tbsp granulated sugar

1. Mix the strawberries and the granulated  sugar and set aside for about 10 minutes.
2. Take half the strawberries and their juice and purée until there are no more chunks. Set the other cup of strawberries aside for the whipped cream.
3. In another bowl, mix together the Bisquick, milk, egg and the strawberry purée.
4. In a preheated frying pan set over medium heat, pour in 1/2 cup of the pancake batter at a time and cook the pancakes until you see bubbles in the batter and then flip over and cook through. Remove from the pan.
5. Cover and keep warm.

for the cheesecake whipped cream:

4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a small bowl beat the cream cheese with the milk and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir.
2. Dice the remaining strawberries and add them to the cream cheese mixture.
2. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
3. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it’s incorporated.
4. Top each pancake with a generous dollop of the whipped cream and serve immediately.

Also delicious served cold for dessert!

Check out for more recipes from my kitchen!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cheddar Jalapeño Bread

My husband and I have been seriously considering taking our brood camping this summer. I don’t think we’re quite ready for tents yet as our baby just turned two (and it’s hard enough to get him to sleep in his crib), but I can see a trailer working pretty well. We have done cabins in the past but I’d like to get the kiddos away from satellite TV and A/C for a few days and see what happens.

I love (almost) everything about camping (I could without all the bugs). I love waking up at the crack of dawn to the sounds of nature, and other campers. I love sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and watching fireflies. I even love huddling together in the tent playing board games on a rainy camp day. But mostly I love the food. Everything just tastes better outside. Bacon frying in the great outdoors is a truly amazing smell. And campfire chili? So good eaten out of a mug next to a fire while you play cards. I love a good hunk of soft bread with my chili and this bread has a nice little kick that complements a smokey chili. Make it ahead and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and it’ll stay fresh for a few days.

If you’re planing a camping trip this summer, maybe I’ll see you out in the forest!

Cheddar Jalapeño Bread

1 cup + 1 tbsp warm water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 cup whole wheat flour*
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups shredded cheddar (I like marble)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

1. Place the first 7 ingredients in your bread maker in the order your manufacturer recommends. (I find it best to put liquids in first, then the dry ingredients)
2. When (if) your bread maker beeps to add in garnishes, add 1 cup of the cheddar and 3/4 of the chopped jalapeño. (if it doesn’t signal when to add them, you can put them in during the final kneading cycle)
3. When the dough has proofed and is about to start baking, top it with the remaining jalapeños and the rest of the cheddar and allow it to complete the baking cycle.
4. L

et the bread cool before slicing and serving.

* you can omit the whole wheat flour and just use 3 cups of all purpose if you prefer.