Pancake Tuesday Rocks!

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Today is Shrove Tuesday…aka Pancake Tuesday.  Which is the day to stuff yourself silly before Lent.  I accomplished step one.  As for Lent, I don’t normally partake in the practice, being that I have a hard time giving up anything for longer than 5 minutes.  I may participate this year in the chocolate department….I said *MAY*…I will decide later, but right now, let’s get on with the totally awesome-good-for-you pancakes I made this morning.

DSC02812Healthy Whole Grain & Nut Pancakes

1/2 Cup Whole Rolled Oats
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1/2 Chopped Walnuts
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Large Egg, beaten
1 1/4 Cups Buttermilk*
Olive Oil
1 Banana
100% Pure Maple Syrup

1. Heat buttermilk on high in a microwave for 1 minute. Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and incorporates into the milk.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, flax, nuts, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour the heated buttermilk/butter mixture over the the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Let sit for 20 minutes so the oats/flour absorb the wet ingredients.

3. Add beaten egg and mix well.

4. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add enough batter to make a round about 5-6″ in diameter. Cook until bottoms turn brown and bubbles start to appear on the top. Flip pancakes and cook until browned.

5. Serve with maple syrup and slices of banana.

6. Seriously consider Lent after eating 2 of these.

Makes 4 really large pancakes.

* To make buttermilk, add 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes.


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Seaside Throw

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Just before Christmas I embarked on the largest weaving project since I have owned my loom, which is a year and 5 months now.  I usually start my weaving projects (and knitting) with some sort of inspiration,  whether it be a photo, nature, yarn sample or a snippet of a textured pattern.

The seaside throw concept was born from this photo…

DSC03407A picture of the Caribbean taken a couple years ago from the Mayan Riviera.  With this picture in mind, I designed a pattern…

Seaside Throw_Revised copyAll the words and numbers below the design are the calculations needed to measure out yarn requirements.  With the pattern set and the yardage calculated, I needed to get some yarn.

DSC02491Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine yarn in 4 colours, I originally started with just 3, but added a 4th colour that is in between the green and the medium blue colour.  Next was winding 840 warp ends (3,368 yards) and get them on the loom.  A feat that took up approximately 20 hours over a couple weeks.

DSC02586Here are the warp chains ready to go on the loom….

DSC02617And here it is almost done.  Just need to tie onto the front beam and then it was off to the races.  My loom can accommodate a project up to 45″ wide, this came in at 41″, but once you start weaving, there is draw-in factor of anywhere from 1-2″, so the final weaving width was 39″ once it came off the loom.

DSC02663This is the final end of warp (4 yards total), I managed to squeak out as much as I could to minimize waste.

20150115_125715_medium2Here it is fresh off the loom, total length is 80 inches (not including fringe) and 39 inches wide.  Perfect size for snuggling on the sofa on a cold winter’s night.

DSC02790 The fringe twisting took me a loooong time to do, but I like the finished look of it.  It adds 6 inches to the ends of the throw.

DSC02795After weaving the blanket, there was enough warp left on the loom to make fabric to create a matching pillow (20″ x 20″).

Start to finish from design stage through to completion, this took me 2 1/2 months with work/life/holidays thrown into the mix.

Would I make another one?











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Stuffed Poblanos With Red Mole Sauce

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¡Buenos Dias Todo! (Good Morning All!)

¡Bienvenidos a mi clase de cocina! (Welcome to my cooking class!)

Today we are making stuffed poblanos cooked in a rich and earthy red mole (moh-LAY) sauce.  The flavours are out of this world.  With every bite, your taste buds will be doing a happy dance.

So let’s get started as this recipe has a few components that have to be done separately.   I made the rice, salsa roja and red mole sauce  prior and used them in other ways but don’t let the long list of instructions scare you as they all come together in star studded finale that is well worth the effort!

* Prepare Red Mole (Enchilada) Sauce (Mole Rojo) Click here for the recipe, and set aside.

Stuffing Recipe:

2 Cups Mexican Red Rice (recipe below)
1 Cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 Cup cooked black beans (if you don’t have time to rehydrate and cook dried beans, use canned)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (white and green parts)
1/2 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper
1/2 of a jalapeño, deseeded and diced
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Cilantro for garnish
*1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese with jalapeño pepper (to be added later)

In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, peppers, garlic and corn; sauté until onions and pepper are tender and corn starts to brown.  Add salt, pepper and cumin and mix well.  Add black beans and Mexican red rice and heat through.  Remove and set aside.

Mexican Red Rice

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 chopped onion (1 medium sized onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ancho chile pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown & wild rice mix (or use white long grain rice)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or veggie broth (I used veggie broth)
1 cup Roasted Salsa Roja (recipe following)
1/4 cup water
1/2 chopped Cilantro

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, ancho chile pepper and salt.  Sauté for a couple minutes.  Stir in uncooked rice; cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add broth, roasted salsa roja and water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is done (about 30-40 minutes), if using white rice, cook time will be shorter.    Remove pan from heat, place a clean kitchen over the pot, replace the lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.  Makes about 4 cups which is great for freezing separately and adding to other recipes like the stuffing for the poblanos.

Salsa Roja Asado (Roasted Tomato Salsa)

3 large Roma tomatoes, quartered and cored
1/2 of a white onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño, halved and seeded
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 – 3 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro

Preheat broiler.  In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeño; toss with enough oil to coat.  Spread mixture evenly on a baking pan.  Broil 5 to 6″ from heat for about 10 minutes, turn veggies and broil for another 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to a blender or a pot if using a stick blender.  Add lime juice and water and pulse until desired consistency.  Mix in chopped cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Makes about 3 cups.  Freezes well.

To assemble:

* Preheat oven to 375°F

*Coat a shallow 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup of Red Mole sauce on the bottom.

DSC02743* Cut 2 poblano peppers so they resemble boats, slicing off a section lengthwise leaving the stem intact.  Remove seeds and veins (save remaining pepper sections for another use).

DSC02748* Stuff filling mixture inside poblanos and place on top of the sauce in the casserole dish

* Bake, covered for 30 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle cheese on top and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

DSC02753To serve:

Scoop some of the sauce out of the bottom of the casserole dish and spread on a plate.  Top with the stuffed poblano and garnish with cilantro.  Serve with slices of avocado or a small side salad.

DSC02757Buen Provecho!





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