Monday, May 31, 2010

End of the Blogathon

Well folks, this post brings us to the end of the blogathon.  While I've had a lot of fun blogging everyday this month, I'm ready for a little break!  Enjoy this follow-up recipe to yesterday's homemade gnocchi recipe while I take a step back from the blog for just a bit.  I picked out an extra rich one to keep you full while I'm away. ;)

Gnocchi in Fontina Sauce

Enjoy!  I'm sure I'll be back on Friday with another edition of Freebie Friday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Make Your Own Gnocchi

Last week I posted a very simple gnocchi recipe just to get you, and myself, started.  This weekend, I did a little digging and found this recipe (with a 5 star rating no less) to make your own gnocchi from scratch!  Wowee!  If you have some time like I am going to over the next couple weeks (schoooooool's out for summer!) maybe you'd like to whip up a batch!

Check out this Food Network recipe by Michael Chiarello for potato gnocchi!

I promise to post with pictures when I make it...and I can't wait to get a potato ricer!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Top Five Things to Grill

It's Memorial Day weekend!  Will you be grilling this weekend?  Maybe this will give you some ideas...

5.  pork steaks...a St. Louis phenomenon
4.  cheeseburgers...though if you remember from last week I prefer the cheddar spread ;)
3.  mixed veggies...I love my veggie grill basket!  Peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, baby corn...mmm
2.  salmon

And my number 1 item to grill....

1.  Ribs!

Nobody grills ribs better than my dad.  Seriously, I dare you to try but I promise you will be defeated.  :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Freebie Friday continues...

I'll keep it short and simple...this week's "freebie" isn't actually free but it's still a great deal you should know about!

Check out for great deals on dining in your area!  Occasionally they will sell "gift certificates" for up to 80% off (or more!) at your favorite places to eat!  Just can get a $25 gift certificate for just $2!!  The catch...there's usually a minimum purchase requirement ($35 or $50) so be sure to read the fine print before you purchase!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big Oops

Have you ever had an oops in the kitchen followed by a great recovery?  I heard a fantastic story from a coworker today about having some blueberry muffins that didn't turn out.  She crumbled them up on a cookie sheet and put them back in the oven to bake a little longer.  The end result..."blueberry crumble."  Her family loved it!

I love stuff like this...unfortunately for me, my disasters are usually flat out disasters...far beyond saving.  I'd love to hear about yours!  Leave a comment here if it has ever happened to you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sage...a little green?

So a couple weeks ago I finally got around to paying a visit to Sage in the Soulard/Benton Park area.  It's right by the AB Brewery, in case you are unfamiliar with the area.  I had been hearing some really great things about Sage so I had been meaning to give it a shot. 

I brought along a good friend (Hi Erin!) and made a reservation for 8:15 on a Friday night.  (Reservations are prefered at Sage.)  We arrived just a bit early and decided to get a glass of wine at the bar...which took forever.  A worker, who I presumed was a bartender since she was behind the bar, came close enough for me to get her attention so I asked for a couple glasses of wine.  Her response, "I don't bartend."  And she finished what she was doing and walked away.  No nudge to the other two bartenders or anything to acknowledge us.  Kinda weird.  So our table was ready right around 8:15 so that was great.  It's a pretty small place with about 20 (or less) tables in the main dining wonder reservations are preferred!  There are a couple tables in the bar that are open seating but don't count on getting one unless you are getting there early. 

By the time our server came over we had already decided what we wanted to eat so we placed our orders right away.  An hour and 15 minutes later (9:30) we got our food.  In the meantime, our server had come by to apologize several times saying they had a very large party upstairs (aha...must be a private room).  We were given some bread to hold us over (a good thing with how late it was) and Erin was given a "complimentary" glass of wine (we were definitely charged for it on the bill).  Interesting.  Dinner came and was decent but nothing that wowed me.  I have a feeling the very long wait for the food played a part in that though.  I had the Boursin Sun-dried Tomato and Proscuitto Stuffed Chicken Breast and Erin had the Pecan Encrusted Boneless Pork Chop.

When we were finished, our server (who really was very polite and apologetic about the whole ordeal...I do have to give him credit for that) came with the bill and gave us 50% off for being so nice about the tardiness of our meal.  I think that was more than generous so it pretty much made up for the wait!  He also commented that we would have to come back on a less busy night to get the full effect.  I'm not sure how to determine what night that would be since the place is so small but I plan to give it another go.  Maybe this time around I will bring the hubster with me. :) 

Have you been to Sage?  What was your experience?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's a Brookie?

Is it a cookie?  Sort of.  Is it a brownie?  Kinda.  Is it delicious?  YES!!!

I'm sure many of you have now checked out some of the other blogs I follow (located in the side bar) but Bakerella is seriously one of my favorites.  I still don't think I could ever be as talented or crafty as she is when it comes to baked goods...I have yet to get a batch of cake pops to look anything like hers...but I try.

I couldn't pass up this opportunity to point out one of her more recent posts introducing "Congo Bars."  I had never heard of such a thing but after reading through many of the comments (and eating some...again thanks to my sister) I'm realizing that they really are very similar to a blondie brownie...only better.  My guess is that it's the pound of brown sugar ( entire pound) that makes them oh so yummy.  I love her ideas for additional mix-ins...I think white chocolate chips and mini M&Ms would be divine.  Can't wait to whip up a batch for myself!  I'm not sharing either!  ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Sides Part 2

If there's one thing I've said at least a dozen times on this blog, it's that adding more cheese is never a bad thing.  This side dish is another perfect example of that but it is taken to another level when you add bacon.  Bacon...yes...another ingredient you can never have too much of.  Ok maybe not quite like cheese but you get the idea.  ;)  If you're a carb lover like me...this recipe is sure to be a big hit.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad by Rachael Ray

Even if you aren't a big fan of traditional potato salads (I'm not) this is a side you should try!  Have any great "go-to" summer sides you make for every bbq?  I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer Sides

Just got back from a bbq at my sister's house and she had a delicious side that I really enjoyed!  (Let's be honest...the entire meal was awesome so look out for a few more recipes from it later this week!)  Luckily, I heard her mention that it was an Oprah recipe so it was super easy for me to look up and find.  Check out this recipe for Sweet Corn Salad with Black Beans, Scallions, and's sure to please!

Stay tuned for another summer side dish tomorrow...loaded baked potato salad!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Top Five Burger Toppings

Haha...well we went to Growler's Pub Thursday night and I was craving a burger (imagine that) which now has me thinking about things I like to top my burgers with...

5.  a toasted bun...I rarely do this at home but it can make a good burger great in a heartbeat!
4.  fried onions
3.  barbeque sauce...the smokier, the better
2.  bacon...crispy bacon

And my number one burger topping is...

1.  cheddar cheese spread (just like at Tucker's Place...major yum)

Can you even imagine a burger with all of these toppings together?  My mouth just started watering...must be getting close to lunch...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to the first edition of "Freebie Friday!"  I'll take this opportunity each week to set you up with a great food deal I have heard about whether it happens to be something free or deeply discounted!  Exciting no?

This week's "freebie" is.....(brought to you by my sis!)

Check out the Modesto website to become a "Modesto Amigo" and receive a free tapas the next time you visit!  Remember you can also visit the bar area M-F from 5-7 for happy hour (Tuesday it's all night!)

Wanna hear about more great deals and freebies everyday?  Check out STL Meal Deals!  You can even follow her on twitter (STLMealDeals)...tell her Lauren's Leftovers sent you! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Red, White, and....Pasta!

Bet you thought I was gonna say "blue."  :)

Last night I had thawed a couple turkey brats (a new discovery at Schnucks) but I wasn't really feelin cooking them on the grill...strange, I know.  Even after having Italian Tortellini Soup on Monday and gnocchi on Tuesday, I was ready for pasta last night.  (I really need to get off this carb kick.)  I wanted something different so I took inventory of the refrigerator and came up with this oh-so-tasty pasta dish!

Red and White Pasta with Turkey Sausage

2 turkey sausage links (I used turkey brats but really you could use any sort of sausage or turkey sausage)
1/2 lb. shell pasta

Cook sausage links through in pan with EVOO (just a couple times around the pan with it.)  I sliced mine up just before it was finished cooking and through it back in the pan to finish up so it wasn't too done on the outside before being done on the inside.  Boil a pot of water and cook pasta while you make the sauces.

Red Sauce

1/2 shallot, chopped
1/2 jar Schnucks chunky garden veggie sauce
red pepper flakes, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste

In the same pan you cooked the sausage in, add a little more EVOO if needed and the shallot.  Cook about 2 minutes, until soft.  Add sauce, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and turn heat to low to simmer.  Add sausage to this sauce for the last minute or so before topping the pasta.

White Sauce

1/2 stick butter
minced garlic (I used about 1/2 tsp I would guess)
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
pepper, to taste
California onion powder, to taste

Melt butter in a pan and add garlic.  Add cream and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Add pepper and onion powder and stir.  Add cheese just before serving to thicken. 

To plate, scoop desired amount of pasta into a shallow bowl.  Top with white sauce.  Top with red sauce and sausage.  Top the whole thing of with fresh grated parmesan cheese if you have it.  (or just use a little extra from the shaker)  Enjoy with some crusty bread!

The hubby and I really enjoyed this one so I'll have to make it again sometime!  Check it out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Never Pokey Gnocchi

So last night I had a dinner dilemma (aka...I forgot to thaw anything...oops).  I had had a similar problem the night before but was able to redeem myself with the last batch of the Italian Tortellini Soup in the freezer.  Instant dinner.  Glorious.  However, my freezer is now lacking in the "instant dinner" department.  In fact, it's just plain lacking in general.  Schnucks trip anyone? 

Where was I?  Ah dinner.  Well I at least had enough sense to buy a jar of Schnucks Chunky Garden Pasta Sauce the last time I was at the store so I figured a little pasta with marinara was in order.  Until I opened the cabinet that hold the pasta and realized I had a package of fresh potato gnocchi!  I've never made gnocchi before but the package recipe said to just top with sauce and parmesan cheese...done and done.  Now you know me, of course I had to doctor up the sauce a bit with some Italian seasonings, but after letting that simmer on the stove for a few minutes and popping some rolls in the oven, the gnocchi only took about 3 minutes in a pot of boiling water to be ready!  How cool is that?  Top with sauce and parm and serve.  No dinner to dinner in less than 10 minutes.  Gotta love a meal like that! 

Now I'm on the hunt for more gnocchi recipes...I have a feeling this is gonna be good! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Crab Cakes!

Here are two of the recipes I received in response to the crab cake post over the weekend...hope you enjoy them!  I plan to!  Special thanks to my mother-in-law for sharing these!

Crab Cake Appetizer

1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup crab meat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
2 Tbls. chopped green onions
1 pkg (1.9 oz) frozen mini phyllo tart shells

Combine cream cheese, crab meat, and green onions in a bowl.  Place phyllo shells on an ungreased cookie sheet and fill each with 1 Tbls. crab mixture.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until heated through.  Makes 15.

Crab Cakes

1 can (6oz) crab meat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbls. melted butter
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. mayo
3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Shape into 4 patties.  Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  Bake on a greased baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still Waiting for Summer

Anybody else wondering where all the awesome weather we had in April went?  We were on the verge of summer and now we're back in the grips of spring again.  Hopefully this will help hold you over...


2 cans of beer (Bud Light or Bud Select work great)
8 oz. tequila
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
Lime wedges or slices
margarita salt

Mix beer, tequila, limeade, and ice in a pitcher.  Rim glasses with salt, pour beergarita and garnish with lime wedge or slice.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Enchiladas...Step by Step

I promised I'd give you a step-by-step tutorial for these bad boys and I'm a lady of my word.  Enjoy!
So here goes...garlic, green onions, and butter simmering away.  Piece of cake, no?
Then you add your tomato sauce (remember to use 2 cans!), spices, salt, and sugar...ah yes, and the chiles.
Fifteen minutes of simmering will make quite a mess if you don't have a splatter guard ready to go.
Mmmmm...cheese.  Hard not to eat straight out of the bowl.  Save it for the enchiladas!  It will be worth it, trust me on this one, k?
Next, dip your tortillas in the sauce.  Careful, you have to work fast cause it's hot, hot, hot!
Flip it over and dip the other side too.  Anybody else's mouths watering yet?  I thought so.

Oops...I forgot to take a picture of mixing the chicken and sour cream.  Use your imagination...put the chicken in a bowl and mix in about 4 oz. of sour cream.  Stir with a spoon.  You get the idea.
Then you can put some chicken down the center of your tortilla (it's actually easier to roll if you put it closer to one side or the other.)
Then add the cheese...feel free to be generous.  I've never had a dish where more cheese was a bad thing and this is definitely not the exception to the rule!
Line em up in a pan...I squeezed 10 into my 9x13 pan.
Mix remaining sour cream with remaining sauce (I ended up only using 8 oz. of sour cream total...4 oz. mixed with the chicken and 4 oz. in the sauce.)  Pour sauce over enchiladas in the pan.
More cheese!  See...told you more cheese is always good!  Then 30-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I really hope that if you are an enchilada lover you will try this recipe.  It is by far my favorite...I would probably eat them every week if I could.  Yumm!  I'd love to hear how they turn out for you!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Top Five Food Magazines

Now folks, before anyone gets all "You have got to be kidding me...I can't believe that's her top five" (do people really think that?!) please realize that I haven't read every food magazine out there.  These are just the ones that I love enough to subscribe to...or to steal from my sister, who subscribes to them.  Thanks sis.  :)

Top Five Food Magazines

5.  Taste of Home (I have at least one of their cook books too...maybe two)
4.  Real Simple  (So much more than just food!)
3.  Everyday With Rachael Ray
2.  Food Network Magazine

And my number one favorite food magazine...

1.  Cooking Light!  (Come on people...don't tell me you didn't see that one coming)

Look...I'm not the only one who picked Cooking Light as their number one choice!

Have any favorites you think I should be taking a look at??

Friday, May 14, 2010

Call for recipes...

Never done this before but thought I would give it a try...I'm on the lookout for an easy to make, delicious crab cake recipe.  Anybody know of one?  Quick and easy + super tasty...does that exist?  I've never made them before so perhaps they are all easy to make and all that really matters is finding the yummiest of them all.  Either way, I'd love to hear from you!  Send me a link or shoot me a comment with the recipe search.  Thanks!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

Last week it was quesadillas, this week we move on to enchiladas.  Be prepared to have your socks knocked off by the delicious cheesiness that comes along with these bad boys.  Special thanks to my sister, Carrie, for sharing the recipe!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

(makes 12 enchiladas)

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 stick margarine or butter (1/4 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1--16oz can tomato sauce (I actually used's a little dry with just one)
1--4oz. can chopped green chiles
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 c. shredded montery jack
2 c. shredded cheddar
1 pint (16 oz.) sour cream
12 tortillas

Saute onions, butter and garlic.  Add tomato sauce, chiles, sugar, cumin, salt, basil, and oregano...simmer 15 minutes.  Mix two cheeses in a bowl.  Mix chicken with just enough sour cream to moisten (save the rest).  Dip each tortilla into hot tomato sauce, add chicken mixture, add cheese, roll up.  Mix leftover sauce with leftover sour cream and pour over top of casserole.  Sprinkle leftover cheese on top.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First Signs of Summer

...and no, I'm not talking about the ridiculously loud storms that rolled through last night around 4 am and kept me up until my alarm went off at 6.  *sigh*  I'm talking about the June 2010 issue of Cooking Light that showed up in my mailbox today! (insert giddy school-girl giggle here) 

I was instantly entranced by the cover photo and caption "Easy, Light Summer Eating:  Our Brightest, Freshest Summer Cookbook."  The grilled halibut with peach and pepper salsa looks aboslutely divine.  I haven't ever even had halibut before but I can't wait to try it.  At the same time, I am sure the peach and pepper salsa would be amazing atop a nice salmon filet as well.  Mmmm...salmon.

Here's the link to the recipe.  If you have a copy of the magazine, simply flip to page 156!

Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa

Do you have any summer favorites?  I have a handful that I can't wait to share with you!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Oh boy do I love me some cuppie-cakes (read:  cupcakes...duh).  They are fast and easy to make and filling and frosting them is a piece of cake (hehehe) when you have the right tools so it's extra easy to make them extra special.  Check out this spread I made for Mother's Day!
Don't they look lovely?  Look closely and you'll notice one is missing from the bottom layer.  I allowed my hubby to sample one ahead of know, for quality control.

Here's one up close.  Mmmm...who knew there was strawberry preserves on the inside?  Me!  That's who!  And isn't that stand a bute?  My mom got it for me for Christmas from Crate and Barrel.  Love it!
My niece and nephew certainly seemed to enjoy them, don't you think?  This is becoming a trend. 
Aunt Lauren = cake.  I think I'm ok with that.  :)

Hope you're enjoying the blogathon!  Are you following any other blogs that are participating?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry Season!

One of my students went strawberry picking last week and I have been thinking about it ever since.  I have never been and after last year's peach picking I'm ready to try something new!  Who's with me?

Check out this great website I found that I will be perusing over the next week or so to find the perfect place to pick!

Pick Your Own

Have you ever been strawberry picking?  I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day wishes to all the mothers out there, especially those in my family!  Love you!

I chose something I could prepare ahead of time for the Mother's Day extravaganza at my house this year so I can enjoy the quality time with my favorite mothers. :)  Here's what we'll be eating tonight!

Baked Ziti from the Food Network Kitchens

A couple of tips/changes made...

I used 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes in tomato juice (instead of having to chop whole tomatoes in puree) and added a 6 oz. can of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce up.  I also made two trays of the ziti (one with regular pasta and one with whole wheat pasta) which meant I doubled the sauce recipe.  Let me tell you...3 1/2 cups of sauce would not have been enough.  I used the full 5 cups that the recipe makes in each tray of ziti and after looking at it, I probably could have made some more.  I'll have to remember that next time. 

I cannot wait to eat house smelled like it all day yesterday and I'm gearing up for smelling it again in a few hours when I pop them in the oven.  Can't wait! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Top Five Pastas

This is to honor all the delicious pasta I plan to devour this evening at the Old Spaghetti Factory!

Top Five Pastas

5.  Penne with Spicy Vodka Cream Sauce
4.  Pasta con Broccoli (the kind with just white at Pasta House)
3.  Lasagna from Amighetti's (mmm...provel)
2.  Fetuccini al Carbonara (ala Rich and Charlie's but many other places have it this yummy)

And my number one favorite pasta...

1.  Seafood Pasta Suzanne at Charlie Gitto's (I have tried and tried to duplicate this...sigh...can't be done)

As I'm looking at this list I feel like I am missing some more of my favorites (you have to understand how much I love pasta).  I need to get my mom's stuffed shells and manicotti recipes...those are to die for too!  Maybe I can even get her to teach me how to make pasta from scratch...that's something I have yet to do.

Welp, until tomorrow...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Factory Weekend

Tonight...we hit up the Cheesecake Factory

I haven't eaten that much in a long time.  Ugh.  I think I'll be full straight through tomorrow.  We started with the fried calamari, which was pretty standard as far as calamari goes (read: delicious).  Next we moved on to share a Four Seasons pizza...ah-mazing.  It's basically four pizzas in one:  artichoke and roasted tomato, prosciutto, wild mushroom, and fresh mozzerella and tomato.  When you can't's the best of both, and then both again, worlds.  :)  Top it all off with a slice of white chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake (I'm gonna have to break out the sham-wow to mop up the drool puddle) and you have one heck of a dinner. 

Tomorrow...bring on the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Did You Save Room for Dessert?

That question haunts me at restaurants...Do I want dessert? Yes.  Did I save room for dessert?  No.

Well tonight I hope you have saved room for dessert!  I had never made cupcakes from scratch before and these weren't perfect but they were still mighty tasty.  Check out this Classic Vanilla Cupcake recipe I found on!  I added a shake of cinnamon (a little overly generous but it worked).  Felt a little odd to make the cupcakes from scratch and then top them with a can of store bought icing since I already know how to make icing but eh, what's a girl to do?  ;)

Have you ever made cupcakes from scratch?  Have any suggestions or recipes to share?  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

I love me some Mexican food so naturally I love me some Cinco de Mayo.  I've tried out Hacienda on this momentous occasion but it has proven to be way too crowded for me...and I'm sure they had a heck of a day today with the weather as gorgeous as it was. 

Instead, we stayed in tonight and made quesadillas with Homemade Gourmet's Black Bean Salsa.  Oh yum yum yum...I bet if you found another really good black bean salsa (or other chunky salsa) you could make these like that.  All you have to do is slap some Mexican cheese blend, a few heaping spoonfuls of salsa and some grilled chicken (or not) between two tortillas and there ya go.  You can make it work in a frying pan but if you have a quesadilla maker like I do it's even better. Give it a try next time you've got a hankering for some quesadillas...I promsie you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sloppy Joes...Slop, Sloppy Joes

Time for some serious comfort food, folks.  I saw the Pioneer Woman's recent post about sloppy joes and it inspired me to create a combo recipe between her amazing one and the items available to me in my fridge and pantry.  First, allow me to be totally honest...had I had everything in my pantry to make it Ree's way, I totally would have.  So here's how it went...

Extra Sloppy Sloppy Joes

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
4 oz. diced green chilies
minced garlic
chopped onion
3/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. chili sauce
1 Tbls. chili powder
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/3 c. water
2 shakes worstershire sauce
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbls. brown sugar

Super easy folks...brown the meat, add the rest, simmer and devour. 

Does it get any better than that on the fourth night of Blogathon 2010?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Whole Wheat Craze Continues...

Perhaps you will recall a few weeks back when I posted about the Mixed Berry Whole Grain Coffee Cake.  Remember?  It's the only thing I posted in April?  Sheesh...seriously what was I doing all last month?!  Well that was delicious...and it caused me to purchase a bag of whole wheat flour so lately I have been looking for ways to use the rest of it.  Lucky for my hubby, I got the idea to make pancakes with it a couple weekends ago so I got to work looking up various whole wheat pancake recipes.

This particular recipe on caught my eye first...Quick Mix Whole Wheat Pancakes.  I like quick.  I gave it a whirl on a Saturday morning, then ate them again on Sunday and Monday when we realized how many pancakes it made.  Not that it was a bad thing to have so many pancakes, but I was done with them after Sunday.  These pancakes were ok.  Yes, just ok.  We spread apple butter all over them which was delicious but they were pretty heavy and the texture was borderline strange.  Needless to say, I was disappointed.

This past weekend, I was again thinking about whole wheat pancakes.  I knew I could do better than that past recipe so I thought back to the things that were so good about that coffee cake from Easter.  Mmmm...mixed berries.  Would have made a good topping but I didn't have any and it wouldn't have helped the actual pancake itself.  Next...mmmm...oats.  I like oats in cookies and coffee cakes but I wasn't really sure what to do with them as far as pancakes go.  Scratch that.  Then I remembered that the coffee cake used half whole wheat flour and half "regular" white flour. we might be on to something.  I got back to my research to try to find a recipe that used this flour blend and found a handful.  I settled on this one but decided to cut it in half. 

Favorite Whole Wheat Pancakes (How can you not like something with "favorite" in the title?)

Then I realized we were out of milk...doh!  Well, water it is.  So here's exactly what went into my bowl and, eventually, onto my griddle.

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 Tbls. baking powder
1 Tbls. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
1 1/8 c. water (instead of low fat milk)
1/8 c. vegetable oil

Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.  Pour 1/3 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake.  Cook until bubbles form on surface, check to see if golden on underside and then flip.  Cook until golden on both sides.  Makes 6-8 pancakes.

These were SO much better than the first recipe.  We straight up ate these bad boys with syrup and they were tasty, tasty, tasty.  I would definitely make them again...maybe with milk...but they were great with just water so I'd be tempted not to mess with em.  We'll see how that goes.

While we're on the topic of you have an electric griddle?  You should...even if you ONLY use it for pancakes.  (I occasionally break mine out for bacon or other goodies but most often it's for pancakes.)  I happen to own the Presto Cool Touch Electric Skillet which I purchased at Kohl's the day after Thanksgiving two years ago for $10.  Gotta love those Black Friday specials right?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mouthwatering Marinade

I've been saving this marinade I found on for a couple weeks so I'm excited to have the blogathon to push me along to finally share it with you!

We made this flank steak on a Friday night for a special dinner with friends with some roasted asparagus and big ole' baked really was a treat and we love to grill so it was super easy.  One thing I will note is to make sure you follow the marinating directions and score the outside of your steak to make sure the marinade can penetrate the steak even better.

Here's a link to the recipe.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

For once in my life, I actually stuck to the recipe!  Feel free to experiment if there's something you don't have or something you don't particularly care for, though. 

Stay tuned for more delicious recipes to come later this week...vanilla and cinnamon cupcakes, super sloppy joes, delicious and healthy whole wheat pancakes!  Help me keep up with the blogathon!  If you have any suggestions (or Ask Lauren questions) I'd love for you to leave a comment below!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blogathon 2010

I just heard about May being a "blogathon month" meaning you sign up to "pledge" to post on your blog every day for a month.  I'm not officially signed up (I'm lazy like that) but I figured I could give it an "unofficial" try.  (Have I used quotation marks enough yet?)

So here goes nothing...31 blog posts in 31 days...can your google reader handle that?  I don't think it's ready for this jelly.  Mmmm...jelly.  Oh, yes, where was I...

I thought it might be fun to start off the month with a theme day so Saturdays this month will be my "Top Five" days.  Why five you ask?  Why not ten?  Most times you see a top ten.  It's simple really, coming up with my top ten anything would take me forever.  I give first top five...

Top Five St. Louis Patios

5.  Llywellyn's CWE location (lots of shady trees for those afternoon happy hours)
4.  Growler's Sunset Hills location (might rank higher if there wasn't always a crazy wait for a table)
3.  Tucker's Place (partially cause it's so close to my house but the frosty mugs are a nice touch)
2.  Schlafly Bottleworks (live music, great food and beer...fantastic combination)

but I think my favorite patio to sit on would have to be (and I've only been there once...what a shame)

1.  The Vine on Main  (Can't beat two patios, one in front for Main Street views and one out back with occasional live it)

See you all tomorrow with some recipes!