Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Feb 19

Good Morning Campers!

Welcome to another sunny day here on Planet Earth!

Here’s your tips for this week…

Whole Wheat Pancakesπ  If you make pancakes in advance of needing them, reheat them in a pile in the microwave wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap, with pieces of greaseproof paper between each pancake.

TT: I don’t make pancakes very often, but when I do, I want them right then and there.  If I’m going to make them, I’m not going to eat them later!  If I do have leftovers, then I would wrap them and reheat them as noted.

π  Got garlic breath?  Then try these tips and see which one works for you:  eat some fresh parsley, chew a coffee bean or eat a bowl of lemon sorbet.

TT:  As we both eat a good bit of garlic in this house, I see no need to worry about offending each other.  However, if you’re the only one eating it, then this is a good idea!

meatπ  Fresh meat such as beef, lamb or pork can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days before cooking, but should be eaten within 2-3 days when cooked.

TT:  When we buy fresh meat, it gets re-wrapped in portioned sizes and frozen for later use, whether that be 5 days or 5 weeks.  It saves having to waste it by throwing it out because it was forgotten in the fridge.  Leftovers are usually taken for lunch the next day by Chef P and if there’s still more, I’ll eat it for lunch here at home.  Any remaining cooked meat, such as from a roast, is put into the freezer to use later in stews.

π  Romantic meals should be simple, to avoid spending too long in the kitchen.  Asparagus is an aphrodisiac so makes a good starter.  A pie can be made in advance.  Chocolate desserts are the ultimate end to a romantic meal.

TT:  Don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen?  Here’s a better tip…Pick a nice restaurant and go out to eat! 😉

π  Put clingfilm/plastic wrap over the top of the food processor before using.  It keeps the lid clean, saving washing it and also saves space in the dishwasher if you use one of those.

TT:  Haven’t tried this yet, but really like this tip.  Will definitely try it next time I use my food processor.

π  Massage copper-bottomed pans with ketchup to dissolve the tarnish.  For stubborn stains, add a pinch of salt while you rub.

TT: I don’t have any copper-bottomed pans, but my mom does and I remember cleaning them with lemon juice and salt.  I would cut the lemon in half, sprinkle with the salt and scrub the pan using the lemon half.

Have a lovely day!

♥  Terri  ♥

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Whole Wheat Pancakes

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day.  Sometimes it’s a struggle trying to decide what I want to should eat.  Usually I’ll make myself a nice warming bowl of porridge or maybe a veggie filled frittata or even a smoothie. However, every now and then, I want something different, something that I really shouldn’t eat, and today was one of those days.

I wanted pancakes.  Proper pancakes.  Not the crepes that they call pancakes here, but proper, fluffy, hearty American pancakes!

Now I had a choice; do I make then with all the ingredients I shouldn’t really have (white flour, butter and sugar) or do I attempt to make them a bit healthy (whole wheat flour, low fat margarine and fruit sugar/fructose)?  I went with the latter.  Do I get a gold star for that?

Pancakes are really easy to make and it’s 99.9% guaranteed that you have these ingredients in your kitchen cupboard at any time.  I mean really now, who doesn’t have eggs, milk, butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in their kitchens??

I’ll give you the white flour recipe and the whole wheat flour recipe…the choice is yours on which ingredients you use, but the method is the same.

The most important thing when making pancakes is that you want your pan to be hot right from the get go.  If the pan isn’t hot enough from the beginning, the batter will stick.  If you have a cast iron fry pan, all the better.

~~AMERICAN PANCAKES~~

Before you even start getting the ingredients together, get that pan on the stove and get it heating up.

(healthy)                                                      (not so healthy)

1 egg                                                            1 egg

3/4 C low-fat milk                                           3/4 C whole milk

2 Tbsp low-fat margarine, melted                    2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 C whole wheat flour                                     1 C white flour

1 Tbsp fructose/fruit sugar                              1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt                                                    1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp baking powder                                    1 Tbsp baking powder

 

Combine the egg, milk and fat and whisk.  If you have an electric mixer, use that to make it more fluffy.  Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients and blend together.  (I like to mix everything together in a 2-Cup Pyrex measuring jug)

Pour the mixture (or use a ladle) into the HOT dry pan in the size of pancake you wish.  It may be easier to make one at a time unless you plan on making silver-dollar pancakes, then you’ll be able to make 2-3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan.

Leave undisturbed for 1-2 minutes or until you start to see bubbles forming on the surface.  Gently lift the pancake with a metal spatula and flip over.  Again leave for 1-2 minutes or until you see the pancake really starting to fluff up.  Remove to a warm dish and continue with the remaining pancakes.

To the batter you can add sliced fruit such as bananas or strawberries or even blueberries. Or try chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans or perhaps chocolate chips. (I added walnuts and topped with more walnuts and raisins).

The traditional ‘serve with’ items are butter and maple syrup but that is your choice.  I had mine with a bit of maple syrup only.

 

 

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Fat Tuesday, Pancakes and Buddy

As I really didn’t have anything major to blab blog about, I thought I’d go down the ‘Stream of Unconsiousness’ route…

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras/Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday, depending on what part of the English speaking world you come from.  There may be other names for it, but these are the four I know of.

When I lived in Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, on occasion, we would head to Philadelphia’s South Street (you know, where all the hippies meet!) and frequent a bar called Fat Tuesday’s where they served frozen daiquiris of just about any flavor you could possibly think of.  Behind their huge bar were machines built into the wall where the daiquiris came out, like giant Slushie machines.  The good thing was that you couldn’t drink them too fast otherwise you’d get ‘brain freeze’, however, they did pack a punch!

Here in the UK, they use the terms ‘Pancake Day’ or ‘Shrove Tuesday’.  Now most of us know that the reason for this day is to eat as much cake/cookies/biscuits/sweets, etc. for the next day is Lent and we are forced choose to give up something for 40 days until Easter Sunday, and the things we usually give up are cake/cookies/biscuits/sweets, etc.  Over here, the idea is to eat as many pancakes as possible, hence the name.

(via Wikipedia) Shrove Tuesday was once known as a ‘half-holiday’ in England. It started at 11:00am with the signalling of a church bell.  On Pancake Day, pancake races are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated when a housewife from Olney was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake. The pancake race remains a relatively common festive tradition in the UK, and England in particular, even today. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air, catching them in the pan whilst running. In Olney today, a pancake race still takes place every year on Shrove Tuesday.

The contestants, traditionally women, carry a frying pan and race to the finishing line while tossing the pancakes as they go. The winner is the first to cross the line having tossed the pancake a certain number of times. Traditionally, when men want to participate, they must dress up as a housewife (usually an apron and a bandanna).

Since 1950 the people of Liberal, Kansas and Olney have held the “International Pancake Day” race between the two towns. The two towns’ competitors race along an agreed-upon measured course. The times of the two towns’ competitors are compared, to determine a winner overall. After the 2009 race, Liberal was leading with 34 wins to Olney’s 25.  A similar race is held in North Somercotes of Lincolnshire in eastern England.

So as it was ‘Pancake Day’ here yesterday, I did make myself some, but I tried to go the bit more healthy route and made whole wheat pancakes and used agave nectar in place of the bit of sugar in the batter.  (I must also note that pancakes here are not the same as the U.S.  Over here, they are rather thin, almost like a crepe).  So I made myself some American pancakes and put some maple syrup on, but not too much.  My treat!  This morning I reheated the last two and put some sliced banana on them…yum.

********************

There’s been a black & white cat that has been strolling around the neighborhood for about 3-4 years.  He would walk through our back garden and he would run away from us at first.  Then I started to call him over and gave him a handful of some dry cat food on the pavement.  Eventually, we gave him him a dish for food and water.  Our three cats would watch him from inside (they are all indoor cats) and he would watch them.  Whenever we would see him outside, we’d say to our cats ‘Oh, there’s your buddy out there’ so we decided that he needed a name, so, of course, we named him Buddy.

We made up a box for him outside and he would use it to sleep in during the day and to get out of the rain.  Then back in October, I decided to let him in the conservatory one night as we were having a cold snap.

I made up another box for him with blankets and he slept in there all night.  He would go out during the day and come back when he was hungry.  We were buying him (cheap) cat food and he was quite happy.  We have a small portable heater that I sat near his box bed and he again was quite happy.  We know he’s been wanting to come in the house because he would stare at us through the sliding glass door from the conservatory.  We slowly introduced one of our cats (Noddy) to him and they get along fine.  Alfie isn’t too sure, but he doesn’t seem to mind him.  Crystal is the problem.  I would leave the sliding door open just a bit; enough for a paw to get through but not the whole cat.  He would be on one side and Crystal the other, and she would hiss at him.  We think it’s because she can now smell him.

Well last Friday afternoon, Buddy was in the conservatory and I had left the door open leading to the outside for him.  I went out to check if he had gone outside; didn’t see him, so closed the outside door and opened the inside sliding door so that my kitties could go out there if they wanted.  I went upstairs to the bathroom and when I came out and went into the bedroom, guess who was sitting there!  I knew I had closed the outside door so the only thing I can think of is that he might have been hiding on one of the chairs under the table and I didn’t see him when I checked.

Noddy and Buddy lounging in the front window

So now that he has come into the house, he’s now become a permanent member.  He still comes and goes as he wants, but I have to let him in and out.  Him and Noddy play together, Alfie just ignores him and Crystal still hisses and bats at him whenever possible.  This morning he finally batted back but I don’t really think that will deter her.

We think he was in a household at some point in his life as he’s definitely a lap cat and he actually has been sleeping on the bed with us (the other three don’t even do that).  He came up on the bed around 10:30 last night and stayed there until we got up at 4:45.  I’ve made an appointment for him at the vet next Thursday so that should be an adventure…