Buckwheat Pancakes – don’t try these at home

12 August 2011 § 5 Comments

This summer we’ve been getting up later and having bigger more leisurely breakfasts. This stack of pancakes look innocent enough. Nothing offensive about them is there? Golden color, garnished with fruit – just waiting for maple syrup.

Upon taking their first mouthful the reaction I got from The Ladies™ was sheer horror. I think I would have had a better reaction if I’d served a plate of mouse droppings.

The youngest (by one whole minute) of The Ladies ™ – knew straight away. She eyed her pancake suspiciously, prodded it with a fork and announced it smelled funny.

No amount of maple syrup could persuade her to eat it. I had committed a huge error by  substituting half the flour for buckwheat, and she knew.

So for fussy little ones don’t try these, try these my fail-safe pancake recipe. I agree the plain flour ones taste so much better – perfect for a leisurely weekend breakfast.

Knit your own granola

18 June 2011 § 3 Comments

This blog is about making food from scratch – I pride myself on it. So why do I feed my family packaged food for breakfast? We go through at least 3 bags of packaged granola a week.

It was not until I read this piece on a blog Forgotten Home Arts that the penny dropped…you mean you just mix ingredients and bake. That is it? Why haven’t I made granola before?

You can mix your granola up as much or as little as you want, you can add sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, dried apricots, pistachios, cocoa powder, whatever floats your boat.

Unless you add a ton of chocolate chips, it is much healthier to make your own – you control all the ingredients and reduce your salt and sugar. There is also a financial benefit – at $5.99 a bag it is good to break the Bear Naked granola habit.

The only rule is to make sure you use old-fashioned rolled oats, neither steel-cut or the quick cook oats have the right texture – one will be hard and nutty the other a sludgy mess.


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups mixed nuts – walnuts, almonds and pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut – unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup mixture of raisins and chopped dates
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • A generous pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until completely coated and evenly distributed.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread in an even layer on the tray.  Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to evenly toast granola.  Let cool to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.

Happy Mother’s Day

8 May 2011 § 4 Comments

Spring has not yet fully sprung in the Catskills: as was evident from the birds are still putting the final touches on their new home in our rafters. As it was Mother’s Day I was spoiled with good coffee, homemade cards and pancakes. These pancakes were not just any pancakes (no Aunt Jemima mix in our house) but King Marv’s adaptation of a Bill Granger wholemeal pikelet recipe.
These delicious airy light bundles of joy were especially good as they are King Marv’s speciality. My grandmother, Nanny White, used to say food tasted better when it was made by someone else – as the main cook in our house I now understand what she meant. Happy Mother’s Day!


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Butter for greasing the pan

To serve

Maple syrup

Fresh fruit

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Add the egg and milk and whisk until smooth.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and brush lightly with butter, being careful not to let the butter brown. Spoon tablespoons of mixture into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until holes bubble through on the surface. Turn them over and cook for another 3o seconds.

Serve hot from the pan. Makes 12.

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