Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Farmer's Cheese Pancakes...

delicate, light, delicious breakfast treat.

like little velvet bellini with a hint of lemon.

i came across this particular recipe while googling around for cottage cheese pancakes.  i found a ton of recipes for "Syrniki" aka...Russian pancakes made with Farmer's Cheese.  i've never had the pleasure of a true Russian pancake, but i thought i'd give these a try.  i'm sure every Russian Grandmother makes them them better than the next, but this is where i'll start.  i hope i get some good comments from readers with their own "Syrniki" recipes. 
these are just what i was looking for.  something with a little less flour and a little more protein.  they're pretty healthy...lighter than your American pancake and they can be served for breakfast, brunch or made into some cute creative layered dessert.  mine didn't make it to the dessert idea...they were all gone before i could get to it.  i'll make these again this weekend for the holidays when the troops arrive.  farmer's cheese isn't at my local market and they are a little delicate in the pan, but worth the extra shopping trip and a little patience with the batter.

found at  original from chef Vitaly Paley

330g farmer's cheese ...i used Friendship Farmer's Cheese
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp sugar or substitute
3-4 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
a squeeze of lemon
a little zest for more lemon flavor

mix the wet ingredients...farmer's cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until combined with no lumps.  chef Vitaly's grandmother suggests mixing the lemon juice and baking soda in a little bowl (for fluffier cakes), stir well. and add to the wet ingredients.  add the flour and baking powder, start with 3 Tbsp flour....batter should be a little thicker than regular pancake batter.  depending on the moisture of your farmer's cheese you might need to add a little more flour.  add a little lemon zest.  now go ahead and taste the batter, it won't kill you.  more sugar?...more zest?...
heat your skillet with a little butter or oil of choice... but a little butter won't hurt ya AND "butter makes everything better".
warning...the first pancake is always a bit of a "flub".  mine started to look good after about the 3rd one.  i made them pretty small, about 2 1/2 to 3 inches across and i got about 12.  smaller are easier to flip.  cook the first side until you see good looking bubbles form on the top...(pretty much like regular pancakes).  flip and cook other side.  i had a nice light brown color on mine as shown.

these are delicate pancakes.  don't loose patience with the flipping.
or...add a little more flour to thicken the dough.

serve with syrup of choice...maple is nice...ginger would be delicious with fresh berries...
OR they are fabulous with a dollop of vanilla greek yogurt and homemade jam.

absolutely delicious right off the skillet, but they do save well in the fridge for the next day or two.  we found ourselves eating them right out of the fridge with a little homemade Meyer Lemon Lavender Marmalade (posting soon)...

approx. nutrition 
using sugar sub. with 12 per batch
each pancake...57 calories...1.1 carb...3.4 fat...and 5.1 protein

Saturday, October 6, 2012



warm creamy custardy 4 grain oats with vanilla greek yogurt and fresh berries.
my idea of dessert for breakfast.

i'm up at the crack of dawn...
mornings are getting cold and i want comfort food.
well...that's a big fat lie.
we're having an unexplained heat wave here in California, but i still want something delicious, healthy and satisfying for breakfast.  i don't want a protein bar.  i don't want a bowl of granola.  i don't have time for eggs Benedict.  i surely can't get through the day on my Mexican pastries alone.  i need something with a little substance that will keep me going and i need something i can put together and get out the door.

this is a great recipe for those no-brainer, i'm too tired weekday mornings when you need some good healthy fuel to get going. make it for a Sunday breakfast and have the leftovers warmed up throughout the week.  dress it up with greek yogurt, syrups, berries, brown sugar and cinnamon, candied pecans...i'm sure everyone has there own ideas for oatmeal extras.

it's not a throw together recipe because you need cooked oatmeal, but it IS an easy recipe if you have that ready.  the cottage cheese might seem a bit odd, but trust really adds to the creaminess and you don't even know it there.  spice it up as you wish.  i always like to add a touch of cardamom, fresh ground nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla with a touch of almond extract.
i've tried a chocolate version, but haven't perfected it yet.  it was good, but not great, so i'll wait on posting about that.  meanwhile i'll continue on with this one and some different spice combinations.  since i'm so hot about rosemary lately, maybe i'l try that in there some how...hmmmmm.  i think rosemary and maple syrup might work well together...hmmm 

adapted from Inn Cuisine

2 cups COOKED oatmeal...i use 4 grain hot cereal by Arrowhead Mills
1 1/2 cups low fat cottage cheese
2 large eggs-real eggs work better than substitute
1 cup low fat or skim milk
6 tbsp sugar or sugar substitute...i use 1/2 cup Z Sweet
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder...optional

preheat oven to 325 F degrees
coat 2 Qt baking dish with non stick spray
in a large mixing bowl, blend oatmeal, cottage cheese, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and extracts in an electric mixer until smooth.
pour batter into prepared dish and bake for approx.1 hour...mine takes about 1 hr 5-10 minutes in a square glass pyrex in a regular oven.

serve warm, room temp or even cold for on the go...

NOTE...ovens are different and so are baking dishes, so i suggest you check it after 45 minutes and keep an eye on the first one.

nutritional info (approx.)
9 servings made with protein powder and Zsweet


Monday, July 23, 2012

Cherry Clafoutis


i have to make use of those beautiful cherries.

cherry clafoutis is a great easy way to get those cherries in use.  the recipe calls for 1 pound, but i ate too many right out of the bag so i only had about 1/2 worries, i cut them in half to cover the dish.  this treat whips up in a flash and bakes for about 45 minutes so give yourself about an hour and you'll have something delicious for Sunday brunch or a light dessert. if you have any left over it keeps well in the fridge and is quite tasty the next day...beyond a day or two it gets a bit weepy, still edible, but i doubt you'll have it for that long.
i've included the nutritional facts and as you can see it's pretty healthy and low carb and no sugar if you use the Z Sweet like i do.  check the link if you have questions about this sugar substitute.  i used to use Splenda, but this is far far better.  it acts more like real sugar with no after taste that i am aware of.

please pardon the photo above.   as a whole,  it's rather plain looking...not a spectacular showing, but if you dress the servings up a bit like the first photo or a little powdered sugar and a few stray cherries...then you have a nice presentation.  i served mine with a little vanilla greek yogurt and some Homemade Cherry Chipotle Preserves...delish.  i'll post about the preserves very soon.
oh, by the way...if you don't have a cherry pitter by now, i suggest you go out and get one.  i have the one by OXO.
i know a true Clafoutis has the whole cherry, pit and all, but who wants to deal with running into a pit when eating something custardy and delicious?


1/4 cup sugar or sugar Z Sweet (Erythritol)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup AP flour
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla...
OR...1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp of almond extract is nice as well
1 lb pitted cherries...i only had about 1/2 lb.  shown here... pitted and halved

preheat oven to 375 F degrees
butter a 9" pie plate
whisk together flour, sugar and salt
whisk in eggs, one at a time
whisk in milk and vanilla until incorporated.
arrange cherries in buttered pie dish.  pour batter over the cherries.
bake for about 45 minutes or until clafouti is puffed, lightly browned and middle looks set.
allow to cool a bit before serving.  sift powdered sugar over the top.

serve as is or with whipped cream for a dessert or vanilla greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast

6 servings using Z Sweet, sugar substitute...whole milk and real eggs are necessary.

plain clafoutis

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Creamed Corn Cornbread

CORNBREAD.  i never was a big fan of cornbread...always too dry, too crumbly, too blah...
until i found this one.
for some odd reason i got on a big cornbread kick, trying to find the best cornbread out there to buy.  Mother's Market had a pretty good, dense, moist muffin...but a little too heavy...sat like a rock in my stomach.  Bristol Farms?...too dry.  Gelson's?...too boring.  i thought i could do better.  i was now on a mission...i'll make my own!
i read somewhere that creamed corn makes for the bestest moistest cornbread so i googled around and found this one. 
i need not look any more.  this one is just right.

moist, but not gummy...light, but not fluffy...sweet, but not cloying...dense, but not heavy.
sprinkled with just a few niblets of corn throughout from the creamed corn for that obvious corny look and texture...i think it's just perfect.  serve this with some bacon jam or some raspberry chipotle jam and you're golden.


1 cup whole wheat flour or AP flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
2 tssp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp sugar...i used 1/4 cup Zsweet, sugar sub.
15 oz can of creamed corn
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil

preheat oven to 425 F.
butter and flour a muffin tray or i used an 8 x 8 with butter and parchment
whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, chipotle powder if using, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  stir together the creamed corn, eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl...gradually stir the dry into the wet ingredients...being very careful NOT TO OVER MIX.  let the batter stand for 5 minutes, then pour into prepared tin or pan.  muffins should be filled 3/4 full.
bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.  toothpick shouldn't be totally dry, it should have a few crumbs.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


creamy eggs topped with Russian caviar tucked into a perfect little egg cup...
one of my all time favorite savory treats.  
so simple, so delicious, so delicate and SOOOO EASY !...

if you have the right tool !

i spotted this little uni-tasker egg gadget about 6 years ago, but i couldn't justify paying the whopping $55.00 for something that does one thing.  well, now that Rosle is making one and it only costs $20.00 bucks...i finally snatched one up.  now I can make the fancy looking froo froo caviar egg cup that i fell in love with years ago at L'Orangerie Restaurant.  piled high with caviar... my eyes would light up as it was brought to the table by the waiter wearing white gloves.  although it's doors are closed now, i'll never forget the wonderful dinners i had there and ordering this decadent first course every time.   
i missed my delicious little caviar egg cup...until now.

the Rosle Egg Topper...a must buy.  as far as gadgets go?  this one is worth it.  it does it's job and it does it well.  i purchased mine at Sur la Table, but i'm sure you can get one on line HERE or at the Sur la Table website...HERE.

this post isn't so much about the recipe, i'm sure you can all figure it out, but here is how i make caviar eggs.  these are not your every day scrambled eggs...they have way to much cream and butter, but they work well for the presentation in the shell and the rich creamy eggs compliment the savory dollop of caviar.

(if you want concrete Martha Stewart instructions click HERE, but this is how i roll...pretty much the same idea.) your eggs with your new topper...snap the topper once on the egg, then when you see a slight crack carefully slip a thin knife in and ever so carefully pry the top off.  you'll get the hang of it quickly.
remove egg from shell and clean inside well.  carefully dunk them into a pot of boiling water for a min or two to remove any impurities and set them upside down to dry while cooking eggs.
you'll need...about 1 per egg cup
heavy cream
salt, but remember the caviar is salty
pepper (white is best)
 and your choice of topping
and toast, of course.

if filling egg cups you'll need to add one or two more eggs than you need.  the pan and the pastry bag will catch a bit...besides you might have an accident with one of your shells.
use about 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream per egg (might need a little more.  i don't measure)
dash salt and pepper
whisk well, but not fluffy
start your pan on low and add a healthy (more than usual) pat of butter to coat.
add the eggs and let them get started...these need to be cooked low and slow, stirring all along to prevent large curds from forming.
the key is to take them off the heat before you think they are done.  you can always cook them more, but you can't undo something that has been over cooked.
use your judgement...remember these need to be soft enough to go into a piping bag, but firm enough to hold shape and support your topping.

fill a pastry bag with eggs and start to assemble.  caviar isn't necessary, but it sure elevates the dish to something special.  small diced smoked salmon with a dollop of creme fraiche is delicious as well.
the toast?...i think the best way is to saute with butter in a pan...for some reason it tastes better than out of the toaster.

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