Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Eggs

Happy Easter everyone! Yes, I am a week early, but my parents are headed to Charleston for a wedding Easter weekend, so we had Easter dinner yesterday and I took the liberty of making some sugar cookies. In case you haven't notice I'm a little bit addicted to decorating sugar cookies.

I love the endless possibilities that Easter eggs afford. There are so many different ways to decorate them. I decided to go for more traditional pastel colours and slightly old-fashioned designs. Like the filigree and dots for example.

The flowers are outlined with icing and dipped in sugar. I would have used coarse sugar had I had some handy, alas I am woefully ill-equipped.

And of course what is Easter without chicks? Half of them I dipped their whole bodies in sugar and the other half just their make them look kind of fuzzy.

The design on these ones is one I used on the Christmas tree cookies I made over the holidays and I think it works just as well for Easter eggs.

I saved my favourite for last. My favourite because I've never actually done brush embroidery until now and I am unabashedly, indescribably, ridiculously in love with brush embroidery. Who knows why? But it's just so elegant and pretty.

So there you have it. My decorated, decidedly non-chocolate Easter eggs. I still want to participate in an Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately my parents decided that once you've reached your twenties you're too old for such things. Oh well. Happy hunting nonetheless!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sunny and warming up nicely

Oh, hello there! Yes, it's me again. Surprised? I am. But as I sit here, drinking my coffee, having just eaten some rather wonderful pancakes, I feel the need to share said pancakes with you. It's a lovely day outside; sunny and warming up nicely. Spring is on it's way this time, I'm sure of it. No more surprise snow that refuses to melt for weeks. And I am coming out of hibernation at last.

This morning I was inspired to make pancakes. I love breakfast and so rarely get the chance to sit and have a proper breakfast. So I decided to take advantage of my morning off. This recipe was adapted from How to Cook Everything. I began with the basic recipe for fluffy pancakes, substituted some of the white flour for buckwheat flour, and threw in a mashed banana. And, voila! Light and Fluffy Buckwheat Banana Pancakes.

I love when improvised recipes turn out well and these turned out even better than expected. The banana and buckwheat play off each other nicely, the sweetness of the banana tempering the buckwheat, which has a tendency to be overly earthy at times. Rather than substitute the entire quantity of white flour with buckwheat flour, like the recipes suggests, I opted for half and half. I wanted the buckwheat to be present, but not kick you in the mouth and take over. And the bananas, oh. They hovered at the edge, subtle, just hinting at their presence, not overwhelming the senses as bananas sometimes do.

They were the perfect start to the morning. A light sweetness to accompany the light breeze drifting through the window, making the whole apartment smell like spring. This bodes well for the day ahead.

Light and Fluffy Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

1 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
Dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 mashed ripe banana

Beat milk and egg yolks together. Mix dry ingredients. Set both aside.
Whip egg whites until stiff, but not dry.
Combine milk mixture and dry ingredients. Mash banana and add to batter.
Gently fold in egg whites until fully incorporated.
Heat skillet and melt butter in pan. Pour some batter into the pan and cook until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook until browned.
Add syrup and enjoy!