Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes

Since we last spoke, I’ve somehow reached the end of my first year of business school (marking the halfway point!!), secured a summer internship in market research, watched my sister win division 3 ultimate nationals with her team, and consumed divine cupcakes with Nora in Chicago.

Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

Hanging out with Nora felt kind of like seeing a childhood friend you hadn’t seen in years and picking up right where you left off. That is to say, it felt like an instant connection, at least on my end. We’ve emailed and talked over the phone (#mbabonding), and finally got to meet in Chicago, when I had all day Friday to explore the city solo before watching my sister’s Ultimate tournament. I will be forever grateful to her for spending a good couple hours with me eating, walking, and ‘gramming like nerds (“okay, if you’re standing, I’m standing”) and talking about everything under the sun even though it was her husband’s birthday! Kind soul that she is, she also greeted me with a container of homemade, out-of-this-world cookies and doughnuts (which she promises will be posted soon) and assured me that though I’ve been vegging instead of getting back in the kitchen ever since finishing finals, the lacking-inspiration thing is okay. Decompression is a real thing, and so are kind humans. She made me feel eons better about the fact that inspiration has been lacking lately–partly out of an instinctual avoidance of the kitchen instilled over the past school year (should be studying/networking/anything but procrastinating with food!) and partly out of a sense of paralysis about this space. I keep feeling as though I need to find my niche, but the more I try to identify one, the less genuine anything feels. Which means I’m backing away slowly from that.

 

Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

Rhubarb Crumble Pancakes // The Pancake PrincessRhubarb Crumble Pancakes // The Pancake Princess Continue reading

Single, No-Bake Chocolate Cinnamon Roll

IMG_0407Single-Serving Chocolate Cinnamon Roll // The Pancake PrincessEaster has never constituted a significant blip on my holiday radar over the past few years, but this past weekend, my friend Irma hosted a small Mexican brunch and it was everything. Chilaquiles—one pan with red sauce that she deemed too tomato-y, and one with homemade tomatillo salsa that was deemed authentic and devoured by everyone—eggs, perfectly ripe avocado, salty, crumbly cojita cheese, icy palomas, and a perfectly set chocoflan.

Five of us took down nearly half the bundt cake and it was not okay (but also very, very okay).

The deeply delicious yet peaceful nature of it all reminded me of the occasions when I’ve hosted meals–Irma pulled off a stunning from-scratch brunch AND showed up a classy dress, makeup and hair. A far cry from my typical “entertaining” where I’m hopping in and out of the kitchen like a crazy in a sweaty T-shirt. I hope to grow out of that someday.

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Time is money, as they say, and I invested some time that really should have been put towards, say, reading the 200+ pages for my Leading Change class, and into practicing these almost-instant chocolate cinnamon rolls, which played a lovely chocolate sidekick to Irma’s chocoflan at brunch.

While I am in principle against using microwaves excessively (ever since a power tower scare in our neighborhood, long story), I can’t deny the great value a microwave can play in, say, a time-crunched student lifestyle. I think every once in a great while can’t hurt–just make sure to stand way back from the microwave while it’s on. At least two feet. Just in case. Because moderation but also safety.

IMG_0261 IMG_0271 IMG_0275 output_QFoeOb IMG_0326 IMG_0335 IMG_0345These cinnamon rolls are almost cakey soft (my favorite texture of all time); they can made more structured with an extra tablespoon of oat flour, or even cakier with less oat flour and an extra dash of cocoa powder. They’re a riff off of Kylie’s single-serving cinnamon roll which means it’s mostly healthy but still ridiculously good. They’re not too sweet—in fact, barely sweet at all, which is why you can justify a generous drizzle of glaze over the top since the gooey filling is a sweet and harmless mixture of dates and cinnamon–and chocolate chips if you’re feeling extra-special.

They’re really much simpler than the number of photos in this post might indicate, but I’m practicing my process photos, so please forgive the excess. You can make one, start-to-finish in under 15 minutes, promise.

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Remember that one time you left the lid of your date container askew in the fridge and all your dates dried out? No? Just me? Well, maybe I’m alone in my inability to acquire perfectly soft and ripe dates, but just in case you have this issue too, I’ve changed up Kylie’s recipe just a bit to a) adapt the date filling to transform even the toughest of dates into a paste-appropriate filling and b) make them chocolate, clearly.

To clarify: even though two cinnamon rolls are shown in this post, the following recipe makes just one individual (substantial!) cinnamon roll.

Single-Serving Cinnamon Roll

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

One single, slightly cakey, dense-yet-fluffy chocolate cinnamon roll that doesn't require baking!

Ingredients

  • 2 dates, chopped finely
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • chocolate chips (optional)

  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon oat flour (for a more structured, firm dough)
  • 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder (increase to 2 tablespoons and only use 1/3 cup oat flour for an extra soft, cakey texture)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • scant 3 tablespoons mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • For a glaze:
  • powdered sugar, yogurt, and/or milk

Instructions

Add enough water to cover the chopped dates in a small microwavable dish. Add the baking soda and microwave for 40 seconds. Set aside to cool.

In another bowl, stir together the oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, then stir in the coconut oil and mashed banana. Flour a surface and roll dough into 2-3 long, thin ropes between your palms. Press the dough into long, thin rectangular shapes.

Drain the date mixture and stir in cinnamon and chocolate chips, if using. Spread the date paste over the rectangles. You can either roll each rectangle into into 2-3 mini cinnamon rolls and place in a greased ramekin, or roll everything into one large roll by overlapping the ends of each rectangle (see GIF above).

Microwave dough in a greased ramekin for about 1 minute and 15 seconds (depending on the power of your microwave; mine is pretty strong).

To make a glaze, add about 1/4 teaspoon of water or milk to 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and stir until pourable. Adjust to desired consistency. Alternatively, you can sweeten some yogurt with sugar or maple syrup to use as a glaze.

Notes

Adapted from the wonderful Kylie's microwave cinnamon roll for one.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2015/04/10/single-serving-chocolate-cinnamon-roll/

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Vegan Potstickers, from scratch!

Potstickers, from scratch // The Pancake PrincessSo, dumplings: probably one of the foods you figured you shouldn’t ever bother trying to make from scratch–up there with fresh pasta, homemade pizza dough, or maybe baklava. Better left to the professionals/take out…

…until you try it yourself. Freshly fried potstickers with uber-chewy, doughy skins are one of life’s great pleasures waiting for you in your kitchen. This is my urge to you to make some of your own! While I’m no Molly or Cynthia when it comes to rolling out the dumpling wrappers, let me assure that if this dumpling noob could manage homemade dumplings, you can too. They’ll taste incredible no matter how badly the wrapping process goes. And bonus: these dumplings happen to be 100% vegan–perfect for all your vegetarian friends who thought they would never be able to eat potstickers again (i.e. me. Invite me over.).

Warning: this is a particularly long, photo-heavy post since I wanted to document the step-by-step process. You’re about to be bombarded with pictures of my beautiful new OXO saute pan (which was so perfect for making dumplings because the surface area is huge–ideal for great big batches). Feel free to skip to the end for the recipe, which is really just a slight variation on this recipe (where I explain the difference between dumplings and potstickers, if you want the technical definition).

Step 1: Make the dough. It’s an easy 3-ingredient dough: water (1/2 cup boiling, 1/2 cup cold), flour, salt.

IMG_0011 IMG_0029 copy IMG_0037 IMG_0041 If the dough looks too craggy/feels too wet, add another handful of flour, then knead until smooth. I usually just knead it in the bowl, using an aggressive grabbing motion. IMG_0042 IMG_0051

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Step 2: Cover and let rest while you make the filling: a blend of mostly tofu, kale and some aromatics that’s easily made in a food processor.IMG_0056 copy collage2 collagekalecollagetofu

Step 3: Roll out the dough. Dough should be pliable and springy after resting. Pinch off tablespoon-sized balls and roll into circles on a floured surface.IMG_0125IMG_0094IMG_0093 IMG_0100 IMG_0102

Step 4: Fill and fold dumplings. Add about a tablespoon of filling (depending on the size of your wrapper) to the middle. Dab water around half of the wrapper’s edge, then fold the wrapper into a half-moon shape and pinch closed.IMG_0121 IMG_0123 IMG_0126

Step 5: Cook the dumplings. Homemade dumplings require a two-step cooking process: a short bath in a salted pot of boiling water to take the raw dough edge off, then a brief saute in a hot, oiled pan to get a golden-brown, crispy exterior. Boil the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, or until they start to bob to the surface, then transfer to a hot frying pan to cook for another 2 minutes on each side.IMG_0129 IMG_0134IMG_0137

Step 6: Eat!

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Vegan Dumplings, from scratch!

Ingredients

  • For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling (can sub 1 cup whole wheat flour, but you may have to add a tiny bit more water)
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (if using table salt, cut amount in half)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • For the filling:
  • 1 (16 oz) block firm tofu
  • 2 cups kale, snugly packed
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (fresh, not powdered)
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • (filling makes enough for a double batch of wrappers as written above. You can either freeze the filling or make dumpling dip with baos with the remaining filling)

Instructions

Begin pressing tofu while you make the dough (see above for a photo of how I press tofu). This step helps reduce the moisture in your filling, so it's not technically required, but a good idea.

Make the dough first, following Molly's recipe.

Rinse and dry kale, then chop roughly.

Add the onion, ginger and garlic to a food processor and blend until the mixture verges on forming a rough paste (alternatively, mince everything by hand). Add the kale and pulse until incorporated with no large chunks remaining. Add the tofu and pulse until roughly incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until desired consistency, using a spatula to scrape down the sides and incorporate everything evenly.

Fill a small bowl with water and flour a clean surface for rolling your dough. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough into a circle, then place a rounded ½ tablespoon of filling in the middle Use your finger to dab water around half of the wrapper’s edge and fold over to form a half moon; pinch the edges to seal.

Once all the dumplings are prepared, you can either (1) boil all the dumplings, and then fry them or (2) do them simultaneously.

To boil and fry simultaneously:

Set a pot of salted water to boil over medium heat and a frying pan over medium heat. Once boiling, add a few dumplings to the pot (don't overcrowd the water) and boil for 2-3 minutes, until dumpling skin starts to look translucent and no longer raw.

As soon as dumplings are done boiling, add a bit of sesame or olive oil to the frying pan and transfer the dumplings to the pan--they should start to sizzle when they hit the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until a golden crust starts to develop on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes, so a crust forms on the other side. Eat IMMEDIATELY.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2015/03/23/vegan-potstickers-from-scratch/

Sesame Cashew Chickpea Dip

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My roommate just started work and it’s making me reminisce about the early days at my first job–or rather, the first days spent outside of my first job.

I had an incredible amount of time on my hands. A lot of my friends had moved away, Erik was in Wisconsin for the summer, and I wasn’t sure what to do with myself–the typical post-college wanderangstlust. I poured a lot of my extracurricular energy into learning how to cook, experimenting with pancake recipes of all types and starting this blog. It’s hard to believe this blog is going on 3+ years of existence; it’s become a habit that’s sometimes overwhelming, but hard to shake. Kathryn wrote oh-so-eloquently about the struggles of the modern food blogger in a post that I loved; I so identify with it. And yet I miss it, now that I’m in school with not enough time for anything.

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This year has already wrought an incredible wave of change–for the good, for the mysterious. It feels good to channel all the crazy new energy into something simple, like this chickpea dip.

This dip is for the times when you don’t have tahini in your pantry–it’s just a simple blend of chickpeas, some acidity, seasoning and a creamy fat to bring things together. In the early days, all I had was peanut butter and flour; no time for tahini, especially since I didn’t know what I would use it in aside from hummus (until these came along). But now I guess we’re making time for cashew butter? You can use whatever nut butter floats your boat here (I personally like subtler ones like cashew, macadamia or even almond), but the toasted sesame oil–guh. If you don’t have it already, buy it: I promise you’ll want to use it on everything.

Felicia first inspired this hummus–after her description of it as “almost mousse-like,” I couldn’t NOT make it. And then I didn’t not make it three times after that. It’s really addicting in a subtle, umami-maximus way.

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It’s also really great for nonstop dipping of all those healthy crunchy vegetables in preparation for SPRING BREAK!!!

Sesame Cashew Chickpea Dip

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas (or: 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • additional water to thin, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • pepper

Instructions

Soak chickpeas overnight, or up to ~3 days (if you soak them for a shorter amount of time, you may need to cook them for longer).

Drain and rinse chickpeas. Boil for about 1 hour over medium heat until tender along with a pinch of baking soda to reduce general gassiness (they should double in volume to 1.5 cups after cooked). Drain and let cool, then shell chickpeas by gently pinching one side and pulling off the skin (optional, but highly recommended for ultra-smooth hummus).

Blend chickpeas to a powder in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend and add additional water if needed until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste.

Notes

Inspired by this hummus.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2015/02/17/sesame-cashew-chickpea-dip/

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Quinoa Breakfast Enchiladas

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Enchilada sauce

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{If you’re a Houston reader, scroll to the very bottom for an exciting giveaway!}

It wasn’t until today, when I was talking to one of my b-school friends that I put my finger on why business school has thrown me into such turmoil.

“Here’s biggest difference between business school and undergrad,” he said. “The people who are doing ‘the best’ now aren’t focusing on class.”

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And that, for all my budding business-school-applying readers out there (I support you; stay strong), is my piece of advice for today.

I consider these breakfast enchiladas to be the offspring from this lasagna and from these chilaquiles. Like the lasagna, these enchiladas rely on a simple batter of quinoa, water and herbs cooked up into tortilla or crepe-like discs–though slightly spongier and breadier than your average toothsome flour tortilla. They’re dunked in some enchilada sauce–a la the lightly sauced chips from the chilaquiles–before being filled with a vegetable-heavy egg scramble and topped with cheese. I think they’re fun–a little homage to saucy breakfast tacos in a very dinner-worthy dish made extra inviting if you’re liberal with the melty cheese on top.

Quinoa Breakfast Enchiladas

Yield: about 12 enchiladas

Serving Size: ~6 servings

The quinoa "tortillas" or crepes require a little extra work, but they make pleasant, springy wrappers for the kale/onion/red pepper egg scramble that absorbs enchilada sauce extremely well. Use regular tortillas in place if you like.

Ingredients

  • For the quinoa tortillas:
  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon each: dried basil, oregano, garlic powder (optional, use whatever spices you prefer)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • few grinds pepper

  • For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1 8 oz. jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped finely
  • 3 cups of prepared enchilada sauce or homemade sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese

Instructions

For the quinoa tortillas:

Soak the quinoa in hot tap water for at least an hour or up to overnight. Rinse and blend with 1 cup filtered water in a high-powered blender with spices, salt and pepper until very smooth.

In a 6-inch greased pan, pour batter into pan and swirl to coat. Flip once bubbles rise to the top and a spatula can easily slide underneath. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until done. Remove and repeat with the rest of batter (should make about 12 "tortillas").

For the filling:

Saute the chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat until golden and soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the bell pepper and kale and saute until wilted and bright green. Add eggs and scramble until set.

To assemble: Dip each tortilla into the enchilada sauce. Add a few spoons of egg to each tortilla, roll and place into a 9x13 or 7x12 baking pan (9x13 was a little roomy, so I would go with 7x12 if you have one. No need to grease the pan). Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Notes

I topped my enchiladas with garnishes of spinach, chopped almonds and pickled onion mostly for looks, but they were delicious if you have some lying around.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2015/02/02/quinoa-breakfast-enchiladas/

GF Breakfast Enchiladas // The Pancake Princess

On a completely different note…

HOUSTONITES! If you are interested in attending the 13th Annual Menu of Menus, listen up.

The Menu of Menus® Extravaganza, presented by Stella Artois, is one of Houston’s largest food and wine events featuring over 40 area restaurants alongside wine, beer and spirit sampling.

Basically, it is super fun! The feature event will be the 4th Annual Iron Fork Chef Competition presented by Whole Foods: two up-and-coming Houston chefs face off in a competition judged by local celebrities. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy cocktails, live music and food sampling from some of the city’s best restaurants. Ticket price includes food and drinks for the evening.

As one of the awesome readers of The Pancake Princess, you have an exclusive opportunity to purchase presale tickets before they go on sale to the general public (noon on February 7).

Presale tickets run from February 3 @ 10 a.m. - February 7 @ 10 a.m. Enter promo code PANCAKE to purchase.

BUY TICKETS

For more info:

But wait there’s more! One incredibly lucky winner will win a free pair of tickets to the event. There are two ways to enter:

  • Share this post on your social media of choice: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest and tag a friend in Houston (also tag me so I can see your post).
  • Tag a Houston friend on any of these social media posts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

Good luck! One winner will be chosen by next Monday, February 9, 2015.

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