Author Archives: erika

Baked’s Caramel Apple Cake

Once again, another roommate’s birthday has come and gone and while no one is going to award me prizes for making perfectly leveled cakes, at least everyone said this one tasted good.

Caramel Apple Cake // The Pancake Princess
Caramel Apple Cake // The Pancake Princess
collage2Halfway (or so) through business school, I re-met my friend Skyler. We had been vaguely acquainted in college, but had never really interacted (save for one VERY MEANINGFUL MOMENT OF EYE CONTACT). But I ran into him at a concert in June, and then again at a shop in July, and at a friend’s pedal party, and then again while out with friends.

Continue reading

10 Best Vegetarian Hotspots in Houston (for the Superbowl!)

Cinnamon roll pancake at Snooze AM Eatery in Montrose.

Cinnamon roll pancake at Snooze AM Eatery in Montrose.

Just in case you’re coming into town for the Superbowl (omg sportsball!) and need some recommendations on where to eat, I thought I would do a round up of some of my favorite places that I’ve returned to again and again over the past 8 years.
Hot new restaurants have been opening up left and right in anticipation of the Superbowl and in the event you didn’t have the foresight/budget/celeb status to book a super trendy restaurant ahead of time, this is a list of some of my favorite casual, vegetarian-friendly spots around Houston.
Since I’m a pescatarian, some of these veer more pescatarian-friendly while others are more vegetarian-friendly. There is literally SO MUCH AMAZING FOOD in Houston, it was hard to pick 10…but here is my attempt:

Continue reading

Kabocha Squash Stir Fry

In December, a really cool regional Thai restaurant called Foreign Correspondents closed after just over a year of business in Houston.

Kabocha Squash Stir Fry // The Pancake Princess

I had mixed feelings about the restaurant. It was one of those places you just want to like because of all the buzz–the interior was awesomely funky with colorful doodles on the wall and low wooden chairs, but the food seemed to be hit or miss. I went there twice: once on a doomed date where, even though he claimed he was “mostly vegetarian,” we ordered the khao soi (and I picked around the chicken to sample the duo of crispy and soupy noodles) and I ate an appropriate amount of food for a date which is to say far less than I would have otherwise consumed.

The second time was when my mom was in town and that was a glory-filled ordering of almost everything I wanted to try. The purple sticky rice was kind of meh and too sweet, the tofu curry was good, the spicy noodles were delicious, but what was really stunning–and what I ordered both times I visited–was the pumpkin stir fry.

Kabocha Squash Stir Fry // The Pancake Princess

Starchy hunks of pumpkin roasted and then sauteed until falling-apart soft and tangled in silky threads of scrambled egg, doused in a savory soy-based sauce. I kept dreaming about until finally a kabocha squash landed in my cart one day and I re-created the recipe the best I could. Guys, I JUST realized what a delicious trio oyster, fish and soy sauce are together. So much more depth than just soy sauce, my typical stir fry crutch. Aside from the roasting of the squash, this stir fry takes about 5 minutes to throw together and I HIGHLY recommend it!

PS. For my Houston readers, Artopia (a super fun party hosted by Houston Press featuring fashion, music, art and food) is this Saturday, 1/28 from 8-11pm! You can check out more about the event here (I went last year and had a blast), and enter for a chance to win a free pair of tickets on my instagram (giveaway ends Thursday at 10 a.m.)!

Continue reading

Mini Avocado Toasts

img_9218

 

While I will likely never reach the brunch heights effortlessly pulled off by my talented friends (check this birthday brunch spread that Lisa threw–complete with an utterly gorgeous crepe cake, personalized name tags and a gorgeous holiday tablescape!–or this mimosa bar by Erin!)…I enjoy them to the fullest extent.

img_9174img_9177img_9182Erin made these incredible mini avocado toast bites at a brunch hosted in her light-drenched loft–they were the perfect things to stave off hanger since I ran in late and made everyone wait for another 20 minutes for my eggs to bake–but also so incredibly easy to make and also totally festive!! It’s literally mini avocado toast. Smash avocado on crackers (specifically Mary’s Gone Cracker’s Everything flavor because that garlic/onion/seed combination is majorly tasty), salt and pepper, add cheese and then sprinkle on ALL THE POMEGRANATE ARILS! Instant holiday cheer like there’s no tomorrow!

img_9195img_9205img_9203Speaking of which, I am heading back to California VERY SOON to hang out with my family for the holidays! I’ve taken on the task of creating the family holiday card these days and went with Tiny Prints again this year for our card. I am SO excited to send these out–I love their tri-fold “year-in-review”-style cards because it meshes the styles of the photo card we used to send out with the newsletter we also used to send. If you still need holiday cards, I can’t recommend Tiny Prints enough. Their customer service is extraordinary and your card is pretty much guaranteed to look magazine-worthy!

img_9229

This may be the healthiest holiday recipe I’ve ever posted and I will keep singing its praises even through the cookie currently in my mouth.

Continue reading

Family Classic: Wine Cake (from scratch!)

Wine Cake // The Pancake PrincessAt  the beginning of this year, I had the intention of sharing some of my classic family recipes on a monthly basis. One finished business degree, trip to Australia and Thailand, start of a semi-demanding new job and continued freelance work later…that goal had to be moved down the list of priorities.

To the readers who have stuck with me through my irregular posting schedule this year–you are the best! Part of my spotty posting has been due to the fact that I’m still trying to figure out where I want to go with The Pancake Princess in the future. I think the opportunity is ripe to expand beyond a recipe-only blog, so we’ll see if 2017 brings more time to flesh out some ideas.

About this recipe: throughout my childhood, my mom had three go-to baking recipes (apart from holiday baking)–this banana bread, the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies and wine cake.

Wine Cake // The Pancake Princess

Wine cake was often made for bake sales, or occasionally for when people came over. After letting the steaming, craggy-bottomed cake cool in the pan, we would breathlessly (though the fear of ripping off the top of the cake due to sticking wasn’t really real thanks to the magic of cake mix) unearth the whole cake by plopping it upside down on a plate and dust the top with a gentle cloud of powdered sugar.

The ridges of our bundt cake dictated the size of each slice (alternating thick and thin) and the thick pieces were far superior, not only for the obvious size difference, but also because of the greater surface area of browned, gently crisp yet-still-tender crust that formed around the pale, plush, wine-scented interior (the alcohol bakes out leaving just a mild flavor, don’t worry). I always ate the middle part in short geometric fork strokes, leaving the caramelized crusts for last.

Wine Cake // The Pancake Princess

Hilariously, I had plan to recreate the exact cake, but when I found the recipe my mom always uses in the recipe card box, I almost had a heart attack. You guys, the original recipe uses Orville Redenbacher Butter Flavor Oil. As oil. In the cake. And a lot of it. Plus yellow cake mix. Plus packaged pudding mix.

I mentally wrestled with the recipe for approximately 10 hot seconds and then decided to scrap it and try a from-scratch version (for some reason, 95% of wine cake recipes with yellow cake seem to be made with cake mix! Is this some 80s conspiracy?!). Taking inspiration from this DIY instant pudding mix, I added a smidge more sugar and cornstarch to the recipe to act as the pudding replacer. Then, I used this recipe as a guide to replicate the boxed cake mix-type cake.

In the end, the cake turned out deliciously–maybe it was just my imagination, but I think the from-scratch version cake had a more natural, less synthetic-buttery taste to it. The crust was also crisper (major bonus!) and though I have to admit the crumb was slightly less fine (boxed cake mix, why u so darn magical), there’s still a really fresh and plush tenderness to it. This cake makes for great holiday baking and gifting in case you’re looking for inspiration!

Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...