Archive for May, 2010

May 14, 2010

What's cookin', good lookin'?

Forgive me for the cheesy title to this blog post.  It’s early, and these things are still funny to me.  Okay, fine, you caught me… I always think cheesy things are funny, 7:30am and any other time of day.

I believe it’s been a while since I made you all hungry by writing about my recent adventures in the kitchen.  I’m not sure how many photos I have to truly taunt you with (you’re welcome!), but I do have some… Including some glamor shots of the LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES I made last Saturday.

I suppose I’ll start by telling you about those…

There’s this great brunch spot in the city called Sarabeth’s.  It came highly recommended and if you know me at all, you know I love a good pancake.  Breakfast/brunch foods in general bring me much joy.  I think this is the case for two reasons: 1. Breakfast foods are delicious (it’s that simple); and 2. As a kid, my parents used to make a big breakfast on the weekends. Sometimes it was Dad making french toast, other times Mom making monkey bread. Either way, I just remember the huge spread on the dining room table, complete with real Vermont maple syrup (for which there is NO SUBSTITUTE), and eating breakfast together as a family or with friends after a sleepover.  Brunch just brings me back to those happy memories and makes me feel like a kid again.  I often say I wish I could be five again.  A much simpler time, and I was also a little peanut (seriously, I was adorable… and I’ve got pictures to prove it.)

Proof!

Anyway, back to Sarabeth’s… so not only was their restaurant on the Upper West Side quaint and the outdoor seating lovely, but I got these pancakes… these delicious, sweet, creamy (and did I mention DELICIOUS?) pancakes: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  Now, while I anticipated them to be good, I have to admit, I was still a bit unsure.  I mean, does liquid gold (real maple syrup) go well with lemon ricotta pancakes?  Because, as a Vermonter, I can’t NOT use maple syrup… it’s an egregious sin.  Well, here’s the verdict on these pancakes:

  1. Delicious (because I think I forgot to mention that before… Oh, I said it twice already?)
  2. They taste like lemon poppy seed muffins turned pancakes and sans poppy seeds
  3. The texture is really light and creamy and fantastic
  4. They taste amazing WITH maple syrup or without (but as I mentioned, the maple syrup is a must for me)
  5. If I was a guy and Sarabeth was a real girl and not a restaurant, I would propose

Alright, that last one was awkward… but I dare you to try these pancakes and disagree.

After trying these amazing pancakes, of course my first thought was: How can I recreate these at home? So, I went on a little search for a recipe.  I found one on my favorite community-based recipe site, Tasty Kitchen, and decided I would start there.  I’ve also bookmarked several other recipes that vary, be it using more ricotta, less flour, etc.  I’ll be trying a new one either tonight or tomorrow morning and will continue to search the whole wide world until I find the recipe that creates the most Sarabeth-like lemon ricotta pancake.

Here’s a look at the pancakes I made (click here for the recipe):

Told  you it was a glamor shot…

These pancakes were, taste-wise, on the mark.  Super yummy.  In terms of texture, though, they were a bit fluffier than the Sarabeth’s version.  I’d like to get that creamy texture and think that the recipes that call for less flour and a bit more ricotta will definitely achieve that.  I’ll certainly keep you posted.  However, if you like a fluffier pancake, the recipe linked above is worth trying.  My roommate Anna said they were the best pancakes she’s ever had, so you can’t argue with that!

Next on the list are cookies I’ve made a few times before, but I think are probably the best cookie recipe I’ve found to date. Nothing too crazy: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.  I love cookies with oatmeal but raisins ruin everything.  It’s funny because I love a good Raisinet, I really do… but start throwing raisins in cakes and cookies and I start throwing a fit.  I’m sorry, I don’t know why, but it can’t be stopped.  Carrot cake? Love it. Carrot cake with raisins? Don’t you dare.

I’ve gone a long way to tell you that this is why I love Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies… they’ve got everything good going for them.  The oatmeal, chocolate chips, and don’t forget the pinch of cinnamon that gives ’em that little something extra… And this recipe I’ve been using is nearly perfect in my opinion.  When I first made it I thought the amount of oatmeal was a little absurd, but really, I just love everything about these delightful cookies.  And you can verify all of this information one of two ways: 1. Make them yourself; or 2. Ask the friends I’ve made them for.

Hopefully I’ll have some more delicious recipes for you to try out in the near future.  I really need to find some taste-testers to keep on hand.  Is that what getting married and having kids is for?  Sign me up!

May 12, 2010

Perfect Love.

We spend so much time protecting our reputations and hoping people don’t see all of our hidden faults and failures.  We want people to like us so we choose our words and actions ever-so-carefully.  We’re afraid of saying the wrong thing or making a wrong impression.  We want control over how we’re perceived.

I’m guilty of all of the above more than I’d care to admit.

But then there’s God.  The One who created me and everything I see around me.  The One who knows all, is everywhere and is greater than I’ll ever fully wrap my head around.  And He knows every last detail of my life (Psalm 139).  He knows every thought I’ve ever had, everything I’ve ever done (be it right or wrong), every word I’ve ever spoken (or left unspoken for that matter).  He sees through my outward displays and into my heart.  And despite all of the things I’ve said, done and thought that fell so short of His glory… He loves me.  And He loves me with a perfect love.

Where am I finding my worth?  Is it based upon whether or not people compliment me? Or laugh at my jokes? Or is it based upon what God’s word says?  The former can change day to day and person to person.  But the latter is based upon a promise that will never be broken.  The latter is based upon the sacrifice my Savior made for me.  It’s certain and unchanging.

At the end of the day, why strive to win the imperfect love of other people when I already have the perfect love of my God?  And if I have the perfect love of my God, I am free to love others unselfishly and without worrying about whether or not they will love me back.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are…
1 John 3:1

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.   Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:10,11

May 7, 2010

You have been a refuge for me.

I’ve sent it to several of you, I’m sure, and I’ve linked it on this page under “On Faith”.  But please, if you haven’t already (or even if you have), watch this video.