Friday, 14 June 2013


I don't often have the occasion to make breakfast - at actual breakfast time - so when I do get the chance, I'm usually pretty excited.

I had seriously considered making my Grandma's Buttermilk Pancakes because - well, they're awesome - but I had no buttermilk and I forgot to grab a lemon from the store when I was there.

I ended up snooping through my files and came across a recipe from Joy of Baking that didn't need buttermilk.

In a large bowl, combine the flour,

baking powder,


and sugar.

In a small bowl, mix together an egg, melted butter, and milk.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the butter mixture into it.

Stir the mixture together until combined.  The batter will be lumpy, but that's okay - if the batter is mixed too much, the pancakes will be tough.

Over medium heat, use a scoop to drop about 1/4 cup of batter onto a skillet. 

So they're the ugliest pancakes in the world.  So what?

Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, the bottom will be brown and there will be bubbles on the top, then flip over. 

Cook for another two minutes.

Repeat until all the batter is gone.

And serve with syrup.

I thought these were a little more dense than a buttermilk pancake would generally be, but perhaps I overmixed them?  Also, I thought there could have been just a sploosh more milk to help make the batter pour a little more "prettily".  They didn't all end up being round.  Pancakes should be round.

Or in animal shapes.

In a pinch, these pancakes would be an acceptable substitute for buttermilk pancakes.

Happy breakfast!

xoxo - the Cane girl.

Source:  Joy of Baking

Friday, 7 June 2013

Salsa Verde

I mentioned recently that I've moved to a new town.  Well - I've heard people refer to it as a city - but I'm not sure I would go that far....

A new and interesting challenge that I've come across is the availability of grocery items. 

On May long weekend, my parents came to visit and I decided I NEEDED to make these Shrimp Enchiladas by The Girl Who Ate Everything IMMEDIATELY. 

My Mom and I were shopping together, and after we got to a second grocery store and STILL couldn't find salsa verde, she suggested I just use red salsa.


Thus ensued an argument about how they were completely NOT the same thing and couldn't be substituted for each other and I was NOT going to use red salsa and I would come up with a plan and WHY was she always DOING this to me?

Or maybe it was just me yelling at her and Mom was left flabbergasted at how she could have raised such a FREAK for a daughter.

Then I set about to find a recipe for salsa verde.  Something easy and accessible.

I went to a reliable source by the name of Josie at Pink Parsley.

Sure enough, she had a recipe that would work perfectly.

Before I go any further - is it strange to only me that we can get TOMATILLOS in town, but not pre-made salsa verde?

But - there it is.

Oh, and guess what?  This recipe is so easy it's unreal.

Here's a little information from me to you. 

Tomatillos are not green tomatoes.  You would think they are - but they're not.  They're actually a member of the nightshade family and similar to a gooseberry. 

When cut in half, they smell delightfully like a crab apple.

When choosing your tomatillos make sure the husk is supple and pliable and not too dried out.  Also squeeze them gently - if firm, they're ready to use.  Also, when the fruits are ripe and ready to be used, the fruit underneath the strange paper husk will be sticky.  It's weird, but a little soap and warm water cleans them right up.

Enough yakking.  Let's get to making this salsa verde.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat.  Cut the tomatillos in half and put them, the garlic, and the jalapeno on the frying pan.

Brown each side of the tomatillos and the garlic, and transfer to a blender or a food processor.

Roast the jalapeno turning until each side is toasted and crisp and the skin is loose.  I recommend putting the jalapeno into a ziploc bag until it's cool.  Then peel off the skin, cut it in half and scoop out the membrane and seeds, give it a rough chop and throw in the blender with the tomatillos and garlic.

Add in some roughly chopped onion, cilantro, water, and lime juice.

Pulse to combine to desired consistency.

I was only using a little of the salsa verde for the enchiladas, so I measured out what I needed and stuck the rest in freezer.

A little while later, my Mom - ever the sceptic - came in the house and asked if the salsa was done and could she try some.  Of course, I replied.

She got a little on a spoon and her eyes widened in surprise.

Then I had to fight her off with a stick.

I believe her exact comment was "I'm so glad you made this!".

And pretty much the whole shebang got eaten up by the rest of the family.

Except for the 1/2 cup that I was guarding.

The salsa is light and fresh and spicy, but not TOO spicy.  And really, so easy to make.

Now the question becomes - why buy it when it's so easy to make?  Also, I like the idea of making the salsa from scratch because then I can control the spice level.

Thanks to Josie for a perfect salsa verde recipe (and for saving supper too!).

xoxo - the Cane girl

Monday, 3 June 2013

Mac & Cheese Mondays: Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Sometimes I decide to make things on the spur of the moment - not always, because it doesn't fit into my obsessive planning - but on occasion I just decide that I NEED to make something.

Like this mac and cheese.

I'm not completely sure why to be totally honest - I have been intrigued lately by sauces made with vegetables - like sweet potato, or avocado, or whathaveyou.

First, melt butter in a pan.

Then add the red onion.

Add the garlic.

Add the milk and sweet potato.  The recipe recommends cutting the sweet potato into small pieces and I agree wholeheartedly.

Bring the milk to a boil and cook until the sweet potato is fork-tender.  Pour the mixture into a blender or food process and pulse until smooth.

Then start adding the cheese by the handful, pulsing after each addition.

Don't forget the Parmesan!

Add the cayenne, paprika, salt and hot sauce.  I will admit that I wimped out on the cayenne and hot sauce - putting in about half of the amount listed on the recipe.

Give it one last whir and pour it in the pot with the cooked and drained pasta.

And serve.

I would recommend serving this IMMEDIATELY after it's done.  I was waiting on burgers to come off the grill and I found that the sauce kind of seized up.

Next time I would also use a pot to do the sweet potato sauce and use an immersion blender and keep everything in the pot, only because I may have taken my sweet time and the sauce was cooled off quite a bit - which may have added to the seizing problem.

To be perfectly honest - I'm not sure what I expected.  The spices reduced the sweetness of the sweet potato and the sauce isn't overly heavy and still creamy enough to fool you into thinking you'd made something a little different.

I think if you were trying to sneak vegetables into your kids' diets a little more often this would totally work.

Thanks to Rachel for a fun and healthy twist on a classic!

xoxo, the Cane girl.