Chocolate Protein Pankcakes

I’m not a “sweet” breakfast person. I’d just as soon eat a single pancake for dessert than a stack of them for breakfast. As of late, the only exception for this are the yeast-risen, hot-breakfast-cereal-mix silver dollar pancakes my dad made for us as kids. Mostly, you’re just as likely to see me eating a piece of fruit, granola bar, or a sandwich for breakfast, rather than “typical breakfast” foods.

But, in light of the fact that I’m trying to work on 20 pounds of body recomposition, high-protein breakfasts are  integral to me to firm up the muscles. I do the best I can to pack protein into my diet through the day, but breakfast is still one of those things that I’m getting the hang of.

Add to that I have a huge canister of chocolate whey protein that I’m having the hardest time getting through. I keep thinking that I’m going to make protein shakes, but I rarely get around to it.

Cue me seeing this recipe for protein pancakes that uses protein powder as the base. I cannot stand oatmeal, dry or cooked, and quinoa has tons of protein for a grain, so that’s what I subbed in.

These pancakes freeze beautifully, so feel free to do that with your leftovers. There’s a good chance you will have leftovers, too, as these pancakes are pretty filling! These pancakes aren’t “light,” but the calories come not from added sugars or fats, but from natural sources that will keep you sustained until you can get to your next meal.

Protein-Loaded Pancakes
adapted from Little Girl, Big Appetite
yields 3-4 pancakes

1.5 scoops protein powder
.5 c cooked quinoa (or dry oatmeal)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
.5 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)
pinch of salt
1 whole egg (or two egg whites)
.5 c milk (cow’s, almond, soy…your choice)

  1. Cook quinoa per package instructions, set aside.
  2. Heat skillet to medium heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (protein powder, baking powder, flour, salt, ground flaxseeds/chia seeds, and oatmeal, if you’re using that).
  4. Whisk eggs and milk together, add to dry ingredients.
  5. Add the set-aside quinoa. Mix batter to spackle-consistency.
  6. Cook pancakes about 2-3 minutes per side (flip when the first side gets large bubbles that burst and crater pancakes) and cook until golden brown.

That’s not all, though! I don’t like dry pancakes, but maple syrup on chocolate pancakes is a strange flavor combination, so try this as your syrup to pack in more protein!

Nut Butter “Syrup”
adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

.5 cup nut butter (any kind: almond, peanut butter, cashew)
.5 cup local honey (good flavor, and local will have tons of local pollen to help build your immunity to local allergens)

  1. In a small pan, heat syrup and nut butter over low heat.
  2. Whisk together until nut butter butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Serve warm over pancakes.

Christmas, 2011

It’s been a nice Christmas, I must say. The only complaint I have about the weekend is that there was way too much charcoal into the censer at midnight mass. Through the whole service my eyes, nose, and sinuses burned. I spent most of Christmas day sneezing the rest of the soot out of my face.

As is tradition, I spend Christmas Eve with Charlie and his family, doing midnight mass at his high school alma mater and opening presents after, and Christmas Day with my family. Instead of dinner, though, my mother planned a big brunch with strata, bacon and sausage, orange and ginger scones, frothed orange juice mimosas (make them in the blender), and  yeast-risen pancakes with apple cider syrup. I thought that Christmas brunch was nice, but I ended up having to scavenge for dinner.

I’m very pleased and grateful for all of my gifts. It was a very foodie Christmas this year: Charlie’s mom and dad got me a chef’s coat with my name embroidered on it, my brother remembered that I mentioned that I thought having a Japanese-style cleaver so he got me one (it’s really, really sharp!), and my parents got me the Jeni’s Ice Cream cookbook. Charlie got me these Kraken Attackinprints, matted and framed, along with a watch case and and Om Nom plush. I also got some clothing, and gift cards, all of which will be totally useful.

I finished out the holiday season with my annual after-Christmas clearance grab, wherein I buy up all of the gift wrap and accouterments I can get my hot little hands on. I’m pretty well-stocked on wrapping paper and bows, but I did need boxes, ribbon and tissue paper. I was very efficient this year: I managed to get everything I needed for under $50. I’m in the neighborhood of 150 sheets of tissue paper, and 16 rolls of ribbon, and I also got some extra mini storage boxes to boot.

I’m so excited to start using my gifts, and so glad that I got to spend these holidays with my family and friends.

NaBloPoMo’11: Dunzo

I did it! I completed my 5th NaBloPoMo!

I had fun this time: I didn’t feel like I needed to write a soliloquy every single day. I even included a haiku.

A lot of entries were started, thinking that I would go in one direction, and ended up finishing in a completely different place. One entry found me completely without inspiration for words, so I offered up a moment of Zen.

I got lucky, and had a few Friday5’s up my sleeve. I even started a new, and continuing project of Grace in Small Things. I also had the odd inspiration to include additional tidbits with entries, which I think I’m going to continue in the future.

I celebrated my quit-smoking anniversary, got back into Zentangling after a 4-month hiatus; and hey, I had some time to work on a Day Zero Project goal, too!

I’m still not sure if I’m ready for the Christmas season, but I feel better about it coming than I did then.

And, like every year, I close this year’s NaBloPoMo on the eve of Charlie’s and my anniversary. Tomorrow, we will be celebrating 9 years of brightening and ruining each other’s days.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s NaBloPoMo as much as I did!

NaBloPoMo’11: Birthday Boy

We celebrated the DadZ birthday early this evening, and since I went to Thanksgiving with Charlie’s family, it was like a mini-Thanksgiving. I ended up making a standing rib roast from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School cookbook.

Prime Rib Roast
from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School 

For Rub
15 dried bay leaves, crumbled
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus several whole leaves for garnish
1/2 cup extra–virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup finely grated orange zest (from 2 to 3 oranges)

For Roast
1 three-rib prime rib of beef (about 7 pounds), trimmed and frenched

Prepare Meat
Stir together crumbled bay leaves, sage, the oil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and the orange zest in a small bowl. Season with pepper. Rub herb mixture all over the beef, coating evenly. Refrigerate overnight, covered. About 2 hours before you plan to cook the beef, remove it from the refrigerator. Place beef, fat side up, in a roasting pan and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450-degrees F.

Cook beef for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350-degrees F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat (away from bone) registers 115-degrees F to 120-degrees F (for rare), about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes longer. Let rest 20 minutes.

Carve and Serve
Slice meat away from ribs, cutting along the bones. Then, slice meat crosswise to desired thickness. Serve, garnished with whole sage leaves.

You could really use any blend of beef-appropriate spices (anything really, except for maybe, pumpkin pie spice, but hey — whatever floats your boat, right?) for the rub. The other thing you can do is mix up your spices in with rendered beef lard and rub it all over the roast. The crust it creates and the flavor it imbues is amazing. That also makes for very good Yorkshire pudding when you use extra lard.

DadZ’s haul included a new mechanical keyboard, a Bennington flag for his barn, and a bellows for the fire pit.

My mom ordered a Dio torta from the Transylvania Bakery. It’s not in the safest neighborhood, but it’s a real, authentic Hungarian bakery. The walnut cake and dobos torta are amazing.

DadZ particularly loves going there because he and the owner get to shoot the shit in Hungarian, which DadZ rarely gets to do anymore. So, if you happen to be looking for an amazing cake and live around Cleveland (and have a concealed carry license) I highly recommend the Transylvania Bakery.

NaBloPoMo’11: Pooped

I need to learn to start these posts earlier. By the time I got done with both my personal training and eye appointment
(checkup), all I wanted to do was eat, make a few tangles, and go to bed.

Also, FYI, for those that might be curious, I will be making these and bringing them to Thanksgiving, along with wine.

Bacon Cheddar Scones
from Annie’s Eats

For the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly slices
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk (plus up to ½ cup extra, if needed)

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
2 tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas.  (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.)  Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.

Mix in the green onions, bacon, and 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture.  Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated.  If the dough is too dry to come together, mix in the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch disk.  Slice the dough into 8 to 10 wedges.

In a small bowl combine the egg and water and whisk together.  Brush each wedge lightly with the egg wash.  Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.