blueberry sour cream pancakes

Today we are taking a family day – no church, no lunch with friends, no commitments or obligations, just family time (and a blog). To celebrate our morning, we made blueberry sour cream pancakes. These pancakes are some of the best I have ever had. We adapted the recipe from Ina Garten’s Banana Sour Cream Pancakes recipe. These pancakes are fluffy and delicious. For some, they may be too thick. We like to thin them out with more milk to our preferred consistency. Experiment!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 3/4 c milk (we usually use 1 c)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t grated lemon zest (or 1/8 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh, if fresh sauté until ready to burst)

Directions

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest (or juice). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined; fold blueberries into mixture.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with fresh blueberries, butter and maple syrup. And, enjoy!

Have a restful Sunday!

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dark chocolate cookies

In my recent obsession with Pinterest, I have found some amazing recipes. These cookies are one of my fortuitous finds! The original recipe comes from the blog Divine Baking, which she adjusted from a recipe from Epicurious. I followed her steps, without adjusting for altitude, and found they were equally beautiful and delicious as the ones she described. What is profound about these cookies is that they are chewy, crunchy, and gooey at the same time! It is unbelievable, but true!

I have also made this recipe with melted semi-sweet chips and white chocolate chips for a delicious result. Try it with your favorite flavored chocolates, just don’t forget to adjust the sugar if you choose a milk chocolate, or it will be too sweet.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided (I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).

Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes (8 minutes for high altitude). Cool on sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

Yield: Makes about 18

6 months & some change

My little guy is 6 months old!! And he is constantly changing (six months & some change, get it? ha ha, corny I know)!! I can hardly believe it. To commemorate, we did an aviator/mustache photo shoot that screams cheesy 70s cop (aka baby Tom Selleck). Oh man, this photo shoot cracked me up. Sometimes I wonder if the things we do to this kid are too much, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He loves rolling around for the camera and has recently decided that grabbing the camera and pulling it into his mouth is the most fun thing about his photo shoots!

With 6 months of age under his belt, Toby is changing daily: sitting up (mostly on his own), inching across the room (imagine the baby version of doing the worm), eating green vegetables, choosing which toys to play with, developing a keen sense of humor, and trying to walk (despite my protests!). This kid blows my mind every day and it is such a joy to get to watch him learn and grow and experience things for the very first time.

I love every day, but already I find myself missing some of his earlier stages. So, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things about him right now (since I know they won’t last forever).

I love that he wants to cuddle when he is exhausted. He tries to hold his head up, but is too tired and crashes it down into my shoulder, letting me hold and snuggle him close.

I love that he thinks silly songs are awesome and smiles and laughs as I make up random jingles and sing them off tune.

I love that he reaches for his monkey or giraffe when it is time to nap and bears hugs them and wrestles with them until he is certain they aren’t going any where – then he cuddles them and falls asleep.

I love that when we wake him up in the morning, he beams at me this big, gummy smile as if to say that his day just got even better because I arrived in it.

I love that he wrestles and pins his own hands into his mouth as if he has to hold on tight or they will get away.

I love that he has one dimple that pops out when he grins between the extra chins and baby fat.

Obviously there are more, but these are a few of my favorite things about my baby boy.

monkey bread

Last week, I finally decided to try another dough recipe out of my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day book. I chose Brioche simply so I could make caramel sticky buns. They were delicious! I would have taken pictures; however, it was a bit of a mess (visually). The dough rose so much that two buns jumped out of the pan, so I had to change pans mid-baking, which lent to some funky looking, yet totally delicious rolls. As much as I love to share my flops, I may have in fact dove into these rolls before I could even take pictures. Go figure.

For the second go ’round on the Brioche dough, I decided to make monkey bread! I followed the recipe that the book authors posted on their website, but cut the dough portion down a bit (considering what happened the last time!). I used 1 lb of Brioche dough rather than 1.5 lbs.

When I pulled these out of the oven, I knew I had done a very great thing today. And, I’m thinking these may become a Christmas morning staple! I look forward to our kids anticipating Christmas morning because of monkey bread! How fun would that be?

Each individual piece pops off to a light, caramel cinnamon puffed dough. I am having a hard time not eating it. In fact, when I finish up this blog, I may or may not go each more.

Out of respect for the authors, I won’t be posting the recipe. I highly recommend getting their book. I made the dough in less than 10 minutes this morning, spent another 15 rolling it out, and it baked for 40 minutes. If I can do this, clean the kitchen, make dinner, breastfeed and care for an almost 6 month old, and shower and get dressed all before 3 pm, you know it’s got to be easy!!

Plus, just look at that caramel!!

paint party

A few weeks back, Toby invited his friend Henry over for a paint party. We got some non-toxic paint and canvases, put a tarp down, and let them play! It was a blast. Of course, we had to document their fun! I’m sure Rachael will share Henry’s pics on her blog, so I will share some of my favorites of Toby!

Of course, after we were done, we had to hose the boys down (as well as ourselves). But it was so worth it! We hung both of Toby’s paintings in his room. I love that I have his first artwork hanging up, and can’t wait until he makes more for me! What fun projects have you done with kids?