When I first started dating Mike and I was taking inventory of his kitchen to see what he had and what I would have to bring to be able to cook there without getting frustrated I came across a heart shaped pancake mold. Now first I bet you are thinking, Kate you are a crazypants, what were you doing searching around in Mike’s kitchen like you owned the place in the early stages of the relationship. But that’s just how I roll. I woo my men with my culinary skills and I need to know what I have to work with. It might be slightly crazy, but Mike didn’t mind as he enjoyed being cooked for.
Also Mike’s kitchen was a mess of hand me down utensils and pots and pans and none of them were in that great a shape. When we did move in together he had to go to some professory conference right after the move so I took that chance to donate a lot of stuff to good will.
Now it’s not like I don’t have a lot of kitchen stuff. But in my defense I was a professional baker for awhile and also for awhile my mom worked for a mail order culinary supply store, so combine that with my love to cook and yes I have a lot of kitchen tools and what not, but I use them all, which is key.
Actually My Sissy and her husband, Jason came to see the new apartment last weekend and Amy commented on our use of IKEA products to maximize storage space — which we did get very creative with. And Jason pointed out that it is necessary to maximize kitchen storage when you are living with a Ricigliano woman as we come with a lot of kitchen stuff. So I guess it runs in the family. You should see my mom’s kitchen!
Here is a picture of our creative IKEA storage. The table is the best because it can fold down to be like six inches wide or fold out to be a full size table that can seat six. Awesome buy.
Anyway back to the heart shaped pancake mold, which it turns out, was given to Mike by his mom. Which obviously led to me requesting heart shaped pancakes. Mike complied because he is that kind of a guy, though they did come from a mix — baby steps — eventually I’ll have him making them from scratch.
When we moved into the new apartment and I came across the heart shaped mold again I decided to return the favor. Mike got a breakfast in bed of heart shaped whole wheat pancakes topped with sautéed local apples, local cider (both from Bishop’s Orchard), and apple maple chicken sausage. The syrup was local as well. I’d like to say that Mike is spoiled, but he probably ended up cleaning up after me because messy is also how I roll, so trade off.
Here is the recipe for the pancakes:
|1 ½ cups whole wheat flour||2 eggs|
|½ cup cake flour||1 ½ cups buttermilk|
|2 tsp baking powder||1 ½ cups apple cider|
|1 tsp baking soda||4 Tbs butter, melted|
|½ tsp salt||½ tsp vanilla|
|½ tsp cinnamon|
|¼ tsp ginger|
|small pinch nutmeg|
|3 Tbs brown sugar|
First I sift the dry ingredients together in one bowl
Then I beat the eggs in another and whisk in the buttermilk, cider, melted butter and vanilla
Then I add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined.
Here is the recipe for the topping:
1 package apple maple chicken sausage sliced (I use alfresco: http://www.alfrescoallnatural.com)
2-3 apples diced
¼ cup apple cider
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 Tbs butter or olive oil for sautéing.
Pretty much I just throw the cut up apples skins and all in the pan with either a little butter or olive oil, let them sauté for a bit and then add the cider and syrup and spices so everything gets a nice glaze. I like it to be a little juicy because this way you don’t really need any more syrup on the pancakes, but it’s really personal preference.
I’ve learned to put the pancakes on a baking sheet and put them in a slightly warm oven to keep them hot while I baking them off. Also I make the topping first and just let that simmer while I’m making the pancakes.
So there you go, a pretty good fall breakfast and a good use of unnecessary but enjoyably whimsical kitchen gadgets!