Brekkie for Din-Din: Whole-wheat Ginger-Apple Pancakes

Based on this post’s title, you might assume that I am a British four-year-old. Add 20 years to that age and replace “British” with “American” and you’re correct! Heh heh. But let’s be real – whether you’re four or 24*, breakfast for dinner is equally awesome. Last night I indulged in that time-honored excuse for eating sweet foods for dinner as a method for curing a mild case of the blues.

A stack of five pancakes, covered in maple syrup, sit on a blue plate. To the left are three slices of apples. In the background is a bowl of chocolate chia pudding and a bottle of ginger syrup.

Stacked!

These are Whole Wheat Ginger-Apple Pancakes and Hell Yeah It’s Vegan‘s Chocolate Chia Pudding (barely visible in the background). During my post-work dinner-making, I put together the pudding first and let it gel in the fridge while I mixed the pancake batter. Then, while I cleaned up around the kitchen, I let my pancake batter sit in the fridge for fifteen minutes or so. Vegan with a Vengeance taught me that pancake batter does best when the gluten has a chance to rest. ;) Once the gluten was relaxed, so was I, and I took the batter to its stovetop demise.

A similar picture to the previous one, but these pancakes have no maple syrup.

Nakie pancakes!

The act of chowing down on pancakes and trying my first-ever chia pudding (!) helped pull me out of the dumps, but the real restorative was the simple process of meal-making. I’m sure many of you can relate to the relaxing, cathartic nature of baking (and, often, cooking). Focusing my energies on mixing and measuring and mincing calms me down and quiets my mind. Following recipes gives my brain the chance to focus on a specific task, one with a set beginning and end (and a delicious result). And simply waiting for the disparate components of a recipe to cohere into a unified result is an exercise in patience, one I often need at the end of a busy or stressful day. In short, the kitchen can be a haven for me, as long as I’m mindfully making my meals instead of zipping through the steps, distracted and unfocused.

Food musing aside, let’s return to these pancakes. Would you like the recipe for them? Regardless of your answer, I’m going to share it with you. :)

Whole-wheat Ginger-Apple Pancakes

Serves two

  • 1/2 T ground flaxseed + 1.5 T warm water
  • 3/4 C whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 T baking powder
  • 1.5 T vegan cane sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t ground ginger
  • Dash salt
  • 3/4 C almond milk
  • 1 T ginger syrup (optional; maple syrup is a fine substitution)
  • Scant 1 t very finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 T almond milk (as necessary)
  • 1/2 medium-sized apple, peeled and diced

In a small bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside. In a larger bowl, add all the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix. Add the remaining wet ingredients (except for the 1-2 T almond milk and the apple) to the flax mixture and stir until all the wet ingredients are incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. If the batter seems a bit dry, add the remaining almond milk as necessary. If possible, let your batter sit in the fridge for ten or more minutes.

When you’re ready to make the pancakes, heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and fold the diced apple into the batter. Turn the heat down a bit (to medium-lowish). Pour half-cup spoonfuls onto the pan and cook until bubbles form on the upper side, then flip them. When you can easily slide a thin, nonstick spatula beneath them, they’re probably ready. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

These autumnal pancakes hit all the right notes for me; they pack a great gingery wallop and they made for an excellent relaxed Friday-night dinner. I was glad to use some of the organic ginger syrup I purchased a while back; it’s a great product but I always forget to use it!

I also loved the chia pudding – I’ve seen it around the blogosphere for years now, but I’ve been hesitant to try it. After buying a big ol’ bag of chia seeds at Costco recently, I knew I had to give it a chance. And I’m so glad I did, even if it’s not the most beautiful of foods.

A bowl of very dark chocolaty chia pudding; it's not very smooth and has lots of little tiny chia seeds.

Ch-ch-ch-chocolate chia!

Although having crunchy seeds in a pudding does take some getting used to, the consistency is really fun, and the chocolaty flavor in this particular recipe was amazing. I could only eat a few bites, though, so I saved the rest for this morning. Maybe I’ll follow breakfast for dinner with dessert for breakfast. ;)

What do you make with chia seeds? What’s your stance on breakfast for dinner? Is cooking a stressor or a de-stressor for you?

* Help, I can’t stop writing using the Microsoft Manual of Style!

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Spreadin’ the Bloggy Lurve: Molasses-Ginger Cookies

After last night’s major brownie flop, I needed a fail-proof baking project tonight to bolster my confidence and give me somethin’ sweet to munch on while I stare at the sad remains of my flavorless brownies of d00m. So I took a little trip through MoFos of ages past (by which I mean last year), started salivating when I came to this post, and set my sights on the spicy-smooth flavors of molasses-ginger cookies. Awww, yeahhh.

I'd share, but...

Last year I made these so I could send some sweet cookie lovin’ to my boyfriend, but these days I’m a single lady, so I halved the recipe. I still got 14 cookies out of this batch, and that’s not including the embarrassing amount of dough I scarfed down while putting these together. They’re just as delightful and cozifying as I remember, and they come together super quickly (even more quickly if you’re impatient and don’t refrigerate them for an hour (not that I would do that (ten minutes in the freezer is the same, right?!))). I used freshly-grated ginger, giving them an extra kick of yumminess.

The recipe comes from the ever-amusing Claryn over at Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!, and I highly recommend it. It’s definitely one of my favorite cookie recipes, and one day I might even make it with the crystallized ginger! Gasp!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a major cookiefest in the hopes that if I’m in a sugar coma, I won’t remember that I’m not seeing the new Harry Potter movie at midnight and thus won’t die of shame for being such a bad HP fan.*

What’s your go-to cookie recipe?

* Maybe it’s for the best, though. I love the HP books with an extreme and undying geeky devotion, and I always look forward to the movies with the naive hope that they’ll be awesome, but they inevitably disappoint me because they just don’t hold a [teeny, tiny, stub of a little birthday] candle to the books. Still… I love midnight premieres, and I’m really sad that I’m not going to one for this movie! :(

Coziness in a Cookie

I love cookies. I love baking them and eating them and sharing them. I especially love sharing them. Because even though I could down a seriously impressive number of cookies in one go, I love the warm fuzzies I get when I can make someone’s day by giving her a homemade cookie. It’s a wonderful feeling.

So last night, I whipped up a batch and a half of these Molasses Cookies from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan. One batch of cookies is usually enough to share between my parents and I, but I had something special in mind for these babies and needed to make extras. I just couldn’t resist this recipe; I’m a huge fan of molasses cookies, and I was salivating just looking at the pictures of these beautiful little buggers. They seemed like the perfect cookie for a chilly night. Because I’m not a huge fan of it, I omitted the crystallized ginger. I did include the ground ginger, though, because I don’t really mind it when it’s not in chunks. The dough came together wonderfully, and my sampling of said dough reassured me that the finished products were going to be fantastic. I’m not ashamed to admit that I probably “sampled” at least two cookies’ worth of dough while it was chillin’ in the fridge. It was that good. But the finished cookies were even better. See?

Cozy goodness.

They’re perfectly chewy on the inside and the tiniest bit crunchy on the outside, thanks to their roll in a bowl full o’ sugar. I just couldn’t get enough of them. The spice blend provides a wonderful little kick, which is complemented by the rich molasses flavor. I used a mix of blackstrap and regular molasses, which I think worked really well. These are the ultimate “cozy” cookie. I predict I’ll be making them fairly often come winter, perhaps even for Christmas. Yum.

I did have to restrain myself from really chowing down, however, because I needed to save ten of these lovelies for a special purpose. They’ve left the nest and are on a one-way trip halfway across the country to my boyfriend, because I’m feeling a little maternal at the moment and I want to feed him lots of yummy baked goods, especially ones that make you feel all cozy inside when you eat them.

So adios, my delicious, cozy, cookies! I hardly knew ye. ;)