Recipe | Sweet Potato and Ricotta Hotcakes Three Ways

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 I usually dislike Mondays ... probably for similar reasons that it's generally an unpopular day. Joe's back at work, the entire work week without him is in front of us, the house is a mess, I have a million emails in my inbox from the weekend, etc. Since having two girls, I feel like my Monday goal is survival, and maybe, just maybe a shower. And recently, dinner-making is also something I'll try to accomplish.

The past few weeks have been different. Joy and her intern Rowan have been making their way out here on Monday mornings for a morning-inspired recipe shoot. Starting the week off with a neatened home (at least the downstairs....and sometimes it's just the powder room that gets special attention), and an inspiring time with two beautiful women has been simply wonderful. We almost didn't even get to the recipe and photo shoot yesterday, we were having such a great time sipping our coffees and chatting about everything in my toasty kitchen, with the warm scent of baked sweet potatoes filling the room.

I've been trying my hand at recipe development lately and it's becoming a new favorite hobby! I'm definitely more comfortable with savory, lunch/dinner items (soups, stews, salads) where precision is less appreciated and I can just throw something together. But I'm trying to tackle baking here and there (and understand the difference between baking soda and baking powder, haha). I recently had a bunch of left over baked sweet potatoes, so I made sweet potato muffins (similar to my pumpkin muffin recipe, recipe coming soon). The sweet potatoes made the muffins incredibly soft and subtly sweet and I wanted to try sweet potato pancakes. So I attempted to put together my own recipe for sweet potato and ricotta pancakes and to be honest, the pancakes were terribly gooey. I tried lowering the stove temperature, and then I added some flour to the batter. I didn't get it quite right, but eventually, they started to cook through. And we photographed and ate them. Any suggestions for avoiding gooey pancake batter?

Rowan patiently stood over the low-temperature stove and cooked a million somewhat-goooey (but delicious) pancakes for us. Since my recipe isn't perfected - I can't very well have you all making gooey pancakes - I'm not sharing my own recipe today. I've adapted this recipe (and tested the adapted recipe for dinner last night; Zoe was happy to have "cakes" twice in one day), which is similar to mine! Head over to Joy's blog to see how we enjoyed these pancakes three different ways!

Sweet Potato and Ricotta Pancakes

- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 sweet potato puree
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, ricotta, sweet potato puree, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine, without over mixing. Let lumpy batter sit for a few moments before cooking pancakes.

Heat skillet over medium heat, then coat with butter. Dump batter into skillet, 1/8-1/4 cup at a time, and cook on one side until bubbles form. Flip, and cook for another minute or two, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm in oven. Serve warm with coconut milk whipped cream, cinnamon honey butter, or syrup and fresh fruit! Recipes for all three toppings on the Mornings Like These blog today!

Photos by Joy Jaynes of Mornings Like These, Styling by Rebeca Gallop for our Monday Breakfast Series

Recipe | Simple Yellow Cake (aka Hedgehog's Cake)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Last week Anna and Bekah (my interns/assistants/gal pals) came over for an afternoon of baking. After deliberating, and perusing a few cookbooks, we decided to make a simple yellow cake, of the hedgehog variety. A few weeks earlier, Anna posted a pic of this adorable book (I'd never heard of it, but need to order a copy for my girls!) and yellow cake and I was intrigued, so we decided to tackle the hedgehog's cake. I'm not a big cake eater (they're usually too sweet) but this cake is one of the most simple & delicious I've ever had (and we even cut the sugar in half). The three of us ate one of the cakes within minutes after taking it out of the oven. It's best consumed very warm, with powdered sugar on top, and a cup of coffee (and a glass of milk).

I've been so blessed by Anna and Bekah's friendship and assistance over the past 9 months. It's crazy that they've only been working with me for 9 months...feels like it's been years! I couldn't have managed without these two ladies during my pregnancy with Naomi, and I so appreciate their willingness to work with me. They've watched Zoe (and now both babies), carried heavy boxes and totes when I was pregnant, packed and repacked props at countless shoots, dealt with my bossing around at shoots, taken hundreds/thousands of photos, modeled, chatted, consumed way too much coffee in my kitchen, etc. So eager to see what the next 9 months will bring (and I secretly hope they don't go away to college, ever. haha)!

Hedgehog's Yellow Cake
Hedgehog was hungry for a cake. He found a yellow cake recipe. "This one sounds easy," he said, "and good too."

- 3/4 cup sugar (we doubled the recipe, and only used 3/4 cup for both cakes)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups self rising flour (in the absence of self-rising flour, apparently you can add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup flour...we used regular flour and did not add the baking powder or salt, which might explain why our cake was so...flat)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Mix butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add eggs, one by one. Then add vanilla. Mix in flour. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Must eat while still warm.

Photos by Anna Clair Photography for A Daily Something.

Recipe | Breakfast Toast with Scrambled Eggs, Sautéed Leeks, Taylor Ham, & Feta Cheese

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

So I think Joy and I are going to make this Monday breakfast thing a tradition...she comes over to my house with some ingredients, we see what ingredients I have, we experiment a bit, style and photograph a ton, drink several cups of coffee, and have some great conversation. And the next day, we'll both share a recipe on our blogs from our time together. It's so incredibly fun and inspiring to create beauty with this lady! And she's so patient with Zoe and Naomi. And she brings me Ceremony coffee. She's clearly a keeper. :)

Today we're sharing the recipes for broiled citrus and a hefty breakfast sandwich on homemade crusty bread with scrambled eggs, sautéed leeks, Taylor ham, and feta cheese. I'm finding more and more satisfaction in recipe developing these days. I'm certainly no professional, but it's fun to be inspired by old cookbooks, restaurant menus, what's in season, and then create your own recipes!

I started the bread for our little feast on Sunday night. By the time Joy arrived Monday morning, it had been rising for almost 20 hours, and it was SO ready to go into the oven. It came out so soft and crusty and perfect (not my doing....baking in a cast iron Dutch oven is wonderful)! I used my friend Tia's recipe for easy crusty bread; it's so much easier than I ever thought bread baking could be. Also, I'm a little late hopping onto the leek train, but I'm officially obsessed. They have so much flavor and really make this sandwich. I could eat an entire bowl of sautéed leeks.

Breakfast Toast with Scrambled Eggs, Sautéed Leeks, Taylor Ham, and Feta Cheese

2 slices bread for toast
1 leek stalk, washed and sliced into rounds (just using the white and bright green parts)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp salted butter
4 eggs
1/2 and 1/2 for eggs
Herbs de provence sea salt
Taylor ham
Feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then slice cut 4 slices of Taylor ham, make 3 darts the sides, and place on baking sheet. Cook in oven until slices begin to crisp, about 10 minutes.

Melt butter in a cast iron frying pan, then add leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes. When almost wilted, add thyme leaves and a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté for another 3 minutes and set aside.

Prepare eggs for scrambling (or make fried eggs....I just prefer my yolks to be cooked). I like to scramble my eggs with a bit of 1/2 and 1/2 and some herbs de provence sea salt.

Once everything is ready, assemble your open-faced sandwich...leeks, Taylor ham, eggs, feta, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY with some coffee and broiled citrus. And a friend. Head over to Joy's blog for the recipe for the broiled winter citrus!

Photos by Joy Jaynes of Mornings Like These, Styling by Rebeca Gallop for our Monday Breakfast Series

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