Pancake Friday – Peanut Butter, Bacon, Banana Pancakes

4 04 2014

So I’ve recently discovered Peanut Butter & Co.’s White Chocolate Wonderful.

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I don’t know what took me so long, but wow. I’m pretty sure I went through that jar of peanut butter in like 2 weeks. Whoops. Good thing I’ve been training a lot

It’s so creamy and delicious- and I’m not a big white chocolate fan- I constantly found myself going back to the jar for another spoonful. That was typically how I ate it. #noshame

But then I discovered Thomas’s Limited Edition Banana Bread English Muffins. YUM! Combining the soft nooks and crannies with the delicious flavor of banana bread? Genius! So of course I topped mine with White Chocolate Wonderful. And, because I was feeling particularly dangerous one day, I threw on a bit of bacon and some maple syrup.

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To be perfectly honest, I’ve always been skeptical of Elvis Presley’s famed combo of banana + peanut butter + bacon. But now, I TOTALLY GET IT! Wow, that man was on to something!

The combo was so good, that I made a loaf of banana bread with bacon grease instead of butter, and bacon bits and chocolate chips inside. I didn’t snap a picture, which is why I’m not blogging about it (because what is a recipe post without pictures?) but man oh man was it GOOD! Especially when topped with…you guessed it, peanut butter!

I did capture photos later that week of another bacon/banana/PB recipe:

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(cue angels singing)

Yup, that would be some peanut butter, bacon and banana pancakes. I was all out of my White Chocolate Wonderful, so I used good ol’ standard peanut butter mixed with some honey.

This was CERTAINLY a winner in my book. Big, fluffy, salty, and sweet. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I started by cooking up some bacon on my new griddle, and while I was at it, I decided to throw on some banana slices too.

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A closer look:

ElvisPancakes9YOLO, right?

And while we’re living on the wild side, why not throw in some mini peanut butter cups that I picked up at Trader Joe’s?

ElvisPancakes10Yup, I went there.

Bacon bits and peanut butter cups = perfect stir-ins for pancakes. Who knew?

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A few minutes on each side, and you got yourself some Elvis-approved pancakes!

Naked pancakes:

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Kitty photo bomb!

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That’s better.

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Ok, that’s enough. Recipe please?

Peanut Butter, Bacon, Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 bananas
4 slices of bacon
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
¼ cup peanut butter
1 TBS bacon fat
2 TBS honey
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1½ cups milk

stir ins: crumbled bacon, mini peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

How to:

On a griddle, cook the bacon until crispy and 1 banana, sliced. The banana will cook faster than the bacon and it gets mushy, so make sure you’re watching it. When the bacon is done, place on a plate with a paper towel to soak the excess fat. When it’s cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon into little pieces.

In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract. Add in 1 TBS bacon fat from the cooking bacon. Mash the grilled banana into the mixture.

In a small bowl, mix together the eggs and milk. Pour into the peanut butter mixture.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, careful not to over mix.

Stir in most of the bacon bits (save some for topping) and a handful of mini peanut butter cups.

Griddle those babies up!

Top with some bacon bits, peanut butter cups, and fry up slices of that other banana!

ElvisPancakes6Dig in!





Strawberry Basil Rice Cakes

2 04 2014

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I am IN LOVE with The Feedzone cookbook and Feedzone Portables.

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If you’re unfamiliar, both cookbooks are co-written by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas. Lim has his doctorate in integrative physiology and Thomas is a chef, and both share a passion for fueling athletes with real, fresh, whole foods. They share a love of cycling and have spent many days together on the road, cooking up delicious meals for pro cyclists and triathletes. I first heard about these two from my friend Jess, who introduced me to Skratch, which was my go-to hydration mix last season. Skratch is also the brainchild of Lim and Thomas, and since I love Skratch so much, I figured I’d give some of their recipes a shot. By the way, I still LOVE Skratch (especially PINEAPPLES!), and will use it occasionally on a shorter run in the heat of summer, or throughout the day before an evening workout.

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The Feedzone includes recipes for simple meals to eat before, during, and after a tough workout. My interest was definitely piqued when I read through the “Portables” chapter, or recipes for hand-held snacks that are meant for eating while riding. Um, what?

My mind was blown by the fact that I could eat a rice cake or muffin while I’m in the middle of my long ride instead of shoveling down some chews, a protein bar or a gel. Well, why not?  In my “regular” eats, I follow a similar “eat real food” philosophy, so why shouldn’t I maintain that while I’m working out?

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So, pretty much every weekend since the beginning of this year, I’ve spent Friday night prepping some kind of “portable” for my weekend’s ride. (Yes, I’m that cool that I spend my Friday nights in the kitchen- they actually don’t take that long to make.) And, you know what? I am hooked.

Bacon muffin

I’ve become a firm believer that real food is the way to go. I’ve had no bonking on rides (well, except that one where I was riding my heart out so we didn’t have to leave Jess and Courtney by the side of the road for hours), and I feel stronger on the bike than I ever have before.

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My go-to is still Allen’s Classic Rice cakes, but the banana and rice muffins are coming in at a close second because they are super easy to make (as are all the recipes, but some are a little more involved than others).

A few weekends ago, I decided to put my own spin on one of the layered rice cakes in the Portables cookbook. The original recipe calls for raspberries and mint, but because it’s strawberry season in Florida, I decided to use those instead. I also had some basil on hand, so I made that swap as well.

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The result was a sweet, refreshing, chewy rice cake which was perfect for the ride in the Florida heat. I loved they flavor, and I thought they were so pretty, I’d serve them as a dessert sometime!

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I do find that the layered rice cakes are a bit more crumbly/don’t stay together as easily as some of the others (maybe it’s my technique), but I was able to eat them pretty easily on the ride, so long as I didn’t take the entire thing out of the wrapper at one time. Side note: I took the book’s suggestion and bought Martha wrap (well, actually Courtney bought it for me since I’ve been sharing the spoils of my kitchen escapades with her), and it has been life changing. Well, maybe not life changing, but it certainly is the best way to wrap these babies!

Anyhow, I thought I’d share my recipe in case you’d like to start experimenting with rice cakes on your next long ride. Or, just because- since these things taste so darn good!

Recipe:

Adapted from Raspberry and Mint Rice Cakes, Feedzone Portables

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked sticky rice
3 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
about 1 heaping cup of strawberries, chopped into small, bite size pieces
1 TBS fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

How to:

Cook the sticky rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. When the rice is done, add it to a large bowl and stir in the sugar, lemon and vanilla. Stir until blended well.

Spread half the rice mixture into a square baking pan.

Spread the strawberries and sprinkle most of the basil on top of the rice.

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Cover with the remainder of the rice and garnish with the last of the basil.

Let stand for a few minutes and then cut into squares and wrap.

Note: these don’t last more than a few days because of the fresh fruit. I tried to eat one after about 5 days in the fridge and the juices from the strawberries just dripped out everywhere!





Pancake Friday: Apricot Almond with Crème Anglaise

28 03 2014

 

I completely planned ahead last week and had this post just about ready to go before I left for my work travels.  The few decent pictures I snagged were edited and uploaded into the Media Library, and I typed up the recipe in Word.

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The only problem? I didn’t get around to putting the two into an actual post until last night! Clearly, I’ve been a bit busy lately!

I’ve had these pancakes on my mind for some time now. A month or so ago, I spotted Chobani’s apricot yogurt and immediately started planning pancakes that would include it.

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Several weeks passed, and eventually so did the expiration date on that yogurt I was planning to use! The next time I went grocery shopping, I grabbed another and told myself I HAD to use this before it expired!

Apricot Almond Pancakes

I referenced my Flavor Bible to see what it suggested to pair with apricots, and settled on almonds and “cream”. For the cream I figured I’d take a stab at some crème anglaise, since it was perfect on my pancakes at Snooze.

I followed this recipe for the creme anglaise, but without the vanilla bean, just vanilla extract. I didn’t follow the instructions to a T, so I don’t think mine turned out exactly right, but it still tasted yummy!

I also took a bit of time and rehydrated (sort of) some dry apricots in some sweet white wine. I didn’t take a picture because I used unsulphured apricots, which aren’t the pretty orange ones. They didn’t quite reheydrate properly, but they still tasted good with the added sweetness and moisture from the wine. I added some of the wine to the batter afterwards and I think it made the pancakes turn out a little flat, but they were still tasty! You can certainly leave out the wine if you’d like!

 

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup crushed sliced almonds

Wet Ingredients:

1 container apricot Chobani
1 cup milk
about 2 egg whites (from the leftovers from crème anglaise)
2 TBS honey/agave
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Stir in:

Chopped dry apricots

(I soaked mine in about 1/2 cup sweet white wine. I reserved 2-3 TBS and added to the batter. This is optional!)

 

Top with creme anglaise and sliced almonds!








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