Elmo and Ollie’s Dutch Baby Pancake with Buttery Apples

Well here it is. My first post of the year. My first post as a fully unemployed, stay-at-home mom. My first post that should have been done a couple months ago but I seem to be busier now than I was when I was working! I have already let the stresses and busyness of daily life get me down. But today I stopped to look through the photos I took for this post (back in mid-January) and I had an epiphany. A beautiful realization that the reason I am so busy is that I can now immerse myself in my son’s life. And it is amazing how busy a 5 year old’s life can be. Not because of overbooking of activities and classes, etc. But with school and his afterschool play program; building awesome spaceships and robots out of Legos; making Star Wars paper airplanes from a fortunately “dummies” guide to making the Millennium Falcon; protecting his family of stuffed animals from the roving polar bear in our house and thankfully for me (and my blog) cooking.

Ollie loves to cook and he has quite a palate. I woke up a few weeks ago to him shouting, “Cinnamon! Peanut butter! Garlic!” and came out to a blindfolded son and my mom passing different items under his nose. I was impressed when she pulled out the ginger and he guessed it immediately . He has also on many occasions commented on my cooking in insightful ways, telling me the rice is too salty (it was – I added too much stock to give it flavor) or that we overcooked his steak. We cooked it well done and apparently he would prefer it medium rare. So a few weeks ago amidst the chaos of our life when Ollie pulled out his Sesame Street cookbook, I am glad I took the time (and had the ingredients) to make the Dutch Baby Pancake with Buttery Apples with him.

The New Naked Chef!

The New Naked Chef!


Ready for Sautéing

Ready for Sautéing


Warm Buttery Apples

Warm Buttery Apples


Ollie's Favorite Part

Ollie’s Favorite Part


Ollie takes the first bite to make sure it is okay.

Ollie takes the first bite to make sure it is okay.

So next time I complain about being too busy, will someone remind me that being busy with volunteering at school, cooking dinners, making school lunches and taking my son to the numerous friends’ birthday parties and soccer classes is exactly what I wished for. And I am loving it.

Arrivederci Hollywood! For now…

It's for you, Ernie

It’s for you, Ernie

Dutch Baby Pancake with Buttery Apples

Recipe adapted from “C is for Cooking. Recipes from the Street.” (Sesame Street, that is)

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened organic Almond Milk)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter (I used Organic Earth Balance)
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oved to 425 degrees (this is always the step I forget and then I get impatient and put my dish into the oven before the oven is fully ready. Definitely let the oven fully preheat for this recipe.)  Grease a shallow pie pan or an ovenproof skillet.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, oil and milk together until well blended. Add the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon to the bowl and stir until smooth.  A few small lumps are okay. Pour the batter into the greased pan.  Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until the pancake is lightly browned and puffed up.  Approximately 5 – 8 minutes longer.

While the pancake is baking, heat the butter in a large skillet and add the apples.  Sauté until the apples are tender and lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes.

Spoon the apples over the warm pancake and use a fine mesh strainer to dust with confectioner’s sugar.  Enjoy immediately!

Yup - I think he liked it!

Yup – I think he liked it!

Buttery Raspberry Lemon Cake and a Small Victory

One of my favorite cakes to make for the non-cake people out there is this Buttery Raspberry Lemon Cake that I cut out of Sunset magazine. Do non-cake eaters really exist, you ask? Yes and my sister is one of them. I have made this cake on several occasions, including my sister’s birthday, and it is simple and delicious. It was also the perfect thing to make on a busy weekend when I was in charge of bringing dessert to a family dinner. But, the fact that I not only made the cake amidst the constant chaos that is my home on the weekends and managed to take a few photos is the small victory.

This is one of the most important things that I took home from the amazing workshop I did a few weeks ago. It doesn’t have to be some huge production to take a styled food photo. You just need great natural light (which fortunately I have an abundance of in my house), a nice surface (one of which I painted at the workshop) and a simple display of what you have made. While perhaps someday I will have the time to shoot beautiful step-by-step instructions like Joy the Baker, another favorite of mine, for now I will be happy with a few shots I am proud of and a very tasty cake.

Click here for the recipe.

Buttery Raspberry Lemon Cake

Buttery Raspberry Lemon Cake

Buttery Raspberry Lemon Cake

Buttery Raspberry Lemon Cake

 

PS – In additional support of this cake, I also submit to you my chocolate loving, lemon hating brother-in-law. His dessert of choice is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate and he loved this cake.

And of course, Ollie, my official taste tester, who is always happy to help “clean” the beaters.

My Official Taste Tester

My Official Taste Tester