To Make / Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

 
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     Good morning! This is one of those recipes that came out of wondering what the heck I'm going to do with a mostly full jar of (insert ingredient here)?! You know - those ingredients that you buy for a specific recipe that only uses a spoonful of said ingredient. It's usually something obscure that is really only used in that one recipe. Now, I really hate wasting food, so last week when I bought ricotta for a pasta dish (surprisingly, not lasagna) and still had the majority of the tub left after making the pasta, I had a pretty good brainstorming session. I racked my brain for a minute on what one does with a full tub of ricotta, and then it hit me - a memory of lemon ricotta pancakes that Brett and I had at our B+B in Denver two years ago! SOLD. I immediately searched for a simple lemon ricotta pancake recipe and scored with this one. Luckily, I already had literally all of the ingredients on hand, and guys - these are the best pancakes I've ever made! They're fluffy (thanks, random ricotta), tart, and sweet all at once. You can definitely say this is a "when life gives you ricotta (and also, ironically, lemons)..." situation. Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients: Blueberry Compote

  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbs. of honey

Ingredients: Pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 3 tbs.'s sugar
  • 2 tsp.'s baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp.'s lemon zest
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Directions: 

1. Preheat your griddle to 350, and grease. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together ricotta, butter, eggs, egg whites, lemon juice, and zest. 

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2. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and mix until just combined. Scoop out your batter onto the griddle to form pancakes. Cook for two minutes until bubbles form on top, then flip and let cook until browned.

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3. While pancakes are cooking, make your blueberry sauce by combining blueberries and honey in a small skillet. Mash together with a fork and let cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

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4. Once pancakes are done, serve warm and top with your blueberry compote. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Explore / Downtown St. Louis

 
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     Hi there! I'm fresh off a girl's weekend in St. Louis to celebrate my best friend Cat's birthday, and I have to share about our trip! One of the perks of living in Columbia is that we're about half way between STL and Kansas City. It makes getaways for the weekend really doable, and for an explorer like me, there are endless opportunities to take your time and get a feel for a place! Both KC and St. Louis are historical cities, with STL being the well-known "Gateway to the West" (the Arch, while not really worth actually going to the top of in my opinion, is pretty amazing to spot intermittently while driving around - it really is majestic!), and KC having some of the best BBQ around, for the last 100 years at least (which I found out when I moved here is because they had some of the biggest stockyards in the country - I had always wondered why KC BBQ was popular considering they aren't in the South, where BBQ reigns).

      The cities' histories shows potently through their architecture, where driving around you can see the eras each city has gone through reflected in their buildings. This is one of the things I loved about this particular trip! Before, I had the notion that KC was the "cooler" of the two cities. However, after driving through different neighborhoods to get from one destination brunch spot in the Central West End to the cutest little cafe in the Shaw area - I decided St. Louis' cool-factor was worth it's salt. Our first stop? The aforementioned brunch spot: Cafe Osage! Pictured above, the cafe is located in Bowood Farms greenhouse and shop building. Ya, it was basically a dream come true for a person who loves food and shopping equally. 

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      This is the dining room, and every little detail was as cute as can be! As far as the food goes, that was pretty perfect too. I had their omelette, which was loaded with herbs and was oozing (for lack of a better word) with whipped goat cheese. Accompanying my delicious meal was their Rose Colored Glasses cocktail - a gin and grapefruit concoction that hit the spot!  

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      After we finished eating, we perused their adorable shop and greenhouse. While I would've bought pretty much anything in there, I opted for a little crown for Bailey (her birthday is in 2 days!) and a beautiful set of well-made Japanese notebooks for me (which I actually needed - I try and stay practical in overwhelming shopping situations!). 

     This was their children's section - when shopping for Bailey, I've had to keep in mind the longevity of her enjoyment out of items. She loves books of course, but she already has so many I didn't feel like she'd think it was a very special gift (and this also goes for stuffed animals). Craft supplies I can get from anywhere, so again not super special. I landed on a little felt crown that you can clip to the top of her head! She loves playing princess with dress-up crowns, but they always fall off her head - so this seemed like a good upgrade!

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     After our brunch and shopping expedition, we drove through the St. Louis University neighborhoods to the Shaw area to visit the Fiddlehead Fern Cafe! I had read about it in Feast Magazine, and after seeing they serve a lavender rose latte, I knew I had to stop in. They're the first cafe in the city to use a Modbar (aka a modular system bar, where all of the machines are stored underneath the bar, similar to a tap for beer).

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        The latte was everything I expected, except better because it wasn't overwhelmingly floral like some drinks can be when using flowers or herbs as a flavoring. Everything about this neighborhood was fun - from the intentional murals and unintentional graffiti to pretty much every building being built with brick. After the cafe, we ventured to the Galleria for their Urban Outfitters. Normally, I would say to steer clear of a mall, but the UO there is so well stocked and actually has their home goods line - so I highly recommend it! That evening we went to Edgewild for dinner, and it's a must-stop dinner spot, so add it to your list as well! 

     Thanks for reading, and I'll be back next week with more recipes! Have a fun Wednesday!

To Mix / A Spring Bloody Mary

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is finally March, and my mind completely disregards the technical start date of the spring equinox, so from tomorrow until summer - I'll be in spring mode! I've been craving a bloody mary to go along with weekend brunch for a little bit, so this past weekend, I made it happen! It was the perfect opportunity to shoot the pretty red drink as it was incredibly sunny (a la spring!) and the perfect weather for brunch on our porch. I could get used to this! Now, my spring twist on this is simple: black pepper and lemon. I like to stick with a spicy tomato and carrot juice base and only add a little flavoring to complement it! Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 glass of spicy tomato/carrot juice (if you don't like the spice, feel free to get whichever tomato juice you like!)

- 1 shot of vodka

- half a lemon

- black pepper

- ice

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Directions:

1. Pour your tomato juice into your glass, over ice, then add in the vodka.

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2. Sprinkle black pepper on top, then squeeze your lemon into the drink.

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3. Stir and enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for my second brunch recipe for the week on Friday! Have a fun Wednesday!

To Cook / Strawberry Stuffed Croissant French Toast

 

     Good morning! It's strawberry season, and while Bailey can eat tons of them on her own, there are always quite a few left over that have to be made into something delicious before they go bad. Enter: Pinterest! Pinterest has been a godsend for recipe inspiration, since I'm not a fan of just snacking on berries. Snacking on apples or bananas, sure; but there's something about berries that calls for them to be additions in my head, not on their own. I stumbled on this recipe from Half Bake Harvest (my go-to food blog!) and had to give it a whirl, with my own twists of course! Check out the recipe below!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

- 2 croissants

- 1/2 cup of almond milk

- 1 egg

- 1 tsp. of vanilla

- a dash of cinnamon

- 1 tbs. of butter

- 1 cup of Greek yogurt whipped cream cheese

- 1 cup of fresh strawberries

- maple syrup for serving

Directions:

1. Whisk together your milk, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Soak both sides of your croissants in the mixture, and add them to your heated (on medium!) + greased pan. 

2. While your croissants are getting all golden in the pan, stir together your strawberries and cream cheese. Be sure to set aside any strawberries you want to top the croissants with!

3. Once your croissants are golden on both sides, remove from the heat and smother in your strawberry cream cheese + maple syrup. Enjoy!

For Doughnut Holes

 

     Good morning! Every year, my dad makes cinnamon rolls on Christmas Morning, and this year, I wanted to find a way to do the same, but with my own twist. I had recently been given this mini muffin/doughnut hole pan and had been dying to try it out! I realized that one could easily just roll the cinnamon roll dough into little balls and bake them that way instead of the traditional way, and set out to create my cinnamon roll doughnut holes. It's so easy, and I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner! Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- one can of cinnamon rolls

Directions:

1. Spray your doughnut hole pan with cooking spray, and roll out the cinnamon roll dough into doughnut hole sized balls.

2. Bake as instructed on the can.

3. Drizzle with glaze and serve with hot coffee. Enjoy!