Menu Monday: R is for Raspberry Pancakes

I told ya it was coming!  Zach had a hankering for these, which I had never made, so I basically added raspberries to my pancake recipe.  Here is my recipe.  :)


2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 oil (I use olive)
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1+ cup raspberries

-Combine dry ingredients together.
-Add oil, milk, and eggs, and mix until well combined.
-Fold in raspberries gently.
-Heat griddle (I have a cast iron one) over medium heat.  Ladle out batter.  Cook on one side until the surface begins to bubble.  Flip and cook until the underside is brown.  You may need to flip both sides again to get them to the desired golden brown.

That's it!  This has been my go-to pancake recipe (and waffle recipe) for a while.  I actually doubled the original (which is what you see here) because it only made about 4 or 5, and this one makes 8-10 large pancakes.  I guess the raspberries add extra height because these were much taller and fluffier.  If you weren't already doing this, make sure to rinse your berries in 1 part apple cider vinegar and 10 parts water.  Then pack them in single layers with a paper towel or napkin between them, and they will stay fresh for much longer!

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Weekend Update

Friday night, we stayed home, made appetizers for dinner, and got terrified by this movie Zach picked out (Upstream Color).  He ended up falling asleep on the couch when I went to change the sheets, and if you know my husband, he is IMPOSSIBLE to wake up when he falls asleep on the couch.  So I went ahead and got in bed, and Dinah-cat snuggled with me while I watched 19 Kids and Counting and read blogs.  (If you know me, you know I am OBSESSED with shows about big families, and now all the seasons of the Duggars are on Netflix!  I really like following them because they live in my area.  I've seen Jim Bob twice now and Michelle once.)

Saturday, I made raspberry pancakes and hash browns for breakfast--yummy!  (My recipe will likely be coming tomorrow.)

I made some more laundry detergent because we were out, and then I helped our friend Amy move and unpack some stuff.  (She just rented an apartment two duplexes down from us!)  After she and I got back from TJMaxx and Target, I got ready, so we could head to the lighting of the Fayetteville Square.  We left at 5 to run by Toys 'R Us and Starbucks beforehand, and we made good time, but there was absolutely NO PARKING.  The town was overrun with folks!  And we only has THREE DOLLARS in cash, so we couldn't park in any of the paid spots.  We thought we could park in the metered spots that let you pay with a card, but those had been turned off because they were charging extra, cash only.  ARGH!  WE tried to park in the Municipal Parking Lot, but it was full.  Then we tried the Chancellor Hotel's, and it was only for hotel guests that night.  As we backed out and headed past, one of the Hotel employees waved us down and said there was one spot left in the employee parking lot for THREE DOLLARS.  A pre-Thanksgiving miracle!  We zoomed up, and I got centered because this whole thing stressed me out to no end.

We made it to the Square in front of Tiny Tim's Pizza where we were meeting our friends.  The lights had already been turned on and the parade had started, but we still got to see quite a bit, and I even caught a CFA elf-cow (that I gave to a passing kid later).  It was packed, yet that was a good thing because it was sooooo cold.  However, I can't say that body heat made much of a difference.  I had my scarf wrapped around my face, so when I breathed, it flew upward, fogging my glasses.  I was a quite a frigid and funny sight!  After the festivities, we planned to eat at Tim's, but it was still a two hour wait.  So we grabbed gyros from Nomad's and went to Maxine's for drinks.  Both were AMAZING.  My beef-lamb gyro was so yummy, and we all enjoyed our grub as we crowded around the last available table and couch in Maxine's.  Then we ordered some hot drinks, and they were delicious.  Zach had a hot toddy, and he got me a spiked chai tea, which was so delightful.  The atmosphere of the bar was very neat, too, and you have to love any place that serves seasoned popcorn and nuts.  Apparently, it used to a sleazy dive bar, but they redid it earlier this year, and now it is way classy, and every drink exceeded our expectations at the right price.  We will definitely be back!
Photo here

Today, we cleaned around the house and then went to see Catching Fire!!!  It was so touching--I laughed and cried throughout it--and while it was a long movie (previews started at 12:45 and we got out at 3:30), the hours seemed to fly by.  Also, I must say that I wish Caesar Flickerman was a real talk show host.  This movie was better than the first, and I liked that one a lot; it was also very faithful to the book.  I want to go see it again!

Photo here
I love when the marketing mimics what could happen if the events of the book/movie were real.

Tonight, we cleaned some more, and I went grocery shopping.  "Pancake," our homeless kitten visitor, has been staying in our bathroom all weekend, and tonight I let her out.  (We have determined that she is a she, and not a he.)  Hobie caught me holding her, and he looked like I had stabbed him in the heart.  And Dinah has been hissing in such a ladylike fashion each time she sees "Pancake."  Poor kitty--she just wants to be part of our family, and our two spoiled cats don't want to share!

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Five on Friday

1)  You've probably seen the macaroni-and-cheese-boiled-in-milk pin/recipe floating around for a time, but I finally tried it on Wednesday.  It was very decadent and filling, but I approve.  The only thing is, I over salted it.  Blurgh.  I will have to try again soon.

2)  To put me in the holiday mood further, the Christmas trees went up on campus this week AND we had our annual Thanksgiving feast today.  In our meeting this morning, we early Christmas celebrators were chastised with the song here.  It was coincidental considering I tried to convince Zach to let me listen to Holly on route to work today because I was feeling bad, but no dice.  For the Thanksgiving lunch, my suite mates headed over 20 minutes early, so we could get in line first, and half of us braved the freezing temperatures (literally 32 degrees) to walk across campus there.  But it was worth it!  I'm so ready for turkey day and the Christmas rush.  :)

3)  I watched this video, and now I am obsessed with learning more about Hasidic Jews.  I love learning about other cultures, and I was really touched by one man's description of his soul being attached to God (I immediately thought of an umbilical cord) and how nothing can severe that connection or break God's love for him.  (He worded it much better than me.)

4)  The night before Veterans Day, we were visited by a little grey cat.  Then that Thursday, I heard the cat mewing when we got home after my long night of teaching.  This kitten was so sweet, purring and rolling around so we could rub its tummy.  It was clearly domesticated and not feral.  So we made it a box with blanket and put out some food since it was getting skinny.  Little kitty got upgraded to a carrier and a warmer blanket, and we started calling him "Pancake."  Now, we have found him a home with my SIL's coworker, so we are keeping him inside where it's warm.  Meet Pancake!

5)  Zach and I are "adopting" a little boy for Christmas through a program at work.  I am very excited to serve and go shopping for him over the coming weeks!!  I've already spent my lunch breaks all week combing through Amazon and Black Friday previews for a game plan to maximize our budget for the most blessings.  :)

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"Have a Holly Jolly Christmas..."

The highlight and low of my day was finding out that Sirius Radio's Holly station is back on for the holiday season!  I could listen to Christmas any time and look forward to listening to it during the summer (weird, I know), but I do try to hold off as we move into the fall and through Thanksgiving.  But today, since Zach stayed home, I caved and started listening.  I was bummed that I have missed about a week of listening already, but it made me oh, so happy!  :)

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Menu Monday: Crispy Smashed Potatoes

"You say potayto, I say potahto..."

Hello, old friends.  I've been on a hiatus.  It started out as one I didn't choose (my Macbook had to go to the hospital and then for much longer than expected) and did choose (I've been out of town for work, and since I got back, I've been trying to get back in the swing of things).  And now the semester is winding down, so I'm busy, busy, busy.  Only four three more weeks left!  (My class is on a Thursday night, which means we get Thanksgiving week off.)  So I'm back to blogging.  Nothing like procrastination to make the world go 'round, I always say.  :)

Zach got a promotion, and as I work three jobs, things have fallen by the wayside.  C'est la vie, non?  We've decided I can take next semester off from teaching, so I can do more at home to keep the house running now that he doesn't have as much time.  (Even as I type, he is going on his fourth hour of answering emails after working an hour over his normal 8 today.  And the man's been working 10+ hour days 5 days a week.  Sheesh.)

I vowed this weekend that I would get back into a normal routine this week:  cooking at home, working out, grading papers throughout the week rather than trying to get them all done Wednesday night.  As of 9:30 p.m., I've got 2 out of 3 done for today.  That ain't too shabby.

(The papers will have to wait.)

Here's a new recipe I tried tonight.  It was destined for me, and I knew it was the one I would be going after, after I saw I had pinned it THREE times:

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

potatoes (preferably red-skinned but I used russet)
olive oil
salt, pepper, spices

-Scrub potatoes.  Half and/or quarter them if using russet.  Boil until tender in salted water.
-Preheat oven to 450.  Grease cookie sheet with olive oil.  Place cooked potatoes on cookie sheet and smash until they are the size and shape of baked cookies.  Coat with olive oil using a pastry brush and generously sprinkle with spices.
-Bake for 20-30 until golden brown and crispy.

These were delicious!  I guess it was originally a Pioneer Woman recipe that took the web by storm.  I will definitely be making them again.  Next time, I'll try the red potatoes, but I think I'll stick with Italian herbs.  Happy eating!

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