Sunday, March 29, 2009

victory weekend

winter paid us a surprise visit again yesterday with a slushy mix. it rained, it froze, and it snowed in repeating, random order all afternoon and into this morning. just when the trees decided to bud, the grass turned green, the robins returned and the flowers began sprouting, winter reminded us that it's really not over until it's over. it was definitely a good day to stay indoors (of course we didn't... but more about our weekend to follow later this week).

don't feel too sorry for me though. today the sun is out and the snow is melting rapidly. spring is victorious, at least for right now...

another victory of sorts occured for me in the baking department over the weekend...i made ebelskivers for the very first time and achieved success! ebelskivers, for those who don't know, are danish pastries, sort of like little rounded pancakes that you can leave plain or stuffed with a little bit of jam, fruit, custard, pudding, or whatever your little heart desires. this morning we decided to make them with a little bit of smuckers berry jam tucked inside and a heavy-handed sprinkling of powdered sugar to mirror the great snowy outdoors.
you can find ebelskiver pans at williams-sonoma or a cheaper "pancake puff" version at stores like target or walmart. i found my cast-iron pan last friday at the local goodwill for a mere $10, another reason to feel victorious. i wasn't too sure about the quality of the product because it is an "as seen on tv" product, but i thought it was worth a shot for as much as it cost. i figured that back in the day, danish people didn't have fancy ebelskiver pans sold at fancy cooking stores like williams-sonoma, but rather good old sturdy cast iron pans. i double oiled the pan and double crossed my fingers that it would work...
i was not disappointed!!! they are a little tricky to turn over, but once you get the hang of manuevering the two skewers it is kind of fun. what also helped is brushing the wells with some butter and having some extra helping hands. as i poured the batter in the pan, "jelly man" (my better half) dropped dollops of jam in the center and i followed with a little extra batter. miss lana lou, my "sweet" assistant, sifted powdered sugar over the tops of the ebelskiver. we all couldn't stop saying ebelskiver (pronounced like "able-skeever") as we made them. we also couldn't stop eating them off the plates, still warm and yummy.
we used this recipe from the williams-sonoma site (keep in mind we swapped the blueberries for premade jam, poured in a shot of vanilla extract, and used half wheat flour and half white flour):
Ebelskiver Recipe

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 pint fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Maple syrup for serving
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg yolks and buttermilk. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy. In another bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions. Put 1/2 tsp. butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Place over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Put 5 or 6 blueberries in the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Using 2 wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and blueberries. Dust the pancakes with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with maple syrup. Makes about 40.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

enjoy~ hope your weekend was just as sweet!

Friday, March 20, 2009

tidings of spring

it's been a full week of meetings, running around and slaying viruses- both kids have been home from school this week with illnesses. alas, today is friday and i'm looking forward to spending a couple of supreme, lazy days over the weekend with the kiddies and the mr. i'm thinking some reading, relaxing, a movie, and some coffee and homemade pancakes are in order. maybe perhaps, if i'm feeling a bit ambitous too, a homemade cake.

so in the lines of keeping it simple, may you have a wonderful weekend!

happy spring,

Friday, March 13, 2009

paris envy

paris' evening
a bird trapped
in its charms.
by john tiong chung hoo

at the tippy-top of my great, long list of "to-do's", is to visit paris and all "its charms" with my family. luckily i can live vicariously through nichole robertson until that day appears. she takes the most fantabulous photographs of quaint cafes and streets, fancy parisian sweets (need i say more?), and anything else that catches her fancy... and her very artistic eye. i realize as i admire her photos, that i really could use a better camera for taking pictures. oh- some talent and a scenic location such as paris, couldn't hurt either...

aren't these tulips beautiful? isn't the photograph of the tulips beautiful? see what i mean? view more photos of her and her family's adventures in paris at

as if i needed more motivation and affirmation to head to paris, i discovered "paris on a budget" by gourmet magazine at usa today's website. bad economy or good economy- i'm always for a great deal.

as a family we are going to learn how to speak french. that way when we finally master the language somewhat and make our way to paris, we can ask for an eclair or some pain in proper fashion. "i mai s'il vous plait un eclaire?"

heureux vendredi (happy friday),

Thursday, March 5, 2009


earlier this week, my first born child surprised me by commenting that her heart's desire was to have an "old-style" typewriter. what is this? i couldn't believe my ears.

i don't know about you, but i was thinking that it was very cool that she would request that over a new nintendo or psp (or whatever is the latest and the greatest), so happily i obliged. after a quick search on ebay, and then onto one of my favorite websites- the local craigslist, i found this beauty... an olivetti lettera 32. something about the seafoam color and the description of this compact retro workhouse being used from the Vietnam rice paddies to Paris coffeehouses made my heart swoon.

and check out the neato-bendito, spanish characters on the keys...this little guy is a world traveler. from buenos aires. i think i'm in love...

turns out my dad still has his old royal and now my daughter will be the third generation to use it. i hope that she'll enjoy tap-tap-tapping on it during lazy afternoons, watching the figments of her imagination leap from the keys onto her paper. and i hope my dad won't mind if i paint his old royal this really cool turquoise color.
and as for that olivetti lettera 32...maybe i'll keep that one for myself:)