poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


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Sunday Morning Pancakes

Good morning, blueberries!

Is there nothing better on a weekend morning than homemade pancakes?

I was a pancake failure until I got this recipe from EF. Since then, I’ve garnered high praise such as, “These are the best pancakes ever!” and “Jen, you make the best pancakes!” OK, so this is only from two sources, one of them being myself, but still. I no longer feel like a pancake failure, so I thought I’d share EF’s winning recipe with you.

EF’s FTW Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 cup flour*#
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk**
2 Tbs. vegetable oil

Notes:
* From EF: You can use half whole wheat flour or add a few tablespoons of wheat germ if you want it to be healthier–the wheat germ helps especially if you use skim milk
#UPDATE 6/5/11: Flour quality appears to make a big difference. I usually use King Arthur’s unbleached flour. Today I used Gold Medal and it wasn’t nearly as good. Also, it may help to loosen the flour with a fork (some might ask you to sift it, but that seems unnecessarily complicated to me).
** I’ve used soymilk a couple of times and they’re still really good. So, any kind of milk will do.

Directions:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then combine them and whisk as little as it takes to get them together. It’s ok if the batter has some small lumps. They will work themselves out and it’s better to leave them than to over-whisk.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat. For each batch of pancakes (I make two at a time), melt a pat of butter or Smart Balance.
  3. Drop a dollop (about 1/4 cup) of batter over the melted butter. Add fruit and/or chocolate chips as desired.
  4. When batter starts to bubble, flip the pancakes. Cook until golden brown.
  5. Optional: place pancakes in a preheated oven set to 200F. This will keep them warm as you make the rest of the batch.

Makes 8 pancakes.

Blueberry (top) and banana (bottom) pancakes, with seasonal fruit. Yummers.


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Brunch in B’more

While I was in Maryland over the holidays, I met up with SP, a friend from Berkeley who recently moved far far away to Austin, Texas. SP was also visiting her family in Maryland so we decided to get together for brunch. Seeing as I’ve only hung out in her hometown of Baltimore a few times, we agreed to meet in her ‘hood.

The counter at the Papermoon Diner.

SP gave me a few options and I thought the Papermoon Diner seemed the most interesting. First, a diner seemed like the appropriate Baltimore choice, given its reputation as a no-frills, blue-collar industrial city. Second, I had just come off of a string of Chinese meals, so good ol’ American cooking sounded great. Third, she said the place had kitschy and strange decor, with the likes of headless Barbie dolls. I don’t know about you, but the perfect side to bacon and eggs might just be random doll body parts strewn here and there.

As I drove to the restaurant, I was a slightly worried about getting lost because the directions from Google Maps seemed to be a little wonky. However, as I saw the bright purple and turquoise building, I knew I was at the right place. As promised, the decor was definitely kitschy but not as macabre as I had imagined. There were so many random things all around that I soon acclimated to the weirdness that is the Papermoon Diner.

Excited that we finally got our food after a long wait.

I ordered the chocolate chip pancakes topped with bananas (or was it the other way around?), while SP opted for a portabello mushroom omelette with hash browns and toast. Both were decent but not mind-blowing. I think SP thought her omelette was just ok (not flavorful enough? something like that… it’s been 2 months. please forgive me.)

The portabello and cheese omelette with hash browns and toast.

Action shot! Pouring on the maple syrup.

Fluffy buttermilk pancakes, topped with bananas and chocolate chips.

The service was slow, probably because we were there at the peak brunch hour. I got angry at one of the servers who wouldn’t take our photo because he was too busy and said he would tell someone else to stop by, but that never happened. After I left a nasty note on the customer comment card, we found out that it wasn’t his fault after all — the guy the first server asked either forgot or disregarded the request. Oops. All in all, it was an interesting experience but the Papermoon didn’t make my list of places to revisit. At least I had a good time catching up with an old friend!