Tag Archives: natural

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese-Maple Syrup

I’m finally getting settled into my routine, the beginning of the year was challenging for me in terms of me being able to find the time to do all the things I need to get done everyday (which are a lot), including posting recipes.  I missed posting!

But I seem to have it all under control now (I hope!), and I am back with this recipe right in time for Valentine’s Day so you can enjoy a little something sweet for breakfast.  I wanted to try a new strawberry pancake recipe, but all I could find were pink colored pancakes.  That’s not what I was looking for. I decided to use my regular pancake batter and just add sliced fresh strawberries on top of the pancake, after I had poured the batter on the hot pan. I wondered if I could find an interesting syrup to go along with it?  I found just the thing in Marla Meredith’s blog, Family Fresh Cooking (we love her) a Cream Cheese Maple Sauce.

As decoration, just cut out a triangle shape on top of the strawberry to form a heart-like shape, then slice the strawberry in half of into thirds lengthwise. This pancake recipe can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd. Typically, we use this recipe to feed 3 people, including my 5-year-old.  Same thing with the syrup.  This made just enough to cover my pancake stack, I added extra maple syrup to my pancakes once they were served.

Helga

Strawberry Pancakes

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Honeycomb: Ways to use it

Honeycomb

At TFK, we’re always on the lookout for new ingredients to try out, we like to read about how ingredients are used and what their health benefits might be, not only to share this information on our blog, but so that we too can learn about these things.

I came across this honeycomb that I got from Super Verduras, and it took me back to my childhood. My mom would always keep some around together with a spreadable honey that we used on black bread slices for breakfast. We used to buy this bread from a bakery called Jensen, which sold the absolute best Christmas cookies.  Sigh… it seems like ages ago. I miss those cookies.

Let’s not go into how honey is made, or how the bees keep the nectar they gather from the flowers inside honey sacs inside their bodies, because in all honesty, and with much love to Nature… it’s a little gross. There’s bee saliva involved, people!
Let’s keep honey a wonderful, golden, sweet nectar gathered by bees using little blue buckets, shall we?

The honeycomb comes into play, when the bees return with the honey (inside their little blue buckets) and they deposit it inside a network of little hexagonal cylinders made out of wax. We’re not going into how this wax is made, either.  As the cylinders are filled with honey, they are “sealed” by another layer of wax on top.

You can find honeycombs in gourmet stores or farmer’s markets; they are usually sold in either round or rectangular tubs. The darker the honeycomb, the better. It means the honey will have a more intense flavor.

Aside from chewing on it, because it tastes great,  I looked around for other ways to use it:

  • Cut little cubes of honeycomb and place them on top of a salad.
  • Put a chunk of honeycomb on top of hot oatmeal.
  • Mix in with natural yogurt, or vanilla ice cream. (when ready to serve and eat)
  • Slather a baguette with Brie, then top with chunks of honeycomb.  (this is the first thing I’ll try!)
  • Make a salad of arugula, grilled chicken and slivered almonds. Top with crumbled soft goat cheese and small chunks of honeycomb  (… or maybe this will be the first thing I try)

So, whenever you see a honeycomb you can think of me use these tips to enjoy it!

If you have kids around, it’ll be cool for them to see the honeycomb and taste the natural honey.  Here are some fun bee facts you can share with them:

  • Bees are the only insect in the world that make food that people can eat.
  • Eating honey can help you get smarter! It is the only food to contain ‘pinocembrin’ that is an antioxidant that improves brain function
  • One bee will only make 1/12 of a teaspoon on honey in its entire life
  • A colony of bees can contain between 20,000 and 60,000 bees, but only one queen bee
  • A bee’s wings beat 190 times a second, that’s 11,400 times a minute!
  • Each colony smells different to bees, this is so they can tell where they live
  • It would take 1,100 bees to make 1kg of honey and they would have to visit 4 million flowers
  • Bees have two separate stomachs; one for food and another just for nectar
  • Bees have been around for more than 30 million years
  • Bees communicate by smells called ‘pheromones’ and by performing special ‘dances’
  • Bee keepers only take the honey that the bees do not need, but this can be as much as 45kg from one hive!
  • There are lots of different types of honey which taste different depending on the flowers used to make it

Source
The Food Network
Bees4Kids

Honeycomb

Honeycomb

Strawberry Milk

There are a few things that I really, really, don’t like (flavor-wise…) and one of them is the taste of artificial strawberry. Anything that has this artificial flavoring tastes like kid’s cough syrup to me.  I don’t know how I came across this recipe, but when I saw it was naturally flavored strawberry milk, I wanted to make it for my kid.  Turns out, she prefers straight up, regular cold milk… no extras. But let’s not pay attention to her, nowadays she doesn’t even like me to put chocolate in her milk for God’s sake!  Although, she will happily drink hot Guatemalan chocolate with a pinch of chili pepper… I think my influence is really kicking in.

Anyway, Mariano and I ended up drinking the strawberry milk and I can honestly say it is good. It does taste like natural strawberry, but it is a little bit sweet for my taste.  Next time, I will try it with less sugar than the recipe calls for… I recommend you start with 1/4 cup sugar, if you’re like me and prefer a less sweetened beverage.

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Strawberry Milk

Recipe from The Kitchn
Serves 2

 Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole milk

Procedure:

  1. In a small pot, heat strawberries, sugar and water until boiling (it’s a bit like making jam). Let boil for about 10 minutes; mixture will reduce and thicken slightly. Using a fine sieve or mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a small bowl.
  2. You can save the cooked strawberries to add to yogurt or put on pancakes. Set the strawberry syrup aside.
  3. Chill two small glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup milk to each glass. Swirl in 3 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup into each glass of milk (more or less, depending on desired sweetness). You will have a little strawberry syrup left over, perfect for pancakes or adding to soda water.

Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes with Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Buttercream

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