Today is the reveal of our Secret recipe club assignment.This month was extra special because I was assigned the heritage cook.
Jane, the wonderfully talented and passionate lady behind this blog was our secret recipe group hostess. She has always been extra kind and supportive of the whole group. Her passion and excitement for each challenge was contagious. Sadly, Jane decided to step down from leading “group A” and I was lucky enough to be assigned her blog.
Jane, in addition to being our group hostess is a food and travel writer, recipe developer, editor and tester, event manager, passionate baker and cook.
I love how she sums up the motivation behind her blog :”At The Heritage Cook I share my passions, memories, and years of experience in the kitchen enticing people to get back in the kitchen and helping them become as ardent about cooking and baking as I am. Recent generations are no longer being taught how to cook and have become dependent on fast food restaurants and frozen prepared foods. This is not only unhealthy, but we are losing touch with the pleasures of freshly prepared foods and home-cooked family meals. With luck, our culinary traditions will continue to be passed from one generation to the next.”
My plan was to make Jane’s ranch flavored coleslaw ,the ranch dressing was calling to me and I loved all the colors, it was a refreshing change from the usual two toned slaw. Then my son walks in the morning while I was going through Jane’s breakfast recipe and demands chocolate pancakes, there was no negotiation! He decided that this was the one and only breakfast he will have (note to self: do not go through your SRC assignments when the kids are around! )
I stuck to Jane’s recipe with the exception of adding some cinnamon, cardamom and instant coffee. I love the spice-chocolate combo and use it in most of my chocolate recipes. You don’t really taste the cinnamon or the cardamom but they add a beautiful depth to the chocolate flavor. The instant coffee is there to intensify the chocolate flavor. My other alteration was the topping: I did not have any raspberries, so I used frozen blueberries to make a blueberry sauce instead and then added some fresh mango cubes for a splash of color and added freshness.
The chocolate pancakes were a hit, they are soft, fluffy and intensely chocolaty. They got two thumbs up from the kids
Chocolate Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup
The Family Kitchen at blogs.babble.com
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup self rising flour (or use all-purpose flour and add 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (option)
Make the blueberry sauce:
In a small saucepan, add the blueberries, sugar and water
Bring them to a boil
lower the heat and cook , stirring occasionally until the sauce reduces in half and thickens in consistency
Make the Pancakes:
In a large mixing bowl, combined the self-rising flour, sugar and cocoa. Whisk to blend.
Add the egg and milk and whisk just until combined. (You don’t want the mix to be super smooth, lumps are actually ok because a lumpy batter will give you fluffier pancakes)
Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1 to 2 tsp oil
Pour in batter, reduce heat to medium and cook until bubbles appear over the top of the pancake before flipping. Cook until second side is nicely browned.
Serve warm topped with the Blueberry sauce.
Topping options: whipped cream, chocolate chips, fresh fruit (I used mango), you can also try my homemade strawberry syrup
When someone says coleslaw, the first image that pops in my head is the soggy, tasteless, mayonnaise laden mess you get at fast food restaurants. As I was going through Jane’s blog, her coleslaw caught my attention because it was completely different from the image I had in my head. It was refreshingly colorful, the vegetables looked crisp and inviting and instead of good old mayonnaise there was a homemade ranch dressing.
I knew immediately that I had to try it and now I am glad I did
When I started the salad dressing series, I got quite a few requests for a homemade ranch dressing. I have tried a number of recipes and though some were really good, I was never perfectly happy with any of them. After trying Jane’s recipe, I can tell you that the search is over, this is the best homemade ranch dressing I have ever tried. It was the perfect way to dress the coleslaw but it would also make a great dip served with some sliced vegetables.
Ranch flavored coleslaw
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (I used yogurt)
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
1/4 teaspoon very finely minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoon minced green onions (or chives)
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small head green cabbage, cored, quartered and each piece very thinly sliced (see notes)
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 small red onion, peeled and very finely chopped (see notes)
Make the Dressing:
In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk (or yogurt), mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
Add sugar, garlic, chives, mustard, thyme and dill.
Whisk again until everything is evenly distributed.
This dressing tastes better the longer you leave it, you can use it right away but if you have time, store it in the fridge for 2 hours (up to 2 days) to allow for the flavors to blend.
Assemble the Cole Slaw:
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage and prepared vegetables.
Toss to evenly mix everything together.
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the dressing and toss to coat all the vegetables evenly.
Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more dressing if desired.
Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
If any extra liquid accumulates while it is resting, drain before serving.
Jane’s recipe uses green cabbage only, I used a combination of green and purple
To take the edge off the raw onions I toss them with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and set them aside for 10 minutes. Then I drain the lemon juice and use the onions, they will be much milder.