Garbanzo and Soy Pancakes

20130609-104440.jpgThis is a neat way of making those calories count at breakfast. With two kids about to head into teenagery – one recently just got there – (and little DNA assistance for them to gain some altitude), I try to pack as much protein into their meals as I can! (more…)

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June 9, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Breakfast, Brunch, Health, Nutrition. Leave a comment.

Oatmeal and Pumpkin Waffles (with Almond Whip and Fresh Pear)

Waffles-oatmeal-pumpkin-pear 3The best way to get your kids up for breakfast on a Sunday is to have a routine of pancakes or waffles going! ¬†If they haven’t already jumped into your bed demanding one of the above (and this applies only to tweenage and older kids)(because the younger ones would have been up and jumping on your head from the crack of dawn), the delicious aromas wafting up into their bedrooms will rouse them pronto.

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January 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . American, Breakfast, Brunch, Health, Nutrition. 2 comments.

Stuffed Focaccia

Here’s an easy focaccia you can mostly knead in your food mixer (with a dough hook). I like to fill it with herbs and cheese or vegetables and cheese to make half of a meal with soup or salad. (more…)

November 18, 2012. Tags: , , . Baked Goods, Brunch, Dinners, Italian, Mains. Leave a comment.

Passover Breakfast: Cornmeal and Soy Pancakes

It’s so thrilling to see that, in between the downpours and floods, spring is here with a vengeance! Last night, we had friends over and took advantage of the gorgeous weather to barbecue. On the Passover BBQ menu were: Asian-spiced chicken fillets and legs, peanut gravy with Thai basil, salmon with honey and soy (very scrummy, and brought over by my friend Gudrun), tomato salad, green salad with cranberries, rice pasta and veg salad in pesto, finished off with fresh berries, meringues and whipped cream. Yum! Three fantastic things about doing a barbie – it’s always delicious, the mess is outdoors, and the hubby cooks ūüôā I was worried I hadn’t cooked enough because the food had all disappeared, except for some of the orange-scented cream which I rediverted to the next morning’s meal (see below). (more…)

April 3, 2010. Tags: , , . Breakfast, Brunch, Kids Cuisine, Passover. 1 comment.

St Patrick’s Day: Soda Bread with Candied Peel and Raisins

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ¬†The patron saint of Ireland would be proud to see how enthusiastically and seriously this day is taken by the multitudes of Americans of Irish descent. ¬†When I lived in London, despite its proximity to Ireland, it was fairly easy to not notice St Patrick’s Day (or, let’s say, most celebrations outside of Christmas, Easter and New Year’s) come and go.

But here, about 36 million Americans (six times the population of Ireland!), or 12 percent, are of Irish descent. NYC hosts the biggest and oldest St Patrick’s Day Parade on Wednesday, in which up to 250,000 people will participate as marchers or band members, watched by 2 million people on Fifth Ave.¬† (more…)

March 16, 2010. Tags: , , . American, Baked Goods, Breakfast, Brunch, Cakes, Irish. 6 comments.

Thanksgiving Breakfast is.. Upma!

I had a much-needed lie-in today after weeks of early wakings (deliberate) and sleeplessness (unintended). Came downstairs to find husband and kids watching the Thanksgiving Parade on CBS , on which a commentator, doing the easiest job on TV, refers to Spiderman as Superman.¬† One superhero wears his underpants on the outside and a big S on his chest, the other’s in tights – not too hard to differentiate. But she got Pikachu right – the chubby yellow fellow in the Pokemon series (I would have guessed his name was Pokemon).

As I was reluctant to make pancakes or waffles (our Sunday regulars), and no one was in the mood for the weekday cereals, yoghurt or fruit, my kids and hubby voted for upma – an Indian pudding made of durum wheat. Great idea,¬† I thought!¬† It could well have been breakfast for the pilgrims and native Indians, being made of wheat, fruit and nuts and a pinch of salt.¬† (more…)

November 26, 2009. Tags: , . Asian, Breakfast, Brunch, Festive, Indian. 2 comments.

Bananagram Pancakes


We love breakfast in this house. Pancakes are the No. 1 request, and they’re a great way to experiment with different ingredients to use in oven-baked cakes, being, as they are, little flat cakes cooked on a pan.

I’m always on the lookout to make the calories count and not all my experiments have made the cut. But this one did, and I (lacking any tall DNA to bequeath my offspring) find it supremely satisfying that the children have started their day with a protein-packed meal.

The surprise ingredient – which I didn’t immediately reveal to the family for fear of clearing the table too quickly – is gram flour, which comes from chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Proteinous gram flour is commonly used in South Asian-style savoury pancakes and works well with them, so I figured, why not?

  • gram flour, 1/2 cup
  • soy flour, 1/2 cup
  • wholemeal flour, 1/2 cup
  • ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup
  • eggs, 2
  • milk, 1 1/2 to 2 cups (as needed for a thickish batter)
  • salt, pinch of
  • orange zest
  • sugar, 1 tsp
  • baking soda, 1 tsp
  • baking powder, 1 tsp
  • bananas, chocolate chips or toppings of choice
  1. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flours and baking powder and soda
  2. Then, in bowl 2, cream the eggs, sugar and cheese with a handheld mixer
  3. Add the ricotta, zest, salt
  4. Lower the speed and add the milk and blended flours in gradual succession
  5. You are looking for a batter of a thickish consistency that will coat the back of a spoon
  6. Ladle a scoop onto your Pam-ed pancake pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips or banana slices. Chocolate goes beautifully with the oranginess of this pancake, but the yummy pancakes didn’t make as picturesque a photo ūüôā

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March 22, 2009. Tags: , . Breakfast, Brunch, Kids Cuisine, Nutrition. 1 comment.

Feel-good Apple and Banana Breakfast Muffins


This muffin has surprised me, in that the children regularly ask me to bake it and are proud of the fact that it’s relatively healthy. Made of wholemeal flour, it’s also chock full of apples, bananas, hazelnuts and I couldn’t resist that universal feel-good ingredient, chocolate. These are best eaten warm, but also wonderful as a lunchbag or after-school snack.

  • wholemeal flour, 2 cups, sifted
  • baking soda, 1 tsp
  • baking powder, 1 tsp
  • salt, 1/2 tsp
  • zest, of 1 orange
  • apple, 1, peeled and grated
  • bananas, 3, mashed with fork
  • milk, 1/2 cup
  • canola oil, 1/2 cup
  • egg, 1, large
  • brown sugar, 1/2 cup
  • chocolate chips, 1/2 cup

  1. Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, ensuring the cold items are at room temperature
  2. In another bowl, process sugar, oil, egg, milk with the zest
  3. Sift the flour together with the soda and baking powder
  4. Add the flour to the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time, mixing as little as possible but
  5. ensuring the elements all come together
  6. Bake in preheated 410F oven (200C) for about 15 mins. Insert a skewer to see if the muffins are done.

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March 3, 2009. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Breakfast, Brunch, Kids Cuisine. Leave a comment.

Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes


Pancakes are without a doubt the top breakfast in our house. I try to vary the recipes for interest, but appear to have found an unexpected winner in a wholemeal-oatmeal combination. This pancake’s popularity is a sum of how frequently the family demands it and the alacrity with which it disappears from their plates. The fact that I could make it half asleep, blindfolded, in my pajamas and sans fancy kitchen tools, is beside the point.

There have been numerous experiments with varying permutations and combinations of plain flour, wholemeal flour, soy flour, sugar, sweetener, milk, yoghurt, whole eggs, egg whites, bran and oatmeal, as well as the vacation flirtations with boxed pancake mixes.

The latter, I note with smug parental satisfaction, my children have left half eaten after the initial (almost insulting) enthusiasm. Needless to say the ingredients lists of the mixes were often unending and included copious amounts of sodium and sugar. It’s also hard not to question the need for the canary-yellow food colouring.

  • Oats, old fashioned and plain, 1 cup
  • Wholemeal flour, 1 cup
  • Eggs, 2, beaten
  • Milk, about 2 cups
  • Salt and sugar, pinch of, each
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Combine all together with a whisk
  2. Pour onto preheated nonstick pan by ladlefuls
  3. Flip over when done or golden brown on one side
  4. Serve immediately with fresh fruit or jam or maple syrup. Mmmm!



December 29, 2008. Tags: , . Breakfast, Brunch, Kids Cuisine. Leave a comment.

Banana Cake


Rather than sitting around hoping the family will eat the vast amounts of rapidly ripening bananas that are constantly in the house, plunging them in a cake seems to guarantee their disappearance. I have used a loaf pan here but it’s still a cake rather than a banana bread, as the key ingredients and their proportions remain distinctly cakey.

Lisa had popped round with her children and we threw this together without skipping a beat in our conversation. Nothing like having a ready and appreciative audience for a fragrant cake, fresh out of the oven, with cake-eating models at hand.


  • Bananas, 4 inordinately large ones, squished with a fork
  • Butter, 125g (1 stick and a bit)
  • Eggs, 3, large
  • Sugar, 1 1/2 cups
  • Flour – plain 1 1/2 cups, wholemeal 1 cup
  • Salt, 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
  • Baking powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda, 1/2 tsp
  1. Beat sugar and room-temperature butter with a handwhisk
  2. Add eggs and whisk till creamy and fluffy
  3. Add salt, baking powder and soda, and lemon juice
  4. In batches, add the flour, blending in between
  5. Use a spatula to fold in the mashed bananas
  6. Pour into a loaf tray or cake pan
  7. Bake in preheated 180C oven for about 40 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean


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August 2, 2008. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Breakfast, Brunch, Cakes. Leave a comment.

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