We are going to visit Brent's parents on Thursday in Victoria, where they've rented a vacation home for 4 weeks. They rented this same house 7 years ago when Brent and I got married, so we have some pretty great memories there. It is the house where we hosted our rehearsal dinner, ate the best chowder of my life, and where Ody miraculously survived a run-in with a car.
While in Victoria, I plan to eat ice cream daily. Drink beer on more than one patio. I will visit Red Fish Blue Fish and order the chowder, jerk fish poutine, crispy tempura battered halibut, chips, and a tempura cod tacones, in no particular order. The next day I will attempt to hike up Mt. Finlayson with Sebastian in our new Deuter Ki Comfort 3 backpack because I'm going to need to burn off the 5000 calories from the night before. After the hike. I am going to get a massage, a pedicure, and shop until I can no longer feel my feet. Maybe, I'll save the shopping for the next day. This trip is necessary and long overdue.
I am going to spend 7 days not thinking about paint or kitchen renovations. Baby-proofing, lawn maintenance, or the PayPal dispute I filed last week against the shady home furnishings store in Florida who won't acknowledge my patio furniture purchase. These are my plans, in a nutshell. Do you guys have any summer trips planned?
Besides planning for this trip and the epic full-service car wash I am getting tomorrow, nothing really new around here. Brent bought a paint sprayer 12 months ago when I convinced him that it was a necessary purchase. I wanted to spray paint the Ikea dresser we got for the babies room. Every now and again I convince myself that I am the DIY type. The sprayer has sat in the basement in its box unused ever since. Brent, clearly the DIY'er in this family, painted two interior doors last weekend. I was thoroughly impressed.
Aside from chasing Sebastian around the house, cause he's a crawler now!!!, I've made a ton of recipes that I'm really proud of - these lemon and ricotta pancakes, the baby spinach salad with dates and almonds and the mejadra from the Jerusalem cookbook, Marcella Hazan's famous butter sauce and a halloumi, cherry, arugula salad with savory quinoa. Pretty much sums up my life.
I think my obsession with lemon pancakes sparked after that Mother's Day trip to Cafe Flora, and then the return visit with Brent's parents, just to order the lemon pancakes. I've been dreaming about them ever since. Since I don't have a good lemon pancake recipe in my supply of pancake recipes, I was determined to spend a week cooking my way through the various lemon pancake forms. After some careful experimentation, I have discovered that separating the eggs, and then beating the whites into stiff peaks, provides the fluffiest texture. Adding lemon zest and the juice provides the best flavor. Adding too much sugar turns them into a giant lemon cookie - not bad, depending on what you're after. Adding a bit of ricotta gives a nice flavor and creaminess. Not too much, though, or they'll be too soggy. Finally, adding a generous portion of butter to the frying pan and frying the pancakes on medium high, gives the best result!!!!!! If you love pancakes and lemon, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. They are incredible.
I'd like to thanks the folks over a Falcon Enamelware for providing me with one of their prep sets. If you guys love enamel like I do, you should check out their site. So many beautiful pieces to choose from. I have the prep set in pigeon gray.
I keep it out om my counter and use it practically every time I cook. It's also really pretty to look at, which is a bonus! The prep set includes 5 mixing bowls and a colander.
LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES
recipe adapted from
makes 12 pancakes
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 small lemon, zested and juiced
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta
butter for frying
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until moistened.
Whisk the ricotta cheese into the batter.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Heat a griddle or frying pan to medium-high. Add a small dap of butter in between frying. Fry pancakes on each side until golden brown.
Serve with fresh fruit.