SRC: Angel’s Homestead’s Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Angels Homestead GF Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes-1 For November’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with April of Angel’s Homestead. April is the wonderful force behind the SRC and has a wonderful blog to boot! She recently became gluten free and primal, so there were lots of Bean-friendly recipes for me to look at! Tasty Recipes like: No-mato Sauce (I definitely passed this onto my brother who doesn’t like tomatoes), this Almond Flour Cornbread and these Baked Apple Chips.

After much pursuing, I decided to make her Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes using her Gluten Free Almond Flour Pancakes. For once, I didn’t actually change anything (gasp!) except that I have a feeling the original recipe used non-natural, smooth peanut butter, whereas I used natural, chunky stuff. They still turned out well!

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I tried making a small amount of the peanut butter syrup, where I learned that it’s best to use smooth peanut butter as the chunky stuff doesn’t look that good. Plus, I have a feeling it was also for non-natural peanut butter, so it definitely wasn’t as smooth as it could have been! That being said, peanuts and maple go surprisingly well together!

Syrup-on-Pancakes

In her instructions, she says to cook them on low heat – please do! I initially had my griddle at 325F and it was too warm, so the pancakes got quite dark. The next batch I cooked at 275F and they were much lighter coloured.

As I was making the pancakes, Mr. Bean was making bacon, which means: Elvis pancakes!

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In case you don’t know what Elvis pancakes are – apparently Elvis liked to eat peanut butter, bananas and bacon together and the combination is surprisingly tasty! Add a bit of maple syrup and you’re good to go!

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April, it was a delight to look through your blog! Thank you so much for all the work that you put into the Secret Recipe Club!

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below!

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SRC: Burnt Apple’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Burnt Apple Pumpking Loaf-4

For October’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Traci of Burnt Apple. Traci is a mother of 3 kids, who used to have difficulty with cooking, but she’s definitely changed that! She has tons of tasty looking recipes, including some gluten free. She has tons of delicious pumpkin recipes, like these pumpkin snickerdoodles and this pecan pumpkin butter cake.

I have to admit, I was looking at her recipes with an agenda: the other day, I bought some almond “yoghurt” thinking that it would taste like real yoghurt, but I couldn’t stand the taste, so I wanted to make something that used it up. I also had some pumpkin and chocolate chips I also wanted to use up, so Traci’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf fit the bill perfectly!

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Of course, since it’s me, I adapted it to make it more Bean friendly. The changes I made to her pumpkin loaf are: reduced the sugar from 2c.white sugar to 3/4 c. coconut sugar, made more bean-allergy friendly by using almond yoghurt instead of Greek yoghurt, almond milk instead of milk and egg replacer instead of eggs. I added 1/8 c. oil as there is much less fat in almond products (I’m not used to fat-free cooking, so I added it just in case). I also added vanilla and upped the spices a little.

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It turned out really well! It was nicely moist and surprisingly spongy (in a good way!). Since there were eggs and it’s gluten free, it doesn’t rise as much, so I could have made it in one large loaf pan.  I’m glad I didn’t as it was so good that I probably could have eaten it all myself. To prevent this from happening, I’m sending the second loaf with Mr. Bean to work!

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Burnt Apple’s Chocolate Chip Pump Loaf (Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, potentially Soy Free)

3/4 c. coconut sugar
1/2 c. almond yoghurt
1/2 c. almond milk
1/8 c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. molasses
2 egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder with 4 tbsp. almond milk)

3/4 c. almond flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. sweet rice flour
1 1/2 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

1 c. chocolate chips (use enjoy life (or similar) chocolate chips for dairy & soy free. I have some milk chocolate chips that needed to be used up, so I used those.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper or grease and flour.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flours, xathan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices). Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans and cook in the oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a few places comes out dry.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before removing onto a rack.
  7. Let loaves cool completely before cutting.
  8. Enjoy!

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Traci, it was great to have a chance to look through your blog! I’m so impressed with your recipe manipulations and you’re an excellent example that anyone can cook! :)

Please check out the rest of Group D’s Recipes below:

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Trip to Quebec: Food!

As I mentioned in my September SRC post, Mr Bean and I went to Montreal mid-September for a work conference for him. It was a bit of a hit and run trip – we arrived on Tuesday evening, the conference ran from Wednesday morning to Saturday afternoon and we left on Sunday morning. Definitely worth it though!

My sister lives in Quebec, so I took the time to visit with her while Mr. Bean was otherwise occupied. Both of us love food, so we knew the time we were going to spend together would revolve around it. Not terribly surprising, but very delicious!

On the Wednesday morning, my sister picked me up from the hotel and we went and picked apples.

imageIt was quite fun! The ladders were a bit bizarre and part way through the orchard was invaded by 4 or 5 bus loads of school children. We ended up with two large bags of apples, which we then put to good use throughout the rest of the trip!

We planned to spend lots of time making food together and we definitely did! Here’s what we made (over 2 1/2 days):

  • Swiss Hazelnut Macaroons – we made these while having dinner with a family my sister works with. We also had the most amazing Maple Sugar ice cream – I try not to eat a lot of dairy, but it was definitely worth it!Here is the closest recipe I can find for the macaroons based on ingredients – but instead you beat the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar and beat until glossy, then gently fold in the hazelnut meal. Spoon the macaroons onto lined cookie sheets and put a whole hazelnut on each macaroon. Bake until firm but still a bit soft. Let cool down and enjoy!
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Please Excuse the Gross Phone Shot

  • 2 batches of Applesauce – we sweetened it with maple syrup and made it spiced – so good!

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  • Coconut Macaroons

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  • Apple Pie – I used a combination of lard & shortening and I didn’t really like the taste of the crust so much. Plus, since I used a glass pan, I could see the fat bubbling away as it cooked (ick!). Has anyone else had this issue with GF pie crusts?

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Apple Pie-3

  • Butternut Squash Soup - I’m not a huge fan of squash, so I was a bit apprehensive when my sister said that she was going to make this soup. I was wrong to doubt as it was delicious – so delicious that I’ve made it since I’ve come back.

My sister then dropped me off in Montreal on the Friday afternoon for a conference event and then re-joined us on Saturday morning for some sight-seeing and food adventures.

For lunch, we had Poutine at La Banquise. Poutine is a french Canadian dish that consists of fries, cheese curds and gravy, but this place also had many different variations with various additions.

Mr. Bean had the “La Trois Viandes” – ground beef, pepperoni and bacon,

Poutine-4My sister’s had “La Miam” – ground beef, sausage, onions, tomatoes and swiss cheese.

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I had the “La Matty” – bacon, onions, peppers and mushrooms without the gravy as it’s definitely not gluten free. I also ordered a salad so that I wouldn’t feel as gross and heavy. Definitely a wise move!

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To be honest, I didn’t really like it that much as I thought it was kind of greasy and it probably wasn’t as good as if it were slathered in gravy. Oh well. We decided that we would try to make it ourselves with gluten free gravy and not as greasy fries when my sister is coming to visit for my cousin’s wedding in October.

They pretty much have the most awesome tables ever. I’m sad that we weren’t sitting closer to a window so that the light would have been better.

Poutine-1

We also went to a restaurant called Zero8. Everything on their menu is made without the top 8 allergens – gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and shellfish. It’s a great place for people with allergies (obviously) and has some pretty tasty food!

Zero8-1

We started off the with the Bruschetta, then Mr. Bean had the Duck Confit and both my sister and I had lamb burgers.

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The only thing I was disappointed in was the dessert as I had a spice cake that was like cardboard. Apparently, they baked it too much. The Chocolate ganache was the only thing that made it worthwhile…

Zero8-3

My sister and I also found a gluten free bakery called “Cookie Stefanie“, which was pretty delicious. Their Orange Cranberry muffin made a good breakfast for our early travel day home.

I would really like to go back to Quebec to explore the food side of things more (there are at least a few other GF bakeries that we didn’t visit), plus visit Quebec City!

Have you had any Culinary Adventures lately?

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SRC: Hapa-tite’s Zucchini Loaf (Muffins)

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For September’s
Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Nicole of Hapa-tite. Nicole lives in the DC area and is strongly influenced by all the cultures in her family, which means some pretty delicious and varied foods! My favourite are all the cute Bento box things she has!

I spent a few days mid-September visiting with my sister in Quebec and since we planned on having a baking fest, it seemed like the perfect time to make something for secret recipe club! I was also really impressed with myself as I hardly procrastinated at all on these! (A first in the last few months!)

Hapa-tite Zucchini Muffins-4

I ended up choosing her Zucchini Loaf and making it Bean Style – lower sugar, less fat and gluten free! We also just made half a recipe as we didn’t want to have that much food after all our baking expeditions. We definitely weren’t disappointed – I really wish that I made the whole recipe and took some home with me as these are perfect breakfast muffins as they aren’t too sweet and are packed with nutrition! When I make them again, I want to try using some almond flour to increase the protein and maybe even use a bit less starch as these muffins would still be awesome even if they were a little denser.
Hapa-tite Zucchini Muffins-3

I have to admit that I liked being able to take photos not at my own house – especially for the different props! The house my sister lives in has an old picnic table in the back yard under an acorn tree, which helped make these photos super “fall-esque.”

Gluten, Dairy, Soy and Refined Sugar Free Zucchini Muffins

1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. sorghum flour
1/3 c. potato starch
1/3 c. tapioca starch
3/4 tsp. guar or xantham gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/8 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 – 1 1/2 c. zucchini
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Sift flours into a bowl and whisk in the salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy.
  4. Add the remaining liquid ingredients and beat until combined.
  5. Stir in zucchini.
  6. Pour liquid ingredients, walnuts and raisins into the dry and stir until just combined.
  7. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for ~12 – 18 min or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the pan onto a cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy!

Hapa-tite Zucchini Muffins-1

How are you making the most of fall?

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below!

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Skoki Trip

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Upper Skoki Lake with Pika Peak

Have you ever woken up then realized you’ve reached an important milestone in any of your relationships? I did – two weeks ago was my 5th anniversary with Mr. Bean. How did that happen? I guess time flies when you’re having fun!

Skoki Trip-1

Mr. Bean and I Hiking In

To celebrate, we went out to Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park in behind Lake Louise Ski Area. My mom and I backpacked in the area last year – we visited the lodge for tea to dry off after a huge thunderstorm. The funny thing is that it started raining (albeit much lighter than last year) in about the same spot. Fortunately, we didn’t have to hide under a tarp and we got to the lodge before it really started raining.

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Ptarmigan Lake (Click to View Larger Pano Shots)

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Mr. Bean and Ptarmigan Lake

It’s incredibly beautiful up there – wonderful meadows, great views of mountains and turquoise lakes.

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View toward Skoki Lakes

On the second day, we hiked up toward Merlin Ridge. Poor Mr. Bean was sick, so he went back to the Lodge before the lake, but I kept hiking up with a group of ladies who were also staying at the Lodge up to Merlin Ridge.

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Mr. Bean and I with Merlin Ridge and Mt. Richardson in the Background

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Merlin Castle on the Way up to Merlin Ridge

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Merlin Lake – Mt. Richardson is in the background – I totally climbed it last year!

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Looking down the Merlin Valley toward where Skoki Lodge is.

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Hiking toward Merlin Ridge with the Ladies we met at the Lodge

It was really great to get some perspective on the Mountain that I climbed last year – Mt. Richardson. 10,000+ ft is really quite high!

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View from Merlin Ridge toward Merlin Lake – Mt. Richardson on the right.

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At the Top of Merlin Ridge

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Me and Mt. Richardson from Merlin Ridge

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The Ladies I Hiked Up With

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Mt. Richardson with a Cairn

Overall, it was a great trip – excellent food, good company and beautiful hikes despite the periodic rain.

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Mr. Bean and I in front of Skoki Lodge

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A “Fork in the Trail”

On the way out, we hiked past the Skoki Lakes we saw on the way in on the way to Packer’s Pass. It included a bit of scrambling through this cliff band, which was kind of scary but fun! I’m really glad that it wasn’t raining during it and that we were going up not down.

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Mr. Bean looking over the cliff we climbed.

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Our Scramble up the cliff to the Skoki Lakes

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Lower Skoki Lake

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Upper Skoki Lake

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Mr. Bean Scaling Packers Pass

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View Toward Ptarmigan Lake from Packer’s Pass

Have you taken any interesting trips lately?

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