Supernova French Salads

The next few recipes from At Home with the French Classics are variations of Endive salads. So I’ve decided to just group them all together, but I will not be preparing them all at once. I’m in no mood for an endive buffet, sorry guys.

Pink Grapefruit and Endive Salad

The first variation listed is an Endive and Pink Grapefruit Salad aka Salade d’Endives et de Pamplemousse Rose.

Pamplemousse is a word I find extremely enjoyable right now. I feel like going around all day saying pamplemousse to people. Maybe in the process I’ll make a French friend. Un ami français, if you will. 

These salads are easy to make by the way. The best part about them is that they can become your own personal art project. I’m a Picasso type artist myself, but basically you arrange endive salads in a circle creating  a flower like effect.

For the grapefruit one, you put chunks of grapefruit in the middle.


It’s abstract, deal with it.

I’m clearly an artisanal food genius here folks. This is some pure food Cubism that Picasso would be impressed by.

Enough about me, though, let us move on to the logistics.

What you’ll need for this recipe is 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 2 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of pepper, 1/2 cup of light vegetable oil, 3 Belgian endives, and one large pink grapefruit.

The first step in making this salad is to mix the vinaigrette. This consists of the vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. Add the oil to the mix last to guarantee a balanced mix.

The next step is to peel off the leaves of your endives until you almost get to the core of the vegetable. In other words, you want fairly large leaves to place the grapefruit inside.

Speaking of the grapefruit, this cookbook has useful instructions on how to peel and cut it. That tip is to first cut off the ends and then do the apple trick only with a twist. What I mean by the apple trick is the old fashioned technique of peeling an apple where you take a knife and slowly peel in a diagonal formation. You will do the same with the grapefruit, but add a sawing motion as well. This is important, because grapefruit skin is stockier than apple skin. You’ve got to saw that baby off like Buffalo Bill would.


Grapefruit doesn’t require lotion Bill!

I actually don’t know if Buffalo Bill sawed skin off, I shouldn’t make such claims. I just thought it would be funny. Sorry Bill!

Once you have the grapefruit peeled, you cut in half and then section it off based on it’s natural divisions. Meaning, tear apart at the seams already naturally placed by the fruit.

You will now be ready to serve. To do so, reference the picture above, (the grapefruit, not Bill) and then sprinkle it with your vinaigrette. That’s all there is to it.

My cookbook says that somehow these two bitter fruits are able to cancel out their bitterness by hanging out together. Almost like if you multiply two negative numbers, you get a positive.

Despite these mathematics, I still thought it was a little bitter. I’m kind of a bitter person at times, though, so maybe my bitterness cancelled out the mathematical taste rule. I’d consult a mathematician to be sure.

Watercress and Endive Salad

The second Endive salad variation includes watercress. The French call it Salade d’Endives et de Cresson.

The watercress version of this endive salad is best enjoyed in the winter. Not because it warms your heart or anything, but because that’s when most vegetables are in mercury retrograde. Watercress and endives are immune to the toils of mercury.

What you’ll need

  • 3 Belgian Endives, separated into leaves
  • 1 bunch of watercress, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of light vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

The process of making this variation is almost the same as the grapefruit. You will prepare the vinaigrette the same way, except for the addition of Dijon.

This time around I used grapeseed oil instead of vegetable. Grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative and it seemed to enhance the taste. If the healthy alternative is good, you might as well use it.

The placement of the salad is also similar to the grapefruit variation. You peel the first few endive leaves to use to create a star shape. In this variation, instead of the watercress being place on top of the leaves, you just place it in the middle with the leaves jetting out.

You can also slice and dice your endive and mix it with the watercress. I did both. Taste wise, I prefer slicing and dicing. It’s easier to eat and you can use the whole endive. Aesthetically, the star method is cute and it is fun. You can’t discredit that.

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Watercress Star

I liked this variation better than the grapefruit. I thought it was tasty, light, and fresh. I felt like a tall gazelle while eating it. Thankfully I’m not a gazelle, because then I’d probably get eaten by a lion or something.

Endive and Walnut

Our third installment is more of the chopped salad variety and includes walnuts.

It includes the same ingredients as far as the dressing goes, but if you’re feeling extra nutty the cookbook does recommend substituting the vegetable oil with walnut oil. For those of you on a budget, this is a little expensive in comparison to vegetable oil. If you’re going to shell out the cash for it, I recommend finding other recipes that call for it.

What you’ll need

  • 3 Belgian Endives, leaves separated and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 30 walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of light vegetable oil (optional to substitute two tablespoons of this with walnut oil)

Making this salad is pretty straight forward. There aren’t many steps in making this. You cut the endive, slice the walnuts into halves, add the dressing and then toss all together. Making the dressing consists of the remaining ingredients whisked together.

Extremely simple.

So far, this is my favorite endive salad. It was crisp, light, and crunchy. The cookbook says it’s usually served in winter as a side dish with some hearty meat, but I think it’d be great as a soup/salad combo myself.

I like that this one is chopped too. As pretty as the supernova endive leaves are, they just aren’t as satisfying in terms of texture and taste.

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Salad d’Endives aux Noix

Endive and Beets

Salade d’Endives et de Betteraves is the beet version and final installment of the Supernova Salads.

This one turned out to be another favorite due to mixing of boiled egg and beets. I can’t think of the proper words to describe the taste and texture of these two. It’s just comforting to me. Like warm butter and jelly on toast.

What you’ll need

  • 6 large beets
  • 3 endives
  • 3 tablespoons of tarragon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 3/4 cup light vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Boiled eggs

The first step is to bake your beets. Do so by pre-heating your oven to 400 and cutting off all stems, roots, and leaves from your beets.

Beets are a little hairy and dirty, so give them a nice scrubby bath before you continue to the next step which is to wrap them in aluminum foil. Place these wrapped beets in a pan and bake for  about 45 minutes.

You’ll know the 45 minutes were efficient if you can stick a knife and easily pierce the center of the beet.

Allow the beets to cool into a couple of beatniks, peel the skin and then dice then up.

You will then toss them in a dressing with ingredients provided above.

To make that dressing, first mix the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper together. Then add the two remaining oils and you’re done!

As I said mix this dressing with the beets and then arrange those beets in the center of your serving plate.

The next step is to place the endive leaves so that they surround the beet mound, similar to recipes above.

The final step is my favorite, which is dicing a boiled egg and sprinkling on top.

You now have an artistic and tasty flower salad to eat!


Minestrone Soup

My next recipe is a minestrone soup from Sandra Lee’s Semi Homemade Meals.

This is a great cookbook for the lazy novice cook. In other words, it’s perfect for me.

Ok, so I know I’m being a dick to myself. I’m not that bad of a cook. I’m definitely impatient which can come across as lazy at times. I think we all can agree on that, based on my past entries and all.

The  only downside to Sandra is that she breaks things down so easily that some of her breakdowns don’t exist anymore. What I mean by that is that certain brands and compilations of vegetables are un-obtainable in present day.

I got this cookbook when I was in High School and that was more then ten years ago.


How I feel about that fact

I think change is ultimately a good thing, but why can’t I find a frozen vegetable medley of sugar snap peas, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower? That seems like a standard vegetable mix in the Americas.

Anyhoo, I ended up getting some Asian stir fry mix. Not so American but  it had all of the above plus water chestnuts. I like water chestnuts, but not so much in soup. It’s kinda abrasive. That’s the best way I can put it.

The other ingredients you’ll need are 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 of a chopped onion, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of port wine, 1 32oz container of reduced sodium chicken broth, 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, 7 ounces of frozen mixed vegetables, 1/2 cup of rd kidney beans, and one teaspoon of Italian seasoning.

The first step to making this soup is to heat your olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it’s heated you cook the onion for about a minute and then the garlic for 30 seconds. Next, add the port wine and bring that to a boil. When it has boiled, reduce the heat and let it simmer for another minute.

Once the minute is up, you add the chicken broth, tomatoes, vegetables, beans, and seasoning. I have to make a note here, that you can use a whole can of beans. A half cup is not that much and I don’t see the point in not using the whole can. Sorry Sandra, you’ve been good to me, but I disagree with you on this.

Whatever you decide to do, you will bring this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

After all of that, your soup will be ready with the exception of one little tid bit. That tid bit is to add some shredded parm on top. Unless you have some kind of dairy allergy, do not forget this!!! It is the best part of this soup, trust me!

In the end I was a little disappointed in this soup, but the cheese saved it by being the heavenly angel of food passion and desire that it is. It melts in your mouth and gets all gooey. I love cheese so much. Screw being an eccentric cat lady. I’ll be an eccentric cheese lady.

The rest of the soup was just meh. I think using Sandra’s shortcuts via the vegetables was what kept it from being good. I had to force myself to eat the frozen veggies, but when ever I got a taste of onion I was in euphoria.

Halfway through eating this soup I started to fantasize about French Onion Soup. It’s so simple and yet delicious as all heaven.

So sorry, Sandra. This soup is on my no list for making again. I’ll stick to my Italian cookbooks for minestrone.


‘Meh’nestrone Soup




Thai Freedom Fries

This next recipe and recent current events reminded me of the days when the leaders of my country were being haters towards the French. Remember that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather we be one with France then having a pissing contest with them. I just can’t help but remember how amusing it was to me that people were actually referring to French Fries as Freedom Fries, in addition to other items with the title French in them.

It also just occurred to me, did people call French Bulldogs, Freedom Bulldogs? Was that a thing ever?

Boycotting French Bulldogs would make sense, since they actually are French. Well French and British, but so is most British Royalty and no was calling The Queen, Freedom Queen.

The whole thing was silly and amusing to me, since most French named food items aren’t necessarily French. In fact there is a heated dispute between Belgium and France as to who invented fries.

Oh my god, is that why Belgium has become a hotbed for terrorist plots? Maybe we should call them Freedom Fries. Freedom from grudges and violence that is.

I’m being facetious if you’re having trouble denoting my intentions here. I’m a big fan of coping with crisis and deflecting hostility via humor.

Thai people have their own version of fried freedom and The Everything Thai Cookbook has shown me the way with the following ingredients.

You will need, 2 medium sweet potatoes, 4 green plantains, 1 pound of taro root, 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup of sticky rice flour, pepper, salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of black sesame seeds, and 1 14oz bag of shredded coconut.

Before we begin, let me recommend going to an Asian Food Market to buy most of these ingredients. If you can specifically go to a Thai one, that is even better. I went to a Korean market at first and they did not have taro root, but the Thai market did. If you don’t have that resource, however, it’s not necessary to have taro root. You can substitute with another type of veggie. In other words, the taro is one of the items being fried. It’s not an ingredient per se.

The first step is to peel the potatoes, taro, and the plantains. Cut each of them into fry like shapes of your choice. I went with the traditional long and skinny style.

Once that’s done, you will make your fry batter by combining both flours and a 1/2 cup of water. Continue to add a 1/4 more of water intermittently until the mixture resembles pancake batter.

Next add the remaining ingredients you haven’t used yet.

You are now ready to freedom fry!

I’m still terrible at frying, by the way. I never seem to get the right temperature and the batter tends to slide off. So, if you have a cooking thermometer and are challenged like me, you should use that thing. I should use that thing, but I don’t have one and I’m too cheap and lazy to go out and get one.

I digress.

The cookbook says to fill a frying pan with vegetable oil a third to a half full and to heat it over high heat, but not too high. Whatever that means.

When it’s just Goldilocks right, fry those veggies! Be careful, though, cause you could burn your foot like I did. It was not a pleasant experience, trust me.

Anyway, you’re going to fry those veggies until they are golden brown and the best way to do so is to turn them over once in awhile. Once they have browned, place them on a bed of paper towels to soak up excess oil and then they’ll be ready for consumption.

Despite my frustrations with frying, these turned out well. The coconut is the most assertive taste and it sweetens up the greasy oil taste you normally have with fried foods.

The fried plantains were a little strange for me. It tasted fine, but I wasn’t a fan of combing that kind of mushy texture with fried batter. The taro was a little stiff too, but still tasty. I’ll admit the sweet potato was my favorite, even though it makes me a little sad  to admit it. I feel uncultured.

Oh well, you like what you like right?

The Blind Needs to Stop Leading the Blind

I’m aware that I’m not some prolific writer, but I felt a pull to write about the recent attacks in Paris.

I can be a true product of my generation, apathetic and unaffected. It’s not because I have no heart, it’s because there is too much to feel for in this world. I am so overwhelmed by all the cruelty, hate, and blind judgement. My heart can’t feel for it all.

When I do feel affected by an event, though, it stands out. For me, the attacks in Paris are more frightening than 9/11. Don’t get me wrong, both events were terrible and horrific. I just can’t shake the manner of how the attacks were executed in France. Both were sudden, alarming, sneaky attacks on innocent civilians. In 9/11 we’ve got planes flying into buildings, mass confusion abound, but for the most part the targets were government buildings and/or statuses of capitalism.

In Paris, a rock concert was attacked and a cafe. These are places of joy for regular people. People who are complex and have good and bad sides just like everyone else in this world. Most of them have no control over their government’s armies and political warfare. We vote for politicians, yes, but I still feel we have no control over what politicians do. I feel every government in this world is corrupt and we the people have no real power. This is why I’m apathetic.

It’s also why I love George Orwell’s 1984 and the quote “If there is any hope, it lies in the proles.”

If you are unfamiliar with 1984, it’s about a dystopian future where the government is constantly watching you and there’s a designated hate week for any enemies of the “party”. Pure, utter blind hatred for a group the government tells its people to hate.The protagonist Winston sees the flaws of his government but feels powerless to do anything about it. He constantly looks around him and thinks, if anything were to change the common people, the proles, would have to band together and rise up.

Unfortunately, like Winston I see the potential to change our governments, but I also have no energy to do anything about it. I’m not rallying the proles up to fight against the cruelty of this world. I’m not protesting. All I’ve got is this mediocre blog and a decent laptop.

All I can say, whether I have any wisdom in my recently turned 31 year old body is that we can’t let these attacks scare us. We have to keep on living and enjoying life. We have to remember there is good and bad in every region, country, religion, society, group, workforce, etc, etc, etc. This is not a problem of a “religion”. It’s a problem with blind ideology. Blaming a religion for these attacks would be like blaming all Christians for the hate mongering of The Westboro Baptist Church.

We cannot be afraid to travel, to meet people, to exchange our thoughts, feelings, and values. If we reach out to others, there’s the possibility of changing the hateful actions of those who blindly follow destruction.

When you look at groups that engage in hateful behavior what is the common thread? They all try to keep ‘others’ out. They congregate around those who are familiar and have identical ideologies and beliefs. Once the grumbling crowd gets big enough it becomes a roar that turns into constant hate weeks.

This is the true danger. We cannot shut ourselves out from those who are different. Find your ‘tribe’, your people, yes, but don’t attack others.

Hold onto your beliefs as long as you see fit and as long as it’s not harming others. Seek to understand, to be understood and maybe, just maybe we can all get along.

Sicilian Orange Salad

My next recipe from Sicilian Cookery is a refreshing orange salad that is simple and so easy to make a child monkey could do it.

All you need is 2 oranges, preferably, 1 blood orange and 1 other type, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

To fancy it up you can also add red onion, garlic, parsley, and olives. I fancied mine up and it was well worth it.

As I said, there’s not much to this recipe. The cookbook doesn’t even give you measurements really. This makes me laugh, because from what I gathered of the stories my mother told me, that’s an extremely Italian thing to do. Eyeballing measurements is their thing.

My Italian great-grandmother taught my Irish-American grandmother how to cook by this eyeball method. My mother and grandmother taught me how to cook some of their recipes in the same manner. I still remember when my mother taught me how to cook something for the first time. It was Tortellini Soup. She took my palm out, poured a bit of garlic powder on it and beamed as she told me about how her grandmother taught her how to cook this soup. Since I was a precocious child, I was like, “Mom! Shouldn’t you being using measuring tools?”

My mother was always amused by me, so she didn’t take offense. She just laughed at me and explained that cooking isn’t always a perfect science and that my great-grandmother’s generation knew that and for them their hands, ladles, and spoons were their measuring cups.

Thankfully I thought that was pretty cool. Still do actually. In fact when I make that soup, my measuring requirements are palm of garlic powder, one soup ladle of white wine, half a cup of  empty chicken broth can of water, the chicken broth, and two bay leafs.

So when you make this salad, you will cut the oranges into cubes, dice the garlic, and slice the onions. You will use one garlic clove by the way. For the onions, just eyeball it into a fairly even ratio with your orange cubes. Add these to olives that are also a fairly even ratio. Sprinkle some olive oil on it, however much seems appropriate to you. Then add a palm’s worth of parsley and pinch of salt and pepper.

Mix all of these ingredients together until everything is properly dressed.

The final result is a refreshing Mediterranean salad. I admittedly thought oranges and olive oil would be disgusting together but there’s something about the oil that calms and compliments the acidity of the orange.

On a side note, olive oil is the most miraculous cooking tool. I swear it’s good on everything and makes every gross vegetable actually appetizing. The only other thing that tops it is cheese.

We are talking about this orange salad today, though. So my final note, is that if you enjoy oranges and olives, this is the refreshing side dish for you. So as an Italian would say, “Just go on and eat it already! Whatta ya waitin for?!”


Sicilian orange salad

A Time to Fantasize about Violence

I can’t think of a good segue into this, so let’s just jump in. I have a pet peeve and that pet peeve is know-it-alls that take time to tell you something rude and unnecessary just because they like feeling the wind flap against their gaping pie holes that are probably as wide as the hole they sit on.

Last night, I had just finished partaking in a yoga class that left me feeling limber, strong, and equanimous. I was unable to truly remain equanimous, however, because some lady felt the need to stop me as I was about to enter Trader Joe’s to let me know I had just pulled a ‘wild’ stunt. I was beyond confused. I searched my recent memory bank of what in the hell she could be referring to. This is what I remembered happening.

I was driving along happily. I saw Trader Joe’s. I stopped in the left lane, put on my left turn signal, and waited til traffic was clear to turn. As I was waiting, I creeped out a hair, to make my left turn lane motives known, but did not speed up in a wild stunt like way. Just creeped up a bit. All the sudden I heard a honk and noticed a white SUV speed in the right lane pass me. I thought to myself, “Were they honking at me? I don’t think I did anything wrong? That’s strange.”

I shrugged it off, because it’s LA and people honk at unnecessary situations all the time.

Finally there was room for me to turn, so I did. I made sure to do it fast because there was a car coming. There was more than enough time though. I park. I get out of my car. I’m just about to step into the store when I hear. “Excuse me!”


“That was a really wild stunt you pulled there!”

My memory banks start turning, I go through what I just wrote. I wondered if she was upset about me speeding up into the parking lot. So I asked her, “What do you mean?”

“You pulled out in front of a car that was in the left turn lane when you weren’t in the left turn lane!”

“I thought I was in the left turn lane.”

“No! You weren’t! You were in the left most lane, but not the turn lane!”

As she is saying this, I’m getting more confused because there is no left turn lane. At least not a lane that has a designated left turn arrow. There is one when you are coming from the other direction, but not the direction I was going. There is a middle yellow lane though. You know the median double yellow lined lane. I generally only use the middle lane when absolutely necessary. The necessary being when traffic is extremely bad. Traffic wasn’t that bad, so I didn’t think it was necessary.

Instead of arguing with the lady, I just said, “Sorry, I thought I was in the left turn lane.”

“Well you weren’t!”

“Ok! Well, you don’t have to be all mean about it.”

“It was just really scary!”

I decide at this point to get the hell away from the lady because there is nothing that brings out the She-Hulk in me then when I try to keep the peace and be nice and the other person is still being rude and an uppity know-it-all.

What I fantasized about doing, which might scare some people, but just know I’m a highly imaginative creative person and this is how I try to deal with things in a healthy manner. I imagined slapping that smug lady’s face and saying.”Oh my god! Get over yourself! This is LA and that was the least scary traffic situation I’ve ever encountered! Mind you own god damn business you ugly, old, bitter hag!”

I know I should just let it go, but I’m the youngest in my family. Everyone always thinks they know better than me. It’s irritating. Also, was it really necessary to tell me that in such a haughty way? I mean if I felt the need to say something like that to someone, I would have been like, “Excuse me?”


“I wanted to let you know that someone almost hit you because you were in the left most lane and not the median lane. It scared me. I thought there was going to be a big accident. I know it’s not always necessary to turn in those lanes, but it gets crazy here.”

I guess I’m just too mid-western though. I guess being nice and diplomatic about things makes you dumb and weak. God forbid you don’t assert your dominance in every situation, right?

I’ve had three incidents like this in my lifetime and only once did the other person calmly and politely tell me they were bothered or upset by something I did.

Not all of those incidents were completely my fault, but they were all minor and not worth verbal harassment.

The incident were things went smoothly happened when I parked on the street by a driveway. I was sticking out a little, but I was only going to be gone for a short period of time. I knew it wasn’t the most polite thing, but I justified it by knowing I wasn’t going to be there long.

Sure enough, when I came back to my car, a woman was standing by my vehicle with a disgruntled look on her face. I immediately apologized, “I’m so sorry!”

She turned to me and said, “I get so tired of people blocking my driveway!”

“I know, I don’t blame you and I do feel bad. I completely understand why you are upset and I was being rude.”

She looked at me, nodded and said. “Yeah just be aware, you know?”

That was that. There was no need for either one of us to get nasty about it.

I understand getting upset about people doing dumb things. I often curse people in my car to myself for driving like dummies. I never ever take time out of my life to berate anyone, though. It’s such a foreign thing to me and I do not understand it. I will, however, stick up for myself. If someone berates me or flips me off. You can bet I’m going to flip them off back and stand my ground.

A girl once stopped me because she was upset that I didn’t wait for her to exit a parking garage when I was driving on a main road. She told me I was rude. I told her I thought she was rude for holding up traffic to tell me something so stupid. She then kept yelling at me about it. I was in a bad mood and hungry, so I told her to eff off and leave me alone. She called me a slut and then threw a tub of handi wipes at me. She missed me by a long shot and I thanked her for the cleaning supplies as she sped off.

To this day, I ponder why she called me a slut and why did she bestow handi wipes to me? Did she feel that I needed to cleanse my soul of the whoredom of my life?

I suppose I will never know.

One thing I know I will never know, is why people feel the need to be so self-righteous  and rude about minor things, even after you apologize. I’m not perfect, but I try to always be polite. I’ve been in car accidents where people have hit me, it’s clearly their fault, and yet I don’t yell at them. What’s the point? Most people don’t want to get in car accidents, so why make it worse?

Anyone out there have an insight to what the deal is with these people? Are they just upset because they were born with large orifices on their bodies? Do they struggle with a healthy self image? What is it? I do not understand.

*This is an update. Today, I ventured to Trader Joe’s and decided it truly is easier to turn in that median lane. Despite that, I still think that lady was being a real C U Next Tuesday about it. She wasn’t wrong, she’s just a you know what.

Monkey See, Monkey Do, but Monkey Don’t You Dare Eat Healthy Banana Pancakes

My latest recipe comes from Cook This, Not That. For once, I have to say I’d rather eat the fattening thing, and not cook and eat that.

It’s such a let down when I don’t like a recipe that looked scrumptious and delectable. My disappointment was amplified due to the fact that it’s also supposed to be a healthy alternative. It wasn’t disgusting, but the cookbook claimed that with cottage cheese and yogurt as a base, my pancakes would be fluffy and scrumptious. They were more like bland, crumbly, and dry. The only saving grace were the bananas. I forced myself to eat my leftovers the next day and I just smothered that pancake in bananas. Syrup would help too, I bet, but I didn’t have any syrup.

If a pancake is fluffy and buttery enough, I actually prefer to eat without syrup. I used to smother my pancakes with syrup, like most mid-westerners, until I realized I wasn’t sure what a pancake tasted like without all the bells and whistles. So one day I tried it without and came to the conclusion that syrup wasn’t always necessary. I tried the same thing with sushi and found that I loved the taste on its own. In fact soy sauce ruins the taste for me now, so I never use it.

My mini food experimentation made me realize that with many foods, we learn to automatically eat it in a certain way. We aren’t even sure if we like it that way, we just copy what our culture taught us. How do you know if it’s better that way, if you don’t try it plain first? For the weight conscious, you’re just automatically adding calories for something you might not even like all that much. So why eat everything the way society tells us to? Branch out. Rebel. It’ll be ok.

You will fail sometimes. It’s inevitable, but taking risks is what makes life enjoyable. I failed when I tried to make these healthy banana pancakes, but at least I know. Right?

What you need are, 1 cup of plain 2% Greek yogurt, 1 cup of low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese, 3 eggs, juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup of white whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 2 sliced bananas.

The first step is to make your pancake batter. To do so, whisk the yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Once your two bowls are mixed, combine bowls to unleash your ultimate pancake batter power.

The next step is get your pancake skillet out. I know you all have one. Do what you normally would do with pancakes, except this time around add three to four banana slices soon after your batter hits the pan. The next steps are normal pancake cooking steps. In case someone out there doesn’t know how to cook pancakes, all you do is cook one side for at least 3 minutes and then flip it and cook the other side for about 3 minutes.

I would like to mention a useful tip that this cookbook provided as well. I actually do the same thing whenever I’m making pancakes or appetizers that take awhile to cook through the whole batch. While you are waiting to cook the rest of your batch, set your oven to 200 degrees and place your cooked pancakes in the oven. This temperature setting keeps the pancakes warm and won’t result in overcooking. That way, when you are finally finished nothing will have gotten cold in the process.

I know I already let the cat out of the bag that I was disappointed in these pancakes, but I wouldn’t mind trying it again. I think I might have messed up with the type of flour I used. I had some white whole wheat flour, but it’s probably kind of old. I’m guessing that might have affected the texture a little. Also, I’m curious to see how it would turn out if I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.

If all else fails and you find yourself disappointed like I was, smother them with bananas. The bananas will save you. That’s why monkeys like them so much.


Crumbly, bland banana pancakes


Sad banana pancakes