I Cook: Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

I’ve been following Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen through her blog for years, before she had Instagram, before her first book deal, before she had kids, and I think even before she was married, so I believe that makes me one of her OG fans. I love her personality in writing and her tried and true recipes that turn out just as described and pictured. She provides tips and tricks to make food taste better, and I am always learning something new with each recipe.

By making the Cherry Almond Dutch Baby, I learned that taking the extra step to toast almond slices brings the pancake up to a whole new level, especially if you love almonds. And I love almonds. This Dutch baby pancake has almonds and almond extract, so.

Dutch baby pancakes are simple to make and they are best consumed fluffy right out of the oven, but it deflates quickly and you really have to be on standby to inhale it as it comes out of the oven, which is often impossible. Once the pancake deflates, it becomes a bit spongy. Although it’s still good, it won’t be as good as what you would imagine a cloud-like pancake should taste like.

It’s still delicious, especially because it’s cherry season and there’s cherries everywhere in supermarkets. Since I love cherries, almonds, and pancakes, her recent Instagram post had me driving to the supermarket to buy some sliced almonds.

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I can’t take credit for making this by myself. Elaine helped me measure, stir, assemble, and she even helped set the table. <333

Breakfast Breakdown

The other night at the dinner table, we were discussing favorite foods and my husband said my favorite food would be brunch. “It wouldn’t be a food. It would be brunch,” he said. And he was half right. I love breakfast foods, but I also love noodles, pasta, and bread (i.e., carbs).

Here is a breakdown of my everyday breakfast:

  1. Gather a handful of frozen vegetables and berries. I steam broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage every other week and store them in the freezer. I buy frozen berries from Costco; the organic frozen berries are so cheap compared to ones from the grocery store.
  2. Pour ~1 cup of my mom’s recipe of brewed roots and berries: a 4-5 hour endeavor of brewing milk thistle and licorice roots, then seeping dried goji and schisandra berries for another 5 hours.
  3. Add the frozen vegetables and berries into the liquid, then add half an apple and a steamed beet. I buy steamed beets from Trader Joe’s; they sell them packs of 5 in air-tight bags and you can find them in the salad section. I’ve seen steamed beets in Sprouts and Vons, so other grocery stores carry them as well. It’s convenient because beets are messy and prices are comparable (buying fresh beets vs. steamed beets).

4. Blend everything together and it will produce about 2 tall glasses (~4 cups). I drink one and store the other in the fridge to drink the next day.

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5. Make toast. I recently bought a loaf of pumpkin and black sesame seed bread from Paris Baguette and it’s soft and somewhat healthy.

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6. While I wait for my toast in the toaster oven, I brew a cup of English breakfast tea. My sister recently brought a fancy one from her quick trip to England, so I’ve been drinking this when I feel fancy. When it’s finished brewing, I add a scoop of the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (a huge canister I found at Costco) and some almond milk.

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7. Spread the toast with some chunky almond butter and boysenberry jam.

That’s it! Β I also change things up by eating eggs on toast or avocado on toast, and I also usually eat them on whole grain breads, but in any variation, I gotta have my toast. ;)

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Birthday at Disneyland

Birthday at Disneyland

We didn’t start out as Disney fans. Sure, we grew up watching Disney films and visited Disneyland maybe once every decade, but there was no ingrained fascination with the megacorp that a certain group of people seemed to share. We weren’t those people.

My husband and I moved down to SoCal (from the Bay Area) for his residency program in 2013 (before we had Elaine) and many of his colleagues were annual pass holders to Disneyland who seemed to make it their mission to haul him onto the bandwagon. “It’s only 30 minutes away,” they said. “You can go there for date nights/days whenever you want.” “You can go there on your days/afternoons off.” “It’s a bargain if you think about a day’s admission cost.” Spellbound, my husband found himself purchasing the premium annual memberships for the both of us so that we didn’t have blackout dates and we didn’t have to pay for parking for every visit. By the end that year, after about one or two visits a month, we were converts; we shared the same sentiment as the other Disney people whom we didn’t understand at first. There’s a certain desire for fiction and magic that Disney provides, and you come to love walking down Main Street with the view of the castle, the foods associated with each section of the park, and riding the silly rides that only last a minute or so. I rode “it’s a small world” at the end of the day around 11:30PM with a sleepy Elaine, and a family came rushing into the line standing behind me in which I overhead a lady say, “I always ride ‘it’s a small world’ whenever I come to Disneyland. If I don’t, did it even happen?”

Fiction, magic, traditions. That’s how they get’ya.

Food highlights from Pixar Fest (see this post for all the details): I had a long list of foods to try, but our stomachs could only handle so much in one day and we had a dinner reservation at Goofy’s Kitchen, which was a dinner buffet with the family, so we couldn’t stuff ourselves in the afternoon. We tried the grape soda cake pop, alien macaron, cheeseburger pizza, apple and cherry slushy in a Finding Nemo souvenir light-up sipper cup, a habanero meatball cone, and a “Choose Your Racer” churro in which I chose the red churro for Lightning McQueen. My favorite was the alien macaron because it wasn’t that sweet and it was a well-made macaron with a sweet-tangy blackberry flavored filling. I wanted to try at least 3 churros (the cocoa churro (inspired by Coco) and the multi-colored fruity churro (inspired by Up)), Jessie’s Berry Jubilee funnel cake (inspired by Toy Story 3), the three-flavored corn dog (inspired by Jack-Jack from The Incredibles), and the three-course Remi-inspired (from Ratatouille) menu at Cafe Orleans, but again, our stomachs could handle so much and I think the Lord was keeping me in check with all the sweets. ;) I didn’t indulge too much because I only took a bite or two from each food item. I just wanted a taste, that’s all. hehe.

 

 

Birthday Week

We’re only young once, they say. Youth is passing and I behave like an old woman–huffing and puffing after walking a short distance, wearing tons of layers because I’m always cold, wanting to stay home rather than go out, hot tea instead of iced water. Once upon a time, I was young and (relatively) healthy. Now, well, my life is quite the opposite. Thirty-three. May this year be a year of healing and living.