Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Couldn't refrain from McClain and Plantains in the Rain.

Dearly beloved, we gather here today since we have no job to join this fruit and this batter in holy matrimony. If there is any reason why these two should not be wed speak now or forever hold your peace.

Do you: Flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Take: Plantains and soymilk in holy matrimony?

I now pronounce you......... THUMBS UP! Fellow lovers of the cake, i assure you, Jack Johnson can write all the songs he wants and keep whisping us off to land of hammoks and rain and not needing to go outside. But as far as bananas go, they have nothing on their starchier, firmer, longer and slightly bitter (get your head out of the gutter) cousin... the Plantain!

Surely, this excitement has a wonderful story to go with it! Sadly, not really. The weekly produce forridge just happened to stumble upon REALLY ripe plantains at 3 for $1 (<-- too good to pass up). Also, i decided to start the theme of

"You put WHAT in there?"

Again, head out of the gutter, i mean ingredients to the pancake. And let me tell you, the plantain definitely scores a nine out of ten. It is not only sweet but keeps the moisture in there and lends a great deal of fiber and potassium. There are a couple of catches though

1) Your going to need to blend/food process the Plantain to make a "milk", THEN make the batter. Your gonna want that liquid to keep the moisture in there.

2) Make sure the Plantains are REALLY ripe. Say it with me: "Deep fry the green guy, yellow-black FLAPJACK" <--- i seriously just sang that.

Along with the aforementioned Jack Johnson song about banana pancakes considering...

'Just another beautiful day in Flordia...'

Needless to say i was not going out for any sort of sunny activity and the gym is really crowded in the afternoon and even worse when theres a damn spin class. Therefore, it was time for plan C...

You GOTTA love plan C.

So, there you have it. Im thinking of calling the Plantain Pancake the Yippee-Kay-ake, or the Plan-C-Tain. either way they were amazing and you should go out and make them as soon as possible. As always, feel free to message me for the exact recipe and method and until next time, remember.....

Be nice to the ugly cousin... cause when they get older they usually get sweeter and more sought after. and cheap..... like 'three for a dollar cheap'.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Deals and Good Deeds

So the results are in and i am officially the worst posted in the Blogsphere. I like to think of myself, in regards to my blog, as that kid who gets all the sources for a research paper right away and then just procrastinated while looking at them sit next to the computer. Im still pounding out the p-cakes like a madman, and documenting like whoa but then i just look at the computer really hard hoping ill develop the ability to talk to machines, in which case i would change my name to rebel and start busting my friends out of jail so we could go fight crime and, DAMN! I need to start watching Heroes.

Anyway, onto the cakey wonder or what the title 'good deal' refers to. You see, being a new vegan has led me to spend a lot more time in the grocery store produce department and noticing whats on sale and whats in season. Today on my Publix excursion i found the lovely strawberry telling me that i should buy it. 2 baskets for 3 dollars! Am i retarted? dont answer that!

OR I WILL CUT YOU LIKE I DICED UP THE RECENTLY PURCHASED BERRY GOODNESS! That being said i now know why chefs are so amiable, they get to play with knives and cut things... and get paid for it! Definitely a reason to take the profession on. Anyhoo, since the berries were such i good deal i decided to make some strawberry p-cakes, with a special vegan component that will have the spotlight in the next entry (gotta leave them wanting more). So, i got the batter together - my pan hot - and the coffee brewed an away we went.

There is a small secret to this one... DO NOT mix the berried in the batter before you put these on the griddle. This will make the sugars hit the pan rather than the batter at some points and it WILL burn to the pan and make flippage difficult. In the words of Napoleon, you'll feel like a "Flippin Idiot" (<-- see what i did there?). Ergo, i employed what i have dubbed the 'boop droop', meaning you drop the batter, THEN drop the berry slices (or what have you) then you give the new addition a little push into its new bed. And i dont know why but every push makes you want to say 'boop' in a cute voice (go ahead and tell me im wrong). After that its smooth sailing, three minutes or so on one side and one-ish on the other. Then...

... we have the berry pancakes of vegan magic. These bad boys didn't even need syrup cause the berries are already juicy (but we added some anyway, of course). Oh, and remember the burned berries that we were trying to avoid earlier? Well it turns out that what you want to avoid on one side is the best part of the other. I swear it was like a combination of the crispy cheese on the panini and Jesus.

S, by now your probbaly asking A) why is e ranting about something simple and B) what 'good deed' means in the title. Well, during my grocery excursion and the finding of the berry deal and such, I noticed how nobody can buy a whole hand of bananas. I dont care if a family of nine is buying one, the mother will grab a hand of six and rip one off and leave it there. At first i thought it was funny, but then i thought of the hand as a family... i mean, they were born and raised together, traveled the globe, went through banana puberty and got into fights with the plantain gang from down the road who tried to get them hooked on that bad shiz. And this woman sees fit to destroy sich a beautiful family group, this can't keep happening! There-go, i found the biggest hand in the bunch (8 friggin naners!) and rounded it up to nine by taking home the orphan banana. OR, as i named her...

"Little Orphan Nanny"
All in all it was an extremely successful pancake morning. Once nourished it was time for some nice reading by the pool and an afternoon film of 'Hamlet 2'. Rock me sexy Jesus indeed. Later on, it appeared as though my good deeds brought the good Lord to tears cause the rain came out to play and i had to retreat into the house to peruse blog-land for a little while before i dove into another pancake adventure (but thats another story).
On a serious note, things at the radio station are going really good. Im learning a crapload about the radio industry and am loving the people i work around which is definitely a pleasant shift. Couple that with a recent reunion with some old friends and a tip down memory lane which led Pan-Clay-ke to Calvary Chapel for the saturday service and you have the makings of an amazing weekend. Speaking of church happenings and friends and such there is a much more serious post coming soon so be ready, i would venture to go the distance now but i feel i have rambled for long enough and The Next Food Network Star is about to start. Again... always leave them wanting more.
So, until next time please remember to live well, laugh often and, for godness sake, dont split up the banana family!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

No eggs, no milk, no problem!

Happy Saturday pancake lovers! It is the weekend meaning this is the time when many families in America sit around the breakfast table and switch out their Frosted Cheerios and Toaster Pastry for the home-cookery of the pancake, and why wouldn’t they. Speaking from personal experience I can honestly say there is nothing more gratifying that a heartfelt ‘thank you’ when you place a warm plate of food in front of someone that was mere ingredients on the counter 20 minutes earlier. Making something out of nothing, a good philosophy for pancake making and life… but now were getting a little too “zen” about pancakes (although baking is very calming)
Speaking of calming, the atmosphere in South Florida is finally taking a turn for the better. The storm clouds appear to have taken a vacation for the weekend and the sun looks like it may come out to play for at least a bit. This means A LOT to yours truly because the pale-idity from the slavery of working in a hair salon has yet to leave these pasty legs of mine. Looks like its time for some much needed sun exposure, Vitamin D here I come!
Vitamin D? Well, fun fact, your body doesn’t need the D from dairy because you can actually get it from the sun. Yeah, I read that… in a BOOK! This brings me to my next point of explaining the use of the special ingredients this week. Avid readers may remember the mention of veganism in the past, basically the purging of animal products in ones life (diet and otherwise). This proves a challenge in traditional Pancake-cookery since eggs and milk have been staple ingredients in the batter recipe since its conception. Even the ‘just add water’ mixes are of limits since they contain milk solids acting as a binder (lots of reading this week). But, did that stop yours truly? Nawt Bloody likely (said in a Scottish accent).

Ladies and gentlemen…. The starting lineup for the Very Vanilla Vegan Pancakes! At center we have 100% stone ground wheat flour! A flour that, much like myself, tastes amazing and is completely unrefined. Yeah, I went there. At small forward we have the wonder of Vanilla Silk! Which, like Jennifer Love Hewitt, adds sweetness to anything its added too (just bought Can’t hardly Wait). At power forward we have baking powder and at shooting guard we have Pumpkin Pie Spice. Two staple incredients in my pancake making arsenal, I was going to add some pumpkin puree to compliment the spice but I didn’t want to run before I could crawl. Lastly, at point guard, we have some splenda I found in my man purse left over from when I pilfered a few packets from the local Starbucks. Don’t judge me, times are hard.

I’ll have to admit, I was a bit nervous about the lack of eggs until I saw the Pancake Pay dirt of the bubbles coming up to the top! It must be what pirates feel when someone yells ‘Land ho!’ All bets were then off and I had to make sure I didn’t just dump all the batter I had left in my skillet, but then my mind went back to that scene from Uncle Buck when he makes those tire sized pancakes that he has to flip with a snow shovel. Annnnnnnnnd, even though I would like to try that eventually ihad to focus on the task at hand. Then, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as they were all done and wonderful I started thinking “Man, I would like some banana pancakes at the moment”. Easy fix though, just paired these bad boys with a naner and made a little pancake face that was delectable, not to mention comforting to eat breakfast with someone else for a change.
Pancake Face, however, is not as happy about the situation as I was.
Kidding aside, why the switch to being a vegan? Did I grow up on a farm and started noticing empathy for animals? Did PETA finally reach me with the abundance of literature on the subject? Maybe it was the time I fell asleep in a whole foods? I’m afraid that it was due to a little book called “Skinny Bastard”. Having heard wonderful press about it I decided to flip through it one morning in a Barnes Noble and I must say… the writing style made me laugh a bit and I was already through the first couple chapters in about 20 minutes. Also, I know what your thinking and its not a ‘diet book’, its more of s punch in the face about what animal consumption does to not only the environment but also our health. I know, a book with the word Bastard in the title cant be the most scholarly source in the world, but they quoted numerous credible sources – The China Study in particular. Im telling you right now, anyone who on the fence about switiching to veganism needs to read the china study. I had already spent my book budget for the week so I was unable to purchase it but after flipping through a few selections about meat and dairy I definitely agreed that it will be on my bookshelf soon. Long story short, I made the leap to go hard core on the vegan diet for the month of July and have been finding it extremely nice so far. Im liking all the thinks you can do with tofu and I don’t think im ever going to get tired of burritos (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!). Also, I notice how simple things like fruit and veggies have a whole new taste that I just cant get enough of. Not to mention that the pancakes were a-ma-ZING! Honestly, I think tasty walked by and said: “Damn, those look tasty… and cruelty-free”. So, all in all, vegan-hood is working out well and ill be sure to keep you all updated on the stautus of everything.
On the final front, radio is………….. awesome! I am definitely happy about not dreading my wake up in the morning. Granted, anything done at 4am is a little taxing, but im finding it easier than when had to get up for work at 10! (ß six hours later!) I guess that’s what happens when your spend your work day laughing rather than dealing with people who were willing to pay $80 for a haircut but go ape-shit when it turns out to be $85. Not kidding, that actually happened. Also, we all got the week off for the 4th of July which is definitely code for greatness in my book. I still went in and hung around with OMG (one of the hosts who was making sure the ‘Best of Broadcasts’ were going off without a hitch). And we both got to have some guy time where he would show me the kind of work he does and I would pay him with Egg McMuffins (which are NOT vegan L). But ill tell you what is….. hash browns HOLLA!
Well, true believers, that is all we at Pan-Clay-ke have for you this week but the pancakes and musings will be back with a vengeance. Till then feel free to question away with anything about Veganism, Pancakes, also movies coming out as I feel Bruno and Public Enemies calling me out of the house as well as the sunshine this day. Till then this is Pan-Clay-Ke reminding you that frozen blueberries are just as good in a recipe as fresh.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Worst. Post. Ever.

Welcome back pancake fans! Am planning to do a more proper post tomorrow due to lack of time/alertness today (will go into more later). Howev-sies I wanted to both post a quick update as well as keep myself "blog-countable".

Things are going well at the radio station, im getting along wonderfully with the people there and they seem to like the muffins i baked for them last week which is a good sign, nothing says 'hire me' like bananas and walnuts (note: perfect title for a B porno movie). Also, just started a new strength training program thanks to the wonderful Coleen back in Austin, she's an olympic weighlifter b-t-dubbs so just you wait until im Mr. Incredibling again! Super psyched? You bet I am!

Florida weather is officially sad, it seems rain wanted to bring its old friends thunder and lightning to the party for the fourth of July. Don't get me wrong, I am a big believer in the more the merrier but these guys so did not RSVP to my fourth of July bash.

Speaking of the day of independence, i will not be partaking in any BBQ's this year. Why, you ask? I have recently adopted the vegan lifestyle!!! Could it be? You bet and i am excited beyond all reason. As of now im stocked up of tofu and veggies, not to mention new discoveries like Almond butter and Ezekiel Bread. Will update about what brought on that change later as well.

Well, thats it for now. Mostly because Homeward Bound is about to come on TV and i am so ready for some incredible journey action. Oh, and a little surprise for tomorrow, can you say Vegan Pancakes? WHERE ARE THE EGGS AND MILK?!?!?! SURELY THIS WILL BE ANARCHY!

It just may be... and dont call me Shirley.