Friday Reflections – April 14

It’s Spring Break this week and we are living. it. up. By this, I mean that I am slowly getting out of bed and the boys are having much more screen time than normal. I did take the boys swimming the other day and that experience has solidified my resolve to keep these boys in swimming lessons. Goodness.

On Tuesday, we dodged the rain and walked to the cutest gelato shop in town! We hadn’t been there before but the hazelnut gelato will definitely have me coming back.

I have been working on some lemon recipes and, after a few more tweaks, I will have one to share. Below is a lemon poppyseed scone recipe I made. I love the rhubarb compote, it is the perfect complement to the scone. 

For some reason, I feel like my kids are usually wearing matching clothes. Please know that I don’t plan this. They pick them out themselves! Before climbing on the play structure, we had practiced some biking. He is soooo close!

The cherry blossom season is a magical time in Seattle. I love how the petals cover the ground. Soon the magnolia trees will bloom and my heart will truly believe that Spring is here to stay.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and that it is filled with ice cream and spring time.

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An afternoon hazelnut gelato affogato with the cutest little twirly fork.
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Lemon Poppyseed Scone with Rhubarb Compote
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Blue, Green and Grey
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Cherry blossom snow

Strawberry Lemon Pancakes

I started working when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember rolling up newspapers for my paper route, rubber banding them and riding my pink, banana seat bike all around the neighborhood, tossing newspapers at each front porch.

At 15, I started working at a  pizza place and I worked there all through high school. I worked every summer. I worked and worked and worked some more.

After having both children, I worked full time without a second thought. I was used to working and juggling life around it. Then six years ago, we decided to move cities and knew it would be the perfect time to take a step back and be home with the children. These years are short (or so I hear) and we both wanted a simpler life for ourselves and our children.

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Now, fast forward six years and the kids are older and are both in school. Whew – free and clear! I was offered a part-time job as a baker and snatched it up. I couldn’t wait to get back into the working world. Co-workers! Paychecks! I was also looking forward to the ability to easily answer the question “so what do you do?” Stay-at-home mom always seemed to fall so flat. It sounds boring. It sounds like under-achieving. It sounds so privileged.

But then we were back to the daily juggling. Our simpler life went out the window. After working for a year, my body was telling me no, it was time to say good-bye to the baker position and return to the stay-at-home mom one.

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That brings me back to here.

Raising humans is a monumental task, yet it is made up of a million smaller ones. Packing lunches, laundry, homework, bedtime stories and play dates – all add up to what we hope are responsible adults who are ready to take on the challenges of this world. Yet, sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees. The mundane tasks seems so – mundane.

I hadn’t realized how much my self worth was attached to my employment until I stopped working. It is hard for me to remember that in fact, self worth comes from me just being me.

In light of this, I’m trying to remember that me just being me is enough. I don’t have to earn my keep, so to speak. I do plenty. I can plan coffee dates with friends and indulge in hobbies. I can spend part of my child free time on things that enrich my life as an individual. Volunteer, read, and of course, bake.

 

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Now, with this extra lease on life, I decided it was time to work on some tasty new pancakes. Blueberry pancakes have never really been a family favorite. A couple years ago, our youngest was watching Daniel Tiger on PBS and they made strawberry pancakes on the episode. He immediately asked to make them and so we did. This time around, I embellished them with a zing of lemon and a powdered sugar for the topping.

Strawberry Lemon Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (half of a large lemon)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries, about 4 large fresh or frozen that have been thawed and drained

Instructions:

Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl. In another bowl (I use a large measuring cup) combine the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and combine with a spatula until just combined. Gently mix in strawberries. Pre-heat a griddle to 350 degrees. Spray griddle with cooking spray and ladle 1/4 cup mixture unto griddle. Cook until lightly golden on the bottom (1-2 minutes) and then flip. Press the pancake down gently. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until both sides are golden brown and the middle is cooked through.

I test the middle of the pancake by gently pressing the side of the spatula into the pancake and if it comes out clean, then I know the middle is cooked. Serve with a bit of butter and powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

 

Buttery Waffles

Grandma’s house in summertime was my favorite place to be as a child. The house is big two story farmhouse built by my great grandparents and set in the middle of the family farm. When not sleeping over at my cousins’ house, my sister and I would sleep upstairs in the room my mom grew up in.  We would fall fast asleep covered in cozy quilts and wake up to the sounds of laughter from the kitchen. I would bound down the stairs and there would be my mom and aunt happily laughing in the eat-in kitchen. My grandma would be standing at the counter with the waffle maker working over time to keep up with all the hungry mouths to feed. Warm waffles smothered in butter and served with your choice of maple or corn syrup. I always picked corn syrup since it was different than what we would eat at home. Waffles were a weekly event at our house but grandma’s always seemed extra special.

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For our wedding, my husband and I received three different waffle makers as gifts. Waffles are serious business in my family. My favorite way to eat waffles is the classic butter and maple syrup but peanut butter and bananas are a close second. My kids sometimes like to eat them cut into sticks and dipped in syrup but most of the time they eat waffles with butter on top or plain. I love this recipe for its simplicity and light wheat taste. The waffles stay crisp even when cooled. Golden brown and buttery, this waffle barely needs a topping.

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Rachel

Buttery Whole Wheat Waffles

This recipe is barely adapted from King Arthur Flour. You are welcome to half this recipe but since they freeze so beautifully, I recommend just making the whole thing. My waffle maker is from Williams Sonoma and uses about 1/2 cup batter.

Makes 4 cups of batter (8 waffles for my waffle maker)

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups lukewarm milk (I use skim)
  • 10 2/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Melt butter in a microwave safe dish and set aside. Warm milk to lukewarm in a microwave safe dish (around 2 minutes), set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour melted butter into warmed milk and whisk in eggs. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and combine using a whisk or spatula. Small lumps are ok, don’t over mix. Cook waffles according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Top with butter and maple syrup. To freeze leftovers: place waffles on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Transfer to freezer bags to store.