Frozen Fruit Smoothie & Baja-Style Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Welcome to the first full day of summer! As the season warms up, I like to add some cold dishes to my regular rotation. For breakfast that means making a frozen fruit smoothie. I love how the richness of the yogurt keeps me satisfied all day long. You can use whatever fruit you like, but make sure to have some sweeter fruits to balance out the tartness of the yogurt. I used ½ cup frozen blackberries, ½ cup frozen mango, and ½ of a large frozen banana. To that I added ¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons of almond milk. You can add honey if you like, but I found the mango and banana sweet enough on their own. Lastly, I added a hearty dash of cinnamon. The result was thick, decadent, and delicious! This recipe makes enough for two smoothies, and they also store well in the freezer. Just give it a few minutes to soften before diving in.

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For summer dinners, I am perfecting the art of grilling. It’s so pleasant cooking outside when the sun doesn’t set until 9 o’clock! These Baja-Style Rosemary Chicken Skewers couldn’t be easier. I started by cutting some fresh rosemary from our garden and removing all but the tips so the woody stem could be used as a skewer. The stem holds a ton of flavor, infusing the meat with rosemary as it cooks.

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Next, I prepared the marinade. The chicken only needs to marinate for thirty minutes, which gives just enough time for the grill to heat up. Fifteen minutes on the grill created succulent, flavorful chicken. I served this with grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, green onions, and squeezed fresh lime over the entire plate. I hope you enjoy this summery feast as much as I did!

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Baja-Style Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Food and Wine            June 2014

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Pamela’s Pancakes!

Who doesn’t love pancakes? If it’s you, you’re missing out, because they’re delicious. Pancakes are the easy answer to the gffriendly person who wants some sweet carbs for breakfast. Sometimes we all need an excuse to eat syrup.

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With that in mind, Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix does a great job on pancakes. Of course you can make your own, and anything between buckwheat and corn flour can make a tasty version, but Pamela’s knows what it’s doing in this department and I think you should trust it.

You may think you know everything you need to know to make a good pancake. Well there are a few things that separate the good from the great.

Cinnamon

This is not optional. It sounds optional, but once you’ve tasted your pancakes with cinnamon you will never go back. I’m liberal with the cinnamon, adding it directly to the mix and then sprinkling some on top of the batter once it hits the pan.

cinnamon topped 'cakes

cinnamon topped ‘cakes

Color

You’re looking for a warm brown, and there two keys to achieving it. The first is using butter in your pan. Sorry, but nothing browns like butter. Second, stop cooking pancakes on medium high! Medium to medium low is as hot as you go. Pour the batter into the pan and wait for it to bubble. Only then can you flip it. If it starts to fall apart then it’s not ready to be flipped. If it’s already too dark, your pan is too hot. I’m a fan of flipping three times—once to brown both sides and once more on each side just to be sure it’s cooked through and browned nicely.

some might call this cinnamon brown

some might call this cinnamon brown

Airiness

This is also known as the fluffy pancake. Remember those bubbles we were talking about earlier? You want those in your pancake. The trick is not to press down on the pancake when it’s in the pan. If you’re not sure it’s cooked through, keep the heat low enough that you can keep flipping the cake without burning it. If you keep it moving you can cook the inside without burning the outside.

see the little holes?

see the little holes?

Syrup

We’re talking real maple, no substitutes. Too many people think Grade A is the best, which is a scam. Grade B has more richness and flavor. It’s maple for maple-lovers. Try it!

You have many more options for making your pancake recipe special. Diced apple? Sure! Chocolate chips? Why not? If you love it, try it in a pancake and see how it goes. And with that I say farewell and happy breakfast.

happy pile of pancakes for brunch

happy pile of pancakes for brunch