1. I woke up early on Saturday to a rainy, dreary, and cool morning. I really don’t mind this kind of morning every once in a while, especially if the only item on my agenda is cuddling up on the couch with a comforting breakfast.
This weekend the clear choice was pancakes. I’ve become a bit obsessed with vanilla beans since making my Vanilla Bean Brown Sugar Almond Butter, so Naturally Ella‘s Vanilla Bean Pancakes were a no-brainer.
Can you see all of the gorgeous little vanilla bean seeds in the batter?!
I halved the recipe, save for the vanilla bean (I used a whole bean for half the recipe), and that made just enough ‘cakes for one serving.
Fluffy, soft, light, and gloriously scented with fresh vanilla, this stack of pancakes hit the spot =).
2. I wanted to make some treats for a couple of our new neighbors, and I settled on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis, as seen on Eats Well With Others.
Even though these bars weren’t intended for me to eat – other than this one for testing purposes, of course – I made a few substitutions:
- subbed in whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose in both the brownies and the cookie dough
- used 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of 2/3 cup in the brownies
- used 1/4 cup brown sugar instead of 1/2 cup in the cookie dough (so, 1/2 cup total sugar in the dough, rather than 3/4 cup)
- omitted the chocolate glaze on top
I chilled the bars well before toting them across the street and next door, as the cookie dough softens quite a bit in the summertime room temperature heat.
Ah. Maz. Ing! I honestly wouldn’t want them any sweeter than they turned out with my alterations, and the whole wheat pastry flour was indiscernible. Goes to show you can make healthy substitutions when cooking and baking for others.
3. I admit, I tuned into Shark Week on The Discovery Channel pretty much every night last week.
Most of the shows were fascinating, although the timing certainly wasn’t ideal given we have a beach vacation coming up in less than a week.
Might not have been the smartest decision I’ve ever made.
4. I’m revisiting what has become my favorite grain salad for this week’s Back Burner post, which is devoted to back-to-school packed lunches. If you missed it the first time around this winter, make sure you check out my Date and Walnut Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette!