Friday, June 7, 2013

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

Last week, I had promised my son that if he behaved at Tae Kwon Do that I would take him for breakfast dinner at IHOP (don't judge me, daddy was out of town and I was tired).  Needless to say he didn't so I was stuck having to figure out last minute dinner.  So we stopped at Publix on our way home.  Since I was already in the mindset of breakfast dinner, I decided to just make my own.  I had tried ricotta pancakes in a restaurant before and was kind of disappointed.  They tasted like just regular pancakes, but with an extra $5 charge.  But I knew that couldn't be the end all, so I went on a mission to make them myself and see if it was just a bad recipe.  Glad to say that it was!  My version of a ricotta pancake is light, fluffy and creamy all at once (my husband said it reminded him a bit of my blintzes that he loves so much).


1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs separated
2 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl orange zest (they actually have dried zest in the spice aisle that works out great in a pinch)
5 Tbl unsalted butter
1 Tbl frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
mandarin oranges 
maple syrup

Place the butter, milk and orange juice in a small saucepan. 
Heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally until the butter melts and is combined. 
Remove from heat to let it cool.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and 1/2 tsp of the salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1 Tbl of the sugar, orange zest, and almond extract until combined. 
Whisk in a small amount of the milk mixture (to prevent the eggs from curdling), and then whisk in the remaining milk mixture. 
Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined (don't overmix!).  Set aside to let it settle.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy.  Slowly add the remaining 1 Tbl suagr and 1/2 tsp salt.  Continue to whisk until the whites form soft peaks.
Gently fold the whites into the batter until combined.
Gently fold the ricotta into the batter until just combined, being careful to not mix too much (you will see streaks of ricotta throughout).
Heat your griddle (or frying pan) to 350* or medium heat until hot.
Grease your griddle with butter or other grease (I love cooking bacon first and then my pancakes...yes I know how fattening and unhealthy this is but it just tastes so good) and then pour batter onto the griddle (about 1/4 cup scoops).
Cook until small bubbles form on top (about 4 minutes) and then flip to cook the other side to a golden brown (about another 2 minutes).
Repeat until all the batter is used.
Serve with oranges and maple syrup on top.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Manly Meatloaf

I'll admit it, sometimes I like to just veg out in front of the TV with the Food Network on (I love the competition shows and Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives).  And sometimes I will see them making something and it just gets me in the mood for it.  This happened the other day when I saw Alton Brown talking about his favorite meatloaf.  He puts BBQ potato chips in it instead of bread crumbs and then cooks it in a smoker.  So, of course the next day I had to create my own version of this.  Since I don't have a smoker (sad face), I used liquid smoke in it instead.  Usually I will only try out my concoctions on my unsuspecting family (my husband says he knows when I walk out of the kitchen with the gleam in my eye, he's probably about to gain a few extra pounds).  However, we had a surprise guest that night so he had to be a taste tester as well.  I am pleased so say that it all went super (otherwise why would I be posting this recipe?) fact our guest said it was even better than his mother's meatloaf that he loves (we just won't tell her that).  So here it is for all to super moist Manly Meatloaf!


1 lb ground sirloin
1 lb ground pork
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 diced sweet vidalia onion
2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup crushed garlic butter Ritz crackers
1 cup crushed BBQ potato chips (I used applewood smoked kettle chips)
1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring (original hickory)
1/2 green pepper diced
2 large carrots diced
2 tsp BBQ seasoning (I use Stubbs)
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
6-8 slices bacon
BBQ sauce (my favorite is from Fat Matts Rib Shack in Atlanta, can order it online!)

Preheat your oven to 375*
Over medium high heat, heat up the oil in a frying pan.
Add the diced onions and cook until golden brown (carmelized).  Set to the side to let them cool.
Using your hands, mix together everything but the bacon and BBQ sauce.
Grease a cookie sheet, and then shape the meat mixture into a loaf on the sheet.
Lay the bacon slices across the top width wise.
Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes until the bacon is well done on the ends.
Slice and serve with a drizzle of BBQ sauce on top