17 September 2006

New Pancakes, Lebanon and Rambutan Fruit

I made two different types of pancakes for dinner the other night. I had been promising Ray's cousin Jordan the "Coconut Pancakes with Pineapple Sauce" from VwaV for about two weeks now. He has been dining with us often lately and was super-enthused about this particular recipe. The co-op recently had cans of organic pineapple chunks, pieces and some other fruits on sale, so I picked up crushed and rings and used the crushed for this recipe. The second batch of pancakes is my standard chocolate chip banana pancakes. You see, I used to make pancakes a certain way a while back. They were good, in fact, I used to really love them. That's until I got my hands on Vive le Vegan and I now exclusively follow Dreena's Banana Bliss Pancakes, modified to my standard personal recipe, and now we have the most amazing pancakes ever. Basically, I follow the whole recipe but I use 2 bananas instead of 1 and I add a handfull of chocolate chips (Sunspire). Topped with these bad boys is the going-on-one-year-old-standard Blueberry Maple Syrup from Vive.

Of course I liked the chocolate chip banana ones with blueberry. That's the best kind. My first few bites of the Coconut Pineapple pancakes were interesting, crunchy from the coconut but very pina colada-y with the sauce. I liked them, but not enough to finish them. Maybe it was a bit overwhelming for me, so much coconut and so much crunchiness in the cakes. I could modify this, but I do prefer saucy-syrup not just sauce on my pancakes. I did finish the other kind. Thank goodness we have a human garbage can over here sometimes (Jordan) and I just plopped my coconut leftovers onto his plate and they were gone in no time.

The night before the pancakes we had "dinner" at a weird time. It was more like an 11:30pm snack. We had meals at weird times all day and were randomly super-hungry around 10 or 10:30pm. We all decided that since the Punk Rock Chickpea gravy with mashed potatoes is so awesome, it would be the best thing to have. I said, "I can make them in no time. Someone just help me peel [the potatoes]." Of course this was not the case and it took about an hour for the water to heat up, boil and cook the yukon gold's until soft. Why is it taking me so long to boil potatoes? Anway, we finally ate before midnight and I couldn't believe that after my serving (probably about a pound's worth... that was all we ate), the guys ate the rest of the 4.5 pounds of potatoes. I seriously thought I'd have enough leftovers for the next day. I was wrong. They were pleasantly stuffed, but ended up like this (see below) 5 minutes after eating. Jordan never got up off of the guest-air-mattress until the morning (hee hee) and Ray slowly crawled into bed with me a few hours later... (Ray's the one on his back)
I like to go to Haji Baba, a middle eastern restaurant with an awesome market because it is authentic. I don't dine at the restaurant much but I go to the market for various items that I can't get at the co-op or Whole Foods. The only thing that bothers me is since I buy in the high 90's percent organic foods, they don't have any there. I stick with random stuff such as tamarind paste, cheap pomegranite juice, baklava for Ray it has butter, but they have super-cheap and good pita and they even have household items and great rugs (and more!). Turns out they also have great vases. Ray spotted this out, I exclaimed how much I liked it and the fact that it's made in Lebanon and he bought it for me. It was $6 I think. I love how it is handpainted and how I can feel that it is. I thought it was an interesting looking vase for how it was built. Sort of like a cross between a vase, a lemonade pitcher and a bong. I plan on using it for none of the above, just decoration.
It made me feel extra special that this was made in Lebanon. I wish for and strive for peace everywhere and would someday like to be able to visit this beautiful place and mingle around and talk and see and learn of the culture and beauty first hand, safely. Even though I've never been there, it sort of reminds me of aspects of Arizona, landscape-wise.
Next up, rambutan fruit. I have never heard of this and saw it randomly at Whole Foods. The man helping me out said that it is native to Vietnam and many other tropic places and he let me try one then and there. The ones in the store were conventionally grown in California. I thought that was weird, but he gave me the whole story on it. I tried it and thought it was wonderful. It reminded me of a peeled grape and you don't want to eat the seed/nut. I bought some more to take home. They ended up being about 20 cents each and the guy told me that in Vietnam you can buy a huge-ass bushel of them for fifty cents. Oh well, I'll just have to go one day for myself. Here's a link for better photos and more info on the rambutan fruit.
Killian had a blast playing hockey with it across the kitchen floor. I even knew at the store that he would love the "hairs" on it. Here he is being freaky and tossing the rambutan around.


Anonymous said...

I love your idea for modifying Dreena's pancakes. I don't usually eat breakfast food (waffles, pancakes, tofu scrambles, etc.) but I'm starting to really like them and have been adding them to my repertoire more often. I actually made french toast this morning and it was really delicious. I always know when Marty especially likes something because he'll ask, "Was it easy to make?" If it's good and easy, it makes it into his list of items that he asks me to make. I'll have to take it from you and try breakfast for dinner. Although it sort of feels more like dessert, doesn't it?

Haji baba sounds like a neat little place to shop. I love stores that are so random like that (selling pomogranite juice and rugs!). What a beautiful vase.

My friend who went to Thailand was telling me about the Rambutan. After seeing a picture of one, my first thought was the same as yours. Bailey would LOVE to play with it. There are so many exotic fruits and veggies around the world that I have never heard of, much less seen. I would love to explore and experience and travel more.

Just curious how you've been feeling these days. Are you still feeling dizzy?

Kate said...

Those pancakes looks so good. I must say, I love chocolate chip anything but the pineapple flavor sounds really awesome too. Your cat (i am guessing its yours) looks so cute playing with that strange fruit.

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Crystal. Would you mind passing over (or emailing) me the "was it easy to make" list because we have a similair situation around here. Although it makes only the difference to me if it is easy (and the later mood portrayed to Ray, hee hee). Anyway, that list would be helpful if it's ok. I have a mental one but there's not-so easy stuff on there, I just love it.

I don't think the pancakes are more like dessert, but it is on the sweet side. I always use stone ground whole wheat flour, flax, some sort of fruit, soymilk and I feel those can be desserty but you've seen my desserts, so pancakes is really just regular food. I don't eat it in the morning though- never.

I'd love to explore the world more too, to see and to eat! I'm not really dizzy these days... it has subsided and it is only sometimes now. It has set me back in many aspects of life and I am starting to slowly feel like myself again. I'm still not 100 percent, but I really appreciate you asking. You are always so kind, thanks Crystal.

Kate, if you have either book, try them out. "Strange" anything is usually one of my favorites.

Melody said...

Your pancakes look really good...

I'm not really into pancakes much, but I love that they can be vegan.

I got a laugh out of the fact that they ate so many potatoes.. I swear, If I make 5lbs of mashed potatoes, my kids and husband and I can eat them all.. mostly my kids and husband. My oldest son is almost 15 and could probably kill of 5lbs himself. Insane!

btw, I saw your comments on Catherine's blog about the cast iron. You can buy pre-seasoned pans from Lodge. I think they are sold in most stores now even, so you don't have to cure yours in the oven.

kris said...

I loved this post, Leslie! I love your new vase/decoration! I never visited that store when I was in AZ and now I'm really bummed out, what a cool place! Jim and I just went to an incredible Lebanese restaurant here last night, hands down the best place I've ever eaten. When you make it out here, I'll take you.

I haven't made those pancakes before, but they aren't really my flavor, with the pineapple and coconut. We just had the pumpkin waffles the other day, but as pancakes. And I just found some pomegrante molasses at an international grocery the other night, so I'm going to make the BBQ tofu this week, with coconut rice. I'll let you know how it turns out!

That fruit would have been a major freak out food for me, had I not been able to try it at the store! Wow, I've heard of it, but never seen it before. How do you eat it exactly? Killian looks so cute, Bindhi would love that kind of thing, too. One of her favorite things to paly with are new potatoes. I'll toss a couple of them on the floor and she'll play hockey with them and carry them around in her mouth. The trouble for me is keeping tabs on them so they don't end up under the couch!

How's your website stuff coming along? I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better, I'm just sorry that it's taken so long to get back to normal.

Mary said...

I looooove breakfast foods. I could eat them anytime of the day! I guess I'll have to buy Vive Le Vegan. I've been hearing so many great things about it. The fruit looks so creepy!!! It reminds me of a sea urchin, but really colorful. Glad to here it was good.

Urban Vegan said...

Pancake heaven!

I love your Lebanese bong-vase. Hear, hear for peace in the world.

The rambutan reminds me of a sea creature.

Vicki said...

the rambutan is such a pretty fruit & i'd like to try it sometime. i think it's hilarious how you knocked out the guys on the punk rock gravy - way to go, you flattened them out pancake style --- speaking of pancakes.... the pina colada variety sounds soo good to me.

maybepigscanfly said...

YAY RAMBUTAN! I went to Southeast Asia with my cousin for three weeks last dec./jan. to vacation and to visit family. One of my favorite things was trying all of the native fruit. It was so amazing because everyday we would go buy fresh (and super cheap) produce at the outdoor markets. It was the best fruit I've ever had in my life. I'm excited to see that you got it here in the U.S., but I you still have to try it over there some day because I guarantee its better there. I bought Longan (my favorite SE Asian fruit) in the US, and it wasn't even close- which really dissapointed me. I'm glad you liked the rambutan tho.

OOOhhh I really like the vase/pitcher/bong from Lebanon. That is such a great buy- especially since its hand painted. I too would love to go there someday.

I've never been a huge fan of syrup (but maybe thats because I grew up on Aunt Jemima), but I do love pancakes and blueberries. Do you think it would be wierd to make blueberry syrup with agave instead?

p.s. glad to hear that you're feeling better!

bazu said...

Loved your post! I had to laugh at your vase/pitcher/bong comment, but it is really pretty. And the rambutan sounds delicious, and the picture of your kitty "attacking" it is just priceless. Your Whole Foods sounds like heaven, they let you try the fruit, and I remember you had a post a while back about an ice cream tasting where they let you pick out which ice creams you wanted to taste? Heaven! I might have to visit AZ just for that. =) Oh, and around here, dinner at 11:30 is quite normal- sometimes we look at each other at, like, 9 and say, "what's for dinner?" 2-3 hours and a production later, we have something on our plates. We don't feel bad, we just say it's more "continental" this way- ha ha.

Have a great day!

laura jesser said...

I love pancakes... I'm going to try Dreena's recipe soon. Both of the varieties you made look delightful. The rambutan fruit--that's an interesting looking thing! I'll have to find out more about it! As for the vase, it's quite lovely and special. Unique things like that make my world go round.

raising_kahne said...

yumm. Dreena's pancakes look awesome as usual! I dont really think I would like the thickness of the pineapple sauce. I really love the blueberry syrup because it's thinner, but also has chunks in it! I think they would rock with peanut butter on them! Just out of curiosity, how much nut butters should you get a day?? I mean, I love them and usually have about 2 tbsp a day or so, but I know you're a nutritionist and you would probably know more about it than me!

cindy said...

If you ever get down to Tucson, they have the best Middle Eastern restaurant ever called The Shish Kebab House. The owner is Lebanese and his wife is Hispanic. He taught her all of his traditional recipes. They are the nicest people you will ever meet and the food is out of this world. Better than anything you could ever imagine. Once you try their hummus, everything else tastes terrible in comparison. Try the spinach pie. It is completely dairy-free and so good.

Judy said...

I have a few Asian co-workers and they are always introducing me to new and wonderful things! I just tried jackfruit for the first time a few days ago.

Megan the Vegan said...

I've walked by that fruit in the markets, but have never had the courage to try it. I like grapes...so what am I scared of?

KleoPatra said...

Killian!!! So cute, Leslie. I love what he's doin', just havin' a blast like that with the rambutan fruit. Pretty cool to see what that is... i had not seen those before here. Very interesting look - HAIR!!

Speaking of an interesting look, love that vase/bong/pitcher. It is beautiful. You should use it however you want in the best of health, Leslie!

I'm all about late-night eating. That's a great photo of the stuffed kids there. Heh. They ate GOOD, didn't they?! I wonder why it took so long to boil the potatoes?! Hmmmmmm...

LOVE the pancakes, Leslie. Yummers. Way to make chocolate chip banana w/blueberry. That would so be for me. I would never kick the coconut pineapple ones out of bed either :o)

Always glad to see you post!!

Candi said...

Hi!! Thank you for finding my blog and for your comment!!

Your blog post had me laughing the whole way down. From the bong-vase to the knocked-out guys...and Killian and the rambutan! Very funny stuff!

The vase is beautiful, and that store sound so interesting. I've never heard of that fruit before, but my cats would go wild if I brought those home! Lol! Killian is SO SO cute!!! He's really into that hairy fruit!!

Anonymous said...

your cat looks so cute! Rambutan fruits are good! some times i can fin them here in my town , they are eating like the quenepas in my blog, but this taste a lot milder!

i love pancakes i can eat them at any time of the day ! the boys looks so funny lol!

Emmy said...

The pancakes look good. I've never tried either of the panckae recipes you mentioned yet. What a pretty vase and I had to chuckle at your description of it. The rambutan fruit looks wild. Love that adorable pic of your cat playing with the rambutan.

Teresa said...

Your vase is called an "E-Breek", it is actually a water jug. You are supposed to drink water from the spout while holding it away (above your head slightly) from your mouth. It takes some time to learn how drink all the while not choking or spilling the water down your front. Oh yeah and don't forget to breath.

Lebanese by marriage. One of the most perfect places to visit if you ever get the chance.

Teresa from Montreal Canada

bakehouse dori said...

What an interesting fruit! A trip to Viet Nam to learn about their unique locally grown foods .... when you starting the bus tour? I'll go:)

Anonymous said...

I'll work on putting together that list and I'll post it on my blog in the next week or so.


Maryjamie said...

ha ha, I totally thought the vase was a bong when I first saw it... it's very pretty either way!

funwithyourfood said...

I love rambutan! And you got them fresh- that is awesome. When I went to thailand I just called them the Alien fruit haha
a bit ignorant but a fun memory none the less


xsparklerx said...

The kids I teach bring that fruit in all the time. I can't tell you how confused I was the first time one of them walked up to me and asked me to peel it for her.

I love that vase too. It's so terrible about Lebanon. I live in the Middle East and my ex bf went to Lebanon for his birthday last year and had such a great time we all made plans to go this winter. I'm still so upset about what's happening there, it's not right.