What do our fellow bloggers, writers, and online friends eat, first thing in the morning? We are asking some friends to share their favorite morning nourishment with us. I will cook and eat it too, and bring you their thoughts on what to eat first thing in the morning. Here's Megan of Not Martha.
Megan's blog, Not Martha, is a daily read for me. Now if only I could add her blueberry buckwheat pancakes to a real–life, home–cooked RSS feed. I want these sweet little discs of earthy flavor every morning...
Megan's site, Not Martha, has been popular for many years now. Megan's main focus is on creative, doable crafting, which she lets us peek in on with her descriptive photographs. When I say "crafting" that hardly describes her unique abilities to make an assortment of beautiful projects. She has a great feeling for design, and her work reflects this sensibility. One of my favorite ideas was her Christmas tree mobile, made of entirely suspended green ball ornaments, hovering above her floor — glamorous, smart and defying convention! It was fabulous. Megan also culls lists of links in food, design, technology and crafting. These links are a great source of inspiration.
About this breakfast Megan says:
Our leisurely weekend breakfasts stay simple because they've been designed so that we don't find ourselves without a needed ingredient. Morning trips to the local market tend to be made only in extreme circumstances. We make buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup, bacon and scrambled eggs. Well, my husband Scott makes the scrambled eggs since I don't seem to have the knack. I grew up eating buckwheat pancakes and never quite developed an appreciation for normal pancakes. We keep the freezer stocked with frozen wild blueberries, bacon and maple syrup. When I buy bacon I cut the stack in half so I have a bunch of short pieces as I find them easier to cook to the perfect crispiness. Then I stack the slices between sheets of parchment so that it's easy to separate and grab as many slices as you need once it's frozen. I look for Grade B maple syrup because I like the stronger flavor, and it is usually a bit less expensive than Grade A.
Whew! Megan's description of her morning blueberry breakfast routine is as vivid as they come. These types of scenarios are exactly why I started this series, I so enjoy getting a glimpse into Megan and Scott's world. And about the pancakes, I made the lemon buckwheat version, eating my blueberries atop my pancakes. I must admit, they were the finest buckwheat pancakes I've come across, somehow light and lingering with lemon flavor while staying rooted in earthy, humble grassiness of the buckwheat.
First I make some coffee, then I shake some frozen blueberries into a bowl to let them defrost. I learned the hard way that still frozen blueberries will make the middle of your pancakes come out raw. I set the oven to low and put a plate inside to hold the warm pancakes before they are taken to the table. Then I heat a pan for the bacon and peel of a few slices. I had trouble cooking bacon as well until I found these bacon cooking tips at Chow: Flip often, cook until the bubbles are small and almost look like foam. While the bacon is going I make the pancake batter. I'm not a morning person so I usually cheat and use a buttermilk pancake mix, substituting half of the mix with buckwheat flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and a teaspoon of salt.
Should we ever find ourselves with a lemon in the house I'll make Lemon Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes from Tea & Cookies.
After being impatient over our widest skillet heating up properly I pour some batter then push blueberries into the top before it starts to bubble. Warning, your fingertips will be purple until you get a chance to scrub them really well. After the pancakes are made and set in the warm oven Scott works his scrambled egg magic. If I'm feeling awake at this point I'll warm some of the maple syrup. We linger over breakfast and it usually fortifies us enough to come up with adventurous plans for the day.
I've never really liked buckwheat pancakes until this moment. They definitely stand up to my usual, plain–jane version! This is the perfect breakfast to serve a crowd, accompanied by all the other goodies Megan mentioned.
With a slight modification (see note at end of recipe), these pancakes can also become a terrific gluten-free breakfast.
Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
adapted from Tea & Cookies
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup all–purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (I like to use Kerrygold Irish butter here, such a strong flavor)
1 cup buttermilk
zest from one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2–3 cups blueberries (if using frozen, just make sure to thaw before using)
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Pour the dry into the wet, mixing until just combined. Let sit for about five minutes. Meanwhile, put a large skillet on the stove on medium heat. When hot and sizzling, grease the pan and ladle about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Carefully place blueberries into pancakes at this point, pressing them into the batter. Cook until bubbles are formed, flip and cook about 1 minute more. Keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.
Serve with plenty of maple syrup, extra blueberries and a cup of strong coffee.
* Note: To make these pancakes gluten-free, substitute Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Mix for the all-purpose flour, or if you really love buckwheat flavor, just increase the buckwheat flour to 1 cup and omit the all-purpose flour altogether.
Thanks Megan for contributing to our Breakfast with a Blogger series!
• Visit Megan's Site: Not Martha
• Visit Tea & Cookies (pancake recipe adapted from here): Tea & Cookies
Related: Not Too Sweet: Buckwheat Cookies from the LA Times
(Images: First five photos, Leela Cyd Ross, photos of bacon, pancakes on blue plate and photo of Megan, by Megan Reardon)