December 2, 2009

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I could eat sweet potatoes in nearly any form. Fried, mashed with a heaping mound of toasted marshmallows, baked, fried again, or better yet ...of the pancake variety. These pancakes are light and fluffy and they make me feel better about eating a mound of carbs covered in butter and syrup. I mean, they've got some vitamin A and C in them right?

The batter is really easy to prepare once you've got your sweet potatoes cooked and mashed. They can also be swapped for pure canned pumpkin if you've got some left over from Thanksgiving.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sweet potato puree (from approximately 2 medium sized sweet potatoes or 1 large)
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoons vinegar

In a bowl, mix together the milk, sweet potato, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the sweet potato mixture just enough to combine (lumps are okay people!).

Heat a lightly oiled griddle pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Optional: Top with toasted pecans.

December 1, 2009

This Firefly is Not So Brilliant

For me, red wines are most desired during dismal times. Not sure what it is, but it seems as though I usually crave reds when I'm stressed after a long day, week, or lets be honest... month! Red wines are like the friend I can always lean on when I get home. Anyone else feel the same? Perhaps it's a seasonal thing? Anyway, lets raise a glass to my second wine review!

Firefly Ridge, Central Coast 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

I know, another Cabernet... I blame it on my own curiosity. I've already explored the wonderful world of pinot noir and this is just the next step.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautiful ruby-red color. I get a berry/amaretto aroma after swirling.* It has notes of currant and a light oak taste. It's rather spicy but not overpowering. The problem lies with its strong alcohol taste. I wouldn't say it's terrible but just okay. BUT, there are better cabs for your buck out there.

*Side note: swirling isn't just for wine snobs. It aerates the wine, which means it absorbs oxygen and lets the wine develop it's aroma. It's said that smelling the wine will give you the most information about the wine since your nose can recognize thousands of different smells as opposed to the few flavors our tastebuds can identify. You'd typically open a red wine about an hour before serving to let it breathe, preferably in a designer carafe or decanter.**

**I know everyone will be putting this blood vessel-looking wine carafe on their Christmas lists this year!