Category Archives: Breakfast

Bacon Pancakes

I’ve discovered a few food sensitivities after completing a rotation diet and one of those totally kicked out the possibility of eating pancakes. Since I found that prospect completely unacceptable, I scoured the internet for a reasonable surrogate and found pancakes made from coconut flour. Thought I’d give it a whirl and turns out they are a pretty good variation.

When I went to buy coconut flour, I discovered its a rare commodity locally. Whole Foods carries it but one of the employees told me they can barely keep it in stock anymore. Apparently other people are already on board. Fortunately Amazon is well-stocked with many coconut flour brands.

Here is what I tried with some notes for next time.

  • 1/2 C Coconut flour
  • 1/3 C Almond flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 T Coconut Oil
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/3 – 1/2 C Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
  • 6 Strips Bacon, cooked crispy then chopped
  • Butter or coconut oil for frying
  • Berries or bananas to top
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In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Whisk in coconut oil, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla until the batter is smooth. Fold in the bacon. Here is where the volume of milk will be a variable depending on how moist or dry you like your pancakes.

In a large frying pan melt the butter or coconut oil, then spoon in batter. Cook on one side until brown, flip and repeat. These take about the same time as conventional pancakes ( a few minutes each side) but they dry out a bit faster.

Top it off with some more butter or fresh fruit.

Notes

  • These are pretty good as a substitute! The slight coconut flavour imparted from the flour and oil is subtle but intriguing.
  • Bacon makes these almost irresistible (no surprise!)
  • You’ll get about 8 normal sized pancakes or 16 minis out of this recipe.
  • The first time through I added 1/3 C coconut milk and they were a little too dry. The 1/2C version was much better but I might add even more next time.
  • For frying I used clarified butter on some, coconut oil on the rest. Butter was better (no surprise!)
  • I thought caramelized bananas would be the best topping but fresh strawberries won. The caramelized banana topping is still good but makes a heavy pancake even heavier.
  • This is a strict Paleo recipe, however if your not following Paleo strictly, you could add some maple syrup both to the batter and as a topping for sweetness.

 

 

 

Honeymoon Cafe

Honeymoon Cafe is one of several craft cocktail bars recently opening in the Market Square area of downtown. I hadn’t noticed before last month but almost all of the spaces on Main St in this part of town are now bars focusing on anything but off-the-rack cocktails. Good on them.

Honeymoon is a little different from the rest of the craft cocktail bars since they also have  breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner menus. I liked that their breakfast menu was available all day which makes possible the almost irresistible breakfast for dinner option.

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Atmosphere
Houston considers ‘old buildings’ anything built more than 50 years ago. Its also prone to yanking those buildings down in favour of shiny glass and steel boxes. Shame, but at least in downtown you’ll find the last remnants of buildings originally built before 1900. Honeymoon is smack in the middle of one cluster.

Historical context and old-world architectural detail aside, you’ll find Honeymoon to be very casual with mixed bag patronage. Early hours usually pulls in post-work suits umbilically attached to laptops, later hours pulls the pre-party crowd getting in some meaningful conversation before the night spins out of control.

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Drink
Yep, there is food and I’ve been happy with my food orders here on previous trips, however  this round was about drinks. And actually I just tried the one, Peter Cottontail,  but with different preparations.

The base layer of the Peter Cottontail is carrot juice. Ginger and lemon are added and then there is the variable; either Green Chili vodka or Mandarin Orange vodka. I tried both but my preference was for the Green Chili version. A little amusing heat from the chili, inherent sweetness of the carrot, a little acidity from the lemon and the zing of ginger all in one glass. Its health drink! I can rationalize with the best of them.

Service
Like most ‘craft cocktail’ venues, each drink is prepared with almost ceremonial process so it will take a bit longer. Food orders are typically a 20-30 minute turnaround. Staff here are mostly friendly and knowledgeable however I did get some impatience from one bartender when I asked some questions about preparation. Who knows, maybe dude was having a bad day but this seems an anomaly rather than the standard.

Price
Pretty fair. $9-12 per cocktail. $8-15 per food main.

Drinks: August2015

Honeymoon Cafe| 300 Main | HTX 770902

Rolled Rye Granola

Another item I gave up recently were these so-called ‘cereal bars’. Don’t get me wrong, they have served their purpose many times over as quick carb boosts during long hikes or tie-over snacks when meetings are hijacked past their intended scope. However, I noticed that they have way too much sugar, high fructose corn syrup and the final straw last year, too much saturated fat.

Now I make my own granola as a surrogate. Sure it takes time, a little over an hour, but you can compensate for the time sink by making big batches. It stores well for 3 weeks.

This time I picked up some rolled rye to add as an experiment. I liked. Of course its all about what else you choose and this one was a keeper.

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The following makes about 15-20 snack size portions.

  • 1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 1/2 C Rolled Rye
  • 1 C Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 C Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 C Cashews (roasted, unsalted)
  • 1/2 C Hazelnuts (roasted, unsalted)
  • 1/2 C Banana Chips (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 C Dried Strawberries
  • 1/2 C Dried Blueberries
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil (I used pistachio oil this time)
  • 1/4 C Agave
  • 1 T Coconut Sugar
  • 1 T Brown Sugar
  • 1 T Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 t Salt ( I used Lava Salt this time)
  • 1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 t Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 t Cinnamon

Dry Mix: Mix rolled oats, rolled rye, shredded coconut, slivered almonds, coconut sugar, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, pepper flakes and cinnamon in one large bowl.

Wet Mix: Mix olive oil, agave, maple syrup and vanilla in another.

Pour the wet mix over the dry mix then use your hands to incorporate both. Spread the lot over a baking pan (or two) then pop them into a 250 degree oven. Bake for about 1 hour, 15 minutes. At 15 minute intervals, stir. At the 45 minute mark add the remaining nuts, stir. At the hour mark, add the dried berries and banana chips, stir again. Cool then store in air-tight containers. This keeps well for 3-4 weeks, after that its iffy, but if it last that long I would be surprised.

Notes

What I liked most about this mixture was how the tartness of the dried berries played well with the agave dominant sweetness and the savory-sweet tongue riddle incurred by adding lava salt, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.

 

 

Mobile Bacon And Eggs

BreakUp Guy, my friend with the 9-month-on, 3-month-off dating cycle, is back. The breakup is early this year, usually it doesn’t occur until June, you know, the start of adventure sports season.

BU Guy doesn’t cook but he has ideas. Usually these ideas come in the form of a mobile meal he can consume while walking to work, that way he can sleep 10 more minutes. He thinks he’s cleverly manipulating me into making mobile meals. I let him think that since the reality is I only try the ideas to see if they fit into the business model my sister I have for a food truck.  Win, win – since he’s ever the willing test subject.

This time it was ‘if only I could have bacon and eggs in walkable form’.  No challenge there.

  • 1 can Biscuits
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 6-8 Strips Bacon, partially cooked
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Tabasco

Press the biscuit rounds against the bottom and side of large muffin tins, going about 3/4 of the way up the tin; preferably large tins. Sprinkle with cheddar, a few drops of Tabasco and a little pepper. Criss-cross with partially cooked bacon strips. A little more cheese and a few more drops of Tabasco. Crack the egg over that. A little more pepper to top. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes depending on how firm you want the egg.

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BU Guy and I agree these are pretty good. The research assistants we recruited for this effort were also in agreement, a good use of pork products in mobile form.

When I picked up the biscuits during my mad rush through the grocery, I picked up the whole wheat version. Next time I’ll try the regular version or maybe I’ll use just some buttered Sourdough bread, thinly sliced. If you truly want a mobile version, the eggs need to be cooked fully, as BU Guy can testify – egg yolk on a white dress shirt somewhat detracts from a professional appearance.