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Entries in breakfast (9)


Pear Chocolate Scones

Pear Chocolate Scones

The melancholy part of winter has arrived for me. After so many months spent in my small one bedroom apartment, working and sleeping, I feel cooped up without an escape. The weather has been frightful, with temperatures in the negative numbers and windchills even lower. Lately, though, no one bats an eye at the forecast anymore. Perhaps we are becoming one with the arctic.

On days like these I wonder what it would be like to live where winter weather doesn't mean that one needs to bundle up from head to toe to stay alive when they walk out the front door.

Pear Chocolate Scones Pear Chocolate Scones Pear Chocolate Scones

In the summer, the sun casts a golden light on the world. The feeling of the sun on the face warms the skin all the way down to the soul. In the winter, the very same sun has a sharper edge. I no longer welcome the sun as before, wishing for cloudy skies instead. The sun's light is harsh, reflecting off the white ground with a blinding intensity. The sun no longer warms, but leaves a bittersweet reminder of the summer months so far ahead and so far behind.

Oh, those winter blues...

Pear Chocolate Scones

On a snow day from school this week, I made a cup of tea and turned on the oven to bake. With the wind blowing its fiercest, I rolled up my sleeves and mixed up a warming batch of scones. Scones are simple fare and this recipe is no exception. The act of mixing together the ingredients by hand, cutting in the butter and forming the dough with my fingers and palms, have a healing effect.

The melancholy air lifts and, for a few moments, I can enjoy my creation in peace.

Pear Chocolate Scones

Pear Chocolate Scones combine subtle flavors in a breakfast treat. Ripe pears are diced up and folded into a basic scone recipe with a few chocolate chunks. The choice of pear is of little consequence—Bartlett, Bosc, or Red pears will do. When finished baking, the scones emerge flaky and ready for tasting. The scones are best enjoyed the day they are prepared.

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Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

When my morning alarm makes itself heard, I roll out of bed without grace, wiping the sleep from my eyes. Some mornings I move faster than others, but the result is always the same. The sky is still dark when I awake, making it feel more like winter than fall. I turn on a few lights, soft and dim, to gradually awaken my mind that is half here and half in dreamland. I begin the process of preparing myself for a new day, ever conscious of the hands moving on the clock.

I'm learning to become a morning person.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

I appreciate mornings after the fact, when I am awake, the sun is up, and the world is buzzing. I'm trying to change this mentality, to roll out a welcome mat when the beep of my alarm clock signals another day. To wake up earlier so I can be more relaxed and less mindful of the minutes on the clock. To wish the sun a good morning when it begins its ascent into the clouds instead of cursing it as it shines directly into my eyes on my drive to work.

I wonder if these wishes aren't too big—after all, it's hard to transform a night owl into a chipper morning lark.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Weekend mornings, on the other hand, I have down just right. In fact, these calm moments at the beginning of the day, when I have nowhere to go and no one to be. I roll out of bed with grace, taking my time with every task, both big and small. Last weekend, I made myself a stack of pancakes. Cooked individually on the stove, one at a time, I let myself run on pancake time. Topped with cooked apples and maple syrup, I sat in my pajamas and watched the minutes tick by, knowing that today those minutes meant little to nothing to me.

If pancakes won't help me become a morning person, I don't know what will.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes complete the autumnal weekend brunch. The pancakes are spiced and made with apple cider to add a fall flavor palette. Before serving, the pancakes are topped with cinnamon apples cooked down in a cider until soft, yet firm. With a drizzle of maple syrup, these pancakes take morning to the next level.

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Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I'm not sure if you picked up on this yet, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth. While sugar in all its wonderful forms has—for better or worse—found a permanent place in my diet, my favorite form is through chocolate. Chocolate is a guilty pleasure for me, a crutch after a bad day, a moment of celebration during a long, weekend afternoon. Each day I eat it in one form or another (and it usually weasels its way into my breakfast).

It is not unusual to prepare a bowl of chocolate oatmeal or sprinkle a few miniature chocolate chips over a bowl of blueberry breakfast quinoa.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When Sunday brunch rolled around last weekend, it shocked no one when I reached for the bag of chocolate chips. I can't help but sprinkle a few over my own pancakes when they are cooking on the griddle, even when feeding a table of hungry loved ones. This time, however, I tossed a handful in the batter to share the sweetness with everyone.

In addition to chocolate, I also added another unique ingredient—buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When I spotted a bag of the flour hidden among the shelves at the store, my curiosity got the better of me and I added it to my basket. The name "buckwheat" tricked me into thinking it was simply wheat in another configuration, but after doing a little research I realized how wrong I had been. Buckwheat is not related to wheat at all; in fact, it is a seed more closely related to rhubarb. It is also gluten-free, though I never would have guessed it.

After playing around with it in these pancakes and experiencing the subtle, nutty flavor, I am excited to experiment with it in new forms.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes are a bit of an unexpected, healthier twist on the classic pancake. The addition of buckwheat flour adds an earthy, nutty flavor that is not unlike the flavor of whole wheat flour. With a few chocolate chips and a heavy swirl of berry syrup, the pancakes will quickly become a breakfast favorite. I also included gluten-free directions for those who are sensitive to traditional wheat below.

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