Epic Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

I love breakfast. I love breakfast probably as much as Ron Swanson (Parks and Rec fans out there know what I mean??)

I wake up and this goes through my head almost every morning:

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Seriously guys. Breakfast is awesome. Anyone out there who voluntarily skips breakfast is just south of crazy (is that even a real expression?)

The other day I realized I had ingredients in my possession that I could use to make pancakes! Since I believe breakfast is supposed to be delicious and filling (**cough** nutritious), these pancakes were destined to be filled with protein and healthy fats.

I turned to my friend Google for a good recipe and I found one on a website called “Kath Eats Real Food.” Kath is an RD who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia which is just down the road a bit from where my parents live. Anyways, it’s a good recipe and her site is full of good resources and recipes, especially if you like oatmeal.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal (rolled oats are fine too but the texture will be different)
  • 2 eggs (if you want fewer calories and less protein, sub 1/3 cup egg whites)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • A banana

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Behold! All the ingredients (sans butter) ready to go!

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Start with a 1/3 cup oats. Like I said before, I like my breakfast to be hearty and thus eliminate the need for a pre-lunch snack.

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I use two whole eggs instead of one for two reasons. I like protein because it has that staying power. I don’t like to separate the yolks from the whites. When I’m back in the land of options, I’ll try this recipe again with just egg whites and see how it turns out.

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Eggs + oatmeal = beautiful

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Since I don’t have a 1/2 tsp, I just filled the 1 tsp halfway which seemed to work pretty well.

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The imported artificial vanilla extract is expensive enough as it is. As you can see, I’m not super particular about the quality of ingredients at this stage in my cooking career.

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We’re making progress!

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Be generous with the cinnamon. It really makes the pancakes smell amazing as they cook.

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This is where things get complicated. Slice the banana in half. Slice that half into pieces. There’s not really a wrong way to do this.

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Banana pieces all ready to be mashed!

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Add the banana pieces to your assembled ingredients. Just throw them in there!

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I only have access to the finest of tools here in the kitchen at the BSC guesthouse–my mashing instrument is indeed a fork.

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Get mashing!

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Feel free to add more cinnamon.

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This is my kangaroo butter since it’s imported from Australia and has a kangaroo on it.

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Put a couple dabs of it on the pan with the burner on medium-low. If you prefer, you can use non-stick cooking spray but I can’t find that here in Thailand.

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Now you’re all set to add your pancake batter to the pan!

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My, what a big pancake!

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See those banana chunks in there? You can only be so thorough with a fork as your mashing instrument. Allow bubbles to form in the center of your pancake.

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Once you see those bubbles, your pancake is ready to flip! Be careful that you wait long enough though or else you’ll experience severe pancake regret.

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Give it another couple of minutes on the stove and then serve on a plate. Slice up the other half of the banana and place on top of the pancake. Drizzle lightly with syrup.

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Add some walnuts on top for some healthy fats!

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Now you can admire your handiwork.

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Enjoy with a tall glass of iced coffee.

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Top 5: Paris Edition

Bonjour mes amis! In a little over two weeks, I will be Paris-bound with my sister, Kelly. I am psyched but a little nervous about being in a big city while not really knowing the language (it’s not like I have experience being in that situation or anything…)

Since we’ll only be in Paris for three days, I think doing five “big” things is plenty. I’ll hopefully not be struggling with jet-lag and general exhaustion from so much traveling and change (prayers please!) because I want to be able to give each of the following my undivided attention while enjoying the time that I have with my older sister who I hardly ever get to see.

Here we go:

1. Musee D’Orsay. According to travel guru, Rick Steves, this is a must-see spot for art lovers. He has a very informative yet short video on this spot that you can check out here.

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2. Versailles. This palace warrants a full-on day trip which we will be doing. I’m excited to see a little bit of the French countryside as we briefly leave Paris.

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3. Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Chopin is buried here. Him, Moliere, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein. Haven’t I listed enough reasons to visit already?? I went on a field trip with my Ghosts and the Gothic class to a famous London cemetery whilst I was studying abroad so I imagine this will be quite similar but distinctly French (don’t ask me what that means).

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4. Notre Dame Cathedral. Kelly requested that we visit this mammoth cathedral and I’m more than happy to acquiesce. If I find a hunchback, I’ll let you know.

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5. The Louvre. At first, I wanted to turn my nose up at this tourist flytrap but now I think it will be just as appealing to people-watch as it will be to drool over the vast amounts of priceless art.

ImageSince Paris is also a famous world food capital, I hope to eat and drink some amazing French cuisine. One of my favorite bloggers, Jules Clancy on Stonesoup, offers some good advice here and I’m hoping it’s within our trip budget. We’ll see. One thing I will not compromise on are macarons. Admire these beauties.

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Question: Have you ever visited Paris? What do you recommend we do whilst we are there? 

My Aussie Adventure.

I’ve long been convinced that physical scrapbooks are becoming a thing of the past and that digital photobooks are replacing them. They’re easier, slicker, cheaper, and just better for the non-craft inclined folks out there in which group I’m lumping myself. So I went to Australia in April and instead of letting the twelve million photos I took collect digital dust, I took them over to Shutterfly and made a book! Someone tweeted the other day, “You know what kinds of books perfectionists write? Unpublished ones.” So in my opinion, this is not a perfect book but it is a published one.

Enjoy! 🙂

Click here to view this photo book larger

Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

Musings on Space and Time

I know my title for this post is rather grandiose but the point I want to get across is simple, the choices we make and the path we follow impacts the people around us more than we could ever know.ImageSince I am a nerdy Doctor Who fan, I’m going to make a nerdy Doctor Who reference. (For those of you out there who are fans of the show but are not caught up on all the episodes in the latest season, as River Song says, “spoilers.”)

In Season 7, Episode 13 “The Name of the Doctor,” a number of circumstances draw the Doctor to go to the planet on which he is buried. Things happen and he winds up in this gargantuan future Tardis in which he find what looks like an energy core running right through the center. However, this energy core thingy is actually a Timestream–a physical embodiment of all eleven doctors’ footprints through time, space, history, etc. When the Doctor’s enemy enters his Timestream and kills every version of the Doctor, all the things he’s done, the people he’s rescued, the lives he’s influenced and transformed, all of it is undone. He was erased from time itself and the stars went out. 

I propose that if we each had a ship like the Tardis that could travel through space and time, somewhere out there would be our own Timestream. Perhaps it would be much smaller and we don’t have ten other versions of ourselves running around the Universe (people with multiple personality disorders excluded), but nevertheless, God can use the choices we make to change the course of history. We are not called to drift aimlessly along hoping that two guys named “FUTURE” and “DESTINY” will pop out the bushes and tackle us to the ground and tell us what we’re supposed to do. I digress. The choices that matter are more often than not the small daily decisions. Am I going to respond to this situation by complaining, being silent, or being thankful? What we consistently choose to do is going to impact others and they are either a. going to see the light of Christ through your joyful spirit or b. a whiny person who claims to be a Christ-follower but never has anything positive to say.

I retweeted Tara-Leigh Cobble the other day:

“Every tiny encounter you have with someone is a chance to make their day better and show them God values them. Don’t waste it being moody.”

I’d like to add, “Don’t waste it by being a moody complainer.” I struggle to remember this truth when the Internet isn’t cooperating during a Skype call, or the concert next door is stretching into its fourth hour, or there’s a cockroach on the kitchen counter, etc, etc, etc. God gave me the freedom to choose how I respond to these rubs and annoyances.

I know that if I look to the Spirit of Christ, it is there where I will find the power to choose what will most honor God. We only need turn to the light.