Tuesday, April 16, 2013


For the last year, Charlie, and now Auggie, have been demanding these for breakfast--Roll-ups. Most mornings I ask "what would you like for breakfast, Char?" Her reply is always an emphatic, almost, growling-like response of "CHOCOLATE ROLL-UPS!!! CHOCOLATE ROLL-UPS PLEEEEAAAAASSSSSE!!!" It's very hard for me to say no to that kind of response, and since they are packed with fiber and protein, it is even easier to reply, "Sounds good to me."

Roll-ups, which are very similar to a rolled crepe, have been part of my family for as long as I can remember. Roll-ups were most often found on our weekend breakfast table, but if we were lucky they could also be found on a weekday for dinner--BREAKFAST DINNER!!! I have a sweet spot in my heart for breakfast dinners. They are fun, frivolous, amazingly comforting and easy to get on the table quickly. Breakfast dinners, when I was young, seemed to happen when my dad was out of town on a business trip. Now that I'm a mom, I have a feeling that my mom gave us the choice between waffles and roll-ups for dinner because there was either nothing else in the fridge or she was too exhausted from all of our shenanigans to put together anything more than what a blender or a bowl and a hot pan could create. And, most importantly, she knew that we would never, ever, dare to complain about having a breakfast dinner.

Because Charlie was diagnosed with Celiac disease when she was about 20 months old, she has never and most likely will never taste the Roll-ups that I grew up with. But she does excitedly devours my G-Free version. Since I increased the amount of eggs in the batter and swapped out the traditional all purpose flour with more hearty and fiber-full G-Free grains, Charlie will eat definitely one, maybe two, in a sitting, compared to the four or five I used to eat. These are best served right from the pan, but since we eat them at least once a day, I make a huge batch every few days, keeping the extras on a plate in the fridge, ready to warm up and roll on a moments notice.

The original recipe included a bit of sugar, but I decided to remove it. Since Charlie prefers her Roll-ups with melted chocolate and honey, and Auggie prefers his with butter and syrup and/or honey, removing the sugar isn't an issue. By the time the first bite is eaten, the Roll-ups are plenty sweet.

Unlike a more traditional meal, there's no need to wait for everyone at the table to be served, just "eat-em-when-you-get-em" and "keep-em-comin'." I grew up with Roll-ups served with butter spread across the Roll-up prior to rolling and syrup poured over the top after being rolled. But feel free to add anything to the inside and/or outside of the Roll-ups: fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, nuts, smoked salmon, ham, cheese -- anything. As I mentioned, Charlie loves hers with melted chocolate and honey, and calls them "Chocolate Roll-ups." It is also yummy to add 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder (and maybe 1 Tbsp of sugar to help carry the chocolate flavor) to the batter, for an extra special chocolaty treat.

I always double this recipe.

makes 4 - 6

4 large eggs
10g ground flax seed
25g almond meal
25g millet flour
30g buckwheat flour
1tsp cinnamon (optional)
1tsp vanilla
1 cup milk of your choice (I have been using a combination of unsweetened coconut milk and flax seed milk)

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. To keep the mixture well mixed, I quickly re-blend just before pouring onto the hot pan.

Heat a 12inch nonstick skillet to medium.

When the pan is hot, but not smoking, spread a touch of butter over the surface and pour about 1/2 cup of the batter from the blender onto the pan, quickly swirling the pan, evenly coating the bottom of the pan. Once I figured out how thick we liked our Roll-ups and became comfortable with the batter, the heat of the pan, and flipping the Roll-up, I stopped measuring and began pouring the batter into the pan straight from the blender.

The Roll-up will need to be flipped, but only once and don't flip too early or it will rip. When it is ready to be flipped the bubbles on the surface will have popped, leaving holes that hold their shape. Also, the batter will lose it's shine. When flipping you need to be a bit brave. You might rip a few, but they still taste yummy, and you will be able to put on a good show for those watching. Hungry, pre-dinner empty bellies, which lead to a lot of whining and grumpiness are usually eliminated with the combination of pouring the batter, the sizzle of the batter and a flamboyant flip. Especially when a Roll-up is ripped during the flip. Nothing seems to make the kids laugh more then Mom making a mistake.


Batter photos: 1) just after pouring, 2) ready to be flipped, and 3) after flipping.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tis the Season

I love Spring. 

A lot happens at the tail end of Winter and through Spring: a huge number of fabulously, wonderful birthdays (Justin's, mine, Charlie's and Auggie's for example); thin, fresh asparagus; straight from the garden lettuce; flowers everywhere; and every now and then the weather will tease us with a preview of summer--hinting at what is to come. Spring also reminds me that until the end of summer, I won't have to hunt, too much, in the produce section at the grocery store. It is amazingly satisfying to walk out into the backyard empty handed, and come back with a mound of crisp lettuce that's just a wash away from my salad bowl--and this is just the beginning.

So, here we go.

This is what we had for dinner last night: a blended green salad from the backyard and stuffed pork loin. Justin was in charge of the pork loin and I was responsible for the salad. Like me, he is a little bit of this and a little bit of that kind of cook. From what I understand he did the following:

Cut a slit in the side of pork loin and fill with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
Rub the same Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper on the outside, drizzle everything with olive oil and grill on medium high heat for about 4 and a half min per side.
Remember to let the cooked meat rest on a cutting board for about 5 to 8 min before serving.

It was a perfect dinner.

My Green Salad with Simple Vinaigrette

I wash and chop lettuce from my garden and put it all into my large wooden salad bowl.
We love adding any of the following: red or green onions, walnuts, pine nuts, grated parm/feta/goat cheese, tomatoes, and/or olives.

My quick salad dressing (for 2 or 3 people who love a large salad)
Please note that I do not measure when I bring a dressing together. And I prefer a more acidic dressing, which means that I use more vinegar and mustard than most people. At the end of the day, mix and taste, and mix and taste until you find something that you love. Once you get the hang of it, it is hard to create a bad dressing, and it will be so much better and faster than anything that you can find in the dressing aisle at the grocery store.

In a small bowl combine the following:
A couple glugs of the best olive oil I have.

Add about an equal amount of a favorite vinegar. Currently I'm using half balsamic vinegar and half apple cider vinegar together--odd I know, but I love it. And I feel like I'm bringing a bit of my grandma to dinner because she loved apple cider vinegar and all that it can do for the body and soul--a true cure all in her opinion.

Add a half-way-up-the-prongs-of-a-dinner-fork scoop of mustard (your favorite). I love stone ground mustard.

Add, about 2 tsp to 1 Tbsp of Karam's Garlic Sauce, which is amazing. It might only be available here in the heater Seattle area. (I didn't find their website, but they do sell it on Amazon Fresh.)

Add, about 1.5 tsp of Amore's concentrated sun dried tomato paste.

A pinch of salt and a bigger pinch of pepper.

Then I mix it (a quick whip with the wrist) with a fork until it comes together.