Blueberry Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce {Sunday Brunch}

Now that he’s back to work in the restaurant putting in good 60 – 80 hour weeks, I’ve been left to my own devices.  At first I mourned the loss of his weekly brunch creations like this or this or this.  But then something clicked.  Wait a doggone minute! After years of watching him create, I HAD to have picked up a few skills outside of defrost, nuke or reheat. Right?!

So the tables have turned and it’s me, the chef’s widow that runs our little kitchen.  And Sunday mornings before he heads off to his shift have since become our new Friday nights.

This morning, I left my sleepy chef tucked in tight and went downstairs to get to work. With pancakes on the brain.  So appropriate for this particular weekend as it happens to me my grandfather’s (alias “Papa’s”) birthday weekend and it was through him that I learned how stacks of blueberry pancakes were done right.  It also happens to be our pretty little sister’s birthday today (aka Harrison step-sister, Rachel).  She too is quite the connoisseur although she likes her pancakes skinny more like these.

So in honor of everyone and in celebration of the acceptance that I too can get down and cook, today we’re devouring maple syrup drenched blueberry pancakes.  The recipe just so happens to be one of our own that I retested myself which you can find here.

Andrea’s Addition:
Strawberry Sauce
(from Better Homes & Garden’s Fresh & Easy Meals)

– (2) cups of fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed
– (1) tablespoon sugar
– (1) teaspoon of vanilla


1. In a blender container or food processor bowl combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla.

2. Cover and blend or process until smooth.

3.  In a small saucepan heat sauce until warm, then pour over your pancakes.

Until we eat again,

A + H


Chef’s Widow {Sunday Brunch Edition}

Chef’s widow. Boo.  Hiss.  That’s me again.  Culinary classes are over and it’s back to work he’s gone.  I was just getting cozy with having dinners together, even lunches and Sundays and *gasp* whole weekends and then poof!  It’s back to this crazy life we go.

Except this time there’s snow… and there’s a certain southerner who’s determined to avoid driving in it at all costs.  Lame. Yes. Reality.  Oh yes.  And I don’t think this stand-off can last much longer because the temps are getting extra low and I’m running out of layers for a walk.  Cabin fever is sinking in.

But for now, we’re making the most out of the moments we can steal together with a quick catch up over our favorite chicken salad sandwiches (which he has also kindly stockpiled for me in the fridge.).  Then it’s back to the line he goes.

I could eat my weight in this stuff.

Until our next stolen moment together,

A + H 

Pssst…. happy birthday mom!  C’mon up.  We baked a treat for you.

You like chocolate right? 😉

Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktails {Sunday Brunch}

Yesterday we headed over to the Capital City Farmers Market to pick up a few pumpkins for Halloween. 

Pumpkins at Capital City Farmers Market Vermont

Check out the stems on these guys.

But we got distracted and left with vodka and short ribs instead. 

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Vodka Hardwick Vermont

We were captivated by this vodka crafted from pure raw honey so much so that we forgot the pumpkins. Plus, I just adore the packaging... yes, I'm on of "those".

Greenfield Highland Beef Short Ribs - Vermont

And seriously. How could we resist fresh short ribs from Greenfield Highland Beef? More on what we did with these guys in another post...

So sorry kids.  No cool jack-o’-lanterns at the Littells this year.  We whipped up one of our most favorite cocktails using our favorite new vodka instead. 

Fresh Spicy Bloody Mary Mix Recipe Vermont

Sunday fun-day.

Let’s let loose on our signature Spicy Bloody Marys, shall we?

Ingredients – the goodness:

  • (1/2) cup of vodka – we used Calendonia Spirits Barr Hill Vodka and couldn’t be happier.
  • (1) quart (OR 4 cups) of organic tomato juice – we used RW Knudsen Family and loved the consistency.
  • (1) lemon, zested and juiced
  • (1) large garlic clove
  • (3) tablespoons of fresh horseradish – we used Rabbi’s Roots Horseradish and love the kick!
  • (1) tablespoon of worcestershire
  • (2) tablespoons of Sriracha hot sauce
  • (1) and (1/2) teaspoons of Kosher salt
  • (1) teaspoon of black pepper
  • pickled okra (optional)

    Fresh Spicy Bloody Mary Mix Recipe Vermont

    The stars of today's show. Yaya's pickled okra, Rabbi's Roots Horseradish, and Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Vodka

1. First, pull out your blender ya’ll.  That’s where it’s all going down.

2. You’ll want to first zest your lemon straight into the blender.  Then, juice that same lemon separately using a small strainer and pour in.  By using both the zest and the juice you’re able to fully utilize the lemon, reducing waste.  Plus, that zest will add a bright spark to your cocktail.  You’ll see…

How to zest a fresh lemon

Grab a microplane to zest your lemon. Zest gently careful not to grate the white pith just beneath.

3.  Next add your garlic, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, sriracha, salt and pepper.  Pulse these ingredients gently in the blender to (of course) blend.  Note: You want to leave your mixture slightly chunky.

4.  Now, pour in your tomato juice and again pulse until blended.

5.  Finally, add your vodka (feel free to increase amount based on your preference… and tolerance) and add (5) ice cubes.  Then turn your blender on high and blend until smooth.

Fresh Spicy Bloody Mary Mix Recipe Vermont

Add that ice, ice baby.

6. Serve it up with your favorite accompaniments and enjoy! 
….We like ours with Yaya’s (translation: Harrison’s grandmother’s) pickled okra.  Nom! Nom! Nom!…

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix Receipe


Until we “get saucy” again,
A + H

Warm Cheddar And Chive Scones {Sunday Brunch}

So we’re really into scones right now.  You might remember last week we shared a sweet apple and cinnamon recipe, so this Sunday we thought we would flip the switch and prepare a savory treat.  Combining our beloved Cabot cheese with fresh chives from our cute little patio garden, we have for you today a “can’t-stop-eating” brunch treat

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Cup of coffee. Warm cheddar scone. Happy Sunday.

Let’s let loose on some Warm Cheddar & Chive Scones shall we?

Ingredients for your dough:

  • (1) cup of heavy cream
  • (2) and (1/2) cups of all-purpose flour
  • (6) tablespoons of sugar
  • (1) and (1/2) tablespoons of baking powder
  • (1/2) teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • (1) and (1/2) sticks of unsalted butter

1.  Pre-heat your oven on 350 degrees (conventional) /  or 325 degrees it you have a convection oven.

2.  In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients from above.

3.  Cut your sticks of butter into squares and add to your dry mixture.

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Just pretend you didn't see all this butter. We're baking. It's allowed.

4.  Get your hands into it and combine the butter with your dry mixture.  You want to create a mealy texture (similar to biscuit dough).

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

You want your mixture to be pretty granular. Mixing by hand helps you gauge it.

5.  Next, create a well in the center of your mixture.

6. In your fancy well, add your deliciously rich heavy cream.  Set aside and move on to prep your garnish below.

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Fill that "well" friends.

Ingredients for your “goodness” – your cheddar/chives garnish

  • (1) and (1/2) tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • (1) and (1/3) cups of grated Cabot Smooth Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • (2) and (1/2) tablespoons of fresh chives
  • (1/2) teaspoons of black pepper
  • (1/2) teaspoons of ground paprika

7.  In a medium bowl, combine your cheese, parsley, chives, pepper and paprika by hand.

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Cheese. Chives. Paprika. So savory and good.

8.  Then, add your ”goodness” mixture to your dough mixture, placing your cheddar goodness around your cream-filled well. Confused? See picture.

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Ingredients ready for mixing. Counter floured for rolling.

9. Next, put those hands to work again and start folding all of the ingredients together.  You want to create a good, pliable dough that’s somewhat tacky.

10.  Set your bowl o’ dough aside and next clear off a little counter space or pull out a large cutting board and coat freely with flour.

11.  Remove your yummy dough from the bowl and place it on your floured surface.

12.  Sprinkle the top of your dough with flour to create a good surface for your rolling-pin.

13.  Begin rolling out your dough until you achieve a (1/2) inch thickness.

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

You are looking to roll your dough until it is approx. 1/2 inch thick.

14.  Now, cut your dough into your preferred size and shape. 

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Feel free to let loose with different scone shapes. We did half in rounds, half in triangles.

15.  Arrange your scones on an ungreased baking pan and cook on 350 degrees for 20 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees in the oven after the first 10 minutes to help them cook evenly.
(For better color, egg wash the top of each scone)

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Look who's ready to be baked. This recipe yields approx. 15 sinfully delicious scones.

16.  Pull them out, take a deep inhale, plate up and enjoy!

Cabot Cheddar and Chive Scone Recipe

Enjoy, but watch out for stalkers.

Until we bake again,

A + H

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Sunday Brunch – Pancakes for Brooke

Happy Fourth of July weekend y’all!  Our dear friend Brooke is quite a pancake connoisseur.  She can’t get enough she says.  Since this weekend just so happens to include both her one year wedding anniversary AND her birthday, we thought we would put together a recipe just for her (and share with you!).

White Chocolate, Vanilla, Fresh Blueberry and Orange Zest Pancake Recipe

You know you want to make some...

Lets let loose on some white chocolate, fresh blueberry and orange zest pancakes, shall we?

Basic Pancake Recipe:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup of low-fat organic milk (although H dog recommends whole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup of organic flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder 
    (Important note:  If you’re going big with additional acidic ingredients as we are down below, then you will want to substitute baking soda for your baking powder.  Acidic ingredients include orange zest or juice, molasses, brown sugar, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
White Chocolate, Vanilla, Fresh Blueberry and Orange Zest Pancake Recipe

Mise en place. French culinary term for "everything in place."

1.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla.
2.  In a separate medium bowl, mix your above dry ingredients.  Once mixed, create a well in the center of your dry mixture.
3.  Add your wet mixture to your dry mixture.

Mixing your wet ingredients with dry to create your pancake batter.

Creating a well in your pancake mixture helps you mix your batter together more evenly.

Pancake Batter Mixture

Here is the consistency you're looking to achieve if you're planning to add in extra yummy ingredients. If you would prefer to stick with the basic recipe, continue mixing until a few less lumps remain.

Additions (the fun stuff!):

  • 1 and a 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest

6.  Add in the above yummy ingredients. 

Pancake batter with yummy additions

Orange zest, fresh blueberries and decadent white chocolate... oh yeah!

Pancake batter

Lookin' good. We're ready!

7.  Now we’re ready to cook these puppies.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil (or olive oil or grape seed oil or go southern and slap down some butter!) to a 9 inch saute pan. 

8.  Turn your heat on medium low and heat your pan.  You can drop a little water to test once ready… does it sizzle?  If yes then we’re ready to cook these cakes!

Cooking temp - medium low

A peek at our setting . We currently have an electric range (and are still missing our gas from NC).

9.  We recommend you use a 1/2 cup to measure out each pancake. 

This give you a great approx. 5 inch pancake and helps keep your yield more consistent.

This measurement gives you a lovely (approx) 5 inch pancake and helps keep your yield more consistent.

10. Cooking on each side will vary with each pancake.  The first few will take longer per side while your pan continues to heat. 

When cooking pancakes, look for bubbles to form on top and then burst.  Once this is actively going, you're ready to flip!

When cooking pancakes, look for bubbles to form on top and then burst. Once this is actively going, you're ready to flip!

11.   Another tip:  Be sure to add another 1/2 teaspoon of oil to the saute pan between each pancake to ensure your pancakes do not stick and that each cooks more evenly.

Pancakes will cook faster as you go because your pan is tempering at a faster rate.

Pancakes will cook faster as you go because your pan is tempering at a faster rate.

12.  This recipe yields approx. (5) to (6) pancakes with additions, and approx. (4) if you just make the basic pancake.

Ta-da!  Birthday brunch for Brooke!  Enjoy!

Top your fluffy stack with a little powdered sugar and pure Vermont maple syrup... sooo good!

Top your fluffy stack with a little powdered sugar and pure Vermont maple syrup... sooo good!

A patriotic twist:  Reduce your milk to 1 cup, reduce your blueberries to 3/4 cup and add 1/2 cup of pureed strawberries for red, white and blue pancakes!

Sunday Brunch – Southern Biscuits And Gravy

You can take the southerners out of the south but well, you know…

 H Dog was recently assigned breakfast duty in his 5:00 am baking class (and p.s., I just loved the daily alarms for THAT one).  What better way to give his northeast crew a taste of the south then cooking up some of our beloved southern biscuits and gravy.  Lucky for me there were leftovers, and lucky for you, I scored the recipe to share (in my own words of course…)

Southern Biscuits And Gravy

You know you want to make some...

Let’s let loose on some biscuits and gravy shall we?

First up – sausage gravy:

  • (1) pound of fresh sausage (ground or linked)
  • (4) cups of milk (get crazy, go organic whole)
  • (1) stick (or 4 oz.) of unsalted butter
  • (1/2) cup of organic all-purpose flour
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

1.  Place ground sausage in a large skillet, crank up the heat to medium high and cook that delicious sausage until cooked through (browned).  Once cooked, transfer the sausage to a bowl.

2. Add (4) cups of milk to the original sausage skillet, turn your heat on low and slowly bring the milk to a simmer.  Simmer = little bubbles

3. Grab yourself a sauce pot now (we love to bring out all the pots and pans when we get down).  In that sauce pot, melt your butter and then add flour to make your roux.

4. Once your milk is at a simmer, go ahead and add your roux.  Stir thoroughly.

5. Finally, add in that scrumptious sausage and sprinkle in your salt and pepper to taste.

Moving on… southern biscuits, here we go:

  • (3) and (1/3) cups of self rising organic flour
  • (1) cup of organic whole milk
  • (1/3) cup shortening
  • (1/4) cup unsalted butter (keep it cold and dice it up)
  • (1) teaspoon of salt

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Pour your flour into a large bowl. 

3. Add your salt, shortening and butter.

Southern Biscuits And Gravy - Mix Organic Flour, Unsalted Butter and Cubed Butter

Dicing the butter to makes it easier to work with during the mixing process.

4. Dive in hands first and mix thoroughly until your mixture becomes mealy.

Southern Biscuits And Gravy  -  Mealy Flour Mixture

Here's a closer look at "mealy." I'm very visual... thought it might help.

5. Make yourself a little well in your flour mixture and in that fancy well, add your milk.

Southern Biscuits And Gravy

Flour Meet Milk. Milk Prepare to Meet Flour.

Southern Biscuits And Gravy - Create a Well in your Dough Mixture

Creating this well is another trick to help you mix the ingredients together to create your dough.

6. Continue to mix with your hands until mixed thoroughly.

7. Take dough mixture out of the bowl and place on a flat surface that is dusted with a small amount of flour (we like to use our kitchen countertop).

8.  Roll out your dough mixture until it is an inch by an inch and a quarter thickness.

9.  Grab yourself a cookie cutter (or just grab a drinking glass, we know you have at least one of those…) and begin cutting out your biscuits until all of your dough has been used.  You may need to re-roll the dough a few times during this process.

Southern Biscuits And Gravy - Biscuit Cutter

Who needs a biscuit cutter when you have a rocks glass?!

10. Lightly flour the bottom of each biscuit to prevent sticking and place all of your beautiful biscuits on an ungreased sheet pan.

Southern Biscuits And Gravy - Flour The Bottom of the Biscuits to Prevent Sticking

Flouring the bottom prevents sticking. Thank you H Dog for being our Vanna.

11.  Conventional ovens – bake your biscuits approx. 17 minutes / Convection ovens – bake approx. 14 minutes

12. Recipe yields between 10 and 12 biscuits.

Last step – plate those pretty southern puppies, pour on the gravy and dig in

Southern Biscuits And Gravy - Get fancy with a little fresh sage, or just dig in!

Get fancy with a little fresh sage, or just dig in!

If you have any questions at all,  just drop us a comment.  We promise to be prompt in our response.  Hope you enjoy!

Until with eat again,

A & H