Posts Tagged ‘pancake’

Product Description:

Hearty and healthy, these double nut pancakes are loaded with protein. No more starchy pancakes!

Learn more about Freddy Guys Hazelnuts here.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I prepared a pancake according to the recipe (it’s really easy, just add an egg and milk), and ate it topped with just butter so that I could experience the pancake before adding additional toppings such as syrup, peanut butter or jam.

The pancakes fry up very fluffy and thick, but they are much heartier than a typical pancake because there are bits of chopped hazelnuts in the mix.  In addition to providing a heartier texture, they add a very pleasant crunch and a pleasant earthiness and sweetness to the pancake.  I also like that the pancake doesn’t taste overly sweet, allowing the natural sweetness of the hazelnut to shine through.

One cup of mix makes about 6 pancakes, and they are very substantial and hunger-satisfying, much more so than the typical buttermilk pancake.  Very good topped with maple or berry flavored syrup, but I like them best with my chai syrup that I make using brown sugar and a strong infusion of masala chai spices.

My Final Thoughts:

I love that this is a local product, and I especially love how delicious the pancakes are.  You can also make delicious, nutty waffles with this mix.  This mix can help you make an ordinary pancake breakfast something special!

To learn more about this product and others from Nitty Gritty Grain Company, visit their website.

Product Description:

This mix has a robust corn flavor, thanks to a blend of two organic corns: Yellow dent and Wapsie Valley, a heritage variety. The coarse grind gives it an charmingly rustic, grainy texture with a satisfying tooth. The included recipes on the inside of the label are easy as pie (or, as the case may be, cornbread). Just mix, bake or griddle, and serve. Catherine recommends substituting water in the recipes with milk, yogurt or sour cream (or silken tofu as a vegan alternative) for additional richness. The cornbread and pancakes are a delicious breakfast, but also try them as a foundation for baked beans or Southern-style barbecue.

What I Think:

A day or two before my Foodzie Tasting Box arrived, I remember craving cornbread!  I had no idea that I would be receiving a cornmeal mix in my box, so it was either intuition or a strange coincidence.  Either way, I’m very surprised by what I’m tasting from this cornmeal mix!

I made six cornbread muffins (and I have enough mix left over to make another six muffins, or perhaps a few cornmeal pancakes, which is what I think I will end up making).  It’s easy to prepare:  measure out the mix, add a little water and oil (I actually used melted butter instead) and 1 beaten egg.  Stir until mix is wet (remember, don’t over-mix muffin batter!) and evenly distribute into a lightly greased muffin tin (or instead of lightly greasing, you can use cupcake liners for super easy clean up).

After measuring out the first three muffins, I decided to change things up a bit and I added a little bit of cheese (I used a Mexican blend of four cheeses), and a few jalapeño slices that I removed the seeds from and diced up fine.

The first three muffins were incredible.  The flavor is incredibly light and yet hearty in its own way.  Delicious corn flavor, slightly sweet and nutty.  While most cornbread tends to be rather dense… this has a delicate kind of quality to it.

The second set of muffins (with the cheese and jalapeño) were also quite amazing.  I think I should have added a little more cheese, because I found that rather than taste cheese, what I’m noticing is the flavor of the corn REALLY emerging.  I added just the right amount of jalapeño though, as these have a  kick to them without being too hot and spicy.   I wouldn’t call them mild either.  I’d call them just right!

Ordinarily when I make cornbread (or cornbread muffins), I use generic corn meal and follow a standard recipe using a ratio of 1:1 corn meal to whole wheat unbleached flour and the other “standard ingredients.”  These muffins … are MUCH better than anything I’ve ever produced using that recipe.

As for a tea recommendation, after tasting these muffins, if you want to really accentuate the corn flavor, try this Diyi Cornfields Shu from Verdant Tea – another product that really surprised me with its corn flavor!

My Final Thoughts:

If you want to serve just ordinary cornbread … stay with the corn meal you’re using now.  If you want something that will really impress someone (even if that someone is you), you must give this mix a try.  I really was not expecting to be as happy with this corn meal mix … I actually had a reaction that was sort of like “eh… why is this in the box?”  But after tasting it, I can say without hesitation that this mix makes the best corn bread muffins ever!

I held off on writing this review because I wasn’t sure how I was going to approach it.  First of all, in our October Tasting Box, we received two little bottles of maple syrup:  one Grade A Medium Amber and one Grade B.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write two separate reviews for the syrup, or if I wanted to do one comprehensive review that included a taste comparison between Grade A and Grade B. 

Once I decided to write one comprehensive review (this review), I then contemplated how to approach the taste test.  I didn’t want to test it out on pancakes or something, because, quite honestly, while making pancakes is a simple process, it is a lot of preparation for a taste test.  I ultimately decided to do the taste test on toasted 8-grain bread and also to add just a little syrup to a sampling of Grand Tea’s Premium White Peony Tea (which I was reviewing separately, but was interested to find out how maple syrup tasted with it). 

Anyway… here goes!

Where to Buy:  Ben’s Sugar Shack on Foodzie

Price:  $19.99 for a 16-ounce jug of Syrup (your choice:  Grade A or Grade B)

About Ben’s Sugar Shack:

My passion for making maple syrup started when I was 5 years old. The first year I made less than a gallon of syrup. Ten years later, at age 15, I won the Maple Producers Carlisle Trophy for the best syrup in New Hampshire. Now, at age 21, I have two sugar houses, a variety of maple products, and am still expanding my business. I hope you enjoy my maple syrup!

What I Think:

So, by now, you may be wondering, just what is the difference between Grade A and Grade B.  Well, it really doesn’t have anything to do with purity or one being “better” than the other.  They do taste different, and I’ll get to that in a moment, but the real difference between the two grades is the time of year that it is harvested.  Grade A maple syrup is harvested earlier in the year than Grade B.

But after opening each of these cute little bottles that I received in the October Tasting Box, I noticed a couple of other differences.  First of all, there is a slight difference in color.  The Grade B is very slightly darker.  It is very slight, though, and something that you might not notice unless you held it up to the light.  Second, the Grade A had more crystallized sugar formed at the rim of the bottle.  I don’t know why that is.

But what really counts is how they taste, right?

Both syrups are obviously sweet and maple-y.  The Grade A had more of a sugary kind of taste to it, perhaps because of the slight crystallization?  I don’t know, but I noticed that as I was eating the toast topped with the Grade A Maple Syrup, it had a more distinct sugar-like quality to it.  It certainly offers a fair representation of maple flavor, although I must admit that it is milder than I expected.

But then, when it comes to the maple syrup that I buy, I generally choose Grade B.  Why?  Because Alton Brown does, or so he said in one of his episodes.  And Alton Brown is all about “Good Eats” so when he makes a suggestion concerning food choices, I generally listen.

And in the case of this taste test, the Grade B did have a stronger maple-y flavor.  It tasted less like “sugar” and more like maple.  I found this to be the case not only with the toast test, but also the tea test.  I like the Grade B better (although both were delightful and I certainly wouldn’t turn away from a bottle of Grade A if offered at the breakfast table).

Now then, in terms of branding … I don’t know that this Maple Syrup from Ben’s Sugar Shack is any better than another brand of Maple Syrup.  You see, the only maple syrup I have on hand at the moment are these little bottles I received in the tasting box, mostly because I’ve been making my own syrup (Chai Syrup, inspired by my trip to Bumblekiss Cafe) and it is considerably more economical than the average price of a bottle of pure maple syrup.  I will say that the price of Ben’s Sugar Shack Maple Syrup seems to be comparable to those that I’ve found in the grocery, and that’s refreshing, especially after reading a bit of Ben’s Story.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this taste test, and am very glad that I had this opportunity to compare for myself the difference between Grade A and Grade B Maple syrups.  When I am in need of maple syrup (I guess when I get tired of making my own chai syrup?) I will definitely consider shopping with Ben’s, if for no other reason than I appreciate his passion for Maple Syrup, and it reminds me a bit of my own passion for tea.