Cottage Pancakes

Cottage Pancake A Pinch of Joy

Cottage Pancakes  A Pinch of Joy

‘Wow, this is good’  is the universal verdict when these are served.  They are full of protein and other goodness  and are a low carbers dream!   Delicious and healthy equals win-win!   The main ingredients are a little “out of the carton”  (heh, heh!)  without being weird or tasting strange.  They taste just like you expect pancakes to taste.  Only better. 

 On this recipe I measure the flour when I first start, add the salt and baking powder to the half cup full of flour and set aside until needed.  That way I don’t need to stop and measure but can just keep the mixture light and moving toward the skillet.  I use regular cottage cheese – small curd, large curd doesn’t matter.  Smooth it by pulsing it in the food processor or blender until the lumps are gone.  I also — and most frequently — use a hand mixer because it is more convenient in my kitchen — leaves the batter a little lumpier, but not noticeable in the final results.  Whisk the eggs until light and continue whisking to incorporate the cottage cheese.  Stir in the dry ingredients gently until just mixed well.  We’re trying to keep the eggs light and airy so the less beating and stirring with dry ingredients the better.  You won’t have an inedible product if you don’t do this, but it does help make a more tender pancake. Tenderness is good 🙂

Patience is NOT one of my virtues.  I want things done without a lot of fuss or waiting.  Pancakes are no exception.  I’ve always made large pancakes reasoning the more I fill the skillet the faster I’ll get done and can move away from this boring chore.  Then – after zillions of pancakes and many hours drumming on the stove waiting and WAITING for them to cook – it dawned on me.  The reason it takes me so long to make pancakes:   five or six inches in diameter guarantees it will take longer for the middle to set up.  Make smaller pancakes no bigger than three inches in diameter.  You can put more in the skillet and still have room to flip them. 

More importantly they will cook faster. Less time drumming on the stove.   I can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out.


Cottage Pancakes
Light and filling with a surprise ingredient!
  • • 6 eggs, medium to large
  • • 1½ cups cottage cheese
  • • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • • 1/2 cup flour
  • • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  1. 1. Beat eggs until light.
  2. 2. Puree cottage cheese until smooth
  3. 3. Stir cottage cheese into beaten eggs until well mixed.
  4. 4. Add flour, salt and baking soda, until just mixed.
  5. 5. In large skillet, heat two tablespoons oil until a bit of batter sizzles when dropped into oil.
  6. 6. Pour egg and cottage cheese mixture into skillet to form three inch pancakes.
  7. 7. Cook over medium heat until bubbles begin to burst and center is set. Turn and cook through until brown on other side.
  8. 8. Top with maple syrup or fresh fruit, as desired.
  9. 9. Makes about 2 dozen small pancakes.

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Sweet Pepper Fiesta Salad

Orange, red, yellow sweet pepper salad

Orange, red, yellow sweet pepper salad

I love the bright colors of this salad.  It just sings party!  You can slice the peppers and onion into rings before marinating for a fun party look.  Or slice the peppers lengthwise and dice the onion for a side salad.   Or you can slice the peppers lengthwise and then cut them into pieces about an inch long, as I did, and used diced onion.   With the smaller pieces, you can add the marinated peppers to a tossed salad, put a spoonful on top of a burger or use it to flavor another dish – besides eating it as a salad.  Besides its colorful versatility, this combination has several “good for you” benefits!

Discovered by Christopher Columbus in the “new world”, the sunshine colors give a hint to the nutrional punch packed by bell peppers,  One small red, yellow or orange pepper has three times the daily required amount of Vitamin C.  They contain Vitamin A which helps night vision and other compounds which help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.  These two vitamins boost immunity and guard again heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.  They are a good source of Vitamin B6 and folic acid.  Lycopene is found in red peppers and helps protect against certain cancers.  Peppers are a good source of fiber, with its associated benefits.  That’s a lot packed into a pretty pepper!

The dressing has a lot of health benefits as well.  Continuing studies, in particular at Arizona State University and Lund University in Sweden and Tokyo University in Japan, verify the benefits of acetic acid found in vinegar.  Vinegar decreases blood glucose levels.  According to Dr. Carol Johnston of ASU,   “[Vinegar] in inexpensive and can be easily incorporated into the diet. Used in combination with diet and exercise, it can help many people with type 2 diabetes.”

Other studies have shown regular consumption of as little as 2 teaspoons of vinegar a day  will help with metabolic syndrome ( pre diabetes) and produce moderate weight loss.  Dr. Johnston recommends an easy way to consume vinegar is through dressings on salads and cooked vegetables with a mix of 50-75% of vinegar to oil.  Our dressing is 75% vinegar.  If you are using this recipe for that purpose, you can eliminate the sugar or choose a sugar substitute.

Who knew healthy food could look so festive and taste so good???

Sweet Pepper Fiesta Salad
  • 1 each red, yellow and orange bell peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar or equivalent sweetener
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped parsley – optional
  1. Wash, seed and slice the peppers.
  2. Prepare the onion – diced finely or sliced thinly into rings.
  3. Whisk together oil, vinegar and sugar.
  4. Place peppers and onion into bowl and pour the dressing over them.
  5. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  6. 6 servings

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Mock N Cheese aka Cauliflower Gratin



Cauliflower au Gratin — cheesy goodness as a main dish or a side dish.  Cauliflower, Mark Twain once sniffed, was nothing but cabbage with a college education. Boiled and buttered, the way grandma used to do it, cauliflower was nothing to write home about.  Now it is on restaurant menus and is a sought after addition to meals.  Cauliflower began to appear on vegetable trays, in snack packs and anywhere a crunch was needed. Cooks everywhere took a closer look when low carb dining became important to a large part of the population.   Cauliflower is only 5 carbs per serving and it’s somewhat bland flavor and good texture makes it an acceptable substitute for potatoes, pasta and rice.   This classi au gratin recipe makes a substitute for Mac n Cheese.  Mock N Cheese! My sister, Vee, told me it was not a good name if I had to explain it.  First she hinted ever so diplomatically with a laugh and a hmmmm — or maybe it was a snort like a hmmmm.  Was she right?

Precook the cauliflower in the microwave, covered, just enough to make it crispy soft – you can  put a fork in it, but it retains some of its crispness.  While it is microwaving,  begin to make the roux in a large pan.  The onion and garlic aren’t enough to jump out, but they give a depth to the dish.  Same with the nutmeg – although you can smell it during baking, you can’t really taste it.  The cheese does play a part in the flavor, but you can adjust to what you have on hand and what your tastes are. The milk and cream can vary, as well.  If you have only whole milk on hand, use 2 cups.  Two cups of half and half work or if you want a richer flavor use all cream. You can leave the cauliflower in sections, just as you placed them in the baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over it.   You will have a proper cauliflower au gratin then –especially  if you also sprinkle a couple tablespoons of seasoned bread crumbs over the top before baking. To make it a substitute for macaroni and cheese,  run a sharp knife through the partially cooked cauliflower in the pan until the texture is somewhat reminiscent of large elbow macaroni.  Pour on the cheese sauce and bake for Faux Roni?  Mock N Cheese?  Good stuff!

Cauliflower Gratin as substitute for Macaroni and cheese

Mock N Cheese aka Cauliflower Gratin
  • 1 head of cauliflower, about 3 pounds
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack)
  • ⅔ cup parmesan cheese (or Swiss)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  1. Turn cauliflower upside down and cut all around the stem with sharp knife. Remove tough leafy stems. Do not cut the florets apart.
  2. Spray 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Rinse cauliflower sections and place without draining into baking dish. Cover dish with upside plate or piece of waxed paper. Microwave 3 minutes on high.
  3. Turn oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In large pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  5. Add onion and garlic and saute’ until fragrant, 1-3 minutes
  6. Add flour and stir to form a roux. Cook, stirring contantly about 1 minute. Lower heat if necessary to avoid browning the roux.
  7. Add cream/milk slowly, whisking to keep the mixture smooth.
  8. Bring mixture to slow boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thick, smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and grated cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.
  10. Pour evenly over the cauliflower in the 8x8 baking dish and sprinkle grated parmesan evenly over the top.
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

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