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heavy with snow

cozy tree

footprints in the snow

We woke to snow. A late March snowfall had silently blanketed the bits of spring that were just beginning to peek up from the cold, damp ground. The daffodils hung heavy under its weight, their new green leaves appearing even more luscious in contrast to the colorless cold all around. After a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, I sent my kids out into the weather to stomp around one last time before this in-between season shifts toward the sun of spring. It was silly fun for all. Then they were off to school.

I decided to make the most of this last wintry day, and the fact that I was not due to work at the restaurant, to enjoy some time my kitchen — oven on, burners blazing. Nothing warms up a home like the love and heat that are generated in a busy kitchen. After a hot cup of coffee, Freja and I decided that what we wanted most for lunch was a batch of yummy baked pumpkin pancakes. Baked? Yes! These are the easiest all-in-one-bowl-super-easy-paleo-grainfree pancakes ever. That they contain pumpkin officially puts them into the “epic” category. Well, at least according to the sophisticated palate of my four-year-old paleo kid. (Yes, she actually said they were epic.) She sure knows what she likes and what she does not like. She will not be swayed. I like that about her. She’s sassy, like her mama.

pancake prep

hot from the oven

my plate

chow time

I originally found this recipe on one of my all-time favorite blogs, Boho Girl. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting Denise’s space, you really should. She is wise and gentle and her images are breathtaking. Pure bliss. Really.

To feed just myself and Freja I doubled the following recipe. If you have hearty eaters like I do, you will definitely need to increase the recipe accordingly.

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup almond or cashew butter
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  • Use a ¼ cup to scoop the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pancakes are fluffy and golden.
  • Serve warm, with pure maple syrup or whatever you desire. (I love slivered almonds with mine.)

After our yummy lunch it was time for some snuggles and a little snooze…

Then before I knew it, there were kids bursting though the front door dumping backpacks here, there and everywhere. Gloves were scattered about and the demands to be fed began in earnest. I don’t know about your kids, but mine come home from school every day ravenous! I often feed them a hot breakfast of eggs and fruit before they leave, pack them a full, protein laden lunch, and a snack but still, still, when they arrive home it’s as if they have not been fed all day! I am often confronted with a lot of uncooperative behavior and grumpiness as a result of this after-school low blood sugar situation, so I decided to head them off at the pass this afternoon with two of their favorite foods — bananas and oh, yeah, bacon. 

No milk and cookies in this house. No way. This is so much better!

frying bananas
paleo snackin'

sweet and salty perfection

I call this treat Sweet and Salty Paleo Perfection. It’s delicious and just about the easiest thing ever to make, it just takes a few minutes to do it right. Good bacon takes time. Don’t rush it!

Sweet and Salty Paleo Perfection:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of good, high quality bacon. (We acquire ours locally though our favorite butcher.)
  • 6 just-ripe bananas. (This recipe works best with bananas that are still just a touch green.)

Instructions:

  • Slice the bananas in half lengthwise and then in half width-wise so that each banana is quartered.
  • Open the bacon package and slice the whole block of bacon three times so that each slice of bacon is quartered. 
  • Separate the bacon pieces and place them in a COLD pan.
  • Turn the burner on to Medium heat and slowly fry the bacon, turning the pieces often. (I have found that the very best kitchen tool for making perfect bacon is a solid pair of wooden chopsticks. Seriously.)
  • Remove individual pieces as they finish crisping and set aside.
  • Once all of the bacon is finished, immediately place the banana pieces into the hot bacon drippings. (Watch out, the fat will spit at you.)
  • Cook the bananas until they are golden brown and crisp around the edges, turning only once. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes on the first side and only 2-3 minutes on the second side.
  • Place a hearty helping of now caramelized bananas on your plate and top with as many crispy bits of bacon as you desire.

Eat, then eat some more!

We were warm and well-fed all day, snow and all. I am grateful for this last hurrah of winter and these last bites of our cold-weather favorites. Soon there will be sweet peas and baby carrots on our plates. Baby greens and spicy radishes will replace the squash and soups of winter as we move into a season of abundance at the farmer’s markets. As the seasons change so does the food on our plates. What a lovely seasonal rhythm to notice and to celebrate — our simple (and delicious) farewell to this long season of cold and welcoming of the coming spring.

We are so ready…

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