Dandelion Donuts

Donuts By Bike

I love donuts. Who doesn’t love a good donut? When I learned that a new local business could be bringing organic, vegan donuts to Tallahassee, I became very interested. Learning the donuts would be delivered by bicycle just made me giddy. That’s right, Dandelion Donuts will be delivering organic, vegan donuts by bike (the freight bike in the photo below).


First Taste

Dandelion Donuts graciously sponsored Breakfast on the Chain, a monthly breakfast for bicycle commuters in Tallahassee, last month. This was my first opportunity to actually taste the donuts. I started with strawberry-basil. I appreciated how the natural berry and herb flavors came through. This was a welcome change to the artificial colors and flavors found on so many donuts. I also appreciated that it was not as sweet as donuts I usually come across. This made me feel better about eating a second one; this time a chocolate with cocoa nibs.



Last week, I attended the launch party for their crowdfunding effort and sampled a summer herb donut. Like the Strawberry-Basil donut, the summer herb had a bright flavors. I am definitely looking forward to these being readily available.


Coming Soon

It was clear from the number of people at the event that I am not the only person excited about these donuts. If you like donuts as much as I do, watch for these to roll into our community soon.


Blueberry Pancakes

(Lighter) Blueberry panckaes

As I mentioned in the Summer Pulled Pork post, the summer season induces my desire to eat all of the blueberries I can find. I also mentioned in that post how much I like pairing blueberries with corn. Adding blueberries to the pancake recipe Jill learned from her grandpa — where yellow corn meal is the secret ingredient — accomplishes both of these goals. Here are two adaptations of the pancake recipe Jill learned from her grandpa.

The first adaptation is simple: Make pancakes as usual and drop in a handful of blueberries as they cook on the skillet.

Mix together the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Egg
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cup milk

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, making sure not to over mix. The batter should be pourable, but not soupy. Ladle batter onto a hot, greased skillet (about 300 to 325 degrees). Immediately add a small handful of blueberries to each pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface, flip the pancake and cook until the pancake is done throughout. Serve immediately.

Add a small handful of blueberries
Add a small handful of blueberries

I cooked a few turkey sausages and Jill make a quick fruit salad to go with the pancakes.

Blueberry Pancake Breakfast
Blueberry pancake breakfast

These pancakes are incredible. However, to be able to enjoy them with a little less guilt, I came up with a second adaptation: Make the pancakes lighter by substituting the oil with yogurt and the egg with ground flax seed.

Add 1 tablespoon of flax meal to a small bowl. Pour 3 tablespoons of water over the flax meal and mix together with a fork. Set the bowl in the refrigerator while you measure and mix together the other ingredients.

Flex meal egg substitute
Flax meal and water make a good egg substitute

Mix the other ingredients together as noted in the previous recipe, replacing the 1/4 cup oil with 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt and the egg with the flax meal and water combination.

Substitute the oil with plan Greek yogurt
Substitute the oil with plain Greek yogurt

Cook the pancakes according to the recipe above, adding in the delicious blueberries.

(Lighter) Blueberry panckaes
(Lighter) Blueberry Pancakes

Although the flax meal “egg” and the yogurt substitute for oil make the pancakes a little healthier, they do not make the pancake any less delicious. These lighter pancakes are slightly chewier, but they are far from being rubbery or unpleasant.

(Lighter) Blueberry Pancake Breakfast
(Lighter) Blueberry Pancake Breakfast

This summer is a great time to experiment with blueberry recipes and to enjoy delicious blueberry pancakes. A story ran on NPR yesterday, explaining that the blueberry crops this season were bountiful and that prices are currently low because of the market saturation. As the season ends, the blueberry prices will start going up, so whip up some brunch or enjoy a blueberry pancake breakfast for dinner tonight.

Between Breakfast and Lunch: Brunch

I love breakfast foods. I could them any time of day. I’m not picky – I like eggs, muffins, scones, cinnamon buns, biscuits (with or without gravy), grits, waffles, pancakes, fruit, and the occasional slice of bacon. And coffee. Let’s not forget coffee.


Brunch is  one of my favorite meals to host because the food is pretty low maintenance to prepare, the food can easily be scaled to feed a crowd, and a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning is the perfect time to hang out with family and friends over a leisurely meal.


Earlier this year, I wrote about our family brunch. On the menu in the photo below, we had biscuits and gravy (pork sausage gravy in the big pot, turkey sausage gravy in the small pot), scrambled eggs, yogurt almonds, fresh fruit (raspberries, nectaries, and grapes), and blueberry muffins. And coffee. Let’s not forget coffee.

I’ve also seen some cute ideas for brunch foods on Pinterest. The create-your-own bar seems to be a very popular idea right now: 

Bellini Bar

Top-Your-Own-Yogurt Bar

Top-Your-Own-Oatmeal Bar

Top-Your-Own-Pancakes Bar

Food on a skewer is easy to serve and can be done in lots of different combinations:

Rainbow Fruit Kabobs

Chicken and Waffle Skewers

Blueberry-Strawberry Pancake Skewers

Lemon, Ginger, and Strawberry Pancake Skewers

And anything that can be made ahead, whether a casserole or single serve portions, is a winner for a party food:

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

Pancake Bites

Mini Egg Omelets

What are some of your favorite brunch foods?

I’m looking forward to planning some fun brunch gatherings in the future with good friends and yummy food. And coffee. Let’s not forget coffee.

Beach Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

While we were on vacation at Little Gasparilla, we tried for simple, healthy food that was easy to prepare (no special kitchen gadgets required) and easy to clean up  (so we could get back to the sun and sand).

For breakfasts and lunches, we bought:

  • English muffins and bread (whole wheat sourdough and plain wheat)
  • Cream cheese, butter, jelly, and sunflower seed butter
  • Fruit (bananas, blueberries, apples, and grapes)
  • Veggies (cucumber, baby carrots, baby peppers)
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Provolone cheese
  • Bread and butter pickle chips
  • Chips (roasted garlic flavored and a splurge for the beach)
  • Jo-jo’s (only the best, most delicious vanilla-flavored cookies from Trader Joe’s)

Breakfasts were sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches, English muffins with butter and jelly, bananas with sunflower seed butter, or yogurt with blueberries.

Every day for lunch we had a different combination or tasting plate:


Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, Jo-jo’s, peppers and carrots with garlic hummus, roasted garlic chips, grapes, and bread and butter pickles


Grilled cheese (provolone, mustard, arugula, and apple slices), grapes, apple slices, bread and butter pickle slices


Sandwich (cream cheese with apple and cucumber slices), cucumber and carrots with garlic hummus, apple slices (and probably some Jo-jo’s later in the afternoon…)

What are some of your favorite go-to luches and dinners when you are preparing simple, healthy meals?

Pancakes with Grandpa

Grandpa Lucas is one of my favorite people in the whole world. When I was a little kid, I always looked forward to making pancakes with Grandpa, especially on a Saturday night when we would have breakfast for dinner. A chemist by training and an educator at heart, Grandpa would draw the chemical structure of baking powder on a napkin and explain why adding this to the pancakes made them fluffy.


When I was home for the weekend in October, Grandpa came over on Sunday morning and make pancakes. It was a wonderful treat. I don’t ever remember grandpa adhering strictly to a recipe. He does, however, have a secret ingredient – yellow corn meal.


The other trick? Cooking the pancakes in a hot, buttered cast iron skillet.


Love this. 

These pancakes are perfect – not too sweet, perfectly fluffy, and with a great texture from the cornmeal.


We served our pancakes with pure maple syrup and sausage made from the pig my grandpa bought at the Polk County 4H competition where he regularly serves as a judge. Classic Polk County. Quality delicious sausage.
IMG_0584There is nothing I love more than making pancakes with Grandpa. I hope you will made these pancakes to share with someone  you love.

Grandpa’s Pancakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Egg
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cup milk

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, making sure not to overmix. The batter should be pourable but not soupy. Ladle into a hot, greased skillet. When bubbles appear on the surface, flip the pancake. Serve hot and delicious with syrup and a side of bacon or sausage.

What’s in Season Now: Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Smoothie

This time of year, my family has a plethora of ripe, delicious avocados falling off the trees in the backyard. I’m not sure exactly what variety of avocado these are, but they are significantly larger than Haas avocados (the avocados from California that you typically see in the grocery store) and don’t turn brown as they ripen. They have a sweet flavor and a buttery, silky texture. We returned home from our Winter Haven Christmas with two large, almost ripe avocados. Inspired by a recipe in the latest edition of Everyday Food, I whipped up this smoothie for breakfast one day last week.

Avocado Smoothie (1 serving)

In a blender combine one small banana, 2-1/2 ounces avocado (about 1/4 of a Florida avocado), 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%), 2 teaspoons almond butter, 1/8 cup rolled oats, 3 ounces fat-free plain Greek yogurt, and 5 – 6 ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Sweeten to taste (I added a drizzle of honey). Serve immediately.

The color of the smoothie left something to be desired (berry smoothies are much prettier in the glass) but the texture and subtle avocado flavor was excellent. I don’t typically like smoothies for breakfast, but his recipe was creamy and satisfying. The almond butter and Greek yogurt provided satieting protein while the oats served as a thickening agent. Overall this is a breakfast I really enjoyed and would definitely make again.

Fresh Cranberry Cream Scones with Candied Ginger

One of the many blogs Jill follows is Joy the Baker. This blog recently featured a recipe for Fresh Cranberry Cream Scones with Candied Ginger, a recipe adapted from the Joy of Baking website. After reading the Joy the Baker blog post about these scones, Jill sent me a link to the recipe with a note that said “I might really really want to make these this weekend.” Excited about the scones, I bought the ingredients on the way home from work that evening and made them Saturday morning. You can access the recipe from the Joy the Baker blog site here: Fresh Cranberry Cream Scones with Candied Ginger.

Chopped ginger and cranberries
Chopped ginger and cranberries

One of my favorite components of this recipe is the candied ginger, which provides a sweet, tangy heat that complements the tartness of the fresh cranberries. Next time I make these scones though, I will probably chop the cranberries and the ginger into smaller pieces. I think this would help distribute the flavors more evenly throughout the scones.

Fresh scones
Freshly baked scones

I was a little concerned that the tartness of the cranberries and the strong flavor of the candied ginger would be overpowering, but the butter and the cream, in addition to making the scones rich and delicious, toned down both the ginger and the cranberries.

Scone with bacon
Even better with a side of bacon

I decided to round out the scone breakfast with a couple of slices of bacon because, well, I just like bacon. The bacon with the scones also developed a good salty-sweet flavor combination. This breakfast definitely added joy to my Saturday morning.