Saturday, March 18, 2006

RECIPE - Chocolate Brownie Pancakes

We had a special occasion breakfast this morning.

I fixed Chocolate Brownie Pancakes from a recipe I found at Of course, I never follow a recipe exactly as written. This one was originally for waffles. I added a little extra milk to make the batter thinner for pancakes.

Modified from a 1966 circular recipe for waffles. Would be great with icecream, too.

8 servings
25 minutes, 10 minutes prep

1/2 c butter, melted (I used unsalted butter)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 c milk (for waffles, more for pancakes)
Other optional ingredients: chocolate chips, nuts, shredded coconut, berries

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar and beat well.
2. Add vanilla and allow to cool.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well. Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon. (I left out the cinnamon)
4. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to chocolate mixture.
5. Add your choice of optional ingredients. (I added 1/4 c chocolate chips)
6. Bake pancakes in a pan on low-med head. Bake waffles according to directions on waffle iron. Waffles will crisp as they cool.
7. Refrigerate any left over batter. Batter will keep for several days in refrigerator.
8. If using from refrigerated, add 1/4 tsp baking powder dissolved in 1 tsp water for every cup cold batter.

I left the cinnamon out of the batter because the chocolate/cinnamon combo didn't appeal to everyone. Instead, I put the cinnamon on the table to sprinkle on if desired.

In addition to traditional maple syrup and I made a hot fruit topping. For a single serving, I put 2 handfuls of frozen mixed berries in a bowl, heated it on High in the microwave for 1min30sec until bubbly. This can be poured the over the chocolate pancakes in place of syrup.

Enjoy! They're yummy!

COPYRIGHT 2006 - Effusive Muse Publishing

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Chanteuse & The Recluse

I've been in a deep hibernation this winter. Now, with Spring officially right around the corner it seems like the right time to step back out onto the big stage, maybe on different terms.

I'm a quiet person. A thinker of deep thoughts. A real artsy fartsy kind of geeky music girl. And I'm OK with that.

For a while, I thought I had to be like so many performers who live life on the go, working constantly at self-promotion, seeing the world as one big business opportunity. Nothing wrong with that. Just not my style.

I've realized that my center of gravity is in a completely different place.

For me, the public moments of performance and risk taking will always require a counterbalancing time of cozy contemplation at home. Without this, life begins to spin off center.

I can't deny that both the Chanteuse and the Recluse are part of who I am. I create the things I do because of these counterbalancing forces. And I'm OK with that.

It's taken a while to get to this point.

The downside is that so many people see this whole music/art thing as one big competition, like a sporting event where there always are winners and losers. Many people make their music/art/entertainment/fashion choices based on who they think is going to be a winner rather that what really speaks to them. We are a culture of success by proxy.

It's like during the Olympics when the women skaters were being interviewed after their world class performances. The guy behind the microphone just didn't get it. One skater, who had come in 2nd, was asked on national TV if she was disappointed about "only getting the silver". She had done beautifully, worked for years to get where she was, had just come off the ice after an extreme effort. Her presence at the Olympics made it obvious that she was one of the best skaters in the world. The interviewer's question showed a lack of understanding and respect for what she had accomplished.

He was more interested in whether she'd won than what she'd done.

Typical of our culture right now.

Real life is about doing. It's about not being a spectator. It's about bringing a little bit of beauty out to be shared with others, taking a chance that it will inspire just one person along the way.

Real life is about forming real bonds with real people though conversation. It's not about making heroes out of distant entertainment icons, or comparing ourselves with them. When these entertainers fail to satisfy our needs, we denounce them as losers and move on to the next big thing.

Sadly, the fear of "losing" and appearing foolish keeps a lot of people from getting out and doing the things they were meant to do. We spend our own lives sitting at home in front of the TV when we might have been out discovering what we're capable of creating on our own.

We all lose when this happens.

I've rambled on long enough. I guess this is a pep-talk is for me as much as anyone else. I'm preparing the Chanteuse to emerge from her long hibernation, to discover how she's been changed by the self-prescribed seclusion.

I will take the doing beyond my own front door.

And I will still make time for cozy songwriting and art making. Time to cook another big pot of lentil soup to package up for the freezer. Time to put a log from the old apple tree into the woodstove. Time to clean out the barn and the attic, to make room for this new phase of life.

Quiet doers unite!

COPYRIGHT 2006 - Effusive Muse Publishing