Giant Double Banana Pancakes

These Giant Double Banana Pancakes are full of mashed banana, yogurt, and healthy oats. They look pretty and impressive and are a perfect sunday breakfast.

These Giant Double Banana Pancakes are full of mashed banana, yogurt, and healthy oats. They look pretty and impressive and are a perfect sunday breakfast | Imagelicious

Just like with my last post of 2016, I feel that I should write something profound in the first post of 2017. Maybe something about the future and goals and peace on earth. Or maybe something about my family and how last year put everything in perspective. Instead I keep thinking about what New Year used to mean to me when I was a child. It's New Year's Eve and New Year celebration that is the most important and anticipated holiday for Russians. It's our version of Christmas with food, family, friends. With Santa bringing presents and festivities going for hours on end. With drinks and games and tv specials. With fireworks and toasts and memories.

January 1st is almost as important as December 31st. Tired and hungover and happy and still full of belief in magic we eat the leftovers - tradition January 1st breakfast. Mayo laden salads, herring, sprats, cheese, deli, caviar - it's all consumed for a few days after the celebration thus making such common New Year resolution of eating healthy a non-existent phenomenon for many Russians. 

I don't believe in New Year resolutions. They rarely work. Also, why this arbitrary January 1st date? Why not December 1st or at least first Monday of the month? I don't start eating healthy in January, instead I try to eat healthy-ish throughout the year. I still eat sugar and butter and bread but I try to not over-indulge. I try to use less oil or cheese or cook vegan. And if I feel like I want to eat cake or cookies or a nice grilled cheese sandwich, then I eat them and don't feel guilty.

So, as the world consumes tubs of non-fat yogurt with sugar-free granola this first week of January, I eat these delicious Giant Double Banana Pancakes for breakfast (after finishing my traditional mayo salads). They are full of plain yogurt,  mashed banana and healthy oats and cinnamon. I suppose whole wheat flour could be used to make them even healthier, but I don't usually have it in my pantry so I can't comment on that. 

These Giant Double Banana Pancakes are full of mashed banana, yogurt, and healthy oats. They look pretty and impressive and are a perfect sunday breakfast | Imagelicious

I wanted to add even more banana flavour to the pancakes by adding whole pieces of banana to them. Instead of making regular size pancakes and adding sliced banana rounds on top, I decided to make Giant pancakes and placed long slices of banana - they look pretty and impressive and I just wanted to make something a bit different. I used a small 8-inch pan and made 4 giant pancakes. I served them with Dulce de Leche and this breakfast was reminiscent of the classic English Banoffee pie.

Giant Double Banana Pancakes

makes 4 7-inch pancakes

Mashed bananas - 1 cup (2 large bananas, may need to use more depending on the size)
Plain yogurt - 1 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Vegetable oil - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Brown sugar - 2 tablespoons
Quick cooking oats - 1/3 cup
Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
Flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 2 teaspoons
Bananas sliced lengthwise - 3 or more depending on the size of bananas
Coconut oil for frying
  • In a large bowl combine very well mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, and oil if using. Mix really well.
  • Add oats, cinnamon, flour, and baking powder. Mix until flour disappears. Do not over mix. Batter will be lumpy.
  • Heat a small 8-inch pan on medium heat. Note: 8-inch pan usually has only 7-inch cooking surface, so you'll get 7-inch pancakes.
  • Add coconut oil and melt it to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Spread 1/4 of the batter in the pan, add about 3-4 long slices of banana on top and press slightly inside the batter.
  • Cook on medium or medium-low heat for about 5-6 minutes. Since the pancake is really big, it takes a bit longer to cook. 
  • Once the top of the pancakes stops being glossy and little bubbles start to appear, flip the pancake using a large spatula. Note: you can also slide the pancake off the pan onto a large plate, then place the pan over it and flip the plate and pan together, this way the cooked part of the pancake will be facing up. I tried both spatula and the plate flip method and plate flip was easier.
  • Cook for another 3-4 minutes until bananas caramelize and the pancake is cooked through.
  • Wipe the pan with paper towel before cooking another pancake.

Tip: since the pancakes take almost 10 minutes each to make, keep them warm in the oven at 200-225F. 

These Giant Double Banana Pancakes are full of mashed banana, yogurt, and healthy oats. They look pretty and impressive and are a perfect sunday breakfast | Imagelicious
These Giant Double Banana Pancakes are full of mashed banana, yogurt, and healthy oats. They look pretty and impressive and are a perfect sunday breakfast | Imagelicious
Posted on January 3, 2017 and filed under Recipe.
Print Friendly and PDF

Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip

These Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip are a perfect appetizer to serve with a glass of sparkling wine and an excellent addition to any brunch.

These Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip are a perfect appetizer to serve with a glass of sparkling wine and an excellent addition to any brunch | Imagelicious

Well, hello, last post of 2016! I am supposed to write something profound now, something full of nostalgia, lessons learned, new year resolutions and hopes. I am not going to do that. I'll keep this last entry of 2016 short and sweet. It was a difficult year, full of pain, both physical and emotional, turmoil, and fear but it was also full of hope, wonder, amazement, joy and love. I am ready for this year to end and I am looking forward to the next 2017 year. I have a good feeling about it!

Now, lets talk about these Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip! It sounds complicated, but I promise you it's easy. I love smoked salmon but it is not the cheapest of ingredients. I usually buy a big package at Costco when I am entertaining. I love creating a smoked salmon platter with a large heap of fish, surrounded by softened cream cheese, capers, lemon and dill, served with rolls or even homemade crusty bread. It's delicious, impressive but not very budget friendly. I am a big believer that entertaining doesn't have to be expensive. That's why I love creating recipes that are still delicious, elegant and impressive yet much easier on the wallet. The Smoked Salmon and Dilli Mini Pancakes are exactly that recipe!

These Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip are a perfect appetizer to serve with a glass of sparkling wine and an excellent addition to any brunch | Imagelicious

These mini pancakes are perfect to serve with a glass of sparkling wine at New Year's eve party and they are an excellent addition to any brunch. Only half a cup of smoked salmon is used in the recipe, so it's very affordable, yet you still have the wow factor that comes with serving smoked salmon. I added dill and capers to compliment the smoked salmon flavour and recreate that traditional sandwich experience. These pancakes can be made in advance, early morning before the evening entertaining or even a night before making it a perfect recipe for hosting parties. And, let me tell you a secret, you can use your favourite pancake mix and just add smoked salmon and dill to it, thus saving even more time! Horseradish dip is a great addition to the pancakes and it's super easy to make, just mix softened cream cheese, some plain yogurt and a spoonful of horseradish. 

These Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip are a perfect appetizer to serve with a glass of sparkling wine and an excellent addition to any brunch | Imagelicious

Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip

makes 20-22 mini pancakes

Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Freshly cracked pepper - to taste (about 4-5 grinds)
Dill, finely chopped - 1/2 cup (~10 g)
Capers - 1 teaspoon (measured, then finely chopped)
Smoked salmon, diced - 1/2 cup (~ 70-80 g)
Egg - 1 large
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Olive oil - 2 teaspoon
Oil for frying
Cream cheese, softened - 1/4 package (~60 g)
Plain yogurt - 1 large heaping tablespoon (not measuring spoon) (~30 g)
Horseradish - 1 heaping teaspoon (not measuring spoon)
Salt - to taste
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
  • Add chopped dill, diced smoked salmon and chopped capers. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  • Add the egg, buttermilk and olive oil. Mix until flour disappears. Do not over mix, it's fine to have lumps.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan to medium and brush with oil.
  • Place teaspoons of batter onto the pan to make 2-inch diameter pancakes. 
  • Cook 2-3 minutes on one side until the top stops being shiny and bubbles appear. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust the heat on the pan as needed.
  • To make the horseradish dip, mix all the ingredients well and add salt to taste. You can use mixer for a smoother texture, I used just a spoon.
These Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes with Horseradish Dip are a perfect appetizer to serve with a glass of sparkling wine and an excellent addition to any brunch | Imagelicious
Posted on December 29, 2016 and filed under Recipe.
Print Friendly and PDF

Blue Cheese, Pecans and Dates Bread

Blue cheese, Pecans and Date Bread is an excellent addition to a cheese platter. It's full of salty cheese, sweet dates and crunchy pecans - perfect to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings.

Blue cheese, pecans and date bread is an excellent addition to a cheese platter. It's full of salty cheese, sweet dates and crunchy pecans - perfect to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings | Imagelicious

Savoury or sweet? What is your flavour of choice? I love sweets and desserts and can't imagine not finishing a meal with some kind of sweet treat, but my snack of choice is usually savoury and salty. And my favourite flavour combination is sweet and salty together. I remember many years ago I was recovering from a failed romance and for a few days consumed mostly potato chips with dark chocolate. Not so healthy, but oh, so delicious. Couple of year ago I hosted a Chocolate themed dinner party and one of the hors d'oeuvres were chocolate dipped potato chips, along with chocolate dipped bacon and spicy chocolate popcorn.

With plethora of salted caramel and spicy chocolate and cheese and fruit recipes out there I am not sure why savoury cakes or savoury quick breads aren't more popular. First time I made a savoury bread was a few months after my potato chips and chocolate diet. I made it for my annual holiday brunch and it was a hit. Since then it's been a signature recipe that I make when I have people over. I wish I could make it more often, but since hubby is one of those people who actually doesn't like salty and sweet together and I can't (or shouldn't) eat an entire loaf by myself, I don't make it if I'm not entertaining.

I made a few changes to the original recipe over the years. I reduced the amount of oil without compromising the texture of the bread, adjusted the amount of cheese and used many different kinds of fillings sticking to the tried and true formula: blue cheese, some kind of nuts, some kind of sweet fruit. In the summer I made this with strawberries. In the fall - apples and pears. In the winter I used cranberries (one of my favourite combinations). This particular Blue Cheese, Pecans and Dates Bread recipe uses dates.

As most of my recipes, it's not really complicated, just mix everything together! But it requires some prep since  one cheese needs to be grated and the other one crumbled, fruit and nuts need to be chopped, flour and the rest of dry ingredients - measured. Still, it's an easy recipe to make and you can view the video below to see that.

This Blue Cheese, Pecans and Dates Bread is an excellent addition to a cheese platter, I like eating a slice of that with a smear of warmed brie or some cream cheese. The bread is soft and full of complex flavours and textures. There's the crunch of pecans and softness of blue cheese; chewiness of the dates and crispiness around the crust and edges. Salty cheddar, pungent blue cheese compliment the sweetness of fruit and the buttery taste of pecans. This bread is great to serve at holiday parties and would be perfect for an elegant New Year's eve celebration.

Blue cheese, pecans and date bread is an excellent addition to a cheese platter. It's full of salty cheese, sweet dates and crunchy pecans - perfect to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings | Imagelicious

Blue Cheese, Pecans and Dates Bread

makes 1 loaf (either 9x5 or 11x4)

Eggs - 3 large
Vegetable or canola oil - 3 tablespoons
Milk - 1/2 cup
Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 tablespoon
Blue cheese, crumbled - 2/3 cup
Pecans, chopped - 1/2 cup
Dates, pitted and chopped - 1/3 cup (~5 large medjool dates)
Cheddar, grated - 1 cup
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Butter and flour a loaf pan (or you can line it with parchment paper).
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and milk until smooth.
  • Add flour, baking powder and mix.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. My oven notoriously takes longer to bake everything, so I'd start checking after about 35-40 minutes.
Blue cheese, pecans and date bread is an excellent addition to a cheese platter. It's full of salty cheese, sweet dates and crunchy pecans - perfect to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings | Imagelicious
Blue cheese, pecans and date bread is an excellent addition to a cheese platter. It's full of salty cheese, sweet dates and crunchy pecans - perfect to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings | Imagelicious
Posted on December 15, 2016 and filed under Recipe.
Print Friendly and PDF