A Squared: August 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Almond Butter Banana Pancakes (Toddler Friendly)

These almond butter banana pancakes are a filling, healthy, and delicious way to start the day-- for the whole family!

Feeding a toddler has been a fun adventure full of surprises. I have loved trying new foods with her and seeing what her tastes are and how she reacts to different flavors and textures. And it's been a challenge for me trying to find ways to introduce her to new healthy foods with her limited number of teeth.

We were in a pretty good groove for a while when it came to breakfast: Every morning for the first few months that she was eating solid foods Hannah would have some diced fruit along with a bowl of oatmeal mixed with pureed fruit and a spoonful of nut butter. It was a great way to hit all the food groups and was easy for her to eat. Then one day a couple of weeks ago, she refused it. I thought she was being picky because she was teething but then she refused that same breakfast (or rather, just the oatmeal) all week long. So, I needed to come up with an alternative for whole grain and protein that wasn't just cheesy scrambled eggs and dry cereal-- which she does LOVE-- and these pancakes are just that!

These pancakes are a complete breakfast in themselves: whole grains from whole wheat flour, protein from almond butter, whole milk, and eggs, and the nutritional benefits of fresh bananas. They get some nice sweetness from the bananas and also from the addition of real maple syrup. These pancakes are hearty, but they have a nice fluffy texture and great flavor on their own-- which is how I feed them to Hannah-- slightly warmed with fresh fruit on the side. They're also great with a drizzle of maple syrup or melted almond butter too.

This recipe makes a huge batch of small pancakes, so it is perfect for making ahead and freezing. I have a huge bag of these stored in my freezer and will just take two out the night before and thaw them for Hannah to have for breakfast the next day. It's so nice to have an easy already prepared breakfast on hand for her-- and she loves them, which is the most important thing!


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup almond butter

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and oil. Fold in the mashed bananas. 

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the almond butter in the microwave until it becomes runny and smooth, about 20 to 30 seconds. Stir into the wet ingredient mixture and whisk until fully combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient mixture and stir just until combined, without over-mixing.

Lightly grease a large nonstick pan and heat over medium heat. Drop a little less than 1/4 cup pancake batter and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the batter begins to bubble and the bottom is golden brown. Flip the pancakes and continue to cook until the edges are dry and the second side is golden brown as well.

Serve warm with maple syrup, almond butter, and/or sliced fruit. If preparing pancakes for freezing, transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled. Store in an airtight large zip locking freezer bag and thaw as needed.

*Editor's Note: Recipe adapted from original recipe by Two Peas & Their Pod.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Wine & Food Pairings

I haven't shared my favorite wines in quite some time, so I figured that summer is the perfect time to do so! I'm a big fan of a cold glass of rose on the deck in the summertime, but my love for wine does not end there. A crisp white or even a bold red are also more than acceptable wines at this time of year-- as long as they're paired with the right food, of course!

Here's a roundup of a few of the wines I have been enjoying this summer-- and the recipes that you should enjoy with them too.


Hogwash Rose - This is officially my favorite rose. That's sort of like picking a favorite child (in a kind of alcoholic way), but after sampling many this is the one that I love best. I discovered it a few years ago at a tiny (now closed) beer & wine shop in my neighborhood. The guys there recommended that I bring it along to a summer party I was headed to and they were right-- it was a hit! Fast forward to this spring when my picked up a bottle that we enjoyed by the beach in St. Simons Island, GA and I was reminded of how much I loved it so I found it at my local Whole Foods and have been enjoying it all summer long. It's a medium-bodied rose with fruity aromas and the perfect companion for barbecued food!
Pair it with: Balsamic Fig Grilled Lamb Chops
Lemon Marinated Grilled Chicken & Vegetables

Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco DOC - The first thing that I noticed about this wine was how gorgeous the bottle and label were... I'm a sucker for good packaging and would say that if you believe that you "eat with your eyes first," then the same might be true for drinking as well. Beyond that though, this is a great summer white wine. Grown in Tuscany, it's a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco so it's dry, but not as harsh as some Chardonnays can be with some great fruity notes.
Pair it with: Watermelon Feta Bites
Kalamata & Lemon Roasted Salmon

Château Saransot-Dupré Cru Bourgeois - I know embarrassingly little about French wine. I'm a big fan of Italian wines, love a good wine or sparkler from the Pacific Northwest... but French, I'm clueless! I may not know much about it, but what I can tell you about this Cru Bourgeois is that I like it... a lot! It's a gorgeous deep dark red blend including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a full-bodied wine with notes of balsamic and espresso that feels decadent to drink in the summertime, but because of that it is a great one to sip and savor on a summer night.
Pair it with: 

Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva - This Chianti Rufina Riserva is a good one! After spending several months living in the Tuscany region and being a lifelong lover of Italian food, Chianti is definitely one of my standby reds. That said, sometimes the same old ones can get boring. This Tuscan Nipozzano Riserva is a little different: A nicely balanced red with big fruity notes (they cite cherry, plum, raspberry) with hints of spice like nutmeg and pepper.

Anne Aimee Cuvee A Midnight Saignee Rose Pinot Noir - You have my mom to thank for this rose too! After sampling it at a favorite wine shop she gifted me a bottle as an early birthday gift knowing how much I love rose-- and because I share a name with the vineyard! This rose is nice and dry with fruity notes like strawberry and cherry and spicy ones like chai spice and white pepper. If you like a dry rose, this is a great find!
Pair it with: Grilled Shrimp & Spaghetti with Spicy Breadcrumbs
Chicken, Peach & Goat Cheese Salad with Chive Vinaigrette

Editor's Note: Complimentary samples of Frescobaldi and Château Saransot-Dupré were provided in order to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...