Pancakes

Brownstone Diner

I went to the Brownstone diner with Danielle, Amelia and Dori in October. I know I am a few months behind but I wanted to wait until I tasted the Brownstone legendary pancakes. The first time I went to the Brownstone Diner, I was in Jersey City before going to FitBlog NYC. The second time I was on the way to visit my brother (Danielle and Amelia you guys were out of town or obviously we would have gone again!). This diner has even been on the food network. One step inside and I can see why!  This is a staple and very well known diner in New Jersey.

Atmosphere: B
The Brownstone diner looks like a normal building that you might drive (or in our case, walk) right by. If you aren’t coming specifically for the diner, chances are you will miss this hidden gem! The inside is clean and cute. I liked the signs to the restroom, the NJ turnpike and NYC.

The attitude of the staff was friendly but nothing to write home about.  I was a bitter because I was have liked a waitress that refilled my coffee a few more times.  It happens though.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good. The whipped cream was tasty but the waitress only refilled the small cup once. It was the reason I gave a B for coffee. I might be dramatic but it was so good, I would gave rather a refill. It wasn’t busy either.

Brownstone Diner Coffee

Food: A
It doesn’t really matter the rest of the scores for this diner because the food is amazing. The first time I went I had had their Greek Salad. The salad was by far the best diner salad I’ve had in a while.

There was plenty of dressing (but not soupy), plus the salad was huge. I ordered a size of salmon which was very worth it. It came with pita bread and grape leaves. It also didn’t come with hard boiled egg (something I personally don’t care for).  It was one of the biggest diner salads I’ve had and it was also one of the most high quality.

Brownstone Diner Salad

The next time I went I was dying to try the pancakes. After debating which pancakes to try, I ordered the cherry pancakes. It took me back to college when I did the pancake challenge several times. I have yet to find a restaurant that rivaled the amazement of those pancakes. The pancakes were stuffed with cherry jam and delicious.  These are BY FAR the best pancakes I’ve had in a diner.  I can’t do them enough justice through text.  My guess is the pancakes had about 2000 calories per pancake so they are a perfect carb load for a race (I would almost do the New York City marathon again) for a reason to get these guys again.

cherry pancake

Whipped cream like a boss

Whipped cream like a boss

The problem with this diner is everything looks and has been so good. The choices are overwhelming.

Cost: $
The salad and coffee was 17 and the coffee and pancakes were 11. This is one of the cheapest diners and the cheapest with the most filling food.

Would I come back?
Overall atmosphere: A
Yes, right now this is my favorite diner in all of NJ. Thank you to Brownstone Diner. I 100% recommend this diner and if you ever go…tell me and I’ll drive the 90 mins to meet you.

Cliffnotes:
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Price: 5-15 dollars
I’ll be back everytime I’m in the area.

Question for you: Where are the best pancakes you’ve had? 

Travel Musings Part 1

I can honestly say the last few days have been one of the biggest adventures of my life.  I can easily write an entire 1700  (somehow dad and I made it 1780) mile driving recap filled with dad and I’s musings. I think it could be considered a race recap.  I went a certain distance, had plenty of stops for food and water and it was filled with highs and lows…

Day 1: 180 miles

Dad and I left around 4pm on Wednesday night.  We wanted to be able to put a few miles in the night before.  Driving is not one of my strong points.  Most people would easily be able to drive the entire journey in 3 days.  I am not most people and we ended up taking 5 and stopping along the way.

After getting coffee for the last time at Wawa for a while we actually left.

wawacoffee

Our first stop came in Emporia at a Cracker Barrel for dinner.  I asked a line of elderly about 4 times if they were in line to be seated.  They didn’t hear me and finally the hostess realized dad and I were not part of their party and sat us.

I will give a shoutout that Cracker Barrel pancakes are one of the few restaurants that I love their cakes.  (Mostly because they will put lots of whip cream on them).

pancakes

Then we just kept driving and located a Hampton Inn off the highway.  Dad was instaimpressed by their stash of cookies.

We then proceeded to just relax and hang out in the hotel and go to bed early like the 90 year old people we are.

Day 2: 450 miles Durham to Auburn, Alabama

After getting a good nights rest, dad and I woke up and ran around Durham.  We somehow made it downtown and to Duke University. It was one of the hilliest runs I have ever done.  It was hillier then Atlanta, Oswego and wherever else. I was struggling holding 9:30 min miles.  (How the hell am I going to run a half in three days…I don’t know).

I like staying in Hampton Inn’s because we can run in the am and breakfast is already being served when we get back.  They also always have a giant tray of eggs which since I can’t make eggs without making them burnt and crusty, any eggs are amazing.  These eggs in Durham were just plain scrambled eggs (important later).

plain eggs

plain eggs

Then we drove and drove and drove.  We stopped in multiple gas stations that had more beer then coffee.

I saw a giant peach watertower.

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We had planned to meet Laura in Atlanta so I was using that to excite me throughout the drive.  It was working somewhat.

When we did get to Atlanta I went straight into a parking garage.  Only to realize that like a derp dad couldn’t go in there because the uhaul topped out at the roof.

I also literally walked right into Laura in the parking garage.

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After a nice grandma dinner at 4:30, we got back on the road and made it into Louisiana.

But not after hitting far too much traffic.

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From around 6-8 we just kept driving.  We finally made it out of Georgia and into Alabama and found a hotel.

I ended up getting hungry after getting to the hotel around 8 so we went down to the Wendys.  Out of all the fast food places I choose, this one was extremely slow.  We felt bad for the cashier because it looked like she was dealing with a bunch of goobers behind the counter.  It took us roughly 20 minutes for our food…20 minutes that was worth it.

Then we went to bed at 8pm central time and 9 Eastern time…because we wanted to up our old people status more.

Questions for you:

Favorite travel food?

What time do you normally eat dinner? 

Tres Leches Waffle

There was one series of classes in high school that I struggled with.  No it was AP nor honors courses but foreign language.  I was terrible at Spanish and got straight C’s every semester.  I thought since I had passed the courses I would never have to take foreign language in college but that ended up not being the case.  I had to take Spanish in college too and I failed Spanish 103.  I then struggled through it again senior year of college.

So how does Spanish even relate to today’s waffle?

In high school we would have the option to bake something and bring it in for 10 extra credit points on our test.  It was foolish for me to not take that option even though my Spanish might have been a little better then my cooking.  Luckily my mom always helped me make the Tres Leches (3 milk) dessert cake and it was always a hit with my teachers.  I think it was honestly why I got a C and not a D but I didn’t ask questions.

Tres Leches Waffle

Tres leches literally means 3 milk and the cake itself has three different types of milk and is very sweet somewhat similar to the hummingbird cake.  The cake is known for being very moist from adding the topping.

Ingredients (cake):

2/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon oil

¼ cup sweetener

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

 

Glaze:

7 ounces evaporated milk

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup syrup

 

Topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

¼ cup sweetener

1 tsp vanilla extract

waffle1

Mix the wet ingredients to dry.  Cook in waffle maker.

For the glaze, mix in a separate bowl and pour while still hot.  The glaze should go right through the waffle and keep it very moist.

Finally mix and add the topping which should have more of a frosting appeal.

waffle3

Obviously this is a little more complex then 99.9% of my other waffle and pancake recipes (and also a tad more unhealthy) but what can I say, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to pass her classes.  By me, I mean my mom really did most of this work back in high school but I helped.

Question for you: What classes have you (or did you) struggle with most in school? 

Tuna Fish Waffle

I posted a very very long time ago about smoked salmon waffles.  They will always be one of my favorite savory waffles.  I’ve also posted about canned crab waffles and it only makes sense for another fishy waffle.

IE: The Tuna fish waffle

tunafishwaffle

Though I won’t deny I probably have more tuna fish then the average person because it’s really all I eat at work..it’s easy, it’s portable and it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.  Oh and there is also the fact that I really enjoy tuna fish right now so that could always play a role…

As far as waffle recipes go though this is probably one of the most balanced recipes I have created.  It has carbs from flour, fat from eggs, oil and cheese and protein from the fish.  Random tidbit and yet another reason of why this is good.  This isn’t a waffle that you are like…hmmm should probably only pull it out for impressive cooking purposes.  Well you should because it is pretty “foodie” (in my awkward opinion…moving on).

Tuna Fish Waffle:

2/3 cup flour

1 egg

1 tsp oil

1 can of tuna fish

¼ cup feta cheese

1 can of tuna fish

½ cup water

Seasonings I used: Italian, some sort of seafood medley and a hint of red pepper for a kick.  I add more red pepper then a lot of people so that’s that.

Directions:

Add all wet ingredients: (water, egg, oil)

Then mix in flour and baking powder followed by cheese and about half the can of funa fish.

Cook in waffle maker and top with other half of tuna fish.

And there you have it.  A delicious, nutritious, suspicious (that’s fictious) waffle.

Questions for you:

Do you eat tuna fish?  What is your favorite canned meat?  (that doesn’t sound weird).

Most interesting  food ever had for breakfast? 

Black Bean Waffle

Let’s see here, I’m currently trying to waste as much time as possible by writing up another waffle recipe.  I have been wanting to try a black bean/chocolate waffle for a while now but it wasn’t until I see that Alex had posted a black bean recipe that I finally gave in.

I had heard from countless sources that black beans enriched the cocoa in brownies and I assumed that was going to work well for waffles.  Which is certainly worked well.

Since I recently got a new magic bullet for my birthday (the black edition…the only big advantage for me is they have bigger cups LOL), I thought it would be easiest to try it this way.

chocolatewaffle1

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour

¼ cup dark cocoa (I used Hershey’s cocoa personally)

½ cup pureed black beans (done in my magic bullet)

½ cup milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon oil

1 tsp baking powder

 

*I did not add sweetener

Directions:

Add the wet ingredients together (egg, milk, oil and beans…)

Then add the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa) followed by baking powder.

Add more milk if want a lighter, fluffier waffle but I recommend a dense.

I actually really enjoyed how dense these were and the fact that I didn’t use sweetener.  They tasted more like a big dark piece of fudge then anything.  I couldn’t taste the beans at all but maybe that was because they were pureed right into there.  It’s nicer healthier version that you could use a waffle staple in the mornings.

I thought about not puring the black beans and just having them as little surprises when biting into the waffle then realized that might be a bit borderline weird.

Question for you: Have you ever used black beans in a recipe?

So Much Waffle…So Little Time…

It’s no secret that every Monday I post either a pancake or waffle creation.  Though I try not to be biased, some of my recent favorites have been waffles.  Since really the only recipes I do post are breakfast related I get a few questions on how to create the “perfect” pancake or waffle.  Or I’m generally associated with only eating pancakes or waffles…whatever floats your boat.  Instead of posting a recipe today, I just thought I’d share some of the questions I’ve gotten as of late.

Do you ever use egg whites instead of whole eggs in your recipes?

I personally don’t because I have never had luck with egg whites creating a crunchy waffle.  The waffle has fallen apart more times then I can count with using egg whites.  It has nothing to do with nutrition or calorie count, but I have found that eggs bind the waffle so much better.

Here is what happens when I try to use egg whites...oh well.

What sort of waffle maker do you use?

This one from target.  A little more expensive and I’ve gone through 3 in my lifetime but well worth it.

What is your favorite waffle?

Currently the oreo waffle is my favorite.  My staple and easy to make is probably the red velvet waffle too.  I have been tending towards sweet lately.  I went through a savory waffle phase a few months ago.

How many waffles do you eat daily?

Ha, this question made me laugh.  You see I don’t actually eat waffle and pancakes as much as you would think.  Sometime during the week I have one to create a new recipe.  I normally have a high carbohydrate one before races (3 hours before), and then maybe 2-3 times at other times.  I’d say I probably have 5 or so waffles/pancakes weekly.  It just seems like I have a lot more because that is really the only recipes I post.  Oh well.  (Incase you wondered, I consume a lot of eggs as well).

What do you top your waffle with?

Yogurt, sugar free syrup, peanut butter or if the recipe has a specialty topping…then that.

redvelvetpancakes1

What kinds of flour do you use for waffle making?

Normally whole wheat or buckwheat (I personally like how dense buckwheat is).  I also use peanut flour if I want a higher protein (only available online I think?).  I’ve used coconut flour once and I just recently posted an oatmeal based waffle.  I don’t use a lot (or any) really specialty flours such as almond meal or whatnot.  I just don’t have a need nor do I really care too.

That’s all the questions I’ve gotten thus far.  You can always ask specifics or more.  I’m here for all your waffle needs.

Questions for you:

Any waffle ideas for next week?

Have you had luck using egg whites?

I don’t know why but they fall apart for me…so I gave up on that quite a while ago.

Hummingbird Waffle

Hummingbird Waffle

I first tried hummingbird cake a random party I went to a few years back.  I’m not sure how anyone can complain about cake though honestly.  What I didn’t know when having hummingbird cake a while back was one of the main components is banana and bananas are not a fruit I quite enjoy…at all.  I guess I didn’t really even know what hummingbird cake was, I just knew I liked it when I had it at a party once.

waffle4

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 mushy banana (or one small mushy banana)

1/2 cup crushed pineapple

1 egg

1 tablespoon brown sugar (not packed)

¼ cup sweetener (I used stevia)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup milk

Mix dry ingredients together.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl (except pineapple and banana…add last). 

Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and cook on your griddle.

Here is something I’ll be completely honest about.  When researching Hummingbird cakes, I actually had no idea they had banana in them until doing my research.  I don’t care for banana at all.  It’s a fruit that I just don’t find appetizing.  I was a bit put off by it at first but upon realizing that I enjoyed the cake and didn’t know that it had banana in it…I’d at least try it in pancake form.  Which I did.

waffle4

The banana is not a strong component of the pancake which is something I personally enjoy about it.  It wouldn’t be “true hummingbird style” without the banana and I don’t really hone in the banana taste.  Am I going to go eat a bunch of bananas and turn into a monkey now?  No, but I thought the pancakes were good despite having one of the few foods I don’t care for.

So that’s that.  I enjoy these pancakes a lot too but seeing as I don’t buy bananas for myself personally, I don’t know how often I’ll make them.

I actually just topped it with vanilla yogurt because the expiration date of the yogurt was the next day and thought…why not?

Questions for you:

Least favorite fruit?

Have you ever had Hummingbird cake? 

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