Sunday 25 March 2012

BC Spiced carrot pancakes and our weekend

Yesterday morning, Sylvia and I went to an op shop to drop off some old clothes.  We didn't leave empty handed.  I found a pretty Royal Tudor plate, among other things.  I had planned to make Carrot Cake Pancakes for breakfast but it seemed serendipitous that I was too disorganised and made them for lunch instead so I could photograph them on my lovely new plate.  It augured well for a pleasant weekend of good food and good fun.

After a week of very little new ideas in the kitchen, I had a lovely weekend of trying some of the great recipes I have been bookmarking.  As well as making pancakes after breakfast, I also made some toasted muesli that you can glimpse in the background of the above photo.  It was not exactly as I expected but I am already envisioning that it might work in muesli bars so stay tuned.  I also have experimented with some French lavender salt in some green crackers.  More on that later too.

Today we had a great time at the Children's Book Festival at the State Library of Victoria. The first thing we did was leave Sylvia's stroller at the pram parking station.  It was the first time we have come across such a service and it was brilliant.  It was so much easier to navigate the crowds and steps without Sylvia's stroller.  Then we went and queued for face painting for Sylvia.  I was impressed that there was an Indigenous face painting tent.  Sylvia chose a wombat but the woman painted a story on her face - the wombat, its tracks that led to a fireplace with lots of animals about it.

Of course, being at the State Library of Victoria meant that I had to have a wonder through the library.  I am very fond of the domed Reading Room that is a magnificent space.  It makes me nostalgic for my student days when I ordered books from the stacks here.  Since then the room has been renovated.  It is brighter and more elegant these days but I miss some of the shabby charm I remember.

The State Library is a great historic building.  I love the gallery of Australian painting.  It was hard to find time to give the artwork much time because I was too busy chasing around after Sylvia but there is a wealth of art, including a painting of one of my lecturers from my undergrad degree.  But just seeing the space is a joy because it is remniscent of some of the beautiful historic galleries in Europe.

We went to Snag Stand for lunch (more on that another time).  In a thoughtless moment I had promised Sylvia that she could have an ice cream after her sausage.  So true to my world we had a tub of mini-melts on the lawn in front of some entertaining children's musicians (the Kazoos).  I've never had these mini-melts before but I think they are great for children and an Australian summer.  They are small very very cold frozen beans of ice cream that melt in your mouth - once you get over the coldness.  Sylvia took ages to eat hers but we had none of the ice cream dripping down her arm or ending up as a pile of slush.

The book festival also had some great activities for kids.  Sylvia was too young for the readings but she loved the craft tables with boxes of fabrics and paper to glue on paper.  Older kids seemed to be enjoying writing their own books that the staff then "published".  I think they took a copy of every book.  I am not sure what happens to them but would be fascinated to know.  We also did some chalk drawing on Little Lonsdale Street, checked out the fire engine and had a wander through the petting zoo.

Tonight we had a delicious dinner of roast vegetables with chickpeas, yoghurt and pesto on top.  (A bit like this winter salad.)  The weather has really cooled down over the last few days.  The washing is not drying on the line so quickly but it is weather for roasting vegies and baking bread.  Can't complain too much abut that!

I always seem to have lots of carrots about these days.  Even after roasting a few tonight and putting quite a few more into pancakes yesterday.  The carrots make the pancakes a brilliant orange.  I misread the amount of ginger needed and it was a bit too overwhelming.  I also found that the pancakes were soft rather than fluffy inside, probably due to all the vegetables.  And I burnt most of them - no doubt I was distracted as usual.  Yet we really enjoyed them for lunch and Sylvia polished off the leftover two after her dinner.

Deb of Smitten Kitchen served hers with a sweet cream cheese topping and Joy the Baker put sultanas and walnuts in hers.  I stepped right back from the Carrot Cake theme and served mine more simply.  Many years ago while visiting a friend in Washington DC, I learnt of the joys of cream cheese and jam on toast.  It is still a favourite combination and went very well on these pancakes.

However Sylvia is not so keen on cream cheese and stuck to Nuttalex margarine and jam on hers.  I mention this because Ruth of Makey Cakey is hosting The Breakfast Club event this month and chosen Deliciously Dairy Free as the theme.  Sylvia has never been keen on dairy milk but lately has taken to drinking soy milk so that is our milk of choice lately.  It makes it even easier to cook dairy free.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: WHB Peach crumble
This time two years ago: Flat pack chocolate chip cookies
This time four years ago: Polenta Pizza Tart

Spiced Carrot Pancakes
Adapted from Joy the Baker via Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 12 medium pancakes

1 cup soy milk (or other milk)
1 tsp lemon juice
400g carrots
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain white flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger (or less)
pinch of salt
butter or margarine for frying (I used Nuttalex)

Mix soy milk and lemon juice and set aside for about 5 minutes so that the milk sours.  Peel, trim and finely grate carrots (you shoudl have about 2 cups).   Mix milk and carrots and add in egg, brown sugar and vanilla.

Combine remaining ingredients in a largish bowl,  Pour the carrot mixture into dry ingredients and gently stir until well mixed.

Heat a large frypan over medium high heat.  Melt a small knob of butter on the frypan and drop 3 pancakes into the pan, measuring about 2 dessertspoons of mixture per pancake.  Heat until mixture bubbles.  Flip pancakes and heat on second side for about a minute or until the pancakes are golden brown.  Serve hot.

On the stereo:
This is Hardcore: Pulp


  1. Love the sound of these. Pancakes are perfect any time of day in my opinion :) That homemade granola sounds delicious too. Breakfast has to be my favourite meal of the day, there is just so much choice! I've with you on the whole cream cheese and jam combo too!

    1. Thanks Katie - yay for the cream cheese and jam combo - love it with fruit bread for breakfast

  2. They look great - I love the vibrant colours of everything you make! Sounds like you had a lovely day with Sylvia too.

    1. Thanks Caroline - I am so into coloured food and this really delighted me with its bright orange colour

  3. What a lovely weekedn you had! :)

    Those spiced carrot pancakes look utterly delicious! Great & good! :)

    1. Thanks Sohpie - the pancakes are indeed great

  4. Wow - these look delicious! And what a fantastic weekend it sounds like you've had!
    Mini-M is the biggest pancake fan at the moment, and I'm always keen to sneak in some veggies, so I'll definitely give these a go! Thanks for taking part in this month's Breakfast Club Rx

    1. Thanks Ruth - these are great pancakes for sneaking in vegies - though Sylvia had a lovely time eating the raw grated carrot

  5. Aha! Something to do with all my carrots! They look great, too.

    I wonder how they'd be at room temperature with butter? I quite like pikelets that way, and these might be similar...

    1. Thanks Catherine - they were rather good at room temp - we usually have a few pancakes leftover at room temp when I cook a batch and I will sometimes eat them plain or sometimes with butter and jam

  6. What a great weekend! There are so many things here I'd like to comment on but I'll restrain myself to a few: I love your State Library (my Mum always used to make us visit!) and Sylvia's face painting person sounds great; I've seen those mini ice cream things but never known what they are - great concept as you say; and I would like these pancakes, preferably delivered to me right now on a pretty plate :)

    1. Thanks Kari - we used to go to the library as kids too though it is blurred in my memory because we were also there for the museum when that was in the library building too. I've never heard of the mini ice creams before but am fascinated by them

  7. The book festival looks like it was fun. I adore the old world splendour of the State Library. Those pancakes are scrummy

    1. Thanks Cakwlaw - "old world splendour" is a perfect way to describe the state library

  8. I've been meaning to make these from Joy's cookbook and it somehow just hasn't happened yet...I think breakfast-for-dinner is in order!

    1. Thanks Joanne - these have made me curious about Joy's cookbook - haven't heard of it before but am glad I have now

  9. Mmm these carrot cake pancakes have been on my list to make for a while. Yours look so good! And that library is beautiful Don't think we have any libraries like that here.

  10. Ooh, what a lovely weekend you've had! I wasn't in an art gallery for way too long!

    The carrot pancakes look awesome. Carrots go so well with pancakes, muffins, and things like that. Also love the plate!

  11. The Breakfast Club roundup is now posted

  12. I was sure I had commented on these... Never mind.

    They look lovely - such a great colour!

    Thanks for taking part in Breakfast club.

    This month's breakfast club is all ready to go at Utterly Scrummy.


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