If you missed the beginning of our California trip, catch up HERE! Our second day in Los Angeles began much better than its predecessor (thank goodness!). Robert woke up feeling 100% better and both of us were starving after no dinner and an early bedtime the night before. A quick Yelp search landed us a few miles down the road at Jacks and Joe in downtown LA. I loved the cute name (you know how I feel about pancakes) and we hit them just before the breakfast rush and were immediately seated at the end of a long communal high top that snaked through the center of the restaurant.
The menu was full of delicious sounding pancake combinations with adorable names, my best/worst nightmare.
Although I consider banana pancakes to be manna from heaven, I had seen a yelp photo of the most delicious looking breakfast burrito I’d ever laid eyes on and couldn’t get it out of my head. I was bummed out and confused not to see it listed on their menu, so I asked the waiter about it. Apparently California has a thing with “secret menus”…I’m looking at you In N Out…and Jacks and Joe was no exception. I don’t really understand this whole secret menu phenomenon, but it makes me both excited and nervous all at the same time.
The server explained to me that regulars sometimes ordered said breakfast burrito (and or loaded hash browns) since the kitchen had all the ingredients on hand, even though it wasn’t on the menu. I got the impression that the kitchen staff found the secret menu orders kind of annoying and he didn’t really want me to order it (maybe because I was clearly not a local and only a sneaky yelper) but you guys…that photo…I had to have it!
I can’t even remember what Robert ordered (probably french toast) because I was way too into my burrito. It had Portuguese sausage in it which was absolutely divine, chorizo, bacon, hash browns, cheese, big chunks of avocado and an OVER EASY EGG! This basically made the burrito have it’s own delicious sauce that ran out all over it when you took a bite. So. Good. It was also the size of my head which made lunch unnecessary.
Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was full (as always) but fun! I had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower for my sweet friend Annie on Saturday. Robert and I met Annie and her husband Ben at church two years ago and they have quickly become some of our very best friends. When they told us they were expecting back in October I immediately started mentally planning the baby shower I wanted to throw them. I love to entertain and while planning this shower I was finally able to convinced Robert that we needed new living room furniture, double win! It all came together nicely and I can’t wait to meet their baby girl! I forgot to take pictures (such a bad blogger) but my mother in law snapped a few on her phone, excuse the poor lighting!
On Sunday we got a reprieve from the cold (finally!) which was so nice. Robert and I took full advantage of the time change and slept in, had a late breakfast and then took Renly to the beach for the first time in months.
The tide was so low that we were able to walk for miles and Renly found an Australian Sheppard who may or may not be his new best friend. They chased each other and romped through the waves for almost an hour, hence his wet sandy ‘do above.
Pancakes are a given after sleeping in on a Sunday, and they were on my mind the moment I woke up. Since I had random leftover ingredients from the baby shower, I decided to throw together some impromptu protein pancakes and they came out surprisingly great! If you are thinking “cottage cheese in a pancake? GROSS!” I get it…. but hear me out. I know it sounds weird, but ricotta cheese pancakes are a thing (and a yummy one at that) so making the jump to using cottage cheese instead doesn’t seem quite so out there. Cottage cheese is also lower calorie and lower fat than ricotta, although protein content is the same.
Yum. It’s Sunday and I just ate a delicious egg sandwich, but just typing that title already has my mouth watering from the mere thought of yesterday morning. My love affair with breakfast on the weekends is all encompassing, but it’s hard to dispute that Saturday was made for pancakes. Pancakes scream, “It’s the weekend! Eat me in your pajamas and then go do something FUN! I’m practically dessert…for breakfast!”.
I remember not caring much for pancakes as a child (I know, I was clearly disturbed). I’m not sure what my problem was, but I do know that one fine day in graduate school, I got a craving for whole wheat banana pancakes, which in turn led to me eating them for dinner every night for a month and never looking back. You can do things like that when you are in school. You can also do things like that when you don’t have a meat loving husband who also must be fed nightly. Robert used to play tennis on Tuesday evenings and then go out for wings with the guys afterwards. What did I do with the night off from cooking? If you guessed ate pancakes for dinner and watched trash television you would be 100% correct. Breakfast for dinner and reality television will always hold a special place in my heart.
Over the years my love for whole wheat pancakes has evolved into a mission to turn pancakes into a still delicious, much healthier version of themselves. This has led to me experimenting with all sorts of non-traditional pancake ingredients like cottage cheese, applesauce and even spinach. The great thing about pancakes is that they are pretty hard to screw up. You can mix a lot of weird (read: healthy) things into your batter and they will still taste pretty great…and in the event that they don’t there is this wonderful thing called maple syrup that can save almost any bad pancake.
My most recent foray into griddled breakfast territory has been quinoa flour. I went on a savory quinoa dish bender a while back and then got suddenly very sick of it. I went from quinoa lover to quinoa hater and was left with an expensive bag of it sitting forlornly in my pantry. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, but the thought of eating it again in the near future made me gag. Then one day, while perusing food blogs I came across a recipe for quinoa energy bars. Not only were they sweet rather than savory, but they used uncooked quinoa. These were the opposite of everything that caused me to tire of quinoa the first go round, so I decided to give them a go. They were scrumptious, and filling and made me totally retract my hatred of quinoa. Thank you quinoa energy bars.