Tatjana came home yesterday! It was the first time in almost seven months that I got to wrap my arms around my daughter, and the longest we have ever gone without some mother/daughter time. I missed her so much I was literally aching! It will also be the first 4th of July together in ages, and I couldn’t help thinking of her very
first one. We were visiting my parents at their lakehouse, and mom and dad were so excited about taking their darling only granddaughter to the fireworks. What they hadn’t bargained for was Tatjana had apparently inherited her fathers’ supersonic sense of hearing – which is great if you are recording an album, but …
…. in the case of the young Tatjana it unfortunately provoked howls or terror as the fireworks started to explode. There was no consoling her – not even the stunning display of colors erupting in the sky. We were left with no option but to pack her back into the car and take her home, screaming hysterically the entire way.
My how times have changed! This year Tatjana has opted for a full-on party at the Houdini Mansion with bands playing louder (no doubt) than the fireworks themselves. Of course the day will begin with our usual patriotic breakfast – our traditional holiday treat. Have a happy and safe Independence Day everyone!
RED VELVET PANCAKES & WAFFLES
The Waldorf Astoria’s Red Velvet cake has been my absolute favorite since I was a very young girl. You can imagine my delight when I saw red velvet pancakes on the menu at the Larchmont Bungalow, and they certainly did NOT disappoint! This is my own rendition for the Fourth of July.
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE TOPPING
1/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
FOR THE PANCAKES OR WAFFLES
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 scant teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons canola oil plus 1-2 tablespoons extra for making pancakes
1 cup buttermilk
1 ounce red food color
1 teaspoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
melted butter, optional
warm maple syrup, optional
pecans or walnuts, optional
1). Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to whip the cream cheese until smooth. Reduce the speed and stir in the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, and beat until the mixture is smooth and well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the cream. Use a rubber spatula to remove any unmixed cream cheese from the bottom of the bowl. When the mixture is smooth, gradually add the rest of the whipping cream. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. Should be the consistency of a dense whipped cream topping. Set aside.
2). Stir flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in egg, oil, and buttermilk. Mix until smooth.
3). Mix red food color and cocoa in a small bowl, then stir into batter. Add vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar (in that order), and beat until everything is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
4). Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil starts to form ridges, drop a large spoonful of batter into the hot oil. Repeat 3 more times, keeping ample space between pancakes to keep them from running together. When the batter begins to bubble, carefully flip the pancake to brown on the other side, about 2 minutes per side.
5). Serve hot with whipped cream cheese topping, and any additional topping you desire.Servings suggestion: Crispy bacon and sausages.
Make waffles with the batter, and serve with a good vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert.