My culture of creativity contest is still running - keep those comments coming! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them all.
Many of you have touched on the role that getting out in the natural world plays in opening our imagination. I couldn't agree more. My boys' Co-Op Preschool is grounded in a play-based philosophy and includes a lot of outdoor time. About once a month, we go on a field trip, starting last week with an adventure in raspberry-picking. Y'all, I am crazy about raspberries. I may decorate and dress myself with cherry-print fabrics, but my favorite fruit in all the world is raspberries. Love, love, love 'em. My little dudes do, too. I ended up bringing a lot fewer raspberries home than I expected.
I only brought home a quart, and by that afternoon they were half-gone. Still, I had just enough to make Raspberry Chocolate-Chip Pancakes. I have always loved Chocolate Chip Pancakes (thanks to IHOP and their face pancake on the kids' menu - ever had one of those? I always try to get my boys to order those so I can have some too. That whipped cream face never fails to make me smile). There was a week in my 20s following a bad breakup that I ate chocolate chip pancakes for dinner every night. Serious comfort food. At some point later, it dawned on me that I really needed to toss some raspberries in there. Is there any combination better than raspberry and chocolate? I think not (though some friends did recently serve us some Vosges Bacon Chocolate, and y'all, it was good. I kid you not. Bacon +Chocolate = surprisingly tasty). Still, for me, nothing beats the pairing of raspberry and chocolate.
Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes
adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance
1 C plus 3 T all-purpose flour
1 T cocoa
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/3 C water
1 C rice milk
2 T canola oil
3 T pure maple syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 C semisweet vegan chocolate chips
1 C fresh raspberries
canola oil for pan (using oil instead of cooking spray makes for yummy, slightly crisp pancake, which compliments the chocolate chips and raspberries really well)
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powdeer, and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, fold in chocolate chips and raspberries. Batter will be thin, the way I like it. If you prefer a thicker batter, add more flour and/or more cocoa.
Oil and preheat a large skillet over med-hi heat for about 2 minutes.
Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into pan. Cook until bubbles form on top. Turn pancakes and cook until bottoms are browned and pancakes are cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh raspberries and serve with Raspberry Sauce (blend raspberries, a tiny bit of sugar, and a little lemon juice in blender; strain seeds). Makes about 12 pancakes. Happy comfort-eating!