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Christmas Cakes

December 18, 2009

Last night, my husband took me on a date. First up was dinner at Horn of Africa, our favorite Ethiopian restaurant.


We ordered our usual, the combo platter for two.


Check out that huge Injera pancake underneath all the food. So good. LOVE Ethiopian food. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this type of cuisine, you scoop up all the different meats and vegetables with the Injera, a spongy fermented bread made from teff.

Then we went to a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Nashville Symphony. Beautiful.

I slept in until 7:30 this morning, but when I got up I had pancakes on the brain and Christmas in my heart. So, I combined the two for a Holiday Pancake Breakfast Extravaganza


I made my almond flour pancakes with vanilla Jay Robb rice protein powder, and using my Vita-Mix blended in 2 fistfuls of spinach and some NOW French Vanilla stevia drops. Each pancake then received a kiss of POM arils while cooking. Last, but not least, the toppings: Soy-Free Earth Balance, maple syrup, and a dusting of snow in the form of unsweetened shredded coconut.


Now, I know I’m going to get this question, but NO, I could not taste the spinach in the pancakes. They did not taste green at all, but keep in mind I sweetened them with both protein powder and stevia. So delicious and SO FUN TO eat. To my mama friends out there, I think your kids would love these!

I’ve closed the comments on my POM apron giveaway post, and CD is going to go over all of your witty captions this weekend. Again, he’ll pick his top 5 favorites, and I’ll probably post the winners on Sunday. Can I just say that you guys are so very clever as well as hilarious. I laughed out loud several times yesterday while reading through all of your suggestions. Thanks for bringing much cheer to my day!

I’ll leave you with CD’s Random Comments during the symphony performance…(my comments in parenthesis)

1. Are they singing in Latin? I can’t understand a word. (No CD, that would be English)

2. While flipping through the program, Where are the lyrics so I can sing along?

3. That guy playing the oversized violin looks just like Alan Greenspan. (Oversized violin = cello).

4. If I had a good opera voice, I’d use it to announce all of my bowel movements. (Yes folks, that is my husband.) πŸ˜‰

82 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2009 10:04 am

    Yaaay, delicious date night! Fabulous. And CD’s comment made me laugh out loud, as always πŸ˜€

  2. December 18, 2009 10:06 am

    I’ve never had Ethiopian food and it looks delicious! I love the green pancakes, too. I bet they are super fun to eat. πŸ™‚

  3. December 18, 2009 10:07 am

    lol at those quotes. I went to a christmas carol celebration where everything was in Latin and it was unreal

  4. December 18, 2009 10:10 am

    Probably the thing I miss most about living in Seattle was all the great food out there that we don’t have here in Minnesota. Ethiopian for instance! Thankfully one of my neighbors here is Ethiopian and I beg beg beg her to cook for me:) I’m such a mooch…

    Love your Christmas ‘cakes!! And CD is a riot!!

  5. December 18, 2009 10:11 am

    CD has been extra funny lately. those cracked me up! i have never had ethiopian and it looks SO good!!

  6. December 18, 2009 10:12 am

    love date nights! yours sounds/looks amazing. and your husband sounds like my husband. if it isn’t heavy metal, he probably won’t like it.

    Those pancakes are so cute! And I’m totally channeling you today – soup for breakfast! (brunch at this point heh)

  7. December 18, 2009 10:14 am

    What a sweet date πŸ™‚ We’re going on one tonight and I cannot wait! LOVE the color of the pancakes- so festive. Hooray for Friday (thank goodness)- have a great weekend

  8. December 18, 2009 10:14 am

    I love Ethiopian food. I usually get a combo platter all to myself. Next time, take me with you!! πŸ™‚

  9. Melanie permalink
    December 18, 2009 10:18 am

    CD comment #4, by far, my favorite. I may have to start doing that at our house.

    On a tangentially-related note, when our kitty, Shelli was a baby, when she was done pooping, she’d BOUND out of the litterbox and go crazy all over the living room like she wanted us all to cheer. Here’s to pooping with pride!

  10. December 18, 2009 10:20 am

    Nice date night. Can I be jealous? Does CD have any brothers you want to send to the lonely ladies? πŸ˜‰
    You are unique for sure Heather. I asked on my blog today what did people leave for Santa as a kid and what would they leave for him today. I guess you would be known as the “pancake stop” for Santa!

  11. December 18, 2009 10:22 am

    Melanie, Our dog Einstein does the same thing if he poops while we’re walking him. So funny.

  12. claire permalink
    December 18, 2009 10:22 am

    Those pancakes look delicious.I know what I’m have for breakfast tomorrow!! I need to try to find an Ethiopian restaurant:-) cc

  13. December 18, 2009 10:24 am

    Nut Jar, I wanted to make Christmas cookie cutter pancakes, but all I could find was a heart. I’ll save it for Valentine’s Day pancakes. I figured green and red cakes would be just as fun, and yes, CD does have a younger brother, but he’s married. 😦

  14. December 18, 2009 10:27 am

    Thanks for the post, I’ve been wanting to try Ethiopean food forever! but no one hardly ever wants to go, they think I’m crazy. I just think they’re close-minded πŸ™‚ haha, but reading this makes me want to go even more and maybe DRAG/TRICK someone into going πŸ˜‰

  15. December 18, 2009 10:27 am

    I’ve never had Ethiopian food. It looks delicious! And those pancakes look so festive!

    Is there any way to make an egg-free version of your coconut flour pancakes?

  16. December 18, 2009 10:29 am

    I’m laughing too hard the first comment . . . Latin, too funny!

  17. December 18, 2009 10:34 am

    Veggiesmack, I found a vegan coconut flour pancake recipe online for ya: Let me know if you try it. I might play around with it myself. You could also try any of Katie’s pancake recipes using the coconut flour:

  18. Christina permalink
    December 18, 2009 10:37 am

    Scott has a CD of Handel’s Messiah and was singing along to the Hallelujah chorus last weekend. He *thought* he was singing the right words, but he wasn’t. I made the mistake of pointing it out, he whips out the lyrics in the CD booklet and goes “huh, looks like I’m 0 for 2” It was funny πŸ™‚ Silly boys…

  19. Tracy & Dustin permalink
    December 18, 2009 10:47 am

    Hahaha! Those random comments are awesome! I’ve never tried Ethiopian food, but I’m thinking I need to find a local Ethiopian restaurant now. Look delicious!

  20. December 18, 2009 10:55 am

    OMG I love Ethiopian food. I love the bread and using your hands. I also like to sit on the floor. Its also great because its so Vegetarian friendly too (even though I eat meat!)
    My only problem is the fact that your clothes smell like it after you leave!

  21. December 18, 2009 11:00 am

    thanks for making me laugh at my computer screen! Blair and I were just talking about you..maybe we can meet up after christmas? I’ll be in town until the 29th!

    take care!

  22. December 18, 2009 11:01 am

    thanks for making me laugh at my computer screen! Blair and I were just talking about you….maybe we can meet up after christmas? I’m in til the 29th!

    Take care!

  23. December 18, 2009 11:01 am

    I have never tried Ethiopian food before but this looks really good! Thanks for sharing.

  24. December 18, 2009 11:05 am

    Kaneil, Would love to meet up with you and Blair, but I’ll be in AZ from Dec. 22 through the 30th. 😦

  25. December 18, 2009 11:05 am

    I’m sitting here racking my brain about how to make your almond cakes without eggs or almond flour. Geesh. At least I have rice protein, but that’s only because of you! πŸ™‚

  26. December 18, 2009 11:07 am

    Mama Pea, Make these and sub the Jay Robb for the Amazing Meal: Delicious. πŸ™‚

  27. December 18, 2009 11:14 am

    Heather, thanks for the links! I will definitely try those and let you know! πŸ™‚

  28. December 18, 2009 11:18 am

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He sounds just like my husband!!!! πŸ™‚

  29. Alyson permalink
    December 18, 2009 11:25 am

    Your cooking creativity never ceases to amazing me πŸ™‚

  30. December 18, 2009 11:34 am

    I love how “sleeping in” for some of you bloggie is 7:30 am. Ha! I wake up at 9am and think that early. Oh man.

    I have never tried Ethiopian food. But when I lived in Toronto there was an Ethiopian restaurant literally 30 seconds away from me, and I never went! I should have, it was supposed to be good. Maybe when I go back and visit.

  31. December 18, 2009 11:39 am

    I almost spit out my water reading those opera comments – hilarious!!

  32. Carolyn permalink
    December 18, 2009 11:45 am

    VERY festive.. I hope CD was belting out a christmas tune (preferably from Rudolph, while you were making them)… Now about cake volume…Is the almond flour cake a less matress like cake than the coconut flour cake? Or was the batter juse a little thinner.. I think you def got your monies worth with the number of cakes…but am eyeballing the more crepe like thickness.. Do you think the spinach did anything to that??? Must try must try…

    Less than 24 hours.. more tea, more cleaning.. more cakes…

  33. December 18, 2009 11:46 am

    hahaha. great quotes. I love your pancakes with the spinach in them! They look super festive and healthy too. Cannot wait to try them. Have a great day!

  34. December 18, 2009 12:56 pm

    Ooh, I’ve always wnated to try Ethiopian food– I love various ethnic restaurants.. Your combo meal looks like it was DELICIOUS!

    Have a fabulous friday, don’t forget to smile πŸ™‚
    bec xo

  35. Brandi permalink
    December 18, 2009 1:05 pm

    you two are so cute πŸ™‚

    I LOVE Messiah – we sang all of it in chorus in high school. So beautiful! and what a fun date night.

    CD is hilarious. I think he and my husband would be best buddies. They seem to have the same sense of humor πŸ™‚

  36. Susan permalink
    December 18, 2009 1:10 pm

    Aww what a great date. ❀ Ethiopian food!

  37. December 18, 2009 1:11 pm

    I feel like Ethiopian food is similar to Moroccan food, in which case, I would LOVE IT, but then have to be rolled out of the restaurant due to eating way too much. Not to mention the 7 course meals, oy.

    CD = hilarious! Potty humor is the best kind of humor in my opinion πŸ™‚

  38. December 18, 2009 1:17 pm

    That’s a quality date! I think it’s a great idea to announce bowel movements with operatic flair. I used to do that with my mom (aka maybe 2 weeks ago…) and it always cracked her up. πŸ˜‰

  39. December 18, 2009 1:18 pm

    “Last night, my husband took me on a date.” That line just made me swoon.

    Ack – someone misses the Ethiopian in Seattle. I’d better try some fast!

    Hilarious CD! His Latin question reminds me of when we’re watching a DVD and both of us can’t figure out what an actor is saying – we’ll just replay it over and over, and sometimes we just have to go with our best guess or move on.

    So glad you had a nice date night. You deserve it!

  40. December 18, 2009 1:26 pm

    Can I just tell you, I love LOVE love Injera and Ethiopian food! Oh my. Thanks for sharing CD’s comments. Made me laugh.

  41. December 18, 2009 1:32 pm

    Carolyn, Honestly, I don’t really notice much of a difference between the almond and coconut flour pancakes. What made the difference today was blending in the spinach using the Vita-Mix. I never blend my batter, usually just stir it together with a spoon. I will be blending from now on as it made the batter super smooth, and I got so many pancakes out of it. Didn’t even add water or any nut milk to thin.

  42. December 18, 2009 1:34 pm

    Tiffany, We do the same thing with our DVR, especially when we watch The Office. The cast is always saying quick remarks under their breath that we wouldn’t catch unless we played the scene again over and over. So funny.

  43. December 18, 2009 1:38 pm

    Sometimes things like symphony and opera performances are really hard for me to get through. I think that humor would help! And that is a PILE of pancakes there! Well done!

  44. Andrea permalink
    December 18, 2009 1:39 pm

    Oh my God, I love your husband. Tell him that I don’t have a good opera voice but I still announce my BMs that – sometimes with a “horn” accompaniment.
    Sorry to downgrade your blog with this comment πŸ™‚ But, at least you reminded me that I haven’t had Ethiopian food in almost a year! I need to fix that, stat.

  45. December 18, 2009 1:44 pm

    Can’t say I’ve ever tried Ethiopian food, but your dinner looked delicious! What a great take on pancakes, I WILL be eating those this weekend!

  46. December 18, 2009 1:58 pm

    Oh my goodness…CD is hilarious! hehehehe! Love it! I’m hosting Christmas breakfast (first timer—oh my) and I think I need to add those pancakes to the menu! The kids would love it!!! πŸ™‚ Just can’t tell the in-laws what’s in it! hehehehhe! They shutter at the thought of a vegetable…let alone anything remotely healthy! hehehehhe! Love it!

  47. December 18, 2009 2:02 pm

    Love a guy with a sense of humor! πŸ™‚ Festive pancake color for the holidays!

  48. December 18, 2009 3:07 pm

    omg christian diors comments had me cracking up over here
    ethiopian food!!! i’d love to try it, i heard its amazing.
    love the christmas cakes too– totally need to try baking spinach into things πŸ˜‰
    have a wonderful weekend!

  49. December 18, 2009 3:11 pm

    Hi Heather!
    The restaurant…reminds me a of place in San Diego called the 37th parallel. All the restaurants’ cuisine is based on cities that are on the 37th parallel and I’m sure Ethiopia must be about there b/c that food sure looks familiar πŸ™‚

    As for the Stevia. Interesting that you’re not using the NuNaturals Vanilla. I thought you were a Nu girl πŸ™‚ I know you’re a Jay girl! I have a few of the NOW Flavors, which I can’t remember what they even are,it’s been ages since I’ve used them but I do have to say, they’re not as strong/sweet/potent as my NuNat liquid vanilla. Maybe I’m imagining it though!

    Love date nite!!! So sweet πŸ™‚

  50. Jenny R. permalink
    December 18, 2009 3:46 pm

    you two are hilarious haha! I love the random comments. I can’t believe it but I’ve never had ethiopian food. It looks soooo good though

  51. Megan permalink
    December 18, 2009 3:57 pm

    Mmmm….Ethiopian food. There is something so satisfying about eating with your hands, not to mention it has to be some of the most incredible food I’ve ever eaten. Yes, Ethiopian food is near the top of favorite things to eat.

  52. December 18, 2009 3:57 pm

    Ok, twilight zone time. Did you know that of all ethnic cuisine, ethiopian is my absolute favorite? More than Indian?

    I think you need to write a book called “Quotes from my husband”. I swear the boy cracks me up over and over again! Hilarious!

    Ahhh, you revisited the broc eh!? See, just like leopard print, it always comes back in style! πŸ™‚

  53. December 18, 2009 4:01 pm

    We’ve been meaning to go to this Ethiopian restaurant near our house. It looks really good.

  54. December 18, 2009 4:26 pm

    You are so creative with your pancakes! I love adding spinach to things. I don’t think I could convince my hubby to even try those though because of the color.

  55. Heather permalink
    December 18, 2009 4:29 pm

    OMG that veggie dish looks delish! I love Ethiopian. Let me know if you make it to NYC. Queen of Sheeba is very good. I’m sure there are lots of other veggie girls out there that would love to join us!


  56. December 18, 2009 6:21 pm

    I love that pancakes have not only become breakfast but dinner, lunch and snacks.
    I love that pancakes don’t have to be drenched in butter and fake syrup.

    I love that pancakes can actually have nutritional value and I love your creativity.
    and now I think I need to go make some pancakes.

    I need help with protein powder…I may email you later!

  57. December 18, 2009 6:41 pm

    I’ve really wanted to try Ethopian food. I love ALL ethnic foods.

  58. ohhmay permalink
    December 18, 2009 6:54 pm

    Ethiopian food sound like so much fun, you guys are so adorable…
    & CD’s comments are hilarious!! ahhahaha I want to take him to plays with me!!

  59. December 18, 2009 7:50 pm

    Spinach in pancakes now that sounds like our kinda of meal : ) Love it Heather! Anyway to get more greens is what we are all about!

  60. December 18, 2009 7:52 pm

    I died when I read CD’s comments. So funny! Dennis says stuff like that too ( ie. announcing bowel movements)
    I’ve never had Ethiopian. I’ve been hearing more and more about it though…oh and the pancakes? They look awesome. I love how I can eat pancakes again because of you!!

  61. December 18, 2009 8:03 pm

    If I were you I would be thanking my lucky stars that CD doesn’t have a good opera voice πŸ˜‰

  62. December 18, 2009 9:57 pm

    Ethiopian is one of my favorite cuisines, but there is no restaurant where I live. I’ve tried to make injera and some veggie dishes, but they just aren’t the same.

    I want to know what CD’s POM apron caption was!

  63. December 18, 2009 10:03 pm

    Katie, Some of CD’s comments are best kept OFF the blog. Hehe. πŸ˜‰

  64. Luv2CUSmile permalink
    December 18, 2009 10:59 pm

    Very nice date night, HEAB!
    I missed yesterday so missed the apron too but I think it is a hoot! I will have to see where to get one. Hubby drinks POM juice. Peanut butter cups looked absolutely divine! Gotta get those made, just went shopping so all ingredients should be here!
    Love the Christmassy pancakes! Wonder if I do that and “green eggs” if my kids would still eat them. LOL Love the concept though. My kids do eat spinach as well as other veggies so no need to hide them. Love the colors for festivity though!

  65. Cherie permalink
    December 18, 2009 11:21 pm

    OMG….you guys are sooo cute & too funny!!

  66. December 19, 2009 8:09 am

    You and CD are sooo hilarious–glad you had a good time! πŸ™‚

  67. December 19, 2009 8:47 am

    Ethiopian food is so delicious and the concert quotes are too funny.. sounds like a good night πŸ™‚

  68. December 19, 2009 8:51 am

    I miss Ethiopian food! Used to eat it in San Jose, injera, mashed mystery things and honey wine. Ahhhh, memories. The first time we ate there we asked them politely for forks, until we learned that one uses the bread. Cultural ignorance!

  69. December 19, 2009 11:19 am

    your man is absolutely hilarious. guess that’s why you snagged him. or one of the reasons. πŸ˜€

    pancakes look delishhhh.

  70. Marie permalink
    December 19, 2009 2:49 pm

    I am a musician (a cellist:) and my husband is all sports. When we go to concerts or recitals, he asks “can we leave at half time?” But at least he comes and supports.
    CD’s comments were awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    And we made Christmas pancakes this morning. They were a huge hit! I just blended in the spinach to our regular pancake recipe, and my daughter got to sprinkle on craisins while they were cooking for the red. So fun and so good. (you’re right, NO spinach taste) Thanks for the idea!

  71. December 19, 2009 3:39 pm

    I LOVE ethiopian food! Injera and lentils – oh so good!

  72. December 19, 2009 3:44 pm

    Marie, Half-time – that’s funny. So glad you and the fam. enjoyed your green breakfast! Great way to add some more veggies into your day. πŸ™‚

  73. December 19, 2009 9:26 pm

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, CD cracks me up! His quote of the day’s never fail to make me laugh. Seriously. You guys should have your own reality show. “How to Marry a Blogger.” “Married, with blogs and dogs.”

    I’d watch it. πŸ˜‰

  74. December 19, 2009 9:39 pm

    Ethiopian is one of my favorite cuisines… I used to eat it all the time in college! Since I moved back to New York I haven’t had any 😦 Thanks for reminding me of my long-lost love!

  75. December 20, 2009 7:04 am

    Bekah, Married, with blogs and dogs. That is hilarious!

  76. December 22, 2009 3:59 pm

    i’ve heard Ethiopian is amazing, and I still haven’t been!!!


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