Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Spring is approaching, the ice is melting in the northland, annual flowers are blooming in the south and migratory birds are starting their trek to the north. Spring is a time of renewal and a time to see the wonders of nature. We need to be thankful for the beauty and wonders of spring and focus on our own personal renewal and spiritual growth. Continue reading

MN Masala: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Jane and Chux

By Jane and Chux: We have made these lemon ricotta pancakes for years; generally for family and friends at special occasions, such as Easter brunch.  They are a big hit, and we always get compliments from our guests!

Lemon Zest

We have added a ½ cup of buckwheat flour to this recipe; however, if you don’t have that flour on hand or you don’t care for it, you can just use an additional ½ cup of all-purpose flour.  We also include the zest of one lemon, finely chopped.  This makes the pancakes nice and lemony.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

There are two things that make these pancakes light and fluffy: the first is folding in beaten egg whites; the second is to flip them only once on the griddle.  Serve them with fresh berries, bananas or other fruit and real maple syrup (we like grade B best; has nice caramel flavor).  Add a dollop of your favorite yogurt.  Chux likes to add a smear of natural peanut butter!

MN Masala: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch
Author: Jane
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour (or an additional ½ cup all-purpose flour)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tea. Baking soda
  • ½ tea. Salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • Zest of one lemon, finely chopped
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  1. In one bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon zest and ricotta cheese together.
  3. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until moistened.
  5. Take 1/3rd of the beaten egg whites and mix into the batter until incorporated.
  6. Take the remaining 2/3rds of the beaten egg whites and gently fold them into the batter with a spatula. Fold until just incorporated. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites in the batter. Don’t over mix.
  7. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Coat lightly with vegetable oil.
  8. Drop batter in ½ cup portions onto the griddle. Cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and the edges begin to look dry. The pancake will have bubbles on top that burst.
  9. Flip the pancakes once and cook a few minutes longer on the other side until cooked through.

Tomorrow: Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering 

Lessons Learned

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: I am in a reflective mood today, so rather than our normal Socratic theme I am going to share with you some lessons I learned when my infant nephew was in intensive care.

Here goes:

A baptism in a hospital emergency room moments before your 21-day-old nephew has brain surgery is much more nerve-wracking than a church baptism, but God’s (or Allah’s or Yahweh’s) love is steadfastly the same. Continue reading

What is appropriate humility?

Janine Fugate

By Janine Fugate: Before the most recent Academy Awards ceremony, I wasn’t aware that everyone in the world hates Anne Hathaway. After the Oscars, I felt compelled to find out why.

I asked around. I Googled it.  There has been a LOT of online conversation about this. Turns out, people hate Anne Hathaway largely because they presume to know her because they know (or knew) a “theater kid” like her. What’s so wrong with that?

I’ve also heard the phrase “lack of humility” thrown about – as in, she wasn’t humble enough when she accepted her Oscar. Really? Continue reading

What is the greatest invention?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Is it the car? The plane? Antibiotics?

Could it be something as simple as beer? That’s the premise of How Beer Saved the World, a sort-of documentary that coincidentally (or not) includes several shots of Miller Brewing products.

The theory goes like this: Humans spent tens of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers. One of the plants they gathered was barley. At some point, humans gathered barley into a vessel, into which rain fell. The barley sprouted, then dried out and produced malt. Then more rain fell, and the mixture in the vessel turned into beer. And the humans liked it and figured out how to make more. Continue reading

Does government hold women to a different standard than men?

By Nicole Debevec: Whenever I hear political types of a certain persuasion talk about the need for less government and more personal responsibility, I just shake my head and wonder where to get some of that Kool-aid.

“Less government” has become an extremely restricted phrase, as in:

Less government except for women’s right to know.

Or how about:
Less government except for trying to direct healthcare providers to ignore their Hippocratic oath when asked about certain topics that send some people into a frenzy. Apparently, some lawmakers consider knowledge to be when dangerous in a woman’s possession, so it is better to lie than give them the truth. Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

The Dalai Lama, when asked about what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives like he is never going to die and he dies having never really lived.”

In our circle of friends, who resembles the Dalai Lama’s description?

It could be family, neighbor, friend or even someone in our church. This week let’s think about that and find a way to share our values. Just maybe we can help them find a more peaceful life.

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Tomorrow: Does government hold women to a different standard than men? (By Nicole Debevec)

MN Masala: Not Your Bubby’s Brisket

Jane and Chux

By Jane and Chux: The class was titled Not Your Bubby’s Seder.  With a title like that, I had to go.  I was happy to learn that the instructor would be Zehorit Heilicher.  In September, I had attended Zehorit’s course New Year Partnership: Exploring the flavors of Galilee at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center and loved her Mediterranean inspired cooking and practical advice for the home cook. Continue reading

What would you do for your pet?

Mei the Cat

By Cindy Moy: Mei the Cat is usually a mellow girl, but when we moved around the family room furniture, she suddenly turned into a destroyer. Believing that all she really needed was a place higher off the ground, such as the eight foot cat tree she enjoys in the living room, The Husband built her a stylish series of cat shelves that would allow her to tower over the rest of us.

We even went so far as to line these rests with plush (fake) leopard fur so our precious Mei would be as comfortable as possible. Mei seemed quite taken with her shelves while The Husband was in the process of building them. Once the shelves were bolted into the wall, however, Mei lost all interest. Continue reading