Whitney Houston’s death made us speechless and a cold left me without taste, scent and a slight hearing loss. Being void of most of my senses, developing recipes was put on hold until full recovery. Unfortunately, I missed out on publishing these Quinoa Pancakes with Meyer Lemon Syrup scheduled for Mardi Gras and Pancake Day held this past Tuesday, February 21st. Then, as my body partially recovered, I accepted a last minute freelance design job. Between trying to sleep off a cold, remembering all of Whitney Houston’s songs and working long hours, time has slip away.
I grew up to Houston’s empowering voice. Since her death, I’ve replayed her songs, and they returned forgotten, long ago memories. My family and I watched her sing Greatest of Love of All on television. When she breathlessly sung “I believe the children are our future…,” my little girl heart knew she was talking to me. When I think of the 1988 Seoul, South Korean Olympics, I hum to One Moment in Time. After Sunday dinner, the kitchen was cleaned to Houston’s version of Chaka Khan’s I’m Every Woman. In high school, I walked on stage in front of my peers to I have Nothing in a fashion show (yep, I used to be a fashionista). In college, Waiting to Exhale debuted, and each girl’s dorm room played a different song simultaneously. The album resonated with many of us, because it was the first time we were falling in and out of love, living on the edge of young adulthood and seriously thinking about our futures. Campus housing is similar to a four-year sleepover, and we leaned on each other for sisterly support.
Houston’s funeral was watched live on CNN. Currently, my music playlist includes her songs. As I recall memories starting as a little girl to being an adult, Whitney Houston was my soundtrack.
These last few weeks are so busy, I’ve lost track of my editorial calendar. However, these Quinoa Pancakes with Meyer Lemon Syrup is the next recipe in queue (they’re quite late). The boyfriend gave it a solid approval to share, since I was unable to taste and smell these delicious pancakes.
I trust his taste. In the four years, we’ve been together; I’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions, hard lessons learned and a late maturity process. He knows when to lend a shoulder to cry on, and when to stop the pity party.
Today, I’m fully recovered from that terrible cold that robbed most of my senses. Listening to all of Houston’s songs, I’ve rediscovered her last endearing ballad, I Look to You. It was released in 2009. It was a terribly stressed year, in which my boyfriend demonstrated solid support. Once again… Those inspiring lyrics… That uplifting voice… Her intriguing life… Our journey through the years… I’ve found my empowering theme song once again.
Thank you, Whitney Houston for being the soundtrack to my life and our hearts.
Quinoa Pancakes with Meyer Lemon Syrup
2 cups unbleached flour (alternatively use 1 cup flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. sugar
2 organic large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 to 2 cups organic whole milk (cow or unsweetened soy)
1 cup cooked white quinoa
1 tbsp. olive oil; plus more for greasing a skillet or griddle
1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat 2 to 3 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high temperature in a skillet or griddle.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour(s), baking powder, salt and sugar.
3. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk. (Hint: Start with 1-1/2 cups milk for thick pancakes and gradually add up to 2 cups more for thinner pancakes).
4. Add the liquid ingredients with the quinoa to the flour mix to make the pancake batter. Mix until thoroughly combined. Don’t over mix batter, for it’s best to have a few lumps for fluffy pancakes.
5. Ladle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pancake batter into the skillet or griddle. Try to cook 3 pancakes in one skillet at the same time. When the edges are dry and bubbles appear on the surface, flip the pancakes over to cook the other side. When both sides are golden brown, remove pancakes from the skillet or griddle and place in onto a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven to keep pancakes warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
6. Serve pancakes with Meyer Lemon syrup (see recipe below).
Meyer Lemon Syrup
The zest from 2 meyer lemons
The juice from 4 to 6 meyer lemons
1-cup filtered water
1-cup palm or white sugar
1. In a medium saucepan, heat all ingredients together and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to bring the liquid to a low simmer. Leave saucepan uncovered.
3. When the syrup is reduced in half and thicken, let cool slightly before pouring over pancakes.
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