Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
Published on August 24th, 2011
by Clarabella

Eggnog Pancakes and Come Run with Me

(Warning. This blog post contains many, many images of woods and trails) I like pancakes, and I love to run. Join me for pancakes and a <virtual> run?

I don’t make pancakes for breakfast very often. Partly due to morning time restrictions, partly due to the fact that they are a ‘treat’ for breakfast, and should not be the norm, lest they cease to be a treat and become mundane. But I felt like pancakes, I had time, and I have been running again recently so I can justify the sweet indulgence with a run.

I came across these on Joy the Baker and they just sounded different. Unusual. Spicy and interesting. So I chose them. The only small pitfall was that I did not have any buttermilk with which to make my buttermilk based pancakes. Did I say pitfall? Sorry, I meant potential pitfall, if I did not know how to make my very own buttermilk. Its great, easy, quick, and just the thing when you want pancakes and don’t have any buttermilk in the fridge. Just 1 cup of milk and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes. Voila. Buttermilk. 

The browned butter in these pancakes lends a nutty, aromatic quality to otherwise ordinary pancakes. And once you add the spices to the browned butter, mmmmmmm. Smells like spicy heaven. Christmas. Gingerbread and smiles. It smells like smiles.

These pancakes cook up quickly and to know when to turn them, just watch the bubbles. Bubbles will form in the cooking pancakes, and once they rise to the surface and begin to burst, thats your cue for flipping over the pancakes. Then just a couple of seconds on the other side, they are good to munch. At first I thought this recipe was making far too many pancakes. But never fear. They go down easy. They will get finished. They are more-ish.


I have been off running for some time due to a stubborn injury, but I am back now, and although I am starting frustratingly slowly, I am running again. And I thought that today, I’d share my run with you.  So lace up your <virtual> trainers and come run with me.

The run begins on a small, quiet road. A bit up and down, but not too much for warming up. This is some of the little tarmac on the route before we go off-road.

Then we hit the airport perimeter road. An interesting scenery. See the planes take off and land. The noise. The feeling of being a tiny ant running along the road while the monstrous planes roar along past you.

Away from the fence and the airport we’re back on a footpath and heading for the woods. A little downhill to enjoy.

A lovely trail of greens and browns takes us into the woods. Pretty. Always. I never take this view for granted, even if I’m out of breath.

After a while in the woods we’re out from under the canopy and alongside a field that sometimes has cows. Not today though. Watch out for the stony path, its hell on the ankles.

Past the field and we’re back on the woods. And its time for the stairs. And we’re going up. There are 7 sets of stairs, and I count them every time I go up. Not hoping that they get shorter, but knowing that its when I reach number 6 that the pain starts. No, you cannot stop half way up. You have to do the whole lot in 1 go. You can do it, come on.

What goes up must come down, so we go down the stairs on the other side. More than 7 sets but you’re going down so who cares. Was overtaken here by a guy and 2 dogs. I let them go past, don’t like knowing there is someone behind me.

At the foot of the stairs is my favourite part. Running alongside the river you can always smell it. The water. It takes me back to my teens and paddling with the Eastleigh Sea Scouts. Run slowly over the bridge and enjoy the view, and the sound of the water. Its awesome.

A little further on there is a body of a tree that did not make it through last year. Its big. Its impressive. Its a nice picture.

Yes, another up. Longer than the stairs. Run next to the stairs not up them. Then you can choose your stride size. Breathe. Keep going. You can do it. Feel your heart beating, and feel your lungs burning. Feel alive.

And down again. A little blurry as I’m breathing heavy. Phew. That hill never gets any easier, even though I’ve run it hundreds of times. Awesome 🙂

There is 1 more hill but I didn’t have the heart to lose my momentum by stopping at the foot of it to take a picture, so heres the pretty bridge instead. Stone. Covered in moss. Been there for an age, or more.

Almost done, passing the little church in Styal Village. I don’t often stop to look at it, but its pretty. Very English-Villagey.

The last bit of cobbled street through Styal Village and you’re almost done. Jog slowly. Breathe. Feel the sweat. Smile 🙂

And back at the car. Hot, sweaty, happy. Thirsty. Achey. Wonderful. This is why I love running. Why when everyone tells me I should quit rather than risk more injury. I never can. Never will.

A runner’s refreshment and a couple of minutes to rest the feet before heading home for a well deserved shower. Well done. You made it. Come again soon 🙂


Eggnog Pancakes

from Joy the Baker

What you will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ground mixed spice
3 Tablespoons butter melted until browned
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon whisky or spiced rum or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
butter or a lightly colored oil for cooking pancakes

maple syrup for serving

What to do:
In a small saucepan, melt butter until much of the water has evaporated and little brown bits appear in the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the flame and add the nutmeg, cinnamon and mixed spice.  Set aside to cool a bit.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the buttermilk.  Add the melted butter, being to sure to scrape all the browned bits and spices into the buttermilk and egg.  If the butter seizes up a bit in the cold milk, that’s ok. Add the whisky/rum or vanilla extract and just whisk it all together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.  Don’t overmix.  It’s ok if there are a few lumps.

Let the batter rest, untouched for 5 minutes while you heat a griddle or skillet.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil or butter to the hot skillet.  Dollop heaping tablespoonfuls onto heated and oiled skillet and cook until evenly browned, flipping once.  Place cooked pancakes on an oven-proof plate in a warm oven until ready to serve.