Valentine's tradition - Brinner

Karel and I had been dating for 9 months when our first Valentine's day occurred in 2007. There were cards, flowers and chocolates shared between the two of us but when it came time for dinner, neither of us wanted to deal with the hassle of eating out on this hallmark holiday. 

Although my cooking skills (and food passion) had yet to blossom, I still enjoyed real food....especially breakfast options. 

So, the tradition started. 

Every year since our first Valentine's day together, I have prepared breakfast for dinner. Pancakes, french toast, crepes...you name it, I've prepared it over the past 9 years. 

This year I made the most delicious pancakes with two extra ingredients to the standard easy pancake recipe and took a different spin on my omelet presentation by cutting a standard omelet into triangles for my a quesadilla-look. 

Even if I created two easy options for our Valentine's "brinner" they were both prepared with love and finished off with chocolate. 

Everyday is a great day to eat chocolate and to go that extra mile to show someone you care about that you love them. I hope that you had a wonderful Valentine's day and yummed a bit louder with those in your life who mean the most to you. 

Friends, family and furry ones.... Never let a day go by without showing and saying your love for others. And most of all, start that loving on yourself.

Pear-cream cheese, chocolate chip pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

2 eggs
1 tbsp whipped cream cheese
1 washed pear - shredded (with skin)
1 1/2 cup reduced fat organic milk
Chocolate chips (about 2 tbsp)
Olive oil or cooking spray for pancakes

1. Heat a large skillet to medium-low heat (to speed up cooking process, use two skillets). 
2. In a bowl mix together the first 5 dry ingredients (flour through  sugar) in large bowl.
3. In small bowl, mix together eggs, cream cheese, pear and milk until clumps are minimal. 
4. Add 1/2 liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together. 
5. Then add the rest of the liquid mixture to the dry. Mix until evenly combined. If batter is too thick, add a little water until your whisk can easily move through batter. 
6. Now add chocolate chips and whisk one more time until combined.
7. Add ~1/3 cup of batter to skillet after drizzling a little olive oil (or use cooking spray)  before/after each pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes (or until golden brown). 
8. Serve with 100% maple syrup, 100% jam, fresh fruit or your choice of toppings. 

Serves 16-17 pancakes


And any day worth remembering is best shared with a loved one, out in nature.
Karel knows how to make my heart happy.....even if my legs are suffering. 

3 hours and 40 minutes on our bikes, surrounded by beautiful tall trees, rolling hills, picturesque mountain views and plenty of farm animals to say hi to during our ride.
(yes, I verbally say hi to all animals when I see them during our rides. We even saw a Lama!)

After our ride, Campy took us for a 2 mile run and finished with a strong sprint on our street. No workout is complete without a Campy-mile!