Outside, the sloppy mix of rain and ice falls at an intense angle, and the distant hillside has lost its detail, now appearing as a giant, sleepy, gray elephant. Inside, the sunset painted hyacinths fill the room with their intoxicating perfume. The scent transports my mind to lavish gardens and flowering trees in California and that narrow window in the spring, when the campus lilac bushes bloomed and lightened an otherwise stressful commute. We give flowers to lift spirits, a power I am appreciating more and more.
These hyacinths are fragrant remnants of a Valentine’s Day well celebrated, of brunching, of sappiness and of lazing away a Sunday as Sundays should be. I know there are commercial ties to this holiday, but I love it anyways. I love the extra incentive to show a caring gesture, like a card that reads “You’re Perfect (even if you cut your sandwiches like an idiot).” I love champagne toasts, pajama dress codes and puns on top of puns. I love my beekeeper, and I love to show it.
As the Urban Farmer pointed out, Saint Valentine was the patron saint of lovers and beekeepers, appropriate, since I was inspired to celebrate my favorite beekeeper this February 14th.
In my ode to my favorite beekeeper, I wrote:
Here’s to history (a beekeeping poster), here’s to sweetness (honeycomb chocolate & Honey Lavender ice cream), here’s to health (fresh bee pollen), and even to a little buzz too (wine)!
And because beekeepers need to eat, there were Multigrain Chocolate Chip Raspberry Pancakes with Raw Cacao Whipped Cream spiked with Snap and a ruby red champagne toast!
It was a Valentine’s Day well spent with gifts that will keep giving. I hope your Valentine’s Day was just as sweet! Did you give any edible or themed gifts of your own?
Chocolate Chip & Raspberry Multigrain Pancakes with Spiked Cacao Whipped Cream
About This Recipe: You will never see me recommend a box cake mix (sacrilege!), but when it comes to pancakes, I do like to use Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake Mix. The blend combines corn flour, whole grain wheat flour and brown rice flour, packing a lot of grains into one mix without over burdening your pantry. Alternately, you can use my Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe (skip the bananas).
Chocolate Chip & Raspberry Multigrain Pancakes
1 1/2 cups Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake Mix
2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil (or melted butter or coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups organic heavy cream (or whole milk)
1 egg (cage-free/organic)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 oz. organic frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup extra dark chocolate chips (such as Guittard’s 63% cacao)
organic, unsalted butter for pan
organic frozen dark cherries for serving
In a large mixing bowl, add the pancake mix, oil, heavy cream, egg and vanilla. Stir only until lumps disappear.
Fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips. Set aside.
Cook on a preheated (375°F-400°F) lightly buttered griddle or cast iron skillet, flipping when bubbles form on surface and edges begin to dry. Keep finished pancakes on a sheet tray in a warm oven (<200°F) until batch is complete.
Cacao & Snap Whipped Cream
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons organic raw cacao (such as TerrAmazon)
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons Art in the Age Snap Liquor
Pour heavy cream, vanilla and cacao into the chilled mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed.
Slowly add the maple syrup and Snap liquor. Pause the mixer, and use a spatula to scrape down the bowl to ensure the liquids are incorporated.
Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to serve.