Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

This week, we celebrated our friend Hiến's birthday (it was his first big birthday celebration, ever). I also learned how to do accents. And the squiggly Spanish one? We have that too!! I've been making some bulletin boards for the pharmacy. I know, glamorous work. I'm actually enjoying having an office job for once. Since I'm here and I'm basically extra labor, I might as well make the place look nice. Anyways, birthdays are not a big deal here! Since we're American, Nick and I decided to throw a birthday party complete with pizza and cake. Some friends threw in some fried rice and papaya salad so it had a nice Vietnamese touch. Oh and plenty of Saigon 333 beer (which you don't ever want to drink too much of). Not sure what's in that beer.... I rode on the back of a motorcycle for 3 miles clutching a large strawberry cake with one hand and praying I wouldn't drop it. It survived! Our friend, Trinh, got to try pizza for the first time too. She was not a fan, haha.
Valentine's day is also this week, which does exist here because- commercialization. Nick and I went to a French restaurant owned by a chef from Avignon. It was adorable. Provencal tablecloths and lots of olive oil. The chevre chaud salad was phenomenal.
For actual Valentine's day, we're going to go eat with a bunch of our cousins and possibly watch a Vietnamese horror movie. Movies here are $3.50, and that's for the weekend. Because of the low ticket price, we can splurge on kettle corn (my cousins love it) and butter popcorn (I ate the whole box by myself). They also have Vietnamese root beer here!!! The things we have in common. 
 My sisters and I made these pancakes from Food for Life for our Christmas morning breakfast. To tell you the truth, I actually mixed up the batter while yelling at my sisters and Nick to come help instead of watching Dr. Who. By the time they got up to help, the batter was mixed and ready to fry up. It was kind of a group effort. I upped the sugar content for my sisters.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes 
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Mix dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with a wire whisk. Make a well. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fry in a saucepan until golden brown. As pancakes are cooking, place the finished ones on a baking tray in 200 degree oven to keep warm. Serve with butter and some maple syrup. Maybe some cinnamon sugar too.

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