Miss Fancy-Pants Brunch idea

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes


Christmas morning I had a crowd for breakfast. I typically make my Egg Strata (previously posted) with bacon. I knew that I would need a little more to feed my family. I had printed out this recipe a while ago, and thought what better time to try it. I was so right. They were delicious. The pancakes are very light with a great lemon flavor. I had tasted the batter and thought there wasn’t enough lemon, but left it alone. I’m glad I did. Once the grated lemon zest hits the heat, the flavor pops. The ricotta makes the pancakes very light. These might be on the menu for tomorrow too. It’s a perfect “fancy” brunch recipe, or something to nosh on with your kids. The original recipe called for sautéing apples and serving them over the pancakes. I wish I had done this. But, hey it was Christmas and I was tired from a week of cooking. The thought of warm apples and maple syrup makes me tingle. Try this recipe. If you’re nervous, keep that box of Aunt Jemima nearby. I am betting you won’t need it. There are no pictures of these pancakes. They were gone by the time I thought of it.


4 large eggs, separated

1 1/3 cups ricotta

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 ½ tablespoons grated lemon zest

½ cup all-purpose flour


Melted butter for brushing the griddle

Maple syrup, as an accompaniment

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, the ricotta, the sugar, and the zest, add the flour, and stir the mixture until it is just combined. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks; whisk about one fourth of them into the ricotta mixture, and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Heat a griddle to a medium heat. When drops of water scatter over its surface, brush the griddle with some of the melted butter. Working in batches, pour the batter onto the griddle by ¼ measures and cook the pancakes for about 2 minute on each side, or until they are golden, brushing the griddle with some of the melted butter as necessary. Transfer the pancakes as they are cooked to a heatproof pan and keep them warm in a preheated 200-degree oven. Transfer to a serving platter to serve.

I may be the last one on the planet that has heard of this recipe. The original, original recipe was from Gourmet Magazine 1991. I think I was deep in diapers and trying to stay sane. It is the best excuse I got. I was not reading Gourmet Magazine in 1991. I was reading picture books and watching PBS children’s programs. This trend continued for many years……

Serve the pancakes with maple syrup, and if you’re smart, with sautéed apples. They make about twelve 3-to-4-inch pancakes.


Here is the Smitten Kitchen recipe. There are pictures and detailed directions if you need them. If you haven’t visited this website, you should. It is fantastic!

NOTE: I made these pancakes today. I added a tsp. of lemon juice and made the apples. Oh please make the apples. It’s like apple pie on pancakes.photo And, for the love of bacon, please bake your bacon




Breakfast Soufflé


Climb into the time machine with me and travel back into my newlywed daze days. Suzanne introduced me to many things in life. A different view on food was one that truly influenced me. She made brunch. BRUNCH! We spent a lot of time with Suzanne and Tom. Some great moments we shared, were brunching on a Sunday morning in their East Boston home. Kids, dogs and wonderful memories.  So I stole borrowed her recipe. It’s really an egg strata, but back then there were no FOODIES to correct us. As my children grew and got busy, Sunday morning brunch was one of the few weekly meals we could all share. I tried to do it up big, with Belgian waffles topped with strawberries, whipped cream and bacon on the side, pancakes (yawn) and this egg dish. I like it because you make it the night before and just bake it in the morning. The kids liked it because, well, it’s delicious. It doesn’t hurt when I serve it with poppy seed muffins and bacon. My favorite part was sitting around the table after the food was devoured, talking and laughing with the kids. Those are precious moments. Don’t tell them! You’ll blow my cover.

1 ½ lbs.  frozen bulk sausage (one tube, in the freezer section)

9 eggs, slightly beaten

3 cups of milk

1 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

3 slices of white bread cut into ¼” cubes

2 cups of grated cheddar cheese (I use the packaged kind)

First, brown the sausage in a pan. I let it sit in the fridge overnight so it will defrost. I break it into pieces, not too small, not too big and let it brown. Drain on paper towels. You can do this step ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe.

I don’t grease my pan. I use a ceramic casserole dish that cleans very easily. You can use a greased 9 x 13 x 2 pan. Mine is a little smaller and it allows the egg dish to really puff up while it’s cooking. It’s pretty, but it does fall as it cools.

In the baking pan, mix (do not beat) eggs, milk, salt, pepper, bread and cheese. Stir in the cooked sausage. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in fridge over night.

Bake uncovered for one hour at 350 degrees. Before you put it in the oven, take a fork and just stir it all around once.

Serve with bagels, muffins or cinnamon rolls and bacon of course. Maybe sausage too! Serves 6 hungry Brosseaus.