Spring Flowers and Blueberry Pancakes

This has been the earliest spring that I can remember up here in the Sierra Foothills. We had one early snow storm, and then we had an unusual stretch of about 10 weeks of sunny days. It got all the bulbs blooming early, and fortunately, knock on wood, we have not had a winter storm to knock them down. Here’s a few views of the garden.


And look what was almost hidden in that bed! This is the most exciting thing I’ve seen this early spring:


Yes!!! Those are the little tips of the lily of the valley plants that came special delivery all the way from New York last year! Thank you so much Lori!

A little bit of everything in this bed: primroses, pansies, muscari, hyacinths, and daffodils. And the flowering almond bush in the back.


Close-up of the pansy:


Here’s a close-up of the flowering almond:


The pink flower thief’s favorite bush is in full bloom:




Daffodils everywhere:



And honestly, I love these little violets that bloom so freely, and self-propagate so well.


So last night I was watching a Food Network program (as usual,) and I chose to watch Throwdown with Bobby Flay–Blueberry Pancakes. Some of you probably think its weird to watch food shows about “food I can’t eat.” But honestly, for whatever reason, I am not tempted to make or eat the food they show. I just like getting new ideas from them. And watching how they made those blueberry pancakes gave me something new to try with my beloved protein pancake recipe. Basically they whipped the egg whites into a meringue and then folded them into the rest of the batter. So after dreaming all night about how I would incorporate this into my recipe, I decided to keep the recipe as is, except that instead of using the egg beaters stuff, I used two egg whites, figuring that those would whip better. I thought that it would work to whip them in the Magic Bullet, but after doing 15 second intervals for about three minutes, they were only slightly thicker and foamy. I even added a tiny bit of cream of tartar to see if that would help. So I just added the rest of the ingredients (1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup cottage cheese, vanilla) and I did add about 1/8 tsp each of baking soda and baking powder. Whirred those around in the magic bullet and put the batter in the pre-heated pan, and then added the blueberries. They were definitely lighter and fluffier than my normal protein pancakes, but I don’t know that they were any better tasting. I used about 3/4 cup of blueberries, so they were chock-full of blueberries. They were definitely a treat on this beautiful spring morning!


17 thoughts on “Spring Flowers and Blueberry Pancakes

  1. I can’t believe your garden is so full of blooms already! What a weird winter, indeed…but lucky you!! So gorgeous. πŸ™‚

    You watch cooking shows like I watch Hawaii Life on HGTV…it may not happen in the exact way they’re showing it, but it happens!

  2. Your pink tree peony is gorgeous. The blooms don’t last long enough though. We’ve had so much snow in the East that it’s refreshing to see your flower beds in bloom. Re your pancakes, the egg whites should have whipped up–they needed to be at room temp to whip up good. Thanks for sharing. mickie

    • Hi Mickie–that pink tree is actually a camellia bush. I agree, the flowers do look a little like peonies. I’ve never had luck with peonies yet, but you reminded me that I did buy one a bit ago and I need to get it in the ground!

      Thanks for the tip on the egg whites. I was also wondering if they whip better in a glass container (the magic bullet is plastic.)

  3. OK, egg whites need everything to be super clean, so I usually use a glass or stainless steel bowl and a regular mixer. You can also buy an old fashioned hand crank egg beater. I love just about anything blueberry… pancakes, muffins, scones, pies. Yum.

    I CANNOT believe all the flowers you have. I still have snow in my front yard and on the patio!

    • I know. I kinda feel guilty enjoying spring when I know you guys are still having snow storms.

      Yeah, the egg white bit. I know I am not going to get another dish dirty, and especially not going to hand-crank egg whites when I’m fixing my breakfast at 6am before coffee. Maybe someday I’ll try it when I want to have pancakes for dinner!

  4. There used to be a lovely lady nearby who would periodically sell plants from home. I loved buying them from her because I knew they would grow well in my yard and she always had such great stories and names for her plants. Frequently she would ask me what the “real” names were. One day I was there and asked her the name for a start she had of a small bush. She said the name was “Flowering Ama.” It was a Flowering Almond! I loved her name better and that’s what i call mine.

    • I like that story! The flowering almond is such a common looking bush with such an amazing little flower. I hope that my two bushes will do better now that they are in the ground.

  5. I’m just sitting here stunned from looking at your garden. There are FLOWERS out somewhere?! They look soooo lovely, Debby! Oh well, it may be bitter cold and deep in snow here, but the sun is shining in a blue sky with just a few clouds.

  6. Love the camellias especially! How far north are you, and how much snow do you get? I would love to have one or two when we retire but it’s in far northern California. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Cathy, I live between Stockton and Lake Tahoe, at 2500 foot elevation. Camellias do very well here, and they also did very well in the Bay Area, where I grew up. I guess I’d just check with your local nursery. Why wait til you retire? If they grow in your area, they require very little maintenance for such a big spring show!

  7. You’re beautiful colorful garden makes me smile on a grey Monday morning. But no complaining, we have had such beautiful days already with lots of sunshine and record breaking temperatures. Spring arrived here early too and I love it.

    Yum blueberry pancakes: need to make these again soon.

  8. Beautiful flowers! So lucky for you to have them now. My view outside is brown and gray LOL. I appreciate all your hard work to have such a beautiful garden!

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