Celebrate International Coffee Day with Those Pancakes!

Enjoy those Flapjacks with a Cup of Joe!

Celebrate International Coffee Day with Cappuccino Pancakes & Mocha Syrup. Get the recipe here

Happy National Pancake Day 2017!

Happy #nationalpancakeday 🥞 Because we could all benefit from some fun news.

First Day of Fall

“Be like a tree… and let the dead leaves drop.” – Rumi

It’s Finally Official!

#newhome

Discover LA, Discovering Ma’amCakes

Discover LA, the official tour guide for the city of Los Angeles, asked Ma’amCakes to write a feature on the best pancakes in LA – check out the feature here!

Holiday Weekend, I’m Ready for You

#Humpday tryin to get to that holiday weekend

IN THE MIX: Pancake Review with Special Guest, MLB and NHL Network Studio Host Scott Braun

Happy 2017, FanCakes! Excited to kick off the new year with Special Guest, MLB and NHL Network Studio Host, AND SiriusXM talk show host, Scott Braun.

Prior to his big break with the big leagues, fellow East-Coaster Braun has made quite the impact in the world of sports-casting. During his time at the University of Miami, Braun worked for ESPN as a college basketball play-by-play announcer for ESPNU and ESPN3, and was the host of ESPN.com’s Heat Index, where he covered the Miami Heat. In addition to his work at ESPN, Braun anchored sports updates for CBS Sports Network and was a studio host for CBSSports.com, including Fantasy Football Today. Braun’s credits also include the play-by-play voice for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Cape League Insider on Sirius XM MLB Network Radio, as well as a talk show host of Sports Blitz Now on Huffington Post Radio. Braun then furthered his already busy career after graduation – I mean, look at this LinkedIn resume! Oh, and did I mention that he’s super cute?

When deciding where to go for our pancake review, Scott mentioned his allergies to gluten and dairy. Pssh no problem, we’re in New York City! Piece of cake – er, pancake. Or so I thought. Turns out, if you live in NYC and suffer from intolerance or allergies to both gluten and dairy, you’re basically SOOL! I mean, I hate knockin’ my hometown, but NYC has nothing on LA in terms of catering to food allergies. In fact, if you Google “gluten free, dairy free pancake restaurants in NYC,” while almost all of them might be gluten-free – they’re not necessarily dairy-free, as I vastly discovered after calling about 25 restaurants. Oh and – because I was lucky enough to catch Scott during the tiniest free window, simultaneously while I was home on vacation, the review had to be after 4pm on a Thursday. Not too many places serve pancakes during the week, let alone after 4pm. I think due to his competitive sports nature, Scott thoroughly enjoyed giving me quite the challenge. Challenge accepted, my friend.

Just as we were about to land on Cafe 82 – which by the way, checked all of the boxes: they serve pancakes after “normal hours,” AND with gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients – Scott called with a curveball and through word-of-mouth, suggested the grand-slam of a pancake spot, Sun in Bloom for our In The Mix review.

Now, you’re probably wondering how I didn’t find this spot from the beginning – because my search included “NYC” and “restaurant,” Sun In Bloom actually doesn’t fit this category; in fact, Scott and I went to their little shop in TriBeCa, whereas the actual restaurant resides in Brooklyn. Who knew.

The staff at Sun in Bloom explained that every item in both their restaurant and shop is vegan, and while the shop contains mainly bagged items, they actually cook their pancakes instantly in front of you on the griddle. Check it out!

Now, considering two crucial ingredients for a pancake to be delicious include gluten and dairy, let’s just say I expected this pancake to taste like air. I have reviewed vegan pancakes before, we can all remember (even though I’ve tried to forget) Bloom Cafe; while those pancakes tasted like cardboard, my hopes were a bit higher with this cute little mom-and-pop shop.

Overall, these strawberry, banana and blueberry vegan pancakes were actually quite tasty – in fact, you wouldn’t necessarily know they were vegan; healthier, yes. But not vegan. Not only did Scott agree, he then explained how he cooks his own pancakes at home. Breaking news for you FanCakes only: Scott’s secret homemade recipe is that he uses more egg white than yolk, as the egg whites make the batter fluffier. Scott, maybe next time we’ll save ourselves twenty phone calls and just dine at your place instead, thoughts?! Scott then mentioned his favorite pancakes are fruit-loaded with blueberries, bananas, strawberries, plus some pecans on top. And just like Ma’amCakes, Scott is a “fruit in the batter” (vs. on top) type of guy; that said, both of us agree the pancakes at Sun in Bloom are still great.

A huge thank you to Scott Braun for being a Guest Reviewer with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Scott on MLB Network & NHL Network and his most recent venture, being a food influcencer on Menud. Follow Scott @ScottBraun on Twitter, Insta, and Facebook.

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Pancake Review at: THE SMITH

Since the moment I landed home in NYC for my annual holiday visit, all I could hear about from my mother was that I needed to try the Salted Caramel Pancakes from our neighborhood restaurant hot spot, The Smith located on 63rd and Broadway; however, there was one problem – I was getting all 4 wisdom teeth removed a few hours after I landed at JFK! While I wasn’t sure whether or not these pancakes would be worth all the motherly hype, one thing was for sure – the thought of dripping salted caramel over a bed of pancakes was enough to force me into an early recovery. Fortunately, I was in good paws and had the best healthcare:

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After about seven days of yogurt, eggs, and occasional mac and cheese (I pretty much was only able to taste and swallow), you can imagine how my mouth watered with the thought of these legendary pancakes. Mistakenly, we visited The Smith after 12pm on Wednesday, and learned the hard way that you can *only order brunch before 11am.*

By Saturday, Christmas finally came and after a quick glance at the menu, stitches still intact, I ordered the food item that I had been hearing about for weeks.

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The Salted Caramel Pancakes from The Smith were everything I had imagined, and more. The pancakes themselves were like heavenly pillows; if I could have placed those in my mouth after surgery, instead of the gauze, the recovery process would have been much more sweet and savory. The pancakes were so fluffy and delightful that I actually smiled (to the best of my ability) while eating. The touch of salted caramel to the already delectable delicacies created a pancake party in my healing mouth.

While I don’t care much for pecans, nor could I eat anything crunchy anyway, I did appreciate that The Smith placed the pecans on top of the pancakes, as opposed to in the batter. As I’m also not much of a whipped cream person, the, instead, whipped ricotta definitely made the dish more unique. At the end of our meal, I thought for sure my mom would smile with vindication, but she instead said concluded breakfast with “cute waiter!” Like mother like daughter I guess. Hours later, as I’m now getting ready for dinner, I’m still thinking about those pancakes, and while I do have more restaurants to try, these bad boys might just be my new favorite pancakes in NYC. Well mom, this is the only time that I won’t mind hearing “I told you so.”

And for a full video of the Salted Caramel Pancake experience:

IN THE MIX: Pancake review with special guest, Singer/Songwriter, Victoria Shaw

During my time in New York, I was incredibly fortunate to have Singer/Songwriter Victoria Shaw join me as a Guest Reviewer for Ma’amCakes!

Victoria, a two time Emmy-award winning Songwriter, has written many hits such as “The River” for Garth Brooks, and “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” for Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera. In addition to these artists, Victoria’s songs have been recorded by Billy Ray Cyrus, Faith Hill, Olivia Newton-John, LeAnn Rimes, Reba McEntire, Tricia Yearwood, Michael McDonald and many more, and have collectively sold more than 65 million albums! In fact, last February, I was lucky enough to be Victoria’s date for a 2013 Grammy Event!

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Victoria and I at the 2013 Grammy Event at the Elbell Theater

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Victoria and new artist Lacy Cavalier at the CMA Awards

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Bob Locknar, Victoria, and Garth Brooks

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While Victoria currently resides in Nashville with her husband Bob Locknar and their two fabulously talented daughters, Victoria also happens to be my parents’ neighbor! When in NYC for work (and sometimes for fun!), Victoria lives down the hall from my parents. Our families have spent a lot of time together, but the funniest memory I have with the Locknars (which wasn’t so funny at the time), was the night we had to stay at Victoria’s apartment due to construction in our apartment, while Victoria was simultaneously going into labor with Ruby. Needless to say, we’re not known for our timing!

When Victoria is home in Nashville, my family keeps an eye on her apartment, and as you can see from the photo below, she’s very appreciative (particularly in the “PS!”):

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When Victoria and I finally got to sit down for pancakes, it was quite a treat! As The Flame is one of Victoria’s (as well as her daughters’, and my grandfather’s) favorite diners in New York, we went as a group on the last Friday of 2013.

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To ring in 2014 with a healthy start, Victoria and I decided to split the Multi-Grain pancakes, served with fresh bananas and strawberries.

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I have to say, for typical “Diner Pancakes,” these tasted pretty good, and surprisingly fresh. Victoria agreed, as she said “these are meaty, but not doughy.” Between the multi-grain batter, and the deliciousness of the bananas and strawberries, we definitely felt like we were eating a healthier breakfast – not something you can frequently say for a diner! “I’m not really a pancake snob,” said Victoria (ahem, like some people!), “but these taste like my mom’s kitchen comfort food – that is, if my mom cooked!” Well, maybe after that comment she’ll start cooking! When asking Victoria which pancakes she would order next time, her reply was “Whole Wheat.” Keeping it healthy, I like it!

Thanks so much Victoria, for being a part of Friday brunch with Ma’amCakes! Be sure to check out Victoria’s latest artist whom she’s taking under her wing, singer Lacy Cavalier.

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Shake Up Your Sunday Morning with 10 Amazing Pancake Recipes

Check out FOX News Magazine’s “10 Pancake Recipes to Shake Up Your Sunday Mornings” – I DARE you to not lick the screen while viewing!

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For more de-licious recipes, click here!