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Vermont Organics Pancakes. In Search of Happy & Yumminess

I woke up this morning really sad, annoyed and unhappy — emotions that are surfacing more often than usual. I’m generally a very, very happy, social butterfly and always looking to bask in sunlit places that keep me smiling. Not to mention I don’t talk much about my ill-feelings in public, but I had one of those nights last eve where I wanted everyone that has ever wronged me to go far away. I have a forgiving heart, but not one that bears enough energy or strength to put up with the crap people can dish out.

These days, it seems like the smell of spoiled is every where in my world.  Do you ever feel that way? How do you find your way back to happy and not allow those stinky people to irritate you and rob you of your inner most delicate sentiments?

Since I’m wearing my feelings on my shoulder today, I might as well admit a lot of the combined emotions has to do with being away from my family. Sure, I go home once  a month, which is a lot, but  these days I need more. My parent’s house is an open house of happy! Anyone and everyone is invited and there’s always some unplanned party going on. That energy keeps everyone jovial and wanting to come back for more.

In my case, being a single woman with no children, albeit by choice,  life can be quite quiet and uneventful. Yeah, I go out to eat a lot and do a lot media events and travel to lovely and organic destinations and get invites to foo foo shi shi soriées and hob knob with B-list celebs, etc… But those things are mostly temporary.

So, I’ve been spending the last week or so reflecting on what makes me eternally happy and what I need to do to permanently stay in the realm.

I’ve come to accept and will at all cost embrace the 3 deal-makers:  Travel, shoes and food! (well, and the obvious desire to be closer to my family). Traveling gifts me experiences no one can take a way. Shoes make me 5″ taller and are always a topic of conversation, not to mention they epitomize a woman’s grace as she walks and blow kisses in the season’s newest artistically designed pump without suffering a runway walk, uhm, fall.

Like these ‘Daffodile’ Christian Loubtoutins. 6.5″

And of course food! But not just any kind of food. My mother’s food always falls first in line of rating of what satisfies me most. Nothing she’s ever made has caused bad feelings. My own food comes in a long distant 2nd and sushi comes in 3rd.

But food for me has been a struggle in the simplest form. I love to eat. I love to throw down and grub. I’m not one of those finicky eaters that skirts around the plate in order to save face, especially on a date–you know the type that only orders salad and wine and then doesn’t even finish that? Yeah, that’s not me. I like to eat. And a lot. Short of swine and shellfish, I’ll try anything. But it goes beyond trying just anything.

I’ve not always  been the most conscious about what I eat. I’ve allowed guilty pleasures to pack pounds around my hips. At 5’1″, I really can’t afford to weigh more than 126. But then in my early 20s, I started putting all this pressure on myself to look a certain way and maintain a certain figure. I started robbing myself of all the food that truly keeps me sane. The ravenous angry woman in me would come out from time to time if I wasn’t able to eat what I wanted to, when I wanted to.

A digression. I remember our family’s first trip to France. We were near the Sacré Coeur and I was staaaaaarving! I needed to eat something, anything! But, my dad, a dictator at the time had us on this ridiculous tourist schedule where everything, including bathroom breaks were on the itinerary. Well, I wasn’t having it. I had to eat. So, I derailed from the group and found me some ice cream. Yeah, I got in trouble and got yelled at and missed visiting the sacred cathedral. But the ice cream was way better. Plus, I got to see the Sacré Coeur years later and then again 2 years ago. So, I win, right! 😉

(Sacré Coeur)

(Mami and me at Sacré Coeur)

(Sacré Coeur)

(Inside Sacré Coeur)

Well, all that social hype to achieve a Halle Berry body is great and all but not at the sacrifice of being happy and loving what I’m blessed to enjoy. My line of work requires me to taste, play, mix, combine, mess up, try again, and EAT! Not just the healthy stuff. All of it. And since I love what I do, I have resolved to just eat it, no matter the extra pound I’ll later sweat off in 2 days time worth.

The point of all of this was really to talk about my friend LaVerne’s pancakes. See, pancakes are one of those foods I stopped eating in order to keep up with the ideology that skinny looks better, that skinny is sexy and that skinny is healthy. Well, it’s not. I’m Latina and have curves. In fact, I love my curves. I don’t have big tatas, so the hips are my saving grace, and I’ll be damned if I slim them down. Mind you, they are tight and fit!

My breakfasts usually consist of boiled eggs, whole grain toast and oatmeal–not all at once. While it’s all good and nutritious, there are days I’m simply not satisfied. My usual hook up is far from feel good food. So, when I met LaVerne via Twitter and asked me to taste her products, I was tempted and accepted. I made her decadent fudge cake. Divine.

And last week, when writing a Valentine’s Day breakfast post for Dean & DeLuca, I featured her pancakes, en breve.

Hers are what you call “down right,  good ol’, homemade, smack yo’ momma, I want more, please and thank you” kind of pancakes. Sure, you can make your own mix, but for $6 of USDA Vermont organic certified mix that yields 12-15 pancakes, I’m all over these. I do not bloviate because she sent them gratis. I’m saying this from a very happy gut that went in for a kill! 3 pancakes is a lot for me at once and yet still I almost made a second batch.

But, I resisted. While I’m still conscious about my body and work out hard to stay healthy, and am very aware of the foods I eat, I allow for ocassional back slides that result in a bloated stomach and thankful heart from how good the food was. These pancakes did it to me. I made them per her directions on the package which calls for an egg, vegetable oil* and water*. Pretty basic, but the fluffiness and unprocessed taste of the golden cakes must lie in her flour/salt/buttermilk/sugar/ratio secret. I grated some dark chocolate from Dean & DeLuca on them. A dab of butter and light maple syrup oozed the plate.

Heavenly my friends. Simply and honestly, a huge bit of solid joy on a Sunday morning. If I could keep her products stashed in my pantry all the time, then making  breakfast would be fun and not a drag as it usually is, admittedly.

I ate pancakes last weekend for an assignment. I thought about pancakes this morning because I want my happy back and eating soulful food no matter how heavy or carb-packed or dulce, is on my agenda. Yeah, Imma have to work out twice as hard in the gym later today and scale back on what I indulge in the rest  the week, but at least I’m a happy chica!

And at the end of the day, happy counts. Without happiness, life would suck!

Eat your damn heart out! Travel. And buy some sexy shoes! (you too, fellas–no heels, pls!)

About Cottage Hill Farms

Cottage Hill Farm sits on 24 peaceful, secluded acres in scenic Pittsford, Vermont, just northwest of the world-famous Killington ski area and adjacent to the Green Mountain National Forest. Visitors recognize the farm by its original, rambling 18th-century yellow farmhouse, traditional red outbuildings and abundant flower gardens.

 The farm originally was established as a small dairy farm in 1795. Past farmers also raised contented Merino sheep, as well as grapes and hops, in the farm’s lush, rolling pastures.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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(correction as of 2/22/11: the chocolate and orange zest amounts originally listed were based on 3 pancakes. Measurements for entire package are now correct!)


  • 1 package of CH pancake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup grated chocolate
  • 6  tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup tsp. orange zest (optional)


Follow package instructions.

79 thoughts on “Vermont Organics Pancakes. In Search of Happy & Yumminess

  1. Those pancakes look mighty delicious!

    Like you, I’m not the kind of girl who’ll eat only a salad, move the food around her plate and leave more that the half… I LOVE to eat and I’m always hungry!



  2. I read your Happiness & Yumminess story and I totally get that feeling of missing family get-togethers. Regardless of your accomplishments, it’s not the same without them nearby! You’ll find your balance. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to inhale these wonderful pancakes! Suerte! 😀

  3. So sorry you had a crappy AM. But, these pancakes look like something I could so dig into!

    Leaving for NY tomorrow, but will call. Left a msg yesterday! 🙂

  4. “an openhouse of happy” . . . okay, now I just want to go with you on your next trip home! What an awesome description! Girl, I respect you even more for wearing your heart on your sleeve for this post. Sometimes by showing “weakness” we are truly showing our strength. It takes strength to show our vulnerability. You are beautiful inside and out, and thank you for sharing that with us! Oh, and curse you for sharing these pancakes! They look DIVINE!!! XOXO

  5. Rosa: at least it’s nice to know skinny minny’s like you like to eat! I have no shame when it comes to devouring food! if only you saw some video me, u’d spit ur food out from laughing at my barbaric ways sometimes! LOL!

    Nina: Thanks! Very nice of you to say that. It can get difficult sometimes. Not a fun place to be in. I hope you come back and chime in the chatter! And si, try those pancakes from Cottage Hill if you. They really are divine.

    Chef D: ooh and deelish they were! i hope you check out their site. good stuff over there!

    Chris: oh you know how it goes… ppl know how to get to me. Have a great time in NY and overseas! yippee!!

    Fuji Mama: yes, my parent’s house has always been that place of fun, love, good food, jokes, cafe and dominoes! It’ll never change either which just makes it that much more attractive. And, I appreciate your candor in understanding my feelings. I’m not usually like this in this space, but a lot of you are my friends and I feel okay sharing, so thanks for listening! 🙂 XO!

    Val: yes you do! 🙂 What’d you have for bfast?

  6. I wish I could, hon, I wish I could. Been dieting since New Years. What a bore. But then we all have to pay the piper and it gets tres difficile when you’re my age.

  7. Tigerfish: thanks! they were better than they look. I should have taken the time to photo the process–that always tells a story, too! 🙂

    Dave: well i can’t wait to see what you come up with since ur fudge cake was different than mine, too!

    Barbara: Girl, do what you have to do! I totally get it! Luck on that…

  8. There are some things that are just meant to satisfy us in the wintertime. Pancakes are a simple, but satisfying comfort food. In fact I’ve had pancakes on my mind for weeks, now I definitely have to try these Pancakes out.
    Seems to me you need a little glad to take the S.A.D. out of your life. Make your house into your Mami’s house, have some friends over and cook like Mami and get your comfort and glad on.
    And Keep those proud Latina curves, cause we know what men-folk like. lol

  9. Well, while I’m not crazy about any pancakes no matter how yummy (except for crêpes, just because they are a lot thinner, softer and altogether better)I have to admit your post made me yearn for some. Now, that being said, it was a low blow I resent to depict me as a dictator for the whole world to read(oh, the things you have to endure from your children when they’re kids and then again when they’re grown ups! 🙁 ) I was (still am) strict, granted, but never a dictator. And that line about scheduling bathroom breaks…!! PLEEEEZZZ, give ME a break! Ah, and if I remember correctly, you fooled me then, because my recollection is you didn’t climb Sacre Coeur because you were tired and refused to budge from the curb where you sat, not because of ice cream… I mean, was that the real reason? 🙂 You fooled me, that’s for sure!! Ah, the memories… Thank you for the memories. So much so, I’ll forgive you for calling me a dictator, after all you’ve called me worse, haven’t you, during our political arguments!!
    Love your posts!! Keep them coming.

  10. …Ah, and about those unhappy feelings about certain circumstances and certain people… just shake them off; you’re too beautiful inside and out and, your struggles notwithstanding, God and life have been good to you, so forget negative people and keep a song in your heart. Thanks for the cooments about family. Love!!

  11. Well, I’m certain my insurance wouldn’t cover either, but this Latina would pounce (in killer 6.5″ heels) on the chocolate and maple syrup topped pancakes before the arteries—or feet—had a chance to protest.

  12. Life is about doing the things you enjoy. Or at least allowing yourself to do them from time to time. Otherwise, we’d never get through all of the days that might not be so great. Hope you’re feeling a little better though! Think about the fun things that are coming…

  13. David/Dad: paaaaleeeessee, you know good and well you had us on lock down! Hahahahaha. Those were the good ol’ days. Wasn’t it fun! Either way, all visits back have been great! and eat pancakes! they’re feel good food! i know ur appetite y te va venir bien que te llenes tanto! 🙂 <3 u.

    Marysol: Hahahha. That was funny! I'll pounce right on with you, chica!

    DuoDishes: Exactly! You got it. I'm sipping on wine now b/c it's been that kind of crazy day! If you do have a chance to order her pancakes, I say go for it!

    Juliana: Thanks, sweetie! The zest and chocolate were oh so yum! So great to be creative with food!

  14. Good for you for choosing ice-cream over Sacre Coeur! We were just in Paris in December and indulged in macarons with our children every chance we got! Life is simply too short! While these pancakes are filled with gluten, and therefore off my list, they do look lovely! Chocolate Chip pancakes are a regular ‘special breakfast’ on Saturdays at our home. I hope both my girls grow up to have food views like yours! Best to enjoy life to the fullest- including fabulous comfort food!

  15. I’ve always loved to eat and luckily have always enjoyed veggies, so that helped stave off too many curves until I started teaching. Too much time on my butt! And pancakes. We don’t always have them in the weekend, but when they look like this there’s no way I’m turning them down. And if I tried to walk around in those shoes afterwards, I’d probably burn some cals — or break my ankle 😉

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