Oh Canada!

Mr. N in Ontario at 3-years. He couldn’t have been happier – there were Canada flags everywhere!

When Mr. N was about three years old he learned the Canadian national anthem. This may not seem unusual, except for the fact that we don’t live in Canada and we hadn’t taught Mr. N the song. One night, much to our surprise, he began singing the anthem as it played on TV at a sports event. Mike and I were rolling with laughter at Mr. N’s utter cuteness.

Turns out he picked up the song from a Hallmark e-card designed for Canada Day. Back when the cards were free they provided a great source of entertainment for Mr. N who liked to peruse the e-cards and send them to his grandparents – many of them just cracked him up to no end (And I could listen to his laughter all day – best belly giggle in the world!).

So when Mr. N learned that he was going to visit “Oh Canada,” as he called it, later that summer he was beyond excited. His first souvenir: a Maple Leaf flag. It still hangs on the wall of  his playroom today!

While Mr. N’s favorite thing about Canada is still the flag and anthem, he was also quite delighted with the attractions we discovered this summer including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto Zoo and Casa Loma.

The spooky old tunnel to the stables underground at Casa Loma.

Miss A’s favorite thing about Canada, besides the lemon tarts, had to be the Centreville Amusement Park out on the Toronto Islands.

Miss A’s birthday this past summer at the Centreville Amusement Park.

As for Mike and I, well we’re huge fans of the wineries in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, all the Canadians we’ve ever met, and the fresh produce and diverse cuisines found at the local restaurants.

Sippin’ wine at one of the Niagara region wineries. (It’s 5 p.m. somewhere, right!)

One of the most refreshing things about Ontario is its diversity of cuisine and use of farm fresh produce and meats. Many of the cookbooks I flipped through in the area centered around seasonal dishes and farm-to-table treats. That’s why for today’s recipe we’re featuring a fresh breakfast adapted from a recipe by the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers, Peach and Ricotta Pancakes.

We began by peeling and slicing some fresh Michigan peaches from the farmer’s market (Michigan is right next door to Ontario after all.).

We then sifted our dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, together in a large bowl.

Next we whisked together the wet ingredients including ricotta, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.

The ricotta will remain a bit clumpy, but that’s they way you want it.

We then combined the wet and dry ingredients to form the final batter. Again, you want the mixture to be a bit lumpy, so don’t over mix it.

After dabbing some butter onto the hot griddle, we scooped out about 1/4 cup of the batter at a time to form nice round pancakes. We then topped each one with three peach slices.

We cooked the pancakes over medium heat for about two or three minutes until the bottoms were golden brown and the tops bubbly.

We then flipped the pancakes and cooked them for another minute (peach-side down) until they were cooked through. We served them alongside sliced peaches and strawberries, and with a warmed maple syrup.

The reviews were a bit mixed oddly enough. Mr. N and Miss A both picked the peaches off of the pancakes. I guess they are pancake purists. They did eat the cake itself and asked for seconds. So even though Mr. N said he only gave them 2 spoons, by the fact that he cleaned off two helpings I’d say that was more a reflection of his gotta go to school morning mood. Miss A gave them 3 spoons as did Mike.

As for me, well, I am torn. The pancakes had a subtle sweetness, were fluffy and provided a wonderful juicy bite from the peaches. They were very fresh, light and not overly filling – perfect for a weekday morning. (I don’t want to go into a food coma when I have to hunker down and work.)  So originally I thought these Ontario delights earned a 3 spoon rating; however, I find myself wanting to make them again – soon. And coming from someone that could really take or leave pancakes and has never before craved them, that’s saying something. While I’m still hesitant to give them a 4 spoon (exceptional) rating, they are fast becoming a darn strong 3 spoon.

Print this recipe: Peach and Ricotta Pancakes

46 comments on “Oh Canada!

  1. […] their way to our table more than once including Mike’s lentil burgers, Bermuda French toast, peach ricotta pancakes, cous cous with cumin, baklawa, mussels in white wine cream sauce, pork, apple and wild rice hot […]

  2. I made these tonight for the kids and they were a hit
    The addition of ricotta made them so fluffy and moist..I loved them
    Thank you so much for the recipe Kristy.

  3. The kids pick up the weirdest stuff but it is still cute all the time
    I think I might just make these for breakfast tomorrow
    They look really tempting

    • Kristy says:

      Hope you enjoy them if you make them! The kids are amazing. I just love their sense of curiosity and ability to retain so much information. I remember when I could do that…then I had kids. Ha!

  4. TasteFood says:

    Beautiful pancakes! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted wine from that area.

  5. I think that’s adorable. Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian. Great pictures of some of my favourite places.
    p.s. the pancakes look so yummy!

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! Thanks – he was so adorable at that age (still is of course, but ah…that youthful innocence and ability to laugh at anything and everything when you’re three). :) These were some of our favorite places on the trip as well. I know we’ll be going back someday!

  6. Mary says:

    What a great vacation! Those pancakes look divine!
    Mary x

  7. Linda says:

    I have ricotta cheese and peaches on hand! Looks like dinner is planned! I’ve made pancakes w/ rocotta before and love the light taste. I was so smiling reading about the e-cards! He’s soo cute!

    • Kristy says:

      Wish I could swing by for dinner! You’ll have to let me know how you like them. Mr. N is too cute. I had all but forgotten his e-card fascination until I started writing this post. They grow up so fast.

  8. sweetflours says:

    I love ricotta pancakes. What a great way to package up the beautiful end of summer peaches.

  9. Oh my gosh…what gorgeous, gorgeous pancakes (and children!). This recipe sounds so different and delightful. What a lovely way to use my last of the summer peaches.

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Geni! I had never heard of a ricotta pancake before, but I think it’s my new favorite. I’ve always been partial to buttermilk pancakes (and that’s not on a frequent basis), but these were so light and had such a subtle sweetness to them. Delish!

  10. Karen says:

    I would have to give them a rating of 4 based on how hungry they made me. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a lovely place to visit. I can remember all the peach orchards. I think it is funny that we think of peaches only growing in the south.

    • Kristy says:

      I was amazed by the amount of orchards and fresh produce up that way, and all of the cookbooks I read through were just mouth watering! (And I’m leaning towards a four. I’m going to make them again this weekend and see how I feel after a second tasting. ;) )

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    Great banner pic, Kristy! Your Canadian adventure went well and it sounds like you all had a great time. I love fruit in my pancakes but I’ve never used peaches. I will soon, though. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks! I can’t take credit for the banners though – all my friend’s doing. :) We had never used peaches in pancakes either – usually just blueberries or bananas. The peaches were so fresh and held their consistency really well through the cooking process. Have a great afternoon!

  12. It’s amazing what kids pick up and learn these days! Clever Mr N – learning the anthem all on his own! Nice to share in more family fun that you had and the pancakes (crumpets / flapjacks) as we call them look lovely and I like the idea of the fresh fruit slices.
    Have a happy day. :-) Mandy

  13. Charles says:

    Mmm, regardless of what Mr. N said, they look wonderful… and I can’t believe they picked off the peaches?! Sacrilege! I can agree with him though – I’m in a terrible mood on work mornings, and I was equally the same back when I had to go to school. You should try them again on a weekend for guaranteed better results from him ;)

    How was the wine from the vineyard by the way? I tell you what I always find amazing – I went to St. Emilion in the south of France one day for a trip. It’s near Bordeaux, so in the region where some of France’s best and most famous wines are made and I went by *many* vineyards, naturally. Well, they were all laden down with bunches of grapes. I thought I’d hop over and have a grape or two… my God, they were disgusting. Call me dumb but I didn’t realise at the time that there are many varieties of grape, some are good for eating, and some really are not… at *all*!

    • ChefDad says:

      I’m hoping for a trip to St. Emilion some day. Maybe Kristy will take me for our 15th anniversary. I spent the summer reading wine books and would like nothing more than to take a trip out there.

      The ice wines were fantastic. Jackson-Triggs and Tawse both had really elaborate and high end tasting rooms and very good but pricey wines across the board, not just the ice wines. We tried and bought a cab franc icewine, something I’ve never had. Only white ones to date.

      We enjoyed Thirty Bench a lot–a bare-bones tasting room and several wines we liked.

      • Kristy says:

        Is that a hint? St. Emilion huh?

      • Charles says:

        Ah, it’s a beautiful place… very typical “rustic, rural France”. The centre of the town is incredible. Old stone, in the shadow of the church – Google Street View doesn’t really quite do it, but you get a vague idea… I had a great meal in that square there and then parted ways with a whole bunch of cash for a wonderful 30 year old bottle of red in one of the wine shops. I’d recommend staying in Bordeaux if you do decide to visit – you can get out to St Emilion on the train… takes an hour or so (the station is just adorably quaint) but after you’ve wandered the streets a bit and drank way too much wine you start to tire. In Bordeaux you’ll have easier access to see more things.

        One of the problems with living in France is that they have so little non French wine. I find the problem with French wine is that it’s wonderful, but you need to pay a fair amount to get decent stuff, while so many of the cheaper wines from South Africa, Australia and America are fantastic. Many French scoff at the idea of “these people outside France who think they can make wine”… their loss I say (and mine while I’m here alas).

        • Kristy says:

          Oh Charles! Now you’ve completely made me want to go there too. :) I can just picture Mike and I there…alas I’m either going to have to get over flying without the kids, or wait another 15 or so years.

          • Charles says:

            No chance of taking the kids too? I’m sure the intrepid mini-foodies would love an opportunity to eat snails, frogs’ legs and the less than wonderful Andouillette de Troyes sausage :D Hope you get a chance to visit it sooner than 15 years in any case though! :)

            • Kristy says:

              Well there’s definitely a part of me that would love to take the kids with us. I mean we certainly plan to take them to Europe at some point. That said, I would love a more romantic trip to France with just the hubby. :) And me too – hopefully it’s sooner than 15 years from now!

            • Kristy says:

              And those sausages…um…I think I’ll likely stick to the buckwheat pancakes. ;)

    • Kristy says:

      Now that’s an idea…I’ll try them on the weekend. Mr. N has always been a morning person (an earlier riser anyway), but yep school days just aren’t as happy as weekend days. Can’t blame him. ;) Miss A may be a tougher sell though, she announced to me today that she doesn’t like peaches anymore. So who knows; although I can generally count on her to eat a good breakfast.

      The vineyards were a blast. Some were better than others, but generally the quality was fantastic. I remember our first trip to the area a few years ago. It was our first experience with ice wines. We didn’t like many of them, but the ones we did like were phenomenal. This last trip either our tastes have changed or ice wine has evolved because there were a lot more really tasty options – albeit pricey.

      LOL! I can’t believe you hopped a fence to try the grapes. I can just picture you on the side of the road spitting them out. LOL! That is too awesome! I never really gave any thought to the different varietals having different tastes on the vine, but I suppose that makes sense. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever get the urge to pull one from the vine. ;)

  14. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great post about Canada! It’s so cute that Mr. N learned the anthem so young. The pancakes look delicious; hope you served them with Quebec maple syrup!

  15. These pancakes are calling me right now lol. Even though they were greeted with mix reviews, I have to say they look amazing. And I don’t blame the kids for taking off the peaches.. lol (of course you know why I say that lol). And let me just say.. you and Miss A look so stylish while posing at the amusement park.. I just love it.

    • Kristy says:

      I actually thought of you when we were making these. I think it would work well with blueberries too. The ricotta makes the pancakes so light and sweet. LOL – Miss A is far more stylish than I am! She’s already got opinions on clothes and shoes. ;)

  16. How cute is this! Sounds like my son! Always singing something that I can’t figure out where he learned it from. Remembers everything! Looks like a great trip!

  17. Kelly says:

    Mr. N. son, you’ve done us proud. :) Gotta love those Hallmark e-cards (I won’t mention it to Calixa Lavallée). Sounds like you hit some great spots in Ontario. The Niagara regions is beautiful – happy you made it there and love the photo of your family at the winery.

    Farm to Table is definitely growing here – there’s a wonderful resto around the corner from us that only serves fresh from the farm (and that’s one big challenge given that local growers are buried in snow 6 months out of the year!). I love your pancakes – and look how pretty with that pinwheel peach layout! :) Lemon and ricotta is such a great combination and they sound very moreish… yum!

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! He’s a Canadian at heart I think. :) How cool – I would love a restaurant like that around the corner. I know we have some in the City here, but they just all require a drive (and babysitters). We loved the restaurants in Toronto. Our favorite place was a Middle Eastern tapas restaurant – such a great time there!

      And I thought of you today. I bought some agave nectar for the first time! I see it in so many of your recipes, so I figured it was time I got some. I’m looking forward to using it!

      • Kelly says:

        I hope you enjoy the agave. I use it a lot in recipes because, in addition to its delicious taste, it has a low glycemic index. This means that it has a minimal effect on insulin levels (ideal for diabetes and the rest of us wishing to avoid type 2 diabetes!).

  18. Caroline says:

    Looks like you had a blast in Canada. I think the wineries would have been my favorite part too! But then again, I guess I am a wino. ;) These pancakes sound delicious. I’m sure the ricotta made them perfectly fluffy.

  19. Even though they got mixed reviews, they do look great. I like the new header, must’ve missed that earlier because I saw someone else mention it.

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! You were probably too busy thinking about zombies. :) Thanks Greg. We love it too. As for the pancakes…Mike and I really liked them. We couldn’t quite figure the kids out – they love pancakes and they eat peaches all of the time. Apparently they just like to eat them separate from each other. I’m making them again soon though – I still have ricotta and peaches!

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