Secret Recipe Club: Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancake

It’s so hard when doing the Secret Recipe Club each month to decide what I’m in the mood to cook.  It makes it especially hard when the blog you are assigned has an extensive recipe index.  Take for instant this month blog Easily Good Eats. Her index is HUGE! So huge I actually had to click away from it and go back when I’m in a better mind frame.

So I’ve come up with a trick to make the task of choosing so my easier.  I have this handy dandy list I have right beside my computer with things I’d like to try cooking or ideas for mixing up regular favorites. That way I have a starting point when deciding what to pick each month.  No doubt while looking for a recipe similar to one on my list I’ll come across another that catches my eye.

I’ve been looking for a good potato pancake recipe and the one I found on Easily Good Eats is the perfect base to idea of a vegetable-d up version of my own.  By taking away half of the white potatoes and adding sweet potatoes and zucchini I add lots of great flavour and nutrients without compromising the texture.

Potato Pancake (2 of 2)

Yields 4 servings of three

Secret Recipe Club: Potato Pancakes
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  • 2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 1 pound zucchini, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • oil for cooking


  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the oil. Make sure everything is well mixed.
  2. In a large skillet heat over med-high and brush bottom of pan lightly with oil.
  3. Take a small handful of vegetable mixture and using your palms form into a patty. Drop into bottom of pan. (I usually cook three at a time and keep them warm in oven in between)
  4. Cook until edges start to brown about 3 minutes. Brush tops with oil and flip.
  5. Cook until completely set and browned.
  6. Transfer to cookie sheet covered in foil and place in 200 degree F oven to keep warm.
  7. Repeat until all of the filling has been cooked.
  8. Serve with sour cream.

Secret Recipe Club: Tropical Sangria

sangria (1)Typical oh crap its summer and I barely have time to remember my name let alone half of the obligations I have I completely forgot about my Secret Recipe Club was due. Like tomorrow.  And given that everything came back to me crystal clear on my way to the cottage for the long weekend I figured I was screwed.  Quickly I thought ” hey what do I plan to eat this weekend other than the preferred hot dogs and hamburgers?”

Hey wait!  I plan to drink this weekend!  Would my irresponsibility pay off.  Once I finally found my assigned blog email A Fit and Spicy Life I immediately went straight to the beverages and while there was only one option it was just what I needed Sangria front and center in her extensive recipe index .

sangria (3)

I love the fruit combination used since I tend to favour me berries combinations.  Cool and refreshing.  I should be the talk of the park.

Yields 6-8

Tropical Sangria
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  • 1 canteloupe, cubed
  • 1 pint strawberries, halved
  • 1 pineapple, cubed
  • 1 lemon, wedged
  • Favorite white wine.


  1. Combine all the ingredients in large pitcher with lots of ice and let sit for 4-5 hours.
Recipe Type: Drinks


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Secret Recipe Club: Honey Maple Cake

Honey Maple Cake

This recipe ticked off a lot of “to-do” boxes this week.  First I had to create a dish for the next reveal from the Secret Recipe Club.

Second I had to appease DH and his complaints that I haven’t baked anything sweet in a while.

And thirdly it allowed me the chance to try a new bottle from my Pure Infused flavored Maple Syrup sampler pack I purchased recently.   Oh and cover a “something Spring-like” recipe.

My last post I talked about my bad habit of having good intentions but accomplishing nothing.  Isn’t it wonderful how quickly I turned it around this week. Yeah me!

I was assigned Sara’s blog Cupcake Muffin and wow what an index of recipes. After spending a couple of days scrolling through my heart and stomach finally settled on her adaptation of The Food Librarian‘s Honey Maple Cake. I used these cute little bake and serve loaf liners to make tiny single serve treats.

Honey Maple Cake

After coming back from my weekly grocery excursion and realizing that of course I was missing an ingredient I had to substitute vanilla yogurt for the sour cream.  I omitted the vanilla and used my anise, clove and cinnamon flavored maple syrup.  I’m not a fan of glazes either and because I had this amazing syrup I decided to pour a little over top to enhance that maple flavor. These cakes were so moist and tasty I will be using this recipe a lot in the future.

Honey Maple Cake

Yields 10-12

Honey Maple Cake
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  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • Maple syrup for pouring on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another bowl cream the butter. Beat in the honey, maple syrup, and sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Alternating between the flour and vanilla yogurt, mix them into the butter mixture until batter is smooth.
  6. Pour batter into small loaf pans, large loaf pan, muffin tins or what ever you want the final shape to be.
  7. Bake for 25-40 minutes depending on size of container. Cake is done with toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are browned.
Recipe Type: Dessert

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Secret Recipe Club: Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Brown Butter Gnocchi

When I received the email saying that there was finally space and I had been selected to a participate in The Secret Recipe Club I may have just squealed a little in joy.  Then the panic set in.

I am all for trying other blogger recipes whether verbatim or adding my own spin to it.  I actually relished the idea of having something new to try every month as well as meeting all the amazing food bloggers out there that an extra 24 hours a day still wouldn’t allow me the luxury of reading each and every one. What set me into hair pulling, shot drinking mode was the idea of people cooking from my site.  What if they didn’t like anything? Or the recipe was a completely disaster?  What if…?  I guess I will have to wait and see since this is my first month but as the saying goes ” what doesn’t kill me only makes me drink harder.” Or something like that.

The first blogger I was assigned was Renee’s Kitchen Adventures.  Reading her about page I quickly related her work experience in healthcare (me too!) as well as the fact that her recipes all include points values for the Weight Watchers program.  I have been a member myself successfully and not so successfully on and off for what seems to be a lifetime.  And while I am not currently following the plan I understand it and can appreciate the points values in terms of whether it’s healthy and I can have lots or not so healthy and please eat in moderation.

It’s hard as a food blogger to not want to get your hands into a recipe and play around but I wanted with my first try I’d keep it simple and follow the recipe perfectly.  I compromised by making Renee’s homemade potato gnocchi and personalized it by tossing it with brown butter and sage.  The only change I made was I had to add a bit more flour to my dough to make it less sticky and I peeled my potatoes before cooking them for easier handling otherwise being was my first time making gnocchi I think recipe was just perfect.

Yields 4 side dishes

Secret Recipe Club: Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage
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  • 6 medium yukon gold potato, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the potatoes until fork tender.
  2. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  3. Using a potato ricer or masher, mash the potatoes into a large bowl.
  4. Mix in the egg, oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the flour combine until dough is smooth and soft.
  6. On a lightly floured surface and working with 1/3 of the dough at a time roll it out into a long 1/2" log. Cut into 1/2" pieces.
  7. Roll the little pieces carefully down the front of a fork to create the ridges and place on a lightly floured baking sheet until all the dough has been used.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and cook until they begin floating to the surface about 3-5 minutes. Drain.
  9. Meanwhile in a large frypan melt the butter and cook, stirring, until butter begins to brown and the fragrance starts to smell nutty.
  10. Stir in the sage, cook for 1 minute, then toss in the gnocchi.
  11. Cook until coated and warm.
Recipe Type: Pasta

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