Sunday, May 26, 2013

Flour Haven Bakery - Greer, SC

When you come across Flour Haven Bakery in what seems like the middle of nowhere, South Carolina (it's actually in Greer), you might not expect a lot.  I didn't.  The outside and inside are both unassuming spaces, with more of a diner atmosphere.  But this bakery isn't joking around. It was also completely packed with almost no place to park, and people who came in after us had to wait to eat or order carry-out.  This is always a good sign!

Besides a breakfast and lunch menu, there is a full case of baked goods such as donuts, pastries, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and cookies.  You can fill up a box of a dozen of a mixture for less money than you would spend at Dunkin Donuts, and all of these are made on location.  (It is so rare to find actual homemade donuts anymore!)  There are also shelves of homemade bread, rotating based on a daily schedule.

The biggest surprise to me was the presence of a few Finnish items on the menu.  They had samples of Pannukakku above the donut/pastry case, and I knew that I would be ordering that for breakfast.  It was an oven baked pancake with a very custardy texture, far creamier than standard oven baked pancake fare.  The bakery appears to be family owned and operated, and they looked Finnish but I didn't ask.  There is also a Finnish sweet bread on the menu and bread rotation, which is also made into French toast.

We ordered an omelet, a cinnamon roll, and pannukakku to try.  It was all tasty although the omelet had plastic-I-mean-American cheese (I would have preferred a real cheese, but this is more of the diner fare I would have expected from how the place looks).  The cinnamon roll was good but the true highlight was the pannukakku (pictured at 9 o'clock on the picture above).  I'd like to go back and sample more of their baked goods.  This is worth the trip from Greenville, and is about 20 minutes from where I live on the very north side of town.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Quinoa Flakes with Stewed Rhubarb

You can buy quinoa flakes at most higher end grocery stores.  They are a great, higher-protein substitute for breakfast cereals such as Cream of Wheat or oatmeal.  It is tasty with additions such as cinnamon, something sweet, milk, and nuts.  To really dress it up, try making rabarbaragrautur (an Icelandic word), or as we say in English - stewed rhubarb.  

Rhubarb is not something I grew up eating, but truly love it.  It came as early as usual in the south this year, but since everything else started so late, I never got anything with a strawberry-rhubarb combination.  I thought some of the rest of you in more temperate states might just be seeing rhubarb in the markets.

I don't really have a recipe for you as much as an idea.  Cook the quinoa as directed on the package.  Slice the rhubarb after cleaning, and cook with sugar or sweetener and some water until soft and slightly syrupy, like above.  Top the quinoa with the rhubarb and milk.  I could eat this every day and never get tired of it.