Almond Flour and Bourbon Vanilla Pancakes: A Nice Number - Turntable Kitchen
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Almond Flour and Bourbon Vanilla Pancakes: A Nice Number

I’m turning 30 in a few short weeks. A nice number. If feels heavy, but in a good way. Like a quality watch, or a cutting board made of real wood.

I have accomplished a few things that I am proud of. I never made a ’30 before 30′ list. I have visited 19 countries in my 30 years. I counted, recently, when a friend told me she was going to hit 30 before 30. And I had a baby. I just sort of went with it once I knew it was happening, trying hard to not make it a turning point in my life, even though in the grand scheme I realize adding a human to the world is a big deal. I thought about it so long and hard that I thought I’d never actually make the decision to have a baby until it just happened and then I realized I shouldn’t have been thinking about it so much. She still feels new to me. Sometimes when she smiles or giggles, as she does often now, I am reminded that she still has no teeth, but then she’ll look so seriously and intently at me that I realize she’s a legitimate person. A person with no teeth.

I have done pretty well in my career, I like to think, and I have been able to pursue my creative pursuits. I haven’t written a book, though I would like to. One day. But if I never do, that’s ok, too. And if I have more children, I will be thrilled. And if I don’t, that’s ok, too. And if I come up with another idea worth pursuing like Turntable Kitchen, so be it, but if I don’t, that’s ok, too. I like it here very much.

You see, I am not a fan of life lists because I don’t really like to-dos. I do not like reading lists or grocery lists, and I especially dislike to-dos. I even dislike the word ‘to-do.’ Is a a TO-do? A toodoo? A to-DO? I’m not trying to prove to myself that I can be 50% more awesome if I could check off a few more boxes. Sometimes, I fall hard into this trap and I try to be everything to everyone. I’ll overcommit, and I’ll spend too much time talking about how I’m not leaning enough or leaning too much, or how I should own a home by now, or how I haven’t been to Asia ever (though that is changing very soon!). I’m not saying I think life lists are dumb, I’m just saying it’s not for me. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions or color code my closet. Whenever I take on exercises like this, I just tend to feel shitty. So just as I have every other year, I’m skipping it. I am turning 30 and I do not own a home. I can’t wrap gifts for the life of me which is why, most times, I roll with gift bags. I am turning 30 and have only gotten one massage in my entire life. And I have never driven a stick, or dyed my hair, or tried snowboarding, or smoked a cigarette. I burn the edges of my pancakes. Every time. And they’re more delicious that way, trust me. This is the year, I’ve decided, I’m going to own it all more than I have before. I’ll wear every gray hair, every wrinkle, proudly. I haven’t LIVED, but I have been live-ing.

When I was in my early twenties, I figured that I’d celebrate my 30th birthday by renting out a club and inviting 400 of my closest friends. Back then, I was convinced I’d still be single and childless. I assumed I’d want to rent out a club and invite 400 people to it. I don’t know who I thought I was, or was pretending to be but one thing I like a lot about the end of this decade and the start of a new one is that I no longer have to wonder; I know. I still wonder about stuff — where we’ll live in the long-term, how we’ll continue to juggle as Neko gets older, how we’ll afford to save now that we’re spending a fortune on childcare. But I don’t wonder about me. My feet are firmly planted on the ground.

Almond Flour and Bourbon Vanilla Pancakes
*Makes about 9 pancakes

3/4 cups of almond meal
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (we used bourbon vanilla)
3/4 cup of milk
butter, for the skillet and serving
maple syrup, for serving

1. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Stir in the almond and whole wheat pastry flours, salt and baking powder. Mix until smooth.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/3 cup-fuls of batter into the skillet, without overcrowing the pan (I usually do 2-3 at a time). Cook, without disturbing, until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Flip and cook until the edges are crisped and both sides are golden. Continue to scoop 1/3 cup-fuls of batter into the skillet (re-butter as necessary) until you have used up all of the batter. Adjust the heat so as not to burn the pancakes. Serve the pancakes warm, with butter and maple syrup.

Musical Pairings: Junip – Junip + Almond Flour and Bourbon Vanilla Pancakes

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  1. Kelsey

    May 13, 2013

    Happy Mother’s Day a little late! I like my pancakes crispy around the edges too.

  2. Sonja / A Couple Cooks

    May 13, 2013

    Happy early 30th birthday, Kasey! It’s amazing what you have accomplished before you turned 30. I am so inspired by the woman you are! I couldn’t agree more about checklists and accomplishments — while they’re nice for motivation, many times they make us reflect on what we don’t have instead of what we do. I found the 30’s to be the most freeing time of my life, where I’ve given up the burden of goals lists and entitlements and am just happy to live the beautiful life I’m blessed with. Thanks for these thoughts and cheers to the big 3-0! XOXO

  3. Elizabeth Stark

    May 13, 2013

    Cheers to all that. Lists come and go with me, but I’m way more excited about the living part. Cheers to a fantastic new decade ahead! (And these pancakes look like an excellent way to kick things off!)

  4. Heather Christo

    May 13, 2013

    As a woman in her 30’s, the 30’s are about a million times better than the 20’s. You will love it as everything becomes more clear and your priorities shift. Enjoy every minute.

  5. Kristin Appenbrink

    May 13, 2013

    Kasey, I love this post, even speaking as a girl who is currently working on her own 30 before 30 list. I get why a list like this would be so unappealing for a lot of people, and honestly, the more I think about doing a life list after I complete my 30 before 30, the less committed I am to it.

    I started compiling my list as a way to give myself a kick in the pants and get out of the rut I’d been stuck in. And I gave myself really achievable goals. Now, as one of my major goals has thrown a big change my way, I’m planning to reexamine my list and see what still fits and what doesn’t. Hopefully, even though you don’t have a list, you’ll maybe help me complete one of my goals (learning to make jam) once I’m finally a California resident. xoxo

  6. Hannah Simon

    May 13, 2013

    I love everything about this post.

  7. joythebaker

    May 13, 2013

    Happy almost birthday Kasey. I really appreciate your perspective. Enjoy exactly where you are right now. It seems like a really stellar place. Also… filling a club with 400 people!? Doesn’t that just seem stressful now? Yes.

    All I have is happiness for you and your new family. Go on girl!

  8. Nicole

    May 13, 2013

    You are on the right track, Kasey! Marc and I were just discussing how adults used to say to us while we were in high school that “your high school years are the best days of your life” and what crap that was. The 30’s have been our best years and we only see life getting better. I hope you had the best mother’s day yesterday!

  9. Nicole Spiridakis

    May 13, 2013

    Happy birthday! I have loved my 30s so far. Hope this next year brings you lots of happiness and new adventures.

  10. Katie

    May 13, 2013

    Happy birthday! You make 30 look and sound pretty terrific.

  11. elalderson

    May 13, 2013

    Ah, seriously perfect. I get really down on myself when I started thinking about the things I haven’t accomplished or won’t accomplish by the time I’m 30 and I forget all the awesome things I’ve already done and am doing. Honestly, if I was following a list I doubt I’d be moving, trying a new career, or a few other exciting things that have come my way.

    Happy early birthday and hopefully we’ll meet soon so we can toast to living life!

  12. sarah kieffer

    May 13, 2013

    Happy Birthday! I really love this post. And I must say, that I love being in my 30’s. Or, I’ve finally started to figure myself out. I hope this decade is filled with so many good things, Kasey. Much love to you.

  13. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Yes! I like to start things off with pancakes. I hope you are settling into your new home – cheers to new beginnings! xo

  14. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Thank you, Sarah! It’s so good to hear how much people love their 30s…makes me much more excited to join this decade. xo

  15. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    You are too kind! I’m glad I’m not the only one that gets bogged down by lists. I cannot wait to meet in person! xo

  16. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Thank you, Katie! I’m not quite there yet, but hopefully once it hits, I’ll be wearing it in style 🙂 xo

  17. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Thank you! I’m all down with happiness and adventures. Much love to you!

  18. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Oh you two! You may 30 look like a great time…also, who are those people who thought HS was the best time of their life? I loved HS but I’m glad I’m on to bigger and better. And I had a wonderful Mother’s Day – thank you! xo

  19. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Thank you, Joy! Yes to living in the present. And seriously, just GOING to a club feels stressful right now haha. So much love to you! xo

  20. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    I heart you.

  21. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Kristin! I definitely understand the desire to want to start somewhere…to put it down on paper as a way to motivate yourself. And hey, I think you’re working through that list and ultimately moving in a direction that you’re really happy with. But I think it’s great to revisit those goals and not feel bad is some of them aren’t applicable. We’re gonna jam bigtime in California. XOXOXO

  22. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    I’m glad to hear it, especially from a lady that makes 30s look damn good. Thanks, lady!

  23. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Thank you, Sonja! I’m blushing! I think we should all be proud of who we are and what we’ve accomplished to date rather than focusing so much on how many more things there are left to accomplish. I do believe that not taking the present for granted can provide clarity around what we want in the future. xo

  24. Kasey

    May 13, 2013

    Thank you, Kelsey! I’m glad you like the crispy edges, just like me 🙂 xoxo

  25. Megan Gordon

    May 13, 2013

    Wow, I don’t know if you could even pay me to go to a club with 400 people, let alone throw a party for them. Or really, go to a club period if we’re honest 🙂 Loved this post, Kasey. Made me miss you! So glad things are going well and that you’re finding a groove with work and mommyhood. Can’t wait to chat soon! xox

  26. Kate

    May 14, 2013

    I love this post. I turn 30 next year and I’m living each moment to the full, definitely happy to throw the lists out the window 🙂

  27. Kathryn

    May 14, 2013

    Oh yes, I can totally relate to this. I was talking to my mother about my 30th birthday which is coming up in a few months and she was trying to convince me to have a big party to mark the occasion but I seriously can’t think of anything worse! A nice dinner surrounded by the people that I love is all that I want. I never really had any concept of where I should be when I was 30 or a list of things that I should have achieved so I’m quite content to enter my thirties in the knowledge that I’m pretty happy with my lot and hopefully that happiness will continue for many years to come.

    Happy happy birthday! You’ve done some pretty amazing things in the last year of your life, let alone the past 30 and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you next : )

  28. erin @ yummysupper

    May 14, 2013

    Kasey Happy Happy 30th to you!!!! I’m so impressed with your groundedness.

    And in terms of the future… I have a selfish wish… to read more and more of your writing.

    Wishing you all the best,

  29. Cookie and Kate

    May 14, 2013

    Happy early birthday, Kasey. I absolutely love your sentiments on growing older, every one of them. I hope to be able to share your attitude when I hit 30, which isn’t too far away now that I think about it!

  30. Foodmanna ablog

    May 14, 2013

    Love your story. Welcome to the 30s. I am sure it will be even more exciting!

  31. Kate Ramos

    May 15, 2013

    Those pancakes look incredible and I have loved my 30s. It seems the older I get the better life becomes, I’m hoping my 40s will be even better, etc. Happy Birthday!

  32. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    May 15, 2013

    Happy Early Birthday!!! So I laughed when you said, “When I was in my early twenties, I figured that I’d celebrate my 30th birthday by renting out a club and inviting 400 of my closest friends.” I was thinking the same thing in my early-mid 20’s. I would spend my 30th birthday partying hard in Vegas with all my good friends who would fly in from all across the country. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

    I spent my 30th birthday with a small group of close friends at my favorite restaurant. My boyfriend was out of town visiting his family (plans he had made before we started dating). I was in bed by 11am. And I wouldn’t have done a thing differently 🙂

    I’ve really enjoyed my 30’s so far. I’m sure you will too. I hope you have a splendid Birthday celebration!

  33. kickpleat

    May 16, 2013

    Hooray!!! What a lovely post. I’m not one for life-lists (though man, I do love a good to-do) because I know how fickle and ever-changing I am. Just like you wondered how you could have come up with renting a club with 400 friends (hilarious!), you change. And that’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. Happy birthday! What a milestone! And I always burn the edges of my pancakes – and I agree, they’re best like that.

  34. WithStyleGrace

    May 16, 2013

    happy almost 30th birthday! i’m right behind ya, but thanks for going first 😉 and these pancakes look incredible – as your food always does.

  35. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Thanks, friend! And I have no problem going first 🙂 I really appreciate the sweet compliment. Hope you are doing well! xo

  36. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Hahahah. Someday…I’ll do up a birthday at a club. Maybe it’ll be my 50th 😉 Just thinking about Vegas makes me tired. I’m glad to hear people enjoy their 30s so much!

  37. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    I’m so glad 30s are the new 20s. And 40s are the new 30s, so life just keeps getting better 🙂

  38. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Thanks, Sandra! Only a few more weeks!

  39. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Thanks, friend! I appreciate that! I hope you are doing well. I know I owe you an email 🙂 xo

  40. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    M – the thought of clubbing today makes me slightly uncomfortable. I miss you! I am so glad we got to catch up today. It wasn’t nearly enough time. I hope we get to talk again soon..maybe in person?? A girl can dream 🙂 xoxo

  41. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Yay 30! I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates lists 🙂

  42. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Man, we really are getting old, eh? No but seriously, I think this past year has really made me focus on who and what’s important. So I can maybe fill a room with people, but I’d rather a small room, with a smaller number of people who really really mean a lot. Thanks for the sweet words, friend!

  43. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    Aw, thank you, E! I hope to keep on writing as long as I live 🙂 xo Kasey

  44. Kasey

    May 16, 2013

    We can gather a little group, us pancake burners. I like our kind 🙂 xo

  45. Emily

    May 18, 2013

    Happy birthday, and wonderful post. Comparing ’30’ to a nice watch or cutting board…I loved that.

  46. noelle

    May 21, 2013

    eek! Hope it’s not too late to wish you a happy birthday! I’m also wondering when babies stop seeming new. Maybe when they can join us for pancakes?

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