French Macaroons, Zucchini Pancakes, and Waiting

It's impossible to be pregnant forever, right? Today I feel like I've been pregnant for a long time. With my due date only a few days away, I know that whether my son is a bit early or a bit late, he will be here soon no matter what. I am nervous but mostly excited. Earlier in my pregnancy I remember feeling scared at the thought of labor. Now I can't wait for it to begin. It seems weird to welcome pain, doesn't it? Maybe my mind is gearing up for labor. All I know is that the days seem to drag. I've tried to keep myself busy, but I find myself distracted. It's hard to think of anything except that the baby that will be here soon.

So, while I wait, I cook. Yesterday I made some chocolate macaroons from David Lebovitz's site. You should definitely check it out as his recipes are amazing, and there you will find the recipe for these macaroons if you would like to attempt them yourself. (Note: these are French macaroons, which are two meringue-like cookies made with almonds with a filling sandwiched in between, not be be confused with American macaroons that are made with coconut as I have made previously.)

Earlier this year, some friends and I visited Bouchon Bakery in Las Vegas, specifically to try their macaroons. They did not disappoint, they were so good! We've talked about them several times since the trip and I have kept thinking that I needed to try to make macaroons myself.

I had never made French macaroons before, and was a bit nervous because I have heard that the technique must be exactly right to get them to turn out well. Well, they weren't very hard to make, and while I think I could definitely work to perfect my technique, they were pretty good for a first attempt. Not as good as Bouchon, no, but definitely good enough that I had to hide the container, so I wouldn't be tempted to eat one each time I passed the kitchen.

So, that was yesterday, and today, still no baby. This means that dinner had to be made tonight. I decided to make zucchini pancakes since I had some zucchini in the refrigerator. These make a nice side dish and are good way to make something different with zucchini. A good way to sneak a vegetable to your kids too, perhaps. Hopefully the baby will come tomorrow; otherwise I will have to think of something else to cook!

Zucchini Pancakes

2 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
2 eggs
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Butter (for pan)

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. (I like to use my griddle pan for this, so I can cook them all at once. If you don't have one, then just do two batches in the skillet). Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Mix zucchini with all remaining ingredients (except butter). Add the butter to the skillet and once it is melted add the mixture by large spoonfuls into the skillet just as you would for breakfast pancakes. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Makes 10 pancakes

Yogurt Sauce (optional)

6 oz. plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes: Once the zucchini is grated it will start to give off its water, so it's important to cook the pancakes right after mixing. If the mixture gets too watery, you can add another tablespoon or two of flour. Also, these pancakes are great on their own without the sauce. So, since either way is good,  I give you the sauce recipe in case you want to make them a little more special or want something creamy.  This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook.