Monthly Archives: October 2015

Pineapple Upside Down Cornbread

Preheat the oven to 350F, and a cast iron skillet

Melt 1/4c sugar, 1/2heaping cup of brown sugar, then arrange the pineapple slices in the butter

Then mix, in another bowl:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4oz green yogurt (or buttermilk, might be better)
2 large eggs
7 tablespoons melted butter

I ended up with batter that was slightly too thick, so I thinned it with a little water.

Pour over the pineapples, bake until a tester comes out clean (approx 40 minutes)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pancakes

Night before:
Mix 8oz softened cream cheese with pumpkin spices (1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp clove, 1/2tsp ginger and a couple pinches of nutmeg) — then smear onto a sheet of plastic wrap in an 8×8 baking tray. This way the cheesecake pieces will stay together and not end up smeared into the batter. Additionally, because I don’t like super sweet pancakes, I left the sugar out (maple syrup was sweet enough), but you may prefer it sweeter.

Next morning:
Cut up the cream cheese into 1/2in x 1/2in cubes, put back in freezer

Make pancake batter:
(I’m lazy and I mix together all the dry ingredients, then plop the wet ingredients on top and mix. I’m sure this goes against what everyone says is the “right” way of making pancakes…)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1.25c pumpkin puree
1/3 brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter (or oil for lazy mode)
1.5c milk

Once the batter is all mixed, mix in the cream cheese cubes. Fry on medium high on a preheated pan with copious butter. Then serve with pumpkin butter and/or maple syrup.

Galapagos Day 7: El Manzanillo + Plaza Sur

We started out with a zodiac ride to Santa Cruz, then a bus ride to Rancho El Manzanillo. Which is a big plot of private land where tortoises can hang out.

The road we came in on.
Our bus had to stop a couple times to let tortoises cross the road. I imagine a road is easier to walk on than grass, even as a tortoise.

A tortoise! They make dinosaur noises if you startle them. (oops)

Red lake
There’s a lake/pond/body of water covered in a red and green water plant.

Tortoise in lake
And tortoises hang out in it.

And there’s a restaurant and some tortoise shells. Jonny is in one, for scale.

In the afternoon, a walk around Plaza Sur

Land iguana
The island had a lot of land iguanas. Like this one.

Land Iguana Spikes
They’re very colorful.

Sea lions. How do they get up there.
A sea lion. How do they get to these places?

Baby marine iguanas
And some baby marine iguanas that happened to be cuddling nearby.

Flomp! Naptime by the cliff.

The landscape
Plaza Sur’s landscape features a lot of cacti and succulents.

And we needed a Pokeflute. Sleeping mommy and baby sea lions blocked our path.

Galapagos Part 6: Bahia Gardner + Punta Suarez

Day six! All on EspaƱola Island.
We did a 7:30 kayaking session where we got pretty close to some sea lions (they seemed to be playing with some of the other kayaks in our group), a sea turtle and some swimming (from rock to rock) marine iguanas.

In theory there’s a timelapse of this kayaking outing. I haven’t put it together yet though.

Afterward, we lazed around on the beach… (Bahia Gardner)
Sandy Sea Lion
There were a bunch of sea lions. Including this one that rolled itself in sand.

A lizard that apparently grew a new tail at some point.

White sand!
A beach?

Whale Skeleton
And a whale skeleton that had been left there. And, I assume, positioned.

I snorkeled out from the beach, and there weren’t many fish, but there was a family (one big one, two small ones) of stingrays. I swam awayyyyy when they seemed to notice me. (I didn’t wear flippers. I felt slow.)

In the afternoon, we did a “long” walk around Punta Suarez.

Marine Iguanas everywhere!
As soon as we got off the zodiac, there were marine iguanas everywhere.

A bird.
And a bird. I’m not sure what kind.

Cuddling Iguanas
The iguanas cuddle! (probably for warmth… but still)

A lava lizard hanging out on a rock.

The view? Lots of rocks. Spot the sea lions.

Beef stew rocks
Here are some rocks on the beach. The texture reminds me of beef stew meat. Right when it’s almost raggedy.

A Galapagos albatross! Also known as the waved albatross.

More albatross?
Another albatross. Their heads are such a rich creamy color.

Albatross dance
And they do a hilarious mating dance. They fence, then head bob, then fence some more.

More view. On the left side, our guide, Yvonne Torres.

Galapagos Hawk
A juvenile Galapagos hawk. SO ROUND.

Galapagos Part 5: La Galapaguera + Punta Pitt


Day 5, in the morning we took a zodiac, then bus ride to La Galapaguera, a breeding center/sanctuary for the island tortoise.


Here’s a tortoise egg. Marked with an X so that the folks who run the center can tell which side of the egg was up in the nest. (If you rotate the egg, apparently it dies)

San Cristobal

The view of San Cristobal when we arrived.

Sea Lion Stairs

The rare (not at all) sea lion. They’re everywhere.

In the afternoon, we went for a “less talk, more walk” hike at Punta Pitt. There was still lots of talking, but also scenery unlike anything else we’d seen so far.

The mountains!

We seemed to be hiking around a bunch of mountains.

Goats on the ridge line

We could see goats on the ridge line. Goats are an introduced species and the park is trying to eradicate them.

Climbing up!

Parts of the hike were a little steep… But not scary.

Blue footed Booby

There were a couple nests in the middle of the trail. These birds are fearless.

Its the ocean!

A view of the ocean at the edge of the island.

I thought this hike was the most “fun” of all the hikes we did. Not the most wildlife, but pretty awesome landscapes. The rock is super, super soft though. Not at all climbable.