Dead & Pancakes: The Best & Worst B&Bs

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My favourite pancake recipe

Pancakes were the first food I ever learned to cook.  Every Sunday, my dad and I were allowed to take over the kitchen and make breakfast.  The recipe was from this nondescript kiddie recipe book, but I’ve been using the same recipe ever since.  I still love making Sunday morning pancakes, but I also bring along this pancake mix whenever I go camping or to a cottage. There is nothing more comforting then waking up to the smell of fresh pancakes.

Classic Pancakes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 1 1/4 cup sifted flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. To make the perfect pancake batter, mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and create a little hole in the middle for the egg to sit.
  2. Whisk the egg gently while slowly adding the milk, soon you will have the perfect lump-free pancake batter!
  3. Start with a nice hot skillet and melt the butter, a teaspoon at a time, turning the temperature down before cooking.
  4. Using a ladle pour approx half a ladle full of batter into the hot, buttery skillet.
  5. When the batter begins to bubble, gently flip the pancake with a spatula, monitoring the temperature closely to avoid burning.
  6. Place the cooked pancakes in a toaster oven on low to keep them warm.
  7. Top with real maple syrup.

Here is my classic pancake recipe, presented in all of it’s worn glory:

Pancake Recipe_DSC0461

Having just watched the line dancing zombie splatterfest Dead & Breakfast, I’m reminiscing about some of the best and worst B&B’s I’ve stayed in during my travels.

Dead & Breakfast

Dead & Breakfast                                                                                        Photo courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

As my boyfriend can attest to, I love – love  – breakfast buffets.  I can eat the shit out of them.  One of the more unique breakfast buffets that I had the pleasure of devouring was in Japan.  We stayed in this quaint, traditional inn called a ryokan in the town of Hakone.

Washitsu (traditional Japanese room)

Washitsu (traditional Japanese room)

Each room had authentic sliding doors that are called fusuma and we slept on tatami mats that were originally considered an item of luxury (fancy!).  For breakfast we were treated to a complete Japanese breakfast, buffet-style.  I’m not quite sure what I ate, but I do remember the delicious fish, it was so fresh that it melted in my mouth.

Traditional Japanese Breakfast - Hakone, Japan

Traditional Japanese Breakfast – Hakone, Japan

Luckily, I have never been barricaded by a swarm of zombies, but the B&B in Bolivia definitely lacked appeal and stands out as one of the worst places I’ve stayed.  I needed a last minute accommodation in the small town of Sorata, nestled high in the Bolivian mountains.  This was supposed to be one of the nicer B&Bs in the town, full of “European charm”.  Perhaps they meant Eastern European charm as my room was so sketchy that I slept in my sleeping bag and kept my knapsack packed, avoiding all contact with anything in the room.  The security features weren’t exactly reassuring either.

Travel Photos_Bolivia_DSC3931

Lock for my hotel room door – Sorata, Bolivia

Needless to say, I didn’t stay for breakfast.

Review: Dead & Breakfast

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Photo courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

Release date: 2004

Directed by: Matthew Leutwyler (Unearthed, Road Kill)

CastJeremy Sisto, Erik Palladino, Bianca Lawson, Oz Perkins

Dead and Breakfast is a self aware b-movie, country-style zombie romp.  If line dancing zombies aren’t reason enough to entice you to watch this bloody mess, then you clearly need more evil spirits to possess your poor soul.

The cast stars a few familiar faces from some of my favourite chick flicks.  Jeremy Sisto (Clueless), Bianca Lawson (Kendra from Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Oz Perkins (Legally Blonde).  Together with three other friends, they set out in an RV on a road trip to Galveston  for the wedding of their friend (a hilarious cameo by Portia de Rossi) and promptly get lost.  They end up in the small town of Lovelock and decide to stay the night at a bed and breakfast run by a creepy owner named Mr. Wise (David Carradine) and a really intense French chef.  Tensions start to run high before the first piece of deli meat falls to the ground, and by morning the group finds themselves the suspects of a murder investigation.  Their situation is made worse when one of the friends accidentally unleashes the evil spirit of the monstrous “Kuman Thong”. Soon they become trapped in the bed and breakfast and need to find creative ways to fight off the townsfolk who have all been transformed into zombies.

The movie is a clear reference to The Evil Dead right down to the over-the-top chainsaw scene, and though this film may not be breaking any new ground, the blood splatters are generous, the b-movie dialogue is on point, and did I mention the line dancing zombies?  The slapstick fun is just enough to keep you hanging around, but the characters fall flat and any suspense is lost somewhere between the line dancing zombies and buckets of blood.  This is one hotel that you only need to visit once.

Recommended snack:
One of the best lines in this movie is when in the midst of battle one character states: “I can’t kill anyone. I’m a vegan”.  So in honour of her strong vegan stance, try baking up a batch of these Vegan Gluten Free Quinoa Date Squares.

FUN FACT: Oz Perkins is Anthony Perkins son, looks like he’s following down the same horror path as his father!  Keep up the creepy work!

Remakes: Killer Ramen at Killbear & The Evil Dead

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At Rock's Edge

“At Rock’s Edge” – Killbear Provincial Park

One summer, my friends and I went up to a cottage and I brought along Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead.  We proceeded to watch and rewatch this cult movie, and by the end of the trip we had all the classic lines memorized.  When I heard that The Evil Dead was bring remade, I groaned at the thought of another lousy remake, however in the end I was pleasantly surprised.  No one can beat Bruce Campbell but as you can read in my review, I enjoyed the female heroine take on this “reimagining”.

evil deadPhoto courtesy of TriStar Pictures

Besides trying to save your friends from deadites, the other challenge that comes with a group camping or cottage trip is trying to decide what to feed a bunch of hungry, hungover people.  The optimal food is cheap, fast and filling.  Sloppy Joes were always a hit, but it wasn’t until I went camping to Killbear one summer that we took Sloppy Joes to the next level.

We mixed the spicy, leftover meat with some instant ramen, and voila!

Sloppy Joe Ramen

Sloppy Joe Ramen

Sloppy Joe Ramen was created, and has been a staple on our camping menu ever since.  Check out the recipe and enjoy!  I guarantee it will give you the fuel to fight the evil forces lurking in the forest….


West Coast Screams & Healthy Apple Dreams

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Freddy Krueger's glove, Edward Scissorhands, Jason's mask and machete, Jack Torrance's axe from The Shining and Mr. Pointy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Experience Music Project museum

Freddy Krueger’s glove, Edward Scissorhands, Jason’s mask and machete, Jack Torrance’s axe from The Shining and Mr. Pointy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Experience Music Project museum

When I visited Seattle, I fell in love with the Experience Music Project Museum.  Not only did the museum have some excellent permanent collections featuring Nirvana & Jimi Hendrix, but there was also an impressive horror exhibit: “Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film”.  One of the items displayed was Freddy Krueger’s glove from one of my favourite horror films, the classic slasher Nightmare on Elm Street directed by Wes Craven.  This movie made a significant impact on the horror genre, and inspired a slew of slashers produced throughout the 80’s.  A little over a decade later, Wes Craven’s Scream revitalized horror films, breathing new life into the genre he helped to create.  Scream spawned three sequels, the fourth one released many years later in 2011.  Despite the forgettable Scream 3, I was actually pretty excited for Scream 4 and my review can be read here.

Scream 4Photo courtesy of Dimension Films

In honour of the Scream series that was set in California, I’m featuring a recipe that highlights some of California’s most popular food trends: detox, wheat free and sugar free.  My spiced apple crisp puts a healthy spin on this classic dessert, making it the perfect dish to snack on during a detox.

Wheat Free, Sugar Free Spiced Apple Crisp

Wheat Free, Sugar Free Spiced Apple Crisp

City of A Hundred Spires: A Wonderland of Goulash

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Wallenstein Garden

Wallenstein Palace Gardens

24 hours was hardly enough time to take in the magical city of Prague or the “City of a Hundred Spires” (500 to date!).  I wandered aimlessly among the cobble stone streets, music filled the air, and there were castles and gardens to explore!  I visited the Wallenstein Palace Gardens, a maze of twisting vines with peacocks and other beautiful birds waiting to surprise you at every corner.

Wallenstein Palace Gardens

Wallenstein Palace Gardens

This enchanting place was very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, one of my favourite books from my childhood.  When I watched the Tim Burton remake years later, I was unfortunately quite disappointed and you can read my review here.

Alice in WonderlandPhoto courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

 The other highlight of Prague was the food.  I remember sitting at an outdoor bar and ordering goulash.  I received a giant plate of thick, peppery gravy, tender chunks of beef and such unusual “dumplings” – slabs of soft dough soaking up the sauce.  I remember sipping a refreshing Czech beer, and fighting so hard to stay awake!  I nearly fell asleep in my goulash but my taste buds remember that dish fondly.

Goulash - Prague, Czech Republic

Goulash – Prague, Czech Republic

When I needed a dish for my Oscar party to represent Eastern Europe, I immediately thought of goulash.  I couldn’t believe the amount of paprika I was measuring out into my slow cooker, but it turned out delightfully goulash-y!

_DSC0421The recipe I used was from the America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution and I would highly recommend it!

One day I will go back to Prague, and just like Alice in Wonderland – I will eat, drink, and lose myself in the history and culture of this charming city.