Congratulations to, Alison Sherman of Glendale California , our Name That Santa Winner 2009! will be the first “Jewels” reader to sample my Jewels Cocoa Magic Grill Rub. Now here are the answers:
Santa 1: Julie Anne Rhodes
Santa 2: Nick Rhodes
Santa 3: Nick Rhodes
Santa 4: Roger Bates
Santa 5: Sr. Zilli Santa
Santa 6: Hunky Santa

I originally developed the spice rub for seasoning grilled steaks, but my vegetarian clients love it on grilled Portobello mushrooms too! Warning: this rub has proven to be highly addictive. My clients ask for it repeatedly (one of my secrets to keep them coming back for more).

As a special Christmas treat I will be sending Jewels Cocoa Magic Grill Rub to all who sent in their addresses, but Alison gets hers first! Thank you to everyone who entered… I was surprised by how many of you actually got it right… or almost!
Red Velvet Pancakes
The Waldorf Astoria’s Red Velvet cake has been my absolute favorite since I was a very young girl. You can imagine my delight when I saw red velvet pancakes on the menu at the Larchmont Bungalow, and they certainly did NOT disappoint! This is my rendition.

Servings: 4


For the Whipped Cream Cheese Topping
  • 1/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the pancakes or waffle

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil plus 1-2 tablespoons extra for making pancakes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ounce red food color
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Additional toppings
  • melted butter, optional
  • warm maple syrup, optional
  • pecans or walnuts, optional

1). Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to whip the cream cheese until smooth. Reduce the speed and stir in the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, and beat until the mixture is smooth and well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the cream. Use a rubber spatula to remove any unmixed cream cheese from the bottom of the bowl. When the mixture is smooth, gradually add the rest of the whipping cream. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. Should be the consistency of a dense whipped cream topping. Set aside.

2). Stir flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in egg, oil, and buttermilk. Mix until smooth.

3). Mix red food color and cocoa in a small bowl, then stir into batter. Add vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar (in that order), and beat until everything is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

4). Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil starts to form ridges, drop a large spoonful of batter into the hot oil. Repeat 3 more times, keeping ample space between pancakes to keep them from running together. When the batter begins to bubble, carefully flip the pancake to brown on the other side, about 2 minutes per side.

5). Serve hot with whipped cream cheese topping, and any additional topping you desire.

Servings suggestion: Crispy bacon and sausages.

… and as for the red velvet pancakes… definitely a keeper! Even Santa left no crumbs.

Merry Christmas!

UPDATE: There is a short delay in sending the spice rub samples while we wait for the packaging to arrive.

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  • December 21, 2009
    5:49 pm

    love all of it ♥Zuleika Ponsen

  • December 22, 2009
    1:28 am

    Those pancakes look heavenly! A cream cheese topping?! Oh my goodness!!! WowAlison

  • December 22, 2009
    4:44 pm

    I LOVE the black flower in Taj's hair and those pancakes, and uh Santa.

  • December 23, 2009
    2:29 am

    Dear All – I LOOOOOVE THIS RUB! Absolutely delicious!! MxxxxxMy lifelong friend and sometimes chief taste tester Mikki Pallas wrote that comment on my facebook wall about Jewels Cocoa Magic Grill Rub… couldn't resist sharing. Jewels xo

  • December 23, 2009
    4:21 am

    Jewels…I know you're the first santa…the sixth one can stop by my house ;)…the other ones…eeek. I have no idea. The rub sounds yummy!Merry ChristmasKimberly

  • December 23, 2009
    5:33 pm

    Okay… here are some clues. Everyone that entered already (even if they didn't get 4 right) will be included in the hat drawing since I am helping those that have not entered yet. Santa#1 pretty obvious it is yours trulySanta #2 and #3 are the same person, and he used to be family.Santa#4 father of Santa #2 and #3.Santa #5 was the Santa at our favorite Italian restaurant in London (the owner is a celebrity chef there). Just name the restaurant.Santa #6 you would find shopping in Los Angeles.The answers have been very entertaining so far… this competition has really put me in the Christmas spirit…. Ho ho ho!

  • December 24, 2009
    12:20 am

    Hi Julie Anne,mmm…ok,ok I think I have at least the first four. Santa 1 – the ever so beautiful and talented Julie Anne Rhodes……Santa 2 & 3 – The keyboard genius one Mr. Nick Rhodes…..Santa 4 – the late Mr. Roger Bates. As for Santa 5 well, there are so many Italian restaurants in London. I thought at first it was Giorgio Locatelli, but NO that's not right. They are definately not his eyes. Then I thought Gennaro Contaldo(Jamie Oliver's old mentor), but then again, I don't think they are his eyes. Then I thought Enzo Cecconi of Cecconi's who I think has passed away. But then again, I have NO idea….Santa 6 – Well as an Aussie I have NO clue who he is but he is welcome to come down to Australia anytime!Season's Greetings to such a lovely, beautiful looking family. May your day be filled with joy and may your New Year be one of good health and happiness.Aussie Mum

  • December 24, 2009
    7:18 pm

    Hi Aussie Mum… it isn't Girogio Locatelli, but Tatjana and I did have lunch there with Nick and his mother after her graduation ceremony. It was absolutely divine… I had grilled sea bass on fresh artichoke heart, and STILL can't stop thinking about the beautiful presentation and how yummy it was.Seasons greetings to you and yours too, and to everyone out there in cyberland. I love this time of year.

  • December 26, 2009
    5:40 am

    I won! How fabulous is that??!!! I can't wait to try your cocoa grilling rub! Yay! I tried the Red Velvet Pancakes this morning! Oh my goodness, they are even better than they sound! So yummy!!!Thanks again! I love your blog!Alison

  • December 26, 2009
    5:46 pm

    Congratulations Alison! And yes you did win. It will be a couple weeks yet before it is sent out to you, but you will be the first to receive it, and will get a full 4oz. container full. Once Alison receives hers, I will be mailing 2 oz. containers of Jewels cocoa Magic Grill Rub to everyone who sent in their answers with an address…so look out for it by february guys.I'm so excited you liked the red velvet pancakes Alison! Tatjana and I were in heaven eating those yesterday too. Loved them!

  • January 6, 2010
    2:42 pm

    I am making the red velvet pancakes for my husband this weekend. We have been looking forward to them ever since I first saw the blog post, but we were in NOLA for the holidays and away from our kitchen. We can't wait to try them! Love your blog and thanks for all the awesome recipe ideas!