Wake up with Pancakes!

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I tend to plan out our family meals way, way in advance. As in months in advance. That said, our meal plan isn’t finalized until a day or two before shopping for the week.

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What a Day for Dutch Baby – Oh Yeah!

Sometimes a recipe shared is just that, a recipe shared. While this awesome Dutch Baby isn’t directly tied to the National Days we celebrate today, it does compliment the day. Today is National Gardening Day. Just look at all the luscious berries – if that doesn’t scram bountiful gardening, I don’t know what does.

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It’s National Pancake Day!

Today is National Pancake Day. Rather than give a standard flapjack recipe, I thought we’d reach back – way back. I love old cookbooks. This recipe, with a few modern interpretations, comes from an old tattered book that was published in 1908.

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Hello Saturday Morning!

Do you have a favorite meal of the day? Not a favorite dish, but classification of meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Mine would be breakfast or brunch, hands down. I love breakfast-brunch so much that there are times I’ll serve it for dinner.

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It’s a Very Blue Day

Pancakes are delicious any way you make them. Today’s pancakes are made extra special with fresh Blueberries. You guessed it, today is National Blueberry Pancake Day.

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The Duke’s Dutch Baby

While we were in Seaside Oregon we stumbled upon a very interesting shop. It was filled with sarcastic T-shirts, Lava Lamps and John Wayne Cookbooks. I haven’t a clue what these three have in common, but I did pick up a cookbook. I could have gone with the John Wayne Way to Grill or the John Wayne Cast Iron Official Cookbook. I don’t know what makes it Official other than the cover is signed “Eat Up, John Wayne” and there are pictures of him with every recipe.

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Shrove Tuesday’s Colorful Pancakes

When Kiddo was just a little Kiddo, we did a lot of fun things with our food. We celebrated more. And we took our faith more seriously as well. I can remember making these beautiful pancakes for my family to enjoy on Shrove Tuesday. Back then, we had time in the morning before Kiddo rushed off to school and Hubby headed for the office. I miss those days.

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Rejoice! It’s National Blueberry Pancake Day!

Don’t you just love it when National Whatever Day works with your taste buds? I’d rather have Blueberry Pancakes than Figs and Dates any day. No offense to those who feel otherwise.

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Celebrate National Pancake Day with Buttery Lemon-Kissed Irish Pancakes

Top of the morning to you. Today is National Pancake Day. In honor of this special day, I’d like to share a pancake tale of long ago and a sumptuous Irish recipe. If you have never eaten Irish Pancakes, just imagine the love-child of an Omelette and a Crêpe. Irish Pancakes have the eggie qualities of an Omelette with the light, delicate finish of a French Crêpe. Before we get to cooking, let me share my tale . . .

When my son was all of three years old, I was attending Business School in the mornings, working in the afternoons and studying late into the night. With two small children in the house, there wasn’t much time left for little things like sleeping. I had been up until the wee hours of the morning deciphering a particularly difficult shorthand assignment. Finally, the assignment was complete and I was able to crawl into bed to grab a few minutes of sleep before the children woke up. It was Saturday, no school, no work, just fun with my children. (Which meant making a game out of mundane household chores).

No sooner had I drifted off to sleep when Jay came tip-towing into my room. He pressed his cute little face up against mine and whispered in my ear “You sleep, mommy and I’ll make breakfast.”

Half asleep, I whispered back “Okay, sweetie. You do that.” Mind you, I was floating in that fuzzy in-between dream-like state. Not truly awake, but awake enough to respond, although my response was far from thought out. As I drifted deeper into sleep, his words came back to me again and again. “I’ll make breakfast.” Wait – what? Make breakfast? But he’s only three! He can’t be in the kitchen alone. Suddenly, I was wide awake, shooting straight up in bed. I grabbed my robe and rushed into our tiny apartment kitchen. There was my beautiful little boy standing on a kitchen chair at the stove. Flour, milk and shattered raw eggs littered the floor around him. And in the biggest skillet we owned was the biggest pancake I had ever seen, with bits of egg-shell sticking up through the batter.

“Hi mommy.” He said with a smile as he lifted the pancake with a spatula to check its progress in the pan. “Your breakfast is almost ready.”

The exhausted adult in me wanted to scold him for turning on the stove and making such a mess. The mother in me was touched to the point of tears. I ate that pancake and it was delicious, made with the most important ingredient of all – love.

It really doesn’t matter what pancake recipe I use. Anytime I make pancakes, I remember that wonderful morning so long ago. And my heart melts like butter.

Buttery Lemon-Kissed Irish Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 & 1/2 cups milk
1/4 stick butter (2 oz melted)
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/4 stick melted butter (for frying)
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice, about 2 lemons (for finishing)
1/2 cup Fine Sugar (for finishing
Additional Melted Butter for serving
Powdered Sugar for Dusting

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whip eggs until well blended. Pour eggs over the flour. Add milk and beat by hand for a minute or two, just to incorporate the ingredients.

Melt butter, allow to cool slightly and pour into the batter. Add 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (more if a deeper lemon flavor is desired). Whisk once more.

Heat a 6 or 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Brush the inside of the pan with melted butter. (Butter will give the light pancakes a little extra flavor that you cannot get from oil or sprays).

Pour a little more than 1/4 cup of batter into the warmed pan. (I use 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill it about one and a half times to cover bottom o the pan with a thin layer of batter). Slightly tip and swirl pan to distribute batter evenly.

Cook the  pancake for about two minutes, swirling the pan a couple of times as the pancake cooks. The pancake is ready to flip when the upper side appears dry and doesn’t “giggle” when swirled. With a thin flexible spatula, carefully life pancake from the pan, flip and cook underside for another 30 seconds or so.

Turn pancake out onto a warm plate. Set skilled aside (off heat) between pancakes. Brush pancake on plate with a little lemon juice, sprinkle with a little fine sugar. Roll pancake with a cigar to form a long cylinder. Transfer to serving  platter and hold in a warm oven.

Repeat the cooking and rolling process until all the batter has been used.

Just before serving, brush pancakes with a little butter (you should have enough left over from the frying butter) and dust with powdered sugar.

These same pancakes can be filled with jams, hazelnut spread, fresh fruits such as sliced bananas or berries or whatever you like. The possibilities are limited to your imagination and the ingredients on-hand.

The Breakfast of Football Fans

For those of you who have been following along, you know that my darling Hubby is a die-hard Packer fan. From now until the end of the season, if Green Bay is on the field, there’s a big hunk of foam cheese on his head and a Packer jersey on his back. There is also a lot of yelling, some with joy others colorful but not worth repeating.

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The Battle of Greasy Grass and All Things Cornmeal

What is the Battle of the Greasy Grass? If you ask a Lakota or other Plains Indians, the answer would be a tale of overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho against the US 7th Cavalry. 

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Blueberry Pancakes from Scratch and Communing with Nature

For our family vacation a few years back, we decided to take a trip without a plan – with the exception of some train tickets and a place to stay the first night on the road (a Saturday – didn’t want to take any chances), nothing was carved in stone.

We took an old steam engine out into the “wilds” of Nevada. The highlight of our train ride was to see the untamed horses roaming the hillsides.

07-12-2015 Carson City to Virginia City Train Ride (4)

Returning to California once more, we headed north, up through the central part of the state, all the way to the Oregon state line. From there, we began heading west, toward the coast. Northern California has some of the most beautiful giant redwoods. The plan was to drive south, visit as many “forests” as possible while making a huge loop back home. Wherever the wind took us, whatever struck our fancy – that was the plan. We even managed to take in a jet boat ride up the Klamath River to view Eagles and other wildlife along the river. We had picnic lunches and simply enjoyed the views. No schedules, no plans, just the open road and all the time in the world to stop and smell the roses.

07-14-2015 Big Foot and Big Tree Country (36)

One morning we had breakfast in Garberville – near Avenue of the Giants. It was a lovely cafe with a very “French country” feel. And the blueberry pancakes were unbelievable. While Hubby and Kiddo took advantage of the warm maple syrup and sweet, creamery butter that accompanied the pancakes. I found them so delicious, I didn’t want to distract from the bursting blueberry flavor.

Upon returning from our trip, I began to crave those awesome pancakes. It wasn’t just that there were blueberries in the pancakes, the berries seemed to float at the top of the light little cakes. Then one night when sleep evaded me, I turned to the telly in search of something mindless to watch. Surfing the channels, I paused on a cooking show featuring Blueberry Flapjacks. What struck me most was that the blueberries weren’t folded into the batter but rather placed on top of the jacks as they cooked. Now mind you, I was channel surfing – I’m sure they gave a reason for this – but I missed it. One thing I did notice was that by putting the blueberries on top of the cakes as they cooked, one had better control over how much blueberry each cake received – and every cake was sure to have plenty of berries. And those berries seemed to float!

Since then, whenever we want a little something extra special on Sunday mornings, I’ll whip up some pancakes bursting with blueberry goodness.

Now you could use Bisquick (or your favorite mix) and skip the upper portion of this recipe. That’s entirely up to you.

Ingredients – Pancake Mix from Scratch
8 Cups Flour
1 1/4 Cups Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
1/4 Cup Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Cups Butter Flavored Crisco Shortening

Pancake Mix: Combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in tightly closed covered container in a cool place. Makes about 10 cups. This will make 5 batches of pancakes.

Ingredients – Blueberry Pancakes
2 Cups Dry Bisquick Pancake Mix (above)
½ Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Water
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice (optional)
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted (cool to touch)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and spun dry

Place Bisquick pancake mix into the bowl of a mixer. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, water and egg. Add to Bisquick mix. Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix just until blended. When pancake batter is complete, gently fold in melted butter.

Heat griddle to medium heat. Lightly butter griddle. When hot, ladle pancakes to desired size. Sprinkle each cake with blueberries, pressing in slightly. Cook until bubbles break and bottom is golden. Flip, press down gently (some of the berries will burst open) and continue to cook until golden. Transfer to serving platter. Serve with whipped butter and syrup.


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