Thursday, May 26, 2011

Power of the Pancake

Last year when Jamie was still mastering the art of eating solid food, we went through a phase where he would eat just about anything...if it was in a pancake. Who can really blame him? Pancakes are awesome. They can be sweet or savory. Obviously, they are a fabulous way to start the day, but they are just as good for lunch and brinner. And pancakes are just plain fun to make, especially with kids. These days when we have a pancake meal, I am flanked by Kara and Jamie for the whole cooking process. Even when they are fussing over who gets to stir or who can add the blueberries, I love every minute of it.

A box of pancake mix is great to have around. I am a big fan of Bisquick and the Trader Joe's multigrain mix. But if you find yourself out of pre-made mix, there is a 90% chance you have everything you need to make pancake batter right in your pantry. Here is Mark Bittman's recipe for basic pancakes. This is the one I use on a pretty regular basis. It makes a lot of batter; I almost always have leftover for another pancake meal. This is also a really flexible recipe. You can add more or less milk to get the thickness you like. You can easily add wheat flour, oat flour or other whole grains. If you like a tangy pancake, use some yogurt or buttermilk in place of the milk and substitute 1 tsp of baking soda for the baking powder.

Dave likes his pancakes straight up. Kara and Jamie love blueberry pancakes the best. Somehow I made it almost to 40 without putting it together that frozen blueberries work just fine in all manner of baked goods. I recommend keeping a bag in your freezer for the Saturday morning when nothing less than a stack of pancakes will do.

I don't think I have ever met a pancake product that I didn't like. However, one of my most favorite ways to have pancakes is to add corn, a little cornmeal, chopped green onion, garlic and chili powder to make a corn fritter of sorts. Serve them sour cream and salsa. A weeknight winner.

Kara, mouth full of pancake, pronounces them "delicious." (More on the hair accessory next week...)

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