So it’s Spring, which is a beautiful thing.
Except that my children have been rising with the sun. The very early sun.
Before we go any further, I must come out as strongly against The Morning. Specifically, all of the hours before 8:00 am. I cannot get behind anything that causes me to get up during the 6:00 hour. Especially when that thing is hollering my name repeatedly.
I know all you more seasoned mothers are laughing at me. And the rest of you non-morning people might be sympathetic, or you might be laughing also, maybe a little maliciously, because I was lucky enough to be sleeping in until Spring struck this year, and now you want to welcome me greedily into this evil morning club and say it serves me right and this is only fair.
But whatever. We need a morning solution. We need something (besides children) to wake up for. And that thing is yeasted waffles.
We need these beautiful waffles because they are just waiting to be cooked when we stumble into the kitchen and blearily splash coffee into the enormous waiting mug. We need things that cook themselves with little oversight while we adjust to the daylight.
We like pancakes.
We like them so much that we have started eating them every week. It’s a delicious ritual.
Pancakes are pretty phenomenal, aren’t they? Do you know what makes pancakes more phenomenal (if you are 3 years old)?
And…sshh…do you know what makes them more phenomenal if you are 30 years old? Using Greek yogurt for a little protein, and raw honey instead of refined sugar. Because a sugar crash isn’t pretty, no matter how old you are.
I absolutely love these pancakes! I feel like the sprinkles are smiling at me. In fact, this may be the first time in my memory that sprinkles have actually improved a food for me! I might have to make sprinkles a habit.
Our family has started a weekend breakfast tradition.
It’s fairly surprising, actually, given my husband’s general apathy toward keeping traditions AND his venomous hatred for the morning…but on Saturdays, bright and early, when I holler up the stairs that pancakes or French toast are ready, he immediately appears and we have a special family breakfast!
Jake likes to help me cook. And set the table. And fetch Daddy. He’s a wonderful kitchen helper!
The only trouble with this delicious tradition is that I don’t actually care for maple syrup on my pancakes. For a while, this really made me resistant to Saturday morning breakfast tradition, until I realized that I had a grand opportunity to try all kinds of delicious syrups and spreads. What a great excuse to eat sugar for breakfast!
This buttermilk syrup is absolutely amazing. Don’t let the weird name (or the fact that it essentially looks like melted butter) throw you off: it is actually the simplest, most delicious liquid caramel you will ever make. The flavor is light and the syrup is thick and creamy. Pour it over your French toast with some butter and dig in! I dare you not to run your finger around the plate to lick up the excess when breakfast is over.
I can remember the first time my mother ever added chocolate chips to pancake batter. It was basically the best thing that ever happened to Sunday morning breakfast, as far as I was concerned!
In the intervening years, I have eaten more than my fair share of chocolate chip pancakes, and my conclusion is that nothing competes with homemade! Homemade pancakes land on my plate when they are just warm enough to melt the whipped cream, of which there is never a shortage (I will try not to judge you if you are crazy enough to put maple syrup on chocolate pancakes, but I am all about the sweet cream), and the pancakes are always just chocolatey enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without sending me into a sugar coma. Basically perfection.
Pancakes have been one of my major cravings during this pregnancy, so it seemed fitting to share a delicious pancake recipe with you during the final days before my little daughter is born!
It was Mother’s Day a few weeks ago. Not to brag, but I had a pretty stupendous day!
I should probably backtrack and mention that my husband isn’t big into celebrating special occasions and events, or at least that he doesn’t care whether holidays are celebrated on time. He is more of the mind that a birthday is just a day, Christmas is just a day, Mother’s Day is just a day… And in a way, he is totally right—but I do love celebrations. I love the magical feeling and the pageantry. I love thinking about how all the prep is going to turn into something memorable. I love the memorable moments.
So. Guess how Dave decided we would celebrate Mother’s Day? He got up early and made me breakfast! In fact, he made me two breakfasts, because he did a trial run a few days earlier to make sure that Mother’s Day would be perfect.
(I’ll wait. While you say, “Awwwwww!”)
I got to choose the meal, and I racked my brain for something delicious but not too indulgent, simple but not boring. And I came up with a Dutch Baby!
A Dutch Baby is like a cross between a pancake and a popover. Topped off with lemon butter and powdered sugar, it is tart and sweet and a little doughy and, really, just everything a mom could hope for on Mother’s Day. We liked it so much that I made it again a few days later, just so I could share it with you!
You know what’s weird?
My husband loves whole grain breakfast foods, but doesn’t really like whole grain bread.
Me? I would probably trend the other way, given how much I love flaky pastries and cinnamon buns.
But this month, as I was perusing Amy’s Cooking Adventures for the Secret Recipe Club swap, I was captured by a recipe for multigrain pancakes. Honestly, one of the things that drew me in (aside from the undeniable delicious and nutritious benefits of eating a variety of grains) was that this recipe is sugar free! That’s right, in place of sugar, these pancakes use honey. Honey is the perfect complement to the nuttiness of wheat and other whole grains.
These pancakes are delicious and hearty! I was full after one. (But, um, I still ate two.) You should make them right away! Take them for a swim in a moat of hot maple syrup! Your taste buds will thank you.
It’s gloomy. And cold.
What you need is for your kitchen to smell warm, and your stomach to be filled with sweet spices to keep you cozy from the inside out.
So let’s break open our spice cabinets and make chai pancakes! We could maybe even pretend that all those healthy anti-inflammatory and blood sugar–lowering spices make these pancakes somewhat healthy.
But however you choose to rationalize making pancakes and whipped cream in the middle of January (hey, we can’t restrict ourselves too much based on all those healthy eating resolutions!…otherwise we will crash and burn), you should definitely add these pancakes into your weekend breakfast rotation.
This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned a great blog: Amy’s Cooking Adventures. She has so many delicious recipes that I really had a hard time deciding what to make! So many of Amy’s dishes looked yummy, from her Avocado and Egg Grilled Cheese to her Balsamic Pasta Salad. I am definitely looking forward to making several of the recipes from her blog, but I could only choose one to post for the Secret Recipe Club challenge.
When I asked my husband to weigh in on what I should make, he voted for these waffles…probably because I have been promising to make him French toast for ages and he figured this was the next best thing. I was only too happy to seize an opportunity to make a whole grain, veggie-filled breakfast for him! (Of course, the syrup kind of negates the healthiness, but we can still count this as a wholesome breakfast, right?)
The flavor of these waffles is fantastic, a little nutty from the whole wheat, but still light because of the zucchini. Not too sweet, with a hint of cinnamon. While waffles aren’t exactly the quickest breakfast treat to make, I will definitely be making this recipe again in weekends to come!