ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Different Pecan Pancakes with Butter Pecan Syrup

I really do love pecans. They are my FAVORITE baking nut, and really good in salads, too. So naturally I was very open to the idea of pecan pancakes, but unfortunately I ran out of time to make these before Ed and I started our new diet, which I will tell you about next week. So the picture is borrowed and I admit I haven't made these yet, but I plan to. I definitely plan to. They look and sound just divine.

Pecan Pancakes
from Southern Living, October 2006

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 T vegetable oil
1 large egg

Stir together first 8 ingredients (dry). In separate bowl whisk buttermilk, oil and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Pour by 1/4-cupful onto hot griddle, etc. You know what to do. Makes about 10 pancakes

Butter Pecan Syrup

2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 T (1/4 cup) butter

Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil about 5 to 10 minutes, watching carefully, until it reaches desired consistency. Stir in vanilla and butter until melted. Cool slightly before serving.

Sweet Potato and Pecan Flapjacks
from Cooking Light, January 2006

(I don't usually like sweet potatoes very much but I expect they lend a great flavor, color and texture to this recipe. If you try these, let me know what you think!)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 T yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
3 T brown sugar
1 T canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl; stir with whisk. In separate bowl combine milk, sweet potato, sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Beat egg whites with mixer at high speed until soft peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. Let batter stand 10 minutes.

Heat skillet or griddle to med-high heat. Pour by 1/4-cupfuls and cook until browned; turn and cook until browned. Makes about 12 flapjacks.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Cranberry Citrus Sauce

I'm not always a fan of strong whole wheat flavor, but these pancakes are really half wheat, half white. They also earned 5 out of 5 stars from 29 reviewers on MyRecipes, including me, and caused Ed to exclaim unprovoked, "Wow, these are delicious!" Try them with Cranberry Citrus Sauce, buttermilk syrup, or any topping you like. These may just become your new standard flapjack.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

from Cooking Light, April 2002

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
1 T vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; stir with whisk. Combine wet ingredients, stirring with whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Heat griddle and coat with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle - cook, flip, cook until perfect. Makes about 12 pancakes

Cranberry Citrus Sauce
from Cooking Light, December 2006

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 T fresh orange juice
2 tsp grated lime rind
2 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp butter

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over med-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; stir in cranberries, orange juice, rind, and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes or until mixture foams and cranberries pop. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Makes 1 1/4 cups

(Sorry no picture - we actually gobbled them up before I remembered!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gingerbread Pancakes with Bananas and Whipped Cream

Last December in Brooklyn we went out for breakfast one morning and, feeling festive, I ordered gingerbread pancakes. They were dry and a little disappointing, but this recipe from my friend Shanna has redeemed the concept. Serve with any toppings you like, but we had them with bananas and whipped cream.



Gingerbread Pancakes (or waffles)

2 cups flour (white, whole wheat or a combination)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
6 T oil
1 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl and then gently stir into dry ingredients. Cook on hot greased griddle, top and eat. Makes about 20

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Multigrain Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

With several grains, a little brown sugar, and a big old dollop of plain yogurt in the batter, you have got a healthy but super palate-pleasing plateful in these pancakes. A massive slathering of my Aunt Pat's buttermilk syrup doesn't hurt, either. Mmm....enjoy!

Multigrain Pancakes
from Cooking Light, March 1997

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
2 T yellow cornmeal
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 T vegetable oil
1 large egg

Combine firs 7 ingredients (dry); stir well. Combine remaining ingredients; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Spoon by 1/4-cupful onto heated skillet/griddle; cook until just right. Makes about 12 pancakes.

Aunt Pat's Buttermilk Syrup

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Blend everything except the vanilla in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Double Coconut Pancakes with Vanilla Pear Sauce

Happy Official International Pancake Day!!!

I have always loved the flavor and moist texture buttermilk lends to pancakes, but I never would have guessed coconut milk could do the same. And with the unusual but delicious compliment of vanilla, pear and cardamom in the sauce, you've just got a real special treat on your plate. While I liked all the pancakes posted this week, I think this recipe was my favorite.

Double Coconut Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 T flaked sweet coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 T butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine coconut milk, butter and egg; stir well. Add wet mixture to dry, stirring until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet. Cook 3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn and cook 2 minutes more or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Makes 4 servings of 3 pancakes each
Per serving: Calories 300, Fat 9.7g, Chol 60mg, Protein 7.6g, Fiber 1.4g

Vanilla Pear Sauce

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsp butter
2 cups sliced peeled pear (10 ounces)
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Dash freshly ground black pepper

Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Transfer syrup to a small bowl; set aside.

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add pear to pan; cook 3 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently. Return syrup to pan; stir in fresh lemon juice, vanilla, cardamom, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Makes 2 cups (serving size 1/4 cup) Per serving: Calories 131, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 3mg, Protein 0.2g, Fiber 1.3g

Both recipes from Cooking Light, December 2006

Monday, February 23, 2009

Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup

Of course yummy any time of year, these would be especially delicious in the fall with fresh apples you picked yourself. But no one is saying you have to wait that long!

With fresh chopped apples inside, these flapjacks are thicker than others so they require a longer time to cook through than normal pancakes.
Apple Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
1 T butter, melted
2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped

Sift dry ingredients. Combine egg, milk and butter. Add liquid ingredients gradually to dry ingredients. Stir only until batter is smooth. Fold in apples. Batter will be thick. Drop by 1/4 or 1/3 cupfuls onto very hot greased griddle. Serve with cinnamon syrup. Makes 10-11 pancakes of 1/3 cup batter each.

Cinnamon Syrup

1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Mix syrup, water, sugar and cinnamon in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and stir in milk. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

Recipe from Shanna Stratton

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Batter Up: It's Pancake Week!

Earlier this month I read in a magazine that National Pancake Day is February 24th and on that day you can go to IHOP and get a free short stack. Intrigued by this holiday, rather than the prospect of waiting in line for free sawdust cakes at IHOP, I Googled it and discovered that Pancake Day is always on Mardi Gras, which as all good Mormons know, is the last day to live it up before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. Historically, this day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, was the last day to use up fat and eggs from the pantry before Lent, and pancakes are a great way to do that.

A few slightly sketchy sources also promised that this is actually National Pancake Week, from February 22-28. And hey, that's good enough for me. Pancake Week is a concept I can really get behind, and I know you can see where this is going. Every day this week on DMTotW you will find a new awesome, yummy, easy recipe for everyone's favorite breakfast. All of which I've tried. All of which are really, REALLY good.

I've become so accustomed to just using Trader Joe's mix that I'd forgotten how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch. Not only that, but trying this week's recipes really opened my eyes to some fabulous and delicious variations that are just as easy. Just to let you know, we'll be sticking to the traditional, rather than broad, sense of the word pancake here. The weekend breakfast sense of the word: batter cooked on hot greased griddle, topped with something sweet. Can't you just smell them now?

So without further ado, let's start the week off with a delicious buttermilk-banana bang:

Buttermilk-Banana Pancakes
with Pomegranate Syrup

from Cooking Light, November 2005

1 cup all purpose flour
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 (1-ounce) package uncooked instant farina (like Cream of Wheat)
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 T canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup mashed banana (about 1 large)

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T pomegranate juice
2 tsp cornstarch

Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through farina) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Fold in banana.

Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto hot greased or nonstick griddle. Turn when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

To prepare syrup, combine 1/2 cup juice and syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. Combine 2 T juice and cornstarch in a bowl; add to pan. Cook 1 minute or until thickened; remove from heat. Serve with pancakes.

Makes 6 servings (3 pancakes and 2 T syrup each)
Cal 315, Fat 4g, Chol 37mg, Prot 5.7g, Fiber 1.4g

Saturday, February 7, 2009

DM Takes on the Baking Cupboard

I rarely deep clean or organize anything. I'm a horrible housekeeper and obviously not bothered enough by it to change more than once a quarter or so. But on occasion I can take on a small project: a pile, a corner, a surface that can be fixed up quick and make me feel all satisfied and accomplished.

The other night while dinner was cooking and random items had fallen out of the baking cupboard onto me for the third time while I put the salt away, I decided to organize it. As you can imagine, it is my most-used cupboard and therefore, becomes a mess the most easily. But it's also only three shelves; doable.

Pulled out the bags of nuts, the jars of sprinkles, the extracts. Baking soda, powder, salt, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, baking bars, dried fruit, coconut, shortening, paper muffin liners, corn meal, oatmeal. Ran upstairs to the stash of organize-y small baskets under my computer desk from my last big organizational project, and grabbed a few. Checked on dinner, combined the three half-full bags of chopped pecans. Stacked nuts in one basket, extracts along one side. Bars here, chocolate chips there.

Voila! The Baking Cupboard, organized:
So while my laundry room,
and the rest of my house, and life, look like this:I can now make chocolate chip cookies blindfolded.

And isn't that what really matters?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fast Sunday Banana Pops

The girls have both had the stomach flu this weekend, so we didn't take them to church. Ed went to help with nursery and I stayed home. Dinner's going in the slow cooker and filling the house with tummy-grumbling aromas. So what's a Mom to do on fast Sunday afternoon with two sick girls? Make food, of course!

I got this idea from my visiting teacher Heather (of the Black & Brown Chocolate Chip Cookies.) She and I share a love of cooking and always have lots to talk about, usually followed up by emailing recipes. Heather has kids in elementary school and she said they've had PBJ in their lunch boxes all year so she was trying to branch out and get creative with their lunches. One idea was frozen bananas, dipped and rolled in a variety of things. We brainstormed until my mouth was watering and I have been wanting to make some ever since.

What we did today -

4 bananas, peeled & cut in half
8 wooden craft sticks (lollipop sticks from the candy-making aisle at Michael's; could also use the straight end of plastic spoons)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 to 3 T vanilla yogurt
Handfuls of puff cereal, graham crackers, oats, flax seed, and some stale danish butter cookies leftover from Christmas, finely crushed in food processor
Jimmy sprinkles and mini M&M's, also leftover from Christmas

Cut bananas in half. Spread a banana half with peanut butter/yogurt mixture, then roll in crumbs and sprinkles. I had sprinkles on one plate and crumb/M&M mixture on another. I had to mix the M&M's with the crumbs because if any part of the banana were to have only M&M's on it I know the girls would just eat them off and abandon the rest of the popsicle. This way we have a fighting chance.

Lay on cookie sheet and carefully insert a pop stick in the bottom of banana half. Freeze for 3 hours or until solid.
(Hazel insisted on one plain one)

Other things to try -

Dip/spread any of the following or combinations of them:
Peanut butter
Melted chocolate
Cream cheese
Fruit puree

Roll in:
Crushed cookie/cracker/pretzel crumbs
Wheat germ or flax seed
Mini chocolate chips /M&M's/candy
Coarsely crushed Rice Krispies/corn flakes/cereal
Chopped nuts

One of my favorite treats to get on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO was a chocolate-dipped frozen banana at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Frozen bananas are creamy like ice cream, mmm. And what's great about making them at home is they can be a healthy snack or a sweet treat, depending on what you use. Either way, they're mostly banana, a whole food that most kids like.

I haven't asked Heather if she's sent these in lunches yet. I worry they would thaw in the lunch box and then be kind of messy, but maybe if you packed them in foil with an ice pack? I don't know; I welcome thoughts. And I also welcome the next 2 hours passing quickly so I can gobble up one of these bad boys. After ending my fast, of course.
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