Wednesday nights are pancake nights in our house. My Wife works on Wednesday evening so each week it’s just me and the kiddos for dinner. I started making pancakes on Wednesdays about two years ago because they were easy to make and my son would actually eat them. Now dubbed “Pancake Wednesday”, it is a family tradition that is here to stay. I usually try to mix up the recipes. I’ve made zucchini pancakes, carrot cake pancakes, strawberry pancakes, peanut butter and jelly pancakes, etc. Last week my Wife was home on Wednesday and she used this recipe to make cinnamon roll pancakes. They were absolutely delicious. They may actually be better than cinnamon rolls, which is saying something.
I made them again last night and am happy to report that I didn’t screw up the recipe. They were just as delicious as last week’s batch. These are now a permanent part of the rotation. I will say that I used Bisquick for the pancake batter which made things simpler. I had a two year old hanging on my leg asking when dinner would be ready as I was cooking so I wasn’t shy about taking shortcuts. These were pretty easy to make and well worth the effort. Even the glaze was pretty simple. If you’re looking for a fun treat for the family you can’t go wrong with cinnamon roll pancakes.Pin It Tweet
When I got home from work last night my wife told me that the kids wanted banana pancakes with chocolate chips for dinner. It wasn’t an altogehter unusual request. Pancake Wednesday is a weekly holiday in our home. I grabbed the ingredients from the pantry then headed for the fridge where I discovered that we didn’t have any eggs. Crap.
A few years ago i would’ve panicked in such a situation. I probably would’ve packed the kids into the minivan and headed for the diner up the street. I am proud to say that two years of Pancake Wednesday’s have made me into the kitchen bound lovechild of MacGyver and Guy Fieri. I’ve made pancakes without flour for christsakes. No eggs? No sweat.
I took to the Google machine (iPad) and searched for egg substitutes. Google returned a slew of pages but the most useful was this one.
I substituted a 1/4 cup of apple sauce for the egg and the pancakes didn’t skip a beat. I topped off our banana and chocolate chip filled creations with a “syrup” made of Hershey’s chocolate sauce and peanut butter. 45 seconds in the microwave melted the PB. The result sauce was like cake icing and it was delicious. Disaster averted. Score one for dad.Tweet
Pancake Wednesday: Yogurt Cakes
I’m always looking for a way to spice up Pancake Wednesday. The kids would be perfectly content eating buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup every week but it gets boring for me. A few weeks ago I had to scramble for an egg substitute and ended up using apple sauce. A friend suggested using yogurt, which I did last week.
When the kids saw me get the yogurt out of the fridge they immediately wanted to eat it. When I told them that the yogurt was going i the pancakes they were incredulous. My daughter laughed and my son said, “You can’t put yogurt in pancakes.”
“Watch me”, I said.
The yogurt pancakes are pictured above. They were easy to make and delicious. I basically used a six ounce container of fat free strawberry banana yogurt in place of an egg. I used Bisquick, which I hear is cheating, but the pancakes were fluffy and light and tinged with a hint of pink. I tried to make them the week before but cut down on the milk which resulted in the pancakes being more like biscuits. They were too thick and didn’t cook all the way through. The kids were unfazed but I knew they could be better.
Here’s what you’ll need:
6 oz. yogurt
2 cups of Bisquick
1 cup of milk
Enjoy.Pin It Tweet
My wife tried to turn me onto Pinterest last week. The concept was lost on me but I did find a recipe for tomato and sausage risotto that sounded amazing. I decided to give it a try over the weekend. The lady of the house was having spa day with her mom and sister on Saturday so the kids and I decided to make dinner.
I’m not a total kitchen novice but my past attempts at cooking risotto were epic flops. I am happy to report that time was a rousing success. The kids did their part by staying out of the kitchen (special shoutout to Scooby Doo meets Batman). I was able to concentrate and not make my previous risotto mistake, not paying constant attention to it. The recipe was easy to follow and the end result was delicious. I was a bit unsure about the spinach but it works so just go with it.
The recipe below came from Smittenkitchen.com
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10 to 14 ounces), washed well, tough stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
Pancake Wednesday: Ricotta cakes
So last week I made yogurt pancakes for my kids. They were easy, and awesome, and delicious. In my never ending quest to push the boundaries of pancake prep I decided to give ricotta pancakes a try this week.
I checked out this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. I figured what the hell, and headed to the grocery store for some ricotta.
Once I got home and started diving into the recipe, with a hungry toddler hanging on my leg and insisting on “helping”, I scrapped the recipe. Giada is no doubt a terrific cook but she made this recipe way too complicated and time consuming.
Instead of following the recipe I simply reverted to a standard pancake recipe and replaced the egg with 6 oz. of low fat ricotta. I also added a tablespoon of honey and vanilla to the mixture. The cakes turned out to be pretty good, but the ricotta taste was a little too faint for my liking. They were moist and fluffy but didn’t have enough cheesiness for me. Next time I’ll probably add a bit more ricotta and honey to the mixture. I may also go for the gusto and use whole milk ricotta instead of the low fat stuff next time.Pin It Tweet
My wife and I used to frequent Ledo’s Pizza specifically for the toasted ravioli. We loved those things until one day they mysteriously disappeared from the menu of our local Ledo’s. We haven’t been back since. Ledo’s is essentially dead to us. I can get a slice of pizza pretty much anywhere, including 7-11 these days, but there was only one go to place for toasted ravioli.
I decided to try my hand at making toasted ravioli for my wife as a Mother’s Day treat over the weekend. I left her at home, sans kids for a few hours, and headed to the grocery store with my two favorite miniatures. I decided to use Barilla’s Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini rather than ravioli because 1) I’ve had them before and know they’re good, and 2) I figured it would put an interesting spin on the dish.
The kids and I headed home to make dinner, which meant them playing in the yard while I tried to make dinner without burning down the house. The playing in the yard part went off without a hitch. Unfortunately I did make a serious run at burning down the house when I attempted to deep fry the tortellini in olive oil. Oops. Apparently that’s a no no. I had no idea until the kitchen started to fill with smoke. My wife came in from the back yard to find me frantically fanning smoke away from the smoke detector. She informed me of my mistake and I rushed the smoking pan outside to dump the contents into the garbage can.
I returned to the kitchen, gathered my composure, and completed the meal using vegetable oil to do the frying. The recipe I used came from Epicurious. You can find it here.
The tortellini turned out great. The recipe was pretty simple to follow, though I probably had the heat up a little too high. The tortellini are much smaller than ravioli so they were cooking hella fast. I was pretty much flash frying them. I’ll start the oil at a lower temp next time. I did add a pinch of red pepper flakes and grated parmesan to the bread crumbs. I’ll make them again and hopefully this time we won’t need the volunteer fire department on standby.Pin It Tweet
Sweet Potato Pancakes
I made the kids sweet potato pancakes for this Pancake Wednesday as a special treat. My wife had baked about a dozen sweet potatoes that came from her grandparents’ farm, so the fridge was well stocked. I used this recipe from Allrecipes.com, with a few slight modifications.
I cheated and used Bisquick. I placed two cups of Bisquick, along with a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the nutmeg, and the cinnamon in a mixing bowl. In another bowl I mashed three sweet potatoes with butter, then added the milk, eggs, and a 1/4 cup of apple sauce for some added flavor. After combining the two mixtures the batter yielded 17 pancakes. I’d suggest starting them out on medium heat to avoid setting off the smoke alarm (something of a specialty of mine) and burning the cakes (which never goes over well with the kiddos). We topped them off with some honey and the kids quickly cleaned their plates. If the dads out there, or moms, are looking for a new way to get kids to eat some veggies, while also getting a little adventurous in the kitchen, these sweet potato pancakes were easy to make and delicious to eat.Pin It Tweet
Bacon Related Update: Bacon Pancakes
My wife’s obsession with Pinterest finally paid off when she sent me a link for bacon pancakes. Always looking for ways to spice up Pancake Wednesday, and an excuse to work bacon into dinner plans, I figured I’d give it a shot.
These things were simple to make and so delicious the kids and I were eating them as they came off the griddle. I fried the bacon on one side then, immediately after I flipped it over, I covered each bacon strip with a 1/3 cup of pancake batter. The pancakes cooked up in a hurry in the bacon grease so be careful with the temp on your stove top. No butter, syrup, or jelly needed. The kids slammed these bad boys in a hurry and you will too.Pin It Tweet
Stuffed Pepper Soup
So I finally made myself useful today. After sitting around like a hump for the past five weeks recovering from surgery to repair my torn Achilles tendon I decided to take a culinary adventure. My wife and I had stuffed pepper soup for dinner over the weekend and I figured I’d give it a shot. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit.
I used a half green pepper, half red pepper, and half orange pepper to add some color. I browned the ground beef and mixed in the peppers and onion. After that I dumped everything in the crock pot with the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, a can of tomato paste, and about 6 ounces of water. I added the thyme and sage, as well as about six splashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. I didn’t bother cooking the rice. I just dumped it into the crock pot with everything else and let it cook for four hours.
The end product was delicious. It’s a very thick soup, almost a stew. You may want to add more water or chicken stock depending on your preference. My only complaint was that it needed a bit more Worcestershire. The best part was that my wife loved it. She’s been a trooper through my recovery and was long over due for a meal prepared by someone other than herself.Pin It Tweet
Simple Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe
I had a hankering for some hummus while I was stuck at home one day last week. I spotted a can of chick peas in the pantry and headed off to Google a hummus recipe. I quickly discovered that most hummus recipes call for tahini, of which I had none. What is tahini you ask? Tahini is a sesame seed paste.
I called an audible and searched for a no-tahini hummus recipe and found this one.
The recipe is really simple to follow. You basically need five things to make hummus: chick peas, olive oil, garlic, salt, cummin.
We had a bunch of red peppers in the fridge so I dusted those bad boys with olive oil and roasted them in the oven for about 8 minutes. I roasted them on aluminum foil on the top rack just under the broiler. After I removed them from the oven I just wrapped the foil around the peppers and let them sweat for about five minutes. You can peel the skins right off and dump them into the hummus to be blended.
The hummus recipe I used call for 4 -9 cloves of garlic, which seemed like a ton. It was. I stayed on the low side and used four gloves and it was still overpowering. I had to add extra peppers and some of the juice from the chick peas to cut down on the garlic flavor. In the future I’ll probably start with two cloves and add more if needed.
This hummus made for a great snack and was pretty simple to make. The total prep time was only about 15 minutes and most of that was waiting on the peppers.
Don’t be a-feared of the kitchen dads. Google is your friend and there’s always a substitute for just about any missing ingredient.Pin It Tweet