This was my second time making these pancakes and I have decided I love them! With the lack of chocolate, I have been trying a few plain fluffy pancake recipes and they have all been eh…I guess I”m not a plain pancake kind of gal (except when served with sausage links and both drizzled with maple syrup…one of my two post-call treat breakfasts). These have just that little bit of extra kick from the vanilla and cinnamon and are SUPER fluffy! I have eaten these plain and with a little syrup, but to me, they really don’t need anything at all. Recipe from AllRecipes.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, or as needed
1. 1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
2. Whisk in the milk, egg, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until only a few lumps remain.
3. Let the batter stand for 5 full minutes for extra fluffiness.
4. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat, and brush with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers, slowly pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the hot pan. Cook until bottom is browned, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook until the center of the pancake is set and the other side is browned, about 2 more minutes. Keep warm until serving.
I have not mastered the art of food photography yet, but trust me, these are fluffy, yummy and delicious!
I love to make pancakes, especially fluffy ones. The fluffier the better! My tips and tricks that I’ve learned to make extra fluffy pancakes
- Sift the dry ingredients-adds air=fluff
- Lightly whisk egg, but don’t over beat. Alternately, you can separate and whip egg white and fold it in last. I have never done this but supposedly it works well
- Very lightly stir batter, there will be lots of lumps left, but that’s okay, even slightly overstirring will result in flat pancakes
- I personally have found that melted butter leads to more flat pancakes and have had better luck using or subbing equal amounts of vegetable oil
- Letting the batter sit is key…it allows all the ingredients and leavening agent/s work to introduce air bubbles=fluff
I got this recipe from Liz at Little Bitty Bakes. Check it out, she has so many delicious and creative original recipes to browse through. I have several on my list to make! I had been wanting to make these cookies for awhile, but knew wrapping 24+ caramels in cookies wasn’t going to be very 4 yo and 17 month old friendly. I fortunately got an unexpected day off of work (basement fire in the high rise I work in, no one hurt though) and after doing a lot of work, cleaning and working out, this was the perfect sweet treat to end my ‘me’ day. They were AMAZING…salty sweet goodness. The addition of pudding to the cookie made it oh so soft…will have to try this trick with more cookies. Try them…yesterday!
Sea Salted Caramel Cookies
Blue ribbon worthy! Soft caramels are wrapped around butterscotch flavored cookie dough and sprinkled with sea salt for a soft, sweet and salty cookie.
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 package (3.4 oz) butterscotch instant pudding mix
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 30 soft caramel candies, unwrapped
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
Heat the oven to 375°F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla and milk; beat until mixed.
In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix, and flour.
Shape the cookie dough into one-inch balls. For each cookie, flatten one cookie dough ball in the palm of your hand; place a caramel candy in the center and wrap the cookie dough around the candy.
Bake 10 minutes or until the cookie edges are light golden brown. Sprinkle with additional sea salt immediately, if desired. Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
Yes, another “Mediterranean” recipe. At first glance it appears similar to the Mediterranean orzo, but it is quite different. Very lemony! When I was at the grocery store and saw all the beautiful bright lemons out, I knew I wanted to have it this week. The only major modification I made was I use the whole can of garbanzo beans, because the kids eat them but usually not the chicken. Recipe from Favorite Family Recipes
1 bottle Lawry’s (or any) lemon pepper marinade (It’s sodium free, makes me a little less guilty about using it!)
2 chicken breast halves
lemon pepper (did not have/omitted)
1 onion, diced
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 c. garbanzo beans (I used the whole can)
12-15 cherry (or grape) tomatoes
Kalamata olives (did not use)
For the rice:
1 c. long-grain, white rice (I made 2 cups of instant white rice)
2 c. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (or to taste)
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed (add more if you dare)
1/2 tsp. pepper
salt (to taste)
Marinate chicken breast halves in lemon pepper marinade for at least an hour (sealed tightly in a plastic Ziploc bag works best). Remove chicken and discard marinade. Place chicken in a 9×13 glass baking dish and sprinkle with lemon pepper on both sides. Bake at 350-degrees for about 35 min or until juices run clear and chicken is completely cooked through. While chicken is cooking, heat a little bit of oil in a large skillet. Add diced onion, zucchini, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans. Saute until onions become clear. Add tomatoes and saute an additional minute or so until tomatoes become hot.
Chop up cooked chicken into smaller pieces (at the restaurant they cut up the chicken into little cubes.. I would normally do that too but for the sake of a prettier picture I cut the chicken into strips) and stir in with sauteed veggies.
For the rice:
Cook rice with water according to package instructions (or in a rice cooker). After the rice is cooked, combine remaining ingredients (from olive oil on…) and pour slowly over rice while fluffing with a fork. Add more lemon juice a little at a time if needed.
Put a scoop or two of rice on a plate (or in a bowl). Add sauteed veggies and chicken (at White House Grill, they just kind of toss everything together and put it over the rice, I know the picture above is more layered.. I just did that because I thought it looked prettier.. it all tastes the same..) Top each bowl with about 2 Tbsp. feta cheese (or to taste). Garnish with Kalamata olives.
These have been all of Pintrest…and for good reason, they are amazing! Proof is that both of my children actually ate their meat! While not hard, the time to do all the steps is towards the long end of what I would do even on the weekend. But they are so worth it!
The first time around, I went with the recipe only subbing sour cream for the heavy cream. I think it overpowered the chicken taste. This time, I saw this version from The Picky Apple and I definitely like it much better! It omits any cream. I also decided to only use 8 oz + a scattering more on top of cheese as well as low carb whole wheat tortillas, which was plenty. You really taste the chicken mostly, which is what I wanted! It also makes it tolerable calories wise. By my calculations, making 7 (because I had used one of the tortillas earlier in the week to make a wrap for lunch) totaled out to about 350 calories each. Combine it with a side of black beans and you have a decadent and tasty, fiber-filled meal for 500 calories (so not light, but not terrible either).
Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from The Sisters Cafe
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken or pork, cooked and shredded
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cans green enchilada sauce (use mild or medium, your preference!)-I only used one, it was enough
- 1 pound (16 ounces) cheddar jack cheese (or use pepper jack for an extra kick!)-I used 8 oz white cheddar (because I had it on hand) with a sprinkling of 2% 4-Cheese Mexican blend on top
- corn tortillas- I used low-carb whole wheat tortillas
To Make Sauce: Mix together honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder. Add to pork or chicken and let the sauce soak into the meat for about 30 minutes.
This was easy and yummy (but probably not too good for you, LOL!)
- 1 pkg. Chicken Italian Sausage (could use turkey or regular italian sausage as well)
- 11 oz. bread stick dough; refrigerated, ready-to-bake
- 12 oz. mixed vegetables; frozen (I used green beans, carrots, corn, and pea mix)
- 1 can Healthy Choice Cream of Mushroom soup
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese; shredded
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp parsley (optional)
- I used a dash of Italian seasoning in filling
- Preheat your oven to 375° F.
- Cook sausage on stove top according to pkg. directions
- Stir in veggies
- Once your sausage is completely cooked and veggies are hot, add cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 of shredded cheese and milk (and Italian seasoning, if using). Heat until hot and bubbly.
- Stretch your dough to lay across the top of your skillet and create a lattice design Top with the rest of your shredded cheese.
- Move to center of oven and bake for 13-17 (it took mine 17 minutes) min. or until dough is cooked and golden brown. Serve hot; garnish with parsley on top (optional).
So there are all kinds of recipes out there for things to do with cake mix. My interest was first caught by Birthday Cake Pancakes on Pintrest. And we all know how much I love pancakes. When browsing recipes, I also found a recipe for Cake Mix Blondies and it sounded pretty yummy, so I thought I would give that a try last Monday while I was at home with the new carpet being installed. They turned out…ok. As you can see in the pictures, the edges got too crispy and the center stayed too gooey. I wish the texture had been somewhere between the two and evenly throughout the dish. The middle did set a little better by the next day, but still probably not a recipe I will be trying again. There are other recipes out there, that use the whole box of cake mix, and I suspect this would give me a little closer to what I was expecting. However, since I had half a box of Funfetti mix left over, I decided to give the pancakes a try. They were good, but not pancakes. It was literally like eating the tops of cupcakes for breakfast. Not that that is a bad thing, though LOL!
Cake Batter Blondies
Recipe coming, I promise!
Cake Batter Pancakes (I halved the recipe)
- 1 box vanilla cake mix (used: Betty Crocker French Vanilla)
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons multi colored sprinkles
- POWDERED SUGAR ICING
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and cake mix. Stir in milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix to combine. Lightly stir in sprinkles.
- Preheat an electric griddle to 300 degrees. When heated, spray lightly with cooking spray and ladle about 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle. Carefully turn when edges are light golden brown. Continue cooking on the other side until the center springs back when lightly dented with finger.
This is a good, lighter pasta dish with veggies. It’s a big hit with our family! Even my mom asked for the recipe. If you were vegetarian, it could easily be adapted with veggie soy-sausage, a white bean or chick peas or just omitting the meat.
Mediterranean Orzo (Family Circle, March 08) Serves:6
12 oz. onion and garlic flavored chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2′” thick moons (I couldn’t find this flavor so I used Al Fresco tomato and basil)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. canola oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 t, dried oregano
8 oz. orzo
8 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 c. crumbled fat-free feta cheese
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
2 t. olive oil
1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage to skillet and cook for 5 mins., stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, 1 T. of the vinegar, and 1/2 t. of the oregano to pan. Cook 2 mins. Place sausage mixture in a large serving bowl.
2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook orzo according to pkg. directions. Add green beans to pasta for the last 5 mins. of cooking time. (I added them at the same time as the orzo). Drain and rinse under cold water.
3. Place pasta mixture in with the sausage mixture. Add remaining 2 T. vinegar, 1/4 t. oregano, the feta, parsley, and olive oil. Stir to combine and serve.
I have been on a quest to try a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. Mainly to be similar to the most delicious cookies ever, which were found in Dot’s Kitchen. Ms. Dot ran the little kitchen in the medical education building where I did my residency. Basically it was a little place where residents could get free lunch on weekdays before going to lunch time conference. It had a little hot line, salad bar, sandwich fixings, yogurt and drinks. Oh, and cookies. Warm, soft, gooey, melty delicious chocolate chip cookies. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you will. I am OBSESSED with chocolate chip anything (and so is my 15 month old…already…just like mom). My first word was pie, but probably would have been chocolate chip if it were easier to say. I still ask my mom to make her chocolate chip cookies any time I go home or she is here. She even told me how to make hers, which are basically the Nestle recipe with a few modifications. And they are good, not really even that far off of what I was looking for this time. But I thought I would try something else. My first attempt was following to the T the Alton Brown The Chewy recipe. Big time fail….
This time, I read and used a recipe in my King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion cookbook and went with The Chewy Chocolate Chip Recipe. I also read the little section in there about ways to reduce spreading and decided to make two major modifications. I used cake flour (though I have the KAF UNBLEACHED cake flour, everywhere that talks about reducing spreading specifically mentions bleached cake flour, so I don’t know if this helped or not) and substituted half of the butter with butter flavored shortening (this is actually one of the modifications in Mom’s recipe as well). I also chilled the dough for about an hour and a half prior to baking. And perfection. Well, actually, I feel like there are actually too many chocolate chips for the amount of dough. GASP…did I just say TOO MANY chocolate chips…blasphemy! But I think there are and next time will reduce the number a little.
The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe from The King Arthur Flour’s Bakers Companion
- 12 Tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks) (I used 6 Tbsp softened butter and 6 Tbsp butter-flavored Crisco)
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour Unbleached Cake Flour)
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped nuts, toasted (opt, I did NOT use)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
Beat the butter, light brown sugar, and corn syrup together until fluffy
Beat in the vanilla, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, and then mix in the egg. Beat well
Beat in the flour, and then stir in the chocolate chips (and nuts if desired).
- I chilled for an hour-hour and a half at this point
Drop cookie dough by the rounded tablespoon onto lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets (This step features one of my new gadgets…OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop)
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, just until lightly browned at the edges. For the chewiest cookies, do not over bake. The cookies will look slightly underdone in the middle, but will set up as they cool.
Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. To maintain the chewiest texture, store in an airtight container with a slice of apple or a sugar softener.
Warm, soft, chewy, yummy goodness!
Linking up again with Shannon over at “Life After I Dew” for SWW. This week I’m saying SO WHAT! to
1. John and Jordan were both up at 5:30 this morning so John got to watch pratically an entire Scooby Doo movie before school today. Awesome.
2. I had some extra time today due to a few missed visits, so instead of being productive at work, I finished a blot post I’ve been working like 3 days on, LOL.
3. I’m ready for my 30 Days, 30 Outfits Challenge to be over. It’s made me realize I have a lot of clothes, but most of which I don’t feel fabulous about. Probably not the clothes fault either.
4. Our back porch is covered in sand because our sandbox needs to be cleaned out so I let the kids play with sand in a big roasting pan and it just gets everywhere. But it makes them happy and less cranky, so yeah, sandy back deck it is!
Well it’s been closer to 7 months, but with the hoildays I thought now would be a better time to re-focus, re-evaluate and see how things are going. I picked 6 months because, well, I figured I needed at least that much time to physically and mentally recover from residency with two young children. Things were actually going very well in the beginning and then October-December definitely had their challenges. I think I get SO into the holidays that I put a lot of pressure on myself and then get disappointed when I do not accomplish everything I set out to do (and maybe I set out to do too much? I don’t think so but maybe it was too much this year). For instance, Jordan still eats everything, including crayons, ribbons, paint, so it’s hard to do crafts with her, although sometimes she is content to just explore and feel the materials. John is becoming very creative and independent so often wanted to change what we set out to make (such as a spider, santa, snowman, etc) to whatever he was interested in, at this point it’s usually a trap (a la Scooby Doo), robot/alient/monster/dinosaur. So I struggle with letting my k ids be creative and wanting to have a handprint reindeer like all the other Moms, LOL. A few people on Facebook posted a link to that Don’t Carpe Diem (or something like that) post, and I really related. I think when everything is’t perfect ALL THE TIME, I feel like I’m failing. I realized this about halfway through Christmas time and tried to really just enjoy the moments as they came. Because I *THINK* if most people with multiple young children are really truthful, things definitely don’t work out/go as planned all the time, and that’s not failure, that’s life. By the end, we had magical moments and awful moments and most were somewhere in between. I think my kids got a great Christmas experience and I really enjoyed that. My favorite days definitely included our baking day where we made several types of cookies to give to their teachers as school. The kitchen was a HUGE mess afterwards, but John helped, even if it meant some things got spilled. Jordan had fun playing in flour and with the other supplies and instead of just being strapped into her high chair being entertained with something else while we baked, she really felt like part of it. Of course I’m sure the next day, no one would nap or play nicely and we didn’t get anything done, but that’s ok!
I think that mind readjustment half way through really helped me. I have also started looking at books, exercise and other methods of relaxation and re-centering. At one point in time leading up to Christmas, I thought I was going to have to go see someone to get on anti-anxiety medicine. Not that that is a bad thing, but thankfully I am feeling much better and while things aren’t perfect, they are getting better. Because I am changing my mindset a little bit, but at the same time, I think it is helping me get more of what I want to get done, because I’m not so stressed about it. It’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t go as planned, I’m rolling with it a little more. I think with that mindset, instead of a day being blown because I didn’t get x project done, I still strive to find something that was good/fun/valuable that we did that day.
Truth be told, SLEEP plays a huge role in this. Your brain and body can’t function if you are tired. And my children, as wonderful and special as they are, just don’t sleep well. Considering how well their parents sleep even without the interruption of young children, well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree they say. Between a TON of travelling and illness, Jordan just wasn’t sleeping well until recently. She is still waking up early 5-5:30 most days, but thankfully has slept throught the night for the most part the past two weeks, and if she does wake up once in the night, I just go hug her and make sure she has paci, taggie and Belle and she goes back to sleep. We also struggle with John’s sleep in that he won’t go to sleep if someone isn’t with him. Since I’m so tired from Jordan being up at night/early that usually equals me falling asleep in John’s bed and then either getting NOTHING done at night, or waking up at 10 and staying up until 12 or 1 doing things because I can’t fall back asleep and then being tired and starting the whole cycle again the next day. Fortunately we are making progress in that front as well. I have had more nights where I was actually able to keep up with the dishes/laundry so that hopefully soon I will have more time to do things I WANT to do, like blog, scrapbook, tackle some organization projects around the house, and read for fun.
I wouldn’t really call them resolutions, I didn’t start Jan 1 on these and don’t plan on ending any time soon. So more like life changes or life goals, who knows what to call them. But what I plan on working on the second 6 months of life after residency are the follows
1-continue to get healthy. I have fallen off the wagon and gained a few pounds. Nothing terrible, but enough to take notice. More importnatly bimportantly I notice I am less toned because I’m not working out, so that is my real focus, to look and feel better, not the number on the scale (though I would like to get down to my initial goal weight again and hopefully my ultimate goal a few pounds below that.
2-continue to appreciate that a life full of occasional great moments and mainly good ones, with a few bad ones, is OK. That being said, I will on some level though continue to strive to provide great experiences for my family and children as well as work on the items below. Just not stress about it. Easier said than done.
3-Improve my home-it’s clean, it’s relatively organized, but could be better. Particularly closets and the desk/craft area. So I’m going to work on those, and Josh is planning on working on the garage. I also would like to finally hang curtains in the house and do our picture wall on the stairs. in general I just want to keep our home nicer, organized, a refreshing sanctuary to come to and live, not a constant source of more stress for me. this requires me to get my booty in gear at nights, but with the improvements in little ones sleep, I think this is very poosible.
4-Work on my marriage. no problems in paradise or anything, in fact, I think if you make it through what we have the past few years, things are good. But I would like to continue to work to find more “us” time. We have it occasionally but not enough. And not just dinner out and things like that, but just more time where we can actually talk instead of just taking care of the days business. We’ve had some discussions recently, particularly about the Republican debates/candidates, that have been fun and heave forbid, I actually think/learn things when we actually have a real conversation.
I have these books that I plan to read, maybe one a month? for the next couple of months, to give me inspiration and guidance as I continue this journey to settle into my life for real (for now
The Happiness Project
This was the first book I ordered months/years ago along these topics. I liked it because though still unrealistic to take a year to do something and be paid to write a book about it, but at least she transformed her life where she was at. She didn’t travel exotic places or do really crazy things. Just all those little things you say you are going to do/work on. I have read parts of it but not the whole thing. I think this will be my first to finish.
I ordered this at the recommendation of Shannon over at “Life After I Dew” (an awesome mommy and blogger, go check out her page!). I tried to start it this weekend, and I must admit, I am put off by her writing style. I was hesitant reading the reviews on Amazon, but thought I would give it a try. I’m going to keep trying, hopeful I get past it, because I like the general idea of finding beauty, joy in the every day.
This one may be a bit of a stretch, but I am looking at all angles. I actually came across this as I was looking up retro books on Amazon, but thought I would give it a whirl. Sounds like yet again, another wealthier woman with some luxuries that may not be afforded to most of us to make the most of our life, but maybe there will be something in there useful. I was looking at retro books/blogs and will write another post on this some day. Basically, I WAS looking for something about “Modern” Housewives/SAHM. I do not stay at home full time (I wish!) but I did decide to go part time to devote more time to my kids and making sure my family life/house/etc was running smoothly, at least smoother than it was during residency. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I look at people that continue and want to work insane hours and have to be away from home all the time and think, I USED to think I wanted to be that, but now I don’t. I know most people that do that don’t want to either but have to to afford the bills, etc. What happened to me? How does one go from wanting to save the world (literally by traveling around it as an infectious disease expert doing research..yeah, that’s what I used to want to do) to literally wishing I could be a SAHM/housewife. Why is that so bad? Since when was it a bad thing to want an orderly home and life, that YOU were the integral part of keeping together, not the nanny, housekeeper, grandmother, etc. Just a brief overview, more to come on this particular topic in the future.