Lately it has been such a struggle to figure out what to make the kids for dinner. I am always trying to come up with something new and different to please all three of my kids. I made this Easy Cobb Salad recipe last week, and it was quite the hit. I used chopped rotisserie chicken, but leftover grilled chicken, shrimp or steaks would also be a nice addition. Between my daughter’s dance practices three nights a week and my two boy’s basketball schedules, January and February has been nuts. This main dish salad is a great new recipe that all three of them agreed that they really liked. Prepare your own salad dressing using red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil or use ranch or blue cheese. Have a great week ahead!
Lately, I have been making a ton of smoothie recipes for my kids as the weather is changing, and we are trying not to get sick. This Mango Smoothie made with frozen Greek Yogurt is my newest favorite. I am so excited to find Adonia frozen Greek yogurt by Ciao Bella. We added frozen mango chunks by Dole (which are a great healthy snack), and I combined them with the Mango Frozen Yogurt and almond milk to create an incredibly fabulous refreshing smoothie. A 1/2 cup of the frozen Mango Yogurt contains 9 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat and 130 grams calories. You can feel great about eating it as a dessert or afternoon snack. It’s been a perfect beat the heat treat. Some of my other favorite Smoothie recipe favorites, check out my Green Smoothie (below)
I am so excited to announce that my post today is by Sam Henderson of Today’s Nest, one of my favorite sites. Please be sure to check out his site and his incredible talent! I am honored to have him share his incredible work with you for National Hot Breakfast Month. Take it away, Sam….
Pancakes are an American staple and go by many names–flapjacks, hot sales, griddle cakes, etc. The breakfast standard has a long history and is even surrounded by a bit of folklore. Perhaps you have read the story of Paul Bunyan and his love for flapjacks. Some say it took nearly 20 men to make enough pancakes to satisfy him. I sometimes feel as though I could use a little help getting enough for my crew. They seem to disappear from the plate faster than I can flip them. We used a box mix for a long time until we discovered we could make better cakes on our own.
There is no magic in box pancake mix. The ingredients are, for the most part, already in your pantry. The only exception here is that many pancake mixes require just water to be ready to go. If you desire the taste of true buttermilk pancakes, you will be required to keep some buttermilk on hand. The good news is you can make some Homemade Butter or purchase some and keep it for other purposes.
Sam’s 10 Pancake Tips:
1. A word about syrup… I believe in saving money where it is sensible and doesn’t compromise good taste (in every sense of the word). REAL Maple syrup is not a meaningless purchase. Buy REAL Maple Syrup.
2. As a nice gift, double the dry ingredients and place them in an airtight jar. Tie a card around the top with the recipe written inside.
3. When you pour in the wet ingredients, mix quickly and just until moistened. That’s all. There may be some lumps, but it won’t be evident when your light and fluffy pancakes are served.
4. If you have the time, allow the batter to rest before using. Even after an hour the results are better.
5. Pancakes should be flipped only once. Pull up the side to see if the bottom is the color you want and then flip it gently. The second side should only take half to three quarters the time it took for the first side.
6. If you are using a non-stick pan or griddle you should not need any additional butter or oil.
7. I find a griddle much easier to manage for pancake making. I don’t have to struggle with the side of the pan and I can cook many more at a time.
8. I use an ice cream scoop to measure out my pancakes. Ours holds exactly 1/4 cup of batter, and I am able to maintain consistent results.
9. Freezing pancakes is simple. Place cooled cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with another sheet of parchment and another layer of pancakes. Continue until all are single layered between parchment sheets. Place in freezer until frozen. Remove frozen pancakes from parchment and store in a sealable freezer bag.
10. Reheat frozen pancakes covered with a damp paper towel in a microwave for 1-2 minutes.
It’s so cool that this year is a Leap Year. It’s like we have an extra day on the calendar (I know I could use one :)). I am so excited to partner with Quaker on their “Leap Day Delightful Discovery Campaign” and to be able to introduce their new flavor variety of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Honey Nut Quaker Oatmeal Squares. In honor of Leap Year and this fun campaign, I have an awesome giveaway. One winner will win a $75 Visa gift card to put towards something new for you in celebration of an extra day this year as well as the full product line of Quaker Oatmeal Squares. To enter, do as many of the following and leave a comment letting me know you did. Winner will be drawn on Sunday, February 19th at 2 p.m CST.
1. Leave me a comment telling me what you would like to discover with an extra day on the calendar year. Is it a hobby? recipe? more quality time with friends or “me time”?
2. Join the Quaker Oatmeal Squares Facebook page. Those who join the page will also receive a free sample of the new Honey Nut Variety of Oatmeal Squares to try for themselves.
4. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter
5. Follow Quaker on twitter
6. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest
7. Subscribe to Ingredients Inc by email
This post is sponsored by Quaker, but all opinions of this post are my own.