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.
Grilling in the summer is the norm at my house. Lately, I have really been trying to get my kids to eat more fish. This Halibut with Mango and Goat Cheese recipe is one of my newest favorite creations that they really liked (can you say no leftovers?). The combination of maple syrup and Dijon mustard flavors the fish to perfection, and it goes great with the sweet and savory mango topping made with fresh mangos, parsley, lime juice and goat cheese. This makes a great weekend night family dinner or weekend idea for entertaining with friends. Serve with a tossed salad and grilled asparagus or grilled okra for a healthy summery meal in under 35 minutes.
If you’re looking for a dinner idea under 30 minutes, try Salmon with Pineapple-Pomegranate Salsa. This main dish is incredibly heart-healthy, pretty and filled with great flavors. This salmon recipe is truly one of my favorites. Start simply by combining maple syrup and Dijon and brushing the mixture over the fish. Top it with the easy, fresh Pineapple Salsa combination made with chopped fresh pineapple, fresh cilantro, lime juice and pomegranate seeds. When pomegranate seeds are out of season, you can substitute fresh blueberries or dried cherries. Feel free to also grill the salmon when grilling season rolls around. Enjoy this dish for a weeknight or weekend, and serve it with your favorite rice and a mixed green salad.