The First Breakfast of Summer

Wanting to make the first day of Summer Vacation special for my monsters, I dove into a little recipe pioneering.  And came up with these: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes.  Um, yum!  They were light and fluffy and pair perfectly with Vermont Maple Syrup.  The kids love them- even more so that they were silver dollar-sized.  Usually we have a strict Double Stack Rule but with these little buggers, we stacked ’em sky-high!

So many of the recipes I have for pancakes, include modified sugar  and enriched white flour.  A common misconception is that using whole wheat flour will produce dense, dry confections.  On the contrary, using whole wheat flour, actually adds depth to the flavor and generally makes baked goods more moist and delicious.  If you haven’t used whole wheat flour before, my suggestion would be to ease into it by mixing half and half.  It does change the flavor- I love it but I have also been using it for years.  Now my recipe does call for a couple tablespoons of brown sugar.  In hind sight, I would have used a more natural sweetener like honey– or depending on the ripeness of your banana, you could just omit the sweetener completely.

Of course you will need some assistance from your helpers…

Photo7

I had the heat set to about medium and it seemed to cook the pancakes evenly and uniformly.

Photo8

Photo6

Now for the towering stacks…

Photo5

The smiling, sticky-sweet faces of my boys made my day- and I think this breakfast treat set the stage for what I hope our summer will be: fun, healthy and a little sticky!

Photo4 Photo3 (3) Photo2 (2)

Whole Wheat, Banana Pancakes

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar*
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Medium Banana
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • Dash of Cinnamon

*Swap out for honey or omit entirely

Preheat griddle to med heat.  Combine flour, baking powder and brown sugar (if using honey, add to the banana mixture instead).  In separate bowl, mash banana and whisk in egg and milk.  Add all at once to the four mixture and mix until just combined.  Using a tablespoon, drop batter into heated pan (spray with a little cooking spray before the first batch and then you should be good to go after that).  Once bubbles begin to form and the edges aren’t shiny, flip ’em over.  There you go!  Of course you could make regular-sized pancakes, but how fun is that?!

Clean pates in this house equal a meal well enjoyed!

Photo1 (11)

Celebrate summer!  Peace, Mamas!

Mama Project: Cookies

The day was gray.  The air was cool and damp.  We needed a project.  Let’s make cookies!  I decided to overhaul one of my favorite recipes for Oatmeal Cookies.  We swapped out the granulated sugar for brown, half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat, used bittersweet chocolate chips (the kids don’t even know the difference) and added almond extract to kick up the flavor.  photo (33)

Baking with my kids is both my favorite thing in the world and one of the activities that stresses me out the most.  I am constantly saying, Just a minute!  You need to wait!  Take turns!  Wait for me!  No, no that part is Mama’s job!  When I am not spitting out these orders, my reflexes are exercised by yanking hands from mixer paddles, dodging liquids from elbows and prying fingers from bowls, spoons, mouths.  Talk about intense!  This is supposed to be fun?

photo (31)

photo (29)

But… Then I watch their faces and see their eyes light with pride when they crack an egg, pour the measuring cup, add the chocolate chips.  This is a treat for them.  Cooking is something they watch me do every day but rarely get the opportunity to be part of the process.  The final tasting is magic.  Such fulfillment crosses their gooey grins.  Watching their satisfaction confirms my commitment of time to the project.  And these little suckers will go pefectly over the ice cream I have stashed for my late night snack.

photo (34)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 1/2 Cups Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

*Baking powder can be swapped out for brewer’s yeast and ground flax seed can be added to make the world’s most delish lactation cookies

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Mix until well blended.
  2. Combine flours and baking powder and add slowly to the butter mixture.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop using 1/2 inch melon-baller onto un-greased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes; do not over cook.
  5. Let cool on wire racks, if you can handle waiting that long!

photo (32)

These would kick Betty Crocker’s ass in a back alley brawl any day of the week!

Enjoy some kitchen time with your little bakers.