Kids in the Kitchen: Potato Quesadillas

Glancing through vegetarian blogs this week, I spotted a recipe for potato quesadillas with homemade whole wheat tortillas.  I honestly didn’t follow this recipe, because the idea appealed to me, and I just went with it.  We enjoy mashed potato taquitos and a special Hispanic dish called molotes, which are a homemade corn tortillas dough, wrapped around mashed potatoes and queso fresco and deep fried.  We also love thinly sliced potatoes with rosemary, sea salt and olive oil on pizza and potato strudel made with puff pastry.  All these dishes have in common a very special way the potatoes melt into the dough, creating a unique texture which is very delicious.  This recipe would have been better with uncooked flour tortillas, but I just bought whole wheat flour tortillas and made the quesadillas with them as a quick lunch time treat.  This was an excellent dish for Max to help with.  I baked the potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes, and then peeled them with a knife.  Then he grated the potatoes.  This wasn’t his first experience with a grater, but it still takes real concentration to avoid grating his fingers.

Then we filled half of each tortilla with grated potato, and topped with grated cheese.  I got a great deal on some pre-grated cheese this week, and so we used a “Hispanic blend.”  Max was a little timid with the cheese.  Next time, I will make sure there is more cheese on each quesadilla.

Fold the tortillas in half.  Many quesadilla recipes stack two tortillas on top of each other, but they are easier to flip if they are made from a single tortilla.

While assembling the quesadillas, heat a griddle over medium high heat.  Generously butter the skillet, and lay the tortillas on the hot butter, pressing down with a spatula to help them cook evenly and melt the cheese.  Flip after about 3 minutes to grill other side.

Cut in half to serve.

To make 7 quesadillas:

8 small potatoes, scrubbed and poked with a fork

7 whole wheat tortillas

1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used an Hispanic blend with asadero and cotija)

butter for the skillet

Bake potatoes in the microwave until just soft.  Peel (or not, if your potato skins look fine.  Mine were ugly.) Grated on the large holes of a box grater.  On one half of each tortilla, layer potato and grated cheese.  Fold in half and cook on griddle over medium high heat with plenty of butter.  Serve with salsa and pot beans (if you have them.)

Do you have a special potato dish that is your family’s favorite?  Leave me a recipe or a link in your comments!

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Spring is Coming!

After our very mild winter, it doesn’t feel like spring will ever come.  Not that the days haven’t been getting longer, and the weather warming up, but it doesn’t feel like we have suffered through enough winter to deserve spring.  Maybe that’s why it took me so long to be serious about ordering my seeds.  I have a couple favorite seed companies, but the ones I have ordered so far are through Pinetree Garden Seeds.  They are very inexpensive, partly because there are few seeds per package.  But since I probably don’t need more than six hills of any one kind of squash (even though I think I do), they are my resource for seeds.

Since the weather was so beautiful today, I was motivated to buy the soil and pots for starting the squash seeds in my kitchen windowsill.  Max and Lulu spent most of the day outside today (one of the many joys of homeschooling in springtime), and they were my chief gardener helpers for today.

We planted an orange and green bumpy winter squash variety called Lakota, a smooth yellow variety called Australian Butter, and our family’s favorite: Delicata.  Hopefully we will have an abundance of squash from our own garden this year to store in our cold storage.  Last year, we bought a ton from the local farmer’s market, and we used the last of it about two weeks ago.  This year, maybe we can have squash from our own garden.

Lucy wrote markers to identify our seedlings while Max poked the seeds down in the dirt.  Then she helped him out to finish up.  Squash seeds are so big and easy to plant.  We bought a “windowsill garden” with a cover so that we could keep the dirt nice and damp while the seeds germinate.

Have you got your garden planned out?  What are you doing to get ready for spring?  Please leave me a comment below.

Kids in the Kitchen: Pizza is a Vegetable Night

Pizza is a great meal for kids to learn to make.  In fact, I think pizza ought to be in your weekly meal rotation.  Why?  It’s a perfect vehicle for lots and lots of vegetables; it’s a one pot meal on a cookie sheet; everyone loves pizza!  Once you learn to make the dough, the only trick is deciding what to top it with this time.  Brett is our chief pizza dough maker, and this is the recipe he likes:

Pizza Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1 cup warm water

1 1/4 cups cold water

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 1/4 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, place all ingredients except reserve about 1 cup of flour.  Mix to combine.  If you are using a stand mixer, allow it to knead into a soft dough, adding remaining flour as needed.  Otherwise, turn the dough onto a well flour counter and knead for about 5 minutes, adding additional flour to make the dough smooth but not tough.  Allow dough to rise for one hour in well-oiled bowl.

Grease a pan for the pizza.  I like thick “Pizza Hut” style crust, and I use a jelly roll pan.  This recipe could easily make two pizzas if you use round pizza pans or like thin, crispy crust.  Without completely deflating the dough, divide it and spread it onto the prepared sheet(s).  Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Good crust depends on a hot oven.  Allow to rest while you prepare toppings.

Some of our favorite toppings:

  • pesto, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes
  • potatoes (thinly slice and parboil, spread over the pizza with a drizzle of olive oil and salt)
  • carmelized onions with parmesan
  • alfredo sauce, chicken and red bell peppers
  • tomato sauce with ham and pineapple
  • tonight’s meal was homemade pizza sauce with mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, onions, and fresh mozzarella
  • pepperoni with a sprinkle of parmesan

When the toppings are spread on the pizza, put in the preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Some Thoughts on Practicing: How to Relax and Still Make Progress with your Music

I have been doing some work on making instrument practice more enjoyable at our house.  My two oldest kids work hard at their music and are very self-motivated.  Their hard work shows in the excellence with which they play.  But the two younger ones are still in the beginning stages of their music education, and they need a little outside encouragement to help them work hard at their practicing.  I used to go by the “Just make them do it.,” philosophy, and that is still the bottom line.  But as our homeschooling ideas have relaxed, I look for ideas to motivate without forcing.  Here are some ideas that have helped practice time to be happier at our house.

1.  Intermission.  I am frustrated when the practicing is punctuated by “I have to get a drink of water,” or “I need to use the bathroom,” or “Just let me stretch my back.”  I realize that those bodily needs are real, and that they become more urgent when our minds want let off the hook during a long period of concentration.  Therefore, we plan an intermission halfway through the practice session.  For five minutes, the kids run around, have fun, use the bathroom and get a drink of water.  The activity that is not allowed is picking up a book — I’m afraid they would never return to their practicing, they would get too distracted.  This intermission has helped me to relax about their concentration because they have a set break time.  This intermission does not get subtracted from practice time, so if they have an hour assigned, with the intermission it will be an hour and 5 minutes.

2.  Workouts.  We just began doing intense workout sessions for only ten minutes.  For ten minutes we work on a specific technique without stopping to correct any other flaws.  For example, last week we worked on Lucy’s bent thumb on her bow hold.  For ten minutes she would play easy songs, starting over every time she let her thumb straighten.  She showed marked improvement after just one week of these short daily workout sessions.  This week, we will choose another technique to concentrate on for our workouts.

3.  Recordings.  Eden got us started with this as she was recording herself in preparation for a concerto competition.  Now, we realize that video recordings of just one piece allows the child to critique himself.  We are trying for two recording critiques each week.

4.  Performance.  While we always perform for friends, family and frequent recitals, this month we are trying something new.  The kids and Eden’s piano students will perform at an assisted living center as a charitable act to bring some music to the lives of older individuals.  The kids have been excited to practice, thinking about this performance and the joy it will bring.

5.  Bribery.  Lulu has wanted a camera of her own for some time.  I made her judge of her practicing, and if she feels she has concentrated well enough, she and Max each can earn 50 cents for a practicing well done to save for the camera.  She has been happy to practice, knowing she is earning a reward in the near future.

I hope these thoughts help you as you work with your children on their music studies.  Do you have a great tip you would like to share?  Please leave it in the comments below.

Kids in the Kitchen: Kids Cooking Together — Cowboy Cookies

My older kids have recently reached the point that they can help their younger siblings to finish a recipe.  Recently, my two boys worked together to make a treat.  Cowboy Cookies are our go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies, since they turn out reliably and contain the added nutrition of oatmeal.  This addition gives us the dubious excuse that they are healthy enough to eat more than one.  Anyway, instead of spreading all over the cookie sheet like many chocolate chip cookies, these make a perfect cookie every time.

When the kids are cooking together, you just have to remember that they are building a wonderful sibling relationship and learning a new skill — which is not necessarily cooking, but more like patience or working together.  You kind of have to put aside your standards of cleanliness for the achievement of happiness.  (Don’t ask how many times they licked their fingers — you don’t want to know.  I didn’t give these cookies to anyone outside the family.)

Sorry for the blurry i-phone pictures.  Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Cowboy Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 and 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar.  When thoroughly mixed, add the eggs.  Continue mixing and add dry ingredients.  To the soft dough add vanilla and chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons (or form them into balls as Brett does) on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Happy eating!

School Around the House

I  call myself hyper-active or ADD sometimes.  I’m glad I don’t have to sit in a classroom all day.  Even though I have a perfectly wonderful schoolroom, built especially to my specifications, and a beautiful handmade school table, I have a terrible time sitting still and doing schoolwork with the kids.  Perhaps that’s because I can always think of other things I could be taking care of at the same time.  We have a special name for the solution to the problem.  It’s called “follow Mom around the house” school.

Sometimes we do spelling test in the sewing room while Mom is ironing.

Saxon math requires a lot of mental math and skip counting drills every day.  Sometimes we do this in my bedroom while I make my bed.

And more counting while I put away laundry.

Did you notice the quilt? (I told you I am ADD.)   Why yes, I made it myself.  It was machine quilted, although I usually like to do the hand quilting myself.  Piecing quilts is not something you can do while listening to skip counting however.  Either the counter escapes or the quilt escapes.  It is not a good combination.  Here is a close up of the quilt:

And then, of course, there is kitchen school.  That sometimes comes as active involvement by kids in a cooking project, but often involves a kid sitting at the counter reading aloud or discussing a project with me while I wash dishes or prepare lunch.

And last, but certainly not least, is the time when we all discipline ourselves and sit down at the schoolroom table to do our work.

I have never noticed any bad effects on learning from this type of school, and perhaps there are even some benefits to the kinetic learner as we move around from spot to spot.  But really, this type of school is for the benefit of Mom — I get my jitters out and feel like I am multi-tasking.

Do you do chores while you teach your kids?  Are there some chores that are possible while teaching, and others that just cannot be done?  Please leave me a comment.

Healthy Homeschooling: Why Whole Foods are Important, and How to Get Your Kids to Eat Them

How many times have you heard someone say, “Fresh fruits and vegetables are just too expensive!  I can’t afford to eat like that!”  I have heard that statement several times over the past few days, and in fact, I used to feel that way myself.  After I had spent my food dollars on the slab of meat that I thought was the necessary center of every dinner, I hated to spend any extra on vegetables.  We ate frozen vegetables or potatoes with most dinners, and garden vegetables when they were available to us.  I just felt I couldn’t justify the extra expenditure on fruits and vegetables.

My diet has changed a lot since those days, and we buy fruits and vegetables first.  Occasionally, we buy meat.  I can tell you exactly how much we have spent on meat in the last two months.  $15.00.  That made a wonderful steak dinner that we shared with our parents.  We have also been given a spiral cut ham, which made about 10 meals (ham is wonderful flavoring), and a two pounds of lamb given to us by my parents.  Our basic diet has consisted of fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains.

While whole foods can include meat, most people using this phrase are talking about including more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains in their diet.  We also are talking about eliminating highly processed foods from our diet.  Why is this so important?

Reason #1:  Vitamins in context.  Our body is built to use vitamins and minerals in combinations that are best found in foods.  According to the ADA, vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E and selenium have been found very beneficial and necessary to human health when found in food, but do not seem to be absorbed from supplements.  This may have to do the other nutrients contained in the same foods.  Scientists have long put magnesium in calcium supplements to aid absorption, but whole foods include many trace elements that may aid our health even more in the long run.

Reason #2:  Fiber.  One of the main results of processing grains is the removal of fiber.  Fiber is necessary to the human body for cleansing reasons, as well as to promote a feeling of fullness as we eat. Fiber also changes the way sugar is converted in the blood stream, allowing blood sugar to stay more controlled.

Reason #3:  Less sodium and sugar.  According to the Mayo Clinic, processed foods contribute over 75 percent of the sodium to the average American diet.  If you are a careful label reader, you will understand why, as varieties of sodium show up on the label of nearly everything processed: sweet or salty.  This is because salt, besides being a flavor enhancer, is a preservative.  To give processed foods longer shelf life, more sodium is added.  In addition, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are key ingredients in many processed foods, because our bodies have an innate craving for sugar.  Sugar is a “selling” ingredient.

10 Easy Ways to incorporate more whole foods into your diet:

1.  If you cut it, they will eat.  Make a sliced fruit and vegetable plate to put on the table with your meal.  Include some old standbys, like carrots and apples, and some new ones to try, like golden bell peppers or jicama.  Make sure everyone “chooses a vegetable,” just one, to eat with their meal.  If the plate is not empty by the end of the meal, leave it on the table for nibbles and snacks.  My teenager recently commented that jicama is like chips — easy to eat too much of– except healthier.

2.  Invite your kids to pick a new fruit or vegetable to try when you visit the produce section together.  At a recent grocery store trip, we spotted blood oranges, pomelos, and honey tangerines.  We bought one of each (they were quite expensive), and had a family taste test at our next meal.

3.  Serve fruit with breakfast.  This is a great time of year to eat a grapefruit every day, but breakfast is a great time for berry smoothies, bananas, or applesauce as well.

4.  Make a pot of vegetable soup to serve as a “first course” with dinner.  If everyone is hungry when they sit down, the soup will go down  quickly while you wait for the rest of the meal.  Remember, just half a cup of vegetable soup is a whole serving of vegetables.

5.  Buy whole wheat pastry flour.  Use at least half whole wheat pastry flour next time you make cookies or cake — most likely, no one will even notice.

6.  Use regular whole wheat flour when making pie crust, pasta, or yeast breads.  I always use at least half whole wheat flour in baking, and sometimes all whole wheat, depending on the recipe.  Sometimes it makes the dough a little more difficult to handle (pasta especially), but the nutty flavor of the whole wheat is a wonderful addition to almost every recipe.

7.  Try different beans and grains.  There are a wide variety to choose from.  We eat polenta (stone ground corn) for breakfast with maple syrup, or fried with spaghetti sauce for dinner.  Quinoa makes a wonderful, grassy-flavored casserole.  Barley, oats and rye each have their own individual flavors.  We recently tried Madagascar pink rice for another unusual treat.  Beans also come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors.  Each one has its own distinctive flavor.  Experiment to find your favorite.

8.  Serve a new whole food alongside an old favorite.  Don’t try too many new things at once.  A palate overwhelmed by change cannot enjoy it.  Savor the new while using the old.

9.  Throw out the can opener.  On this website, as well as many others, you can find recipes to make your own cream sauces and soups so that you can avoid the preservatives, sodium and sugars of canned foods, as well as the BPA in the lining of the  cans.

10.  Use honey instead of sugar.  Honey can be used instead of white sugar in many recipes — usually you need only half as much honey as you would sugar, and reduce the liquid a little.  This substitution requires a little more experimentation, but once you become accustomed to the flavor of honey, you will never go back to just plain sugar.

Soon you will find that everyone in your family is enjoying these whole foods together, and reaping the health benefits.

Happy Healthy Eating!

Relaxed Homeschooling: Managing the Chaos

It’s been crazy around here.  Spring is music competition time, so during February and March we are crazy with extra music recitals, besides everything else that normally goes on in our household and some new responsibilities.  It’s actually got me fantasizing about the Mommys that send their kids to school and have a cup of coffee before folding a few loads of laundry and mopping the kitchen floor.  I know that sending the kids to school would not really relieve the pressure, it would just change it, but sometimes I fantasize anyway.  What would it be like to make my bed without listening to skip counting, and fold laundry without checking on my violinist’s straight thumb?  Boring, I know.

I thought I would share with you some time management strategies I am using to stay sane while life is a little crazy.  Please don’t hold me accountable if I give you some advice I am not following perfectly myself:  I’m taking baby steps to get there.

  • Set absolute priorities.  There are a few things that are absolute necessities in our life.  For us these are music, math and dinner.  If I make sure these three things are taken care of, the rest can fall as it will.
  • Classify things on my to-do list as important and urgent.  Sometimes things that are urgent are not important (I don’t answer every phone call or respond to every text or even check my e-mail every day), and some things that are important are not urgent (I can procrastinate a little.)  I try to do all the urgent, important things first in the day so that the big things are taken care of, and then do the little things.  That means we start our days with music practicing, and dinner is often made before lunch.
  • I make meals ahead.  This Sunday afternoon I spent about 2 hours in the kitchen.  I usually don’t mind cooking, so this was a chore I could handle on a Sunday.  Making a big pot of soup and some special salads for lunches through the week means some of my evenings will not be as pressured.
  • Make lists.  I am compulsive on this one, although I often lose the list.  If I write it down, I find that it is easier to remember something.
  • Make sure there is some rest time.  Decide what it is that makes you tired out, and give yourself a way to rejuvenate.  For me, too much time around people other than my family is very tiring.  I take time with my book in the evening, and even chase the kids downstairs so that the house is quiet.
  • Congratulate yourself every day on the chores you did get done.  Remember you are a valuable person, and the job you are doing as a mommy to your children is irreplaceable.  Give yourself credit.

Hope you are having a wonderful day, and finding a way to have calm and happy days.  Do you have a great tip for feeling more relaxed?  Please leave me a comment.

Kids in the Kitchen: Gravy (and Biscuits)

Eden’s learning project in the kitchen this week was gravy.  People make a really big deal about gravy, making it a lot more difficult than it really is.  I am always surprised by how many people buy those gravy mixes in little packets at the store.  Why would you buy a mix for something that has only three ingredients:  fat, flour, and water (or milk)?  I knew gravy was something I definitely want my kids to have mastered before they leave home.

At Christmas time, a contractor Shandy works for gave us a large spiral cut ham.  With our new very-low-meat diet, we did not want to eat the ham all at once, and baked ham has never been our favorite anyway.  So I divided the meat up into many small packages, and we have been using the ham for flavoring for numerous meals.  We have eaten baked beans, corn chowder with ham, and ham pizza.  Today, we used ham for gravy.  This is, by the way, a very inexpensive way to feed a family.

When making ham gravy, there are two options.  You can fry the ham first as a steak, and then make gravy with the “drippings” (fat and flavoring left over in the pan), or fry the ham in bite size pieces and include it in the gravy.  We prefer the second option, especially with the ham from a spiral cut ham which is very thinly sliced.  You could also buy sliced deli ham to make gravy the same way.  We started with about 3/4 pound of thinly sliced ham.  Either way, you will probably need to add butter or oil as fat to the pan.  To make enough gravy, we added about 6 tablespoons of butter.

After the ham is fried in the butter and beginning to turn color, up to 10 minutes at medium high heat, you can begin to add flour to the pan.  Add a little flour and whisk it into the fat, combining completely and allowing the flour to completely soak up the fat.  You will need to add approximately as much flour as you had fat, adding it slowly to allow it to absorb the fat.  It is better if it doesn’t clump up to much, but at this point it doesn’t really matter.  You can stir the lumps back out as you add the liquid.  Continue adding flour until the fat has been completely absorbed by the flour, and then add about one more tablespoon.

For Southern-style biscuits and gravy, milk is the traditional liquid.  Add about one cup of liquid to the pan and whisk briskly.  As it is absorbed, continue to add milk, 3/4 cup to 1 cup at a time, whisking until it is absorbed.  After about the third addition, the gravy will start to thin out, and then additions will need to be smaller, so that the gravy remains thick.  In total, you will add about 6 cups of liquid to this amount of fat.  As the gravy thickens and then thins, you should turn down the heat on your stove to control the cooking rate, ending up at low to maintain the gravy at good temperature while you make biscuits.

Ham Gravy (serves 6)

3/4 lb. ham (could substitute country-style sausage, fry until nearly done before continuing)

6 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup flour (approximately)

6 cups milk (approximately)

salt

Eden has been making biscuits for a while now.  She learned well the secret about not patting them out too thin, so that she makes beautiful, tall biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)

Makes about 8 tall biscuits

2 cups flour (sometimes we use half whole-wheat, but Eden prefers white flour biscuits)

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

5 tablespoons cold butter

7/8 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Cut in butter with pastry cutter.  Quickly mix in the buttermilk.  Add more if necessary, but do not get the dough too wet.  Fold together with your hands to make soft dough, very gently.  Pat out on well floured counter to 3/4 to 1 inch thickness.  Cut with biscuit cutter or knives and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Reshape leftover dough very gently and cut again.  Bake about 12 minutes to golden brown, and serve hot, topped with gravy or butter and honey.

Biscuits and gravy with fried eggs and a smile.  What a great dinner for Daddy to come home to!

This gravy is a basic tool that I used (calling it sauce) instead of ever buying canned soups while making tuna casserole, macaroni and cheese, and even lasagna, because using the fat without the meat in this recipe results in a bechamel “white” sauce, to which cheese or sour cream can be added to make an even richer sauce, or an egg to make a hollandaise.  Eden may need a few more tries before she is completely independent on gravy, but soon she will have this basic tool as part of her cooking repertoire.

Do you use a basic sauce like this one as part of your cooking toolbag?  Do you have another basic recipe that kids should learn to use?  Please leave me a comment below.

 

Kids in the Kitchen and Family Breakfast

Do you appreciate the opportunity you have every morning to eat a meal with your family?  As longtime homeschoolers, we sometimes laugh when we hear campaigns to eat “one meal a day as a family,” since we nearly always eat 2 meals together as a complete family, and the kids and I usually eat 3 meals together every day.  Sometimes breakfast can be the unsung hero of family meals, though, as members of the family get busy through the day but are able to meet together in the morning for at least a few minutes.  Why not find a few minutes of family time in the mornings instead of sleeping to the last possible minute, gulping down a little cold cereal and going to work?  It will put a smile on your face that will last all day.

I am prejudiced about breakfast, because it is my favorite meal.  I would gladly eat breakfast (and yes, for me that includes oatmeal and porridge) three meals every day.  I love hot cereals, and love finding new combinations to make and new recipes to share.  Here is one Max and I made the other day:  Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes

This recipe could easily be mixed up the night before, leaving you only the cooking process in the morning.  It makes a very stiff batter, and they take quite a long time to cook — about 4 minutes per side.  This would be a great recipe to get out the big griddle or two pans so that you can cook several at once and begin eating while the rest are cooking.

Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes (adapted from Mark Bittman)

2 cups pre-cooked and cooled oatmeal (I just made double the day before and saved it)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup rolled oats (uncooked)

1/3 cup chopped almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk (or a tiny bit more)

1/3 cup raisins

Honey and brown sugar for serving

Mix together flours, oats, almonds, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.  In a large bowl, combine egg, milk, cooked oatmeal, and raisins.  The cooked oatmeal is a little stuff, so a kid might need some help mixing.  Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, making a stiff batter.  Max read and gathered all the ingredients, did all the measuring, and began the mixing, but needed a little help finishing up.  Add a little more milk to get to stiff batter stage if necessary.  Cook on a well-oiled griddle until set on each side.  Bubbles don’t come up through this batter as much as through ordinary pancake batter, so you kind of have to watch for the sides to set.

While the pancakes are still hot from the grill, coat with brown sugar or honey and serve.  We liked both, with brown sugar slightly topping out honey in the taste tests.  The original recipe included apricots and ground cardamom, neither of which were ingredients in our pantry this morning.  I am sure they would be good as well.

Hope you enjoy your family breakfast!  Do you have a favorite breakfast recipe?  Please leave a link in your comment!