Category Archives: Breakfast

Sun Pancakes

I don’t really like to trash talk on the internet. I try to to keep things fairly amicable around here. But today I’m going to trash talk. I’m going to trash talk someone that you all know and probably adore.

He’s the life of the party. Everyone loves him. He’s all bright and cheery, hanging around all cool-like, with his sunglasses and his giant smile. All he has to do is peek his little head out and people everywhere gravitate toward him. He’ll wrap you in a warm embrace or brighten your day with his cheery disposition.

Unless…

Bela Lugosi as Dracula

Well, unless you’re this guy.

Or me.

I’m talking about the Sun. What I ever did to him, I’ll never know.  But he hates me.

The Heartbreak Kid

We just got back from a trip to the beach. The first day, I slathered myself in SPF 50, covered up head to toe, and sat on the beach for a mere 2 hours. I still managed to get a sunburn. Story of my life.

I get a sunburn if I even think about the sun too hard. In fact, I’m getting burnt right now.

Sure, everybody loves the sun. But what has it ever done for me?

Summer Rental

Oh, sure, energy and vitamin D and photosynthesis and all that. Whatever.

Whenever I talk about the weather with people, I always pretend I’m in the Sunshine Lover’s Club.

“Oh it’s supposed to rain tomorrow? Darn!”

“Yes, it is great that the sun is finally out!”

“Oh joy! You’re telling me that it’s going to be sunny for the rest of the week?!? Wowzers that makes me so GLAD!”

I sing Oh Mister Sun and You are My Sunshine to my kids, sometimes even with a ukulele. They know Here Comes the Sun and Let the Sunshine In. I can even muster up a hearty chuckle when those Jimmy Dean breakfast commercials come on tv.

But it’s all a lie. A big, fat, gray-skied, cloudy lie. Because warm weather and sunshine make me kind of grumpy. There, I said it.

2. Justin Bartha, The Hangover (2009)

The Hangover

But enough trash talk… how about some yummy Sun Pancakes?

This is the pancake recipe I use.

Sun pancake

The suns vary, depending on the ingredients I have on hand. I like to do strawberries for the rays, or canned mandarin oranges. But the faces are always different. Sometimes I use blueberries or raisins for the eyes, and dried cranberries for the mouth. Chocolate chips make a frequent appearance. This was a lucky day for the Critics because they got whipped cream!

The Critics love these. Usually Don Corleone is the pancake maker in our house. But occasionally the kids ask specifically for sun pancakes. And I’m happy to oblige, even though… you know. They represent my archenemy.

I try to enjoy the sun, I really do. But I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I am, at heart, a rainy day kind of girl. Clouds and rain in the forecast make me smile. That’s just the way it is.

And I’ll spend the rest of my life searching for SPF 5000 sunscreen.

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Pumpkin Face Pancakes

To My Neighbor Mrs. Kravitz:*

I’m so sorry I picked your children up late for school today. But you see,  I had a very good reason. I mean, other than my usual “running late” excuse.

It all started when I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. Because, you know, of all the free time we usually have on school mornings. But I didn’t want to make just any pancakes. No sir. They had to be pumpkin pancakes. I used this recipe.

After I ladled out the first batch onto the griddle, I had the brilliant idea of making faces on the pancakes by pressing chocolate chips onto the top of each pancake while the underside was cooking. Then I flipped each pancake and realized I should have made stems.

So I took a small, 1/2 cup portion of remaining pancake batter and put it in a small bowl and added a few drops of green food coloring.

Okay, so now the first batch was no longer any good. I threw it to the dogs gave it to the kids to munch on while they eagerly awaited the second, more impressive batch.

Second batch: I ladled out four circles onto the griddle. Then I spooned a little bit of green batter at the top of each circle, making sure the green bit touched the big orange circle.  I signed homework, packed lunches, and unloaded the dishwasher with one hand while I pressed chocolate chip faces into the pumpkins with the other. All the while yelling things like, “Go get dressed! Find your shoes! Brush your hair!”

I flipped the pancakes, finished cooking them. Oh, they looked so cute. ‘Maybe I should put this on my blog,’ I thought, as I ran to get my camera, find the best light, take some pictures, realize I don’t like the plate, find a different plate, take some more pictures, yell some more at the kids, then finally feed them.

Oh, it’s time to go? “HURRRRRRY UUUUUP!!!! WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!!!!”

And then we came to your house. And we didn’t miss the bus. And that’s good. And I learned a very important lesson.

Never make pumpkin pancakes without stems. I mean, really.

Sincerely,

Your Most Awesomest Neighbor*

*Not our real names

Pumpkin Face Pancakes

Ewww, get out of here, scary black Halloween cat.

Pumpkin Waffles with Warm Cinnamon Syrup

Pumpkin waffles with warm cinnamon syrup.

You’re welcome.

Pumpkins are everywhere. I love the colors of autumn. I have to say, God really knew what He was doing when He colored fall.

I’ve talked before about how my family is obsessed with Star Wars. Not a day goes by when I don’t hear things like, “If Luke and Obi-Wan battled each other, who would win?” or “Who do you think would win between the Rancor and a Bantha?” A lot of “Who would win…” scenarios.

Even my little Elmo will walk around the house saying things like, “hooo-pah… Luke I am your father.” My husband is so proud.

Do any of them ever say (over a plate of pumpkin waffles, maybe?), “Hey, do you remember that episode of Little House on the Prairie when Ma bought new fabric to spite Mrs. Oleson, but then instead of using it to make a new dress for herself, she selflessly used it to make new dresses for Mary and Laura, and then Laura stood in front of the whole school and the parents and spoke about how amazing and wonderful Ma is?” (for the record, I do remember it; it’s Season 1, episode 2, “Country Girls“).

No. Nobody ever says that.

Well sometimes me, but nobody listens.

And for the record, I’m pretty sure Pa could whoop Obi-Wan and Luke together, Jedi or not.

Wow. This is really not at all where I thought this post was going.

What I was going to say is that little Elmo is my only hope (help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi). Sure, she does a mean Darth Vader impersonation, but for the most part, she likes princesses and twirly dresses and sparkly things. So that’s why I let her watch Disney Princess movies when the kids are out. Like Cinderella. Which brings us back to

Pumpkins.

Cinderella? And a pumpkin coach

Cinderella knows about pumpkins. Or at least her Fairy Godmother does.

Pumpkin Coach

Pumpkin Waffles with Warm Cinnamon Syrup

adapted from The Idea Room

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Beat egg with fork in a large bowl. Add milk, pumpkin, and oil, and whisk together.
  2. Mix in dry ingredients just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Cook in waffle maker.

Cinnamon Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
  1. Stir together sugars, flour, and cinnamon in small saucepan. Stir in vanilla and water. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Continue to boil and stir until mixture thickens to syrup consistency. Remove from heat; cool slightly before serving.

Click here for printable

Pumpkin Waffles with Cinnamon Syrup

This recipe got an enthusiastic 10 thumbs up from my Critics! It probably would have gotten 12, but I didn’t get to try any 😦 There wasn’t enough.  Stupid sacrificing-for-your-children crap.

I should have doubled the recipe. Next time I’ll know.

Sarah Crewe: I don’t even know what to say, it’s so delicious!

Batman: I think it’s sooo delicious!

Curious George: It’s the best waffles ever!

Elmo: I’m sticky.

Don Corleone spent several minutes trying to come up with something insightful about Ray Bradbury, autumn, and pumpkin waffles, but finally decided on: I think they’re great!

Oh, and just a note about the artwork for this post. My kids did the pictures. Now, I’m not one to criticize the artwork of children; however, if I had said, “Please draw me some pictures of Star Wars; it’s for my blog,” I probably would’ve gotten several masterpieces worthy of the Louvre. But I ask for Cinderella pictures, and I get a big circle with scribbles all over it and a Jack-o-Lantern in a dress.

I’m just sayin’…

"Sing sweet nightingale..."

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Well, let me tell you, I have made many different banana breads over the years. I never get too excited about them. When I have bananas that get to that perfect banana bread ripeness, I just look at them and think, “Hmmm… I guess I could make banana bread… Nah, forget it. I’ll just freeze them and use them in a smoothie later.”

Fast forward three months to when I’m cleaning out the freezer and finding the now brown, disgusting things in the freezer that used to be bananas. Yuck.

But this time we just had too many bananas. I knew they’d go to waste and I had to try to save them. I did a search online for banana chocolate chip muffins, and I found this recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Bread and Mini Loaves over at Food For My Family.

If you head on over there, you will see the beautiful pictures that convinced me I had to make this bread (in muffin form) straight away. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I finally found a banana bread recipe I like. These muffins are soooo good! Don Corleone agreed that they are the best banana muffins he’s ever had. The kids all loved them, and so did the neighbor’s kid who was playing at our house. This recipe is a keeper. In fact I’ll be making more muffins tomorrow for the freezer, since I still have two bananas to use up.

And don’t tell anyone, but I just might have another muffin right now with a glass of milk. Shhhh!

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

My little Curious George, my baby boy, is five years old today. I know I get mushy at all my kids birthdays, but five is an especially tough one. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because he’s school aged now… no more preschooler. Maybe it’s because he made such a darn cute four-year-old. Maybe I’m just afraid that all the annoying-but-funny comments he makes about dinner (that were the inspiration for this blog) are going to become more annoying and less funny as he gets older. Or maybe I’m just sappy.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s it.

Batman got chocolate milk waffles on his birthday two weeks ago, so of course, a bowl of Cheerios just wasn’t going to cut it today. More chocolate for breakfast!

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

  • loaf of Italian, French, or other such bread
  • Nutella
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Slice bread into 1-inch slices. Take each piece and slice it, halfway down but not all the  way. You’re making a little pocket. Almost like a pita. Squish about a tablespoon of Nutella into each pocket (see photo). Set aside.
  2. In a shallow pan or bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Heat a griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  4. Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture and turn to coat the other side. Place on hot griddle and cook a few minutes until one side is brown, then flip and cook the other side.

Stuffing the bread

Click here for printable.

French toast is so pretty!

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

This breakfast made my birthday boy very happy. He said, “This is sooo good! It tastes like Nutella was splattered inside the bread!”

Yesterday he told me, “Mommy, I’m trying to stay little, but I just keep having birthdays!” Sigh…

He still says funny things. For now, anyway.


Crescent Roll-ups

Sometimes I wish I was a Cool Snack Mom. One of those Moms that makes little bunny rabbits out of carrots, celery, and grape tomatoes. Or rocket ships out of broccoli and soybeans.

I’m more likely to toss the kids a bag of baby carrots and tell them to make sure they share. Then sit back and watch as a Lord of the Flies-like scenario unfolds.

But every once in a while (like if I remember to buy crescent rolls at the store, i.e. very rarely) I make a Cool Snack.

Crescent Roll-ups

  • package of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • brown sugar
  • raisins
  • finely chopped nuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚
  2. Open the crescent roll package and separate into the pre-cut isosceles triangles (nerd!). Lay the triangles out on an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle each triangle with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar. Add a few raisins and nuts.
  4. Roll up each triangle, starting with the base of the triangle and ending with the point. Bake in preheated oven for 11-15 minutes.

 

Crescent Roll-ups

Click here for printable version.

I’ve made this many times, and each time it’s a little different. It’s a great recipe for kids to make themselves. I put out a bunch of “fillings,” give each kid two triangles, and let them roll up their own. We’ve used coconut, chocolate chips, Nutella, and other dried fruits. This time, our fillings were brown sugar, diced strawberries, and chopped almonds. I listed the brown sugar, raisins, and nuts above because that’s what I always have on hand, and that’s usually the way we make them. But it’s always fun to switch things up a bit. I’m a Cool Mom like that.

The Critics always like this snack. I asked Curious George what he thought of them this time and he said, “They were good. Wait, can I have another one? Well, if I can’t, then they were just okay.” Humph. Take your threats elsewhere, my friend.

Cool Moms don’t take bribes.

Chocolate Milk Waffles

Today is my son’s 7th birthday. I get super sentimental on my kid’s birthdays. I can’t help it; time just goes by so fast.

Except for the first five-and-a-half months of my son’s life. I thought they would never, ever, ever, ever end. People told me that colic only lasts for three months, but they lied.  (A little side note… if you have a baby with colic right now, which I’m guessing you don’t, because if you did you would probably be crying too, instead of reading a recipe for chocolate milk waffles, but if you do, first of all, I’m so very, very sorry. Second, it will end. I know you don’t believe me, but I promise you, it will end).

Fortunately (for him), Batman is now an extremely pleasant kid. Maybe he thought he’d get all his crying done early in life. I don’t know, but I’m grateful. I’m so grateful that I just might make him some of these for his birthday breakfast:

Chocolate Milk Waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate milk
  • 1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with a fork. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix with fork just until combined. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron and cook until they’re as done as you like.

 

Chocolate Milk Waffles

 Click here for a printable version.

 

These are so not breakfast waffles. Actually, I suspect they’d be great with ice cream and chocolate syrup on top.  But don’t tell anybody, I served them for breakfast anyway. If a chocolate doughnut can be called breakfast, then so can a chocolate waffle. Take that, Cheerios.

I probably don’t have to tell you that my Critics all love these. They were so busy scarfing them down that I didn’t get much more than “Mmmmm…” and “They’re good!” from anybody, and that’s fine by me!

Happy My Son’s Birthday!!