Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thrifty Tasty Tuesday: Blinner...

... or A Mom's Gotta Do, What a Mom's Gotta Do

         As you know, I've been trying my very best to get my family to eat healthier these days and share my inspiration with you. Well, sometimes inspiration and desperation go hand in hand. Last week I really felt like I was on top of things. I planned to make my favorite black bean soup for dinner on Tuesday. I soaked my beans the day before and had my onions and peppers chopped and ready to go before I went to bed. Tuesday morning, I tossed everything in the slow cooker, turned it to low, and went to work.
         I unlocked the door at the end of the day, expecting to smell gently simmering beans with a touch of chili powder. Instead, I was assaulted with the smell of raw garlic and onions. The Crock Pot wasn't plugged in. I thought about calling for takeout, but our budget only allows for that indulgence once or twice a week and I hate to cave on a Tuesday. I'd much rather wait until the end of the week to have someone else do the cooking. So I went to the pantry in search of something quick and easy. There was plenty of food in the house. But nothing that could be prepared with the time and energy that I had at the end of the day. So I turned to one of my kids' favorite meals: breakfast for dinner. I scrambled some eggs, thawed some frozen strawberries, and whipped together my favorite pancake recipes.
         There are loads of good pancake mixes on the market. But making them from scratch only takes a few minutes more and you'll end up with a more wholesome product—no trans fats, no preservatives, no bleached flour.

Vickie's Multigrain Pancakes

1 Cup Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 Cup Wholewheat flour
¼ Cup ground flaxseed
3 T. turbinado (raw) sugar
2 t. baking powder
¾ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
3 Cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 T. vegetable oil

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk and oil.

Pour liquid ingredients into dry and stir lightly. A few lumps left behind will disappear in cooking. With pancakes (as with muffins and quickbreads) overmixing will make your pancakes tougher.

Let the batter rest while you heat your griddle*. Sprinkle a few drops of water across the surface of your griddle to test it. The water drops should “dance” when it's hot enough. Spray the pan with non-stick spray or brush with vegetable oil when the griddle is hot.

Pour slightly less than ¼ cup of batter for each pancake**. Leave space around each pancake so they can expand. Turn pancakes when the edges begin to look dry and bubbles appear on top—don't flip too soon! The second side will take less time to cook than the first.

Keep pancakes warm in a “low” oven while you continue to make pancakes and cover with a clean cloth napkin or dish towel to prevent drying.

Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.

This batter can also be used to make waffles.

*I highly recommend an electric griddle. I have a “fancy” one that folds in half so it doubles as a panini press. But inexpensive griddles are available for less than $25. They keep a consistent temperature and you can cook 6-8 pancakes at a time.

**An ice cream scoop works great for portioning pancake batter.