pancakes

  1. 7 Tips on How to Make Great Pancakes

    7 Tips on How to Make Great Pancakes

    Pancakes Making Pancakes is a part of many weekend breakfast routines. While cooking edible pancakes isn't hard, it can be hard to make great pancakes. Here are seven tips and tricks to make your pancakes better than ever. Ingredients - As with most cooking...

    Pancakes
    Pancakes

    Making Pancakes is a part of many weekend breakfast routines. While cooking edible pancakes isn't hard, it can be hard to make great pancakes. Here are seven tips and tricks to make your pancakes better than ever.

    1. Ingredients - As with most cooking endeavors, your ingredients do matter a great deal. Even if you are using a pancake mix, the quality of the mix can have a huge impact on how nice they turn out. It might take some time for you to find the right mix for you.
    2. Stirring - Typically our brains tell us to keep mixing until ALL of the lumps are gone from whatever we are mixing. Actually with pancakes some lumps are okay. If you keep stirring you will over mix. This will make the pancakes tough. So stir until your ingredients are mixed, but expect some lumps.
    3. Freshness - Making pancakes is not something you can prepare for. Some foods you can do the prep work the night before. However, when making pancakes it is best to mix the ingredients right before cooking.
    4. Butter - Most of us like to use butter on our pans to keep the pancakes from sticking, however butter is easier to burn. Cooking spray doesn't always yield the best results either. Using a small amount of vegetable oil works best, but don't over do it.
    5. Adding In the Special Ingredients - When should you add in the blueberries, raspberries, or chocolate chips? Many people think they should mix it in the batter itself. However, doing this can put the fruit or chocolate right on the pan making it burn or scald. Instead, pour the batter onto the griddle first, and then sprinkle in those extras.
    6. Flipping - Contrary to popular belief, it is not a race to flip the pancake as soon as you see bubbles. Instead the bubbles need to form and stay on the surface of the pancake. Also, remember flipping isn't an Olympic sport. A quick but gentle flip (try using your wrist and hand, not your whole arm) can work best and prevent splattering.
    7. Test pancake - The heat of the griddle, the amount of oil you use, how much batter you pour, etc. are all factors that can play a role in how good your pancake is. As a result don't be upset if you have one or more 'test' pancakes per batch. They're probably still edible; they just may not be your best one.

    Here are seven tips and tricks to use when cooking pancakes. Please contact us for more cooking tips!

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  2. A Guide to Creating Healthy Toppings for Pancakes

    A Guide to Creating Healthy Toppings for Pancakes

    Pancakes with fresh berries Love pancakes for breakfast? Love the toppings even more? If you're looking for healthy toppings without too much sugar or saturated fats, here are some ideas on how to make delicious toppings for your pancakes. Fruits...

    Pancakes with fresh berries
    Pancakes with fresh berries

    Love pancakes for breakfast? Love the toppings even more? If you're looking for healthy toppings without too much sugar or saturated fats, here are some ideas on how to make delicious toppings for your pancakes.

    Fruits

    Given the option of slathering pancakes with preserves or jam, opt for fresh fruits. Fruits are high in antioxidants, fiber and nutrients and they generally have a lower Glycemic Index (GI). According to the American Diabetes Association, GI measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. The lower the GI, the better. Most fruits have a GI of 55 or less and are, therefore, good for regulating blood sugar level (especially important for those suffering from diabetes or metabolic syndrome). Choose blueberries, grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, raspberries or apples - cut them up and sprinkle on top of pancakes. And no, you don’t need to doctor it up with superfluous sugar or syrup. Fruits have natural sweetness (satisfies sweet craving without going overboard), crunch (add texture to the food) and fiber.

    Mixed Berries
    Mixed Berries

    Spices

    Spices can add a whole new dimension to toppings. They don't just add favor, they have antioxidants that help to fight damaging free radicals. Cinnamon, cloves, and ginger come to mind as they’re warm spices that pair well with pancakes. Mix them with freshly cut fruits before topping the pancakes. Instead of drizzling the pancakes with high fructose syrup, choose natural sweetener such as agave nectar, coconut palm sugar and sprinkle on some spices. You can also add spices to low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese to make a superbly healthy topping.

    Spices
    Spices

    Sauces and Syrup

    Most people love their pancakes with caramel sauce, maple syrup or honey. However, these sweet toppings can be high in sugar. If you enjoy pancakes with a syrupy feel, make your own. It’s easy and if you make a batch, it will keep for a few days. Try this berry sauce (any berries will do—strawberries, blueberries, raspberries).

    Homemade Berry Sauce

    Cut up ½ pound of berries, add a little water and allow it to simmer over medium heat until it thickens into a sauce. Add natural sweetener like coconut palm sugar (the latest healthy sugar alternative) or nothing at all.

    Enjoy over pancakes.

    Go Nuts

    Anytime you combine the softness of pancakes with some crunch power, it makes for a treat. And it’s a treat for your health as well. According to a recent study, eating about 2 ounces of nuts in place of carbohydrates may lower bad cholesterol and improve blood sugar control. So, why not go nuts and add some to the pancakes. Consider unsalted raw almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and macadamias. Chop them up or toss them whole on top of pancakes.

    Of course, using the right utensils will help with the pancake-making process, and topping them with healthy toppings will be like the icing on the cake. For more information on your culinary needs, contact us.

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  3. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

    Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

    Cinnamon Rolls Looking for a tasty twist on pancakes? Check out this cinnamon roll pancake recipe. This particular recipe calls for a very particular type of mix for the pancakes; however, there is no reason why you can't use your own boxed...

    Cinnamon Rolls
    Cinnamon Rolls

    Looking for a tasty twist on pancakes? Check out this cinnamon roll pancake recipe. This particular recipe calls for a very particular type of mix for the pancakes; however, there is no reason why you can't use your own boxed pancake mix of choice.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup of whipping cream
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 2 cups of bisquick (or boxed pancake mix of your choice, keep in mind the eggs, milk/water, or other ingredients need to follow the directions on your boxed mix rather than those listed below!)
    • 1 1/3 cups of milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 raisins (optional for those who don't like raisins!)

    Directions

    1. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and the whipping cream with a whisk. Set this aside for now because this will be the icing.
    2. In a medium sauce pan cook the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon over medium heat. Be sure to stir often until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and keep it covered to keep warm.
    3. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and egg with fork or whisk until blended. Stir in raisins. (Tip: Remember you can use your own boxed mix; just follow the directions for the amount of eggs and milk needed. Also, remember the raisins are optional!)
    4. Heat a frying over medium-high heat. Grease griddle with either oil or cooking spray.
    5. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons batter onto hot griddle per pancake. Don't be afraid to adjust this amount depending on how big or small you want the pancakes to be.
    6. Cook until there are bubbles in the center and the edges of the pancake appear to be browning.
    7. Stack the pancakes with the still warm cinnamon mixture between each pancake and then pour the icing on top.

    Consider adding a scoop of cool whip or even syrup for those with an even sweeter tooth! This is a sweet and tasty treat that is sure to be a big hit with the kids.

    If you like the sound of this breakfast treat but want to try a slightly different variation, check out this slow-cooker cinnamon roll pancakes recipe. Using a slow-cooker can be much simpler than making pancakes the traditional way. Keep in mind, however, that there is a reason why the slow-cooker has earned the name it has! Be sure to start well in advance of breakfast time! (Although cinnamon roll pancakes would make a nice brunch...)

    Please contact us for more great breakfast recipes and cooking tips.

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  4. Dressing up boxed pancake mixes

    Dressing up boxed pancake mixes

    Pancakes March 4 is National Pancake Day, coinciding with Fat Tuesday, and at Cilantro, celebrated by serving up pancakes of as many flavors as we could think of. Pancakes are simple to vary; for this article we're starting with a boxed pancake mix...

    Pancakes
    Pancakes

    March 4 is National Pancake Day, coinciding with Fat Tuesday, and at Cilantro, celebrated by serving up pancakes of as many flavors as we could think of. Pancakes are simple to vary; for this article we're starting with a boxed pancake mix with simple changes. Also keep in mind these mixes offer some variety on their own; you can find whole wheat, cornmeal, and gluten-free versions.  You can also use pancake mix in a traditional waffle maker.

    Generally, the instructions will require you to combine the boxed dry mix with either milk or water. Eggs and/or oil may also be required.

    Add-ins: traditional add ins include blueberries, chocolate chips, and sliced bananas. Also try sliced strawberries or another favorite fruit. If you don't want to pay for fresh, frozen usually works nicely. If your mix seems watery after adding in frozen fruit, add a little extra dry mix.

    Toppings: whipped cream, drizzled caramel or chocolate sauce, mascarpone cheese. Try vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit for a healthier solution.

    Substitutions and suggestions:

    • for richer pancakes, substitute buttermilk for water or milk.
    • pumpkin pancakes: substitute water/milk with canned pumpkin in equal amounts and add pumpkin pie spice to taste. If you don't like thick pancakes, add 1/8th cup water to the batter.
    • apple cinnamon pancakes: add 1/4th teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and finely chopped apples and walnuts. Top with melted butter and cinnamon sugar.

    Contact us for more ideas on dressing up recipes.

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  5. Valentine's Day Breakfast in Bed Ideas

    Valentine's Day Breakfast in Bed Ideas

    Valentine's Day is the perfect time to enjoy a delicious breakfast with your loved one. Surprise them with a freshly prepared breakfast served in bed when they awaken. If you are looking for the perfect way to start your...

    Valentine's Day is the perfect time to enjoy a delicious breakfast with your loved one. Surprise them with a freshly prepared breakfast served in bed when they awaken. If you are looking for the perfect way to start your Valentine's Day, consider a delicious breakfast in bed this Valentine's Day.  It will be remembered forever. Here are a few great ideas to put on your menu this Valentine's Day.

    Heart Shaped Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Crispy Bacon

    Heart Shaped Pancakes
    Heart Shaped Pancakes

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 large, ripe, mashed banana
    • 1 cup of milk
    • 3 large egg whites
    • 2 tsp oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
    • cooking spray

    Directions:

    1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
    2. In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg white, oil, vanilla and mashed bananas until smooth.
    3. Gradually combine wet ingredients with the dry and mix well. There will be some lumps so don't over-mix.
    4. Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium high heat.
    5. There are two ways you can make heart shaped pancakes. The first option is to lightly spray your heart shaped mold with cooking spray and place the mold on the hot skillet and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. Add 1 tsp. of chocolate chips in each pancake. When the pancake begins to bubble and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter. The second option is to make regular pancakes and use a cookie cutter to create small or big hearts.

      Pancakes made with a cookie cutter
      Pancakes made with a cookie cutter

    6. Serve with crispy bacon or berries on the side and enjoy!

    "I love you" sandwiches

    You don't have to be a professional chef to create a perfect Valentine's day breakfast for your sweetheart. In fact, you don't even have to cook! This idea is the perfect solution for those of you who manage to "burn water" yet still want to be romantic and create that little special moment come Valentine's morning.

    "I love you" sandwich
    "I love you" sandwich

    Ingredients:

    • toaster bread
    • butter
    • marmalade ( red types: raspberry, strawberry, red currant...)

      Directions
      Directions

    Directions:

    1. Toast 2 slices of bread.
    2. Spread butter and marmalade on one slice.
    3. Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart on the second slice and place on top of the first one.
    4. Use pastry bag or decorating pen to write on top of the sandwich.
    5. To create small filled hearts on side use a cookie cutter and spread marmalade as showed on the picture "directions".

    If your loved one is not into a sweet breakfast here is another idea -  Heart shaped sunny side up egg toast.

    All you need is one small egg, toast, some oil and ketchup for the finishing touch.

    1. Take a piece of bread and use a bigger heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out a heart.
    2. Heat up your frying pan, melt a little bit of butter or heat a spoon of oil.
    3. Toast one side of the bread along with the heart that you cut out.
    4. Flip to the other side and add an egg into the middle of the heart.
    5. Fry until the egg is cooked to your preference.
    6. Serve as presented in the following image.

    Morning Egg toast
    Morning Egg toast

     

    Cranberry Sweetheart Scones

    Ingredients:

    Cranberry Scones
    Cranberry Scones

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tbsp. sugar
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 4 tbsp. margarine
    • 1 tsp. orange zest
    • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk

    Directions:

    1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
    2. Add the margarine and blend with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.
    3. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the orange zest and cranberries.
    4. In another bowl, beat the eggs and then stir the milk into them.
    5. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir until just blended.
    6. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times.
    7. Pat the dough to a 1-inch thickness.
    8. Use a butter knife to cut heart shapes.
    9. Bake at 400 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 8 scones.

    For more Valentine's Day ideas or any other questions, feel free to contact us.

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  6. Lace Heart-Shaped Pancakes

    Lace Heart-Shaped Pancakes

    Ho-ho-ho.  Do you also feel it? Christmas is in the air. I finally felt in the Christmas mood today with the first snow finally arriving in Prague. With my roommate Mary, we declared this day as a “we do nothing serious...

    DSC_1730

    Ho-ho-ho.  Do you also feel it? Christmas is in the air. I finally felt in the Christmas mood today with the first snow finally arriving in Prague. With my roommate Mary, we declared this day as a “we do nothing serious day“. You know that feeling when Christmas is coming and you feel that you finally deserve to have a rest and not think about anything, not even deadlines. You just press the “turn off“ button on your mind and enjoy the day and thoughts of the upcoming Christmas season.

    First step in creating Christmas atmosphere at home is having the right smell – cinnamon, vanilla, anise, cardamom and cocoa create the right atmosphere. While thinking about a dish with the right seasonal smell yet easy enough not to break our “doing nothing day“ we decided to make some pancakes. Not just any pancakes, but those lace heart-shaped pancake images that I once saw on the Internet. So, instead of making ordinary round ones we took a bottle with a tiny hole on the top and spent some time making some fine pancake art. Not easy in the beginning, but add a little effort and voilà you are a real pancake designer. But let´s face it, although such pancakes are a beautiful decoration they would not be appealing to a hungry man. After satisfying our art souls we rushed to the city to do some Christmas shopping.

    The atmosphere was amazing... there were tiny snowflakes falling down from sky and stepping out of the subway we found ourselves at the Main square full of people wondering around different wooden stands decorated by mistletoe. Not wanting to stand out of the crowd we took some mulled wine and headed straight to Mark´s & Spencer´s as that is a synonym of Christmas. I wanted to buy some nice pajamas for my mum. Since moving out one of the presents for my mum every Christmas is pajamas as a “revenge“ for all the pajamas and socks I found under the Christmas tree when I was a kid.

    At the end of the day we had to make some title changes and renamed it “free smiles day“ as we were really smiling all day long and not doing anything at all.

    Martina with love

    Lace Heart-Shaped Pancakes

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup of milk
    • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
    • 2 eggs
    • Pinch of salt
    • Teaspoon of muscovado sugar
    • Butter for frying

    Directions:

    1. Mix all of the ingredients together in one bowl to reach a homogene batter. Let rest for at least half an hour.
    2. Preheat a non-stick pan to a maximum heat and brush with butter.
    3. Put the batter into a bottle and start making shapes. Your pan must me preheated to maximum so that the batter fries immediately and does not lose its form.

      Pancakes
      Pancakes

    4. Fry for 1-2 minutes, then turn on the other side and continue for one additional minute.
    5. Put aside and let cool. Now you can for example decorate your festive table with these “design pancakes“.

      Pancakes
      Pancakes

    Tips & tricks

    Muscovado sugar adds golden color but it should be added just in small volumes as it caramelizes and makes pancakes harder.

    You can also add some cinnamon or cocoa to the batter so that you end up with two colors of batter giving you more creativity. I really do recommend this for kids as it keeps them busy, focused as well as entertained.

    To make batter more fluffy you can add ½ teaspoon of baking powder or some carbonated liquid like cider, beer or ginger ale.

    What you may not know about pancakes...

    • The first dry instant mixture for pancake batter appeared in 1889!
    • Ever heard about a pancake race?  The one when competitors run, tossing pancakes constantly. It is said that the first idea came about when a really busy housewife was making some pancakes and after hearing church bells she ran to the church carrying her pan.
    • In France pancakes are thin and are called crêpes. They are served either with sweet (marmelade, nuts, chocolate) or savory filling (cream and salmon, spinach). In Britan there is a special sort made of buckwheat flour called gallette. When I was in Nice the local specialty was called “Socca“, a savory crêpe made of chick-pea flour. French and Italians are always arguing about its origin.
    • Crêpe Suzette – a well known pancake made with caramelized sugar, butter, orange juice and the most important ingredient, liquor Grand Marnier or some other alcohol as the crêpe is “flambée“ and makes a great impression especially in front of guests.
    • What about Mille crêpes? A French “cake“ made of many layers of crêpes that can be spread with almost any filling.

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