Monday, April 2, 2012

Dreaming of Sunday Breakfast

Kyle and I have two different types of weekends: those jam packed with activities and those with nothing at all planned. Usually, we're never satisfied. When we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off, we wish we could just relax and do nothing. When we're sitting at home with no plans we think, "GOD, what is there to DO?"

My go-to, low key weekend activity is often cooking for a few reasons. (1) I actually have the time to take on more intense recipes and (2) if it's just the two of us eating, there are leftovers for the week.

And I love me some leftovers.

Yesterday morning, I whipped up banana pancakes and fresh strawberry syrup. Ooooweee, was it a good way to start our day. I don't buy pancake mix anymore because homemade is way more delicious and easier than you'd expect, if you have standard baking ingredients. We didn't have any maple syrup, but we did have about a pound of strawberries sitting in the fridge; this was simple to whip up as well.

So we feasted. And we may have about 20 pancake leftovers sitting in the fridge, but it was worth it dammit!

Looks like this little lady is having breakfast for dinner.

Banana Pancakes
via Culinary Institute of America Cookbook
Makes 8 servings

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup buttermilk (don't have buttermilk on hand? Make it in 5 minutes!)
4 large eggs
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Cooking spray to coat pan
3 mashed ripe bananas

1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

 2. In a separate bowl, blend the buttermilk, eggs and butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir by hand just until the batter is evenly moistened. The batter is ready to use or may be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.
3. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Oil it lightly by spraying with cooking oil. Just before making the pancakes, fold the bananas into the batter.

My father-in-law's method for mashing bananas (and moisturizing one's hands).
4. Drop the pancake batter into the hot pan by 1/4 cup spoonfuls. Leave about 2 inches between the pancakes to allow them to spread and to make turning easier.
5. Cook on the first side until small bubbles appear on the upper surface of the pancake and the edges are set, about 2 minutes. Use an offset spatula or a palette knife to turn the pancakes and finish on the second side, about 2-3 minutes. Adjust the temperature beneath the skillet or griddle to produce a good golden brown color.

6. Serve at once topped with strawberry syrup (recipe below).

Fresh Strawberry Syrup
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
1/2 cup sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Make sure to stir all of it together as the pan is heating up!

Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Liquid will reduce to a syrupy consistency, but will be thinner until it cools a little. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Make this before you cook up the pancakes (allow it to cool as you're flipping them on the griddle).

Drizzle on top of banana pancakes. Enjoy!


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