Sunday, September 2, 2012

PB & J Pancakes

One of my favorite parts about Sundays is our family brunch time. Sometimes we go out to eat, but most of the time we stay home. I tried out a new recipe today, and the whole family agreed it was like we were at a restaurant. These PB & J Pancakes just might give IHOP a run for their money.

I had this recipe in my New Recipes to Try File. I can't remember where I saw it posted, but the credits on the recipe say it's from Sunny Anderson @ Food Network. I love PB & J anything, so this recipe caught my eye.  This seemed like the right weekend to give it a whirl. 

I had a bag of blackberries in the freezer that I stumbled across when I put a few things away last week.  I typically will flash freeze blackberries and raspberries when they go on sale for $1 a pint at the grocery store. I'm so glad I have a few more bags stashed away in the freezer, because this recipe is definitely going to be making a repeat occurrence on our Sunday Brunch menu rotation.

The pancakes were very light and fluffy, and they taste almost like a fluffy peanut butter cookie. The syrup came together in just a few minutes and was definitely the star of the show. The sweet and tart on top of the peanut butter pancake was simply divine. I had a third pancake; I usually try to limit myself to just 2 pancakes. They were that good! I decided to just take an extra long walk tonight! 

Here's the recipe:

PB & J Pancakes

For the Pancakes:
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 cup + 2 Tbsp milk, plus extra to thin if needed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted (I used Skippy Natural)
2 Tbsp oil

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms, adding more milk if needed.
4. Cook over medium high heat on a well greased griddle.

For the Syrup
1 pint blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes until it starts to thicken.

(I made the syrup first and then let it cool and thicken slightly while I made the pancakes)

What a scrumptious way to enjoy PB & J
Just add a tall glass of cold milk. . .
What's your favorite pancake flavor?

Simple Sweet Salad Dressing

I am part of the Hospitality and Staff Appreciation Committees at my middle daughter's elementary school. To show our appreciation to our staff, we (PTO) provide lunch for them once a month. The staff seems to really love this monthly opportunity to gather together and enjoy lunch. Several of the teachers commented that the lunch is so much more than just good food. It's a chance for them to visit and build community. They go back to their classrooms with full bellies and refreshed spirits. It's my pleasure to be able to give them this gift on a monthly basis.

We had our first lunch of the school year this past Friday. We had a Sandwich Bar with chicken salad and a ham and cheese plate with mini croissants and bakery breads. We asked for parent donations for desserts, chips, pop, and water.

I made a large simple greens tossed salad with this Simple Sweet Salad Dressing to go with lunch for the day. My salad had green leaf lettuce, red bibb lettuce, a few handfuls of broccoli slaw, sliced carrots, garden fresh tomatoes, and cucumbers. The broccoli slaw gives the salad a nice crunch and texture without adding too many new flavors into the salad. 

The recipe originally came from my Mother in Law who got the recipe from her high school home economics class. I love this recipe because it's so easy to put together. It has just 4 ingredients, and I almost always have all four ingredients on hand in my pantry.  The dressing is light, slightly sweet, and is the perfect accompaniment to a bed of simple greens.  It's amazing how this dressing can make a bed of leaf lettuces taste like something you might pay a lot of money for at Panera or another cafe.  The dressing will keep in the frig for a week or two.

Here's the recipe:

Simple Sweet Salad Dressing
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together in a jar with a tight lid. Shake until well blended. Serve over your favorite salad greens.

What's your favorite homemade salad dressing recipe?