Friday, March 28, 2014

Blackberry Skillet Pancake

Everyone has those special recipes that you pull out only for Saturday morning brunch or when company come stay. I have never really found any foods that screamed to be served to visitors or on Christmas morning. But then I met this. This is "melt-in-your-mouth, roll your eyes up in your head and give thanks" kind of good. 

It is quick. You can whip up the batter while your oven is preheating and 18 minutes later you have heaven on a plate. Try it tomorrow morning. Your taste buds will thank you!

Blackberry Skillet Pancake
makes 8 slices but only serves 4 (if you get my drift)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup Gold Medal white whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar - packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • salted butter
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blackberries
  • cinnamon, powdered sugar, maple syrup, etc.  for topping

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place cast iron skillet in oven to get hot. 

2. While oven is preheating, whisk the eggs, milk, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. I have used an electric beater but have found that a whisk is faster and seems to make the batter fluffier. 

3. When oven is ready, drop a couple of pats of butter into the skillet in the oven and let it melt. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn, which it can quickly. If you pour your batter into burned butter, it will make your pancake turn dark brown and taste funky. I speak from experience.  *sob*  When butter is almost melted, pull the skillet out of the oven and swish the butter around the skillet. Pour the batter into the pan and drop the blackberries randomly into the batter. Immediately return to the oven and bake for 18 -20 minutes. I have found that mine is almost too brown by 18 minutes so watch it closely. 

4. After it cooks, remove from oven and slice while hot. Top with cinnamon, powdered sugar or maple syrup (my favorite). Enjoy with some hot Irish Breakfast Tea. They go wonderfully together. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Being a stay-at-home mom is a challenge. It is not easy. It is monotonously grungy work. 

There are days when you are bored out of your skull, starved for an adult conversation. There are days when you have had all the conversation you can stand and you would sell your right foot for a hour long soak in a tub with no noise or interruptions. When it rains or snows for weeks on end and you are all stuck in the house, without the option of sending anyone outside to play. When everyone wakes up on the wrong side of bed and there is fighting, tattling, crying, whining without stop all day. When you are dead tired from being up all night with babies and you would love for someone to come babysit them for you for just a few hours so you could possibly shower, or clip your toenails, or just sit motionless on the couch and prop your feet up. You wipe dirty bottoms from sun up to sun down. You clean a room, just to have someone walk right behind you and mess it up again. You are their doctor, cook, housekeeper, babysitter, drama critic, nutritionist, chauffeur, personal secretary, maid, substitute horse, seamstress, floor show, and therapist. You alone bear the brunt of every single one of their daily problems and needs. You are their everything. 

You are their everything. 

You are their comfort. Their joy. The person who has the single most influence on their life. You get to see every milestone firsthand. You get to see the first smile. The first laugh The first step. The first word. You get to share the joys of their day. You get to be there to help them learn to color, to use a spoon, to potty train, to tie their shoes, to crawl, to navigate the tricky waters of life. You can be there with them for every moment of their day. You can snuggle on the couch and read books any time you want. Every time they holler "Watch this!" you are right there to applaud. You can kiss their sweaty hair, their sticky faces, their dirty fingers, their wrinkled toes any time of the day that you want. 

You will sacrifice for them in ways they won't appreciate till they have children of their own. You won't have a life of your own, a career of your own, an identity of your own. Your life is their life. 

But that is what I want my life to be about. To me, that is everything.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

After making my own maple syrup, I had to test it out on pancakes. After all, that is the true purpose of pancakes: to enhance and illuminate a truly great maple syrup.

These whole wheat pancakes are a variation of a recipe my mother used daily when we were children. They are still my all time favorite pancakes.


  • 1 Cup Gold Medal white whole wheat flour                        
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar (or brown)                                    
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda                                                              
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder                                                            
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • nuts, choc chips, blueberries, etc. 

1. Beat egg in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and oil. Do not stir. I use the Old Recipe buttermilk. I have found that it gives you a fluffier pancake. 

2. Add remaining ingredients to bowl, flour first. Beat well with electric mixer. If you are like me, you will smooth the dry ingredients over the top of the wet so it looks like arctic ice over water. Then you get a toddler and pretend that you are breaking up the ice flows with the mixer and going fishing. Then scream at the top of your lungs to be heard over the mixer, "Run fish! Run!"

3. Heat up griddle. Dollop out the batter in about a 1/4 cup lump. Sprinkle nuts, choc chips or blueberries on top while still raw, if desired. Cook till golden brown on bottom then flip and finish on other side. 

We topped our this particular morning with strawberries and bananas with a little of that maple syrup. Umm umm good!  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Maple Syrup

I made maple syrup tonight. 

I can see you cocking an eyebrow at the computer screen. 

"Yeah, right. Sure you did."

I did. 

This recipe came to me from a friend of a friend. 

I was sceptical. I admit. 

Then I tasted it. 

Then I made David taste it. 

(a little Garden of Eden, I know.)

There was no going back. 

Maple Syrup

1. In a medium saucepan, add 1 3/4 Cup white sugar, 1/4 Cup brown sugar and 1 Cup water. 

2.  Stir together then bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, cover and cook 1 minute.  This is important. Just one minute. Leave lid on and remove from heat. Let cool slightly with lid still on. 

3. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp maple flavoring. I poured mine into an old spaghetti sauce jar. Refrigerate. 

Monday, March 10, 2014


Anxiously waiting in line at the 4-H Achievement Banquet to receive her trophy for her Record Book.

She was presented the award by Judge Edwards.

Can you believe she is seven?

So very excited!

What about Elsie?

Anyone else notice all the stripes?

My favorite photo bomb