my favorite pancakes

August 27th, 2014

Well hello there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s hard to put into words why I haven’t been here. Part of me wants to say that it’s because life is so busy—and it is, as anyone with a toddler can tell you—or that I haven’t been cooking—but I have been, in fact more than I have in years—but for some reason, this space just seemed too far away, too much work when all I need is a little “me time”. To be honest, I’ve been trying to sort out what the heck I want to do with my “me time” along with the other 10 hours a week I’ve finally been able to set aside for my projects.

Life has finally begun to feel normal again, like I can start to think about bigger picture things. After we got home from Claire’s hospital stay, my life revolved around her and the thought of cooking (and photographing and writing) was low on my list of things to do. I kept waiting, I kept thinking about my blog, my magazine, my work, but it just felt so distant and unimportant when compared to caring for Claire and watching her grow and learn (being a parent is really one of the most amazing things ever). Gradually, things have normalized—Claire’s doctors have all said that she’s right where she should be physically and developmentally (she really is an amazing little lady), I’ve managed to publish a few issues of Remedy Quarterly that I’m really proud of, and I’m getting used to life on the West Coast. Looking back, so much of the first year and a half that we’ve lived here has been all about living in the moment, about making sure that everyone/everything is ok, and I simply couldn’t handle thinking about where I might want to go, what I might want to do.

If it sounds like life has been bleak, it hasn’t, I promise. I’ve been so full of joy and love and laughter taking care of my daughter—words will never adequately be able to express the awesomeness that she brings to my life. There have been so many times while I’ve been cooking lately that I’ve thought, “Oooooh, this would be good for the blog” or in the case of this recipe, which I’ve made approximately a gazillion times, “Why haven’t I put this recipe on the blog?!”. So the last time I made these pancakes, I left the excuses and worries behind and just had fun. I made pancakes for my family, including cute mini-pancakes for Claire, and took photographs along the way. It didn’t seem like work at all. And oh me, oh my, friends, these pancakes are just perfect. So let’s talk about them a little bit.

They’re based on a recipe from the beast of a cookbook “The Joy of Cooking”. Yes, I have that and use it, whatevs. During the many times I’ve used it, I’ve tweaked it to come up with the perfect base recipe for pancakes. Sometimes I change it even further by adding fruit, occasionally I’ll swap out some of the white flour for whole wheat flour, and when I have buttermilk you can bet I’m using it, but this is where I always start.

Perhaps you’re wondering what makes them so awesome. I’ll tell you: orange zest, freshly ground nutmeg, and cinnamon. It’s a heavenly combination that takes ordinary pancakes to new heights and leaves anyone in their path oohing and mmmming between bites. The zest gives them an unexpected but very welcome perkiness, while the spices add a bit of coziness that is the perfect way to start your day.

So yeah, I love these pancakes. And I’m happy to be back, it feels good, like a first step in the right direction. I can’t wait to share more of my adventures in the kitchen again. Oh, and keep an eye out for a happy hour post this week because if there’s one thing I like as much as these pancakes, it’s a damn good cocktail. I’ll see you soon.

my favorite pancakes

adapted from The Joy of Cooking | makes 16 4-inch pancakes (easily divides in half)

This is my all-time favorite base recipe for pancakes. These ingredients alone will make amazing, “this is gonna be an awesome day” pancakes. As I mentioned in the post, sometimes I tweak it even further by adding fruit, occasionally I’ll swap out some of the white flour for whole wheat flour, and when I have buttermilk you can bet I’m using it, but this is where I always start.

I also add my fruit after the pancake batter is poured into the pan so fruit is evenly dispersed over each cake (and I find it easier). If you’d rather add your fruit to the batter, gently fold it in with 1-2 strokes after the wet ingredients have been combined with the dry.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1 1/2 cups whole milk*
2 Tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 orange
blueberries or other fruit, optional


*If you happen to have buttermilk on hand, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the dry ingredients and reduce the baking powder to 1 teaspoon.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.2. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Quickly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until dough is wet—it’s ok if there are lumps. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.

3. Melt a pat of butter over medium heat. When it’s melted, add 1/4 cup of batter to the pan. Add fruit, if using, by evenly distributing it in across the pancake. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the underside is golden. Flip and cook for an additional 3 or so minutes or until golden. When a pancake is complete, set it on a plate and quickly cover with foil and/or place the plate in a warm oven to keep cakes warm.

4. Serve with warm maple syrup and get ready for some happiness.


Comments: 3 Total

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    August 27, 2014 at 7:29 am

    These pancakes look so scrumptious I could scream!! Yum!

  2. Aura

    August 31, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    welcome back! your blog is fabulous and I was wondering what happened! glad it was for a good reason. yayy!!!

  3. Jill

    September 2, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Welcome back! i have been missing your blog. can’t wait to try the pancakes. looking forward to new cocktail recipes too.

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