Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles

Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles

pancakes and waffles 1

Pancakes are a favourite for Sunday breakfast and occasionally dinner and I’ve been wanting to get over my fear of the waffle maker (a dead-heavy lawn sale find that I’m always worried about closing on my fingers and worse), so I was excited when Thomas Allen & Son surprised me with a copy of Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles. (Book mail is the best mail!) Inside are 27 recipes for sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles and their assorted toppings and photographs that’ll make your tummy rumble. Think buttermilk blueberry pancakes with blueberry lime sauce; potato waffles with barbecue beans; orange waffles with roasted plums; and ginger and sesame waffles with steak and dipping sauce. Hungry yet?  Continue reading “Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles”

MIXIT yourself! Custom-made cereal we’re loving

MIXIT yourself! Custom-made cereal we’re loving

Hands up if you could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I see a lot of hands out there! Now would you be bowled over if I told you we made these ones ourselves? Yes! Well basically. We picked all of the ingredients and MIXIT shipped it to our door. The Montreal healthy cereal co. offers custom and ready-made mixes with dozens of good-for-you ingredients and gluten-free options like the pistachios, diced figs, freeze-dried strawberries, organic dark chocolate popped quinoa and other things I put in mine. Naturally the kids wanted something entirely different so they made their own.  Continue reading “MIXIT yourself! Custom-made cereal we’re loving”

Cranberry oatmeal breakfast cookies

Cranberry oatmeal breakfast cookies

My kiddos are quite happy with cereal for breakfast most mornings, but sometimes it’s nice to try something different. Cue these cranberry oatmeal breakfast cookies. Cookies for breakfast? When they’re as nutritious and delicious as these ones, yes and yes!

breakfast-cookie-breakfast-for-learning

Need more convincing? What if I told you the recipe’s from Breakfast for Learning, an organization that has provided healthy meals to 3.4 million children since 1992?  They know a balanced breakfast is essential for kids to learn and focus at school. Serve these heart-healthy cookies with milk and a piece of fruit and your kids will be off to a great start.

breakfast-cookie-3

I’ve published the recipe below with permission from Breakfast for Learning, but you can also find it and four others in the organization’s free, downloadable booklet Before the Bell: Breakfast By the Batch for the School Week.

We’ve made these cookies a few times now and they’re such a hit that they’ll be in the regular rotation for the rest of the year. We’re not huge cinnamon fans so we use just one a teaspoon and find them perfectly spiced, and ‘tho we used a 1/4 cup measure per the instructions, we could only get 8 cookies (giant cookies at that!) per batch.

Try them and let me know what you think!

Cranberry oatmeal breakfast cookies

Makes 12 large cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 large)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup non-fat milk powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries or sultana raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat two baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.

Stir together mashed banana, peanut butter or alternative, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.

Combine oats, flour, ground flax, milk powder, cinnamon and baking soda in a small bowl.

Stir the oat mixture into the banana mixture until combined (add 2 tablespoons of water if dough is too thick), while
your ambitious assistant stirs in dried cranberries or raisins.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, drop dough 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. With a spatula dipped in water,
flatten and spread each mound of dough to a 2 3/4-inch round, about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container or re-sealable plastic bag for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months; thaw before serving.

Waffle sticks

Waffle sticks

Up until a few weeks ago, I could count on one hand — specifically one finger — the number of times I’d tried a homemade waffle. (Sad, right? And it was years ago too.) The hubs and I were at a beautiful little B&B in Kingston just after Valentine’s Day (because we were too cheap to pay the premium to go on the actual holiday) and the couple who owned it served my hubby fluffy waffles dusted with icing sugar in the charming breakfast room. I had poached eggs or something, as I’d never order something that decadent myself, but I do remember trying some, and of course it was frickin’ delicious. And the years (and years!) after that? Waffles just weren’t a part of our lives. (Nor were B&Bs.) Oh Eggo’s from time to time for the kids, but those really aren’t the same, are they? Then a few weeks ago I bought this babycakes mini’s waffle maker (Target! $20!). Changed. Our. Lives.

babycakes-mini-waffle-maker

Alright, so maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but it does do a damn good job. It heats up and cooks and minutes, it’s easy to use and it’s easy to clean. (The cleaning bit is key. You know if something’s a pain in the hoop to clean it’s just going to sit in the cupboard.) And it makes the cutest individual waffle sticks, which are ideal for little fingers.

waffle-batter

I’ve tried the basic waffle recipe that came with it, but I found the waffles a little tough and prefer my trusty one for pancakes, which I’ve included at the end of this post. If you like a lighter waffle, you might like it too.

waffles-cooking

Careful not to overdo it with the batter. I’ve overfilled my waffle maker a few times and it makes a damn mess. Blueberry waffles were a mistake (the blueberries were too big so the lid didn’t close properly and the batter oozed out all over the place) but I’ve had lots of success with plain and chocolate. (For chocolate, just stir a couple of tablespoons of cocoa into the batter and thin with a little milk.)

regular-and-chocolate-waffles-2

You’ll want to cool them on a wire rack straight away so they stay all nice and crispy. You can also freeze them and reheat them in your toaster, stacking two in each slot.

chocolate-dipped-chocolate-waffle-2

I went a little cray-cray and dipped them in chocolate and sprinkles, but they’d be just as tasty (okay, almost as tasty) with syrup. And you could easily skip the sugar and make your own savoury creations — say, herb, garlic and cheese — and serve them with a creamy dip. Wouldn’t those be great for a party? Zillions of possibilities!

One thing’s for sure: they’ll be gone in seconds!

Try ’em and let me know what you think! Are you team waffle or team pancake? Or team neither? (Boo.)

Oh! A little note about the accessories giveaway: now the Cara necklace is included too! If you haven’t entered, just hop on over here. The contest closes this Sunday, August 3 at midnight EST. You must leave a comment on the contest post in order to be eligible.

On with the recipe!

Trusty pancake/waffle batter

Makes 28 waffle sticks (I’m guessing 7 waffles in a regular-sized wafflemaker)

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking power

2 tablespoons sugar

Sprinkle of salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Whisk dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk again until combined. Careful not to overmix; batter should still be a little lumpy.

Cook per your waffle maker’s instructions.

A healthy start

A healthy start

Saturday mornings are for watching cartoons, playing at the park, returning books to the library and occasionally, pancakes. These oatmeal pancakes from Raising Healthy Kids are a nutritious way to start the day, full of all kinds of delicious goodness and none of the usual crap.

oatmeal pancakes ingredients

There’s a long list of ingredients, but you’ll probably have most of them in the house. You’ll need oats, milk, bananas, oat bran, ground flax, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, an egg and a little bit of vegetable oil.

oats and milk

The oats soak for 10 minutes. (Enough time to sneak in a Curious George.)

dry ingredients 1

Or you can go ahead and mix the dry ingredients. It’ll just take a sec.

dry ingredients 2

My sous-chef wandered off at this point so I had to put the camera aside and finish the rest. Easy enough: add the wet, stir ’til combined and fire up the griddle.

oatmeal-pancakes2

The ones I didn’t burn were delicious!

Try them and see!