Well today's the day ... the first day of school. I can't even warp by brain around that fact that summer is over and school's starting already. The house is going to seem awfully quiet today.
What better way to send everyone off to their first day of their new school year than with a stack of blueberry blossom pancakes? These pancakes might just make getting out of bed at 6 AM a little bit easier on my teenagers. Fluffy, buttermilk pancakes with fresh blueberries baked inside, topped with warm blueberry syrup, fresh blueberries and a homemade oatmeal streusel - unbelievable!
By the way, I made half of these pancakes with strawberries instead of blueberries. In case you were wondering - they're just as fabulous.
Blueberry Blossom Pancakes
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
Serve with warmed blueberry syrup, fresh blueberries and streusel.
And of course, let us not forget about the strawberry pancakes.
Nobody was very happy about going back to school but blueberry (and strawberry) blossom pancakes made it a little more bearable.
Anyone remember the mashed cauliflower incident? (It's worth revisiting that blog post just for a laugh.) I only wish that I had captured the kids faces in pictures when they realized that I had served them mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. My kids STILL remind me of how cruel of a joke that was to play on them. I may never live that down. It's been almost a year and a half since I pulled the cauliflower prank on my family - I think it's time to pull another cauliflower/potato swap - don't you?
I found a recipe for faux potato salad in my Cooking Light magazine. My first thought was that it sounded delicious. I was curious about how a potato-less salad would taste and I knew that my family would get a kick out of another sneaky cauliflower dish.
Faux Potato Salad
1 head medium cauliflower, broken into florets
1 carrot, sliced
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 celery rib, sliced
1/4 pitted green olives, halved
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. Drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
Add to cauliflower and toss to coat.
So it didn't take long for my family to realize that the bowl of potato salad that I put on the table, didn't actually have any potatoes in it. I recently forgot to put the chicken in a pot of chicken soup so they naturally assumed that I had just forgotten to add the potatoes to the salad. It took more than a little convincing to get them to understand WHY I had intentionally left out the main ingredient in the potato salad. Once they tried it, the review were mixed. Ben and I thought it was delicious. Yes, even Ben thought the potato-less potato salad was a hit. My daughter tasted a bite but it was obvious from her face that she wasn't a big fan. My son didn't want to have anything to do with my cauliflower salad. (Still upset about the previous incident I suspect.)
At only 61 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving, I can enjoy this faux potato salad without guilt.
We took a "one tank trip" to Helen, Georgia with my parents last month. It was a lot of fun. We had a picnic lunch in front of Anna Ruby Falls. I packed a stuffed sandwich, sweet and salty granola bars, fresh peaches and some of the best raisin pecan oatmeal cookies that I have ever tasted. My friend Tracy turned me on to this oatmeal cookie recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It is truly a cookie that will delight your taste buds.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Pecans
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins
Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes at 350. Set aside to cool. Chop very coarsely.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.
If you are an oatmeal cookie fan, and I know that there are a lot of you out there, you need to try this recipe. They really are scrumptious.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I've developed quite an arsenal of recipes over the past couple of years of food blogging. Some of the recipes I make right away and others, I save until I have a really good reason to make them. One recipe, in particular, that I've had tucked away for a "rainy day" was a recipe for Homemade Snickers Bars. Well the perfect opportunity finally presented itself - a swim party for fifteen year old girl soccer players. What teenage girl doesn't like Snicker's bars? There could not have been a more perfect opportunity to make this recipe.
Homemade Snickers Bars
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
Thoroughly grease 9x13" baking pan.
Melt ingredients together in microwave.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
14 ounce bag caramels
1/4 cup whipping cream
Melt ingredients together in saucepan. Pour over caramel and spread until even.
Let cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut as desired.
Does anyone else experience that moment of total disbelief when you're out to dinner with your kids and they order something off the menu that takes you completely by surprise? It never ceases to amaze me what my kids will order at a restaurant that they would NEVER eat at home, Seriously - my daughter ordered a Cesar salad as her lunch the other day? I can't begin to count the number of times she has been offered a Cesar salad at home and refused to eat it. I don't think I'll ever be able to unravel this mystery so I've just decided to roll with it. My son's restaurant meal of choice lately - wings. I've made wings at home in the past but I decided to give it another try since that seems to be what he wants to eat lately. I found this recipe for Herbed Grilled Chicken Wings in my BonAppetit magazine. The question is, will he like these wings as well as he likes restaurant wings?
Herbed Grilled Chicken Wings
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
2 pounds chicken wings
Combine garlic, oil, oregano and rosemary in a ziploc bag. Add chicken and seal bag.
Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce and enjoy.
Serve with your favorite side dish.
Well you're probably wondering whether or not the kids liked my grilled wings as well as they like restaurant wings. My son actually really enjoyed. He kept asking if I really made them or if I had bought them. (I guess I'll take that as a compliment.) My daughter didn't really care for the wings. She thought the wings tasted to "smoky" which ironically, is the same reason that Ben and I liked them so well. The Big Green Egg adds a nice smoky flavor to everything and sometimes the kids don't really appreciate that taste as much as adults.
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