Baked Pancakes

Sundays are always my favorite cooking day of the week. I know that sounds strange, but I’ll explain.

Sundays are the day of the week where we have a big breakfast, and then we skip lunch (or have a small snack) & have a big dinner. I always love trying new recipes on Sundays, since I have extra time to spend in the kitchen. Another benefit- I have Craig for Daddy duty. 😉

Weekday meals are usually easier meals, since we both just want to relax on the couch after a long day. No sense spending extra time in the kitchen, at least in my opinion.

Yesterday I tried another Pinterest recipe. Yep, it got me again. 😀 I just like that website a bit too much.

I wanted something other than the traditional pancake or waffle recipe…and I considered making my baked oatmeal recipe, but then I had another idea. Baked Pancakes. I had remembered seeing a recipe that I had ‘pinned’ that was for a baked pancake, so I thought I’d give it a try.

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I copied the recipe below from THIS website & I followed the instructions exactly, I just sprinkled mini chocolate chips on half of the batter.

Pancake Squares
(from Big Red Kitchen)

3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 large egg
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually beat the flour in. Carefully stir in the baking powder and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serves 4-6.

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The way to a man’s heart, serve him THIS for breakfast:
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I put the chocolate on Craig’s half and topped it with real maple syrup, and I ate the pancake squares plain (no chocolate) & topped with real maple syrup & cinnamon.

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I know mine might not look as pretty, but it sure tasted good.

Not sure if I have mentioned my little cinnamon obsession. It’s BAD. I mean I got through the HUGE containers of cinnamon from BJ’s/ Costco about one a month. EEK! I put it on EVERYTHING. From apples, to pears, to my favorite combination (which I am currently not eating because of Lent) is vanilla frozen yogurt drizzled (hate that word) with melted peanut butter, sprinkled with a TON of cinnamon & topped with chopped honey roasted peanuts. If you do anything today, please try that. You can thank me later 😉

One thing I really liked about this recipe was how fluffy the baked pancake ended up.

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It reminded me of those PERFECT pancakes that you can only get from a breakfast restaurant. I don’t know what it is, but there is something special that they do to pancakes at a restaurant. No matter how hard I try, I can never make them EXACTLY like my favorite breakfast restaurant. (Keke’s) I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can make a mean pancake…but it will never be as good as Keke’s. They are a little crispy around the edges & BIG & FLUFFY in the middle. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. YUM!

Nothing like pancakes to start your Sunday on the right foot. We had a very busy weekend- Craig did a bunch of house stuff & I took care of all of the cleaning, laundry & all that fun stuff. 😉

Oh, random question, does anyone know if I can take any medicine for a head cold while breast feeding? I am very sick- I THINK I may be on the mend…finally. I have just been taking Tylenol, but I really don’t think it’s doing any good. But I don’t think I can really take anything else. I have a race this weekend, and would really like to be feeling 100% if I can. Please cross your fingers & say a little prayer for me, if you don’t mind. 🙂

Well, I’m off to get some work done. Let’s make this a good week!! 😀

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Baked Oatmeal

Growing up I was always the kid that liked the weird flavors. Grape Skittles? Pass them my way. Grape jolly ranchers…couldn’t get enough. Pepto Bismol?! Yes, please. I would actually pretend that I had an upset stomach so that my parents would give me Pepto. What a weird little kid I was.

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The funny part is that I still love the weird flavors…and I’m still in love with Pepto. But I do restrain myself now 😉

As I kid whenever someone would ask what your favorite cookie was, I quietly answered ‘Oatmeal raisin.’ I felt like a grandma. Aren’t Grandmas the only people that like oatmeal raisin cookies? I was the strange kid that liked oatmeal raisin…while the other kids were asking for chocolate chip.

The good part in all of this was that I got the ‘leftovers…’ the grape skittles no one wanted, the oatmeal cookies that were overlooked. I was in heaven!

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This past weekend I was trying to come up with a new recipe for breakfast. We always have a big breakfast on Sunday, skip lunch (because we are so full) & then typically have an Italian dinner. (lots of pasta, which is very filling)

But I was over the usual breakfast foods…eggs, bacon (for Craig), toast, pancakes, waffles…I wanted something new.

We are both big fans of oatmeal, so I thought I would do something involving oatmeal…and I didn’t just want a big bowl of oatmeal.

That’s when I thought baked oatmeal would be good…and not just any baked oatmeal, but oatmeal raisin cookie oatmeal.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Oatmeal

Ingredients:

-3 cups oats (I used old fashioned)
-1/3 cup packed brown sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
-2 tsp cinnamon
-3 egg whites
-1 & 1/2 cups Almond milk (any milk should work)
-1/4 cup light maple syrup
-1 1/2 tbsp margarine, melted
-2 tbsp. light maple syrup, optional

Preparation:

1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites, almond milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup and butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.

2. Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Drizzle with  2 tbsp maple syrup, if desired. Bake at 350° for 35- 40 minutes or until set. Yield: 9 servings.

Per serving: Calories: 206, Fat: 3.3g, Sodium: 452mg, Potassium: 153mg, Carbs: 46g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 20.9g, Protein: 5.5g

What I liked most about this recipe, besides the fact that it REALLY did taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie, was that it cut into pieces…almost like a coffee cake.

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Nice big chunks of baked oatmeal! We both enjoyed it so much that we had two pieces EASILY. I think I was leaning more towards three pieces…it was just that good, I kept picking at it. 🙂

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This breakfast held me over until dinner with NO problem! At only 206 calories per serving, it’s hard to beat! Full of fiber & protein, it is definitely a winner for a healthy go to breakfast.

It’s another easy make ahead meal that you can just ‘grab & go’ during the weekday.

Other ideas for mix ins: nuts, chocolate chips, dried apples or strawberries. The possibilities are endless!

A Weekend in the Kitchen

Sorry I haven’t written part two of my labor story…I have left you hanging. But this weekend has been non stop!

Saturday was an AWESOME day! I started out with a run- 4 miles in 33:30- less than a month after having Gabriella! I feel like I’ve got my running mojo back 😉 Usually I take G with me in the jogging stroller, but yesterday since Craig was home he said he would watch her while I went running. It was kind of weird not having the stroller…but nice- it’s tough running with a stroller!

Once I got home I was able to take a shower & shave my legs….you have to understand it’s the little things that make SUCH a difference with a newborn 😀 So to have Craig on baby duty so that I could have some free time was really nice.

The rest of my Saturday was spent hanging out with G, cleaning, cooking dinner, then hanging out with Craig when G went down for a nap.

Today was BUSY BUSY BUSY!! Craig’s office has their holiday breakfast tomorrow & people from his group pay me to bake a bunch of breakfast items because they know how much I love baking…and it’s easier for them 🙂

So right when I got up I got to work in the kitchen- I knew I would have minimal time between watching G, feeding G & trying to get all of the items baked…so it was go time right away!

Here are the items that I made:

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Cranberry Bliss Bars (by my lovely twin, Liz…not really my twin…it’s a long story. 🙂 )

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Mini Eggnog Doughnut Muffins

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Red Velvet Santa Hat Brownies (which I found yesterday on beloved Pinterest 😉 ) Oh & this made a lot more, I just didn’t get them all in the picture.

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Andes Mint Cookie Bars- used the recipe on the back of the Andes Mint chips (near the chocolate chips)- but made them into bars into of cookies.

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Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake Copycat Recipe 

I have had this before & it’s REALLY good!! I decided to make it into a bundt cake instead of using two loaf pans. I had not iced it yet ..only because I will ice it in the morning before Craig takes it in. You know glaze doesn’t really look good the next day.

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Triple Berry Coffee Cake – a recipe that I have made for the past three years for his office. This is always a request 🙂

I am also making a monkey bread in the morning- I’m sure you all know what that looks like.

Because I was making all of this, I had to taste test each recipe just to make sure everything tasted ok 😉 I can honestly tell you that I HIGHLY recommend ANY of the recipes above! Hopefully they will all be a hit with his co workers as well!

Gotta say I definitely don’t mind spending an entire day in the kitchen…in fact I love it! 😀

As you can see, I’ve had a busy, but wonderful weekend! It’s also fun to see how much Gabriella is growing- I tell her to slow down everyday. Lately she has been ROCKING her ‘tummy time!’ This girl is a pro!

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She’s been holding her head up for over a minute & she is just so alert- I love it!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well- hard to believe it’s already December! I promise that part two of my labor story will be coming very soon!! 🙂

Baked Blueberry Cake Donuts

I remember when I was younger & my parents would take me to church each Sunday morning there was one particular thing that I always looked forward to. Now this might sound kind of bad, since it has to do with food rather than actually attending church. But hey, I was a kid, and kids are like men- they are won over by FOOD. 😀

The church that we attended had a little bakery/ breakfast place that they would set up every Sunday morning. They had donuts, bagels and muffins delivered and then they would set up this little ‘shop.’ This place was HOPPING! It seemed like every person that attended church on Sunday would be sure they had room for something from this ‘shop.’

My parents used to let me get one thing each Sunday. I always had one favorite ‘go-to’ item that I would get EACH time. Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Cake Donut.
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Those donuts were like heaven on earth. (no pun intended 😉 ) I swear part of my motivation to get up was so that I could have one of those donuts. Like I said, it sounds horrible, but I was a kid…you have to cut me a break! 🙂

For some reason the other morning ALL I could think about was those donuts. So instead of kindly asking my lovely husband to run out & get Dunkin’, I decided to just make them myself. And the best part is that I could ‘health-ify’ them a bit..so that I wouldn’t feel guilty if I ate one. Or five.
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Not only did I ‘health-ify’ them, but I also used REAL fruit. Not just little blueberry flavored specs. One of the stars of the show:
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I can’t stop baking with this stuff. I think I have an addiction.

Baked Blueberry Donuts
(adapted from this recipe)

Makes 12 donuts.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
6 oz container Chobani blueberry Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup blueberries, chopped

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. almond milk
1/4 cup blueberries, smashed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325º. Lightly grease two 6 count donut pans with cooking spray or vegetable oil. (or just make the donuts in two batches, like I did)
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In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
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In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt, apple sauce, and almond milk. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in chopped blueberries.
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(the batter will be kind of thick- that is how you want it.)

Divide batter evenly into 12 donut cups, filling each about half full. (Use a pastry bag or plastic bag with corner cut out to make filling the cups easier.) (Again, I did it in two batches- 6 donuts at a time)
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Bake for 12 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or when you touch the donut it springs back up. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes in the pans. Set on wire rack to cool.
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Whisk together powdered sugar, almond milk & smashed blueberries to create a thin glaze.
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Take each donut & dip it into the blueberry glaze.
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Wanna know the best part?? They are only about 150 calories (& about 3 grams of protein) PER donut, with the glaze! You can’t beat that, right?!

These donuts are not super sweet, but I like them better that way. You can always up the amount of sugar used. (the original recipe called for a 1/2 cup, but I reduced it to 1/3 of a cup) The blueberry flavor is very abundant, especially if you use the glaze, since there are real blueberries in the glaze as well.

Now if you are wondering how good they are…I think this sentence will sum it up. Craig ate FIVE of them. Yes, 5! He actually lost count of how many he had eaten, it was pretty funny. 🙂 I had planned on making pancakes for breakfast, but I decided to make these instead. He said he was happy I did, ‘because these were better!’ If you try them, I don’t think you will be disappointed!