With Jeremy in retail, we are blessed to not really feel the impacts of what a Monday morning feels like to the 8-5, Monday-Friday workers. On one hand, it is nice to have a different schedule each week and different days off, but the lack of routine is equally hard at times. Today our Monday feels like a Wednesday since Daddy has been at work over the weekend, but nevertheless, we will conform to the fact that it is Monday!
Growing up, my Mom ALWAYS had something yummy to eat, especially in the morning. She was up early and when we were getting ready for school, she would be making breakfast for us. Granted, not all families grew up like this, but we hardly ever had cereal because of this. I will never forget my sister coming down one Monday morning and seeing a variety of cereals in the center of the kitchen table. She said, "Mom, Mondays are bad enough and now seeing cereal just puts me in a bad mood!" Now, don't worry, she wasn't serious, but it just goes to show you how incredibly often we were blessed by my mom's serving heart and working hands so early, every morning!
On this particular Monday morning, I thought it would be fun to start our week with smiles, and good moods and we made banana pancakes with the boy's pancake pen and pancake molds.
These are the boys pancake molds- shaped in a plane, fire truck and train ... they have zoo animals as well, but Cole opted to go the transportation route. This pancake pen is AMAZING, especially with kids ... you pour the batter into this bottle, screw on the top and squeeze the batter into molds, the classic circle or let your kids design their own shapes.
I had 2 bananas left from earlier this week when I made the chocolate chip banana bread and the banana blueberry bread, so I thought I would mix them into the pancakes this morning.
I am a huge fan of making everything from scratch. It helps when teaching your kids how to bake and it encourages healthier eating. When you add each ingredient, you are aware of what you are eating, instead of wondering what your body is consuming. Even better, it allows you to be creative while you are baking and cooking. So often I adapt and change recipes to what I have on hand, rather than what a specific recipe calls for. It adds a creative edge and a personal touch to your food. If you are trying to be health conscious, generally speaking you can always substitute oil for butter and your calorie intake will drastically lower.
Ok, lets get started!
First, mix your dry ingredients of 2 c flour, 4 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp sugar. If you want extra flavor to your pancake you can add your personal favorite of seasonings at this point. I try to keep pumpkin pie spice on hand because I love the variety of the spice. It is a perfect medley of some of my favorites .... cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. I just added a few dashes to my dry mix.
In a separate bowl mix 1 3/4 milk (I actually used non fat half and half this morning) and 2 eggs. Beat together.
If you haven't noticed from the pictures, today and in past posts, my boys are ALWAYS in the kitchen with me!! Encourage your kids to be in the kitchen with you- they love to taste, smell, touch and make a mess with you and best of all you are creating memories with them!
Again, back to our pancakes! Once the milk and eggs are well beaten, melt 2 tbsp butter and add to the wet ingredients. Once this mixture is well combined, add the wet mixture to the dry and begin to mix all together.
At this time, take the bananas you have on hand, no more than 2 or 3 and peel them. In a small bowl, take a fork and mash them well. If you are simply adding the bananas to the mix and plan to make classic pancakes without the pen, it is fine to have the bananas a little lumpy. If you are using a pancake pen, a puree has to be created, to allow the batter to come through the nozzle.
Once the banana has been pureed, slowly fold the bananas into the batter.
At this point, spray your skillet with oil and heat to about 350 degrees. Spray the pancake molds as well, to allow for easy release when flipping the pancakes and then place them on the skillet to warm.
While the molds and skillet are heating, pour the batter into your pancake pen.
Use the pancake pen to fill in the molds ... be sure to only fill half way, because when the pancake begins to bake, the pancake will rise. If the pancake pours over the sides of the mold, it will not separate from the mold and the pancake will tear.
Let the pancakes cook- you will know when they are ready to flip when the batter begins to bubble a bit. When this happens, SLOWLY start to lift the mold. If you pull it off too fast, some batter might stick inside and tear the pancake. Once the molds have been lifted, use a spatula to flip the pancakes.
This is what the pancake will look like once the mold has been lifted.
After we make a few pancakes with the molds, I let the kids make whatever they want with the pen ... it allows them to be creative and have fun! I realized Cole was having a difficult time in the beginning and I found a piece of banana in the nozzle, poor guy was straining so hard as you can tell here!
Once we cleaned the nozzle out, we were smooth sailing. I love that the shapes and designs they make look like chaotic batter, but they are so proud of their creation. They are more apt to try new foods too when they are a part of the creation!
I hope your Monday's have started well and that you are able to find creative ways to involve your kids in your daily activities!