Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What? You didn’t use a box?

Making someone feel special is all relative. It depends on what their perspective of what “special” is. Thankfully, my husband, and most men, I would venture to say, feel loved when their stomachs are nice and full; which brings us to Fathers day (also my brother’s birthday this year). So I had to make three men in my life feel special-dad, husband and brother! Whew.
At our home, we like to make a big breakfast on those special “days”. So on Mom’s day, Joe makes me breakfast and on Father’s day, you guessed it, I (and the kids) make it for Joe. This Father’s day the kids decided on making chocolate chip pancakes…. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Who doesn’t love a good pancake? What’s better on a Sunday morning, than a great cup of coffee and a big plate of hot off the griddle pancakes, smothered with butter and syrup?
Not much, I would argue, ESPECIALLY if you make your own batter. Look out Aunt Jemima, Tina’s spreading the word.
I found the recipe below on my absolute favorite recipe site: www.allrecipes.com
The recipe is simple and you can add whatever you like to your pancakes: nuts, choc chips, berries, bananas…
Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
The only thing I added was a touch of vanilla. I usually never sift when they tell me to sift. It’s a pain, a mess and they still turn out ok (would be a bit fluffier if you sift I guess).
After we made breakfast and served it to him in bed, I ran back down and made a chocolate cake for my brothers birthday. The recipe turns out an OH SO delicious chocolate cake. Great, now Aunt Jemima, Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Doughboy will be hot on my tail.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake III

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you use a 9x13 pan, just cook it a little longer (I cook it for 40-45 mins). Oh, one more tip… it tastes much better refrigerated. I’ve made this cake for the kid’s birthday parties the last few times, and every time the question is the same, “you made this? Wait, you mean you didn’t use a box?????????” I could add more question marks but my blog is already long enough.
For some reason, it’s hard to wrap the mind around the fact that cake can be made without a box. And it even tastes better than the box! Gasp, choke. Cheaper too? Like, omagosh!
Yea, just buy a tub of cocoa and it should last you a few cakes at least. You will get LOTS of complements and you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy that people are devouring your cake.
So there you have it ladies and gents, two recipes that will get you well on your way to easy home-made goodness causing the loved ones in your life to feel special. And if it doesn’t well, I don’t know what to tell ya.

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