Sometimes, when my hubby works nights, I find it really hard to come up with meals for me and the kids. It should be the same, right? Well, it's not- at least not over here. The kids get needier and fussier throughout the day and by dinnertime, we've all had it. Sometimes, I just make pancakes! And do you know what else? Most of the time, they aren't even from scratch (ew, it sends shivers up the spine just thinking about it so I won't even mention the Kraft Mac n Cheese, which shows up on days I've REALLY had it). So back to the topic at hand: Pancakes. To make pancake nights more fun, I've begun making pancake art. It's nothing too fancy, but it keeps us all a little happier on THOSE nights. First you will need to make some "artistic tools". You will need this stuff here:
Take an empty condiment bottle (you can get them at the dollar store usually) and cut the tip off a bit so your batter can get through without clogging every second. You could also use some heavy-duty scissors- ours are too dull and the tip kept sliding out.
You may need to file it down a little to clean it up. And then, you may need to poke through the hole with a bamboo skewer or an awl, and wiggle it around a bit. Then your done! You now have a new gadget in your pancake making arsenal.
After you make your pancake batter, fill your bottle about half way. You will need to thin it just a bit (unless you make thin pancakes) by adding a couple tablespoons of milk or water. Then shake, shake, shake to get all the lumps out. The "experts" (and by experts I mean THIS guy) suggest you beat it with a mixer (yikes! and too much work). Seriously, you really need to get the lumps out or you will get frustrated really quickly. Use whatever means necessary, but get the lumps out.Then grease up your griddle (or old skanky frying pan like mine) because you're ready to start making some magic! Start with a simple shape like a star... then, when that doesn't work out, because the first ones never do, just toss it aside and start again. Do not lose hope at this point.
Okay, so, using your bottle, make a star. Give it a couple of minutes and then cover it with your regular batters so it looks like a regular pancake. But you know it's secret...
...when it is time to flip, you will reveal that secret! A star pancake. Okay, so it's not the best- but your kids will think it is- or your Mom who thinks whatever you do is awesome! And the more you practice, the better you will get!
When you do this with letters or words, you will need to write backwards. If you need help with this, enlist the help of a mirror.
Here's another easy one:
Pile them on a plate, and serve them to the troops:
My kids were super excited and ate every bite! I know many of you have tried this before and I would LOVE to hear your insights and tricks of the trade!
Side note: This was obviously done before England went out of the World Cup. Please, be kind; don't rub it in. It was very traumatic for the family who were frightened as they had never seen their father, who is usually the epitome of calm and collected, get so upset he threw stuff before... There's always next time!
UPDATE: Thanks to a fantastic commenter, you can find even more, seriously, super-amazing pancake inspiration at Jim's Pancakes!