Saturday, July 16, 2011

Panca-holics, No Longer Anonymous

This morning I made the most delicious basic pancakes that have ever graced my griddle. I woke up with a serious craving for pancakes, and when that craving strikes it is best to succumb to it. I never regret giving in to pancakes. 

I'm admittedly a pancake junkie...anytime, anywhere, I will be there with syrup. It's not just "plain"'s blueberry and pumpkin and gingerbread and a host of other flavors. And then there are the toppings. Oh, heaven help me, the toppings are the icing on the cake. Maple syrup. Butter. Hot caramel sauce. Whipped cream. Berries. Apple butter. Chocolate chips. I could go on forever. Below is my new-found love, courtesy of


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".(Manna Cakes' note: the milk is going to look really lumpy and gross. That's exactly how it is supposed to look, I promise!)
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto a preheated skillet or griddle, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
Just about ready to flip: a pancake should have dry edges and bubbles forming on the surface before flipping

So delicious. It's a wonder I didn't pull them off the griddle with my fingers and start eating them plain!

 Here are a few other of my all-time favorite pancake recipes:

Pumpkin Pancakes (Better Homes & Gardens)  (slather these babies in pumpkin butter or macerated cranberries that have been simmered with a little sugar and water)
Pannekaken ( (It's a French thing to slather Nutella on a crepe, but I promise you that a Norwegian pancake will accept Nutella just as readily!)
Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (The Pioneer Woman) (I adore PW, and her postings are like food porn. Please make these sometime, they will change your life. I didn't even care for blueberries until I tried them this way.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Too Hot to Cook

The last several weeks I've been traveling across the country for work, leaving me little free time at home and in the kitchen. It figures that about the time I get home we start to experience the quintessential Minnesota summer:  heat, humidity, and the onslaught of blood-drinking mosquitoes. 

Since it really is too hot to cook, and I'd much rather keep cool on the couch with an icy drink in my hand, here are a few more of my summertime photographs. Maybe photography (in the loosest sense of the word) is inadvertently becoming a new hobby for me!

Sophie, whose full name is Sophia Lauren. My amazingly beautiful (but amazingly stupid) Siamese.

Sam, aka Tank. She had thrown herself to the floor, rolling on her back, protesting the fact I hadn't picked her up

An afternoon at Minnehaha Park, one of the prettiest places in Minneapolis. This is the famous falls

It was such a hot day, but the mist was refreshing!

Traipsing along the paths in the park, we came across this bowed tree

It just goes to show....

...That even nature's most humble subjects can be absolutely beautiful

Minnehaha creek

It is not a Midwestern summer without severe thunderstorms. This came at us like a shot, moving nearly 60 miles per hour

It's hard to tell, but there were two parallel layers of clouds, both rotating in opposite directions

The farm field behind our house became the breeding ground for dirt devils, or small cyclones that aren't fully formed

A panorama of the incoming storm, looking north. This same storm wreaked havoc on my brother's cabin and caused much damage in the area

My niece, known as Brown Bear in the summer. She loves hamming it up for the camera!

Brown Bear and my sister, after a long day of swimming and boating