Nashville, TN – Isn’t it amazing how wise our grandmothers were? Old adages like “the kitchen is the heart of the home” and “family is made around the dinner table” continue to be as valid for us today as they were to past generations.
Research has shown that children of all ages are happier and healthier if they regularly eat dinner as a family. And involving them in the cooking not only provides valuable family time, but also encourages better eating habits.“I think it is very comforting in our complex lives to know that just cooking and eating together at home can be beneficial in so many ways,” suggests Martha White® baking expert Linda Carman.
Start a Cooking Tradition
Involving your children in preparing meals may be a little more time consuming and, depending on their age, messier than doing it yourself, but the benefits will outweigh the down side. Kids who are involved with food preparation at home tend to eat more nutritious meals and are more likely to try new foods.
Busy schedules may prevent the children from helping to prepare dinner every night, but how about starting a tradition of cooking breakfast together on the weekend? Breakfast is an important meal and there are so many fun and easy things to cook. Start by cooking one meal a week with the kids and before long they will be helping all the time.
Pancakes are Perfect
Pancakes are the perfect thing for a family cooking project. Not only are they fun and easy to make, but pancakes also encourage creativity with the addition of all kinds of delicious and nutritious ingredients and toppings. When cooking with children, safety is the most important consideration.
Just remember to consider the skill level of the child when assigning tasks. An adult or older sibling should always handle anything hot or sharp.
Fun Pancake Ideas
- Put pancake batter in a squeeze bottle or plastic bag, snip off a corner and drizzle designs onto the griddle – hearts, numbers, initials… use your imagination.
- Fold, roll-up or top pancakes with yogurt, fruit and/or nuts.
- Silver dollar pancakes are always a favorite – about 1 tablespoon of batter is all it takes.
- Spread pancakes with peanut butter and top with bananas – or roll up to eat out of hand.
- Pour pancake batter onto griddle, then sprinkle with berries, nuts, chocolate chips or other ingredients for even distribution.
Kids will love Pigs in an Apple Cinnamon Blanket, a new twist on an old favorite. They can be ready in a flash using a muffin mix and pre-cooked sausage links. Easy to make Chocolate Chip Pancakes are always a favorite and are delicious paired with fruit, peanut butter or a delectable fruit sauce.
For good old-fashioned flavor and texture, nothing beats buttermilk pancakes. Self- rising flour simplifies Easy Buttermilk Pancakes, a good basic recipe to serve plain or dress-up with your favorite additions like blueberries or pecans. Add this one to the favorites in your recipe box.
For more recipes that you can cook with the whole family, go to www.marthawhite.com and click on recipes.
Pigs in an Apple-Cinnamon Blanket
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 (7 oz.) pkg. Martha White® Apple Cinnamon or Apple Cinnamon made with Whole Grains Muffin Mix
8 cooked pork sausage links
- Heat griddle or skillet to medium heat (350º F.). Grease lightly with oil.
- Combine eggs, milk and muffin mix in medium bowl; stir just until large lumps disappear. Batter will be thin.
- For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until pancakes begin to look dry around the edges. Turn, cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Roll one pancake around each sausage link. Top with syrup or put syrup in a small bowl for dipping.
Easy Buttermilk Pancakes
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup Crisco® Vegetable Oil
2 cups Martha White® Self-Rising Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Heat griddle or large skillet to medium-high heat (375º F.). Grease lightly with oil. Griddle is ready when small drops of water sizzle and disappear almost immediately. Pancakes will stick if griddle is too cool.
- In large bowl, beat eggs with fork or whisk. Add buttermilk and oil; mix well. Add all remaining ingredients; stir just until large lumps disappear. For thicker pancakes, add additional flour; for thinner pancakes, add additional buttermilk.
- For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbles begin to break on surface. Turn; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Variations: Apple Pancakes: Add 1/2 cup shredded peeled apple and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to batter. Blueberry Pancakes: Add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to batter or sprinkle over pancakes on griddle before turning. Cheese: Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to batter. Nut: Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to batter or sprinkle over pancakes on griddle before turning.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Mixed Berry Sauce
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
5 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, optional
3/4 cup milk
1 (7-oz) pkg. Martha White® Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix
- Combine raspberries and 2 tablespoons water in a small non-aluminum saucepan. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until berries soften. Press berry mixture through a sieve; discard seeds.
- Combine raspberry puree and 3 tablespoons water, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and strawberries in saucepan; cook over medium heat until thickened 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in blueberries, if desired.
- Heat griddle or skillet to medium heat (350º F.). Grease lightly with oil. Combine eggs, milk and muffin mix in medium bowl; stir just until large lumps disappear. Batter will be thin. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until pancakes begin to look dry around the edges. Turn, cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve topped with Mixed Berry Sauce.
Crisco is a registered trademark of The J.M. Smucker Company.