I know that I am preaching to the choir when I say this, but it has come again to my attention that some parents of teenagers think that my food’s class is frivolous! Ha! I have witnessed first hand during our second lab that basic cooking skills are needed. These include knowing the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon, measuring dry ingredients correctly in a dry measuring cup, and that a skillet must be preheated before pouring pancake batter in the pan. Nothing ceases to amaze me in the food’s lab after so many years of teaching. What does amaze me that some parents don’t think that being able to prepare nutritious meals at home is a necessary skill. Well, I am not going there today! But, I was pleased to see this article in Cooking Light last month Bring Back Home Economics to Schools! If I get on my soap box today I will take up way too much space here and too much of your valuable time. Let’s get to the light version of the pancakes we made last week. They were delightful!
When I was giving my demonstration I tried a new recipe using sour cream and melted butter. While I loved the taste I was not pleased with the texture. I am a lover of light and fluffy pancakes, not the thin crepe type. So after giving the students the basic instructions of putting pancakes together I changed the ingredients to make a lighter and fluffier version. The one that I used came from Cooking Light. The recipe calls for much less fat than most recipes.
The results in most groups were fantastic, but we were not without a few mishaps from using the wrong measurements, preheating to the wrong temperature , or in some cases not preheating the skillet at all. Some students did admit that they should pay closer attention when I am cooking for them. Well, yes that is the whole idea behind demonstrating. Here is the recipe for you to try on a beautiful fall Saturday morning.
Buttermilk Pancakes from Cooking Light
Yield 18 medium pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
- Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture.
- Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
- Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.
After suffering for three days with laryngitis, I was ready to demonstrate in silence how to prepare pancakes. But, a scratchy voice appeared on Friday morning and I was able to end my quick bread unit with some light and airy pancakes that will melt in your mouth . This recipe makes a very thick batter, but surprisingly not a heavy pancake. It is light as a feather and will absorb whatever topping you decide to choose. I used a recipe that I have seen floating around on many blogs. They are heralded as the world’s best buttermilk pancakes. You can be the judge of that. We thought they were fabulous!
On Valentine’s Day while most people were having lunch with their sweetie, I was making pancakes for my angels. I have been a little of an overachiever lately. Two recipes in one class period and I think that I have gone a little crazy. I have used Bisquick for years because it is easy and students that are new to the kitchen can handle it. But, have you seen the price of Bisquick lately? It is sky high! And according to the paper today we are going to have a huge hike in most grocery items as well as clothing because of the weather. Anyway, I made one from scratch and the recipe from the Bisquick box. Guess what the scratch recipe won hands down. Not surprising to me.
I cannot begin to tell you the excitement that was in the air in my classroom for the second lab of the semester! I have not seen such interest in a long time. Most students were in the classroom early washing hands, getting out equipment, and measuring ingredients. All groups worked well together trying not to ask me as many questions as this lab. There was a calmness in the air as if everyone knew exactly what they were doing. The students were much more confident washing dishes, setting the table, and eating with their group. All of them were working against the clock. Class members had to be ready to serve in 45 minutes. I have done this lab many times in a 55 minute class period so I knew from past experience that it could be done. Since the classes are 90 minutes long they sometimes will drag activities out needlessly. All groups I am happy to report were seated in less than forty minutes. Continue reading
Pancakes are a favorite around our house. I usually stick with the same recipe. This is my absolute favorite recipe for pancakes and to me these beat those made from scratch every time. Now that’s just my opinion. But, what am I to do? I can’t keep blogging about the same recipe every semester. I have to reach beyond my comfort zone. Here’s what I did this time around. I demonstrated this Oatmeal-Brown Sugar Pancake recipe found on the Betty Crocker site. I liked it. The brown sugar and oatmeal give this pancake a great flavor.
These are absolutely the best pancakes that I have ever made. The tangy taste of the pancake with the honey and butter is perfect!
This is the third time today that I have prepared pancakes. I know I am a crazy cook! Not really. I just walked out of the door without my camera this morning. I’m really glad that I forgot it otherwise I would not have made this combination.
In class today I used one of the variations of pancakes on the Bisquick box that makes a light and fluffy texture. I added very large frozen blueberries which thawed as I mixed the pancakes. As they came off the griddle I dusted them with powdered sugar. They were devoured by the starving teens that were left with chins that sparkled with sugar dust.
A little artwork here!
Just the smell of bacon and pancakes is GOOD! The taste is even better. It was a great day in the laboratory. I love it, the power of “teacher persuasion”. It is so funny sometimes how you can put a firecracker under students to get them motivated. All of them worked so diligently today to beat the clock and they did! Congratulations on a job well done.
I have tried many recipes for pancakes and coming from a make from scratch kind of cook this is not easy for me to say, but BISQUICK pancakes are the best. You can’t seem to go wrong with a little Betty Crocker. I have been using this recipe for about 20 years in the classroom. It is almost foolproof. Alas, read my last paragraph and you can mess this up.
I used their website on my smartboard to show the recipe and to give tips for making pancakes. It is a great way to start a demo. I use a teflon skillet that will cook six pancakes at a time. Along with this we discussed the labels on two different kinds of bacon and discovered how misleading they can be. Who would have thought that companies would try to get us to purchase their product by fooling us????
As you can see from the photos they all turned out great. To add a little extra each group invited an adult guest. You know what that means–they have to talk! Oh, wait they can do that well. Table conversation with an adult is quite different. It was all good though. I was impressed.
One little”oops” that turned into a great learning experience. I tasted a group’s pancakes that were quite horrible. I questioned them and “no ma’m we did not measure incorrectly .” BUT looking at the box of Bisquick brought from home lo and behold the use by date was 2007. What can I say? They made another recipe quite hurriedly and they were very good.
Another great day in my cooking world,
The Teacher Cooks