Foodie Friday: Morning After Christmas Pancakes

eggnog pancakes9+srgb.

EGGNOG PANCAKES

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups eggnog (use more for thinner pancakes)
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Maple syrup, for serving

  • Preheat and electric griddle to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Make a well in mixture then set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggnog, eggs, butter and rum extract until well blended. Pour wet mixture into well in dry mixture and whisk just until combined (small lumps are fine). Pour about a heaping 1/3 cup onto buttered griddle (vegetable oil works fine too if you don’t like the fact that the butter can burn quickly), spread batter into an even round (just using the bottom of measuring cup). Cook until bottom is golden brown then lift, butter griddle once more, flip pancake and cook opposite side until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

 

Recipe source: inspired by Taste of Home

 

Gingerbread Pancakes

GINGERBREAD PANCAKES

1¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon cloves
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
¾ cup milk
1 cup maple syrup + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
optional: powdered sugar

  • Preheat a griddle or skillet to medium heat (about 350 degrees). In a medium bowl whisk together flour and next 7 ingredients.
  • In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, molasses, 2 eggs, melted butter, and milk.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix, there should still be a few lumps throughout.
  • Lightly grease the preheated griddle. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto griddle. Cook 1-2 minutes until edges begin to look “dry” and bubbles form in the batter. Use a thin spatula to flip the pancake and allow to cook another minute or two until the second side is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • For cinnamon syrup, heat syrup in a small sauce pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon. Serve with warm pancakes.

Recipe source: http://lecremedelacrumb.com

Quick Tip Tuesday: Chill Out This Christmas

My best advice (and I wish you all would take it, myself included) is to just chill out this Christmas.

It is so easy to get caught up it making Christmas perfect for our kids and our families. For some, when things don’t go perfectly as planned we think the world is coming to an end.

Spoiler Alert: Things will not go perfectly as planned. The only way things can go perfectly as planned is if you have planned to spend the holiday completely alone, doing nothing.

So, just chill out. Make the best of an imperfect world and enjoy the holiday!

Do You Do Advent?

advent calendar

I love the Christmas Season! I love finding new ways to create traditions with my family each year. Last year, we did an advent calendar for the first time. I found one I really liked from a popular, but spendy, home furnishing store. My husband made a copycat version of it for me and we have had such a good time with it! I made out a calendar of activities I wanted to include, because I am not for giving a gift every single day of December. I wanted to share some of my ideas with you.

  • Make a Christmas song video- just have the kids stand in front of the tree and sing or dance to Christmas music. Take video with your phone or other device.
  • Make cards for teachers.
  • Make little crafts to give as gifts to the grandparents.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go see the lights.
  • Family game night.
  • Movie night. (every Friday in our house is movie night)
  • Read The Christmas Story.
  • Toast and Cocoa before bed.
  • Candy in the bucket. (sometimes we are just too busy for an activity)
  • Video message from Santa. You can make a free one at Portable North Pole.
  • Check on the reindeer.

I hope you will be inspired to start a new family tradition this season. Family traditions help kids do better in school, help kids feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, reduce family conflict, help preschool children improve their health.

Make today the time to start a new family tradition!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Carbon Monoxide Safety

Winter months put us at higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Please take precautions to minimize your risk!

  • Never use charcoal grills or run engines inside your home, garage, or basement even for a short time. Charcoal grills and small gasoline engines make a lot of carbon monoxide. Even opening all the windows and doors will not give you enough fresh air to prevent CO poisoning.
  • Never warm up a vehicle inside the garage. Warming up your care, truck or motorcycle on a cold day for just a few minutes (even with the garage door open) can make enough CO to make you sick. Start lawnmowers and other lawn equipment outdoors.
  • Have a heating contractor check your furnace, chimneys and other sources of CO every fall to make sure everything is okay. Make sure they use a tool that measures CO. To get harmful gases out of the home, many heating appliances have chimneys or vents. The chimney carries CO and other gases from the appliance to the outdoors. If your appliances and vents are working right, there should be little CO. If you rent, ask your landlord to have your heating system checked.
  • Make sure chimneys are in good shape – clean and working right. Have your chimney, wood-burning fireplace, or wood stove swept every year. Burning wood nearly always makes a lot of CO. It is very important that all the smoke goes out of the chimney.
  • If you use non-vented kerosene or gas heaters or a vent-free fireplace, follow instructions carefully and open a window for fresh air. Do not use them while sleeping.
  • Put carbon monoxide alarms near each sleeping area and on each floor of your home.
  • Never use the kitchen stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Have the kitchen stove fixed before using it if the flames burn orange or yellow.
  • Don’t use a smoking fireplace until you fix the problem.

Foodie Friday: Christmas Cookies

I love the idea of Christmas cookies, but I have never really found a sugar cookie that I actually like. It makes me sad. But I have two delicious cookies that I make every year for the holidays: ginger snaps and pecan tassies.

I made both of these this week. If you like pecan pie, you have got to try this pecan tassie recipe. It is so easy and so delicious!

PECAN TASSIES

  • 2 pie crusts- I buy the 15 oz refrigerator pack, but you could make your own if you are so inclined
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 C tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bag toffee brickle chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray two mini muffin tins (48 cups total) with non-stick spray for baking- trust me, you want the baking variety. Roll out pie crusts, and using a 1 7/8 inch biscuit or round cookie cutter, cut 48 pie crust rounds. Push pie crust rounds into mini  muffin cups, making little pie crust nests for your filling.

Combine melted butter, sugar, eggs,vanilla, flour, brickle chips and pecans in a medium mixing bowl. Spoon into pie crust cups and bake for 25 minutes.

When they have cooled, remove them from muffin tins and try not to eat them all at once!

If you like ginger snaps, gingerbread, molasses or cinnamon, you will love these simple cookies. I have called them ginger snaps but I have also heard them called molasses crinkles. By either name, they are oh so yummy.

GINGER SNAPS

  • 3/4 c butter or shortening
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix shortening/butter, sugar, molasses and egg in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerator at least 2 hours- but overnight is better.

Preheat oven to 375 degress F. Scoop out cookies in your desired size onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. At this point you could dip the cookie dough balls into granulated sugar or colored dusting sugar and bake sugar side up. OR you could leave them sugarless and dip them into pretty candy melts after baking, like shown above. Place cookies 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Told ya they were easy!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Winter Car Safety

During the winter months, bad weather can catch some drivers off-guard. I was once surprised by a sudden ice storm while driving from Ft. Smith, AR to Tulsa in freezing rain. My windshield wipers were caked in ice and I didn’t even have a coat. When I finally got to Tulsa, I was stuck there for three days!

While preparing won’t keep you from being stranded by ice, it might save you if you are stranded on the road.

Put together a small car winter emergency kit:
Blankets
Drinking Water
Snacks
Flashlights
Flares
Portable cell phone charger- in case you can’t charge it from your car battery
A brightly colored flag
First aid kit

You might live in an area where you need other items in your kit. Of course, feel free to add or omit whatever you think will best suit you!