Sunday, December 4, 2011

Great gift idea

I love homemade buttermilk pancakes.  Don't get me wrong, I think pancakes made from packaged mixes are fine and super convenient.  I've used the mixes myself for busy mornings when I need to get the kids on the school bus by 6:45.  Lazy Saturday mornings are another story and I like to make a big breakfast that can be enjoyed slowly.  When I found this recipe for a "make your own" mix in the Cook's Illustrated magazine last year, I decided to give it a try.  I mixed up the ingredients and put them in ziploc bags in the freezer.  (I also wrote the pancake directions on the front of of the bags.)

Everyone loved these pancakes.  They tasted better and were more cost effective than packaged pancake mixes.  I make this mix regularly now and store it in my freezer to use even on school mornings. 

Several years ago it dawned on me that if I packaged my pancake mix a little differently, it would make a great gift for my children's teachers.  I got my kids to help make and package the mix for each one of their teachers.  We printed up small labels with cooking instructions and attached it to the mix with a pretty ribbon.  I purchased a small bottle of maple syrup to accompany each package delivered the gifts to school.  The teachers were thrilled with their breakfast treats.  I've also passed this mix out to my neighbors as Christmas gifts. 

Homemade Pancake Mix
2 cups flour              
 2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 cups cake flour              
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup nonfat dry milk          
1 Tablespoon salt
3/4 cup malted milk powder          
12 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup sugar

Process ingredients in a food processor.   Store in ziploc bags or package in cellophane bags for gifts.   I package the dry pancake mix in 2 cup portions.  2 cups of dry mix is perfect for my family of 4.  I write the cooking instructions on each bag.  
Store the mix in the freezer.

Cooking Instructions:
To each bag add: 2 eggs and 1/2 cup buttermilk.  Stir until just combined.  Cook on griddle.

My daughter mixed up a batch of pancakes from the frozen pancake mix by herself.

She likes to add chocolate chips to her pancakes and my husband likes fresh blueberries. 

Just in case this recipe isn't enough to inspire to you to get into the Christmas spirit, maybe these pictures of Mia will help.  I bought this scrunchie for Mia a few days ago and she LOVES it!  She doesn't ever want me to take it off.  (I have the weirdest dog in the world.)

Mia loves her new Christmas scrunchie almost as much as she loves all the Christmas lights in the house.

I don't know why she is so fascinated by reflections but I couldn't resist taking a picture to capture her and her neurosis.  She makes me laugh.

Bon Appetit!

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