Fluffy and tasty even on their own, these are our house pancakes. I’d even pack a whisk into my suitcase just to be able to serve these buttermilk pancakes when we’re travelling. They’re that easy to make. And they’re that good!
A very bizarre thing about my hubby, is that he slathers peanut butter onto his cheese burgers, nestling it between the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, melted cheese, ketchup and pickles. It’s apparently the way things are done in a family diner called Triple XXX in West Lafeyette, Indiana (where he spent six years, as a young and impressionable student). The Duane Purvis All-American is a house favourite among Triple XXX’s avid followers, and after all these years, the hubby still deems it the best burger in the world. We could be eating the most sumptuous Waygu burger, and he would still woefully lament that it lacked creamy peanut butter (never chunky!), preferably a ¼-inch thick.
Popeye owes much of his strength to spinach, and I fondly remember my three young nephews scarfing down entire plates of sautéed and creamed spinach after watching the cartoons. If spinach was absent from dinner, they would collectively rain hell and fury like you’ve never seen. I don’t blame them, and their allegiance is well-justified, because apart from being delicious, spinach features on most superfoods lists.
Root vegetables are a firm favourite with my kids. My son particularly loves parsnips and raw carrots, and the baby girl adores beetroot and sweet potatoes. I usually cut an assortment into batons, toss in olive oil and simply roast in the oven until crispy and crunchy (best with parsnips), and they really enjoy them that way. But with my little ones, it’s important to keep things interesting so they don’t get bored and start rejecting the food (as much as they liked it before). Cooking the humble but nutritious veggies this way is a fun and novel alternative, and my cheeky daughter thoroughly enjoys getting dirty and messy eating the patties with her hands.
I’ve tried a host of vanilla ice cream recipes, but love this one—based on Johnny Iuzzini’s in Dessert Fourplay—best for making the vanilla ice cream that I have in our freezer at all times. It’s the first ice cream my son, T ever tasted. His little eyes lit up and he grinned in excitement when he registered its flavour, texture and temperature all at once for the very first time. That moment was truly priceless.
My son loves pancakes, especially if I use his favourite shape cutters to make police car-pancakes or mammoth-shaped pancakes. I’m sure he would be just as pleased as pie if I just cooked him his breakfast using an instant mix. But as mothers do, I’m always thinking of ways to feed my children food that is tastier and more nutritious. Packed with protein and calcium, these power pancakes give the little ones extra muscle-building oomph for a great start to the day! I think they are best eaten with fruit preserves, which complement the tang of the cottage cheese very well.
With a toddler in the house, the ability to whip up a bubble solution on the fly with ingredients from your pantry is a boon. It means mom can mix up a quick batch of bubble solution while said toddler naps without ever having to leave home (although the solution works best after it has been aged overnight). Anyone who has had to hang on to a curious toddler with a mind of his own and the uncanny ability to squirm out of your grip will understand how shopping with a toddler in tow can sometimes be a physical challenge.
This is not gourmet macaroni and cheese. This is not mac and cheese with a crunchy breadcrumb topping, made from a roux base, and garnished with crispy deep-fried sage leaves and shaved white truffles (although I have a weak spot for this deluxe version). This is mac and cheese, where a rice cooker does all the work for you; and with a little light stirring, the result is a comforting, kid and baby-friendly meal in just 30 minutes.
Since my baby girl C was born slightly more than a year ago, I’ve started on a collection of hand-written recipes in a book, to be eventually given to her as her sixteenth birthday present. When the day comes for her to live on her own and cook for herself, she will have the recipes on hand to make the food that I cooked for her, food that she loved, and food that we ate together as a family.