Thursday, July 3, 2008

Decidedly Not Suzy Homemaker

I woke up hungry this morning and decided to make something for breakfast. I don't do this often because I'm generally not hungry before noon and no matter what all the nutrition articles say, eating breakfast does not boost my metabolism or make me feel energized throughout the day. In fact, it usually just gives me a stomach ache. Apparently my intestines like to wake up slowly.

Anyway, this morning at 9 AM I decided I was starving and turned to our new Community Cookbook that the realtor gave us in our welcome basket. I've found these to be the best kind of cookbooks because everyone contributes their simplest, tastiest, most fool proof recipe for all the world to enjoy. It's been fun to flip through and drool over the Southern cooking buttery goodness- there's a recipe for "Riane's Mashed Potatoes (Rich and Full of Fat)". Now doesn't that sound delicious? But not for breakfast. In the "Kid Friendly" section I picked one called "Big Puffy Pancake." I love pancakes (despite not usually eating in the morning, I adore breakfast foods and make them for dinner all the time) and a big puffy oven-baked pancake sounded divine. I rounded up all five necessary ingredients only to find we had no eggs - you know you don't bake or make breakfast often when you don't routinely keep eggs in your fridge. JP and Landon volunteered to get some for me and I listened to a Bankruptcy Law lecture while impatiently waiting for them to return. Once things were started up again I followed all three lines of instructions, set the timer for 25 minutes, and listened to more Bankruptcy while my pancake became "puffy and golden brown." When the timer went off, I went and pulled this out of the oven:

Well... it was certainly puffy. It actually had a higher peak in the center but I was laughing so hard when I pulled it out of the oven that I hit it on the rack above. It looked like a pie-sized popover gone wrong and it most definitely did not look like a pancake.

Landon and JP had gone down for their morning naps (JP had to get up at 5:15 this morning because Landon decided sleeping in until 6 is for suckers), so I decided not to judge on looks alone- surely something with flour, milk, butter, and eggs couldn't taste that bad. I pulled out the sections that were fluffy, put them in a shallow bowl, and added powdered sugar, syrup, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. It now looked like this:

I think it could now be classified as a dessert, but is there any better two meals to combine? Breakfast and dessert? Mmmmmm. And it was delicious! I took the picture above at 10:01 AM. I took the picture below at 10:05 AM.

It was very good, even if not very pretty. I kind of hope I screw it up again next time.

Update: Apparently others want to partake in the big puffy popover pancake goodness:

Big Puffy Pancake

Ingredients: 3 T butter, 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. milk, 4 eggs, 1/8 tsp. salt.

Instructions: Heat oven to 425. Place butter in pie pan and melt. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth. Mix in melted butter. Pour mixture into pie pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until pancake is puffy and golden brown. (Or until mountainous peaks are formed. Either way, top with delicious dessert-like toppings and enjoy!)


  1. What and you did not POST the recipe for this delicious looking puffed thing?

  2. I agree that the lack of a recipe was a HUGE oversite!
    But, it made me laugh to see that you wanted to "mess up" again. Who knows - maybe that is the way it is supposed to look?

  3. Agreeing that we need the recipe... maybe this could beat my sister's breakfast pizza. You know, cook-offs are a sure sign that sibling rivalry has lasted for far too many years. At least now it's friendly competition. ;)

  4. Blame it on the new oven!

    Still, I find that culinary mistakes are sometimes the tastiest!

    Hey, I'm attempting to blog again and would like to add you to my blogroll. You would be the first and only ;) until I find my long lost favorite blogs. May I add you?

  5. We'll blame it on the recipe!

    If you don't have it already you should try out this book :

    It's very clinical (even rational?) - all the recipes have been made a zillion different ways and the perfect recipe after all the various tests is presented. I like it because it explains why you do what you do which I think makes you a better chef and also appeals to both the scientist and lawyer in me.

    I cook a lot and create a lot of my own recipes but I am horrible at committing them to paper for others so maybe community recipe books suffer from this problem?

  6. actually, it looks like you made a german pancake, which is supposed to look all poofy when you first take it out of the oven. check out the one this guy made:

    so you followed the recipe perfectly and achieved german pancake success!

    -liz, future law student and current laglive lurker

  7. You didn't mess up - that is the way they are supposed to look! It is best if you make them in a cast iron skillet, and they are wonderful with lemon juice, powdered sugar and fresh berries too. And you don't have to pull out the puffy parts and leave the rest - the bottom and center are a wonderfully yummy cross between custard and pancake!

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  9. I'm so glad you posted the recipe. If I'm ambitious, I'll give it a try.

    I thought the same thing yesterday -- about not being Suzie homemaker. I came home from a hike and was starving. Of course I have no food b/c I don't cook. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's already cooked lentils and bag of chopped veggies.

  10. (delurking--long time reader!)

    This reminded me immediately of the puffed-pear-pancakes we make around here that I found in a RealSimple magazine 6 years ago. And now I'm drooling remembering them.

    They have one less egg and a touch more flour and milk, so it's probably a little more bread/cake like than yours. For theirs you put your cast iron in the oven while it's heating up and then drop the butter in so it sizzles and melts, then toss in some sliced pears which were first tossed with some cinnamon and sugar (apples, plums and bananas also work well for alternative flavors). Pour the batter in, bake until it puffs waaaay high, and then watch it collapse. DIVINE.

    (link: )

  11. I am totally cracking up that you put powedered sugar AND syrup AND whipped cream...that's a TON of sugar! LOL! It looked more like funnel cake by the time you were done with it (well, before you were actually done).

  12. In my experience -- and I am a very good cook who insists on making almost everything from scratch -- it is impossible to make pancakes without pancake mix. I don't see why this should be the case, since pancake mix is just a pre-measured combination of flour, sugar, baking powder, and preservatives, but I simply cannot do it on my own. I have even tried the Cooks Illustrated recipe that Kym recommended, and their stuff is usually great.

    I'm going to bake some banana bread now to get my self-esteem back up after this embarrassing confession.

  13. Heh - it does look like a popover, but it still looks badass and delicious. *wistful sigh* The closest I come to breakfast is frozen Egos. *shudder*

  14. In my family we call those Dutch Babies, don't know why, and I've seen them on the menu at a couple of restaurants called that. We serve them with melted butter and fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar. Sometimes fresh blueberries too. And everything Greener said is true!

  15. That's what my mom calls a German Pancake. We like them not quite that brown, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and lemon juice. Yum!