Pancakes: Scratch vs. Shortcut

A pancake breakfast on a weekend morning puts the whole family in a good frame of mind. With everyone relaxed and happy, it’s a good time to spend some quality time together. Keep it positive – make plans for the day or reminisce about fun times you’ve had together.

It’s pretty easy to pull a box of pancake mix out of the cupboard, but if you love pancakes, you owe it to yourself to try the below recipe for Easy Buttermilk Pancakes. I don’t make pancakes often as I usually opt for serving waffles to company. However, I have to admit, when I started testing this recipe, I realized I had forgotten how unbelievably delicious a real made-from-scratch buttermilk pancake can be!

This recipe for Easy Buttermilk Pancakes is made with self-rising flour. If you have buttermilk on hand, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. Simply mix eggs, buttermilk and oil together in a large bowl. Add flour, sugar and soda. Stir until large lumps disappear, but don’t over mix. Over mixing will make pancakes tough.

easy buttermilk pancakes

As much as we might like to make everything from scratch, we don’t always have the time. For busy mornings or a quick supper, you can turn out a batch of pancakes in record time. Grab a Martha White® muffin mix and add egg and milk and you’re ready to go.  Serve pancakes the classic way with butter and syrup or top them with yogurt, fruit and nuts. If you’re in the mood for something different, give the Fruit Muffin Mix Pancakes recipe a try.

fruit muffin mix pancakes

Savory Breakfast Cobblers Perfect for Holiday Brunch

What is it about a brunch that always sounds so appealing? Is it that it falls at a convenient time of the day, our love for breakfast foods or the camaraderie of family and friends? Whatever the reason, brunch is a great way to celebrate the holiday season.

The menu is easy to plan if you start with hearty main dish cobbler. Dessert cobblers are certainly a Southern favorite, but the same concept will work for savory dishes, too. Breakfast cobblers are made with an easy pour-batter crust. Combine self-rising flour, butter, milk and eggs and then pour over a filling. As it bakes, the crust becomes crisp on the top and the eggs in the batter create a quiche-like texture on the inside.

It’s hard to beat the taste of a traditional country breakfast consisting of ham, eggs and hash browns. Country Breakfast Cobbler combines all these favorites with cheddar cheese in one easy dish with a tender crust.

Country Breakfast Cobbler

A more sophisticated version is the Italian Breakfast Cobbler which is also delicious. This cobbler combines savory Italian sausage, spinach, sweet red pepper, onion, mushrooms and provolone cheese with a Parmesan cheese topping.

Italian Breakfast Cobbler

Either of the above cobblers could be considered a meal in itself, but with the addition of seasonal fruit, a crisp green salad and something sweet – you have created the perfect brunch menu.

What’s in Your Pantry?

At the drop of a hat, could you find the ingredients to make a quick breakfast or snack for your family or an unexpected guest? Many of you probably could, but would you like a few new ideas?

I’m assuming milk is a staple in your house and you have access to bananas, you can create a variety of quick treats with the addition of Martha White® Muffin Mixes and a jar of chocolate hazelnut spread.

The recipe for Martha White® Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins requires only a few ingredients. Mix-up a package of Martha White® Banana Nut Flavored Muffin Mix, remove 1/2 cup of the batter and stir in some chocolate hazelnut spread. Layer the batters into muffin cups and bake. The two batters create an interesting layered effect and great taste. Chocolate Chip Flavored Muffin Mix or Strawberry Flavored Muffin Mix can also be used to create other interesting flavor combinations. Substitute peanut butter for hazelnut spread and enjoy a wonderful outcome when mixed with the Banana Nut Flavored Muffin Mix.

banana chocolate hazlenut muffins

For a quick breakfast treat that can be eaten around the table or on-the-go, try Martha White® Strawberry Banana Pancake Wraps with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. The pancakes are easy to make and may be made in advance. Place a thin layer of chocolate hazelnut spread on the pancakes, roll-up around a banana and you’re ready to go!

strawberry banana pancake wraps with choc hazlenut spread

Dress-Up Muffin Mixes with Cheesecake Topping

I will just have to admit that I love the rich creamy flavor of cream cheese. I like it in the form of a cheesecake to spreading it on a bagel.

My love for cream cheese is a result of my mother using it.  For Sunday dinner, she would often make a green gelatin salad that had melted cream cheese. She would also make a cream cheese spread by beating cream cheese and sugar. She would then spread this on top of homemade gingerbread.

When I first began my culinary career, I did not know anything about pastries containing cheesecake filling. I can still remember the first recipes I developed many years ago with a similar filling – the Blueberry Cheesecake Muffin recipe OR Gluten Free Blueberry Cheesecake Muffin recipe. Actually it was probably very similar to the mixture that years later I put on the top of muffin batter. I think that was on Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Mix, but, of course, it will work on any flavor of mix you want to use. This filling works well as a topping and would be really good on Martha White® Sweet Potato Flavored Muffins!

blueberry muffin

Keep this recipe in mind for unexpected company or a satisfying snack. If you have Martha White® Muffin Mixes and cream cheese on hand, the only other ingredients you’ll need are – milk, sugar and an egg.

Let me know how you like to dress up a muffin mix.

Coffee House Favorites

In addition to the welcoming aroma of freshly brewed coffee, we are confronted with display cases featuring the perfect treat for our coffee. To many, this is a luxury we indulge in on occasion.   Below I will tell you how easy it is to make some of these treats at home.

One of my favorite treats is one made with flaky dough, rolled up with cinnamon sugar. The first bite takes me back to my mother’s kitchen. When baking pies, she would occasionally take the scraps of pie crust dough and make tiny little pinwheels filled with butter, cinnamon and sugar. They were absolutely delicious!

With inspiration from my mother and those coffee house treats, I created these Martha White® Cinnamon Sugar Pastries. For convenience, I use the cream cheese dough often used to create little tarts. It’s easy to mix together and filled with buttery cinnamon sugar.  The pastries are a treat you will enjoy when lingering over a cup of coffee or visiting with family and friends.

02 Cinnamon Sugar Pastries

Muffins are also popular and most coffee houses have a bran or whole grain variety to choose from. This Martha White® Loaded Honey Bran Muffin recipe is easy to make with a mix and is full of wheat germ, nuts, dried fruit, and seeds.

02 Loaded Honey Brand Muffin

Kentucky Derby Kicks Off Spring Entertaining With Country Ham Biscuits

I have never been to the Kentucky Derby, but I’ve always loved the magazine articles that feature Derby Day breakfast menus. A typical staple on the menu is some version of country ham biscuits. Occurring on the first Saturday in May, the timing is perfect to kick-off spring entertaining and ham biscuits are just right for the occasion.

Create Your Signature Ham Biscuit

  • The biscuits should be flaky, split easily and should not crumble when you bite into the ham. Generally, a basic buttermilk biscuit is perfect. You might want to roll them a little thinner so the sandwich is not too thick. I know a caterer who makes miniature crispy biscuits and others prefer the softer “angel” or yeast biscuit. It’s up to you.
  • Find the ham you like. Some prefer to buy it from a local producer and bake the ham themselves. Others may purchase slices from the grocery store and then brown them in a skillet. You may like a mound of thinly sliced ham or a slice or two of a thicker cut.
  • Offering a spread is optional, but adds a nice touch. Some prefer a savory spread like mustard or cheese. Others prefer the sweet and savory combination of salty ham and preserves like fig or pear.

This recipe is yet another twist. Made with sour cream and eggs, the texture is moist and the flavor rich and delicious. Perfect for your Derby Day Breakfast.

Good Morning, Valentine

Valentine’s Day often makes you think of romantic dinners or decadent desserts, but why wait until the end of the day to celebrate? Why not start the day with a surprise breakfast for the whole family that says “I love you.”

Valentine’s Day is all about love and what better way to express it than to wake up the whole family to a festive breakfast. If mornings are hectic, stir up and bake some muffins from a convenient Martha White® muffin mix leaving you more time to spend with your family. For an extra sweet touch, use a toothpick flag to attach special messages for your Valentines. Strawberry Chocolate Chip Message Muffins combine chocolate chip and strawberry muffin mixes making them perfect for the holiday.

Instead of serving muffins, yogurt and fruit separately, layer everything in a glass to create a Rise and Shine Banana Berry Parfait. It’s festive and delicious. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a batch of homemade biscuits hot out of the oven. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to add a Valentine’s Day touch. You can serve Sweetheart Biscuits with butter and jam or with a traditional bacon and egg breakfast.

Whether you make a quick and easy breakfast or an elaborate one, your Valentines will treasure the memories of a holiday breakfast just for them.