Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saturdays, Interrupted

There are two things that I despise: going to bed and waking in the morning.  Naturally a night owl, I have not transitioned easily into adulthood where sleeping until noon is no longer possible nor appropriate.  Weekends were a small refuge; Friday nights enjoyed  a bit later with a movie or an extra glass of wine.  Saturday morning zzz's spanned until the youngest made a request for Sesame Street rather than the obnoxious sound of an alarm.  Change is inevitable, and this was no exception.

Whether it's a soccer game, a dance class, playdates or birthday parties Saturday schedules now rival the best of Wednesdays.  The leisurely paced morning has been replaced with to-do list tasks before we take to the city for the afternoon.  I could gripe on this interruption, but these afternoons have been some of the most enjoyable; watching the kids bask in their element and socializing with friends, we seem to take hold of life in a whole new way.   Wanting to save my Drill Sergeant persona for the weekdays, I have found another way to get the family up and at 'em Saturday morning: breakfast. The smell of pancakes, frittata, or the ever popular bacon lures even the sleepiest down to the kitchen.  Also, these large morning meals have the stick to the ribs power to move us through this activity marathon with grace and efficiency. 

In the past, I considered myself a waffle girl, however once I came across this recipe for Cinnamon Polenta Pancakes, I was a convert.  Made with whole grains, these fiber-packed cakes have the protein punch needed for an active morning.  Topped with blueberry spoon fruit and maple syrup, they also have the sweet indulgence that reminds us why we love the weekend.  

Cinnamon Polenta Pancakes
Recipe By: Marisa May
Food and Wine Magazine, December 2009
Serves: 4
Budget Note: I rarely buy buttermilk for baked goods as I never use the entire container before it goes bad.  A tried and true substitute is mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 TB white vinegar.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 TB
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (see note)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

  1. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs, olive oil and water.  Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, leaving small lumps.
  2. Set a griddle (or non stick pan) over moderate high heat and spray it with vegetable oil spray.  When the pan is hot, spoon in 1/4 cup mounds of batter and spread to form 4 inch rounds.  Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are browned and bubbles appear on the surface, 2 minutes.  Flip and cook until browned on the bottom, 1-2 minutes longer.  Serve pancakes warm. 
 These are truly unique pancakes and oh-so much better than the mix variety.  Easily assembled, they may even encourage your 4 year old to grab a spoon!

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