Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Way Too Early For This

It is 7:00 AM.

I REALLY wanted to sleep in today. Matthew and I were both so exhausted last night after our long drive back from Fort Wayne. I honestly expected that he would sleep a little longer than normal.

But no. He decides to wake up at 5:30 AM. A whopping 2 hours EARLIER than normal.

So far this morning, I have...

1. Watched Matthew "walk" the little dipper (basically a mini crock-pot) like a puppy by pulling on its cord. He added in his own barking sound effects.

2. Cleaned up the potpourri he decided to shred and scatter all over the couch.

3. Brewed the strongest pot of coffee ever while the child squealed and clapped in delight.

4. Gulped down the coffee as fast as I could while trying not to stress about the huge pile of toys the child is creating in the middle of the living room floor.

5. Reassembled my appliance cabinet about 3 times since the child keeps tearing it apart. I still can't find the middle insert for the lid of my blender. It's probably in the toilet or somewhere fun like that.

6. Hid the whistle component on Matthew's flute. I want to avoid a migraine.

7. Made sweet potato pancakes and then fed 6 of them to the child who greedily stuffed them quickly into his mouth while simultaneously pointing around and requesting additional sources of nourishment. Never satisfied.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Spiced Pecans
adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

For the pancakes:
1 small-medium sweet potato
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and scrub the sweet potato and prick several times with a fork. Roast until a thin knife may be easily inserted and removed from the center of the sweet potato, about 45 minutes. Let cool while you assemble the remaining ingredients.
Whisk together the flour, salt, white sugar, soda, and powder in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, egg white, and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Gently fold the mixture together until the batter is well mixed with a few lumps remaining.
Mash the sweet potato well, then add in the spices and the brown sugar and stir vigorously to combine. Add the sweet potato mash to the pancake batter and stir well to combine. Cover the batter and set into the fridge for at least 1 hour (the batter may be made the night before).

For the spiced pecans:
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (sea salt works best if you have it!)

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add all the ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally until the nuts are glazed, about 8 minutes. If you feel the sugar is starting to burn a bit, just lower the heat and continue to cook. Pour mixture onto some foil or parchment and break apart with a fork. When cool, place in a sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin, mallet, or drink glass. Set aside.

To Cook and Assemble:
Butter or spray a griddle and adjust heat to medium. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the griddle and sprinkle with some of the chopped nuts. When bubbles form on the surface and the edges begin to dry, flip and let cook an additional minute or two. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with more nuts, pumpkin butter, or maple syrup!

And no, I do not have a photo of the finished stack of pancakes because they were devoured before I could even bring the camera out. Little man loved them!

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