Sunday, September 11, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Pancake Brunch

It's been a while since I made a Muffin Tin Meal, but it's never too late to come back, right? I usually make them on the weekends, and our weekends have been either packed full, or I've been allowed to sleep in until lunchtime (my pregnancy fatigue never went away in the second trimester!) But today my husband went to get a haircut, so I had to wake up when she started screeching asking for food.
I lay there half-awake trying to think of what I could put into an MTM quickly, and was stumped after the blueberries and veggies. I wasn't in the mood to dig through my cookie cutters for inspiration on a sandwich shape, but didn't want to just cut it into fingers or squares and be all boring for my first MTM in a while.
So I asked the Podling what she was hungry for. And she surprised me by asking for pancakes.
Maple syrup, assorted veggies, blueberries, Mickey sweet-potato pancake
I used my Jiffy baking mix, but added some pureed sweet potato (baby food.) You can either add less milk/water in an equal amount to the added puree (and then slowly add more liquid if the batter is too thick,) or just add a little more powdered mix until you have the right consistency. If you don't alter the recipe at all, other than adding in puree, your batter will be quite runny and thin, and the pancakes will be a bit thinner and chewier.
With the altered recipe, when cooking, the pancake doesn't get as bubbly, so you'll want to watch it and flip it sooner than the bubbles would indicate. And the pancakes may be extra puffy, so you'll want to press them a little with your spatula after turning to get the batter in the middle fully cooked.
Any of the sweeter pureed veggies are good to add (squash, carrot, sweet potato) but the batter will look a little oranger. My kid doesn't notice, but if you think your child will make a big stink about it, you can add food coloring and make a big deal about how special and fun these colored pancakes are going to be. You could instead add pureed cauliflower, but I prefer the ease of just adding a jar of baby food, rather than preparing a puree myself.
Now while this is a nice way to add nutrients to the meal, I don't like the idea of only feeding them veggies in a sneaky fashion. I add this to pancakes just to make it healthier, but she's pretty good about eating veggies otherwise. We've worked on letting her dip her veggies in whatever she wanted (frosting, maple syrup, soy sauce, ketchup, Ranch, whatever) to get her in the mindset of "I eat this vegetable... with conditions." Sneaking it in might get them used to the base flavor, which they need to taste 12-20 times before they'll "like" a new food, but most sneaky recipes are designed to mask the flavor so they don't know. So you aren't getting them used to the flavor, nor are they changing their mindset from "I don't eat X" to "I DO eat X."
So I only advocate sneaking veggies in to supplement a diet where they are eating some veggies, or as a last resort where nothing else works and you just need to get the nutrients in them.

She surprised me by going for a carrot flower first, while making a face on the Mickey pancake with blueberries. Then she dumped the syrup all over it. But still. She went for the veggies first!

Blueberry-face "Minnie, not Mickey" pancake
She ate her whole pancake, plus two more small round ones, plus the broccoli (dipped in syrup) and some blueberries. And the carrots, of course. I'm still trying to talk her into eating the snap peas. She has informed me that she "will never ever eat a tomato." But I keep trying.

*plate from a Crocodile Creek set, rose silicone liner (imported from China) and butterfly liners (from UK) found on eBay. Fork from IKEA.
Muffin Tin Monday at
Oh, you didn't really think it was going to be that easy, did you? Please note that that was my FOURTH Mickey attempt. The first one burned (see note above about not being as bubbly and turning it earlier than you'd think.) The second one was perfect in every way... until I flipped it onto a half-cooked one that hadn't been flipped yet. The third one folded while flipping and had picked up some char-looking residue from the pan. The fourth one was started in a freshly rinsed and re-buttered pan, with no other pancakes sharing the space to avoid the risk of messing it up that way again. Success! Finally! 
Aaaand upon being presented, my masterpiece was met with "I didn't want a Mickey pancake. I wanted circle pancakes." ILoveMyChildILoveMyChild.... but luckily when I went to get my plate of rejects and regular pancakes, she had made the blueberry face and changed her mind. Ruined day averted!


  1. I have never tried baby food in pancakes. These sound wonderful!

  2. I love the idea of adding mini pancakes - Ill have to try tha.
    Great job!! It all looks super yummy

  3. I love your butterflies, and the meal too

  4. Gasp!! I want those butterfly cups! where'd you get them?

  5. YUM! this mama would like that lunch! :) My daughter would too!

  6. awwwww!!! the mickey is the sweetest part!!! what a fun idea to do a pancake assortment!!

  7. I love your pancake struggles...those little buggers are never as easy to come out right as they should be...


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