I can’t even begin to recall when my last blog post was; the time of day, the emotional or physical state I was in, the dessert I had in hand (if anything, I’m certain I must’ve been munching something); everything is a blur. These days, timeline exists only this way for me: pre-kids, post-one kid, and post-two kids.
All praises to Him, I am now a mom of two. Something I still have yet to get accustomed to saying out loud, without doing a double-take and giggling to myself. I admit I still have yet to fully grasp the art of being a helicopter-parent / homeschooling mom / SAHM, and handling an active toddler and a clingy nursling concurrently, and I’ve been told things can only get more interesting. But I have had my good days when a silent self high-five awaits (silent because it means both kids are down for a nap at the same time;- too good to be true!), and not-too-good days when I wonder how my mother raised all six of us, with the youngest me forever tugging at her sarong.
But at the end of the day, at the end of each Duplo-stepping, sensory bin-toppling, and baby spit-up everywhere day, we return to this; a reminder of the overwhelming love that encapsulates my every day, as I hear my cradled 3-month-old baby-babble emotively in between nursing, while my 2.5-year-old holds my free hand and dances along to a random tune she came up with, laughing uncontrollably as the mister imitates her.
And yes, lil A, “when Adik (younger sibling) bigger, can share muffin”.
Need a pancake recipe for one? Not confident on flipping pancakes? Never too sure when the pancake is cooked through?
Then this is for you.
For something with a long name, this really ought to be called ‘The Lazy Pancake’. Essentially made from pouring the whole pancake batter at one go, this is what I turn to when I don’t have the time to stand by the stove cooking two to three servings of individual pancakes. With the high wet to dry ratio, however, this is not your typical old-fashioned pancake that soaks up your maple syrup. The texture is a little moist and denser than your everyday pancake, which makes a great snack on the go with powdered sugar on top.
With a simple mix-pour-walk away method that calls for no flipping, the only caveat here is the temperature control. You’ll need the lowest heat on your stove, and follow your instincts to check on the pancake. Too high a heat, and you’ll burn the apples; too long a cooking, and you’ll end up with a dry pancake. Having said that, I’ve burnt the apple slices once, and they still pretty much tasted great, and I’ve had a dry pancake a couple of times when I forgot something was cooking under that lid (yes, lid-covered recipes don’t serve well for forgetful janes like me), hence my addition of a grated apple into the recipe for added moisture and flavour.
Now that A is at that age when she is able to tell me in not so many words exactly what she wants, I look forward to meal times and snack times;- hearing “pancake”, “cheese toast”, “egg”, “fries” or “mummin” (muffin) definitely makes life for mommy easier. And of course if she doesn’t finish her food, it gives me the prerogative of saying, “You asked for this, remember?”. Having a greater and more discerning palate also means that she is almost always looking over at my plate, and insisting on having what I am, with the exception of anything I say “spicy”, which have now, judge me if you will, included any fast food, carbonated drinks, and ice cream.
And so it was that one morning when I was craving for chocolate chip cookies, or rather any cookie with some smidgen of chocolate chips in it, and decided to throw some rolled oats and spelt flour in the mix to well, mix things up, then along came the little toddler into the kitchen exclaiming, “Cookie!”. And there it was, that lonely bag of chocolate chips I had purchased a few days prior, sitting on the counter, tsk-ing loudly as I grabbed the pack of oft-overlooked raisins right next to it. I know a little chocolate won’t hurt, but knowing how much this 2-year-old of mine (yes, she turned two last weekend!) loves cookies, a little chocolate would turn into a whole lot of chocolate her momma wouldn’t want to be responsible for.
Oh wow, I’ve just realised the last FTM post was more than a year ago! From then till now, I still have been receiving queries, but have opted to answer them directly via e-mail, etc. Having posted quite a bit of pancake photos on Instagram as of late had inevitably garnered pancake queries, mostly along the lines of “Why are my pancakes always dense?”, “I always burn my pancakes!”, and “My pancakes look cooked, but the insides are raw”. So, if any of the aforementioned statements sounds like you on a not-too-good day, here are some perfecting pancake pointers (yes, I do love my alliterations). If you’re a bona fide Pancake Master, just scroll all the way down for the recipe of these refined sugar-free fluffy wholewheat oat pancakes (yes, they’re wholewheat AND fluffy!). Suffice to say, my search for the perfect oat pancakes has ended here.
In the meantime, keep those questions coming in, and drop me an e-mail (address on my profile), or a note on Twitter or Instagram!
As much as I count my blessings that I have a fairly adventurous toddler when it comes to eating, there have undeniably been days when meal times would take quite a bit of effort, and then some. Thankfully though, it’s not of the screaming-while-climbing-out-of-the-seat type of experience;- well, at least not yet, God forbid;- but she has had moments when she would be adamant on refusing something specific on her plate, such as peas, chicken, and some days even her favourite carrots.
When these unfavourable times sneak up on us uninvitedly from around the corner, I turn to a quick finger food that has never failed to catch her attention, and is a real cinch when I find myself short of time and short of ingredients.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, but when nothing you do can possibly make it any easier to take a perfect picture of a wonderfully moist, yet non-camera-friendly dark-hued chocolate loaf cake, I guess you will have to type out the thousand words yourself. Now I know these aren’t exactly picture perfect, and it’s possibly against some food blogger ethics to post entries with unabashedly unappealing photos, but trust me when I say my search has come to an end with this, and it is my moral obligation to share a darn good cake, albeit virtually. With a tight crumb, a deep chocolate flavour enhanced with bursts of sweetness from the chocolate chips, and a rich and moist texture which becomes pronounced overnight, it would be almost impossible to guess that the secret ingredient here is avocado. That’s right; no butter, no eggs, no yoghurt, no buttermilk, but just simply mushy riped avocado.
The original recipe is very much like a wacky cake / crazy cake / depression cake (aside: if you don’t already know what I’m referring to, do your time-constrained baker self a favour and google this quick chocolate cake fix), which makes it a perfect vegan cake, but since I’m not a fan of vinegar in bakes, I decided to play around with the proportions instead, increasing the fat ratio. And if you’re still feeling kinda iffy about the whole avocado thing, let me assure you that you can’t taste it even a little. And just to convince you further, even the mister who doesn’t eat avocado / oats / ‘any of those funny healthy things you eat’, couldn’t resist enjoying a couple of slices (and even sighed when they were gone!). Now if that’s not a good cake, I don’t know what is.
Lil A, on her 1st birthday photoshoot, with the obligatory cake smash shot.
I remember specifically that one morning while I was preparing lil A’s lunch, and the mister mentioned, “Why aren’t there any ‘On today’s lunch table for A’ photos on your Instagram?”, referring tongue-in-cheek to my regular meal posts. Premonition or not, as it turns out, several months later, I would have to take back my hasty reply of “I don’t think anyone would wanna know what a baby eats!”. In fact, not only have A’s meals caught the attention of some of my dear readers who had requested me to share the recipes, they have also introduced me to a new community of mothers who are ever so generous with their meal ideas for their little ones. From local friends who are just a phone text message away, to kind strangers on the other side of the globe with an e-mailed note, I hope to share some of the baby / toddler-friendly recipes these ladies have gifted me with, along with several of my own personal kitchen favourites, on Toddler Tuesdays, beginning with this go-to (banana) pancake recipe.