As much as I enjoy experimenting in my kitchen, there are a handful of things that I find more stressful than therapeutic.
First on the list? Working with yeast. I know baking is a science and depends entirely on the proper chemical reactions of the ingredients, but I feel like there’s enough to worry about with the whole baking powder and baking soda debacle… no need to throw yeast into the mix and complicate things even further.
Next? Working with raw meat. I swear I would go vegetarian just so I didn’t have to work with raw meat. And because we’re friends and I feel like we can be honest with each other without judgment, I’ll admit that when I first moved out on my own, my mom actually had to cook chicken for me (thanks Mom!!) and bring it over in Tupperware containers to make sure I was eating more than just scrambled eggs and Greek yogurt for protein… Keep in mind that I was in my mid-20’s. I got over it eventually, but it’s still something I don’t enjoy doing.
Finally… flipping pancakes, which I know seems like no big deal when compared to working with yeast and meat, but pancake flipping is stressful business.
First, there’s the whole issue of getting the batter to be just the right consistency so that you don’t make a huge mess when transferring it from the bowl to the skillet… which inevitably ends up always happening to me anyways. Then, you need to stand there waiting for your pancakes to start “bubbling” so that you know it’s time to flip them… which I always end up doing too soon because I’m worried about them burning. Finally, you need to stand there some more waiting for the other side to finish, only to have to repeat the whole process over and over again until all the batter is gone.
Gah! You know how I just mentioned that my mom had to bring me chicken when I first moved out? This is the part where I admit that I’ve only eaten homemade pancakes about twice since moving out from home… it’s one of those things that mom’s do better. Me? I stick to oatmeal, cereal, or pancake muffins…
What are pancake muffins, you might ask? Well, they’re basically muffins made from pancake batter which has been poured into muffin tins and baked — no flipping required! All you need is a handful of wholesome ingredients, a blender, and 5 minutes of hands-on time before you have yourself a batch of deliciously doughy muffins that can be enjoyed for breakfast or any time of the day. They’re perfectly portable for those on-the-go mornings, and have a good balance of carbs, proteins, and fats to give you a nice boost of stable energy. The best part is that they taste delicious.
Not too sweet, with just the right amount of spice. I used sweet potato puree in these, but you can easily sub out pumpkin, butternut, or whatever other winter squash happens to tickle your fancy. And if you’re not a fan of dates (the horror!!), feel free to toss in some dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, or even chocolate chips instead. Actually, maybe toss in some chocolate chips regardless, because the only thing better than pancake muffins in the morning, is chocolate chip pancake muffins…
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