I get a lot of questions about how I manage to cook so much even though I am a pretty busy person. And not any packaged food either. I no longer buy frozen rescue meals like Stouffers, though I do miss the convenience of a frozen lasagna (just keeping it real). I know why people use convenient fixes, I have been there myself. Working jobs, going to school, being a full-time parent while my husband is away at the fire station several times a week. I know about the need for quick fixes and one of the ways I keep up the pace of my cooking regiment is through convenient food. It’s not that I know HOW to cook, it’s that I know how to throw things together quite quickly. It really is about planning and creativity. Don’t let some of my pretty pictures fool you, I rarely spend a lot of time on one meal, but I’m pretty good at making it look like I did.
YOU CAN DO THIS, TOO! I promise. I am going to be spending some good time over the next couple of weeks trying to show you more specifically how easy it is to cook a fast meal that is also healthy for you. Because we are all so busy these days, it’s easy to often get lost in the idea that convenience should take precedence, but that line of thinking is off. What’s most important, is QUALITY, which is still achievable through quick fixes.
Yesterday I made a large batch of pancake mix for my pancake cake pops and I saved half of the batter in a Mason jar, refrigerated overnight. See the bottom of this post for an epic kitchen hack for pancake batter!
INGREDIENTS: (Makes Enough for About 30 Panckes, or 72 cake pops/mini muffins, 30 pancake muffins or waffles, 15 Jumbo Muffins)
1 22oz. pkg. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Pancake Mix
2 1/4 c coconut milk (or cow, almond, etc)
3 tbsp coconut or olive oil (I used lemon-infused EVOO)
2 tbsp coconut nectar or alternative sweetener
1 heaping tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 heaping tbsp real pumpkin
1 tbsp raw honey or Grade A or B maple syrup, optional
1 tbsp coconut nectar or sugar, optional
Recommendation: Use cast iron for pancakes, and everything else. Ditch the non-stick. BUT while I like to stick to metal utensils for most things, for pancakes I really love my huge silicone spatulas.
Grease a cast iron skillet or pan generously with coconut oil. When heated over medium-high, add batter to pan (see hack below). When bubbles start to appear, flip over. When moving a pancake a sharp, fast and deliberate movement is effective. Confidence is king. Use as much as you need to make a few pancakes and save the rest in the fridge for the rest of the week, making it as you need it.
Mid-afternoon today, I took my jar of stored pancake batter out of the fridge and let it come close to room temperature. I removed the lid, and then added a Ball sippy cup lid, and replaced the ring back to the jar. I covered the hole, and shook the jar. I heated up a 10″ in Lodge Cast Iron skillet with coconut oil over medium-high heat. Then I used the Ball jar lid to pour the pancake batter out onto the skillet. Is this a genius kitchen hack? I do believe it is. When I was done making these for our afternoon snack, I added the flat lid back on and put it in the fridge to store until we wanted more. I’ll use this jar of batter all week until its gone, for quick-fix snacks and breakfasts.