Saturday Small Talk

Good morning! It’s a beautiful day at the beginning of a polar vortex kind of weekend here in Michigan. I’m not too sad, because it looks like a snow globe out there. Plus, I have coffee, which helps make any circumstance happier. Obviously.

IMG_20150214_075722My confession for the week: I hopped on the Downton Abbey train. And it’s awesome. I’ve wasted way too much time in the last few days sitting on my rear watching TV–this show sucks you in! Downton fans, tell me I’m not alone here. Please?

If you’re looking for a vacation destination where you can get great food without breaking your travel budget, look no further: 7 Cities for Frugal Foodies.

The concept of “kid food” is creating a generation of picky eaters. Here’s how it happened and why it should stop. (So 2014,  but still relevant and a good read!)

Have you ever tried a food at a restaurant and wanted to know how they did it? 12 copycat soup recipes.

Breakfast pizza! Bonus: it’s gluten free. I want to try it.

Best for last: a hilarious 5 minute video about boredom, creativity, and why our phones are holding our good ideas hostage. Definitely worth watching. If you liked it, check out the video by the same guy about sleeping at work.

Fluffy Pancakes (and three tips for perfect flapjacks)

When I was in college, I spent a lot of time with one family in particular–I babysat their kids, did laundry at their house, and enjoyed any and all of their invitations to join them for meals and avoid the cafeteria.

This family, they are pancake game-changers. They didn’t just serve pancakes and syrup, it was pancakes, syrup, peanut butter, nutella, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, sprinkles…..and more! A pancake smorgasbord. If it was your birthday, you would probably even get your name spelled in pancake!

This weekend, we had friends visiting. One of these friends neglected to mention it was his birthday on the very day he was visiting. When I found out, I glared, and got to work on these pancakes. I must confess, our toppings list didn’t compare with the list above, and I didn’t spell his name in pancake batter. But the pancakes were the perfect amount of fluffy, the company was lovely, and this blueberry compote is to die for.

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Fluffy Pancakes

Serves 4. Based on this recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 Tbs. vinegar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbs. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

1. Combine milk and vinegar in a bowl, and set aside for 5 minutes while it sours. This is a good thing!

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

3. Whisk eggs and melted butter into the milk. Add dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk until the lumps are gone.

4. Cook up your pancakes! On a stove, you want medium high heat. On a griddle, turn it to 350 degrees. Spray with cooking spray.

20150207_085834Three cooking tips to elevate you to Rockstar Pancake Chef status:

  • Your cooking surface is up to temperature when you sprinkle water on it and it sizzles.
  • You know your pancakes are ready to flip the first time when the top surface has bubbles in the middle.
  • Your pancakes are done when you press lightly on the middle of the pancake and it bounces back. If it doesn’t bounce back, you know it’s still doughy in the middle.

5. Serve with as many toppings as you can find. Syrup, fruits, nut butters, and whipped cream are all great options. Try this easy blueberry compote–you won’t be sorry.

Saturday Small Talk

Our weekend is off to a kick-butt start. We went out to dinner to celebrate our 2015 snow sculpture success last night. We have friends visiting (my favorite!). We had a leisurely morning over breakfast and coffee (my second favorite!). And this afternoon, we’re going snowshoeing to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and then enjoying a delicious birthday feast. Happy weekend, indeed.

ABM_1423326647Have you ever thought about how strange social networking speak is? Following and liking and poking and endorsing and commenting… Here’s what it looks like if you try it in real life. Hilarious.

Car tips for those of us who live in a winter climate. I especially love #2 and #8 (in the first list).

Let a toddler dress you for a week. It could be fun.

What does homeschooling in Silicon Valley look like? I’m glad you asked. You should probably dismiss all of your preconceived notions of homeschoolers before you read this article.

My Facebook newsfeed is increasingly baby picture after baby picture. How long should you wait to have kids?

Some people seem better able to bounce back than others. Here are 7 Habits of Highly Resilient People. I would like to get increasingly better at all of them.

Graphic design for real people! Canva.com. Am I the last person to the party?

Enjoy your weekend, friends!