5.07.2009

Pancakes and Hot Dogs for Dinner

The other night I was trying to figure out, as I was also trying to fall asleep, what I was going to make for dinner the next night. I'm still trying to keep dinner simple, to save money, to save time, to save my and my kids' sanity.

Why not zucchini pancakes? And don't we have some leftover natural hot dogs that need to be eaten? And aren't there a few odd cups of apple sauce lingering in the recesses of the pantry?

I've never seen Griffin so excited about his dinner. He spontaneously thanked me. He's four years old. The zucchini pancakes were so good, and you couldn't even really taste the zucchini. I just added shredded zucchini to my regular pancake recipe.

Zucchini Pancakes

pressed oats for oatmeal
sliced almonds
all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsps vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup finely grated zucchini

Fill a measuring cup to about 3/4 cup with the oats and put into a food processor. Add in about a fistful of sliced almonds. Grind them together to resemble flour. Pour them back into the measuring cup and top off the mixture with regular flour until you have 1 cup total.

Pour the "flour" into a large bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix lightly with a fork. Add the wet ingredients, including the zucchini, and mix with a spoon until it is generally worked through. Don't overmix or try to work out all the lumps. This is a foolproof batter, and if you overmix it your pancakes will be rubbery instead of fluffy like cake.

Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto a hot griddle. I don't add butter or oil to the pan because the oil in the batter keeps them from sticking, and I use a non-stick frying pan for my griddle (remember to toss those if the non-stick surface has cuts in it and only use a soft, non-metal spatula). The batter should make a soft sizzle as you drop the spoonfuls into the pan. Wait until you can see that the edges are no longer wet and are starting to cook and bubbles have risen in the center of the pancake and popped before you try to flip them. If the pancake is sticking or breaks apart when you try to slide the spatula under it, it isn't ready to flip yet. Don't worry - even the "mistakes" are delish.

Serve hot with butter/heart-healthy spread and maple syrup.

3 comments:

celiacmama said...

I just went back and read a few of your old posts - namely the tonsilectomy one and the potty training one. I wanted to thank you for both - I also have a boy who at 3 (6 days ago) had a tonsilectomy, adenoidectomy and tubes put in - we're having huge issues with pain management so it was a breath of fresh air to read your post. We also have in him a late walker and delayed potty learner, so I wanted to ask - what did you do in the end? Is Griffin now trained?

Liz said...

Ha, I think I've blocked it all from my memory. But let me see if I can give a general timeline of the milestones. BTW, Griffin didn't walk until he was 15 months.

At 3 yrs we started the game of sitting (and sitting and sitting) on the potty. Never produced anything. At 3.25 years is when I had the crying episode as he sat on the potty producing no pee pee or anything. So I let him play outside with nothing on his bottom, and when he peed I observed hey look, you're going pee pee. I'd read somewhere to do this, and he really did seem to notice it then for the first time. I kept him naked from the bottom down the rest of the day and he had one accident inside (on the tile floor, phew) and then after that started going in the potty. He was so big by then he just went straight to using the toilet. He had maybe one or two more accidents over the next few days, and then he was done. He was definitely "ready".

Pooping in the potty took a lot longer. He was really anal retentive about it and would even constipate himself rather than go in the potty. Then we'd put a diaper on him and he'd go stand in his room and grunt. It was comical and horrific at the same time (he's going to kill me for posting this online in about 10 years). We were trying not to make a big deal out of it, thinking this was more of a power play by him. I think what finally got us over it was making a concerted effort *not* to make a big deal out of it, letting it totally be in his control, and filling him up with prune juice one weekend. Once he pooped in the potty the first time (at about 3.5), he was very pleased with the whole idea and has never had a #2 accident.

The last milestone was waking up to pee in the middle of the night. For some reason we thought he'd just be able to pee in his pull-ups while we slept. Not so - this is a very routine-driven kid. Once he started going in the potty, he would only ever go in the potty. So then he was waking up crying 1-3 times every night to use the potty. It took a few months to teach him to just take himself into the bathroom, pee, and go back to bed. Part of the problem was that his room was so dark he'd wake up and couldn't find the door, and then he couldn't find the bathroom. We put a nightlight in the bathroom and leave his door open when he goes to sleep, and it's enough light so that when he wakes up he can see the faint light through his open door, go across the hall to the bathroom, do his business and find his way back to bed fine. This all finally sorted out at about 3.75.

Talking to parents of his daycare friends, some of their kids (4.0+) are still having trouble waking in the middle of the night and crying for mom or dad to take them to the potty. We are counting our blessings.

celiacmama said...

Thank you thank you! That helps a lot. My guy is just approaching 3.25 and he's been peeing in the potty for a while, but the pooping is still not there. I shall relax a bit I think and be patient.