Monday, November 9, 2009

The Right Tools for the Job + The *Long* Overdue Cooking Club Recipe

Have you ever had one of those "how could I not have known about this fabulous thing" moments when you discovered something that made a particular task (i.e. cooking) so much more enjoyable that you may have even said out loud, "Oh my God, this (insert magical item here) changed my life."

Or maybe it was just me... and I can't believe I'm about to say this, but a griddle changed my life. Can you believe I just typed that?

I can't.

I've mentioned before that we're big pancake people+ grilled cheese sandwhiches and quesidillas are on regular rotation at our house. (Lest you think all we eat are carbs and cheese, and you're becoming worried for our health, rest assured, as we typically stuff the bread or tortillas with all sorts of yummy/healthy things like goat cheese, chicken, artichokes and tomatoes...) And up until now, I've been turning out these mealtime staples in a Caphalon non-stick fry pan that isn't, well... so non-stick anymore.

There were so many downsides to this situation, I won't bore you with all of them here, but let's just say (among other issues) we typically ate in shifts due to the fact that I could only cook two small pancakes at a time.

Enter the griddle.

A while back the kind folks at* asked me if I'd like to try out one of the products from their site, and my pancake situation instantly sprung to mind. I suggested a griddle (this one to be exact), they sent it my way, and well, the rest is history.

*Now let me just pause to say that if I didn't like the griddle, I wouldn't have told you, because I'm nice like that... BUT, (and this is the important part) I wouldn't have said anything at all. In fact, I would have sent the griddle back, as I would have lost sleep due to feeling so flipping guilty for taking the product and not writing about it.

But that didn't happen. I love this griddle. I love it, love it, love it. I love it so much I want to marry it and have a million griddle babies with it.


Ok, now onto the recipe (almost a full week late...I'm clearly a major Cooking Group slacker, and I'm sorry for that.) Inspired by the griddle, I started searching for new and exciting pancake recipes. I settled on this one and those pancakes were rather divine, if I do say so myself.

Buttermilk Pancakes (Adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
Notice how Martha just assumes you already have a griddle ;-)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle
Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

Heat oven to 175 degrees. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.

Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.


  1. Josyln, I have to tell you thanks so much for doing this cooking group, we are almost at the end, and I've gotten so many yummy recipes that my kids love!

  2. Isn't it funny how the right tool can make such a humongous difference? A friend who was a photographer used to bristle when people would say "you must have a great camera" but even she admitted, well, yes she did.
    Last weekend my husband added a scoop of homemade applesauce to the pancakes and it was bliss. They were so good! I thought they'd be heavier but they were lighter and sweeter and the kids gobbled them up.
    Thanks for this, even though I've fallen off the bandwagon as most of my experiments have been rejected by my kids!

  3. I am having griddle envy! We eat pancakes all the time too...they make everyone so happy!

  4. Okay, so I think I kind of *need* a griddle too. We just made pancakes this morning and I was cursing the skillet for being round (poor skillet).

    Thanks for the review!

  5. Okay, I'm convinced, I need a griddle!

  6. We love our griddle too, although we've got a cast iron one. I think it take pancakes over the top, with the crispy outside and the cakey inside. Really the only way to make them right IMHO. In fact after we got our cst iron griddle a few years ago we've slowly moved to more and more cast iron and pretty much have only one small non-stick pan we use for eggs when we're not cooking anything else.

  7. Chris -- my coworker just suggested a cast iron griddle too... but one of the things that i'm digging about my non-stick is that i don't have to use a bit of butter or oil and the pancakes turn our all perfect and light brown.

    we'll have to see what happens when the non-stick wears out...maybe i'll graduate to cast iron. we'll see ;-)

  8. Such great timing! I've been shopping for a double burner griddle for a while. I grew up with one and it was so fabulous that I have boycotted making pancakes in our apartment, because I can't bring myself to make one at a time.

  9. I just got a new cast iron griddle pan today! Yeah for week 8 raising foodies...I posted about lasagna.

  10. You made fun of yourself for having pancakes as your official recipe of the week, but I have been looking around for a great pancake recipe so I can wean us off of Healthy Heart Bisquick, Aunt Jemima, etc.

    I'll have to try this Saturday morning! (That's pancake morning at our house.)

  11. We don't put any oil or butter on ou cast iron when we are cooking pancakes (eggs is a differnt story). It takes a bit of practice to get the temperature just right and some time seasoning it in the oven (coat with oil and bake it with nothing else in there) but you can make cast iron just as non-stick as non-stick if you try. Plus you don't get all that teflon and aluminum in your food ;-). Have a great thanksgiving!

  12. Lately it seems all I do is look for shortcuts! Trying to get them to eat something decent in the morning is just one of the daily battles. Pancakes are always a crowd pleaser but if we don't make them the night before we're sunk. A friend gave us a can of Batter Blaster (organic pancake mix in a CAN!) and so we thought we'd try. They are good. Certainly as good as most. Wonder if they'd hold up to adding applesauce? Guess we'll try and see.