Now that school is back in full swing, and three weeks into it at that, each week seems never ending. Monday drags through Friday at an alarmingly slow pace. Day’s filled with school haunt my every waking hour. Breaks between classes seem like ten hours, when in reality it’s only six, and I’m left to find things to occupy myself with until my next class starts in the evening. The prospect of spending all day in school during the week scares me every morning, as I get ready for the day that lies ahead. I fear Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ve grown to despise them, knowing that I’ll be stuck in school from eleven to nine, with a gaping six hour gap in the middle and nothing to do in between classes. My first class ends just as the afternoon becomes prevalent, and I’m left to wonder, “Why was the class that I wanted so badly, only offered in the evening?” My afternoons are flooded with laughter from a few friends, comfort from the warmth of the library, random trips to Trader Joe’s, and constant phone vibrations throughout the day that make it easier to go on once I see that familiar name scroll across the small digital screen. Who would have thought that seven simple letters could make a world of difference, and the unbearable bearable? A friendly comfort and warmth that is unattained by any amount of heat, sweaters, coats or scarves.
Miraculously I make it through each day alive. Unscathed and only somewhat jolted. As I walk out of class at night, zombie-like with only the comfort of my bed in mind, I look back on the things I’ve learned. After all, it is a class that I enjoy, even more so as new friends, and a hilarious well-informed teacher, enter my circle and break through the wall that my introverted self puts up. I reflect on the content of each lecture and demonstration as I leave the campus and head for my car. Strobes, flashes, C-stands, grips, reflectors, grids and umbrellas are the words floating in my mind as I drive home. Memorizing and visually recounting each direction step by step, knowing that eventually I’ll have to work with a fellow student to step it all up correctly. Suddenly I’m delighted with the prospect of having to partner up for our projects relieved that anything I didn’t catch, or quite understand my friend must know. I continue my long trek home, the day’s scenarios replaying back in my head and content that I was able to pair up with someone I actually will enjoy to work with and get to know, as we’re in three classes together. I look forward to whatever the semester has in store for me.
I embrace each weekend with all the joy in my heart, and the happiness I can’t seem to grasp during the week. Cooking and eating become fun again. Holding up a camera to each step of a recipe seems comforting and even relaxing. Shooting, editing photos, and writing each post is now my only form of escape from the things I have to do on a daily basis; aside from spending time with my family of course. The things I don’t have time for during the week are now the most important on the weekend’s to-do list, such as breakfast. A quick bowl of cereal and an extra toasted english muffin, as I rush out the door, running late for school, isn’t a situation I find myself reliving during the weekend. No. Saturday and Sunday I take my time. I prepare a hot breakfast and enjoy it with those I love all around me. Weekend traditions of family meals gathered around the dining table are the memories that I can’t seem to let go. A sister telling jokes, while another reads our Sunday paper horoscopes, a brother-in-law waiting for the food to arrive observing the crazy family he got himself into, a mother enjoying seeing her three children back home, and a son bringing a feast to the table for all to enjoy. Even simple recipes as jazzed up pancakes, are devoured within a matter of minutes, and referred to as the perfect breakfast. Saturday and Sunday fade faster than a Southern California “winter” and I’m left to face another week of school, projects, homework, reading, and shooting. But I look onto it with a smile on my face knowing that a weekend is always at the end of all the hard work and long hours. A weekend filled with pancakes, peanut butter, banana and chocolate chips.
What’s the first thing we need to do?
Grab a large mixing bowl.
We’ll start by combining the dry ingredients.
Feel free to use a whole wheat flour, if you’d prefer.
Up next is baking powder. Make sure it’s baking powder and not baking soda. A lot of people get those two confused.
So those are all the dry ingredients.
Give the dry ingredients a good mix.
You can also just use a sifter and sift it all together, but you all know my aversion to sifters by now. I’m too lazy for that extra step.
So I just mix it with a spoon.
Oh look who made it back. It’s been a while Piggy Wiggy. Thanks for coming back.
He’s a spoon now, incase you didn’t notice.
So give it a good stir.
Make a well in the center of the bowl to allow room for the wet ingredients.
Now time for an egg.
Add in the buttermilk.
If don’t have buttermilk you can just use good ol’ regular milk.
OR you can make you own! What?!?! Yes, make your own! It’s fun!
Place a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Then pour in enough skim milk to reach the 1 cup mark. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Okay, you get it.
You have buttermilk!
Anyhow, pour it into the bowl. I actually had buttermilk on hand, so I used that.
A healthy splash of vanilla.
Don’t be bringing imitation vanilla to the party. It isn’t invited.
And last but not least, a tiny bit of oil.
Or melted butter, whichever you prefer.
Okay, so we all make mistakes.
Sometimes we forget things. Sometimes we add to much. But that’s the fun part of cooking.
Don’t judge me! Get off my back, okay?!
I realized I forgot a dry ingredient! Oops.
I forgot to add the salt earlier, but have no fear. I’ll add it now.
Don’t make the same mistake that I made.
Add it earlier, with the other dry ingredients.
But nothing happened, so don’t worry if you do make the same mistake.
Maybe we’ll just start saying that the salt is better when added last. Yup. I like that. I meant to add it last.
Okay, so give it all a stir, until it is just combined.
Try not to over mix the batter. Just until the dry and wet ingredients are well incorporated, will do.
It should still be a little lumpy, not completely smooth.
So at this point, we have here, a plain good ol’ fashioned buttermilk pancake batter.
Use it for when you want plain yummy pancakes.
Or you can refer to it as a blank canvas and put flavor it with anything your heart desires. Let you imagination run wild.
I’m mixing mine with all sorts of delicious ingredients.
Peel the bananas, and drop them into a bowl.
Smash the fruit with a fork or a vegetable masher.
Smush and smash them until its semi chunky and semi smooth.
Add the bananas to the pancake batter.
And now it’s time for some peanut butter.
Place the peanut butter in a small bowl and nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds so that it melts.
Allow it to slightly cool.
Drizzle it into the batter as well.
Gently fold in the banana and peanut butter.
Here’s the finished pancake batter.
So I know you’re all thinking, where in the heck are the chocolate chips?
Did you make another mistake Jonathan?
Well here they are.
And no, I didn’t forget about them.
Don’t mix the chocolate chips into the batter. It’s better if you drop a few chips on each pancake as they cook.
This will allow for an even distribution of chocolate. Plus you get to put more chocolate chips on your pancakes. That’s a little trade secret for you. Shhh….don’t tell anyone.
So let’s get cooking.
Preheat a skillet, or a large griddle.
A griddle would probably be easier as you get to cook multiple pancakes at once. But I didn’t feel like pulling out the griddle.
Although the pan is non-stick, I like to coat it will a little cooking spray. Just to ensure that my pancakes don’t stick.
Just a little spray.
To form the pancakes, I like to use a small ice cream scoop.
This will allow the pancakes to be even in size.
I like to lay down two scoops of batter to form medium sized pancakes.
Well I’ll do two scoops for everyone else, and for my pancakes, I do three. Bigger pancakes for me. Yum!
Now it’s time for the chocolate chips.
Sprinkle some on top. Again, make sure to sprinkle more chocolate on yours.
I know we’re putting more chocolate chips than that!
There! That’s more like it.
Cook the pancakes for about 3-4 minutes on the first side. When bubbles form, you know you are ready to flip it.
Once the first side is cooked, flip it over with a spatula.
Allow the second side to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT squish the living daylights out of the pancake. Just let it sit there and allow it to finish cooking. Don’t mess with them.
And don’t flip them back and forth either.
Once the pancake is done, place it on a plate and continue making more.
Let’s make more pancakes.
Just incase you missed it the first time.
Two scoops of batter.
Give it a flip.
Continue making pancakes until all the batter is used.
What to do now?
How about serving yourself a plate? One pancake.
Okay fine….two pancakes.
Look at these. They look delicious.
You know what? It’s missing something.
Hmmm….yup whip cream makes everything better.
But, its still missing something.
Cue the drizzle.
Okay, admit it, these just got a whole lot better.
Nope not enough yet.
Stand back and admire your work of art.
Go ahead, smile. You deserve to be proud.
You’re a pancake making master. Nothing phases you.
You can do anything. Breakfast was no match for you.
Okay now its time to eat.
Bite for bite, the best pancakes ever.
Make sure you eat every last morsel.
Don’t you dare waste any of it. Yes, that’s an order.
If I could, I’d lick the plate.
But I have to show some sort of class on here.
And there you have it! Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
Make some today and enjoy.
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes
An original recipe by The Candid Appetite.
Makes 8 medium sized pancakes. Recipe can easily be doubled to make 16.
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Egg
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon Oil or Melted Butter
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- 2 very ripe Bananas, peeled and mashed
- 1/4 cup Peanut Butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Cooking Spray or Melted Butter
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
Crack in the egg, and add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
To the pancake batter, add the mashed bananas, and melted peanut butter. Fold into the batter and mix until it is well incorporated. Reserve the chocolate chips.
Heat a non-stick skillet, or griddle, over medium-high heat. Spray with a bit of cooking spray or brush the surface with melted butter.
Using a small ice cream scoop, carefully and evenly scoop out two mounds of pancake batter onto the pan or griddle. Spread it into a medium circle. Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of chocolate chips on top of the pancakes as they cook.
Allow the pancakes to cook on the first side for about 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles form on the edges. Flip and allow the second side to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Do not flip again or flatten the pancakes with the spatula. Just let it cook on its own, untouched.
Transfer the finished pancakes onto a serving dish or platter and cook the remaining batter. Serve with whip cream and/or a healthy drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy.