Mother of Pearls & an Emerald

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Fluffiest, Tastiest, Easiest, Basic Homemade Pancake Recipe June 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 2:19 pm

I love surfing for new recipes and found this little gem here when I had some buttermilk on hand from a bread recipe. These have been made to rave reviews at our house and to everyone with whom I’ve shared it! This recipe made the most amazingly fluffy pancakes. They were good alone or would be a perfect base recipe for any additions! You’ll want to double this one for a crowd. Oh, and I added a tsp of Watkins Vanilla!

“It only takes a few minutes longer to make from scratch pancakes, and they’re so much better than box mix versions. You can even mix these up the night before. Very easy! You can use regular milk, but the buttermilk makes the pancakes lighter and fluffier.”

Buttermilk Pancakes
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup plain flour (I started substituting 1/2 KA White Whole Wheat flour)
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS cooking oil
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the egg and then add the buttermilk and soda. Stir in flour, sugar, oil, baking powder and salt. Stir until blended. Try to get any lumps out but don’t overdo it on the stirring. Heat a griddle or frying pan with a little oil or butter. You want medium heat and for the oil/butter to be hot but not burned. Dip out enough batter to make pancakes about 3 to 4 inches around. You can, of course, make big ones or little silver dollar sized. When the edges “set” and have bubbles, flip the pancakes. As you’re cooking, you’ll probably need to add a little more oil or butter as you go. Just add small amounts as needed. You can keep a plate warm in the oven and complete the whole batch. This recipe makes 8 to 10 medium pancakes.”

The possibilities are endless with these. Changing up some of the flour, adding berries or chocolate chips (or both), pumpkin, and so on.

And in a pinch if you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute 1T of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk. And an aside, I made the huge mistake of tasting a bit of the buttermilk, horrible stuff, I can’t believe it makes such delicious things. I guess from the name, I conjured up a thick, sweet-tasting milk. Alas, so wrong again! Have a pancake on me, on account of South Beach and all!


Pearls' Garden Update, Cookbook Obsession & South Beach Diet Phase One June 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 8:51 pm

Wow, how is it another week has flown by with hardly a new post? So today’s entry will be a huge compiliation of all the posts I’ve been composing in my head, but not had the time to write!

First a Pearls’ Garden update. We have thoroughly enjoyed going out to check the progress of our garden each morning. Our oldest Pearl has become quite proficient at pulling the tiny lingering weeds & not disrupt or pull any actually plants! Gardening sure isn’t for the impatient though! Each day the Pearls inspect their tomato plants for signs of something they can harvest. We have one Roma that has several nice sized green tomatoes already on it. That plant was bundled with several herbs and the dill from it is getting very tall already. I plan on cutting some and using it in recipes this week. I also read that Dill freezes particularly well, so you can harvest & freeze in small plastic bags.

Speaking of gardening to table, I came across a lovely thrift shop cookbook find called Joy of Gardening Cookbook by Janet Ballantyne. Circa 1984, so there are alot of funny, dated images, but the book has a concise chapter devoted to each vegetable which includes terrific harvesting tips and quick recipes to incorporate items from your garden in each meal! Perfect for the novice gardener like myself! She has a number of delicious summer squash recipes that I cannot wait to try.

And maybe a bit of a digression, but we all know how much I love books and reading, but lately Cookbooks, especially Vintage Cookbooks, have become my passion! I love pouring through the simple, old recipes back when Splenda and other genetically modified food thankfully didn’t exist. It’s amazing what you can learn from them. I’ve also been listing some on eBay if they prove to be more valuable, hey, I need to fund my “habit” somehow!

And lastly, I picked up a copy of the South Beach Diet book and really liked the premise and meal plans, so I am attempting Phase One this week. I could never in a million years have done Atkins, I was just eating too poorly at the time it was popular and then became pregnant. But, now, I’m really not too far off from their Phase 2 plan. It’s going to kill me though, forgoing fruit, milk, and my favorite whole grains for two weeks. Wish me luck!


Watkins Root Beer Baked Beans Recipe, Perfect for that Summer BBQ June 16, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — motherofpearls @ 9:34 am

As promised, a Watkins recipe I tried last week for the Pearls’ birthday party. I thought they were very tasty. I didn’t have the BBQ Sauce Concentrate, so I substituted 1/3 cup prepared BBQ sauce, but that concentrate is next on my list to order!

Watkins Root Beer Baked Beans
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp Watkins Original Barbecue Sauce Concentrate
1/4 cup ketchup
2 (28 oz) cans baked beans
1/4 tsp Watkins Root Beer Extract
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
Black Pepper to taste

Cook bacon and onion in skillet until bacon is brown and crisp. Pour off drippings. Combine barbecue sauce concentrate and ketchup; add to skillet. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Makes 12 huge servings. FYI, I doubled it & it was too much.


Happy Father's Day! June 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — motherofpearls @ 12:44 pm

Happy Father’s Day, Father of Pearls! You’re the best Daddy ever. Thanks for always wanting to create fun family traditions that give us memorable, hilarious moments we’ll always cherish and can embarrass the Pearls’ with someday!

Sorry, wow, it’s been too long since I last posted. With a week full of the Pearls’ birthdays & celebrations, internet issues and a family tradition of Father’s Day weekend camping, we’re just beat. I promise to be back in full force this coming week. I’ve got lots of recipes and fun things to post.


Happy Birthday to Our Sweet, Firstborn Pearl! June 6, 2008

Filed under: Fun — motherofpearls @ 12:20 pm

Four.Years.Old. How is it even possible that it’s been four years since you arrived with that full head of dark hair after a scary, surprise midnight c-section? It feels like it went by in the blink of an eye. I’ve got the photos and videos to prove you were this little, it’s just so hard now to imagine it! In your four short years, you’ve taught me so much and given me so many gifts for which I’m so very grateful. We’ve seen you blossom from a very sensitive, colic-y newborn into a beautiful, hilarious, loving, articulate, faith-filled little lady. I look forward to each new day with you to see what amazing things you’ll say and do that make me feel so proud to be your Mommy!

Currently, I’m in awe (and a bit terrified all the same) at your fearlessness on your brand new “big girl” bike & the sheer joy I saw and heard in you as you pedaled away faster and faster. It was as if those brand new wheels gave you a new level of freedom in the world as you sailed past me and I had to run to keep up. How my heart tugs at the thought of your growing independence and knowing it’s just the first of many such steps. Always know how much I love you, sweet birthday girl. Love, Mommy


June Watkins Sales & Promotions June 5, 2008

Filed under: Products — motherofpearls @ 8:29 am
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Wow, sorry, I’m a little behind here with the Pearls’ birthday party week! I’ve updated the Monthy Sales page above, check it out for all of the great sales this month. Here are a few of the highlights though!

If you didn’t get your Watkins Original Double Strength Vanilla on sale last month, you’re in luck. It’s still on sale this month for $10.99, a savings of $3.  Stock up, I’m not sure if there will be another sale like this before the holiday baking rush!

Also on sale are many flavors of the Watkins Gourmet Extracts & Flavorings for $4.59. Don’t forget all the wonderful things you can make with these in this post.

Watkins Dessert & Frosting Mixes that I highlighted in this post are on sale for $4.99, a savings of a $1. I just ordered more of the chocolate mix.

Petro Carbo First Aid Salve is on sale for $6.99, a savings of $2. Relied upon for generations, Petro-Carbo Salve is a must for every home medicine cabinet. A protective, soothing, topical dressing for minor burns, sunburn, minot cuts, scrapes, insect bites, and other skin irritations. Time tested since 1888! At a bridal shower, a great aunt of mine told the story of how it was also a terrific drawing salve. If her kids got a very deep sliver that would have been too painful to dig out, she’d put this on it and in the morning, the sliver would be at the surface easy to remove! This huge tin is economical and will last a long time. Don’t be caught this summer season without some!

Also, another long time best seller is on sale, Watkins White Cream Liniment for $9.99, a $2 savings. Time tested since 1915, this effective pain relief has been providing temporary relief of arthritic aches and pains, as well as muscle strains, aches, and soreness caused by exertion. So all you “weekend warriors” out there, this is a must. Especially for gardening & lawn maintenance season, you will love this cream formula.

Ok, I could go on and on about all of Watkins terrific products, but this will have to do for now.