Buttermilk pancakes are awesome. They are a solid go-to. Smother them in butter and maple syrup and you have a fantastic breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Every breakfast diner has them near the top of the menu. They are a staple to all of the fast food chain breakfast menus. They are a good, safe, easy choice when given several menu options because you are comfortable with them. And then you discover blueberries. Chocolate chips. Lemon Ricotta. Oreo Double Stuff. While the buttermilk pancakes get the job done, and done well, adding a diverse mix of flavors and variety enhances the whole pancake experience.
Before I discovered Huddy’s Hotcakes, my pancake game was straight from the box. Actually, it was a bag. I’d get the big instant pancake bag from Costco and just add water. My kids were very young, at the time, and I had zero skills in the kitchen. This version was quick and the kids really enjoyed them.
One weekend, I decided to add chocolate chips to the mix. You would have thought I was Alton Brown with their reaction. Soon, I added some apple sauce and cinnamon to mix it up. The more things I would add and the more variety I gave my kids, the more creative and innovative they became. They came up with some great concoctions and we had some fun. They never knew all the things we could do with a simple pancake. Our Sunday’s became one big pancake factory.
Eventually, someone sent me a recipe for Red Velvet Pancakes with a Cream Cheese Glaze, and at first, I just laughed and brushed it off. Why in the world would I go and make these things from scratch when all I had to do was add water to a pre-mix and sprinkle in a little fruit or candy? What could possibly be better than what I was already achieving?
I was also afraid of failing. What if I messed up or what if my kids didn’t like them? What if they found out their dad wasn’t this great pancake genius they thought I was?
After sitting on the recipe for a couple of months, I decided to branch out and give the pancakes a go. And I’m glad I did. The reaction was priceless. So much so that I had to follow that success up with another gem. I hit the Googles and went on a search for some other types of pancakes. Holy. Cow. Just Google something like “gourmet pancakes.” You would not believe all of the varieties and flavors and kinds of pancakes out there.
My quest to create every variation of pancakes began. I’m only working on the sweet pancakes and haven’t even scratched the surface of the savory pancake. Or the crepe. Or the waffle. The possibilities are endless. And I wouldn’t have known these all existed if someone hadn’t sent me that recipe. I also made, and perfected, my buttermilk pancake recipe from scratch. No box and no water ever again.
My eyes were opened to a whole different experience and my cooking skills have grown because I decided to add a diverse style to the morning routine. I now look for unique recipes for weekend dinners. Whether it’s a new type of grilling method or a different kind of protein, the pancake making has increased my curiosity into other meals.
I didn’t totally abandon my buttermilk pancakes. As a matter of fact, by including other flavors and varieties, my basic buttermilk pancakes have gotten better. They’re more fluffy and full of flavor and they are so much better than the ones I used to make out of the bag. I’ve learned different techniques by looking to other sources and bloggers to see how they do it and the possibilities are endless.
Next time you feel the urge to grab that pancake mix from the box, take a few minutes to add some flavor and fun. Mixing up your routine will not add too much time and your outcome will be better. Those on the recieiving end will thank you, too.