Spicing It Up

It’s summer and it has been hot. Tempers have been running quick and red. Energy has been flagging. Yet, the rigors of summer… the camps, the play dates, the swimming and tennis and horseback riding… must go on. One day at a time, we march through summer, prey to the heat, at the whim of the schedule and our own diminished interests. The garden needs tending, the chicks must be checked multiple times a day, towels need washing, and what the heck, let’s camp out in the backyard tonight. Pop the tent.

Batter speckled with tea… interesting!

And we’re only 1 ½ weeks into it.

Bearing all this in mind, I couldn’t face making a “normal” dinner tonight. Often, when at my wits’ end, I opt for “breakfast for dinner”… a delightful break from the usual rigors of cooking, a quick way to get food on the table, and a sure way to get the kids to eat their dinner. Tonight, just to change things up, I decided to spice it up, too! The results have been nothing short of miraculous. As I type, Clara is reading and singing to Joseph; they are snuggled up on Joseph’s bed together completely forgetting the continual fighting of the other 12 hours of the day. I am chalking it up to chai tea pancakes and I’m loving it!

Chai Tea Pancakes
(adapted from Tracy Stern’s book Tea Party)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder (I used 1 ½ tbsp.)
½ tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk (I used 1 ¾ cups vanilla flavored coconut milk)
3 large eggs, separated
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp. almond extract)
2 tbsp. ground chai tea (I used Compassion Tea Cochin Masala Chai)

Pancakes topped with whipped cream, maple syrup, and granola… looking good!

Whisk together the flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and almond (if you use it) and whisk until smooth and thick.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Fold into the batter and fold in the ground tea. Cook on a griddle until golden brown in each side. Serve with maple syrup, yogurt or whipped cream, and granola. Makes about 1 dozen pancakes.

Ready for consumption. Yummy happiness awaits!

These pancakes are thick and fluffy, moist and spicy, sweet and pleasantly unusual. They would make a great brunch dish if entertaining. Add some fresh fruit and candied almonds, a cup of chai tea softened with milk and honey, and viola! Delicious!

Fresh from the pool, the kiddos dig in. Joseph cleaned his plate in record time.

Clara’s eyebrows go up in surprised delight as she tries her pancakes.

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