Stuff I Like for 2015-08-25

Sunday pancakes (with recipe!)

Every Sunday, I get up and make pancakes, bacon, and eggs for my family. I look forward to it every week, and I’m getting really, really good at making pancakes. Below is a 1950s Betty Crocker recipe that I’ve tweaked. The freshly ground nutmeg is key. Adjust cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (yes, it’s a wet ingredient)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir (not too much–some lumps are fine). Spoon ¼ cup of the batter into a hot pan that’s been lightly greased with butter–just rub a stick of butter around to coat the pan–and cook for a couple of minutes until browned. Flip, and cook for another couple of minutes until browned.

To make a buttermilk version: sub 1 cup of buttermilk for the 1 cup of regular milk, add ½ tsp of baking soda, and reduce the baking powder to just 1 tsp.

To make a pumpkin spice version: add about a tsp each of freshly ground ginger and allspice to the dry ingredients.

To make blueberry pancakes: Easy. Prepare the normal or buttermilk version and add about a half cup of fresh (not frozen) blueberries.

Soylent

On the flipside, breakfast during the week for me is boring. Very boring. So boring that, if it weren’t so boring, I wouldn’t have the time or energy to make it.

I don’t skimp on the kids. They get excellent breakfasts. Our oldest loves routine and has been eating the same thing–fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, and half an English muffin with jam–for a couple of months now. The youngest gets Greek yogurt mixed with applesauce, a pouch of organic veggies, and some crackers or little yogurt bites.

Making their breakfast (and feeding the baby) takes a lot of time, though. Couple it with getting them both dressed and showering and dressing myself, and I often run out of time to eat.1 Up until a couple months ago, I was skipping it entirely.

Then I bought some Soylent.2

It’s bland. Most people say it tastes like dusty pancake batter. That’s not inaccurate. But having it around means I get a nutritious breakfast that takes no time to make or clean up after.

I’ve been drinking it for breakfast and lunch 4 days a week for a couple of months now, and I’ve noticed a lot of significant improvements. I’m less cranky due to low blood sugar, and my energy levels are incredibly constant. I have a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol, too, but Soylent has roughly zero, so I know I’m benefitting there.

I’m also losing weight since I’m able to very tightly control the amount of calories I’m taking in by adjusting portion sizes (one ounce of Soylent is 31.25 calories). I’m down 11 pounds so far with only one other change in my habits (see below), and I feel great. I’ve preordered 12 bottles of Soylent 2.0 and am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Fee Brothers Bitters

One other thing that’s contributed to my recent weight loss is that I’ve stopped drinking almost entirely. I have about 2 beers per week now. As a replacement, I’ve been drinking lots of green tea, and I stole a trick from Alton Brown.

We have a Soda Stream for making seltzer, and we picked up some Fee Brothers Bitters from the local booze shop. Fee Brothers offers a ridiculous variety of flavors. I’m partial to mint; my wife likes cranberry. Peach is pretty great, too.


  1. My wife is concerned because it sounds like she’s not around at all in the morning. Not true, but she does get to sleep in because she feeds our youngest at least once in the middle of the night while I sleep. It’s a fair trade. 
  2. Yes, the guy who runs the company is a bit whackadoo, but you’re probably reading this on a device created by a company that used to be run by Steve Jobs, the king of whackadoo businesspeople, so let’s not throw stones, mmkay?