Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day begins early at our house. Most days begin early; Noah is our little rooster. But this day begins with gusto. Or, more accurately, it begins with heart shaped pancakes and a full, family breakfast.

While I was in college, this little tradition was introduced to me by my roommate, Leslie. I remember the first time she made us heart-shaped pancakes. We were juniors in college - and finally had moved away from organized living. We had our own kitchen, our own bathrooms, and of course, poor cleaning and cooking habits. (Did I also mention that we all turned 21 that year?)

Early, one cold February morning, this small gal with a squeaky voice climbed into my bed, and squeaked, "This is Cupid and it's time to get up. It's time to get up Valentine! Come to the kitchen!"

After a few rather ugly thoughts of how I could aim that arrow right at Cupid, I made my way to the kitchen, curious now, as to what in the world Leslie was doing.

Our meager kitchen table was turned into a Valentine's morning feast. Heart shaped pancakes, pretty little candles and treats for everyone.

Leslie then informed us that this was her own family's tradition. She now, wished to share that tradition with us so that we could, in turn, start the tradition with our own families someday.

And here I am, several years later, doing just that. I confess I did take a few years off in that time "after college and before children." But - Leslie - I am happy to report that your tradition lives on in our home.

This morning I roused the children and daddy. Scratch that - Noah was up at 6:15 to assist. I sent her to wake up her daddy and we let Tucker sleep in. (Three out of four ain't bad!) And we all sat down to a Valentine's breakfast of pink heart-shaped pancakes, sausage links, and apple slices. (For my recipe for pink heart-shaped pancakes, see below.)
















Bet you can't guess what makes these pancakes pink!















Leslie - there's one little girl who thinks this is pretty fun! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Pink Heart-Shaped Pancakes (compliments of Deceptively Delicious)

3/4 c water
1/4 c beet puree
1/4 c grated apple
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c pancake mix

Wisk water, beet puree, apple, vanilla and cinnamon. Add pancake mix. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Pour batter into heart-shaped metal cookie cutter. Remove cookie cutter when pancake batter has set, about 1 minute. Cook until bubbles on top, and then flip to other side. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

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