To achieve this celebratory look, you can use numeric refrigerator magnets, or print and cut out numbers from your computer. Giving the paper numbers a quick dunk in a bowl of water will insure that the numbers stick to the pancakes (without affecting taste). Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and remove paper numbers.
click the thumbnail above to download
New Year stencil template
All over the world, different cultures have unique ways of celebrating the New Year and symbolizing luck, happiness, and prosperity for the coming year. I've learned that in Spain it is customary to eat 12 grapes at midnight. I'm looking forward to sharing this custom with my friends (it's perfect for the kids and those not drinking champagne) this New Year's Eve. In the American South, Hoppin' John, a dish made with black-eyed peas is a popular first meal of the New Year. In this tradition, dating back to the Civil War, the peas are said to symbolize coins, and are often served with collard greens, representing cash. As a symbol of longevity, buckwheat noodles are enjoyed by Buddhists in Japan as part of their New Year's celebration.
Do you have a New Year's food tradition?
If you want to try something other than a traditional black-eyed peas dish for the first meal of the New Year, try these first-meal pancakes. Not only can you fry them in the shapes of the numbers of the New Year, they’re whole grain so you can kick off 2011 healthfully! Seeing a little ingenuity to their first meal will get the kids excited . . . just in time to go to bed!
"New Year’s Family Flapjacks"
· 1 cup plus 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
· 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
· 2 cups whole wheat flour
· 1 tsp baking soda
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 egg whites
· 2 cups buttermilk
· 2 tsp vanilla extract
· 2 tsp ground cinnamon
· 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
Boil 1 cup of syrup or honey and blueberries in a heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 13 minutes, and then let cool.
Meanwhile, have one of the kids combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and then another add the egg whites, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of syrup or honey and blend well.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on a skillet over medium heat. Carefully drizzle the pancake mixture into the skillet into the shape of 2-0-1-1. The good news is that even if you mess up, you can use a spoon to push imperfections back into place.
Cook the pancakes until cooked through, less than 2 minutes per side (although this varies per number). You might want to put at least two skillets on the stove so that some numbers don’t get cold while others are waiting to be cooked.
Serve pancakes with blueberry syrup and, if desired, dried fruits and nuts.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at The Online Degree Blog, where recently she's been researching music degrees and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
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