Friday, February 8, 2013

Rosa Parks' Featherlite Pancakes

How do you feel about breakfast in bed? Are you a person who hates a couple of crumbs in the sheets or would it be your ideal way to wake up? I can’t decide whether I think it’d be the best way to wake up for Valentine’s Day or a stress-fest since I prefer to be in control in the kitchen and would be involuntarily critiquing anything my incredible husband brought in for me. It also doesn’t help that I’m an extremely light sleeper and wouldn’t be able to keep myself in bed while he was in the kitchen cooking.

Either way, it won’t be on our breakfast menu for Valentine’s Day this year, because Travis is on a deployment for a few months. It’s been par for the course for this time of year for three years running now, so I’m used to having just Otis and girlfriends as Valentines for the actual day and celebrating with my man when he gets home. Maybe one of these years though, I’ll be able to sleep through some kitchen noise and be able to wake up to these adorable little pancakes.

I mean come on, how cute are these bite sized heart shaped pancakes? After experimenting with a few different techniques and being too stubborn to order a heart shaped pancake mold- I got creative. Turns out the most low maintenance way for me to make these cuties was just by pouring the batter into a ziplock sandwich bag and cutting off the corner. If you have a large batch and want to “draw” a lot with your batter, perhaps a pancake pen or condiment bottle is a better option to prevent extra spillage of the uncooked batter during the flip and transfer to a plate, when you’ll likely need two hands. If you’re talented enough to do it all with one hand, good for you…. Just don’t rub it in my clumsy, ungraceful face. :)

The recipe I used is one of my all time favorites- it’s actually from Rosa Parks’ kitchen! I was saving it for this past Monday, February 4, 2013, because that would have been her 100th birthday. She passed away in 2005 but in 2011 her belongings were being inventoried for an auction house/museum and this recipe was found on the back of a bank slip, in her handwriting. Whether or not she came up with the recipe or she wrote it down from a friend is something that we’ll probably never know, but that doesn’t mean we can’t honor her legacy by giving her credit for these tasty pancakes. Her secret ingredient is peanut butter, which lends impeccable flavor and creamy texture. I made them just a touch healthier by using whole wheat flour and powdered peanut butter to add some fiber and cut out some unnecessary fat. Swimsuit season IS coming up, after all!

So you know how I said I was saving it for this past Monday? Yeah, the post wasn’t supposed to get delayed until 5 days after her birthday… but Otis got some really bad conjunctivitis this week and I had to tend to my little furry man so it wouldn’t get worse or cause permanent damage. He still has his dewclaws since when we got him at 1 year old, he was too old to have them removed, and I was worried he would accidentally scratch his eye out (don’t lie- you sang in your head “you’ll shoot your eye out” when you read that). Thankfully, after a trip to the most wonderful Japanese vet and a couple shots of antibiotics and steroids, along with some daily eye drops, he is 100% back to his goofy self.
So, Happy Belated Birthday, Rosa Parks. Thanks for being awesome and standing up for what was right, even if others didn’t like it!

And Happy (early) Valentine’s Day to all you splendid readers out there. I hope you have a wonderful day with someone special, be it a significant other, friend, family member, pet or even a tub of ice cream. I recommend every single flavor by Blue Bell, if you can get it in your area!

Rosa Parks' Featherlite Pancakes

Adapted from her recipe, found in 2011

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup AP flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon PB2 powdered peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cup low fat or skim milk
2 tablespoons water

Butter and syrup, for serving

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, add to dry and mix well until you don’t see any dry flour left.

Heat a flat griddle over medium-low heat and coat with cooking spray. Ladle anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup batter onto griddle, cook until edges are dry and small bubbles form in the center. Flip with a flat spatula and cook about 30 seconds longer, or until golden brown on second side. Repeat with remaining batter.

If you’d like to make hearts or other shapes for Valentines day: Pour batter into squirt bottle, pancake pen or ziplock bag (seal while getting out as much extra batter as possible, guiding batter to one corner and keep there with a Pampered chef clip or rubber band. Cut the tip off the bag and use to pipe batter onto griddle.)

Serve hot with toppings of choice- butter, syrup, even cut up bananas or strawberries!


  1. What a cool story, I love that you have a recipe from Rosa Parks. What an amazing woman. And I love breakfast in bed -- hint, hint to Eric. :)

  2. OK, ....I SO did not know there was a pancake pen!!


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