Growing up my step-mom was the breakfast queen and there was absolutely nothing I loved more than the warmth that came from her kitchen on fluffy egg and buttery biscuit filled mornings. These mornings were a time for family bonding of sorts, and while I'd like to say we had taken a cue from the Brady Bunch, breakfast accompanied instead our own fiercely competitive egg centric version of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation. Okay, before your imagination gets the best of you, let me explain.
Egg Wars, Battle of the Eggs, or Eggtopia as we sometimes called it, pitted 12 white shelled contestants against each other in a battle to the death, where only one egg and its general would reign supreme and, upon victory, make the ultimate of sacrifices.
The wars began always with my brother and I, and later when my sister was born, in painstakingly careful selection over our egg army. This process followed always by decoration of our soldiers in crayon uniforms, mine with varying degrees of furled brows and angry faces that no doubtingly served as a double threat to my enemy.
After careful preparation, at last, we would face off in pure head to head combat. Egg in hand, my brother and I would smack our fearless fleet against each other one at a time, our armies dwindling with each cracked shell, until the last egg was left standing only to find itself whisked into a scrambled batter like the others that fell before.
It's a bit nontraditional, I'm sure, but its memories of these quirky mornings and the ceremony behind breakfast that makes me excited for birthdays, or any occasion really, to make a celebration out of the first meal of the day.
Walnut, Golden Raisin, Applesauce Pancakes
So, for Michael's birthday I set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. to whip up a breakfast of Whole Wheat Pancakes, maple smoked bacon, and hot, black coffee.
These pancakes turned out so fluffy. I actually cut back on the sugar and used quick cooking steel cut oats instead of the farina, and substituted nonfat milk for the vanilla soy milk. It made the pancake savory instead of super sweet so the combination of warmed maple syrup was a perfect companion.
I topped with a little banana and was in total pancake heaven. I actually forgot the oil in the recipe and am amazed they turned out so good. That's what I get for trying to channel my inner Gale Gand at five oh oh in the morning.
Cooking Light Magazine
It was a cake filled day and we continued to celebrate later in the afternoon when Stephanie treated us all to a home baked tower of pure chocolaty love. Before we dug in, of course, we had to sing and have Michael blow out the candles.
Or, rather, the fireworks. This was the craziest candle I've ever seen. After the pyrotechnic display, the flower on top opened up to six mini candles and Happy Birthday music box.
I knew we had more celebrating to do later so I exercised as much self control as possible and opted for a two bite taste (which was not nearly enough) and a little of the strawberries served on the side.
Stephanie is a fantastic cook but I think cakes are her specialty. I'll get her recipe and be sure to post soon. It was SO good!