Tonight when I was putting the boys to sleep, they wouldn't stop making each other laugh hysterically.
Here's an excerpt:
Gunnar "poo poo Mama" <laughs hysterically, in the way only an adorable 16 month old baby boy can>
Gage <laughs, tee hee hee>
Gunnar "poo poo" <hehehehe>
Gage "goo goo gah gah Mama"
<everyone dissolves in hysterical giggles>
Me "It's sleepy time guys, close your eyes, shhhhhh shhhh shhhh"
<a full minute of silence>
Gunnar "poo poo" <laughs, eyes closed the whole time>
Bathroom humor aside, this exchange was adorable and kinda the best way to wrap up a great day with these two little guys. (Gage earlier in the bath told me "Mom, Gunnar is my best friend", with a clear emphasis on "best.") I am not saying I don't have bad days with these two cuties. There are days when I want to tear my hair out, stomp, yell and throw things. There are days when I shout in anger at them, which no child deserves. I am not a perfect mama and it is not a perfect life. But today was pretty great. And I think that part of the reason that happened is because I woke up, made coffee, then right away made these pancakes with both boys as my special big helpers.
These are some of the best pancakes AND also some of the easiest. I'm actually astonished I haven't blogged about them before, because I make them at least once every other week. They are delectable enough to serve to guests for a fancy brunch, but so easy you'll want to make them all the time. Five ingredients people! That's almost the same number of ingredients you need for box-mix pancakes! And don't be intimidated by breaking out the hand mixer for the egg whites.... It really only takes one extra minute and it ensures the light-as-air texture which makes them so very, very good. Plus, there's nothing like enticing little ones to help then letting them press buttons on a fancy electronic toy.
Easy Ricotta Pancakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta (preferably Trader Joe's brand)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs, separated
In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients, plus the egg yolks until smooth. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form (whites stay in shape when you lift the beaters up.) Mix 1/3 of whipped egg whites gently into the ricotta mixture, then fold in the rest of the egg whites, very gently until just combined. Scoop up the batter using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and pour onto a well-buttered hot griddle or skillet (NOT non-stick) and cook over low heat until bubbles form, then flip over gently and cook till cooked through. Repeat until all pancakes are cooked, making sure to add more butter to the pan before each batch addition.
For company, serve with berries and powdered sugar (really no syrup needed!)
You can also substitute the vanilla for 1 teaspoon lemon zest, or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.
I've also made these with half full-fat Greek yogurt and half ricotta, and they were also very tasty, although less fluffy.