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Archive for February 11, 2014

VALENTINE FOOD: Strawberry Banana Pancake Stack

Enjoy this special occasion pancake stack for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or other occasion when taking the extra step makes a big hit with family and guests. The pancake “cake” is sliced into six wedges.

Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes. Thanks to Hungry Jack Pancakes for the recipe.

RECIPE: STRAWBERRY BANANA PANCAKE
STACK

Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • 1-1/3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • Butter flavor no-stick cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter*, divided
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  •  

    A pretty pancake stack to share. Photo
    courtesy Hungry Jack.

  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam, divided
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
  • Whipped cream or whipped topping
  • Pancake syrup
  •  
    *This recipe used Jif Whips Whipped Creamy Peanut Butter. We wanted to add a touch of chocolate, so used the companion product, Jif Whipped Peanut Butter & Chocolate Flavored Spread.

     

    jif-whips-chocolate-spread-230

    Jif Whips is made in creamy peanut butter
    and this chocolate peanut butter spread.
    Photo courtesy Jif.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F.

    2. STIR pancake mix, milk, oil and eggs in large bowl until smooth. Let stand 3 minutes.

    3. COAT a griddle or large skillet with no-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat (375°). Make 7 large pancakes, seven inches in diameter, in batches, by pouring a scant 1/2 cup batter for each pancake onto hot griddle to form 7-inch circle. Cook until bubbles appear and edges are dry, about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Turn and cook an additional 1 minute or until golden brown.

    4. PLACE 1 pancake on oven-safe serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup peanut butter. Top with another pancake. Completely cover surface with banana slices. Top with third pancake; spread with 1/4 cup strawberry jam. Completely cover surface with 1 cup sliced strawberries, mounding strawberries near outside edge. Repeat all layers. Top with remaining pancake. Cover with foil.

     

    5. BAKE 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Insert 6 decorative wooden skewers into stack-up, if desired, to secure each wedge. Cut into wedges. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired. Serve with syrup.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Quickly Chill Wine Or Champagne

    If you forgot to put the Champagne in the fridge—or decide on a different bottle of wine than the one you’ve chilled—here’s how to get it cold, fast.

    Pop It In The Freezer

    Many people stick the bottle in the freezer. It works, but it isn’t the fastest way to chill wine. Cold air isn’t as effective as cold water, our next technique.

    Make A Water Bath

    This technique gets the deepest chill. Take a wine bucket, stock pot or other container that will allow at least half of the bottle to be covered with ice. Fill halfway with ice cubes; then add ice water or very cold tap water, filling the bucket to three-quarters full. Next, add salt to the water.

    (Why? It lowers the temperature of the water. As the salt dissolves, it requires energy to break the bonds between its ions. The water transfers some of its heat to do aid this process, and the entire solution cools down.)

    Stir the mixture to blend and add the bottle(s).

     

    champagne-230

    An ice water bath quickly cools a bottle of Champagne or other wine. Photo courtesy Champagne Council.

     

    This is the fastest way to chill a bottle of wine or Champagne. You might think that restaurants bring wine in an ice bucket to keep the wine chilled; but most restaurants lack the capacity to store their Champagne and white wine inventory on ice. So the water bath in ice bucket serves not just to keep the wine cold, but to chill it in the first place.

     

    rapid-ice-wine-cooler-230b

    Our go-to wine chiller is Rapid Ice. Photo
    courtesy Rapid Ice.

     

    Gel Sleeve: Our Personal Favorite

    Most homes don’t have the space or the need to keep an ice bucket. Ever since the first Rapid Ice Wine Instant Wine Cooler appeared on the market 30-plus years ago, we’ve been hooked. We always have two in the freezer.

    A plastic sleeve is quilted into several gel pockets. The sleeve folds flat and is easy to store in the freezer. Take it out, insert a bottle and the bottle will be chilled enough by the cold gel to drink in five minutes or so. The bottle can stay chilled for up to three hours.

    Rapid Ice is designed to fit over a standard 750 ml wine bottle, but you can get it over some Champagne bottles. However, there is also a Champagne bottle version.

    It takes up a lot less room on the table than an ice bucket!

    You can purchase Rapid Ice at wine stores, kitchen gadget departments and online. It’s about $12 for the wine version and about $15 for the Champagne version.

    Consider adding one to a wine gift.

     

    BONUS WAYS TO USE RAPID ICE

  • Chill beer.
  • Keep your water bottle cooler on a hot summer day.
  • Keep a pint of ice cream chilled at the table—or as you work your way through it in front of the TV.
  • Chill down dough or other ingredients.
  • Ice down your wrist or arm from injury or overuse of technology.
  •  
    There are many more uses, no doubt!

      

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