Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Canadian Flag Cake

Happy Canada Day to Kitchen Parade's many Canadian readers!

Canadian Flag Cake

I sure hope you have a good imagination or better yet, a good sense of humor, because when my Inner Martha Stewart emerges, it’s not pretty, it’s just not.

Let’s back up.

For the Americans who read, July 1 is Canada Day, that’s like the 4th of July only cooler and low-key.

Last week, I asked my Canadian family from my mum's side, all of them great cooks, “What do you cook for Canada Day? What is the traditional Canadian food that binds Canada Day celebrations like hot dogs, potato salad and cold beer do for Independence Day menus?”

The answer? Absolute silence.

I couldn’t help myself, I so wanted to inspire a generation of Canadians! my own family at minimum! with a special treat for Canada Day. The Canada Flag Cake caught my eye awhile back. It’s from Kraft, it uses a cake mix, how hard could it be?

Now me being me, I set out to make not one but two cakes – stop laughing, cousins! – the first one with a cake mix, jello and Cool Whip, just to practice. The second cake, I fantasized, would be a homemade sponge cake with a fruity layer and whipped cream frosting. Both cakes would be ooo-ahhh-like-fireworks beautiful – the strawberries perfectly aligned to form the proud Canadian maple leaf and stalwart red side bands.

With a little imagination, okay, a lot, you might conjure up a maple leaf from my strawberries. That first cake undid me entirely, the homemade cake must wait for another day, another year, maybe another decade.

But y'know, for my Canadian family and Canadian readers, an easy but festive cake just might work. When it comes to summer, especially low-key summer celebrations, perfection just might be, well, un-Canadian.

AMERICAN FLAG CAKE for the 4th of JULY Follow the same idea, perhaps substituting frozen blueberries for strawberries in the jello. To decorate, create a star field with fresh blueberries, then red stripes of fresh strawberry.

TALK ABOUT a RACKET How much will we pay for sugar? I paid $.57 for a box of Jello, the equivalent of $30 a pound! Yikes!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Okay Canadians, do YOU have a favorite recipe for celebrating Canada Day that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 6 - 24 hours
Serves 20
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 2 small boxes sugar-free strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 16 ounces (450g) frozen strawberries, thawed and sliced
  • 12 – 24 ounces (340 – 680g) Cool Whip Lite, thawed (see TIPS)
  • Fresh strawberries, about 1 pound (450g), trimmed and sliced thin

CAKE Bake as directed on package in a 9x13 pan. Let cool completely.

STRAWBERRY LAYER In a large bowl, stir the boiling water into the jello, stir until the jello dissolves completely. Add the ice cubes and stir until cool, then remove any remaining ice. Stir in the strawberries. If you want the mixture to soak into the cake, pour the mixture over the cake, distributing the berries as evenly and flat as possible, otherwise, let the mixture thicken up a bit, then pour over.

TOPPING Cover the cake evenly with 12 ounces Cool Whip. Chill for four hours (overnight works). If using a second layer of Cool Whip (see TIPS), apply again, then chill for an hour.

Two or three hours before serving, print the maple leaf template, cut it out, then trace the outline with a toothpick (see TIPS). Fill the maple leaf with slices of strawberry, then line up slices on the sides.

SERVE Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for several days although the top becomes increasingly stained by the berries.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Canadian Flag Cake? How many Weight Watchers points in Canadian Flag Cake?) Per Slice: 223 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 205mg Sodium; 33g Carb; 1g Fiber; 21g Sugar; 2g Protein; Weight Watchers 5 points
Adapted from Kraft Canada, including a video.

ALANNA’s TIPS Be sure to get the Cool Whip out early to thaw, it takes forever to thaw! The original recipe calls for 2 cups Cool Whip. When I used this amount, the strawberries stained through, not pretty, so I added another layer. The whole “trace the maple leaf template with a toothpick” thing didn’t work for me because of adding a second layer of Cool Whip, it was just too soft.

That's a Maple Leaf, Eh?

Canadian Flag Cake by Kitchen Parade

It's the thought that counts, right, please?

More Canadian Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Butter Tart Bars Estonian Apple Cake Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake

More Ideas for Canada Day & the Fourth of July

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Two-Bite Brownies Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce Summer Berry Pie

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lifetime Pancakes

My sister's pancake recipe, perfected over many years. She started off with a tiny batch for making pancakes for just one or two, then expanded the recipe to fit her growing family with a large recipe for a tableful of hungry pancake lovers. It's a recipe that can cross a lifetime!

Lifetime Pancakes, light fluffy pancakes scaled from a tiny batch for one or two to a large batch for a big family or hungry teenagers. Rave reviews!

“… fantastic. … loved the flavor … really fluffy! Definitely a keeper!" ~Mrs. FussyPants
“… the very best pancakes I have ever made!” ~Karen
"… the only [recipe] I use [for] pancakes” ~Susan

Once upon a time, a young newlywed relied on a Cooking for Two cookbook, a gift from her sister. Straight off, she loved the cookbook’s pancake recipe, a tiny batch of light and fluffy pancakes just enough for two on lazy Sunday mornings.

As her family grew, first one baby boy and then another, her recipe grew too, expanding to feed more mouths and in short order, growing appetites. When her boys were little, a medium batch was enough. When little boys grew into hungry teenagers, it took a large batch.

But life circles round, doesn’t it?

Those boys are nearly grown now, not often home on weekends. But she still makes pancakes, returning to the original tiny batch, just enough for two. Then last week, she got lots of ‘likes’ on Facebook when family gathered for Memorial Day and a high school graduation. “My pancake recipe has evolved over the years to fit the different sizes of family groups,” she wrote. “This morning I had to DOUBLE the biggest recipe to feed three hungry teenagers, two kids, and two adults.”

Truth be told, the lifetime pancake-maker behind this family-flexible recipe is my sister Adanna. She’s talked about it for years. Many weekends, one of her boys will sign off, “Gotta go, Auntie Al. Mom’s making pancakes.” But until recently, I’d never tasted one. Whoa – my sister makes great pancakes, right up there with My Mom's Pancake Recipe, but thicker and lighter.

HAVE GRIDDLE, WILL TRAVEL My sister packs her pancake griddle for visits! Two days in a row, she made pancakes for my dad, his companion Olga and me. All dreamy-eyed with her light and fluffy pancakes, I fantasized a moment to ask, “Would you ever open a pancake restaurant?”

She grinned and answered with certainty. “I’d call it Adanna’s Pancake Emporium.” In the pancake restaurant of her dreams, she would dish up the pancakes, everyone would choose their own pancake toppings, a few bits at a time.

For now, there’s no Adanna’s Pancake Emporium in the real world, except the one each of us can open up right in our own kitchens. Make pancakes at home, for breakfast, for supper, for one or two, for a tableful or for a crowd. Add toppings. Sue’s Pancake Emporium. Laurie’s Pancake Emporium. LeAnne’s Pancake Emporium. Barb’s. Lynda’s. Sharon’s. Peggy’s. Laura’s and Diane’s and Michele’s. All of us, we can each open our own place.

That’s the beauty of my sister’s Lifetime Pancakes.

ADANNA’s TIPS Stick to all-purpose flour for these pancakes, whole wheat flour, even whole wheat pastry flour just doesn’t work. For fun, use strawberry yogurt for pink pancakes, blueberry yogurt for, yep, blue pancakes – or plain yogurt and a little food coloring. A skillet works fine for pancakes for one or two but a non-stick electric griddle is handy for cooking pancakes for a family, letting everyone sit down to the table for hot pancakes all at once, maintaining even temperature throughout. This recipe keeps evolving, see below.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes to mix
    Enough for 1 or 2
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, preferably low-fat vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 65g
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    Enough for 3 or 4
  • 1/2 cup (115g) yogurt, preferably low-fat vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (112g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (21g) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    Enough for 5 or 6 or 1 hungry man and 1 bottom-less pit teenage boy
  • 1 cup yogurt (130g), preferably low-fat vanilla
  • 1 cup (225g) water
  • 3 tablespoons (30g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    Enough for 7 or 8 or four hungry teenagers
  • 1-1/2 cups (345g) yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cup (335g) water
  • 1/4 cup (42g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 375g
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Toasted nuts, small bits of fresh fruit (strawberries, apple, banana, raspberries are very good), frozen blueberries, sausage crumbles, bacon bits, mini chocolate chips

Heat a skillet on medium to medium high or an electric skillet on 350F-375F. Brush lightly with oil.

While the pan heats, whisk together the yogurt, water, oil and eggs in a bowl. Separately, stir together the remaining ingredients, then gently stir into the yogurt mixture, just until mixed.

About 1/4 cup at a time, drop pancake batter onto the hot surface. If using, sprinkle a few toppings on top. Let cook, without touching, until the bottom edges begin to get crispy – okay, go ahead and peek, lift the corner of a pancake with a spatula to see if the bottom is brown. Once it is, turn over and cook the other side for just a minute until the bottom browns.

Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and Baked Bacon.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per pancake, based on tiny batch of 3 pancakes: 155 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 71mg Cholesterol; 259mg Sodium; 18g Carb; 1g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3.5, WW PointsPlus 4


My sister Adanna mixing Lifetime Pancakes, light fluffy pancakes scaled from a tiny batch for one or two to a large batch for a big family or hungry teenagers!

Pictured, my dear sister Adanna mixing pancakes! She uses a non-stick griddle that cooks about eight pancakes at a time. I've got my eye on this large griddle, I like how it's got a tilt function to drain off the bacon grease cooked before the pancakes, also that it's dishwasher-safe. There's also a smaller electric griddle that might better fit into kitchen cupboards. [Update: I have indeed purchased the larger griddle, it cooks pancakes so evenly, even the first ones are perfect. I don't use it for bacon, however, since we love the convenience of Baked Bacon.] Father's Day gift, anyone?

Adanna and I both continue to make Lifetime Pancakes again and again, adjusting the recipe to fit our lives. I’ll keep the notes here, more ideas for others.
LIGHT VANILLA YOGURT KEEPS (Adanna) The yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. If the yogurt turns pink, it's gone bad and should be thrown away. If the whey (that's the liquid) separates but is clear in color, just stir it back in.
BUTTERMILK (Adanna) Adanna has switched from non-fat yogurt to buttermilk nearly all the time. (Alanna) Buttermilk is my dairy-liquid of choice as well, using either grocery-store buttermilk (it keeps for weeks) or Homemade Buttermilk.
SOUR CREAM or GREEK YOGURT (Alanna) Sour cream or Greek yogurt can be substituted for low-fat vanilla yogurt. Just add a half teaspoon of vanilla and stir in an extra tablespoon or two of water, to loosen the batter.
WHOLE-WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR (Adanna) Adanna now uses 2/3 whole-wheat pastry flour. (Alanna) All whole-wheat pastry flour is too much, it really affects the color and the taste.
WEIGHT vs VOLUME (Alanna) If you own a kitchen scale, just measure the ingredients into the bowl, no measuring cups to wash later! I'm adding weights as I make the different-sized batches.
PUMPKIN PANCAKES (Adanna) For pumpkin pancakes, add a “glop” of canned pumpkin purée to the batter and use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. Want more detail and a printable recipe? It's here on A Veggie Venture, see Pumpkin Pancakes.
LOW-CARB DIETS (Adanna) To limit carbs, Adanna no longer makes “pancakes for breakfast” but instead goes for “eggs for breakfast with pancakes on the side”. Even for three, including two male adults, the Tiny Batch is plenty when served with eggs.
GRIDDLE TEMPERATURE (Alanna) I set the electric griddle at 325F.

Pumpkin Pancakes: A Fall Favorite

Pumpkin Pancakes ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, light and fluffy, spiked with pumpkin spices, one variation of Lifetime Pancakes.

I just love how my sister's Lifetime Pancakes recipe is so easily adaptable! Here's how I treat sweet little boyzz to pancakes in the fall. Grown-ups love 'em too! See Pumpkin Pancakes!

Apparently, We're a Breakfast Family ;-)

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave Gashouse Eggs My Mom's Pancakes

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

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