Looking for ways to make dinner exciting? Fear not, I’m in the same boat 🙂 Putting dinner on the table every night can be stressful and time consuming. In my case, I leave home early and get back late most days, and when I do come home I don’t have the energy to accomplish even the most basic kitchen-related tasks. I would love to be able to cook lavish dinners for my family every night, but this is unrealistic. So, what can I do to change things?
Thankfully, recently I discovered a clever way to sort out my cooking dilemmas: serve breakfast for dinner every once in a while! A study carried out in 2015 has concluded that America loves breakfast for dinner and that Breakfast Night is now a weekly occurrence for 30% of families. Eating pancakes for dinner is a lot of fun and a great time-saver, and adequate preparation can turn dinnertime into an authentic feast. Being a big fan of pancakes – and dinner! – I was very excited when I was contacted by Krusteaz to review their recently launched Breakfast Night campaign and to develop recipes using some of their pancake and waffle mixes.
According to Krusteaz, some simple ways to turn pancakes and waffles into dinner items include adding a protein (or two!), experimenting with the batter, and adding a side. With just a few extra ingredients, dinner can be quick and truly crowd-pleasing!
Krusteaz sent me an assortment of Buttermilk Pancake, Protein Buttermilk Pancake, and Belgian Waffle Mixes to use as part of this campaign.
The Protein Buttermilk Pancake Mix was the one which instantly grabbed my attention. This mix contains wheat protein isolate and provides 13 grams of protein per serving. On the back of the package there are suggestions for boosting the protein intake even more by adding extra milk or eggs when making the pancakes.
As for me, I had my own ideas about boosting the protein intake, which involved ingredients that are very dear to DH’s heart (and stomach!): bacon, feta cheese and mushrooms. DH is a big fan of pancakes & feta cheese served together, and this dish I made using the Krusteaz pancake mix was a big hit with him. I added bits of cooked bacon to the batter and served the pancakes with feta cheese on top, more bacon on the side, and also mushrooms roasted in the oven with salt, pepper and melted butter (I made the mushrooms in advance and stored them in the fridge). I cooked the pancakes in a pan and they turned out thick, fluffy, and downright delicious:
Next on my list was the Buttermilk Pancake Mix. I wanted a refreshing sweet dish my family would enjoy, and since I had a lot of citrus of all sizes in the fridge I decided to go down the citrusy path. I added fresh lemon zest to the batter…
… and served the pancakes with a citrus salad featuring navel and blood oranges, minneolas, pink grapefruit, clementines and kumquat in a simple lemon syrup. I drizzled the same syrup over the pancakes and added chopped roasted hazelnuts for texture.
Here’s a delicate ode to fresh lemon delight! So good:
The Belgian Waffle Mix was the last one I tried. I was craving something sweet and rather decadent – what better way to be decadent than to add caramel to your dish? 😉
I had a pineapple in the fridge, which I cut into small pieces and caramelized in a saucepan. I also added small pieces of dried pineapple to the waffle batter.
I served the waffles with caramelized pineapple, oven-roasted figs (made in advance with cinnamon and honey), diced red pear for texture and freshness, and extra caramel sauce on top.
DH, who is not a fan of caramel, loved these waffles and ate one full portion in one sitting. He really enjoyed the addition of the pineapple and fresh pear:
I had a lot of fun serving these breakfast items to my family for dinner. Using the Krusteaz mixes made the preparation quick and the results stress-free, which was a big bonus. You can also make the pancakes/waffles in advance (perhaps on Sunday, when you have more time) and serve them one of the following nights. No need to worry about their freshness: they will keep fresh and tasty in the fridge for a few days. Furthermore, ingredients such as the roasted mushrooms & figs and the lemon syrup can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge until breakfast night.
With just a few carefully planned steps and a supportive, pancake-loving family by your side, breakfast night can change your dinner routine for good – providing deliciousness, comfort, and endless smiles on happy faces 🙂
*Disclaimer: While I received complimentary products to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.