Recipe: Macaroni Cheese American Style Pancakes

Macaroni cheese American style pancakes. Yes, you read that right. We like pancakes of all kinds in this house, they’re a quick meal and great for jazzing up leftovers into something new and exciting.

With Shrove Tuesday just around the corner, and half a leftover macaroni cheese waiting to be used up, I decided to combine two of our favourite things into one delicious and rather hearty meal. Topped with bacon (or facon, if you’re veggie like me) and with some good tomatoes on the side, it’s a great family meal and really filling too!

Recipe: Macaroni Cheese American Style Pancakes

Macaroni Cheese American Style Pancakes

200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 or 3 spring onions, finely chopped
200ml milk
3 eggs
25g butter, melted, plus extra for frying

For the topping-
Leftover macaroni cheese
Good Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt, pepper and dried chilli flakes

Recipe: Macaroni Cheese American Style Pancakes

How to make your macaroni cheese American style pancakes:

In a large bowl or jug, whisk all of the pancake ingredients together with some seasoning until smooth. See how it looks, you might want to add more spring onion, or maybe some tinned sweetcorn, which works well, or some herbs like parsley if you have any. These savoury pancakes really lend themselves to being bulked out like this. We like a bit of spice, so we add dried chilli flakes, and you might like to too.

Put a small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat and cook until the butter has melted. Once the pan is hot, pour around 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan. While the first side is cooking, put some of your leftover macaroni cheese over the top of the pancake and sprinkle over some of your grated cheese and press down all over with the back of a spoon. You’ll know when your pancake is ready to flip when you can start to see bubbles forming in the batter.

Once your pancake is ready to turn, use a spatula and carefully flip it over. Cook until the cheese has melted and is crispy. Once you’re happy, turn it out onto a plate and serve however you like. In our house, bacon and tomatoes are the favoured accompaniments, but it would be great with all kinds of things!

Note: Don’t cook your pancakes on too high a heat, you want them to cook all the way through without burning them.

Recipe: Macaroni Cheese American Style Pancakes

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Macaroni Cheese American Style Pancakes

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with JimJams Spreads

We were sent some JimJams Chocolate Spread to try with our pancakes. All images and opinions are our own.

We love pancakes, and it’s sad that Shove Tuesday, or Pancake Day is only once a year. Though with us being rebellious types, we sometimes crack and have an impromptu pancake day or two later in the year, just because pancakes really are the best thing ever.

There’s a lot of debate about how to top your pancake, or indeed what kind of pancake is the best. It’s hard to beat your standard thin, crêpe style pancake with lemon juice and sugar; but we often mix things up by having syrup or fruit, or even chocolate spread on ours. Basically, there are no rules, Pancake Day is a solid treat day and that is that.

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with JimJams Spreads

However, even treat days don’t have to be terrible for you. Although you can make your own pancakes from scratch, if you’re busy then a packet mix can make life a bit easier. For a lockdown treat I whipped up a batch of Griddle Choc Chip Pancakes (which can be made vegan if you like). They are made using a wholegrain blend of wheat, organic rye and organic barley flour to give them a perfect fluffy texture and making them full of fibre; ideal if you’re making pancakes for the family.

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with JimJams Spreads

I do like the thicker, American style pancakes. They are more filling and these choc chip versions are super-tasty and a real crowd pleaser. To top them, there was really only one option; JimJams Milk Chocolate Spread. It contains no added sugar and is only 50 calories per dessert spoon. Ideal if you want all of the treats, but less of the sugar.

JimJams spreads are available in a range of smooth, creamy flavours; milk chocolate; hazelnut chocolate, and new vegan no added sugar dark chocolate orange and dark hazelnut spread. JimJams spreads are made with 100% plant based ingredients and are designed to be kinder to your teeth, gluten free and around half the calories of other chocolate spreads.

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with JimJams Spreads

JimJams spreads are currently on offer for just £2.00 a jar (normally £2.60) throughout February and are available at Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Asda and Ocado. Find out more about JimJams spreads on their website.

Breakfast Ideas: American Style Blueberry Pancakes

Pancakes are for life, not just for Shrove Tuesday. I mean, it’s the law to have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, but we also like to have them at other times of the year too. We’re big fans of a weekend pancake breakfast and I love them as a little treat. This week, using a Sweetpea Pantry Grainy Brainy Pancake Mix, I knocked up a quick and easy batch of seriously good American Style Blueberry Pancakes.

The best pancakes I’ve ever had were in America, blueberry pancakes covered in syrup and blueberry compote. I’ve tried several times to replicate that joyous plate of pancakes and I’ve cracked it. Thick, fluffy pancakes with my homemade fridge blueberry jam spooned over. They’re a thing of beauty!

Breakfast Ideas: American Style Blueberry Pancakes

The Grainy Brainy Pancake Mix from Sweetpea Pantry is made with protein-rich buckwheat, quinoa, Omega-3 loaded, heart-friendly flaxseed and teff grains for fibre, calcium, iron and vitamin C. It’s much healthier than any pancake mix I could make!

This pancake mix is a great base on which to build flavour. I mixed it up according the instructions on the box and added 100g of fresh or frozen blueberries and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. I then melted some butter in my good pancake pan and cooked the blueberry pancakes in small batches. The mix made 8 American Style Blueberry Pancakes.

To serve them, I spooned my lovely homemade jam over the top, whipped cream or yogurt are optional but recommended. For extra sweetness if you need it, you could also drizzle over a bit of syrup; this is a treat after all!

Breakfast Ideas: American Style Blueberry Pancakes

The Grainy Brainy Pancake Mix from Sweetpea Pantry (and their other mixes) are available from Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Booths, Marks & Spencer and a range of other retailers. Each mix costs £2.75 and they’re delicious, family friendly mixes with a healthy and nutritious twist.

I was sent a Grainy Brainy Pancake Mix in return for this post. All images and opinions are my own.

Recipe: Fridge Blueberry Jam – perfect with pancakes!

With Shrove Tuesday on the horizon I’ve been busy in the kitchen making my annual pot of Fridge Blueberry Jam. I call it Fridge Blueberry Jam because it’s not quite a set jam and it’s not quite a fruit sauce or compote; it’s somewhere in between. It’s a simple recipe which doesn’t require any great skill, but the results are worth a bit of pot watching and stirring.

Recipe: Fridge Blueberry Jam - perfect with pancakes!

I only make this jam once a year, it’s really easy to throw together and I use frozen blueberries which make everything a little bit more economical. My recipe makes a big jar of jam, but I have to hide it because if I don’t it mysteriously disappears before Pancake Day. The Fridge Blueberry Jam is to my mind at least, the perfect accompaniment to pancakes. My favourite thing is to make American style blueberry pancakes and then spoon this runny, oozing jam over the top. Sometimes I might have some cream, sometimes I might have some syrup. Sometimes the blueberry jam is enough!

Fridge Blueberry Jam

500g blueberries (I used frozen but fresh is fine too)
250g preserving sugar
30mls water
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon

In a large pan ( a preserving one if you have one, don’t worry if not) over a medium heat; tip in all of your ingredients and stir until the sugar melts. Feel free to bash some of the blueberries about a bit with the back of a wooden spoon; this will help them release some juice.

Bring the blueberries up to a low rolling boil. It’s better to take this slow and steady than rush it and push it too far. At this stage put one or two clean jars in a low oven to sterilise them.

Keep an eye on your blueberry jam, keep stirring and after a while you should feel it start to thicken. Scoop any foamy scum off the top (this is just impurities from the fruit and the sugar, it’s not harmful at all) and discard.

Take a cold plate (if you put it in the fridge to chill, that’ll help) and put a dribble of the blueberry jam on. Leave it to cool and if it sets to the consistency you want, then your fridge jam is ready to be put in the jars. If not, keep stirring and testing the jam regularly.

Recipe: Fridge Blueberry Jam - perfect with pancakes!

When it’s ready, carefully remove your jars from the oven (they will be incredibly hot) and pour in your blueberry jam. We use a wide necked funnel for this, but filling a jug and pouring it into the jar works just as well. Work quickly and carefully and get the lids on your jars while everything is still hot.

Leave your jam to cool and them pop it in the fridge for when you need it. I’d take it out of the fridge an hour before you need it if you can. It just takes the chill off it.

Enjoy spooned over pancakes, or it’s excellent on crumpets!

If you enjoyed this fruity recipe, you might also like my recipe for Plum Jelly.

Recipe: Fridge Blueberry Jam - perfect with pancakes!

Pancake Day Breakfast

I’ve always been a massive fan of Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday to give it it’s proper name). Pancakes are cheap and easy to make, but they’re a real greedy treat for us.

We usually have the traditional pancake which my husband whips up and we sprinkle with lemon and sugar. But sometimes if we’re having a lazy weekend we’ll have a stack of Blueberry pancakes from a recipe in the River Cottage Everyday cookbook.

So today, being Pancake Day we treated ourselves to this special breakfast, of course our resident junior chef got involved, a bit of a mess was made, but where there’s no mess, there’s no fun!

Pancake making
Flour…stir, stir, stir!
Pancake making
Daddy adds the milk and eggs. Careful Daddy!
Pancake making
Add the blueberries and stir, stir, stir!
Blueberry pancake
Yummy blueberry pancake.

The pancakes were delicious. I like my blueberry pancakes drizzled in honey, the boys liked theirs with yoghurt and more blueberries.

How do you eat yours?