HELOISE Breakfast gets a boost

Dear Readers: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and shouldn't be a chore to fix. So here are some hints to make breakfast a little different:
UTry this pancake or waffle topping: Heat up some chunky applesauce with 1 or 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and use in place of syrup.
UDrizzle flavored syrups over the pancakes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
USpread warm pie filling on pancakes or waffles.
USprinkle pancakes with coconut, chocolate bits or nuts after you pour the batter on the griddle and before you flip them.
UFor a fun sandwich, use cooked waffles as bread for children's peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. This is a favorite of mine.
UFor a different taste and texture, add a little cooked rice to waffle batter.
UTry adding a single-serving packet of instant flavored oatmeal to waffle mix.
UAdd dried fruit to pancake or waffle batter for a delicious taste.
UTo make sure your pancake griddle is hot enough, drizzle a drop or two of water on it. If the water evaporates in a couple of seconds, then the griddle is ready for the batter.
UBoxed pancake mixes should only be stirred enough to mix, because overstirring can make the pancakes tough.
UMake pancake batter the night before and store in a handy squirt bottle. In the morning, grab the bottle, and the batter is ready.
UMake extra pancakes and waffles, and after they have cooled, freeze them in an airtight freezer bag. Then you can toast them for breakfast when you are in a hurry or just eat them as a snack.
UWhen making pancakes, make faces or names on them. Instead of making just circles, make them into shapes to peak children's interest.
UTo keep pancakes and waffles warm before serving, keep them in a bun warmer.
UTo make pancakes or waffles a little easier for children to eat, cut them up and put in a bowl. Then add syrup. This makes eating easier, and it's less messy for the cleanup person. Heloise
Dear Readers: Here is my favorite pancake-mix recipe. It's inexpensive to make and keeps well in the refrigerator. You need:
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
8 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 cup shortening
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Store in a well-sealed container in the pantry or refrigerator. To make pancakes, add enough milk for the batter consistency desired. Enjoy. Heloise
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) HELOISE, or e-mail heloise@heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate

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