Date Night in The Kitchen: Swedish Pancakes

I always love reading these Date Night in the Kitchen posts when Bethany post them together. They are so much more than just a recipe and pretty pictures. Two posts a month, I get a little bit of Love the Grows (the blog where I first discovered Bethany) and all of her thoughts and feelings on marriage with her talent and passion for good food thrown in. Bethany always tells it like it is and doesn't sugar coat or hide her true feelings. I love her honesty and her perspective on things. This post is no exception and you may find me leaving a comment on the post to add my own thoughts.

Whenever people complain on blogs or social media about those who parade their seemingly perfect marriages in front of other people, making others feel bad about their very real not-so-perfect marriage, there is, nearly always, one scenario that gets brought up with disdain: Showing off that your husband brings you breakfast in bed. They'll preach to the unmarried, warning them that marriage isn't rainbows and butterflies and breakfast in bed every day, like they might see on Facebook. Or they'll share how bad they felt when a friend posted a picture of her husband bringing her breakfast in bed, making her feel like her marriage isn't as good as her friend's.

I'm not sure why this happy little morning scene posted on Instagram gets so much flack. Maybe it's because some people's husbands don't like cooking or a couple has opposite morning schedules or maybe people have kids that make it impossible for one person to juggle a meal and kids while the other spouse sleeps. Maybe people truly believe that those who display their homemade breakfast on clean white bedsheets are trying to show off how awesome their husband is and make others feel bad because their husband slept in as long as possible while they cleaned the house between bites of cereal. But whatever the reason, people that share pictures of the breakfast their husband made get a bad rap.

I am very aware of this sentiment because every time someone complains about THAT couple that rubs it in other people's faces how cute and perfect their marriage is with their idyllic breakfast in bed post, I feel guilty.

I often get breakfast in bed.

But the reason I often get breakfast in bed is not because my husband is the most incredible husband on the face of the earth and your husbands are all a bunch of losers who can't even hold a candle to his greatness. Oh goodness, no.

The reason Josh often brings a plate of food to me when I'm barely awake and still adjusting my eyes to flick through my Instagram feed from bed is for two non-romantic reasons and one kinda romantic reason. 

Firstly, I am not a morning person and Josh is. On weekends, Josh is up and at it by 8 or 9am, ready to eat right away and get to mowing the lawn or working on the car. He is well-trained in the art of sneaking out of the bedroom with the pups ever so quietly so he can get on with his day. Meanwhile, I am queen of sleeping in. I am well-trained in the art of going back to sleep no matter how bright the sun, how loud the dogs, or how many neighbors are mowing their lawn. I tend to stay asleep till 10am at the earliest on weekends.

Secondly, I am not a breakfast person and Josh is. On weekends, I usually wait till lunch time to eat and since I prefer lunch foods to breakfast foods, I'll opt for a sandwich or leftovers over bacon and eggs. If we're going to have breakfast on the weekend, it's up to Josh to make that happen. Which he happily does, as he loves making waffles or frying up some bacon first thing in the morning.

So since Josh loves waking up early and making breakfast, he tends to bring me breakfast in bed at least once a month. I suspect the biggest motivating factor is not because he wants to be the greatest husband on earth (though I'd be willing to throw his hat in the ring), but because he wants a gentle and loving way to wake me up and remind me that we have things to do. Prodding me awake with a fresh omelette in the other hand certainly beats letting the dogs jump all over me or barging in with the vacuum running.

But of course, I am not making excuses for him doing something so kind for me. I am very aware that the third reason he brings me breakfast in bed is because he loves me and wants to show it. I love this loving gesture and appreciate his work in letting me sleep in till he has made me a plate of food. It would be easy to make himself something really quick and get to work or to wake me up when he gets up so I can help him make breakfast. But he wants my day to start off as pleasantly as possible because he wants me to be happy. And I don't take that for granted. 

So even though I have listened to the griping and moaning of my fellow wives in the world (I understand and respect their complaints) and no longer post about these breakfasts Josh makes me, they still happen and I still want to celebrate how happy they make me. It might just be a product of our habits and sleeping patterns, but it doesn't mean he isn't a fantastic husband for it.

This breakfast dish a favorite that Josh has mastered and knows I'll love receiving in bed in the morning. It's a childhood favorite that's easy, delicious, and uses ingredients we ALWAYS have on hand. It's our go-to when we're poor or too lazy to make something more appropriate for dinner. You and your spouse can easily master this together for a fun breakfast-for-dinner or try it out on your own for a fun breakfast in bed for your spouse. And even though I suggest our favorites, feel free to get creative with the fillings! That's the best part!

Swedish Pancakes

Perfect for: Quick & easy breakfasts or last minute, budget-friendly breakfast-for-dinners
Serve with: Fresh fruit and a glass of milk

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
milk

Fillings:
Stick of butter (still in the wrapper)
Cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 1 part sugar)
OR
Nutella
Fresh strawberries, sliced

Heat a griddle to 300F or a non-stick skillet at least 10 inches wide over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar until combined. Then add in the oil, eggs, and half of the milk. Whisk till combined. Add the remaining milk a 1/4 cup a time until the mixture is smooth, but thick like a cake batter (see picture below). You don't want it to be quite as thin as a crepe batter, though it will taste just fine if it is.

Make sure your griddle/skillet is fully heated. Using a ladle to scoop up about 1/3 cup of the batter. Working quickly, pour the batter into one spot in the middle of the griddle and use the bottom of the ladle to spread the batter out in a circular motion until it is about 8-10 inches in diameter, making sure not to spread it too thin. Your pancake should still have some thicker rings to it as pictured and should be around 1/8 inch thick. It won't be smooth like a crepe.

When the thick middle of the pancake is cooked through and you begin to see bubbles form on the outside edges of the pancake after about 2 minutes, use a spatula to bring the edges of the pancake up, making sure it's no longer sticking to the pan (if it still sticks, it's not ready to flip, though your first pancake might have a tougher time as the pan won't be as greased). Use the spatula to press down on the pancake- you might hear it squeel! After about 2 minutes, the pancake should be ready! Flip it over and look for brown spots on the thicker parts of the pancake as pictured. If it isn't ready, flip it back over and let it cook for another 30 seconds or so. 

As you make the remaining pancakes, look for the visual indicators and rely on those rather than time. Every griddle/skillet will vary and the cook time will largely depend on how thick your batter is. Trust your instincts and keep an eye on your pancakes at all times. 

Tear the top third of the wrapping off of the butter. While the pancake is still hot, butter the pancake with the stick of butter, letting it melt directly on the pancake. Shake on some cinnamon sugar. Roll up. Enjoy!

Other fillings we enjoy:
Lemon juice and sugar
Any citrus curd
Peanut butter

P.S. From Amberly, you could share this with your husband because if there's ever a time when you deserve breakfast in bed, it's this weekend for Mother's Day. If you're not a mother yet, celebrate future Mother's Day because you are the future mother of his children. :)