Homemade Fluffy Pancakes

DSC_0157Weekend mornings lead to the best breakfasts of the week. Some indulge in eggs benedict, others an omelet, and of course the classic: pancakes. I grew up nearly expecting pancakes at least one day of the weekend every week. My family went so far as buying a griddle for the grill so that we could make an evenly cooked pancake out on the deck. Pancakes are the bomb. Mixes are good, yes. But did you know that you can make them from scratch with staples that every person (should) have in their kitchen? Yes.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp butter (melted)
  • Cinnamon and/or syrup to your liking


Okay, ready? Mix dry mix wet, combine to lumpy consistency. Cook on the stove until fluffy.

Homemade Hot Sauce

Freelance writer Alicia Ranch-Traille joins ES to talk hot sauce. Very hot sauce.

You don’t quite know what makes yourself tick. As a kid, you played mad scientist with the solvents and cleansers beneath the kitchen sink. As a teenage vandal, you really got something out of chemistry class: a temporary record down at the police station. In college, you jumped out of a plane because the sky would win if you didn’t, and you once made a resume that listed only your bodily scars. As an adult, you’re either the dude who sets his head on fire at a bar and makes the national news, or you’re someone for whom ingesting the world’s hottest sauces and peppers is an extracurricular pursuit.

Or maybe both. It’s a fine line.  There’s a way out of this hole, man. It’s time to bottle and sell your pain. You need to make your own hot sauce.

Hot Sauce: A Truly Hot Commodity

Hot sauce isn’t just for men, of course. It’s just that guys have built a whole subculture around it, a close cousin of the microbrew movement. Americans love hot sauce, and the fact that it’s one of the top-10 growth industries in the U.S. right now proves it. By 2017, according to an IBISWorld report, hot sauce is expected to be a $1.3 billion industry, and the movement is already well underway. Just take a look at all the chilihead resources that have popped up in recent years. Austin has a store devoted just to hot sauce. You can get lost in the Hot Sauce Blog for hours, and certain people are obsessed with Sriracha.

What this means for the home chili pepper enthusiast is simple. There’s a market for that thing you love, and you should consider getting in. Unfortunately, chiliheads—being reckless and impulsive by nature—tend to be both rule-averse and unsystematic. That’s no way to learn cooking. “Trial and error” doesn’t mean throwing a bunch of stuff together at random, you know. You can’t see your variables that way. It’s not scientific.

Getting Started

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Homemade Ice Cream Cake

My roommate Kate is somewhat of a culinary genius. Not because she cooks fabulously ornate meals or spends hours slaving over the stove. But because in the age of shortcuts, spice mixes, and semi-homemade bullshit, she still cooks with simple, high-quality ingredients all the time. She does not buy anything prepackaged. She pulls together fabulous dinner parties on the fly quite often, and last week she outdid herself, again. Something I just learned about her is that (a long time ago), she worked at a chain ice cream shop, and her job during the day was to make the cakes. And in typical Kate fashion, she took that skill and made something even more fabulous out of it.

I present to you the homemade ice cream cake, using Kate’s standard formula: 2 ice creams, 1 cookie, 1 candy, 2 drizzles. In this particular instance it was a birthday cake, so the birthday guy got to choose: vanilla, coffee, oreos, Reeses cups, chocolate and peanut butter.

The Pauly Special 

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