Kind of unfortunately for me, I live in a rapidly shrinking household. Once the fall semester begins, my husband and I will officially be "empty-nesters". Our four children have gradually been leaving us to head off to college, and the two of us really don't eat all that much. Even with our youngest daughter Rachel still at home, we don't eat all that much. She has a very small appetite to go with her petite body, and while my husband has a large appetite, it is not always for the things I like to make. He goes for the low-fat, low-sugar, low-taste type of food, while I like to make good old fashioned FOOD! So, a lot of my enthusiasm for cooking lavish meals is wasted.
Until Michelle comes home for the summer.
Michelle is a VERY enthusiastic eater. She is great to cook for, because almost everything I make, she can't wait to eat (unless it has mushrooms or clams in it). It makes it SOOO much fun to cook for someone who actually roars and attacks their food as if it is prey and they are a large and hungry dinosaur!
Michelle is working two jobs so that she can return to college in the fall. When Michelle gets home from her first job, which is very physical, she is hungry. However, she has been rushing off to her second job so quickly that she hardly has a chance to eat dinner (just something scarfed down in the car) and has been very hungry later on. What makes it worse for her is that at night she is a server at a popular restaurant chain that serves breakfast 24-hours a day-- I HOPe you can figure out where I'm talking about! She has a particular favorite on the menu, and whenever someone orders it, she has confessed that she sometimes fantasizes about eating it on the way to their table. Thus far she has refrained, as she realizes this is not a good tip-getting practice and she likes to get good tips. She told me that last night she was ravenous, and a customer noticed her looking longingly at her food and commented on it.
Well. This should not happen.
So, tonight while Michelle was in the shower cleaning off her cotton-field dirt from her day job, I decided to make Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Pancakes for her. She was so excited! This is only the second time we have attempted this recipe, and since I have not actually eaten the restaurant version I don't know if they are the same, but Michelle tells me they are similar. She ate four, along with four pieces of bacon (nice to have a 20-year-old metabolism, huh?) and should be able to look at any plate of food with detachment for the rest of the night!
For those who may be interested, I am including the recipe (which I have already altered from the original!).
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ c. chocolate chips
Powdered Sugar, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and chocolate syrup for topping
In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add milk, egg, and oil. Whisk until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. The batter may be slightly lumpy (and not just from the chocolate chips!). Heat griddle to medium-high. Once hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on griddle. Flip once batter is set around edges. Cook until baked through. Immediately after pancakes are cooked, sprinkle chocolate chips so they start to melt, then sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with whipped cream, and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
Makes about 8 4-inch pancakes.
*Similar to IHOP Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Warning: This dish is not suitable for diabetics, dieters, or most adults! Eating too many can result in fatal levels of satisfaction and fullness. The faint of heart may not survive.
Funny (but true!) side story: One of Michelle's customers of the young, male variety ordered these pancakes as well as a large omelet. He was with three friends, also guys, and when Michelle came around to see if any of them needed take-home boxes, he said he might need one for his pancakes-- he was getting pretty full. Both Michelle and one of his so-called friends called him a pansy, with Michelle asserting that she could eat them, and insinuating that his manhood was in question. The poor guy managed to choke them down, Michelle granted that he was indeed a man, and the four of them left her a great tip! :)