Going in and out of buildings with so many different temperatures in the summer is unbearable for me. With year-round sinus problems, I hate air conditioning. Once they get started, I spend the summer sick as a dog.
You're supposed to eat three meals a day to be healthy and help maintain proper body weight (which I'm working on like thousands of other people), but I hate eating when the thermostat soars to miserably hot temperatures.
Something about waking up in a pool of sweat makes the idea of eating food nauseating.
But, with an extended family that needs that morning rush of energy from breakfast, I have to cook.
Although it does heat the house up a bit, there's one recipe that I love cooking in the morning: Puffy Pancakes.
It's versatile, simple, the batter can be made ahead of time and tastes great no matter what you put on top, which also makes it great for a group of people with many different taste buds.
Use a whisk to whip four large eggs until frothy, and then slowly add 2/3-cup of all-purpose flour, three tablespoons of confectioner's sugar, 2/3-cup of whole milk or half-and-half and one teaspoon of real vanilla until you have a smooth batter. This can be refrigerated overnight for use in the morning.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, while preparing at least two pans for cooking the pancakes. Grease 10-inch ovenproof skillets with shortening and place in the oven for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the pans and pour 4-5 tablespoons of batter inside, swirling so it will cover the bottom of the pan, and then return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. The batter should make 4-5 skillet-sized pancakes.
Sprinkle with a handful of shredded cheese, precooked scrambled eggs, cooked bacon or ham pieces and some jalapeņos for a hearty breakfast. Cut into wedges and serve.
But, if you're like me, in the summer it's too hot to eat traditional breakfast foods.
Slice some of your favorite fresh fruit into the pancake, add a dollop of yogurt, whip cream or sour cream (try a splash of chocolate syrup) and sprinkle some granola on top.
Canned fruit salad works too, but make sure it is completely drained or you end up with soggy pancakes. (They're still good, but you need a spoon.)
With a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar (add a shot of cayenne pepper in the mix when you're in the mood for spicy sweet), they are a great replacement for those missing Elephant Ears after the carnival leaves town.