Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Puff Pancake, Fun and Tasty Too

The Puff Pancake


 Puff Pancakes, also called Dutch Baby Pancakes. I will not call it baby anything on this ol’ Wyoming boy blog. Except to say, wow, these babies are good. These are sometimes referred to as a German Pancake and may very well have been the first puff pastry. They have been around for about a century and evidently some pancake places either feature them or used to feature them. I have never noticed them on a breakfast menu, but then we like to cook and go out to eat when forced.

These are normally listed as breakfast fare but we like breakfast for supper at our house, cook these up with a side of sausage or bacon, and you have it.



  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup milk (or 1/3c of milk, 1/3c half & half)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Teaspoon of vanilla
  • Teaspoon of cinnamon
    Preheat to 475
    Beat the eggs
     Pour in liquid, sugar, salt and vanilla - keep mixing until sugar is dissolved.
    (I use the blender, forget the mixer, actually my wife doesn’t trust me with the mixer, or maybe I don’t know which bowls to use or how to attach whatever attachments are needed).
    Dump in flour and mix it all smooth.
    Let batter sit 10 min or so, you really don’t need to time this step
    Get out your big old cast iron skillet, the ten inch one, if you have it.
    Coat it with melted butter; make sure to get it up the sides all the way. (I was going to say slather it up with butter but wasn’t sure what slather meant so I will stick with coat it, even if slather sounds better).
    Pour the batter in and bake 15 min or a little less- when it is golden brown (or whatever you interpret golden brown to be) it is ready to take out of the heat.
    The pancake will puff up when baking, remove and let sit for a minute or so and it will collapse, don’t worry it’s supposed to.
     *Spread on strawberry or raspberry jelly and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar.
    Loosen around edges and slide onto plate
    Serve with butter and syrup
    *This step can also be done a few minutes before taking pancake out of the oven
    This can also be a great campfire dish, baked in a Dutch oven. I have not tried it but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. That may be the reason I occasionally have my cooking and baking disasters, but believe I will try it some time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

French Fries - The Healthy Cowboy Way

          Can an old retired school teacher make
                  New Fangled French Fries
                            Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, award winning author, retired politician and honored citizen.
Tired of fast food French Fries? They are full of calories, greasy, and not that tasty.  But we all remember how great they were when we were kids and wish they were that good today.

Here is an at home alterative, and they taste great and without fast food guilt.

ü One medium potato – cleaned, peeled and cut into eight wedges

ü Spray pizza pan or cookie sheet with Pam or similar product

ü Place Potatoes on pan and spray with the Vegetable oil

ü Preheat broiler and put the potatoes, I put it on the highest setting so it will both cook and crisp the potatoes

ü Broil for three minutes then sprinkle with parmesan or cheddar and broil another three minutes (I usually leave out the cheese but they are delicious either way)

ü Remove salt and pepper to taste and enjoy

Each potato is about 200 calories (as long as you are light on the cheese)

We use this to serve two, enough, but not too much.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oregon Trail Johnnycakes

Travelers on the Oregon Trail were sometime treated to Johnnycakes. Today we think of these tasty cakes as breakfast fare, but for weary travelers they were a treat, after a long day, topped with their favorite homemade jams and jellies, assuming they hadn’t eaten all the sweets the first few miles out of town. Today we more often top them with melted butter and syrup. I am not sure who Johnny was or why they named a cake (griddle cake) after him, but they taste as good today as they did back in Trail days.


1 beaten egg (some travelers took chickens along)
3/8 cup milk (and some brought along Ol’ Bessy, the milk cow)
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon melted lard (today we use vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I sometimes skimp this down to a
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (cornmeal and flour amounts can be switched
1 cup flour                      depending on how corny your taste)               

1 Tablespoon sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix really smooth. Drop by tablespoon onto hot greased griddle or skillet. Fry on each side until browned, only a minute or two. This recipe makes about a dozen 4 inch cakes.

These are fun, quite a bit different from a regular pancake (we added cornmeal and took out the baking powder) but the taste is special. The taste is kind of flat, with the first chew, then the taste of cornbread a few moments later. Very cool!