Pancakes, Pizza, Art Class

Good morning! Hope everyone is doing OK. Over the weekend, we took Abby for driving lessons again; hiked (a four-miler up the River and my go-to); threw a FaceTime party with my brother, parents, and sister to celebrate her birthday; and dropped off bagged lunches for an NYC sandwich drive. Andy hasn’t been able to get to his NYC barber of 15 years, so I helped him shave his head. What did you do? Here’s today’s Project, Pantry, Purpose….

Project: Pancakes

When I don’t have buttermilk or don’t feel like making buttermilk, this is my favorite pancake recipe. We had them for Saturday breakfast, but this might have to be the week you guys make them for dinner.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
oil or melted butter for greasing pan

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl and the wet ones (eggs, milk, melted butter) in a smaller bowl or large measuring cup. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry bowl and whisk together. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of water.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop about 1/4 cup size portions of batter and fry until golden on each side, about 5 minutes total. You can stud them with chocolate chips or blueberries before flipping if you have either of those ingredients. Serve with butter and syrup or jam or powdered sugar.

Pantry: Potato-Cheddar Pizza

Apparently it’s beige food day on Dinner: A Love Story! I know it sounds weird– potatoes on pizza? — but trust me. We made two pizzas on Friday night, one of these, and one plain marinara and the potato-cheddar went first as always.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
dash balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 16-ounce ball pizza dough (or make your own), room temperature
4 medium yellow or red potatoes, thinly sliced
About 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
thyme or rosemary if you have it

Preheat oven to 450°F. Add oil and onions to a medium skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook for as long as you can, hopefully at least 25-30 minutes, allowing them to caramelize. If you want to cheat or don’t have time, you can stir in a little balsamic after 10 minutes.

Add potato slices to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes and drain. They do not have to be cooked through.

Meanwhile, lightly grease a standard baking sheet and drop ball of dough in the middle, pressing and stretching it out with your fingers so it reaches the edges. Sprinkle cheese on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Lay potatoes on top, overlapping slightly and bake for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust looks golden brown.

Remove from oven and top with onions and fresh herbs if using.

Purpose: Draw Together

I’m loving all the online entertainment sprouting up, but my favorite is from Wendy MacNaughton (many of you probably know her as the illustrator for Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat) who is holding art classes for kids (“of all ages!”) every day on instagram live. Those are a few of her students up above, showing off their work. So cool!

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what you’re up to, and how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at

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Thanks for keeping this blog going, Jenny!! I love seeing what you are cooking for your family.

It’s a rainy day in Washington, DC, so a perfect afternoon to make (and eat) Smitten Kitchen’s cozy cabbage and farro soup ( I still had 3/4 head of cabbage left over from St. Paddy’s Day, so this meal was spot-on for me. It was delicious and comforting. Will make a Ginger Tofu Ramen dish from Martha Stewart this evening (


For drawing together- may I recommend these awesome watercolor kits from a site called Let’s Make Art. They are so much fun! I just got in to doing them- my first kit was an octopus.


I can’t recommend this beer bread recipe enough! Even easier than no-knead bread; the beer does all the rising work for you (and the alcohol cooks off in the oven so all ages can enjoy it once baked). Be sure to heed the directions about sifting, and I recommend adding a dusting of kosher salt on top as you remove it from the oven. Everyone I know is distractabaking this to go with all the pantry soups and chilis.

Mom of Boys

In the true spirit of DALS, I’ve decided to have Thursday celebrations for the kids. This Thursday will mark three weeks of “remote learning.” We’ll celebrate being healthy and managing as a foursome. Tonight we’ll be having carne asada with homemade corn tortillas.

I saw a reader asked about bean recipes. The carne asada beans are made with a pressure cooker. I take pinto or black beans (dried), soak them for a while and throw out soaking water. I transfer the soaked beans into the pressure cooker with water, a lot of salt, fresh cilantro, ground cumin, paprika, and whatever spices I have in the pantry that seem right (ancho chili powder, ghost pepper salt), salt, and a quartered onion, a quartered tomato, carrots (if I have any) and bay leaf.

I noticed your pancakes are wayyy fluffier than mine. I follow the recipe in The Joy of Cooking (my edition has almost completely fallen apart), but I’ll try your recipe this week!

Thanks for the posts!


I’m inspired by your celebration and the fact that you’ve made it to three weeks. (We are not quite at 2 weeks here in Westchester County.) Stay strong!


I made your pound cake from last week and it turned out great! I used frozen apricots, swapped 1/4 teaspoon almond extract for the vanilla, and used the zest of an otherwise spent lemon half. I love that it is so versatile and doesn’t use butter — I have been using tons lately and get nervous about keeping it in stock! Thanks for keeping the lights on and sharing your fun updates.


Our local pizza place used to have a pizza with potatoes, bacon, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese, served with a side of sour cream for dipping. It was my favorite and I’m pretty sad it’s not on the menu anymore.


I made the m&m cookies today without m&ms and with spelt flour because I only had a tiny bag of m&ms and that is the only kind of flour I have in my pantry. I just used double the choc chips. Still turned out sooooo good! Thanks for all you do!


Making your dumpling meatballs and green beans tomorrow for dinner! It’s one of the small handful of things that the whole family eats without complaining. Win! Thanks for continuing to do this series. It is seriously one of the things I look forward to each day!


Thank you for this series
It’s my reward to sit and read your content after a very long hard day!


We keep plowing through these recipes: made the pound cake, the potato pizza, and the pudding. I failed at the pudding- again! I have tried so many pudding recipes over the years and never gotten it to firm up like actual pudding. I can’t figure out my mistake. I cook and bake in the kitchen a lot and consider myself pretty proficient, but this is my only consistent failure. Oh well, I can laugh about it and be grateful to have a kitchen to experiment in.

I was pretty late to “the rainbows in the windows” party, but kids and I painted some pretty designs and hung them yesterday. I hope that others smile when they see them as much as we did while making them.

Thank you for continuing these posts!


Anyone have any hot tips for getting a pizza dough that spread out? mine always ends up like a thick, doughy flatbread. It seems so simple, but I just can’t get it right!