With all Missouri school districts and charter schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to get creative with your little ones’ home education. Personally, home-ec was one of my favorite classes as a student, so I’ve incorporated some of the real-life skills from that course in the new lesson plan for my son. This week’s topic is food + art. And even though I am no Monet, children are pretty easy to please – especially when they get to play with their food, which is why animal-shaped pancakes were at the top of our agenda.

Fluffy Pancake Animals

Yields | 6 to 8 “animals” |

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or watered down yogurt or sour cream)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional Toppings

  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • fruit (berries, bananas, apples, oranges)
  • chocolate chips
  • Nutella
  • bacon

| Preparation | In a bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar; stir until well mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, butter and vanilla extract. Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture, folding until just mixed. (It’s OK if the mixture is a little clumpy.)

In a large pan, add a little fat so pancakes don’t stick. Pour ⅛ to ¼ cup batter to make pancakes of various sizes; cook, 3 minutes, or until the bottom of each pancake is golden and just the top is raw. Flip and cook for another minute or two. Remove pancakes from pan. Repeat steps with any remaining batter. Once all pancakes have been made, cut some into other shapes (for ears, etc.). Use optional toppings to make the eyes, nose, mouth, whiskers, wings, mane and/or antlers of your pancake animals. (Bear is always my go-to, but anything is possible.)