Breakfast for Dinner

It’s easy to create a routine which quickly degenerates into a rut.  I’ve found this to be especially true with food and cooking.  Often I find a new taste, ingredient, tool or method of cooking and that’s what I stick to for awhile.  (Case in point:  I’ve made a total of five tarts – both sweet and savory – over the past four weeks because I am in LOVE with my tart pan.)

But really, I find that most of the time I create food ruts for myself out of sheer convenience.  If I know that I’m always going to make a salad for lunch, I don’t have to spend much time or energy thinking about lunch.  And, since I know exactly what goes into my salads and tend to use the same ingredients each time, the shopping is a no-brainer.  The problem is salads can get pretty boring if you eat them 156 days a year.

Enter the ultimate routine-breaker: Breakfast for Dinner!

Joel is actually the primary breakfast maker around here.  It’s not that I have anything against traditional breakfast menus, but my breakfasts are more of the continental version: pastry, coffee, yogurt and fruit with maybe some eggs thrown in for good measure.  I’m not big on heavy breakfasts, but Joel really enjoys fiddling about with different spices and textures for pancakes, waffles, and French toast.  He’s also a big fan of bacon, sausage and eggs so I generally leave our big breakfasts up to him.

A few years ago my mom got him a stovetop griddle for Christmas and I’ve yet to see him cook a breakfast without using it.  In fact, two summers ago Joel, Madison and I took a big road trip from Southern California to Seattle and on the way we stayed with a friend of mine.  The main focal point of his small cabin was obviously the kitchen.  He had a big industrial gas stove/griddle combo similar to the ones you’d find in any self-respecting diner.  My brother covets that griddle to this day.

Anyway, back to Breakfast for Dinner.  Even though I prefer smaller breakfasts in the morning, I think that for Breakfast to be an evening meal it’s got to be hearty.  Pancakes, waffles or some kind of fluffy flour based item must be served.  Bacon or sausage is a requirement.  And orange juice is definitely on the menu.

Recently I visited an old friend in Ohio (more on that later because, of course, food was involved,) and didn’t see the need to stock up on a bunch of groceries before I left.  I got home on a Tuesday afternoon but because I shop at the farmers market on Saturday our pantry pickings were a little bit slim.  Thankfully, breakfast staples are (mostly) always on hand.

By using the little bit of milk, heavy cream, 1 lb of bacon and pancake mix (I make my own since I got tired of buying Bisquick all the time) Joel was able to cobble together enough ingredients for Breakfast for Dinner and ended up concocting some crepeish looking pancakes flavored with a bit of almond and lemon extract.  (Ugh, we were even out of syrup so I sprinkled the pancakes with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar.)  We had a few bacon slices on the side, a glass of orange juice and voila!  Dinner was ready.

While this wasn’t one of the yummiest Breakfasts for Dinner I’ve ever had, it reminded me that I really do prefer pancakes for dinner.

Side Note:  I think there’s a reason that “breakfast” spots are open until 4am.  On my last visit to Portland, I went out with some friends and we ended up at the Original Pancake House.  The line was out the door at 11p, really.  We had to wait for almost an hour just to get a seat, but the breakfast was worth it.  I don’t think there’s anything like an omelet, pancakes, waffles or bacon for dinner or a late-night snack.

Heather’s Pancake and Waffle Mix, makes 16 cups of dry mix

15 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup baking powder
5 tsp salt

Whisk together and store in an airtight container up to 3 months.

To make pancake batter: combine 1 ½ cup pancake mix, 1 ½ cup milk and 2 eggs.  Whisk together until combined.

5 comments on “Breakfast for Dinner

  1. Heather Keung
    March 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm #


    I love breakfast for dinner. In fact, I think that is what we will be doing tonight.
    The only issue we have around here is that Ethan is allergic to eggs (among other things). Do you have any suggestions on what I could use to replace the eggs in your recipe for the dry pancake mix?
    Jiffy All Purpose Baking Mix does not have eggs and you don’t have to add them in order to make pancakes or waffles. There are a few more specialty brands out there but they are much harder to find out here in the country. 🙂

    • Heather
      March 9, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      You can always substitute 4 tbsp vegetable oil for the eggs. The pancakes won’t be as light and fluffy, but it sure beats a kid with an allergic reaction!

  2. courtney
    March 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    I love breakfast for dinner! I am so gonna try flavoring with almond & lemon- I’ve been adding cinnamon.. It’s so funny, as I was reading that you make your own pancake mix, I was thinking oooh I need to ask her for that recipe! (I’m on my phone so I don’t see the whole page- so it was a nice surprise) .. My kids new favorite is to put ham, cheese, maple syrup, cheddar and an egg on a waffle.. Oh and I got a big ol griddle for christmas a year ago and I looove it 🙂

    • Heather
      March 9, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      Wow, it sounds like the kids are giving Elvis a run for his money! Their concoction kinda sounds like a waffle monte cristo….good!

  3. joshdaddy
    March 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    We’ve been down at the beach this week. Yesterday, my youngest and I were the first off the sand and back to the condo. It was a little early for dinner, but she needed a snack to tie her over. “What shall I fix you? Some yogurt? Cheese and crackers?” Her answer: “Pancakes!” I thought about it and said, “Sure. Why not?”

    So I whip up some pancake batter and start flipping flap jacks. Soon the grandparents arrived. Then the boys and my wife. Pretty soon we were all eating pancakes at 4 in the afternoon. I say pancakes make a perfect first course any time of day!

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