Apr 30, 2018

How An Obsession Began With Butterfly Pancakes

If you see me in the far-off corner of a bookstore clamoring to a newly bound cookbook lusting and drooling over the pages of glossy food photos...please, just pass by discretely without judgement.

I’ll admit it...I’m a cookbook junkie! 

Image Credit: Pixabay.com
My Obsession Began With Butterfly Pancakes: www.asquareofchocolate.com

Which is why when I saw the daily Google Doodle, I was intrigued. 

Do you ever click on the daily Google Doodle to learn more about whom or what is being celebrated that day? 

March 28th I hovered over the Google logo to see that Hannah Glasse would have celebrated her 310th birthday. The doodle was of a woman baker wearing an apron and pulling from a brick oven some hot loaves of bread or maybe they were pies. 

Being the food enthusiast that I am, the doodle grabbed my interest. Who was Hannah Glasse? What was Hannah’s gift or unique baking knowledge that changed the world and landed her on Google Doodle?

It turns out Hannah was England’s first popular cook and wrote a domestic guide for cooking and entertaining. Her cookbook, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy was first published anonymously in 1747 and became Britain’s all-time popular cookbooks. She was the Martha Stewart of her time. And, like Martha, Hannah even did a little prison time. 

Gasp! Such naughty domestic divas.

Before Pinterest, I had an obsession for cookbooks. I couldn’t resist the little recipe booklets perched in the grocery store checkout line. Have you seen these? Or, is it just me and my eye for food displayed in enticing poses?  

They’re catchy titles would flirt with my desire to know more about ...Slow Cooker Meals; Easy Summer Potlucks; Salads, Veggies & Desserts; Healthy Meals and the list goes on!

It wasn’t too far-fetched for me to go to the bookstore and be immediately lured to the display of beautiful cookbooks. I’d become hypnotized among the pages of food photos as if I was satisfying a quick fix. 

A roasted chicken snuggled in a bed of roasted vegetables with a shimmering glaze dripping down the thighs. That’d be the chicken thighs…not mine! I fixated and gawked on the vision like the young teens from the shower scene in the Porky’s movie (You can Google that one). 😲   

There’s a reason they call those pictures “Food Porn.”  

It all started when I got my first cookbook around the age of 12. I’m sure my parents innocently bought the cookbook for me thinking I’d take an interest in cooking and turn out some great meals for them. 

In fact, I did!  The first thing I made out of that cookbook was Butterfly Pancakes. What are Butterfly Pancakes...you ask?  You griddle up some pancakes and then cut one in half. Place a breakfast sausage between the two halves and the pancake halves become the butterfly wings. Spoon small dollops of strawberry jam on the pancake wings to make its decorated spots and you have an adorable breakfast presentation. 

This was a perfect start for an amateur that appreciated food made into a vision of art. 

So, my first attempt of making these was on a lazy Sunday morning when I presented my parents breakfast in bed with their own individual plates of butterfly pancakes. I’m sure they gave each other high fives that morning and thought how great their plan worked out.

Yeah, breakfast in bed served by their 12 year old!

Little did they know they had just created a cookbook junkie and that one day the grocery store checkout line would be the ruthless dealer to my cookbook addiction!  Not to mention, it seems Betty Crocker had a hand in it, as well.

It’s true - Butterfly Pancakes started my secret obsession!

But, unlike Hannah Glasse or Martha Stewart, I never landed in prison. I was able to kick my obsession without racking up a criminal record or being secluded to cookbook rehab. 

As my kitchen drawers, cupboards and storage boxes overflowed with my cookbook collection, I realized it was time to kick my impulsive purchases of cookbooks. Then, of course, the digital online site of Pinterest replaced having the physical cookbook. 

No worries, this didn’t turn into just another monkey on my back. 

Thankfully, I avoided hiding in the dark corners of inner city streets to surf Pinterest on my iPad.

Image: Pixabay.com - Arcaion

I didn’t succumb to the dark side of the web to search for forbidden pictures of chewy triple chocolate brownies. 

I now had kids to raise and share in family responsibilities. I had to manage my obsession by making sure it was being used for the greater good – cooking decent healthy meals for my family. 

Here’s the good news! While in my cookbook recovery and better managing my obsession for recipes and food porn, I discovered a new hobby. It was something I could do to broaden my own horizons, create something with purpose and maybe even inspire others. 

This was when I discovered...Food Bloggers! 

What started with my first cookbook, making butterfly pancakes, a cookbook obsession and then Pinterest, eventually gave me the idea to start my own blog! 

I knew I didn’t have the photography equipment or talent to create those beautiful food pictures, but I knew I could write and at least share recipes and ideas.

Getting some inspiration from other bloggers, combined with my OTHER secret obsession...CHOCOLATE, and a random message inside a Dove Chocolate wrapper, is what nudged the idea for the blog name – A Square Of Chocolate.

As they say, the rest is history. 

What I didn't expect from sharing recipes and ideas on a blog was how it turned into a writing endeavor that's taught me so much about myself, my potential and the craft of writing stories.

If you think about your obsession or passion, where and when did it start? Can you think back to pinpoint your “Butterfly Pancake moment?”

In celebration of quirky beginnings, secret obsessions and pancakes, try making and serving these Butterfly Pancakes for someone special. 

I’m willing to bet even the crafty jailbirds, Hannah and Martha, would've said… 

“They’re so adorably tasty, it’s criminal!” 😉

Indulging In the Write Stuff 

One More Thing Before You Go!

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  1. My favorite recipe book was Grandma Lana's. A spiral steno notebook. When I finally started my own, of course it's also a steno book. The first written in recipe is her Peanut Crisp Cookies. I always intended to copy more but sadly only got a few. I have attempted to fill the empty pages with recipes, some of my own creation, some collaborative efforts with family & friends. Grandma's recipes book didn't have the glossy food porn photos but when i read her recipes I see the memories.

    1. Karen, such a treasure to have family recipes and in her handwriting is pretty special too! Love that.

  2. These are indeed adorable and I will have to make them with a 7 year old when I visit her this summer. I love reading about food, looking at cook books and reading cookbooks. Of course I love eating too!

    1. OMGosh eating is the best part! I don't consider myself a fancy cook, but I do think I have an eye for spotting good recipes. Thanks Haralee!

  3. Very cute pancakes, but I've never understood mixing sweet and savoury - I'd have to eat the sausage by itself and then the pancakes as dessert!

    1. Sounds like a quirky obsession! Sort of...haha!

  4. I too am a cookbook-a-holic. Especially if it has beautiful pictures of each recipe. And don’t get me started on those travel cookbooks...

    1. Yes, yes Laura and my dream job would be traveling and discovering different eating places. Food Network's Guy Fieri on Triple D has quite the awesome gig!


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